As we begin 2016, fans of the superhero genre are ready for the next crop of movies hitting theaters in the coming year. There will be two new installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the kickoff to DC Comics and Warner Bros. expanded film collective and some pretty exciting installments in the “X-Men” franchise.
With superhero movies becoming the most prominent blockbusters in pop culture, here's what’s ahead for some of our favorite returning characters like Captain America (Chris Evans) and some exciting introductions, such as "Deadpool" (Ryan Reynolds). Below is a rundown of everything fans can expect in 2016:
“Deadpool” (Feb. 12)
The year in superhero cinema kicks off in a very meta way as the Merc with a Mouth finally makes his way to theaters. After taking on the role of a drastically different Wade Wilson character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Ryan Reynolds championed for the chance to play the Deadpool fans of the comics know and love. It took some leaked test footage, some hype online and many years of asking nicely, but in February, fans can expect one of the most violent and foulmouthed antiheroes to finally take the screen in his very own stand-alone film. According to the recently released trailer, the film will explore Deadpool’s origins as well as showcase him on a mission to rescue the love of his life.
“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (March 25)
“Man of Steel” set a large-scale chain of events in motion that eventually led to the announcement of “Batman v. Superman.” With Ben Affleck taking on the role of the iconic caped crusader, the title duo will clash over the massive collateral damage left in the wake of Superman (Henry Cavill) and his fight in the first movie. However, with the introduction of both Batman, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), “Dawn of Justice” will mark the first real installment in DC and Warner Bros.' upcoming DC Cinematic Universe meant to rival that of its comic book counterpart Marvel.
“Captain America: Civil War” (May 6)
It’s rare for a stand-alone movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to be more highly anticipated than an “Avengers” team-up, but thanks to the impressive roster of heroes joining the fray in “Civil War,” fans simply can’t wait. As previously reported, the film will pit heroes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) against Captain America (Evans) over the concept of superhuman registration. Essentially, Iron Man leads a faction determined to force heroes to operate under government oversight, while Captain America leads a separate faction that’s fighting for control of their own superpowered actions. Based on a 2008 comic series, “Civil War” promises to shake up the MCU permanently when the inevitable dust from the battle settles.
“X-Men: Apocalypse” (May 27)
Boasted as the final installment in the trilogy that “X-Men: First Class” began, “Apocalypse” seeks to pit the X-Men of the 1980s against an ancient and immortal threat. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” actor Oscar Isaac takes on the role of a timeless being known as Apocalypse, who’ll recruit four unique horsemen in order to bring about the literal end of the world. Fortunately for humanity, standing in his way is Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his band of extraordinary mutants known as the X-Men.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (June 3)
After the success of the 2014 film, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in action. Although they might not fall under the normal category of superheros, they’ve got powers and they’re based on comic book characters, so the Turtles made the list. This movie, more so than the first, will hark back to the series’ original comic book roots thanks to the inclusion of “Arrow” star Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, the hockey mask-wearing fighter who joins the turtles in battling crime with his golf bag of household weapons. The movie also promises to introduce two new villains to the pizza-loving mutants, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly).
“Suicide Squad” (Aug. 5)
Set in the same universe as “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” this film takes some of the DC Comics universe’s most dastardly villains and puts them on a superhero team all their own. In the comic books, the Suicide Squad was made up of a group of high-security government prisoners (otherwise known as supervillains) tasked with going on very dangerous missions that would likely end in a lesser person’s death. Just a few noteworthy names coming to the big screen include Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and, of course, the Joker (Jared Leto). With a cameo from Batman (Affleck) and a slew of setups for the expanded universe coming in 2017, this movie promises to be a must-see among fans of DC Comics characters.
“Gambit” (Oct. 7)
In another attempt by 20th Century Fox to get an “X-Men” character right, Channing Tatum will take on the role of the Cajun superhero and thief in his very own stand-alone movie scheduled for release in October. While not much is known about the “Gambit” movie at this point, it has been touted as being true to the character’s comic book origins, as a reckless gang member in New Orleans. Unfortunately, no one has heard the “Magic Mike” actor try out his Cajun accent yet.