For the last few decades, Marvel has brought to life elements of comic books that many people thought could never be conveyed onscreen. They assembled several iconic superheroes together as a team in a little film called The Avengers. Most recently they introduced the concept of variants, and had several actors reprise the roles of new and old superheroes in both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As awesome as it has been to bear witness to these events, as a fan, there’s one major crossover that’s yet to happen on film: a crossover with their biggest competitor, DC.
Now, while it does sound random and ambitious, it is important to note that both franchises have crossed over countless times in comic books. So the idea does have a solid foundation.
While the chances of a DC/Marvel film happening have always seemed pretty low, neither studio has ever outright shut the idea down. However, a film of the magnitude would require a hefty amount of negotiation from both Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery – something that is much easier said than done. The deal between Disney and Sony to just use Spider-Man is already fairly tense. Coming to an agreement to use a whole other universe of characters would probably be a lot harder.
However, recently there have been some developments that offer a glimmer of hope. You might recall hearing that last year James Gunn pitched a DC/Marvel movie in the form of a Harley Quinn/Groot team-up movie. Also, Dwayne Johnson recently expressed his desire to see the two “cross paths one day“.
What makes this seem more than just wishful thinking is the fact that Gunn was recently announced as DC’s equivalent to Kevin Feige, overseeing both their film and television output. Also, after pushing for a Black Adam vs. Superman movie, Johnson had a heavy hand in bringing Henry Cavill to the role of Superman – something everyone including Cavill himself seemed to have given up on. All that to say that since both Gunn are working on the same team, there’ll probably be less resistance coming from DC’s side of the table.
Again, bringing the two universes together in full force probably wouldn’t be easy. And if any crossover ever did happen it would likely feature the main members of The Avengers and The Justice League. But if I had any say about which characters could interact or which storyline they’d follow, I know exactly what might work best. So, on the off-chance that James Gunn and Kevin Feige happen to stumble across this article, I have one suggestion for a crossover that I genuinely do hope to see happen someday. The best part is that it would only require using two major comic book characters, and it would be the perfect balance of silly and wholesomeness that Gunn is gifted at presenting.
Back in the 90’s, writer/artist John Byrne released a comic called “Batman & Captain America.” It wasn’t like any of the other crossovers fans had received that took place in modern day. Instead, Byrne decided to do a tribute to Golden Age era comics with his issue. He wrote a story that took place in the 1940s where WWII Captain America crosses paths with Batman and Robin, and they all team up to fight against against Red Skull, Joker and the Nazis.
Is it a silly setup? Yes. Would it make for a fun standalone film or special in the hands of someone like Gunn? Absolutely. Imagine a film with the style and tone of the first Captain America movie. Then throw in an Adam West style version of Batman who smiles and calls people chum. Lastly, add a scene where the Joker tells Red Skull something along the lines of, “I may be a criminal lunatic, but I’m an American criminal lunatic!” I’d pay to watch that. And with the introduction of the Multiverse in both franchises you can just say this is story that takes place in a universe where the two characters already co-exist with each other in that time period.
Again, I understand that a campy and goofy film featuring Batman and Captain America fighting Nazis is probably the last thing that could wind up onscreen if a crossover film is ultimately green-lit. But it’s a fun one that I think could work on a multitude of levels. That’s not even considering what the film would look like if Chris Evans and Ben Affleck or Robert Pattinson actually agreed to do it. At the very least, it would make for a great “What If…?”