2018 proved to be a phenomenal, if not the best, year for the superhero film genre. From the box office success of Avengers: Infinity War to the social movement Black Panther became, to the resurgence of the DC superhero in Aquaman and the groundbreaking vision of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, every studio had a winner in its pocket.
Now, 2019 is poised to be just as big, with several films on the docket reminding us that, no matter what, comic book movies are here to stay, and are a big part of the evolution of the entertainment industry. Let's take a look at what's slated for next year.
GLASS (JANUARY 18)
Director M. Night Shyamalan's career took a few hits after movies like After Earth and The Last Airbender, but he went back to basics with Split, an unofficial sequel to Unbreakable. He won us over once more by introducing James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/The Beast, taking the split-personality trope to a whole new level and, in the process, crafting a supervillain that truly needed someone a superman to take him down.
Enter Bruce Willis' indestructible David Dunn in Glass, the official sequel to these movies, bringing back the hero following a post-credits tease in Split. Things won't be hunky-dory for him, though, because his archnemesis from Unbreakable -- Samuel L. Jackson as the sinister Elijah Price/Mr. Glass -- will be returning to dictate how this war should unfold, and from the side he seems to have chosen so far, he appears intent on stacking the cards against David and using the Beast as his tool.
CAPTAIN MARVEL (MARCH 8)
While fans await the aftermath of Thanos' snap at the end of Infinity War, they're going to get a look at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe looked like in the '90s with Earth's very first female superhero, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. It's going to be all woman power as we see Carol Danvers being trained by Jude Law's Mar-Vell to help protect the galaxy, building up to her returning to Earth to save it from a Skrull invasion.
After a teaser in the Infinity War post-credits, many are eager to see how her arrival in the sequel is set up here, but what we're certainly going to witness is S.H.I.E.L.D. in its early days with the de-aged versions of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury and Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson, pre-The Avengers. As Carol learns about her own extraterrestrial heritage and deals with her memory loss, it's certainly going to be a blast watching her evolve into the next face of Marvel Studios.
SHAZAM! (APRIL 5)
Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe may well be getting a second chance at life following the success of James Wan's Aquaman. That film definitely set the tempo for another action/comedy adventure, and David Sandberg's Shazam! is shaping up to be just that. The first trailer, as well as the other promotional content released, hints at a warm-hearted, family adventure in the vein of Big as Billy Batson (Asher Angel) does his best to balance school with saving the world after gaining magical powers to become Shazam (Zachary Levi).
Sandberg's definitely doing his best to capture a coming-of-age story that really tugs at your heartstrings and, more so, it's the DCEU's first real attempt to move away from alien invasions, the quests for thrones and oh, yeah, bloodthirsty demigods. Don't get us wrong, we fully expect Mark Strong's Doctor Sivana to be a very deadly threat, but Shazam!, while still boasting Easter eggs from the Zack Snyder era, could well be the movie that shifts the DC filmverse into a new era of inspirational and lighthearted storytelling.