71 upcoming comic book movies, and when to expect them
Fox's Mouse Guard movie joins our 70-strong list of upcoming comic book movies...
Latest update: Mouse Guard added to the 'films without dates' page.
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 X-Men: Apocalypse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows have finally reached our screens, here's what the future of superhero cinema has in store...
The Killing Joke animated movie
What’s it about? It's only one of the most famous Batman stories of all time, folks. DC are continuing their long history of stellar animated projects by bringing Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke to the screen.
The iconic comic from 1988, which sees the Joker at his maddest and deadliest, needs little introduction. Suffice to say we’re very excited for this one. It’s a comic that influenced both Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan’s takes on The Clown Prince Of Crime, and, to be honest, you’ve probably read the book already so we needn’t have written any of that.
Whether The Killing Joke is destined for DVD or cinemas is currently unclear, but if there was ever a time to bring a DC animated film to the big screen, it’s surely now.
Who’s involved? Bruce Timm, who created the art style for most of DC’s animated universe since the early 90s, is at the helm. We pray every night that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill might sign up to reprise their iconic roles.
When’s it coming out? It’ll be in American cinemas for one night (July 25th 2016), before getting a digital release on July 26th and a physical release on August 2nd.
What’s it about? The Suicide Squad is a faction of villains from the DC universe that's coerced (through not very friendly means) into doing missions for the US government. Fans of Arrow have seen an incarnation of this team recently, but don’t expect the same cast or characters for the movie.
Sharp-shooter Deadshot will be played by Will Smith. Harley Quinn will be portrayed by Margot Robbie. Jared Leto's Joker will also appear. Batman appears briefly in the first trailer. We’ve also heard rumours that Warner Bros. are trying to snare Jesse Eisenberg for another performance as Lex Luthor for this one.
Who’s involved? David Ayer (who most recently helmed Brad Pitt tank movie Fury) is set to direct. The huge cast also includes Joel Kinnaman of RoboCop reboot fame.
When’s it coming out? 5 August 2016, in the USA and the UK.
What’s it about? Following on from a cheeky namedrop in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this standalone film will see Marvel induct Stephen Strange to the Marvel cinematic universe. He’s a surgeon, and a bit of a dick, who becomes a master of the mystic arts soon after losing his ability to work in a car accident.
We discussed a potential source of comic book inspiration for this one here, but there’s years of material to choose from. A sidekick called Wong features regularly, and happens to be a bit of a bad-ass.
Most importantly though, this movie will open up possibilities for parallel worlds and strange magical lands in Marvel Studio’s interconnected universe, which should be very interesting indeed.
Who’s involved? Scott Derrickson of Deliver Us From Evil and Sinister fame will direct. Mr Benedict Cumberbatch is confirmed to be starring.
Interestingly, Rosario Dawson has played Night Nurse (a sometime ally of Strange) in Marvel’s Netflix universe, though it’s unclear if she’ll feature in the film world too.
When’s it coming out? 28 October 2016 in the UKA / 4 November 2016 in the USA.
The LEGO Batman Movie
What’s it about? An unexpected, but entirely welcome, one here. There was no shortage of things to love in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The LEGO Movie, but the off-the-wall portrayal of Batman was certainly a highlight for a lot of people.
Expect more tongue-in-cheek gags about Batman’s inherent ‘darkness’ here, perhaps another song (check out the end credits to The LEGO Movie if you missed it), and either a black or very very dark grey costume. Given The LEGO Movie universe’s seemingly free reign, we’d expect a lot of villains too.
Who’s involved? In an answer to all our hopes and dreams, Will Arnett will be returning to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman here. Seth Grahame-Smith of Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will script, while Robot Chicken regular Chris McKay will direct. Count us very much in.
When’s it coming out? 10 February 2017, in the UK and the USA.
Untitled Wolverine Sequel
What’s it about? So, Hugh Jackman’s cigar-chomping, bub-calling, f-bomb-dropping Logan is getting another standalone movie.
We’re not sure what they'll do with this one – in light of Days Of Future Past they could opt for Wolverine Origins: Let’s Try Again. Or, following-on from his previous solo outing it could be The Wolverine 2. They could even take the Fast & Furious route, totally change the title-style and simply opt for Wolverine III (which would let them use Wolvie’s claws as roman numerals again, at least).
Plot-wise, we don’t know much either, but we do know this standalone movie will be filmed after X-Men: Apocalypse. Still, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t jump to a different point in Logan’s time stream instead. The area between the main plot of The Wolverine and the 'four years later' Days Of Future Past tease, for instance... Is your head hurting too?
Recently, Jackman mentioned Old Man Logan as a potential inspiration. You can read about that barmy-but-brilliant comic run here.
Who’s involved? As well as Mr Jackman, director James Mangold (who directed The Wolverine) will also return. He also wrote the treatment for this new instalment, from which a script is currently being developed by unknown entity David James Kelly.
When’s it coming out? 2 March 2017 UK/ 3 March 2017 USA
Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2
What’s it about? A very welcome sight to many, this. After the huge success of Guardians Of The Galaxy, co-writer and director James Gunn will be reuniting the same bunch of a-holes for a brand new adventure. The title is officially Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2, taking inspiration from the Awesome Mix tapes from the first film.
Plot details? They’re not confirmed, but you can take a decent stab, we think. Star Lord’s father was teased fairly blatantly in the last instalment, with dialogue seeming to suggest we might meet the ancient celestial superheroes known as the Eternals rather than Quill’s traditional comic book dad.
Other strands we’d expect to see developed are Thanos’ love/hate (or should that be hate/hate?) relationship with his daughters, and a shed-load of Infinity Gauntlet teases.
Who’s involved? James Gunn, of course, is returning for more after smashing all expectations with his first Guardians story. The original cast we’d expect, too, and plenty more Josh Brolin. Beyond that, who knows?
Perhaps, after the events of Age Of Ultron, we might even see some of the cosmic Avengers bumping into their earthly counterparts? A big green ragey one, perhaps? That’s a bit of pipe dream, we admit.
When’s it coming out? 28 April 2017 UK/ 5 May 2017 USA
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.
Before this movie, she would have already appeared (in full costumed action) in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, suggesting that this won’t be an origin story (unless told through flashback).
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. Patty Jenkins - who dropped out of Thor: The Dark World late in the game - will direct.
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. It's currently unknown who the villain of the piece will be.
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, there’s no clues as of yet. Alan Taylor, who helmed Thor: The Dark World, is very unlikely to return.
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.
The Justice League: Part One
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, Darkseid is a hot rumour at the moment. Darkseid is a member of DC’s New Gods, who inspired the invention of Marvel cinematic universe big bad Thanos back in the 70s. He’s massive, immortal, invulnerable and alien. DC are surely looking for ways to undermine Marvel, but would they really go as far as to push out a Darkseid movie so soon before Marvel’s Infinity War? Brainiac, a green alien/android villain oft portrayed with Superman-like powers, has also been rumoured.
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.
What's it about? Sony have moved forward with a new comic book property offering heaps of crossover potential - Bloodshot. The announcement came a few months after Sony publicly announced the idea to share Spider-Man with Marvel Studios, which may or may not be a coincidence.
Anyway, to give the character the respect he deserves - Bloodshot is an excellent and much-loved comic book character in his own right. Heralding from Valiant Comics, he shares more narrative DNA with Wolverine than Spidey, as a former soldier who has been memory wiped. An injection of nanites into his bloodstream enables him to interface effortlessly with technology, heal quickly and shape shift. He's also not bad with guns.
Now, he will get his own movie. We can presumably expect origin beats, probably including Project Rising Spirit - the government solider-enhancement project that caused Bloodshot's powers and memory-less-ness. Often, they send him after strong telekinesis people called Harbingers.
A movie called Harbinger - based on a super-powered team, in the same world as Bloodshot - will be released on an unspecified date. Both Bloodshot and Harbinger will get sequels. After that, a huge crossover called Harbinger Wars will tie everything together a few years later (more info on all of those films in our 'who knows when, but somewhere between the rest' section towards the end of this article).
Who's involved? John Wick duo David Leitch and Chad Stahelski will direct, from a script by Kick Ass 2's Jeff Wadlow and The Thing remake's Eric Heisserer. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will serve as executive producers.
When's it coming out? Bloodshot's movie has been announced for 2017, with no specific date yet stated. Casting hasn't been announced yet, though, which could mean delays.
We've got more comic book movies on page 2 of this article...