With three huge comic book movies (Black Panther, The Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2) and one not-so-big (I Kill Giants) having already been released, one might think the onslaught of film adaptations of comic properties was over for the year. You would be wrong. The movie-going public has obviously shown that they love films based on comic books/graphic novels. Don’t believe me? Check out the top-grossing movies list. Comic book movies account for 9 of the top 50, including 4 of the top 10. As long as we keep spending money to see them, Hollywood is going to keep making them. And if we get quality films like the big three from this year, that’s a very good thing.
The movies on the horizon are a bit more varied than what’s come before, including two animated comic films, something we don’t get at the theater very often. Here’s a breakdown of what we have to look forward to the second half of 2018.
Ant-Man & the Wasp (July 6)
Paul Rudd returns for the follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man. It’s been announced that the tone of the sequel will differ slightly from the heist movie genre of the original. It’s a bit of a gamble to mess with the genre of a movie that was so positively received, but the trailers definitely make it look like a lot of fun and the action sequences seem to be ramped up with the Wasp and her hand-to-hand combat skills being put to good use. The villain also seems much cooler this time around. Instead of another villain with the same power set as the hero, like Yellowjacket, we get one (Ghost) using Pym’s technology in new ways: phasing.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (July 27)
A feature length tie-in to the popular family-friendly cartoon Teen Titans Go! While a lot of fans of the comic aren’t extremely fond of the humor-driven, child-focused way the Robin-lead team is portrayed, it has been a relatively successful franchise for Cartoon Network. If you’re a fan of that style, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this movie too. Look for lots of jokes and some fourth wall breaking, especially regarding the movie’s villain, Deathstroke, who is the character Rob Liefeld essentially copied in his creation of Deadpool.
Venom (October 5)
First off, I’m going to pat myself on the back. Long before Tom Hardy was cast to play the lead in this film, I wrote saying that he was the man perfect for the role (though I wanted the character in the MCU, not in a standalone flick for Sony). So kudos to me for my brilliance and to Hollywood for listening. You’re welcome. Now that my self-congratulatory silliness is out of the way, I can get to the actual preview. Despite my assertion that Tom Hardy should play Eddie Brock, and my love of pretty much everything he’s ever done, I have mixed feelings about this one. The accent he’s using is odd. I don’t hate it, but I’m not digging it right now. It may grow on me though (symbiote pun intended). I’m not crazy about the look of Venom either. The texture looks kinda like it’s covered in Vasoline, and instead of a single row of sharp, gnarly teeth, it’s got shark mouth, creating a very full mouth that seems impractical for actual speech. Also, the tag line in the trailer, “Embrace your inner anti-hero”, is beyond lame. But as I’m a huge fan of Hardy, I’m still going in with cautious optimism. And surely this can’t be worse than the abomination that was Topher Grace’s turn as the Lethal Protector.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (December 14)
Another animated feature, as well as an additional entrant in Sony’s Spider-Man franchise. Focusing on the Miles Morales version of the Wall Crawler instead of the original Peter Parker one, the movie has the opportunity to offer a fresh take on an overly-saturated character. The animation style looks cool and interesting, drawing more from comic style art instead of more traditional types. They’ve yet to announce the villain, but with Liev Schreiber cast in an undisclosed role, one can assume he’s slotted to play whoever that villain may be. My guess would be the demonic-looking Ultimate version of the Green Goblin, but we’ll see.
Alita: Battle Angel (December 21)
Admittedly, I have never actually read any of the Japanese comic series Gunmu (known as Battle Angel Alita in the US), so I have no preconceived expectations for this movie. From what I’ve seen in the trailers, the film looks to be beautifully shot and the visual effects look amazing. I’m also very intrigued by the plot. I’m looking forward to this one. Makes me kinda want to run to the local comic shop and see if they’ve got any of the books I could check out before going to see the movie, but I also like the idea of going in with a clean slate. Decisions, decisions.
Aquaman (December 21)
Not looking forward to this one as much. First off, it’s another installment of the incredibly disappointing DCEU, a film franchise that has produced literally ONE truly good movie (Wonder Woman). Second, it’s Aquaman. He’s a watered-down (again, pun intended) rip-off of Marvel’s vastly superior Namor. His power set is weak and just shy of useless. Slapping tribal tattoos on a muscled up Hawaiian doesn’t change that. Speaking of which, I’m not a fan of Jason Momoa either. I’ve never been impressed with his acting in anything I’ve seen him in, including his debut as the half-human, half-Atlantean in Justice League. The rest of the cast seems good though. I’m also concerned with James Wan as the director. His filmography is almost exclusively horror, with one turn directing an installment in the brainless, over-blown Fast & Furious franchise. So I’m a bit worried what the tone is going to be like, especially considering that an unnecessarily dark tone and overly-drawn out, poorly constructed over-the-top action sequences have been two of the major issues with DC’s interconnected universe. So I’ll probably do like I’ve done with most of the DCEU films and wait til blu-ray to watch it so I’m only out a couple of bucks for a rental if it sucks.