Batman and The Joker - the ever-so-popular superhero and supervillain duo made their live-action cinematic debut back in 1966 with the July 30 release named Batman: The Movie. While Adam West was the first actor to play the DC superhero on the big screen, Cesar Romero was the first one to play his arch nemesis in a full length feature film. 2016 will mark the 50th anniversary of the event.
And in this year, Ben Affleck will make his debut as the sixth live-action theatrical version of the Caped Crusader and Jared Leto will make his debut as the fourth live-action big screen version of Clown Prince of Crime. There's another way 2016 is going to be special - it's introducing a huge bunch of superheroes and supervillains from the comic books (perhaps the most in any year) to the live-action big screen! What does that HUGE BUNCH stand as when converted in numbers?
Well, here I have listed in total nineteen superheroes and supervillains who will make their live-action cinematic debut through the six live-action superhero movies of 2016 (Gambit has been excluded since it is likely to shift its release to 2017)! What's more exciting is that each of these characters comes from either Marvel Comics or DC Comics since all the 2016 superhero movies are based on the works of either of the two giant comic book publishers!
So, let's get started then! The list kicks off on the next page!
Everyone is so damn excited about Captain America: Civil War, because the Avengers are going to get divided into two teams led by Captain America and Iron Man and fight against each other. They are also excited because this movie will introduce the third live-action version of Spider-Man - the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Peter Parker – which will be portrayed Tom Holland.
But many tend to forget that there's one more thing of this movie to be excited about. The first black superhero in mainstream American comics - T'Challa, aka the Black Panther - is set to make his live-action cinematic debut with this film. Since the early 1990s, we've been hearing about various attempts to develop a live-action movie on the character but neither eventually came fruitful. But thanks to Marvel Studios, the Black Panther is finally coming to the big screen.
Chadwick Boseman will play T'Challa for the first time in the third installment of the Captain America film series next year before coming back with his solo outing on February 16, 2018. Even though Civil War has wrapped up its filming, we didn't get our first official look at Boseman as Black Panther the official trailer was launched recently.
What we had seen earlier was a set of leaked images of the actor's stunt double in the superhero's costume from the set in Berlin, Germany back in August. Here's a couple from those images to refresh your memory (via ComicBookMovie)!
On the next page - a supervillain from DC Comics!
Played by Ted Whittall, Rick Flag has appeared a number of times in the live-action television series Smallville. But the character hasn't appeared on the big screen other than the 2008 animated flick Justice League: The New Frontier. The ongoing CW series Arrow mentioned his name in its Season 3 episode named Suicidal Tendencies. But the DC Extended Universe has provided the opportunity to the character to make his live-action cinematic debut in their third installment - August 5, 2016 release Suicide Squad.
Tom Hardy was initially attached to play Rick Flag in the David Ayer venture before he stepped aside due to scheduling conflicts. Jake Gyllenhaal was reportedly courted for the role but he passed it on. The role finally went to the RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman.
The Swedish-American actor has described his character as "˜the highest level operator' who is at work for the government. According to Kinnaman, his version of Colonel Rick Flag has witnessed death of a lot of friends and he, himself, has killed plenty. The character is leading the Task Force X in the movie – just like what he has done in the comic books.
On the next page - another baddie, but from Marvel Comics!
Baron Helmut Zemo
Baron Helmut Zemo is one of the popular nemeses of Captain America and the Avengers in the Marvel Comics. The supervillain has appeared in a number of animated television series and movies but not a single time in any live-action venture. Next year's Captain America: Civil War will mark the live-action cinematic debut of Baron Zemo.
Inglourious Basterds star Daniel BrÃ¼hl is set to play the supervillain in the May 6, 2016 release. We haven't got our first official look at the German actor as Baron Zemo. But from what BrÃ¼hl revealed back in October on his character, it seems we won't get a comic-true incarnation of the supervillain in Civil War.
The actor confirmed that his version of Baron Zemo won't be wearing the PURPLE MASK that the original character wears in the comic books. He also described his character to be "˜loosely connected' to the comics and "˜different' from what the fans expect. BrÃ¼hl also claimed that they will be "˜surprised' to watch his Baron Zemo.
And this supervillain, unlike most of those introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, might not have a "˜one-and-done' appearance. There's possibility of the character to return in any of their future movies.
On the next page - a superhero from DC Comics!
We've been hearing about the live-action cinematic debut of Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, ever since 2003. We even got an actor, Santiago Cabrera, cast as the King of the Seven Seas in 2007 for Justice League: Mortal, but the movie didn't actually come alive!
But in 2016, Aquaman is surely going to appear on the big screen in the second installment of DC Extended Universe - Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jason Momoa is set to portray the superhero in the movie as well as in the Justice League movies of 2017 and 2019, and in the Aquaman standalone movie of 2018. A friendly advice, however, would be not to expect anything more than a cameo from the character in the March 25, 2016 release.
Jason Momoa's version of the character has a bit different look from the original comic book character. For example, the primary difference is the COLOR OF HAIR - Arthur Curry has blonde hair in the comics, which is missing in case of Momoa's version.
Back in October, the actor said he's been reading New 52 comics of the superhero as research for his portrayal of the character in the DC Extended Universe. That's perhaps the only thing we surely know about his take on Aquaman.
On the next page - another DC Comics character, but a baddie!
Slipknot is a DC Comics supervillain that was introduced back in 1984. We haven't got a live-action version of Slipknot yet - neither in television nor in film – and I don't actually remember watching an animated version of the character as well! The supervillain with mastery of ropes is set to make his live-action debut in next year's second DC Extended Universe installment Suicide Squad.
Smoke Signals star Adam Beach is set to play Slipknot who is a member of the Task Force X in the movie. Here's how the Canadian actor described his character (via ComicBookMovie):
“He’s formidable. He can climb anything. And he hangs people for a living. I joke that he was caught strangling Wonder Woman. I downloaded this app called Grog Knots. Now I could tie up a horse.”
Well, we have seen a whole of Suicide Squad photos - leaked and officially released - featuring Slipknot, so we have a pretty good idea of how Adam Beach's version of the character would look in the movie. The costume is nowhere close to the comic books and that's the case for most other characters of the movie. But that's pretty much understandable since they are aiming to make these characters appear more and more grounded.
On the next page - a Marvel Comics character!
The Ancient One
Okay, the Ancient One is neither a superhero nor a supervillain - he's the mentor of Doctor Strange. But he's got powers and don't forget that he was the original Sorcerer Supreme before Stephen Strange. And he's a very significant character in the Doctor Strange comics - so, including him in this list didn't seem irrelevant to me.
The character is set to make his live-action cinematic debut with next year's Doctor Strange. But we don't know if the Ancient One is a HE or a SHE in this movie since Marvel has cast Tilda Swinton to play the character.
So, she might end up playing either a male version of the Ancient One or a female version of the character. While defending Tilda Swinton casting, Marvel President Kevin Feige termed the character to be more of MANTLE than a specific person of a specific gender.
Even though Doctor Strange has already kicked off its filming and we've got our first look at Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange and Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Karl Mordo, we haven't got that of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. But we can expect the first look at her version of the character within the first three or four months of 2016.
On the next page - a DC superhero!
Victor Stone, aka Cyborg, has appeared in a whole bunch of animated television series as well as films, but when it comes to live-action ventures, the character has never appeared anywhere other than Smallville. But DC Extended Universe has big plans for this superhero - which includes a standalone movie for him scheduled to release in April 3, 2020.
But you won't have to wait until 2020 to watch his first appearance in the universe - not even until 2017 when Justice League: Part One releases. Cyborg is set to make his live-action cinematic debut with next year's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
If you think it's a rumor, let me tell you that it's NOT! Back in October last year, Ray Fisher, the actor who has been attached to play the character, confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that he's making his first appearance in the Zack Snyder flick.
Well, unlike Jason Momoa's Aquaman, we haven't got our first look at Fisher as Cyborg. And we aren't sure if we will get any glimpses of the character before Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits the theaters - it is unlikely that any of the upcoming trailers of the movie will feature Cyborg.
On the next page - a Marvel superhero!
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Ellie Phimister, aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead, is a mutant introduced not long ago in the comic books - in 2001's New X-Men #115. And the apparently new Marvel Comics character is played by an apparently newcomer actress Brianna Hildebrand in next year's Valentine's Day weekend release Deadpool. This will be not just the live-action cinematic debut of Negasonic Teenage Warhead but her debut in any three-dimensional media - video games, television and film.
While talking to Screen Rant, Brianna revealed that her mind-reader character is the sidekick of Colossus in the February 12, 2016 release. According to the actress, her Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Ryan Reynolds' lead character have an "˜interesting relationship' in the movie which is "˜kind of like that brother and sister'. She added:
"They are on the same side. But they kind of butt heads a lot of the time. That's how I would explain it, he's my brother. Me and my brother get along like that."
Brianna also revealed that Negasonic Teenage Warhead's ability to see the future won't contribute as much in Deadpool as her "˜power to explode'. She explained:
"She runs and explodes at things. She's like a warhead. So she detonates, I guess would be how to explain it."
On the next page - a DC supervillain!
There have been a number of versions of El Diablo in DC Comics - Chato Santana, the version of the character that made first appearance in 2008, is set to make his live-action cinematic debut in 2016 with David Ayer's Suicide Squad. Neither of the versions of El Diablo, however, has appeared in a movie or television series other than Lazarus Lane version that made an appearance in the animated television series Justice League Unlimited.
Hostel and Takers star Jay Hernandez is set to play the character in the DC Extended Universe flick. The actor commented that his character in the movie is a bit different from the others since most of the members of Suicide Squad are "˜happy to get out there and kill people', but El Diablo is someone who "˜just wants to stay out of the fight'.
Well, to be honest, that's what you can pretty much assume from the stills and trailer footage of Suicide Squad featuring Jay Hernandez' character - he's got a depressed kind of look there! So, it's going to be interesting to see how this character adjusts with the other Task Force X teammates. And it will also be interesting because El Diablo has been found playing with a match stick and fire in the trailer- it's still not clear how they will demonstrate his ability of comic books to create and control fire with the mind in the movie.
On the next page - another DC supervillain, but a female one this time!
Sexy and spooky - both at the same time - that's the perfect way to describe Cara Delevingne's Enchantress of Suicide Squad! The character is set to make her live-action cinematic debut with the August 5, 2016 release. Previously, Enchantress appeared in the animated flick Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – no television appearances.
Cara has described the alter-ego of her villainous Enchantress - June Moone - as "˜an adventure seeker' who always wanted to experience something exciting in life, which she eventually gets, but in a "˜terrible way'. And that terribly exciting experience takes place at the start of the movie as she discovers "˜a cavern' and finds something within.
Cara used the words "˜an ancient sorceress' and "˜a feral being' to describe her Enchantress. According to the model turned actress, Enchantress has been trapped for a long while and she eventually gets the opportunity to let out. And there's a Suicide Squad rumor that this is the one whom all the others chase down in the movie. So, this character might be very significant in Suicide Squad.
We have seen a few stills featuring Cara Delevingne as either of June Moone and Enchantress. And we've watched some footage of the two alter-egos in the first official trailer of Suicide Squad. So, we do have a pretty good idea of how the two sides of the character looks.
On the next page - a villain again, but male and Marvel!
Baron Karl Mordo is one of the deadliest rivals of Doctor Strange in Marvel Comics. The character has appeared in a few animated television and big screen ventures - but has never been adapted in live-action. So, this year's Doctor Strange will mark the live-action cinematic debut of the character.
Oscar nominated (for 12 Years A Slave) star Chiwetel Ejiofor is set to play the supervillain in the November 4, 2016 release. According to Deadline, Ejiofor's version of Baron Mordo isn't "˜a completely villainous character' but "˜an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange's mythology'. They also reported that Ejiofor's character was mentored by Tilda Swinton's Ancient One, but he attempted to "˜kill his teacher'!
Not a villainous character, but does attempt to kill the Ancient One - strange as many other strange things we've heard about Doctor Strange!
Thanks to the fans in Nepal, we've already had the first look at Ejiofor as Baron Mordo from the set of the movie in the country's capital, Kathmandu.
In a recent interview with Vulture, Ejiofor did mention that his contract with Marvel leaves scope for "˜more incarnations' of the character. So, there's obviously the possibility of watching more Baron Mordo in future Marvel Cinematic Universe projects alongside next year's project.
On the next page - a supervillain again, but from DC Comics!
Killer Croc has appeared in a number of animated television series, films and video games but never in a live-action media. The Batman-nemesis is set to make his first live-action appearance in Suicide Squad. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Thor: The Dark World star Adewale Akinnouye Agbaje is set to pull off the character's debut performance.
The British actor described his version of Killer Croc is a CANNIBAL who has got "˜rage issues'. But his character doesn't eat everyone! According to Adewale, his Killer Croc is a PICKY cannibal who only eats "˜the most talented people'!
We have seen Adewale's Killer Croc in the trailer and a number of officially released stills. Many have had complains about the quality of CGI use on the character - some have claimed that the CW series The Flash has done a better job with CGI compared to Suicide Squad's Killer Croc.
Well, I don't think what Suicide Squad did with the character have to do anything with the budget. Maybe since they want the movie to be more grounded, they have intentionally wanted the character to look that way. That's actually my personal opinion.
On the next page - a female Marvel supervillain!
Angel Dust isn't a much old character in Marvel Comics - she made her first appearance in 2002. So, it is pretty understandable that the character hasn't been used in television or film - especially after you have already read about so many older characters getting their live-action cinematic debut next year. But the first superhero movie of 2016, Deadpool, has decided to introduce this mutant to live-action big screen audience.
Haywire star Gina Carano is set to play Angel Dust in the 20th Century Fox venture. While talking to Screen Rant few days back, the actress claimed that her character in Deadpool is the one "˜having extreme adrenaline issues'. According to Gina, her character in the movie has got "˜extreme strength and adrenaline' – the more she is "˜pissed off', the stronger her strength gets!
But her Angel Dust trusts Ed Skrein's Ajax with everything, revealed the actress. Gina also went on to add that Ajax is responsible for giving her character the powers she possesses. We've already seen the still of her character lifting T.J. Miller's Weasel - so we know she's got damn strength in the movie! If you haven't checked it out, here it is for you!
On the next page - a DC Comics supervillain!
Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, is one of the popular supervillains of DC Comics - referred to as the world's deadliest marksman. Deadshot has appeared in numerous animated DC ventures - both movies and television shows. Live-action appearances of the character include the television shows Smallville and Arrow, but no movies. So, next year's Suicide Squad will mark Deadshot's first live-action theatrical appearance.
The most bankable star in the world, Will Smith, is set to play the character in the David Ayer flick. Smith commented that he likes "˜the concept of dubious morals' about the character. He said back in February to Movie Web:
"I think I haven’t explored the psychology enough of Deadshot, somebody who could take money to kill people; how he justifies that for himself. So, I still have a little bit of work to do on that, but in my life in general and in my career, those are the type of roles that I’m pushing more towards; those kinds of questions."
Well, from what we have seen on Will Smith's Deadshot by now, it seems like his character is more of an antihero than an actual supervillain in Suicide Squad. The internal conflict of the character is very much visible in Will Smith's expression in Suicide Squad stills and trailer footage.
On the next page - a supervillain who gets introduced in Deadpool!
Well, there are two versions of Ajax in Marvel Comics - one being the descendant of a demigod while the other is a mercenary named Francis. Games of Thrones star Ed Skrein is playing the Francis version of the character in Tim Miller's Deadpool. It will be the live-action cinematic debut of the character.
While talking to IGN back in September, Skrein commented that his version of Ajax is "˜a sociopath in the truest sense'. He doesn't feel pain or anything because all of his nerve endings were removed.
He described the relationship between Ryan Reynolds' titular character and his character as like the one between Muhammad Ali and Joe Fraser in physical terms. However, mentally, the relationship between the superhero and the supervillain is "˜a tale of power' or "˜a tale of revenge'.
How faithful is Ajax of Deadpool movie to the character in comic books? Here's what Ed Skrein said (via Screen Rant):
"It's faithful in terms of the beginning part of Ajax when he was in the workshop"¦ Fans of the comics will know that later on he comes back with an all singing, all dancing big shiny suit; we haven't explored that section."
On the next page - a baddie from DC Comics!
Terminator Genisys star Jai Courtney is set to be the first actor to have played Digger Harkness, aka Captain Boomerang, on live-action big-screen. Nick Tarabay has played the character in the television series Arrow. The Flash-nemesis has appeared in a number of animated projects - both big and small screen.
Back in July, Jai Courtney narrated the story behind his beard in Suicide Squad. It was trimmed by none other than the director, David Ayer, himself! Well, we've had enough looks at Jai Courtney's character to have noticed that the facial hair doesn't look to be touched by a specialist!
Later in October, Jai described his version Boomerang as "˜an absolute bogan, in the purest sense'. He also mentioned that the director's instruction to him was to bring out his "˜inner shitbag'!
Well, to be frank, Captain Boomerang doesn't look like a PURE EVIL from what we have seen - stills and trailer footage. Perhaps BAD would be an appropriate word to describe the character in Suicide Squad. At least it doesn't look as negative as Jai's character in The Divergent Series movies. However, we haven't seen the movie yet - so, we don't know the character completely.
On the next page - another DC character, but a female one!
Tatsu Yamashiro, aka Katana, has appeared in DC Comics since the early 1980s. The character has had a number of appearances in animated television series and movies. But when it comes to live-action, the only appearance of the character has made was on the CW series Arrow, played by Rila Fukushima. So, next year's Suicide Squad will mark the live-action cinematic debut of Katana.
Karen Fukuhara, an actress on numerous projects of Disney Channel in Japan as well as a martial arts champion, is set to portray the character. Katana is a volunteer and Rick Flag's bodyguard in Suicide Squad.
The scene that introduces the character has been narrated officially. As narrated in the scene, while introducing her, Joel Kinnaman's character says to the Suicide Squad members to not get killed by her since her sword "˜traps the souls of its victims'!
Meanwhile, Karen described her character as the one who has got "˜morals and codes'. She added:
"She’s can also slice through hundreds of people without taking a breath."
Karen's version of Katana looks BADASS, but not a BADDIE! In the trailer, there's one sequence where we saw her cry holding her sword - so, it seems like there's some emotional backstory of the character in Suicide Squad.
On the next page - a superhero from Marvel Comics!
Before anyone gets confused, let me clarify that a TELEVISION MOVIE is not a big screen project - so, Peter Hooten starrer Dr. Strange (1978) doesn't count in here. Again, the 1992 flick Doctor Mordrid was meant to be an adaptation of Doctor Strange but since the license to the character expired, they had to alter the lead character's name and origin to some extent. So, that means Benedict Cumberbatch' Doctor Strange will mark the live-action cinematic debut of the Sorcerer Supreme!
Early rumors about the movie suggested that it won't show how the neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange becomes the Sorcerer Supreme since Marvel is tired of origin stories. But Marvel President Kevin Feige debunked the rumor in September saying that the character has got "˜one of the best, most classic, most unique origin stories of any hero' - so why won't they go for it? And the first leaked stills from the set of Doctor Strange in Nepal re-confirmed that they are definitely going for an origin story.
We haven't got more than that on Cumberbatch's portrayal of the character. But since they the movie is filming at the moment, we can expect something new every now and then.
On the next page - the last one of our list, a baddie we've all been waiting to see on live-action big screen!
Harley Quinn didn't take much of a time to reach the peak of popularity! The character was first introduced in the first half of 1990s and was about to make her live-action debut in second half of the decade with Batman Triumphant, but the movie got cancelled. But finally, the big screen audience will get to watch the character for the first time in Suicide Squad.
The Aussie actress Margot Robbie is set to play the character. She described her character to be "˜absolutely nuts'! She also added that her version of Harley is such a character that is "˜either going to kill you or laugh and give you a hug'. Well, that's nothing different from the Harley Quinn we've known from comics and animated projects!
The actress also revealed that she's got a multi-film contract and that might be seen playing the character for the next TEN YEARS!
Well, not everyone is pleased with Margot Robbie playing Harley Quinn or the way the character is being presented - but I guess we need to at least watch the movie before making any harsh comments.
On the next page - some comic book characters that might end up making their live-action cinematic debut in 2016!
Characters That Might Get Their Live-Action Cinematic Debut In 2016!
Well, there are some characters from the comic books that might make their live-action cinematic debut in 2016 - but we aren't sure about them yet. One of them is Jason Todd version of Robin. Only the Dick Grayson version of the Batman-sidekick has appeared on live-action big screen. There are a few varieties of DC Extended Universe rumors that suggest Jason Todd will make his first appearance in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad.
And we've also heard rumors about the appearance of Carrie Kelley, a female version of Robin, next year. Carrie Kelley, too, hasn't appeared in a live-action film yet. There are also rumors on Red Hood making his live-action cinematic debut in Batman V Superman.
We have also heard rumors on either of the big baddies, Doomsday and Darkseid - neither of them has appeared on live-action big screen either. And Ezra Miller is likely to make a cameo appearance as Barry Allen, aka The Flash, in Batman V Superman. But unlike Aquaman and Cyborg, that hasn't been confirmed yet.
And Suicide Squad rumors suggest Scott Eastwood is playing Slade Wilson, Common is Bronze Tiger and Raymond Olubowale is King Shark. While we are sure that the actors are in the movie, we aren't sure what roles they are actually playing in the movie.
And yeah, Rachel McAdams is playing some role in Doctor Strange – we don't know what it exactly is. So, she might end up playing the first appearance of some superhero or supervillain!
You might be wondering why Wonder Woman isn't in the list. Even though the character hasn't appeared in a Hollywood live-action movie, a Filipino comedy flick Alyas Batman & Robin did introduce her in 1991. So, Gal Gadot isn't the first live-action cinematic version of the Amazonian warrior princess.
And there's Morena Baccarin's Vanessa also appearing for the first time in Deadpool. But she isn't playing the superhero alter-ego Copycat - at least in the 2016 movie. They have described the character as "˜a prostitute' and the love-interest of Wade Wilson. So, you can expect Morena's character to be a part of "˜awesome sex montage', but don't expect her to turn into her superhero alter-ego in the flick. That's why the character was deducted from the list!
So, about which superhero or supervillain's live-action big screen debut are you excited most? Share via comments!