Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
July 27th, Warner Animation Group
Leaders: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Cover Copy: In this big screen debut of Cartoon Network’s team of young superheroes, Robin, Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire, and Cyborg are looking for their own shot at Hollywood success in the wake of all the recent DC movies. They try to persuade the daughter of their nemesis, Deathstroke, to make the picture, but daddy has other plans.
Thought Bubble: One for the kids. Teen Titans Go! has long been silly fun even for adult nerds, so maybe parents won’t be too bummed out having to take their progeny to this extended episode. Also, props to Cyborg for becoming the first hero to appear in active live action and animated movie franchises simultaneously, beating Spider-Man by a handful of months.
Pow! Bam! Zap!: Wait, so this is essentially Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back for cartoon superheroes, right?
October 5th, Sony
Leader: Ruben Fleischer
Cover Copy: As Eddie Brock becomes the host of an alien symbiote that turns him into the vicious, uncontrollable Venom, The Life Foundation attempts to create symbiotic soldiers of their own. If he can gain control of the creature bound to his body, Brock may be able to turn Venom into a lethal protector and stop The Life Foundation’s plans.
Thought Bubble: Launching a franchise based on one of Spider-Man’s greatest arch-enemies without full access to the web-slinger is a ballsy dice roll. Hiring Tom Hardy assuaged some concerns, but we still don’t really know how this is going to work. The teaser hinted at a lot of grim mystery without revealing much by way of plot or actual Venom, a double-edged sword in an age of overly revealing previews. The movie better be good, though, since Sony hopes to launch an entire Cinematic Spider-Verse from here.
Pow! Bam! Zap!: If this actually ends up connected to the MCU or Tom Holland’s Spidey, I’ll eat my Spider-Man 3 production hat. It might be a sequel to Life, though.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
November 2nd, 20th Century Fox
Leader: Simon Kinberg
Cover Copy: When a space rescue goes awry, Jean Grey’s abilities rage out of control and she becomes The Dark Phoenix, a mythical being with the power to end worlds. A shape-shifting alien makes her way to Earth to manipulate the newly awakened Phoenix, and the X-Men must figure out how to save their teammate or risk the end of everything.
Thought Bubble: After years as a producer and writer, it’s exciting to see Kinberg step behind the camera to try and do justice to one of comics’ most iconic storylines. (If there’s one positive outcome from all the timeline buffoonery in the X-Films, it’s that The Last Stand is no longer canon.) It helps that he has such a stellar cast at his disposal and a well-established world in which to play. This was meant to start a new X trilogy for Fox, but with the sale to Disney, hopefully it can serve as a fitting finale before mutants get an MCU reboot.
Pow! Bam! Zap!: If the costume tease at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse holds and Kinberg really clings to the books, we could be getting our most directly faithful cinematic X-Men yet.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
December 14th, Sony Pictures Animation
Leaders: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Cover Copy: All we really know about the plot of this animated adventure is that it will focus on the Ultimate version of Spider-Man, Miles Morales. In this alternate universe, Peter Parker appears to be dead … so who’s Miles sitting with at the end of the trailer?
Thought Bubble: It’s undeniably incredible that we’re getting a non-white Spider-Man on the big screen, even if it’s become a little ridiculous how many incarnations we’ve seen up there. That said, this one looks truly unique, with a kinetic and vivid animation style and a multi-universal plot that opens up completely new avenues for exploring the Spider-Man mythos. Expect as many adults in theater seats as children.
Pow! Bam! Zap!: If you follow the thread of this Spider-Verse thing far enough, it’s conceivable that Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland’s versions of Spidey could coexist in a newly established multiverse.
December 21st, DC Films
Leader: James Wan
Cover Copy: After saving the world in Justice League, Arthur Curry returns to Atlantis as a reluctant ruler. Straddling the world of surface dwellers and his true people becomes even more complicated when forces within Atlantean society prepare to invade the land, and a ruthless treasure hunter sets his sights on the mythological city.
Thought Bubble: It’s unfortunate that perhaps the character given the least interesting introduction in Justice League is the first to get their own movie. Still, Momoa is solid as Aquaman, and the character’s world is unlike anything we’ve seen on screen before. It’s just up to Wan to not only make it believable, but keep it from feeling laborious under all that water.
Pow! Bam! Zap!: Atlanteans can speak underwater, right? Or is Mera going to have to create an air bubble everytime there’s dialogue, because ugh.
The Empty Man
TBA, Boom! Studios, 20th Century Fox
Leader: David Prior
Cover Copy: A disease that causes people to go insane to the point of suicide is spreading so fast it’s taking on religious significance. As an ex-cop hunts down a missing girl, he encounters one of the cults worshiping this deity of death and discovers they’re attempting to summon a terrifying supernatural entity.
Thought Bubble: Having never read the comic and knowing as little about the movie as anyone else, there’s not much for me to say here. It’s hard to see this becoming some sort of box office phenomenon, but we’ll have to get a better feel for things once the publicity starts coming together.
Pow! Bam! Zap!: This film came together before Fox purchased a minority stake in comic publisher Boom!, but it might be a good barometer for the sort of creator-owned properties they bought into.