2016 wasn’t a great year for movies. While we had some pretty good, award-worthy gems pop up here and there, they were few and far in between. Even movies that had no chance of failing, like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, ended up being divisive at best. But that’s okay, because it’s all over now and 2017 is gearing up to be one phenomenal year for new and exciting cinematic adventures! While on one hand we have first-time films like Wonder Woman and Kong: Skull Island to look forward to, it’s amazing to see just how many sequels, continuations, and conclusions are slated to be released throughout the year. Look, I love original movies but I also love revisiting familiar places and characters that I’ve grown to love over the years.
On this list, you’ll find 21 big names that have even bigger sequels coming out in 2017. From monumental events like Justice League bringing all of DC’s elite together for the first time in live-action form, to final chapters like Resident Evil and Logan, I think it’s safe to say that 2017 is bound to be a year that delivers all the blockbuster goodness that we’ve come to expect from Hollywood… and then some!
21. Underworld: Blood Wars
Release date: 6 January 2017
Let’s kick things off with a franchise that started way back in 2003 and propelled Kate Beckinsale’s career into pop-culture superstardom when she played the ass-kicking vampire, Selene. That’s right, Underworld returns next year with Underworld: Blood Wars, and this time around, Selene goes rogue! With her only allies being David (Theo James) and his father Thomas, played by Charles Dance of Game Of Thrones fame, Selene must find a way to not only survive the massacre that’s about to ensue, but win the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the bloodthirsty Vampire tribe that betrayed her.
Now, I’m not saying all the Underworld movies have been good. The first movie set the stage for the series and was a pretty fun, gritty action-horror flick. The second one, Underworld: Evolution, was decent enough, but Underworld: Awakening ended up being the weakest of the series. The often forgotten prequel, Rise Of The Lycans, is actually a very enjoyable film. However, Blood Wars seems to be back on track and if the trailers are to be believed, it’s giving the story a twist by forcing Selene to evolve into a vampire that can walk in the sun!
20. xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage
Release date: 20 January 2017
If you’re a fan of the first xXx, then obviously you’re ready and geared to see Vin Diesel finally reprise his role of extreme athlete turned government operative, Xander Cage! Thought to be long dead, Cage steps out of his self-imposed exile and finds himself back in all the high-octane madness as be battles an alpha warrior named Xiang, played by none other than Donnie Yen of IP Man fame! Xiang is after an unstoppable weapon aptly named Pandora’s Box, and now Xander Cage must recruit an all-new elite squad of thrill-seeking allies to find the Box before his nemesis does.
It’s going to be a massive year for both Vin Diesel and Donnie Yen. Vin Diesel has two other massive blockbusters coming out in 2017 – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 as well as Fast 8, whereas Donnie Yen can now be seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, instantly making him a part of the biggest saga in cinematic history. The big question is, will xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage be any good or has the time passed for this franchise? If the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise is any indication, you can inject new life into a series at any point to breathe new life into it, it just needs to resonate well with a big enough audience.
19. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Release date: 27 January 2017
Like Underworld: Blood Wars, this movie has screened in some parts of the world already so if you’re looking for reviews, you’re bound to find them. Taking off immediately after the chaotic events of Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice – played by Milla Jovovich – is the sole survivor of the war against the hordes of the Umbrella Corporation’s undead army. Now Alice must finally return to the source of the nightmare, the Hive in Raccoon City, to put a stop to Umbrella Corp once and for all before they gather a force big enough to wipe out whatever is left of the post-apocalyptic world.
The Final Chapter is of course the epic conclusion to a series that started all the way back in 2002 with Resident Evil, the first installment based on the massive video game series of the same name. It followed with Apocalypse in 2004, Extinction in 2007, Afterlife in 2010, and Retribution in 2012. So if you’ve been following the series for the last 15 years and can’t wait to see how it all comes to a blazing end with bullets, explosions, and Alice fending off against uglies of the worst kind, The Final Chapter is not to be missed.
18. John Wick: Chapter 2
Release date: 10 February 2017
The first John Wick took everyone by surprise. What most people thought was a throwaway movie became an instant cult success as Keanu Reeves took on the role of ex-hitman John Wick who goes on an all-out hunt to kill the men who wronged him. What surprised people even more is the world building that took place in that movie, especially the introduction of The Continental – a hotel that serves and acts as a safe haven for multitudes of figures from the secret, unseen underworld.
But you know what they say… you may be done with that world, but it doesn’t mean that world is done with you. And as such, John Wick finds himself back in the cross hairs of a whole battalion of people who want him dead… but since Wick is a highly-skilled tactician with a penchant for killing people at pinpoint accuracy, that isn’t going to be a simple task to achieve. What I’m most excited for – and this was shown in the trailers – is the reunion of Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne. They can do all the movies they want, but I’ll always see them as Neo and Morpheus from theMatrix trilogy.
17. Fifty Shades Darker
Release date: 10 February 2017
Now, this movie isn’t really my cup of tea but I know a lot of people who are salivating just to see this. The sequel to the massively successful Fifty Shades of Grey sees both Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson reprise their roles of highly-sexual cohorts Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, but there’s some telenovela drama added to the story this time around.
While Christian continues to battle with his inner demons and whatnot, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the many women who were more than happy to be tied up and blindfolded to Christian’s bedpost in the past. In all seriousness though, this movie will make big bucks whether you like it or not because just like Twilight – which the Fifty Shades books are based off of – it has a strong following that are bound to go see it. Pair that with a Valentine’s Day week opening and you know a third installment will be greenlit almost instantly. Just be sure to, you know, check and wipe the seats before the next movie if this movie’s credits just finished rolling. Some people are more easily stimulated that others. Just saying.
Release date: 3 March 2017
This is it… Hugh Jackman’s final run as Wolverine. It’s the last leg of the race, and after the credits roll on Logan, Hugh Jackman’s time as the most iconic mutant in the X-Men cinematic universe or otherwise, will come to an end. Appearing in over nine X-Men movies, and not to mention a couple of not-so-subtle mentions in Deadpool, Hugh Jackman has become synonymous with the feral character, and I can’t see anyone else embodying the comic book icon with such dedication any time in the near future.
Acting as a sequel to The Wolverine and loosely based on Old Man Logan, Logan tells the story of a world without mutants, and only a handful like Logan and Charles Xavier surviving whatever it was that annihilated an entire race of people from the planet. In his lonesome state, Logan finally begins to feel the cruel effects of time as his body slowly succumbs to the wounds that he has collected over the decades – possibly even centuries – of his existence. In a final hurrah, Logan finds himself once again allied with his aging mentor, Charles Xavier, in an attempt to save a mysterious girl named Laura who seems to have an unsettling number of similarities with Logan himself. In an effort to unravel the mystery behind the girl and ward off the assassins that are hell-bent on killing him, Logan must once again become the Wolverine and set off a trail of berserker rage in order to fight, heal, and fight again… just as he has always done.
15. T2: Trainspotting
Release date: 10 March 2017
Here’s a sequel that I don’t think anyone expected or even asked for, to be honest, but are pretty excited for nonetheless. The first Trainspotting falls in the same ranks as Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, The Truman Show, Sunshine, and a bunch of other movies that are not only critically-acclaimed but also revered as some of the best films with cult-like standards. The question is, can this sequel live up to its predecessor and does a movie like this have a place in today’s cinematic landscape?
Twenty years have passed since the events of the first movie, and Ewan McGregor finally returns as Mark Renton to the only place that he can call home… and Spud (Ewen Bremmer), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) are not too far behind. And joining this motley crew are all the ingredients that made the movie such a massive hit; joy, sorrow, loss, vengeance, friendship, betrayal, fear, opportunity, regret, self-destruction and of course, a sense of mortal danger. T2: Trainspotting could be the unexpected sleeper hit of 2017, and it’ll be fun to see if it adds or takes away from the brilliance of the original film.
14. The Fate of the Furious (Fast 8)
Release date: 14 April 2017
Fast cars, high-octane action, and one globe-trotting adventure after another… If there’s one series of movies that isn’t slowing down anytime soon, it’s the Fast & Furious. Keeping with the tradition of churning out a new sequel every other year since Fast Five, Vin Diesel returns as Dominic Torreto with his band of daredevil drivers in tow. However, joining the fold as a villain is a character named Cipher, played by none other than Charlize Theron who should lend a very interesting dynamic to the series. We don’t know much about the plot yet, but I’m pretty sure it involves this motley group thwarting a heist of some sort. Judging by official photos that have been posted online, Hobbs – played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – lands himself in prison for whatever reason… and if you thought he didn’t look like a giant rib cage-ripping machine before, wait till you check out his new, even more bad-ass look in Fast 8.
The Fast franchise consistently makes close to a billion dollars with each new film, with the last installment crashing the billion-dollar mark in record time, due in part to the tragic loss of Paul Walker. It’s obvious that this series is revved up and ready to go, with two more sequels – Fast 9 and Fast 10 – already slated for 2019 and 2021 respectively.
13. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2
Release date: 5 May 2017
One of the biggest surprise hits of 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn. Set to the nostalgic tunes of an “awesome mixtape”, Guardians of the Galaxy saw a band of misfits, loners, bandits, and even biologically-engineered animals come together to form the unlikeliest group of heroes in the universe and now… they’re back!
This time around, the movie is set to the backdrop of Awesome Mix Vol. 2 and sees the ragtag crew aboard the Milano traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos in an attempt to not only seek out new adventures and right the wrongs of others, but also unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. That, and the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 won’t be before Avengers: Infinity War kicks off… so will this act as a bridge between the Guardians, Thanos, and the heroes on Earth? Will we see hints of a crossover?Honestly, this is one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. With an all-star cast of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Zoe Saldana set to meet and mesh with even more characters from Marvel’s ever-expanding universe, there’s no reason why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 won’t be one of the biggest, best damn films of the year!
12. Alien: Covenant
Release date: 19 May 2017
For a while, we were unsure whether or not Alien: Covenant was going to involve the terrifying Xenomorphs of classic Alien fame, but with the release of the first teaser poster, all doubts were instantly cleared and fans of the franchise – like myself – gasped in excitement at the sight of that signature, drooling snarl!
The sequel to the divisive Prometheus and a prequel to the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant will apparently act as the bridge – the missing link – that finally connects the events of the first Alien to the events of Prometheus. I’m going to admit that I really liked Prometheus despite all its flaws, so I’m more than happy to know that this movie will follow the events of that movie instead of blatantly ignoring it. Alien: Covenant will tell the story of a crew aboard a colony ship, Covenant, discover what they assume is an uncharted paradise… but is instead a dark, sinister world whose only inhabitant is the synthetic David played by Michael Fassbender, the lone survivor of the catastrophic Prometheus expedition. Of course, also rumored to return is Noomi Rapace’s character Elizabeth Shaw, and joining the fold as the new crew are most notably Billy Crudup and comedian Danny McBride, so we’ll see how that plays out. This is one sequel that I simply cannot wait to see!
11. POTC 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Release date: 26 May 2017
I’m not sure if anyone asked for a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but I’m sure glad they’re making one! Say what you will about Johnny Depp and his eccentric, over-the-top characters, but I honestly think he makes movies all the more interesting to watch. Depp is excellent at what he does, and I’m more than excited to see him reprise his defining role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the sequel to On Stranger Tides, Dead Men Tell No Tales.
This time around, Jack Sparrow finds himself being hunted by an army of ghost pirates led by none other than his old nemesis, the frighteningly ghoulish Captain Salazar, played by the one and only Javier Bardem! Salazar and his crew have escaped the Devil’s Triangle, and Jack Sparrow’s only hope of staying alive and surviving the onslaught of Salazar’s wrath is to find the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artefact that gives its possessor complete control over the seven seas. If that description didn’t make you want to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales right now, I don’t know what will. I’m sold, take my money and give me a ticket because I’m there on opening night!
10. Cars 3
Release date: 16 June 2017
I think it’s safe to say that Cars is the least liked Pixar series out there, but kids absolutely love the characters and the merchandise flies off the shelves so it’s a no-brainer that there would be a Cars 2 and now, a Cars 3! What’s really interesting is that the teaser seems to be hinting at a darker turn for the Cars franchise, which is really weird considering this is supposed to be a fun lil’ movie for kids… unless they’re aiming at the kids who started with the first Cars and are now in their teens. Either way, we see Lightning McQueen crash into a barrier and then get thrown into the air, parts flying in all directions, before the words “From This Moment On, Everything Changes” pops up on the screen. It’s a very ominous teaser for what was Pixar’s most kid-friendly series of movies.
Either way, Cars 3 will once again follow Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) as he is blindsided by a generation of new blazing-fast cars. With the help of an eager young race technician and some much-needed inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, Lightning must once again muster enough strength and courage to win the championship on Piston Cup Racing’s grandest stage!
9. Transformers: The Last Knight
Release date: 23 June 2017
Let me make one thing perfectly clear; I hated the last Transformers movie. I thought it was an overly long sh*tstorm of astronomical proportions and I guaranteed myself I wouldn’t be seeing another Transformers movie in theaters. Fast forward a couple of years, and I find myself once again excited about a new Transformers movie. There’s just something about watching Optimus Prime roll out and kick Decepticon ass that makes me want to give my money to these damn movies! Will it be good? Probably not. Will it make a f*ckton of money? You can bet your bottom dollar it will. Will it be a visually-stunning eye-candy joyride? Now that’s a guarantee!
In The Last Knight, the follow-up to Age of Extinction, Optimus Prime is able to locate Cybertron, now a dead planet, and realizes that he is responsible for killing it. In order to restore Cybertron back to life, Optimus must find an ancient artefact that’s located on Earth. Woah, count me in! The Last Knight brings Mark Wahlberg back into the fold, but joining him is veteran actor Anthony Hopkins as well. Rumor has it that the movie involves World War II, King Arthur, and Hitler. Go figure.
8. War for The Planet of the Apes
Release date: 14 July 2017
One of my favorite movies of 2011 is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was a surprise success, with everyone hailing the new Planet of the Apes franchise as a brilliant prequel trilogy that finally explains how the apes took over the entire planet. Of course the standout star of that movie is Caesar, brought to glorious life by Andy Serkis of Lord of the Rings fame.
Fast forward a few years and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes blew everyone out of the water by showing the clash between apes and men, which has finally led to what is supposedly the final piece in the Planet of the Apes origins saga, War for the Planet of the Apes. One of my favorite actors, Woody Harrelson, joins the series as a vengeful colonel out to eradicate the primates and take Earth back for humankind. But in his way is Caesar, the mythical God-like figure of age-old ape lore. After suffering immense losses, Caesar must now dig deep to strike a balance between his own wants, needs, and emotions… while battling the darkness within that tells him to wage brutal, merciless war on every human that stands in his way in order to keep his brethren alive.
7. Blade Runner 2049
Release date: 6 October 2017
It has been 35 years since Blade Runner came out, and we’re finally getting a follow-up to one of Ridley Scott’s most praised cinematic endeavors. Directed by David Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 sees the return of Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard… and that’s basically all we know at this point about the much-anticipated sequel.
We know Jared Leto, Ryan Gosling, and Dave Bautista are joining the fold as new characters, and we know that the story comes from Ridley Scott’s vision, but the rest is up to speculation. It’ll be fun to see how well a movie like Blade Runner is accepted in this day and age, and if the film will still employ some of Ridley’s filmmaking style such as the use of noir in some scenes and using real practical effects and set pieces instead of relying on CGI. There are questions that were left unanswered in the first movie for the last 35 years, so it’ll be nice to finally get some closure as well as revisit that futuristic landscape for an all-new adventure. I just hope the new director doesn’t sway too far from the original, because the last thing we want is a Blade Runner sequel that feels nothing like the first.
6. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Release date: 6 October 2017
Kingsman: The Secret Service was a surprise hit back in 2014, delivering fast-paced extremely well-choreographed action scenes at breakneck speeds to a strictly rated R audience. People often credit Deadpool for proving that comic book and superhero movies can be edgy, funny, and designed for an adult audience, but they tend to forget that Kingsman is in fact based on a comic book and did the exact same thing!
Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong are back as Eggsy, Harry, and Merlin respectively, but they’re being joined by some new stellar cast-mates in Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, and Halle Berry! This time around, an attack on the Kingsman headquarters is launched by a new and mysterious villain, forcing Eggsy and Merlin to join hands with the American agency Statesman to once again save the world.
The first Kingsman had some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie, which means this sequel will need to up their game and deliver more than its predecessor. I believe it will, because director Matthew Vaughn isn’t one to stick around to make the same movie twice, which means that he truly has something different in store if he has agreed to direct a sequel.
5. Insidious: Chapter 4
Release date: 20 October 2017
When the first Insidious came out, it was an instant hit. Director James Wan has made a name for himself by crafting some of the most frightening horror movies in the modern era; from Saw to The Conjuring to Insidious. Insidious: Chapter 2 was also well-received but everything went downhill once James left the series to focus on his other projects. Insidious: Chapter 3 is a loose prequel of sorts and bad one at that, and now here we are at Insidious 4, once again moving forward without James Wan as the director.
We don’t know that the plot is and so far only Lyn Shaye seems to be confirmed so we can only guess it’s her origin story chronicling her time before the events of the first two films. Interestingly, Lin Shaye has been in so many horror films that she’s basically horror royalty. She was in the original Nightmare on Elm Street back in 1984 and has found herself in a number of recent fright-fests recently such as Ouija and Ouija: Origin of Evil – which I hear is actually not half bad. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if this Insidious gives us the much-anticipation follow-up to the second chapter or if it plays safe and follows the events of the prequel. Only time will tell.
4. Thor: Ragnarok
Release date: 3 November 2017
The Thor movies have gotten bigger and wider in scale with each new release, with Thor: Ragnarok promising to be the biggest, most epic installment in this Thor-centric trilogy. Civil War may have had Earth’s mightiest heroes imploding and butting heads with each other in heated battle, but Thor: Ragnarok is where the magic and sorcery is at! So far, we know that Loki – played by Tom Hiddleston – will be back to either cause mayhem or aid Thor’s mission, and that the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, will be involved in some capacity as well. Oh, and they have a Hulk.
That’s right… the last time we saw the big green behemoth, he was flying deep into an uncharted horizon on one of S.H.I.E.L.D’s untagged stealth jets, but we now know for a fact that Bruce Banner and the Hulk will somehow find their enraged selves on Asgard… and the immeasurable chaos that should ensue will be eye candy of the first order! Not much else is known of the plot at this point… only that in ancient mythology, Ragnarok signals the end of a Norse age, heralding the deaths of the first line of Norse Gods like Odin, Thor, and many others. How much of this will play out in the movie remains to be seen… but based on the ominous visions Thor had in Age of Ultron, we can at least be sure that something horribly sinister about to happen to Asgard and all of its inhabitants.
3. Justice League
Release date: 17 November 2017
2017 is gearing up to be one hell of a year for cinematic adventures. Marvel Studios is planning to deliver massive, face-melting blockbusters on their end while Warner Bros. and DC have, for the first time ever, a Justice League movie locked, loaded, and ready to reign down on the cinematic superhero universe… for better or worse. One of the reasons 2016 was a lukewarm year for film is because of how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice under-performed at the box-office. While some stand by the film and others passionately hate it, only a tiny minority seem to actually believe the film is anything above decent. Riddled with plot-holes and falling victim to choppy, amateurish editing, Dawn of Justice suffers what is ultimately called incoherent, uninterested storytelling. It doesn’t help that Suicide Squad wasn’t the massive success DC thought it would be either.
But that could all change with Justice League! If the concept trailer is to be believed, the movie seems to be taking a slightly lighter approach, with Batman being the epicenter of the entire movie – and rightfully so, since Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the Dark Knight was relatively the best thing in Batman v Superman. Whether or not Justice League will finally steer the DC Extended Universe onto its rightful course is yet to be seen, but if all else fails, at least you can be sure that Zack Snyder will deliver a visual feast that will explode through the giant screen in all its glory on November 17!
2. Pitch Perfect 3
Release date: 22 December 2017
The Pitch Perfect series has become a massive gig for stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. With a humble budget and a talented, humorous cast, both Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 managed to find its niche and cater to the young female demographic, raking in an impressive box-office haul in the process.
While we don’t know much about the plot of Pitch Perfect 3, we can confirm that most of the original cast – Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Elizabeth Banks – will be reprising their Pitch Perfect roles in this sequel, with rumored appearances by pop sensations Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber! Cue millions of teenagers swooning in excitement. I won’t lie, the Pitch Perfect movies aren’t really my thing, although I found both movies to be highly entertaining and fun to watch, but I can’t deny how great the formula of these movies are. Pitch Perfect acts as counter-programming to the major, massive blockbusters out there that are generally targeted at a predominantly male audience. Also, they keep the budget tight by focusing on the story and of course, the music, which is what makes these movies thoroughly loved by its fans. I’d be willing to take a bet that Pitch Perfect 3 ends up being the best of the series once it lands in December 2017!
1. Star Wars Episode 8
Release date: 15 December 2017
Marvel Studios can put out their films, Warner Bros. and DC can place their cards on the table, and every other movie-making production house can place their bets in 2017… but none will be able to match the sheer anticipation and excitement the world will have for Star Wars Ep 8!
That’s right, there is only one pop-culture phenomenon big enough to be hailed as an event instead of just a release, and that spot belongs to Star Wars. We finally get to see the continuation of The Force Awakens. Obviously, we don’t know much about the plot other than the fact that Rey is now under the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who will presumably unravel why the Force radiates around his new protege with such ferocity… as well as maybe shed some light on her true lineage. And on the dark side of the spectrum, Master Snoke wields forbidden and long-forgotten energies in order to calibrate Kylo Ren into not only a weapon, but a General of war unlike anything the Resistance has ever seen before.
Of course the rest of the crew- Finn, Poe, General Leia, Chewbacca, and the faithful droids – will return as well to a galaxy far, far away and if initial rumors are to be believed, this should be the best damn Star Wars movie you’ll ever bear witness to. The Force returns in December 2017… can you feel it?