It’s no secret that superheroes are dominating pop culture. Thanks to Marvel’s connected cinematic universe and DC’s upcoming powerhouse, “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” it looks like this will be the case for many years to come.
The year 2014 brought hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy” to the big screen, as well as “The Flash” and “Gotham” to the small screen. With the New Year right around the corner, now is the time to take a look at what superhero movies and TV shows are joining the roster in 2015.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (May 1)
Joss Whedon’s first attempt to combine four different movies into one sequel surprisingly went off without a hitch. Now, as promised, he’s going to do it again. In May of 2015 he’ll reunite Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and more to battle the villainous A.I. Ultron (James Spader). The first “Avengers” film became a tent pole for the cadre of superhero movies that followed from Marvel. Now, with its ambitious phase 3 plans laid out, the studio is hoping that the talented writer/director can strike gold twice and create a springboard for its movies through 2019.
“Ant-Man” (July 17)
After changing directorial hands from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed, Paul Rudd stars in the first Marvel movie after “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” He plays Scott Lang, a con man who gains super powers while helping his mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The hero, who was originally a founding member of “The Avengers” in the comic books, is gifted with the ability to shrink and grow his body while maintaining a degree of super-human strength -- relative to that of an ant. With a powerhouse cast including Rudd, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly and more, “Ant-Man” promises to bring the fun back to the Marvel cinematic universe after the Avengers go dark in their sequel.
“The Fantastic Four” (Aug. 7)
Not much is known about this reboot of one of Marvel’s most popular franchises. The characters spawned two movies in 2005 and 2007, but now younger actors have been brought in to breathe new life into them. Kate Mara will play the Invisible Woman, Miles Teller will play Mr. Fantastic, Jamie Bell will play The Thing and Michael B. Jordan will play The Human Torch. In terms of plot, all that’s known so far is that Toby Kebbell’s Victor Domashev will provide a small deviation from his comic-book counterpart, Victor Von Doom (a.k.a Doctor Doom). “The Fantastic Four” will not be connected to the rest of the Marvel universe as the characters are still owned by Fox.
“Agent Carter” (Jan. 6)
Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) has been unavoidable in the Marvel universe with appearances in both “Captain America” movies as well as “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” To expand on that, ABC is giving the character her very own miniseries. We know that in the wake of Steve Rogers’ apparent death during World War II, Peggy helps found S.H.I.E.L.D. Now, fans will be able to see exactly how that happens when she takes to the streets and tackles bigger threats than the Red Skull. The series will give fans of Marvel a bit of a buffer between the shocking midseason finale of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and its return later in the year.
Marvel announced earlier in 2014 that it would be adding five new TV shows to its roster in the New Year. Daredevil will kick things off with 13 episodes premiering on Netflix sometime in 2015. Following the blind defender of Hells Kitchen will be shows focused on Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist -- the group will all come together in a miniseries called “The Defenders.” The release dates for these shows have yet to be announced, so it’s possible they could bleed into 2016 and beyond.