The Marvel vs. Capcom 3 roster may be pretty big right now, but it'll be even bigger by the time the game comes out.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was known for its staggering roster containing a whopping 56 fighters - a roster so big that Capcom didn't even pretend to try and balance it. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 won't be quite as ridiculous, but the currently-announced lineup of 28 characters will be growing by a third between now and the game's release.
According to a Famitsu interview with MvC3 producer Ryota Niitsumi (partially translated by Andriasang), there are ten fighters that have yet to be announced waiting in the wings. Since the game has featured an even Marvel and Capcom split thus far, presumably this means that of the unknown fighters, five are Marvel and five are Capcom. This would bring the total to 38 - neatly in line with the "approximately 40" characters initially planned.
That said, now comes the fun part - guessing who the newcomers are. We know who they aren't: It's already been announced that Resident Evil's Tyrant and Nemesis will be no-shows, as will MvC2 originals like Amingo and Ruby Heart. In the same interview, Niitsuma confirmed that there would be no Monster Hunter folks, either. On the Marvel side of things, we know that the Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and Man-Thing will not be playable but may make appearances nonetheless.
I'm not going to pretend that I know the first thing about Marvel comics, so I can't really say who would or would not be a good fit from their end of things. I will say that, given Storm's popularity in MvC2, it would be odd to have her not make a return appearance, but Wolverine and Magneto might have the mutant quota filled already.
On the Capcom side of things, an obvious choice is Dead Rising star Frank West, who was last seen taking his turn in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. If not him, then an easy substitute would be Dead Rising 2's Chuck Greene - they'd have similar move sets, wouldn't they?
If Frank (or Chuck) makes one, then Final Fight's burly mayor Mike Haggar makes two. Not only is Final Fight one of the few Capcom franchises not represented in the game thus far, we've already seen evidence that Haggar will be in the game.
Another, slightly-less-likely possibility is ace attorney Phoenix Wright, who was cut from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom when the developers couldn't figure out how to properly make his "Objection!" attack work in both Japanese and English. This is your time to correct this grievous mistake, Capcom!
We could also see Onimusha hero Samanosuke, one of the various Ryus from Breath of Fire, or even the classic Mega Man - Zero might be in the game representing the Mega Man X series, but we can't forget the original Blue Bomber, can we?
Whatever combination of characters ends up being added to the final roster (hoping for Haggar, Frank, Phoenix, Samanosuke and Mega Man myself), Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is one of my most highly-anticipated games of 2011. The full interview with Ryota Niitsuma is also a really interesting read. (The hardest character to translate into a 2D fighting space? Okami's Amaterasu, of course).
It's out this coming February. Who do you want to see make the final cut?