Going to the movies… whether it’s with your family, your mom, your BFF or on a date, there’s nothing quite like it. The smell of hot popcorn and the anticipation, not to mention the smugness of seeing a film before everyone else does, is heady. And if you love movies you’re going to love this lineup. Maybe even more than our original list.
It looks like 2017 is set to be an incredible year for movies and although a lot of what we will be seeing will be continuations of film series and remakes/reboots, there are enough original titles mixed in to give the year a good balance.
For manga fans, 2017 will bring a silver screen version of The Ghost In The Shell with Scarlett Johansson and if you love minions, then we’re sure you’re super excited for Despicable Me 3. Movie series set to continue include Transformers and Guardians of the Galaxy and the first film in the King Arthur film series will also land in March next year.
Oldies but goodies are also back including another Ring and XXX movie and a blast from the past with T2: Trainspotting 2 (with all the original characters!).
Need something a little more meaty (read freaky)? Check out M. Night Shyamalan's latest freaking offering, Split, at number 4.
15 Transformers: Last Knight
Known for his outrageous action movies, Michael Bay has returned to direct Transformers: Last Knight– the fifth installment in this movie series. After the fourth installment, Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014), he had said that it was his last Transformers movie, but it appears that was not the case.
While the plot of the film is still unknown at this time, the film does look set to explore different periods of history once again– this time, the medieval period and World War II. Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson, who starred in the first three films are back as well as Age Of Extinction stars Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci. Also reported to be acting in this installment is much-loved Silence of The Lambs star Anthony Hopkins. Transformers: Last Knight will be exploding on a big screen near you on the 23rd of June 2017.
14 Despicable Me 3
Okay, so maybe Transformers is not quite your thing? In that case, just wait another week before venturing to the cinema and catch Despicable Me 3 on the 30th of June 2017 instead.
There is something deeply suspicious about a person who doesn’t smile watching the antics of the little yellow minions which have stolen the hearts of the young and old since they made their debut in Despicable Me (2010). The box office reflects this– Minions (2015) made $1.16 billion at the box office– that’s right people— a cool billion dollars.
This installment will once again feature Steve Carell as the voice of Gru. Steve will also be voicing a new character, Drew, the long lost identical twin of Gru. The key theme in the film is said to be sibling rivalry– we can only imagine! Kristen Wiig, who played Agent Wilde in Despicable Me 2, will also return as Gru’s new wife. Trey Parker, the creator of South Park, is going to be playing a fun new villain who is set on world domination (of course!).
13 John Wick: Chapter Two
John Wick (2014) quickly became a cult classic– fans loved the rock-themed soundtrack and incredible graphic novel feel of the story. And the good news is that on the 10th of February 2017 you can get another dose of Keanu Reeves as the legendary hitman in John Wick: Chapter Two.
In this sequel, John Wick is once again forced out of retirement (poor man) because one of his former associates is trying to take control of an underground assassins’ guild. This time, he travels to Rome, where he’ll need to try to “make dinner reservations” for some of the world’s best professional killers. Laurence Fishburne also has a cameo in the film as the character Bowler King.
And there’s even more good news– John Wick is being hinted as being a multiple title movie franchise, so there will probably be more movies to look forward to in the future.
12 XXX: Return of Xander Cage
If you cast your mind back to XXX: State of The Union (2005), you may remember that Vin Diesel's character was supposed to have been killed, thus explaining why he was absent from the sequel to XXX (2002). So how does he return, you may be asking?
Well, apparently he was only “left for dead” and in this movie, the extreme athlete returns and sets off to recover a powerful weapon known as Pandora’s box. We get action blended with conspiracy theory and Xander quickly finds himself at the center of a deadly situation.
Xander will return along with his handler Augustus Gibbons, once again played by Samuel L. Jackson. There will also be some additional eye-candy for movie goers in the form of the edgy Ruby Rose who plays Adele Wolff. XXX: Return of Xander Cage is expected to be released on the 20th of January 2017. Worth it? We’ll need to wait and see. Vin Diesel has said that he feels the fans of the original movie will be impressed with the focus on incredible stunts and heavy-metal soundtrack, so there seems to be hope!
Christopher Nolan has brought us some pretty incredible movies, including The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar, and in 2017, we will get to see another film he wrote, produced and directed. Once again, with a totally different theme, Dunkirk is an action-thriller that centers on the historic events of the Dunkirk Evacuation, which took place during World War II.
The film will document the fierce battle that took place at Dunkirk between the Allied soldiers and the German army and it appears that parts of the film have actually been filmed in Dunkirk, France.
The film is set to star a few big name actors; in particular, Kenneth Branagh (Thor) and Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and will be launching itself into cinemas on the 21st of July 2017. With Nolan at the helm, we’re expecting something pretty epic.
10 T2: Trainspotting 2
Is it really possible that 20 years have passed since the release of the controversial movie Trainspotting? Well, it’s true. Before you roll your eyes at yet another sequel, let’s look at what T2 plans to offer.
Firstly, the film is based on the novel Porno, written as a sequel to Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, so we can be quite sure that this is not a stab-in-the-dark desperate sequel planning to ride the coattails of another 90s cult classic. Secondly, not only does it feature the same characters as Trainspotting, but the same actors will be back again to portray them: Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton (Rent Boy), Jonny Lee Miller as Simon (Sickboy), Robert Carlyle as Francis Begbie (Franco), and author Irvine Welsh in his role as the dodgy Mikey Forrester.
In this film, the backdrop will be the pornography business, so we are sure there will be plenty of dark humor, but be warned– apparently, the film will leave you asking yourself a lot of questions about what you have done with your own life…
T2: Trainspotting 2 is scheduled for release in the United Kingdom on the 27th of January 2017.
9 The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
An American film star (played by Game of Thrones hottie Kit Harington) corresponds with a pre-pubescent actor– what could possibly go wrong?
A lot, as you can imagine– especially when this correspondence is publicly exposed by a columnist (Jessica Chastain) at a magazine called The Gossip and quickly threatens to destroy John. F. Donovan.
This will be director Xavier Dolan's first English language film, but the storyline seems original (and we really want to see some original movies next year, don’t we?) and the cast definitely seems capable of bringing us something to grab our attention. Along with Kit, you can expect to see the likes of Jessica Chastain, Thandie Newton, Kathy Bates, Susan Sarandon, and Natalie Portman.
Initially, there was some speculation surrounding the third film in The Ring franchise with many believing that the film was going to be a prequel, but director Javier Gutiérrez has confirmed via his official Twitter that Rings will be another sequel following on from The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005).
In this installment, the main character Julia (played by model Matilda Lutz) finds herself in a life-threatening situation which begins with her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe) investigating a dark urban legend about a videotape that causes the death of the viewer in seven days. Of course, there needs to be a new twist, and that seems to be that there is a hidden “movie within the movie” that has never been seen before…
You may feel like this story is just too old for another sequel, but the trailer looks pretty scary and promising, so perhaps it’s better to keep an open mind and just go check it out for yourself when it airs on 3 February, 2017.
7 God Particle
Science fiction movies are on the rise, and next year in February, the man who produced 10 Cloverfield Lane will bring us another sci-fi thriller called God Particle. The film will be directed by 'newish' talent Julius Onah (The Girl Is In Trouble). J.J. Abrams seems to have a knack when it comes to choosing up-and-coming directors– he chose newcomer Matt Reeves to direct Cloverfield (2008) which went on to make $170 million at the box office.
In God Particle, a team of astronauts aboard a space station discover something dreadful and will need to fight to stay alive while their reality shatters around them. And to make matters worse, it seems that they are all alone as a science experiment gone wrong causes Earth to disappear… It may seem like we’ve heard it all before in movies like Event Horizon, but Abrams does seem to have an eye for original stories. Check it out on the 24th of February 2017.
6 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Before you groan, consider that the director for this movie is Guy Ritchie. Yes, that changes things doesn’t it? Up until now, we’ve always associated Guy with the London underground and English themed movies like Sherlock Holmes, so how will he fare bringing as an epic a tale as that of King Arthur?
On the 24th of March 2017, the world will find out and initial reports are good– especially for the ladies as Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) is going to play the leading role alongside actors such as Annabelle Wallis and Jude Law. The storyline is set to follow the classic story– young Arthur is unaware of his royal lineage until he pulls the sword known as Excalibur from a stone. He then needs to face a new life, learning new skills along the way and try to unite his people against the tyrant Vortigern who became King after murdering Arthur’s parents.
This is to be the first of six movies that Warner Bros has hired Guy Ritchie to direct in a multi-film version of the King Arthur legend.
5 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Fans of Guardians of The Galaxy may feel like they have been waiting forever for this sequel. Well, it’s almost here– on the 5th of May 2017 Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Kurt Russel will be back to bring you Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2. The film is being written and directed by James Gunn, the same man who wrote and directed the first film.
In this sequel, which is set two months after the first film, the superhero team will travel through the cosmos helping Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage while struggling to keep their newly formed family together. If the first film is anything to go by, it looks set to be another story with incredible effects which you’ll be able to lose yourself in (at least for 2 hours). It’s set to release on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX– probably the best way to watch it!
If you are an M. Night Shyamalan fan, there is good news: 2017 will see a new film by the incredible director responsible for The Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs, and Unbreakable and the story is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse) plays the role of Kevin, a deeply disturbed man with a fractured psyche– that contains 23 different personalities including a little boy and a woman. He abducts and holds captive three teenage girls who try, albeit in vain, to escape. Their fear intensifies when a 24th personality begins to form– The Beast.
Knowing Shyamalan, there is sure to be some terrible twist and even if the story does seem far-fetched, the trailer promises an outstanding performance from McAvoy. Don’t see it alone– grab a friend and check out Split when it premiers on the 20th of January 2017.
3 Fifty Shades Darker
Before Deadpool opened in February 2016, Fifty Shades of Grey was shattering Valentine’s Day box office records, raking in a cool $85.2 million during its opening weekend. Will this happen again when the sequel Fifty Shades Darker hits theaters on February 10, 2017?
In Fifty Shades Darker, Anastasia Steele tries to move on with her life after splitting from Christian Grey (Jamie Dorman) but he eventually convinces her that they can try again, this time on her terms. But will Christian's past make a normal relationship impossible?
If you are looking for a naughty Valentine’s Day movie for 2017 this is probably it– just suspend reality and enjoy. The final film in the series, Fifty Shades Freed, is set to be released around Valentine’s Day again in 2018.
2 Ghost in the Shell
There’s been quite a lot of controversy surrounding this film adaptation based on the Japanese manga of the same name. This mainly has to do with the lead role, which will be played by Scarlett Johansson and not an Asian actress. This stirred up some dark feelings among fans who felt that the only reason a white actress was cast was to ensure good returns at the box office. Strangely enough though, Japanese fans seemed quite happy with the decision.
In the film, Johansson will be playing the role of a cyborg policewoman known as The Major who battles cyber criminals and hackers together with her elite task force. Their work will go into overdrive as they face a new enemy who is determined to sabotage important A.I. technology.
The film is being directed by Rupert Sanders who made his directorial debut with Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and will be showing in theaters as of the 31st of March 2017.
1 The Great Wall
Okay, The Great Wall is technically a 2016 and 2017 release– it’s set to premiere in China on the 16th of December 2016 and then in the United States on 17 February, 2017.
Casting Matt Damon in one of the leading roles also stirred up similar controversy as Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell. Hollywood was accused once again of casting a white actor to play the leading role regardless of the movie's content. But director Zhang Yimou has defended his decision, saying that he would never cast his movies in a way that was not true to his artistic vision. Zhang has directed more than 20 Chinese films and the Beijing Olympics.
At first, it was believed that The Great Wall would follow the story of how the wall was built, but from the trailer, it seems that this will actually be a monster-fighting story. Either way, it looks epic and definitely worth checking out!