Upcoming superhero movies that'll blow you away

It's been over a decade since Marvel's Iron Man made comic book movie skeptics sit up and take notice, and despite the many comic-inspired films (some brilliant, others awful) that have come out in that time, the craze isn't going away any time soon — and to prove it, we've put together a comprehensive list of all the upcoming superhero movies that will blow you away.

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.

Aquaman

Variety compared the "epic scope" of James Wan's Aquaman to both Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings after seeing some rough footage in April 2018, and the complimentary comparisons continued when the first trailer debuted. "Aquaman is shaping up to be Game of Thrones underwater," The Hollywood Reporter said, revealing that the trailer sent "a wave of excitement" through a packed Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con 2018. When the second trailer dropped at New York Comic-Con 2018, the reaction was a little more mixed.

In truth, much of the footage had already been seen at SDCC, but the extra scenes included in this "extended video" trailer revealed much more of the plot. We now know that Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) are searching for Atlan's trident, which will give Curry the power to stop his warmongering half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson). Orm is still being billed as the main villain of the movie, but most Aquaman fans are way more interested in Black Manta. The extended trailer included lots of Aquaman's most famous nemesis — too much for some fans.

At more than five minutes in length, some viewers complained that the second trailer gave too much of the movie away. "Trailers contain spoilers by nature," Wan tweeted in response to the negativity. "So if you don't want anything spoilt, don't see it. But I can say this — this 5-min trailer barely scratches the surface of the actual movie."

Scheduled release date: December 21, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Marvel may have dropped a Miles Morales Easter egg into Spider-Man: Homecoming, but for fans of the character and the Ultimate Marvel imprint, subtly alluding to his existence within the MCU wasn't enough. Luckily, Sony is ready to take the plunge and let this hugely popular version of Spidey take center stage in his very own feature — albeit an animated one. Morales is being voiced by Shameik Moore (Dope), who waited "a very long time to hear back" after his audition.

"I thought I didn't get it," Moore told Entertainment Tonight. "I'm more than excited and thankful… I am a black young man [so] it's very, very powerful to me." Ray Donovan star Liev Schreiber (voicing Kingpin, one of the movie's three villains) is equally excited about the project, praising the comic book-style animation. "It's going to be pretty special, from what I've seen so far," he told Collider. "These guys have decided to go anamorphic with it and it's stunning. If you've seen that trailer, you already get a sense of what it is."

An older, down-and-out Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) will appear as a mentor to young Morales, though he won't be the only one offering guidance — Hailee Steinfeld has been cast as Spider-Gwen, the Earth 65 version of Gwen Stacy. "We are lucky," said producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, "to have such an amazing cast of funny, genuine creative souls to populate the Spider-Verse."

Scheduled release date: December 14, 2018

Hellboy

The Neil Marshall-directed reboot of Hellboy wrapped way back in December 2017, yet fans of the franchise are still waiting for the first footage to be officially released. Those lucky enough to have attended New York Comic-Con 2018 were treated to a trailer (someone recorded the whole thing on a cell phone and leaked it online, but Lionsgate acted quickly to have it taken down), however the wider public had to make do with a new, animated poster. David Harbour's Hellboy doesn't look too dissimilar from Ron Perlman's much-loved version of the character, though the Stranger Things star insists that his take on Big Red will actually be a lot closer to the character created by veteran comic book scribe Mike Mignola.

"Our color palette is a little darker," the actor told CNET in November 2018. "Hellboy has a lot more issues. He's a little more lost, a little more confused and conflicted. I think that makes for a darker tone in terms of what he's willing to do. It's more of a character piece, I think, than the Guillermo del Toro ones, which are a bit more spectacle and team-based and fun. Ours is a little more of a character study."

Harbour will face off against the ageless Milla Jovovich. The Resident Evil star is playing the villainous Blood Queen, an ancient witch also known as Nimue or The Lady of the Lake. Ian McShane will appear as Hellboy's adoptive father, Professor Broom.

Scheduled release date: April 12, 2019

Glass

M. Night Shyamalan's Split was one of the standouts of 2016. James McAvoy's tour de force performance as Kevin Wendell Crumb (a man with two dozen volatile personalities and some extraordinary abilities) drove the movie, but the most exciting moment came in the final scene when the brief appearance of Bruce Willis' David Dunn confirmed that Split was actually a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable. Shyamalan revealed that a trilogy had been years in the making, and the success of Split meant he was finally getting the chance to complete it.

Shyamalan wound up casting McAvoy in Split after a chance meeting at San Diego Comic-Con, and this was where he decided to release the first trailer for the highly anticipated follow-up, Glass. "The trailer worked the crowd into a frenzy," The Hollywood Reporter confirmed, a huge relief for Shyamalan. During the panel, the director revealed that he found the mixed reaction to Unbreakable a little "disheartening" and blamed Disney's marketing team for not allowing him to use the words "comic book" or "superhero" in the marketing (via IndieWire).

McAvoy couldn't attend the convention due to illness, but Bruce Willis and Samuel Jackson were both present. Willis remained pretty tight-lipped throughout, but Jackson (who plays Elijah Price, AKA Mr Glass) was as talkative as ever, professing his love for the character. Judging from the trailer, the fragile Mr. Glass is set to team up with Crumb and utilize his most savage personality, the Beast.

Scheduled release date: January 18, 2019

Captain Marvel

We know Captain Marvel is set sometime in the 1990s thanks to Marvel boss Kevin Feige, who revealed that he intends to pay homage to the big action movies of the decade with this MCU entry. The first trailer drilled that point home by crashing Brie Larson through the roof of a Blockbuster Video store, right into the Action section. It then went on to give us a glimpse of Captain Marvel's team Starforce (which contains some familiar faces), but the trailer didn't shed much light on how she came to have powers.

In the original comics (1977's Ms. Marvel #2, to be precise), Air Force pilot Carol Danvers gains her superhuman abilities after an accident involving the original Captain Marvel and a Kree device named the Psyche-Magnitron. That probably won't be the case in the upcoming film, however. Marvel has gone and retconned the character's origin story in its new Life of Captain Marvel series, introducing some pretty big changes ahead of the movie.

In the updated version, Carol is actually Car-Ell, a Kree-human hybrid whose powers are awoken as opposed to being gifted from her male mentor, Mar-Vell. The Hollywood Reporter described it as "a purposeful shift that befits the company's repositioning of the character as a model of female empowerment." It's been widely reported that Jude Law is playing Mar-Vell, though the actor has remained coy. "I'm not going to confirm or deny that," he told Entertainment Weekly.

Scheduled release date: March 8, 2019

Shazam!

The word "reshoots" became a dirty one among DC fans after the disaster that was Justice League, but that hasn't stopped Warner Bros. from recalling the Shazam! cast for some last minute tweaks. Additional photography will take place through the end of December 2018 according to reports, with rumors afoot that director David F. Sandberg has been asked to remove references to the wider DCEU, which are in the film in abundance according to star Zachary Levi. Sandberg has debunked these stories, however, telling his Twitter followers that it's "all normal stuff."

Sandberg insisted that the tone of the movie (which has been described by Levi as "Big meets the movie Superman") won't be altered during the reshoots. This will no doubt come as a relief to the DC fandom, which is in dire need of something a little lighter. The first trailer delivered on this big time, premiering to an "enthusiastic reaction" at Comic-Con 2018. "Shazam! looks fun and it looks funny," SlashFilm reported from the event in San Diego. "This is as much a comedy as it is a comic book movie."

According to Sandberg, Chuck star Levi was cast in the titular role precisely for that reason. "When I saw his first tape, it was just perfect," the director said. "He feels like a big kid. Lots of adults would play a kid in an adult's body as dumb, but Levi choose to play him as enthusiastic, and that made all the difference."

Scheduled release date: April 5, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

The wait for the big title reveal is over — the fourth Avengers movie is called Endgame. The name was actually leaked back in July 2018 when cinematographer Trent Opaloch added Avengers: Endgame to the credits section of his personal website. He swiftly changed that to Avengers 4 once he realized that he'd unintentionally set the internet ablaze, but (despite the Russos doing their best throw fans off the scent with cryptic Instagram posts), the cat was out of the bag.

Various other potential titles were bandied about, but this one always seemed to make most sense. The phrase "end game" has been used multiple times already in the Russo brothers-directed Marvel movies, as the Independent pointed out following Opaloch's gaffe. So we finally have a title, but what else did the highly-anticipated first trailer give away? On the surface, not a whole lot, but those who have been following the rumor mill closely will have had their interest piqued by a few telling shots.

The trailer opens with Tony Stark stranded in space recording a message for Pepper Potts. We've suspected for some time that Potts will be suiting up in the Rescue Armor, so that seems like Stark's most likely avenue of escape. We also have confirmation that Hawkeye has become Ronin (as predicted in 2017) and gone rogue in Tokyo, and the final shot all but confirms that Scott Lang (who has escaped the Quantum Realm) will play a crucial role in reversing Thanos' galactic genocide.

Scheduled release date: April 26, 2019 

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

With the Fox-Disney merger now cleared, Marvel's mutants are destined for the MCUDark Phoenix will be a swan song for Fox's hit-and-miss X-Men franchise, but behind-the-scenes issues have dogged this follow-up to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. The initial release date was bumped to buy time for extensive reshoots, and there were whispers that Disney might just can the movie at one point, but now that we have a trailer those false rumors have been put to bed.

Unfortunately, the first trailer didn't exactly blow X-Men fans away. While there were some cool nods to the comics, the internet was underwhelmed. There wasn't enough Jean Gray (Sophie Turner) for some viewers, raising concerns that the Dark Phoenix Saga will be botched all over again. The classic Marvel arc was the basis for 2006's The Last Stand, which failed to live up to the source material. Simon Kinberg was a producer on that movie, and he's making his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix.

Speaking to Empire after the trailer dropped, Kinberg insisted that the relationship between Jean Gray and James McAvoy's Charles Xavier is one of the "core themes" of the film, hinting, "Charles has been hiding secrets about Jean's past from her that get revealed over the span of the movie, and only make her more unstable." The director also revealed that the X-Men are recognized as superheroes at this point in the timeline, adding, "They've been more embraced than ever before."

Scheduled release date: June 7, 2019

Spider-Man: Far from Home

Details on the upcoming sequel to 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming have been coming thick and fast since Tom Holland "accidentally" revealed the name of the movie. Holland's Peter Parker is going on a field trip to Europe, where he'll encounter some all-new threats. "I think the storyline is fairly impacted by the locations we go to," Marvel chief Kevin Feige said (via CBM). "We love the notion of taking Spider-Man to places around the world that we haven't seen him in before."

Filming has already taken place in LondonPrague and Venice, where Spidey will apparently face off against Hydro-Man — Holland posted an Instagram video that clearly showed his stunt double being blasted off his feet by water from a nearby canal. Marvel is seemingly allowing the notoriously loose-lipped Holland to release "spoilers" about the sequel on social media, a savvy approach to advertising. Hydro-Man will be a secondary villain to Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio, however. The total number of villains being used remains unknown, but Marvel is quite clearly setting up the MCU Sinister Six.

Gyllenhaal's long-rumored involvement in the film was finally confirmed when video footage of him in costume fighting Spider-Man at an amusement park surfaced. Fans have been quick to point out that Spidey is wearing a black suit in this scene, which from some angles looks like the Spider-Man Noir costume. In reality, this is probably just a newly-discovered stealth mode built into his Spider-Man: Homecoming suit by Tony Stark.

Scheduled release date: July 5, 2019

New Mutants

The New Mutants was sold on the idea that it would be a horror movie starring Marvel characters. Director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) seemed the perfect fit, telling Creative Screenwriting that he was "obsessed with Marvel Comics through the 1980s, long before there was a Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie." His passion for the project made Fox want to take a chance on him, though according to reports, the studio wasn't impressed with what he turned in.

Initially scheduled for an April 2018 release, The New Mutants was pushed back ten whole months to February 2019, with the official reason (via The Hollywood Reporter) being that the studio wanted to avoid overlap with Deadpool 2 in certain overseas territories. It was later bumped to August 2019, further fueling rumors that there was something other than a simple scheduling conflict going on.

According to Collider, Fox execs didn't think that the movie was scary enough, and the term "extensive reshoots" apparently doesn't cover it — "at least 50 percent" of the original cut could end up being overhauled. Even Anya Taylor-Joy (who's starring alongside Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga and newcomer Blu Hunt) admitted that the reshoots were needed; as she put it, "I think we're making the movie that we set out to make, in the beginning."

Scheduled release date: August 2, 2019

Harbinger

In 2015, Sony struck a deal with Valiant Comics to adapt their properties Harbinger and Bloodshot for the big screen. The studio agreed a five-picture deal that would begin with a standalone film based on Harbinger, 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 tycoon hellbent on building a superhuman army.

Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer was asked to write the screenplay, an easy choice since he's written comics for Valiant. He was working on summer 2018 event Harbinger Wars 2 until Valiant was bought by Beijing-based media company DMG Entertainment — Heisserer quit the same day. Deadline had previously reported that Heisserer's script was to be re-written by Justin Tipping and Joshua Beirne-Golden, and (now ex) CEO Dinesh Shamdasani once said Sony was "very aggressive" about its 2018 target, but it will be 2019 at the earliest, according to sources close to sister production Bloodshot.

As far as DMG is concerned, it has more than enough Valiant properties to create a new cinematic universe. "This is about taking it to the next level," DMG founder and CEO Dan Mintz told The Hollywood Reporter. "I am not looking on expanding from a publishing standpoint but from a motion picture standpoint."

Scheduled release date: 2019 (TBD)

Reign of the Supermen

In 2017, DC announced that Warner Bros. Animation was adapting one of its most iconic Man of Steel arcs for a second time. The death and return of Superman was covered in 2007's Superman: Doomsday, but with a runtime of just 75 minutes, it scarcely resembled the classic comics upon which it was based. "We learned from Superman: Doomsday, deliver the full novel," Warner Home Video's Jeff Brown said. "We're going to cover the complete story as a two-parter."

The first installment, The Death of Superman, premiered at Comic-Con 2018, going down well—MovieWeb called it an "edgy, outstanding look at Clark Kent," while CinemaCrazed had "a damn good time with Superman at his most heroic." Follow-up Reign of the Supermen isn't due to drop until 2019, but according to screenwriter Tim Sheridan, it's worth the wait. "Superman represents hope, and at the end of The Death of Superman, that hope is lost," he said. "The question of where we go from there is what we're trying to explore with this story. We were able to take the book and amplify it, kick up the stakes a little bit."

Like the comic book counterpart, the film features four pretenders to Superman's recently vacated throne — Cyborg Superman, The Eradicator, Steel and Super Boy, described by Justice League Action producer James Krieg as "Superman if he'd been raised by the Kardashians."

Scheduled release date: 2019 (TBD)

Batman: Hush

Warner Bros. Animation revealed its DC slate for 2019 right after the premiere of The Death of Superman at Comic-Con 2018, and it appears they're upping their output. Traditionally, three DC Universe Animated Original Movies are released every year, but Warner Bros. has confirmed that it's got four films teed up for 2019. On top of upcoming sequel Reign of the Supermen, the studio intends to release a Justice League vs. The Fatal Five feature and a brand new Wonder Woman movie called Bloodlines, but it's the planned adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee's Batman: Hush that's creating the most buzz right now.

"The simple name belied a surprisingly complex story that would feature much of the Dark Knight's popular rogues' gallery, hint at the eventual return of the once dead Jason Todd, introduce Bruce Wayne's childhood friend Tommy Elliot and bring the romantic undertones of Batman's relationship with Catwoman to the forefront for the first time," DC said of the 12-part Batman series. "It's a story that's ripe with cinematic potential, as we'll likely discover when it's brought to animated life as part of the next wave of DC Universe Movies."

Batman: Hush is regularly ranked among the top Dark Knight comics of all time, so the pressure is on to get this one right. Poison Ivy, Ra's al Ghul and the Joker are all likely to be involved in the mayhem alongside Hush, the villain that the story is named after.

Scheduled release date: 2019 (TBD)

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

The R-rated Birds of Prey adaptation is now moving fast at Warner Bros., with the studio eager to hit its targeted February 2020 release date. Cathy Yan (who will become the first female Asian to helm a superhero movie) was brought on board after star Margot Robbie vouched for her, calling Yan an "incredible" talent when she spoke to IndieWire and explaining why she wanted a woman in the director's chair. "Well, it's a female girl gang film," Robbie said. "Historically, female filmmakers aren't given the same opportunities, and we all need to be making conscious efforts to even out those statistics." 

London-born screenwriter Christina Hodson (who wrote Transformers spinoff Bumblebee and is also working on the Batgirl script) is behind the movie, which will feature Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Fargo), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Underground) and Rosie Perez (Fearless) as HuntressBlack Canary and Renee Montoya. Newcomer Ella Jay Basco is being lined up to play Cassandra Cain according to Variety, whose sources have also confirmed that Ewan McGregor will play the movie's villain, Gotham City crime lord Black Mask.

In November 2018, Robbie revealed the full title of the movie in an Instagram post — it will go by the name Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Production will kick off in earnest in early 2019 and the movie will hit cineplexes a week before James Bond 25, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Scheduled release date: February 7, 2020

Bloodshot

Filming on Sony's Bloodshot adaptation began in August 2018, with leading man Vin Diesel sharing a behind-the-scenes video from the movie's Africa set to mark the occasion. The Fast and the Furious star looked exhausted as he addressed his Instagram followers alongside debuting director Dave Wilson. "Thank you for believing in us," Diesel said, as this is actually a first for him, too — strange as it seems, he's never headlined a superhero movie, and this one has been a long time in the making.

Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (John Wick) were attached when Sony's deal with Valiant was first announced, but the proposed 2017 release date came and went. It wasn't until January 2018 that the casting process finally got underway. Diesel won the title role and was later joined by Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island), Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver), Talulah Riley (Westworld), Johannes Haukur Johannesson (Game of Thrones), Alex Hernandez (Hemlock Grove), Sam Heughan (Outlander) and Iron Man 3's Guy Pearce, a late replacement for Michael Sheen.

Eric Heisserer (Arrival) has provided the script, and the movie will be "in the tone of the classic 1980s tentpoles like RoboCopTerminator and Total Recall," according to Deadline. Diesel has been active on social media in the early stages of the shoot, clearly excited about playing Bloodshot, a former soldier who gets superhuman abilities after nanites are injected into his blood.

Scheduled release date: February 21, 2020

Gambit

The term "production hell" has been used a little too loosely by the Hollywood trades over the years, but it most definitely applies to Gambit. Channing Tatum's long-gestating X-Men movie has been in development since 2014, and a number of directors have come and gone: Rupert WyattDoug Liman, and Gore Verbinski all grew restless and left to pursue different projects, and a suitable replacement is yet to be found. Unsurprisingly, Fox has chosen to postpone the release once again.

According to Deadline, the studio has bumped the date back a whole nine months and we now won't see Tatum make his bow as the card-tossing Cajun mutant until March 2020 at the earliest. Screenwriters Reid Carolin and Joshua Zetumer remain attached, though nailing down a director is proving exceedingly difficult. Producer Simon Kinberg acknowledged as much when he spoke to Variety at the Deadpool 2 premiere, pleading for patience.

"We have a script that we love — that Channing loves," Kinberg said. "I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone. Deadpool feels like it exploded out of nowhere, but it was a 10-year development process on that movie. I think it was honed over those 10 years." Speaking to IGN, Kinberg explained why he envisions Gambit as a romcom. "We just felt like there was an attitude — a swagger to him — that lent itself to romantic comedy."

Scheduled release date: March 13, 2020

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

Wonder Woman 1984

Production on the highly anticipated sequel to Wonder Woman commenced in June 2018, just days after DC Entertainment's Geoff Johns shared what appeared to be the movie's first official logo. Warner Bros. tried to keep people guessing by registering a variety of different domain names (they snatched up wonderwoman1980.com through wonderwoman1989.com), but when Johns posted an image that read "WW84," it didn't take a genius to work out what the title was going to be.

Director Patty Jenkins said early on that she wanted to set the second film in the United States, and it appears as though she got her wish. Set photos confirm that at least a portion of the movie will take place in Washington DC, where Gal Gadot has been spotted filming scenes and performing stunts by locals. The time (1984 will place the ageless Amazonian in the Cold War) and place indicate that this will be a political thriller of sorts, though it could also be a nod to George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984.

There's nothing concrete out there in terms of plot yet, but we now know for sure that Chris Pine is back as Steve Trevor, a fact that has fans utterly perplexed. The American pilot sacrificed himself to destroy a deadly chemical weapon at the climax of the first movie, but publicity stills have shown him rocking an '80s-tastic tracksuit and looking very much alive.

Scheduled release date: June 5, 2020

Green Lantern Corps

Both Warner Bros. and Ryan Reynolds have openly mocked 2011's Green Lantern, a colossal flop that left the studio out of pocket and almost derailed the actor's career. The DCEU version will draw heavily from Geoff Johns' (who stepped down as DC's Chief Brand Officer in June 2018 but continued to work on the reboot script) highly celebrated run on the Green Lantern comic title. "It's a complete re-imagining, just like I did Green Lantern: Rebirth in the comics," he told IGN at Comic-Con 2018. "I'm going to be hopefully delivering a script that Warner loves and DC likes and they want to make it."

Tom Cruise has been linked to the role of Hal Jordan and regular collaborator Christopher McQuarrie was reportedly attached to direct at one stage, but the Mission: Impossible – Fallout helmer ultimately turned down the job. Speaking to Collider, he explained why. "When I came in on Green Lantern I was like, 'Here's how I would do Green Lantern,' and they were like, 'Ah, but you know,' and I said, 'Well, that's what I would do,' and they said, 'Well, will you direct it?' And I said, 'No, 'cause there's no script.'"

According to McQuarrie, the studio then asked him to write the script himself, but he told them that it shouldn't be a "McQuarrie" movie. "Make it the greatest Green Lantern you can make it," he said. Good advice, but will the studio heed it?

Scheduled release date: July 24, 2020

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was thrown into turmoil when James Gunn (writer and director of the first two installments) was sacked by Disney, who placed the sequel on hold while it took stock of the situation. Gunn found himself at the center of a controversy after some Twitter users with opposing political views dug up some distasteful jokes he'd made almost a decade ago. He had already apologized for the jokes in question, but Disney (perhaps feeling its hand was forced after axing Roseanne Barr for offensive tweets) chose to act swiftly and sever ties with Gunn.

Explaining the decision, studio chairman Alan Horn said that Gunn's words were "indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values," and the director didn't try to deny that. In his apology, he claimed that he saw himself as a "provocateur" at the time and insisted he'd "developed as a person" since then. "Today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger," Gunn added (via MovieWeb).

The cast signed an open letter in support of Gunn, but the Mouse House hasn't shown any signs of budging. It will, however, use the script that Gunn wrote before being shown the door. "I know Disney still wants to make the movie," Sean Gunn told Tulsa World. "I know that they have every intention of using the script that my brother wrote." Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, had threatened to quit the movie if Gunn's screenplay wasn't used.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Flashpoint

The upcoming Flash solo feature has been progressing at an ironically slow pace since DC announced its official title (Flashpoint) during its Hall H panel at Comic-Con 2017. Dope director Rick Famuyiwa came on board to replace the outgoing Seth Grahame-Smith in the hot seat, but he later exited the project after running into creative differences with Warner Bros. over his script (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Variety then confirmed that Joby Harold had been hired to perform a page-one rewrite on Famuyiwa's screenplay, and his new version is now in the hands of Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. The duo (who co-wrote Marvel's Spider-Man: Homecoming) told Collider that Warner Bros. approached them with "a list of DC properties" for their consideration, and Flashpoint was the one that stood out.

"They were interested in us because of Game Night and Spider-Man," Goldstein said. "We're huge fans of the character, I collected the comic books as a kid. It was an exciting possibility." Leading man Ezra Miller has already met with Daley and Goldstein and he seems pretty happy with their appointment, calling them "really, really cool guys" during his appearance at Wizard World Comic Con (via ScreenRant).

In other news, Kiersey Clemons (who was cast by Famuyiwa) confirmed during her May 2018 appearance on Conan that she will still be appearing as traditional Flash love interest Iris West despite her scenes as the character getting cut from Justice League.

Scheduled release date: 2020 (TBD)

Suicide Squad 2

The sequel to David Ayer's divisive anti-hero team-up movie was supposed to begin filming in March 2018, but Suicide Squad 2 was bumped back to make way for the planned Birds of Prey movie. The search for the right person to replace the outgoing Ayer has been a long, drawn-out one. Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) and Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) have all been linked at some stage, but it was Gavin O'Connor (The Accountant) who got the nod.

O'Connor was also entrusted with the script — a good move, according to Jared Leto. The Joker actor voiced his approval over O'Connor's hiring when he spoke to Collider, calling him "incredibly talented" and praising what he sees as a complementary fit. "He seems to be the perfect director for Suicide Squad 2," Leto mused. "I think he's a really gifted filmmaker and I really love his work."

The decision to prioritize the highly similar Birds of Prey movie ultimately led to O'Connor exiting the Suicide Squad sequel. Warner Bros. was once again in need of someone to spearhead the franchise, and it saw Disney's firing of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as an opportunity. According to DC Daily (via ScreenRant), Gunn has been hired to rewrite the Suicide Squad 2 script and will bring "a completely fresh take to the franchise." There's been no confirmation on Gunn also directing, though reports suggest that he will.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Batgirl

A lot has happened in Hollywood since Joss Whedon's Batgirl was announced, which is essentially why the project fell apart. The Marvel stalwart announced that he would be directing a film about 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 told The Hollywood Reporter.

Sadly for DC fans, Whedon's Batgirl just wasn't meant to be. The filmmaker initially claimed that he came up short with the script and decided to exit the "exciting project" because he didn't have a story, but he later revealed that this wasn't exactly true. Speaking to the press at the Avengers: Infinity War premiere, Whedon explained that he did actually have a story, it just wasn't the right time for him to tell it given the current climate.

"It had been a year since I first pitched a story," he told Variety from the red carpet. "A lot happened in that year, and I felt some of the elements might not work as well… So I told people I didn't have an idea, which isn't the exact truth. I had an idea, and it just didn't fit in the space that was left for it." Christina Hodson (writer of Transformers spinoff Bumblebee) has now been tapped to pen the screenplay, THR reports.

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.

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. 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

A this point, the Justice League Dark movie has had almost as many directors come and go as the DC team has had members. Guillermo del Toro spent years developing a script only to leave so he could work on his Pacific Rim sequel. Doug Liman abandoned Fox's long-gestating Gambit movie so he could take over, but he wound up jumping ship to Chaos Walking, an adaptation of Patrick Ness' YA novel of the same name.

Andy Muschietti was all set to take the reins 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. Warner Bros. then brought in Gerard Johnstone to touch up the script, and he was reportedly one of a handful of filmmakers being considered for the director's job on the strength of his critically acclaimed horror comedy Housebound, but even his involvement now seems in doubt.

According to sources, the version of the script currently at the top of the pile was penned by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), and it apparently includes a cameo from some deep cut DC characters. "We're told that the current script features a trip to Eddie Deacon's pocket dimension bar, Oblivion, where we meet the Shadowpact," the report states. "According to our source, Detective Chimp, Doctor Fate, Black Orchid, Pandora and the Phantom Stranger are all set to appear."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Silver and Black

In February 2018, Sony reportedly halted production on its planned team-up outing Silver and Black, which was set to follow Tom Hardy's Venom in what is now being referred to as Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters. Follow-up reports then suggested that the movie was still going to happen, but Sony had apparently decided to "go back to the drawing board" with the screenplay. Speaking to Collider, director Gina Prince-Bythewood explained the delays.

"We actually collectively decided to go back to the drawing board and start over," she said. "We have to get the script right, and I'm okay to wait." Prince-Bythewood set about making her own alterations to a screenplay originally co-penned by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) and Lindsey Beer (Chaos Walking), but in August 2018, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch told Variety that Silver and Black was being split into two separate movies, with a Black Cat film apparently being prioritized over a Silver Sable solo outing.

"We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film," said Panitch. Felicity Jones appeared briefly as Felicia Hardy (Black Cat's real name in the comics) in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but this will be the Marvel cat burglar's proper debut. Variety sources claim Prince-Bythewood will likely no longer direct, but will still produce both movies.

Scheduled release dates: TBD

Joker

He's arguably the most iconic villain in comic book history, yet the Joker has never been given a truly definitive backstory, neither in print nor on the big screen. Warner Bros. will remedy that in 2019 with the help of director Todd Phillips and thrice-Oscar nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix, who has been spotted filming scenes in the New York area. Just Jared were the first to obtain pictures of Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, the man who ultimately becomes Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime. The gossip site published photos of a cardigan-clad Fleck honking the red nose of a clown and passing by a sign that reads "Ha-Ha's Talent Booking," all but confirming the theories that Phoenix is playing a failed stand-up comedian gone bad.

Joker (which is rumored to be a mixture of Alan Moore's beloved Batman: The Killing Joke graphic novel and Martin Scorsese's classic King of Comedy) now has an official synopsis. According to the Warner Bros. 2019 editorial guide (via Esquire), the film will be an "exploration of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society, [and] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale."

King of Comedy star Robert de Niro will appear in something of a role reversal and Alec Baldwin was confirmed as Thomas Wayne at one point, but he soon left the project and was replaced by Hollywood veteran Brett Cullen. Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Frances Conroy (American Horror Story) and stand-up comedian turned actor Marc Maron are all involved.

Scheduled release date: October 4, 2019

Untitled Joker and Harley Quinn movie

According to Margot Robbie, she and Jared Leto shot numerous scenes together for Suicide Squad that audiences never got to see. "We filmed so much of our backstory," Robbie revealed when she spoke to Hazel Hayes. "The backstory stuff was like magic, and some of the stuff we shot was insane… Especially when you've got Jared who's going so deep with that character."

One of the chief criticisms that David Ayer faced was that he didn't include enough Joker in Suicide Squad (the director openly acknowledged his mistake in a letter to fans), but we definitely haven't seen the last of Leto as the Clown Prince of Crime. In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (co-helmers of 2011's Crazy, Stupid, Love) had been hired to bring a Joker-Harley Quinn movie to life, and they're now starting to spill the beans about their joint vision.

"We wrote Bad Santa a couple of years ago, and it was that sensibility mixed with our This Is Us sensibility," Ficarra told Metro. "[It's] a relationship movie but with the sensibility of a Bad Santa, f***** up, mentally deranged people… The whole thing starts with Harley kidnapping Dr. Phil (played by Dr. Phil, hopefully) because [she] and the Joker are having problems with their relationship." The filmmakers confirmed that their movie would come after both the Joaquin Phoenix Joker origins movie and the planned Birds of Prey adaptation.

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."

Former 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.

Rogen and Goldberg's next challenge might just be their trickiest yet, but if anyone can pull it off, they can. They're currently working on a feature-length adaptation of Robert Kirkman's Invincible, which is the moniker used by super-powered teenager Mark Grayson. Kirkman publicly backed the hiring of Rogen and Goldberg, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the story (which borders on satire at times) "couldn't be in more capable hands." Goldberg spoke to Mashable about the freedoms that come with working on a lesser-known property.

"If we instead chose to do the Justice League movie, the restrictions that I assume come with that are phenomenally huge," he said. "It's the opposite with Invincible. We've been given a universe where we can really go nuts, and thanks to how Kirkman has written the comics we can kill off people, we can do insane things that you just would not be given the opportunity to do, I imagine, with a Marvel or a DC film."

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, aka 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 10 p.m. to watch it, though. She's just phenomenal."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Deathstroke

It was huge news for comic book fans at the time, but a couple of years have passed since Ben Affleck confirmed that Deathstroke was on his way to the DCEU. The Batman actor shared some raw footage of the character with his social media followers in 2016, and it was soon revealed that the man behind the mask was Joe Manganiello. The True Blood star went on to make his debut as the deadly DC mercenary alongside Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor in the second Justice League post-credits tag. That short scene opened the door for the first onscreen take on the Injustice League, but it looks like Deathstroke will actually get to play center stage in his own feature film in the future. 

In 2017, TheWrap exclusively revealed that British filmmaker Gareth Evans (The Raid) had been given permission to get to work on a Deathstroke movie after impressing DC execs with his pitch. When asked about it at Comic-Con 2018, Manganiello insisted it was still happening. "It's in the works," he told MTV's Josh Horowitz. "All I can say is, for the hardcore fans, it's in the works. They want the character to happen, it's just when he happens."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Black Adam

We've known for a number of years now that Dwayne Johnson will be suiting up as Shazam! nemesis Black Adam (a former slave who seeks revenge on his captors after gaining superpowers in DC comics), but it won't be in the Shazam! movie. In 2017, a high level meeting between the former wrestler and studio execs reportedly ended with both parties agreeing that Black Adam should have his own movie, not second billing to Zachary Levi in the opening Shazam! feature.

Johnson has waited a long time to realize his ambition of playing this popular DC anti-hero. The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star has exercised great patience, taking 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." Almost four years have passed since that interview, but are we any further forward with a Black Adam movie?

Speaking to Collider in August 2018, Hiram Garcia (president of productions at Seven Bucks Productions, which Johnson co-founded) confirmed that Black Adam was "definitely" still in the works. "We're actually very deep into a script on it right now, which is coming along really well," he said. "I'm really excited with the story we've crafted… I've always been a huge comic book fan."

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 (aka 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

Ant-Man 3

Films tend to come in threes at Marvel Studios. Like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor before him, Paul Rudd's Ant-Man will get a trilogy. According to Rudd's co-star Michael Peña, a third Ant-Man movie is indeed in the cards, but he isn't sure if his services will be required. When he spoke to IGN about war movie 12 Strong (in which he starred alongside Thor actor Chris Hemsworth), Peña revealed that the subject of Marvel came up straight away.

"We talked about [Marvel] on the first day," Peña said. "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." Details on Ant-Man 3 were scarce at that point, but Marvel producer Stephen Broussard has since revealed that there's an undiscovered clue about the plot in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and it relates to the Quantum Realm.

"Clearly, Janet's been up to something and has different clothes on and some weapons," he told the Empire Film Podcast (via ComicBook.com). "Where did those come from? And similarly, if you look at the right moment and freeze the DVD in a certain place, maybe you'll see something else as well that could tip a hat to where the story could go."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Spawn

Fans of Todd McFarlane's Spawn were let down badly by the 1997 big-screen adaptation of the property, and he knows it. The former Marvel man is taking matters into his own hands this time out — he'll write and direct the upcoming reboot himself, with Jamie Foxx in the title role. McFarlane told Deadline that Foxx came to him five years ago with an idea for a new Spawn feature and he's apparently had him in mind ever since. Foxx won't actually be the star of the show, however.

Avengers actor Jeremy Renner has been cast as Max "Twitch" Williams, who will be the real focal point of the film. "We've exclusively learned that the movie will focus on NYPD detective Twitch after he loses his daughter to gang violence," Super Bros Movies reports. "Twitch quickly realizes he's in over his head as he learns that two of the largest organizations are teaming up to take over the criminal underworld of the city." Hellspawn Al Simmons (Foxx, who is rumored to be mute throughout) will reportedly reveal himself to Twitch and guide him down the path to vengeance.

Spawn will be produced by Blumhouse and will cost just $11 million to make. Speaking to ComicBook.com, McFarlane revealed that he was open to selling the film to Netflix, saying, "I'm not going to get married to a distribution model that may not be as relevant or as efficient because that's how you used to do it."

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

Black Widow

Marvel bosses reportedly interviewed as many as 70 different directors when they decided to finally forge ahead with the long-gestating Black Widow movie, and Cate Shortland came out on top. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Widow portrayer Scarlett Johansson admired Shortland's handling of the female lead in her critically acclaimed 2012 drama Lore. Johansson was also instrumental in the hiring of up-and-coming screenwriter Jac Schaeffer, Variety reports. But what do we know about the plot?

Sources close to the production (via ScreenRant) claim that the film will explore the origins of the former KGB agent in a prequel story featuring Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier. Johansson is yet to confirm exactly where the Black Widow movie will fit into the MCU timeline, but she did say that Black Widow's solo outing will be "really groundbreaking and incredibly badass" when she sat down with Ellen DeGeneres (via IndieWire) in April 2018. "The character has a tortured past, she's had to make a lot of difficult decisions. She has a lot of trauma."

In November 2018, That Hashtag Show obtained an exclusive list of character breakdowns from their Marvel sources, and it makes for some pretty interesting reading. There were no names provided, but their insiders claim that the studio is on the hunt for a "conniving female villain," a "bookish American" and a "kick ass female character described as a female Bond," among others.

Scheduled release date: 2020 (TBD)

The Batman

Is Ben Affleck done playing Batman? Rumors that the Oscar winner had hung up the famous cowl have been making the rounds ever since he stepped down as director of The Batman, telling fans that he simply couldn't do both jobs to the required level. "Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film," Affleck said in a statement. Lifelong Batman fan Matt Reeves stepped in to fill the void, though there are still question marks over the lead role.

Affleck has given conflicting information on his continued involvement, denying rumors he's about to walk and then claiming he's unsure about his future in the DCEU (or the Worlds of DC, as it's now being referred to). He completed a 40-day stint in rehab for alcohol addiction in 2018, adding further fuel to the flames, but his Justice League co-star Ezra Miller has attempted to play down the speculation. "When there are these leaks of information — or however people get stuff — it's pretty unreliable," the Flash actor said (via CinemaBlend).

Hollywood Life sources claim that Affleck has a "new-found love" for the character since getting back to good health and Warner Bros. is apparently eager to keep him in the picture. But according to Revenge of the Fans (via ComicBookMovie), Reeves wants to cast a new, younger actor in the role and isn't interested in the studio's plan to have Affleck appear in "bookend sequences."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Nightwing

We first heard that Warner Bros. had added a Nightwing solo film to its DC slate back in February 2017 when The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie) was in talks to direct and Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) was on board to write. A year passed with no solid news and rumors that McKay had dumped Nightwing for Paramount's upcoming Dungeons and Dragons reboot began to swirl, but the director assured fans that the only way he'd leave the Batman spinoff is if Warner Bros. fired him.

"We are taking our time," McKay said in February 2018 (via CinemaBlend). "Expect big things from DC, Geoff Johns and WB team! Exciting year ahead!" The director warned that it would still be some time before they announced who would be taking on the title role, but we now have an idea of the kind of actor he's after. Lewis Tan (Iron Fist, Deadpool 2) has confirmed that he's met with DC executives about Nightwing, and he sounds pretty confident about his chances.   

"I know Chris McKay wants a martial artist," the British-born Asian-American told ThatHashtagShow in July 2018. "He's following me on Twitter. There's a lot of good juju vibes out there for that." Tan's father (martial artist and stunt coordinator Philip Tan) came to America to work on Tim Burton's Batman, and his son wants things to come "full circle" for the family with Nightwing.

Scheduled release date: TBD

X-Force

Like its wildly popular predecessor, 2018's Deadpool 2 wowed critics and audiences alike with its gleeful gore and R-rated gags, but the biggest difference between the two films was the fact that the Merc with a Mouth had some allies this time around. Viewers were introduced to the X-Force (a team of morally ambiguous Marvel mutants), setting the stage for a team-up movie. The titular character (once again played to perfection by Ryan Reynolds) was joined by Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard), Peter (Rob Delaney) and Vanisher (spoiler).

There isn't a script for X-Force yet, but it seems like Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) is nailed on to direct, which Reynolds highly approves of. "I just wanna work with Drew," he told Collider. "I love him and he has such an interesting take on where he wants to take that world… So, I'm really excited about that. I'm excited about a couple new characters that we're talking about. And I'm really especially excited to work with Drew."

Reynolds confirmed that the project is still "a ways away from shooting" at the moment, but fans have already been attempting to work out who the "new characters" he discussed could be. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the name Essex was emblazoned on the orphanage for mutants that Julian Dennison's Russell was imprisoned in during Deadpool 2, hinting at the involvement of the villainous Mr. Sinister.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Nightwatch

In 2017, Jeff Sneider of Meet The Movie Press (via ComicBookMovie) claimed that Sony were developing yet another Spider-Man spinoff feature, this one based on relatively obscure character Nightwatch. Debuting in 1993's Web of Spider-Man #97, Nightwatch (aka Dr. Kevin Trench) was initially disregarded as a Spawn ripoff by many, due to his similar costume and the fact that Spawn creator Todd McFarlane had just left Marvel. But that isn't stopping Nightwatch from getting his own movie at Columbia, whose parent studio Sony continue to mine the Spider-Man back catalogue in search of hidden gems.

Nightwatch has been subject to some retconning over the years, but the origin story we're likely to see onscreen involves Dr. Trench witnessing a masked man die fighting some terrorists. When Trench removes the dead man's mask, he is looking at an older version of himself. Panicking, he steals the suit and flees to a desert island, but eventually takes it as his own and becomes a vigilante.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Booster Gold

Booster Gold is one of the most outlandish superheroes on DC's extensive roster, though Greg Berlanti believes he can make the character (a vain man from the future who illegally obtains a time machine and travels to present day in pursuit of a celebrity lifestyle) work on the big screen. Berlanti has spearheaded several DC shows over the years and was initially developing Booster Gold for TV, but in 2016 he revealed a movie was actually on the cards. He didn't foresee it being a part of the DCEU, however.

"As of right now we have no connective tissue to those worlds," he told Vulture. "It'd be a separate thing." Zack Stentz (ThorX-Men: First Class) was said to be working on the screenplay, but things went quiet after that and the project appeared to fall down the pecking order. Two years passed before Berlanti offered an update, telling TheWrap that Booster Gold was "still in development with DC" as of March 2018.

"They're trying to figure out both the distance that we still have to travel and how we want to execute it, how it's going to fit into their greater landscape," he said. "That's really on them, they're still kind of determining their order of business on that end." This one is probably some way off yet, but given the precarious state of the DCEU post-Justice League, the franchise could do with an injection of lighthearted fun sooner rather than later.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled Man of Steel sequel

Henry Cavill made his debut as Superman back when the DCEU was still in its infancy, but years of Extended Universe growing pains have stopped a standalone sequel to 2013's Man of Steel from getting off the ground. In January 2018, RTF claimed that Man of Steel 2 was on its way, predicting an official announcement at Comic-Con 2018. The San Diego event came and went with no news, however, and now it looks like it might not happen at all — at least, not with Henry Cavill.

In September 2018, reports that Cavill was done with DC started to circulate. The Hollywood Reporter got the scoop, quoting a studio source who claimed that Warner Bros. wanted to steer the DCEU in a new direction. Contract negotiations reportedly stalled after Cavill refused to cameo in the Shazam! movie because of commitments elsewhere, but the studio has attempted to downplay the rumors.

"We have a great relationship and great respect for Henry Cavill that continues to remain unchanged," a Warner Bros. spokesperson said. "We have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films." Cavill's agent claimed that the red cape is "still in his closet" and that he expects to be part of the conversation as Warner Bros. "evolve the DC Universe," but this cryptic Instagram message from Cavill seems to suggest that the rumors are accurate.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Nemesis

In January 2018, Warner Bros. executive Sue Kroll announced that she was parting ways with the studio after 24 years of service. As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, the long-serving marketing chief intends to go it alone, and her fledgling production company Kroll & Co. Entertainment has some pretty exciting projects in the pipeline. Much of the focus has been on her planned reboot of classic sci-fi show The Six Million Dollar Man, but of more interest to superhero movie fans is the adaptation of Mark Millar's Nemesis.

"What if Batman was the Joker?" That was one of the taglines that Millar was playing with when he and artist Steve McNiven sat down to discuss Nemesis (released through Marvel's Icon imprint) with CBR in 2009. "Nemesis is a reversal of the Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark archetype," the revered scribe explained. "What if this genius billionaire was just this total s***, and the only thing that stood between him and a city was the cops? It's Batman versus Commissioner Gordon, in a weird way, or maybe a super-villain version of Se7en. A billionaire anarchist up against ordinary people."

Studios were apparently ready to purchase the rights to Nemesis before it had even been released, though a movie has yet to materialize. The Grey director Joe Carnahan was attached at one stage, having taken over from the late Tony Scott. Scott's brother Ridley is helping to develop the property according to recent reports.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Red Sonja

Red Sonja made her comic book debut in Marvel's Conan the Barbarian #23 (1973) and is still in print today via Dynamite Comics, who specialize in pre-existing franchises. The upcoming adaptation won't be the first Red Sonja movie — Brigitte Nielsen played the scantily clad warrior in 1985, a major miscast according to the critics. Rose McGowan and Aquaman star Amber Heard have both been linked with the role in the years since, as has former WWE superstar Sable.

There's no news on who might take up the mantle in this planned reboot from Millennium Films, but we know Thor screenwriter Ashley Miller is penning the screenplay. "It's an exciting opportunity to faithfully adapt the amazing Hyborean world Robert E. Howard created, and inject it with Sonja's intelligence, ferocity and fearless humanity," Miller told Deadline. "I want people to love Sonja the way I love her, and walk out of the theater understanding why she's so popular and enduring."

You'd think Millennium would follow the examples being set by Marvel and DC and hire a female director to take charge of this female-led movie, but according to reports, it will do the complete opposite and throw a load of cash at controversial filmmaker Bryan Singer. "A knowledgeable source tells The Hollywood Reporter that Singer is negotiating for a payday of up to $10 million," reads the report. "A stunning figure given that there appeared to be no studios gunning for his services amid a risk-averse climate."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Ms. Marvel

It's full steam ahead with Captain Marvel right now, but true to form, Marvel's already looking at ways to expand the franchise going forward. During a May 2018 interview with the BBC, Kevin Feige was asked if there were any plans to introduce the character Ms. Marvel — a superhero of Pakistani origin — to the MCU at any stage. In the comics, Kamala Khan is a Captain Marvel fangirl who takes up the moniker Ms. Marvel after mist from a Terrigen bomb gives her polymorphic abilities.

"Captain Marvel's shooting right now with Brie Larson. Ms. Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works," he confirmed. "We have plans for that once we've introduced Captain Marvel to the world." The BBC believe that Priyanka Chopra (who voices Ms. Marvel in the Marvel: Avengers Academy mobile game) is an early favorite to play the role, though the fact that she's in her mid-30s could be a bit of a sticking point — the character is supposed to be teenager. Many fans have also pointed out that Chopra is Indian, not Pakistani.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Eternals

Marvel has been having "creative discussions" about an Eternals movie for some time now, but when Kevin Feige spoke to The Wrap about it back in April 2018 it clearly wasn't that high up on his agenda. James Gunn's messy firing from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 seems to have changed that, however. With that picture now delayed indefinitely, the studio has a cosmic-sized hole it needs to fill.

In the Eternals comics, the titular godlike beings walk among humankind and battle against another nigh-on immortal race known as the Deviants. The movie will be "a love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans," THR reports, but there will be a host of other new heroes making debuts in the MCU. In November 2018, The Hashtag Show obtained exclusive details about the characters Marvel plans to introduce, most of whom come from creator Jack Kirby's original run on the title.

On top of Ikaris and Sersi, we'll reportedly get to see Greek goddess Thena, artificially created being Elysius and even Eros of Titan (a.k.a. Starfox), the brother of Thanos. Sources claim that the big bad will be Druig, who made his debut back in the late '70s but is perhaps best-remembered from Neil Gaiman's 2000 Eternals revival. Newcomer Chloe Zhao will direct from a screenplay written by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. Production has been tentatively scheduled for September 2019, with a 2020 release looking likely.

Scheduled release date: 2020 (TDB)

New Gods

Ask, and you shall receive. This was Ava DuVernay's attitude when it came to adapting New Gods, a DC property created by legendary comic book scribe/artist Jack Kirby in the early 1970s. DuVernay (director of Best Picture nominee Selma and Disney flop A Wrinkle in Time) is a fan of Kirby's cosmic saga and had long harbored ambitions of bringing it to the big screen, so she contacted Warner Bros. and asked if they'd be interested in letting her do just that.

"I actually said: 'Hey guys, I wanna make a New Gods movie,' then someone said, 'Okay,'" she revealed during a June 2018 Q&A session (via CBM). "New Gods is in early development and feeling good." DuVernay often takes to Twitter to answer questions from fans. In November 2017 she was asked who her favorite superhero of all time was, and she revealed that while it was a tough choice, her number one was Big Barda, a New Gods character raised on the planet Apokolips as a servant of the evil Darkseid.

Not a lot is known about the project outside of DuVernay's tweets at the moment, and we're not even sure whether it will be part of the DC Extended Universe. Variety reports that New Gods will indeed exist within the DCEU, but Deadline claims otherwise, stating that there will be "no connection to the other DC worlds being exploited for film right now."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled Jared Leto Joker movie

Warner Bros. currently has as many as four live-action movies involving the Joker in various stages of development. They don't all involve Jared Leto's version of the character, but it looks as though Leto will reprise the role on at least three more occasions, including a standalone movie. In June 2018, Variety revealed that Warner Bros. wanted to expand on the divisive but profitable Suicide Squad with several new spinoffs, one of which is said to be an as-yet untitled Leto-led Joker feature.

The actor was rumored to have been unhappy about the amount of screen time that his version of Mr. J had in the final cut of Suicide Squad (he was only on screen for a total of 7 minutes), and director David Ayer later admitted this was a mistake, telling fans that he "agonizes" over his decision to not make Joker the lead villain. His role in the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel will likely be greater, but Leto will really get to flex his method muscles in this standalone picture as well as the tentatively titled Harley Quinn vs. The Joker movie.

There's no writer attached to the project yet, but according to reports, the Oscar-winning Leto will play a part in the search for one, and also reportedly act as an executive producer on the project.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Doctor Strange 2

Benedict Cumberbatch made his debut as Doctor Strange in the mind-bending movie of the same name in 2016, but a sequel has never seemed high on Marvel's agenda. Fans of the Master of the Mystic Arts need fear not, however, as Kevin Feige has revealed that Doctor Strange 2 is definitely happening. The Marvel president explained that while there might be a large time gap between Doctor Strange solo pictures, the character has been developing nicely in other movies.

"Sometimes it's 'where do those characters pop up?'" Feige said (via CBM). "Strange, you know, whenever we do another Strange one, which we will do, it will be a number of years from the first Strange, and yet he's a very big part of Infinity War." The Sorcerer Supreme also played a supporting part in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok and could even potentially replace Tony Stark as Peter Parker's go-to Avenger in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.

There's nothing official in terms of plot when it comes to Doctor Strange 2, but we do have a good idea of who the villain — or villains — will be. Doctor Strange screenwriter C. Robert Cargill has hinted that classic Strange nemesis Nightmare will make an appearance, though we'll also get to see Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Mordo develop into something special. According to Cargill, Marvel plans on "fully realizing Mordo as more than just a cardboard cutout villain, but actually taking him to kind of Loki levels of awesomeness."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Morbius

Venom didn't exactly blow the critics away, but it still outperformed Wonder Woman, Deadpool, and even Spider-Man: Homecoming at the worldwide box office. Emboldened by the huge figures, Sony is pressing ahead with its Universe of Marvel Characters, and Morbius the Living Vampire is apparently the next anti-hero to get a standalone feature. "We're obviously working on Morbius now," producer Matt Tolmach told ComicBook.com in September 2018. "That's sort of next up for us." Suicide Squad star Jared Leto will appear in the title role, and Tolmach expects the Joker actor to bring the same "intensity and charisma and devotion" to the part. 

Real name Dr. Michael Morbius, this lesser-known character is a scientist who is forced to turn to vampirism after his attempts to cure his rare blood disease have some horrific side effects. Morbius did battle with Marvel's wall-crawler when he first appeared in 1971's Amazing Spider-Man #101, but he became more of a sympathetic figure in later issues, which will likely be the case come the end of this debut solo feature.

Speaking to Collider, Tolmach and his fellow producer Avi Arad revealed that they hope to get the ball rolling as soon as February 2019. Leto is already preparing for filming to begin, tweeting a video of himself getting a clean shave as a teaser to fans. Daniel Espinosa (Life) has been hired to helm, and he'll apparently be working from a script penned by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Lost in Space).

Scheduled release date: July 10, 2020 (TBD)

Faith

Sony seems to be all about the superhero genre right now. On top of the many Spider-Man spinoffs it has in the pipeline, the studio is also developing a number of Valiant properties. Launched in the early '90s, Valiant Comics got off to a strong start, but when all the buzz eventually died, so did the company. It wasn't until Valiant relaunched in 2011 that Hollywood studios started paying attention — and Sony was the first to reach out with an offer.

We've known for some time that Bloodshot and Harbinger were up for adaptations, but in June 2018 news broke that the hugely popular Faith will also get the big-screen treatment. The series follows superhero Faith Herbert, a sci-fi loving, comic-reading, super geeky teen who also happens to have telekinetic powers. She was introduced as a Harbinger team member but she proved so popular with readers that she got her own title.

According to Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., bringing Faith to the big screen is a step in the right direction in terms of making the superhero genre more inclusive. "The men are almost always well muscled and the women model thin. Unless she's redrawn, Faith isn't that… She also doesn't brood like most superheroes; she's a pretty effervescent young woman." There's no casting news to speak of yet, but Maria Melnik (American Gods) has apparently agreed to write the script.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Silk

The superhero genre sometimes gets criticized for a lack of racial diversity, and it appears as though studios are beginning to respond to those asking to be represented. The cast of Marvel's record-breaking Black Panther was 90 percent African or African-American, and studio president Kevin Feige has revealed plans to make a movie based on Kamala Khan (a.k.a. Ms. Marvel), a young superhero of Pakistani origin. Now, Sony is reportedly set to follow suit with Silk, the moniker used by Korean-American heroine Cindy Moon.

The character is a pretty recent creation, having been introduced in June 2014's Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1. In the comics, the same radioactive spider that bites Peter Parker on the hand during his school trip also manages to sink its teeth into his classmate, Moon, before it dies. After her powers manifest in front of her parents (she accidentally cocoons them with her organic webbing), she ends up going into hiding. It's 13 years later when Parker finds out what happened to Moon, and after he tracks her down the pair become a crime-fighting couple.

Amy Pascal will produce, according to Variety, but no directors, writers or actors have been confirmed yet. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Chinese actress Tiffany Espensen played a character named Cindy, though her name was never spoken and she was little more than a glorified extra. Will Sony stick with Espensen or recast the role? Watch this space.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Huck

Netflix announced its deal with renowned comic book scribe Mark Millar in August 2017, but the press release didn't specify which Millarworld properties the streaming giant would adapt. Almost a year later, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Huck is one of the titles in line for the movie treatment. Millar created Huck (a small-town gas station attendant with special abilities) as a response to the rise of moral ambiguity in the modern superhero genre — seeing Henry Cavill's Superman snap a bad guy's neck was the final straw for him.

In a guest article for GamesRadar entitled How Man of Steel Traumatized Me So Much I Created Huck, Millar described his title character as "a lovely, sweet, Jimmy Stewart/Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg kinda good guy" who does one good deed every single day. "I gave Huck learning difficulties because I like heroes who have a quiet vulnerability," he said. "Stan Lee did this with all his earliest creations and I think it makes us root for someone when they're blind like Daredevil or have a heart condition like Tony Stark."

There's no word on who might play Huck, but according to THR, Ted Melfi (director and co-writer of critically acclaimed drama Hidden Figures) is taking the reins. Millar's epic space fantasy Empress is also getting a movie, and he's working on a new property called Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, which will be published as a Netflix/Millarworld comic before being adapted.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Black Panther 2

Kevin Feige had "nothing specific to reveal" about Black Panther 2 when he spoke to Entertainment Weekly in March 2018, but he did confirm that we will "absolutely" be getting a sequel to the $1.3 billion smash hit. "We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one," Feige confirmed. One person who apparently doesn't know anything about the direction of the thus-far untitled sequel is Ryan Coogler.

In November 2018, the visionary director admitted he had yet to begin working on his highly anticipated follow-up. "I got nothing," he told IndieWire when they pushed him for spoilers. "It's true, I'm telling you." As far as Marvel is concerned, Coogler can take all the time he needs, though Feige has told Collider that both parties have agreed on a timescale in principle, explaining, "A lot of it will be when Ryan wants to and not rushing anything, but I think we have an idea of when it will be."

There's a strong possibility that Shuri (Letitia Wright) will have taken up the Black Panther mantle by the time we return to Wakanda in Avengers: Endgame. There's comic book precedent for this, and Wright appears to be more than up for the challenge, telling Screen Geek that it would be an "amazing" opportunity. King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) will more than likely be back in action come Black Panther 2, however, and Michael B. Jordan isn't ruling out a return for Erik Killmonger, either.

Scheduled release date: TBD

X-O Manowar

Former Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani has been talking up the potential of X-O Manowar since 2016, when he teased that some top directors were already attached to the movie adaptation. "I wish that the directors on X-O Manowar would leak so that I could talk about them, because not only are they mind-blowingly awesome, the things they're doing with X-O Manowar will make fanboy heads explode," he told Variant Comics (via ComicBook.com). "It's some really cool stuff, but I can't say any more than that."

X-O Manowar follows Aric of Dacia, heir to the throne of the Visigoth people and general badass. Aric spends his days fighting the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire until a brutal race of extraterrestrial colonizers show up and abduct him. Luckily for him (and for Earth), he's able to escape the clutches of the invading aliens by stealing their most powerful weapon, the X-O Manowar Armor. The character was briefly portrayed by Derek Theler in the short-lived Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe web series, which was quickly scrapped once DMG bought majority shares in Valiant.

Founded by Dan Mintz, DMG now control the third-largest comics roster on the planet. The China-based company (who co-produced Iron Man 3) doesn't plan on adding to it, however. "This is about taking it to the next level," Mintz told The Hollywood Reporter. "I am not looking on expanding from a publishing standpoint but from a motion picture standpoint."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Jackpot

Jackpot first showed up in Marvel's Spider-Man comics in 2007. She arrived on the scene shortly after Mephisto's meddling left Peter Parker and lifelong love Mary Jane separated, and many readers believed that Jackpot was actually MJ in disguise. "With her red hair and codename seemingly based on MJ's famous line, 'Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot,' the clues pointed to MJ being behind the gold and green mask," Newsarama reported. But it wasn't her.

As it turned out, Jackpot was actually geneticist Sara Ehret, who accidentally gave herself super strength while trying to formulate a cure for Parkinson's disease. After a short-lived stint as an Avengers Initiative-sanctioned superhero, Ehret gave up on fighting crime and passed the Jackpot mantle to Alana Jobson, who used Mutant Growth Hormone and other serums to compensate for her lack of powers. She teamed up with Spider-Man, but her lack of super abilities led to her death at the hands of a Super-Skrull.

A grief stricken Spider-Man blamed Ehret for Jobson's death, and she ultimately agreed to honor her by becoming Jackpot once more. Will Sony stay true to the source material? According to Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, they will. "We're focused on being faithful to the comics," he told Variety. "Spider-Man connects to a lot of characters. There are villains, heroes and antiheroes, and a lot are female characters, many of whom are bona fide, fully dimensionalized, and utterly unique."  

Scheduled release date: TBD

Kraven the Hunter

We first got word that Sony was plotting a Kraven the Hunter movie in 2017, when The Hollywood Reporter mentioned it briefly in a larger piece about the studio's relationship with Marvel. A film based on fellow Spidey villain Mysterio was also said to have been under consideration, but Sony conceded the character to Marvel for use in MCU sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home. They weren't willing to do that with Kraven the Hunter, however.

Speaking to Yahoo! Movies, Ryan Coogler revealed that he wanted to use Kraven (real name Sergei Kravinoff) in Black Panther, but "contractual things" got in the way. "I've always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration," he said. "So there was a moment — 'Can I grab Kraven?' — and they were, 'Nah, you don't have Kraven.' He was one where I thought 'Oh, man.' But I don't even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days."

Coogler wasn't the first director to show an interest in the maniacal big game hunter. In 2014, Marc Webb told ComicBook.com he liked the idea of using Kraven in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, but the film was canned. The character remains untapped, though according to Collider, Sony plan to finally utilize Kraven in the near future. Screenwriter Richard Wenk (The Equalizer) has been tasked with creating an origin story to introduce the character to movie audiences.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Blade 4

It's been almost 15 years since Wesley Snipes last played Blade, but the actor remains determined to reprise the role, and it could happen sooner rather than later. Snipes debuted as Marvel's half-breed vampire hunter in 1998, and while critics weren't exactly bowled over by Blade, the movie quickly earned a cult following. Blade II followed in 2002, dividing opinion once more, but almost everyone was in agreement over 2004's Blade: Trinity — it was bad.

The third film had a deeply troubled production (Snipes reportedly tried to strangle director David Goyer at one point) and the disappointing domestic box office figures seemed to be the nail in Blade's coffin, but according to the eccentric star of the franchise, a fourth instalment has been under discussion for some time. "All the main execs [at Marvel] and my team, we've been discussing for the past two years," Snipes told Vice. "Everyone's enthusiastic about it, everybody gets it."

Snipes has been slowly rebuilding his career after a stint in prison for tax evasion, and he considers the fact there's such an enthusiasm for superhero movies today a real blessing. "There are a lot of conversations going around right now," he revealed. "We've created two projects that fit perfectly into this world." Whether he will show up in the MCU proper remains unclear, but Kevin Feige did previously reveal that it was only a matter of time before Blade returned to the big screen.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Young Avengers

It hasn't been officially confirmed as part of Phase 4 yet, but Marvel is definitely planning for a Young Avengers movie somewhere down the line. This team of teenage superheroes is a pretty new addition to Marvel canon, debuting in April 2005's Young Avengers #1. Founding members included Iron Lad, Hulkling, Patriot (who almost appeared in Black Panther), and Wiccan, one of Scarlet Witch and Vision's twin sons.

Reports that infant versions of Wiccan and his brother Speed were going to show up in Avengers: Endgame emerged in November 2017 after a casting call for two identical twin babies was put out, but the strongest hint yet that Young Avengers is being set up came in Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the 2018 sequel, Scott Lang's daughter Cassie (who joined the Young Avengers not long after its formation under the name Stature) revealed her desire to follow in her father's footsteps, something Feige wants to see play out on screen.

"We love that Cassie in this movie in particular is inspired by her father [and] wants to do good," the Marvel boss told ScreenRant. "Certainly, we're following that trend. Where, when, how — we'll see." Abby Ryder Fortson believes her character will eventually become Stature, and we might even get to see her in action as soon as Avengers: Endgame because an older actress (Emma Fuhrmann) has reportedly been cast as teenage Cassie.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Supergirl

Some reports have suggested that Warner Bros. decided to prioritize a Supergirl feature because Henry Cavill didn't want to be the Man of Steel anymore, but other outlets believe that Cavill actually quit the role after the studio put Supergirl ahead of Man of Steel 2 on its slate. He's signed on to star in Netflix's highly anticipated Witcher series, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Cavill only accepted that part after it became clear that Warner Bros. wanted to "reset" the DC Extended Universe.

According to Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., Oren Uziel (The Cloverfield Paradox) has been tasked with writing the Supergirl script, though there's no word on who'll direct just yet. Handmaid's Tale vet Reed Morano has been linked, and some fans are already getting ahead of themselves imagining Elle Fanning in the title role — the pair recently worked together on I Think We're Alone Now.

Speaking with the Observer, Morano revealed that she knew nothing about the project, though she did say that Fanning would be an interesting choice to play Superman's powerful cousin. "It's weird, we've gotten no calls," the director said. "Someone made it up… but Elle would be an awesome Supergirl. It would be a really f***** up Supergirl and really cool."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled MCU X-Men movie

Marvel fans have been dreaming about the Avengers meeting the X-Men ever since whispers of a Disney-Fox merger began, though even as the talks progressed and the deal became ever more likely, the X-Men in the MCU always seemed like a distant prospect. That changed when Bob Iger sat down with The Hollywood Reporter in September 2018. The Disney CEO discussed a number of things, including the future of the X-Men.

Fox reportedly paid a paltry $2.6 million for the film and animation rights to all X-Men properties back in 1993. Disney has coughed up an eye-watering $71 billion to bring those characters (along with everything Fox owns) under its wing, but Iger still sees it as a worthwhile investment. When THR asked him if Kevin Feige was going to be left in charge of integrating Marvel's mutants, Iger confirmed that he most definitely would.

"I think it only makes sense," Iger said. "I want to be careful here because of what's been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn't be two Marvels." So does that mean we could see the likes of Deadpool joining the Avengers? "Kevin's got a lot of ideas. I'm not suggesting that's one of them. But who knows?"

Scheduled release date: TBD

Venom 2

Venom director Ruben Fleischer hinted that he was setting up sequels, and now that the (in association with) Marvel movie is out, we know exactly what he was talking about. Sony tried to keep the fact that Woody Harrelson was playing deranged murderer Cletus Kasady (who becomes Carnage in the comics) under wraps going into Venom, but the actor gave the game away, revealing that his character won't come into play proper until the second movie. "I'm in a little fraction of [Venom], but I'll be in the next one," Harrelson told Collider.

As expected, Harrelson's Kasady (complete with the crazy red hair he sports in the source material) appeared after the credits rolled, with Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock paying him a visit at San Quentin prison. "When I get out of here, and I will, there's gonna be Carnage," Kasady foreshadows rather bluntly. What form that carnage will take even Harrelson doesn't know, as he "just rolled the dice" on Venom 2 without seeing any script.

Speaking to Total Film (via ComicBookMovie), Hardy revealed that he's actually agreed to a trilogy. "We've signed up for three of them," he said. "So it's very much an open case. We'll see what people's responses are to [Venom]. I think it's an awesome character." The response hasn't exactly been glowing (it's taken a hammering over at Rotten Tomatoes), but Venom broke box office records for October, so sequels seem inevitable.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Shang-Chi

Black Panther was so much more than an advertisement for fair representation, though the film's lasting legacy may well be that it ushered in a new era of diversity — if not across Hollywood as a whole, then certainly within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel will follow the same tactic when it brings Shang-Chi to the big screen sometime in Phase 4

Shang-Chi was pretty overtly based on martial arts icon Bruce Lee. In 1974 (one year after Lee's shocking passing at 32), the Special Marvel Edition comic had its name changed to The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu. Marvel used this as a way to unofficially continue the late actor's legacy, but while the intentions may have been noble, the execution wasn't always perfect. The biggest misstep that Marvel made was buying the rights to highly controversial villain Fu Manchu and making him Shang-Chi's father, but this has since been retconned.

The task of bringing Shang-Chi into the modern age has been handed to Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham, the man behind DC sequel Wonder Woman 1984 and the planned follow up to Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Deadline is reporting that a search for a director of similar descent is now underway, with Marvel hoping to find someone who can do "something as potentially monumental" as Black Panther. "The goal here is to do a similar thing: introduce a new hero who blends Asian and Asian-American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian-American filmmakers."

Scheduled release date: TBD

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2

It was probably the plan all along, but the hype that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse generated in the run up to its release (the New York Post called it "the best stand-alone film to feature the iconic character so far") meant that Sony had no problem greenlighting a sequel before the first movie even hit cineplexes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller will remain involved with the Spider-Verse as it expands in the coming years, though the dynamic duo will continue to take a back seat rather than direct themselves. 

Joaquim Dos Santos (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Voltron) will direct while Dave Callaham (who worked on Wonder Woman 1984 and is currently writing Shang-Chi for Marvel) is on script duty, and we already have an idea of where his story might go. We're going to stay well clear of spoilers here, but if you don't want to know what happens after the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse credits have rolled, then this is your cue to leave. 

The first post-credit sting was a simple but touching tribute to late Spider-Man creator Stan Lee, but Sony also added an extra scene involving Miguel O'Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099. In the second post-credits tag, this future version of Spidey (voiced by Oscar Isaac) is given a watch that allows him to travel between dimensions. His goal is to gather as many Spider-people as possible for a mission that will no doubt be at the heart of the upcoming sequel.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse all female spinoff

Sony has not only greenlit a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the studio's animation division is also working on a spinoff featuring the female heroes of the Spider-Verse. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lauren Montgomery (director of DC animated movies Batman: Year One and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) is in line to helm the film, which sources say will be written by Bek Smith. Smith is currently rewriting a Lego project over at Warner Bros. and has also been utilized by Marvel, who hired her to tweak Captain Marvel late into production.

Studios appear to have finally realized that handing female-centric movies over to female filmmakers makes sense, and that's exactly what's happening here. But which female Spider-people are going to be involved? Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse paved the way for characters from across all Marvel dimensions to get involved, so who can we expect to see take center stage? The lead will likely be Hailee Steinfeld's alternate universe Gwen Stacy, but chances are we'll also get to see a lot more of Peni Parker

Voiced by Kimiko Glenn (Orange Is the New Black), Peni Parker was definitely one of the lesser-known characters in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. She was introduced in 2014 during Edge of Spider-Verse #5, but the Peni we saw on =screen was a lot more kawaii than the comics version. The fact that they went full-on anime with the visuals actually went down well with audiences, however, so we can expect more of the same when this spinoff drops.

Scheduled release date: TBD