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Five projects the Lucasfilm+Disney+Marvel megastudio needs to make right now

The top five geek-favorite projects that can and should emerge from the Disney-Lucasfilm-Marvel conglomerate.

So, last week, Disney bought Lucasfilm, bringing all of Star Wars and half of Indiana Jones (hi, Paramount!) into the same studio that just blew the doors off of Hollywood with The Avengers, and also owns everything attached to both Pixar and Mickey Mouse. This strange alliance has already borne fruit with the promise of a new Star Wars film in 2015, written by Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine scribe Michael Arndt.

So what other geek-favorite projects should emerge from the tri-headed beast? We've got a top five below.

5. Willow, the Pixar animated reboot

Way back in 1988, George Lucas and Ron Howard teamed up to try their hand at "serious" fantasy but, instead of launching the next great geek franchise, they just made Warwick Davis an actor beloved by geeks. Nonetheless, there are leagues of untapped potential in the tale of a dwarf named Willow Ufgood who aspires to be a wizard, and ends up with the fate of a fantasy kingdom in his hands. As much fun as it was to see Val Kilmer portray the brash swordsman Madmartigan, one can only imagine how much charisma Pixar's team could infuse into the character. And if Pixar can make an unspeaking robot a heart-wrenching and unlikely hero, Willow Ufgood is poised to be an icon for the ages in their careful hands. Sign me up.

4. The Muppets TV series You probably forgot that Disney owns The Muppets now, and that it also owns the ABC family of networks (including every version of ESPN). While most adults and a lot of kids enjoyed 2011's The Muppets film reboot brought to us by Jason Segel, Kermit and the gang belong on weekly television. That's the only way the sprawling cast of characters can get adequate time to shine, and it also gives Disney the perfect venue to promo the latest releases for all its vast empire of properties. Who wouldn't want to see Robert Downey Jr. team up with Super Gonzo in advance of Avengers 2, or Mark Hamill reprise his guest spot on Pigs in Space just before Episode VII comes out? Between ABC, ABC Family, and the Disney Channel, there has to be room in the lineup somewhere for The Muppets to reclaim the small screen, and now is the perfect time. 3. Dr. Strange, as directed by Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro is the lunatic genius behind Pan's Labyrinth, who almost directed The Hobbit and whom Disney has enlisted to do a live action reboot of Beauty and the Beast with Harry Potter's Emma Watson in the lead. Dr. Strange is the A-list wizard of the Marvel Comics universe, and a high-potential property that everyone has wanted to see on the big screen since forever. Put the two together, and you've got the potential for a genuinely creepy and captivating take on the dark arts that puts a new edge to the Marvel cinematic universe.

2. Dragonslayer, as directed by Andrew Stanton

You're a real old-school geek if you remember 1981's dark-fantasy epic about the end of the age of wizards and dragons starring Peter MacNicol. It's a property worth rebooting. Andrew Stanton needs to get up off the mat after the financial debacle that was John Carter, but his Pixar-roots (he directed Finding Nemo and WALL-E) will serve him well in putting an honest to goodness epic fairy tale adventure into live action.

1. Indiana Jones 5, as written and directed by Joss Whedon

The man that gave us The Avengers (to say nothing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly) may want a new challenge after he delivers The Avengers 2. While the Indiana Jones franchise is on the back burner with the new Star Wars trilogy in production, no one is better served to revive Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. than Whedon. Given how long it may take to get this franchise up and running again, this will almost certainly be a reboot. That's a good thing, as the Indy we all want has our hero slugging it out with Nazis in pursuit of ancient supernatural treasures. That Joss will be the one giving our morally gray protagonist the snarky lines (and, it's certain, a suitably capable female sidekick) is not only fitting, it simply must come to pass.

Got a quibble with our dream production slate, or just want to add your own fantasy project to the list? We're open to pitches in the comments section.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

16 comments
Riaanh
Riaanh

..and what they tend to do is re-make an old story and just add more guns and violence. Like Hansel and Gretel now Witch hunters, next thing is probably Pinocchio becoming a violent cyborg. Come-on... think out your own story and please try to be a little less violent. Or start reading a bit of Science Fiction, there are hundreds of fascinating stories which is, thanks to modern technology, now possible to film.

garyq
garyq

The events that lead up to the Battle of Serenity Valley, Shephard Book's back story... and what became of Earth That Was...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

An animated (or even live-action) series of movies based on H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy novels wouldn't be amiss. It's old, but it's never been done before. All Disney needs is somebody who can get Jack Holloway right.

comobu
comobu

I'd like to see Philip Jose Farmer's "Other Log of Phileas Fogg" done with Eric Balfour channeling Basil Rathbone as Fogg. I'd like to see a whole series of movies Rathbone should have made but never did, starring Eric. Disney is probably the right place to get it done.

Brian.F
Brian.F

is Harrison Ford. These movies are, and always will be, a Trilogy, which should be left to stand on their own! The last thing we need is 'Crystal Skull Pt.2, starring Shia LeBeouf'. *CringE!*

carlson1
carlson1

Let's get some originality in here. Yes I am a baby boomer and yes we invented this world we live in but let's move on here. There is so much good fiction [science and otherwise] out there that has not been done yet. Why do you think Game of Thrones is such a success? Because it is familiar but still new. Sure some remakes have been worth while [Battle Star Galatica, Planet of the Apes to name a few] but not everything from my youth needs a movie or even TV. Leave it in the past let's look at something we haven't seen.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The incrediblest hulk The greenest lantern.. If you offered me great deal of money versus sticking pins in my eyeballs as the incentive for going to see any of that, I'd negotiate for ear muffs so I couldn't hear it either.

JeffDeWitt
JeffDeWitt

I agree with Ironwolf, we have WAY too many sequels and reboots. How about something that hasn't been done before, like a War of the Worlds movie that is actually based on HG Wells work. Seeing the Martian fighting machines trashing Victorian England would be well worth actually going to the movies for! (And NO Tom Cruise!)

ironwolf
ironwolf

Doesn't the movie industry have any imagination anymore? Seems like nothing but "do-overs" or re-boots show up in theaters anymore. How about something like Stinger or Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon or maybe something from the Wheel of Time books...heck, ANYTHING but re-boots, re-boots, re-boots!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

They wouldn't even need to write any scripts. Many of the classic comics and cartoons of the '30s and '40s could be adapted with minimal effort. Duckburg is a fuller, richer universe to adapt than many of the others recently brought to the screen. And what about Mickey? Disney has done nothing with him in decades except feature him in advertisements and publicity events. What was the most recent thing you can remember him in? 'Sorcerer's Apprentice?' The mediocre 'House of Mouse' on Disney Channel' only ran for a season because nobody in its grade-school audience knew who any of the classic characters were.

dogknees
dogknees

I want to see The Skinner on the big screen.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Well yes. Failed to get the country right twice...

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