[Last Updated March 29, 2015]
There’s no denying that the most popular genre around these days is the superhero movie. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy proved that comic book adaptations could be just as dramatic and heavy as non-genre films, Marvel Studios jumpstarted a massive interconnected series of superhero movies that were significantly more colorful and humorous, and audiences have been turning out to both kinds of superhero films in droves. With every major studio now working to turn its own comic book properties into the next big thing, it’s sometimes tough to keep track of what’s coming out when, who’s in it, and how it fits into the overall picture. Not to worry, though, because we here at Collider have you covered.
Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide of superhero movie release dates for every major comic book adaptation on the calendar, going all the way up to the year 2020. Moreover, we’ll be updating this guide regularly with the most current information, so if you’re ever looking for the latest news on a specific film, you can come right back here for a quick overview.
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Don Cheadle, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Hayley Atwell, and James Spader.
What We Know So Far: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are forced to reunite once again when Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, inadvertently pissing off a nefarious robot of his own creation: Ultron. The film will introduce Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver to the MCU, and will also be setting up the next major phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Civil War storyline.
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Abby Ryder Fortson, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Gregg Turkington, T.I., Martin Donovan, and John Slattery.
What We Know So Far: Marvel’s next new superhero introduction Ant-Man includes the two most famous comics characters that have donned the suit: Hank Pym and Scott Lang. Michael Douglas plays Pym, who recruits Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang as his protégé in order to plan and pull off a heist that will save the world, with Corey Stoll playing the villainous Yellowjacket.
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Director: Josh Trank
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, and Tim Blake Nelson.
What We Know So Far: This new adaptation takes its influence from David Cronenberg body horror and offers a more grounded approach than we’ve seen before. The quartet of scientists gain powers after an inter-dimensional mission goes wrong. Kebbell will be playing the villainous Doctor Doom, while Bell portrays The Thing via motion capture technology.
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, and T.J. Miller
What We Know So Far: Not too much, but the fact that the film is finally on the release schedule for 20th Century Fox is promising enough. The script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick has been drawing high praise over the years, if only Fox would give the greenlight to this kind of superhero movie. It’s now finally a “go”. Baccarin is playing Copycat, while Carano is reportedly playing Angel Dust.
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Momoa, Holly Hunter, Scoot McNairy, and Jeremy Irons
What We Know So Far: The follow-up to Man of Steel will presumably see Superman and Batman going toe-to-toe at some point, though the primary villain will be Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Affleck’s Batman has been described as grizzled, older, and more rough than we’ve previously seen him onscreen before, and the movie will act as a prequel of sorts to the rest of Warner Bros.’ DC Movie Universe—as the title suggests. We already know that Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) make their introductions here, and we can also expect to get our first glimpse of Ezra Miller’s The Flash as well as any number of other DC superheroes within the context of the film as well. The film will also deal heavily with the fallout from Superman’s destruction of Metropolis at the end of Man of Steel.
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Directors: Joe Russo and Anthony Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, and Daniel Bruhl.
What We Know So Far: Robert Downey Jr. is poised to co-star in the third Captain America entry as the film will be delving into the Civil War storyline of the comic books, which sees Cap and Iron Man become enemies after disagreeing about a new form of legislation that would require any and all beings with superhuman abilities to register with the government. Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have secret identities, their main point of contention in the film will be whether superheroes need government oversight. The film is also said to continue the Winter Soldier storyline from the previous Captain America installment with Bruhl playing Baron Zemo, and Boseman will also make his first appearance as Black Panther. It is also widely believed that the film will introduce the new Spider-Man.
Release Date: May 27, 2016
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Rose Byrne, and Alexandra Shipp.
What We Know So Far: Described as an “extinction-level event”, the disaster sequel takes place in the 1980s and will focus primarily on the X-Men: First Class castmembers, wrapping up the trilogy arc that began with the Matthew Vaughn-directed prequel. The mutants must join forces in order to battle the titular Apocalypse (played by Isaac), a mutant who has been around since the days of Ancient Egypt and was treated as a god at that time. The story will focus on more of the Mystique and Beast relationship than Days of Future Past, and will also introduce younger versions of the mutants from the original series of X-Men movies.
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, and Viola Davis
What We Know So Far: The DC comic revolves around a group of anti-heroes who take on dangerous missions for the government in exchange for commuted sentences. Smith is Deadshot, Robbie is Harley Quinn, Leto is The Joker, Courtney is Captain Boomerang, Kinnaman is Rick Flagg, Delevingne is Enchantress, and Davis will play Amanda Waller, who is essentially DC’s Nick Fury.
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Cast: Channing Tatum
What We Know So Far: Tatum has been keen on playing the X-Men mutant for a while now, and 20th Century Fox finally pulled the trigger on a standalone movie for the fan-favorite Cajun.
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch
What We Know So Far: Marvel initially courted Joaquin Phoenix for the lead role in this new franchise, but as the time came to finally sign the contract Phoenix opted to walk away. Cumberbatch eventually signed on, to be joined by Bruhl as the film’s villain. The comic adaptation will bring mysticism into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it tells the origin story of Stephen Strange, a former neurosurgeon and narcissist who is granted magical powers by a hermit called the Ancient One after his hands are seemingly irreparably damaged in a car accident.
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Director: Probably James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman
What We Know So Far: Jackman has said time and again that he would only return if the story is worth telling, but he and The Wolverine director James Mangold have been working on carving out the next Wolverine solo adventure, and now Jackman says this will be his last time playing the X-Men character. They’re looking to possibly add Patrick Stewart‘s Professor X to the mix to make a sort of team-up film between the two, acting as a fitting sendoff of Jackman’s Wolverine.
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
What We Know So Far: Not much as the film is still in early development, but Gunn has previously said that Thanos may or may not appear, but he is most certainly “not the most important character” in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Release Date: June 9, 2017
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell.
What We Know So Far: Josh Trank directed the first Fantastic Four reboot, but he is set to go and direct a Star Wars spinoff movie once that’s completed so he likely will not be returning to helm the follow-up. Beyond that, nothing else is known about Fantastic Four 2 for now.
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Director: Michelle MacLaren
Cast: Gal Gadot
What We Know So Far: Gadot will make her first appearance as the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will presumably appear in Justice League Part One and Justice League Part Two, but not before she gets her own standalone film. This marks the first female-led superhero movie of the modern era, and it will fittingly be directed by a woman: Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones veteran Michelle MacLaren.
Release Date: July 28, 2017
Director: Probably Drew Goddard
What We Know So Far: Few thought it would ever happen, but Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios came to an agreement in which they will be sharing the character of Spider-Man, with the webslinger first appearing in an MCU movie before getting his own rebooted film. Marvel’s Kevin Feige is producing the picture, which is said to bring forth a younger Spidey who is still in high school. The Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard is in line to take the helm.
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston
What We Know So Far: The title most likely refers to the event from Nordic mythology in which catastrophic destruction comes to Asgard, submerging the entire world underwater and killing nearly every god. Or it could also refer to a cloned version of Thor that Tony Stark creates after Thor is presumed killed during the Ragnarok event. Either way, Marvel says the “Norse End of Days” is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Amy Adams.
What We Know So Far: Warner Bros.’ Justice League film is so big that they’re releasing it in two parts, two years apart. Thus far the only confirmed castmembers are Cavill as Superman, Affleck as Batman, and Adams as Lois Lane, but expect to see Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, and maybe even a new Green Lantern team up. The rumored villain for the two-part Justice League adventure is Brainiac, who apparently is summoned to Earth by the distress beacon that Superman set off during Man of Steel.
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Cast: Ezra Miller
What We Know So Far: Miller will first make an appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will likely be part of the Justice League Part One ensemble.
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
What We Know So Far: Marvel is finally tackling the Infinity War storyline, and it’ll take two films to tell it. The main antagonist will be Thanos (played by Josh Brolin), and the movie will no doubt unite many, many characters from the MCU. Moreover, Marvel adds that Avengers: Infinity War Part I is the beginning of the culmination of everything that has come before. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been tapped to direct both parts of Infinity War, which will be shot at the same time during one long production beginning in late 2016.
Release Date: July 6, 2018
Cast: Chadwick Boseman
What We Know So Far: The comics character will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, but he gets his own feature film not long after. 42 star Chadwick Boseman will be filling the role of the powerful native of Wakanda, an African nation that is isolated from the rest of the world. Marvel says the crux of the film will be how this isolationist nation meets the world, so expect some friction.
Release Date: July 13, 2018
What We Know So Far: This will likely be a new X-Men film (either a sequel or new franchise) or a rumored Fantastic Four/X-Men crossover movie.
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Cast: Jason Momoa
What We Know So Far: Momoa will first make an appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will likely be part of the Justice League Part One ensemble.
Release Date: November 2, 2018
What We Know So Far: Marvel’s first female-led superhero film will revolve around the most powerful character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. This iteration of Captain Marvel will focus on the character of Carol Danvers, whose adventures are earthbound but whose powers are based in the cosmic realm.
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Cast: Dwayne Johnson
What We Know So Far: Making his superhero movie debut, Dwayne Johnson opted to take on the role of the villainous Black Adam in this DC comics adaptation.
Release Date: May 3, 2019
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
What We Know So Far: The conclusion to the epic Infinity War storyline will close out Marvel’s ambitious Phase Three with a bang.
Release Date: June 14, 2019
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Amy Adams.
What We Know So Far: As with Part One, the only confirmed castmembers are Cavill, Affleck, and Adams, but we can expect to see the rest of the DC ensemble appear in the second half of Justice League. Brainiac is rumored to be the villain, but it’s unclear if his reign of terror will continue through Part Two or if he’ll be vanquished in Part One. Warner Bros. plans to introduce Darkseid as the Big Bad after Brainiac, with Green Lantern popping up to warn the Justice League team of his existence. This will likely happen either at the end of Part One as a teaser for Part Two, or at the end of Part Two as a teaser for some future Justice League film.
Release Date: July 12, 2019
What We Know So Far: Another comic property that will push the reach of the Marvel Cinematic Universe further outward, Inhumans will introduce dozens of new characters to the MCU. In the comics, they are a race of superhumans whose origins lie in the war between the alien Skrull and Kree races. The characters have begun to get their introduction on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Cast: Ray Fisher
What We Know So Far: Fisher will first be introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then will play a role in the two Justice League films, but assuming Marvel doesn’t beat them to the punch, DC will be the first studio to produce an African American-led superhero movie in the modern era.
Release Date: June 19, 2020
What We Know So Far: This will be a reboot of the Warner Bros. franchise so Ryan Reynolds is not expected to reprise his role. Green Lantern is rumored to make his first appearance at the end of either Justice League Part One or Justice League Part Two when he warns the team that Darkseid is on his way to bring destruction to Earth.