Marvel in Talks to Create Howard The Duck Reboot

Widely regarded as Marvel's first attempt at a theatrical release, the Howard the Duck movie was a complete failure at the box office. Criticized for its performances, humor, and inconsistent tone, audience members were also put off by the appearance of the title character. Released in 1986, the film was nominated for seven Razzie Awards (winning four) and currently holds the lowest Rotten Tomatoes rating for any Lucasfilm production. However, in spite of all the overwhelmingly negative reception, the film has taken on a cult following over the years since its release. This has seen Howard the duck getting to return to the big screen in brief cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Endgame. Additionally, a recent announcement said that the original Howard the Duck film would be getting a special 4K release this month to mark its 35th anniversary. 

Howard The Duck Reboot

The film saw Howard the Duck arriving on Earth, beamed from Duckworld, a planet of intelligent ducks with arms and legs. Once on earth, he saves rocker Beverly from thugs and goes on to form a friendship with her. She introduces him to Phil, working at a lab with the scientist Dr. Jenning . When the doctor attempts to return Howard to his world, Jenning instead transfers an evil spirit into his own body. The movie was inspired by the Marvel Comics character created by Steve Gerbe, was helmed by Willard Huyck from a script by Huyck and his wife Gloria Katz and was produced by Lucasfilm and Universal Pictures.


Howard The Duck Reboot

Lea Thompson (who played Beverly in the original Howard the Duck movie) reportedly pitched a reboot to Marvel Studios. THR reports that Thompson and the Howard the Duck team pitched a reboot of the cult classic to Marvel Studios. She was apparently inspired by the recent turn in reception to the film, after seeing that Howard the Duck was trending on Twitter. This caused her to pitch her vision for the future of the character to Marvel, hoping that Howard could rejoin his rightful place in the MCU. She went on to say:

"Joe Quinones did some of the art for the pitch because he and Chip Zdarsky did the last run of Howard the Duck comic books... Chip and I worked together and came up with a really great pitch. Marvel liked the pitch, but they have different plans for the different characters."

As it is mentioned above, the pitch was created with Chip Zdarsky, the writer for Marvel Comics, and artist Joe Quinones, who helped co-create the Howard the Duck comic book from 2015-2016. Even though they liked the script, it seems that Marvel chose to not go ahead with the reboot idea. However, Thompson does mention that the studio may have different plans for the character in the future, which means that we might see Howard the Duck be given a reboot in one form or the other.

Even though the original film was considered a massive failure when it first released, since then, it has seen the rise of a dedicated following. In addition, considering that Howard the Duck is now officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a reboot is not entirely out of the question. Now that Marvel has fully laid out the foundation for phase four, it gives Howard an entire universe to play in.

This article is contributed by Pranav.

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