47 upcoming comic book movies, and when to expect them – Den Of Geek

Latest update: Bloodshot (slated for 2017). Also: Harbinger, Harbinger Wars, New Mutants, Starlight and Chrononauts (for all of those, see our section ‘who knows when, but somewhere between the rest’ on page 2 of this article).

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).

Without further ado, then, here’s your guide to when each of these comic book properties – including the Avengers, Superman, Deadpool, Batman and many many more -will make it to the big screen…

2015

Ant-Man

What’s it about? Ant-Man is a Marvel Comics hero dating way back to 1962. To many, original Ant-Man Hank Pym is considered a bona fide A-lister in the superhero world. His ability to shrink (and communicate with ants) via a special helmet, has been passed on to various other people over years of comic lore.

In the film, Paul Rudd will play Scott Lang – a criminal who must help Pym protect his technology at all costs, while himself at some point taking up the mantle of Ant-Man. There’s a big heist element too, we believe.

Who’s involved? Joining Rudd as Lang, Michael Douglas will play Pym. Evangeline Lily will play Pym’s daughter. This Marvel Studios film had a troubled production which saw Edgar Wright walk away after eight years in development (if you’re so inclined, read that story here).

Adam MacKay has retooled the script though, and Yes Man’s Peyton Reed has made himself comfy in the director’s chair. Audience good will, we would claim, has now mostly returned to the project.

When’s it coming out? 17 July 2015 in both the UK and the US – what are the odds?

The Fantastic Four

What’s it about? The Fantastic Four are back, in a rebooted form which promises grittiness, grounded-ness and more character-driven-ness. This will be an origin story which explains how Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm went from scientists to superheroes.

“We’re more or less a bunch of kids that had an accident and we have disabilities now that we have to cope with, and try to find a life afterwards – try to be as normal as we can,” said Chronicle’s Michael B Jordan, who will play Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch.

You can expect a rebooted Doctor Doom as well, with Toby Kebell confirmed for the role in a modern spin that involves blogging. If you’ve got an eye for monkeys, you might recognise Kebell from his stellar turn as Koba in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Failing that, he’s also appeared in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, War Horse, Black Mirror and Wrath Of The Titans. Read everything we know about the movie here.

Who’s involved? Chronicle director Josh Trank will dabble once more with the topic of young superheroes, with this being the first in a potentially-lengthy franchise for him, should he want to stay. A sequel has already been ordered.

Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days Of Future Past and X-Men: The Last Stand, somehow) and relative unknown entity Jeremy Slater have penned the script, with Mark Millar acting as a consultant in his overseer role at Fox. If you’re looking for comic book inspirations, the Ultimate Fantastic Four universe is often cited.

When’s it coming out? 6 August 2015 UK, 7 August 2015 USA.

Bananaman

What’s it about? This one has a bit of a soft spot in our hearts already, but might seem a complete mystery to our American cousins. 

Bananaman is the secret superhero identity of Eric Wimp, a young and – you guessed it – wimpy boy. He’s endowed with “the muscles of twenty men, and the brains of twenty mussels” when he eats a banana, though.

A tongue-in-cheek parody of the superhero world has never been more needed, so we’re very glad to see Eric leaping onto the screen from the pages of Nutty/The Dandy/The Beano (delete based on your age). Rumours that the film will be subtitled ‘Man Of Peel’ constantly make us giggle.

Who’s involved? Well, that remains a mystery, though we know that England’s Elstree Studios have been the base for the production. We’d wager noone particularly famous, seeing as we’ve not heard anything yet.

When’s it coming out? 2015 is all we’ve been told so far.

2016

Deadpool

What’s it about? Deadpool is one of the newest Marvel comics characters to take off in a big way. He first appeared in 1991, and quickly won minds and hearts as a snarky, certifiably insane, wise-cracking ‘merc with a mouth’ who constantly breaks the fourth wall.

Previously on film, Deadpool appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played by Ryan Reynolds. Although the film was far from a fan favourite, Reynolds will get another bite of the anti-hero cherry here.

Not much of the plot is known, but it’s rumoured that Deadpool himself will be self-aware, ragging on his poor portrayal in the Wolvie prequel throughout. We also know it’s likely – but far from confirmed – to be a PG-13, despite Wade Wilson’s usual potty-mouth status. Read why we’re hoping this could be a game-changing comic book movie here.

Who’s involved? Other than Reynolds, the cast remains a mystery. We do know that Tim Miller will make his directorial debut, and that Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (who co-wrote Zombieland together) have worked on the script. A company called Blur Studio helped make this fan-pleasing show-reel, but it’s unclear whether they will remain involved.

When’s it coming out? 12 February 2016 in both the UK and the USA.

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

What’s it about? Ah, a film that needs no introduction. But heck, we’re going to give it one anyway. Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a film so pre-discussed that even the semantics of the title have been rigorously analysed.

Still allegedly a Man Of Steel sequel, this flick will see Batman (Ben Affleck) in a bust-up with Superman (Henry Cavill) in Warner Bros/DC’s first step towards shared-universe mega-bucks.

Subverting the usual worry that sequels are too villain-packed, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is quite clearly the big bad here, with Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) all popping up on the heroic side of the fence.

Who’s involved? As well as that stellar cast, members of the team from Man Of Steel seem to be back too. We know that Zack Snyder will return as director, with the story idea being a collaboration between him and David S Goyer. From this, the full script was written by Argo scribe Chris Terrio.

When’s it coming out? 25 March 2016 in both the UK and the USA.

Captain America: Civil War

What’s it about? Here’s a film that Marvel has so much confidence in that it refused to budge when it looked like Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice wanted to nab its date.

In the comics, Civil War is a sprawling crossover arc from 2006, which saw Tony Stark go toe-to-toe with Cap over a government bill aimed at forcing superheroes to register with the powers that be, reveal their identities and essentially become part of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The film? Well, we had a more detailed look at it here. Short version – it looks like Captain America: Civil War will take elements from the books (namely the Cap v Stark show-down and issues with the government), but perhaps steer away from an all-properties-inclusive mammoth crossover. Either way, it’s likely to be a huge turning point for the Marvel cinematic universe.

Who’s involved? Robert Downey Jnr and Chris Evans will return, and probably a few other familiar Marvel cinematic universe faces. We will also get the Marvel cinematic universe debut of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). On the directorial side, Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s dynamite duo – the Russo brothers – will return. On scripting duties are their fellow Winter Soldier alumni Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Interestingly, this is rumoured to be the film where Spider-Man will make his MCU debut. We await confirmation or denial on that, which we will pass on.

When’s it coming out? 29 April 2016 in the UK, 6 May 2016 in the USA.

X-Men: Apocalypse

What’s it about? Well, with the franchise-fixing double-bill of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days Of Future Past ameding a vast amount of damage previously thwarting the X-Men movie universe by introducing a new cast and undoing a lot of things, X-Men: Apocalypse looks set to step forward on very confident footing.

We will witness the First Class cast gracing the 1980s, so we’re hoping for truly gratuitous amounts of hairspray. In this new decade, Xavier’s pupils will face off against Apocalypse – an ancient and immortal mutant hell-bent on destruction. If you stayed through the Days Of Future Past credits, you would have got a sneak peak of this film’s big bad and his powers.

We’ve been told this is considered the closing chapter of a trilogy, so we’d expect some big emotional beats. The film begins shooting in April 2015, so expect more casting announcements soon.

Who’s involved? The main players from the First Class crew are all expected to return, with Quicksilver also believed to be re-joining the gang for another run-around. Hugh Jackman isn’t confirmed, but seems a likely inclusion given the ending to the last X-Men film.

One of the godfathers of the modern comic book movie – Bryan Singer – will again return once more to the franchise he built back in 2000. Simon Kinberg will again script, in collaboration with Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty (who both worked with Singer on X-2 and Superman Returns).

When’s it coming out? 19 May 2016 UK/ 27 May 2016 USA.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

What’s it about? The big-screen follow-up to this year’s TMNT reboot. We’d expect returns for almost the entire the cast, assuming that there were some hefty contracts on the table to start with, just in case.

Whether or not we will see Shredder again is a different question – there’s plenty of other corners to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythos which could be explored, should the powers that be feel so inclined.

We already know that Shredder henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady will appear, as well as the Turtles’ fellow vigilante Casey Jones. Krang, a big evil head in a jar, is also touted to appear.

Who’s involved? Well, William Fichtner has confirmed that he’s on-board for three films, so expect him to continue pulling the villainy strings. All four turtle voice-actors, we’ve learnt, are also returning. Michael Bay will produce once more. Director Jonathan Liebesman seems likely to return too, seeing as he’s quite publically discussing the sequel.

When’s it coming out? 3 June 2016 in UK and US.

Suicide Squad

What’s it about? The Suicide Squad is a faction of villains from the DC universe that’s coerced (though 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 is pretty much a mainstay, but the rest of the group is a mystery at this stage. We’d be surprised if fan favourite Harley Quinn didn’t make the cut, though. We’ve also heard rumours that Warner Bros. are trying to snare Jesse Eisenberg for another performance as Lex Luthor for this one. Read more about the Joker’s role in Suicide Squad here.

Who’s involved? but David Ayer (who most recently helmed Brad Pitt tank movie Fury) is set to direct. Long-gestating casting rumours  included Tom Hardy, Ryan Gosling, Will Smith and Margot Robbie, with the final two on that list being confirmed recently. Joining them will be Jared Leto as The Joker.

When’s it coming out? 5 August 2016, in the USA, is all we know. Well, other than the 4 August 2016 Danish release date.

Gambit

Gambit - crowded out by Wolverine in the original X-Men but soon to make his own splash in movies

What’s it about? A fan favourite character here. For lovers of the comics and/or anyone who grew up watching the 1990s X-Men cartoons – Gambit is the coolest mutant in the pack, charging playing cards with energy and waving a stick around acrobatically. He’s cooler than that description makes him sound.

You might recognise the name from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but this is expected to be an entirely new version thanks to X-Men: Days Of Future Past’s timeline-meddling.

Expect hustling, long coats, laughs and – hopefully – a thick Cajun accent.

Who’s involved? The much-loved-and-linked-with-everything 21 Jump Street star Channing Tatum will be taking on the role, and it’s one he’s eyed for a while, apparently. Lauren Schuler Donner, one of the X-Men movie universe’s over-seers since the start, is very vocal about her excitement for this project. We’re expect Mr Kinberg to bash out another script, too.

When’s it coming out? 7 October 2016 is the expected date for this one.

Doctor Strange

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 strongly confirmed to be starring.

Interestingly, Rosario Dawson has signed up to play 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? 6 November 2016 in the USA is all we know on this one so far.

2017

Bloodshot

What’s it about? With their plan to release as many Spidey spin-offs as possible seemingly falling apart (for the time being, at least), Sony have moved forward with a different comic book property offering heaps of crossover potential – Bloodshot. The announcement came a few months after Sony publicly announced the idea to share ol’ web-head 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, the same year that Sony had previously planned a Venom movie. What? That’s another coincidence, surely…

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 (which Jackman isn’t yet confirmed for). 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?

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 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.

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

Wonder Woman

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 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. Beyond that, not much is known, other than the fact that DC/Warner Bros. reportedly wants a female director to helm proceedings.

When’s it coming out? 23 June 2017 in the USA is all we know.

The Fantastic Four 2

What’s it about? The fact that Fox has announced this follow-up before we’ve even seen a trailer for the first post-reboot Fantastic Four instalment means we don’t have a lot of detail to offer here. Naturally though, the younger cast and the grittier tone will surely return for this sequel.

What we wouldn’t expect is to see the Silver Surfer within miles of this production. Annihilus or Galactacus seem better bets and either would surely suit the ‘sequels must be bigger’ paradigm. Additionally, if Doctor Doom survives the first film, a return could easily occur.

Tim Blake Nelson is playing Mole Man in a supporting role during the initial Fantastic Four reboot, so could have an expanded role here, depending on fan response.

Who’s involved? Miles Teller, Michael B Jordon, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell will presumably reprise their roles for this follow up. Less certain, though still likely, is a return for Josh Trank of Chronicle fame. He has a standalone Star Wars film to make.

When’s it coming out? 14 July 2017 on both sides of the Atlantic.

Marvel-assisted Spider-Man movie

What’s it about? Best not to call this The Amazing Spider-Man 3, or expect Andrew Garfield to feature at this point. This is the first standalone Spider-Man flick to come from the exciting new alliance between Marvel Studios and Sony. 

Not much else is known at the moment, other than the fact that this will follow-on from Spidey’s appearance in an as-yet-unnamed Marvel phase 3 film.

Who’s involved? We know Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal will produce the film together, but not much else. Kurtzman, Orci and Webb may have seen their last days with this franchise, but that’s not exactly been confirmed.

When’s it coming out? July 28th 2017.

Thor: Ragnarok

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? 3 November 2017. Ignore the date on that promo pic, Marvel has been reshuffling for Spidey’s sake.

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 univere 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).

When’s it coming out? 17 November 2017 in the USA is all we know.

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? 2017, at some point.