Spider-man 4, Captain America, Avengers, Thor get new release dates

Marvel has announced firm release dates for Spider-man 4, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers. So where does this leave DC’s Batman?

Spider-Man

New announcements from Marvel Entertainment have put fresh dates on a series of upcoming comic book movies. And for us, they raise three interesting points.

Let’s do the dates, first. Firstly, what many will argue is the big one, with the return of Spider-man to the big screen. It’s been some time now since Spider-man 3, and only in recent months have we seen evidence of a drive to make the fourth film. But with Sam Raimi and his team jumping back on board, Spider-man 4 will be swinging into cinemas (see what laboured joke we did there?) on May 6th 2011. That’s a four-year gap since the last film, the longest break in the Spidey series to date.

There’s also been some juggling of other dates. Thor has been shunted back a year to June 17 2011 (it was previously coming out on July 16 next year), while The First Avenger: Captain America has moved back a couple of months to make space for it. That’ll now be out on July 22 2011, instead of May 6 2011. That makes one Marvel movie a month in summer blockbuster season in 2011.

The Avengers movie has also been bumped a year. That’s gone from July 15 2011 to May 4 2012.

Ad – content continues below

So those three things. Firstly, this looks like The Avengers strategy coming into play, with Thor, Captain America and Spider-man likely to see characters weaving between movies, before coming together for The Avengers film a year later. We like the sound of that a lot.

Point two? If Iron Man 2 is a big success, and there’s little reason to suggest it won’t be, then there’s a two year turnaround between those flicks right now, so could we assume that Tony Stark’s third adventure will be in cinemas around the same time as The Avengers movie? Entirely feasible.

But then let’s throw Batman into the pot. There was a three year gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and if your maths is working in the same way as ours, that’s potentially throwing up a mighty fight and a half in 2011. Christopher Nolan, granted, hasn’t committed to a third Batman movie yet, but in between the two he’s done so far he also squeezed in The Prestige.

Right now, Nolan is in pre-production on Inception, which is coming out next year. And then it’s quite feasible that he’ll jump back into the Bat-chair. But has Marvel just squeezed Warner Bros and DC out of a 2011 release by this pre-emptive strike? Quite possibly. Neither Sony nor Warner Bros will be keen to strike Batman and Spider-man side by side, given that they’re the biggest big screen comic book properties right now. And we wonder if all of this means that we won’t see Batman back on the big screen until 2012?

It’s all rampant speculation on our part, to be fair, and the one certainty is that we’re getting a veritable avalanche of comic book movies in the years ahead. That we like. We just want our next fix of them all a little bit sooner!