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.

Teen Titans Go! to the Movies

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

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

This meta approach isn't out of the ordinary for Teen Titans Go!, which tends to ignore all other forms of DC continuity, including the original show. Kristen Bell (who voiced Anna in Disney smash hit Frozen) and Will Arnett (who provided the gravelly tones of Batman in The LEGO Batman Movie) will lead the cast, but the biggest new addition is Nicolas Cage, who will finally get to play Superman. Cage (a Superman mega-fan whose son is named Kal-El) was set to portray the Man of Steel in Tim Burton's Superman Lives before it was scrapped.

Scheduled release date: July 27, 2018

Venom

Despite being a firm favorite among Marvel readers, Venom has only been portrayed on the big screen once, when Topher Grace took a shot at playing the dark anti-hero in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 (2007), now considered one of the worst miscasts in the history of superhero movies. The man Sony has tasked with picking up the pieces is Tom Hardy, who is set to become a central figure in the so-called Sony Marvel Universe after Venom.

In 2017, director Ruben Fleischer confirmed the film will follow the Planet of the Symbiotes and Lethal Protector comic arcs, but what fans really wanted to know was when they could get their first look at Hardy as Venom. When the first trailer dropped in February 2018, we were introduced to Hardy's Eddie Brock and we got a glimpse of Michelle Williams as his girlfriend Anne Weying (who becomes She-Venom in the comics), but the closest we got to seeing the title character was some black veins pulsing in Hardy's neck.

Sony delivered the goods in the second trailer, however, the reaction to which has been largely positive. We got our close-up of Brock changing into Venom, and the money shot was backed up with some solid plot details: the dogged journalist first comes into contact with a symbiote while investigating the laboratories of the Life Foundation, an organization (headed by Riz Ahmed's Carlton Drake) hellbent on using the extraterrestrial parasites to alter human evolution.

Scheduled release date: October 5, 2018

Aquaman

While the highly anticipated Justice League team-up movie failed to live up to expectations, Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry was one of the few highlights. His solo outing was originally set for an October 2018 release, but Warner Bros. decided to shift Aquaman back to a Christmas slot to plug the gap left by the delayed Avatar 2, meaning it will go up against Transformers spinoff Bumblebee in the battle for box office dominance over the festive period.

Joining Momoa are Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman, playing his love interest Mera and his mother Queen Atlanna, respectively. Dolph Lundgren will also appear, not as the movie's antagonist but as Mera's father, Nereus. Villain duties have been given to Patrick Wilson, taking on the role of Aquaman's half brother, Orm the Ocean Master.

Director James Wan dropped some rough footage at CinemaCon 2018, and the reaction has been extremely encouraging. "Based on what we saw in Las Vegas, damn… this is going to be an epic chapter in the DCEU," CinemaBlend reported from the event. "The footage looked incredibly badass. Wan's vision looked far more complete and confident than anything we have seen in the DCEU up to this point."

According to Variety, the special effects remain a work in progress but will potentially rival the "sense of adventure and epic scope" found in the likes of Indiana JonesStar Wars and The Lord of the Rings once completed.

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

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: 2018 (TBD)

Gotham By Gaslight

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: 2018 (TBD)

The Death of Superman

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: 2018/2019 (TBD)

Hellboy

Guillermo del Toro's chapter in Hellboy history was officially closed when creator Mike Mignola confirmed that an R-rated reboot was underway via Facebook. "Okay, here's some news," he posted in May 2017. "There IS going to be another HELLBOY MOVIE. It's going to be an R-rated reboot directed by Neil Marshall (The DescentGame of Thrones) and starring David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy." Mignola signed on to co-write the screenplay with Andrew Cosby and Christopher Golden, and initial reports suggested that the film would be called Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen.

Lionsgate later reached out to MovieWeb and confirmed that the film's title is simply Hellboy, though the Blood Queen is still going to be the primary antagonist. The character (an ancient witch also known as Nimue and The Lady of the Lake) will be portrayed by Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich, and she'll be joined on the cast by Ian McShane, who will appear as Hellboy's adoptive father, Professor Broom.

Production began in Europe in September 2017 and wrapped in December of that year, with Harbour confirming the film was done during an interview with Variety. "It was hard," the leading man said. "I'm 40 years old, and I'm running around punching giants." Harbour has said that the film won't be one of those "popcorn-y, somewhat two-dimensional" superhero movies, instead following the examples set by Deadpool and Logan.

Scheduled release date: January 11, 2019

Glass

M. Night Shyamalan returned to form in 2016 with his surprise smash hit Split, a gripping psychological thriller that generated a whopping $278 million from a budget of just $9 million. The film was a genuine tour de force, with James McAvoy putting in a brilliant performance as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a highly dangerous DID sufferer with 23 personalities. For many, the most exciting moment came right at the end, when it was revealed that the movie was actually a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable.

The late appearance of Bruce Willis' Unbreakable character David Dunn confirmed that Split was the second film in what Shyamalan later revealed was a planned trilogy. The director went to great lengths to keep the reveal a secret, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he even tested the movie with the surprise ending cut out to make sure nobody blabbed. He also revealed that he wanted make "one final movie that combines the two," which he's titled Glass.

Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his Unbreakable role Elijah Price (AKA Mr Glass), and American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson will be joining him. Split stars McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy are also set to return. "There's an incredible cast," McAvoy told Jimmy Fallon. "It's just a really unexpected and strange turn of events that you wouldn't expect. You might think you know what's going on because you've seen Unbreakable, you've seen Split, but again it surprises."

Scheduled release date: January 18, 2019

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

The direct follow-up to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse was initially going by the name X-Men: Supernova following a leak from a Fox source, though that insider was misinformed. The studio brought an end to the guessing game when it announced both the real title and release date: It will go by X-Men: Dark Phoenix and is set to open November 2018.

Simon Kinberg has been working hard behind the scenes on the X-Men films as a writer and producer since 2006's The Last Stand, a botched attempt at adapting the classic Dark Phoenix Saga — not the basis of the upcoming Dark Phoenix movie. Kinberg has thus been given the chance to personally right past wrongs in what will be his directorial debut.

"[The film] was so clear in my head, emotionally and visually, that it would have killed me to hand this to somebody else to direct," he told Entertainment Weekly in a special first-look edition. Kinberg confirmed that the film will follow the franchise's decade-skipping trend, jumping forward from the '80s-set Apocalypse to a '90s setting.

Jessica Chastain joins the cast as a villain, and all the big hitters from the previous movie have signed on to reprise their roles, including James McAvoy. "This is probably the most emotional X-Men we've done and the most pathos-driven," the Scottish actor — who plays X-leader Charles Xavier — said. "There's a lot of sacrifice and a lot of suffering."

Scheduled release date: February 14, 2019

Captain Marvel

While we didn't actually get to see Brie Larson in the flesh, the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits tag revealed just how important her version of Carol Danvers will be to the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. The scene sees S.H.I.E.L.D stalwarts Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) navigating the hectic streets of New York City in the aftermath of Thanos' devastating click. With all seemingly lost, Fury pulls out a very '90s (the decade that Captain Marvel will be set in) looking pager-style device and sends an S.O.S to Danvers, a former U.S. air force pilot who obtains Kree powers during a mid-air accident.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo told MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast (via HighSnobiety) that they wanted to "commit to this ending very hard" and that meant saving the Captain Marvel reveal for her solo feature, which will be directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) from a script by Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman. Perlman co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel, so she's already familiar with returning Kree villain Ronan the Accuser. Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) is also coming back, but there's a host of new faces, too.

Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn have both agreed to terms and will reportedly appear as the iconic Kree characters Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg. Annette Bening has also been announced as a late addition to the cast, with Variety claiming that she is playing Carol Danvers' mother.  

Scheduled release date: March 8, 2019

Shazam!

He's been trying to get an adaptation of DC's Shazam! off the ground for years, but it turns out Dwayne Johnson won't actually be appearing as the character's nemesis Black Adam until a later date. Asher Angel (Andi Mack) is playing the co-lead role of Billy Batson, a fostered 14-year-old who transforms into a fully-grown superhero whenever he says the magical word "shazam" aloud. The part of Shazam himself is being played by Zachary Levi.

This won't be Levi's first experience with superhero movies, but it'll be his first time fronting one, and with that comes extra scrutiny. He's discovered that first hand in recent months. The actor was called out by Men's Health for apparently wearing a padded costume to enhance his muscles, and the costume itself has been the cause of controversy, displeasing many DC diehards. During a Q&A, one disgruntled fan asked why his suit looked like "crap," and the Chuck star didn't take it kindly.

"I think my suit is f****** bomb," Levi fired back (via SyFy). "Any of you people out there who are still hung up on what the suit looks like are just wanting to be angry for angry's sake. I think you're very insecure, you're probably dealing with some stuff in your own life, and you feel a little powerless, and I'm sorry that you do." Swedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg (who trolled fans with a fake trailer as an April fool's joke) is directing.

Scheduled release date: April 5, 2019

Untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel

Infinity War is now behind us, but Marvel fans have more questions than ever going into the upcoming sequel. The third Avengers outing ended with Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of all life in the universe, and that meant Marvel killing off numerous characters in one fell swoop. Of course, many of them (including Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther) have sequels in the pipeline, which suggests that the characters Thanos killed will somehow be resurrected in Avengers 4.

Co-directors the Russo brothers have been trying to throw people off the scent by suggesting that those sequels might take place earlier in the MCU timeline, but at this point it's pretty much accepted that the majority (if not all) of the dead characters will be back. Leaked set photos suggest that time travel will be involved, and this theory has been heavily backed up by the mid-credits scene attached to Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Just before Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) heads into the Quantum Realm, Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) warns him not to get trapped in a "Time Vortex." This seemingly throwaway line all but confirms that time travel will play some part in Avengers 4, with Ant-Man (currently trapped in the Quantum Realm) likely central to the plot. According to Marvel's Kevin Feige, the film is already in the editing process after the Russos turned in their cut early.

Scheduled release date: May 3, 2019

Gambit

According to X-Men producer Simon Kinberg, the wheels are finally in motion on Channing Tatum's Gambit movie, which has been in development since 2014. The project has seen a number of directors come and go in that time, with Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) and Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) all growing tired with the lack of activity. Fox has met with a host of potential helmers in recent weeks, however, with an announcement expected sooner rather than later.

"We have a script that we love — that Channing loves," Kinberg revealed when he spoke to Variety at the Deadpool 2 premiere. "We've met with a bunch of directors in the last couple of weeks, and we're hoping to actually pick one in the next couple of weeks and shoot the movie maybe the end of this summer." Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is reportedly one of the names under consideration, and we know that Lizzy Caplan (The Interview) has signed up as the film's female lead, but other than that details remain scarce.

"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," Kinberg explained. "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."

Scheduled release date: June 7, 2019

Spider-Man: Far from Home

It isn't due out until summer 2019, but we already know a lot about Tom Holland's second solo outing as Spider-Man, including the title. Marvel appeared to make a joke of the British actor's tendency to drop spoilers by giving him permission to "accidentally" reveal the name of the movie — Spider-Man: Far From Home. The title has "multiple meanings," according to Kevin Feige, who discussed it while doing press for Ant-Man and the Wasp.

"We liked it more than Homecoming 2, but that notion of 'home' is a word that has dual meanings we'd like to continue with this [Marvel Cinematic Universe] version of Spider-Man," the studio head told ComicBook.com. Feige also confirmed that Peter Parker will be "going to Europe with his friends" when he spoke to io9, and this apparently ties into the film's villain.

"We've chosen a villain, and I think the storyline is fairly impacted by the locations we go to," Feige revealed (via CBM). "We love the notion of taking Spider-Man to places around the world that we haven't seen him in before." It's been widely reported that Jake Gyllenhaal has been cast as classic Spidey enemy Mysterio, and Michael Keaton is also set to return as Adrian Toomes (a.k.a. the Vulture), who is currently incarcerated following the events of the first movie.

Scheduled release date: July 5, 2019

New Mutants

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: August 2, 2019

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: November 1, 2019

Suicide Squad 2

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

According to ScreenRant, the movie's shoot will enjoy an earlier than expected start date, which marks a big step forward for a project that couldn't seem to tie down a director. Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) and Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) have all been linked at some stage, but in the end it was Gavin O'Connor who signed up.

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

Scheduled release date: 2019 (TBD)

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)

Bloodshot

Sony is finally moving forward with its Bloodshot movie, some three years after it struck a deal with Valiant Comics over the property. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (John Wick) were initially on board to direct, but a proposed 2017 release date came to nothing and things went quiet for a while. It wasn't until January 2018 that some real progress began, with TheWrap revealing that casting had gotten underway.

The part of Bloodshot (a former soldier who ends up with superhuman abilities after nanites are forcibly injected into his blood) has been awarded to Vin Diesel, who surprisingly hasn't fronted his own superhero movie before. We've had a little fun with Photoshop to show you what he might look like in the role. According to reports, Diesel will be joined by Outlander's Sam Heughan, Baby Driver's Eiza Gonzalez and the always versatile Michael Sheen, who is likely to be on villain duty.  

Screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) has provided the script, and Dave Wilson (a friend and colleague of Deadpool helmer Tim Miller) is set to make his debut in the director's chair. The movie will "be in the tone of the classic 1980s tentpoles like RoboCop, Terminator and Total Recall," according to Deadline. "Sony is being aggressive with this one, a franchise play, and principal photography starts in July." Shooting will reportedly take place in Prague, the highly cinematic capital city of the Czech Republic.

Scheduled release date: February 21, 2020 (TBD)

Cyborg

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

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

Scheduled release date: April 3, 2020

Green Lantern Corps

It always seemed highly unlikely that Ryan Reynolds would return to the role of Hal Jordan after a disastrous stint as the DC hero in 2011's Green Lantern, though now that he has the wildly popular Deadpool on the go, that definitely won't be happening. Reynolds blamed problems with the script (it didn't even exist when he signed on) for Green Lantern's many failings, though Warner Bros. is determined not to make the same mistakes when they reboot the property to merge with the DCEU.

David Goyer (who wrote Extended Universe opener Man of Steel) and lesser-known scribe/director Justin Rhodes are teaming up to to write the screenplay for Green Lantern Corps, the title of which suggests that this could be a team affair rather than a film that concentrates on one Lantern in particular. In July 2017, ThatHashtagShow reported that Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt was attached, but in March 2018 the same website claimed he had been given the boot in favor of Christopher McQuarrie.

As a result, McQuarrie's regular collaborator Tom Cruise is now favorite to star. The pair have previously worked together on Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and McQuarrie also had a hand in the scripts for Cruise vehicles Edge of Tomorrow and The Mummy. The film will reportedly feature an older, battle hardened version of Hal Jordan, a role that Cruise would be perfect for according to ScreenRant.

Scheduled release date: July 24, 2020

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

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

Casting news is already starting to trickle through, with Gunn confirming that Elizabeth Debicki will reprise her role as Ayesha, the Golden High Priestess of the Sovereign. "I absolutely plan on bringing Elizabeth Debicki back, she's actually one of my favorite actors I've ever worked with," he told IGN. In other casting news, one Twitter user has got sci-fi fanboys everywhere freaking out by suggesting that Gunn cast Star Wars royalty Mark Hamill in Vol. 3. The pair (who, as it turns out, live around the corner from one another in Malibu) became involved in an exchange that culminated with them arranging to meet for a neighborly coffee and discuss a potential role.

There's nothing official in terms of release date yet — however, a post on Gunn's Facebook page indicates that we'll be seeing Vol. 3 sometime in 2020. According to ThatHashtagShow, filming will begin in Atlanta in early 2019 and the movie will debut in May the following year.

Scheduled release date: 2020 (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)

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

Birds of Prey

The DCEU might not have gotten off to the flying start that Warner Bros. had hoped, but one thing's for sure — the studio loves Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. There are currently three different projects featuring her as the character on the table at WB, though the one being prioritized right now is thought to be Birds of Prey. Described by Variety as a "girl gang movie," the film (based on the comic series of the same name) will feature a team of DC villainesses led by the demented Quinn. There's nothing official on the lineup as of yet, though Black Canary is strongly rumored to be on the cards.

Robbie's own LuckyChap Entertainment will co-produce the project, which is slated to go into production by the end of 2018. Variety reports that up-and-coming helmer Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) will direct from a script penned by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee). Hodson is also working on the Batgirl script for Warner Bros., having replaced the outgoing Joss Whedon.

All of this probably means curtains for David Ayer's planned Gotham City Sirens movie, seeing as that was set to revolve around Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Suicide Squad 2 might also get pushed back to make room for Birds of Prey, according to Den of Geek.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Shadowman

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: TBD

Archer and Armstrong

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

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

Scheduled release date: TBD

​Justice League Dark

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 ThatHashtagShow 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, an exclusive report from That Hashtag Show revealed that Sony had halted production on Silver and Black, which was set to become the studio's second Spider-Man spinoff after Tom Hardy's Venom. We've since learned that the movie is still going ahead, but Sony have apparently decided to "go back to the drawing board" and rewrite the script. Speaking to Collider, director Gina Prince-Bythewood (who's also worked on the Marvel series Cloak and Dagger) revealed that they're simply determined to get it right.

"We actually collectively decided to go back to the drawing board and start over," she explained. "That's gonna take time. So obviously, I'd love to be shooting right now, [but] I'm not the type that wants to shoot something you're rewriting as you're shooting. We have to get the script right, and I'm okay to wait." Prince-Bythewood is said to be personally tidying up a screenplay originally co-penned by Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) and Lindsey Beer (Chaos Walking).

Silver Sable (the mercenary daughter of a nazi hunter from the fictional country of Symkaria) has never been portrayed on screen before, though Black Cat did pop up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Well, kind of: Felicity Jones appeared briefly as a character called Felicia Hardy (Black Cat's real name in the comics), though she never got the chance to expand on it. 

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled Joker origins movie

After months of rumors, we finally have confirmation that Joaquin Phoenix will indeed be playing the Joker in a thus-far untitled origins movie. News of a solo feature based on DC's most famous villain broke in August 2017 when Deadline revealed that Warner Bros. was planning to create a new DC banner for films that could exist outside of the studio's DC Extended Universe. This Joker movie (reportedly set in a gritty 1980s Gotham) will be the first under that banner.

Todd Phillips (The Hangover) is directing from a script he's co-written with Scott Silver (8 Mile), and the legendary Martin Scorsese is on board as a producer. According to TheWrap, the plot of the movie will draw from Scorsese's King of Comedy, with Phillips and Silver planning on portraying the Joker as a failed stand-up comedian in their screenplay. The fact that this will be a standalone movie is one thing that attracted Phoenix, but the main reason was the terrifying challenge.

"I take a lot of time and consideration when making decisions and what I'm gonna work on, always," the actor told Collider. "[This] feels unique. It is its own world in some ways, and maybe, mostly, it scares the f****** s*** out of me or something. It might as well be the thing that scares you the most." In other casting news, Oscar winner Frances McDormand has reportedly passed up the chance to play Joker's mother.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Untitled Joker and Harley Quinn

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

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

Scheduled release date: TBD

Eternal Warrior

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: TBD

Invincible

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

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

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

Joe Manganiello was confirmed as the man behind the famous black and red mask by The Wall Street Journal (via CBR), but behind-the-scenes shuffling left his involvement in doubt. In July 2017, the True Blood star told The Hollywood Reporter that he was unable to give any details on Deathstroke's future in the DCEU, but a more recent report suggests that the character will actually be getting his own solo feature. In October 2017, TheWrap revealed that Gareth Evans was in discussions with Warner Bros. over the project, which he will reportedly write and direct. The British filmmaker shot to prominence in 2011 with his frenetic action thriller The Raid, an Indonesian-language film that was picked up for U.S. release after earning rave reviews.

Manganiello has since made his debut as the character, appearing alongside Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor in a Justice League post-credit tag. Luthor appears to be recruiting "Mr. Wilson" for the first big screen version of the Injustice League.

Scheduled release date: TBD

Black Adam

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

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

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

Scheduled release date: TBD

Multiple Man

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

Multiple Man (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

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

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

Scheduled release date: TBD

Spawn

Spawn was first adapted for the big screen in 1997, but this ill-conceived take on Todd McFarlane's cult comic book title failed to impress. To avoid a repeat of this, the former Marvel man is directing the reboot himself, with Jamie Foxx in the title role. "Jamie came to my office five years ago, and he had an idea about Spawn and we talked about it," McFarlane told Deadline. "I never forgot him, and when I was writing this script… he was my visual guy."

McFarlane has confirmed that the title character will remain silent throughout the movie, so why did he bother to cast a star in the role? "He gets into a zone, with body language and a look that basically will say way more than anything I could type on a piece of paper, and this movie is going to need those moments." The majority of the speaking will be left up to Spawn's human foil, Detective Maximilian "Twitch" Williams.

According to McFarlane, Avengers star Jeremy Renner has agreed to co-star as the unconventional detective. "I'm a huge fan of his," the Image Comics founder told Deadline. "The character doesn't need to be a bodybuilder or GQ handsome. I was looking for somebody who's a person you've met before. I needed someone who can pull off the grief of an average human being." The film will be produced by the low-budget wizards at Blumhouse and will cost around $11 million to make.

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

It's a case of better late than never when it comes to Scarlett Johansson's solo outing as Natasha Romanoff, Russian superspy turned Avenger. Marvel has finally set the wheels in motion on Black Widow, hiring a screenwriter and a director. After a search that lasted more than six months and involved as many as 70 candidates, director Cate Shortland was eventually given the nod. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johansson pushed for Shortland to get the gig.

"The actress admired Shortland's handling of the female lead in Lore, a critically acclaimed 2012 drama that tells of a young woman who leads her siblings through Germany as the Allied forces roll in," THR states. This news follows the hiring of Jac Schaeffer, who is penning the screenplay with Johansson's approval. Variety reported that Marvel heads took the star's input into consideration during the search for a writer, with relative newcomer Schaeffer apparently ticking all the right boxes.

Johansson said that she wanted the film to be "really groundbreaking and incredibly badass" when she sat down with Ellen DeGeneres (via IndieWire). "I think it could be something really special," she said. "There's a lot of room there. The character has a tortured past, she's had to make a lot of difficult decisions. She has a lot of trauma. She's got issues." According to ThatHashtagShow sources, the movie will explore the origins of those issues in a prequel story featuring Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier.

Scheduled release date: TBD

The Batman

Back in 2016 it seemed all but certain that Ben Affleck would direct himself in the first DCEU solo Batman movie, but in 2017 the A-lister shocked fans by announcing his intentions to step down. "Performing this role demands focus, passion, and the very best performance I can give," Affleck said. "It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film."

That partner ended up being War for the Planet of the Apes director and lifelong Batman fan Matt Reeves, who is currently signed on to helm The Batman. Affleck's screenplay got a page-one rewrite from Chris Terrio, who also gave the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice script a makeover and wrote most of Justice League. A 2019 release date has long been touted for this one, but nothing is written in stone here, especially when question marks remain over Affleck's commitment.

The star has given conflicting information on his continued involvement, denying rumors he's about to call it quits with one breath and then claiming he's not sure about his future in the DCEU with another. He even told USA Today that he is already formulating an exit plan: "You don't do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it," he said. Watch this space.

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.

According to a March 2018 ThatHashtagShow exclusive, rumors of Spike Lee's involvement are indeed accurate, as sources close to the studio claim the Do The Right Thing helmer has agreed to direct. Lee will reportedly be working from a script penned by Cheo Hodari Coker, the showrunner on Marvel's critically acclaimed Netflix series Luke Cage. Coker is best known as a producer, though he did write 2009 Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious and is currently working on Creed II.

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

When Warner Bros. cut the red ribbon on the DC Extended Universe with Man of Steel in 2013, the studio probably already had a sequel in mind. The film was met with mixed reviews, however, and it didn't exactly shine at the domestic box office, but worldwide totals at least proved that there was still a global appetite for Superman movies. Henry Cavill reprised the role in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017's Justice League, but Man of Steel 2 has yet to materialize.

In January 2018, RTF reported that Warner Bros. had been eager to get the ball rolling on the sequel after test audiences responded positively to Cavill's portrayal in Justice League, but when the film went on to disappoint, they decided to slow things down a little. Sources claim that the official announcement (which will include a director and release date) will now be held off until the summer, with San Diego Comic Con a good bet for more info.

Cavill is said to be ready and willing, and so is Jesse Eisenberg, who told Variety that he's dying to portray Lex Luthor again. "I love playing the character," he revealed during his March 2018 interview. "Probably in terms of movie acting, it's the most enjoyable character I've had the opportunity to play. So I would love to do it again." Eisenberg last appeared as Luthor during a Justice League post-credit scene.

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

Wonder Woman pulled the DCEU back from the brink of implosion in 2017, but it wasn't just a hugely important film for Warner Bros. Director Patty Jenkins proved once and for all that female-led superhero movies could work, and in doing so she opened the door for adaptations of similar properties. All eyes are now on the upcoming Captain Marvel, but there's another notable female hero that we're going to be seeing on the big screen in the next few years, Deadline reports.

Also known as the She-Devil with a Sword, 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 adapting pre-existing franchises. This won't be the first Red Sonja movie — Brigitte Nielsen played the scantily clad warrior in 1985 (a major miscast, according to critics). Amber Heard and Rose McGowan have both been linked with the role in the years since, as has former WWE superstar Sable.

Millennium Films are behind the latest attempt to bring Red Sonja back, with Thor scribe Ashley Miller writing 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 said. "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. Sonja is an icon."

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 won't be officially revealing the titles on its Phase 4 slate until Comic-Con 2019, but that hasn't stopped studio president Kevin Feige from discussing the potential future of the MCU with the press. Speaking to Den of Geek in April 2018, Feige confirmed that one of the properties currently in the early stages of development is Eternals, a Jack Kirby series that debuted in 1976. "Eternals is one of many, many, many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate," Feige told TheWrap. "We have started working on what are the films post-Phase 3."

Marvel are planning "sequels to existing characters, new interpretations of existing characters and trying whole new swings with stuff that most people never heard of," Feige said. "So there are writers coming in on lots of different projects and lots of different ideas. And you'll only start to hear more and more of it." According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has already tapped screenwriters to work on the Eternals screenplay.

Newcomers Matthew and Ryan Firpo have apparently been brought in to give their take on Eternals, which will fit into the cosmic space that Marvel has been building up with movies like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy. In the comics, the titular, God-like beings walk among humankind and do battle with another nigh-on immortal race known as the Deviants.

Scheduled release date: 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

In the age of spoilers and leaks it's rare that a piece of casting news takes us completely by surprise, but that's exactly what happened with this planned Spider-Man spinoff from Sony. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jared Leto has signed on to play villain turned anti-hero Morbius the Living Vampire in a solo feature that will further flesh out Sony's burgeoning cinematic universe based on its Spider-Man properties. Real name Dr. Michael Morbius, this lesser-known character is a scientist 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. Can Leto (who took to Twitter to confirm the casting) bring some magic to this D-list Marvel character? It's easy to be a little worried about this one, given Leto's polarizing performance as the Joker and some of the people supposedly involved. 

THR claims that Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (director of 2017's Life, which was incidentally rumored to be a secret prequel to Sony's Venom) has been hired to helm, and he'll apparently be working from a script penned by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, co-writers of Alex Proyas' 2016 mega-flop Gods of Egypt. "Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce with Lucas Foster," the report continues. "Sony executive Palak Patel will oversee for the studio."

Scheduled release date: 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