Special Feature: Summer 2014 preview

Like them or lump them, superhero films have been smashing international box office records left, right and centre for the past few years now, and 2014 looks set to be another super year of cinema for comic book fans (for those of you who go mad for anything to do with superheroes, check out the superhero-themed slot games on Metro Play). With Marvel and DC Comics both holding out until 2015 for the release of their huge marquee ensembles (The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the tentatively titled Batman vs. Superman, the wildly anticipated Caped Crusader versus Man of Steel face-off, respectively), here’s a brief round-up of the most hotly anticipated, spandex-clad superhero film to be hitting screens later this year.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
Singer’s new X-Men film promises to be an epic sci-fi adventure, doing something than none of the franchise instalments has done before- time travel. Who doesn’t love the idea of seeing the X-Men team up with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class? The dream cast includes James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page and Sir Ian McKellen.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (dir. Michael Bay)
The Age of Extinction is set four years after the events of the last Transformers movie and the robot aliens have disappeared from Earth. That is until an inventor (played by Mark Walhberg) discovers a Transformer buried in the desert. The fourth Transformers film features a whole new cast of human characters which might disappoint fans of the franchise, but the superior special effects (CGI has advanced since the last film) are sure to win audiences over.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (dir. Jonathan Liebesman)
The new Ninja Turtles movie was lambasted by fans, before it was even written, when Michael Bay announced that in his version the Turtles would be from an alien planet. Fans responded so negatively to the news that Michael Bay went back to the drawing board and came up with a new story that stays true to the original comics, with a plot that centres on an alien invasion. A film about turtles skilled in martial arts could easily veer on the silly side, so the film will have to have some dark elements and a complex back-story to keep serious action film fans interested.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)
In this sequel, Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker must face three powerful villains and uncover the mystery of his parents’ disappearance. The first Amazing Spider-Man focused on Peter Parker’s relationships with his family and his love interest Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), but this time it’s all about the incredible action scenes. Jamie Foxx plays the terrifying Electro, just one of Spider-Man’s new enemies. The film’s tagline – ‘His greatest battle begins’ – suggests that the latest Spider-Man franchise reboot is just getting started.