Upcoming New Superhero Films: 2021-2023 Launch Dates

There’s no denying that the most popular genre around these days is the superhero movie. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy proved that comic book adaptations could be just as dramatic and heavy as non-genre films, Marvel Studios jumpstarted a massive interconnected series of superhero movies that were significantly more colorful and humorous, and audiences have been turning out to both kinds of superhero films in droves. With nearly every major studio now working to turn its own comic book properties into the next big thing, and with Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. plotting out half a decade’s worth of material, it’s sometimes tough to keep track of what’s coming out when, who’s in it, and how it fits into the overall picture.  Not to worry, though, because we here at Collider have you covered.

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide of superhero movie release dates for every major comic book adaptation on the calendar, going all the way up to the year 2022. Moreover, we’ll be updating this guide regularly with the most current information, so if you’re ever at a loss for when exactly The Batman is supposed to be in theaters, you can come right back here for a quick refresher.

Related: Upcoming DC Movies and Upcoming Marvel Movies

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Darkseid in Zack Snyder's Justice League

Image via HBO Max

Release Date: March 18, 2021

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher

What We Know So Far: Hoo-boy, where to begin. When Zack Snyder exited Justice League as director, he had only put together a rough assembly cut of the film, and had not completed visual effects or reshoots. Warner Bros. commissioned Joss Whedon to oversee extensive reshoots and post-production to craft a different version of the film—one that would basically knee-cap Snyder’s overarching DCEU plans and brighten up the tone. The theatrical cut of Justice League is a forgettably bland superhero team-up that felt perfunctory, and fans of Snyder’s begged for years to see his cut of the film. In late 2019, Warner Bros. approached Snyder to see what it would take to finally see his cut through—noting that at the time, the Snyder Cut did not exist and the filmmaker would need a substantial investment from Warner Bros. to finish his version of the film.

Warner Bros. and Snyder came to an agreement, and it was announced in May 2020 that “The Snyder Cut” of Justice League will be released on HBO Max in 2021. Again, the Snyder Cut is incomplete so we don’t yet know exactly what it will entail, but the deal called for extensive visual effects work to be done and for the actors to lend their voices for some ADR to fill in some gaps. Only a couple days of reshoots occurred, so Snyder will be limited with regards to what he can accomplish. It sounds like it will be a more accurate representation of Snyder’s vision for Justice League than the theatrical cut, and the filmmaker has already been teasing the inclusion of supervillain Darkseid.

Black Widow

Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: May 7, 2021

Director: Cate Shortland

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Rachel WeiszFlorence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle and David Harbour

What We Know So Far: A standalone Black Widow movie has long been requested by fans, and Marvel Studios finally pulled the trigger, locking in this past-set standalone movie as the first film of the MCU’s Phase Four. Scarlett Johansson handpicked indie filmmaker Cate Shortland to direct after an exhaustive search. Florence Pugh plays Yelena, who comics fans know as a character who eventually takes on the mantle of Black Widow, while David Harbour plays Red Guardian, the USSR equivalent of Captain America.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 1, 2020 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage

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Image via Sony Pictures

Release Date: June 25, 2021

Director: Andy Serkis

Cast: Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson

What We Know So Far: This is Venom 2. The first Venom was released on this same weekend in October and has now grossed over $800 million worldwide, which is kind of insane. So this is one superhero movie whose post-credits sequence doesn’t seem to have been for naught, as we’ll likely see Woody Harrelson‘s Carnage front and center in this follow-up.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on October 2, 2020 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Release Date: July 9, 2021

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Writer: Dave Callaham

Cast: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung

What We Know So Far: With Shang-Chi, Marvel is looking to produce its first superhero movie with an Asian lead. The film is based on a comics character created in the early 1970s by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin and was born out of Marvel Comics’ desire to acquire the rights to the TV series Kung Fu, which they were denied. Instead, they acquired the rights to the villain Fu Manchu and created Shang-Chi as a son of Fu Manchu. In the comics, Shang-Chi was raised and trained by his father in martial arts, but when he learned his father was actually evil, he turned against him. Marvel intends to fill out the ensemble with a mostly Asian cast, looking towards Black Panther as a template for how this kind of movie should be put together. Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton won the directing gig over other candidates that included Alan Yang (Master of None) and Deborah Chow (The Mandarin).

The film will introduce the MCU’s real Mandarin, to be played by Tony Leung, following the fake-out of the character in Iron Man 3. The film was originally scheduled to be released in February 2021 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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The Suicide Squad

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: August 8, 2021

Director: James Gunn

Cast: Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Idris Elba, Nathan Fillion, and Taika Waititi

What We Know So Far: When it was clear that David Ayer wasn’t coming back to direct a Suicide Squad sequel, Warner Bros. looked at some intriguing names for his replacement. Mel Gibson was approached towards the end of 2016, but the studio eventually moved on and offered the movie to Jaume Collet-Serra of The Shallows and Non-Stop fame to take the helm, only to see him pass. Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant) was subsequently set to direct, but when his take came out similar to the plot of the Birds of Prey movie—which is going into production first—he became frustrated and moved on.

Subsequently, Warner Bros. tapped former Guardians of the Galaxy 3 filmmaker James Gunn to write a script from scratch and direct. Indeed, months later it was announced that Gunn would be directing this film, which is titled The Suicide Squad and is more of a reboot than a sequel (Gunn says you don’t need to have seen Ayer’s film to follow his). Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman all reprise their roles from the first movie and Idris Elba signed on to play Bloodsport. Additionally, David Dastmalchian is Polka Dot Man, Daniela Melchior is Ratcatcher, John Cena is Peacekeeper, Steve Agee is voicing King Shark and Nathan Fillion and Taika Waititi are playing undisclosed roles. Filming began in September 2019 and wrapped in February 2020.

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Eternals

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Release Date: November 5, 2021

Director: Chloe Zhao

Cast: Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.

What We Know So Far: Eternals is based on a comics series created by Jack Kirby and revolves around a group of superpowered and nearly immortal beings. Marvel enlisted acclaimed The Rider director Chloe Zhao to take the helm, and subsequently assembled a tremendous A-list ensemble. Not only is the movie expected to feature an openly gay superhero character, but Lauren Ridloff is playing the first deaf superhero in the MCU. Filming began in the fall of 2019 and wrapped in January 2020.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 6, 2020 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Untitled Spider-Man Sequel

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Image via Sony Pictures

Release Date: December 17, 2021

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon

What We Know So Far: Just as Spider-Man: Far from Home was hitting theaters worldwide, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures were locked in contentious negotiations regarding the extension of their partnership on future Spider-Man films. Briefly, Sony still holds the license to Spider-Man, but starting with Spider-Man: Homecoming brought Marvel Studios and its president Kevin Feige onboard to serve as the lead creative producer to help steer the direction of that film (a reboot), and subsequently its sequel given how well Homecoming performed. In summer 2019 talks between both sides broke down over how to proceed (Disney wanted a bigger cut of the box office in exchange for paying for some of the production, while Sony wanted to keep the status quo), but in September the two sides came to an agreement on at least one more Spider-Man movie starring Holland (who will also appear in one more unnamed MCU film). Far from Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers returned pen the screenplay, and Homecoming and Far from Home helmer Jon Watts is back in the director’s chair.

Plot details are firmly under wraps, but with the confirmed involvement of Jamie Foxx as Electro and Alfred Molina as Doc Ock, plus the rumored involvement of Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Kirsten Dunst, and Tobey Maguire, this movie is likely to blast the multiverse wide open.

The film was originally scheduled to be released in July 2021 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Morbius

Release Date: January 21, 2022

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Cast: Jared Leto, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, and Tyrese Gibson

What We Know So Far: This is Sony’s next Marvel Comics adaptation after Venom. Jared Leto plays the titular character, a vampire, with Daniel Espinosa (Life, Safe House) directing. The film will also connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (somehow) via a cameo from Michael Keaton‘s Spider-Man: Homecoming character. The film was originally scheduled to be released on July 31, 2020 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Batman

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: March 4, 2022

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Robert PattinsonZoe KravitzPaul Dano, Colin Farrell, Peter Sarsgaard and Jeffrey Wright.

What We Know So Far: This one has been a long time coming. Warner Bros. finally got Ben Affleck to agree to direct and star in a Batman standalone called The Batman in 2015, with Affleck having penned a script with Geoff Johns. However, Affleck subsequently stepped down from the director’s chair, opting instead just to star in this standalone while Warner Bros. set Dawn of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves to take the helm instead. After over two yeas of rumors as to whether Affleck would or would not star, Warner Bros. has finally confirmed that he’ll be moving aside and making way for a new Caped Crusader.

Reeves’ take is described as noir-tinged and will star Robert Pattinson as a younger Batman/Bruce Wayne than Affleck’s iteration. Pattinson beat out Nicholas Hoult for the role, with Zoe Kravitz subsequently cast as Catwoman and Jeffrey Wright cast as Commissioner Gordon. Jonah Hill was in talks to play The Riddler, but when those talks broke down Paul Dano was cast as the iconic villain instead. Colin Farrell subsequently signed on to play The Penguin.

The film will also be honing in on the detective aspect of the Batman comics that hasn’t been fully explored in the films, and began filming in early 2020 in London. Greig Fraser (Rogue One) is the cinematographer and Michael Giacchino (War for the Planet of the Apes) will compose the score.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on June 25, 2021 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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Release Date: March 25, 2022

Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen.

What We Know So Far: While 2016’s Doctor Strange was no doubt intended to start a new franchise, the follow-up was put on the backburner so Benedict Cumberbatch’s character could take a key role in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. In December 2018, it was revealed that Derrickson had quietly closed a deal to return and direct the Doctor Strange sequel, and at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Marvel confirmed that Derrickson and Cumberbatch are returning for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Derrickson described the sequel as the first “scary” MCU film, and it will co-star Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, with events that tie directly into the Disney+ series WandaVision. But in January 2020, Derrickson left the director’s chair over creative differences. He retains an executive producer credit, but Marvel subsequently entered negotiations with legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi to take on directing duties.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 7, 2021 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Thor: Love and Thunder

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Release Date: May 6, 2022

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris HemsworthNatalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Christian Bale

What We Know So Far: Marvel signed Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi to return to write and direct Thor 4 in July 2019, but at Comic-Con a few weeks later Marvel broke the big news: the film will feature the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, who becomes the MCU’s first female Thor! She’ll co-star opposite Chris Hemsworth as, well, Lebowski Thor I guess and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who was deemed King of Asgard at the end of Avengers: Endgame. In January 2020, Christian Bale entered talks to join the cast as the villain, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are said to have some kind of role in the film as it picks up where Endgame left off.

The film was originally scheduled to be released on November 5, 2021 but was pushed due the COVID-19 shutdown.

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Black Panther 2

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Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: July 8, 2022

Director: Ryan Coogler

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: Ryan Coogler is coming back to write and direct Black Panther 2 and Chadwick Boseman was poised to reprise the starring role before his shocking death. Marvel has said they will not be recasting the role of T’Challa, and Coogler is currently reworking the screenplay.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Sequel

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Image via Sony Pictures

Release Date: October 7, 2022

Director: Joaquim Dos Santos

Writer: Dave Callaham

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: Sony Pictures put into motion plans for a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel shortly after the successful launch of the Oscar-winning animated movie, but the creative team is a bit different. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are returning as producers, but The Legend of Korra alum Joaquim Dos Santos is in the director’s chair working from a script by Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984).

The Flash

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: November 4, 2022

Director: Andy Muschietti

Cast: Ezra MillerMichael Keaton, and Ben Affleck

What We Know So Far: The Flash movie has had a pretty long road so far. Back in April 2015, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were hired to write a story treatment with the hope that they would direct, but the duo departed to take the helm of Solo: A Star Wars Story instead. Ezra Miller remained attached to star, having been cast as The Flash for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and in October 2015 Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith was hired to write the script and direct. Grahame-Smith was them removed from the project in April 2016, with WB wanting to take the film in a different direction, and Dope helmer Rick Famuyiwa was hired as his replacement. Famuyiwa cast Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and Billy Crudup as Flash’s father Harry Allen, but by August 2016, Famuyiwa departed the project over creative differences.

While the film was supposed to start filming in early 2017, Famuyiwa’s exit threw a wrench into WB’s plans and the studio opted to slow things down while Miller went off to shoot Fantastic Beasts 2Joby Harold (King Arthur) came on to do a page-one rewrite of the script, and in May 2017 Robert Zemeckis and Matthew Vaughn surfaced as WB’s top choices to direct. The studio revealed in July 2017 that the film would be titled Flashpoint, indicating the story will be adapting the famous comics arc that sees Barry going back into the past to save his mother’s life, thus creating an alternate timeline. Speculation then began that this Flashpoint twist could allow WB to “fix” some issues in the DCEU by altering the timeline.

At long last, Warner Bros. hired Vacation directors and Spider-Man: Homecoming co-writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to take the helm in early 2018, based in part on the strength of their Warner Bros. action comedy Game Night.

But production was pushed once again, as Ezra Miller was originally due to shoot Fantastic Beasts 3 in Fall/Winter 2019. Filming on The Flash movie couldn’t begin before that.

In March 2019, a report surfaced there was creative tension between Miller’s vision (darker, gritter) and Daley and Goldstein’s vision (lighter, more fun), to the point that Warner Bros. allowed Miller to write a version of the script himself with the help of Grant Morrison to show what his take would look like. The implication was that if Warner Bros. wasn’t happy with the script Miller created, he could be out as Flash.

Well cut to July 2019, and Daley and Goldstein voluntarily left the project while IT and Mama filmmaker Andy Muschietti entered negotiations to take over as director—the project’s fourth filmmaker in four years. Not only that, but Warner Bros. didn’t like Miller’s script after all and tossed it, albeit while keeping Miller attached as the lead character. Instead, Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) is now writing a new draft of the screenplay.

At DC FanDome in 2020, Warner Bros. revealed the film will introduce the multiverse to the DCEU, with Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck reprising their roles as Batman from the previous films.

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Captain Marvel 2

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Image via Disney

Release Date: November 11, 2022

Director: Nia DaCosta

Cast: Brie LarsonTeyonah ParrisIman Vellani, and Zawe Ashton

What We Know So Far: Marvel tapped the director of the upcoming Candyman remake, Nia DaCosta, to helm this sequel which will co-star Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel, with Zawe Ashton playing the villain.

Aquaman 2

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: December 16, 2022

Director: James Wan

Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber HeardPatrick Wilson, and Yahya Abdul Mateen II

What We Know So Far: When Aquaman hit theaters in December 2018, it surprisingly became the highest-grossing film of the DCEU thus far, topping out at over $1.1 billion. With that in mind, Warner Bros. set about getting the wheels in motion on a sequel, though director James Wan cautioned that he wouldn’t move forward on it until the script was right. The studio has now set a far-away 2022 release date to give the film enough time to develop, and Aquaman co-writer (and frequent Wan collaborator) David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick has been tasked with writing the screenplay. Filming is expected to begin in Summer 2021.

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Director: TBA

Cast: Zachary Levi

What We Know So Far: Very little, but fresh off the success of the first Shazam! Warner Bros. hired writer Henry Gayden to get to work crafting Shazam! 2. Director David F. Sandberg is due to return, and filming is expected to begin in May 2021.

Black Adam

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Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: TBA

Director: Jauma Collet-Serra

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, and Quintessa Swindell

What We Know So Far: This project first surfaced years ago, when Warner Bros. secured Dwayne Johnson to play Shazam villain Black Adam. The idea was for Johnson to star in the Shazam movie, but in the spring of 2017 Johnson revealed that they had decided to make two separate movies: one for Shazam, and one for his antagonist/antihero Black Adam. Johnson will lead the latter while Shazammoved forward separately and became a success. This one’s been in development for a long time, but movement is starting to occur as Warner Bros. set Due Date writer Adam Sztykiel to pen the screenplay. The film finally found a director in Jaume Collet-Serra, with whom Johnson worked on Disney’s upcoming Jungle Cruise movie. Filming was finally scheduled to begin in July 2020 but is delayed due to the COVID-19 shutdown, but the story will involve characters like Atom Smasher, Cyclone, and Hawkman.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

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Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: TBA 2023

Director/Writer: James Gunn

Cast: TBA

What We Know So Far: The third Guardians of the Galaxy movie was originally supposed to start production in early 2019, but writer/director James Gunn was fired off the film last fall following the resurfacing of some bad jokes he made on Twitter years ago. Unbeknownst to the public, Gunn continued to meet with executives at Disney in the interim period, after he took a job writing and directing The Suicide Squad for DC, and it was announced in March 2019 that Gunn was being re-hired to direct the film. The intended 2020 release date was pushed back, and production won’t begin until after Gunn finishes The Suicide Squad, but through all the turmoil Marvel Studios kept Gunn’s completed script. So he’ll get to close out the trilogy as he originally intended. Filming is expected to begin in 2021, and the film will be released in 2023.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

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Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: TBA

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonathan Majors and Kathryn Newton

What We Know So Far: In November 2019, Marvel Studios announced that Peyton Reed would return to direct a third Ant-Man movie. Rick and Morty screenwriter Jeff Loveless was subsequently hired to write the script, and Kathryn Newton has joined the cast as an older version of Scott Lang’s daugther Cassie while Jonathan Majors will play the villain Kang the Conqueror.

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The Collider Podcast, Ep. 302 – What Went Wrong with ‘The Little Things’?

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About The Author

Adam Chitwood
(15609 Articles Published)

Adam Chitwood is the Managing Editor for Collider. He’s been working for Collider for over a decade, and in addition to managing content also runs point on crafts interviews, awards coverage, and co-hosts The Collider Podcast with Matt Goldberg (which has been running since 2012). He’s the creator and author of Collider’s “How the MCU Was Made” series and has interviewed Bill Hader about every single episode of Barry. He lives in Tulsa, OK and likes pasta, 90s thrillers, and spending like 95% of his time with his dog Luna.

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