Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Future of Comic Book Movies (Part 3 - 2017 and onward)

After 2016, the future of comic book adaptations gets a bit hazy. There are a few officially announced titles with specific release dates, but there are also a bunch of "Untitled DC Films" or "Untitled Marvel Films."

In 2017. we have 3 officially announced comic book movies.

First, we have the sequel to the 2013 film The Wolverine. Of course, Hugh Jackman will return as the title character. However, no other actors or characters have been announced or even rumored.

The director of the first one, James Mangold, is slated to come back. The screenwriters however, will not return for the second film. Instead David James Kelly will write the script. He doesn't have much experience; his only previous IMDB credit is for directing and writing a short film by the name of Straw Man, He was also supposed to be the screenwriter for the aborted Daredevil film that FOX was going to make.

This film will hit theaters March 3, 2017.

The only officially announced Marvel Studios film is the sequel to the smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy. The sequel was greenlit soon after GOTG was released, due to impressive box office numbers.

Director James Gunn is coming back, and presumably so is the main cast as usually Marvel Studios signs their actors to multiple film deals. 

Gunn stated that he hopes to explore more about Quill's father in the sequel, as well as the characters of Drax, Yondu, and Nebula.

Cosmo the Space Dog was shown in after credits scene, so there's a good chance we might see him pop up as he is a member of the team in the comics. There was also a hint at the character of Adam Warlock; in my opinion he is an absolute must for the sequel. He is a hugely important part of the storyline relating to Thanos.

I also hope to see some sort of crossover between the Guardians and the Avengers. That could happen in many different ways. We could see an Avenger in a Guardians film or vice versa. Or they could all team up in the third Avengers film to take down Thanos. If that happens, we could see an insane amount of characters in Avengers 3. We'd have the original Avengers and the Guardians, with the possibility of also having War Machine, The Falcon, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man and whoever else Marvel Studios introduces in the meantime.

The final confirmed comic book film of 2017 is also a Marvel film, but not produced by Marvel Studios. It's the sequel to Fantastic Four, produced by FOX. 

This is a very interesting case as they announced a release date for this despite the fact the original movie won't even come out until 2015 and its success is far from guaranteed.

 FOX seems to be jumping the gun a bit here. Fantastic Four has an uphill battle to win over the general audience. It will have to shake the stigma of being associated with the first two films. Furthermore, there are no big names, or really even medium-sized names, in the cast. A sequel is far from assured, but it has been announced, so I included it here.

We are also apparently going to see a Marvel based film produced by Sony in 2017. It currently has no title, but it will be set in the Spider-Man universe and  a female will be the main character. The film will also be written by a woman, Lisa Joy Nolan. She has penned scripts for the shows Burn Notice and Pushing Daisies.

This will be the fourth film in this universe, the third being The Sinister Six, coming out in 2016. As for who exactly will be the female leading the film, that's still a mystery. Speculations include characters such as Spider-Woman and Silver Sable, However, I think a much more likely possibility is Black Cat, seeing as her alter ego, Felicia Hardy, was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Marvel Studios has 2 other films set for 2017, but they haven't stated any titles or information about what they could be. The release dates are May 5 and November 3. I'll speculate what these could be at the end of the post.

Warner Brothers also has two unknown DC adaptations scheduled for 2017. The dates are June 23 and November 17.

In 2018, we only know of one comic book adaptation with a title, that being The Amazing Spider-Man 3.

Marvel Studios has three untitled films scheduled for 2018, and one for 2019. DC has two in 2018, two in 2019, and even went as far as to announced two films for 2020. There's also an untitled Marvel adaptation being made by FOX.

What is Marvel Studios planning for these currently untitled movies? In a way, the possibilities are almost endless. A very likely possibility would be Black Panther. This would help out in the diversity quotient as currently all the lead characters of Marvel Studios films have been white. He is also a really cool, unique character.

Another likely hero is Ms. Marvel. This might also help Marvel out in the diversity department as they haven't had a film headlined by a female yet. Although they may decide to go with the long rumored Black Widow solo film instead. However, I think Black Widow works better as a supporting character and Ms. Marvel would do better at supporting her own movies. 

Other properties that have been considered are The Runaways and Inhumans. We are also surely going to see a third film in the Thor franchise.

Less certain is a possible Hulk sequel starring Mark Ruffalo. However, given the under-performance of the two previous Hulk films, this might not be high on Marvel's to-do list.

What about DC? All we know for now is they are making Batman v. Superman. Presumably that film is setting up a Justice League proper that may hit theaters in 2017. 

We can also presume there will eventually be a solo Batman film starring Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne.

We know Aquaman and Wonder Woman will be in BvS. If audience respond to these characters, WB will likely give them solo movies. Also, one would assume that Superman will get  his own standalone sequel at some point.

That leaves Green Lantern and Flash as major JL members yet to be accounted for. There have been whispers of a team-up film for the both of them. This might be a good idea, as the general audience may be skeptical of another Green Lantern solo film.

Surprisingly, many of the rumored DC films have been about characters outside of the Justice League. Properties that have been mentioned include Suicide Squad and Sandman.

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