A Big Hero 6 Sequel Could Acknowledge the Team's X-Men Ties | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, a Big Hero 6 sequel would be able to introduce some X-Men-adjacent characters from the original comics.
While a cinematic sequel to Disney’s acclaimed animated superhero film Big Hero 6 has eluded us for the better part of a decade, the saviors of San Fransokyo could still potentially make their way back to the big screen at some point in the future. And given some recent acquisitions on Disney’s part, a Big Hero 6 sequel could finally acknowledge the titular team’s ties to some key X-Men characters.
It’s genuinely baffling that it’s been seven whole years since Big Hero 6 first hit theaters and there’s still no indication of when a second film will hit the big screen. Between its $657.9 million box office haul, its ties to the ever-popular Marvel Comics, its insanely marketable mascot and its heartwarmingly subversive superhero story that won over audiences and critics alike, the film had — and still has — “franchise potential” written all over it.
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Our screens haven’t been entirely without Big Hero 6 since the film was released in 2014. Big Hero 6: The Series, a 2D-animated follow-up, did enjoy a three-season run on Disney XD and Disney Channel from 2017 to 2021. What’s more, Baymax! — a spinoff series animated in the film’s 3D style — is expected to debut on Disney+ in 2022. Even still, those waiting for a new big-screen entry in the franchise have had to keep waiting.
Every so often, a new rumor will surface that Disney is developing a Big Hero 6 sequel, though this almost always leads nowhere. There was even a recent rumor that there were plans to introduce Big Hero 6 characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though that idea was quickly quashed by a source at Marvel Studios. And while it’s true that the first Big Hero 6 movie was fairly conclusive in its story, Disney would have plenty of new material to work with following its 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox and, by extension, the X-Men movie rights.
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Those familiar with Marvel’s Big Hero 6 comics will know that the titular team has some major X-Men ties. Created by members of the Man of Action collective — namely Steve Seagle and Duncan Rouleau — the original Big Hero 6 lineup consisted of Baymax, Hiro Takachiho, Go Go Tomago and Honey Lemon, as well as Sunfire (created by Roy Thomas and Don Heck) and Silver Samurai (created by Steve Gerber and Bob Brown). In fact, Sunfire even got top billing in the team’s very first title, with Sunfire and Big Hero Six running for three issues in late 1998. Sunfire (aka Shiro Yoshida) is a mutant, having first appeared in 1970’s X-Men #64. While Sunfire has yet to be adapted into live-action, he was a recurring player in X-Men: The Animated Series and made additional appearances in other Marvel cartoons and video games.
Meanwhile, Silver Samurai (aka Keniuchio Harada) first appeared in 1974’s Daredevil #111. A mutant in his own right, Silver Samurai has close ties to the X-Men mythos, more specifically, Wolverine. As such, the character made his live-action debut in Fox’s 2013 X-Men spinoff film The Wolverine, in which he was played by both Haruhiko Yamanouchi and Ken Yamamura.
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In the comics, Big Hero 6 was a superhero team sanctioned by the Japanese government. Due to being needed elsewhere, Sunfire and Silver Samurai ultimately left the team, subsequently being replaced by stand-ins Sunpyre and Ebon Samurai, respectively. However, it was the 2008 Big Hero 6 comic by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama that introduced Fredzilla and Wasabi-No Ginger to the team. Those who have seen the first Big Hero 6 movie are already very familiar with Baymax, Hiro, Go Go, Honey Lemon, Fred and Wasabi. But now that Disney has absorbed the X-Men rights, a sequel could finally give Sunfire and Silver Samurai their due.
There are a few reasons why Disney wouldn’t want to do this, mind you. After all, while the first Big Hero 6 was technically based on Marvel comics, you’d never know it from the marketing. It was presented solely as a Disney flick and Marvel’s name was nowhere on the promotional material. Moreover, the film itself was obviously a very loose adaptation of the comics, with the only overtly “Marvel” thing about it being the post-credits scene featuring a cameo by the late, great Stan Lee, which — even then — was an eleventh-hour addition. Big Hero 6 was perfectly content with being its own unique thing, and introducing X-Men characters to a potential sequel could serve to undermine that.
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On the contrary, however, lest we forget that Sunfire and Silver Samurai are, in fact, founding members of Big Hero 6. So, Disney not including them in a potential sequel even though it is now legally able to do so would feel like a massive missed opportunity. These characters don’t just offer more story possibilities, but they also offer the chance to bring the franchise full circle.
This is also an instance in which Big Hero 6 being divorced from the MCU is actually a major benefit. While we know it’s going to happen eventually, Disney and Marvel Studios have yet to fully pull the trigger on bringing mutants into the MCU. Conversely, Disney has been happy to let the creators of its non-MCU Marvel projects play in the mutant toybox a bit, with the most prominent example being Mister Sinister’s role in Hulu’s adult animated series M.O.D.O.K.
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Furthermore, due to their relative obscurity, Sunfire and Silver Samurai would be right at home in the Big Hero 6 franchise, seeing as how the first movie managed to turn a group of offbeat, lesser-known superheroes into box office gold. There’s no guarantee these characters will join the MCU — and even if they do, they run the risk of being relegated to side characters or otherwise lost in the shuffle. Simply put, they would likely be much better served in a new Big Hero 6 movie.
It remains to be seen if and when the Big Hero 6 franchise will return to the big screen. But when Disney does finally decide to move forward on a sequel, it will have some interesting new characters already waiting in the wings.
KEEP READING: Big Hero 6: The Series Vol. 1 Brings the Franchise Full-Circle – Again
Noah E. Dominguez is a jr. news editor at Comic Book Resources who joined the site as a writer in the summer of 2018. He has also written for sites like WhatCulture and Gaming Access Weekly (formerly Gamer Assault Weekly), and holds a degree in mass communication. What will he do next? Stay tuned. You can follow him on Twitter at @NoahDominguez_


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