20 Cool Upcoming Comic-Book Movies

The onslaught of comic-book properties hitting the big screen shows no sign of slowing down over the next few years, giving geeks everywhere an excuse to leave their parents’ basements! We know you can’t wait to see what Hollywood’s vfx wizards come up with for these supernatural guys and gals, but maybe this run down of the latest buzz on 20 of these great projects will tide you over. And don’t forget to check our online movie release guide for updated info!

Iron Man II

Robert Downey Jr. is back for more high-flying, booze-swilling adventure in Jon Favreau’s follow up to his 2008 smash superhero hit. The original cast is back (albeit with Don Cheadle taking over the role of Rhodes from Terence Howard), plus two major new casting decisions were announced year: voluptuous vixen Scarlett Johansson is on board as Russian spylette Black Widow, and Mickey Rourke will play another Russki villain, although it’s unclear whether it’ll be Whiplash, Crimson Dynamo or a combo baddy. Will meet you for cocktails and crime fighting May 7, 2010.

Jonah Hex

DC Comic’s scarred and surly bounty hunter snarls his way onto screens next year. Horton Hears A Who! director Jimmy Hayward has taken the helm from writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, some of whose script ideas have already been toned down by the long-time animation vet. Josh Brolin plays Hex, with John Malkovich as nemesis Quentin Turnbull and Megan Fox as wasp-waisted love interest Leila. Will Arnett and Michael Shannon have also been announced. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures kicked off filming in Louisiana in April, with candid photos of the shoot fueling much buzz. Show down: August 6, 2010.

Spider-Man 4

Is that your Spidey Sense tingling, or are you just happy to see me? Not much has been revealed besides how much money Columbia is throwing around’enough for stars Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst to sign on yet again. J.K. Simmons also returns as hard-ass news editor J. Jonah Jameson. While director Sam Raimi has said the film will focus on only two villains, he’s mentioned a lot of possibilities: Lizard (Dylan Baker’s character’s alter-ego), Vulture, Electro, Morbius the Living Vampire’ Well, whoever doesn’t make the cut will have Spider-Man 5 to fall back on. Swings into theaters May 6, 2011.

The Green Lantern

Spandex fans, rejoice: Lean, mean crime-fighting machine Hal Jordan, a.k.a. the Green Lantern, is on his way. The Hangover star Bradley Cooper is rumored to be a front runner for Jordan, the second Lantern and first earthling ever to join the Green Lantern Corps! The film will also pave the way for more Justice League flicks. Early this year Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) took over directing duties from co-writer Greg Berlanti, now producing, and Warner Bros. is prepped to kick off filming in Australia soon with a $150 million budget. See green June 17, 2011.

The First Avenger: Captain America

Marvel’s star spangled hero is due to star in a World War II origins adventure, giving Nazis what-for in the name of Freedom. Joe Johnston, director of 2004′s Hidalgo and cult hit The Rocketeer, will be helming the highly anticipated flick, which will kick of a series of Avengers stories. So far the only confirmed casting is Samuel L. Jackson as super fly Nick Fury. Liberty, Justice and butt-kicking for all on July 22, 2011.

The Avengers

The count down is on for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ epic arrival on the big screen! Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau is producing the flick written by hero movie regular Zak Penn. Already on board are reprisers Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Sam Jackson as Nick Fury. Captain America, Thor and Hulk have yet to be cast, although TV’s Hulk Lou Ferrigno has announced his unspecified involvement. Do we smell a cameo? Mark your calendars for May 4, 2012.

Antman

British comedy whiz Edgar Wright (best known for his work on the Simon Pegg vehicles Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead) is going for a slightly more serious tone in directing the first film about the amazing shrinking hero. While the script goes through rewrites, rumors about sci fi-tastic nanotechnology plot lines are buzzing. The film will follow the first Antman, Dr. Henry Pym, but may also flash-forward to his successor, Scott Lang. The real question is: Will the winsome Wasp appear? Plotting a 2010 release!

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

We’re a little sad that Bryan Lee O’Malley’s cute, cartoony indie comic Scott Pilgrim won’t be animated, but this live-action unconventional love story seems set to be 2010′s Ghost World. In it, Scott, played by go-to underdog Michael Cera, must fight off the seven evil exes of the girl of his dreams, played by horror regular Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The hilarious and well-coiffed Edgar Wright is directing the flick, which began filming this year in Canada. Grab a date for this romcom in 2010.

Flash Gordon

Happily for retro sci fi fans, Columbia has picked up this slow moving project from Universal. Breck Eisner (Sahara) is set to direct from a screenplay by newcomers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who are also at work penning Dracula Year Zero. We’re eager to see a new millennium take on hapless jock Flash Gordon’s mistaken adventure into space and his encounters with Ming the Merciless! Blasting off in 2010.

Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max

The crafty archer has his work cut out for him in this intense adaptation: Convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, Green Arrow must escape from a massive high-tech prison filled with powerful villains and rogue super heroes. Comic and screen writer David Goyer will direct from a script he co-wrote with Justin Marks, who is hard at work on Hack/Slash, Voltron and Grayskull scripts. Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob fame) has expressed interest in the lead, who will encounter Icicle, Riddler, Lex Luthor and the Joker among others. Breaking out in 2010.

Y: The Last Man

At first it seems like every guy’s dream: A mysterious plague wipes out every creature on Earth with a Y chromosome, excluding Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand. However, as society struggles to rebuild itself, it’s quickly apparent that the situation is a little less fun than being the lone dude in a sorority house. D.J. Caruso will direct with Carl Ellsworth rewriting an original script by comic creator Brian K. Vaughan. Against speculation, Caruso’s golden boy Shia LaBeouf has denied interest in the roll despite working with the director on his recent Golden Eye and Disturbia flicks. Odds are on a 2010 release.

Mandrake

Long time TV director and producer Mimi Leader (ER, Vanished) is helming this project based on the top-hatted ’30s hero Mandrake the Magician created by Lee Falk. The adaptation will reinvent Mandrake as a sort of Criss Angel renegade magician and escape artist, to be played by Star Wars hunk Hayden Christensen. Blood Diamond‘s Djimon Hounsou will also star, and UFC champion Randy Couture will play an involved role. Reports place the adventure in China with plenty of CIA style intrigue and illusionist action. When I snap my fingers, you will check it out in theaters in 2010.

Magdalena

DC and Marvel aren’t having all the film fun. Top Cow Prod.’s The Magdalena is gearing up for live-action mayhem. Genre veteran Gale Ann Hurd (Punisher: War Zone, The Incredible Hulk, ‘on Flux) is producing the tale of a beautiful young woman who finds her destiny as part of a line of female warriors descended from Mary Magdalene. Jenna Dewan (The Grudge 2, Step Up) is set for the lead, while Hellboy II‘s dishy, creepy Prince Nuada, Luke Goss, will play a protector enlisted by the evil-fighting organization. Pray for an on-track 2010 premiere!

Wonder Woman

Despite’or perhaps because of’being the most popular comic-book heroine of all time, the Amazon princess’ film plans are about as up in the air as you can get. Prolific producer Joel Silver is still driving the project, but tapped writer/director Joss Whedon of Buffy fame has abandoned ship citing a lack of enthusiasm. A spec script set in WWII was snapped up, but Warner Bros. says they won’t set this origin story in the past. Maybe once the lasso-wielding goddess is set up in the 2010 Justice League: Mortal pic it’ll be smooth sailing. Crash landing its invisible plane in 2011.

Buck Rogers

Over 80 years since his debut in 1928, the funny pages’ original space explorer is due for a new millennium revamp. Frank Miller, known for his visually edgy film adaptations of Sin City and The Spirit will write and direct the film. So far no plot details or casting options have been hinted at, but with Miller on board you can bet on one thing: Dramatic internal monologues. Blasting off in 2011.

Fathom

Pouting screen siren Megan Fox will star as Top Cow’s sexy answer to Aquaman, created by the late Michael Turner. Fox will play Aspen, a girl with a misty past who returns on a cruise ship thought lost at sea with the mysterious ability to dissolve herself and other people and objects into water. The actress will also help produce the film, to be penned by game and film writer Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia: Sands of Time). Get your feet wet in 2011.

Luke Cage

What do you get when you accuse a streetwise youth of a crime he didn’t commit and parole him into a top secret experiment? A no-nonsense superhuman with skin like steel and muscles like a WWE champ. One of the first black heros to have his own comics series, his modern adaptation will hopefully get away from Cage’s controversial beginnings (although we’d love to hear him utter ‘Sweet Christmas!’ just once). John Singleton (Four Brothers, 2 Fast 2 Furious) is directing, with Tyrese Gibson (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Death Race) presumed as the buff lead. This hero for hire hits streets in 2011.

Grayskull

By the power of nostalgia! He-Man is en route to theaters, loin cloth flapping triumphantly in the breeze. In this new take from writers Justin Marks and Evan Daugherty, Prince Adam is reimagined as a soldier who stumbles upon the land of Eternia, where Skeletor and his high-tech army are wreaking havoc. Kung Fu Panda co-director John Stevenson will make his live-action debut with this retro epic. No words on casting, but might we suggest Amy Winehouse as the evil skeleton? Eighties fans must hold out ’til 2011.

Deadpool

The ‘Merc with a Mouth’ will star in his very own action-packed outing. Ryan Reynolds will reprise the role he brought to life in this year’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and has been quoted as saying that this film will stay close to the character’s comic-book roots’something that may relieve fans who were disappointed with Wolverine‘s interpretation. Then again, does the man who comes home to Scarlett Johansson at night have time to read comics? The jive talk starts in 2011.

Dr. Strange

Stephen Strange, the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko created neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, will be working some magic on the big screen at long last. The project has been bouncing around production hell since the ’80s, flopping from one studio to another, but is now part of a concerted effort by Marvel to revamp and solidify some of their lesser known hero properties. Also in this group are Cable, Black Panther, Nighthawk and more. Now, who can play the world’s most powerful sorcerer and grow a killer goatee? (Sorry John Travolta, we’re not impressed.) Enchanting audiences in 2012.

Sources: imdb.com, comingsoon.net, superherohype.com