A Marvel Zombies movie could be made in the future, and it would allow the Marvel Cinematic Universe to potentially bring back some dead characters.
If Marvel Studios ever makes a Marvel Zombies movie, it could bring back multiple dead characters from the MCU. The first three Phases of the MCU only dealt with storylines set in a single timeline, but Phase 4 has expanded the MCU’s reach through the multiverse. Loki took place outside of the Sacred Timeline and saw the multiverse explode into being by the end. This directly led to Marvel’s What If…?, which tells a different story each episode that is set in another MCU timeline.
What If…? has explored several different fun storylines that may or may not have repercussions in live-action at some point, such as Hayley Atwell becoming Captain Carter. The fifth episode of the animated show, though, was a loose adaptation of the well-known comic book storyline, Marvel Zombies. In this universe, a virus infected most of the people on Earth, turning some of MCU’s most powerful characters into flesh-eating monsters and allowing for the rise of a new type of Avengers team. The episode was a big hit with viewers and has only furthered the hopes and desires of some to see a proper Marvel Zombies movie from Marvel Studios.
The five-issue comic miniseries written by Robert Kirkman has long been discussed among the Marvel faithful as a unique storyline that the MCU should tackle. This was nearly impossible to do properly thanks to the MCU’s continuity at first, but the multiverse creates brand-new potentials. There is no confirmed movement on a Marvel Zombies live-action feature film at this time, but if Marvel were to change that, this could be a project that brings back several dead MCU characters either as heroes fighting to save humanity or as the zombies attempting to devour them. Some of these choices could come down to when exactly a Marvel Zombies movie is set in an alternate MCU timeline, and only those who were primarily on Earth should be considered unless the MCU expands the story to be a cosmic virus. Now that that is out of the way, here are the dead characters that could realistically come back in Marvel Zombies.
If there is any dead MCU character primed to return in some capacity for Marvel Zombies, it is Tony Stark. Iron Man’s death in the main MCU timeline in Avengers: Endgame needs to remain permanent, but an alternate universe storyline like Marvel Zombies could bring him back again. If Robert Downey Jr. is willing to participate, this could mean Iron Man being one of the remaining heroes leading the charge against the zombies. However, his unwillingness to appear could also allow Marvel Studios to put someone else under heavy prosthetics and makeup/visual effects to be a zombified version of Tony Stark. His role in What If…? already proved Marvel Zombies is Iron Man’s best spot to return. Based on Iron Man’s track record of creating villains in the MCU, it wouldn’t even be that surprising if he were somehow responsible for the virus that brought about this devastation.
Erik Killmonger could also manage to find a way back to the MCU through Marvel Zombies. Although he’s only appeared in Black Panther (but is set to return in What If…? episode 6), Killmonger’s past in the MCU goes back several years. As long as the Marvel Zombies movie takes place prior to his death, there’s the opportunity for Killmonger to take on any role in this alternate universe. It would certainly be interesting to see him be more of a hero and one of the leaders of the resistance against the zombies. His training and military background make him an ideal member of a zombie-hunting squad, and he’d be even more formidable if he had a vibranium suit in this universe too. Fans want to see Michael B. Jordan return as Killmonger, so Marvel Zombies could make that happen.
Marvel Zombies could also be a chance for the MCU to bring back Quicksilver, and this time for real. This would again move up the timeline of when the zombie outbreak would need to occur or at least alter his fate in Avengers: Age of Ultron. One possible explanation for Quicksilver’s return in Marvel Zombies would be a change to Ultron’s plan and the A.I. being responsible for the virus. This could put Quicksilver in a bad situation to be among the first people to turn into a zombie, but he could also use his super-speed to avoid their bites (in theory) and help fight back against them. If he were to turn, Quicksilver could be one of the most deadly zombies around.
One of the biggest MCU characters that could return for Marvel Zombies is Black Widow. The original member of the Avengers died in Avengers: Endgame, but she has years of stories in the MCU that could overlap with a zombie outbreak. Considering how large a role Natasha Romanoff had with the Avengers, even being the leader of the team for a while, it would make the most sense if she were a leader of the revamped team fighting the zombies. Plus, it’s hard to imagine Scarlett Johansson returning to the MCU to play a dead version of Black Widow at this point. If Marvel Zombies wanted her involved, Black Widow leading the charge against the zombies would be the best option.
The Ancient One
A Marvel Zombies movie could also be a chance for Tilda Swinton to return as the Ancient One. Marvel’s What If…? showed that magic users can still retain their powers as Avengers zombies, so that would allow the Ancient One to do the same if the MCU were to follow similar logic later on. Depending on what heroes are around to fight the zombie horde, including Ancient One as one of the zombies would present the heroes with a powerful enemy to fight. Her return would have to mean that the virus started before 2016 or that this timeline also differs in other ways.
Erin Kellyman’s Karli Morgenthau could also return to the MCU through Marvel Zombies. This would give Marvel the option to redeem her. Instead of leading the Flag-Smashers in a post-Blip world, Karli could take the super-soldier serum to try and fight the zombies, instead. Karli is a natural leader and her cause in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was understandable, even if her methods went too far. That wouldn’t be as big of a concern when it came to fighting zombies. Karli could join the surviving heroes to fight back, and she would likely also push them to remain vigilant in finding a way to reverse the virus’ effects.
Marvel Zombies could also bring back Crossbones (Frank Grillo). The MCU used Captain America: The Winter Soldier to set up his villainous turn, but Captain America: Civil War killed him almost immediately. He could be part of the zombie horde or a member of the resistance fighting them, but the latter would be the better option. Crossbones was wasted in the MCU, so something like Marvel Zombies is an opportunity to bring him back and give him a slightly bigger role.
Another villain that could come back in Marvel Zombies is Ulysses Klaue. Andy Serkis’ character died in Black Panther, but he could still be alive at a point in another universe where a zombie virus begins. It wouldn’t be surprising if Klaue managed to find a way to evade being bitten and used this opportunity to take control of a kingdom or city. But Klaue might be a better fit as a member of the zombie armada. His vibranium hand would make him at least a more challenging opponent for the remaining heroes. Plus, Andy Serkis is no stranger to playing CGI characters if Marvel Studios were to go that route for its zombies instead of makeup.
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