There has never been a better time to be a fan of superhero films. Marvel Studios biggest announcement to date has revealed their Phase 3 plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in a bid to steal the thunder from Warner Bros. who have also made their own announcement of DC Comics films slated for release between now and 2019. With this multitude of upcoming releases, here then are the Top 5 superhero films due for release across the next five years.
- Doctor Strange (4th November 2016) – Marvel Studios
Doctor Strange is set to be a slightly different and therefore more intriguing Marvel outing than anything that has come before it, moving the focus more onto the supernatural and into parallel dimensions. Doctor Stephen Strange is a former neurosurgeon who becomes a master of magic in order to protect Earth. The casting of the lead role is still unconfirmed, but is heavily rumoured to be Benedict Cumberbatch. As part of his recent rise to superstardom, this could be yet another accomplishment for the actor, as he goes from strength to strength. Marvel may, however, announce a different actor for the lead role, but until some concrete information is revealed, rumours will continue to fly. One to watch.
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (5th May 2017) – Marvel Studios
Guardians of the Galaxy is the second highest grossing film of 2014 so far, making over $750,000,000 at the Box Office since release. It is no surprise, therefore, that Marvel have further ideas for the ragtag crew in their Phase 3 plans. The first film was a fun mix of action and humour, with a brilliant retro soundtrack, all contributing to the film’s instant success. No details have yet to be released on the sequel, except that the writer/director of the first film will be returning to direct. It is almost certainly going to be another big hit.
- Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (25th March 2016) – DC Comics
This follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel will expand the world of Superman and have him clash with the Dark Knight himself, along with roles for several other superheroes, including Wonder Woman, played by Fast and Furious actress Gal Gadot (due her own film out in 2017) and Aqua Man, played by Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa (due his own film out in 2018). Plot details are still thin for Dawn of Justice, but Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Superman and Ben Affleck is taking over the cowl from Christian Bale as the new Batman, who will be an older version of the character than previous iterations on the big screen.
- Justice League (Part One: 17th November 2017, Part Two: 14th June 2019) – DC Comics
DC’s answer to the Avengers, Justice League will see DC’s biggest heroes, including Superman, Batman and of course, Aqua Man, team-up for two highly anticipated big screen appearances. This one had been rumoured for a very long time, and now that the announcement has been made, expect the rumour mill to fire back up again with fans clamouring for every detail of this group’s first foray into cinemas. The battle to be the highest-grossing superhero film in the near future will almost certainly be between the Justice League and the Avengers, but with the Justice League not yet proven on the silver screen, for now it has to take second place.
- Avengers (Age of Ultron: 24th April 2015, Infinity War Part One: 4th May 2018, Infinity War Part Two: 3rd May 2019) – Marvel Studios
At number one, therefore, it of course has to be the juggernaut that is Marvel’s ultimate superhero team-up. The next Avengers films are likely to soar at the box office and judging from the previous film’s earnings of just over $1.5 billion, coupled with the fact that the recent Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is already the most watched Marvel movie trailer ever, that likelihood is all but guaranteed. Age of Ultron will see Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attempt to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program and set into motion the events leading the Avengers into battle with the villainous Ultron. In Infinity War Part One and Part Two, the Avengers shall be facing the epic Thanos; apart from this details are scarce about the first ever two-part Marvel film event. Nevertheless, more will likely be revealed in the preceding Phase 3 movies, with teasers for Infinity War probably appearing in Marvel’s now famous post-credits sequences. Try to keep calm.
Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to check out the next Top 5 feature on Thursday 27th November.