Upcoming superhero movies that'll blow you away

It's been almost a decade since Marvel's Iron Man made comic book movie skeptics sit up and take notice, and despite the many superhero films (some brilliant, others awful) that have come out in that time, the craze isn't going away any time soon.

There are a slew of superhero flicks scheduled to hit cinemas over the next few years, with studios gearing up to go head to head with their respective properties in the battle for dominance, which is only good news for us fans. But as franchises continue to grow and expand their rosters, it becomes hard to keep track of what (and when) everything is happening.

Well, fear not, because all the information you need to keep ahead of the curve can be found right here. From scheduled release dates to cast and crew announcements, this is everything you need to know about upcoming superhero movies.

Black Panther

For awhile, it looked like Selma director Ava DuVernay was nailed on to direct Marvel's Black Panther, though the African-American filmmaker put those rumors to bed when she confirmed she had passed on the project. "I think I'll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be," she told Essence before thanking Marvel, who decided to reach out to Ryan Coogler instead.

Coogler (Creed) made some edits to the screenplay after agreeing to terms, and the sizzle reel he screened at Marvel's Los Angeles offices in April reportedly had everyone very excited about Chadwick Boseman's debut. Joining Boseman in a cast that Kevin Feige has promised will be "90 percent" African-American is Lupita Nyong'o, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Creed's Michael B. Jordan, who said that Black Panther will be a "very honest and gritty" movie.

Jordan is playing classic Black Panther nemesis Erik Killmonger, but he won't be the movie's lead villain. Boseman revealed that a character we've seen glimpses of already will step up as the main antagonist: Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue. "Klaue is the real villain," Boseman told EW. "I can say that I identify with Killmonger's character. It's going to be a fun character. He definitely has a different point of view. They are polar opposites. A superhero movie is only as great as its villains. I think they both provide a piece of that."

Scheduled release date: February 16, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

For awhile it seemed like the third Avengers installment would be split into two separate movies, thought to be the case because the fourth movie was given the working title Infinity War Part 2. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo later cleared that up, admitting that the working titles were "misleading" and insisting that Infinity War would actually be a standalone movie. The sibling helmers will re-team with writing duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who provided the script they worked from in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2016's Captain America: Civil War.

In terms of the story, one team who we know will be present to help in the fight against Thanos is the Guardians of the Galaxy—behind the scenes footage that Marvel posted online shows Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt on set with Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland. Brie Larson's Captain Marvel is also set to make her MCU bow.

An Infinity War featurette posted by Marvel in June 2017 bigs up the two upcoming Avengers flicks as the culmination of everything they've been working toward since the first Iron Man movie dropped in 2008. "These next two Avengers films will be an event like no one has seen on film before," Joe Russo says, while Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige addresses their well-documented villain issue in the video, promising, "Thanos shows us why he is the biggest, the best, the baddest villain that we've ever had."

Scheduled release date: May 4, 2018

Deadpool 2

After 2016's Deadpool unexpectedly became the highest-grossing film in the X-Men franchise, keeping the creative team together for the follow-up seemed essential. That wasn't to be the case—director Tim Miller soon departed the project, allegedly because star Ryan Reynolds didn't back his demands for a larger budget. "All I can really add is that I'm sad to see him off the film," Reynolds told GQ. "Tim's brilliant and nobody worked harder on Deadpool than he did."

David Leitch of John Wick fame has since stepped up to direct, and Josh Brolin will also be welcomed into the fold as the merc with a mouth's time-traveling foil Cable. The actor recently shared a snap of himself working hard at getting into shape for the part, posting it alongside the caption "Cable's coming." In other recruitment news, Jack Kesy (best known as philandering rocker Gabriel Bolivar in FX vampire series The Strain) has signed on as a villain, reportedly to play Irish mutant Black Tom.

Stefan Kapicic and Brianna Hildebrand will return metallic X-man Colossus and his understudy Negasonic Teenage Warhead; however, recent rumors that Sunspot, Feral and Shatterstar were going to appear in the Deadpool 2 post-credits tag scene (thus setting up an X-Force feature film) have been shot down by screenwriter Rhett Reese.

Scheduled release date: May 18, 2018

The Incredibles 2

Brad Bird looks to put the disappointment of 2015's Tomorrowland behind him this coming summer when he returns to his bread and butter—animation. The director has been working on a sequel to his 2004 superhero smash The Incredibles for some time now: a second outing for the Parr family was first announced a decade after the original at a 2014 Disney shareholder meeting, though the director remained tight-lipped over the next few years whenever he was pressed for details.  

"I don't like unwrapping presents before Christmas," Bird said in 2016, but he did say that the film was "very actively moving" at that time. "We're excited about it," he added. "[We're] trying to take it in some new directions." Bird clearly wasn't kidding when he said that the project was moving quickly; a few months later, its 2019 release date was brought forward to summer 2018, with Toy Story 4 pushed back to accommodate.

Frozone voice actor Samuel Jackson posted photos to Instagram from his Incredibles 2 recording session in December 2016, providing the first physical proof that the movie was indeed happening, though the reaction to that news was nothing compared to the first teaser trailer, in which baby Jack-Jack showcases his developing powers. It quickly became the most watched animated trailer ever with over 100 million views in a matter of days.

Scheduled release date: June 15, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Marvel's Ant-Man sequel is now officially underway. The shoot began on the first day of August, days after a big casting announcement at Comic-Con 2017. Star Paul Rudd and his returning right-hand man Michael Peña were part of Marvel's panel at the event, and they revealed some new additions for Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Laurence Fishburne has been cast as Dr. Bill Foster, a scientist who became known as Black Goliath in Marvel comics after messing with the Pym Particle and gaining powers. Michelle Pfeiffer has also been added to the bill, taking the part of Hank Pym's (Michael Douglas) wife Janet van Dyke, thought to be permanently trapped in a subatomic quantum realm until the events of the first movie unfolded. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was also present for the panel, and told fans that Pfeiffer was their "dream choice" in the role of Janet, the first owner of the Wasp suit.

Returning director Peyton Reed certainly seems excited about the film, particularly about introducing The Wasp to the MCU. "For me as a comic nerd, I always thought of Ant-Man and Wasp as a team and that's a lot of what the second movie is really about," he said. "To show her finally fully formed in this movie is really exciting." According to the official synopsis Marvel recently released, the pair will reunite for "an urgent new mission" and "uncover secrets from their past."

Scheduled release date: July 6, 2018

Teen Titans Go! to the Movies

Cartoon Network's Teen Titans Go! marked a change in direction for DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., who adopted a more kid-friendly comedic approach and a new style of animation for this 2013 reboot. The network aired an animated series called Teen Titans between 2003 and 2006, which was also based on DC's popular Teen Titans comics. This show was well received by fans of all ages, but Teen Titans Go! never proved to be quite as popular with audiences—many fans deemed it a mockery of the original.

Despite the lukewarm response the show initially received, both DC and Warner Bros. persisted, and in 2017 they showed everyone just how much they believed in it when they announced Teen Titans Go! to the Movies. According to the Warner Bros. official website, this feature-length film will follow the Titans (a teenage team of sidekicks led by Batman's right-hand-boy Robin) to Hollywood where they attempt to get out of the shadows of bigger heroes and get noticed. How do they do that? By starring in their own movie, of course.

This meta approach isn't out of the ordinary for Teen Titans Go!, which tends to ignore all other forms of DC continuity, including the original show. Kristen Bell (who voiced Anna in Disney smash hit Frozen) and Will Arnett (who provided the gravelly tones of Batman in The LEGO Batman Movie) will lead the cast, with the latter also acting as a producer.

Scheduled release date: July 27, 2018

Venom

Sony has been trying in vain to get a Venom movie out of the blocks for over a decade, but we now have confirmation that the studio is prioritizing the project and is pushing for an October 2018 release. British powerhouse Tom Hardy has signed on to play the lead role of Eddie Brock, the first character to take on the Venom moniker in Marvel comics. Sony confirmed the casting when they tweeted a photo of Hardy wearing a Venom t-shirt along with a caption that revealed production is set to start this fall, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, director duties have been offered to Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer.

Despite being a fan favorite, Venom has only been portrayed onscreen once, when former That '70s Show star Topher Grace donned the black for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3—now considered one of the worst miscasts in the history of comic book movies. Producers are hoping Hardy is better received by fans, as he's set to play a central role in what they're calling the Sony Marvel Universe. Hardy (who previously played popular DC villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises) will be working from a script penned by Scott Rosenberg and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 co-writer Jeff Pinkner.

Scheduled release date: Oct. 5, 2018

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

The direct follow-up to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse was initially going by the name X-Men: Supernova following a leak from a Fox source, though that insider was misinformed. The studio recently brought an end to the guessing game, announcing both the real title and release date of the 12th film in the franchise (assuming that New Mutants gets its scheduled April release). It will go by X-Men: Dark Phoenix and is set to open November 2018.

Simon Kinberg has been working hard behind the scenes on the X-Men films as a writer and producer since 2006's The Last Stand, a botched attempt at adapting the classic Dark Phoenix Saga. This arc from the comics will of course be the basis of the upcoming Dark Phoenix movie, and Kinberg has been given the chance to personally right past wrongs in what will be his directorial debut. The assumption was that Bryan Singer would remain at the reins, though the Apocalypse director recently confirmed he was passing the torch, posting a photo of himself and Kinberg on Instagram with the caption: "Epic story in great hands."

Kinberg has confirmed that the film will follow the franchise's decade-skipping trend, jumping forward from the '80s-set Apocalypse to a '90s setting. In terms of cast, the key players from the previous entries are all reprising their roles, including Evan Peters. The American Horror Story star stole the show last time out playing Quicksilver and has wisely been recalled.

Scheduled release date: November 2, 2018

Aquaman

DC fans got their first look at Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year, and they'll be seeing him again in next year's Justice League before his first solo adventure drops. Originally set for an October release, Warner Bros. decided to move Aquaman back to a Christmas slot to plug the gap left by the delayed Avatar 2, meaning it will be going up against Transformers spinoff Bumblebee in a battle for box office dominance over the festive period.

Joining former Game of Thrones star Momoa on the cast are Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman, playing his love interest Mera and his mother Queen Atlanna, respectively. Images of Heard in full costume have been praised for their likeness to the comics, and we now know Aquaman will start looking a bit more Atlantean in his attire come Justice League. Those in attendance at Comic Con 2017 were shown his costume and given a first glimpse of the movie itself, which featured the Ocean Master's underwater army of shark-riders.

The Ocean Master is Aquaman's half-brother and will be played by Patrick Wilson onscreen. Momoa was asked by a member of the Comic Con audience if the underwater armada belonged to traditional Aquaman villain Black Manta, and he revealed that Wilson's character will be his biggest threat. "That's Ocean Master's army," he said. "Black Manta doesn't have anything on him. I'm going to be fighting my brother."

Scheduled release date: December 21, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

African-Latino Spider-Man Miles Morales was only supposed to be around for four years in the pages of Marvel's comics, created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli in 2011 as part of the alternate universe Ultimate Marvel imprint, which ended in 2015. This version of Spidey proved so popular that Marvel decided to merge him into the main line, and now he will be the focus of a feature-length animated movie.

The young star of Rick Famuyiwa's Dope, Shameik Moore has signed on to voice the teenage superhero and Liev Schreiber will voice the film's villain, though Sony has managed to keep his character's identity a secret so far. Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey are in place to co-direct a script written by Phil Lord, who is producing the project with regular collaborator Christopher Miller. At present, the film is scheduled to be released on the same day as DC's Aquaman.

Scheduled release date: December 21, 2018

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay

When Warner Bros. premiered their highly anticipated animated feature film Batman and Harley Quinn at San Diego Comic Con 2017, the announcements that followed the screening were the main talking point, not the movie itself. Batman and Harley Quinn received lukewarm reviews at best (it was mainly criticized for gratuitous fan service and poor voice acting) but that hasn't stopped DC fans from getting excited about what Warner Bros. Home Entertainment have planned this year.

The name Suicide Squad was first used in 1959's The Brave and the Bold #25, but the well-known version of the team that the 2016 DC Extended Universe movie was based on actually made its first appearance in Legends #3, published in 1987. The upcoming Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay will mark their debut in the DC Universe Original Movies' shared continuity, giving those who were dissatisfied with David Ayer's live-action film a chance to meet Task Force X all over again in what will be an entirely original story.

The cast will be led by Christian Slater, who has signed on to voice Deadshot according to a recent exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter. The Mr. Robot actor will be joined in the recording booth by Tara Strong (Harley Quinn), Billy Brown (Bronze Tiger), Liam McIntyre (Captain Boomerang), Kristin Bauer van Straten (Killer Frost) and Gideon Emery (Copperhead). Ugly Betty star Vanessa Williams will take on the role of Amanda Waller, the government agent who brings the Squad together.

Scheduled release date: 2018 (TBD)

Gotham By Gaslight

Despite the hype, the last DC Universe animated original movie to adapt a classic Batman one-shot was a letdown. 2016's Batman: The Killing Joke was intended to go direct to video, but the buzz convinced Warner Bros. to hold a one night only theater release. In the end, the extra exposure probably didn't help, as the film revealed itself to be exactly what it was made to be—direct-to-video quality—and received largely negative reviews.

DC and WB will be hoping for a better reaction to their upcoming adaptation of Mike Mignola's classic Gotham By Gaslight. Set in the late 1800s, the story pits the Dark Knight against notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper, who's left Victorian London behind in search of fresh victims in Gotham City. Its success led the publisher to create the Elseworlds imprint in which DC heroes are placed in alternative settings, and they retroactively named Gotham By Gaslight the first title under that banner.

The team behind the adaptation have revealed that it'll feature more characters from the Batman universe than the original work by Mignola and Brian Augustyn. "The original story was very simple, it was just Batman meets Jack the Ripper," creative director Mike Carlin said. "As we went along doing more Elseworlds, we realized it shouldn't be just one character translated to this era, it should be all the characters that are in the hero's life can be translated back as well."

Scheduled release date: 2018 (TBD)

Batman Ninja

If you're a fan of both Batman and anime, you're in for a treat in 2018. Warner Bros. are teaming up with Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki for an animated feature in which the Dark Knight will travel back in time to feudal Japan, and he won't be going alone. The teaser footage reveals that arch-nemesis the Joker will also be present, along with his right-hand woman Harley Quinn and many other famous faces from DC's Bat-roster, including Robin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and the Penguin.

"The characters are reinterpreted in a way that they seem fresh and new," screenwriter Leo Chu said during the film's New York Comic Con panel (via CB). Chu was hired to work on the English language version of the anime, which will be released along with the subtitled original on DVD. "We have a long history of working with Japanese animation, with anime," Chu added. "But Warner Bros. very much left the filmmakers alone in making this movie, so what you're going to see is something that's authentically anime. And when they came to us, we made it authentically Batman."

There's no word on casting yet, but Warner Bros. Home Entertainment head of publicity Gary Miereanu promised those in attendance at Comic Con that they'll be "voices you'll recognize." Miereanu also remained tight-lipped over plot details, though he did say that the fight scenes were the best he'd ever seen in animation.

Scheduled release date: 2018 (TBD)

Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen

The Guillermo del Toro chapter in the history of Hellboy is officially over, with confirmation in that an R-rated reboot is in development. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola first broke the news via Facebook, updating his fans with everything he could reveal at this stage. "Okay, here's some news," he wrote. "There IS going to be another HELLBOY MOVIE. It's going to be an R rated reboot directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game Of Thrones) and starring David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy." Mignola signed on for co-writing duties alongside Andrew Cosby and Christopher Golden, according to The Hollywood Reporter, who have confirmed that the film has a working title of Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen.

The script is already done according to Cosby, who recently told Silver Screen Beat that the horror elements associated with the character will be fully embraced in the reboot. "I can't really talk about specifics with regard to the story, which they're keeping a pretty tight lid on at the moment, but I can say that this is a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy. Neil said from the very beginning that he wanted to walk a razor's edge between horror and comic book movie, which was music to my ears, because that's what I was shooting for in the script, and precisely what Mignola does so well with the comics."

Scheduled release date: January 11, 2019

Glass

M. Night Shyamalan publicly toyed with the idea of a sequel to his superhero thriller Unbreakable for a long timeand 16 years later he delivered on that promise, though nobody knew it right up until the final moments of 2016's Split. The James McAvoy-fronted film not only marked a return to form for the director, it confirmed the creation of a new shared movie universe with the appearance of Bruce Willis' Unbreakable character. Shyamalan went to great lengths to keep the reveal a secret, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he tested the film with that surprise ending cut out to make sure nobody blabbed about Willis. He also revealed that he wanted make "one final movie that combines the two," which he's already titled Glass.

The director has confirmed that Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his Unbreakable role for what is to be the third film in his trilogy, and Split stars McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy are also set to return alongside Willis. Universal (who will co-produce with Blumhouse) have already released an official logline for the movie: "Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn [Willis] pursuing Crumb's [McAvoy] superhuman figure of the Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price [Jackson] emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men."

Scheduled release date: January 18, 2019

Silver and Black

On top of their recent Venom news, Sony is also outlining plans to expand their budding Spider-Man universe and take full advantage of the Marvel properties they currently have the rights to. The pair the studio has chosen to focus on has come as something of a surprise, however, as both are minor characters that have little connection in the comics other than being two of Spidey's many female conquests. With the positive fan reaction to Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman about to drop and Brie Larson's debut appearance as Captain Marvel not too far off now, Sony execs are banking on female superheroes being the flavor of the month for a while yet and clearly hope to get in on the action.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Yost (who worked on upcoming MCU installment Thor: Ragnarok) has been hired to tidy up a script penned by Lisa Joy, the co-creator of HBO's Westworld. Ruthless mercenary Silver Sable, who has been both an ally and an enemy to Spider-Man over the years, has never been portrayed onscreen before, though Black Cat did pop up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Well, kind of: Rogue One star Felicity Jones appeared briefly as a character called Felicia Hardy (Black Cat's real name in the comics), though no connection to the acrobatic cat burglar was ever made.

Scheduled release date: February 8, 2019

New Mutants

Marvel fans everywhere circled April 13, 2018 in their calendars when Fox announced it as the scheduled release date of The New Mutants, but according to The Hollywood Reporter the film has now been pushed back to 2019. The horror-inspired X-Men spinoff is being helmed by young filmmaker Josh Boone, director of the critically acclaimed The Fault In Our Stars (2014). Boone has admitted to being "obsessed with Marvel Comics through the 1980s, long before there was a Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie," and he took it upon himself personally to convince Fox it was a property worth adapting.

He and co-writer Knate Gwaltney put together their own New Mutants comic book based on stories they wanted to adapt for Fox, and the studio absolutely loved it. "It walked them through a trilogy of New Mutant films that would build on each other," Boone said. "[It] took all the images we had loved from the series and strung them together to show them the movie we wanted to do."

Shooting has already wrapped on the film, which stars Game of Thrones vet Maisie Williams, Stranger Things' Charlie Heaton, 13 Reasons Why actor Henry Zaga, newcomer Blu Hunt and breakout star of The Witch Anna Taylor-Joy, who told HeyUGuys (via ComicBook.com) that fans shouldn't be alarmed by the shift in genre, saying, "Whilst it's definitely a departure from the X-Men movies, the fans won't be disappointed."

Scheduled release date: February 22, 2019

Captain Marvel

Thus far, there has only been a single casting announcement regarding the upcoming Captain Marvel, and that is the all important one. Oscar winner Brie Larson will star as Carol Danvers in what is expected to be Marvel's answer to Wonder Woman, and she has given every early indication that she is taking the role seriously, sharing pictures of herself reading the comics with her Twitter followers.

Director double act Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (who helmed the critically acclaimed Mississippi Grind together) have been drafted in to take charge of proceedings, with Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman collaborating on the script.

"I don't think I've ever had a project where I've been more mindful about the impact that it could have and the importance of it," Perlman admitted before hinting that she and LeFauve are steering away from a completely faithful adaptation. "If you were just going to do a straight adaptation of the comics, her origin story is very similar to Green Lantern. And obviously, that's not what we want to do."

Scheduled release date: March 8, 2019

Shazam

A movie adaptation of DC's Shazam has been on the cards for a long time now, thanks in no small part to Dwayne Johnson. The WWE superstar-turned-Hollywood big hitter has talked up the potential of the property on several occasions, and his lobbying has now finally come to fruition. According to The Hollywood ReporterShazam is on the fast track and will be the next DC project going into production, with the shoot expected to get underway as soon as January 2018.

A recent Variety exclusive confirmed that casting is moving fast, with Asher Angel (Andi Mack) landing the lead role of Billy Batson, a teenager who transforms into a fully grown superhero when he says the word "shazam" aloud. The part of Shazam himself—a character with a stacked arsenal of powers who was once called Captain Marvel until legal roadblocks forced a name change—will be played by Zachary Levi (Chuck).

Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation) has been confirmed as director. The horror helmer told Moviefone that Shazam wasn't a character he was familiar with growing up, but since landing the job he's been exploring the source material. "It's not until now that I'm getting into the comics and reading a lot of the old ones, the Geoff Johns ones, The Power of Shazam, and looking at a bunch of animation," he said. "So I'm really getting to know the character."

Scheduled release date: April 5, 2019

Untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel

Kevin Feige recently confirmed that Avengers: Infinity War and its still-officially-untitled sequel would not be shot concurrently as originally intended. "We're doing them one right after another," Feige said. "It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie."

Part of the problem was the size of the talented ensemble cast, many of whom are in high demand elsewhere (Chris Pratt, for example, has been juggling Marvel duties with the Jurassic World sequel). That problem looks like it might worsen going forward, as the Russos have revealed that they are considering as many as 67 named characters for inclusion in Infinity War.

The title of the sequel was being kept under wraps at Marvel though Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana recently dropped a huge hint by mistake. The Gamora actress told a journalist that she is currently in the middle of shooting Infinity War and that they "all have to go back for Gauntlet later this year." Does that mean Avengers 4 will be called Infinity Gauntlet?

Scheduled release date: May 3, 2019

Gambit

Gambit has been in development since 2014, when X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner confirmed that Channing Tatum would play the card-tossing Cajun mutant. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) was hired to direct with an October 2016 opening planned, though that was just one of many release dates that wound up being missed. When Wyatt dropped out, Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) took his place, though he too became frustrated with the lack of activity and decided to jump ship.

It looked like the stars finally aligned in October 2017 when a new director and release date were finally confirmed, a whole year after the film was originally scheduled to come out. Gore Verbinski of Pirates of the Caribbean fame jumped into the hot seat and was eyeing a Valentine's Day 2019 release according to The Hollywood Reporter, though the same publication recently confirmed that Verbinski has become the third director to walk, leaving the seemingly cursed project in limbo once more.

Fox has reacted by pushing the release back to summer 2019, giving itself some breathing room just in case they can't find a replacement for Verbinski quickly. The shoot was supposed to get underway in New Orleans this coming March, though question marks now hang over the schedule. Tatum remains attached and so does Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), who has been cast as the film's female lead, according to Variety.

Scheduled release date: June 7, 2019

Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel

After Marvel and Sony finally came to a mutually beneficial arrangement regarding the use of Spider-Man, it seemed unlikely that the wall crawler would get just a single solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland made his debut as Peter Parker in last year's Captain America: Civil War and will front his own standalone movie Spider-Man: Homecoming this summer, but the British actor recently let slip that a sequel was indeed on the cards.

"My next project, I can't tell you about," Holland said. "But we've just finished Spider-Man [Homecoming] and we're talking about the second one and who the villain is going to be and where we're going." The film, which is unofficially going by Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 at this point, is slated to be the start of MCU Phase 4, although Kevin Feige recently suggested that they might leave the whole Phase thing behind after the fourth Avengers movie.

Scheduled release date: July 5, 2019

Wonder Woman 2

Another big story coming out of Comic-Con is the official announcement of Wonder Woman 2. A sequel seemed inevitable after the box office success of Gal Gadot's first outing as the Amazonian, and confirmation came in the DC Hall H sizzle reel. DC's Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns confirmed that he has already started thinking about how Diana Prince's story will play out. "I'm working right now on the Wonder Woman 2 script," Johns told Yahoo Movies.

Director Patty Jenkins has previously discussed where she'd take the character should the sequel get greenlit. "The story will take place in the U.S., which I think is right," she told EW. "She's Wonder Woman. She's got to come to America." Jenkins also revealed she had second thoughts about returning, though decided it was an opportunity too attractive to ignore. "I had this revelation in the middle of the night: this is your dream cast, you've created a character that you love and you can say anything you want in the world right now," she added.

According to Screen Rant, the second film will see Diana taking on the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Chris Pine is also reportedly returning, though given the events of the previous movie (and the fact that four decades will have passed in the timeline), that doesn't seem to add up—unless, of course, Pine portrays a descendant of the late Steve Trevor.

Scheduled release date: December 13, 2019

The Batman

Last year it seemed all but certain that Ben Affleck would direct himself in the first DCEU solo Batman movie, but as 2017 came upon us the A-lister shocked fans with a surprise statement announcing his intentions to step down.

"There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions," Affleck said. "Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film."

That partner ended up being War for the Planet of the Apes director and lifelong Batman fan Matt Reeves, who is currently signed on to helm The Batman. Affleck's screenplay is to get a page-one rewrite from Chris Terrio (Argo), who also gave the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice script a complete makeover.

Scheduled release date: 2019 (TBD)

Suicide Squad 2

Despite largely negative reviewsSuicide Squad raked in a whopping $745 million worldwide, leaving Warner Bros. in no doubt over whether to push ahead with a sequel. Details were scarce at first, and there were rumors that Will Smith's hectic schedule meant fall 2018 was the earliest the full cast could reconvene, but recent reports suggest Suicide Squad 2 will actually start filming in March.

A post added to industry website MyEntertainmentWorld (which features listings about upcoming productions for the benefit of prospective cast and crew) revealed this earlier than expected start date, which marks a big step forward for a project that couldn't seem to tie down a director. Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) and Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) have all been linked at some stage, but in the end it was Gavin O'Connor who signed up.

O'Connor (Warrior, The Accountant) has also been trusted with writing the script, a good move by WB and DC according to Jared Leto. The Joker actor voiced his approval over O'Connor's hiring in a recent interview with Collider, but he still couldn't confirm his involvement in the sequel. "A lot of moving parts, we'll see what happens," the Oscar winner said. "I think Gavin is incredibly talented, he seems to be the perfect director for Suicide Squad 2. I think he's a really gifted filmmaker and I really love his work."

Scheduled release date: 2019 (TBD)

Cyborg

When Warner Bros. and DC first laid out their plans for their Extended Universe with the public, the fact that a stand-alone Cyborg picture was among them came as quite a surprise to many, but nobody was quite as shocked as the man who was hired to portray him.

Stage actor Ray Fisher was told only a matter of hours before the announcement was made that he was getting his own vehicle in 2020, having only signed on for a cameo role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. "I didn't know the extent to which DC and WB had planned on taking my character," Fisher said. "When I signed on, I just wanted to be part of this world. But that specific information, I found out then and there. I didn't think I'd be getting my own stand-alone film." The studio has continued to keep its cards close to its chest, with little other than the release date known at this stage.

Scheduled release date: April 3, 2020

Green Lantern Corps

It always seemed highly unlikely that Ryan Reynolds would return to the role of Hal Jordan after a disastrous stint as the DC hero in 2011's Green Lantern, though now that he has the wildly popular Deadpool on the go, that definitely won't be happening.

Reynolds blamed problems with the script (it didn't even exist when he signed on) for Green Lantern's many failings, though Warner Bros. is determined not to make the same mistakes when they reboot the property to merge with the DCEU.

David Goyer (who wrote Extended Universe opener Man of Steel) and lesser-known scribe/director Justin Rhodes are teaming up to to write the screenplay for Green Lantern Corps, the title of which suggests that this could be a team affair rather than a film that concentrates on one Lantern in particular. There are no cast confirmations as of yet, but Fast and Furious star Tyrese Gibson has been rallying for a role hard.

Scheduled release date: July 24, 2020

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was ever in doubt at Marvel Studios, the box office numbers posted by the second film have made certain that Gamora, Groot, Rocket, Drax and Star-Lord will team up for a third time, though the latter hero might not be taking centre stage this time out. James Gunn told USA Today that he's already begun working on the screenplay for the third film, which will apparently involve less Chris Pratt and more Zoe Saldana—the director said he's had "some pretty intense conversations" with the actress about Gamora taking a more prominent role in the final Guardians outing.

Casting news is already starting to trickle through, with Gunn confirming that Elizabeth Debicki will reprise her role as Ayesha, the Golden High Priestess of the Sovereign. "I absolutely plan on bringing Elizabeth Debicki back, she's actually one of my favorite actors I've ever worked with," he told IGN. "I think on this movie between her, Pom Klementieff who plays Mantis, and Chris Sullivan who plays Taserface, they really were three of the best actors I've ever worked with and were all such a joy on this film to deal with that I would love to deal with them again."

There's nothing official in terms of release date yet, however a recent post on Gunn's Facebook page indicates that we'll be seeing Vol. 3 sometime in 2020. Marvel currently have May 1, July 10 and November 6 slated for that year.

Scheduled release date: 2020 (TBD)

Flashpoint

Changes of director and script rewrites meant that the March 2018 target Warner Bros. set for their Flash solo movie was always going to be a long shot. Dope director Rick Famuyiwa (who had already replaced Seth Grahame-Smith) left the project after reported disagreements over his screenplay, which is currently being rewritten from page one by Joby Harold. The release date has been pushed back to 2019 to allow Miller to work on the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel.

Whether new scribe Joby Harold will tone down the role of Ray Fisher's Cyborg (the character had a central role in Famuyiwa's version) remains to be seen, though if DCEU executive producer Deborah Snyder's interview with Forbes is anything to go by, the two are destined to team up. "Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher are kind of our youngest characters, and they have a really nice camaraderie with each other," she said.

The latest news coming out of Comic-Con is that the project now has an official title: Flashpoint. This is, of course, the name of the DC crossover story arc in which the Flash has to use the Speedforce to travel back in time to stop his mother's murder, altering the fabric of the DC Universe as he does. How closely the DCEU version will follow the dramatic events of the comics is unclear at this stage, but fans have already started theorizing.

Scheduled release date: 2020 (TBD)

Batgirl

The announcement that there is a Batgirl movie in the very early stages of development raised a lot of eyebrows recently, mainly because it came from Joss Whedon. The Marvel stalwart revealed that he would be directing a movie based on the DC character, dropping the bombshell during the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premiere no less.

"She came up, and I started getting obsessed with how a young woman could get hardcore enough to need to put on the cowl," he said. "Like, what's her damage?" As far as Marvel is concerned, Whedon has their blessing, with Kevin Feige confirming that the Avengers director called him in advance to discuss his plans.

One person on the DC side who is happy about Whedon straddling the divide is Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, who praised his approach to the genre. "I think it's super exciting," she admitted. "The tone of Joss' work is great for female superheroes. He takes such a fun approach and I think he'll have fun in the DC universe, which will be excited to have him." Nothing official on casting yet, but star of The 100 Lindsey Morgan has been linked.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Gotham City Sirens

Suicide Squad director David Ayer faced some tough criticism in the wake of the film's release, and while at first he seemed happy to just shrug off the negative reviews, he later conceded that there were changes he wished he could make in an open letter posted on Twitter.

Lucky for him, he will have a chance to put things right with Gotham City Sirens, a DC team-up movie based on the short-lived but super popular comic series of the same name. The huge reaction to Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn has led Warner Bros. to fast track this film, which is being written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Sherlock Holmes 3) and is being prioritized over a Deadshot solo outing.

Joining Quinn will be regular Batman foes Catwoman and Poison Ivy, with the latter role currently linked to both Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard. Ayer's open letter apology also hinted that Jared Leto's Joker could play a part here.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Nightwing

What is becoming clear early on with the DC Extended Universe is that Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne will be a central figure throughout, much in the way that Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark is within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

On top of The Batman gaining momentum with new director Matt Reeves and Joss Whedon signing on for the first ever Batgirl film, Warner. Bros is also planning on introducing classic Bat-family member Nightwing to beef up the ranks.

Chris McKay recently directed The Lego Batman Movie for WB and is now being tapped for this DCEU project, with the studio reportedly keen for him to move into live action. Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) is working on a screenplay, and, while nothing official has been said about casting, Dave Franco recently threw his hat into the ring when asked if he was interested in the lead role. "Absolutely," he answered, but added that the filmmakers could "literally go to anybody—but I'm here if they want me."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Harbinger

In 2015, Sony struck a deal with Valiant Comics to bring their superhero universe to the big screen. The studio agreed to terms over a five-picture deal that would begin with a standalone film based on the Harbinger series, created by former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter for Valiant and released as part of the company's launch in 1992. The comics follow a teenage harbinger (a race of evolved superhumans with psionic powers) named Peter 'Sting' Stanchek—the only one of his kind with abilities equal to Toyo Harada, a ruthless Japanese tycoon hellbent on building a superhuman army.

After the initial announcement, things went quiet on the Valiant front for awhile, although we've since learned that Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer worked on the Harbinger treatment and was also working on other Valiant projects. More recently, Deadline reports that Heisserer's script is to be re-written by Justin Tipping and Joshua Beirne-Golden, whose 2016 collaboration Kicks earned critical acclaim for its "unique mix of adolescent anxiety, urban decay and societal friction in a remarkably confident fashion." Fast and Furious franchise producer Neal Moritz is in place to produce.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Bloodshot

Back in 2015 Sony looked liked they had pulled off a shrewd bit of business when they signed a deal with Valiant Comics to bring their thus-far untapped superhero universe to the big screen. It was a five-picture deal that would begin with a standalone film based on Bloodshot, a former soldier who ends up with superhuman abilities after nanites are forcibly injected into his blood.

A 2017 release date was targeted but things went quiet on the production, and details were scarce up until recently. Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer (who wrote the comic series Secret Weapons for Valiant) is penning the Bloodshot script, and he recently let slip who would be directing it.

Dave Wilson (who runs Blur Studios with Deadpool helmer Tim Miller) is best known for his work in video game commercials and doesn't have a feature length credit to his name yet, so Sony is showing a lot of faith in an inexperienced director by handing him the all-important franchise opener.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Shadowman

On top of their five picture deal with Sony, Valiant are also developing adaptations of their comics in-house, which they'll then shop to different studios. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Shadowman—about a supernatural hero who played a central part in Valiant's recent Rapture event—is one of the titles currently being adapted.

In the comics, the Shadowman moniker has been adopted by a few different people, though the version expected to be seen onscreen is Jack Boniface, the most recent character to take up the mantle. An African American jazz musician who finds himself in league with a mysterious organization known as the Coven after a spirit enters his body and gives him strange powers, Boniface has to learn to control his abilities quickly when his native New Orleans comes under threat from a dark dimension known as the Deadside.

Former Marvel writer Reginald Hudlin has been chosen to direct, and he'll join Salem showrunner Adam Simon for a joint re-write of an original script by J. Michael Straczynski, who's also written screenplays and comic books for Marvel. Valiant Entertainment's own Dinesh Shamdasani is producing.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Archer and Armstrong

"Not since Batman and Robin has a more important duo hit the comic world," Ain't It Cool wrote in their review of Archer and Armstrong's first six issues, re-released as a special hardcover in 2008. "[It] truly delivers the goods from its very first page until the last … you can't believe what a wonderful trip you've just taken with these two magnificent characters."

Archer is kind of like Marvel's Iron Fist but with a much darker past: raised as a martial artist in a Himalayan Buddhist monastery, he's the son of dangerous child molesters serving time in prison. After returning to the States he meets an immortal vagabond named Armstrong, a boorish lout who teams up with Archer in his fight against the Sect, a dangerous ancient order targeting them both. Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani is producing, and he's brought together an interesting writer-director combination for the project: Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer is in line to helm this raucous buddy flick, working from a script penned by regular Pirates of the Caribbean scribe Terry Rossio.

Scheduled release date: TBD

​Justice League Dark

The real reason Doug Liman abandoned Fox's Gambit movie: Warner Bros. offered him the chance to direct Justice League Dark instead. An excited Liman announced his intentions to take DC's team of supernatural heroes down a grounded path, earmarking a big role for one fanboy favorite. "I think people will be surprised how character-driven and how intimate Justice League Dark is in kind of a field of bloated comic book movies," he said. "We've found a way to do something that's actually really personal and small, and that's my goal… For John Constantine, we have an amazing setup for him for Justice League Dark that's really human."

The director even laid out plans to make Justice League Dark an R-rated affair, but unfortunately for the more mature DC fans out there, Liman walked away from this project too. He will now direct Chaos Walking instead, with Lionsgate keen on turning Patrick Ness' YA novel into a Liman-led franchise. According to a Deadline exclusive, Andy Muschietti was all set to take over until his reboot of Stephen King's It became a huge hit and he was asked to concentrate on the upcoming sequel, leaving the Justice League Dark director's chair empty once more.

The latest coming out of the Warner Bros. camp is that Gerard Johnstone (who was brought in to touch up the script) is now being considered for the director's job on the strength of his critically acclaimed horror comedy Housebound.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled Joker origins movie

DC fans went into major speculation mode when news broke that Warner Bros. were planning a Joker origin story without Jared Leto's involvement, with many jumping straight to the conclusion that his time playing the Clown Prince of Crime was over. Leto put the rumors to rest on Kyle and Jackie O (via CBR), telling the Australian radio show that there is "so much hype and bulls—" surrounding his tenure as DC's flagship villain before reiterating his commitment to the role.

This means we're going to see another actor portraying the Joker in the near future, but will he be playing the young version of Jared Leto's DC Extended Universe Joker? Not according to a Deadline exclusive. The trade's sources have learned that the Joker origin story "will be the first film under a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters."

Not only will the film follow a path away from the DCEU, it's set to be unlike any comic book movie you've ever seen. Martin Scorsese is in talks to pull the strings as a producer on the project, with Todd Phillips (The Hangover) directing from a script he's co-penning with Scott Silver (8 Mile). How's that for a crazy combination? Deadline are also reporting that the setting will be a "gritty and grounded" 1980s Gotham City.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled Joker and Harley Quinn

2016's Suicide Squad was far from the perfect movie, but one of the success stories of David Ayer's divisive anti-hero team-up was Margot Robbie as the unhinged Harley Quinn. The Australian actress revealed that she and Jared Leto shot multiple scenes together detailing Harley Quinn and the Joker's backstory for Suicide Squad that ended up on the cutting room floor, a decision which Ayer later came to regret. In an open apology letter he posted to Twitter, the director admitted that the movie should have contained far more Joker, though luckily for fans, there are plans in place to reunite Leto and Robbie for a film of their own.

According to an exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (the directors of 2011's Crazy, Stupid, Love) are currently in negotiations with Warner Bros. to helm a new DC Extended Universe entry based on the crazy romance of the Joker and Harley Quinn. A source told THR that fans can expect "an insane and twisted love story," describing the project as something along the lines of "When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine." The insider also revealed that the studio plan to release the project after Suicide Squad 2, and both films are being fast-tracked.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Eternal Warrior

Another Valiant Comics hero who's apparently on his way to the big screen, Eternal Warrior is an immortal super-soldier who first appeared in 1991's Solar, Man of the Atom #1. His cameo role was well received and the following year he was given his own title, which ran for 50 issues between '92 and '96. Like all major Valiant characters, Eternal Warrior was given a more video-game friendly look by Acclaim Entertainment when they purchased the comic book publisher in '97, but after Acclaim went under in '04 the rights went to Valiant Entertainment, who rebooted the character once more with a second solo series in 2013.

It's unclear which version of the character will serve as the inspiration for the film at this stage, but we do know who will be playing him. In a recent Twitter slip-up, WWE superstar turned actor Dave Bautista revealed he was attached to an Eternal Warrior movie, and that the script is currently being brought up to scratch. "I'm really excited about EW," he said. "We are currently working to get the script fan worthy and then we'll be full on from there."

Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani responded to the reveal with a typically tongue-in-cheek reply, tweeting that he "can neither confirm nor deny that Dave Bautista just revealed a giant secret." The fact that he signed the tweet off with a "lol" kind of gave the game away, though.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Invincible

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's first foray into the superhero genre wasn't exactly a roaring success, but the pair didn't let the critical and commercial failure of 2011's The Green Hornet deter them from trying again. The duo best known for collaborating on slacker comedies like Knocked Up and Pineapple Express gave it another shot in 2015 when they teamed up with Breaking Bad scribe Sam Catlin to adapt Vertigo comic Preacher for AMC, and the series has been a hit.

Now, Rogen and Goldberg are heading back to the big screen with an adaptation of Robert Kirkman's Invincible. Published by Image Comics, Invincible follows super-powered teenager Mark Grayson, who inherited his abilities from his heroic father Omni-Man. Kirkman (best known for The Walking Dead graphic novels) borrows "wholesale" from both DC and Marvel in the series according to The Guardian, who compared Invincible's heritage to both Superman and Star-Lord.

The series doesn't take itself too seriously, however, and parodying certain themes and tropes is often the point here. Invincible has a certain humor to it, one that Rogen and Goldberg are ideally positioned to exploit according to the author. "The esteemed misters Goldberg and Rogen have proven themselves to be top-notch directors with a keen collective eye for stunning visuals," Kirkman told The Hollywood Reporter. "Invincible's surprising, edgy, shocking, and oftentimes blood-soaked story couldn't be in more capable hands." The duo will write, produce and direct together.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Laura

The fact that Oscar nominations came up when director James Mangold and Hugh Jackman sat down to discuss Logan with The Hollywood Reporter highlights just how well this Wolverine solo outing was received. Jackman nailed his final appearance as the titular mutant, but viewers were also left raving about the performance of his young co-star Dafne Keen, who secured her part in the movie with a fiery—and fully improvised—audition.

Keen impressed as Logan's clone/"daughter" Laura, a.k.a. X-23, and Mangold revealed that the success of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman has brought a solo outing for the character closer to reality. "That film only solidifies more for studios that there's less to fear with a female protagonist," he said. "The more that keeps getting hit home, that ends up giving me more space turning around and going, 'Well, here we are with a female protagonist. That's incredible. And what are we going to do with her?' And that's where we are with that right now, dreaming."

THR also reported that Craig Kyle (who created the character Laura for X-Men: Evolution and recently worked on Thor: Ragnarok) is working alongside Mangold on a treatment for the spinoff, but Jackman will not be involved. "No, I won't be a producer on a Laura sequel," he confirmed. "But I will be lining up on the Thursday night at 10PM to watch it, though. She's just phenomenal."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Deathstroke

In the summer of 2016, Ben Affleck got DC fans super excited about his solo Batman feature with a huge announcement: Slade Wilson—a.k.a. Deathstroke—would be the movie's main antagonist. This deadly mercenary was actually the prototype for Marvel's mouthy antihero Deadpool (creators Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld were pretty brazen about ripping him off, naming their character Wade Wilson) and has long been a fanboy favorite. As such, Affleck knew he would get pulses racing when he shared some cryptic footage of the character.

Joe Manganiello (who played high school jerk Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man) was confirmed as the man behind the famous black and red mask by The Wall Street Journal (via CBR), but changes of director and behind-the-scenes shuffling left his involvement in doubt. The True Blood star told The Hollywood Reporter that he was unable to give away any details on Deathstroke's future in the DCEU, but a recent report suggests that the character will actually be getting his own solo feature.

According to an exclusive from TheWrap, Gareth Evans is in early discussions with Warner Bros. over the project, which he will reportedly write and direct. The British filmmaker shot to prominence in 2011 with his frenetic action thriller The Raid, an Indonesian-language film that was picked up for U.S. release after earning rave reviews.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Black Adam

He's been linked to the project for years, but it turns out Dwayne Johnson probably won't be appearing in the Shazam! movie. The Baywatch star will still be suiting up as Black Adam (a former slave who seeks revenge on his captors after gaining superpowers), but it won't be as the villain of the first movie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a high level meeting between Johnson and execs from Warner Bros.' sister studio New Line Cinema ended with all parties agreeing that Black Adam should have his own movie as opposed to second billing in the opening Shazam feature. This led many to assume Johnson would make his debut as the character in this solo outing (which he confirmed is being written by Adam Sztykiel), but a recent scoop from TheWrap suggests that he may well be introduced in Suicide Squad 2 as "a weapon of mass destruction" the team are tasked with tracking down.

The Rock has waited a long time to realize his ambition of playing this popular DC anti-hero, but he's always been willing to take his time to make sure he does Black Adam justice. "I've lived with this character, and this opportunity for almost 10 years now, so it's like, in my DNA," Johnson told MTV in 2015. "I'm like a little kid, and it's the opportunity to create his journey, but that journey has to start out properly."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Multiple Man

After directing the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Simon Kinberg will return to the producer's chair to oversee yet another spinoff in Fox's X-Men franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kinberg is in negotiations with James Franco over the lead role(s) in a planned adaptation of Multiple Man, the story of a mutant with the power to create and control clones of himself. Franco is currently playing twins in HBO's new hit series The Deuce and has past experience with Marvel works, having portrayed Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films.

Multiple Man (a.k.a. James Madrox) first appeared in print in 1975's Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4 and became an occasional ally of the X-Men in the years that followed, coming to Charles Xavier's aid after an apparent assassination attempt by Cable (to be played by Josh Brolin in Deadpool 2). How or if Multiple Man will crossover with the numerous other X-Men properties currently in development isn't clear at this stage, but we do know that Allan Heinberg, one of the screenwriters who worked on Wonder Woman, has been hired to work on the script.

While casual viewers probably won't recall the name James Madrox, the character has actually popped up in Fox's X-Men movies before. His name briefly appears on a computer screen when Mystique is searching for Xavier's file in 2003's X2, and he was portrayed by Eric Dane in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, appearing as one of the mutants recruited by Magneto. 

Scheduled release date: TBD

The Death of Superman

On top of teasing a spring 2018 release for their Suicide Squad animated feature, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment also told fans gathered at San Diego Comic Con 2017 that a new Superman movie was in the pipeline for next year. The Death of Superman remains one of DC's most memorable storylines, making national news headlines when it came to its conclusion in 1993's Superman Vol 2 #75. The Man of Steel is killed during his epic battle with Doomsday, but (as we saw recently in the DCEU) superheroes rarely stay dead.

Superman returned to a troubled Metropolis at the end of the Reign of the Supermen!, an arc in which four pretenders attempted to take up his mantle in his absence. The story has been adapted into an animated feature before, but 2007's Superman: Doomsday failed to live up to the hype. The source material was simply too big to be squeezed into a 75-minute runtime, so WB will be releasing this new take on the classic tale in two parts.

Part one, The Death of Superman, will drop toward the end of 2018, while follow-up Reign of the Supermen is penciled in for early 2019. Coming Soon reports that the two-parter will be "more faithful to the source material, much less condensed and will include many of the fan favorite moments from the story that were left out of Doomsday."

Scheduled release date: 2018/2019 (TBD)

Ant-Man 3

Marvel Studios is clearly expecting the upcoming Ant-Man sequel to go down well: a third installment in the Paul Rudd-led franchise is already in the pipeline, according to co-star Michael Peña. The fast-talking funnyman was a hit as Scott Lang's (Rudd) close friend and associate Luis in the first movie, and he reprised the role for the sequel, Ant-Man and Wasp. The versatile actor has proven that he also has some serious dramatic chops with appearances in hard-hitting films like Gangster Squad, Fury, The Martian, and the war movie 12 Strong.

Speaking to IGN about the latter film (which tells the true story of the small group of US soldiers sent to Afghanistan immediately after the 9/11 attacks), Pena let slip that Ant-Man 3 is happening, although he wasn't sure if he'd be needed for it. "We talked about [the MCU] on the first day," Pena said about meeting 12 Strong star and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth for the first time. "It's a whole different kind of club to be in, the Marvel Universe. I don't know if they'll use me for the third movie, I still really don't know. It's cool to make a little bit of a mark on that Marvel Universe and it's kind of a cool club, they run a really cool studio."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Spawn

First published in 1992, Spawn is the story of Al Simmons, a reluctant CIA agent who gets murdered on a mission. To see his wife again, he makes a deal with a demon and is sent back as a disfigured Hellspawn only to find that his beloved has married his best friend. Writer Todd McFarlane rose to prominence in the late '80s with a successful run on The Amazing Spider-Man (he actually co-created popular Marvel anti-hero Venom), and in the early '90s he decided to found his own company. Image Comics was born, and with it a brand new anti-hero.

McFarlane has been talking up a Spawn reboot for a long time (the 1997 adaptation was an insult to the source material), and he's finally found the perfect partner in horror producer Jason Blum. During a sit-down with AZCentral, McFarlane revealed that Blum has signed off on his script, and that the pair have already met to discuss casting. The biggest takeaway from the interview was McFarlane's intention to make Spawn the most extreme R-rated superhero movie yet.

"Not like Deadpool, where there was just a couple F-bombs and a naked butt, not like Logan, either," he said. "We're talking trauma, true trauma, as serious as possible. I like to explain that it's my Jaws. Spawn doesn't say a word the entire movie, and it's the same way with Jaws. It's about the sheriff and the people, chasing the ghost."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Doctor Doom

Fantastic Four fans haven't had much to celebrate in recent years, but a surprise announcement at San Diego Comic Con 2017 gave some new hope to those who feel as though Marvel's First Family have never been utilized properly onscreen. Noah Hawley, the creator of FX superhero sci-fi Legion, wrapped up his show's panel at the event by revealing that he was working with Fox to develop a solo origin story for the Fantastic Four's most iconic villain. "Two words," Hawley said according to The Hollywood Reporter, "Doctor Doom."

Since then, Fox have been bought out by Disney, leaving question marks over some properties in the early stages of development. The status of Doctor Doom was questioned when Collider spoke with Hawley recently, and while he insisted that it was just "business as usual" for him after the big deal, he did hint that the sale of Fox to Disney will push the timescale of his movie back by at least 12 months.

"I haven't had a single conversation yet about Doom in the context of the merger," he said. "On some level, we're still looking at a period of time—probably a year, at the least—for this whole thing to go through. Who knows, corporately, what conversations will be had, but certainly, until it goes through, it's not a legal thing … I've been waiting for the phone to ring to see if anyone is gonna have an opinion."

Scheduled release date: TBD

X-Force

Another project promised by Fox that Disney intend to make good on is X-Force, a black ops team of Marvel mutants far more brutal—and far more morally ambiguous—than the X-Men. The film will revolve around Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Cable (Josh Brolin) and "other main characters," according to producer Simon Kinberg, though there's nothing official on which other characters we'll be seeing. What we do know is that Drew Goddard (who was hired to write and direct by Fox before the studio's Marvel properties were absorbed by Disney) is still attached.

The Oscar nominee was brought in to replace the outgoing Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) last year, and according to a recent Discussing Film exclusive, the green light remains firmly on for Goddard's X-Force. Goddard actually has previous experience with Marvel; he was instrumental in getting their first Netflix show, Daredevil, off the ground, wrote an episode of The Defenders, and was due to direct an adaptation of Sinister Six before the supervillain flick was shelved. He'll finally get the chance to take charge of a Marvel feature once the intricacies of the merger are figured out.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson made her debut as former KGB spy Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, in 2010's Iron Man 2, but eight years later, we're still waiting for official confirmation of her solo movie. Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige first hinted at a Black Widow standalone feature in 2014 when he said (via Vanity Fair) that her part in the MCU was "very big" and that "the notion of exploring that even further in her own film would be great."

Two years passed without any word on how the project was progressing, but when Fiege sat down with Deadline in 2016, he reiterated that Marvel was committed to making the film happen. "I would say certainly the one, creatively and emotionally, that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow," he said. "We think Scarlett Johansson's portrayal of her is amazing. She's a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a standalone franchise."

Another two years went without much news, though a recent Variety exclusive claims that the wheels are finally in motion on Black Widow and that Marvel has hired Jac Schaeffer to pen the script. Johansson was consulted over the decision to enlist Schaeffer, according to the report, though Variety's sources say the movie is still in early development and has yet to be given the official greenlight.

Scheduled release date: TBD