Upcoming Superhero Movie Release Dates: From 2019 to 2022

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There’s no denying that the most popular genre around these days is the superhero movie. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy proved that comic book adaptations could be just as dramatic and heavy as non-genre films, Marvel Studios jumpstarted a massive interconnected series of superhero movies that were significantly more colorful and humorous, and audiences have been turning out to both kinds of superhero films in droves. With nearly every major studio now working to turn its own comic book properties into the next big thing, and with Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. plotting out half a decade’s worth of material, it’s sometimes tough to keep track of what’s coming out when, who’s in it, and how it fits into the overall picture.  Not to worry, though, because we here at Collider have you covered.

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide of superhero movie release dates for every major comic book adaptation on the calendar, going all the way up to the year 2022. Moreover, we’ll be updating this guide regularly with the most current information, so if you’re ever at a loss for when exactly Birds of Prey is supposed to be in theaters, you can come right back here for a quick refresher.

Joker

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: October 4, 2019

DirectorTodd Phillips

Cast: Joaquin PhoenixZazie BeetsRobert De NiroMarc MaronFrances ConroyGlenn FleshlerShea Whigham and Bill Camp.

What We Know So Far: This is a weird one. In the wake of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, and with Wonder Woman proving to be a massive success, Warner Bros. began changing up its plans for the DCEU. One idea is to kickstart a new arm at WB that will develop and produce one-off DC Comics adaptations not connected to the DC Extended Universe, meaning filmmakers can come in, try something really radical, and not have to worry about setting up a franchise or fitting into an established timeline. The first of these to hit the trades was a Joker origin movie directed by The Hangover and War Dogs filmmaker Todd Phillips, who is co-writing the script with The Fighter scribe Scott Silver. The idea is to craft something in the vein of Taxi Driver, a gritty, hard-boiled crime picture set in the early 1980s.

The lead actor would not be Jared Leto, but someone else entirely—WB reportedly wanted Leonardo DiCaprio, and when he passed they moved on to Joaquin Phoenix, who signed on after prolonged negotiations. The movie began filming in September 2018 and wrapped in December.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: February 7, 2020

DirectorCathy Yan

Writer: Christina Hodson

CastMargot RobbieMary Elizabeth WinsteadJurnee Smollett-BellRosie PerezChris Messina, and Ewan McGregor

What We Know So Far: This project hit the fast track at Margot Robbie‘s urging, as the Harley Quinn actress lobbied Warner Bros. an DC to put together a female-centric DC movie based on the Birds of Prey comics. The studio not only put this together, but hired Cathy Yan direct based on the strength of her indie feature Dead Pigs. The idea is to potentially introduce a few DC comics characters in this film, like Batgirl, which would then pave the way to their own solo films a la Black Panther and Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell plays Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is Huntress, and Rosie Perez is The Question, while Ewan McGregor plays villain Black Mask.

The New Mutants

Release Date: April 3, 2020

Director: Josh Boone

Cast: Anya Taylor-JoyMaisie WilliamsAlice BragaCharlie HeatonBlu HuntHenry Zaga

What We Know So Far: Writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) had been attached to direct New Mutants for a while, but 20th Century Fox finally moved this thing into production after the success of Deadpool and Logan. The film is both YA-esque and horror-tinged in tone, revolving around a group of much younger mutants in the X-Men universe than the adults from the proper X-Men movies. The story will also ditch traditional superhero costumes and supervillains in favor of telling a story about these young mutants locked up together in some facility, mirroring a horror haunted house vibe.

However, just a few months before the film was set to hit theaters in April 2018, Fox pushed the movie back 10 months to 2019 to take over Gambit‘s previous spot. No official explanation was given, and rumors swirled that Fox tested the film and decided it “wasn’t scary enough.” Now, following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the film has been delayed yet again from August 2019 to April 2020 to accommodate reshoots, so it’ll be interesting to see how this shapes up.

Black Widow

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Release Date: May 1, 2020

DirectorCate Shortland

CastScarlett JohanssonRachel WeiszFlorence PughO-T Fagbenle and David Harbour

What We Know So Far: A standalone Black Widow movie has long been requested by fans, and Marvel Studios finally pulled the trigger, locking in this past-set standalone movie as the first film of the MCU’s Phase Four. Scarlett Johansson handpicked indie filmmaker Cate Shortland to direct after an exhaustive search, and the most recent draft of the script was written by Jac SchaefferFlorence Pugh plays Yelena, who comics fans know as a character who eventually takes on the mantle of Black Widow, while David Harbour plays Red Guardian, the USSR equivalent of Captain America.

Wonder Woman 1984

Release Date: June 5, 2020

Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: Gal GadotKristen WiigChris Pine, and Pedro Pascal.

What We Know So Far: Very little, but Wonder Woman marked a major turning point for the DCEU with wildly positive reviews and massive box office, so anticipation is high. Patty Jenkins returns to direct a story that takes place in the year 1984 against the backdrop of the Cold War (timely!), with Kristen Wiig playing the villain Cheetah and Chris Pine somehow reprising his role as Steve Trevor. The film was originally scheduled for release in November 2019, but Warner Bros. opted to push it into the summer corridor of 2020, which is the release date the filmmakers wanted all along.

Untitled Sony/Marvel Movie

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Image via Marvel Comics

Release Date: July 10, 2020

Director: TBA

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: This is probably Sony’s Morbius movie, which began filming in early 2019 and is set as their next Marvel Comics adaptation. Jared Leto is signed on to play the titular character, a vampire, with Daniel Espinosa (LifeSafe House) directing.

Untitled Sony/Marvel Sequel

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Image via Sony Pictures

Release Date: October 2, 2020

Director: TBA

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: This is possibly Venom 2, albeit not yet confirmed.The first Venom was released on this same weekend in October and has now grossed over $800 million worldwide, which is kind of insane. So this is one superhero movie whose post-credits sequence doesn’t seem to have been for naught, as we’ll likely see Woody Harrelson‘s Carnage front and center in this follow-up.

The Eternals

Release Date: November 6, 2020

DirectorChloe Zhao

CastGemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.

What We Know So FarThe Eternals is based on a comics series created by Jack Kirby and revolves around a group of superpowered and nearly immortal beings. Marvel enlisted acclaimed The Rider director Chloe Zhao to take the helm, and subsequently assembled a tremendous A-list ensemble. Not only is the movie expected to feature an openly gay superhero character, but Lauren Ridloff is playing the first deaf superhero in the MCU. Filming is due to begin in 2019.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Release Date: February 12, 2021

DirectorDestin Daniel Cretton

WriterDave Callaham

CastSimu LiuAwkwafina, and Tony Leung

What We Know So Far: With Shang-Chi, Marvel is looking to produce its first superhero movie with an Asian lead. The film is based on a comics character created in the early 1970s by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin and was born out of Marvel Comics’ desire to acquire the rights to the TV series Kung Fu, which they were denied. Instead, they acquired the rights to the villain Fu Manchu and created Shang-Chi as a son of Fu Manchu. In the comics, Shang-Chi was raised and trained by his father in martial arts, but when he learned his father was actually evil, he turned against him. Marvel intends to fill out the ensemble with a mostly Asian cast, looking towards Black Panther as a template for how this kind of movie should be put together. Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Crettonwon the directing gig over other candidates that included Alan Yang (Master of None) and Deborah Chow (The Mandarin).

The film will introduce the MCU’s real Mandarin, to be played by Tony Leung, following the fake-out of the character in Iron Man 3.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Release Date: May 7, 2021

Director: Scott Derrickson

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen.

What We Know So Far: While 2016’s Doctor Strange was no doubt intended to start a new franchise, the follow-up was put on the backburner so Benedict Cumberbatch’s character could take a key role in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. In December 2018, it was revealed that Derrickson had quietly closed a deal to return and direct the Doctor Strange sequel, and at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Marvel confirmed that Derrickson and Cumberbatch are returning for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessDerrickson describes the sequel as the first “scary” MCU film, and it will co-star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, with events that tie directly into the Disney+ series WandaVision.

The Batman

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Release Date: June 25, 2021

DirectorMatt Reeves

CastRobert Pattinson

What We Know So Far: This one has been a long time coming. Warner Bros. finally got Ben Affleck to agree to direct and star in a Batman standalone called The Batman in 2015, with Affleck having penned a script with Geoff Johns. However, Affleck subsequently stepped down from the director’s chair, opting instead just to star in this standalone while Warner Bros. set Dawn of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves to take the helm instead. After over two yeas of rumors as to whether Affleck would or would not star, Warner Bros. has finally confirmed that he’ll be moving aside and making way for a new Caped Crusader.

Reeves’ take is described as noir-tinged and will star Robert Pattinson as a younger Batman/Bruce Wayne than Affleck’s iteration. Pattinson beat out Nicholas Hoult for the role. The film will also be honing in on the detective aspect of the Batman comics that hasn’t been fully explored in the films, and is expected to begin filming in early 2020.

The Suicide Squad

Release Date: August 8, 2021

Director: James Gunn

Cast: Margot RobbieJai CourtneyViola DavisJoel KinnamanIdris ElbaNathan Fillion, and Taika Waititi

What We Know So FarDavid Ayer definitely isn’t coming back to direct this sequel, and Warner Bros. looked at some intriguing names for his replacement. Mel Gibsonwas approached towards the end of 2016, but Warner Bros. eventually moved on and offered the movie to Jaume Collet-Serra of The Shallows and Non-Stop fame to take the helm, only to see him pass. Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant) was subsequently set to direct, but when his take came out similar to the plot of the Birds of Prey movie—which is going into production first—he became frustrated and moved on.

Subsequently, Warner Bros. tapped former Guardians of the Galaxy 3 filmmaker James Gunn to write a script from scratch and potentially direct. Indeed, months later it was announced that Gunn will very much be directing this film, which is titled The Suicide Squad and is rumored to be more of a reboot than a sequel. It’s unclear exactly how many of the original cast members from the first film will return (Will Smith has already confirmed he’s out), but Margot RobbieJai CourtneyViola Davis and Joel Kinnaman are expected to return and Idris Elba is signed on to play a new character. Additionally, David Dastmalchian is Polka Dot Man, Daniela Melchior is Ratcatcher, John Cena is Peacekeeper, Steve Agee is voicing King Shark and Natan Fillion and Taika Waititi are playing undisclosed roles. Filming is due to begin in September 2019.

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Thor: Love and Thunder

Release Date: November 5, 2021

DirectorTaika Waititi

CastChris HemsworthNatalie Portman, and Tessa Thompson

What We Know So Far: Marvel signed Thor: Ragnarokfilmmaker Taika Waititi to return to write and direct Thor 4in July 2019, but at Comic-Con a few weeks later Marvel broke the big news: the film will feature the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, who becomes the MCU’s first female Thor! She’ll co-star opposite Chris Hemsworth as, well, Lebowski Thor I guess and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who was deemed King of Asgard at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Untitled Marvel Movie 6

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Release Date: February 18, 2022

Director: TBA

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: We know nothing, Jon Snow. Marvel Studios is keeping its postAvengers: Endgame slate very secret at the moment. But it wouldn’t surprise if this turns out to be Black Panther 2.

Black Panther 2

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Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: May 6, 2022

DirectorRyan Coogler

CastChadwick Boseman

What We Know So Far: Pretty much nothing, but Ryan Coogler is coming back to write and direct Black Panther 2and Chadwick Boseman will obviously be returning in the title role. As of August 2019, Coogler has turned in a treatment to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. Coogler and Marvel are taking their time on this one, which is wise considering the first Black Panther became the first superhero movie ever nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The pressure is on.

Untitled Marvel Movie 8

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Release Date: July 29, 2022

Director: TBA

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: Nothing yet, but it could be any number of films planned for Marvel’s Phase Five slate.

Aquaman 2

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: December 16, 2022

Director: TBD

CastJason MomoaAmber Heard

What We Know So Far: When Aquaman hit theaters in December 2018, it surprisingly became the highest-grossing film of the DCEU thus far, topping out at over $1.1 billion. With that in mind, Warner Bros. set about getting the wheels in motion on a sequel, though director James Wan cautioned that he wouldn’t move forward on it until the script was right. The studio has now set a far-away 2022 release date to give the film enough time to develop, and Aquaman co-writer (and frequent Wan collaborator) David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick has been tasked with writing the screenplay. Wan hasn’t committed to directing Aquaman 2 just yet, but this one is no doubt a priority for Warner Bros. given the popularity of the first movie.

The Flash

Release Date: TBA

Director: Andy Muschietti

Cast: Ezra Miller

What We Know So FarThe Flash movie has had a pretty long road so far. Back in April 2015, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were hired to write a story treatment with the hope that they would direct, but the duo departed to take the helm of Solo: A Star Wars Story instead. Ezra Miller remained attached to star, having been cast as The Flash for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and in October 2015 Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith was hired to write the script and direct. Grahame-Smith was them removed from the project in April 2016, with WB wanting to take the film in a different direction, and Dope helmer Rick Famuyiwa was hired as his replacement. Famuyiwa cast Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and Billy Crudup as Flash’s father Harry Allen, but by August 2016, Famuyiwa departed the project over creative differences.

While the film was supposed to start filming in early 2017, Famuyiwa’s exit threw a wrench into WB’s plans and the studio opted to slow things down while Miller went off to shoot Fantastic Beasts 2Joby Harold (King Arthur) came on to do a page-one rewrite of the script, and in May 2017 Robert Zemeckis and Matthew Vaughnsurfaced as WB’s top choices to direct. The studio revealed in July 2017 that the film would be titled Flashpointindicating the story will be adapting the famous comics arc that sees Barry going back into the past to save his mother’s life, thus creating an alternate timeline. Speculation then began that this Flashpoint twist could allow WB to “fix” some issues in the DCEU by altering the timeline.

At long last, Warner Bros. hired Vacation directors and Spider-Man: Homecomingco-writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to take the helm in early 2018, based in part on the strength of their Warner Bros. action comedy Game Night.
But production was pushed once again, as Ezra Miller was originally due to shoot Fantastic Beasts 3 in Fall/Winter 2019. Filming on The Flash movie couldn’t begin before that.

In March 2019, a report surfaced there was creative tension between Miller’s vision (darker, gritter) and Daley and Goldstein’s vision (lighter, more fun), to the point that Warner Bros. allowed Miller to write a version of the script himself with the help of Grant Morrison to show what his take would look like. The implication was that if Warner Bros. wasn’t happy with the script Miller created, he could be out as Flash.

Well cut to July 2019, and Daley and Goldstein have voluntarily left the project while ITand Mamafilmmaker Andy Muschietti is now in negotiations to take over as director—the project’s fourth filmmaker in four years. Not only that, but Warner Bros. didn’t like Miller’s script after all and is tossing it, albeit while keeping Miller attached as the lead character. Instead, Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) is now writing a new draft of the screenplay, with an eye towards beginning prep in January 2020. Which of course means The Flash now once again runs the risk of running into scheduling conflicts with a Fantastic Beasts movie, as the second sequel is expected to begin filming in Spring 2020. The saga continues…

Black Adam

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Image via DC Comics

Release Date: TBA

Director: Jauma Collet-Serra

Cast: Dwayne Johnson

What We Know So Far: This project first surfaced years ago, when Warner Bros. secured Dwayne Johnson to play Shazam villain Black Adam. The idea was for Johnson to star in the Shazam movie, but in the spring of 2017 Johnson revealed that they had decided to make two separate movies: one for Shazam, and one for his antagonist/antihero Black Adam. Johnson will lead the latter while Shazammoved forward separately and became a success. This one’s been in development for a long time, but movement is starting to occur as Warner Bros. set Due Date writer Adam Sztykiel to pen the screenplay. Most recently the film finally found a director in Jaume Collet-Serra, with whom Johnson just worked on Disney’s upcoming Jungle Cruise movie.

Shazam 2

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: TBA

Director: TBA

CastZachary Levi

What We Know So Far: Very little, but fresh off the success of the first Shazam!Warner Bros. hired writer Henry Gayden to get to work crafting Shazam! 2Director David F. Sandberg is expected to return, but he has not yet officially signed on.

Batgirl

Release Date: TBA

Director: TBA

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: Warner Bros. pulled Joss Whedon over from Marvel to write and direct a Batgirl movie. He spent a year working on the script, during which time he was also spearheading reshoots and post-production of Justice League, but in February 2018 Whedon announced he was leaving the project because he “couldn’t come up with a story.” All signs indicate Warner Bros. will now be looking for a female filmmaker to bring Batgirl to fruition.

Green Lantern Corps

Release Date: TBD

Director: TBD

Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: This will be a reboot of the Warner Bros. franchise so Ryan Reynolds is not expected to reprise his role—plus he’s also busy being Deadpool for Fox. Green Lantern is rumored to make his first appearance at the end of either Justice League Part One or Justice League Part Two when he warns the team that Darkseid is on his way to bring destruction to Earth. But the title of the reboot tells us this will be a team-up film featuring two Green Lanterns. Tyrese Gibson has been openly campaigning for one of the roles, as the film will find Hal Jordan and John Stewart in a Lethal Weapon-type situation. Warner Bros. kicked the tires on this one in January 2017 by hiring David S. Goyer (Batman BeginsMan of Steel) to co-write the script with Justin Rhodes, but in June 2018 it was announced that Geoff Johns would now be writing the script.

Justice League Dark

Release Date: TBD

Director: TBD

Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: Warner Bros. has been developing an adaptation of Justice League Dark for awhile now, with Guillermo del Toro first writing a script a few years ago before departing the project. But with the DCEU now up and running, Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity helmer Doug Liman signed on to direct in August 2016, and then left the project in May 2017. WB was eyeing an A-List ensemble for the pic, which focuses on the DC superheroes with more supernatural powers as opposed to the bright and shiny heroes of the Justice League proper. The protagonists of Justice League Dark aren’t exactly antiheroes either, as the comics lineup has included folks like John Constantine and Swamp Thing.

Gotham City Sirens

Release Date: TBD

Source: Collider

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