All The Exciting Comic Book Movies That Aren't Batman
Another film with the caped crusader is slated for 2021 but superhero films are moving beyond the dark knight.
Batman needs a rest. He deserves a rest. One of the most popular characters in pop culture has appeared in 10 live-action films -- seven of his own. Just like Spider-Man films (there’s one of those this year, too), there will always be Batman films; they will outlive us all.
Warner Brothers has announced The Batman is two years away, a new take on the character with a new actor under the cowl. Yep, Ben Affleck is stepping away from the role after two spins in the Batmobile in Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. But it would be nice to have a holiday away from Batman.
We’re beginning to move beyond the core group of comic book characters that dominated our screens for so long and it’s making space for other comic book worlds to occupy the big screen.
Aquaman and Black Panther both made more than $1 billion at the box office while Wonder Woman and Venom sit just short of the 10-figure milestone.
Here’s the comic book films to take your mind off Batman for a bit.
Avengers: Endgame is going to be huge, that’s a given, but Marvel will celebrate its 21st film by introducing the world to Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). The Marvel Cinematic Universe gets its first film anchored by a female superhero and it’s WAY overdue.
Set in 1995, the story focuses on Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after a galactic war between two alien worlds comes to Earth.
Eternal bad guy, Ben Mendelsohn, is the villain and Samuel L. Jackson appears as a pre-eyepatch Nick Fury. Could Captain Marvel be set up as the hero who could defeat Thanos? We’ll find out in March.
An ancient wizard gives a teenager, Billy Batson (Asher Angel), the power to transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) by yelling “Shazam!”
Sounds a bit random but the character has been around since the 1930s and is one of the most powerful, yet obscure, superheroes on the DC Comics roster.
The film looks to capitalise on the comical tone set by Deadpool and Thor: Ragnarok but shows studios are digging deeper into those comic book stacks for ideas.
They made a huge mistake by not letting filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, make a third Hellboy film so we’re getting a reboot instead. David Harbour from Stranger Things will play the half-demon who is summoned from hell to Earth by Nazis and recruited by Allied Forces to work for The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence -- it’s wild.
There aren’t enough demons protecting mankind by fighting hellspawn in films with giant medieval weapons so we’ll take a shot at this new Hellboy.
The New Mutants
What if the X-Men had serious problems? Set in the same universe, The New Mutants will focus on a group of young mutants discovering their abilities while being held in a secret facility against their will.
Heroics will be put on hold in The New Mutants and it will lean hard into horror. The spooky vibe is unlike anything we’ve seen from a comic book film to date, so it could trigger a terrifying new sub-genre.
Okay, we’re bending the rules a little here but a origin film about Batman’s nemesis, The Joker, is on its way with Joaquin Phoenix playing the crown prince of crime. The film will be set in 1981 and it will be centred on a failed stand-up comedian (Phoenix) who turns to a life of crime in Gotham City.
After the success of Venom (a solo film about a Spider-Man villain) there’s a chance this could be a hit as people crave spending a little more time with these twisted characters.
Wonder Woman: 1984
Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is making the jump to 1990s for a sequel that continues the adventures of the Amazonian princess.
Patty Jenkins is back on directing duties and this time Wonder Woman will face the villainous Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah (Kristin Wiig), an archaeologist who gets superpowers from an ancient ritual. Throw in a little Cold War paranoia and Wonder Woman is truly up against it in this epic sequel.
In 2011 Netflix bought the comic book publisher, Millarworld, the home of Kick Ass, Wanted and The Kingsman. The plan is to adapt Millarworld comic books into films, but a lot of it is being kept top secret.
What we do know is there are three comic books already earmarked for films: Empress, Huck and Sharkey the Bounty Hunter. Each concept sounds cool: Empress is about a queen on the run across the galaxy from her dictator husband; Huck is about a superpowered man doing good deeds in a community in exchange for privacy; and Sharkey the Bounty Hunter follows guy who tracks criminals across the galaxy in a rocket-powered ice cream truck.
You never know when Netflix is going to drop a surprise film so there’s a chance we’ll be seeing one of these projects come to life over the next year-and-a-half.
Another comic book character getting a reboot. We last saw Spawn in a visually spectacular film that was a dud in 1997 but he’s back.
Jamie Foxx will play Albert Simmons, an black ops marine who gets murdered and does a deal with the devil so he can return to Earth and see his family, but there’s a catch, he becomes Spawn, an agent of hell with gnarly powers.
The advantage to this comic book film is it’s being directed by Todd McFarlane, the creator of Spawn, so it's being done with great care.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
We’re bending the rules to breaking point with this one but Gotham City is about to meet a bunch of new heroes and villains. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will introduce us to the female superhero team of Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) who team up with a detective (Rosie Perez) to protect a young girl from a gangster, The Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Oh, and running interference will be the crazed criminal, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Director Cathy Yan is bringing this one to life and we’re hoping Batman can resist showing up so we can enjoy these ladies kicking arse on the streets of Gotham for once.