THE DC CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
2015 will still be dominated by Marvel Studios with both Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man (and the first of the new Fantastic Four films) but, from 2016, Warner Bros and DC Entertainment throw their hat into the ring with the start of their cinematic universe, opening with the utter doozy of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and then moving on to Suicide Squad.
Will Smith will play Deadshot, whilst recent Oscar-winner Jared Leto will play The Joker and The Wolf Of Wall Street's Margot Robbie will play Harley Quinn. Tom Hardy will play Rick Flagg whilst A Good Day To Die Hard's Jai Courtney is Captain Boomerang. Finally, model Cara Delevingne will play Enchantress. There's also a rumour that Jesse Eisenberg may make an appearance, reprising his role as Lex Luthor from Batman V Superman.
Fans may notice that there's one piece of casting that has yet to be announced, and that's of the Suicide Squad's head honcho, Amanda Waller. Whilst no casting has been announced, it's been reported that Oprah Winfrey, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis are all under consideration.
In 2017, there'll be a standalone Wonder Woman movie, presumably with Gal Gadot reprising her role. Michelle MacLaren (who has done sterling TV work on episodes of Game Of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad) will direct and the screenplay will be written by Jason Fuchs.
Also in late 2017, there'll be the first part of a Justice League movie to be directed by Zack Snyder (Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman). Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Amy Adams are already signed on to reprise their roles of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Lois Lane. The second part will hit screens in 2019.
In 2018, The Flash will make his big-screen debut played by Ezra Miller (We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), as will Aquaman with Game Of Thrones' Jason Momoa in the lead role. No doubt Miller and Momoa will also appear in the Justice League movies.
In 2019, along with the second part of the Justice League movie, Shazam will hit the screens. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has already announced he will be playing Black Adam but no other casting has been confirmed as yet.
Finally in 2020, a Cyborg movie (starring Ray Fisher as Victor Stone, who will also appear in other movies) and a reboot of Green Lantern completes DC's ambitious slate. Considering that the 2011 Green Lantern movie is generally considered to be a bit of a turkey (losing millions at the box office), it's no surprise they've decided to leave the reboot until last.
Plans have also been announced for standalone Batman and Superman movies but these have not formed part of this plan as yet.
THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
I did a quick blog when the Marvel slate for 2016-2019 was announced but there have been a few new bits of information since (most notably a major piece of casting)
Captain America 3 was slated for May 2016 (US date), and was originally opening on the same day as Batman V Superman. Were Marvel afraid? Nope. Their date remained unchanged and now it's clear why: the third Captain America film will adapt the highly esteemed Civil War storyline.
Essentially, Civil War pits Cap against Tony Stark over a government bill aimed at forcing superheroes to register themselves and reveal their identities. Cap is against it, Stark is for. Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans will reprise their roles, and this will also be the debut for Chadwick Boseman who was announced as playing Black Panther. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will also return from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Also in 2016, Marvel takes a dip into the more supernatural side of things with Doctor Strange. It was confirmed this week that Benedict Cumberbatch would take the role of the Sorceror Supreme after weeks of speculation. Scott Derrickson (The Day The Earth Stood Still, Sinister) will direct with a script being rewritten by Jon Spaihts.
In 2018, cinemas will get the first part of Avengers: Infinity War which is a very exciting prospect. Josh Brolin is expected to reprise his role as Thanos, as the plot focuses on Thanos' use of the Infinity Stones to terrorise the universe. Summer 2018 will see Marvel's first female-led superhero movie with Captain Marvel, which has been confirmed as being Carol Danvers. There's been a longstanding rumour that Katee Sackhoff is linked with the role but this is just idle gossip at the moment (although I think she'd be kickass). 2018 tounds off with Inhumans.
2019 sees the release of the second part of Avengers: Infinity War. Nothing else has been announced after that.
20TH CENTURY FOX
Whilst Marvel and DC are the big hitters, Fox have a decent slate of superhero movies due out with reboots of one property and a few sequels to others.
2015 sees the release of the rebooted Fantastic Four, with Miles Teller (Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic), Kate Mara (Sue Storm/Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm/The Human Torch) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing) in the lead roles. British actor Toby Kebbell will take the role of Dr. Doom, and Chronicle director Josh Trank will oversee the project.
In early 2016, the Deadpool spin-off will be released, with Ryan Reynolds appearing to be close to reprising his role from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (he's been dropping a few less-than-subtle hints on social media this week). Tim Miller will make his directorial debut.
Also in 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse will hit the screens with Bryan Singer back in the director's chair. The action moves to the 1980s and rumour has it that it will tie up the First Class trilogy. Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) has been cast as Apocalypse.
Early 2017 currenly sees the sequel to The Wolverine. The only information available so far is that James Mangold, who directed The Wolverine, is attached to direct and that Hugh Jackman will star. No clue on plot or other casting as yet.
Summer 2017 will also see The Fantastic Four 2. The four main cast are expected to return, but that's all we know so far. Josh Trank's involvement is uncertain due to his commitments for a standalone Star Wars film.
There's an untitled X-Men movie rumoured for 2018, and Channing Tatum has seemingly been confirmed as playing Gambit (in an interview with producer Laura Shulde Donner), but whether Gambit will appear in this one or maybe even appear in X-Men: Apocalypse is uncertain.
SONY AND SPIDEY
Currently, Sony have four comic book projects slated- Sinister Six, Venom, a female-led Spider-Man spin-off and The Amazing Spider-Man 3. However, given the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn't exactly set the box office alight, it looks as if plans may be altered slightly.
Currently, Drew Goddard's Sinister Six movie is still slated for late 2016 although there's been zip in the way of either casting or even which of the Spidey supervillains will make up the Sinister Six.
As for the female led Spider-Man movie, the best bet would be Black Cat (as the character was hinted at in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) but there are absolutely no details about this project, apart from the concept and a vague release date of 2017. Similarly, the Venom project hasn't progressed either- again, a vague release date of 2017 is the only thing to say, but rumours are that the project has been canned and the character may appear in the Sinister Six instead.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is provisionally down for release in 2018, having been moved back from 2016 (thus removing a previously-earmarked Amazing Spider-Man 4). However, there are rumours of yet another reboot in the works or even Sony entering talks with Marvel to allow Spider-Man to join The Avengers (which would be awesome but a logistical nightmare, one would imagine).
Other studios have provisionally or fully set their rosters and publicised at least some of their films. Sony is the only one with a major comic-book franchise that hasn't. Make of that what you will.
So, as you can see, there's a lot to go see in the next few years. Here's a handy calendar of what to expect when (please note, this may be schedule to change- let's face it, we are talking some longterm planning here!)
April 24 (UK)/May 1 (US): Avengers: Age Of Ultron
July 17: Ant-Man
August 6 (UK)/August 7 (US): The Fantastic Four
February 12: Deadpool
March 25: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
April 29 (UK)/May 6 (US): Captain America: Civil War
May 19 (UK)/May 27 (US): X-Men: Apocalypse
August 5: Suicide Squad
November 6: Doctor Strange
November 11: Sinister Six
March 2 (UK)/March 3 (US): The Wolverine sequel
April 28 (UK)/May 5 (US): Guardians Of The Galaxy 2
June 23: Wonder Woman
July 14: The Fantastic Four 2
July 28: Thor: Ragnarok
October 27 (UK)/November 2 (US): Black Panther
November 23: Justice League Part One
March 23 - The Flash
April 27 (UK)/May 4 (US): Avengers: Infinity War Part One
July 6 - Captain Marvel
July 13 - untitled X-Men movie
July 27 - Aquaman
October 26 (UK)/November 2 (US): Inhumans
April 5 - Shazam
April 26 (UK)/May 3 (US): Avengers: Infinity War Part Two
June 14 - Justice League Part Two
April 3 - Cyborg
June 19 - Green Lantern
Busy time ahead!