Blockbuster superhero movies hit the big screen in 2023

Superhero movies have been a big sell to movie theaters over the past decade as Marvel and DC studios have expanded storytelling in the genre.

sequels, new characters, and expanded the universe of each brand, prompting the release of three to four new blockbuster films annually.

With the superhero genre continuing to dominate box office sales, we’re taking a look at the big DC and Marvel superhero movies set to hit the big screen in 2023.

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Marvel Studios

Marvel has released three movies in 2022 – Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

This concludes Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder. credit: Jason Boland/AP

Future movies for Marvel fans look even more exciting, as the MCU’s Phase 5 begins in 2023.

Here are the MCU movies you can see in cinemas.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Cinematic release on February 17, 2023. Director: Peyton Reed. Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Randall Park and Bill Murray.

Ant-man and The Wasp: Quantumania kicks off MCU: Phase V. The film follows Scott Lang, Hope van Dyne, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne as they explore the mysterious world of Quantum.

Paul Rudd stars in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. credit: AP

After being accidentally shrunk and sent out into the world, they will interact with strange new creatures and embark on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible.

They face the danger of Kang The Conqueror, who is looking to escape the Quantam Realm and return to Earth.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Cinematic showing on May 5, 2023. Director: James Gunn. Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Will Poulter, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Bom Klementieff and Chokodi Euge.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the final installment of the trilogy in what is set to be an emotionally epic conclusion.

Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team to defend the universe – along with protecting one of his own. A mission that, if unsuccessful, could lead to the end of the Guardians.

Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse, Part One

Cinematic release on June 2, 2023. Director: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson. Starring: Shamik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Oscar Isaac, Issa Rae and Brian Tyree Henry.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Part 1 sees the return of Miles Morales for the next chapter in the Academy Award-winning Spider-Verse saga.

This epic adventure will take a full-time, live-action Brooklyn-born Spider-Man across the multiverse to join Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to take on a villain more powerful than anything they’ve faced.

Marvels

Cinematic release July 28, 2023. Director: Nia DaCosta. Starring: Brie Larson, Teona Paris, Iman Villani, Samuel L Jackson.

Although no official synopsis of The Marvels has been released, we do know that Captain Marvel, Miss Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and Nick Fury will team up to defend Earth from a major threat.

Samuel L. Jackson on Channel 7 Sunrise in 2022. credit: sunrise

The last time we saw these characters, Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel switched places when Ms. Marvel activated her bracelets.

Monica Rambeau helped save Westview and was recruited by the Skrull for a mission into space, while Nick Fury was on an unknown space mission – which will help these heroes connect all paths to confront this new threat.

Craven the hunter

Cinematic release: October 6, 2023. Directed by: JC Chandor. Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Abbott, Fred Hechinger, Ariana DeBose, Russell Crowe.

Kraven The Hunter continues to open the expanded MCU in the “Sonyverse”.

Russell Crowe. credit: AP

This movie is set in the same universe as Venom, Morbius and is also shown in the Morbius end credit scene, the Vulture.

The film follows Russian immigrant Sergey Kravinoff, who is on a mission to prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world.

DC Studios

DC has only released two films in 2022 – Batman, which saw Robert Pattinson don the cowl, and Black Adam, where The Rock makes his DCEU debut.

DC had planned more movie releases in 2022 – The Flash and Aquaman 2 – but these were moved to 2023.

Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz at the Batman premiere in London in February 2022. credit: Joel C Ryan/AP

One movie, Batgirl, was controversially canceled – despite being in post-production – when parent company Warner Bros. chose to file for taxes rather than release the movie.

Here’s a look at the blockbuster DC movies you can look forward to on the big screen in 2023.

Shazam! Wrath of the Gods

Cinematic release March 17, 2023. Director: David F. Sandberg. Starring: Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, Adam Brody, Grace Caroline Currie, DJ Cotrona, Rachel Ziegler, PJ Byrne, Megan Good, Asher Angel, Djimon Hounsou, Jack Dylan Grazer and Ross Butler.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the second installment in the series, following Billy Batson and the Shazam Family.

We see Billy in his superhero form as Shazam, talking to the pediatrician about his feelings.

Helen Mirren is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Screen Actors Guild in 2022. credit: AP

Shazam feels like a fraud and can’t compete with the level of other great superheroes like Superman, The Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

A new villain of Hespera threatens the world, as Billy must overcome his inner demons and band together with his Shazam family to fight for Earth.

Sparkle

Cinematic release on June 23, 2023. Director: Andy Muschietti. Starring: Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, Michael Shannon, Ezra Miller, Ron Livingston, Temuera Morrison, Maribel Verde, Sasha Cole and Kiersey Clemons.

The Flash has suffered delays dating back at least to 2018 due to reasons including creative differences and child custody controversy surrounding Ezra Miller.

Ezra Miller at the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiere in London in 2018. credit: Grant Pollard/AP

But DC moved ahead with The Flash – which, if anything to go by, could be one of their biggest movies ever. The film is expected to explore the DC multiverse.

Two Batmans will appear in the film – Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton.

In the trailer, we see two Ezra Millers, so we can look at two different forms of Flash as well. And Supergirl will make her big screen debut.

blue beetle

Cinematic release on August 18, 2023. Director: Angel Manuel Soto. Starring: Susan Sarandon, Xolo Maridueña, Harvey Guillen, George Lopez, Raoul Max Trujillo, Damian Alcazar, Elpidia Carrillo, Adriana Barraza and Belissa Escobedo.

Blue Beetle will make his big screen debut in the DCEU.

The movie will follow Jaime Reyes as he learns to deal with his new powers.

After Jimmy finds a blue scarab, it attaches itself to his body, making Reyes the next blue scarab. The scarab fuses with his spine, providing him with a powerful alien suit.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Cinematic release on December 25, 2023. Director: James Wan. Starring: Jason Mamoa, Ben Affleck, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Temuera Morrison, Randall Park and Vincent Reagan.

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom have been returned twice by DC, including in 2022, where it was originally set to release this month.

In July 2022, Ben Affleck is seen in a funny video posted online of Mamoa, spoiling his cameo in the movie.

Johnny Depp has been awarded $10.35 million after a jury found he was defamed by Amber Heard. credit: AP

The biggest question mark is Amber Heard’s role as Mera. Heard had a supporting role in Aquaman alongside Mamoa, and had a great storyline with plenty of screen time.

But after Johnny Depp’s infamous defamation case, her role in the sequel is rumored to have been greatly reduced.

What we do know is that Aquaman has taken on the role of King of Atlantis – and will take on any new villain that threatens him and his kingdom.

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