2020 has begun and as the resident nerd of the 17 Waverly Podcast I am looking forward to the buckets of comic book content we are getting. As DC and Marvel prepare to launch their projects in the coming months I have found that there is a strong common denominator across the board; WOMEN.
Birds of Prey: Say what you wish about DC live-action content over the past few years. If you choose the negative route I respect it. However, there is something objectively true about the brand; they’re trail blazing.
First studio to introduce darker and grittier tones, first studio to showcase a villain ensemble, and first studio to bring a successful female superhero to the big screen. 2020 will earn DC and Warner another badge of firsts as they release the first female ensemble superhero film with Birds of Prey due February 7, 2020.
Am I one of those fans still pouting that it’s Birds of Prey and not Sirens? Yeah, a little. Am I annoyed Barbara Gordon is nowhere to be seen in this thing? Oh yes, very much so.
Yet first and foremost I am a DC fan and I am rooting for this film to perform at the box office. It is also worth noting that the female team is directed by Cathy Yan. This will make her the third female director of a major superhero movie since Patty Jenkins kicked it off with her success in Wonder Woman.
The New Mutants: The film has been in limbo for almost two years since the Disney/Fox merger talks began. It now seems Disney is full speed ahead with the theatrical release of the project due out April 3, 2020. Directed by Josh Boone, it will be a horror film focused on five mutants loosely based around the famous Demon Bear Saga (if you haven’t read it, check it out).
The New Mutants has always been an interesting IP in comics; not just for its unique and, at times, eerie story-telling but because it somehow managed to be a property focused around a majority female team and no one bat an eye?
Boone’s film will be no different as it will house a majority female ensemble including Ilyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams),Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga), and Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt).
Within this ensemble Dani Moonstar will serve as the story’s centerpiece due to her mutant ability. You see, Moonstar can create illusions that are based directly on a person’s greatest desires, or, you guessed it, their greatest fears. Again, read Demon Bear!
These mutants are some of the most iconic within the X-Men lore and it’s exciting that after two years of delay we will get to see them in action. Will it be any good? We’ll have to wait and see.
Black Widow: She’s finally getting some kind of respect! After eleven years, twenty-two films, and multiple franchises launched, Black Widow will finally get her solo debut (post-mortem). The film will clearly take place before the events of Endgame and, no shade, why we should care at this point? No Clue!
However, I am hoping she goes out with a bang and does something special to kickoff the new era of the MCU. Following trend, Black Widow will be directed by another woman director, Cate Shortland. Expect the fourth phase of the MCU to launch with this film on May 1, 2020.
Wonder Woman 1984: She’s back! After her box office and critical success the princess of Themyscira is returning to the big screen June 4, 2020. Patty Jenkins is returning for the sophomore solo run of the DC heroine, and Gal Gadot will be rejoined on screen by Chris Pine reprising the role of Steve Trevor.
For those fans of the old Super Friends cartoons you may be as giddy as I am to see Cheetah join the DC film franchise played by Kristen Wiig.
Also, no, Cats did not give me PTSD and create a sense of anxiety that Cheetah will look creepy and cartoonish. I trust that the special effects team will know exactly what to do.
WandaVision: No, this is not a mistake. The upcoming series for Disney+, originally scheduled for a 2021 release, has been pushed UP and will hit streaming (likely) in late 2020. Elizabeth Olsen will reprise her role as Wanda and the series will see the true birth of the Scarlet Witch. Paul Bettany will return as Vision, and the series will feature an older Monica Rambeau originally introduced in Captain Marvel. She will be played by Teyonah Paris and Kat Dennings will return in her Thor role of Darcy Lewis.
Eternals: Lastly, we have the final film on the comic schedule, the ambitious Eternals. Will this have the same surprise success that Guardians of the Galaxy was able to pull of? Not sure. Though besides those great comedic performances in the latter, they also had the stellar soundtrack to help make the film a ton of fun. Curious to see if Eternals will lean towards the Shakespearean vibe as the first two Thor movies intended. Yeah, we saw how that worked out… You can expect to see The Eternals in theaters November 6, 2020.
On the positive, we’ll have Angelina Jolie playing Thena and Gemma Chan set to play Sersi. Alongside the two powerhouses we will have Salma Hayek, Lauren Ridloff, and Lia McHugh playing gender-bent versions of Ajak, Makkari, and Sprite respectively.
Also, you guessed it, this too is being brought to life by a female director, Chloe Zhao. This makes BOTH MCU theatrical releases for 2020, and BOTH DC theatrical releases for 2020 directed by women!
Wow, we sure have come a long way since the Catwoman movie!