Updated 8/6/14 – Geeze, this is the second time I’ve had to update this article. I’ve added in all of the newly announced DC release dates as well as Sony’s rumored 2017 releases.
Comic-Con is over, and it offered few surprises on the comic book movie side of things. That’s mostly because the studios made their big moves prior to heading out to San Diego. In fact, in the span of one day we learned that Sony is putting out Sinister Six in 2016, delaying Amazing Spider-Man 3 from 2016 to 2018, and pulling Amazing Spider-Man 4 from the release schedule, leaving Marvel to swoop in just a couple of hours later and take ASM4‘s now-vacated release date. Days before that Marvel had quietly staked a claim to 5 new release dates through 2019, upping their total to 8 untitled releases scheduled between now and 2019. The only clarification Comic-Con offered is that one of those 8 films is going to be Guardians of the Galaxy 2, leaving us to guess about the 7 others (Thor 3, Doctor Strange, and Avengers 3 are locks, but after that it’s totally up in the air).
As it currently stands, it’s going to be 4 years before we see another Spider-Man movie, and Marvel Studios is set to become the first studio to put out more than 2 comic book movies a year as it has 3 releases scheduled in both 2017 and 2018. That’s all Marvel. On the DC side of things, Nikki Finke (formerly of Deadline.com) had claimed Comic-Con was going to see WB announcing 5 new DC films scheduled to come out between 2016 and 2018. That didn’t happen. So, we’re still left with Batman Vs. Superman in 2016 and Justice League some time after that. Beyond that, all of those movies Finke talked about remain merely rumored, regardless of how much Dwayne Johnson seemed to at least back her up about one of those films being Shazam (the former Captain Marvel).
It’s hard to keep all of this straight, and as Sony’s recent moves indicate these things are subject to change rather quickly. So, let’s all get on the same page here. As of right now, this is the confirmed upcoming release schedule for comic book movies through 2019:
8/22 – Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
10/24 – Kingsman: The Secret Service They just moved it to February 2016
10/24 – Big Hero 6 (the first big animated comic book movie)
5/1 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
6/19 – The Fantastic Four
7/17 – Ant-Man
2/13 – Kingsman: The Secret Service
3/25 – Batman Vs. Superman
5/6 – Captain America 3
5/17 – X-Men: Apocalypse
7/8 – Untitled Marvel Studios (most likely Doctor Strange)
8/5 – Untitled DC (Shazam?)
11/11 – Sinister Six
3/3 – Untitled Wolverine Sequel
5/5 – Untitled Marvel Studios (most likely Thor 3)
6/23 – Untitled DC (Justice League?)
7/14 – The Fantastic Four 2
7/28 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (announced at this year’s Comic-Con)
11/3 – Untitled Marvel Studios
11/17 – Untitled DC (Sandman?)
3/23 – Untitled DC
5/4 – Untitled Marvel Studios (most likely Avengers 3)
7/6 – Untitled Marvel Studios
7/13 – Untitled Fox/Marvel Movie (possibly X-Force, another X-Men sequel, or a X-Men/Fantastic Four team-up)
7/27 – Untitled DC
11/2 – Untitled Marvel Studios
No Specific Date/Month – Amazing Spider-Man 3
4/5 – Untitled DC
5/3 – Untitled Marvel Studios
6/14 – Untitled DC
4/3 – Untitled DC
6/19 – Untitled DC
The Amazing Spider-Man 4
July – Shazam
Christmas – Sandman
TBD – Sony Female-Led Super Heroine movie from the Spider-Man universe
TBD – Sony’s Venom/Carnage
May – Justice League (film is confirmed; it’s the release date that is rumored)
July – Wonder Woman
Christmas – Green Lantern/Flash Team-Up
May – Man of Steel 2
Let’s just ignore those rumored releases and focus on the confirmed ones.
2017 and 2018 is going to be jam-packed with comic-book movies! The fact that we’re only getting 3 comic book movies in 2015 seems like the model of restraint by comparison. Interestingly, one of the arguments made by the likes of Sony and Fox to explain less-than-stellar biz for Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past this summer is that there was simply too much competition, and Marvel’s early April release of Captain America: Winter Soldier kind of stole their thunder. So, it’s possibly for the best that next year will be giving us a lighter load of comic book movies.
One more observation: 2018 currently has a new Marvel film coming out in two consecutive weekends, a Marvel Studios one first and then a Fox-controlled Marvel one next. That’s not going to stay that way for long.
However, let’s not get too carried away with any of this, really. After all, if a studio announcing a comic book movie title and release date was so ironclad we would have had a Batman Vs. Superman movie way back in 2004.