It's good to plan things in advance, and since the fine folks at Marvel were kind enough to show off the next nine movies they have planned, it's probably time to take a look at just how much of your life is going to be taken up with comic movies over the next six years.
Comic fans, our time has come. All that nerdy superhero knowledge is now valuable pop culture, evidenced by the fact that 2015 through 2020 will see as many as 32 Marvel and DC superhero movies released. Time Warner already revealed its slate of Justice League-related movies earlier this month, with at least two films per year hitting theaters between 2016 and 2020, and Marvel on Tuesday showed off its long-awaited Phase 3 plans.
That makes more than a month's worth of Save The Dates that you already know you're going to be committed to. Let's take a look at the damage.
Marvel will have the year 2015 all to itself, as Time Warner has (wisely) chosen not to get in the way of the inevitable juggernaut that is Avengers: Age of Ultron. The next Avengers movie will set up the Civil War storyline starting May 1, 2015, and Marvel will give you a couple of months to recover before coming right back at you with Ant-Man on July 17.
Not all of the Marvel movies coming out in 2015 will be from Marvel Studios proper, though. Fox is holding tightly to the licenses it bought off Marvel years ago, and it will be releasing a new, weirder Fantastic Four on August 7. After that, we get several months' respite from capes and tights, but 2016 will be sure to start things off with a bang.
This is the year that the superhero glut – if we can truly call it that – begins in earnest. The year 2016 will likely see seven DC and Marvel movies released, starting with the Deadpool movie from Fox on February 12. Then March 25 will see DC trying to even the score with a Batman v Superman flick that will lay the groundwork for the Justice League franchise.
There's a reason that DC is releasing Batman v Superman in March, though, and that reason is Captain America: Civil War. The next Captain America film, which will kick Marvel's Civil War into full gear, hits theaters on May 6, followed three weeks later by Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse, which will see Marvel's mutants facing off against their greatest foe yet.
August 5 will see yet another DC flick, with the Suicide Squad taking the screen in what looks to be a "'Dirty Dozen' with superheroes." After that, it's a three month wait until November 4, when Doctor Strange will hit theaters, possible with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. A week later, on November 11, Sony may jump into the fray with a Sinister Six movie focused on some of Spider-Man's deadliest villains.
The year 2017 looks like it will kick off with – ugh – another Wolverine movie from Fox. It launches on March 3, and we don't know its title yet, but we're betting it's something like Wolverine: No, We Won't Give Marvel Its Rights Back.
After that, May 5 will see the release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which will likely introduce new female Guardians and lay the groundwork for a massive crossover between the Guardians and the Avengers.
Then DC gets a turn at the lead, with Wonder Woman set for release on June 23. She won't get the spotlight all to herself for too long, though, because Fox is supposed to release a Fantastic Four sequel, supposing the first Fantastic Four reboot does well. After that, Marvel will be back at it, with Thor: Ragnarok hitting theaters on July 28 and a Black Panther solo film on November 3.
Black Panther will likely have the theaters to itself, but only for two weeks. DC will release the first Justice League movie on November 17. If the Chadwick Boseman-led Panther can fend off the Justice League, though, that might mean that the DC movie franchises are in trouble.
The next year is when things look like they'll be cooling down as far as superhero movies. There are only – only! – five superhero films with hard dates for 2018. The year starts off with The Flash hitting theaters on March 23, as DC is wisely keeping clear again of what is bound to be a summer juggernaut. May 4 will see the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1, followed two months later by Captain Marvel on July 6.
July 13 will see Jason Momoa bringing an entirely new Aquaman to the big screen, and then it goes quiet on the superhero front for a few months. Then, November will see Marvel taking one of its riskiest moves ever, introducing the Inhumans on November 2. Marvel is betting that the Inhumans can spawn a new franchise or several franchises, and word is that the House of Ideas is planning to use the Inhumans as a way to end-run around Fox's tight grip on the X-Men franchise.
By 2019, we'll be fully into the tail end of the superhero movies that have been announced so far. There are only three superhero movies scheduled for that year, and they come in the span of three months. April 5 will see Shazam hitting theaters, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson likely stealing the show as the anti-hero Black Adam. May 3 will see Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2, which will likely draw Marvel's Phase 3 to a full close. June 14 will see the second Justice League movie, meaning that we'll get to compare Marvel and DC's film success with like-against-like as the two greatest teams in comics face off.
While Marvel properties had the opening end all to themselves, it looks right now like the tail end of the superhero surge will be all DC. There are only two superhero movies with hard dates for 2020, and they're both DC properties.
First, April 3 will see Cyborg getting his own feature film. After that, June 19 looks like it will have been just long enough for folks to forget the previous Green Lantern movie with Ryan Reynolds. DC has yet another Green Lantern flick scheduled for that date.
And that takes us through the year 2020, by which point we will be firmly ensconced in the future and almost certainly a bit worn out on superheroes. The fun part: that's not even all of the movies that are likely to debut. If, say, Black Panther or Captain Marvel does really well, we can probably expect sequels to those films. Marvel has already said that it plans to use the Inhumans as a base to launch multiple other potential franchises, so there could be even more Marvel flicks in the works. Ditto for DC, which will likely update its schedule as it goes forward, based on the reception its films get.
This list doesn't even include the tons of unannounced or unconfirmed films from Fox and Sony. Those studios are taking a wait-and-see approach on some films, but rest assured that Sony has at least three Spider-Man related films in the works, and Fox is said to be eyeing an X-Men-Fantastic Four crossover in the future.