List Of Every Current Shared Cinematic Universe
Check out all of the current shared movie and TV universes!
What Is A Shared Cinematic Universe?
A Shared Cinematic Universe is a series of films or television series which crossover and interconnect into the same narrative. This includes characters which appear in each others movies, common places they visit, or connected histories. It's become popularized as studios try to keep butts in seats at movie theaters which are facing major competition from Redbox and Netflix which allow viewers to watch films from the comfort of home giving them reason to get out of the house and purchase a ticket at the local cinema. Now it seems every major Hollywood studio is looking for their own major franchise that they can continue for years to come with prequels, sequels, and spin-offs. It's not new to the movie-making industry though as the classic movie characters (especially Universal's monsters) would appear in one another's films often. Let's take a look at the current shared cinematic universes and what they have planned.
Star Wars Universe
George Lucas made the original Star Wars movie in 1977 and since then it's grown into one of the largest franchises in film history. Spawning eight total theatrically released films so far, the series is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, since Lucas sold the property to Disney, it's only gotten bigger with more movies, televisions series, theme parks, and merchandise than ever before. The main focus has been on the sequel trilogy and spin-offs taking place in the galaxy far, far away. Never before had a Star Wars film not focused on the Skywalker family, but that all changed in 2016 when Rogue One was released into theaters. Currently, a movie about space pirate Han Solo is being filmed with more movies about fan-favorite characters Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Boba Fett, and Jabba the Hutt are on their way.
Lucasfilm is now led by frequent Lucas and Spielberg movie producer Kathleen Kennedy who has done a marvelous job of bringing fans the content they want. The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars ended it's six season run in 2014 and is now available on Blu-ray, but the new animated show Star Wars Rebels is about to start airing it's fourth and final season on Disney XD this fall. Meanwhile, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is coming to theaters this December. The video game Battlefront is available as well, and it's sequel, Battlefront II, is coming in November. There are also tons of comic books and novels arriving in stories every week so fans can get to know each character better, and have fun with even more adventures in the battle between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.
List of Star Wars Movies:
Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi (1983)
Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones (2002)
Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens (2015)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi (2017)
Untitled Han Solo Film (2018)
Star Wars: Episode IX (2019)
Kenobi: A Star Wars Story (2020)
Fox's Marvel Universe
Fox deserves credit for bringing the modern superhero movie to the big screen in 2000 with director Bryan Singer's dark, grounded take on the heroic mutants in X-Men. Since then the studio has made ten X-Men movies and three Fantastic Four films all to various degrees of success. The team they have behind-the-scenes and the actors and actresses that make up their on-screen talent are nothing short of amazing. These movies have been tons of fun to watch and continue to get more diverse and complex as they go.
Hugh Jackman led most of the X-Men films, but now that he's left the character in this year's stunning neo-western Logan, the series will have to find a new way to tell these stories. The thing is, they've already started doing just that with the prequel series as he only appeared in cameo roles in both First Class and Apocalypse, so we know the new younger cast is more than capable of keeping the franchise going. It's been frustrating seeing how they've handled the Fantastic Four as it's failed twice, but now the studio is taking a risk by producing a movie about their complicated arch-enemy Doctor Doom. The future is bright for X-Men with New Mutants coming soon which will focus on a younger generation of gifted children, and a sequel to Apocalypse which will adapt the famous Dark Phoenix storyline. There are also tons of other films in various stages of development at the studio.
List of Fox Marvel Movies:
X2: X-Men United (2003)
Fantastic Four (2005)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The Wolverine (2013)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
New Mutants (2018)
Deadpool 2 (2018)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2018)
Deadpool 3 (????)
Alpha Flight (????)
Doctor Doom (????)
The Wizarding World
J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is ever-expanding. After producing eight feature films, the series now has it's first prequel in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which came to theaters in 2016. This is just the first in a series of five films which will tell audiences the backstory of characters like Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledore. Director David Yates is helming at least the first two films in this series with the next installment arriving in 2018. Yates also directed the last four Harry Potter movies and the recent Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, The Legend of Tarzan.
The cast of these films is astounding with the upcoming movie will feature Jude Law as Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. A third film is already set for a November 2020 release date. It's sure to fill in lots of blanks for fans of the series and it's in good hands and Rowling herself is writing the screenplays. There's also potential for future spin-offs with our favorite characters in the Wizarding World. This franchise also has a theme park at Universal Studios and of course plenty of books to keep fans busy.
List of Wizarding World Movies:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2 (2011)
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)
Untitled Fantastic Beasts Sequel (2018)
Untitled Fantastic Beasts Threequel (2020)
Sony's Marvel Universe
After the success of Fox's first X-Men movie, Sony quickly put Spider-Man into production with Sam Raimi in the director's chair. The result was a fantastic film adaptation of the popular Marvel superhero. Two sequels soon followed, but after poor critical response to the third film, plans for a fourth movie were abandoned and a reboot was made by Marc Webb. They got ahead of themselves, though, and tried to set up too many spin-offs with the messy second entry in the series which forced them to leave the series altogether. Now, a deal has been made with Marvel Studios to include the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Spidey swinging alongside the Avengers, Sony isn't leaving anything on the table anymore as multiple spin-offs are now in production.
First up is a take on the anti-hero Venom starring Tom Hardy in the title role. Next, they'll bring two female heroes into the mix with Silver & Black which will focus on thief Black Cat teaming up with mercenary Silver Sable. Villains Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio are rumored to get their own movies as well. There could even be a Sinister Six movie happening eventually also. Only time will tell if and/or when these things will come to fruition.
List of Sony Marvel Movies:
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Silver & Black (2018)
Kraven the Hunter (????)
Sinister Six (????)
With the fifth entry in the Transformers film series arriving this summer, the studio has decided to start making spin-offs about this expansive world. First up will be a movie set in the 1980s about a young Bumblebee. Another planned movie is one which takes place in the distant past on the Transformers homeworld of Cybertron, titled Transformers One. Another potential is a crossover with the Paramount's G.I. Joe franchise. The history and mythology of this property is deep and expansive making for lots of potential with various television series and movies. So far, the film series has been hit or miss with awesome visuals and exciting action, but shallow stories and weak characters. Hopefully that will improve in upcoming entries.
It'll be interesting to see what happens with the franchise in the future as a writers room supposedly developed fourteen ideas for possible sequels and spin-offs. A sixth Transformers movies is also being planned with Michael Bay expected to direct once more. It's disappointing that Bay has been at the helm of each movie as a new director could breath new life into this series and give us a unique take on the world and characters. It's very exciting, however, that Travis Knight is directing the Bumblebee movie as he did a great job with 2016's Kubo and the Two Strings. The future of Transformers could be either bright or bleak.
List of Transformers Movies:
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
Transformers Universe: Bumblebee (2018)
Transformers One (????)
Transformers 6 (????)
Transformers/G.I. Joe (????)
Marvel Cinematic Universe
When Marvel Comics was on the verge of bankruptcy, they sold the film rights to their most popular characters to different studios. So, Fox got X-Men and Fantastic Four, Sony got Spider-Man, and Universal got the Hulk. That left them with the Avengers, and in 2006, the comic book company created their own movie studio to start making their own superhero films. It began with Iron Man in 2008 and the rest is history. Now they've produced and released 16 films with many more on the way and the casts and crews they've put together on each film is outstanding. Marvel Studios popularized the cinematic universe in recent times.
They built the universe by starting off with movies about individual heroes and brought them together in team-up movies. The universe is ever-expanding and will continue to grow as more new characters are introduced and new places are explored. It's all wonderfully linked together and interconnected even in television series like Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the upcoming Inhumans, as well as Netflix series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, the new series The Defenders, and this fall's The Punisher. Check out their list of the films below and see if you've missed any you need to catch up on before seeing the next installment of the franchise.
-List of MCU Movies-
Iron Man (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Black Panther (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Untitled Fourth Avengers Film (2019)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2019)
Spider-Man Homecoming 2 (2019)
As far as TV crossovers go, The CW has the best of them. Beginning with Arrow in 2012, the network has most of the DC Comics-based series and crosses them over in unique and surprising ways. There was an episode of Arrow which introduced The Flash serving as a backdoor pilot for the show. Those shows then spun-off some of their characters for Legends of Tomorrow and the network then picked up Supergirl after CBS cancelled the show. All of these series have similar tone and feel, but still set themselves apart with Arrow serving as the dark and gritty, street-level series, Flash being the brighter, lighter comic book-y show, with Legends as more of a time-travel team-up, and Supergirl being a colorful alien-centric action drama. They all still find a way to work together brilliantly for their once-a-year crossover event.
The characters on these shows is why you keep watching as casting has been spectacular thus far. There are tons of characters from the comics which appear to shock fans and keep them guessing. The shows also have great special effects for their modest TV budgets and the music, costumes, and production design make the worlds of the series feel real. A new series, Black Lightning, will join the fray in 2018 with many more surely on the way. NBC's short-lived series Constantine is also included as that show's star Matt Ryan appeared in an episode of Arrow last season. It's been rumored that a show titled Amazon featuring a young Wonder Woman would air eventually, but it's seemingly been cancelled. Also, a young Aquaman show which had a pilot years ago could still happen. Two animated series are also included in this continuity including Vixen which is now on Blu-ray and Freedom Fighters: The Ray which debuts this year on CW Seed.
List of Arrowverse Series:
The Flash (2014-????)
Legends of Tomorrow (2016-????)
Black Lightning (2018-????)
Freedom Fighters: The Ray (2017-????)
Marvel Animated Universe
A somewhat confusing shared universe on television is the Marvel Animated Universe on Disney XD. While they crossover constantly, there are some characters that aren't consistent with their looks and voices changing over the course of the various series. It's fun to watch all of these heroes team up, though. The animation isn't bad and the voice acting is pretty good too. With a new Spider-Man series coming soon it's unclear how this will affect the shows and their continuity.
It's not that the current shows are bad, but their previous series like The Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes were much better than what the put out now. They also used to put out excellent direct-to-video movies like Ultimate Avengers, Planet Hulk, Thor: Tales of Asgard, and Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, but that's been done away with unfortunately. I guess something is better than nothing, though.
List of Marvel Animated Series:
Ultimate Spider-Man (2012-2017)
Avengers Assemble (2013-????)
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2013-2015)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2015-????)
DC Extended Universe
Since Marvel's success, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have decided to build their own shared cinematic universe with the superheroes in their comic book library. After director Christopher Nolan's critically-acclaimed and commercially well-received The Dark Knight trilogy, WB and DC first took on Superman himself with Zack Snyder's masterpiece Man of Steel which kicked off this interconnected series of films. He then followed it up by introducing Batman and Wonder Woman to audiences in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Next, the studio hired David Ayer to helm the villain-centric Suicide Squad film and then Patty Jenkins took on Wonder Woman in her first stand alone, live-action film.
Today, we eagerly await the team-up movie Justice League later this year and the rest of the movies they have in store for us. While some feel the studio has rushed to this interconnected universe, if you look at the story of the films so far it doesn't seem that way at all. In the years following the team-up film we'll get the character's solo movies in almost a reversal of what Marvel did. It's an unique take and one that's a bit darker, more gritty, and grounded in reality. There are plenty of amazing filmmakers behind the lens and a great cast in front of the camera here too.
List of DCEU Movies:
Man of Steel (2013)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Justice League (2017)
Wonder Woman 2 (2019)
The Batman (????)
Suicide Squad 2 (????)
Green Lantern Corps (????)
Justice League Dark (????)
Black Adam (????)
Man of Steel 2 (????)
Justice League 2 (????)
DC Animated Movie Universe
Within the DC Animated Original Movies is a continuity of films which share the same universe. Not all of the animated movies DC and Warner Bros. Animation put out are part of this shared movieverse, but these specific ones connect to one another. This series has been fun to watch as the characters meet and get to know each other and new ones are introduced as well. They're also all quite stand apart from one another by taking place in unique locales and focusing on diverse characters. It's all based loosely on the New 52 comic books but takes plenty of liberties and draws inspiration from every era of DC Comics lore. These films come straight to store shelves, so look for them anywhere movies are sold.
The movies host tons of characters and introduce them in fun and exciting ways not everyone might expect. It all starts with the Flashpoint event which creates this new universe and leads into the Justice League's first mission together. Most of the films focus on either the team or Batman and his family with more recent entries introducing Justice League Dark and the Teen Titans into the mix. At Comic-Con, it was announced that the next movie in the series will bring the a new version of the Suicide Squad to the forefront. Additionally, voice acting is stellar in each of these films.
List of DC Animated Universe Movies:
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
Justice League: War (2014)
Son of Batman (2014)
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Batman vs. Robin (2015)
Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
Justice League Dark (2017)
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay (2018)
Only two films in the MonsterVerse have been released, but it's off to a great start. By introducing Godzilla to a modern audience the series set up a few key elements which crossed over into this year's Kong: Skull Island. These two films are very different from one another which is a good thing as any movie series with multiple installments that are too similar starts feeling old very quickly. It's gonna be awesome to see these kaiju clash in a couple of years. There's plenty of potential for spin-offs too with other monsters such as Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah will all appear in the upcoming Godzilla sequel. It's gonna be a fun franchise to watch as it updates classic, giant monster battles.
They've got a great team behind the camera here as Gareth Edwards helmed the 2014 Godzilla movie and Jordan Vogt-Roberts took on Kong. Now, Michael Dougherty is directing Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Adam Wingard is set to take the reigns for Godzilla vs. Kong. There's so much potential for growth here and hopefully they can start to get the humans characters right as they haven't quite handled them in the best way so far. However, everyone comes to these films to see monsters fight and the filmmakers have that aspect down pat.
List of MonsterVerse Movies:
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)
This year saw the release of The Mummy reboot starring Tom Cruise which unfortunately failed at the box office and with critics. So, the future of the Dark Universe is up in the air right now. The plan was to take all of the Universal movie monsters and bring them together in a shared cinematic universe in which they would crossover, battle each other, and team-up with one another. The cast they have gathered is incredible with Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster, and Sofia Boutella as The Mummy. The next installment scheduled is Bride of Frankenstein from director Bill Condon which is scheduled to arrive in 2019 which is rumored to have Angelina Jolie starring as the titular Bride. If that film is well-received by audiences and critics then it could turn the tide for this franchise.
Some of the other actors wanted for roles in this series are Scarlett Johnasson as the female lead in Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as The Wolf Man, and Channing Tatum as Van Helsing. It's unclear if any of them will be cast as those movies have no directors yet. However, Creature, Invisible Man, Wolf Man, and Helsing all currently have writers attached to those projects. It'd be fun to see these A-List stars in a shared film universe, especially playing modernized versions of these classic characters. Time will tell if we get to see more of them or not.
List of Dark Universe Movies:
The Mummy (2017)
Bride of Frankenstein (2019)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (????)
The Invisible Man (????)
The Wolf Man (????)
Van Helsing (????)
The Phantom of the Opera (????)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (????)