“You’re gonna go to war, and he is not our enemy.” – Alfred to Batman, in the Comic-Con trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Presumably he’s talking about Superman, but he could also be talking about the increasing number of superhero and comic-book based movies that are releasing this year. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already planned out films until 2028, and Warner Bros. is now firing on all cylinders to get Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman films out. If this genre was a bubble, many would say it’s coming close to bursting.
But for now we’ll focus on this year, 2016, and what to expect from our favourite characters in tight outfits.
Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, Briana Hildebrand, Gina Carano, T. J. Miller
Release date: 10th February (UK), 12th February (USA)
Honestly, it’s a miracle this film is even being made. After some development troubles going all the way back to 2004, it wasn’t until 2014 when test footage leaked online, and received positively, that the film was finally given a release date of February 2016. Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool. Wilson is diagnosed with cancer and receives treatment, which leaves him with regenerative powers, and awfully dark jokes.
Director: Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Man of Steel)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot.
Release date: 25th March (UK & USA)
Batman and Superman have been cinematic stars for decades, so it’s only natural that they’d eventually come for each other. Ben Affleck is an aged, experienced Batman, and Henry Cavill reprises his role from Man of Steel. Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor and for the first time in a live-action movie, Gal Gadot brings Wonder Woman to life. Dawn of Justice will lay the foundations for Warner Bros. to start expanding their cinematic universe.
Director: Joe and Anthony Russo (You, Me and Dupree, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt, Morgan Freeman, Tom Holland
Release date: April 29th (UK), May 6th (USA)
While the third Captain America film boasts an Avengers-like cast, it’s still very much a Steven Rogers story. Captain America and Iron Man have some disagreements, splitting the team into two. Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes also plays an important role, but fans are looking forward to the newcomers in this film, in the form of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Director: Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till
Release date: 19th May (UK), 27th May (USA)
Apocalypse follows First Class and Days of Future Past to end the trilogy with another world-ending threat. The world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, is here to start the world anew, with four horsemen by his side. Much like Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War, we’ll definitely be seeing a lot of conflict between the main cast.
Director: David Ayer (Sabotage, Fury)
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis
Release date: 5th August (UK & USA)
Possibly one of the most impressive casts in a superhero movie, but really it’s an antihero movie. Suicide Squad sees DC Comic villains working together to stop a larger threat, but under the control of Amanda Waller. Will Smith is Deadshot, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Jared Leto is the Joker and Cara Delevingne is Enchantress.
Director: Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister)
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton
Release date: 28th October (UK), 4th November (USA)
If you thought Suicide Squad‘s cast was impressive, take a look at Doctor Strange‘s. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, and Tilda Swinton is the Ancient One. Rachel McAdams portrays a fellow surgeon of Strange’s, while Mads Mikkelsen is one of the Ancient One’s pupils. Filming began last November, and the rest of the movie will film in the UK until March. It’ll be great to see a magical side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that isn’t explained away by science.