This decade has been a great time to be a superhero movie fan. Since 2008, over 61 superhero films have been released to date, some of them from story lines many comic book fans thought would be impossible to adapt to film or TV. 18 of those 61 offerings have been courtesy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and 12 have been from the X-men franchise, whose characters are still part of the Marvel comic family even though they haven’t (yet) crossed over into the MCU. Superheroes have been very good for business too. The movies in MCU alone have raked in an astonishing $13.5 billion dollars (from 17 movies) at the world wide box office and they’re only halfway through the third phase of a four-phased cinematic plan! The DC Extended Universe (DCEU), though much less critically received, is not doing too badly either. Throw in a string of animated super hero movies along the way and boy, what a great time it is to be a superhero movie fan! Join us in our giddy anticipation; see a list of every single super hero movie slated for 2018:
BLACK PANTHER, 16 February (MCU)
To say that Marvel’s second black superhero movie (Blade was the first) was highly anticipated would be a massive understatement. There has been frenzy around it since it was announced four years ago, a frenzy that reached fever pitch when the lead character, T’challa/Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) appeared in Captain America: Civil War. Writer-director, Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) directs a predominantly black, star-studded cast, which includes Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, and Martin Freeman. The movie has received incredibly positive reviews with many critics calling it the best Marvel movie to date.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, 4 May (MCU)
When Marvel Studios announced Avengers: Infinity War two years ago, it was publicized as a two-film epic crossover event that would be the culmination of everything Marvel had done up to that point and so naturally, everybody went crazy. The internet went wild with fan theories and speculations as to the plot, who the villain(s) would be and just how many superheroes would be in the movie. The initial trailer, currently the most-viewed trailer of all time, was viewed 230 million times in its first 24 hours! It sparked a fresh series of theories, debates and general fan craziness. Right now, we’re approximately 2 months and 22 days away from what just might be the movie event of the 21st century! Do try to contain yourself.
DEADPOOL 2, 18 May (FOX)
Hilarious spoof trailers, funny posters and rumor-laden anticipation have heralded the second installment of the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. Very little is known about the plot of the movie but we do know that Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role alongside TJ Miller, Morena Baccarin and Josh Brolin will star as villain, Cable. John Wick director, David Leitch, is taking over as director so we expect great action pieces and brilliantly choreographed fight sequences.
THE INCREDIBLES 2, 2 June (Pixar)
14 years later, the long awaited sequel to 2004’s genre darling, The Incredibles, is scheduled to come to theaters. The movie picks up right where the last one left, with everyone, including Samuel L. Jackson and Holly Hunter, returning in their roles. The movie will follow the Incredibles as they struggle to live a normal life amidst a growing threat from a new villain.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, 6 July (MCU)
Marvel’s tiniest or largest (depending on the situation) superhero returns and this time, he has a partner. The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) stars alongside Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as he tries to balance his home life as a father with his responsibilities as a superhero. Again, little is known about the plot (probably to prevent Infinity War spoilers) but it is supposedly set after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Michael Douglas returns as Hank Pym, Ant-Man’s inventor and benefactor and we hear Michelle Pfeiffer will play the presumed dead Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp’s mother).
VENOM, 5 October (Sony’s Marvel Universe)
Marvel is notorious for the level of secrecy that surrounds the plots of its upcoming releases, but the hush-hush around Venom can rival a CIA black op. After years of secrecy, we finally get a short glimpse of what the movie will be like in the new teaser trailer Sony dropped yesterday. The trailer doesn’t let us in on much; we can tell that Tom Hardy brings the same charming intensity he brings to his other roles and that the movie has a dark vibe. What we do know about Venom from the comics is that Eddie Brock is a journalist who, after bonding with an alien life-force/suit known as the symbiote, becomes the psychopathic villain known as Venom. We know that he/it is one of Spider-Man’s archnemesis but we don’t know if Spider-Man will show up in the movie. Michelle Williams also stars as She-Venom.
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX, 2 November (FOX)
One of Marvel’s most powerful mutants will finally get her own movie. Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) will return in her role as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix from 2016’s X-men: Apocalypse. The Dark Phoenix story-line dominated the original X-Men trilogy and this one is intended to set off a new trilogy so you don’t need to know all the confusing, time-warping things they did in the franchise before. The movie is said to be set a decade after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse and will see James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michael Fassbender reprise their long-running roles as Professor X, Mystique, and Magneto.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, 21 December (Sony animation)
Black Panther will not be the only superhero movie this year with a black character in the lead. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will center on the character of Miles Morales, an afro-Latino teenager who has powers similar to those of the original Spider-Man, having also been bitten by a genetically engineered spider. It will reportedly feature a multi-dimensional story-line and will be voiced by Shameik Moore (Dope, The Getdown) as Spider-Man/Miles Morales, alongside Mahershala Ali (as Morales’ uncle) and Liev Schreiber as the villain.
AQUAMAN, 21 December (DC Extended Universe)
The lone DCEU entry on this list will bring us the legend of Aquaman, who is played by Jason Mamoa. This will be the first time a full-length feature film is centered around this character. The earlier entries in the DCEU do not inspire confidence for this movie, but comments from the director, noted horror-film auteur, James Wan (Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring) do give us a little hope. In a comment to Entertainment Weekly, Wan said, “It’s going to look very different. It will feel very different – aesthetically, tonally, story-wise – as my own take.” He added that, despite this sense of individuality, the film will be “much more a traditional action-adventure quest movie.” Having Wan at the helm let’s us suspect that the movie will have some horror elements to it. That will be pretty exciting. The cast also includes Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren and Nicole Kidman.