Good news, nerds: It looks like superheroes and caped crusaders are set to dominate 2023, judging by the number of comic book adaptations set to hit theaters throughout the year.
Whether you’re a fan of reality-hopping capers or heavy-hitting space operas, get ready to buckle up for an exciting adventure! Here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming to the cinemas this year.
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3
The final volume in James Gunn’s irreverent space opera, “Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3” follows Peter Quill and the Guardians as they adjust to life on Knowhere when ghosts from Rocket’s shadowy past return to haunt him. Now on a mission to protect their friend, the Guardians must go on one last mission that could lead to their team’s disbanding.
While the overall plot of the movie is currently under wraps, fans of the entire franchise are excited about the return of the entire main cast, which includes Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Zoe Saldaña as a younger, time-displaced Gamora. Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is also set to herald the introduction of new cast member Will Poulter, who will be playing the superpowered being Adam Warlock, and Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji as the gene-bending villain High Evolutionary. In addition, Guardians fans will also see the return of Sean Gunn as the Ravager Kraglin, as well as that of Elizabeth Debicki’s Ayesha.
Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 will premiere in theaters across the world on May 5.
Arguably one of the more controversial additions to this slate of superhero films, “The Flash” revolves around the titular character going back in time to change events in his past—only to end up in a reality where things are not what they seem. This is a direct callback to “Flashpoint,” one of the character’s most significant story arcs in the comics.
The movie, directed by Andy Muschietti and based on a screenplay by Christina Hodson, will star Ezra Miller in the lead role, as well as feature appearances from Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, who will reprise their Batman roles from their respective movies. Michael Shannon will also return as General Zod from “Man of Steel” in the film and will act as its main antagonist. Additionally, the film will mark the big screen debut of actress Sasha Calle, who will portray the film version of Supergirl.
Originally envisioned as a means to expand the Snyderverse, The Flash was subjected to reshoots and rewrites and was confirmed by James Gunn to reset the prior continuity instead. According to Gunn, The Flash—alongside Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom—would now serve as the lead-up to the Gunn-led DCU’s first film, Superman: Legacy, which arrives in theaters in 2025.
The Flash will zoom into the big screen on June 15.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
The sequel to the critically-acclaimed animated feature film released in 2018, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse sees Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales web-swinging into a multiversal adventure with scores of Spider-People hot on his heels.
Announced around a year after the release of the first film, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is the first of two sequels planned for the franchise, with the third film—titled Beyond the Spider-Verse—set to arrive in 2024.
Originally scheduled for April 2022, the film’s release was pushed back to October of the same year due to pandemic-related concerns before being pushed to its final release date of June 2023.
As mentioned in their press release, the film will deal with Miles and his multiversal adventures with—and against—Spider-Force, a group of Spider-People from all over the multiverse led by Miguel O’Hara aka Spider-Man 2099, who are tasked with defending it from threats.
Leading the film’s cast is Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, who is joined by returning cast members Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy, Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker, Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara aka Spider-Man 2099, Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis, Jorma Taccone as The Vulture, and Luna Lauren Vélez as Rio Morales. New additions to the cast include Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ohnn aka The Spot, Issa Rae as Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman, Daniel Kaluuya as Hobart “Hobie” Brown aka Spider-Punk, and Karan Soni as Spider-Man India.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse swings into theaters on June 2.
Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Blue Beetle follows Jaime Reyes, a Mexican-American teenager who discovers an alien scarab that bestows extraordinary powers on him, transforming him into the titular superhero.
Helmed by director Angel Manuel Soto and written by Mexican-born writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Blue Beetle was originally set to premiere on HBO Max before getting slated for a theatrical release. John Rickard and Zev Foreman serve as the movie’s producers, with Walter Hamada, Galen Vaisman, and Garrett Grant on board as its executive producers.
Aside from having a predominantly Latin-led crew, Blue Beetle also boasts a diverse cast led by Cobra Kai star Xolo Maridueña, leading to fans hailing it as an exciting addition to the superhero genre in terms of representation and storytelling.
Joining Maridueña in Blue Beetle are Rambo: Last Blood actress Adriana Barraza, who will be playing his grandmother, Nana, Narcos actors Damían Alcázar as his father, Alberto, Mayans M.C. star Elpidia Carrillo as his mother, Rocio, George Lopez as his uncle Rudy, and Maldivas’ Bruna Marquezine as his love interest Jenny Kord.
Raoul Max Trujillo and Oscar winner Susan Sarandon round out the film’s cast as villains Carapax and Victoria Kord, respectively.
Blue Beetle will premiere in theaters on August 18.
Prepare to go higher, further, faster, and more as The Marvels zooms into cinemas this November.
Directed by Nia DaCosta from a screenplay she co-wrote with Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik, and Zeb Wells, The Marvels was officially announced in 2019, and aside from being a direct sequel to that year’s Captain Marvel, is also a continuation of the stories laid out in 2020’s WandaVision and 2022’s Miss Marvel tv shows.
The Marvels will focus on the titular characters—Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Iman Vehlani’s Kamala Khan, and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau—as they navigate being a hero, as well as deal with a cosmic entanglement that binds their powers together. Oh, and they also have to deal with the bloodthirsty Kree warrior Dar-Benn, here played by British actress Zawe Ashton. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury will also have a significant role in the movie, with the tough-talking former S.H.I.E.L.D. commander now overseeing S.A.B.E.R. operations in deep space.
The Marvels will smash into theaters worldwide on November 22, 2023.
Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom
Fans on the lookout for bombastic fantasy and adventure ought to mark their calendars for Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom.
The continuation of Jason Momoa’s adventures as the king of Atlantis, Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom is one of the most highly-anticipated films of this year, given the massive records set by the first film.
The movie’s plot is still under wraps as of this writing, although returning director James Wan has teased that it will be a globe-trotting spectacle much bigger in scale compared to its predecessor.
Written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, the film boasts a stacked cast, which counts Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, and Yahya Abdul-Matteen II as Black Manta. They are joined by Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicole Kidman, all of whom are reprising their roles as Vulko, Nereus, and Queen Atlanna, respectively. Ben Affleck has also been confirmed to make an appearance in the movie, with the actor reprising his role as Bruce Wayne / The Batman.
In addition, the film will also see the introduction of Jani Zhao, Indya Moore, and Vincent Regan into the Aquaman universe. Zhao, according to reports, will be playing Stingray, an original character created for the movie. POSE actress Moore, meanwhile, is set to appear as Karshon, a character whose first appearance dates back to a Green Lantern comic from 1963. Finally, Regan will appear as Atlan, the ruler who caused Atlantis to sink into the ocean, and whose trident played a major part in the first film.
“Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom” will premiere in theaters on December 20, 2023.
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