Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Future of Comic Book Movies (Part 2 - 2016)


DC seems to be taking a very different route to building their cinematic universe than Marvel Studios. Marvel gave the four main Avengers a solo film. Black Widow and Hawkeye had supporting roles/cameos in the films of the other heroes. 

This on the other hand, will be a sequel to Man of Steel and also introduce a brand new Batman in Ben Affleck. This Batman isn't supposed to be the same character as any previous incarnation. Not only that, but Wonder Woman and Aquaman will also be introduced. Presumably if the characters are popular they will then be given solo films or at the very least appearances in a proper Justice League movie.

Only time will tell if this approach ends up being a good one. I. for one prefer the model Marvel used. Some characters, like Black Widow and Hawkeye, don't need that much explanation and therefore don't need a solo film. But people like Thor and Captain America and for DC, Aquaman and Wonder Woman? Audiences are very familiar with Batman and Superman but may be confused when the movie just drops in Aquaman.

In The Avengers, I already cared about the characters because I had experienced a whole film devoted to each of them, and for the most part they were good films. I barely care about Superman after his mediocre film, I doubt I will care that much about a new version of Batman that's thrown in.

The movie is called Batman v, Superman, so presumably the two heroes start off at odds. One can only assume that fight will be a standoff and they will eventually end up teaming up.

Wonder Woman will be played by Gal Gadot. She started out as a model as is currently mostly known for her roles in three of the Fast and Furious movies. A lot of fans complained when her casting was announced, with some saying that she was too skinny to be Wonder Woman.

Aquaman will be played by Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones in season one.

Another major DC character will be reintroduced in this, that of supervillain Lex Luthor, Director Zack Snyder went with another unusual casting choice in Jesse Eisenberg for Luthor. Eisenberg does not fit the usual look of Lex Luthor and is also a younger actor than many were expecting.

It's a bit odd to me that they chose Luthor, considering he has already been used in 4 Superman movies and there are so many classic unused Superman foes. This franchise is trying to distance themselves from the earlier films but so far they have only reused villains from the Christopher Reeve series.


One of the few confirmed films of Phase Three from Marvel Studios is the third Captain America movie. The title has not yet been revealed but we do have a release date of May 6, 2016.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are writing the screenplay. The duo are Marvel Studios veterans having written the first two Captain America films and Thor: The Dark World. They've also written Pain & Gain and three of the Chronicles of Narnia movies,

The Russo Brothers are also coming back to direct. They were rehired before Winter Soldier was even in theaters due to positive test screenings.

Little is known about the plot of this film. Presumably it will deal with the fallout of the events in Winter Solider and Age of Ultron. Captain America, with the possible help of The Falcon, will probably be searching for Bucky and trying to redeem him. Bucky may even be a good guy again by the end of the film.

Hawkeye is strongly rumored to make an appearance due to Jeremy Renner's recent comments. He is a logical fit to be in a Captain America movie.

Filming is scheduled to begin in April 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.


The next film in the X-Men series is coming out May 27, 2016.  The title character is one of Marvel's most popular supervillains.

Apocalypse was created in 1986 by Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice. In the comics, he was born 5000 years ago and is sometimes referred to as the first mutant. The character has appeared in three separate X-Men cartoons and several video games.

He was briefly shown in the after credits scene of X-Men: Days of Future Past, setting this movie up.

It was recently announced that Bryan Singer, director of three previous films in the franchise, will return. Several cast members will return, including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, and Hugh Jackman.

The film will be set in the 1980s, ten years after Days of Future Past. There are strong indications that younger versions of Cyclops, Storm, and Jean Grey will be cast.

Filming is supposed to begin in April 2015, in Montreal, Canada.

Writer Simon Kinberg recently issued a comment clarifying the timeline of the films after the time travel in Days of Future Past.

"We changed the timeline for everything that came after ‘DOFP’ – so ‘X-Men 1’, 2 and 3, even ‘The Wolverine’. So Jean [Grey] was not killed in ‘Last Stand’, nor was Scott, and a whole lot of other things rippled."

He also discussed mutants that were considered for DOFP, most notably Psylocke and Cable, the time traveler.


The next film in Sony's Spider-Man universe will not be a Spider-Man film at all, but rather one devoted to the team of villains known as The Sinister Six. Two of the six were introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Green Goblin and Rhino.

The other members will be Doctor Octopus, who was the main baddie in Raimi's Spider-Man 2, The Vulture, Kraven, and Mysterio.

Drew Goddard will be writing the screenplay and handling the directing duties. Goddard's only previous film as director was the excellent horror film Cabin in the Woods, which he also wrote. Other scripts Goddard wrote include Cloverfield and World War Z.

Furthermore, Goddard has written episodes for some huge television shows, like Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Alias. In 2015, he will serve as Executive Producer of the Marvel Studios show Daredevil that will be appearing on Netflix.


The other superhero film being made by FOX in 2016 is the solo Deadpool movie. The character previously appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, that version was quite terrible and not very true to the comics. So Deadpool fans have understandably been waiting for a more faithful version,

Tim Miller has been hired to direct; this will actually be his first film in that role. He has worked in the visual effects department on X-Men, X-Men 2, and Daredevil, as well as several other blockbuster films. He also made the unique title sequence for David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Ryan Reynolds portrayed the character in X-Men Origins, and expressed interest in returning to the role. Many assume that he will do so, but there has been no official announcement as of yet.

 Plenty of debate has taken place online over what the film will and should be rated. There are rumors that the movie is finally going to happen solely because they figured out how to make a Deadpool movie PG-13.

How much connection this will have to the overall X-Men universe is unclear as well. Potentially this film could be used to set up characters for future films such as the X-Force film that is apparently being made.

The release date is currently February 12, 2016.


One of the coolest Marvel characters yet to get a movie is Doctor Strange. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1963.

He is the "Sorcerer Supreme" of the Marvel Universe, meaning he has a mastery of the magical arts. Doctor Strange gets his power from a trio of godlike beings call the Vishanti. According to the Marvel wiki, he is capable of telepathy, astral projection, "universal awareness", and is also ageless.

Doctor Strange has appeared in various forms of media going back as far as 1978, when a TV movie based on upon the character was produced. He's been in a few different Marvel cartoons and his own direct-to-DVD movie. This film is called Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme and is currently on Netflix streaming,

Doctor Strange was name-dropped in Captain America: The Winter Solider. SHIELD agent Jasper Sitwell mentions a Stephen Strange as being on of the potential threats to HYDRA.

The director was recently confirmed as Scott Derrickson, who is mainly known for his horror films. These include The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, and Deliver us from Evil. These films have occult and supernatural themes, making him a logical choice for Doctor Strange.

The screenplay will be written by Jon Spaihts, co-writer of Prometheus.

The actor who will play Strange has not yet been revealed, but a few names have been thrown out. These include heavyweights like Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch. However, recently Joaquin Phoenix has been strongly rumored for the part. Many fans were asking for him and he seems to be a good fit for it.

The speculation led to the creation of the following fan art of Phoenix as Strange by "AndrewSS" that has gained popularity on the Internet.

The film will be shot in the United Kingdom.


Unfortunately, we are getting a sequel to the 2014 reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Of course, Michael Bay will again produce and presumably director Johnathan Liebesman will return as well.

Many of the actors are reportedly signed for three films. Liebesman has stated that we will also see Casey Jones.

The current release date is June 3, 2016.


Warner Brothers has a date reserved for an "Untitled DC Film" in 2016. The indications are very strong that this will be a Shazam movie.

It has recently been announced that Dwayne Johnson will be in this, but not as the title character, as many assumed. Instead he will play the villain/antihero known as Black Adam.

The character of Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel but now commonly goes by Shazam.

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