Latest addition: X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Seth Rogan’s Invincible movie.
Comic book fans of the world – were you planning on spending your spare cash on anything other than cinema visits and DVD box-sets for the next six years? Well, tough. Hollywood has other ideas.
Ever since Bryan Singer’s X-Men movie jump-started the comic book movie trend in 2000 (building on the stellar work of Richard Donner and Tim Burton in the decades prior), Fox, Sony, Warner Bros., Disney and Marvel Studios have all been repeatedly cashing-in on the resurgent popularity of capes, cowls and anything ending in ‘Man’.
Now, the sheer size of the comic book movie-making world has reached a critical mass. There are now seven such films (at least) slated for every year between 2016 and 2019. There’s also a few confirmed for 2020 already, and plenty of other spandex-clad projects scattered around without dates (we’ll stick them at the end of this enormous article).
Now that Doctor Strange, X-Men: Apocalypse, Batman: The Killing Joke and Suicide Squad have finally reached our screens, here’s what the future of superhero cinema has in store…
What’s it about? Here’s a bit of a potential game changer – so far, Marvel Studios has been leading by miles in its box office battle with DC/Warner Bros., but this film might change that. Unless Marvel has more unannounced films up its sleeves, Wonder Woman will mark the first female-led movie from either party in their franchises’ current incarnations.
In the comics, Wonder Woman begins life as the Warrior Princess of the Amazons on the island of Themyscria. Using indestructible bracelets, a lasso of truth, an invisible plane and a tiara that doubles as a handy projectile, Wonder Woman is just as formidable as any hero of the DC world.
Her origin is a point of contention, with the recent ‘New 52’ revamp throwing out continuity which cast her as a hero-created-by-clay-and-magic and instead reimagined her as a demigoddess in her own right. It seems the latter is more likely this time around.
Who’s involved? Gal Gadot will reprise the role of Wonder Woman after debuting in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Chris Pine plays love interest Steve Trevor. Patty Jenkins – who dropped out of Thor: The Dark World late in the game – directs.
When’s it coming out? 2 June 2017, in the USA and the UK.
What’s it about? This is the first standalone Spider-Man flick to come from the exciting new alliance between Marvel Studios and Sony, which will see the Andrew Garfield continuity thrown out.
Instead, Tom Holland will explore Peter Parker’s younger years following on from his introduction in Captain America: Civil War. Robert Downey Jnr will make an appearance.
Who’s involved? Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal will produce the film together, and that they have ‘hand-picked’ Jon Watts (whose upcoming thriller Cop Car has turned a lot of industry heads) to direct.
When’s it coming out? 7 July 2017, in the UK and the USA.
What’s it about? Aha, here’s something juicier to analyse – Ragnarok, the apocalypse of the Gods. We did a full speculation piece on this one, which you can find here.
Short version: this is when shit really hits the fan for the residents of Asgard. Ragnarok is a cyclical happening which frequently sees the likes of Thor and Odin stripped from their positions and left with a heck of a rebuilding job.
We’d expect some major consequences here, including perhaps the long-rumoured departure of Natalie Portman from the Marvel cinematic universe. You can bet that Loki will be stirring up trouble concurrently, or at least doing some hefty scheming as Asgard crumbles. Cameos from other galactically-enabled Marvel heroes aren’t entirely out of the question, either.
Who’s involved? Chris Hemsworth will run about in a cape once more, you will be glad to know. But will the demise of Asgard give him a chance to leave the role? Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, who traditionally work in Marvel comics and animation, will pen a screenplay together. Directorially, What We Do In The Shadows‘ Taika Waititi has stepped in.
When’s it coming out? 27 October 2017, and 3 November in the USA. Ignore the date on that promo pic, Marvel has been reshuffling.
What’s it about? As if you don’t know already, the Justice League movie is DC/Warner Bros.’ answer to Avengers – it’s the ultimate DC team-up featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg. We wouldn’t rule out appearances from the The Flash or Green Lantern at this stage either.
The plot will presumably follow similar beats to Avengers Assemble, with a spate of in-fighting leading to an eventual alliance, and a quest to bring down a very powerful baddy.
Who might that be? Well, it’s looking like Darkseid’s minion Steppenwolf. You can learn more about Justice League in our ‘everything we know’ article.
Who’s involved? Zack Snyder is back directing, with Chris Terrio also being touted for a return, apparently. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa are sure things, and, although not listed on IMDB, Ezra Miller seems very likely (for a cameo at least). J K Simmons has joined the cast as Commissioner Gordon.
When’s it coming out? 17 November 2017 in the USA and the UK.
We’ve got more comic book movies on page 2 of this article…