A comic book clash of epic proportions has been brewing for months now, as both Marvel and Warner Brothers/DC had announced plans to release a movie on the date of May 6th, 2016.  It didn’t look like either studio was going to back down, leaving fans to wonder if they’d have to choose between the two or just clear the whole weekend to devote to movie-going.  Warner’s scheduled movie was ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ while until now, Marvel was simply planning to release an unnamed movie.  Now they have revealed that the movie in question will be ‘Captain America 3’.  And while Warner Brothers will never admit defeat, they have quietly announced that they are vacating that release date and instead will unveil their big DC launchpad on March 25th.

There are probably a number of factors that could have contributed to this, most notably ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘ which raked in $713 million, more than double the gross of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and over a hundred million more than 2013’s ‘Man of Steel’.  I can’t help but also wonder if ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ played a role, considering that the movie is based on the most obscure comic book concept to hit the big screen and has already become the highest debuting movie in August history, pretty much proving that Marvel has won the right to print money.  It can’t help that most of Marvel’s blockbusters are in essence “feel good” movies with loads of heart and humor, while ‘Man of Steel’ was generally criticized for its violent climax and overall bleak tone.

And though Warner Brothers may have backed down from going head-to-head with Marvel on opening weekend, nonetheless the studio has big plans for its DC franchise.  Here is their nine-movie plan:

• Untitled DC Film – August 5, 2016
• Untitled DC Film – June 23, 2017
• Untitled DC Film – November 17, 2017
• Untitled DC Film – March 23, 2018
• Untitled DC Film – July 27, 2018
• Untitled WB Event Film – November 16, 2018
• Untitled DC Film – April 5, 2019
• Untitled DC Film – June 14, 2019
• Untitled DC Film – April 3, 2020
• Untitled DC Film – June 19, 2020
• Untitled WB Event Film – November 20, 2020

What are the two non-DC event movies?  Well, it’s rumored that WB may be reviving its Harry Potter franchise with movies based on the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ concept.  The studio has struggled with finding a suitable replacement for its boy wizard cash cow.  It looks like it’s banking on DC to fill that void to a degree, but one can’t blame them for exploring other options.

It was previously “leaked” that Warner Brothers had these movies in the works:

July 2016 – Shazam
Xmas 2016 – Sandman
May 2017 – Justice League
July 2017 – Wonder Woman
Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up
May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2

On Marvel’s part, they are stepping up their production, shifting from two movies a year to three in 2017.  After ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’s’ smash opening, they’ve already announced a sequel.  Their next brand new movie will likely be ‘Doctor Strange’ in 2016 and ‘Black Panther‘ some time after that.  Sony still plans to to exploit the rights to ‘Spider-Man’ despite the last two movies falling a bit short of expectation.  They appear to still be on board with ‘Venom‘, ‘Sinister Six‘ and a female-led movie, possibly ‘Black Cat’, ‘Spider-Woman’ or possibly even ‘Fire-Star’ whose rights may fall into the same middle ground as Quicksilver’s allowing her to be used in multiple franchises.  And despite the “strange” buzz on Josh Trank’s ‘Fantastic Four’, Fox has already planned a sequel.

What do you think?  Are you excited to see DC break in to Marvel’s game and launch a shared cinematic universe?

Sources: MTV, Cinema Blend