Both Marvel and DC Comics are massive forces within the world of comics and movies. It’s been a slow 2020 for both of these juggernauts due to the pandemic putting a hold on filming and releases. 2021 is set to be one of the biggest years for superhero movies since Iron Man released in 2008. What are the big titles that Marvel and DC Comics have lined up for 2021 and beyond?
DC Comics Movies
Wonder Woman 1984
Starring Gal Gadot as Dianna Prince this sequel to the 2017 film is set to release before the end of the year. Pushed back several times due to the pandemic, Warner Bros and DC made the decision to release it in theaters and on HBO Max. On December 25th, Wonder Woman will hit the silver screen and the small screen. Wonder Woman (2017) was a turning point for DC Comics movies.
Many fans look at the DCU as a distant second place to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The bright colors of Wonder Woman, the loving yet strong character of Diana Prince, all showed that DC had more than dark and brooding in its repertoire. Wonder Woman 1984 will also introduce the Amazonian Princess’s classic villain, Cheetah.
The Suicide Squad
The first Suicide Squad movie is not one that many fans have fond memories of. Margot Robbie and Will Smith delivered great performances as Harley Quinn and Deadshot. But, overall the movie was just another dark, gritty entry into the Zack Snyder-Verse-styled DCU. The Suicide Squad isn’t quite a sequel, but it’s not a reboot either.
Written and directed by James Gunn it’s looking to dive deeper into what makes the Suicide Squad as a concept so great. With a huge star-studded cast and judging by early footage in the trailers, it should erase all memory of the first movie and make many fans of the Suicide Squad. The Suicide Squad is set to release on August 6th, 2021.
Warner Brothers and DC have already spun off an HBO Max series with Gunn and John Cena in Oh Fxck! It’s Peacemaker!
Marvel Studios Movies
Starring Scarlet Johansson, this is the movie that nerds all across the spectrum have been waiting for the longest. Originally set to release in May of 2020, it’s now set for May of 2021. Black Widow marks a very crucial point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s the first film since the end of the Infinity Saga and will serve to kick off Phase 4. It’s also their film female-led film and the first MCU movie we will have seen in well over a year. Kevin Feige has stated that the film will wrap up Natasha Romanov’s story. Rumors speculate it could be set anywhere between Captain America Civil War and Avengers Endgame.
In the past, fans have been vocal about the story being told with Natasha. Whether it was the issues she had in Avengers: Age of Ultron or her tragic death in Avengers: Endgame. Either way, Black Widow is likely to be a hotly contested movie among fans new and old.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings
Fans are used to a certain cast of characters and a certain caliber of storytelling. The quickest way to displease fans in a world teetering on the edge of superhero film burnout is with another boring origin story. Marvel has to be careful with Shang-Chi because it could end up being just that. If it falls short, it puts the responsibility of pulling fans back in on the next movie, which could have the same problem.
One of Shang-Chi’s strengths is in a villain made popular in Iron Man 3. The Mandarin ended up being a farce, but fans loved the concept of this antagonist and the real Mandarin will be front and center in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. It’s set to hit theaters on July 9th, 2021.
The first two movies of 2021 for Marvel have a lot riding on their shoulders. Depending on the success or failure of Black Widow, it could put even larger expectations on The Eternals. It’s a lesser-known property in the Marvel mythos and it boasts a large cast. Origin movies are always touchy subjects in a market that is becoming more oversaturated by the day.
What the film does have going for it is the same thing that led to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Because they’re lesser-known, fans may have easier expectations to meet. It’s also lined to the gills with Hollywood Alumni. Such stars in Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanijiani, and Kit Harrington.
The Eternals is set to release on November 5th, 2021.
More About Marvel and DC on The Other Identity Podcast
Are you hungry for more news on Marvel and DC movies? Join Robbie Landis of CheckpointXP and Ben J Morse formerly of Marvel as they dive into these coming attractions themselves. They discuss what to expect from each movie and what they’d like to see personally.
What’s Next for DC Comics?
Looking beyond 2021 for DC Comics, the two big franchise titles are The Batman and Black Adam. Directed by Matt Reeves and starring Twilight Alumni Robert Pattinson, early trailers for The Batman are looking fantastic. It’s very reminiscent of the Christopher Nolan Batman Begins Saga. Only time will tell if that ends up being a good or a bad thing.
Black Adam is a classic villain turned antihero from the Shazam world. As Black Adam makes his way to the silver screen he’ll be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Dwayne Johnson also confirmed during DC’s DC Fandome event that Black Adam would also introduce the Justice Society of America.
What’s Next for Marvel Studios?
Marvel and their movies are doing everything other than slowing down. Either at least three movies already set to drop this year, there’s a possibility that it will grow to four. The third Spider-Man film following Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently filming. It’ll wrap the trilogy of films and possibly set Spidey up for even bigger events within the MCU.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is also filming and is said to take place directly after the events of both Spider-Man 3 and Disney Plus’ WandaVision. Thor 4: Love and Thunder, which is set to bring back Natalie Portman as Jane Foster is also filming soon.
It’s already been confirmed that Jane will take up the mantle of Thor and rumors suggest that Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord could play a role in the film as well. Beyond that, rumors have also surfaced that Black Panther 2 could begin filming as early as July.
Don’t Forget Sony’s Morbius
Ever since Spider-Man started to crossover into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, people forgot he’s still technically a Sony property. But this doesn’t make the other Sony films MCU-certified, yet. Regardless, Morbius is still a Marvel character if not a real Marvel movie yet.
Starring Jared Leto, Morbius is about a man with a rare blood disease and in his quest to cure himself gets superhuman powers. Morbius the Living Vampire started as a Spidey villain that turned into an anti-hero. It’s still up in the air how successful this movie will be, but if it follows in the steps of Venom there is major potential.