comic book movies

Superhero Movies 2016: Breaking down the insanity to come

ranking superhero movies 2016

2016 will be the biggest year for superhero movies, and really demonstrates the extent to which the studios are willing to go to have themselves a successful cinematic universe. Marvel/Disney will be releasing 2 films, WB/DC will also be releasing 2 films and Fox/Marvel will be releasing 3 films! So let’s take a look at what superhero movies are to come in 2016.

So I’m going to be running down these 7 movies according to my anticipation for each, which of course is completely subjective and will probably be different compared to a lot of other people.

7. Gambit (October 7)

superhero movies 2016 gambit

The story: TBA

To be completely honest, I find it hard to really care that much about this movie. Of all the superhero movies coming out in 2016, this is the one we know the least about. Sure we know Channing Tatum is playing Gambit and Doug Liman is directing, but story-wise we’re pretty clueless. Gambit isn’t as well-known of a character in the mainstream media, so Fox are really relying on their established brand and Tatum’s name to sell this movie. However so far they haven’t really given anything to make people excited (and by people I mean those who aren’t already existing fans of Gambit).

I like Fox and what they have (mostly) done with their X-Men properties. So of course it could be good, but I’m not excited. Perhaps when we actually get some footage it will blow everyone away, but until then there isn’t much to go by.

What’s important: How will this film standout from the other superhero movies coming out in 2016? When you have event movies like Batman v Superman and Civil War, and movies with more anti-hero characters like Deadpool and Suicide Squad, there needs to be something in this movie that sets it apart. Right now it seems like they are confused with what they want this movie to be, hence the constant production issues, but hopefully they find an interesting and unique way to tell Gambit’s story.

6. X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)

The story: “With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.”

Days of Future Past was pretty great so everyone’s pretty excited about Apocalypse. This time the group are faced with the biggest threat ever (every new threat is quick to take that title) in the form of Apocalypse. I love Oscar Isaac and I think he’ll be a really menacing Apocalypse, but after Days of Future Past it’s almost hard to get back to this format for X-Men movies.

Days of Future Past really changed a lot, and here we are back to the simple format of villain vs the X-Men team. To be fair that villain is Apocalypse, but the trailer didn’t really sell the idea of this being a huge, event-like film like Days of Future Past was. Also when Days of Future Past basically made the other movies redundant, and showed us the future and it was fine, it’s hard to keep that dramatic tension high.

Now of course the future can just change again after Apocalypse, so that the future in Days of Future Past never happens (you know wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff), but how many times will we keep doing that? Messing with time in a story is tricky, and needs to be handled right. I know that they obviously want to keep their younger actors, but keeping the story in the past is a little frustrating when we know how the future will be like. I guess it’s almost like a prequel movie in that sense.

What’s important: I think Apocalypse will be a solid movie, but what will it add to the greater X-Men universe? Because the threat of the world ending just doesn’t seem that big of a deal now that we know we can just rewrite history. I want this film to have a lasting impact on the X-Men universe, not feel like a filler, villain of the week movie. Really it hinges on Apocalypse feeling like a real threat, making him a larger than life figure, let’s hope they pull that off.

5. Deadpool (February 12)

The story: “A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool.

Here’s a movie that took a long time to get made. If it wasn’t for the leak this movie would have never been made. Marketing so far has sold a pretty authentic looking Deadpool. He has an actual costume and Fox has allowed the film to be R-rated, meaning we’ll get a greater sense of his character and his world.

I think what’s especially great about this movie is the passion. You can really feel that everyone involved (especially Ryan Reynolds) really wanted to make this film, and as best as they could. That passion will go a long way.

Story-wise it’s pretty clear what’s going on. Wade is dying, gets an offer to live by some dodgy people, he pisses off dodgy people and said dodgy people are now going after his girl. Along the way he’ll make some friends like Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus.

Unlike Fantastic Four, this will have a very clear connection to the X-Men universe (apparently Wolverine may make an appearance) which is the smart thing to do.

It may seem a little low on my list, but as much as I’m excited to see the character, I’m more of a story person and it seems like a pretty straightforward origin tale. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t make me overly excited.

What’s important: What’s selling this movie is how unique Deadpool is. It’s important that Fox will stress his unique nature, and I think the marketing has done a perfect job of doing exactly that. He isn’t like the other heroes the mainstream audience are used to seeing. I think this film will have a Kingsman level size of success, and will make Deadpool a pretty popular character come Halloween.

4. Doctor Strange (November 4)

doctor strange superhero movies 2016

The story: “After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil”.

To be honest I don’t really know much about this character. I think what excites me the most about this movie is that it feels different. It’s exploring the world of magic within the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I think that’s pretty cool. That along with the amazing cast which includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejifor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen (one of my favourite actors right now) makes this movie seem pretty exciting.

What’s important: I think that it’s really important for these individual films to not only be a good story in their own right, but to add something important to their universe. And Doctor Strange seems like it will be doing exactly that.

I think this film could really add an interesting, mystical and mythological layer to the MCU. What will be interesting to see is how will this movie connect itself with the rest of the world. Obviously Doctor Strange won’t be popping up in Civil War but when will we see him next after his solo movie?

3. Captain America: Civil War (May 6)

The story: “Political interference in the Avenger’s activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.”

What’s great about the MCU is that they have a history. It’s gives them the ability to make a movie like Civil War, and make it feel emotional. For the past 7 years we’ve watched as these characters have grown as heroes to eventually form one of the greatest superhero teams. Now we get to watch as that all falls apart.

Winter Soldier is one of the best (if not the best) Marvel movies, so the follow-up has a lot of high expectations. We’ve already seen in past movies that Iron Man and Captain America often have conflicting perspectives, and that will all come to a boiling point in this film. Cap is trying to protect Bucky, whilst Tony is feeling guilty over creating Ultron. Their fight will split all the heroes, and of course cause them to fight with each other.

What’s important: I hope that there are actual lasting repercussions from this film. I think it would be pretty disappointing that if by the end of this movie, everything is all happy again and back to normal. That would be a huge missed opportunity to move the universe in an interesting and dramatic way. The big question is, will Steve die? I keep going back and forth on this, but I still think there’s a high chance he will die.

Of course either way this film will change the MCU with the introduction of Black Panther and Spider-Man. Black Panther will play a much bigger role than Spider-Man, but it’s still a big deal to tell everyone that Spider-Man does exist in the MCU as well.

2. Suicide Squad (August 5)

The story: “A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency”

It’s pretty surprising that WB chose Suicide Squad to be the third movie in their DCEU. In a way it’s smart as it allows them to quickly introduce a lot of villains and their history in one go. As much as I love Marvel, DC is my big love so it’s not really a shocker that the 2 DC films are my top 2.

The cast for the film is great, and the fact that it’s about a team of supervillains sets it apart from the other films coming out that year. We know that it will have a PG-13 rating, but clearly this won’t be as wide-appealing of a movie as the other superhero movies.

This movie will help set-up the DCEU and explore its already existing history. Because Batman has been around for a while, so has his villains. That means we have an experienced Joker, Harley Quinn, Deadshot etc. I think it’s great that we’re seeing villains with history.

Even though Suicide Squad is an unknown property to mainstream audiences, everyone knows the Joker and Batman, so it won’t be as hard to sell.

What’s important: The film needs to balance introducing all the characters and their history with the current story at hand. From the trailer it’s clear there will be a number of flashbacks to the characters’ past, but you don’t want to spend too much time in the past.

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25)

The story: “Fearing the actions of Superman left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante Batman takes on Metropolis’ most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat Doomsday quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.”

Pretty much my all-time most anticipated movie ever, I can’t wait to see this one. A lot hinges on the success of this movie. No doubt it will make a lot of money, but if this film isn’t received well it could really hurt the rest of the universe they’re trying to build.

Of all the superhero movies coming out next year, this is the one people seem to be most wary about. Man of Steel was divisive (personally I loved it) and so was the last trailer. And because Batman and Superman are such big pop-culture figures, everyone has an opinion about them, which often means that at any one time there’s a lot of people not agreeing with the choices being made in this movie.

What’s important: To focus on story and character first, and worldbuilding second. I know WB want to catch up with Marvel as soon as possible, but that doesn’t mean they should squish everything all at once. Right now it seems like Aquaman, Flash and Victor Stone will just be quick cameos (Aquaman will have more of an extended cameo), and Wonder Woman will have a smaller supporting role. As long as they don’t try to introduce a million characters and plot points and lose the core of the movie I’ll be happy.

So there you have it! All 7 (yes 7!) superhero movies that are coming out next year. Right now it looks like they all have the potential to be really great, so let us sit back and enjoy that amazingness that is to come.


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24 replies »

  1. So you are basically more exited about DC followed by Marvel, followed by Fox?

    My list is more mixed…
    1. Civil War! (No question there, I need to know how the story of Steve and Bucky will continue).
    2. Deadpool, Dr. Strange and Suicide Squad
    Those are the wild cards of the year, so I am automatically curious about them. Deadpool has easily the best marketing campaign of all of them, which made me rooting for the movie even though I have zero interest in the character. Dr. Strange has the best cast of all of them, but I really don’t like the writers they picked. Still, they promised fantasia like elements – I hope they do a proper acid sequence. If they do, I’ll be first in line to see it. Suicide Squad will be the first time DC goes for what can be considered minor characters big time, and I hope that it will work out because I finally want to see something which isn’t batman or superman.
    3. Batman vs. Superman
    I have a bad feeling about this movie. I want a proper Wonder Woman but my gut tells me that I won’t get one.
    4. The X-men movie
    I never liked Fox’s take on the X-men and I couldn’t care less about Channing Tatum (who I consider a very boring actor) or Gambit.


    • Yeah I guess it worked out like that
      I think most of the films have an interesting premise that makes it different compared to the others, but X-Men and Gambit have yet to really show that yet


      • I know…but she will get introduced in this movie and if she isn’t a hit there, her movie will most likely struggle, too. It’s different for Batman…DC always goes back to Batman if something else doesn’t work out.


  2. I agree with Gambit, I love the character from the comics but just isn’t overrly excited about the movie.

    I’m a huge X-Men fan but I doubt this movie will be any better then the last ones. Especially with how Power Rangers-esque Apocalypse looks.

    I honestly can’t wait for Deadpool but since it’s rated R I’ll have to wait a year or two to see it. Regardless, I’d rather wait a few tears to see a really good Deadpool movie than see a mediocre Deadpool movie now. Bit I love Deadpool so I’m pretty excited.

    Idk why but I’m not excited about Doctor Strange. It has a great cast and a magical superhero should be an interesting addition the the MCU, but I don’t care for some reason.

    Civil war should be really good! Wish we had more characters but I’ll accept what I can get.

    I’m more nervous about the Suicide Squad then excited honestly. I don’t like how the Joker looks, I’m worried about how they’ll handle Harley Quinn (who I absolutly love), and the rest of the characters (Deadshot, El Diablo, etc) could easily be done wrong (like what I suspect they’re doing with Enchantress).

    Batman V Superman is my personal most hyped movie yet. I’m honestly not as worried as most people and I bet it’ll be fantastic!

    My list:

    7. Gambit
    6. Suicide Squad
    5. Doctor Strange
    4. X-Men:Apocalypse
    3. Deadpool
    2. Captain America:Civil War
    1. Batman V Superman


  3. I hate being the cynic here, but I think after these 3 Xmen movies, Fox will run out of ideas. Sure, they got Wolverine 3, but after that, it’ll be done. How much more can they do exactly without connecting them to MCU? The past 3 X movies brought a resurgence, especially DOFP, but even that had its faults, since Fox tried piggybacking that success onto FF 2015 and not let it stand on its own, among other problems. Heck, not much is known about the Gambit movie and it’s supposed to come out next year! Idk if that’s intentional or what, but seriously they need to fix that, especially when Gambit is a pretty awesome character (yes I’m a Gambit fan sue me), and there is potential to explore him, just that past attempts were hit or miss.

    Also you kinda forgot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Regardless how ppl feel towards the previous one, that trailer got me more pumped than the other movies coming out. It’s got Bebop and Rocksteady now! Squeee!!! Lol 🙂


    • I mean I guess now that they have the new young actors in the X-Men movies they can focus on those characters more, but I feel like their stories will start just going are in circles.
      Gambit definitely needs to start sending out some promo material, because they really haven’t given us anything to be excited for
      Haha yeah I guess TMNT counts, Idk I still wasn’t really feeling the trailer, but I actually didn’t hate the last TMNT so it could be great


  4. Captain America Civil War is the film I’m probably looking forward to the most. Sure it will be epic! Also think you will like Dr Strange as well, lot of potential for a great movie here, and I’d certainly recommend checking out some of the comics / or trade collections of the classic issues if you can. All in all I think 2016 is going to be great!


  5. Cool write up nkay.
    When they announced someone else would be playing Gambit (a character I have no interest in at all) who is was not Taylor Kitsch, I just scratched my head and wondered “WHY?”.
    Taylor Kitsch as Gambit in X:Origins:Wolverine I liked, he was one of the few elements in an overall crappy that movie that I wanted to enjoy, but it had more holes than Swiss cheese at every conceivable level.
    The only (possible) reason I can see as to why Kitsch did not return as Gambit (other than not wanting to) was that the Jon Carter movie (which was excellent, and should have got a sequel) bombed big time.

    So I was a bit sad, as I believe that the Gambit solo movie should have been Taylor Kitsch. An actor I know nothing about, playing a character I generally find forgettable, if not annoying, and they actually won me over with his portrayal.

    Now the solo Gambit movie is back to a “pass” for me. There is no way I will pay for cinema tickets to see it, you can smell the stink coming off it already.

    The lead actor doesn’t even seem to want to be in it, and the constant rumors of Tatum dropping out of the project altogether don’t give me any confidence in the property.


    • Yeah I liked Kitsch as well, but the only reason this movie is happening is because Tatum wanted it to happen. Having Doug Liman on board is pretty promising, but until they show some footage or any promotional material, they aren’t exactly inspiring confidence in this movie

      Liked by 1 person

      • Taylor kitsch was great as gambit, i doubt tatum will be better. I think they just wanna divorce from x men origins wolverine because it was disliked by so many. Also, the general public has not responded to taylor ki


      • Taylor kitsch was great as gambit, i doubt tatum will be better. I think they just wanna divorce from x men origins wolverine because it was disliked by so many. Also, the general public has not responded to taylor kitsch movies, they’ve bombed spectacularly. Battle ship and john Carter just off the top of my head.


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