It's kind of remarkable that television shows and movies that were based on comic books, let alone superhero stories, used to be high-risk ventures. It was assumed that superhero narratives only connected with a niche set of audiences and that they definitely weren't the material that made billion-dollar blockbusters. Now, not only are superhero properties the norm, but every studio, network, and streaming service is trying to get a piece of this pie in some capacity.
There have never been more properties that are based on superheroes. This is incredibly exciting for fans of the source material, but it can also be a little overwhelming in terms of just how much is it out there. We've thankfully put together a list to help give you a leg up on what's worth your time. Accordingly, Here Is Every Superhero Movie and TV Show Coming In 2020 Ranked…By How Much We Care.
20 The New Mutants
Josh Boone’s The New Mutants may go down as the biggest running joke in the superhero universe because it’s unclear if this film will ever see a release. What once started as a promising slant on the X-Men franchise that marries horror with the superhero genre has turned into a mess of re-shoots and lost momentum. This film was supposed to compliment the X-Men universe and now there isn’t even one that exists. There’s so much talent assembled here that hopefully this will come out soon. Last it was reported, it’s due for a 2020 release, but it’s beyond puzzling why this thing hasn’t just been dropped on Hulu at this point…
One of the most amazing things about the MCU is how it’s been able to turn beyond niche franchises into household names. These films are always more of a gamble, but risks like Guardians of the Galaxy have paid off in the past. Their latest effort here is the Eternals, which will push the MCU in the cosmic direction more than it ever has before. With the all-star cast assembled for this vehicle, they certainly have someone for everyone to be interested in. Let’s just hope the story and filmmaking don’t drop the ball.
It may have seemed like a terrible idea at the time, but after Venom showed everybody that a villain from Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery could have a solo film without the assistance of the webslinger, all logic went out the door. Jared Leto plans to bring his intense acting style to Morbius, the Living Vampire, with what looks like a gothic take on the vampire anti-hero.
This may not be anyone’s first pick for a superhero story, but it technically qualifies since G.I. Joe has roots in comics and these freedom fighters have certainly taken on superhuman-esque characteristics in their feature films. Snake-Eyes is the spin-off origin story from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and is reportedly eyeing Henry Golding for the lead role, among other people.
A number of exciting announcements have recently been made in lieu of new streaming services like HBOMax and their allegiance to existing platforms like DC Universe. BizarroTV sounds like one of the most exciting and creative projects on the way. The show will be an anthology series that features a hybrid mix of live-action, animation, and even puppets to present niche stories from the corners of DC Comics. It's unclear exactly when it's going to hit, but it's reported for a 2020 release.
Based on the aggressive and gritty comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Amazon is likely hoping to pair this up with their equally brutal The Boys. Curiously, they're going the animated route for this property, which could give it a distinctly unique quality. Kirkman's story is fantastic, but with the vocal talents of Steven Yeun, JK Simmons, Mark Hamill, and Seth Rogan, to name a few, they've got a ton of talent on tap here.
14 Venom 2
The first Venom was a beautiful sideshow that was largely held together by its bonkers personality and Tom Hardy’s strange commitment to the role. Venom managed to nab a sequel and it looks like its follow-up will be an improvement on every level. Not only will this next film bring in Woody Harrelson into the fray as the villainous Carnage, but motion-capture expert Andy Serkis steps in as director.
13 Green Arrow And The Canaries
It's possible that this upcoming Arrowverse spin-off could end up airing on the early 2021 slate, but with the amount of work that's already going into production it looks like 2020 is more likely. With Arrow closing its doors after seven seasons, this series is set to continue that story through Oliver's daughter, Mia Smoak, alongside Earth-2's Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake.
Take this one with a grain of salt since the details on James Wan's upcoming horror film have been kept under wraps. That being said, there have been rumblings that his upcoming Malignant, is in fact an adaptation of his 2011 BOOM! Comics graphic novel, Malignant Man. While not strictly a superhero story, Malignant Man operates like a dark anti-hero story that's not unlike Spawn or Venom. Alan Gates learns that his terminal cancer is actually a mysterious parasite that gives him incredible powers, which he uses to fight the poison that hides underneath society's skin. It remains to be seen just how much of Wan's film skews to horror and how much skews to superheroics.
11 Strange Adventures
Much in the same line as BizarroTV, Strange Adventures is an ambitious DC entry on HBOMax that will get more experimental with its storytelling. It almost sounds as if this show will be "Black Mirror, but with superheroes," with Adam Strange acting as the show's resident Rod Serling and connective tissue. This could be really effective if done right.
10 Marvel's Helstrom
Daimon and Ana Helstrom are the children of a notorious and powerful serial killer. They use their special powers and lineage to track down the biggest threats to humanity. It's ambiguous if Helstrom is still going to be released. Rumors that it's been canned even though a pilot was already filmed for Hulu. It may be a lost cause at this point, but perhaps at least the pilot will see the light of day in some context.
9 Vagrant Queen
While not technically playing around in superhero territory, Magdalene Visaggio's Vagrant Queen from Vault Comics still tells an epic story about good versus evil that spans the recesses of the galaxy. The story looks at the transformative journey of Elida from child royalty to outcast on the run as she fights against forces larger than she can comprehend. The series is set to hit SyFy in live-action form with an entirely female creative team.
The biggest takeaway from the trailer for Bloodshot is how much Vin Diesel has turned this into another Vin Diesel action vehicle rather than anything that honors the source material. The bare minimum of Bloodshot’s character is retained here (and his ghastly appearance is ditched entirely). Here Diesel portrays Ray Garrison, a soldier who dies in the line of duty and then gets re-animated with superpowers and advanced healing. Honestly, the best thing about this movie looks to be Sam Heughan’s involvement, rather than anything that Diesel does here.
7 Jupiter's Legacy
Based on the comic series by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, Stephen S. DeKnight hopes to do the revisionist story justice on Netflix. Centered around the first generation of superheroes in 1930s who are first experiencing their powers. It looks at how these trailblazers are now the domineering rulemakers of society while their offspring struggle to live in their shadows and oppose their oppressive ways.
6 The Falcon And The Winter Soldier
Some audiences were initially skeptical when Marvel announced that their MCU would be heavily extending their reach into television series. It was unclear of the reach of these shows, but now it’s quite obvious that their territory to flesh out existing characters from the feature films. One of the first experiments in this arena will be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Not only will this explore the future adventures of Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson’s tenure as Captain America, but it’s also got Daniel Bruhl back in the picture!
Stargirl made some appearances on Legends of Tomorrow, but she’s recently been gifted her own starring role on the DC Universe streaming service. Stargirl will bring a younger point of view to the superhero material as it looks at teenager Courtney Whitmore’s indoctrination into the Justice Society of America. There’s the potential for some very endearing coming of age stories here. Plus, how can you go wrong with Joel McHale as Starman?
4 Superman And Lois
The CW has found a ton of success by allowing potential spin-off characters to marinate in existing series and build up their appeal before sending them out into their own world. This is exactly what the Arrowverse has done with their Superman and Lois Lane characters. Finally, the characters have established enough of themselves to garner their own series, Superman and Lois. It should be interesting to see how this show differs from Supergirl, but Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch deserves this chance in the spotlight.
3 Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn
While many people had mixed opinions on David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, one element of the film that was unanimously agreed upon was Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. Quinn’s work was so beloved that she was given her own spin-off vehicle, whereas most of the work of that first film has been swept under the carpet. Director Cathy Yan puts Harley as the lead of her own crew and it looks like it will be a wild, good time.
2 Black Widow
It may have taken much, much longer than it should have, but Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is finally getting her own solo film. The film looks like it will explore the origins of her character, while also expand the universe in exciting ways. Director Cate Shortland seems to have brought an aggressive brand of action to the film and the cast looks great with Florence Pugh and David Harbour involved.
1 Wonder Woman 1984
Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman hit audiences like a ton of bricks, but fans have been waiting forever for the sequel. A wealth of superhero films have come and gone since the first effort and hopefully not too much momentum will have been lost by this 2020 release. Hopefully this sequel will add to everything that made the original so satisfying. Plus, it’s also got Kristen Wiig as its villain, so what could go wrong?
Sources: IMDB.com, ScreenRant.com, Collider.com