6:33am PT by Graeme McMillan
Which Marvel Characters Deserve Spinoff Movies or Shows?
As one era of superheroes ends with this week’s release of Avengers: Endgame, audiences are ready for the next generation of superheroes to be more diverse — well, some audiences at least, according to a new Hollywood Reporter/Morning Conduct poll.
The poll of 2,205 adults, conducted between April 11-15, found that, in general, audiences are receptive to the idea of more representation for minority groups in future superhero projects; 31 percent said that more women should be given the spotlight in upcoming superhero movies, with 26 percent saying the same thing about black characters. Asian, Hispanic and African characters all polled with 24 percent approving, with LGBTQ characters getting 19 percent saying that they should be represented, the same percentage that supported immigrant representation. Disabled characters received 29 percent support.
By contrast, the poll found that only 13 percent would like more representation of white characters, and only 14 percent more representation of men. Bad news, if Marvel intends to stay true to its predominantly white, male character portfolio, although it should perhaps be noted that only 33 percent of those polled said that they were comic book fans, versus 52 percent who said they were not. Superhero movies, however, almost reversed those numbers: 55 percent were fans, 36 percent were not.(For those curious, 48 percent of poll respondents were male, with 78 percent white.)
With this in mind, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a potential Black Widow project polled strongly with respondents, with 35 percent saying that they would “definitely” see the movie and an additional 24 percent saying that they would “probably” see it, the most positive response of any characters asked about. Samuel L. Jackson’s character Nick Fury came second (31 percent "definitely," 24 percent "probably"), followed by Hawkeye (27 percent for both) and Falcon (25 percent "definitely," 29 percent "probably").
Black Widow and Nick Fury both topped the poll for any future Marvel television project as well, although Hawkeye tied for third place with an unexpected competitor: Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot. Thirty-one percent of those polled said that they would definitely watch a Groot TV show, 6 percent more than would tune into a Hawkeye show — which might give Marvel ideas, given that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is currently in line for a Disney+ show in the near future.
With broad support for greater diversity being demonstrated with the poll, Disney and Marvel may feel confident about the upcoming Shang-Chi movie; 45 percent of those polled said that they were likely to see it, with 20 percent saying that it was very likely.
After decades of white-bread male comic book heroes hogging the screen, the future of superheroes is likely to look more like “the world outside your window,” as Stan Lee once promised and, judging from the results of this poll, audiences appear to be ready to support that change.