Ben Affleck, left, and Henry Cavill star in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." ( Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Ben Affleck, left, and Henry Cavill star in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” ( Warner Bros. Entertainment)


A whopping seven comic-book films are set to bow in 2016. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow while DC Comics expands its superhero offerings and Twentieth Century Fox powers up three X-Men movies.

Sequels of big-name films and franchises also dot the year’s movie landscape, from “Zoolander No. 2” to “Finding Dory.”

Super flicks

Ryan Reynolds suits up as the merc with a mouth in “Deadpool” (Feb. 12). Superman and Batman pair up for the first time onscreen in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (March 25), with Henry Cavill returning as the Man of Steel, Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader and introducing Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

“Captain America: Civil War” (May 6) pits Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Earth’s mightiest heroes against each other while integrating Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) into the fold. In “X-Men: Apocalypse” (May 27), Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy lead a group of young X-Men against the first mutant, Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac).

“Suicide Squad” (Aug. 5) brings together DC supervillains, including Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, to execute missions for a government task force. Jared Leto will also make his debut as the Joker. Channing Tatum gets his own X-Men spin-off as the card-slinging mutant “Gambit” (Oct. 7). “Doctor Strange” (Nov. 4) explores the mystical side of Marvel, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme.


Here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2016.

Auteurs return

In 2015, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee and Ridley Scott released major titles, but there were whispers about other directors’ anticipated films for 2016. Terrence Malick is finally set to release the Hollywood-based drama “Knight of Cups” (March 4), starring Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett. Bale stars as Rick as a screenwriter caught up in the wave of fame, women and confusion.

Martin Scorsese might release “Silence” this year with Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neelson. Jesuit priests travel to 17th-century Japan in search for their mentor. However, they find violence and desperation.

After wowing audiences with the 12-year odyssey “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater returns to familiar ground with “Everybody Wants Some” (April 15), a spiritual sequel to the 1970s-set cult classic “Dazed and Confused.” Featuring a cast of young unknowns, the movie centers around college baseball players in the 1980s.

The Coen Brothers offer a slice of old Tinseltown with “Hail, Caesar!” (Feb. 5) with George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum and Tilda Swinton. A star actor disappears from a 1950s movie set, and strange events unfold for a Hollywood fixer.

Click here to read the complete preview published in Thursday’s JumpStart!