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Marvel's Fantastic Four will take on DC's Superman... at the summer 2025 box office, at least

July 2025 will see a showdown between Marvel Studios and the first movie from DC Studios

Fantastic Four/Superman
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Jamal Campbell - DC

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It might feel a little early to say this, but July 2025 is already looking like a battleground when it comes to superhero universes, with the first movie in James Gunn’s new DC Universe releasing just a couple of weeks before what might be the most eagerly-anticipated Marvel Studios release since… 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, perhaps…? Maybe we should take full advantage of our relatively-light-on-the-superheroes 2024, because in 2025… the war for superhero cinema supremacy is back on.

To be fair, when the release date of Superman — then called Superman: Legacy — was initially unveiled in March 2023, writer/director James Gunn revealed that the July 11 date wasn’t just a perfect mid-summer date for a blockbuster release… it also had personal significance, as the date was his father’s birthday. “I lost my Dad almost three years ago. He was my best friend. He didn’t understand me as a kid, but he supported my love of comics and my love of film and I wouldn’t be making this movie now without him,” the director wrote on social media.

At the time DC announced that date, it seemed like a safe choice to launch the new DC Universe: firmly mid-summer, and — when announced, at least — far enough away from any Marvel release so as to avoid conflict. In March 2023, after all, Marvel’s planned releases for the year were on February 14, May 2, and November 7. And then, things changed.

The Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes of 2023 affected production on a lot of movies and TV shows, and rearranged release schedules for studios across the industry — but Marvel was arguably hit harder than many, with the enforced downtime arriving in the middle of both Marvel and parent company Disney reassessing larger ambitions for the brand, leading to some pretty big rearrangements and rethinks.

Some of those changes included pushing the release schedule for movies, and then rearranging the order of the movies entirely so that Marvel’s Phase 6 starts just two weeks after the launch of the new DCU.

It’s safe to say that The Fantastic Four is being looked at as a big deal by Marvel Studios and Marvel fans alike, with a cast list including Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, and The Bear’s Ebon Moss-Bachrach and a tone that, based on first promotional materials, looks lighter and very different from the MCU norm. At a time when Disney CEO Bob Iger is openly complaining about Marvel’s output, the movie has become — either by accident or design — a sign of a potential soft reboot for the MCU and a sign that better times are coming… and, specifically, coming right on the heels of Superman’s reintroduction to movies.

Is this Marvel attempting to step on DC’s big moment with its most anticipated movie in production, or simply a strange coincidence? Will Superman’s two weeks of clearance at the box office be enough for DC and its parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, or is the hope over there that the Man of Steel will triumph over Marvel’s retro first family? We’ve got a little over a year to find out — assuming one or both studios don’t get cold feet and switch dates between now and summer 2025.

Want to keep up to date on the latest dates for upcoming superhero movies? We’ve got a list to help with that.