Superhero films ruled the box office in 2018, with the MCU, in particular, having a fantastic year. It started the year by setting box office records with the introduction of T’Challa and Wakanda in Black Panther. But the movie wasn’t just a financial success; it has also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama Motion Picture. The next MCU film to follow Black Panther was Avengers: Infinity War, which set the box office record for biggest opening weekend. Infinity War successfully juggles at least ten major character arcs, giving each of them a chance to be the hero of the movie. When it ended with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger, fans were already counting down the days to the follow-up film. Finally, Marvel finished off the year with Ant-Man and the Wasp, which after Infinity War, could definitely have been a letdown, especially at the box office, but the movie made over $600 million worldwide, which is pretty good for a Paul Rudd comedy.
While Marvel had a great year, DC Entertainment took the time to regroup and make a plan for the future. With all of the DC movie announcements this year, we think the direction at DC Entertainment is shifting away from a shared universe and is moving towards new and original concepts. There are a number of exciting superhero movies on the horizon and not just from the big two. In this list, we count down our 10 Most Anticipated Superhero Movies of 2019 (And 10 of 2020).
20 SNAKE EYES (2020)
The G.I. Joe universe is coming back. On March 27, 2020, Paramount Pictures will release a spinoff film in the G.I. Joe franchise called Snake Eyes, which will feature the ninja Snake Eyes, a fan favorite who specializes in the martial arts.
The studio has been struggling with a way to bring back the franchise. Initially, this 2020 release date was for a third installment in the G.I. Joe main story titled G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant, but was recently changed to be the release of Snake Eyes. We are interested to see what this spinoff movie has in store and how the fans will react.
19 NIMONA (2020)
Nimona is an upcoming animated film based on the fantasy webcomic of the same name. Noelle Stevenson started the comic while she was a student at Maryland Institute College of Arts and used it as her senior thesis. In May 2015, HarperCollins published the collection of comics and one month later, 20th Century Fox Animation acquired the rights for an animated feature film adaptation.
Nimona is a young shapeshifter who teams up with a mad scientist named Lord Ballister Blackheart to expose the ruler of the kingdom. The comic is fantastic and we are definitely looking forward to seeing the animated film adaptation.
18 GAMBIT (2020)
This may be a movie that is forever on an “upcoming movies” list. Gambit is constantly reporting release dates, the most recent being March 13, 2020, despite not having a director. The only thing that stays consistent between reported release dates is that Channing Tatum will be playing Gambit.
We know it might be getting tiresome at this point, but we still want to see this movie. Gambit is a fun character and Tatum is constantly proving that he can mix comedy and drama effectively. We will see if this date sticks, but if it does, we can’t wait to see what this movie has in store.
17 SHAZAM! (2019)
On April 5, 2019, Zachary Levi and Asher Angel will portray Billy Batson. Billy is a boy who meets an ancient wizard and is gifted the ability to transform into an adult with superpowers when he speaks the wizard’s name. Unfortunately, when Angel is Billy, the trailer’s scenes are exciting and clever, but when he transforms into an adult, things get too silly.
Levi’s portrayal of a 12-year-old doesn’t match what Angel was doing as the same character. However, the movie does have a promising director in David F. Sandberg, who has just come off of Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation. Shazam! still has enough anticipation around it to make this list, but we hope it can outshine the trailer.
16 SPAWN (2020)
Todd McFarlane will make his directorial debut with the character he created in the upcoming movie Spawn. The movie was originally scheduled to be released in 2019, but filming has been delayed to June 2019, which makes 2020 a more reasonable year to expect its release.
Jamie Foxx has been cast to play the anti-hero while Jeremy Renner will play private investigator, Twitch Williams. McFarlane has teamed up with Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions to produce the movie; this is a good sign for both McFarlane and fans of Spawn because Blumhouse Productions is known for its box office success. We are excited to see what this partnership will produce.
15 SUICIDE SQUAD 2 (2020)
The sequel to the financially successful mess, Suicide Squad, was originally scheduled to begin filming in March 2018. However, it was pushed back in favor of a Birds of Prey movie starring Margot Robbie. In the meantime, James Gunn has been brought on board to work on the script and potentially direct the film.
There is no release date yet, but it looks like Suicide Squad 2 will be hitting the screens sometime in 2020. If Gunn can bring his Guardians magic to the project, we think the sequel to the worst movie of 2016 has a chance to be great.
14 HELLBOY (2019)
We may not have asked for a reboot of Hellboy, but on April 12, 2019, we are going to get one. Guillermo del Toro’s two Hellboy movies are aesthetically pleasing and do a successful job of capturing the feel of the comic universe and its creatures. There is no obvious reason to reboot the franchise, but we are excited for this film because of the talent behind it.
The director of The Descent, Neil Marshall, will be running the show, with Stranger Things star David Harbour playing Hellboy and Milla Jovovich featured as the sorceress known as the Blood Queen. This is one reboot we will definitely be watching in 2019.
13 BLOODSHOT (2020)
On February 21, 2020, the character Bloodshot, who is based on a Valiant comic by the same name, will make his film debut. Bloodshot is a super-soldier; he has been injected with special nanites that give him a variety of powers. Used as a weapon, his mind has be implanted with a number of false identities.
Eventually, he is able to escape his programming and begin the search for his true identity. We do not know how much of this original story will be incorporated into the upcoming film, but we do know that Vin Diesel will be playing the starring role. Bloodshot will be Valiant’s first shot at starting a cinematic universe and we are excited to see what they will bring to the table.
12 MORBIUS (2020)
The first installment in Sony’s Marvel Universe, Venom, was a critical bomb, but a huge financial success. The movie holds a poor Rotten Tomatoes score of 28%, but has reached an audience score of 85%, while also collecting over $800 million at the global box office. With these types of box office numbers, we are definitely going to see more movies in this universe.
The next film on the schedule features another one of Spider-Man’s horror-based rogues: Morbius, the Living Vampire. The movie has no official release date yet, but it is expected to hit theaters in 2020. With Jared Leto cast as Morbius, and the director of Life, Daniel Espinosa, steering the ship, we are highly anticipating this one.
11 JOKER (2019)
In 2016, Jared Leto’s portrayal of the clown-prince of Gotham hit the big screen in Suicide Squad. The characterization of the club-owning, gang boss Joker doesn’t make much sense, and worse, the movie doesn’t make an effort to help the audience understand him. The film was a big letdown, so when Warner Bros. announced a Joker origin movie, we were not interested.
However, as the details surfaced that it will be a crime film and exist independently from the shared universe of films, our interest grew. Once Todd Phillips signed on as director and cast Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, we knew this would be one of the must-see movies of 2019.
10 THE NEW MUTANTS (2019)
Josh Boone takes his first shot at directing a horror movie with the ambitious X-Men movie, The New Mutants, which is based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name. They are a group of young mutants who are being held against their will in a hidden facility because of the powers they have recently manifested.
The cast is packed with popular young actors like Anya Taylor-Joy from Split, Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones, and Charlie Heaton from Stranger Things. We can’t wait to see what Boone has in store with this horror film based in the X-Men universe.
9 BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN) (2020)
After the breakout success of the character Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, DC Entertainment started to plan where she would be featured next. Although talks of Suicide Squad 2 began to surface, it was quickly pushed back when a Birds of Prey movie focusing on Harley Quinn was announced.
The movie, now known by its incredibly long title, Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), will open in theaters February 7, 2020. It will feature Harley Quinn teaming up with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to save the life of a little girl from a sinister crime lord. Count us in for this 2020 release.
8 GLASS (2019)
After a run of disappointing big-budget films, M. Night Shyamalan partnered with Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions to get back on the right track. He directed The Visit in 2015, which made 20 times its budget at the box office, and gave both Blum and Shyamalan the confidence to put more money into the next film, Split.
There is some controversy surrounding Split, due to the representation of mental illness in the film, however, the character in Split is actually a supervillain and the portrayal of mental illness is intentionally a false representation. James McAvoy’s character occupies the same world that the movie Unbreakable takes place in and 19 years later, the worlds will collide in Glass.
7 DARK PHOENIX (2019)
Our anticipation for Dark Phoenix is surprisingly high, considering that X-Men: Apocalypse was a small scale catastrophe. However, we are big fans of X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past and trust that Fox will bounce back. X-Men: Apocalypse introduced a number of our favorite characters, but unfortunately, it did not give them much to do.
With the upcoming movie focusing on one of the most popular X-Men story arcs, we know that characters like Jean and Scott will be front and center. Simon Kinberg, mostly known for producing and script writing, is making his directorial debut with this film. We can’t wait to see how this high-risk, high-reward situation turns out for Kinberg.
6 POST AVENGERS: ENDGAME MCU FILMS (2020)
Marvel has been tight-lipped about their 2020 movie releases. All we know is that after Avengers: Endgame, the universe, or at least how the films fit into that universe, will change. Marvel has announced three release day slots in 2020 using the titles “Untitled Movie,” which leaves us with nothing to do but speculate about what the upcoming projects might be.
A Black Widow movie is a possibility for one of these slots, especially since earlier this year word surfaced that the movie was in an early development stage. Another strong candidate for a 2020 release is a Doctor Strange sequel, which would be four years after the first film’s release. We are greatly anticipating the announcement of these movies, whatever they may be.
5 WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020)
The crowning jewel of the DCEU right now is Wonder Woman. Not only is it the strongest movie, but the titular character is also the best part of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. It comes as no surprise that DC Entertainment would make a sequel. The movie was scheduled to be released in 2019, but unfortunately, it has been pushed back to June 5, 2020.
Patty Jenkins is returning to direct and Kristen Wiig has joined the movie to play Cheetah. While the MCU is keeping their plans hidden, the announced DCEU movies look great. There are a lot of superhero films to look forward to in 2020 and Wonder Woman 1984 is our most anticipated.
4 ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (2019)
Based on the manga Battle Angel Alita, James Cameron has penned a screenplay adaptation and attached Robert Rodriguez to direct the film titled Alita: Battle Angel. Although the release date has been pushed back a few times, this action packed film is scheduled to finally be released on February 14, 2019.
The trailer is visually striking and presents the movie as Alita’s hero’s journey. She is a female cyborg, who searches to find the truth of who she truly is and what her place is in the world. The star-studded cast is lead by Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly. Alita: Battle Angel is a must-see movie of 2019.
3 SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019)
We just can’t get enough of Tom Holland as Spider-Man. He captures the fun and youthfulness of Peter Parker, which sets him apart from other interpretations of the character. Since he is just a kid who is learning how to be a hero, the bones of a great story are already there, which makes his hero’s journey easy to follow. However, only half of our excitement is seeing Peter again.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Vulture was transformed from lamest comic villain to a relevant and menacing movie villain. We can’t wait to see what Mysterio is like in Far From Home; he has always been one of the most interesting Spider-Man villains and he already looks great in the set photos.
2 CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019)
Our anticipation of Captain Marvel grows with every new photo and trailer we see. The movie introduces Carol Danvers to the MCU. Carol is a human/Kree hybrid who has gained extreme superhuman powers due to DNA fusion. The movie will come out March 8, 2019, less than two months before Avengers: Endgame, which we know she will play a big role in.
The trailers for this movie look incredible. They are visually impressive, capturing the feel of the ‘90s, and at the same time, they display a hint of the charm we know the movie will be full of. This movie looks like it could rival Black Panther and Iron Man as the best MCU character introduction.
1 AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019)
Avengers: Endgame promises to conclude the storyline that has been running across more than 20 MCU films over the last 10 years. After Thanos’ victory in Avengers: Infinity War, we spent the next eight months theorizing what would happen next. How will the remaining heroes get revenge and who will be left standing in the end?
The trailer for the upcoming film was released earlier this month and while it didn’t divulge much, it had a few incredible moments. Tony’s message to Pepper as he floats through space, Natasha’s teary explanation of what Thanos accomplished, and Steve’s promise to succeed tugged hard on the heartstrings. When this movie hits theaters, we will be there in a snap.