All the comic book movies currently in the works
No matter what Martin Scorcese or Francis Ford Coppola say about comic book movies (and they have a lot to say about it in the manner of grumpy old men), audiences love ‘em.
As long as audiences keep loving them and keep shelling out the dough, then studios are going to ride this gravy train into the sunset. Simply put, this is just how the Industry works. They ride a genre for as long as it’s lucrative, then peace out when the well runs dry.
For comic book nerds of all shapes, sizes, and genres (superhero or otherwise), we’re more than happy to continue to shell out the lucre to see our favorite stories brought to life on the big screen – no matter what grumpy cinema auteurs have to say about us doing so.
Luckily for us, there are plenty of comic book movies in the works. Whether it be superheroes, other big properties, or indie, we’re more than ready to see ‘em head to the big screen.
Birds of Prey
Feb. 7, 2020
Joaquin Phoenix may have done some career best work in the recently released and highly controversial Joker – but that doesn’t mean, however, the character is free from Jared Leto’s skeevy performance in the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad or the abusive tones to his and Harley Quinn’s (Margot Robbie) relationship. Seriously, don’t romanticize them.
While the two flew off into the blue beyond in 2016, 2020 is all Harley’s year. She needs no man in order to be badass; just look at the tongue-twistingly tilted Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
The first movie to feature a team of all female characters in either DC or Marvel, Birds of Prey promises a bunch of women who get together to, in Harley’s words, “emancipate” themselves in Gotham.
They specifically need to stop Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), who wants to kill a young girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) with the help of his hired gun Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina).
Joining Harley and Cassadra are Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). Based on the trailer, if you wanted to see Harley ditch the Joker in film/TV properties and be her own independent woman like she is in the comics, this is for you. Grab your girl gang and roll up to the movies.
Feb. 21, 2020
Stop us if you’ve heard this old tale. Someone murders a soldier and his wife. A shady group of scientists experiment on the soldier’s body with nanites to make him superhuman. The scientists try to keep the amnesiac soldier in the dark regarding his true past and identity in order to keep him compliant. Soldier remembers what happened and goes on a revenge fueled rampage to avenge his wife’s death.
If you think that sounds like a mix of Robocop, Universal Soldier, and The Crow, you’re not wrong. This is the plot of Bloodshot stars Vin Diesel as the soldier and Guy Pearce as a shady scientist (based off his stellar work in Iron Man 3, we’re sure).
Bloodshot is directed by David S.F. Wilson. Sam Heughan, Eiaz Gonzalez, and Toby Kebbell also star. If you’re scratching your head on where that character comes from, it’s from a publisher known as Valiant Comics, not DC or Marvel. Their library is actually pretty good if you want to delve into a new superhero universe. (We recommend Faith.)
The New Mutants
April 3, 2020
In the annals of comic book movies, the X-Men franchise will remain one of the stranger items. Don’t even try to untwist the Gordian Knot that is the timeline for the films; it’ll just make your head hurt.
While it remains a high possibility that sooner or later we’ll see mutants wandering around the MCU, it’s not one that’ll be explored anytime soon. That said, there’s a film set in the X-Men universe whose release date shuffles around so much it’s like a game of three-card monty. That’s right – we’re talking about The New Mutants.
Starring Maisie Williams as shapeshifter Wolfsbane and Anya Taylor Johnson as sorceress Magik, The New Mutants follows five gifted youngsters locked away in a top-secret facility while they struggle with demons both internal and (possibly) external.
The New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone, was slated for release in 2017. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. The studios shuffled the release date of the first “horror” superhero movie around during the Disney-Fox merger and rumored extensive reshoots.
When X-Men: Dark Phoenix flopped at the box office, many feared it would be shelved for good. Disney appears to be doubling down on their investment and setting a New Mutants release date for April 3, 2020. We’ll believe that release date when we see it.
May 1, 2020
If you think Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) was done dirty in Avengers: Endgame, Johansson reports Nat has a more satisfying conclusion in Black Widow.
As with most MCU projects, secrecy is paramount – so there isn’t a ton of detail on the new Black Widow. What we do know is that it takes place following 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, with Natasha alone and facing the ghosts from her past. Based on the few things we have seen in the MCU and what we know from comics, this is a long-awaited confrontation.
Director Cate Shortland makes the jump from indie film to blockbusters with this project. Like all Marvel films, the announced cast remains top-notch. Former Hellboy David Harbour, like Michael B Jordan before him, gets to join a good comic book movie. Florence Pugh, O-T Fangbenle (yes, that’s how his first name is spelled), and Rachel Weisz also star.
Wonder Woman 1984
June 5, 2020
Get ready to head into battle once again, but this time with shoulder pads and leg warmers. After being pushed back from a 2019 release date, the long-awaited sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman will hit theaters next summer.
Taking place several decades after the events of the first film, fans will see Diana (Gal Gadot) deal with Cold War politics as she tries to foil the Soviet Union and their operative Barbara Ann Minerva a.k.a. Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).
Based off the images, we’ll also get an answer as to why Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is back and wearing a fanny pack. Patty Jenkins returns to direct with Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, and Robin Wright also starring. Really though we want to know why guys name Steve who make heroic sacrifices in superhero movies just return decades later. Does it two or three times for something to become a trend?
July 31, 2020
Jared Leto just really wants a comic book franchise, okay? Maybe if he didn’t take his “method” acting too far, he probably would still be the Joker. There are behind-the-scenes stories for Suicide Squad that tell of Leto sending his costars used condoms and rats, to the point where Viola Davis threatened to pepper spray if he pulled that on her.
Leto reportedly tried to have Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker squashed. Hopefully, this new project will keep him far away from any clown makeup. Sony’s using the Marvel property, mainly Spider-Man characters, so they have to make their own little interconnected universe of films. 2018’s Venom was a masterpiece – don’t @ us.
Morbius is based off the character Morbius the Living Vampire from the Spidey comics. Not much is known about the project, which is directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) – but what we do know of Morbius is he’s a type of mad scientist with a modern gothic horror vibe.
Leto’s Michael Morbius suffers from a rare blood disease. When he tries to cure himself using a serum made from bat blood, it turns him into a powerful, conflicted vampire. (Honestly, when will scientists learn not to experiment on themselves?) Former Doctor Matt Smith plays friend-turned-foe Loxias Crowne and Fast and Furious actor Tyrese Gibson plays FBI agent Simon Stroud on the hunt for Morbius.
Oct. 2, 2020
Morbius isn’t the Sony Marvel Universe film that’s coming out in 2020. For fans of the cinematic masterpiece known as Venom, prepare yourselves for its eagerly awaited sequel.
That’s right – Tom Hardy and his kinda stupid accent are back! Andy Serkis will direct Venom 2; Michelle Williams reprises her role as Anne Weying and Woody Harrelson plays serial killer Cletus Kasady, who combines with symbiote Carnage in the comics.
Venom 2 currently is in pre-production, but will presumably begin filming in the near future to meet its release date.
Nov. 6, 2020
With MCU mainstays Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans bowing out in Avengers: Endgame, the time is nigh for new, lesser-known properties to worm their way into our hearts with Marvel Films’s Phase 4.
At the top of the list is the next big team: Eternals. The Eternals are an immortal alien race created by the Celestials (who would wield the Infinity Stones) to defend Earth from their evil counterparts, the Deviants. Eternals’s casting has already been prasied for its diversity, featuring the first deaf and openly gay superheroes in the MCU.
Directed by Chloe Zhao (The Rider), Eternals boasts an insanely impressive cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington as the Black Knight. Filming is currently underway at England’s Pinewood Studios.
If you thought The New Mutants was languishing in development hell, take consolation in the fact that at least the film was completed. For years, WB and DC Films attempted to get Ezra Miller’s version of The Flash made into a feature-length film.
The Flash been through five directors, numerous script revisions, and countless changes to the story. At one point, it was rumored to be the Flashpoint Paradox, but that was like two directors ago.
The latest director to tackle The Flash is It’s Andy Muschietti. The film is rumored to go into pre-production in 2020 for a release date in 2021. Fingers crossed.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Feb. 12, 2021
The MCU brings its first feature with a solo Asian lead and a largely Asian cast to the screen with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Not a whole lot is known about the project because of Marvel’s increasing spoiler paranoia that knows no end.
Just Mercy director Destin Daniel Cretton will direct Shang-Chi. Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu will play the title character. (Side note: Liu’s Twitter is amazing; check out Kim’s Convenience on Netflix). Tony Leung portrays the real Mandarin in the film, not the ridiculous fake played by Ben Kingsley in Iron Man 3. Awkwafina is also involved in an undisclosed role.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
May 7, 2021
Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) story about hailing from an alternate universe was about as true as Film Daily hailing from one (as far as you know . . .). That doesn’t mean the MCU has eschewed the whole multiverse angle though.
Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns in what is described as a more gothic horror-fueled sequel to the 2016 progenitor, Doctor Strange. Sounds like director Scott Derrickson, whose previous films include horrors such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, will be firmly in his wheelhouse.
Also included in the cast is Elizabeth Olsen, reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, which will tie in her role from the Disney+ series WandaVision.
June 25, 2021
Batfleck is dead; long live BatPatz. A solo Batman movie has been languishing in development hell since 2016, following the surprise popularity of Ben Affleck’s version of the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
In case you missed the entertainment section headlines, Affleck isn’t starring in The Batmas due to creative differences and behind-the-scenes drama. Instead, indie darling and former Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson is donning the cowl in this Matt Reeves-directed “grounded” film.
The Batman, surprisingly, sounds really good. Pattinson is excited for the role; Zoe Kravitz will play Catwoman/Selina Kyle, reprising the role from (hilariously enough) VO in The LEGO Batman Movie. Jeffrey Wright will play Commissioner Gordon and Paul Dano plays Edward Nashton/The Riddler. We’re here for all of this!
Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel
July 16, 2021
After all that drama between Sony and Disney, along with a heartfelt plea for the companies to put on their big-boy pants and talk it from Tom Holland, we’re getting a third MCU Spider-Man film.
Presumably, Spider-Man 5 (or whatever number) will be a direct followup to the 2019 Far From Home, which ended with a video from Mysterio revealing Spidey’s secret identity to the world. Presumably Jon Watts will return to direct, but not much else is known about the project.
The Suicide Squad
August 6, 2021
James Gunn may be best known for his work on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but the director has switched teams for this “soft reboot” of the 2016 film. Seriously, it’s not a sequel and don’t call it that.
The Suicide Squad sees Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnamin, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney reprise their roles from the David Ayer-directed original movie. The rest of the cast is just as strong: Idris Elba, Storm Reid, John Cena, Nathan Fillion, Peter Capaldi, David Dastmalchian, Steven Agee, Michael Rooker, and Taika Waititi.
And that’s not even naming everyone involved in The Suicide Squard. It’s a huge production, which is already underway, from a script that Gunn wrote.
Thor: Love & Thunder
Nov. 5, 2021
Taika Waititi is back in the director’s chair, baby! After how amazing 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok turned out, fans begged Marvel to let Waititi return for a fourth Thor film. It was announced at San Diego Comic Con 2019 that it was happening.
Even more major, Natalie Portman, who played Dr. Jane Foster in the first two Thor films, will temporarily take up the mantle of the Mighty Thor in the film. Chris Hemsworth reprises his title role along with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, who will be “looking for a queen” as the new King of Asgard.
Waititi, in addition to directing, will reprise his role as everyone’s favorite soft-spoken pile of rocks, Korg. It’s gonna be amazing.
Dec. 16, 2022
2018’s Aquaman turned out to be a huge (excuse the pun) splash with audiences and the box office. No surprise that a sequel was quickly greenlit with James Wan returning to direct.
Jason Momoa returns to star as Arthur Curry/Aquaman with Amber Heard reprising her role as Mera. Momoa, apparently, has a larger creative role in the sequel. Production will begin in the later half of 2020.
Way, way back in 2014 – 2015, whenever news dropped about the DC Extended Universe, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was one of several actors announced for the franchise as Black Adam. Black Adam occupies a weird space in superhero comics. Sometimes he’s an archnemesis to Shazam; other times he’s a tortured antihero. He walks a fine line.
Originally, Black Adam was supposed to be in the Shazam! movie. DC and Warner Bros, however, believed in Johnson’s bankability so much that they decided to do a solo film on the Black Adam. No release date has been announced, but Jaume Collet-Serra, who worked with Johnson on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, will direct. Production will, reportedly, start in 2020, which bodes for a ‘21 – ‘22 release.
The film adaptation of the comic by J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell has been in development hell for a very long time. Forward momentum came in the form of Constantin Film picking up the rights in 2017. Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) will direct the film about three female secret agents/adventurers; the creators serve as producers for the project.
Unaware of your comic history? Know that Jack Kirby probably created or had a hand in creating a significant chunk of your beloved characters: Captain America, Kamandi, Fantastic Four – the list is endless.
One of Kirby’s greatest creations are the DC property known as the New Gods. He created an entirely new mythos featuring the beings of New Genesis at war with those of Apokolips. It’s a sprawling epic; the characters remain a major and vital part of the DC Universe to this day.
Ava DuVernay will direct New Gods and is working on its script with legendary comic author Tom King. Production, casting, and dates all remain a mystery. New Gods is definitely the most ambitious project that DC and Warner Bros have yet attempted together.
Justice League Dark
Ever wanted to see your favorite mystical DC heroes team up to find supernatural foes? Ever wanted a movie title that sounded like a vigilante candy bar? Justice League Dark will definitely be up your alley. The live-action version of the film continues to languish, but Guillermo del Toro remains a staunch champion – to the point where he completed a script for the film in 2018, should it ever be made.
If you want to see a version of the property that’s not in comics, check out the animated version of the title. It’s available on Hulu.