Film Surf Report: 2018 Looks Like A Good Year For Super Franchises (Stock Tip: Buy #Disney)


Santa Monica, CA  — Just renewed my Passport and am ready to travel to Wakanda to hang with Black Panther (and to check on The Winter Soldier who is still frozen) before heading to France to catch up with those Fantastic Beasts.  Am gonna need my wetsuit because ya never know where Aquaman will drag a fella.

2018 is gonna be a fun year at the movies!  Were I trading on the Stock Market, I would most definitely buy *Disney as 2018 will belong to this studio (with The Last Jedi closing out 2017) which will clean up via Marvel Studios, Pixar and Lucas Film.

My pick for Sleeper Hit comes from Disney, as well:  Ava Du Vernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, which hits theaters March 9th (and is the first in a series, launching a new franchise). Oprah, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling Are Featured In The Trailer


Meanwhile, mark your calendar and alert your stock broker because here’s what’s on tap:

  • *Black Panther   Feb. 16th — Very impressed with Chadwick Bozeman and his introduction in Civil War and have high hopes for the standalone film which boasts a fine cast directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station).  Interested to see the South Korea locations.  Here’s the T R A I L E R #1   Fox scored with Deadpool on this release date. Smart move.
  • A Wrinkle in Time  March 9th — See above!
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider  March 16th — The re-boot stars Alicia Vikander and Dominic West. Roar Uthaug directs.
  • X-Men: New Mutants April 13th — Josh Boone directing a new group of mutants that will likely include Wolfsbane, Rachel Summers, and MagmaJames McAvoy set to return as Professor X.
  • *Avengers: Infinity Wars Part One    May 4th –Could be way too many Marvel characters going up against Thanos in this one.  Everyone gets short shrift, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Marvel. Here’s the 1st Trailer – Wakanda!


  • Deadpool 2  June 1st — Ryan Reynolds returns with a new director for the foul-mouthed, almost-Oscar nominated sequel and breakout X-men property.  Fox has to get this sequel right in order to launch Strike Force, so expect a set-up.  Here’s the very fun T R A I L E R for DEADPOOL 2
  • *The Incredibles 2   June 15th —  Cannot wait, Pixar Studios!  Brad Bird returns along with the original voice cast (Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter). This is a 4-quadrant movie.  Here’s the 1st TRAILER featuring Jack Jack.


  • *Ant-Man & Wasp  July 6th  — Not a fan, so Rudd & Co. gotta win me over, especially since this film is being billed as Marvel’s first Romantic Comedy! Michael Douglas returns as Hank PymPeyton Reed directs (again). Walton Scoggins signed on for an unknown (and probably villainous) role. Michelle Pfeiffer and Laurence Fishburne also star. Production just wrapped Nov. 20th.
  • Venom Oct. 5th — Hopes were not high until Tom Hardy signed on to play Venom, the anti-hero of the Spider-Man Universe.  Interested. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) directs.


  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix  Nov. 2nd — Too soon. I still remember the Famke Janssen version of X3, and young Jean Grey was just okay in Apocalypse. Fox is going to the X-Well once too often, I fear. Simon Kinberg is set to direct. Jessica Chastain plays the Villain, who is taken from the original Comic.  Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy return as does Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  Feels Ho Hum to me. Been here, done that.  Meanwhile, someone dies! Any guesses?


  • Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them: The Crimes of Grindewald  Nov. 16th — David Yates to direct the 2nd of the planned five films in the franchise that will likely culminate in the big duel between Grindewald (Johnny Depp) and a young Dumbledore!  (Jude Law)
  • *Young Han Solo May 25th or Dec. 13th  Alden Ehrenreich (Hail Caesar!, Beautiful Creatures) seems to be a terrific choice.  Donald Glover co-stars as young Lando Calrissian.  Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke also co-star. Phil Lord and Chris Miller either quit or got fired, and now, Ron Howard takes over much to my dismay.
  • Aquaman  Dec. 21st — Man, I hope DC Comics/WB gets it right here.  Jason Momoa looks great holding a trident, confronting Bruce Wayne, etc. in Justice LeagueAmber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman also star. James Wan (Fast & Furious 7, The Conjuring) directs. Supposedly it’s not an Origin Story but expect a lot of humor a la Thor: RagnorakEW’s 1st Look Make It Sound Like An Origin Story, Tho!


Here’s a Peek at  2 0 1 9:

  • Gambit  Feb. 14th — Channing Tatum, anyone? Yes, Fox booked this X-Men spinoff film correctly by selecting Valentine’s Day as the release day as women will flock to this film if promoted using Tatum front and center and minimally clothed. Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) co-stars. Gore Verbinski (POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl) directs.
  • The Batman  March (SO VERY TBD) Ben Affleck returns (or does he????). Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, War for the Planet of the Apes) set to direct.  Joe Mangianello made a surprise cameo as Deathstroke in Justice Leauge. However, there are rumors that Deathstroke is out (and may now get his own much smaller solo film instead), and The Penguin is in as an effort to lighten up this franchise. Frankly, I’d rather see  Bookworm (with Tom Cruise or Colin Firth). Affleck wrote the script with Geoff Johns, however, Reeves is starting over from scratch and going for a detective noir approach.  Hence, the delay.  This will be a standalone film and not part of the DCEU.


  • Avengers 4  May 3rd — What was to have been a 2-parter from The Russo Bros. has now become Avengers 4 which supposedly wraps up the current group, including expensive paycheck players Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America who completes his contract with Marvel with this film. Look for an intro to Captain Marvel, as well.  Thor has an eye patch. Black Widow is now blonde. The End of the MCU (As We Knew It) Via GQ
  • Untitled Fox/Marvel Film  June 7th — That Fantastic Four option appears to be lapsing.  Doctor Doom perhaps? Or possibly, Multiple Man starring James Franco! Simon Kinsberg produces from a script by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman).
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming Pt. 2   July 5th — Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei scored in Civil War and are rewarded with a 3-parter.  Expect director Jon Watts to return for the sequel.
  • Captain Marvel   Okay, Brie Larson.  July (tent.) Ya got your work cut out for ya. Story is set pre-Avengers in the ’90s with Nick Fury not wearing an eye patch! Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to direct. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) scripts. Jude Law has signed on to co-star.
  • Flashpoint  (SO VERY TBD) Ezra Miller’s standalone film has been plagued with problems. New script and new director caused the film to get pushed back by a year or more. Hope they get this film on track as Miller was the highlight of the Justice League. This DC film will likely move to 2020. DC Film Slate Gets All Shook Up  Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman!


  • X-Force A team franchise led by Deadpool, Fox will make it work for better or worse (Fantastic Four anyone?). Drew Goddard writes and directs this non-virtuous team of X-Men which also includes Josh Brolin’s Cable. Ryan Reynolds gets an EP credit.
  • Shazam!  (SO VERY TBD) David F. Sandberg (Annabelle) set to direct with Zachary Levi set to star, and Dwayne Johnson is set to produce and to star as Black Adam, the villain of Shazam!, in a spinoff film, but Johnson is reportedly not appearing in Shazam! (or is he?). Supposedly, Shazam! is the next DCEU film to go into production in 2018.
  • Wonder Woman 2 — Nov. 1st  — Director Patty Jenkins has set the sequel story during the Cold War with Russia.  Who’s the next villain for Diana, though?  My money is on Ares’ son.  Nerdist breaks ’em down 5 Villains for WW2
  • James Bond 25 — Nov. 8th — Purvis and Wade scripting. No director set. No distributor.  Daniel Craig returns one more time as James Bond, though. More info forthcoming including a return for Monica Bellucci.
  • Justice League Part Two  — November (SO VERY TBD) The reviews for Part One have been mixed with most declaring, It’s Better Than BvS! Part Two supposedly introduces Green Lantern! This month is getting awfully crowded with franchises, so I expect this film to slide to either December or to 2020.
  • Fantastic Beasts 3 (Nov. 15th) More Dumbledore! Less Johnny Depp.
  • Untitled Fox/Marvel Film — Nov. 22nd — More X-Men! Or possibly, Dr. Doom from Fantastic Four with Noah Hawley (Legion) helms.
  • Star Wars, Ep. IX   — Dec. 20th —  How will LucasFilm deal with the untimely death of Carrie Fisher and her alter ego, Princess/General Leia? JJ Abrams returns to the franchise in the director’s chair after a troubling start. I predict the storyline for The Skywalkers gets wrapped up. No more Death Stars, please!



N E X T   U P:

The Room With THE View at SMU.


About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things TransMedia from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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