While most iconic film characters come from equally iconic films, there are plenty of great characters with zero good movies, and some have never even been given the chance to appear on the big screen at all. Awesome fictional characters that still haven’t starred or appeared in notably great films can be found everywhere, from movies and TV to comics and books. This includes existing movie characters in adaptations that didn’t do justice to their source material as well as great characters trapped in substandard films.
There are even likable TV side characters that deserve to be in a movie more than their respective lead characters. Indeed, it’s always fascinating when noteworthy characters from TV or literature make the jump to the big screen. This doesn’t always end well, and it has resulted in some of the worst film adaptations of all time. However, when it’s done right, the strengths of the film format can breathe new life into great fictional characters who previously went under the radar. For many great characters with zero great movies, it’s never too late to get featured in the next big Hollywood project.
10 Mickey Mouse
This character is so old that Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire in January 2024. However, while short films like Steamboat Willie and The Gallopin’ Gaucho are historic examples of early 20th-century animation, none of the existing Disney films about Mickey Mouse can really be called great by today’s standards. The world still needs a Mickey Mouse movie that does justice to the century-old Disney icon. In light of movies like Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie,audiences would have very high expectations for the first new Mickey Mouse movie in years, so it might be some time before Disney takes on this task.
The protagonist of the first book in Christopher Paolini’s The Inheritance Cycle, Eragon could’ve been the modern Luke Skywalker of mainstream fantasy. Instead, the movie adaptation of Eragon was panned by critics and audiences alike. Even though it was a moderate box office success, Eragon can scarcely be called a good movie. Notably, Eragon’s story will be adapted into a series by Disney, which could fix how the movie strayed too much from the source material. Disney’s Eragon series is already in the works, and it could very well eventually lead to a worthwhile movie about the farm boy who becomes a Dragon Rider.
8 Black Adam
In Black Adam, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was perfectly cast as one of the deadliest and most popular antiheroes from DC Comics. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to say that Black Adam is a great film. The first chapter of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s complete DC Universe reboot also doesn’t include Black Adam. However, Johnson did reveal through social media that “DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.” As Shazam’s rival, Black Adam definitely deserves to be in a great movie. For now, the future of Black Adam in the DC Universe remains uncertain.
7 Aeon Flux
Despite starring Charlize Theron in the titular role, the live-action movie adaptation of Aeon Flux was a critical and commercial failure. This happened because it tried to make a blockbuster out of the foundational ’90s series that popularized surreal dystopian sci-fi and unorthodox storytelling in adult animation. Instead of a straightforward sci-fi film, a great Aeon Flux movie needs to be episodic, disorienting, and epic, especially now that dystopian narratives have become much more popular. It won’t be easy to pull this off, whether in live-action or animation, but few great sci-fi characters deserve to have a great movie more than Aeon Flux.
6 Omar Little
There is no character from the acclaimed crime drama The Wire more iconic than Omar Little. A modern Robin Hood, Omar robbed rich drug dealers and gave to the poor, which made him feared and respected throughout Baltimore. Omar was also one of the first openly gay badasses on television, and the late Michael K. Williams, who played Omar in The Wire, even fought for the show to feature more intimate scenes with Omar and his several boyfriends. Omar died at the end of The Wire, but it’s never too late for a prequel spinoff film about how the Baltimore gangster/community leader rose to shotgun-toting power.
5 Elizabeth Jennings
Keri Russell’s Elizabeth Jennings, a Russian spy and lead character of the thriller series The Americans, would make the perfect protagonist for a feature film that picks up where the show left off. Indeed, the ending of The Americans already provides the perfect jump-off point for a spy movie starring Elizabeth and her partner, Matthew Rhys’s Philip Jennings. While their children Paige and Henry remain on the American continent, Elizabeth and Philip once again find themselves back in Russia, just a couple of years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Americans ended perfectly, but Elizabeth’s story deserves to continue in a movie or a series of espionage thrillers.
4 Bigby Wolf
Featuring every popular character in Western folklore, DC Comics’ Fables is about the denizens of Fabletown, a magical and hidden community in New York City. Everyone in Fabletown is a refugee of an ongoing war with “The Adversary,” who drove them out of their Homelands centuries ago. Fabletown is run by Snow White, and her town sheriff is Bigby Wolf, the big bad wolf of legend. Like much of the comic book series, a Fables movie franchise could be told primarily from the perspective of Bigby Wolf, whose investigations can lead to clever reveals about the deep lore and history of Fables.
3 Aurra Sing
First appearing in a bit part in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Aurra Sing is a former Jedi who became a bounty hunter who hunted Jedi and other high-value targets. Sing appears in both canon and Legends Star Wars properties, with an expansive backstory in the Legends comics. As a ruthless bounty hunter who mentored Boba Fett and collected lightsabers from defeated Jedi before General Grievous, Aurra Sing deserves a Star Wars movie of her own. Apart from being a unique antihero, she also has ties to Cad Bane, Ahsoka Tano, and Mace Windu. A Star Wars Aurra Sing movie might even resolve some canonical loose ends.
2 The Invisibles
In a sprawling epic story that combines various genres and underscores social, political, and spiritual truths about humanity in the modern world, special individuals band together to fight extra-dimensional threats to save society. By now, it’s a common formula, yet before it was done by movies like The Matrix and series like The Umbrella Academy, Sense8, and Battlestar Galactica, it was perfected by comics like Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles. There’s already a film adaptation of Watchmen, but not of The Invisibles, which is another iconic unorthodox DC Comics superhero team that is long overdue to have its own feature film.
1 Tyrion Lannister
Peter Dinklage’s charismatic albeit flawed Game of Thrones character, Tyrion Lannister, was the only spawn of Tywin who broke the mold of Westeros’s most powerful political noble family. Tyrion’s final character arc was disappointing, but this was just a product of the show’s overall downward spiral in its latter seasons. With House of the Dragon regaining the loyalty of disillusioned Game of Thrones viewers, it may be the perfect time for a movie about Tyrion and Bran Stark’s reign as the Hand of the King and the King of Westeros. A Game of Thrones sequel movie would be extremely risky, but it could also potentially save the show’s legacy.
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