DC/Warner Bros.

The white flag has been thrown. After months of both Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and the untitled Captain America threequel sitting tight on the same May 6, 2016 release date, the World’s Finest have yielded (♪ to Captain America’s mighty shield ♪…ed).

DC’s flagship film will now release six weeks earlier on March 25.

Before we all assume Marvel was the only one to show a little muscle-flexing here, the announcement did come with a big second half: Warner Bros. has slated nine movies based on DC properties following Bats vs Supes, one as soon as that August. Titles for these announced films are expected to be revealed within the next month.

While everyone on Twitter seemed to jump all this as strictly a victory for Marvel, this is really a win for everyone. What part of “we get Batman vs Superman six weeks early” is a bad thing? By the time March rolls around we’re already dying for an event movie, as the earnings on films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier — an early April release — have shown. With any hope, this could be the beginning of studios bucking the traditional summer flustercluck model and releasing big movies regardless of month.

Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios is doing pretty good now. Scratch that; Marvel Studios has never been better. Having just released Guardians of the Galaxy, perhaps their trickiest property yet, the studio has come into another smash hit in what will likely be the top domestic earner of the summer.

Meanwhile, spring was also pretty great for them, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier (on blu-ray soon) did gangbusters. The Avengers sequel is on the horizon for next summer and the studio just showed enough muscle to win the game of chicken with DC and keep Cap 3 on the summer opener date.

Gawrsh, all this good will going around and you start to forget all the shitty things that are happening with them right now too. Like, remember that little film Ant-Man and that one director guy who left because fuck artists who want creative control? Yeah, add him to the long list of people scorned by the studio. [By the way, Mickey Rourke is still talking about his displeasure with Marvel, four years later.]

Or how about the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman, the first credited female writer on a Marvel film, is getting continually discredited in interviews by Guardians director and general POS James Gunn? Classy stuff here.

And all you guys and gals wondering when the studio will finally take the big leap and make a female-starring superhero flick? Don’t worry because Marvel head guru Kevin Feige “won’t be swayed” into doing that.

Look, I like what Marvel’s doing, mostly, but there’s an awful lot of worship going on that is simply not justified when looking at how blatantly skeevy they can be. I mean, there has to be a point where… oh look, S.H.I.E.L.D. characters may appear in Ant-Man (goes back to sleep).


And yet, it could always be worse.

Back at Comic-Con it was announced that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is getting pushed to an undetermined 2018 date, while Drew Goddard’s villain team-up, The Sinister Six, will be out November 11, 2016.

Naturally, this shakeup didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the idea that Sony knows what it’s doing, especially among the crowd that naively thinks the movie rights to Spider-Man can and will go back to Marvel within the next five years.

Since then, Sony has beat Marvel to the punch by announcing a female-led Spider-Man spinoff flick coming in 2017. No further details were announced, but special features on the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 blu-ray reportedly confirm that Felicity Jones’ character in the film is Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, seemingly putting her as the top contender to headline the project.

First, yay for Sony in being the first out of the gate to do the female-led superhero thing. Clearly, they sensed the could get some leeway on Marvel in this area and went for it. Not to mention there’s kind of a growing demand for it.

But at this point, it’s hard to imagine that this will amount to anything more than bragging rights. You can only muster so much enthusiasm for a Black Cat movie when Sony hasn’t made a truly great film starring Spider-Man for almost a decade. And this is coming from the guy who liked The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

All is not well in Spidey-land as the franchise’s toxic producer Avi Arad seems to be more preoccupied with churning out as many Spider-Man related films as possible to keep the rights away from Marvel rather than put the work in to make something amazing. For that, he would have to keep his nose out of the director and screenwriter’s business and let them make a coherent movie — something he clearly will not do. Producer/studio interference is this franchise’s biggest enemy right now.

In other news, the proposed Venom film is reportedly now going by the title Venom/Carnage. Might be reading into this a bit much, but I think Carnage might show up in this movie. The symbiote spinoff, headed by Alex Kurtzman (ouch), is also set to land sometime in 2017.

Fox/X-Men/Fantastic Four

Lastly, things are also going quite well for Fox’s Marvel properties and without all the wildly objectionable stuff to cover up that Marvel has. Seriously, they’re doing good for now, plain and simple.

X-Men: Days of Future Past was a smash hit — the biggest earner in the franchise so far. X-Men has never been more primed for big time franchise possibilities, with or without Bryan Singer (still no word on whether Fox has officially asked him back for X-Men: Apocalypse. Those underage sexual abuse allegations have been cleared but still leave an understandably bad taste.)

On the other end of the coin, Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot, for now going by The Fantastic Four, recently finished shooting in Louisiana. As of yet, almost nothing has been revealed about the project, aside from the origin being reportedly different.

The film had no presence at this year’s Comic Con, but a photo was recently released showing what could be our first look at Ben Grimm/The Thing, played by Jamie Bell.

The Josh Trank helmed reboot is set to open June 19, 2015, with its sequel already scheduled for the ever popular 2017.

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