With the arrival (and collapse) of the Fantastic Four reboot, we’ve officially reached the end of 2015’s slate of superhero movies. While it’s been a decent year for superheroes, 2016 looks to be one of the best years on record for them. As of right now, there are seven superhero films scheduled for release in 2016!
However, superhero movies have been facing somewhat of a challenge over the past year. These projects are being produced and released at such a consistent rate; people have begun to speculate the whole genre will soon fizzle out. This idea of “superhero fatigue” is a seemingly popular one, even if box office results beg to differ. This idea is also a slightly controversial one – one for which I have my own very strong opinion – but that’s not my point. With people starting to claim that superhero films are all the same, I believe 2016 will be the year these people are proven wrong.
Of course, there are a few standard looking movies coming out next year. From what we’ve seen and heard so far, X-Men: Apocalypse and Gambit are currently shaping up to be your classic comic book movie. While I have no problem with that, they do seem to stick out as the most “standard” among the seven films. Every other movie, though…well let’s just say they’re not the typical cream of the crop.
Right off the bat, we’re getting a Deadpool movie in February. If there were ever a single comic book character that could represent the most unique of them all, it’d be Deadpool. With his personality based firmly in laughable amorality and fourth wall-breaking humor, Deadpool represents the core tone of comic books while completely ignoring their typical movie adaptation formula. The movie’s trailer proves that we’re going to see a superhero that has little to no boundaries, much like the first Kick-Ass film, and that is awesome.
Just a month later, however, we’ll be getting a movie that stands in stark contrast to Deadpool’s lightheartedness – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While neither Batman nor Superman are anywhere close to foreign, the concept of heroes fighting each other definitely is. Or at least, it is to the movie-going public. This movie will serve as introduction to that concept and some of the different dynamics that come with that. Batman v Superman will also be our first official introduction to DC’s Film Universe.
Captain America: Civil War, coming out in May, will also take advantage of this concept by pitting Cap and Iron Man against each other. This is a movie we don’t really know a whole lot about yet, so it’s hard to say what it’ll bring to the table as far as diversity goes. But considering the last Captain America had a 70s spy thriller feel that moved further away from a traditional superhero movie, it’s safe to assume this next installment will shoot for that same kind of tactic.
On the flip side of that coin, we’re getting a Suicide Squad movie that August. Whereas movies like Civil War will pit heroes against heroes, Suicide Squad will bring us a story featuring villains against other villains. It’s the first time we’ve seen a live action comic book movie revolving solely around bad guys, and no one does bad guys better than DC Comics. Featuring characters like Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the Joker, Suicide Squad is poised to be one of the darkest comic book movies coming out next year, and that’s not a bad thing!
And last but certainly not least, we have Doctor Strange, which will hit theaters in November. Out of all the movies on this list, Doctor Strange is the one we know the least about. There’s no poster, trailer or set pictures for us to look at, and we don’t even have an official synopsis yet. It’s kind of difficult to tell what this movie will be, but now, we do have a few hints. And the few hints we have make it look like Doctor Strange will be really…well…strange. Back in 2014, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige called it a “mind-bending acid trip” through different dimensions. Recently, in an interview with CinemaBlend, cinematographer Ben Davis talked about his experience on the film, calling it a significantly darker movie than what we’re used to seeing in the MCU. According to Davis, Doctor Strange will be like “Marvel’s Fantasia” with some elements of horror sprinkled in. This part isn’t too surprising considering that Scott Derrickson, director of films like Sinister, will be helming the project.
All these different stories make for one of the most tonally diverse lineups the superhero genre has seen to date. It’s a welcome change, and it’s something that is absolutely necessary to keep the genre fresh. Which superhero movie are you most looking forward to in 2016?