One reason why the comic book bubble has yet to pop is because superhero films are absorbing other genres in an attempt to stay fresh. Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe churns out comedies and fantastical space adventures that just so happen to feature comic book characters. FOX (FOXA)’s Deadpool series provides raunchy, R-rated action comedies while Logan was a neo-Western. Hollywood has moved far beyond your basic hero’s origin story at this point.
This year alone has seen six films based on comic book properties hit multiplexes for a combined worldwide gross north of $5.5 billion. Right now, superhero fatigue does not exist—not as long as the genre continues to pump our crowd-pleasing and money-making efforts with such frequency. So to keep the ever-growing and sprawling web of blockbuster superhero films in check, here are all of the movies scheduled to arrive in this lane through 2022.
Joker (October 4, 2019)
Joker is potential game-changer for DC Films. Joaquin Phoenix is currently the front-runner for Best Actor and the film is a presumed Best Picture nominee at this year’s Academy Awards. Perhaps even more importantly: Joker is looking like a full-fledged box office hit. Controversial or not, ill-advised or not, that’s what happens when you create a genuine conversation-generator.
Birds of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (February 7, 2020)
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn will lead DC’s female team-up movie Birds of Prey. We spoke with co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who will be taking on the role of Huntress, right after she was cast. Shooting for an R-rating, Birds of Prey aims to be a cooky but delightful romp directed by Cathy Yan.
The New Mutants (April 3, 2020)
Take that trailer with a grain of salt as The New Mutants was originally set to hit theaters in April 2018 and has still yet to see the light of day. Rumored reshoots and script tinkering amid Disney (DIS)’s acquisition of Fox have plagued the project and there’s also been talk that New Mutants could be re-routed to Hulu entirely.
Black Widow (May 1, 2020)
Scarlett Johansson first made her MCU debut as Black Widow way back in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Now, one decade later, she’s finally getting her own solo blockbuster.
Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5, 2020)
Wonder Woman is one of DC’s biggest overall success, so quite a lot is riding on Patty Jenkins’ sequel. The follow-up will jump from World War I to 1984, with Kristen Wiig taking on the villainous role of Cheetah. Chris Pine has offered a few sparse yet tantalizing clues about the highly anticipated sequel.
Morbius (July 31, 2020)
Jared Leto is hopping from the DC Universe to Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters (SUMC) to play biochemist Michael Morbius, who tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead. Morbius will be the second entry in the SUMC following the surprising success of Tom Hardy’s Venom.
Untitled Sony Seuqel (October 2, 2020)
This is almost assuredly the sequel to Venom, which will be directed by Andy Serki and further introduce Woody Harrelson’s character from the post-credits scene. It’s also possible that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man pops up here after Disney and Sony extended their rights-sharing agreement.
Snake-Eyes (October 16, 2020)
The above clip is from Paramount’s 2013 action flick G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but it features the beloved character Snake-Eyes, who is getting his own spin-off in a new continuity. Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding is reportedly up for the role. Snake Eyes is one of the original members of the G.I. Joe team and one of its most popular characters.
Eternals (November 6, 2020)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is entering a reboot of sorts following Avengers: Endgame. One of the marquee new properties set to spearhead Phase IV is Eternals, which follows a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations. Feige has recruited a killer cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, and Brian Tyree Henry.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (February 12, 2021)
Just Mercy director Destin Daniel Cretton is set to helm Marvel’s first-ever Asian-led blockbuster. He told Observer he’s most looking forward to breaking stereotypes with Shang-Chi, which stars Simu Liu as the master of Kung-Fu.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 7, 2021)
Remember what we said about superhero films absorbing different genres to stay fresh? Well, not only will this Doctor Strange sequel be the MCU’s first horror movie, it will also be directly connected to the Disney+ miniseries WandaVision. New stylistic terrain and bold examples of synergy between mediums? The MCU isn’t planning on slowing down post-Endgame.
The Batman (June 25, 2021)
Robert Pattinson is officially set to take on the Bruce Wayne role in Matt Reeves’ reboot of The Batman. He’s expected to be joined by Jeffery Wright as Commissioner Jim Gordon and Jonah Hill as either the Penguin or the Riddler. Reeves is plotting out a new trilogy of films that will quickly introduce Batman’s rogues gallery of villains, which also includes Catwoman and Two-Face.
Untitled Spider-Man Sequel (July 16, 2021)
After several stressful weeks in which it looked like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might officially leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney and Sony came to a new agreement to maintain the status quo. Disney will receive 25% of the box office gross for Spider-Man films while Holland’s web-head will now appear in one more MCU-set solo film and one more MCU crossover bonanza. Kevin Feige also hinted that Spidey could pop up in the SUMC as well.
The Suicide Squad (August 6, 2021)
Writer/director James Gunn officially confirmed the stacked cast for his new Suicide Squad movie, which isn’t a sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 feature and yet still includes many of the same characters. Yes, it’s confusing to us too.
Thor: Love and Thunders (November 5, 2021)
It wasn’t a shock to hear that Marvel had greenlit a long rumored fourth Thor movie with Ragnarok writer and director Taika Waititi set to return. What was surprising, however, is that Thor: Love and Thunder will re-introduce Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, who is set to inherit the Thor mantle from Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. Not too shabby.
Untitled Marvel Studios Film (February 18, 2022)
Untitled Black Panther Sequel (May 6, 2022)
DC Super Pets (May 22, 2022)
Untitled Marvel Studios Film (July 29, 2022)
Untitled Aquaman Sequel (December 16, 2022)