Thor, Marvel Comics’ prettiest superhero, has graced the screen to critical and commercial acclaim, grossing over $86 million dollars this weekend. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, Thor: The Dark World sees Thor team up with evil baddie Loki to save Asgard, proving the superhero shows no signs of slowing down. Not only did Thor: The Dark World have us eagerly awaiting Thor’s return in Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel in 2015, but it also got us all excited for what spandex-clad supermen and superwomen will be hitting the silver screen next year
Here’s the top five superhero movies we are the most hyped to see, plus some honourabe mentions that we couldn’t resist:
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Date: May 23
Why We’re Excited: Too many reasons, but the return of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen tops the list. 2011 saw possibly the best X-Men movie yet with Matthew Vaughan’s stylish ’60s X-Men: First Class and, while there are X-Men movies we do not want to even think about (here’s looking at you, X-Men: The Last Stand), the return of original director Bryan Singer working off Vaughn’s script is a match made in heaven.
In fact, the whole film is a team up on every level, being based on a classic story from one of the best comics team-ups in history: Chris Claremont and David Byrne’s X-Men comics from the ’80s. The movie sees the X-Men in the future with the original cast (including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan) going back in time to team-up with the cast of First Class for a an adventure that will see cameos from almost everyone who’s ever been in one of the many films of Marvel’s merry mutants. Over the top? You bet!
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release Date: April 4
Why We’re Excited: Steve Rogers’ return has him dealing with demons in his past — it’s just a simply cool premise. While we were all surprised that the original Thor was as good as it was, Captain America was even more of a pleasant surprise for everyone worrying that it would turn into something a little too much like propaganda.
Well, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will see the most super of World War II heroes dealing with the present, having missed out on the entirety of American history since he was frozen in ice before D-Day. Based on an award-winning story by modern comics master Ed Brubaker, The Winter Soldier has Steve Rogers face his best friend from the war who has been brainwashed into a deadly KGB assassin. While the first Captain America felt like those fun war movies of the ’50s, this next one will be more like the Cold War spy craze of the ’60s, so expect plenty of espionage (Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will be front and centre) and throwbacks to classic James Bond-style adventure.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
Release Date: August 1
Why We’re Excited: Uh, superheroes in space, how can this go wrong? Thor was a big risk, being a somewhat obscure, magical character in an age of science fiction heroes, but Marvel’s next big risk comes with aliens, space adventure, and a talking raccoon with a penchant for big guns. Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t even that familiar for comic book geeks (myself included), so seeing what Marvel comes up with for a giant space epic featuring truly obscure characters is why we’re excited. Truly, there hasn’t been a film out by Marvel Studios that’s been really disappointing, so their particular blend of winking self-deprecation and big budget action sequences will surely combine into something the whole galaxy will be talking about.
Details on the actual story are scarce, but it will feature that big, evil purple guy named Thanos from the post-credits scene in last year’s The Avengers. We’re expecting lasers, a green Zoe Saldana, and a recently jacked up Chris Pratt (of Parks and Recreation fame), leading the charge against plenty creepy aliens. Oh, and Doctor Who alum Karen Gillan is in it, so there’s a lot of delight for nerds across the pond as well!
4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Release Date: May 2
Why We’re Excited: The return of superhero movie’s cutest and best written couple. The Marc Webb directed Spider-Man reboot was met with a lot of criticism by people who remembered the original movie was less than a decade old, but the film in itself is arguably better than the original. Featuring two wonderfully gifted leads, the adorable Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and a director with a real eye for teen drama and quirkiness, The Amazing Spider-Man’s sequel is going to be jam packed with quippy dialogue and much better written characters than we usually get in the superhero movie world. Plus, Webb is smart enough not to try something like this:
The Amazing Spider-Man was legitimately well written and Webb managed to get stellar performances from his talented cast, including Denis Leary as Gwen Stacy’s police chief father. The sequel sees Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti expand on an already stellar cast, playing super villains Electro and the Rhino respectively. Production stills released so far look great and we’re nothing but excited for the Webhead’s return, detractors be damned!
Of course, our excitement is tempered: comic fans know that Gwen Stacy doesn’t exactly have a fairy tale ending, so we’re all biting our nails to see just how risky Webb will be with one of our favourite superhero couples.
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Release Date: August 8
Why We’re Excited: Watch this and try not to be excited:
Michael Bay may not be the most subtle or nuanced director of all time, but he has mastered the art of big action and just plain fun at the movies which can only help the Turtles’ return to the big screen. The live-action reboot has been met with plenty of criticism, including rumours that they would be aliens instead of the usual mutating ooze story, but the prospect of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and my personal favourite Michelangelo coming back to the silver screen is enough to be at least tentatively excited. And with original Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman on board as a consultant, and other co-creator Peter Laird giving a very rare endorsement, we’re sure things are back on track, especially with people like Arrested Development’s Will Arnett and Whoopi Goldberg around for some comedic relief. And yes, we’re ignoring the fact that Megan Fox is playing April O’Neil, but we’re trying to be positive, okay?
Release Date: February 14
Why We’re Excited: Nothing wrong with some ’80s nostalgia, especially when it looks this good. The Robocop reboot has a truly impressive cast, including Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman, so that alone is enough to be excited.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Release Date: August 22
Why We’re Excited: Not necessarily a superhero movie, but the stylish collection of noir vignettes looks great and has a stellar cast, including Joseph Gordon Levitt and even a Lady Gaga cameo.
Release Date: July 25
Why We’re Excited: The Wachowski’s space epic has all the hallmarks of a superhero film and is sure to impress. Mila Kunis stars as a janitor destined to be the Queen of the Galaxy, and a half wolf Channing Tatum sworn to protect her. Cool, right?
Release Date: November 7
Why We’re Excited: The Dark Knight Trilogy director heads to space too, and is sure to be stylish and mind-bending. Time travel and multiple dimensions? And we thought Inception was confusing in all the best ways!