Film Surf Report: Super Hero Franchises Save Us From The Autumn Of Our Discontent …

AQUAMAN POSTER

Santa Monica, CA — With the Dog Days of Summer long gone, the next batch of super hero franchise films are upon us, so I hope you enjoyed the respite and are ready to embrace the months (and years) ahead!

Interestingly, DC Comics and Warner Bros. have re-cut a new Aquaman trailer (with much better results than the first one, I am happy to report. See link below). The studio also seems to be taking a Villainous approach to their franchises having recently greenlit a Birds of Prey film starring Margot Robbie (which hits theaters in 2020) and not one, but two Joker solo films starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jared Leto, respectfully.

Of course, the super hero is only as good as the super villain opposing him/her, but I gotta say I don’t really care about a Joker origin story.  Yawn. He’s nuts. Less is more. I have serious doubts about this approach, however, were I a betting man, I would place my pesos on Universal’s upcoming Glass, the 3rd film in the Unbreakable franchise, which explores super heroes and super villains. DC should take note!

Meanwhile, here’s what/who’s about to hit the big screen. You may want to prepare yourself for multiple doses of Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy:

JUDE LAW AS YOUNG DUMBLEDORE IN FB

  • Venom Oct. 5th — Hopes were not high until Tom Hardy signed on to play Venom, the anti-hero of the Spider-Man Universe. Interested. Underpaid actor Michelle Williams co-stars. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) directs. Here is the most recent Trailer which shows Michelle Williams running a lot. Got a bad feeling about this one, gang. The reviews have not been kind, but film has made $100m domestically in a week, so perhaps it’s review-proof. Rotten Tomatoes Says It’s Rotten With 31%. Help, Spider-Man!
  • Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them: The Crimes of Grindewald  Nov. 16th — David Yates directs 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) Best of all, we finally get a glimpse of noted Alchemist Nicolas Flamel who created that infamous Sorcerer’s Stone as well as Nagini who turns out to be a Maledictus! Mind Blown! Here’s the Final Trailer Which Is Terrific! The Latest Trailer Looks Great! Young Dumbledore Suits Jude Law via EW
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse  Dec. 14th — This animated movie explores a post-Peter Parker world and features Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy.Un
  • Untitled Deadpool Movie  Dec. 21st — Now, this is unusual! A kid-friendly version of Deadpool apparently is getting unwrapped just in time for the holidays.  Stay tuned. It could very well be a re-cut version of Deadpool 2 released earlier this year.
  • 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. Check out the latest Trailer H E R E (and it’s much improved over the 1st Trailer!) James Wan (Fast & Furious 7, The Conjuring) directs. The super villain is Black Manta.

GLASS

Here’s a Peek at  2 0 1 9:

  • Glass — Jan. 18th — M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to 2016’s Split and Unbreakable features characters from both films (James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson) who think they are super heroes and/or villains. Looks great.  Here’s the Trailer which premiered at Comic-Con

BRIE AS CAPTAIN MARVEL

  • Captain Marvel  March 8th — Okay, Brie Larson. 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 direct. Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) scripts. Jude Law co-stars (in everything!). Film sets up Captain Marvel as the Avenger to beat in the ensuing Avengers 4 where Thanos gets his due. Interestingly, Brie Larson has signed a 7-picture deal with Marvel, so guess she’s the leader of the New Avengers! Here’s the action-packed TRAILER (narrated by Nick Fury).
  • Shazam! April 5th  David F. Sandberg (Annabelle) directs. Zachary Levi stars in a story reminiscent of Tom Hank’s Big, 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?). The Trailer Goes For Laughs (And Misses) Meanwhile, there was hope for a Superman cameo, however, Henry Cavill Has Reportedly Hung Up His Cape, per THR.

AVENGERS INFINITY WAR POSTER

  • 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. Fingers crossed that Thor survives. Black Widow must because she’s getting her own solo film! Look for a big assist from Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, as well.  The End of the MCU (As We Knew It) Via GQ
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix  June 7th  — Even though this film’s release date has been moved back three times now (per THR), it still feels too soon. I still remember the Famke Janssen version of X3 (co-written by Simon Kinberg), and young Jean Grey was just okay in Apocalypse. Fox is going to the X-Well once too often, I fear. Kinberg directs. 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? Here’s the first Trailer. Check it out!
  • Men in Black: The Spinoff — June 14th —  Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjani, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson topline this Sony re-boot. F. Gary Gray directs from a script by Iron Man scribes Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.  Hopes high, I think.

MIB REBOOT

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home   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. Jake Gyllenhall in talks to star as the villain, Mysterio. Gotta say, Tom Holland is really winning in this role (and I am a fan of the Tobey trilogy). Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders also appear. Interesting! (They were turned to dust in Infinity War!).
  • X-Men: New Mutants  Aug. 2nd — Josh Boone directs a supposedly horror-tinged film featuring a new group of mutants that will likely include Wolfsbane, Rachel Summers, and MagmaJames McAvoy returns as Professor X.  Film’s release has been delayed several times as well and has been finished for a year now.
  • Joker: My Life & Times (working title) – Oct. 4th  — Todd Phillips’ (The Hangover) solo story stars Joaquin Phoenix (See the first look via Rotten Tomatoes!) as Batman’s arch-nemesis following in the notable footsteps of Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Mark Hamill, and most recently, Jared Leto. Here’s the details via Deadline Hollywood
  • Wonder Woman 1984 — Nov. 1st — Director Patty Jenkins has set the sequel story during the Cold War with Russia. Who’s the next villain for Diana: Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) will play Diana’s nemesis, Cheetah. Chris Pine and Robin Wright return, as well.
  • Kingsmen 3 — Nov. 8th — Matthew Vaughn again writes and directs the final chapter of the Eggsy-Harry Hart mentorship.  Supposedly, there’s also a Statesmen spinoff in development, as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the first film and thought the second was not as good.
  • Fantastic Beasts 3 –Nov. 15th– More Dumbledore! Less Johnny Depp. I anticipate FB2 will be a smash hit as the story escalates between Dumbledore and Grindewald with a big assist by Newt. Am realizing we will eventually get to meet such wizarding luminaries as Bathilda Bagshot and a younger version of Aberforth as well as new characters like Claudia Kim’s Nagini and Zoe Kravitz’ Leta Lestrange!
  • Untitled Fox/Marvel Film — Nov. 22nd — More X-Men! Or possibly, Dr. Doom from Fantastic Four with Noah Hawley (Legion) helming. That Fantastic Four option appears to be lapsing. Or possibly, Multiple Man starring James Franco! Simon Kinsberg produces from a script by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman).
  • Star Wars, Ep. IX   — Dec. 20th —  LucasFilm is using previously shot footage so it will be interesting to see how they 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! Fisher had the last line in The Last JediWe have everything we need. Let’s hope so. Keri Russell has been cast in an as yet unknown role.

CARRIE AS GENERAL LEIA

N E X T   U P:

Female Characters Who Deserve Their Own Movie!

TRINITY

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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