Some would have you believe that there is "superhero fatigue" at the multiplex, or that the era of the comic book movie is drawing to a close. Well, the year 2021 would like to change that narrative by introducing seven new superhero adventures from Marvel and DC combined, all meant to either expand on beloved comic book universes or introduce new characters into the fold.
Marvel Studios plans to ramp up production on its Phase 4 slate in 2020, revealing ETERNALS and also giving BLACK WIDOW her long-awaited solo movie. But in 2021, the studio will release three anticipated sequels, as well as debut the underappreciated warrior Shang-Chi.
Over at DC, THE BATMAN finally takes flight with Robert Pattinson in the cape and cowl. And The Rock takes a swing at being an antihero. Want more details? Here’s what we know about the seven superhero movies that will be coming to movie theatres in 2021. Which titles are you most excited about?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
February 12, 2021
Knowing that they can’t lean on the core Avengers anymore, Marvel Studios needs to branch out and introduce new heroes into the mainstream, while also testing out different film genres. The studio will attempt to make a kung-fu adventure when Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi on the big screen. Right now, we know very little about where and when this movie takes place, but the use of the Ten Rings terrorist organization ties SHANG-CHI directly back to the first IRON MAN, and we’re curious what director Destin Daniel Cretton has in store.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
May 7, 2021
Speaking of experimenting in new genres, DOCTOR STRANGE director Scott Derrickson revealed that he plans to make DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS into Marvel’s first full-blown horror movie. Sign us up! Derrickson got his start in the horror genre, and the sorcery of Strange means that the MCU could dive into some truly bizarre realms. Elizabeth Olsen will bring Scarlet Witch over to the story as well, in a movie that we expect will expand the MCU beyond our wildest dreams.
June 25, 2021
Ben Affleck’s tenure as Batman has drawn to a close, so director Matt Reeves will start over with a rebooted Bat franchise, with Robert Pattinson (TWILIGHT, THE LIGHTHOUSE) in the lead role. This will not be an origin story from what we know, as Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne already will BE Batman when the movie begins. We've also heard there are at least three classic villains in the movie, played by Zoë Kravitz (Catwoman), Paul Dano (the Riddler) and Colin Farrell (the Penguin).
Marvel’s Third Spider-Man
July 16, 2021
Fans panicked when word spread that Disney and Sony no longer would partner on SPIDER-MAN movies, leaving Tom Holland out of the MCU. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, though, so Marvel President Kevin Feige and his creative team will actually supervise work on the third SPIDER-MAN MCU movie, which is slated for July 16, 2021. We expect this story to follow up on the bombshell reveal from the end of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (no spoilers here), and probably introduce a new villain from Spidey’s deep rogues gallery.
The Suicide Squad
August 6, 2021
The Suicide Squad is expendable, but the DC Comics franchise is finding new life on the big screen. James Gunn is now at the helm for THE SUICIDE SQUAD, having pitched the idea to Warner Bros. after Disney (temporarily) fired him from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3. From what we have read, this is a standalone Squad adventure that has no connection to the David Ayer movie from 2016. However, some familiar faces will carry over from that cast to the new one, as Margot Robbie is definitely back as Harley Quinn.
Thor: Love and Thunder
November 5, 2021
Part of us wondered, following the finale of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, if Thor (Chris Hemsworth) would show up in the next GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie, as he took off in that team’s ship as the credits rolled. But with GUARDIANS 3 getting delayed, THOR moves up and delivers a fourth chapter in the Asgardian franchise. The hook of THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER will be the return of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, who will transform into a Goddess of Thunder herself. But we’re also thrilled that THOR: RAGNAROK director Taika Waititi (JOJO RABBIT) is back at the helm, too.
December 22, 2021
A late addition to the release schedule and the last superhero movie of 2021… for now. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been teasing a BLACK ADAM movie for years, and since the character was introduced in DC’s SHAZAM! (briefly), it’s time for the studio to finally give the action superstar his spinoff. Black Adam is a villain in the DC universe, but The Rock has been saying that he’ll try to play him as a multifaceted character who’s far from purely evil (or purely heroic). This one just recently got its release date, so details on the plot and casting are nonexistent at this point.
Check back on the AMC Scene for updates!