Tomorrow's Picks, Today

Greg Dean Schmitz

FML's newest column kicks off alongside this week's (and really, this season's) biggest movie, Captain Marvel. Let's look at some of the related films coming in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Shazam! (4/5/19)

One of the most confusing things about Captain Marvel, especially for older fans, is that she's not a huge dude in a red suit with a lightning bolt on his chest. It's a very, very, very long story that goes back decades, but the gist is that "the other Captain Marvel" predates the existence of Marvel Comics itself, which started their own Captain Marvel in the 1960s (which wasn't this Captain Marvel either, but, again, a long story). So, Warner Bros and DC Comics now have to use titles like Shazam! for their movie and comics about a young boy who gets zapped by a lightning bolt and turned into a huge muscle-bound adult superhero (played by Zachary Levi from TV's Chuck). In a fun twist, the wizard Shazam who grants those superpowers is played by Djimon Hounsou, who also reprises his Guardians of the Galaxy character in Captain Marvel.

Avengers: Endgame (4/26/19)

Captain Marvel is the 21st movie produced by Marvel Studios as part of their MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), but we already know which films are likely to bring up their number to 30 (and that's without even counting the inevitable Captain Marvel 2). After usually releasing two movies a year, Marvel Studios recently increased their output to three films each in 2017 (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok) and 2018 (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp). After Captain Marvel, Marvel's second 2019 film will be their fourth Avengers film, Avengers: Endgame (4/26/19), which also might be their last (with no fifth Avengers film currently known to be in development). Avengers: Endgame is less than 50 days away from release, and yet Marvel's revealing very few details, including three quarters of the cast who are expected to be in the film at some point or another. (Although she's not seen in this trailer, the ending of Avengers: Infinity War certainly did suggest Captain Marvel will be in Avengers: Endgame.)

Shaft (6/14/19)

Samuel L. Jackson isn't just a prolific Marvel star (he's played Nick Fury in at least 11 films), his non-Marvel career never slows down either. In addition to Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far from Home (and possibly Avengers: Endgame), also has three other movies in the can for 2019. One is a Vietnam War ensemble drama called The Last Full Measure (co-starring Jackson's Marvel costar Sebastian Stan, and another is The Banker, telling the true story of one of the first African American bankers in the United States (Anthony Mackie, AKA Falcon, costars in that one). Neither of those films has a 2019 release date yet, so the first non-Marvel movie for Jackson this year will be Shaft, a multi-dimensional franchise reboot which unites the latest John Shaft (Jessie T. Usher) with previous Shaft stars Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson.

Spider-Man: Far from Home (7/5/19)

We're just going to presume that as a Fantasy Movie League player, that you're a movie fan, and so you've probably seen Avengers: Infinity War by this point. However Avengers: Endgame ends, just plain financial sense tells us that Marvel Studios is going to keep making these movies. Some people have been concerned that the existence of this summer's Spider-Man: Far from Home (7/5/19) is a spoiler for Avengers: Endgame, but there's still a lot we don't know about either film. Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s, so for one thing, it's possible that Spider-Man: Far from Home is also a prequel set before Avengers: Endgame. Another possible answer is that "what happened in Avengers: Infinity War" didn't actually happen the way we thought it did (that revelation would also be a spoiler, but without making Endgame the retcon that some fans are concerned it might be). Regardless, Tom Holland and his various high school friends (Zendaya, Jacob Batalon) are back as they head off to Europe, where they meet Jake Gyllenhaal as classic Spidey villain Mysterio. Remember the part where we said all may not be what we think? Well, that applies to Mysterio too, a "villain" who appears to be a hero. Or is he a hero who appears to be a villain? Or an anti-hero who appears to be an anti-villain who appears to be a raspberry donut?