Yes, my dear fellow superhero movie geeks, the next six years are going to crazy! In the last couple of weeks both DC and Marvel have announced their schedule of movies covering 2015 to 2020 and together with superhero movies from Fox and SONY promises to bring down upon our heads the great superhero movie glut of the 21st century.
Already Warners had released a schedule which apart from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, also included Suicide Squad (also 2016), Wonder Woman & Justice League (2017), The Flash & Aquaman (2018), Shazam & Justice League 2 (2019) and Cyborg & Green Lantern (2020). Incredibly, DC is so set on trying to duplicate Marvel’s success with the Avengers that they have forgone Man of Steel 2 and any Batman movies! Considering how poorly even Man of Steel performed at the box office (compared to even Guardians of the Galaxy), I would say that this is a huge gamble.
That said, Marvel has up the ante itself with its own slate of new movies. After Avengers: Age of Ultron in May next year, Phase 3 begins with Ant-Man (also 2015), Captain America: Civil War & Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok & Black Panther (2017), Avengers: Infinity War I, Captain Marvel & Inhumans (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War II (2019).
It does appear to be exciting times for superhero movie fans but one cannot help but fear for the ultimate fate of the genre in the face of such over-saturation of the market. The upshot of all this is that while Fox may be able to hold on to X-Men license (with Apocalypse and Wolverine 3), it is quite possible that the Fantastic Four movie franchise might revert to Marvel in the likely event that the reboot fails (and it looks like it will). And what about SONY? All its talk about a Spider-Man universe, seems to be in danger in the wake of Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s less than stellar box office performance. Already there are rumors of SONY working with Marvel to perhaps integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel movie universe for a handsome share of the profits (which if they can pull it off would be ginormous – I mean, no brainer!)
In addition, even though the quirky Guardians of the Galaxy exceeded all expectations, can lightning strike 4 more times for lesser known properties like Ant-Man, Captain Marvel (the Carol Danvers version), Black Panther, Inhumans and even Doctor Strange. Not to mention, the absence of Iron Man 4 from the slate? Again, it’s a gamble though not as big as the one Warners are taking, obviously.
At the moment we are certain of the movies happening in 2015 and 2016 but beyond that, who can tell? Obviously, box office performance will determine the momentum at which Marvel and Warners will churn out these movies. Time will tell.
Geek Out! will be monitoring the situation closely.