by Grant Cronin
After looking at the first batch of films in part two I thought it would be appropriate to have somewhat of a superhero special. 2016 will see the release of seven wide-release superhero/comic book movies; for someone who remembers the relative drought of the late 90s and early 2000s this is a big deal. As a comic-book reader growing up seeing movies like Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and now Doctor Strange being made and demolishing the box office makes me so happy and with the Merc with the Mouth breaking records the appetite for comic book or superhero movies doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice
DC Entertainment/Warner Brothers Pictures / Release date: March 19th
This is it. Aside from the Star Wars saga this is probably the most anticipated film to be released in decades, two juggernauts of pop culture finally going head-to-head and the expectation has been… well, lukewarm. And it has nothing to do with Ben Affleck.
After wowing fans with a spectacular trailer at San Diego Comic Con in 2015 they were brought back down to earth with a trailer which seemingly gave away the entire plot of the film. The reaction from that trailer single-handledly tempered the anticipation of one of the most expensive films ever made: which goes to show how much sway trailers have in todays movie business.
Initial skepticism of Ben Affleck being casted as the cape crusader has now fallen away with fears now lying with Zack Synder’s ability to craft a compelling story to go alongside his spectacular visuals. There is an awful lot riding on the success of this movie with DC hoping it will kickstart its own multi-film universe to rival Marvel’s MCU. Speaking of which..
Captain America: Civil War
Marvel Studios / Release date: May 6th
If you ask any comic book reader about which storyline they would love to see brought to big screen the top two answers without any doubt would be Batman v Superman and Marvel’s Civil War.
Marvel’s original comic book series of Civil War was an event which saw the breaking of friendships and the death of heroes. The film adaptation looks set to repeat this and do it with a some aplomb. Taking some liberties with the original story, we will see Captain America go head-to-head with Iron Man each with their respective team of heroes.
This will be the thirteenth film in Marvel’s cinematic universe and with three billion dollar movies already under their belt many would not be surprised if this makes it four. Expect debuts of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Holland as Spiderman to crank up the excitement. I wonder which side the web-slinger will be on?
Marvel Studios / Release date: November 4th
After the successes of Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Studios will be confident that mainstream audiences are more than happy to see any of their properties on the big screen even if they are lesser-known in comparison to Spiderman or Captain America.
Benedict Cumberbatch looks set to make the role of Steve Strange his own with the excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Baron Mordo. With a November release not much is known yet about the film however word has it that it is set for a dark and psychedelic tone. Prepare for strange.
Faliro House Productions/Tri-State Pictures / Release date: March 18th
I bet you thought this post would be dominated by Marvel and DC, didn’t you? Director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) bring his vision of the superhero genre to the big screen this year. Midnight Special has somewhat gone under the radar in comparison to it’s more bombastic relatives in the genre but this is a film we should be definitely giving our attention to.
The story sees a father desperate to protect his uniquely gifted, eight-year-old son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) from the nefarious forces chasing them. A stellar cast of Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton and Adam Driver will rightfully elevate the exposure of this “impressively restrained yet limitlessly imaginative movie“. Definitely not one to miss.
Don’t forget to check back for part three of the most anticipated films of 2016. Part one can be found here.
Agree? Disagree? Comment below!