Even if you aren't a big fan of comic books or comic book movies, it would be silly to try and argue that Marvel hasn't been on a truly incredible run of filmmaking. We're at the point now that it's tough to project any failures in the upcoming slew of Marvel projects because there are so many quality films and TV shows to use as a model of success. It would be tough, but not impossible. We believe that it is largely because there have been so many fantastic projects adapted from Marvel material that the bar has been raised. Since we don't critique in a vacuum, we have to measure up everything we see against everything that has come before it. Therefore, Marvel has its work cut out for it.
Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has thrown such a wide net, most of the projects we'll be looking at are connected to it in some way. But we're not looking at the MCU exclusively. For this list, we'll consider any upcoming project based on Marvel material. For all the projects on this list, we have the source material to help inform our judgments. But aside from that, there isn't much. Some of the upcoming shows and films have only named a few cast and crew members. We will have to use that information, trusting that it won't change between now and the release, to create and inform our predictions. Having said that, many of our predictions are based on history. Writers, directors, and entire franchises can grow and change and get better. We're bound to be way off on some of these and make you think we're way off on others. Don't let your feelings get hurt.
Here are 8 Upcoming Marvel Projects That Will Blow Us Away (and 7 That Will Blow).
15 Cloak & Dagger - Blow Us Away
Despite this one being promoted as a young adult storyline, this is a very archetypal story and one that will resonate with all audiences. The two stars, Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph, are not well-known commodities right now, but we are very confident that this show will be high quality. The Cloak & Dagger story is awesome, and there is a lot of room for a progressive commentary to be added in here. Unlike many of the other highly anticipated comic book projects, this one isn't as well-known. But that doesn't change our prediction. We strongly believe this one will be a hit, as long as the Freeform platform can market itself and the show appropriately.
14 The Runaways - Blow
If The Runaways were being headed by Josh Schwartz 10 years ago, we might have been excited for the project. But we are too familiar with his work now to have very much faith in him. Since we're making predictions, we'll go ahead and guess that this one will be heavy on the drama and will start off well. After all, The O.C., Chuck, and Gossip Girl all had strong premises and were high-quality programs in the beginning. Then, about two to three seasons in, each of these shows started to show major issues. The drama just got far too heavy-handed. Now that he's got his hands on The Runaways, a story about young superheroes battling a group of baddies made up of their parents, we should expect things to get real sappy real quick.
13 Thor: Ragnarok - Blow Us Away
It's probably more safe than daring to say that Thor: Ragnarok is going to blow us away. But remember, the Thor franchise has not done all that well, especially when compared to the other MCU titles. Both Thor and Thor: Dark World suffered from a lack of an identity. There were times when they took themselves far too seriously. Another weakness of the films was that the stakes weren't high enough. Thor: Ragnarok looks to remedy that by having a much grander scale, something that will make the film a lot more fun for audiences and a platform that Chris Hemsworth's Thor should thrive on. It helps that the trailer is awesome and makes the film look very appealing as well.
12 Ant-Man And The Wasp - Blow
Listen, we loved Ant-Man. We thought Paul Rudd was fantastic in the lead role, and we expect that he and Evangeline Lilly will be great. We just don't have any faith in the director, Peyton Reed. But when he did the first one, you cried. Yes. He also inherited a great deal of work from one of the best directors and writers in the industry, Edgar Wright. Now, if Reed can find that spark that he had with Bring It On, then there's a chance that he could make this sequel a lot of fun. But there hasn't been a project of his that's been any good in almost two decades, so we're not holding our breaths. We'll have to hope that Rudd's charisma and comedic chops can make this one work. We just don't think that it will be enough. Sure, it will be watchable, but we're thinking it'll be one of the worst in the MCU thus far.
11 Jessica Jones: Season 2 - Blow Us Away
When the second season of Jessica Jones rolls around, we're planning on it being every bit as awesome as the first. Sure, we might not be as surprised with the broken woman hero as we were, but we don't expect the show to take any step back either. We know that the strong cast has been kept together, including a return of the astounding David Tennant. To what extent he returns is not known to anyone, but we're just happy that we get to see Kilgrave again in some form. The type of hero that Jessica Jones is, cannot be overdone in only two seasons of a show. As long as her character grows in any way, it will be new and should remain fresh. There are so few female storylines like hers that we're welcoming more with open arms.
10 Iron Fist Season 2 - Blow
The first season of Iron Fist was an unmitigated disaster. But it was climbing uphill from very early on, so we expected it to be a bust. But now, with The Defenders to help boost the hero up a bit, should we expect the second season to be better? Well, yeah, of course it will be better. But even if it doubles in quality, it will still be bad. At least they canned Scott Buck, the showrunner. He's now in charge of Inhumans, and you'll soon know how we feel about that one. The new lead man is Raven Metzner. Metzner has shown himself capable with Sleepy Hollow and Falling Skies, but he's dabbled with superheroes before and those projects, Heroes Reborn and the ultra-terrible Elektra, were...well...terrible. It'll be very tough to revive this stinker. It'll be even tougher to convince people to come back to Iron Fist after that dreadful first season.
9 Avengers: Infinity War - Blow Us Away
You're thinking, don't go too far out on a limb with that prediction. You're right. We've gone far enough with the Avengers now that it's become very obvious that the MCU knows what they're doing. The films have reached a point where they don't need much (if any) character build-up, so they can jump right into the guts of a film and grow from there. We're not saying that the task of making Avengers: Infinity War is an easy one. We aren't so far removed from the first Avengers film to forget how most of us feared it would be a total failure. The second film faltered a bit in spots, but we believe that the time for Infinity War is perfectly ripe. The cook of this story has been on for some time now, and all signs point to it being an event on film like we've never seen before.
8 The Gifted - Blow
This is one that we're doubting, but we wouldn't be surprised if we're wrong. The Gifted has a good team behind it. Bryan Singer, the man behind several of the X-Men films, has directed the pilot, and the cast is interesting. Still, the premise seems far too much like Heroes, and the trailer hasn't really helped make the show look any more interesting. Look, we're going to be watching this one and hoping that it does well. But, at this point, a couple of months before the show airs, we're thinking it'll be too dramatic and not exciting enough. Especially following so closely on the heels of Legion, a series that has a similar trajectory, it will be challenging for The Gifted to rise above the competition.
7 Captain Marvel - Blow Us Away
So little is known about the upcoming Captain Marvel movie that it's kind of a shot in the dark trying to predict what this film will do. But we like the dark, and we love Brie Larson. She's the one thing we know and can really rely on. The directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, made the incredible film Half Nelson. So, that's a positive. They also made Mississippi Grind and It's Kind of a Funny Story, two decent flicks that have nothing to do with superheroes. We're not totally sold that they will knock it out of the park but they have one of the best actors in the world in Larson at their charge and have one of the hottest up-and-coming screenwriters penning the script in Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Originally, there was another team hired to write this film, but Robertson-Dworet was recently brought on after several of her scripts were picked up. Prior to this, Robertson-Dworet had two scripts on the Black List at the same time, marking her as a big-time fresh talent to watch out for.
6 New Warriors - Blow
Maybe our feelings about this are influenced by our general dislike of the comic book source material. Maybe it's because this type of thing is directed towards teenagers. Whatever it is, we do not have high hopes for this New Warriors project. For goodness' sake, the main superhero on this team is Squirrel Girl, who is exactly what she sounds like. She's a frickin' squirrel girl. This just feels far too childish to get excited for. Add in the fact that almost the entire cast is made up of unknown actors, which makes it riskier (but certainly could work). We're kind of hoping we're wrong because there are some interesting projects coming to Freeform, of which New Warriors is one. So we would like the platform to succeed.
5 Legion Season 2 - Blow Us Away
The first season of Legion was a very pleasant surprise. Although it might have benefited from sneaking up on many unsuspecting fans, we expect the second season to take the baton and run with it. The style and beauty of the filming of Legion is not going to differ much in the second season, so we know our eyes are going to love it. Dan Stevens, the star, is only getting better and proving himself to be one of the hottest talents in Hollywood, so that'll be good too. As we dig deeper into the very interesting story of the Shadow King and David's origins, we expect the comic book roots to start showing through even more, without ever bashing us over the head with them. Legion was a nice change of pace, and the second season should be more of the same. As long as they don't try to change the formula, we expect we will love the second season as much or more as the first season.
4 Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 - Blow
Although it might not be fair to do this, imagine Guardians of the Galaxy 2 without Drax the Destroyer. Honestly, that might be one of the worst superhero movies put out in a long time. Drax was great. He saved the movie. We just needed to get that off our chest. One of the reasons why Drax was so great is because his shtick still feels fresh and comical because they can take it (and have taken it) in several different directions. The rest of the characters were amazing when we were getting to know them. Now that we're on a first name basis, they already feel tired. Aside from the awesome set design and special effects, the sequel didn't have a whole lot of intrigue. It played out exactly like we thought it would. There were no shocks and no surprises. So what will the third film bring? Will the characters have anywhere to grow to? We think not. We think the second film just proved that this band of misfits is only interesting when they're first discovering what makes them misfits in the first place.
3 Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel - Blow Us Away
We have a lot of faith in this new Spider-Man franchise. That's a pretty remarkable turn because there wasn't a whole lot of faith in rebooting the franchise prior to the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming. There were just too many things that could go wrong. It was still so new. Would Tom Holland be able to carry the film on his own? We were wrong to doubt this project, and we won't be making the same mistake twice. Holland was incredible as Peter Parker, maybe even the best Spider-Man to date. We won't quite go that far just yet, but it's close, and Homecoming is definitely up there as the best Spider-Man film as well. The real test for the sequel will come when they name the villain. Carnage would be a nice touch, but we doubt that will happen.
2 Inhumans - Blow
Prior to the release of the trailer for Inhumans, we would have probably had this listed as a project that will blow your minds. The premise is there, and the opportunities to make it great are obvious. After that sad-sack trailer, however, we lost all hope. This looks laughably bad. The quick cuts can't fool us. Although this one is filmed with IMAX cameras as we've heard countless times, the action and special effects look horrific. And, if the early reviews are to be accepted, our first impressions are probably accurate. Here's what SpoilerTV had to say about Inhumans, "Simply awful. I'm so disappointed since I generally love everything Marvel does. But this is absolutely terrible. The dialogue is atrocious. The fight sequences are shockingly choreographed. The sets (or more so, the obvious green screen) aren't that crash hot either. Its only saving grace is Lockjaw who is adorable. As one of the few people that actually liked Iron Fist, I can easily say that this is Scott Buck's worst work yet."
1 Black Panther - Blow Us Away
While many might be worried that the MCU is stretching itself too thin with a Black Panther standalone film, we are of the belief that this film is going to be outstanding. We need no other evidence than the absolute powerhouse cast, led by Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis. Then, you add in one of the hottest directors in Hollywood right now in Ryan Coogler, whose recent films Creed and Fruitvale Station showed us just how talented he is. Expect to be blown away with this film. If we had to pick one film that will be a smash hit, Black Panther would be our choice.
Sources: Marvel Wikia; Wikipedia; IMDB; Rotten Tomatoes