Before 1999’s X-Men and the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man of 2000 superhero movies were a rare occurrence. Now these films are often the biggest hits of the year and, since success is often guaranteed, more and more comic book superheroes are scheduled to appear on the big screen over the next few years. 2016 was filled with the critical success of Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War and the box office hits including Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman. Here’s a quick guide of what’s coming next year and a bit of what we know so far, plus some footage.
The LEGO Batman Movie
There was much to love about the amazing LEGO Movie but the brilliantly off-beat portrayal of Batman by Will Arnett was certainly a highlight. The recent trailer gave us an insight in what to expect as Batman takes on a sidekick and a host of DC heroes and villains fight for screen-time. Expect a wealth of metatextual references, ridiculous and inventive uses of the LEGO world and in-jokes aimed at both adults and children as the film emulates the LEGO movie while putting its own stamp on proceedings. The film has much to live up to but the trailer and the cheeky teasers released so far have been brilliant;
Apparently Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the Canadian mutant, the third Wolverine film has confirmed little else. Patrick Stewart returns as Professor X, Mister Sinister will appear and possibly a female clone of Wolverine. Stephen Merchant and Richard E. Grant have also been cast, although no roles confirmed so far- Grant is cast as a scientist so likely to be in the role of Mr. Sinister. Jackman himself has stated that the movie will be based on the well-received comic book story Old Man Logan, however that comic book featured a blind Hawkeye, descendents of the Hulk and other references to characters that are off-limits due to studio rights. A trailer may land soon and clear things up.
Update- the new Wolverine film has now been confirmed with the title Logan and some script details have occurred- Logan will be older and his healing factor will be diminished, raising the stakes in every fight he has. The new poster (see below)also seems to reveal he will be looking after a young child, which could be a young version of his female clone. We have also had confirmation that the film will feature a much older Professor X (again, scroll down a bit for a pic) whose powers are unstable.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
April (UK) May (US) 2017
After the universal acclaim that heralded the arrival of the first movie, expectations are high for the second gathering of this band of misfits. The main cast of the first movie, led by Chris Pratt’s Starlord, are all returning as is director James Gunn who was instrumental in the success of the original film. This time focus will be on Starlord’s father who will be played by Kurt Russell. Russell will play Ego, a cosmic being of immense power- in the comics Ego is actually a living planet but the film will adapt the character into a humanoid. Sylvester Stallone will also appear as a member of the intergalactic police force the Nova Corps. Here’s hoping for more dysfunctional family hi-jinks and another brilliantly apt soundtrack.
The next DC Universe film will hopefully deliver where this year’s attempts failed. On paper this looks very promising with a wonderful director in Patty Jenkins (who dropped out of Marvel’s Thor 2 at the last moment) and one of the few highlights from Batman V Superman in Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. An origin story set during the first World War, this movie breaks new ground as the first female led superhero film from either Marvel or DC and the early trailer certainly hits the right beats. Check it out below;
After his successful introduction during this year’s Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will continue his own adventures in this joint-effort from Sony and Marvel. The humour of Spider-Man and awkward geeky nature of Peter Parker was wonderfully portrayed in his brief appearance alongside the existing Marvel heroes and we can hopefully expect more of the same. Skipping an origin story, the film will see Spider-Man interact with Marvel mainstay Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) plus a welcome return from Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau, director of the first two Iron Man movies and co-star of all three). The Vulture will make his screen debut, portrayed by Birdman star and former Batman Michael Keaton while Spidey mainstays such as Aunt May will appear. Expectations are high and it will be interesting to see how this ground-breaking deal between Sony and Marvel translates to the big screen.
Oct (UK) Nov (US) 2017
The third movie in the Thor trilogy, Chris Hemsworth will return alongside Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and guest star Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Ragnorak is the apocalypse of the Gods, so expect something terrible to happen that may or may not result in a few deaths. Most of the supporting cast will return however Natalie Portman is currently absent after her oft public display of disdain for Marvel, particularly after Patty Jenkins left Thor 2. However Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban and Jeff Goldblum are some of the new names on the cast list, so Marvel’s pulling power is far from diminished. The Thor movies have never been the biggest hitters from Marvel and the last movie felt rushed and plodding at the same time, yet new director Taika Waititi (of the brilliant What We Do in the Shadows) offers promise.
The coming together of the Justice League was teased (in a not very subtle manner) in Batman V Superman and this will be the first in two planned, linked movies from DC. Expect some similarities to Marvel’s first Avengers movie with multiple personalities leading to a series of in-fighting followed by a successful union in the final act. Batman leads the way in gathering heroes (as seen in some special footage released for Comic Con earlier this year) including Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and, despite his recent ‘death’, Superman. A more humorous tone appears in the early footage, meaning DC may have relented on their ‘no jokes’ rule since the poor reception of Batman V Superman. Success is guaranteed however DC really needs this movie to flourish under the eye of critics in order to continue with their own cinematic universe.
There is still a spot booked at the end of Summer for a Fox X-Men movie, however nothing is known about this so far. It could belong to Deadpool 2 or the Gambit solo movie, however this is merely speculation. Given how close the release date is the film has to be in development and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if this date is missed. Possibly a nice surprise is in store but we’ll have to wait and see.
Finally we should note there is one more comic book superhero landing before 2016 finishes- Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is due to hit cinemas in late October/early November (UK/US). A risky film for Marvel however their reputation and the caliber of the cast should outweigh the lack of a known hero while the trailer (see below) promises something a little bit different from the norm- here’s hoping for a great film.
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