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If there is one lesson that the past decade has taught us about the state of cinema, it is that superhero movies are, in many ways, the dominant film-going attraction. However, that was not so much the case for 2020, which saw a few highly anticipated Marvel movies postponed an entire year from their initial scheduled date, and even a DC sequel relegated to an upcoming release in both theaters and on streaming the same day. While you could consider that to be a silver lining, the rest of these Covid-19 related delays have fans pining for 2021 - but that is not the only year they have to look forward to.
There are comic book movies (specifically ones centered on costumed vigilantes and/or villains) that are currently slated for release in 2022, 2023, and even for dates beyond our current knowledge. Of course, we know how moviegoers are, and to appeal to the common urge to be informed on as much as possible as soon as possible, we have compiled every big superhero movie that has either been officially announced, reportedly mentioned, or has already been made and is just waiting to finally come out.
In fact, there are two films we know of that are actually being granted that opportunity before the end of the year, thanks to streaming. One of them will mark the triumphant return to cinema for DC’s first female superhero.
Wonder Woman 1984 (December 25, 2020)
Gal Gadot’s Amazonian warrior princess takes on two new villains (Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal) and mysteriously reunites with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) in Patty Jenkins’ follow-up. In addition to a theatrical release on Christmas, Wonder Woman 1984 will also be available to stream on HBO Max the same day.
We Can Be Heroes (December 25, 2020)
Pedro Pascal also plays one of many adult crimefighters whose disappearance prompts their gifted children to save them in We Can Be Heroes. The Netflix original is writer and director Robert Rodriguez’s sequel to 2005’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl and sees Taylor Dooley reprise her young superhero role as a grown-up.
Morbius (March 19, 2021)
In addition to reprising Joker in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Jared Leto will become a Marvel character in 2021. The Oscar winner plays the title role of Morbius, whose attempt to cure his rare disease, instead turns him into a living vampire.
Black Widow (May 7, 2021)
Like Morbius, Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited MCU solo film was supposed to come out in 2020. Fans will be finally be able to see Natasha Romanoff’s “family reunion” when Black Widow hits theaters next spring.
Samaritan (June 4, 2021)
MCU vet Sylvester Stallone plays a veteran hero brought out of hiding by a young boy (Javon “Wanna” Walton) in Samaritan. The original superhero flick was described as Unbreakable meets Finding Forrester when first announced in 2016.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (June 25, 2021)
Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock will meet his worst nightmare in Woody Harrelson’s own symbiotic alter ego in this sequel. Fellow comic book movie actor Andy Serkis stepped in to direct Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which is currently in post-production.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (July 9, 2021)
Destin Daniel Cretton directed some comic book movie actors in Short Term 12 and Just Mercy before he was chosen to helm Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The first MCU production with a predominately Asian cast stars Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Simu Liu as the titular kung-fu master.
The Suicide Squad (August 6, 2021)
Fitting how Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was chosen to take over the DCEU’s own ragtag team of ne'er-do-wells. Not designated as a sequel or reboot of the 2016 predecessor, The Suicide Squad stars both returning players like Margot Robbie and new additions, such as Idris Elba.
Eternals (November 5, 2021)
There will also be a new superhero team joining the MCU when Eternals hits theaters in late 2021. Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Bryan Tyree Henry and others make up the cast of ageless beings responsible for shaping and protecting Earth’s greatest civilizations.
Spider-Man 3 (December 17, 2021)
In the tentatively titled sequel Spider-Man 3, evidence suggests that Tom Holland is also collaborating with heroes of similar abilities - former Peter Parker actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, to be exact. Plus, Jamie Foxx could reprise Electro along with Alfred Molina returning to play Doctor Octopus in what is looking to be the most ambitious live-action Spidey movie yet.
The Batman (March 4, 2022)
We will soon get to why Robert Pattinson will not be the only Batman you see in 2022. Yet, Matt Reeves’ new take on the Dark Knight’s early years (also starring Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as pre-Penguin Oswald Copplebot) exists outside of the DCEU, as far as we know.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (March 25, 2022)
Benedict Cumberbatch will engage in much interdimensional mingling, however, when he returns as the MCU’s Sorcerer Supreme in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez (Young Avengers’ Miss America), and others are also slated to appear in director Sam Raimi’s exciting return to the comic book genre.
Thor: Love And Thunder (May 4, 2022)
Not only is Taika Waititi’s return to direct Thor: Love and Thunder exciting, but also Natalie Portman’s return as Jane Foster, who will take over the role of the MCU’s God of Thunder from Chris Hemsworth. If that is not engaging enough for you, Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt was recently confirmed as part of the cast along with Christian Bale as Gorr, the God Butcher.
DC Super Pets (May 22, 2022)
This family film, the second from the animators behind Scoob!, was originally scheduled to release in theaters on May 21, 2021. Now slated for almost an exact year later, DC Super Pets will see animals related to famous superheroes (such as Superman’s dog, Krypto, and Batman’s hound, Ace) team-up to bring criminals to furry justice.
Black Panther II (July 8, 2022)
Currently, tragedy surrounds Ryan Coogler’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning MCU debut following the death of star Chadwick Boseman in August. One silver lining is the potential for Letitia Wright’s Shuri to inherit the title moniker (per the comics’ continuity) in Black Panther II, which is reportedly set to being filming in July 2021.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2 (October 7, 2022)
While Black Panther did not take home the Best Picture Oscar in 2019, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse did win Best Animated Feature that year. Now, Shameik Moore is set to voice young webslinger Miles Morales for another interdimensional adventure - which seems to be a running theme for most of 2022’s biggest comic book movie releases.
The Flash (November 4, 2022)
Case in point: It director Andy Muschietti’s upcoming DCEU film - headlined by Ezra Miller as Barry Allen and reportedly inspired by DC Comics’ “Flashpoint” storyline. In fact, The Flash is taking advantage of the famous arc’s time-altering concepts to bring both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck back to the role of Batman.
Captain Marvel II (November 11, 2022)
Speaking of horror filmmakers turning their sights to comic book flicks, Candyman director Nia DaCosta will helm the sequel to Captain Marvel, once again starring Brie Larson. Teyonah Parris will also appear in her WandaVision role, Monica Rambeau, along with Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan after she debuts on Disney+’s upcoming Ms. Marvel series.
Aquaman 2 (December 16, 2022)
Fellow horror director James Wan is returning to the director’s chair for an announced sequel to his worldwide, $1 billion DCEU hit Aquaman. Jason Momoa returns to the titular role of the Atlantean Justice League member, as well as Patrick Wilson, Tamuera Morrison, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods (June 2, 2023)
Lights Out director David F. Sandberg tried his hand at lighthearted comic book flicks with Shazam! in 2019. He will return for the more earnest-sounding sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods, along with Zachary Levi as Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) titular, grown-up alter ego, along with Adam Brody as the same for Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy Freeman.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
Everyone from your favorite crew of cosmic heroes is returning for the series’ third and, supposedly, final installment from writer and director James Gunn. Even Zoe Saldana is billed to return as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which begs the question of how her fate from Avengers: Infinity War will be reversed.
The Fantastic Four (TBA)
A question fans have also been begging to have answered is how and when the Fantastic Four will finally be inducted into the MCU. Well, quite frankly, we do not know the answer to, either, but we do know that a new film starring Marvel’s first superhero family is on the way and will be helmed by Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts.
Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
Destined to have everyone's favorite superhero movie title ever is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which continues the romantic adventures of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Along with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer reprising their roles, Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors joins the cast as Kang the Conqueror and Kathryn Newton replaces Emma Fuhrmann as Scott’s daughter, Cassie.
Taking over a role originated onscreen by Wesley Snipes is two-time Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali in Blade. Bringing back the vampire hunter could mark a turning point in the MCU gettin a little darker.
Black Adam (TBA)
We can easily count on things to get dark in this supervillain solo flick. Dwayne Johnson plays the title role of Black Adam, and will encounter members of the JSA, who will reportedly make their DCEU debut in this film, which is still in pre-production.
Green Lantern Corps (TBA)
The DCEU debut of Green Lantern (not counting that Justice League flashback) has also been in development for a while. Instead of a story built primarily around one hero, both Hal Jordan and John Stewart will be the central protagonists of Green Lantern Corps… whenever it comes out, that is.
The New Gods (TBA)
A member of the New Gods (Steppenwolf) also appeared in the theatrical cut of Justice League, and more (Darkseid and DeSaad) are set to show up in HBO Max’s Snyder Cut. Yet, director Ava DuVernay’s film that directly focuses on these ageless beings who exist outside of time and space is still in development at this time.
The same goes for Batgirl, a DCEU solo flick centered on Barbara Gordon’s vigilante origins, which was originally announced in early 2017 when Joss Whedon was assigned at the helm. Since his exit, the project has been subjected to rumors of existing outside of the DCEU and even having been cancelled, but that is no reason to lose hope so soon.
Wonder Woman 3 (TBA)
Speaking of, we should still optimistically anticipate a third Wonder Woman movie, even if Patty Jenkins has put the modern-day threequel on indefinite pause, it seems. Besides, a franchise this popular is bound to eventually become a trilogy - or quadrilogy, technically, if you count the proposed spin-off.
Amazons Spin-Off (TBA)
Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns reportedly pitched an idea for a film that focuses primarily on the Amazons of Themyscira. It would take place after Gal Gadot’s Diana left the island with Steve Trevor in the first film and set up Wonder Woman 3, but no further developments have materialized yet.
Deadpool 3 (TBA)
There was a time when Ryan Reynolds announced plans of an X-Force spin-off in lieu of a third Deadpool movie. However, since the Disney/Fox merger, it appears that plan has since been reversed and writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin will pen the Merc with a Mouth’s MCU debut with its star.
As for what is going on with Sony’s mouthful of a Spider-Man universe, fellow arachnoid superhero Spider-Woman will soon be getting her own movie. Olivia Wilde has been in talks to direct the project, but with no word on which specific iteration of the character (Jessica Drew? Gwen Stacy?) it will focus on at the moment.
Madame Web (TBA)
Another “spider woman” who has already had a film of her own in the works for a while is Madame Web. Despite suffering from blindness and paralysis, this supernatural clairvoyant being has been known to be a very helpful guide to Spider-Man whenever he has been in need.
Kraven The Hunter (TBA)
Spider-Man just might need Madame Web’s help if he intends to remain one step ahead of Kraven the Hunter. J.C. Chandor, director of Netflix’s Triple Frontier, has been in talks with Sony to helm an origin story about the Russian-born predator of the biggest game imaginable (namely our friendly neighborhood webslinger), and brother of the Chameleon, believe it or not.
Untitled Bloodshot Sequel (TBA)
Earlier in 2020, right about the time movie theaters started becoming a rarity, Bloodshot became the first movie based on a Valiant comic. In November, a direct follow-up with Vin Diesel reprising the title role was announced, giving hope to a new shared universe inspired by the lesser-known publisher.
Another Valiant movie adaptation reportedly in the works is Harbinger, based on an “X-Men-esque” property about psionic superhumans, from director Justin Tipping. The film first into development under Sony (which made Bloodshot) before switching to Paramount in 2019, putting the future of the this proposed shared universe into question.
On that note, a movie based on the Valiant comic Shadowman was greenlit back in 2017. House Party director Reginald Hudlin and writers J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Simon have been attached since the beginning to the project about a New Orleans man given dark, supernatural abilities, but not many further developments have been made since.
Green Hornet And Kato (TBA)
Hollywood first adapted The Green Hornet, originally a radio play, for the big screen as a Seth Rogen-led comedy in 2011. Universal Pictures and Amasia Entertainment have reportedly teamed-up for a David Koepp-penned reboot called Green Hornet and Kato (highly skilled chauffeur and sidekick), which may give it a chance to be a little more earnest.
One-Punch Man (TBA)
On the other hand, the only way to make One-Punch Man into a feature-length film is to make it a comedy. Hopefully, that is the intention of the screenwriting duo behind Venom, who have been tapped by Sony to adapt the popular manga-turned-anime, which itself is a satire on superhero culture seen through the eyes of a young man bored by his ability to defeat any enemy in one strike.
The Toxic Avenger (TBA)
One of the most iconic (and quite nasty) superhero comedies, The Toxic Avenger, is also getting a reboot soon. The original creators of the 1984 Troma release, Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, will produce the update, starring Peter Dinklage and written and directed by Green Room and Blue Ruin star Macon Blair.
Be sure to check back for more information and updates on these upcoming superhero movie releases here on CinemaBlend.