Recently, I wrote about Black Panther and the irrational fears over it being a hit. But at the core, Black Panther is basically just a regular superhero movie, keeping within the confines of the genre. I also wrote a while ago about Logan and Wonder Woman leading the charge into a new era for comic book movies. However, the genre itself is being reworked and reinvented, trying new takes and ideas. Of the countless projects in development, they range from run-of-the-mill heroes like Captain Marvel and Flash, there's movies in production that are doing their own spin on the superhero movie, combining the best parts of the formula with the best parts of another genre. It's a rather new take, really only being within the last couple of years or so, but it is looking to be the new direction for the multi-billion dollar comic book movie industry. While not all the projects in the works have been released, they are being worked on, so within the next few years, we could see a total overhaul in terms of the range the films can have.

DC and Marvel/Fox both have horror type movies in the works – Justice League Dark (at one point called Dark Universe but Universal got that name already) and The New Mutants respectively, though each explores a different take on “horror.” New Mutants tells the story of young mutants in the X-Men world being experimented on and kept in a prison/asylum, or so the trailer appears. This is a much more grounded and dare I say realistic view of how mutants would be observed and tested, like a modern day Nazi experimentation group (a concept touched on in X-Men: First Class). Meanwhile, Justice League Dark is based on the 2011 comic of the same name, which is a team formed of the occult and paranormal characters of the DC universe, such as John Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Deadman. The project was first proposed by Guillermo del Toro, best known for films like Pan's Labrynth and The Shape of Water, as an R-rated horror superhero film, as a loosely connected part of the DCEU. While production on the film has come to a bit of a halt, there is an animated feature film based on the comic, using a similar plot to the original pitch. Fox previously attempted horror with Fantastic Four in 2015, but come on, the Fantastic Four is not a property that leads itself to having horror elements, especially in the first movie. Sony Pictures is also attempting a horror film, based on the Spider-Man villain Venom, though that is likely to be less of a cross between genres and a mix of alright action and a strange take on the character, considering it has already been stated that Spider-Man himself will not be in the film. So if you want horror and comics, check out New Mutants or Justice League Dark.

We also have movies like Logan, that are more Westerns than superheroes, and the coming-out-sometime-soonish The Batman, which is said to be more of a grim detective film. Logan is notable for not using the name of the hero in the title, especially considering it is the third and final film in the Wolverine trilogy, as well as Hugh Jackman's final performance as the character. Nowhere in the film does Logan wear the costume, and for the most part, he's got a beard and is practically unrecognizable as Wolverine. It also deals more with heavy subjects like death, suicide, and human experimentation. On the opposition side, not much is known about The Batman beyond what the tone will be. We do know that it will be more self-contained, not relying on big appearances from other Justice League characters (so no Superman or Aquaman cameos), not unlike Logan, which only really had two characters from previous films. Of course, we cannot be certain on what the end result of The Batman will be, but we can at least hope that it will play itself as a noir/detective type story, as per the way the hero is portrayed in the other DCEU films. Logan on the other hand, we've seen to be a hit, and it is one of the highest reviewed X-Men movies, if not superhero movies in general. Giving it a tone and tropes often seen in Oscar nominees or other more “serious” films, combined with the mainstays that people know and love, created a Wolverine movie that wasn't seen as just a decent action movie, rather a film that could easily be a wild card at the big award shows.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is equal parts John Hughes high school movie and MCU installment. Wonder Woman is a Greek myth, a WWI film, and an origin story. Deadpool and The Lego Batman Movie are comedies and parodies of the genre as a whole. In order to fight off “superhero fatigue,” it's only the natural progression that the studios would want to try new things within their franchises – even Lucasfilm is doing that with the Star Wars movies. To keep a popular style going, one must not be afraid to take risks and see where else they can take it. And if that's how the next generation will get to see a continuing strong superhero market, then by all means try new things. If it doesn't work out, then that's how you know there is a wrong approach (again, Fantastic Four). And if movies like Logan and Spider-Man: Homecoming are any indication, we could be in for more movies and more stories of our favorite heroes on the big screen.