This time last year, we all thought that 2016 would be the best year ever for superhero movies. There was certainly plenty to love about those 365 days, but we were also faced with a lot of disappointments. No one could have predicted that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would be a flop with critics or that X-Men: Apocalypse - which looked like a hit - would be a box office failure.
With all of that in mind, it got me thinking about the possible ways that 2017 could also prove to be a let down for superhero movies and us fans. Do I think these will come to pass? Perhaps, but I certainly hope not! We'll just have to wait and see, but below you'll find a look at five ways I think that highly anticipated adaptations on the way this year could disappoint us and ultimately damage the genre...
5. Could Thor: Ragnarok Be A Franchise Killer?
Aside from a few blurry set photos and a leaked piece of promo art, we've seen nothing official from Thor: Ragnarok, but I don't think it's going too far to say it stands a chance of stealing the show when it's released later this year. I have a lot of faith in Taika Waititi, and it's been clear since the logo was revealed that we're getting a Thor movie with some very inspired visuals and a fun sounding story.
However, it's important to remember that it wasn't too long ago that we all thought Alan Taylor would deliver a Game of Thrones style Thor and, instead, we got The Dark World. Throw in the fact that that Ragnarok has a lot of big characters in the mix and the fact that Chris Hemsworth's contract is nearing an end, and unless the movie really impresses, we could be looking at the end of Thor's solo adventures in the MCU, not to mention the team up approach which seems to be a big part of Phase 3.
4. Will The DC Films Universe Crash And Burn?
2016 was a rough year for Warner Bros. The Flash lost a couple of directors and both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad failed to live up to expectations (despite performing well at the box office). Should Wonder Woman, and more importantly, Justice League, not deliver, then we could see the DC Films Universe become less of a priority for the studio.
That's not to say the slate they've announced will vanish by this time next year, but you have to believe that the suits will be less and less willing to spend money on movies which simply aren't performing for them. Moving forward, that's not good news for fans hoping to see this world one day rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it's essential that the two movies on the slate in 2017 exceed expectations and set these iconic characters on a path that will ensure they remain on the big screen for a very long time to come.
3. The Beginning Of The End For Female-Led Superhero Movies?
There's a lot riding on Justice League, but should Wonder Woman fail, the impact on the superhero movie genre will be huge. Yes, Captain Marvel will still happen, but you'd best believe that both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. will be reluctant to push ahead with any more female-led projects if even a character as iconic as this one can't attract moviegoers. That means Gotham City Sirens could be in jeopardy, while the Black Widow movie we've all been crying out for will probably become even more unlikely.
Quite some time ago, it was movies like Catwoman and Elektra which left studio bosses under the impression that women were best suited to being love interests rather than superheroes taking the spotlight on their own, and that's why Wonder Woman must succeed; it being a hit will shake up the genre in the best way possible.
2. Superhero TV Shows > Superhero Movies
This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for the superhero movie genre, but what if 2017 is the year that what we see on the small screen outshines the adaptations released on the big one? When you look ahead at the next twelve months, we have the insane yet brilliant looking Legion to get excited about on FX, while Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders all stand a chance of stealing the show from the Marvel Studios movies on the way.
However, perhaps the biggest threat comes in the form of The Inhumans, a series that's had some serious money spent on it by both ABC and IMAX, hence why it too is receiving a limited theatrical release. Throw in how much better the DC TV Universe currently is compared to the DC Films Universe, and 2017 could be the year moviegoers decide that they're better off staying at home for their superhero fix. That's not good news for the chances of box office success for these movies!
1. Will We Get Another Suicide Squad Or X-Men: Apocalypse?
2016 was a year packed full of a disappointing movies, many of which none of us would have predicted being let downs 365 days ago. As a result, it's important to consider the fact that any one of the superhero movies on the way in 2017 stands a chance of failing to live up to the lofty expectations of fans. The R-Rated Logan could very well provide a less than satisfying ending to Wolverine's story, and can Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ever top the amazing first instalment?
What if Spider-Man: Homecoming fails to deliver the wall-crawler we've all been waiting for? Fans are already sceptical about some of the casting decisions, while the lack of The Daily Bugle and what looks like a big role for Iron Man could leave a source taste in the mouths of some. The point is, we need to ready ourselves for disappointment because unless we're extremely lucky, 2017 will let us down at least once!
Do you think 2017 could end up being a disappointing year for superhero movies? If so, why? As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts on the comments section below.