Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment’s choke hold on Hollywood isn’t set to loosen any time soon, and by 2020 another 25 superhero films will have stomped through cinemas.
The comic book monoliths’ slates will collectively have several billion dollars ploughed into them, tie-up hundreds of talented actors and push dozens of non-superhero-based films out of a widespread release.
The majority of the 25 (which doesn’t include any more that are subsequently green-lit) are sequels in some form or another, and several are ‘team-up’ movies where character collide or unite, such as Batman v. Superman and Justice League Part One.
Many thought that comic book adaptations’ second wind, which started around 2008 with films like Batman Begins and Iron Man, would have blown itself out by now, but they keep reinventing themselves to stay fresh and relevant. The first few years tended to imagine the heroes as tortured souls bearing the burden of responsibility, while more recent movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man are almost self-parodic, sending up the idea of a comic book hero while charging people escalating sums of money to watch them.
Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu put it best (from Deadline):
“I think there’s nothing wrong with being fixated on superheroes when you are 7 years old, but I think there’s a disease in not growing up.
“I sometimes enjoy them because they are basic and simple and go well with popcorn. The problem is that sometimes they purport to be profound, based on some Greek mythological kind of thing. And they are honestly very right wing. I always see them as killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be. I hate that, and don’t respond to those characters.
“They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn’t mean nothing about the experience of being human.”
Coming soon to a cinema near you:
Captain America: Civil War [Marvel]
X-Men: Apocalypse [Marvel]
Doctor Strange [Marvel]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [DC]
Suicide Squad [DC]
Untitled Wolverine film [Marvel]
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [Marvel]
Untitled Fantastic Four sequel [Marvel]
Untitled Spider-Man film [Marvel]
Thor: Ragnarok [Marvel]
Wonder Woman [Marvel]
Justice League Part One [Marvel]
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 [Marvel]
Black Panther [Marvel]
Captain Marvel [Marvel]
The Flash [Marvel]
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 [Marvel]
Justice League Part Two [Marvel]
Green Lantern Corps [DC]
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