Superhero movies are easily among the most popular when it comes to current movie offerings. Whether you're a fan of DC or a fan of Marvel, studios on both sides of comics have been putting out an impressive number of films for years, many of them ending up as massive box office successes and even helping to drive popular culture in a major way -- you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't have some concept of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at this point.
But while fans have been blessed with so many superhero films for over the past decade, the genre is showing no signs of slowing down. Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., and even Sony all have quite a few films on the slate for the next few years, expanding the world of comic book heroes even further on the big screen. For many of those films, we have an idea of exactly when they are coming out while for others, we may not know exactly what the movie is, just a date to expect something that will surely be big, bold and exciting for fans to take in.
As we get closer to the end of 2019, we've put together a list of all of the currently announced films with release dates through 2022. For the purposes of this listing we did not include any planned or rumored projects that do not currently have dates attached, but we did include two dates that have been announced without the specific projects attached. It's a pretty impressive list of movies coming out in the next few years so grab your calendar and read on to start making plans for all the superhero films coming out through 2022.
Superhero movies will take flight pretty early in 2020 with the release of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7. The film, directed by Cathy Yan on a script from Christina Hodson, stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain. Ewan McGregor also stars as Black Mask along with Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz.
Birds of Prey has been eagerly anticipated since it was first announced, gathering quite a bit of buzz for not just the return of Robbie's Harley Quinn, but for the team up with some of DC Comics' most beloved female heroes. The film itself is expected to have themes of female empowerment, but also a good bit of dark humor, as Yan revealed during a panel appearance last year.
"I could not put the script down, it had so much dark humor to it which a lot of my work does, and there are themes of female empowerment which are so strong and relatable," Yan said. "So I went in with, not with confidence, but at least a sense that I belonged in the room and somehow magically in terms of timing and luck that this opportunity was open to me and I was definitely going to make the best of it."
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opens on February 7, 2020.
Marvel's first film for 2020 is currently set to be The New Mutants, opening on April 3, 2020. The New Mutants is, at this point, a case of "fans will believe it when they see it". The film has been delayed several times over the past few years with some fans even wondering if the film will make it to screen on its current scheduled release date or at all.
Marvel's first 2020 entry is an interesting one. The New Mutants was initially set for release in April 2018 but was pushed back 10 months to August 2019 in what was meant to be the eternally delayed Gambit's spot without any real explanation why. Then, following the acquisition of Fox by Disney, the date was pushed out again to the current April 2020 slot. While there have been many rumors and reports about the how and why for the delays, the most recent tidbits making the rounds back in August indicated that test screenings for the film had gone well.
The New Mutants is directed by Josh Boone from a screenplay he co-wrote with Knate Lee. The film stars and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Ilyanna Rasputin/Magik, Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, Henry Zaga Roberto as Cost/Sunspot, Blu Hunt as Dani Moonstar/Mirage, and Alice Braga as Cecilia Reyes.
“We brought it to Fox as a trilogy of films, really all based on that long run by [Bill] Sienkiewicz, and kind of incorporates some stuff from later issues in the ’80s,” director Josh Boone said in a prior interview. “These are all going to be horror movies, and they’re all be their own distinct kind of horror movies. This is certainly the ‘rubber-reality’ supernatural horror movie. The next one will be a completely different kind of horror movie. Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics.”
The New Mutants opens on April 3, 2020.
The first film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Four, Black Widow is set to open on May 1, 2020.
Black Widow is something of a unique film for the MCU. Directed by Cate Shortland and starring Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and David Harbour, the film is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War -- something that could be perhaps complicated for fans since we all know that Johansson's Natasha Romanoff dies in Avengers: Endgame. Even with that predicament, Johansson says that the film is one that will give fans some closure.
“Closure. I mean, I hope so. I don’t know if I can take it anymore without closure. I mean, its too exhausting. I love it, I’m so proud of what we made. Now, we get to sprinkle the magic all over it.”
Black Widow opens on May 1, 2020.
The follow up to 2017's Wonder Woman, the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 will open in theaters on June 5, 2020. The film, directed by Patty Jenkins, will see Gal Gadot reprise her role as Diana/Wonder Woman. The film will also star Kristen Wiig as Cheetah, Pedro Pascal who may be playing the role of Maxwell Lord. Chris Pine is also returning for the film as Diana is somehow reunited with long-lost love Steve Trevor -- who appeared to die in Wonder Woman.
At this point, there's not a whole lot that we know about Wonder Woman 1984. Much of the film's story has been kept under wraps save for its 1984 setting. The film had originally been set for a November 2019 release, but was pushed back to June 2020, a move that the film's producer Charles Roven previously said was the date they had wanted all along.
“We always wanted the date that we are on right now," Roven explained. "The studio felt that until their slate for the year before came together—and they had an amazing end of 2018—that they needed to have a big what I call aircraft carrier, a 'tentpole', in . We had a very rushed pre-production because Patty also did the TNT show [I Am the Night] and we had a very rushed post-production schedule in order to make the date that we were on, which was November 1, 2019."
"We were doing it because the studio said they really needed it, and then at a certain point they came to us and they said, ‘You know what, you guys are right. Let’s go back to the month that you guys released Wonder Woman 1 in, and take the extra time,'" Roven added.
Wonder Woman 1984 opens in theaters on June 5, 2020.
The Sony corner of the Marvel Universe gets in on things in July 2020 with Morbius. Directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, a scientist whose attempt to cure himself of a blood disease leads to him developing vampire-like powers, Morbius was in production between February and June of this year. There's not a lot yet known about the film, though Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, and Tyrese Gibson will also star.
"Wait until you see the way he looks, what we have done with this character, you will love it," producer Avi Arad said previously. "There are so many other great characters on the way, too. You will see. We're just getting started."
Morbius is set to open in theaters on July 31, 2020.
Another film from Sony, Venom 2 is expected to open in theaters on October 2020. The film, directed by Andy Serkis and starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Woody Harrelson, is reportedly entering production on November 25th with the working title "Fillmore".
Producer Amy Pascal said that Hardy portrayed the definitive version of the popular Marvel anti-hero, explaining in an interview with Fandango that the actor is pivotal to the franchise.
"It's a couple of things. One of them is that Sony did a great job creating that franchise and giving it a life and giving it its own world," Pascal said. "Then there's Tom Hardy. When you think of Venom, you'll never be able to think of anyone but Tom Hardy sitting in that bathtub of lobsters. And once you saw Tom Hardy do this character, that's all you needed to know."
Venom 2 is expected in theaters on October 2, 2020.
Closing out 2020 is one of the MCU's most anticipated films, The Eternals on November 6.
Directed by Chloe Zhao, the cast of The Eternals will include Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Gemma Chan as Sersi, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman/Black Knight, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, and Barry Keoghan as Druig.
“Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in an interview earlier this year. "More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people. You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”
The Eternals opens November 6, 2020.
2021 kicks off with another eagerly-anticipated MCU project, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 21, 2021. Directed by Destin Daniel Crettin, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu, Akwafina, and Tony Leung and will mark the first Marvel Studios film to feature an Asian lead. The film will also introduce the real Mandarin into the MCU -- making good on the promise Marvel has been making since 2013 when Iron Man 3 gave us an imposter. The film is shaping up to be an exciting one and not just for fans. Crettin previously explained that he didn't think he was going to get the job, but it is a dream come true for him.
"I didn’t think I was going to get it, so that helps you feel not as terrified," Crettin said. "The process of pitching is like anything. You just go in and speak your heart, and speak what you feel is important, and what you would love to do. And if they respond to that, then that’s going to be a good relationship. If they don’t respond to it, you don’t get the job, and it’s probably good that you don’t get the job."
Then, it all came down to a simple notification over the phone. "They just called me back in and told me I got the job," Crettin said, sounding as cool as a cucumber. Still, his inner child would be ecstatic over the news. "It would have been amazing because I would have been able to have a superhero that looked like me, rather than choosing the superheroes that I could imagine looking like me, under the mask," Crettin said. 'I was really into Spider-Man, or even the Incredible Hulk, because they I could picture myself under the Spider-Man mask, or as The Hulk because, when he was The Hulk, he was not really specific to any ethnicity. So, it’ll be nice to give that kid somebody who he can at least say, 'Oh, that one looks like me.'"
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings opens in theaters February 12, 2021.
Fans have been waiting since 2016's Doctor Strange for this one. On May 7, 2021, we finally get the follow-up to that film with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Scott Derrickson returns to direct this film which will star Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen. We don't know a lot about the film yet, but we do know that it's been touted Marvel Studios' first real foray into scary movies. The film is likely to have a real horror bent, something that could be very exciting for fans of both Marvel and horror genre films.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens May 7, 2021.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of all of the upcoming DC films, on June 25, 2021 Robert Pattinson suits up as The Batman.
The film will star, in addition to Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, and Jeffrey Wright with Matt Reeves directing. Reeves has previously indicated that the film will have a noir-bent, focusing on Batman honing his skills as a detective.
"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale," Reeves said in an interview earlier this year. "It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I'd love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it's going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation."
The Batman opens on June 25, 2021.
July 16, 2021 is an exciting date for Spider-Man fans as it marks the expected release date for the third Tom Holland Spider-Man film -- a film that many fans feared would never happen after the much-talked about falling out between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures earlier this year.
Right now, we know almost nothing about this film. Tom Holland will return as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Jon Watts is expected to return as director. The film will likely follow up with the major twist at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home in which Peter Parker is exposed as being Spider-Man, with the death of Myseterio pinned on him, but let's be honest: Spidey is back in the MCU for one more film. That's all we really need to know right now.
The third MCU Spider-Man film opens July 16, 2021.
James Gunn jumps to the DC side of things for The Suicide Squad, set to open on August 8, 2021. There's a lot of secrecy around the details of this film, what we do have some idea of is plenty exciting. Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Idris Elba, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, John Cena, Steve Agee, Nathan Fillion, and Taika Waititi are all appearing in the film. And as for the characters? Gunn recently revealed the limits he had when it came to what characters he used.
When asked about the character limit, Gunn responded, “Nope. (Well, I mean no Marvel Characters [sic].) That wouldn’t be the only time he covered the topic as he responded to another fan asking, “There was no one I was told I couldn’t include.”
The Suicide Squad hits theaters August 6, 2021.
On November 5, 2021, the MCU gets a female Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Marvel Studios shocked MCU fans at San Diego Comic-Con this summer with the announcement that Portman would be coming back to the franchise as a new Thor. Taika Waititi is returning to write and direct the fourth Thor film and Portman will be joined by Chris Hemsworth as well as Tessa Thompson. Thompson in particular has been vocal about her excitement for a woman to "wield the hammer" in the MCU.
"I'm just looking super forward to seeing a woman wield the hammer," Thompson said in response to a fan question at ACE Comic Con earlier this year. "Natalie's already getting buff and I'm going to teach her my trick about grunting. Let me text her now about that, actually. [laughs] I'm really looking forward to the next phase, I think it's going to be an exciting one."
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters November 5, 2021.
As we round into 2022, we start running into release dates that do not yet have films attached to them and February 18, 2022 is one such date. The date is reserved for an installment of the MCU and as we already have a release date for Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man 3, and The Eternals, our best guess is that this could be the slot for Captain Marvel 2.
Last Friday, Sony announced that a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is officially coming to screen on April 8, 2022. At this point, that's really all we know so you can check out the official announcement from Sony below.
The Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Sequel hits theaters April 8, 2022.
Fans may have been disappointed when San Diego Comic-Con came and went with no announcement of the release date for Black Panther 2, but a month later at D23, Marvel Studios made up for that. The highly-anticipated sequel is set to open in theaters on May 6, 2022.
Released in February 2018, Black Panther is one of the highest-grossing films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a domestic gross of over $700 million and a total, worldwide take of $1.3 billion. That kind of success earned the film a sequel pretty early on and most of the cast from Black Panther is expected to return. Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, has already confirmed her return and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige himself confirmed back in June that Ryan Coogler was at work on the sequel.
Black Panther 2 hits theaters May 6, 2022.
Another MCU date with no named film, the July 29, 2022 is reserved for an installment of the MCU and as we already have a release date for Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man 3, and The Eternals, our best guess is that this could be the slot for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Aquaman 2 is set to make a splash on December16, 2022.
There's a lot we don't know about Aquaman 2, but what we do know is that star Jason Momoa has some big ideas for the film. Momoa spoke with the Associated Press about his new Apple TV+ series See and mentioned that he's already pitched his idea for Aquaman 2.
"I'm very passionate about that, the direction of where Aquaman goes," Momoa said. "And so I went in with an idea and a pretty good layout of what I would like to do with the second one. And a lot of support, absolute, a lot of support from Warner Bros. and DC. So, it'll always be a team vision, but I definitely wanted to express my passion about number two."
Aquaman 2 is set ot hit theaters December 16, 2022.
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