We have now formally totally entered the period of the expanded universe.
There is nothing extra priceless than established mental property on this new world market of 24/7 streaming leisure, and this 12 months the studios and distributors that personal the rights to the most well-liked and iconic franchises will likely be maximizing their investments as by no means earlier than. Nothing that makes cash will ever actually finish, so when Disney and HBO tease epic conclusions to ultra-successful sagas like the brand new Star Wars sequels, Game of Thrones, and the Avengers, the hype will likely be a bit deceptive… however hardcore geeks most likely received’t complain that there are extra sequels, spinoffs, and prequels on the way in which.
So let’s sit up for this 12 months in geek leisure, which ought to supply extra of every little thing you like and new methods to expertise it.
Star Wars expands its galaxy
The galaxy far, far-off pioneered the expanded universe, and half a decade after jettisoning so lots of these multimedia extensions right into a nebulous non-canonical twilight zone, Lucasfilm continues to rebuild in groundbreaking methods. By the time the ultimate film within the sequel trilogy bows on the finish of 2019 (December 20, to be actual), the Star Wars universe may have expanded in a lot of new instructions.
The first live-action Star Wars collection, Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, will debut on the upcoming streaming service, Disney+, someday this fall. The beloved animated collection, The Clone Wars, will likely be revived, additionally for Disney+. And Galaxy’s Edge, the large new theme park that may take immersive and interactive storytelling to new heights, will open in Disneyland this summer season and at Disney World in Orlando this fall. The books, comics, and toys will proceed to be produced at document tempo, too. You may spend all of 2019 participating with solely Star Wars and by no means run out of stuff to learn, watch, and expertise.
Marvel spoils itself, however who cares?
The draw back of large, record-setting multi-movie success is that typically you cannibalize your personal storytelling. Sure, Infinity War left us with a little bit of a dramatic cliffhanger, however at the back of our minds, we all know that the celebrities of the Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy films received’t keep lifeless in Avengers: Endgame — they’ve already bought sequels scheduled for past that film’s late April launch.
Still, don’t count on these spoilers to mood pleasure for the second half of Joe and Anthony Russo’s mega-crossover Marvel occasion, which hits theaters on April 26.
The upside of large, record-setting multi-movie success is the way in which you need to use one flick to feed into one other. The post-credit stinger on Infinity War signifies that Endgame may have a significant position for Captain Marvel, the cosmic jet pilot performed by Brie Larson. Before leaping into the Avengers fray, Captain Marvel will in fact seem in her solo debut a month earlier (March 8), which ought to ship loads of its personal thrills and drive pleasure for the Avengers film.
The subsequent section of the MCU will start with Peter Parker’s second solo outing, Spider-Man: Far From Home, which swings into theaters on July 5.
Meanwhile, soon-to-be-Disney-subsidiary Fox will launch its subsequent — and maybe final — two X-Men films this 12 months: Dark Phoenix lastly lands on the massive display screen on June 7, whereas the long-delayed and reworked New Mutants debuts on August 2.
DC Comics tries to catch up
Warner Bros. hopes to experience the wave of Aquaman’s sudden blockbuster success — it ought to go $900 million worldwide — with at the least two films this 12 months. Tonally, they couldn’t be extra completely different: Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi, appears like a super-powered rendition of Big, which is actually a logical 21st-century evolution. That hits theaters on April 5, whereas six months later, Todd Phillips’ Joker, which appears like American Psycho with a supervillain (additionally a logical 21st-century evolution), stars Joaquin Phoenix and hits theaters on October 4.
Meanwhile, DC Universe will proceed to set the tempo for single brand-focused streaming service, beginning with a revival of the animated collection Young Justice in just some days. Then it rolls out Doom Patrol on February 15. On The CW, the corporate’s Arrowverse begins its rendition of the long-lasting occasion “Crisis on Infinite Earths” on January 15.
Reboots and peculiar live-action fur!
The new rule is that if one thing you really liked as a baby (or, like, 5 years in the past) hasn’t been resumed, a la Star Wars, it’s going to inevitably be rebooted or in any other case reworked.
Disney leads the way in which with the repurposing and repackaging of iconic (and typically forgotten) properties. On March 29, the corporate will launch its live-action Dumbo, which boasts a startlingly lifelike CGI elephant and a cartoonish Michael Keaton. Two months later, on May 24, Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin will seem on massive screens (don’t fear, Will Smith the genie will likely be blue, you very critical adults).
The “live-action” The Lion King, from the very busy Jon Favreau, will blow minds on July 19. There will likely be no actual animals on this one, however they give the impression of being actual, and one may have Billy Eichner’s voice, so sit up for that.
Seeing beloved animated animals in live-action settings, with uncomfortably lifelike fur, will likely be a working theme all through 2019. In addition to Dumbo and The Lion King, we’ll see “real” Pokémon for the primary time in Detective Pikachu (May 10) and a strikingly muscular, sexy Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog (November 8). In a associated improvement, actual, tangible go well with monsters will go CGI in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31). We’ve seen a computerized Godzilla in a number of films, however this would be the first time that Mothra, Ghidorah, and Rodan get the digital remedy.
This 12 months’s crop of reboots embody Pet Sematary (April 5), Hellboy (April 12), Doom (May 17), Child’s Play (June 21), Terminator (November 1), Masters of the Universe (December 18), and Spawn (TBD). Notable among the many many, many sequels are The Lego Movie 2 (February 8), John Wick: Chapter 3 (May 17), Men In Black International (June 14), Toy Story 4 (June 21), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (August 2), It: Chapter 2 (September 6), Zombieland 2 (October 11), Kingsman 3 (November 8), and Frozen 2 (November 22).
Oh, proper, tasks not primarily based on an present franchise or toy. Jordan Peele follows his Oscar-winning smash Get Out with the extremely anticipated psycho–monster film Us (March 15), and Brad Pitt stars in James Grey’s house journey drama Ad Astra (May 24).
Heads will roll and blood will move like mulled wine within the remaining chapter of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which ought to launch this spring (don’t be concerned, followers, there is a prequel collection coming, in fact). And as introduced proper at midnight on New Year’s, Netflix’s Stranger Things returns on July 4.