Sunday, July 30, 2017

How Witchcraft Became A Brand

By Corin Faife

There are many simple rituals practiced in the house that Katie Karpetz shares with her husband in Edmonton, Alberta, from yoga to herbalism to candle magic. In the morning, she often waits for inspiration to strike before posting a photo or found image to her Instagram feed, and the mood captured will go on to determine her activities for the day.

Running her online store, The Witchery, from her home is a mixture of mundane, structured tasks, and more spontaneous and esoteric work. Sometimes she’s tracking, packing, and sending orders for the many hundreds of items she ships out to her customers in twice-weekly mail batches. Other times, she’s tapping into her own experiences and the knowledge contained in her many books on magic to create new blends of oil or incense with mystical properties ("bring luck in a hurry," "use to draw love to you"), or to cast spells on behalf of clients.

Karpetz is one of many entrepreneurs blending a passion for the occult with an understanding of e-commerce to capture a share of the new economic activity surrounding witchcraft. “What I sell is basically what I’m interested in,” she says. “My business plan was always just, If I like it and no one else wants to buy it, well then I get to keep it!”

It’s a project that has been years in the making, starting as a hobby and slowly developing into a steady source of income. But it’s also something that taps into a trend, which may seem hidden or ubiquitous depending on the circles you frequent: Witchcraft has undeniably become cool again.

Katie Karpetz’s altar at home, featuring an urn with the ashes of a beloved cat.

In the last quarter of 2013, the trend forecasting agency K-Hole published a report that came to define the overriding fashion trend of 2014: normcore. The document argued that young millennials were bored of the advertising industry's doctrine of individualism through brand consumption, and were instead adopting a kind of radical conformity that favored unadorned clothing and knowingly mainstream tastes.

As a movement, “normcore” came and went — apparently there is only so long that the fashion world will entertain the idea of no style being a viable style — and two years later, the tastemakers at K-Hole published another report identifying the new cultural trends they had observed: Conformity was out. In its place?
Chaos magic.

Once again K-Hole was right on the zeitgeist. Individuality was back in, magic was cool, youth brands were making documentaries about covens in Bushwick, and seemingly everyone was carrying crystals. But belief in magic and witchcraft is old, far older than Christianity or any of the Abrahamic religions; it wasn't summoned into being by trend forecasters and it won't die out when the hype is over. So what does it mean in this cultural moment for witchcraft to be be both a spiritual practice and a brand aesthetic?

The range of products now marketed as having some connection to witchcraft and the occult is truly vast, and while physical stores selling occult items have had a modest presence in small towns and big cities across North America for decades, online retail has really allowed the trade in all things witchy to take off.

It’s now possible to sign up for monthly subscription boxes to deliver spiritual items to your door: The owner of one such business, Goddess Provisions, said her customer base has grown from 300 subscribers to almost 6,000 in the last year and a half. But the real gravitational centre of the online witchcraft economy is Etsy, the marketplace that has revolutionized the way handcraft makers of all kinds list and sell their products online.

A search on Etsy returns just over 28,000 results for the query "witchcraft," ranging from laurel wands to animal bones, leather-bound grimoires to tie-dye sigils. Data provided by the company confirmed that interest in witchcraft-related items has grown significantly, with searches up nearly 30% and purchases increasing by nearly 60% based on figures from 2015 to 2017. (In the past Etsy was involved in a small controversy over banning "metaphysical services" from making claims of efficacy, but the company permits the sale of a range of esoteric goods provided no concrete outcome is promised.)
One popular seller in the occult category is Burke & Hare Co., a store selling “darkly inspired” candles and home decorations from a studio in Providence, Rhode Island. The store is a typical part of what could be called the auxiliary industry of occult products: items that are not claimed to be in themselves magical but draw on the general imagery and, according to owner Erica Molitor, are purchased by customers who may well have deeper ties to the lifestyle.

"The witchy, occult community is very close-knit, so I have support from a lot of people in the community and other artists who are doing the same thing," Molitor says. “So although half of my candle line is just about the aesthetic, the reason it does so well is because of the community.”
In just over five years of operation, Molitor has seen her business grow steadily, a sign that she, like many others, has tapped into a market that is booming, and a potential client base that is larger than you might imagine.

In her 2015 book Witches of America, Alex Mar estimates that there are up to 1 million people practising some form of Paganism in the US (which for comparison is only slightly less than the number of Buddhists at 1.2 million). She writes of witches gathering in the deserts of California, the forests of Illinois, apartments in New Orleans, all embodying a wide variety of traditions and lifestyles with deep roots. But Mar's study, which saw her spend time with witches across the country over a number of years, also happened to coincide with a resurgence of interest in witchcraft in popular culture.

"When I started working on [the book], I would talk to people about the project and be met with blank looks," Mar told BuzzFeed News. "Then by the time the book came out, I was being accused of riding a trend. So much had changed in that few years ... There was much more of an appetite for the occult as being a hip thing."

Part of this hipness, Mar says, translated into artists or musicians dabbling with the use of occult symbolism in their work (of which the early 2010s musical genre of “witch house” was a precocious but illustrative example), but it has also become an aesthetic that can lend an air of cool to products targeted at consumers with only a passing interest in the lifestyle.The number of Americans practicing various religions.The number of Americans practicing various religions.

In interviews for this article, buyers, sellers, and practicing witches frequently mentioned a new way they were connecting with one another online: Instagram. Over the past few years the image-sharing app has become a gathering place for younger witches, where tags like #witch (more than 3.7 million posts), #witchy (more than 600,000) and #witchesofinstagram (nearly 700,000) bring a community together around a constellation of imagery, including jewelery, makeup, séance circles, tattoos, astrological charts, herbs, crystals, and lots of vaguely gothic selfies.

It's on Instagram that witchcraft as a spiritual practice and witchcraft as a lifestyle signifier really start to merge. As in any other Instagram community, certain accounts emerge as “influencers,” usually combining a recognizable visual identity with taste-making content and a distinctive voice that followers can relate to, creating a connection that feels personal even as it's transmitted to a large audience. Perhaps the archetype here is Seattle-based Bri Luna aka @thehoodwitch, whose 155,000 followers delight as much in her extravagantly manicured nails as her knowledge of spells and crystals.

Like many Insta-influencers in other fields, The Hoodwitch's carefully curated content is uploaded for free in order to draw attention to a for-profit venture: an online store selling the products pictured in Luna's elegant hands. Some posts feature items directly for sale — divination cards, occult books, tote bags printed with the names of goddesses, and of course the ubiquitous crystals — but far more of them are illustrations, found images, and quotes without any apparent marketing push, helping to build loyalty from an audience that will translate into sales further down the line. It's very much a business model of the social media age, and highlights the fact that — for those who can master the elusive combination of branding, content, and product — witchcraft pays. (The Hoodwitch was approached for comment for this piece but declined.)

Elisabeth Krohn, founder and editor of Sabat — described by Vice as “the magazine for the modern witch” — also knows a thing or two about building a brand around witchcraft. Krohn came up with the idea as a journalism student at the London College of Fashion, inspired by nostalgia for the somewhat kitschy period of pop cultural interest in witchcraft in the ’90s and early ’00s (think Charmed or Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and the sense that there was a desire for a more modern take.

Krohn explained that these trendy representations can serve as an entry point for the cultivation of a more serious interest.
"I realized that a lot of people who are deeper into witchcraft than me first got into it through pop culture references — that's more accepted in the community than I first thought," she said. "In terms of being attracted because of the aesthetic, if someone picks up a pentagram because they think it's a cool symbol, it doesn't mean they won't then learn the meaning behind it, too."

"I think for most [young witches] now, it's a combination of the aesthetic and the search for something spiritual," she added.

Unlike other religions, witchcraft is a loosely defined set of practices with no canonical text at its heart. Some witches are followers of disciplines like Wicca, founded by Gerald Gardner in England in the 1950s, but many others choose an eclectic, self-made path drawn from aspects of Paganism, Wicca, chaos magic, herb lore, or other practices. Tess Giberson, an artist and witch based in Ottawa, is passionate about the DIY aspect of witchcraft, and says that energy and intention are more important for casting spells than expensive equipment. ("You don't need a $150 cauldron to burn herbs," Giberson said in a Facebook chat. "You just need a heat proof dish.")

But Giberson also says that the increasing appetite for occult items has led to problems of cultural appropriation, where incentives are created for mainstream vendors to market products with little respect for their deeper significance. Urban Outfitters, for example, was selling a smudge kit for $39.99 that mimicked Indigenous practices.

"I think it's important to note the correlation between a sparked interest in witchcraft and increased oppression against marginalized folks," Giberson said, pointing to Silvia Federici's feminist history Caliban and the Witch by way of evidence. It's a sentiment that Gordon White, host of the Rune Soup podcast, also echoed in an interview, stating that the current turn towards the occult is unsurprising given the troubled state of the world: Magic has always been a tool of the underdog, less structured than any system of priests and clergy, more resistant to control thanks to its archaic origins and anarchic, individualist spirit.

Surges of interest in witchcraft have happened on a roughly 20-year cycle since the mid-20th century, often corresponding to changing perceptions of women in popular consciousness and new strains of feminist thought. In the 1970s, a boom of interest in the occult throughout the cultural underground dovetailed with a growing recognition of female potency in both creative and sexual terms, and a form of spirituality focused on the Goddess(es) and the divine feminine. Then in the 1990s, movies like The Craft and TV shows like Charmed, Buffy, and of course Sabrina the Teenage Witch tapped into another cultural archetype of the time, portraying witches as women who were independent and quietly powerful, not to mention smarter than the mostly oblivious men in their lives.
We’re now seeing another of those high-water marks, spurred on by the hyperconnected world of social media. It’s no surprise then that another witchcraft renaissance is at hand, and one that makes heavy use of the same media to disseminate text and image representations of the craft in a way that speaks to a new audience of digital natives.

The same media that connects witches to one another also connects the subculture to the world of business, brands, and profit, and it is hard to say exactly how long the modern incarnation of witchcraft can hold out against capitalism's rapacious desire to commodify the authentic symbols of rebellion, or the tendency of trends (by definition) to come and go. But if the pattern of past cycles holds true for the future, it won't be the last time that pop culture rediscovers witchcraft — and in the meantime, as interest waxes and wanes like the moon, the witches will be there, waiting.

Corin Faife is a freelance journalist covering technology and social issues, based in Montreal, Canada.

Monday, July 24, 2017

‘Annabelle: Creation’: FREE Advance Screenings Next Wed. in Chicago, Austin, Columbus, and San Antonio!

Bloody Disgusting
Be one of the first to see the next chapter in The Conjuring universe as Bloody Disgusting invites you to several advanced screenings of Annabelle: Creation this coming Wednesday, July 27th, all taking place @ 7:30 PM.

You will need to RSVP for these FREE screenings, which will be taking place at the following locations:

In Annabelle: Creation, which opens in theaters August 11th:
Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

[Related] We Visited the Gothic Set of Annabelle: Creation

The full cast includes Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija 2), Philippa Anne Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck, Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).
Sandberg directed from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle.

‘Wonder Woman’ Becomes Top-Grossing Summer Film as Warner Bros. Crosses $1 Billion Domestically

The Wrap

On the same day Warner Bros. wowed fans with trailers for “Justice League” and “Ready Player One” at Comic-Con, “Wonder Woman” passed “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” to become the highest domestic-grossing film of the summer.

In addition, the estimated $50.5 million opening for Christopher Nolan’s WWII film “Dunkirk” has pushed WB past the $1 billion domestic mark for the 17th consecutive year, a streak longer than any other in Hollywood.

“Wonder Woman” grossed an estimated $4.6 million in its eighth weekend in theaters, bringing its domestic total to $389 million. “Wonder Woman” has shown incredible staying power, currently holding a 3.77x multiple after its $103 million opening. With a worldwide total of $779 million, it has already passed the global run of “Suicide Squad” and the domestic run of “Batman v Superman.” When compared to Marvel movies, “Wonder Woman” ranks sixth domestically between the $387.2 million of “GotG Vol. 2” and the $403 million of the original “Spider-Man.”

Meanwhile, the opening for “Dunkirk” has made WB the third studio in 2017 to cross the $1 billion domestic mark, joining Disney and Universal. According to Box Office Mojo, WB stands in third among all studios this year with a 15.2 percent market share. While the studio suffered a bomb with “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” which grossed $39.1 million stateside against a $175 million budget, its domestic totals have been lifted thanks to three big hits.

In addition to “Wonder Woman,” “The Lego Batman Movie” won over comic book fans and family audiences with $175.7 million from its February release, while Legendary’s “Kong: Skull Island” beat expectations with $168 million. “Dunkirk” is likely to continue to boost WB’s stateside numbers, as previous Nolan-directed films like “Interstellar” and “Inception” have posted high multiples.

Next on WB’s slate are two horror films from New Line Cinema: “Annabelle: Creation,” which comes out Aug. 11, and a remake of Stephen King’s “It,” due out Sept. 8. Following that is “Blade Runner 2049” in October and the big DC crossover “Justice League” in November.

Little Girl’s Tearful Meeting With Gal Gadot Shows Why ‘Wonder Woman’ Matters

By Ed Mazza

This is why Gal Gadot is a superhero. 
Viral footage from Comic-Con in San Diego showed the star comforting a young fan who was wearing a “Wonder Woman” shirt and cape. 
But the little girl, named Ashley, began to cry when she reached the front of the line. 
She was so happy to meet her that she was tearing up,” her mother, Christine Keller, wrote on Twitter. 
In the footage, Gadot reaches across the table and takes the girl’s hand.
“There’s no reason to cry, all right,” Gadot said. “Here we are together.”
One of Gadot’s “Justice League” co-stars joined in. 
“You’re a warrior,” said Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash in an upcoming film. “Your ability to cry is what makes you such a warrior. Come join the Justice League whenever you get ready.”
Keller, author of “The Adventures of Danica Dreamer,” said the encounter had a big impact on her little girl. 
These characters matter and can have a huge influence on young people,” Keller wrote on her “Danica Dreamer” Facebook page. “What a great role model and genuine, nice person. My daughter will always remember this moment for the rest of her life.”
It wasn’t just Wonder Woman making an impression. The same footage also briefly showed an excited little boy with tears in his eyes as he met Ben Affleck, current star of the “Batman” franchise as well as “Justice League.” 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ryan Murphy reveals title for season seven of American Horror Story which stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Billie Lourd and Lena Dunham

Daily Mail
By Heidi Parker

American Horror Story has its title for season seven which debuts in September.
On Thursday creator Ryan Murphy tweeted it out when he was attending the San Diego, California, Comic-Con convention.
The next installment of the FX anthology series will be American Horror Story: Cult. Previous seasons have been titled Murder House (2011), Asylum (2012), Coven (2013), Freak Show (2014), Hotel (2015) and Roanoke (2016).
New: Season seven of American Horror Story will be called Cult, creator Ryan Murphy (pictured in March) tweeted on Thursday
New: Season seven of American Horror Story will be called Cult, creator Ryan Murphy (pictured in March) tweeted on Thursday

His big news announcement: Murphy kept it short and sweet with his tweet
His big news announcement: Murphy kept it short and sweet with his tweet
The next season will star Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Billie Lourd, Billy Eichner, Cheyenne Jackson, Alison Pill and Colton Haynes.
Earlier this week it was announced Lena Dunham of Girls fame would be joining the cast. 
After Ryan tweeted Cult, Paulson tweeted: 'Here we go: AHS7 CULT. Sh-t goes down. Woof.'
Jackson added: '#Scerred.'  
Also at the Comic-Con event a video of scary clowns were seen. They were marching together. The clip was tagged   
New look: Here is the logo and a look at the scary clowns in the new video
New look: Here is the logo and a look at the scary clowns in the new video

Spooky stuff: After Ryan tweeted Cult, Paulson tweeted: 'Here we go: AHS7 CULT. Sh-t goes down. Woof'
Spooky stuff: After Ryan tweeted Cult, Paulson tweeted: 'Here we go: AHS7 CULT. Sh-t goes down. Woof'
American Horror Story: Cult debuts on FX on Tuesday, September 5. 
American Horror Story is an American anthology horror series created and produced by Murphy and Brad Falchuk (who dated Gwyneth Paltrow).
Each season is conceived as a self-contained miniseries, following a disparate set of characters and settings, and a storyline with its own 'beginning, middle, and end.'
 Some plot elements of each season are loosely inspired by true events.
New gig: Earlier this week it was announced Lena Dunham of Girls fame would be joining the cast; seen in May
New gig: Earlier this week it was announced Lena Dunham of Girls fame would be joining the cast; seen in May
More ladies: Billie Lourd, left, is also in the cast with Paulson, right
More ladies: Billie Lourd, left, is also in the cast with Paulson, right
More ladies: Billie Lourd, left, is also in the cast with Paulson, right

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

‘Doctor Who’ And The Sheer Power Of Women-Led Sci-Fi Franchises


Fantasy and sci-fi promise limitless imagination. A litany of white, male franchise leads do not.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Here’s The Plot Of The ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ Sequel

HuffPo: Matthew Jacobs

We’ll finally see Dumbledore and Grindelwald together.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. revealed the plot Monday, in conjunction with the start of production. The still-untitled “Harry Potter” spinoff will revolve around a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) recruiting his former student Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to stop onetime BFF/crush Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from “gathering more followers to his cause — elevating wizards above all non-magical beings.” In a loyalty-testing mission surrounded by “an increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world,” Newt reunites with Tina (Katherine Waterston), her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) and the non-magical baker Jacob (Dan Fogler).
Moving the action from New York to Paris, the 1920s-set sequel will also feature Credence Barebone, the brooding teenager played by Ezra Miller, whose fate is unknown. Zoë Kravitz, seen briefly in a photo in “Fantastic Beasts,” is joining the cast as Leta Lestrange, who had a close relationship with Newt during their time together at Hogwarts. (Her relationship to Bellatrix Lestrange is unclear.) “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “The Dark Tower” actress Claudia Kim will play a circus performer, while Callum Turner joins the spell-casting as Newt’s brother. Kevin Guthrie is reprising his role as Magical Congress honcho Abernathy. 
David Yates, who directed “Fantastic Beasts” and the final four “Harry Potter” movies, is at the reins again, working off a screenplay written by J.K. Rowling. (Yates is slated to helm all five installments in the “Beasts” franchise.) Filming is taking place at Leavesden, the Warner Bros. studio complex outside London where all the “Potter” movies were shot. 
It’s time to protect your movie-buying funds from those sneaky Nifflers: The next chapter of “Fantastic Beasts” will open in theaters Nov. 16, 2018.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

ALL Upcoming Superhero Movie Release Dates: From 2017 to 2021

Collider: Adam Chitwood

Last Updated: June 30th

There’s no denying that the most popular genre around these days is the superhero movie. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy proved that comic book adaptations could be just as dramatic and heavy as non-genre films, Marvel Studios jumpstarted a massive interconnected series of superhero movies that were significantly more colorful and humorous, and audiences have been turning out to both kinds of superhero films in droves. With nearly every major studio now working to turn its own comic book properties into the next big thing, and with Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. plotting out half a decade’s worth of material, it’s sometimes tough to keep track of what’s coming out when, who’s in it, and how it fits into the overall picture.  Not to worry, though, because we here at Collider have you covered.

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide of superhero movie release dates for every major comic book adaptation on the calendar, going all the way up to the year 2020. Moreover, we’ll be updating this guide regularly with the most current information, so if you’re ever at a loss for when exactly Captain Marvel is supposed to be in theaters, you can come right back here for a quick refresher.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Robert Downey Jr., Logan Marshall Green, Angourie Rice, and Michael Keaton.

What We Know So Far: Few thought it would ever happen, but Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios came to an agreement in which they will be sharing the character of Spider-Man, with the webslinger first appearing in an MCU movie (Civil War) before getting his own rebooted film. Marvel is taking point creative on the picture, which will bring forth a younger Spidey who is still in high school. The Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard was first rumored to take the helm, but Marvel eventually settled on Cop Car helmer Watts with Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Vacation) writing the script. Michael Keaton is playing the film’s villain, Vulture, and Robert Downey Jr.‘s Tony Stark will further his relationship with the young webslinger after first appearing together in Captain America: Civil War. The film will have a tech-bent when it comes to the powers of Vulture and Spider-Man, and no, there will not be another origin story.

Want to Know More?: Click here

Thor: Ragnarok

Release Date: November 3, 2017
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, and Anthony Hopkins.

What We Know So Far: The title most likely refers to the event from Nordic mythology in which catastrophic destruction comes to Asgard, submerging the entire world underwater and killing nearly every god.  Marvel says the “Norse End of Days” is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ve tapped What We Do in the Shadows director Taika Waititi to take the helm, making for a very curious hire given his background in comedy. Cate Blanchett will be leading the villain charge as Hela, Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie, and Karl Urban is the villainous muscle Skurge, while the MCU is about to get a lot weirder with Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe. The tone of the film is radically different from the previous Thor movies.

Want to Know More?: Click here.

Justice League

Release Date: November 17, 2017
Directors: Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, and Amber Heard.

What We Know So Far: Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated Justice League unites Affleck as Batman, and Adams as Lois Lane, along with Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg.  The villain of Justice League is Steppenwolf, who we saw Lex Luthor summoning in a deleted scene from Batman v Superman. As evidenced by the first footage, there certainly appears to be a lighter tone, and the film will broaden the DCEU so far with J.K. Simmons as the new Commissioner Gordon and Amber Heard as Aquaman character Mera. And Cavill’s Superman is in the mix here somewhere/somehow. The film also marks a curious collaboration, as Snyder left the film during post-production to tend to a personal tragedy while Joss Whedon came in to oversee the final editing and direct reshoots.

Want to Know More?: Click here

Black Panther

Release Date: February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, and John Kani.

What We Know So Far: The comics character made quite the impression with his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and he gets his own feature film not long after. 42 star Chadwick Boseman is filling the role of the powerful native of Wakanda, an African nation that is isolated from the rest of the world.  Marvel says the crux of the film will be how this isolationist nation meets the world, so expect some friction. Selma director Ava DuVernay came close to signing on, but ultimately opted not to helm the film over concerns her artistic voice would be lost in the final product. Subsequently, Marvel hired Joe Robert Cole—who came up through the Marvel Studios writing program—to pen the script, and finally nabbed Creed and Fruitvale Station helmer Ryan Coogler to fill the director’s chair and co-write. He’s forging ahead with quite possibly the most exciting MCU film to date, and he announced his intention to fill out the cast with 90% African and African-American actors, establishing a fantastic ensemble with the addition of Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Oyoke, and his Creed and Fruitvale star Michael B. Jordan as villain Erik Killmonger.

The story of Black Panther will find T’Challa returning to his technologically advanced homeland of Wakanda after the events of Civil War, only to find himself drawn into a dangerous conflict with an old enemy.

Want to Know More?: Click here

New Mutants

Release Date: April 13, 2018
Director: Josh Boone
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga

What We Know So Far: Writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) has been attached to direct New Mutants for some time now, but 20th Century Fox has finally confirmed the film with a spring 2018 release date. The cast is still coming together, but the film is said to be both YA-esque and horror-tinged in tone, revolving around a group of much younger mutants in the X-Men universe than the adults from the proper X-Men movies. The story will also ditch traditional superhero costumes and supervillains in favor of telling a story about these young mutants locked up together in some facility. James McAvoy has been rumored to be reprising his role as Professor X in the film.

Want to Know More?: Click here

Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date: May 4, 2018
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: Marvel is finally tackling the Infinity War storyline, and it’ll take two films to tell it.  The main antagonist will be Thanos (played by Josh Brolin), and the movie will no doubt unite many, many characters from the MCU.  Moreover, Marvel adds that Avengers: Infinity War is the beginning of the culmination of everything that has come before.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been tapped to direct both parts of Infinity War, which will be shot at the same time during one long production beginning in late 2016. Moreover, they’ll shoot the entire movie using IMAX’s brand new digital cameras, meaning the whole film will be shot in IMAX. This two-part epic has been described as “the end of the Avengers team as we know it,” acting as a culmination of everything Marvel Studios had done since Iron Man. No pressure.

Want to Know More?: Click here

Deadpool 2

Release Date: June 1, 2018
Director: David Leitch
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beets

What We Know So Far: While Deadpool director Tim Miller was originally supposed to return to helm Deadpool 2, he left the sequel in Fall 2016 over creative differences. Reynolds and 20th Century Fox subsequently set John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch to take over, but then came the long process of casting two major new roles. Domino, the female lead, went to Atlanta breakout Zazie Beets, while the casting of Cable proved as lengthy as it was complex. Names like Michael Shannon and David Harbour surfaced, and Brad Pitt at one point considered the role, but ultimately Josh Brolin is the one who signed on to play Deadpool’s favorite frenemy.

Want to Know More?: Click here

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Release Date: July 6, 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, and Michael Douglas.

What We Know So Far: Nothing, beyond a title and release date. But the title suggests that Evangeline Lily’s Wasp will be the co-star of this film and not just the “female lead”, making this Marvel Studios’ first release in which the heroine is in the title.

Want to Know More?: Click here


Release Date: December 21, 2018
Director: James Wan
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, and Willem Dafoe

What We Know So Far: Momoa made his first appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and will be part of the Justice League ensemble. Warner Bros. has enlisted Furious 7 and The Conjuring helmer James Wan to direct, and after attempting to fast-track this thing to production with multiple screenwriters writing separate drafts, Wan and DC Films head Geoff Johns convened, nailed down the story, and have set Gangster Squad scribe Will Beall to pen the script. The ensemble cast includes Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna and Patrick Wilson as the film’s antagonist, Aquaman’s half-brother Orm.

Want to Know More?: Click here

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Release Date: November 2, 2018
Director: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, and Evan Peters

What We Know So Far: The sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse has been firmed up as Dark Phoenix, which will tackle the beloved Jean Grey story arc from the comics that was first broached (and botched) in X-Men: The Last StandX-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg has penned the script and is making his directorial debut on the project, which may also star Jessica Chastain as the villain Lilandra and is bringing back pretty much the entire main X-Men cast.

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Untitled Animated Spider-Man

Release Date: December 14, 2018
Directors: Bob Perschietti, Peter Ramsey
Cast: Shameik Moore and Liev Schrieber

What We Know So Far: Sony originated this animated Spider-Man movie with an idea by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, with Lord penning the script solo while the duo prepped their untitled Han Solo spinoff. This animated feature will kick off a new Spider-Man franchise different from the live-action one, but the kicker is that the Spider-Man of this movie is the black Miles Morales, not Peter Parker. Which means we’ll get our first non-white Spider-Man in 2018. Dope standout Shameik Moore has been set to voice Spidey, while Liev Schreiber is playing the film’s villain—although character details are under wraps. Schreiber, however, has teased that the film has a throwback tone.

Untitled Fox/Marvel Film

Release Date: February 24, 2019
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: What kind of superhero movie gets released on Valentine’s Day? In 2016 that was Deadpool, so perhaps the long-awaited sequel won’t be hitting theaters for two years. Or maybe this is a different kind of X-Men spinoff altogether. Right now we have no clue.

Captain Marvel

Release Date: March 8, 2019
Director: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
Cast: Brie Larson

What We Know So Far: Marvel’s first female-led superhero film will revolve around the most powerful character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.  This iteration of Captain Marvel will focus on the character of Carol Danvers, whose adventures are earthbound but whose powers are based in the cosmic realm. Joss Whedon wanted to introduced the character at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Marvel didn’t want to bring Captain Marvel into the MCU fully formed without first telling her origin story. Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) and Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) are writing the screenplay, and Oscar-winning Room actress Brie Larson has been set to star. And after a lengthy director’s search, Marvel settled on Half Nelson and Mississippi Grind filmmakers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

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Release Date: April 5, 2019
Director: TBD
Cast: Dwayne Johnson

What We Know So Far: Making his superhero movie debut, Dwayne Johnson opted to take on the role of the villainous Black Adam in this DC comics adaptation. However, this project is very nebulous and this release date hasn’t exactly been confirmed. Last we heard, Warner Bros. is mulling over splitting this into two movies: Shazam and Black Adam.

Untitled Avengers Sequel

Release Date: May 3, 2019
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: The conclusion to the epic two-part Avengers storyline will close out Marvel’s ambitious Phase Three with a bang. And the real title is a spoiler.

Justice League Part Two

Release Date: June 14, 2019
Director: Zack Snyder (?)
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Amy Adams.

What We Know So Far: While Warner Bros. initially announced Justice League in two parts, everything’s up in the air now due to restructuring with regards to DC Films and response to Batman v Superman. Director Zack Snyder has stressed that as of now, they’re only focused on making Justice League, so it’s possible a different film will take this date.

Spider-Man: Homecoming 2

Release Date: July 5, 2019
Director: TBD
Cast: Tom Holland

What We Know So Far: Nothing, but obviously Sony and Marvel Studios plan on Spider-Man: Homecoming launching a franchise, and Sony has already slated the sequel to hit theaters in two years.

Untitled DC Film

Release Date: November 1, 2019
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Ben Affleck

What We Know So Far: Nothing at all, but it’s possible that this is either a new release date for an existing DC film or a sequel to Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman. Warner Bros. finally got Ben Affleck to agree to direct and star in a Batman standalone called The Batman, with Affleck having penned a script with Geoff Johns. However, Affleck subsequently stepped down from the director’s chair, opting instead just to star in this standalone while Warner Bros. set Dawn of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves to take the helm instead.

Untitled Fox/Marvel Film

Release Date: November 22, 2019
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: 20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release dates for “mystery” Marvel movies, but expect them to be some combination of Deadpool 3X-ForceNew Mutants 2Fantastic Four, and a new X-Men movie.

Untitled Fox/Marvel Film

Release Date: March 13, 2020
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: 20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release dates for “mystery” Marvel movies, but expect them to be some combination of Deadpool 3X-ForceNew Mutants 2Fantastic Four, and a new X-Men movie.


Release Date: April 3, 2020
Director: TBD
Cast: Ray Fisher

What We Know So Far: Fisher will first be introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then will play a role in the two Justice League films.

Green Lantern Corps

Release Date: June 19, 2020
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: This will be a reboot of the Warner Bros. franchise so Ryan Reynolds is not expected to reprise his role—plus he’s also busy being Deadpool for Fox. Green Lantern is rumored to make his first appearance at the end of either Justice League Part One or Justice League Part Two when he warns the team that Darkseid is on his way to bring destruction to Earth. But the title of the reboot tells us this will be a team-up film featuring two Green Lanterns. Tyrese Gibson has been openly campaigning for one of the roles, as the film will find Hal Jordan and John Stewart in a Lethal Weapon-type situation. Warner Bros. recently kicked the tires on this one, hiring David S. Goyer (Batman BeginsMan of Steel) to co-write the script with Justin Rhodes.

Untitled Fox/Marvel Film

Release Date: June 26, 2020
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: 20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release dates for “mystery” Marvel movies, but expect them to be some combination of Deadpool 3X-ForceNew Mutants 2Fantastic Four, and a new X-Men movie.

Untitled Marvel Movie

Release Date: August 7, 2020
Director: TBA
Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: Nothing, since we don’t know what this movie is yet. But Marvel has confirmed that James Gunn is returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so this could be a placeholder for that. Or perhaps it’s a different film altogether that we don’t know about yet.

Untitled Fox/Marvel Film

Release Date: October 2, 2020
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: 20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release dates for “mystery” Marvel movies, but expect them to be some combination of Deadpool 3X-ForceNew Mutants 2Fantastic Four, and a new X-Men movie.

Untitled Fox/Marvel Film

Release Date: March 5, 2021
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: 20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release dates for “mystery” Marvel movies, but expect them to be some combination of Deadpool 3X-ForceNew Mutants 2Fantastic Four, and a new X-Men movie.

The Flash

Release Date: TBA
Director: TBA
Cast: Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Kiersey Clemons, and Billy Crudup

What We Know So Far: Miller made his brief debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he’s a fully fledge star of the Justice League. After tasking Phil Lord and Chris Miller with penning a treatment only to see them head off to direct the Han Solo Star Wars film, the studio subsequently tapped Seth Grahame-Smith to make his directorial debut on the superhero picture. Alas, after the disappointing reception to Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. opted to change course and parted ways with Grahame-Smith, seeking to find a more established filmmaker in his stead. They settled on Dope filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa, working from Grahame-Smith’s script that will be a buddy film of sorts between Flash and Cyborg, but after months of developing the project and with casting underway (Dope standout Kiersey Clemons landed the role of Iris West), Famuyiwa exited the project in late October.

This now puts the March 2018 release date in doubt, as it was dependent upon production getting underway in early 2017. Now, Miller is due to start filming Fantastic Beasts 2 in mid-2017, which would push production of The Flash to late 2017 or early 2018, meaning the March 2018 date is now pretty much impossible. Not to mention the fact that this movie still doesn’t have a director.


Release Date: TBD
Director: TBD
Cast: Channing Tatum

What We Know So Far: Tatum has been keen on playing the X-Men mutant for a while now, and 20th Century Fox finally pulled the trigger on a standalone movie for the fan-favorite Cajun. Production had initially been slated to begin Fall 2015, but when it was pushed back to early 2016, director Rupert Wyatt abruptly dropped out due to personal reasons. Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) subsequently signed on to direct, and while producer Simon Kinberg told us the film will be a heist picture and a “sexy thriller”, the film was pulled from its October 2016 release date and is now listed as TBD. Moreover, due to the delays, Liman has since departed to helm Warner Bros.’ Justice League Dark movie.

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Release Date: TBD
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: Another comic property that will push the reach of the Marvel Cinematic Universe further outward, Inhumans will introduce dozens of new characters to the MCU.  In the comics, they are a race of superhumans whose origins lie in the war between the alien Skrull and Kree races. The existence of Inhumans has been first introduced on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and now ABC and Marvel are teaming up on an Inhumans TV series, although the official line is that this doesn’t replace the feature film. Still, the Inhumans movie seems like a ways off.

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Justice League Dark

Release Date: TBD
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

What We Know So Far: Warner Bros. has been developing an adaptation of Justice League Dark for awhile now, with Guillermo del Toro first writing a script a few years ago before departing the project. But with the DCEU now up and running, Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity helmer Doug Liman signed on to direct in August 2016, and then left the project in May 2017. WB is already looking for a replacement and is eyeing an A-List ensemble for the pic, which focuses on the DC superheroes with more supernatural powers as opposed to the bright and shiny heroes of the Justice League proper. The protagonists of Justice League Dark aren’t exactly antiheroes either, as the comics lineup has included folks like John Constantine and Swamp Thing.

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Gotham City Sirens

Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Cast: Margot Robbie

What We Know So Far: Shortly after the release of Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie put in motion a female-centric spinoff film that would follow her Harley Quinn and other DC characters like Poison Ivy. This one’s still deep in development, but it’s definitely on the table.