It seems I am only permitted to watch movies based on comics these days. Really, I watched Blue is the Warmest Colour the other day (I have lesbian movie nights with lesbian friends. Don't you?) and it turns out that's based on a graphic novel. Anyway, this is the latest, most up-to-date list of the upcoming comic-based films, double-checked with Den of Geek, io9 and the like.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release: April 2015 for UK, May for US
All the Avengers plus Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and the Vision join forces to defeat the android Ultron.
Release: July 17th on both sides of the Pond.
The last installment of Phase Two of the MCU. Edgar Wright is out, who knows what this is going to be like.
The Fantastic Four
Release: 6th/7th August 2015
Reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise which is planned to revamp the other half of Fox's comicbook properties.
DC Thomson/Elstree Studios
The first part of the Beano Cinematic Universe (oh yes), Bananaman is clearly the most exciting movie project in development for years. Might be subtitled Man of Peel, which is brilliant. Absolutely no idea who is starring.
Release: set for Feb 2016
Ryan Reynolds finally gets to do the Merc with a Mouth justice in what we expect to be a fourth-wall breaking slice of madness. Part of Fox's X-Men universe which may also cross over with the Fantastic Four films as they try to build up a cinematic universe akin to Marvel's.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release: 25th March in both UK and US
DC are going head first into a huge superhero team-up movie to try to do what Marvel have done, but in reverse. Henry Cavill is back as Supes following on from Man of Steel. Ben Affleck makes his debut as Batman, with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and sundry other DC superheroes.
Captain America: Civil War
Release: April 2016 in the UK, May in the US
Marvel's Phase Three kicks off one year after Age of Ultron with another barnstormer that might as well be called Captain America vs Iron Man. Chadwick Boseman is set to debut as the Black Panther and Spider-Man is expected to make his MCU debut following Marvel's deal with Sony.
Release: May 2016
The X-Men franchise completes the trilogy started with First Class and continued in Days of Future Past, coming full circle with recast Cyclops, Storm and Jean Grey. Channing Tatum debuts as Gambit, and expect Huge Ackman to return as Wolverine to face down the mighty mutant Apocalypse.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
Release: 3rd June on both continents, supposedly.
Hell, I haven't even seen the first one yet. More Michael Bay stuff with Megan Fox and some unsettling repto-humanoids. Apparently Krang might be in this one.
Release: August 2016
Beating the ever-delayed Sinister Six movie from Sony, DC manage to make the first villain team-up movie to expand their cinematic universe. Genuinely quite interested in this one. One hell of a cast lined up, with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith (!) as Deadshot and more. Could be something quite amazing.
Release: October 2016
Channing Tatum returns as Gambit for his own solo adventure. Not much information to go on so far.
Release: November, most likely.
Everyone's favourite Benedict Cumberbatch joins the MCU as the Sorceror Supreme. Rumours that Chiwetel Ejiofor is also involved. This should mark an interesting development point for the MCU as magic and parallel dimensions are introduced.
Release: Early March, 2017, but expect things to move around a bit this far ahead.
No actual title for this, but it's the third Wolverine film from Fox after the dreadful X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the rather better The Wolverine. Patrick Stewart is also expected to appear in some capacity. No real information on the storyline, although Huge Ackman has been angling for the "Old Man Logan" arc from the comics as a source.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Release: the now-traditional April/May slot.
Guardians of the Galaxy was the film of the year for 2014, so we're all stoked to see the sequel. Not much info yet, but we can expect it to follow up on the mystery of Quill's parentage.
Release: Set for 23rd June in the USA.
DC are one step ahead of Marvel with this one, creating a female-led superhero movie before their rivals. Wonder Woman is one DC's Big Three, along with Batman and Superman, so it's pretty bizarre that she's not headlined a movie before. Gal Gadot returns to the role after her debut in Dawn of Justice.
Fantastic Four 2
Release: 14th July on both sides.
If the FF reboot does well, a sequel is guaranteed. All the main cast have signed up for the sequel, which is expected to feature Mole Man as a villain, probably with a returning Doom. On the other hand, if the first film tanks, this will probably be quietly shelved.
Untitled Spider-Man movie
Sony, with Marvel/Disney
Release: July 28th 2017 is the currently scheduled date, which has bumped back some of Marvel's other films.
The first proper Spidey film to come out following the deal between Sony and Marvel, this is as yet uncast and we have little information on it beyond the fact that they're looking to cast younger and send Peter Parker back to high school again. Don't expect yet another retelling of his origin story, though. We all know he was bitten by a radioactive/genetically engineered spider.
Release: Originally slated for July 28th, this will now be released on November 3rd in the States.
Apocalyptic events could mark Chris Hemsworth's final appearance as the God of Thunder. The Fire Giant Surtr will most likely be the villain this time round, but pound to a penny Loki will be back too.
The Justice League: Part One
Release: 17th November in the States.
The Justice League is DC's premier superhero team, and they want a slice of the Avengers' money pie. This huge two-part blowout should reunite most of the Dawn of Justice crowd, potentially with yet more heroes added in for good measure. Darkseid is heavily rumoured as the villain, but he's essentially identical to Marvel's Big Bad, Thanos.
The Lego Batman Movie
Release: Uncertain, some time in 2017 most likely.
Will Arnett's hilarious take on Batman was the best thing about 2014's magnificent Lego Movie, and now he gets his own spin-off. Lego seem to have free reign to use DC characters so expect cameos and villains galore. The Lego Movie 2 is currently slated for 2018.
Release: Currently set for 23rd March, Stateside.
I still haven't managed to catch any of the acclaimed Flash TV series, but since this is a complete reboot and recast that's pretty irrelevant. Hopefully this Billy Whizzard will be as fun as the concept should be. Ezra Miller is playing Barry Allen, the Flash.
Avengers: Infinity War: Part One
Release: That April/May slot.
Marvel's answer to the big double-blockbuster, wisely not going directly up against Justice League but inevitably set to be compared. This is the beginning of the climax to Phase Three, the event that all the movies of the MCU have building to. Josh Brolin is back as Thanos, battling pretty much every character thus far introduced in the MCU, potentially including the upcoming TV characters too. No Joss Whedon though.
Release: 6th July 2018
Finally, a black superhero headlines a movie for the first time since Blade and that dreadful Catwoman thing. Boseman will already have appeared as the Black Panther in Civil War and probably Infinity War, and we can probably expect Andy Serkis to appear as Klaw.
Untitled X-Men movie
Release: July 2018
Another X-Men flick is scheduled for 2018, but so far we have zip on the details. Very probably keeping on the young mutants from Apocalypse along with some new faces, but no news as yet.
Release: 27th July 2018
The King of Atlantis gets his own movie, played by Jason Momoa. Some have written this off as too silly - Aquaman has been a bit of a joke character in DC animations recently - but it looks like they'll be playing this one straight. Momoa will have already played the character in Dawn of Justice and Justice League, of course.
Release: Currently slated for November 2018.
Marvel's premier female superhero gets a chance to shine on the big screen. No news as to who's playing Carol Danvers yet, although it's entirely possible that, like Black Panther, she'll first appear in another movie (Guardians of the Galaxy 2 seems a reasonable bet). That said, we do know this movie is currently intended to be set mostly on the Earth, rather than the good Captain's frequent forays into space.
Release: 5th April 2019
Genuinely can't wait for this one. The other Captain Marvel, as yet uncast, pits his mighty fists against the nerfarious Black Adam, played by Duane 'The Rock' Johnson, taking five minutes out from filming Fast and Furious 26 or something. Mixed messages concerning whether this will be part of the elaborate movie universe DC is constructing or completely separate, but expect something quite standalone either way.
Avengers: Infinity War: Part Two
Release: One year after Part One
The second part of the big shebang. With Captain Marvel showing in between the two halves, expect even more characters to be included, but Inhumans being delayed until afterwards might change plans a tad. Hopefully not just wall-to-wall scraps, but expect lots of spectacle.
Justice League: Part Two
Release: June 14th, 2019.
DC are leaving a longer gap between installments in their gigantic blockbuster. Again, the two comics giants aren't going directly head-to-head with this one, but there's only a month or so between the US release dates. The new Green Lantern might be appearing in preparation for his upcoming solo film.
Release: 12th July 2019, at the moment.
Marvel, not having the movie rights to their own X-Men characters, are bringing this lesser known crop of superhuman beings to the big screen. The Inhumans are already being seeded in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD on TV, so this is a slow burn set-up. Rumours are already flying, with Vin Diesel cheekily putting himself forward as Black Bolt. As he's already voiced Groot, amusingly this would make him two Marvel movie characters who can barely speak. Nice easy gig for him.
Untitled Batman movie
Release: sometime before 2020.
A solo Batman outing starring Ben Affleck following his Dawn of Justice and (probably) Justice League appearances. No info so far.
"Man of Steel 2"
Release: again, some point between 2016 and 2020.
As with Batman, Superman will also be enjoying a further solo appearance, again, probably, post Justice League. It's hard to see how they can fit both Batman and Superman movies in the schedule though. Henry Cavill is on board, natch.
The Sinister Six
Release: unknown, but it's still on the books.
With the Sony-Marvel alliance, this has been confirmed as still in the pipeline. Undoubtedly coming after Suicide Squad, this is going for the similar villains-as-protagonists route. No cast confirmed at the moment, and with Spider-Man being recast, everything's in the air. We also don't know for certain whether Spidey himself is going to taking part, or if Marvel will have some involvement.
Other Spidey-related projects that haven't officially been cancelled yet, but which are looking less likely to see the light of day, are the long-awaited Venom movie (last heard to be titled Venom-Carnage) and a team-up movie of unspecified female superheroes from the Spider-Man franchise.
The final movie currently planned for the X-Men franchise, X-Force will involve a darker, less heroic team of mutant superheroes. Jeff Wadlow, from the fairly dreadful KickAss 2, is writing the script. Ryan Reynolds is expected back as Deadpool, along with an uncast Cable. I wouldn't be surprised to see Channing Tatum back as Gambit in this, and probably Colossus, who is usually part of the comics and is also appearing in Deadpool, but is currently uncast. Wolverine is also a likely candidate, but Huge Ackman can't play him forever. Given the bigger antihero role Mystique has in the newer X-films, I wouldn't be shocked to see Jennifer Lawrence involved.
Release: April 2020
One of DC's less well known and popular characters, Victor Stone, aka Cyborg, is still a pretty major Justice League hero. Ray Fisher is signed up to play Stone in Dawn of Justice, both Justice League films and finally his own movie. Good to have another black headline star.
Release: June 2020
The 2011 Green Lantern film tanked, and so DC are clearly not very confident on this property, running pretty much everything on their books before trying again. Ryan Reynolds is now Deadpool, and it's unlikely DC would want him back anyway, so there'll be a new man in green.
Justice League Dark
Not given a definite slot on DC's release calendar, but apparently coming sometime between now and 2020. Guillermo del Toro is currently set to direct, which would be pretty much perfect (I'd still like to see a third Hellboy movie). Justice League Dark is set to feature DC's biggest horror-themed characters, including Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon. Whether this ties into DC's main cinematic universe is unknown.
Release: not a clue
Can they really do Sandman justice on the big screen? It remains to be seen. Author Neil Gaiman is directly involved and wanted Benedict Cumberbatch for the role of Morpheus, but he's busy being Dr. Strange. The great Joseph Gordon Levitt is involved, probably to direct and possibly to star as well.