If you couldn't tell from my 30+ articles I've written so far, I'm somewhat obsessed with superheroes, movies, and especially, superhero movies! Marvel and DC being the big dogs in the comic book industry makes me want to see their characters on the big screen, and the fact that these amazing characters that both companies have are going to be on the big screen for year and years to come, is like a dream come true for comic book nerd like myself.
I've talked and talked and talked about how much I am excited for movies or speculated on how I feel certain movies will play out and connect, but what I want to talk about in this article specifically is how some of the films that are being released by Marvel Studios and Warner Bros./DC could have the opportunity to change movie history and I'll go more in-depth into that in just a second. We first need to understand that just because a movie may be a superhero movie, doesn't mean it can't be revolutionary.
Three Revolutionary Superhero Movies
The three films that you see in the picture above are, in my personal opinion, three of the most revolutionary superhero films and will remain as iconic staples in the history of superhero films. I've written an entire article about it actually and you can read it here: 3 Superhero Movies that Redefined the Genre
Spider-Man 2 had introduced to us, that superhero films could indeed, have more substance beyond just some flashy cinematography and campy one-liners. The movie had heart and emotion as well as action and humor. It is an underrated film that has been forgotten overtime, but I believe that if this movie would have been released nowadays instead of 2004, it would get more deserved attention than it currently does.
The Dark Knight showed us that superheroes and their stories can actually be handled in a more serious tone and people will like it. What I love about The Dark Knight is that it more or less expresses everything I've been saying in that not all superheroes, comics, etc. are for kids. There is a treasure trove of great stories and characters in both the world's of DC and Marvel that can be explored in the movies, stories that are far more complex than people give them credit for.
The Avengers brought five different superhero franchises together and united them as one, we all knew that this was the plan, but for it to actually have happened was still a dream-come-true for many fans. It was amazing to see this previously unheard of formula of expanding universes in movie making, become such a hit. What Avengers has done was so popular, that it is the formula that all other companies with the rights to superheroes on film, are trying to emulate this same method. That's a win-win for me.
Before I get into the list of films below, I need you, the readers, to understand that I am fully aware that the probability of all these movies being revolutionary to the genre is slightly unrealistic. I'm aware that any one of these films could bomb and let down the fans who have been anticipating these movies for many, many years.
I don't personally think that all these movies will bomb or become let downs. I'm excited for each one, although, this is not a list of my most anticipated films either. I'm merely stating that the list of films below have potential to really mix things up for the superhero genre in movies.
Let's get started.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (3/25/2016)
I'll touch briefly on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, since I've talked extensively about this film and have written several articles regarding this film. But, besides being my most anticipated film, I have a feeling that this movie will become a staple in the superhero genre. It's historical to see the two greatest heroes coming to blows in one movie. Fans of comics and films have been dying to see Superman and Batman share the same screen for years now.
2016 is finally going to offer what will probably be (I hope) one of the best superhero movies ever created due to its featured content of Batman and Superman, its visually-artistic director, Zack Snyder, and its Oscar-winning writer, Chris Terrio. So much hinges on the success of this movie as well, the future of the DC Cinematic Universe rests in this movie. I think Warner Bros./DC are going to be putting everything they've got into this film and I think it's going to be amazing.
If you want to check out some of my other Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice-related articles, follow any one of the following links (keep in mind that some may already be out-dated):
My summary of why Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could be a staple, if for no other reason, would be the sheer fact that it's Batman and Superman on the live-action big screen for the first time in cinematic history.
Captain America: Civil War (5/6/2016)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an amazing film, and honestly, after rewatching it recently, should have been included in my list of movies that redefined the superhero genre. What Joe and Anthony Russo did was amazing. They took a character, who was pretty boring on screen in both his own film and The Avengers and turned him into a fan-favorite. It showed just how the treatment of characters affects populace response.
But I'm not supposed to be speaking about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I'm supposed to be speaking about Captain America: Civil War. What makes Civil War a potential staple in superhero-movie history? Well, we've got the Russo brothers coming back to helm the sequel and they are not only handling Cap this time around, but Iron Man as well, and as the antagonist no-less!
Sure, Batman and Superman may be household names that people have known about for decades and more easily identified by the general audiences. But since Iron Man, The Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, people are paying closer attention to these two heroes and they have become quite high on the scale of recognition from fans and general audiences alike. That in itself will bring people to the movie.
But what makes Captain America: Civil War a possible staple in the superhero-movie genre? It's because Marvel have evolved and taken large steps forward to allow characters to have larger than life stories in movies that may not have the word "Avengers" in it. The story of Civil War is a massive one and by all rights may be bigger than any Avenger film we'll have seen by then.
This movie will be the first superhero movie, to my knowledge, that will leave the audience torn and undecided. They're both heroes! Why do we have to pick a side? It adds a new layer of emotion that has not been previously explored, at least, not in the same manner that I believe Civil War will explore it.
Suicide Squad (8/5/2016)
I feel the need to throw Suicide Squad in here for its innovative design and risky inclusion. Obviously, the film's protagonists consist of super-villains traditionally spawned out of the storylines of our favorite heroes. It's been stated that it will be like an Avengers film starring all villains, don't how true that is, but it's a big statement nonetheless.
This film also marks the first on-screen appearances of fan-favorite villains such as Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (played by Will Smith). These two characters have played a significant role in the Suicide Squad since 2011's New 52 relaunch. They were both the two most central characters to the Assault on Arkham animated film.
The other great thing about this movie is the featuring of Joker (played by Jared Leto). This will be the first time the Joker has ever appeared in a live-action film that was not Batman focused. It places Joker in an interesting position in the film and has left many (myself included) speculative as to what role he just might play.
But the reason I feel this movie needs to be mentioned as a possible, ground-breaking superhero(villain) movie is the fact that it does show the audience a different perspective than what's traditional. We're so used to seeing things through the heroes eyes, it'll be interesting to see a film where we watch the story progress through the eyes of villains.
Ground-breaking or not though, it's one of my most anticipated films of 2016 and I have written a few articles regarding this film and you can check those out here:
Wonder Woman (6/23/2017)
Wonder Woman is just about as iconic as Batman and Superman, her likeness gaining just about as much recognition from fans and general audiences alike. Many think back to the old 1975 Wonder Woman show, starring Lynda Carter. Some younger fans are more familiar with her based on her inclusion in the animated Justice League cartoons and straight-to-dvd animated films. Wonder Woman has also been featured in video games as well, to earn the recognition from our computer-addicted colleagues.
Wonder Woman is an amazing character as many fans of her comics can tell you. She has so much rich history that can be explored in her own series of films and I hope that Warner Bros./DC don't hold back on doing so. I know there are many doubts being tossed around the internet in regards to Gal Gadot's casting, but I ignore them all. I have full faith in just about everything WB/DC are doing and I'm hoping for the best.
Think about it: If Gal Gadot does well enough in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder handles her character just as well as he did with Faora-Ul in Man of Steel (which seems likely), then we'll be in good hands and the 2017 Wonder Woman movie will have no problem drawing in crowds.
Plus, it'll mark the first female superhero film since 2005's Elektra which was a total bomb. So, could Wonder Woman's genre-defining moment be the revolutionizing of not only the superhero genre but of female-focused superhero movies? I sure hope so and I'm sure Marvel are secretly crossing their fingers for this kind of success to help eliminate the stereotype of female superhero movies being bad so that their very own Captain Marvel film will have no negative vibes from the majority general audience.
Just like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Sqaud, I've written a few articles about Wonder Woman's movie. Check them out here:
Black Panther (11/3/2017)
I'm excited about Black Panther but I have to admit that I've never read a Black Panther solo book, but I've definitely read plenty of Avengers books where the King of Wakanda was featured very prominently.
He's a great character and an inspired choice for a solo film. I'm glad that he's not just going to have to suffer from appearing in the sidelines of an Avengers film, they're really building him up and treating him with the amount of reverence that a character like this deserves. It'll be great to see his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, in which, he plays a very central role to the story from what we're told.
It'll also be nice to see Marvel's Cinematic Universe expand beyond US borders. I'm not saying I'm anti-America or anything like that, it's just really cool when you see different nations represented in a team. I think exploring the world and adding heroes from all over adds not only diversity in appearances, but depth in story and emotions. The great thing about a multicultural team is that it provides an emotional insight to how different and unique individuals from across the world can be from what we call "normal".
But, here I am raving about Black Panther's debut in Captain America: Civil War and his undoubted inclusion into future Avenger films. We're talking about Black Panther's movie here, his solo film due out in 2017. This is another one of those characters, who, even if the movie is to bomb (Marvel Studios has yet to bomb), the simple fact that we are finally getting a black superhero movie is going to bring some dollars. Think about it when was the last time we've seen a black superhero movie (Hancock doesn't count)?
Blade: Trinity was the last black superhero movie (going off of DC/Marvel films) to be theatrically released. That's much longer than even the female superhero movie gap and it wasn't well received either. I think this will, once again, provide a break from the monotony and potential over-saturation of superhero movies in Hollywood.
The success of this movie has a lot more riding on it than people realize. It's not going to just boost the awareness of black superheroes (which is what DC comics wants with Cyborg and possibly Green Lantern in 2020) but it also helps boost interest in the comic book world. When people don't feel like they're going back and forth to the theater every year to see the same style movie, it'll help liven up everything and make it fresh and new.
I look forward to seeing Chadwick Boseman, a highly praised actor, take on this role. I'm sure it'll be a success.
Justice League (11/17/2017)
The roster to DC comics lineup looks extremely promising and the fact that many of these heroes haven't already had their big-screen debut is just wrong. Just take a look at the list of DC films coming out from 2016-2020:
- 03/25/2016 - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- 08/05/2016 - Suicide Squad
- 06/23/2017 - Wonder Woman
- 11/17/2017 - Justice League (part 1)
- 03/23/2018 - Flash
- 07/27/2018 - Aquaman
- 04/05/2019 - Shazam
- 06/14/2019 - Justice League (part 2)
- 04/03/2020 - Cyborg
- 06/19/2020 - Green Lantern
That's a great lineup of films for the most part. There's a million reasons why fans can get excited about be a DC Comics fan while attending the movie theater. I've already mentioned three of the films listed above though as having potential to revolutionize the superhero genre.
The last one, for DC, that I want to shed some light on is Justice League. Now, I know it says "part 1". But we don't actually know for sure if it's just that WB/DC merely have a sequel already planned or if it'll be in the same vein of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows or The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, where the movie split into two intertwining parts.
Either way, I'm excited about the whole idea of seeing DC's version of the Avengers, the Justice League, take the big screen. What's great is that many of the heroes will have already been introduced to the big screen by the time this is released. We know that Batman and Superman are obviously already in it, Wonder Woman will be getting her own film prior to this release, and characters like Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman will be getting some (hopefully meaningful) cameos in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
But the idea of the Justice League finally being brought to the big screen is enough to make this film revolutionary. Yes, we all know how great the Avengers are and they've definitely made a name for themselves in the last several years, but the Avengers isn't comprised of the household names of Marvel. Not dissing the Avengers, don't worry, I'm just stating that the Justice League is the collaboration of the greatest and most recognizable DC characters.
Avengers: Infinity War (5/4/2018-5/3/2019)
I think, for me, that it's not so much that I'm excited more for the sequels of films whose previous adaptation hasn't even been released yet as I am for knowing that Marvel Studios has plan for their films spanning year and years ahead of time (same guys for DC hopefully).
But it's exciting to think that starting in 2008 we had Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, followed by Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger in 2010 and 2011, all lead up to the collaborated Marvel Studios masterpiece, The Avengers. Well, now that we've gotten past that point and we've seen bigger and bolder stories told with these specific Avengers, where does Marvel go now? How does it avoid repeating the same thing over and over? The answer is: expansion.
The following years, we'll obviously see some of our favorite, home-team Avengers get solo films and whatnot, but we're seeing a much more diverse and charismatic assembly of superheroes on film. Take a look at what's due out between this year's releases and the final Infinity War film:
- 05/01/2015 - Avengers: Age of Ultron
- 07/17/2015 - Ant-Man
- 05/06/2016 - Captain America: Civil War
- 11/04/2016 - Doctor Strange
- 05/05/2017 - Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- 07/28/2017 - Thor: Ragnarok
- 11/03/2017 - Black Panther
- 05/04/2018 - Avengers: Infinity War (part 1)
- 07/06/2018 - Captain Marvel
- 11/02/2018 - The Inhumans
- 05/03/2019 - Avengers: Infinity War (part 2)
What's crazy about Marvel's method is that their universe expands beyond just films, but it has regular television shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter and now they're even broadening their horizons by going to Netflix with shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders.
Why do I list all these off when I'm supposed to be talking about Avengers: Infinity War? Because, similar to how we've seen four different superhero franchises mesh to make The Avengers, we could be seeing a collaboration that would have previously only been dreamed of in fan-fiction (or I guess you could read the comics).
It makes total sense for Avengers: Infinity War to feature the majority of the heroes that will have been released by this time. Marvel wants to go big, so the splitting the movies into two allows them to do that. I'm not saying we'll see every character ever in a Marvel Studios' film make an appearance in this movie, but I'm willing to bet you'll see most of the main ones.
Seriously, if Marvel Studios pits all they have into this one, super-epic film, then that will be the most genre-defining moment and I don't think there will be any topping it, especially if the Russo Brothers, the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will be directing the two-part film.
So, there you have it, my list of movies that I feel could become staples in superhero movie history:
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - The two most popular superheroes to share the big screen in cinematic history.
- Captain America: Civil War - Creating a blurred line about what heroism is by making the audience choose between two of their favorite Marvel superheroes.
- Suicide Squad - The first super-something film to show audiences a different perspective of the world of superheroes and supervillains.
- Wonder Woman - The first ever solo film of pop-culture's most recognized female superhero and the first female superhero film in 12 years!
- Black Panther - The first black superhero film in 13 years!
- Justice League - The first onscreen appearance of the best superhero team in comic history (in my opinion).
- Avengers: Infinity War - A dream come true for Marvel Studios fans who have been following faithfully, every juicy nugget of entertainment Marvel has provided.
Do you agree with my thoughts? Do you see any other films in the coming years that could become hallmark moments for the superhero genre? Feel free to comment below!