I think we can safely say that we are living in a golden age … a golden age of comic book movies. From follow-ups to the Avengers franchise, to a newly rebooted Spider-Man series, to past and present X-Men uniting to fight giant robots, who would have thought we’d ever see any of this during the days when we were lucky to get a Blade movie once in a blue moon? Though with this glut of costumed heroes hitting the silver screen, it’s sometimes hard to keep straight what is rumor and what is fact. Seems like the perfect time to walk through what has been confirmed and what is still rumor in the world of Marvel’s mutants, gods, and charismatic billionaires in iron suits.
Hit the jump for an overview of the future Marvel comics adaptations—from Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox—that we have on tap for the coming years.
- Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1st, 2014
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1st, 2015
- Ant-Man – July 21st, 2015
- Captain America 3 – May 6th, 2016
Marvel Studios has proven themselves the studio to beat when it comes to comic book movies, and their future set of tentpoles continues to bolster this position. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier having just hit theaters, to both critical and financial acclaim, Marvel Studios’ track record has progressed to the point where they can begin experimenting with new properties waiting in the rafters. Enter Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Two properties that will be able to step on the foundation built by Iron Man and company, both Guardians and Ant-Man are hardly Marvel’s “A-Squad” when it comes to their top selling properties, but with the recently released trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy turning some heads, it may not stay that way for much longer.
Even with these two lesser-known properties on the horizon, Marvel will continue releasing movies for their stalwart franchises in both Avengers 2 and Captain America 3, each introducing even more characters to the Marvel Studios stable. While these four movies are set in stone in terms of creators and release dates, these are not the only films we’ll be seeing from the world of the Avengers. Marvel has also hired the writers of Thor: The Dark World to return audiences once again to Asgard in Thor 3, even though a release date has yet to be set.
From here, we turn to the occult with the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, who has been waiting in the wings with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige name dropping the good doctor from time to time in interviews. Stephen Strange was mentioned briefly in The Winter Soldier and recent reports have revealed shortlists of filmmakers that Marvel is considering to take the helm of the Doctor Strange film. A release date has yet to be confirmed, though Phase Three seems to be the most likely bet.
A solo feature for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is also being discussed, though its potential release date is hazy at best. Other rumors regarding characters under the Avengers umbrella, such as Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and solo films for members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, continue to hit the scene from time to time. Phew! All of these potential blockbusters, and I haven’t even made mention of Avengers 3 yet, which will almost certainly close out Marvel’s Phase Three set of films.
20th Century Fox
- X-Men: Days of Future Past – May 23, 2014
- The Fantastic Four – June 19, 2015
- X-Men: Apocalypse – May 27, 2016
- Untitled Wolverine Sequel – March 3, 2017
- The Fantastic Four 2 – July 4, 2017
- Untitled Marvel Movie – July 13, 2018
20th Century Fox is aiming for the rafters with their upcoming X-Men and Fantastic Four movies. Starting this summer with Days of Future Past, Fox is trying something rather ambitious by bringing together both the cast of the “present” (ie. classic X-Men films) and the cast of director Matthew Vaughn’s 1960s-set X-Men: First Class. Following DOFP, they’ll delve into the world of Apocalypse, a giant immortal mutant from the times of the Pharaohs who acts as one of the X-Men’s deadliest foes (also, one of their most melodramatic as can be seen from the 90’s animated series). DOFP director Bryan Singer is returning to helm X-Men: Apocalypse and has enlisted his X2 scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris to co-write the 1980s-set screenplay alongside DOFP writer Simon Kinberg.
Fox will also try rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise with The Fantastic Four, as well as an already-planned sequel. Josh Trank (Chronicle) is directing the first installment with a cast that includes Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Sue Storm), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm), Jamie Bell (The Thing), and Toby Kebbell (Dr. Doom).
The Wolverine director James Mangold is also developing another standalone Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman reprising the lead role.
Finally, Fox’s crescendo for the time being will be an untitled Marvel film in July of 2018. There are some theories cropping up regarding what this movie could be, from X-Force, to the long-awaited Deadpool, to a crossover between the X-Men and Fantastic Four films; it’s still up in the air. While the latter crossover seems to be the most likely, the two super teams don’t exactly have a history of noteworthy crossovers. Still, points to Fox and their lofty goals.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – May 2, 2014
- The Amazing Spider-Man 3 – June 10, 2016
- The Amazing Spider-Man 4 – May 4, 2018
- The Sinister Six – TBD
- Venom – TBD
Spider-Man! Spider-Man! Radioactive Spider-Man! Is he strong? Listen, bud, he’s got movies without Paul Rudd! Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man! Yes, Sony Pictures is doing their best to follow the successful Marvel Studios formula, much like Fox, by confirming not one, but two sequels for everyone’s favorite webslinger. On top of these sequels, Sony has also confirmed spin-off features for The Sinister Six (to be directed by Drew Goddard) and Venom (to be directed by Alex Kurtzman), who represent the biggest and brightest when it comes to Spidey’s rogues gallery. These two movies haven’t been given release dates just yet, but Sony has stated its intention to release a Spider-Man film every year, so a 2017 slot for one of them seems likely. It will be interesting to see how movies focused squarely on the villains will play out.
With all these Marvel comics adaptations coming down the pike, we’re surely close to seeing a Sleepwalker movie coming round the bend, am I right fellas? Right? Fellas?