This is the era of #comicbook movies. Different studios are fighting to get as many films in the genre as they can out, as soon as possible. To put things in perspective, we have 20+ live-action comic book adventures hitting the big screen in the next five years. But not everything is set in stone, especially in the entertainment business. Sometimes, a movie just can't stick the superhero landing:
(See what I did there?)
Recent shake-ups and changes of plans from various studios have hinted at forebodings for future projects, (such as the ill-fated Fantastic Four sequel), possibly putting in jeopardy the future of #superhero movies that are still barely visible in the horizon. So, let's look at the ones with the highest risk of not getting to the big screen at all:
1. 'The Flash' (Warner Bros) - March 16, 2018
The Flash lost two directors, Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa in the span of six months over creative differences. With a new director nowhere to be seen, it's likely the film's production won't start in in March 2017 as planned, which would make it very hard for it to hit theaters in March 18, 2018.
Warner Bros. could reschedule the superhero adventure for a later date, but the Scarlet Speedster is currently starring in his very own successful TV series. So, if #TheFlash does end up getting pushed back, it could start to lose traction thanks to its main character already being thoroughly explored in live-action, making a movie exploration almost irrelevant.
2. 'The Crow' (Electric Shadow? For Now?) - No Official Release Date
Just like its protagonist, #TheCrow reboot keeps coming back to life; the only difference being the film seems more persistent. It's already gone through multiple directors and actors and has been passed around several studios.
Just recently, when the film seemed to finally be on its way to the big screen, it shifted studios once again, making it unclear whether its most current leading man, Jason Momoa, is still attached. While production is supposed to begin in 2017, it's safe to say The Crow won't terrorize criminals again.
3. 'X-Men 7' (Fox) - No Official Release Date
The #XMen franchise has survived five different superhero franchises in its lifetime. It's most recent run had two consecutive critical and financial hits with First Class and Days of Future Past; but everything came tumbling down with the release of X-Men: Apocalypse which received less-than-favorable reviews and made $200 million less than its predecessor.
Apocalypse made the studio change course and focus more on other corners of their universe. It looks like a new X-Men movie focused on the main team of mutants won't see the light of day any time soon, especially with Josh Boone's New Mutants right around the corner.
4. 'Man of Steel 2' (Warner Bros) - No Official Release Date
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The #DCEU's Superman has not been able to catch a break reception-wise with movies like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman giving us a depressing and mopey guy instead of the embodiment of hope he's been for years. Fans have been asking Warner Bros. to take the Big Blue Boy Scout in a more uplifting direction, and the first step seemed to be Man of Steel 2.
However, the studio still has to wait and see how well-received the resuscitated Kryptonian is once Justice League hits theaters. With the DCEU shifting focus from Superman to Batman, and Justice League 2 (Superman's next obvious appearance in the DCEU) being pushed back indefinitely (more on that below), it could be time to start worrying about #Superman's immediate standalone cinematic future.
5. 'Gambit' (Fox) - No Official Release Date
#Gambit is a strange character to base an entire movie around, a fact that's been underscored by the problems in getting one made. After Channing Tatum had been attached to the project for a considerable amount of time, Rupert Wyatt signed on to direct but left shortly after - and that was all the way back in 2015:
Despite a delay, everything seemed to be going okay when Doug Liman signed on to helm the film, which was supposed to start filming in 2017...until he left as well. Ultimately, Fox removed the film from its release schedule. Despite Simon Kinberg's remarks about Gambit still being in development, it looks like we'll have to settle for X-Men Origins: Wolverine's version of Remy LeBeau for the time being.
6. 'Justice League 2' (Warner Bros) - No Official Release Date
Justice League is undoubtedly a high priority for Warner Bros. but #JusticeLeague2 is another story. As mentioned above, the film was pushed back in order to make room for Ben Affleck's The Batman, and that's a bad sign.
Despite #JusticeLeague still being a year away, fans have been very critical about what's been shown. With the risk of its reception continuing the tradition of DCEU movies being very divisive experiences instead of critical hits, the studio may be planning ahead by removing the sequel from their lineup or at least holding off on it to see in which direction they should take their cinematic universe.
7. 'Cyborg' (Warner Bros) - April 3, 2020
So far, we haven't seen Vic Stone (played by Ray Fisher) much, besides a cameo in Batman v Superman, and his appearance in the Justice League trailer:
#Cyborg is a stranger character, and we've seen very little of the DCEU version to know if Fisher will be a good leading... well, cyborg.
Taking into consideration his film doesn't hit theaters until 2020, Warner Bros. could decide to hold off on the film to give other more well-known characters the chance to reinvigorate the DCEU before diving into lesser-known superheroes, mimicking what Marvel did with Doctor Strange and Ant-Man.
8. 'Venom' (Sony) - No Official Release Date
Much like The Crow, the #Venom spin-off film has met a lot of challenges in getting off the ground, most recently with The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, which, despite several teases, never got into murderous-psychotic-goo territory as planned. So far, the only live-action Venom we've seen so far is his ill-fated appearance in Spider-Man 3 and Adi Shankar's short "Truth in Journalism":
It was announced months ago that a new writer had been hired to give the alien symbiote and its host the feature movie they deserve, as well as the announcement of news coming our way soon. However, Venom's lack of a release window, director and shared continuity with the rest of the #MCU (of which Spider-Man is now a part), as well as the many attempts to get it made, raise red flags for the antihero rocking the box office any time soon.
9. 'Shazam!' (Warner Bros) - April 5, 2019
We don't have a lot to go on to really judge the direction of the film other than Dwayne Johnson's role as the villainous Black Adam. Yet, weirdly, the lack of information and how far away it is are the worrying factors. Shazam! is coming after a slew of other #DC movies with uncertain critical and financial receptions.
It could be that Warner Bros. will have immense success with their superhero franchise, or they could choose to go in a different direction entirely. With no sign of #Shazam appearing in any DC movie hitting theaters in the near future, his solo film's cancellation wouldn't really affect the line-up or continuity. Still, how cool would it be to see Shazam punch Black Adam in live-action?
So many comic book movies at risk of getting shelved shows just how transient the movie business is, even for seemingly guaranteed moneymakers. The filmmakers behind these projects just need a clear view of what they want to do and how far they want their work to go. At the end of the day, all we want as fans of the genre are great journeys, so it would be amazing to get to see all these movies on this list.
Which one of these films would you love to see the most?