The future is bright for Comic Book movies and with four major film studios vying for blockbuster payouts there are a plethora of quality titles to entice you into the cinemas in the coming years.
As we saw in Part 1, 2015 will bring us four comic book movies to get excited about including The Avengers sequel and a Fantastic 4 reboot. Now onto what is coming next year.
As there are SEVEN Comic Book movies to hit our cinemas in 2016, for this part I will look at the releases from the first half of 2016. Starting with…
Deadpool (Fox) Dir. Tim Miller
After eleven years of preparations and fighting back from the brink of cancellation, the Deadpool movie was finally green-lit and is set to hit the big screen on February 12th 2016.
Ryan Reynolds is set to reprise his role of Wade Wilson, the ‘Merc with the Mouth’, after his first Marvel outing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. Reynolds’ character in Origins WAS NOT Deadpool; It was some bastardisation of Wade Wilson that will more than likely end up as the butt of several jokes throughout this solo flick.
Deadpool is a Marvel character like no other; first off, he is a mercenary, he will follow the money (and the Mexican food) for any job and this makes him a true anti-hero. Marvel has its fair share of anti-heroes, most notably the recent success of Chris Pratt’s portrayal as thief-come-hero Starlord in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy. But where Pratt’s character was a cheeky chap who didn’t mind flipping his middle finger to the law, Deadpool flips the bird to the concept of comic books and you the reader.
His most important tool, and what makes Deadpool a truly unique character in Marvel, is his tendency to break the fourth wall. He frequently comments on the actual fact he is in a comic book, talks directly to the reader and even in at least one case hops back through the story-panels to warn himself about oncoming danger.
This may be a game changer, in Supermovie terms at least. If the screenwriters, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (who penned Zombieland together), take this dimension of the comic books into the film we could be in for a shock and a treat. Imagine a film’s lead character referring to an awful portrayal of himself in a previous film, running off set to escape an attacker or deciding that the plot is ridiculous and deciding to change it himself; these are all viable options with Deadpool.
The film got a huge, unprecedented boost when the test footage was leaked and it’s very funny. Also the Deadpool video game released in 2013 won over a lot of people by the sheer hilarity (even if the gameplay and functionality was lacking). The test footage can be watched below and the “best bits” of the game can be found here.
This could truly be a game-changer and with a tight budget they will have to rely on humor, a great script and inventive plot arcs. Hopefully with the cut in budget they were able to agree for an R rating (18s) as Deadpool should be full of coarse language, blood and gore. I for one am really excited about this.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros.) Dir. Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel certainly split the audience. Personally I liked it; sure it was by no means perfect but it was action packed and with Snyder in the director’s chair, I was not expecting much more. Snyder does big action well, but relies on either a well-established piece of work to try and copy (Watchmen) or sacrifices any decent dialogue or plot for pure action and big effects (300, Sucker Punch). The combination between Snyder and David S. Goyer (who co-wrote the story for the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy) resulted in a Superman film that surpassed my expectation for a Snyder flick.
Anyhoo, lets talk about the new one, due to be released on March 25th. There has been huge controversy regarding the casting; Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and of course Ben Affleck as Batman (or Batfleck). “That dude from The Social Network is way too young and isn’t even bald!”, “Gadot is way too skinny to be WW. Maybe she could be her Lasso of Truth LOL” and “DAREDEVIL???? FML” are fanboy tirades I just invented there, but similar ones have been doing the rounds online since each of their announcements. After Heath Ledger shut everyone’s mouths with his performance in The Dark Knight, I have decided to hold judgment until I see their portrayals for myself.
One big problem that Snyder and Goyer will have to tackle is the sheer volume of new characters to the franchise. Not only are they introducing a new Batman (which is a massive task to pull off), they are also introducing us to Wonder Woman, Lex Luther, Aquaman (Jason Momoa, Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo) and Cyborg (stage actor Ray Fisher). How much each of these new characters will feature in Dawn of Justice is unknown but Marvel were smart to ease us into the Avengers’ catalogue of heroes, movie by movie. Hopefully Warner haven’t bitten off more than they can handle.
Now, this is where the Internet becomes a little tedious; one of the big stories in fanboyland this week has been over the possibility that the teaser trailer “may have been released” but no one can find it. This all seems a little too far-fetched for my liking but this is now commonplace on the net, I believe the cool kids these days call it trolling. At least some of the fanboys of this world are putting their hours of time in front of their computers to good use and they have been busy making trailers to tie us over until the real-deal breaks the Internet; this is my personal favourite.
*UPDATED* On April 17th, the real deal landed online and it looks both dark and epic. I like Affleck’s suit, and the armoured Batsuit, akin to that in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, looks great. There will definitely be a scrap in this feature and hopefully it lives up to the high expectations.
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Captain America: Civil War (Marvel) Dir. Anthony & Joe Russo
Civil War is one of the best comic book story arcs Marvel have delivered in recent years. After Age of Ultron wraps up, the governments of the world decide to pass the Superhero Registration Act; the act declares all superheroes must declare their true identity to the government and only act under strict official regulation.
Captain America is flat-out against the act but Iron Man is for the act’s immediate commencement; this leads to a division in not only the Avengers but across the Marvel Universe. Previous friends, siblings and allies become enemies on separate sides of a life changing battle.
The story arc deals with everything from the fundamental rights of humans and mutants, moral standings and the ideals of true freedom and the responsibilities that come with it.
May 6th will see both teams of directors and writers returning from The Winter Soldier as well as the majority of its cast, and Downey Jr. of course. With this solid base, Civil War has an impressive starting point. We have Johansson back as Black Widow, Sebastian Stan returning as Bucky/Winter Soldier, Mackie back as Falcon and Frank Grillo will reprise his role of Brock Rumlow (now under the guise of Crossbones).
Two new faces will join the crew in the third Captain America feature; Daniel Brühl, of Joyeux Noel and Rush fame, and Chadwick Boseman who has graced the screen as Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. Brühl, although mere speculation, will probably play a new villain named Baron Zemo. Zemo has links to another Marvel character, Dr. Strange, who conveniently has a solo outing later in 2016. This could easily lend as an intro to the Doc and set up the November feature nicely (more on this in Part 3).
Also making a first Marvel appearance in Boseman who will portray T’Challa, who is better known as Black Panther. Black Panther was a groundbreaking character brought in by Marvel. He was the first ever black superhero and paved the way for characters like Falcon, Luke Cage and X-Men’s Storm. Black Panther gets his own solo outing in 2017, so more on him later.
If this film hadn’t enough to gain your interest Marvel and Sony have decided to join forces and team-up to reboot the Spiderman franchise. If no deal was done, Andrew Garfield was probably going to be pulled and a third reboot would have to be planned. This would have been the last straw for many fans, including myself. What was always holding Spiderman movies back, in my opinion, was that whatever happened in his Universe, didn’t affect the Avengers’ and vice-versa. The X-Men alone have a huge array of characters to work with and so as a stand alone, they do perfectly fine; Spiderman did not have this luxury.
Spiderman plays a pivotal role in the Civil War storyline and even though I was psyched for this epic to hit our cinemas, now I am truly piss-my-pants ecstatic. One big question remains, who will play the web-slinger?
Coming up in Part 3:
Unbelievably, these three huge Supermovies all take place before the middle of May. There are four more movies to come before the end of 2016. This end-of-year spree includes the next chapter of the X-Men saga, a DC villain super-team and two previously mentioned spin-offs.
The inclusion of Spiderman to the MCU has caused a bit of a timing-tidal-wave and many movies will be pushed back to make way for a standalone Spiderman film; this is to make sure Marvel and Sony are not competing in the box office now that they mutually benefiting from the Spidey reboot.
Not only will we now have to wait longer for the third instalment of the Thor franchise, Black Panther’s solo outing and Marvel’s first female top-billing star, Captain Marvel, Sony also have to re-evaluate the Spiderman franchise including their villain spin-off Sinister Six which was due to be released late in 2016.
Check out Part 3 here!