By Scott M. Waldman
As of 2016, we have a total of six superhero related films to keep our eyes on. This is the most comic-related content to hit the screen ever (until 2017, which will feature an article of familiar plot) and will produce an outcome that will either be defined as overstuffed or action-packed. Last year proved a major stepping-stone for a bunch of superhero properties. Fantastic Four (2015) was released. Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Dr. Strange are going to be members of the MCU. Batman will fight Superman, and somehow form the Justice league in a single film. Wonder Woman will have her first film appearance and solo film. There is a new Joker (Jared Leto.) Apocalypse will face the X-Men. Deadpool will have his own solo film, Now that it is 2016, and Deadpool (2016) is set to release this Friday, it is time to prepare for the upcoming box-office successes and bombs that will last over the remaining seasons.
Fox, as of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2015), has two films to release this year which will center on the mutant team and the “Merc-with-a-Mouth.” One film brings in a new villain, younger versions of old characters, new characters, the same director, and a lot of destruction while the other takes place after the previous film where X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) didn’t happen and fans will be served to their limits (we can hope.) X-Men: Apocalypse (May 2016) will feature the all-powerful “First Mutant” (Apocalypse) dealing blows with the title team while forming the ‘X-Men’ we might know from previous movies. Deadpool (2016) on the other hand is a film that has been years in the making with Ryan Reynolds as the Chimichanga, fourth-wall breaking, anti-hero who has been a huge player for Marvel Comics over the years, and was basically given a film to satisfy fans, which it will hopefully deliver on with its marketing campaign being as funny as the comics themselves (they’re worth it, plus there’s a week till a decision is made) and being Rated-R (this film is free to do as it pleases.)
Warner Bros. is on its way to start up its cinematic universe with DC’s rosters of heroes and villains. The first film to arrive is the extremely anticipated Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 2016) which features a new Batman (Ben Affleck) going up against the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) in a nail-bitter of a battle. Plus, multiple members of the Justice League will be introduced including Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (JasonMomoa), and the rest of the superhero force in order to save the Earth from its greatest threat, which currently isn’t Doomsday. Still on the fence with this film. The second project, that DC is entitled to, is the all-villain Suicide Squad (August 2016) which has brought some literal light to the so-far grim cinematic universe which will feature Leto as the Joker, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, and plenty of other villains that Batman is said to have imprisoned. This will mark the first time Task Force X will be on the silver screen (besides its time on the small one) as they are sent in on a mission that could possibly be life or death.
Disney’s Marvel project is the most anticipated with two projects spanning the summer into mid-fall. Captain America: Civil War (May 2016) will hit theaters with the largest roster of heroes and villains yet, including many heroes we haven’t even glimpsed yet (where’s Spiderman?!) The film is directed by the Russo Brothers (directors of Captain America. 2), and they so far have presented one of the best Marvel films to date, and the one trailer alone promises so much more in the final cut. The second project is based around the Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange (November 2016) played by Benedict Cumberbatch that will introduce the realm of magic to the MCU. It is an ambitious film for now as it’s the only film that hasn’t shown any footage, but it should turn out to be a fun time with the cast on board (Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the mystical subject to be introduced.
This year is definitely going to be an interesting one, for the subject of comic-book films, and the sheer quantity brings into question if, “There are too many of them?” If this year is a success, both economically and critically, then 2017 will be a breeze, but if it all goes south, than it may be a while (decades, centuries) until we finally see a Marvel/DC crossover event. If CBS can do it with CW (Supergirl and The Flash, although they’re in the same DC line), then how about two rival corporations?
So, raise your glasses. Here’s to another year, again.