Six Years of Marvel and DC's Superhero Movies, Explained

All you need to know about Warner and Disney's big superpowered slugfests from 2015 through 2020
Courtesy of Warner Bros.; Courtesy of Marvel

If today’s announcement of Warner Bros’ upcoming DC Entertainment slate proved anything, it’s this: there are a lot of superhero movies on the way over the next few years, especially when you consider that Marvel is moving up to three movies a year in 2017. So many, in fact, that you might want a scorecard to help yourself remember which superhero universe is which, what movies overlap, and just generally keep things straight.

Well, here you go — a guide to the many four color fantasies headed to movie theaters between 2015 and 2020, complete with the important details of each. Please note that we've only included movies that either have specific announced dates, or have been announced for particular years without dates attached — which is to say, just because there's only one Marvel Studios movie dated for 2019, it's unlikely that it'll end up being the only Marvel Studios movie that year. Cut out and keep (and maybe start to wonder how you’ll manage to get through 2017 in one piece).

2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)
Joss Whedon’s follow-up to 2012’s big Marvel Studios team-up features Robert Downey, Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johannson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany, James Spader and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver. Oh, alright, maybe not that last one.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Ant-Man (July 17)
Paul Rudd headlines this troubled production, with Peyton Reed directing. Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll provide back-up.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Mar. 25)
Henry Cavill and Amy Adams return for a second outing as Superman and Lois Lane, respectively, while Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck make their debuts as Wonder Woman and Batman in this Zack Snyder-directed stepping stone to the following year's Justice League, Part One. Expect to see appearances from Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher (The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg) ahead of their solo movies, as well.
Marvel or DC? DC

Captain America 3 (May 6)
Chris Evans returns, joined by his fellow Avenger Robert Downey Jr., for this Russo Brothers-directed follow-up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier that is supposed to pit Captain America and Iron Man against each other and create a new status quo for the Marvel Studios movies going forward. Also rumored to be showing up are Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Doctor Strange (July 8)
Marvel has yet to officially confirm that the movie scheduled for its July 8 2016 release is actually Scott Derrickson's adaptation of its Sorcerer Supreme character, but given that it's known that the movie is intended for a 2016 release (despite not having chosen an actor to play Stephen Strange yet) and that there are only two 2016 dates staked out by the studio, it's pretty much a no-brainer.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Suicide Squad (Aug. 12)
Directed by David Ayer, this project is based on writer John Ostrander's 1980s reboot of the DC Entertainment property, in which supervillains are given the opportunity to work on black ops missions for the US government in exchange for the commutation of their prison sentences. No actors have been attached to the movie yet.
Marvel or DC? DC

2017
Lego Batman (Feb 10)
Will Arnett returns to voice the blockheaded version of the Dark Knight that stole the show in The Lego Movie, with that movie's animation supervisor, Chris McKay, directing.
Marvel or DC? Well, technically DC, but it's really a Lego movie that doesn't connect with any of the other DC features...

Untitled Marvel Studios Movie (May 5)
Marvel has staked out the date, but not given any clue about what might go here. Thor 3, which has been in development since the 2013 release of Thor: The Dark World might be a likely candidate.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Wonder Woman (June 23)
Gal Gadot goes solo as DC's Amazon Princess, but no director nor screenwriters have been announced for the project so far.
Marvel or DC? DC

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (July 28)
Announced at San Diego Comic-Con this July, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel will return as Marvel's cosmic heroes in a follow-up to the most successful movie of 2014, again written and directed by James Gunn. Whether or not Josh Brolin will re-appear as Big Bad and floating chair aficianado Thanos remains to be seen.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Untitled Marvel Studios Movie (Nov. 3)
Another mystery Marvel movie as the studio switches to a three-movies-a-year schedule. Expect a new character to receive the spotlight, with Captain Marvel, Black Panther and the Inhumans amongst names rumored for development. Then again, maybe it'll be a Howard the Duck movie.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Justice League, Part One (Nov. 17)
Spinning out of the previous year's Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Amy Adams return for the first movie featuring DC's own premiere superteam. No other actors have been named for the project yet, so whether or not other familiar characters like the Flash, Aquaman or Green Lantern will show up isn't clear.
Marvel or DC? DC

2018
The Flash (Mar. 23)
Ezra Miller will star as the Fastest Man Alive in this big-screen version of the long-running (no pun intended) DC hero, currently finding a new audience thanks to the CW show of the same name.
Marvel or DC? DC

Untitled Marvel Studios Movie (May 4)
Another unknown Marvel quantity. Given the May date and the fact that it's coming three years after the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron — the same amount of time between the first and second Avengers movies — it's not impossible that this will end up being the slot for Avengers 3.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Untitled Marvel Studios Movie (July 6)
Yet another unknown Marvel Studios movie.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Aquaman (July 27)
Jason Momoa plays the king of the seas in this DC movie, although everything else about the feature remains unknown at this time.
Marvel or DC? DC

Untitled Marvel Studios Movie (Nov. 2)
And a third unknown Marvel Studios movie.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

2019
Shazam (Apr. 5)
While the identity of an actor to play the eponymous hero, or his underage alter ego Billy Batson, hasn't been announced (if it's even been decided upon), we do know that Dwayne Johnson will appear as the anti-hero Black Adam in the feature, thanks to his tweeting the news last month.
Marvel or DC? DC

Untitled Marvel Studios Movie (May 3)
Once again, an unknown project. Although this is the furthest out Marvel has dated a movie, it's safe to assume that there will be another couple of movies from the studio later in the year, given its previous release structure.
Marvel or DC? Marvel

Justice League, Part Two (June 14)
Two years — and three movies — after the first chapter, Snyder returns for a second Justice League movie. Warners has yet to confirm any actors for the movie.
Marvel or DC? DC

2020
Cyborg (Apr. 3)
Ray Fisher headlines the big screen solo debut of the DC character, known to audiences outside comics as a member of the Teen Titans (He's also a founder member of the current comic book Justice League, and therefore likely to show up in that movie at some point). No writer or director has been linked to the project as yet.
Marvel or DC? DC

Green Lantern (June 19)
It's unknown whether or not Warners will reboot this franchise following the underperformance of the Ryan Reynolds-headlined movie from 2011. At the time, the studio wanted to pursue a sequel, but by the time this comes around, the original movie will have been released nine years earlier. Given that the mythology of the series features 7,200 characters with exactly the same powers and name — "Green Lantern" being a job title, similar to "policeman" — there are certainly enough options open for producers to explore.
Marvel or DC? DC

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