It has been a worrying time for comic book movie fans as several major projects have recently been cancelled. Wonder Woman 3, Man of Steel 2, and Black Adam 2 are just a few of the movies that have been given the chop, and while this is largely due to James Gunn’s decision to strengthen the DCEU with a reboot of some of its key characters, it’s still disappointing for those who were looking forward to the aforementioned movies.
Thankfully, not every movie within the DCEU (in its current form) has been cancelled so there are still a few movies within that universe to look forward to this year. We also have several movies within the MCU to look forward to over the next twelve months and two new comic book movies from Sony! 2023 should be a good year for comic book movie fans then, assuming all of the listed movies below hit their expected release dates.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Paul Rudd will be shrinking in size once more for this latest adventure featuring the diminutive hero known as Ant-Man. Evangeline Lily will be joining him as The Wasp and together, they will be travelling into the Quantum Zone where they will encounter all kinds of strange creatures as well as the big bad of Phase Five of the MCU – Kang The Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
The previous Ant-Man movies were good fun but fairly lightweight compared to some of the other movies within Marvel’s cinematic universe, but judging by the recent trailer, this is going to be far more dramatic and darker in tone than what has come before.
Expected release date: 17th February 2023
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
2019’s Shazam was a breath of fresh air when it landed in cinemas as it was a fun and colourful adventure that took itself far less seriously than most of the previous movies set within the DCEU. The upcoming sequel promises to be just as entertaining as the original but whether or not this is the last outing for the hero (considering the changes James Gunn is making) still remains to be seen.
Asher Angel is reprising his role as Billy Batson in the new movie and Zachary Levi is back as the teenager’s super-powered alter ego. Helen Mirren, Rachel Zegler and Lucy Liu are taking on the roles of the movie’s main antagonists – the Greek goddesses Anthea, Hespera, and Kalypso – and judging by the trailer, Billy and his foster family will also be taking on a dragon!
Expected release date: 17th March 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
As director James Gunn has now moved over to the DCEU, this third outing for the Guardians is the last movie he will be making for the MCU. We don’t think this will be the last we see of our beloved team of space heroes, however, but chances are, the next time we see them will be in an Avengers-type movie rather than a standalone adventure for Quill and his crew.
Chris Pratt, David Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff will be reprising their roles in the upcoming sequel and they will be joined by Will Poulter who will be making his debut within the MCU as the genetically engineered superhero, Adam Warlock. Little is known about the plot at this point but as the script is reportedly very emotional, you might need to bring a box of tissues with you to the cinema!
Expected release date: 5th May 2023
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse is widely considered to be one of the best comic book movies ever made so hopes are certainly high for this second animated adventure featuring Miles Morales as the titular web-slinger. The movie has been subjected to a couple of delays but fear not, as while a delayed release is usually a bad sign, executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller reassured fans when they spoke about the movie to Deadline. They said:
“We could try to get it out at the original date and it would be fine. But the expectation for this film is it has to be as groundbreaking and special and wonderful as the first one was. So we thought ‘let’s make it great.’ “
This time around, Miles will be joining up with a few new incarnations of his wall-crawling character, including Spider-Woman, Spider-Punk, and Spider-Man 2099. The main antagonist of the movie is The Spot, a villain with the ability to create interdimensional portals, but The Vulture is also expected to make an appearance in this second Multi-versal movie for our friendly neighbourhood superhero. Check out the trailer here.
Expected release date: 2nd June 2023
Spider-Man isn’t the only comic book character heading into the Multiverse this year as The Flash – the so-called Fastest Man Alive – will find himself in at least one alternate dimension in this movie after zipping back in time in an attempt to prevent his mother’s murder. Ezra Miller will be reprising his role as the super-speedy character and he will be joined by not one but two Batmen, played by Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton respectively.
Expect to see alternate versions of The Flash in the new movie as well as Supergirl, who will be making her debut within the DCEU. As to who else might make an appearance, we don’t yet know, but if the movie is anything like Spider-Man: No Way Home, there is a chance we might see villains from movies and shows from DC’s past. We are just speculating but whatever happens in the movie, here’s hoping it offers more than just fan service with its returning characters.
Expected release date: 16th June 2023
There are not one but three Marvel-ous characters in this sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel. Brie Larson is reprising her role from the earlier movie and she will be joined by Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau/Photon (Rambeau’s superhero name is speculation at this point).
Candyman director Nia DeCosta will be directing the new movie which isn’t only a sequel to Captain Marvel but also a follow-on from the Disney+ series Ms Marvel. The plot is being kept under wraps at the moment but as we know Nick Fury will be in this sequel, there is a chance the Skrulls will make an appearance at some point in the movie too. The main villain of The Marvels will be played by Zawe Ashton but the identity of her character has not yet been revealed.
Expected release date: 28th July 2023
Cobra Kai star Xolo Maridueña will be taking on the role of Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle in this first outing for the Latin American superhero that thankfully didn’t become a casualty in DC’s recent wave of cancellations. In the comic books, Reyes was the third character to become the Blue Beetle after becoming bonded to an alien scarab but whether or not the movie will stick closely to his origin story still remains to be seen.
Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon stars as the villainous Victoria Kord in the new movie and Raoul Max Trujillo (Mayans M.C.) will be appearing as the movie’s secondary villain, Carapax the Indestructible Man. An official synopsis for the movie, which has been directed by Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings) hasn’t yet been revealed but we expect to hear more about Blue Beetle very soon.
Expected release date: 18th August 2023
Kraven the Hunter
Iconic villain from the Spider-Man comics Kraven the Hunter is making his big screen debut this year courtesy of Sony Pictures. Aaron-Taylor Johnson is taking on the role of the character whose greatest aim in life is to become the world’s greatest hunter, and Christopher Abbott, Russell Crowe, and Alessandro Nivola will also be in the movie in as-yet-undisclosed roles.
The plot of the movie is unknown at this stage but if it’s anything like Morbius and Venom, two previous movies set within Sony’s Spider-Man universe, we expect to see Kraven’s origin story. Whether or not he will be more of an anti-hero than an out-and-out villain, we don’t yet know, but here’s hoping the movie is a lot better than the critically derided Morbius which failed to make a positive impact upon its release.
Expected release date: 6th October 2023
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
James Wan returns to the DCEU with this sequel to his 2018 movie that once again stars Jason Momoa as the titular hero. Other returning cast members include Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Willem Dafoe as Nuidius Vulko, and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus. Also in the cast is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who returns as Black Manta, the rumoured main villain of this sequel.
According to Wan, this movie will be a little more serious than the first, with more relevance to the world we are living in today. We don’t quite know what he was alluding to but as Aquaman will apparently be called upon to save the world from irreversible devastation (according to the plot synopsis), we suspect the movie might have a strong ecological message weaved into the plotline. As this could be the last we see of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman – the character will likely be rebooted as part of the changes happening within the DCEU – we hope the movie provides a fitting send-off for the actor and the Atlantean hero!
Expected release date: 25th December 2023
Which of these comic book movies are you most looking forward to? Which do you think will be the biggest disappointments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.