RANKED: Every Upcoming 2021 Live-Action Superhero TV Show and Movie
ComingSoon.net has ranked (from least anticipated to most) every live-action superhero show and movie coming in 2021. Check out our list below!
Health and safety concerns revolving around the coronavirus pandemic halted productions and closed cinemas for the bulk of 2020, prompting studios to delay live-action comic book properties…over and over again. Superhero shows and movies, like Black Widow, that we didn’t get to see last year are set to make their way to streaming services (and theaters?) in 2021. Shows like Black Lightning, WandaVision, and Batwoman are already making waves and, with Marvel’s 2021 slate jammed-packed and DC right behind them, more stories are itching to be seen in all their spandex glory.
From the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sony’s Spider-Man/Venom projects to Zack Snyder’s Justice League and The Suicide Squad, fans are on the edge of their seats. 2020 did give us new seasons of Amazon’s The Boys and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, shows that we might (and probably will) see more of in 2021. Below is every 2021 live-action superhero show and movie ranked based upon how much we are anticipating them.
25. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 6 (TBA 2021)
One of the Arrowverse’s lightest show (and certainly one of the most madcap comic book shows on TV), Legends of Tomorrow follows a team of time-travelers who bounce around various timelines to prevent apocalyptic scenarios; the show’s fifth season dealt less with all that time-travel stuff (and more with plush toys) and said goodbye to a few major characters.
24. Supergirl – Season 6 (TBA 2021)
Supergirl will be coming to an ending following its sixth season. The series follows Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers AKA Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) who, after arriving on Earth a tad later than expected, finds that her once younger cousin is now the Arrowverse’s Man of Steel. That said, Kara takes of her own “Super” mantel as well as a reporter alter-ego.
23. Stargirl – Season 2 (TBA 2021)
Stargirl follows the story of Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) who is a smart, athletic, and above all else kind girl. This high school teenager’s seemingly perfect life hits a major speedbump when her mother gets married and her new family moves from Los Angeles, California to Blue Valley, Nebraska. Struggling to adapt to a new school, make new friends and deal with a new step-family, Courtney discovers her step-father has a secret; he used to be the sidekick to a superhero. “Borrowing” the long-lost hero’s cosmic staff, Courtney becomes the unlikely inspiration for an entirely new generation of superheroes (adjacent to the Arrowverse).
22. Lucifer – Season 5.5 (TBA 2021)
Based very loosely on the Vertigo comic, Lucifer is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) abandoned his throne. He then retired to Los Angeles, where he has teamed up with LAPD detective Chloe Decker to take down criminals. The show was abruptly canceled by Fox after its third season but was saved by Netflix last June. Then, season 5 was halted due to the pandemic, therefore, Season 5 will be divided into two parts with Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert (24, Major League) signing on for the role of God.
21. Superman & Lois – Season 1 (February 23)
The Arrowverse spinoff Superman & Lois follows Man of Steel aka Clark Kent and comic books’ most famous journalist, Lois Lane, as they come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever – dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today’s society. Complicating the already daunting job of vanquishing a villain, saving the day at a moment’s notice or raising two boys, Clark and Lois must also concern themselves with whether or not their sons Jonathan and Jordan could inherit their father’s Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older. Returning to Smallville to handle some Kent family business, Clark and Lois are reacquainted with Lana Lang, a local loan officer who also happens to be Clark’s first love, and her Fire Chief husband Kyle Cushing.
20. The King’s Man (March 12)
The King’s Man follows a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds as they gather to plot a war to wipe out millions. Now, one man must race against time to stop them. Along the way, viewers can discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in director Matthew Vaughn’s latest entry, The King’s Man. Ralph Fiennes stars in the upcoming prequel alongside Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance.
19. Samaritan (June 4)
Samaritan is about a young boy who is out to discover if a mythic superhero (Sylvester Stallone), who vanished 20 years earlier following a massive battle, is still alive. Aside from that, not much else is known about the film’s plot other than it’s supposed to be a new, darker take on the superhero genre. Samaritan’s cast also stars Martin Starr, Pilou Asbæk, Moises Arias, and Dascha Polanco.
18. Black Adam (TBA 2021?)
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson has been attached to Black Adam for years. Doubling down on his repeated promise of changing the hierarchy of power in the DCEU. The film should outline the anti-hero’s Egyptian backstory, relationship to Shazam while being set 5000 years after Black Adam’s origin (modern-day). It will also star Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher and other members of the Justice Society of America (JSA): Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Dr. Fate, and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell). Unfortunately, due to production delays, Black Adam’s December 22 release date might be pushed at some point.
17. Titans – Season 3 (TBA 2021)
The third season of Titans will see Savannah Welch’s Barbara Gordon introduced as the Gotham City Police Commissioner, who is confined to her wheelchair after being shot and paralyzed by the Joker during her time as Batwoman. With the return of Dick Grayson to the city, she finds her life becoming complicated as she starts a new crime-fighting partnership and rekindles her old romance with the former Robin. It also stars Brenton Thwaites (Gods of Egypt) as Dick Grayson/Robin, Teagan Croft (Home and Away) as Raven, Anna Diop (24: Legacy) as Koriand’r/Starfire, Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) & Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) as Hawk and Dove, Bruno Bichir as Dr. Niles Caulder, and Lindsey Gort as Police Detective Amy Rohrbach.
16. Doom Patrol – Season 3 (TBA 2021)
Part support group, part superhero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of super-powered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them. Picking up after the events of Titans, Doom Patrol will find these reluctant heroes in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg, who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse, but with a warning that is hard to ignore: their lives will never, ever be the same. Doom Patrol stars Joivan Wade as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Brendan Fraser as Robotman, Matt Bomer as Negative Man, Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder/The Chief, April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, and Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody.
15. The Flash – Season 7 (February 23)
The Flash is arguably the Arrowverse’s most beloved show thanks in large part to Grant Gustin’s performance as Barry Allen/The Flash. Returning with him for season 7 is Candice Patton as Iris West, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramo, Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West-Allen aka the speedster hero XS, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton with Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells, and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West.
14. The Sandman – Season 1 (TBA 2021)
Based on the beloved comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics, Netflix’s live-action adaptation is described as: “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.”
The Sandman live-action series is being written by Gaiman (American Gods) and Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey’s Anatomy). Heinberg will also serve as showrunner. David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Foundation) will executive produce the drama from Warner Bros. Television. Last year, Gaiman has also revealed that they are also already planning for a potential second season.
13. The Umbrella Academy – Season 3 (TBA 2021)
The Umbrella Academy is based on the popular, Eisner award-winning comics and graphic novels created and written by Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance), illustrated by Gabriel Bá, and published by Dark Horse Comics. After altering the timeline in season 2, joining the original Hargreeves siblings in the show’s third season are the intriguing Sparrow Academy set to be portrayed by Justin Cornwell (I Am the Night), Britne Oldford (Hunters), Jake Epstein (Suits), Genesis Rodriguez (Big Hero 6), and Cazzie David along with Justin H. Min, who returns as a different Ben.
12. The Boys – Season 3 (TBA 2021)
The Boys is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the super powerful as “The Boys” embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about the supergroup known as “The Seven.”
Season 2 saw “The Boys” in hiding as they tried to fight back against Vought, ultimately exposing compound V and liberating Becca and Homelander’s son (at a devastating price) before the group went their separate ways (threats looming all around). Jensen Ackles has been announced as Soldier Boy for season 3.
11. Ms. Marvel – Season 1 (TBA 2021)
Ms. Marvel is a new MCU series that introduces Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a 16-year-old Pakistani-American growing up in Jersey City. A great student, an avid gamer, and a voracious fanfiction scribe, she has a special affinity for superheroes, particularly Captain Marvel. But Kamala struggles to fit in at home and at school–that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to. Life is easier with super powers, right?
10. Hawkeye (TBA 2021)
The MCU’s Hawkeye will see Jeremy Renner reprise his role as Clint Barton alongside Hailee Steinfeld as his arrow-slinging understudy, Kate Bishop. The series will explore Barton’s time as Ronin during the events of Avengers: Endgame and presumably help him to ride off into the proverbial sunset, drawing heavily from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye: My Life As a Weapon comic book series.
9. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19)
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Civil War) as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities–and their patience as they take on Steve Rogers’ legacy and the return of Civil War’s Zemo (Daniel Brühl).
8. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (June 25)
Andy Serkis directs the second Venom film after appearing in two Marvel Studios movies. Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage sees Tom Hardy his role as Eddie Brock alongside Michelle Williams as Anne Weying. Venom’s archenemy, Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage (Woody Harrelson), who was briefly introduced in the first film, will serve as the antagonist as Venom’s archenemy. Naomie Harris will also play the role of villain Shriek, who is Carnage’s love interest and accomplice.
7. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9)
Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu (Blood and Water, Taken) as the titular hero in Marvel Studios’ first Asian superhero-led movie. Joining Liu are Golden Globe-winning actress Awkwafina (The Farewell) and renowned Hong Kong actor Tony Leung, who is portraying the role of The Mandarin.
6. Loki (May)
Loki will feature the return of Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston as the fan-favorite mischievous titular villain. Hiddleston last portrayed the God of Mischief in last year’s highest-grossing film of all time Avengers: Endgame, where he successfully had stolen the Tesseract during Iron Man and Ant Man’s failed attempt to retrieve it. Joining Hiddleston are MCU newcomers Sophia Di Martino (Yesterday, Flowers, Into the Badlands), Oscar nominee Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black Mirror: San Junipero) with Di Martino rumored to play Lady Loki.
5. Eternals (November 5)
Marvel’s game-changing Phase 4 film about a group of immortal (kind of) humanoids tasked with defending earth is set to redefine the MCU. Its star-studded cast includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Lia McHugh, Salma Hayek, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington.
4. The Suicide Squad (August 8)
Famed Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will serve as a quasi-sequel/spiritual reboot of 2016’s Suicide Squad. It stars Pete Davidson as Blackguard, John Cena as Peacemaker, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Alice Braga as Sul Soria (new character), Nathan Fillion is T.D.K. (another new character), Michael Rooker as Savant, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Peter Capaldi as the Thinker, Flula Borg as Javelin, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2 (presumably related to the original Ratcatcher), and Mayling Ng as Mongal. Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney will be reprising their roles from 2016’s Suicide Squad.
3. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (March 18)
The long-awaited Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be a 4-part series with hour-long episodes on HBO Max. Various aspects of Snyder’s Cut look dramatically different from 2017’s Justice League. On top of Jared Leto’s reprising the role of the Joker, the film will feature Darkseid, Cyborg’s origin story, black-clad Superman, and hinted at a time-traveling Flash (among other things). The series will be much darker than its cinematic counterpart—Snyder called his Justice League a movie “for adults.”
2. Black Widow (May 7)
After her demise in Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow will see Scarlett Johansson reprise her role in a prequel, taking place between Captain America: Civil War and Endgame, might feature the rumored return of Tony Stark (and a handful of other characters from the comics). The main cast also includes David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz.
1. Untitled Spider-Man 3 (December 17)
The untitled Spider-Man Far From Home sequel will see Tom Holland reprise his role as Peter Parker (whose secret is out). It will also see the return of Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, and Marisa Tomei. Joining them will be Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange who will presumably be dealing with some multiverse madness. That said, Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina are reprising their roles from past Spider-Man films and Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are heavily rumored to appearing as their versions of the web-slinger (as well as Charlie Cox as Daredevil). With the multiverse open, there’s no telling who may show up in this movie or the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large moving forward.