Just because a character doesn’t lead their own story doesn’t mean they aren't significant to the action. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of the supporting allies and enemies have their own purpose, and sometimes grow more important as time goes on. Case in point, Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he served as the leader of the S.T.R.I.K.E. unit that was secretly working for HYDRA. Having survived his injuries, he will return in Captain America: Civil War and reportedly be the one who initiates the event that results in the Superhuman Registration Act. He’s gone from a simple henchman to the man who gets the superheroes to fight one another. That’s quite an accomplishment.

With Marvel’s Phase Three beginning next year, it stands to reason that other MCU characters, be they old or new, will get the chance to up their game and become more prominent as the years pass. Looking to Marvel’s upcoming film slate, as well as their past projects, there’s a diverse selection of heroes and villains that have the potential to grow and have more of an impact on this expansive universe. Here are the side characters we think will become more important in the coming years.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson
It’s been awhile since we've seen good ol’ J. Jonah Jameson on the big screen. Although the Daily Bugle’s publisher was a prominent supporting character in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, he didn’t appear in either of the Amazing Spider-Man movies, and the only sign of his existence in that universe comes from an email to Peter Parker. We still don’t know what Marvel and Sony have planned for this new Spider-Man series, but it would be a waste if his curmudgeonly boss isn’t included. If the new cinematic Peter Parker is going to become a photographer, he needs to have that mustachioed grump yelling in his face and calling for the Wall-Crawling menace to be stopped at all costs. Admittedly, it will be hard for any actor to top J.K. Simmons’ performance, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.

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