Film & TV

Small screen smackdown: Superhero and comic book shows we can’t wait to see onscreen

Want to see more comic book adaptations on the small screen? These are the titles you should be watching out for:

It’s no secret that 2020 saw a dearth of comic book adaptations on the big screen, a situation largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In what appears to be a silver lining, however, this has since led creators and studios to pivot to the small screen, with several productions already geared towards streaming services such as Netflix, HBO Go, and Disney+ — much to the delight of many comic book and superhero fans, who, as one might put, are already starving for some good old-fashioned superhero-led action.

With that said, here are some shows you need to keep an eye out for:

Hawkeye (Disney+, 2021)

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye | IMAGE via Marvel Studios

Eyes on the target: Hawkeye is coming back.

A limited series, set to air in the later part of 2021 on the Disney+ platform, Hawkeye will see Jeremy Renner reprising the role of the titular hero he played through multiple films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the most recent being Avengers: Endgame.

As noted in reports which surfaced during the 2019 San Diego Comic Con, Renner’s Clint Barton / Hawkeye will serve as a mentor to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, his teenaged understudy who, in the Young Avengers comic books, took up the Hawkeye mantle after him.

According to reports, the upcoming series will explore Barton’s time as the vigilante Ronin during the events of Avengers: Endgame and will draw heavily from the critically-acclaimed Hawkeye: My Life As a Weapon comic book series by writer Matt Fraction.

Loki (Disney+, 2021)

Tom Hiddleston as the trickster god Loki | IMAGE via Marvel Studios

If ever you find yourself missing Asgard’s most notorious trickster, you’re in luck: Thor’s scheming — and yet extremely charming — brother will soon be making his way to Disney+.

Featuring the return of Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston as the fan-favorite mischievous titular villain, the series will follow the trickster god after his successful retrieval of the Tesseract during the events of Avengers: Endgame.

Joining Hiddleston in the series are MCU newcomers Sophia Di Martino, Oscar nominee Owen Wilson, Richard E. Grant, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Di Martino, according to reports, is rumored to play *gasp* Lady Loki.

Sandman (Netflix, 2021)

IMAGE via DC Comics

This isn’t a fever dream — a live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is really happening.

Based on the beloved comic book series published by DC Comics, the live-action adaptation of The Sandman has been described in reports as a blend of modern myth and dark fantasy, and is expected to interweave contemporary fiction and historical drama in its narrative.

First published by DC Comics in 1988, The Sandman follows the exploits of the character Morpheus — also known as Dream — who, in the series’ mythos, is one of the seven Endless, a pantheon of anthropomorphic personifications of powerful cosmic forces, including Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium (formerly Delight), and Destruction.

As noted in the press statement, the screenplay for The Sandman live-action series will be written by Gaiman and fellow comic book writer and screenwriter Allan Heinberg.

Heinberg, as detailed in the press release, will also serve as the series’ showrunner, while David S. Goyer will executive produce the drama from Warner Bros. Television.

As revealed on Twitter, the series will star Tom Sturridge as Dream. Sturridge will be joined by Gwendoline Christie, who will be playing Lucifer, Vivienne Acheampong who will portray the librarian Lucienne, and Boyd Holbrook who will be taking on the role of the monster The Corinthian. Actor Charles Dance, meanwhile, will bring the magician Roderick Burgess to life, while Asim Chaudhry and Sanjeev Bhaskar are set to portray the biblical characters Abel and Cain.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+, March 2021)

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie reprising their roles as Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier and Sam Wilson / Falcon | IMAGE via Marvel Studios

Comic book fans waiting for their next action fix are in for quite the ride as “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, which stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, is set to make its debut on the Disney+ streaming platform come March 9.

As reported in IndieWire, the series will be a “globetrotting adventure” and will give viewers a look at the unlikely pair of heroes as they take on Captain America’s heroic legacy.

The two heroes, who came together in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, will also be joined by faces both old and new, such as Emily Van Camp’s Sharon Carter, as well as new ones, such as Wyatt Russell’s John Walker, aka US Agent.

As shown in the trailer, the series will also mark the return of Daniel Brühl’s villainous Helmut Zemo, the Big Bad in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War”.

Miss Marvel (Disney+, 2021)

IMAGE via MARVEL COMICS

The wait is over for those looking for a spunky and relatable young heroine because Ms. Marvel is coming to Disney+.

A live-action adaptation of the critically-acclaimed comic series by writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel follows the adventures of Kamala Khan, a teenage Pakistani-American and Muslim who suddenly developed powers due to her Inhuman heritage.

As reported by Deadline, newcomer Iman Vellani will be starring in the series, which, in turn, will be helmed by filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon. Ms. Marvel’s screenplay, as noted by Deadline, will be written by Bisha K. Ali.

According to Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, in addition to appearing on the small screen, Kamala Khan will be included in future Marvel films, with the Muslim superheroine set to appear in Captain Marvel 2 alongside Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris.

Superman & Lois (The CW, 2021)

After saving the Earth — and a few other planets and realities — what’s next for the Man of Steel? Why, the married life, of course!

Produced by Todd Helbing and Greg Berlanti, “Superman & Lois” is a spinoff of the popular “Supergirl” series on The CW, and follows the lives of the titular characters after their return to Smallville with their sons Jonathan and Jordan.

Despite their desire for normalcy, however, the superfamily — played by Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Jordan Elsass, and Alexander Garfin — finds their idyllic life upended when The Stranger makes his presence known to them.

Set in the Arrowverse, Superman & Lois will premiere on February 23 on The CW.

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