The release of Deadpool Friday is just the start off a slew of “heroic villain” movies of every genre coming to a multiplex near you.
Here are five of the many such films expected to open in 2016, many of them featuring A-list talent. Release dates are subject to change.
Triple 9 (Feb. 26)
“The code on the street is never black and white,” goes the poster line for this John Hillcoat thriller about crooked cops. Blackmailed by the Russian mafia, they’re forced into a heist that may involve the murder of a rookie cop, unless they can scam their way out of it. Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet and Anthony Mackie star.
Criminal (April 15)
Taking the “heroic villain” concept to literal extremes is this sci-fi thriller by The Iceman’s Ariel Vromen. It stars Kevin Costner as a violent death-row inmate who receives the memories, abilities and secrets of a dead CIA operative, whose subconscious holds the key to completing a covert mission and averting global catastrophe. Co-stars include Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Alice Eve and Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds.
The Nice Guys (May 20)
Ryan Gosling plays “world’s worst” private dick and Russell Crowe a brutal hired thug, in this Shane Black comedy set in 1970s L.A. Gosling’s Holland March and Crowe’s Jackson Healy are obliged to work together to find a missing girl. Bullets fly, blood gushes and March observes: “I’m saying I think they died quickly, though, so I don’t think they got hurt.”
Suicide Squad (Aug. 5)
When all the good people of the Earth are threatened by a mysterious planet-engulfing force, the authorities call on the bad guys for help. Who else but the “world’s worst” badasses, who have nothing to lose and might actually enjoy getting killed? Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje star.
Bad Santa 2 (Nov. 23)
Billy Bob Thornton reprises his role as the depressed, alcoholic, vile and violent mall Santa Claus of his unlikely 2003 hit, along with Tony Cox as his sidekick Marcus. This Santa’s always naughty; anything nice that happens will purely be by accident. Currently filming in Montreal, Christina Hendricks and Kathy Bates co-star.