Marvel and DC. Thanks to their properties, the superhero movie is alive and well. Sorry Martin Scorsese. Since the Michael Keaton-led Batman movies, the superhero genre has seen nothing but a meteoric rise. While DC is slowly righting their ship and coming out with better movies, Marvel, beginning with Iron Man, has hit it out of the park time and time again.
Looking at what’s to come, the future of superhero movies could be and should be bright. Marvel is getting ready to ramp up Phase 4 of the MCU while DC is hoping their future films will add to building their superhero movie portfolio in a positive way. The following list lays out every movie coming soon from your favorite superheroes.
UPCOMING SUPERHERO MOVIES WITH CONFIRMED RELEASE DATES
Birds of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn – February 7, 2020
When Margot Robbie made a splash as Harley Quinn in DC’s 2016 Suicide Squad there was the talk of Robbie reprising her character in a stand-alone film. Robbie had a different idea and instead pitched “an R-rated girl gang film…” Robbie got what she asked for with Birds of Prey.
The anti-hero movie premieres on February 7, 2020, and along with Robbie as the psychotically loveable Harley Quinn, some of DC’s favorite female characters will make their debut. Jurnee Smollett-Bell plays Black Canary, Rosie Perez is The Question, Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays The Huntress, and Ella Jay Basco portrays Cassandra Cain, the young girl who eventually becomes Batgirl. Ewan McGregor is crime lord Roman Sionis aka Black Mask. Cathy Yan has been tapped to direct.
Bloodshot – February 21, 2020
Vin Diesel finally gets his shot at starring in a superhero movie (apologies to Groot) as Valiant Comics‘ long-running and popular Bloodshot. Diesel stars as Marine Ray Garrison who, along with his wife, are murdered. He is then brought back to life by a team of secret scientists who enhance Garrison with nanotechnology. This technology gives him super-human strength, shapeshifting and the ability to regenerate. At first, Garrison has no memories of his past life but as memories begin to creep back, Garrison realizes there is more to his resurrection.
Bloodshot also stars Guy Pierce as the leader of the secret scientists and is directed by first-time director Dave Wilson.
The New Mutants – April 3, 2020
Delays, reshoots, and more delays. Producer Simon Kinberg wanted to make a superhero horror movie and the New Mutants was it. The film was initially scheduled to premiere in April 2018 but that date was never met. Apparently, director Josh Boone (The Fault Of Our Stars) failed to put enough horror in the horror film. So, reshoots were ordered to add more of the horror element and possibly another character. New Mutants was pushed to August 2019. The Disney-Fox merger was supposedly the reason for the next delay, moving the film to April 3, 2020.
The New Mutants stars Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split) as Magik, Charlie Heaton is Cannonball, Henry Zaga is Sunspot and Maisie Williams plays Wolfsbane. As for the actual plot, fans are hoping it delivers on the promise of superhero horror.
Black Widow – May 1, 2020
Spoiler alert for those who have not seen Avengers: Endgame. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself for the greater good. So how is this superhero solo movie happening? Well, it’s a prequel set after her appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
Here’s the first trailer for Black Widow.
While the trailer does a good job of outlining the film’s general plot, it doesn’t exactly get specific. But fans of the Avengers universe will be happy to know that Black Widow will connect to the Marvel movies you’ve seen before. In fact, Marvel head Kevin Feige says it’ll change the way you think about the events of Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War.
Here’s how Feige outlines the plan for Black Widow: “But we had this thought of exploring a little bit of her past that we hadn’t seen before and how that impacts the adventure she had between Civil War and Infinity War. And in fact, there are things that she does in Infinity War and Endgame that you’ll see in a new light once you see the Black Widow.”
This standalone superhero movie represents Marvel’s entry to Phase 4 and along with Johansson, it will star Florence Pugh as Yelena, the comic book character who eventually becomes Black Widow. David Harbour is also aboard as Red Guardian, a Russian version of Captain America. In a shocking announcement, Robert Downey Jr. is returning as Tony Stark. Cate Shortland is behind the camera for this highly anticipated movie.
Wonder Woman 1984 – June 5, 2020
It was obvious with the huge numbers Wonder Woman pulled in that sights were set on a sequel. DC jumped in it and brought back director Patty Jenkins to helm Wonder Woman’s next superhero movie adventure.
Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman living during the Cold War. Also returning is Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, but it’s not known if his character is seen only in flashbacks or not. Kristen Wiig, known more for her comedy, is here surprisingly playing the villain Cheetah.
Morbius – July 31, 2020
While Morbius is not the movie’s official title, Marvel’s famous vampire will make his debut in the summer of 2020. Jared Leto, who unfortunately didn’t gain many fans with his portrayal of the Joker, has been tapped to take on the lead role, Michael Morbius.
Here’s the first trailer for Morbius…
Details of the plot have not yet been released but Morbius is a biochemist with a rare blood disease. In his attempts to cure himself, he instead develops powerful abilities and a strong taste for blood. Daniel Espinoza has signed on to direct with Adria Arjona as the Morbius love interest, Martine Bancroft.
Venom 2 – October 2, 2020
That mid-credits scene of Venom told us all we needed to know. Woody Harrelson will be back in action in the untitled Venom sequel as Venom’s murderous foe Carnage. Tom Hardy returns as Eddie Brock and his alter-ego, the symbiotic Venom.
Andy Serkis arrives as the director of a planned Venom superhero movie trilogy but the big question concerning the sequel is, will Tom Holland make an appearance as Spider-Man?
Marvel’s The Eternals – November 6, 2020
Late in 2020 Marvel will introduce The Eternals, a group of immortals created for comics in 1976 by Jack Kirby. Those familiar with the comic will notice a big change in the movie version with some gender-swapping from the characters Kirby created.
What Marvel hopes The Eternals will be its next big superhero movie franchise stars Angelina Jolie as warrior Thena. Top-lining with her are Salma Hayek as one of the gender-swapped characters Ajak, Richard Madden as Ikaris, and Lauren Ridloff of The Walking Dead series as another gender-swapped character Makkari. Chloe Zhao helms the movie.
- Get in depth with our All We Know Guide To Marvel’s The Eternals
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – February 12, 2021
The Master of Kung Fu has arrived. Loosely based on the legacy of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, Shang-Chi is being brought forth, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Marvel’s goal being to offer “perspective on Asian identity.” With that in mind, Simu Lui was hired as Shang-Chi and Destin Daniel Cretton is the movie’s director.
Not much is known about this superhero movie’s plot but what we do know is that Tony Leung is the film’s baddy, The Mandarin, the real one, not the fake one brought to the screen in Iron Man 3.
According to ComicBook.com, legendary actress Michelle Yeoh is currently in talks to co-star in the film. Yeoh is currently one of the stars of Star Trek: Discovery and CBS is supposed to be working on a Star Trek spinoff show focused on Yeoh’s character.
In addition to Yeoh and Leung, Shang Chi already has Simu as the titular star of the movie. Awkwafina is also in the cast.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – May 7, 2021
One of the most highly anticipated movies on the upcoming superhero movie circuit, the Doctor Strange sequel brings back Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange. According to producers the plan is to “…make the first scary MCU film.” Hear that, The Eternals? News from Doctor Strange 2 says Elizabeth Olsen will reprise her role as Scarlet Witch, adding to the rumors that this sequel plays into the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision. The primary villain in this one is Nightmare though no actor has been chosen for the role yet.
It seems Nightmare won’t be the only super villain in the movie, though. Various sources are reporting that the plot of the film may involve Nightmare subverting Scarlet Witch and turning her into a villain. Before she appears in Doctor Strange 2, Scarlet Witch will be seen in the Disney Plus series WandaVision. Rumor suggests that during the course of that series she’ll have children and their death will deeply affect her, causing her to turn towards darkness. By the time Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness begins, we’ll see her already starting to lose her mind, allowing Nightmare to influence her towards evil.
Apparently Doctor Strange 2 will also be used by Marvel to introduce new classic characters from the comics into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Speaking to the New York Film Academy, Marvel head Kevin Feige had this to say…
“Sometimes you’re choosing [a] title hero, choosing which main character or main team you want to bring to the screen and often times, it’s as you’re making and developing the movie [asking,] ‘Who will come into it?’ and ‘Who will fit into it? The next Doctor Strange film, for instance, features some new MCU characters which will be making their debut in that movie. You won’t expect or won’t guess who it is but we found a cool way to make it work because we want to make a particular type of movie there. And there was a character who we always wanted to do something with who will fit really well there.”– -Marvel’s Kevin Feige
The Batman – June 6, 2021
To say reactions were mixed when writer/director Matt Reeves announced Robert Pattison was going to wear the Dark Knight’s cowl is an understatement. As time has gone on, fans seem to be leaning more toward the positive onIthe hire. More positivity followed when more cast was announced.
Zoe Kravitz is taking the role of Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. Paul Dano is the Riddler, John Turturro plays mobster Carmine Falcone and it is rumored that Colin Farrell will be playing The Penguin. Also rumored is that Batman will be facing more villains. Two-Face, Scarecrow, Bane and the Mad Hatter are linked to the movie.
Rounding out the amazing cast is Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth. Reeves says The Batman is more of a noir than a superhero movie, focusing on the detective abilities of the caped crusader.
- Get more in depth with The Batman: All We Know About The Next Dark Knight Movie
Spider-Man 3 – July 16, 2021
The on-again, off-again partnership between Sony and Marvel is now… on again! Spidey fans can rejoice. While there are next to no details about the third entry in Marvel’s new Spider-Man franchise, the simple fact that Sony and Marvel buried the hatchet, for now, is big news. We do know that Tom Holland will be back as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and Jon Watts will return to direct for a third time.
Expect some kind of update to Spider-Man’s costume again, because that always seems to happen. Marvel has considered many different variations on the costume worn by Tom Holland in the past. In Spider-Man: Far From Home alone we saw three different costumes: Iron Spider, his Spider-Man: Homecoming suit, Night Monkey, and the final upgraded costume.
Apparently the Iron Spider costume was at one point going to look very different in Spider-Man: Far From Home. A Marvel concept artist posted this picture of a look they were considering:
It’s possible they could still be considering something similar for Spider-Man 3. The look was inspired by the comic book version of Iron Spider. But since Spidey has moved on from the Iron Spider era and out from under Tony Stark’s shadow, it’s unlikely we’ll see Iron Spider, in any incarnation, resurface.
The Suicide Squad – August 8, 2021
One of the biggest surprises coming from the announcement of The Suicide Squad was that James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame would be writing and directing. For a time it seemed like James Gunn would never work for Marvel again when controversy over tweets made a decade ago erupted. Those tweets got him fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (he has since been reinstated). Now though, all is well between Gunn and Marvel.
From the original Suicide Squad movie we know that Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney will return. Added to the cast are Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man), Idris Elba (Heimdall in various movies), Pete Davidson (SNL), John Cena (Wrestler-turned-actor), and Peter Capaldi (former Dr. Who) are also appearing.
Thor: Love and Thunder – November 5, 2021
We may be a little under two years away, but Thor: Ragnarok and now Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi made a big splash at Comic-Con 2019 when he brought out Jane Foster herself, Natalie Portman. Not only is she returning as Jane Foster, but as Waititi tells Variety “It introduces, for the first time, a female Thor.” This is big, especially not knowing the direction Waititi plans on taking Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
Joining the Thor Love And Thunder cast alongside Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster may be Tom Hiddleston as Loki. The superhero sequel’s plot is something of a mystery at this point, though the title suggests a lot.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2 – April 8, 2022
It wasn’t long after the extremely successful launch of the first animated Into the Spider-Verse movie that Sony announced a sequel to their animated superhero movie. Winning an Oscar has only added pressure for the new creative team behind Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller return as producers but have given the director’s chair to Joaquim Dos Santos from a script by Wonder Woman 1984’s David Callaham.
Black Panther 2 – May 6, 2022
With Black Panther 2 still a couple of years out, the only things we know at this point are Chadwick Boseman returns as T’Challa, the King of Wakanda and title character. Ryan Coogler has signed officially to write and direct.
Expect all those from the first superhero movie, and survivors from Avengers: Endgame, to return to their respective roles also. That list would include Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda, and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross.
Aquaman 2 – December 16, 2022
Aquaman is the top grossing DCEU movie so far. So Aquaman 2 was always a given. Not much is known about the second installment other than that Jason Momoa and Amber Heard will return. We don’t know if James Wan will return to the director’s chair. It is rumored that Momoa’s Aquaman will face off again against his classic nemesis Black Manta.
UPCOMING SUPERHERO MOVIES WITHOUT RELEASE DATES
The Flash – TBA
This superhero solo movie has had its ups and downs from start dates to writers to directors. Ezra Miller has always been attached to the project and at one point even penned a script that Warner Bros. eventually turned down. It director Andy Muschietti has been brought in helm the new script which is being written by Birds of Prey scriptwriter Christina Hodson.
We’ve also heard that Warner Bros may be looking at Matthew McConaughey to play the villain in the film. WGTC claims the projects producers have him at the top of their wish-list to play the Reverse-Flash. McConaughey is one of the few big stars who has stayed out of the superhero movie world so far. He’d be an excellent fit opposite Ezra Miller though, and it’s easy to imagine him in the costume.
When asked what The Flash solo movie will be about, Muschietti had this to say: “[The movie will be a] different version of Flashpoint than you’re expecting.”
Flashpoint is one of the more popular superhero storylines from DC Comics. It’s basically a time travel story in which the past is changed so that Barry Allen’s mother isn’t killed, which sounds great. But it also has some negative consequences like instead of Batman’s parents being killed in that alley, Bruce Wayne is killed meaning the world never gets Batman. Thomas Wayne somehow becomes Batman instead and Martha Wayne becomes the Joker. Superman is captured by the government as a child and ends up in a government prison, never becoming Superman, and so on. Eventually in Flashpoint there’s a giant battle between the Amazon armies of Wonder Woman and the underwater armies of Aquaman.
To stop everything from going horribly wrong Barry Allen has to go back in time to stop his mother from being saved, and make sure she ends up dead. Some of this storyline has already been done (on a much smaller scale) in the Flash TV show. But the DC superhero movie universe is apparently ignoring the TV show so that doesn’t matter. It has also been done in an animated movie from 2013 called Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
Connecting To The DC TV Superhero Universe
In addition to the movies they have in development, the DC Comics universe also has multiple superhero themed TV shows on the air. They even have a TV version of The Flash. Until recently, none of those shows have ever connected to any of the movies in any way. But that changed during the TV shows’ recent Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, when Ezra Miller’s version of the Flash showed up and met the totally different TV version of his character played by Grant Gustin. Weirder still, during their meeting, the TV version gave the movie version his name.
During Crisis on Infintie Earths Part 4 on the CW, Grant Gustin’s Flash raced through the Speed Force into another dimension and found himself in a re-creation of S.T.A.R labs. Suddenly Ezra Miller’s Flash showed up in the same place, for reasons that are not explained. During the course of their exchange Grant Gustin reveals that he calls himself The Flash and Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen says the name back, in a way that makes it sound like he’s considering it for the first time and likes it.
Though Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen aka Flash has showed up in several different DC movies now, and though he wears the Flash costume, he has never actually called himself The Flash before. But now that he’s heard the name from Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen, it looks like that’s what he’ll call himself going forward.
Black Adam – TBA
Dwayne Johnson was supposed to co-star as Shazam’s nemesis Black Adam in Shazam, but that was not to be. Johnson has remained attached to Black Adam and it was recently announced that the superhero movie will now be a stand-alone adventure for the character. Jauma Collet-Serra, who just worked on Disney’s Jungle Cruise with Johnson, has been tabbed to direct Black Adam. There is no start date but a writer has been chosen. Expect the production on Black Adam to start within the next year.
- Go in-depth on Black Adam with Black Adam: All We Know About The Rock’s Superhero Movie
Shazam 2 – TBA
Zachary Levi returns in the sequel to the surprise hit superhero movie Shazam!. Henry Gayden has been hired by Warner Bros. to start writing. It’s thought director David F. Sandberg will return to helm the project but as of yet he has not officially signed.
Blade – TBA
The bombshell that came with the announcement that Blade was going to be rebooted was that Wesley Snipes would not return as the Daywalker. Instead, Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali has been chosen to take up the mantle as Eric Brooks aka Blade. Kevin Feige, Marvel chief, told Variety about his excitement in bringing Ali aboard, “He’s going to destroy the part…”
Get more in-depth details on the new Blade in our Blade: All We Know Guide
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 – TBA
With all the turmoil surrounding James Gunn and his firing, the future of the Guardian superhero movie series was briefly up in the air. Cast members wanted Gunn to remain and eventually, they wore down the powers that be because Gunn has returned to write and direct the third part. We are assuming most of the Guardians will return for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, but at this point it’s a guessing game.
Ant-Man 3 – TBA
Paul Rudd will be back in this superhero movie as Ant-Man in Ant-Man 3 and we’re expecting Evangeline Lilly to return as well as Michael Douglas. At one point Douglas announced he thought filming would commence in January of 2021, but that’s not confirmed. Peyton Reed will return as Ant-Man’s director, the third time he’ll be in this role for the series.
Deadpool 3 – TBA
Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool. There is no franchise without him. He’s not just playing the character, at this point he’s firmly in control of what kind of movie they’re making with him. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote the first two movies, are writing this one too. David Leitch returns to direct.
Whether other ancillary Deadpool characters like Cable, Colossus or Wolverine might show up is anyone’s guess. The film is in early stages of development. But Ryan Reynolds will be there as Deadpool and if you’re a fan of the franchise then that’s all that matters.
As of now Deadpool 3 is slated to be rated-R just like all the others. Rumors of pushing it to a PG-13 rating have so far just been rumors. That means you can expect the same extreme gore and extremely raunchy comedy you’ve come to expect from the Merc with the Mouth.
Avengers 5 – TBA
With Captain America retired while Iron Man and Black Widow are dead there was no way to know for certain after Avengers: Endgame if we’d ever even have another Avengers movie. Sure Marvel is going to go right on making superhero movies, but whether there’d ever be another team-up on an Avengers level was anyone’s guess. Until now that is.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has started teasing that another Avengers: Endgame level film is coming.
“Yeah, I mean, the MCU is all interconnected, but we really focus on one movie at a time. We’re going to make the best Black Widow movie we can possibly make, the best Eternals movie we can make, the best Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange, Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, right? And keep evolving their stories. And then, yes, it’s always fun to see them come together in a master plan. Which is, I promise you, well under way.”– -Marvel’s Kevin Feige on the next Avengers movie
It seems the next adventure for the Avengers may end up revolving around The Eternals, which are getting their on movie soon. Feige explains…
“The Eternals know about the existence of the Avengers, the Avengers don’t know much about the Eternals. Yet.”– -Marvel’s Kevin Feige on what’s next for The Avengers
Captain Marvel In Avengers 5
By the time Avengers 5 rolls around, pretty much all of the original Avengers will have retired and that’ll leave characters like Spider-Man, Black Panther and Captain Marvel as the longest standing members of the team. So in a sense, there’s no point in making Avengers 5 if you don’t at least have those characters. But to get Captain Marvel, Marvel Studios is going to have to give up some things.
According to WGTC Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel has some demands before she’ll agree to be in Avengers 5. Chief among them is that she wants to be paid the same amount as her male co-stars. That one makes sense and, I would assume, is a given and not really something she probably has to push that hard for.
However, what makes less sense is that she’s also demanding top-billing in the next Avengers movie. That means she wants to be the main star of the film, over more established characters like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and more financially successful characters like Black Panther.
Larson’s demand for top billing could just be a negotiating ploy. It’s hard to imagine Marvel giving it to her over someone like Tom Holland, whose character they’ve been slowly positioning to step in and fill Tony Stark’s void. But if it’s not, there’s a chance Avengers 5 may have to go on without her.
Joker 2 – TBA
The Todd Phillips directed movie Joker made a crazy amount of money at the box office, which means there’s absolutely no doubt that everyone involved wants to make another one. That said, Phillips has been honest about the fact that he doesn’t really have a sequel planned out and he isn’t even sure if he can get Joaquin Phoenix to come back to play the Joker again.
There is no Joker 2 without Joaquin Phoenix. Or is there?
One of the ideas Phillips is kicking around as a possible way to make a Joker sequel, is by making it about Batman.
Talking about his Batman idea Phillips says, “It’s a beautiful Gotham. What I would like to see someone tackle is what Batman looks like from that Gotham.”
Don’t think that means this is definitely what he’s doing for Joker 2. But it is something Phillips is thinking about. He continues, “What was interesting to me about the inclusion of Batman in our movie was, ‘What kind of Batman does that Gotham make?’ That’s all I meant by that.”
If the studio wants Joker 2 as bad as we think they do, and if Joaquin Phoenix just won’t return, this might be a way to make that superhero movie happen. Even if Phoenix does return, focusing the sequel on the dynamic between Joker and his greatest nemesis, as seen through Phillips’ grounded, Taxi Driver-like lens could be a fascinating and unique experience.
Sinister Six – TBA
Sony is reportedly working on a super-villain team-up movie featuring all of Spider-Man’s most famous foes called Sinister Six. The name comes from the super-villain team-up of the same name from the Marvel comic books.
The recently released trailer for Morbius suggests the Sony superhero movie may serve as a tease for the Sinister Six movie. Michael Keaton appears in Morbius as the Vulture, a super villain defeated by Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming. FandomWire claims his appearance there is part of a set up for a future Sinister Six movie.
As Sinister Six moves forward the lineup of villains expected to appear may include Doctor Octopus. He was last played by Alfred Molina in the Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man 2, but rumor is that the part in this new Marvel universe may go to Javier Bardem.
According to WGTC Bardem is Marvel’s top choice to play the infamous Spider-Man villain Doc Ock. Bardem has made a career out of playing great villains, most notably as the iconic bad guy of No Country For Old Men.
What’s not clear is exactly which upcoming superhero movie Doc Ock will show up in first. Some believe that, if they cast him quick enough, he could show up in the post-credits scene of Morbius, as a way to set up the Sinister Six movie. It’s also possible he could show up in the Tom Holland starring Spider-Man 3.
The Full Sinister Six Lineup
In addition to Doc Ock the rest of the Sinister Six cast is likely to include Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (soon to appear again in Morbius), Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio (last seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home), Scorpion, and Kraven (rumored to be the main villain of the upcoming Spider-Man 3). The sixth member is not known at this time, but most believe that Tom Hardy’s Venom would be included.