These days, movie-release traffic jams are inevitable. Studios claim potential release windows for coveted blockbusters years in advance, with Disney recently dating Indiana Jones 5 in 2020, and Fox laying claim to Avatar weekends in 2020, 2021, 2024 and 2025. What?! This usually means that blockbusters have to blink, as when Sony shifted its Animated Spider-Man movie up from December 21, 2018 to December 14. It's just a week, but here's why that's an important, and very smart decision.
Right now, Warner Bros. has circled Friday, December 21 as the release date for James Wan's Aquaman, which will spin off Jason Momoa's Atlantian warrior into his first solo movie following his introduction in Justice League. Say what you will about the DCEU to this point, but the buzz swirling around Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, and the script that Wan has for Aquaman, and you get the sense that WB and DC are on the verge of turning their grand experiment around. James Wan hasn't made a bad movie yet, and his talk about turning Aquaman into a sea-faring Indiana Jones-esque swashbuckler has us eagerly anticipating December 21 for that feature film.
You know what we don't need on that date? A second superhero movie. Even if everything we are hearing about the Animated Spider-Man movie has us incredibly excited. Co-written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie, the Han Solo movie), this as-yet-untitled adventure will place its focus on Miles Morales, who later adopted the Spider-Man persona in the Marvel comics. Shameik Moore, of the indie hit Dope, landed the role of Miles recently, and Liev Schreiber has been cast, though we don't yet know what role he will be playing.
There's room on the slate for both movies in this same month. And the good news, for both of them, is that the 2018 Star Wars movie -- the Han Solo prequel -- is a May release and not a December release... for now. But opening two superhero movies on the same weekend never made any sense, so one of them had to move after Aquaman bounced back from October to December. Animated Spider-Man made the right call, as these two projects absolutely will be playing to the same crowds.
Warner Bros. and Sony have a lot cooking in the superhero realm. In addition to Aquaman, DC and WB are working on a Flash movie, a Batgirl movie (with Joss Whedon), a solo Batman movie (with Matt Reeves and Ben Affleck), Gotham City Sirens (with David Ayer and Margot Robbie), and possible films for heroes like Cyborg and Green Lantern. Sony, meanwhile, is continuing to explore its Spider-Man universe... even as it lends Spider-Man to Marvel. We have heard reports of a Venom movie, and possible films for Black Cat and Silver Sable. It's early to tell if they'll happen or not, but stay tuned here for details as they break.