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.
Last time in Supermovies, we looked at the greatest single month in the future of superheroes hitting the big screen. July 2018 will see four features including the introduction of the highly anticipated Black Panther. In Part 8 we round off 2018 with Captain Marvel and venture into the distant future of 2019 (that is so far away).
Captain Marvel (Marvel) Dir. Unknown
Although DC and Warner Bros. will take the lead in female superiority with Wonder Woman in 2017, Marvel have had their own super-heroine in the works for some time now.
So who is Captain Marvel? For those not adept at comic book logic this can be confusing, but there have been plenty of Captain Marvels. Not all of them even at Marvel. As of now, we don’t know if this will be important to the plot so I’m going to ignore it and move on. In this movie and in the MCU, the mantle of Captain Marvel will be helmed by the most recent incarnate. Initially known as Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers was working for the US Air Force when she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Danvers was caught up in an explosion of an alien device, created by the Kree (we have heard of these in both Agents of SHIELD and Guardians of the Galaxy) and as with all known explosions that include alien or toxic or radioactive elements, she became a badass superhero. Captain Marvel has superior strength, the ability to fly and a limited precog “sixth sense”.
The next question on everyone’s mind is who is going to star as the Captain? Well this too is not yet decided. There have been many actresses expressing interest including Vikings’ Katheryn Winnick (who posted a fan-made mock up of her in the Captain Marvel get-up) as well as Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain and Battlestar Galactica’s Katie Sackhoff.
So, star unknown, director unknown, not a great start. We do however know the writing team behind the female-led Supermovie, Nicole Perlman & Meg LeFauve.
Pearlman was co-writer of the fantastic Guardians of the Galaxy and LeFauve co-wrote the soon to be released Pixar flick Inside Out. Could this be a fully female endeavor? Although the director is not yet announced, there is plenty of talent out there. Patty Jenkins was in the running to direct Thor 2 and is now to helm Wonder Woman, so that’s probably her out of the running. The obvious contender may be Kathryn Bigelow who we know can make great movies and also knows how to direct action. An Oscar winner directing a Marvel movie though is somewhat unlikely.
The most interesting thing about a Captain Marvel movie is that she really can fit in anywhere. Not only has Danvers lined up with the Avengers but she has done cosmic battle alongside the Guardians too. Captain Marvel will fit in anywhere Feige wants her. I’m excited to keep an eye on this project up until it’s November 2nd 2018 release.
Shazam (Warner Bros.) Dir. Unknown
As I said before, comic book logic can be confusing; Shazam was called Captain Marvel up until 2011. For all the inside scoop on franchises suing each other and the like I’d recommend Eoin Roger’s articles here on HeadStuff. I won’t bother talking about the name-change, as it will get confusing, lets just say that this film is about Shazam. That’s all that matters.
So Shazam is the alter-super-ego of young kid Billy Batson, who upon uttering the magic word “Shazam” transforms into an adult superhero. It is all quite ridiculous but back in the 40s this comic was out selling Superman. He had a huge following.
Powers wise, Shazam has it all. From each letter of the titular star he possesses a super power. S – the wisdom of Solomon, H – the strength of Hercules, A – the stamina of Atlas, Z – the power of Zeus, A – the courage of Achilles and M – the speed of Mercury. A wizard, confusingly also named Shazam, granted these powers onto Billy. Billy was not the only one who received these powers however – cue the anti-hero.
The only piece of major casting for this movie is that of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson being cast as the villain, Black Adam. Johnson actually had the option to pick either Shazam or Black Adam and he chose the anti-hero with similar powers and an interesting back-story as he explains:
I can’t wait, he’s a unique type of villain. When you start off as a slave, you’re not in a good mood! There’s a heavy wrath that a lot of people have to pay. But when it’s fuelled by a righteous anger if you will, like Black Adam, then you open up to what the character can be which I’m really excited about. That’s why he’s not just a straightforward bad guy.
Where Shazam’s powers come from the ancient Greeks, Black Adam’s are based from Egyptian Gods; S – the stamina of Shu, H – the swiftness of Heru, A – the strength of Amon, Z – the wisdom of Zehuti, A – the power of Aton and M – the courage of Mehen (he too must utter the same magic word).
The screenplay is currently in the hands of Darren Lemke who penned Jack the Giant Slayer and New Line (a subsidiary of Warner Bros. who will be producing the film) president Tom Emmerich has said that Shazam will be a different kind of film from the rest in the DCU. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Emmerich said:
It feels to me like Shazam will have a tone unto itself. It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.
Now this is slightly confusing, because Shazam is a Justice League character. He has lined up with the super-team on many occasions. Emmerich could mean that they are taking this as a stand-alone project and not planning to use Shazam in the shared Cinematic Universe, but that would be a waste to dismiss the option. Maybe it was just a slip of the tongue and he meant he would not be in the Justice League movies or build-up, joining the DCU at a later point. Only time will tell.
The interesting thing about what Emmerich says is regarding the tone. I like that they are straight up saying it will move away from the Snyder gloomfest and hopefully Shazam will head in a more Guardians of the Galaxy direction, realizing it is ridiculous and just embrace it. Shazam is scheduled for a April 5th 2019 release.
Summer of 2019
Infinity War 2 hits the cinemas on May 3rd and will finish off the lengthy coming together of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are bound to be deaths along the way and many new faces; the MCU will definitely be a different beast by the end of it.
I have always been skeptical of the Snyder-esque doom and gloom that seems to be overtaking the DCU and with the exception of The Flash solo film, I can imagine the Justice League franchise to be a dark affair. Justice League 2 is out June 14th.
Who will rein Supermovie King at the end of the summer 2019? My bet is with camp Marvel.
Coming up in Part 9:
We take a look at the Inhumans before pushing into 2020 and the last of the scheduled Supermovies with Warner Bros. and DC unleashing Cyborg and Green Lantern solo projects.