Santa Monica, CA — In 2020, Super Heroes arrive in the guise of Elle Woods, James Bond and Hercule Poirot. For actors Reese Witherspoon, Daniel Craig, and Kenneth Branagh, these iconic characters are their super hero roles, only without the red capes and super powers (unless you count accessorizing, longevity and deduction).
The Future is Always Changing, and nothing could be more true about movie release dates especially concerning everyone’s favorite super franchise. Disney’s acquisition of Fox affects the future of Fox’s Marvel properties (X-Men, Deadpool, Fantastic Four), and over at Warner Bros., DC Comics seems like it’s in complete disarray.
The result is a very cloudy picture of what we can expect to see on the big screen from 2020 and beyond. The good news: We get a double dose of Gal Gadot who will star in both Wonder Woman 1984 and Death on the Nile.
Here is the list of Super Hero Franchise Films (and remember, not all wear capes or possess super powers! Okay, some of them may, in fact, wear capes but they will be fur-lined and/or pink in color!) in the pipeline for release starting in 2020 and beyond:
- Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — Feb. 7th — Margot Robbie co-produces and stars as Harley Quinn. Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) directs from a script by Christina Hodson, who is also scripting the standalone Batgirl film. Ewan MacGregor has signed to play the villain, Black Mask. The other birds include Jurnee Smolett-Bell as Black Canary and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress. Film doesn’t start shooting until 2019. More Info on Black Canary and Huntress, per THR
- Legally Blonde 3 — Feb. 14th — Make no mistake, Elle Woods is Reese Witherspoon’s version of a Super Hero. This character has influenced a generation of female law school applicants and graduates. Her Super Powers: Inspiration. Enthusiasm.
- Kingsman: The Great Game — Feb. 14th — Matthew Vaughn has cast Ralph Fiennes and Matthew Goode (A Discovery of Witches) who will undoubtedly show us how Manners Maketh Man in this prequel film. Can’t wait.
- Bond 25 — April 8th — Cary Fukunaga (Maniac, True Detective) replaces Danny Boyle who left the production in pre-production due to creative differences. Daniel Craig returns for one last go as Agent 007. Lupito Nyong’o and Rami Malek are in talks to also star. Monica Bellucci also reprises her role as a femme fatale. Everything You Need To Know, via Men’s Journal.
- Black Widow — May 1st — Scarlett Johansson nabs a $15 million payday (per THR) for her own solo film which is supposedly an origin story pre-Avengers, so expect Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury to recruit her to S.H.I.E.L.D. Am assuming the big raise comes on the heels of her 7-picture contract expiring with Avengers 4. Cate Shortland (Lore) is set to direct from a script by Jac Schaeffer (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). Florence Pugh (Little Women), David Harbour (Stranger Things) and Rachael Weisz (The Favourite) set to co-star. The Journey of Black Widow, per THR.
- A Quiet Place 2: Even More Quiet (working title) — May 15th — John Krasinski returns as screenwriter to the hit horror film that starred Emily Blunt as someone who can step on a nail and not scream her lungs out! Now that is a super power. Blunt and the actors who portrayed her kids are set to return. Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) co-stars. Krasinski directs.
- Wonder Woman 1984 — June 5th — Diana, Steve Trevor and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) have pushed back their release date by seven months. What’s up, Patty Jenkins? Doesn’t really matter cuz I’m in!
- The Eternals — TBD — Marvel introduces a new batch of Greek-inspired super heroes based on a number of comics from decades past. Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me) is attached to direct. Script is by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. Angelina Jolie is set to star as Circe. Kumail Nanjiani also stars. This franchise will connect the Avengers to X-Men, most likely. Nerdist Breaks It All Down For Ya…
- Death on the Nile — Oct. 2nd — Make no mistake. Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, is Kenneth Branagh’s super hero role of a lifetime (not counting Gilderoy Lockhart, natch). Following the successful re-make of Murder on the Orient Express, Branagh re-teams with scribe Michael Green (Blade Runner 2049, American Gods) to re-make another Agatha Christie classic. Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, and Letitia Wright are set to star.
- Indiana Jones: I’m Too Old For This Shit (Working Title) — TBD — There’s a writer’s room assembled at Amblin. Spielberg to direct Harrison Ford. Let’s wait and see, shall we? Am still not over the dreadful Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. No script yet, per producer Frank Marshall.
- Shang-Chi — Nov. 6th — Marvel’s first Asian-American superhero (and next addition to The Avengers) gets director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) and write Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984).
- Black Panther 2 — TBD — Ryan Coogler has signed to write and to direct the sequel to the super hit which will take us all back to Wakanda. Expect a late 2020 release at the earliest (per THR). Who’s the next villain, though? Nerdist Scopes Out Six Potentials.
- Avatar 2 — Dec. 18th — Just wrapped production, the sequel to the highest grossing film in history will finally hit theatres in a non-Star Wars month. James Cameron writes and directs, natch.
- Supergirl — TBD — Yes, DC is giving Kara Danvers’ alter ego another shot at moviedom following Helen Slater’s take in the ’90s and the current series on The CW. Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat, 22 Jump Street) scripts. No director is set yet.
- 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. Perhaps, the Fox sale to Disney will stall this franchise once Marvel gains complete control. Looks like that is the case. Too bad as I really enjoyed Deadpool 2.
- Kitty Pryde — TBD — Comics writer Brian Michael Bender and Deadpool director Tim Miller are developing a feature (with the code name 143) around the X-girl who walks through walls. No word yet if Ellen Page will reprise the role. Miller is set to direct. Am hearing most if not all of Fox’s development of Marvel properties are now dead.
- Joker & Harley — TBD — DC Comics is such a mess that they are developing another movie around The Joker played by Jared Leto who reprises the role from Suicide Squad. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa) script. The AV Club Has The Details Here…
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- Flashpoint Ezra Miller’s standalone film has been plagued with problems: New script and new director (John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming and who directed Game Night) caused the film to get pushed back. Hope they get this film on track as Miller was the highlight of the Justice League. This DC film will likely move to 2021 as it doesn’t go into production until late 2019 to accommodate Miller’s shooting schedule on Fantastic Beasts 3 (which means his character survives Fantastic Beasts 2, no?). DC Film Slate Gets All Shook Up Gal Gadot supposedly returns as Wonder Woman!– Here’s a very sketchy T I M E L I N E of the project’s troubled development, per EW. Now, the latest is that Miller is co-writing the script with comics writer Grant Morrison. Cool. I’d bet on him.
- Doctor Strange 2: Wong in Paradise Marvel has signed Scott Derrickson to direct the sequel starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Master of Medieval Arts.
- DC Super Pets — May 21st — Assuming this one is animated and for the kiddos.
- The Batman — June 25th — Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, War for the Planet of the Apes) directs from his own script which is not an Origin Story, thank Gotham. Story remains a Detective Noir piece set within Gotham City. Ben Affleck is out as Bruce Wayne. Rumors suggest Bruce Wayne will face a rogue’s gallery of villains. Fingers crossed for Bookworm. Here are Nerdist’s Suggestions For The Villain(s)
- The Suicide Squad — Aug. 6th — James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Vols. 1, 2 and script for 3) has signed to write/direct a re-boot of the villainous ensemble which features DC’s The Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot & Co. Will Smith has announced he will not reprise his role as Deadshot. Fine by me! Paging Dave Bautista! Idris Elba is likely to sign on for the role.
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 — TBD — Writer/Director James Gunn is back on board after Disney/Marvel rehire him. He’s also back on Twitter, as well, which is where his troubles started. Rotten Tomatoes Has The Details.
- Aquaman 2 — Dec. 16th, 2022! — No script yet, but David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, the screenwriter credited with the first film, has been set to pen the sequel. Please let there be a coherent, emotionally resonant and fun story. I felt there was way too much going on in the first one and would have been content had DC just told the story of Arthur Curry’s parents, which I found compelling.
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