As Marvel’s Phase 5 kicks off and the DCEU closes down, 2023 will be filled with superhero movies to keep audiences glued to their seats.
For over a decade, comic book films have dominated at the box office. In 2022 alone, comic book movies have raked up billions of dollars globally. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Batman, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were some of the highest-grossing movies of the year with the latter almost making $1 billion.
With the MCU entering a new phase and the DCU set to enter a new phase, 2023 is bringing a ton of new content for fans to enjoy. While release dates often change, it's clear that both DC and Marvel are planning a big return in the new year!
For the past two years, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studies have been introducing new heroes, villains, and universes that will be explored in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Phase 4 comes to a close, fans can expect new threats and even bigger battles. The first of many such events hits in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, releasing February 17.
Scott Lang returns in the third film in the Ant-Man series as he and the rest of the family are thrown into the Quantum Realm. Previously seen in the Loki tv series, Kang the Conquerer is set to play a major role in the film as well as be a primary antagonist for the rest of the Marvel heroes in the future.
With a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and a total gross of $366 million worldwide off of an $80 million budget, Shazam! was a surprise hit for the DCEU. The story of Billy Batson and his foster family was one that stuck with fans, and they've been eager for the Shazamily adventure. Coming March 17, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is looking to be an exciting return for the young heroes.
Zachary Levi, who plays Shazam, returns alongside Asher Angel as Billy Batson. In the trailer, the rest of his super-powered siblings are shown as well as some new villains, with Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren entering the fray as Kalypso and Hespera. While the future of the Shazam series is unknown, fans are confident that director David F. Sandberg will deliver another fun and action packed movie.
James Gunn, who has officially made his move to DC, has garnered a lot of success for Marvel Studios with his Guardians of the Galaxy series. This makes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the final installment of Gunn's trilogy, something that fans are eager to see. Coming out on May 5th, the ragtag group comes together again for one final battle.
The first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shows Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff reprising their roles as well as a few new faces, including Will Poulter, who will be making his MCU debut as Adam Warlock. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 promises to be a tearjerker, as Gunn has made it clear that not every member of the beloved team will make it out of the movie alive.
Still the highest-rated Spider-Man movie on Rotten Tomatoes, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a huge success. The Academy Award-winning movie has been praised for its stellar animation and heartfelt storytelling. Ever since, fans have been eagerly waiting for the inevitable sequel. On June 2nd, fans will finally have their patience rewarded.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse sees a slightly older Miles Morales leaving his universe to take on a new threat. Spider-Gwen and Peter B. Parker make their return along with some new faces, including Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and Spider-Woman (voiced by Issa Rae). Across the Spider-Verse is the first of a two-part story that is sure to please fans.
Last seen as a cameo in James Gunn's Peacemaker series on HBOMax, the Flash is set to return in his own solo film on June 16. The path to the Fastest Man Alive's movie has been a long one – the movie was originally scheduled to release in 2018 before Warner Brothers began to second guess their DCEU plans and the project went through a handful of writers and directors.
While The Flash was going to be something of a soft reboot for the DC Cinematic Universe at one time, introducing a Supergirl to replace Superman and bringing back Michael Keaton as Batman, it seems like those plans will be left behind as DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran built a new DCU from scratch.
Phase 4 introduced MCU fans to Kamala Khan in the Disney+ Ms. Marvel series. Marvel Studios also reintroduced Monica Rambeau in WandaVision and teased a larger role for her in the greater MCU. Alongside Captain Marvel, the two will return in The Marvels in July.
The movie, directed by Candyman's Nia DaCosta, stars Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris reprising their previous MCU roles. At this point, little is known about the movie, though the ending of Ms. Marvel gave fans a hint of what may be to come. As rumors continue to swirl about who the villain will be and how the story will play out, fans are eager for a trailer.
DC fans have been biting their nails looking for updates as Warner Brothers has been restructuring after their merger with Discovery. With the cancellation of Batgirl and Henry Cavill being fired, the future of the DCU has been in constant question. While some of the other movies in development have been canceled, DC seems to be going forward with Blue Beetle, releasing on August 18.
Jaime Reyes is the third character to become the Blue Beetle in DC Comics. The popular Mexican-American superhero has been featured in several animated projects and video games, but this will be the character's first live-action portrayal. Starring Xolo Maridueña, Blue Beetle follows a teenager who gains superpowers after finding an alien scarab.
Following the meme-worthy Morbius starring Jared Leto, Sony is set to introduce a new character in their lineup of Spider-Man villains. Kraven the Hunter, coming to theaters in October, follows the character of Sergei Kravinoff, a Russian hunter gifted with superpowers.
Kraven will be played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who's no stranger to comic book movies. The actor has previously portrayed Marvel's Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron and stared as the titular character in Kick-Ass. Sony is surely hoping that when Kraven the Hunter hits theaters it will be more of a Venom-style moneymaker rather than a Morbius-style flop.
After rumors and setbacks, the sequel to James Wan's Aquaman is finally set to release on Christmas day. Following the billion-dollar success of the first installment, the sequel brings Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry back to the kingdom of Atlantis in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Although Jason Momoa is may not return for a third Aquaman movie, that only broadens the direction the film could go. Details about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom are still scarce, but a few actors returning to the franchise are Patrick Wilson's Ocean Master and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta.
NEXT: 10 Best Animated Superhero Movies, According To Letterboxd
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