It started back in 2008 when "Iron Man" shifted a new paradigm for superhero movies that have been mainly a hit and miss affair. Fast forward to six years later and 10 Marvel movies later, some may not have noticed the quick succession of superhero movies into the mainstream with frequent fixtures during the summer blockbuster for all to enjoy.
With Marvel already showing studios how to manage its own property to box office ravings and takings through its Marvel Cinematic Universe, the rewards have become too irresistible for any major studio with a superhero property not to jump on the bandwagon, albeit with their own takes and spins on the formula. But what cannot be denied by now is that superheroes are now the big stars and the next few years could be the golden age of superhero movies.
If you have lost track of the announced and unannounced movies that have been flooding our feed over the years, here our compiled list of what we know of the superhero movies from 2015 to 2020.
Obviously not all the titles have been announced except for the locked dates by the studio, so we would be giving our own guesses on what superhero movies they might be!
So, ready? Mark your calendars and find out what superhero movies to expect from Marvel and DC Comics from 2015 to 2020!
Here are the movies from Marvel and DC in a glance [Infographic by: IGN.com]
1 May 2015: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Superheroes will kick off the year of 2015 just like it did in 2012, with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes assembling for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron", with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), coming together to battle a new threat that may be larger than them all. The official synopsis has also revealed that also coming into the picture would be Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) as seen at the end-credits of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", and Paul Bettany, who was the voice of Tony Stark's Jarvis, makes his physical appearance as The Vision.
17 July 2015: Ant Man
Just like in 2014 when Marvel has drawn out the "Guardians of the Galaxy" from the far corners of its comic universe, the next Marvel character to be introduced would be "Ant Man" that already has Paul Rudd locked in as Scott Lang to take over the size-shifting suit from Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Although it had lost director Edgar Wright before the making, this could be a breakout chance for replacing director Peyton Reed who will be making a heist movie out of this superhero.
7 August 2015: Fantastic Four
While Marvel would continue to make a strong run in 2015, especially with "Avengers: Age of Ultron" to blowout the summer on May 1, 2015, followed by "Ant Man" on 17 July, Marvel is not the only studio to bring out its own superhero franchise this year. Fox has changed the dates for its reboot of "Fantastic Four" to a hot August spot that will have a new (and young) cast as the radiated astronauts with superpowers. We have faith that Josh Trank could give this reboot a good spin.
Marvel or DC? Clearly it's another great year for Marvel fans as DC superheroes would still be in or post production by this time. The head start Marvel had in the superhero game has given them an advantage, and they will need it in the coming years.
12 February 2016: Deadpool
This just in. It looks like Fox is preempting the battle of superheroes for 2016 with a newly confirmed movie starring the Merc with a Mouth for a release way before the summer season heats up. Since the news is still fresh with the only confirmation that a VFX specialist would be taking the director's chair for "Deadpool's" solo feature. It hasn't been confirmed if Ryan Reynolds would reprise the role he did in "X-Men: Origins", but some say that it was a test footage with him as the fourth-wall cracking red jumpsuit wearing mutant that convinced Fox execs to give the film the green light.
25 March 2016: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
By the time "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" would be out on 25 March, Marvel would already have two movies to prove that a combined vehicle of superheroes can mean big bucks at the box office. Still, Warner Bros.' holding of the rights to DC Comics' characters would still be the biggest challenge that Marvel Studios would be facing in the coming years, as Warner Bros. already has big plans ahead for its own superhero cinematic universe. This sequel / follow-up to "Man of Steel" would set the ball rolling, with Henry Cavill returning as the mighty Kryptonian, Ben Affleck as Batman, and introducing lead members of the Justice League with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jason Mamoa as Aquaman.
6 May 2016: Captain America 3
Every year, Marvel plans to continue an existing character with a sequel and bring in another new character into the Cinematic Universe fold, and it has already been announced that 2016 would be Steve Rogers' year. While Captain American would have to contend with the consequences of "The Winter Solider" in "Age of Ultron", returning directors Anthony and Joe Russo already have plans to bring a twist in this third installment of this super soldier. Maybe something terrible happens to the Cap in "Age of Ultron"?
27 May 2016: X-Men: Age of Apocalypse
If you are more of a fan of the X-Men (which still stands as the longest running 'superhero' movie series to date), then you would have been waiting to see "X-Men: Age of Apocalypse", which has already been teased at the end of "Days of Future Past". If Magneto and Professor X had to combined forces to prevent the extinction of the mutant species at the hands of a human scientist, they would need to do more than that when the Apocalypse comes to bring an end to all things, period. Bryan Singer would bring in the "Age of Apocalypse" and you can expect the whole stable of X-Men to be there to defend the world, plus most likely a whole lot more mutants entering the fray.
8 July 2016: Doctor Strange
It has been all but confirmed, given the trend of Marvel Studios bringing in a new character once in every year so far, that the Sorcerer Supreme would make his screen debut in 2016. Already name dropped in "The Winter Soldier", Doctor Strange is named after Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange; a neurosurgeon who becomes Earth's protector against mystical threats. The biggest contention at this point is who will be wearing the cape, but attention so far has been pointed at Joaquin Phoenix.
5 August 2016: Shazam?
Following after "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" in the same year is another DC movie which has yet to be announced. However, given the recent casting of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam for a "Shazam" movie, it is the most likely candidate to meet this release date if production is expected to begin by early 2015.
11 November 2016: Sinister Six
2016 would be the first year when all four studios with a superhero property would be releasing a movie, and rounding out the year is Sony's "Sinister Six". Written and to be directed by Drew Goddard, Sony is going against the grain so far with its "Spider-Man" franchise by having a movie centered on the villains that were seen in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (Electro, the Green Goblin and Rhino, with Dr. Octopus hinted). How would this strange experiment on the superhero formula pay off remains to be seen, but Goddard had certainly showed us that he is capable of putting on new spins to an existing genre with "The Cabin in the Woods".
Marvel or DC? With 5 Marvel superhero movies going against 2 from DC, we would say that Marvel would be the victor for 2016. However, given that "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" could potentially have more than 5 superheroes if the entire Justice League is brought together, then it could very much be a tie for both sides of the comic world.
3 March 2017: The Wolverine 2
While James Mangold had said that "The Wolverine" was clearly intended to be a standalone from the X-Men franchise prior to "Days of Future Past", that status for this announced sequel remains unclear, now that the timeline has been aligned by the events of "Days of Future Past" and taken further with "Age of Apocalypse". That will be the challenge for screenwriter David James Kelly to tackle, but we are all in as long as James Mangold and Hugh Jackman are still onboard for "The Wolverine 2".
5 May 2017: Thor 3?
Marvel's first slot of 2017 is on 5 May, but with no announcement yet being made, it would fall onto guessing based on the trend that Marvel has set so far. If it is a sequel, then it is most likely "Thor 3" and it will have an interesting place to take off after the events of "The Dark World" and "Age of Ultron".
23 June 2017: Batman?
Without any precedents of Warner Bros.'s release strategy for their superhero franchise, this locked in slot on 23 June for a DC movie is a wildcard. If DC is planning a similar roll out like Marvel, this could be a slot for a solo vehicle for one of the members of the Justice League brought together in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice". Coming down the pecking order after Superman, who's already had his introduction with "Man of Steel", this could be a good place to revisit the new Batman starring Ben Affleck perhaps?
14 July 2017: Fantastic Four 2
Fox has currently set the sequel to its rebooted "Fantastic Four" on this date and we should be able to expect it to stay that way unless something drastic happens. Of course, for a movie that is planned nearly three years ahead from now is far from a sure thing and much would ride on how the first installment would do, but we can expect a returning cast if not a returning director, who has a Star Wars spin-off on the plate around this time of the year.
28 July 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Director James Gunn and Star Lord Chris Pratt have already officially announced the release date for the sequel to "Guardians of the Galaxy". The star-reaching success of "Guardians of the Galaxy" has most assuredly meant that the crew would be coming together with new space adventures, and maybe we would finally get to see Thanos stand up from his throne with the Infinity Gauntlet.
3 November 2017: The Incredible Hulk or Black Panther
2017 is the first year when Marvel Studios is ramping up its release schedule to 3 movies a year, but given that there could be two sequels already showing this year, this one would most likely go into bringing in a new character. Talks are that this could be a good place for the "Black Panther" to make his cinematic appearance. For the latest development, there has been some concrete talks of The Incredible Hulk getting his own movie, that is aimed for a 2016 release. If that doesn't happen, then Bruce Banner can throw a rage about it here.
17 November 2017: Wonder Woman?
The second DC slot for the year that looks too soon to be another sequel for "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" so this could be another slot for a solo outing. If Batman was to take the earlier slot on 23 June, then we would likely give this to Wonder Woman next, with Gal Gadot.
Unknown Date: Venom or Female Spider-Man?
Sony isn't entirely out of the year of 2017, as there is reportedly two movies from the "Spider-Man" franchise that have enter the works. The first is said to be a female-centered movie, so first guesses goes to Black Cat, who has already been hinted in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", but given that Oscorp's experiments and intentions could be more far reaching than Peter Parker had anticipated, that leaves some possibility for a Spider-Woman movie too. No confirmation on this has been made so far, except that it will be written by Lisa Joy Nolan, whose credits include "Pushing Daisies" and "Westworld" (and yes, related to Christopher Nolan by-law).
The other movie that has been whispered is to be a movie centered around the parasite Venom, and carries the tentative title of "Venom Carnage", alluding to the eventual appearance of another major rival in the Spider-Man franchise.
Marvel or DC? While DC's engine are starting to warm up, Marvel is already switching into a higher gear, especially since they are upping their release frequency to three slots a year. But 2017 is the year that will be remembered by all comic book fans, as there are a total of 9 dates to look forward to, making this the most superheroes being set to release up to 2020.
March 23 2018 & 27 July 2018: Justice League? Green Lantern? The Flash?
Starting from 2018, any prediction that we make about the movies that would be released would be as valid as the wind because any planned production would probably be in the earliest stages of pre-production. March 23 and 27 July are two slots that are reserved by Warner Bros. for a DC character and they are far from introducing the core of the Justice League. Still, two years after their first appearance in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" is a good gap for a sequel (if Warner Bros. keep their schedules tight), and hopefully they would decide to go for a less mouthful title by then.
4 May, 6 July, 2 November: The Avengers 3? Dr Strange 2? Antman 2?
Continuing their three movies a year schedule, 3 years was the gap between the first "Avenger" with "Age of Ultron", so 2018 looks like it's another prime slot due for another, and we are thinking that it will fit snugly in that May slot. With Thor and Captain America already winding up their trilogy (just like Iron Man did) by now, the remaining two slots for the year are most likely opened up for a sequel to their new batch of superheroes. So going by the chronological order they were released, we could have Antman 2 in July and Dr Strange 2 in November.
13 July 2018: Gambit?
Fox has already reserved one slot in 2018 to keep up with its momentum and a third installment of "Fantastic Four" is unlikely just after a year. So any movie would come from its X-Men franchise. While the lazy guess would be to say that it would be a sequel to "The Wolverine", "Deadpool" or a continuation of "X-Men", but this isolated slot could be a good place to churn something new like a solo movie for "Gambit", which already has Channing Tatum cast as the southern-speaking mutant in "Age of Apocalypse" .
Unknown Date: The Amazing Spider-Man 3
Sony's continuation of its web slinger is expected to continue on an unknown date in 2018, but after a four year absence with three spin-offs in the interim, it is a puzzle on if Sony plans to steer the franchise back on course or set sail off to new directions. While director Marc Webb has expressed his intentions to be back in the director's chair for the third one, some doubt is starting to linger if Andrew Garfield would put on the mask again, after the less than expected reception the second part did.
Marvel or DC? 2018 is starting to be a year filled with questions and any finalisation of what will be in the schedule could be affected by the performance of the movies from 2015. Although DC is once again outnumbered in terms of numbers of movies, a Justice League sequel could even out the odds, but a comic book fan's wet dream would be to see "Avengers 3" and "Justice League" in the same year, which could happen.
5 April 2019 & 14 June 2019: Justice League Dark? Sandman? Man of Steel 3?
Warner Bros is the only studio that seems to have an idea of what it is doing as they are still maintaining a two releases schedule from here up to 2020, and to be frank, we've pretty much exhausted our strongest possibilities at this point. However, if we assumed that developments have been going smoothly from now to 2019, we could see a fruition of Guillermo del Toro's "Justice League Dark" that bands together The Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Black Orchid, Deadman, Frankenstein and Madam Xanadu, to fight against more supernatural threats.
Another DC property that has also been developing is "Sandman", which has been planned, starring and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but it has taken a spin-off vibe from the rest of Warner Bros. planned universe. Whether that would change is a possibility if Warner Bros. can get into some talks to meet a 2019 release date. Of course, let's not forget the possibility that Warner Bros. could be looking to extend the lifespan of its DC characters, so a sequel to any of its pre-existing characters by now could work with a slot here.
3 May 2019: Black Panther 2?
This is the last date that Marvel has locked on in their release schedule and we can only guess that this could be a slot for a sequel. Why Marvel has only locked on one date, instead of the three which they have done in the past few years, could mean that Marvel hasn't thought that far ahead for Phase Four or Five of its Marvel Cinematic Universe. But we expect this arrangement would change very soon in the coming years before 2017.
Marvel or DC? For the first time in our estimations, there are more DC movies being released than Marvel, but that is mainly because we are taking Sony and Fox out of the equation, both of which have nothing that far planned ahead. Whether 2019 would be the tipping point of superheroes by then could be a possibility, so they may not want to overextend themselves, in case the fatigue has finally set in.
3 April 2020 & 19 June 2020: Aquaman?
This is the only year that has dates reserved by one of the four studios with superhero properties, and anyone's guess is good as anyone's. Out of all our predictions, we haven't mentioned a solo movie for Aquaman from the Justice League so that would be our first pick. Other than that, this might be where Warner Bros. would explore other characters in the vast DC universe, maybe the Martian Manhunter?
Marvel or DC? DC is the only side that has claimed any fixed dates for this year, so giving a clear victory to DC for once on our list. However, it also shows the extent of Warner Bros.' plan to catch up with Marvel's cinematic universe. We wouldn't place our eggs in one basket at the moment, because the ink hasn't dried, but the real winner out of this all is the comic book fans, who will not be worried about having nothing to see for the next 6 years.
Cinema Online, 24 September 2014