Here's the New Schedule For Every Superhero Movie Coming Out For the Foreseeable Future
Leave it to 2020 to completely derail Marvel's Phase 4 (along with just about every other film studio's release plans). While there's always the option to, you know, rewatch them all again, there's also some updates and expectation setting that needs to happen. First, the bad news: there's no new Thor movie for two more years, at least. The good news: some of the release shift from COVID-19 isn't as bad as everyone originally thought.
The biggest bummer in all of this is that the past decade or so has been a real renaissance for storytelling in the superhero genre. Gone are the days of the same tried and true plot devices. Sure, the good guys and gals almost always win, but the narrative is more nuanced than ever. The wait may be long, but it's worth it because there are a whole crop of new titles on the horizon.
While franchise favorites like Black Panther, Batman, and Spider-Man return to the screen with sequels in coming years, new titles will feature fresh-faced heroes like Marvel’s first Asian-American superhero Sang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings. Standalones will highlight nuanced antiheroes like Black Adam, played by Dwayne Johnson. Meanwhile, women will continue to lead features as Natalie Portman picks up the hammer of Thor, Black Widow debuts as a feature film, and Wonder Woman returns to the screen. Consider this your guide to the genre galaxy as you navigate what’s to come in the next few years. Just try to avoid falling down any black hole message boards.
The New Mutants
Original Release: April 3, 2020
New Release: August 28, 2020
Now that Maisie Williams has moved on from the Game of Thrones world, she’s free to explore others. In The New Mutants, Williams joins the Josh Boone-directed cast as a teen mutant who is locked in a facility trying to come to terms with who she is and what she can do with her powers.
Original Release: May 1, 2020
New Release: November 6, 2020
Scarlett Johansson is starring in a standalone Black Widow movie, to the delight of many fans who wanted more of the character’s story after her death in Avengers: Endgame. Johansson told fans that she hopes the film gives audiences “closure.”
Wonder Woman 1984
Original Release: June 5, 2020
New Release: October 2, 2020
Wonder Woman is back. Director Patty Jenkins returns to the helm of another project starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, also known as Diana, Princess of the Amazons. This one is set in 1984, with Chris Pine's Steve Trevor somehow back in the action.
Original Release: July 31, 2020
New Release: March 29, 2021
After his disastrous run as Joker, Jared Leto will return as yet another comic book villain, in the upcoming Morbius movie. Michael Morbius is a biologist who accidentally transforms himself into a vampire, starting out in the Spider-Man universe as a villain before becoming something of an anti-hero.
Original Release: Oct. 2, 2020
New Release: June 25, 2021
Sony's weird take on the Spider-Man anti-hero/villain, Venom, brings back Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and his friendly alien symbiote. Michelle Williams is set to return as Anne Weying and Woody Harrelson will star as the villain Cletus Kasady, known as Carnage.
Original Release: November 6, 2020
New Release: February 12, 2021
The Eternals is one of Marvel's most exciting additions coming up. Featuring its most diverse (and potentially largest) cast, save Avengers: Endgame, the 2020 release about the strongest superheroes in the universe will star Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington. Take our money.
Shang-Chi And the Legend of the Ten Rings
Original Release: Feb. 12, 2021
New Release: May 7, 2021
Marvel's first Asian-American led superhero film stars Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The film will feature Tony Leung as the villain Mandarin, written by Dave Callaham and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Original Release: May 7, 2021
New Release: March 25, 2022
This one is on pretty tight lockdown, other than the fact that the release date has changed and that Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen are signed on. Actress and screenwriter Jade Bartlett is writing, with Scott Derrickson coming back to direct. According to Collider, this is going to be the first “scary” Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Original Release: June 25, 2021
New Release: October 1, 2021
Ben Affleck has made it clear that we will never again see him jump into the Batmobile, but there’s another Batman on the rise now. Robert Pattinson will star as a younger Bruce Wayne, which gives the film more room to dig into plot points the comics covered that haven’t been seen on screen before. Pattinson told The New York Times that he could never play “a real hero,” and according to Pattinson, Batman isn’t a hero. There’s a take to look forward to.
Original Release: July 16, 2021
New Release: November 5, 2021
After much drama with the ownership between Sony and Disney over the Spider-Man title, the Tom Holland-led MCU staple will return for a third film. Details are slim, but Zendaya and Jacob Batalon will return alongside director Jon Watts.
Suicide Squad Sequel
Original Release: August 6, 2021
New Release: Same!
Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Idris Elba, Nathan Fillion, and Taika Waititi are all back in the sequel to the 2016 movie. But director David Ayer has been replaced with Guardian of the Galaxy’s James Gunn.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Release: November 5, 2021
New Release: February 11, 2022
Natalie Portman is already gearing up to take hold of the hammer as Thor in the newest phase of the MCU. At San Diego Comic Con this year, Portman revealed that she would be reprising her role as Jane Foster, but she’ll also be taking on the role of female Thor—talk about range. Taika Waititi will be directing.
Release: December 21, 2021
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, DC’s newest standalone follows Shazam’s archenemy, the antihero Black Adam. Little is known about the film, other than Dwayne Johnson’s long-time link to the leading role. It’s unclear whether the film, arriving shortly after 2019’s Shazam and just before its 2022 sequel, will advance plot details within the collective cinematic universe.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Sequel
Release: December 22, 2021
After winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2018, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse’s long-awaited sequel is web-slinging its way to the screen. Written by David Callaham and directed by Joaquim dos Santos, the film is expected to continue exploring the multi-versal world of its Spider-men and women.
Release: April 1, 2022
With DC’s Shazam cinematic universe shaping up to expand, the details of Shazam 2 are still fairly under wraps. Leading man Zach Levi is set to return along with director David Sandberg, while rumors are swirling that Henry Cavill will return as Superman. Word on the street has it that there will also be an appearance from Dwayne Johnson.
Black Panther 2
Release: May 6, 2022
Black Panther is getting a sequel, yes, but it’s going to come with a bit of a wait. Chadwick Boseman is back, but for now, most details about this one are going to remain in the Marvel vault.
Release: July 7, 2022
After some feet-dragging in development, The Flash is marked and set for the screen under the direction of It and It 2 director Andrés Muschietti. Ezra Miller will star as hero Brady Miller alongside Kiersey Clemons and Billy Crudup.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.