Of all the genres to try and master in 2017, superhero movies are the hardest to nail. The hardcore fans demand nothing short of perfection as the comic book adaptations are somehow expected to transition from the artist’s imagination into a live-action 3-dimensional extravaganza that caters to a wider audience. Not an enviable position, outside of the paycheck of course.
What we can bank on is the scheduling of these movies for a good decade plus, squeezing all the creative juice out of the DC and Marvel world until the well is bone dry. How many spinoffs, prequels, reboots, and sequels can be made until the penny drops for the public that this has become an industry driven by nothing more than the profit motive? A cynical position to take but the numbers don’t lie.
While the small screen is venturing into some intriguing territory courtesy of Legion, The Defenders and CW’s The Flash, the big screen versions somehow manage to overpay and under deliver in terms of quality of content. Take into account their vast budgets without the need to cover 13-23 hours for a season and the dynamic doesn’t compute for the customer.
Fortunately for the general moviegoer, a title like Logan comes once in a blue moon to breathe new life and vigor into a stale environment. That 2017 epic could be the catalyst to applying pressure to producers, writers, and directors across the board to improve their game when it comes to a superhero movie. They don’t all have to be stuck in the three-act process where we get teased a follow-up with winks and nods to a crossover – just make a standalone flick that stands up on its own two feet and you can worry about the consequences later.
The diary has been marked. There are plenty more to come. Here are the 8 upcoming superhero movies that will suck. And 7 that won’t.
15 Will Suck - Captain Marvel
Brie Larson is an emerging force in Hollywood as the 27-year old continues to ride high from her Academy Award win for the drama Room.
That acted as a catalyst for the actress to be an advocate for sexual violence, a stance that she personified with her muted celebration for Casey Affleck’s Oscar win this year. However, the big picture on the horizon for the California native is Captain Marvel.
Having gleaned some experience on board a blockbuster courtesy of Kong: Skull Island, Larson is well placed to take on the part of Carol Danvers but other than being the token female presence in the MCU, what else does she bring to the table?
Her character will be introduced for Avengers: Infinity War yet a much more interesting installment would have focused on Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, a superhero who has already been featured from early in the franchise.
The movie is slated for a 2019 release and while the actress has the credentials to pull it off, this feature feels like a studio shoehorning in another name because they can.
14 Won't Suck - Wonder Woman
If Captain Marvel is potentially an exercise in tokenism, then the DCEU are crying out for Wonder Woman to save the day. Judging by some commentary from early test screenings, something that can be taken with a pinch of salt, Gal Gadot’s standalone picture could easily be the pick of the bunch.
The character was introduced into the fold for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, developing a close relationship with Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne as she was given a glimpse into the Justice League ensemble.
The summer release has a lot riding on it, not only because it follows two spectacularly critical flops including Suicide Squad for the one franchise, but it will be the first movie of its type to have a female take the reins behind the camera with Patty Jenkins. Spanning World War I and modern day times, the casting and aesthetics make this for an exciting project.
13 Will Suck (No Chance) - Venom
Said to be the first of many in a rumored ‘Spider-Verse’ that will expand from the Marvel comics, Venom is a curious case in the superhero genre. It will essentially act as a bold case study to see if a supervillain can be the protagonist of the piece.
Directors are currently being lined up as a number of characters aligned with the black symbiote are linked with the title.
What raises a huge red flag though is the admission that it will be completely separated from Tom Holland’s portrayal and the MCU in general, meaning that Spider-Man: Homecoming will be the third reboot of its type in recent history while being unable to share any of the spoils when it comes to his greatest villains.
Venom has been inhabited by a number of hosts including Peter Parker and although a rumored R-rating is music to many people’s ears when it comes to an edgy edition, there is little hope that a dark interpretation of a maligned bad guy can carry its own film.
12 Won't Suck (Fun For The Whole Family) - Ant-Man and the Wasp
To think a PG-13 superhero title can be so much fun! 2015’s sleeper Ant-Man portrayed funny man Paul Rudd as a reluctant anti-hero who would make wisecracks along the journey. There was only one way to play a movie that featured a superhero shrinking down to an ant and befriend an army of insects, yet Disney and Marvel pulled it off.
Rudd’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War did lighten the gloomy mood and with Michael Douglas reprising his role as Scott Lang’s mentor Hank Pym, the duo look set to play off each other once again.
Ant-Man and the Wasp won’t have the bells and whistles that their Marvel counterparts enjoy but in that respect, it has a certain charm to it missing from the other serious installments. This is intended for kids or at least the young at heart, and there is no reason why the follow-up won’t be a success.
11 Will Suck (Definition of Insanity) - Gotham City Sirens
David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was so horrid and mismanaged that the filmmaker issued a public apology courtesy of a lengthy social media post where he apportioned blame to a litany of parties. He owned some of it himself but someone who believes in their work would have abandoned the project out of principal.
To make matters worse, the DC title was PG-13 and ended up being a tepid two plus hours that achieved nothing but line the pockets of Warner Brothers executives who still can’t believe they got away with $745.6m at the box office.
What has any of this to do with the spinoff Gotham City Sirens? Well, it will be based off Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn as the Australian helps to produce the title. The all-female romp will have to cast a new Catwoman and Poison Ivy, yet with Ayer returning to the same scene of the crime, who could say with any conviction this won’t be more of the same trash?
10 Won't Suck (Dark and Dangerous) - Black Panther
While this title doesn’t have a direct correlation to the civil rights issue, it is impossible to ignore the overlapping themes that are present with Black Panther. It will be the first modern superhero movie of its type with an African American lead (since Wesley Snipes’ Blade franchise) as Chadwick Boseman reprises his role as T’Challa/Black Panther ahead of a February 16, 2018 premiere.
Set in the fictional world of Wakanda, the cast is chock full of talent to feature Creed’s own Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead fame and Martin Freeman returning as Everett K. Ross.
We got a small taste for what this clawed superhero has to offer for Captain America: Civil War and although the character in question takes himself a bit too seriously, the mythology for this superhero is truly unique to the entire MCU.
Snipes was said to be keen on a Black Panther production back in 1992 ironically enough, so it has been a long time coming and by all reports, this should be an extravaganza to behold.
9 Will Suck (Yawn) - Thor: Ragnarok
Now that everyone has to “verse” everyone else following Batman v Superman, Thor: Ragnarok is said to feature Hulk muscling up to the God of Thunder in an all-out Marvel brawl for the second time in succession. After Tony Stark and Captain America traded blows for Civil War – is this the new normal now and if so, why?
This film slated for the fall brings back a number of the key players like Idris Elba (Heimdall), Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Tom Hiddleston as world’s worst brother Loki, but a few fresh additions will give some vigor to proceedings.
Cate Blanchett (Hela), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) will be welcomed but Chris Hemsworth’s rigid portrayal is not one of the stronger points of the MCU. The only change of significant note for his third standalone installment appears to be a haircut for the Australian.
Kiwi director Taika Waititi may be able to offer something unique, but at this point, Thor is bereft of interest and intrigue.
8 Won't Suck (Hanging From The Rooftops) - Spider-Man: Homecoming
July 7, 2017 has been marked in the diary for quite some time as Englishman Tom Holland takes on the part of Peter Parker. It feels like a cursed role in recent times as Andrew Garfield was left far short of amazing from his two attempts but Spider-Man: Homecoming has a lot going for it.
Director Jon Watts is said to give a fresh adaptation that departs from a number of the stereotypes and tropes that impacted the character before.
The cast is off the charts with Robert Downey Jr. back as Tony Stark, Marisa Tomei as May Parker, Donald Glover, Fargo’s Bokeem Woodbine and the one and only Michael Keaton as the supervillain Vulture.
His backstory alone is intriguing as a juxtaposition to Stark having failed to reap the rewards of the billionaire in the invention game, maintaining an axe to grind with Stark Industries.
The deal cut between Sony, Disney and Marvel might only last two movies so enjoy Spider-Man in the MCU while he lasts.
7 Will Suck (BvS 2.0) - Justice League
Combining the best of DC with Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg, there is a slither of hope that strong lessons from BvS have been learned but it is no more than that.
The same dark CGI-heavy tones seem to be present as Snyder sticks true to his pet project style that backfired spectacularly before. If that title attempted to cram too much content into one movie, how is the same man expected to fair better with more characters and backstories to accommodate?
Ezra Miller’s presence as Barry Allen could help proceedings to offer some much needed comic relief, yet from everything that has been gleaned so far; the enemy appears to be a collection of lifeless robots. How depressing.
6 Won't Suck (Excited) - Aquaman
When the distress of Batman v Superman was surfacing even before it opened in theaters, that anxiety went through the roof when it was revealed that Aquaman was going to be part of an extended universe.
One look at the blonde haired, blue eyed Arthur Curry in the comic books and it was obvious that the studio could not play this one down the middle. A gamble had to be made and by casting Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa in the lead role with a menacing look and sharp as hell spear, all of a sudden Warner Brothers had a property to be proud of.
Although the push back of the release from October to December 2018 had some nervous about the setback, the franchise looks to be in good hands with 40-year old James Wan. The Australian helmed the 2004 classic Saw before taking his talents to The Conjuring and Furious 7. With Willem Dafoe and Amber Heard joining the cast, Aquaman could seriously kick some ass.
5 Will Suck (But, Why?) - Shazam!
Also going by the name Black Adam, Shazam! will be Dwayne Johnson’s inclusion into the DC superhero game as he gears to take part in another action franchise. As beloved and talented as the former WWE star is, and it sounds almost blasphemes to criticize the man, he does have a habit of flattering to deceive for these big blockbusters.
The Fast & Furious series was already a giant before he jumped on board and few were asking for Baywatch or Jumanji to be rebooted. The 44-year old is an icon and superstar in his own right, but that can be as much of a problem as any.
Being a brand unto himself, how can The Rock be anything else – especially someone on the fringe of the DC game as Black Adam? There is little other than the casting of Johnson locked in stone so until a director, cast and synopsis have been revealed it would be fair to hold judgment.
It does seem a futile exercise all the same and likely to suck.
4 Won't Suck (Naughty and Nice) - Deadpool 2
Try telling the Merc with the Mouth that Deadpool 2 won’t be a hit. Go on, we dare you.
The original R-rated Marvel romp swept Hollywood by its feet, proving that a raunchy, gross and tongue-in-cheek fourth wall breaker can be just as good as any serious installment cares to be.
Ryan Reynolds was carefully creating this passion project while he was making the DC flop Green Lantern and although he can look back and laugh now, the Canadian’s credentials were on the line.
Tim Miller might have walked away as the director but the studio pounced quickly on John Wick’s David Leitch to settle nerves on that count. His action chops speak for themselves and with Domino and Cable offering a unique point of difference for Deadpool, tickets will sell themselves once a release date has been made public.
Screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are back and have made this their number one priority – a sure sign that they won’t screw this up under any circumstances.
3 Will Suck (It's Too Much) - Avengers: Infinity War
Early reports suggest that this will be the most expensive movie ever made in Hollywood history. The casting expenses alone would be through the roof, seeing The Avengers crossover with the Guardians of the Galaxy no less. So many egos in one movie at one time – what could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot actually if history is any judge. Marvel rarely gets it wrong, but it is almost impossible to expect this buffet of superheroes to look after everyone’s appetite. A number of filmmakers across the MCU have their finger in this pie slated for an April 25, 2018 opening.
The main villain of the piece is the CGI creation Thanos, a bad guy who has been teased more than a fan girl during Fifty Shades of Grey.
To make matters worse, this is a title that is only the first part of two. That panned out poorly when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows divided their finale into different segments, likewise with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2.
2 Won't Suck (Giddy Up!) - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ends up sucking, then we can pack this whole movie business in right now and pick up another hobby like rollerblading.
With an all-star cast from top to bottom, featuring Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone playing supporting roles no less, the adventures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and Baby Groot will be must-watch material.
Opening on May 5, the franchise’s signature retro soundtrack is said to take the audio to new levels with the late David Bowie, ZZ Top and more.
The effects look incredible and the shots from the trailer are hilarious. What more do you need in a superhero movie?
Director James Gunn has been given more leeway to experiment and there is every chance he will deliver the goods. The bottom line is this is the fun arm of Marvel, they know it and it shows through.
1 Will Suck (Sigh) - The Batman
If a movie that needed major script changes and a star that pulled out of directing duties ends up being a smash hit, then have a history book handy because it will require revising.
For all the good will in the world, and there is plenty given the diehard following Batman has maintained from the early days and later on with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series, Ben Affleck appears like the weight of the world is on his shoulders with this role.
This is clearly a point of conjecture and a catalyst for War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves to take over in this department. A potential saving grace.
Fingers and toes are crossed that The Batman will work, yet it is hard to have any belief when even a star like Joe Manganiello who has been cast as the villain Deathstroke fails to commit to the movie during a recent interview.
Slated for a 2018 premiere (although it has been pushed back multiple times), this is likely to suck.