Action Packed Superhero Flicks to Look Forward To

Ben Atwater

One of this year’s tent pole films, Ant-Man, has officially been greenlit for a sequel. Ant-Man marked the end of phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Pulling in over $400 million dollars worldwide, Ant-Man was very profitable, even if only a fraction of the 1.3 billion dollars that the previous MCU installment Age of Ultron pulled in.

Paul Rudd stars in Ant-Man (AP photo)
Paul Rudd stars in Ant-Man (AP photo)

Yet against a $130 million dollar budget, it is no surprise that another installment in the Ant-Man saga is continuing. Titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, the sequel’s title indicates that Hope Van Dyne, Scott Lang’s love interest in the film, will take ownership of the wasp suit designed by her father and lover’s trainer. This was hinted at in Ant-Man’s first post credit scene, as Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) gifts his deceased wife’s shrinking suit to Evangeline Lily (Hope Van Dyne). So, it would seem appropriate that a team up movie featuring the two shrinking characters will be in play.

In the first Ant-Man, there is a scene in which a flashback shows Hank Pym and his wife in action as Ant-Man and the Wasp, before the new players take up the suit. The two are stopping a missile heading for land using their shrinking technology. The scene is short, yet seeing the two in action is one of the best scenes in the film. Ant-Man and the Wasp is also the first Marvel film with a female character in the title. Marvel’s depiction of females has been considered by many to be diminishing, with Joss Whedon taking a hell storm from Twitter after Black Widow’s characterization in Age of Ultron.

While these accusations were far from well founded, the film industry in general has always been male dominated. That is what made Mad Max: Fury Road so progressive. MMFR did not diminish its female characters to damsels in distress or rebels trying to prove anything: they were just characters like the males.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is set to come out July 6, 2018. This will push up Black Panther to February 16, 2018, and Captain Marvel to March 8, 2019. Captain Marvel will have the lead as a female superhero. Announced in the same press release from Marvel are the dates for three upcoming untiled Marvel films, coming out May 1, July 10, and Nov. 6, 2020.

Whether these films will be sequels to preexisting properties, like a fourth Iron Man film or a second Spiderman film to follow the 2017 Spiderman film, or an adaptation of a new property like a Nova Corp film is yet to be announced.

Also announced from the world of superhero movies is the identity of Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. In a stroke of viral marketing, a new website titled Lex/OS is intended to emulate the operating system that Dawn of Justice’s villain Lex Luthor will deploy on the world. Advanced technology in the hands of megalomaniacs, what can go wrong?

The site also reveals that Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor will be the son of his father, also named Lex Luthor. This might suggest that Luthor’s father will play a part as well. Regardless, Dawn of Justice will be an epic battle that is sure to set up a grand DC Cinematic Universe that will rival the MCU.

Aside from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the blooming DC Cinematic Universe, the superhero franchise to start up before the former two that has continued to compete with the others has been the X-Men films. From 2000 on, the X-Men films have continuously made money.

Despite a minor hiccup with X-Men 3: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins Wolverine, the franchise made an excellent comeback in 2011 when an all new, younger cast was introduced in X-Men: First Class. 2014’s Days of Future Past upped the quality even more so, combining the new and old cast of mutants in the most critically and financially successful X-Men film yet.

The next film in the mutant chronicles is X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. Directed by the director of the first two films and Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer is going to continue helming the directorial chair of the franchise that is his baby. In an interview with Screen Rant magazine, Singer said the following:

“Usually they’re about two hours, but I might let this one be longer,” Singer said. “There’s even an homage at the end — it’s going to get spoiled because they decided to use it in the trailer, which comes out in, like, six months — but it’s kind of a wrap-up of the six movies.”

This implies an end to the X-Men franchise as we know it. Spanning over 15 years, it is certainly reasonable to expect a reboot in a world where Spiderman has been given three different adaptations in ten years. Currently, Deadpool, Gambit, and a third Wolverine film are in production.

Yet after these, who knows if X-Men shall return to Marvel. Regardless, this is a great time to be a superhero fan. With at least three films a year based off these comic books, these titans of industry are consistently amongst the highest grossing films each year they come out.

While a certain space opera may challenge the superhero film industry come December, there is no doubt that this a great time to be a fan boy.