It seems 2016 was a bit of a 'hit or miss' year for movies, wasn’t it? We had some surprises with movies such as X-Men: Apocalypse and then we had a few that didn’t quite live up to their hype such as The Boy and The 5th Wave.
So what’s working?
So far, 2016 has definitely been a good year for comic and animated films. The box office groaned under the weight of successes like Deadpool, Suicide Squad, and Finding Dory and this looks set to continue into next year when we can expect more movies similar to these like The Justice League Part One and Wonder Woman.
There was no gray area when it came to remakes this year– we saw movies like Ghostbusters fail spectacularly and others like Independence Day: Resurgence simply take off (despite Will Smith's absence). It seems that us moviegoers are quite fickle. We need just the right amount of originality combined with fresh ideas to really make a remake enjoyable. Bringing back and remaking classics is another trend that is set to continue into 2017 and 2018, along with popular movie franchises like Alien, Pirates of The Caribbean and Fast and Furious.
Original movies (such as 10 Cloverfield Lane) is one genre that seems to be struggling to hold our attention, so let’s hope that there will be brand new ideas and plots in 2017 that we can really get interested in. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the most highly anticipated movies of next year…
15 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Can you believe it’s been six years since we had our last dose of Pirates of the Caribbean?
Johnny Depp returns once more as the infamous Jack Sparrow in the fifth installment of this extremely popular Disney franchise and, again, he’s on the hunt for something. He’s joined by Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, who wasn’t in the last film, but don’t get your hopes up about Keira Knightley just yet– she says she is done with the series.
This time, Jack is being hunted down by a new villain called Captain Salazar played by the scary Javier Bardem (you know him from Skyfall and No Country For Old Men) who has escaped from the Devil's Triangle along with his ghostly crew. It's swashbuckler drama as usual as the two search for Poseidon’s trident. The stakes are high because whoever gets it will gain control of the seas. So grab your rum, wooden legs, and shoulder parrots, Dead Men Tell No Tales will sail into cinemas on the 26th of May 2017.
14 Star Wars: Episode VIII
Ok, Star Wars fans you will still have to wait a while for this one– it’s only due for release in December 2017. That means it'll be a while before your burning questions are finally answered.
While the plot seems to be more highly guarded than the Crown Jewels, we can confirm that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher resume their roles along with quite a few of the cast from Star Wars: Episode VII. The script is being written by Rian Johnson (best known for his work on 2012 film Looper), who is rumored to be directing the movie as well. This probably means we can expect something a little different and even a little weird…
And there’s a new face as wel– it seems Benicio del Toro has been cast, although what character he will play is yet to be revealed.
13 The LEGO Batman Movie
The same people who brought you The Lego Movie are set to release this 3D computer animated adventure in February 2017 (perfect Valentine’s Day movie right?). You may remember Lego Batman’s cameo in The Lego Movie, and the good news is that this movie will follow on in the same universe.
Batman has a lot of problems to deal with– he needs to save Gotham City from the Joker's hostile takeover and this time, he’ll need to work with others to do it. And if that isn’t bad enough, he also has a new responsibility in his life, perhaps even a new sidekick?
12 The Justice League Part One
Why has it taken so long to bring us a Justice League movie?
Love him or hate him, Ben Affleck will reprise his role as Batman in this much anticipated DC Superhero movie. Alongside him you can look forward to seeing Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa (remember him from Game of Thrones?) as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, and Henry Cavill as Superman. It’s also rumored that Jared Leto will play the Joker— let’s hope so!
The film's timeline is set to pick up a few months after the events in Batman vs. Superman. Batman and Diana Prince gather together a pack of superheroes to face off with Steppenwolf and their Parademons– who are searching the earth for three 'Mother Boxes'. If they find them… well, let’s just say that it will be very bad. Let’s hope the members of the Justice League can all play nice!
11 Spiderman: Homecoming
Tom Holland is set to swing into cinemas on the 7th of July 2017 to resume his role of Spiderman (whom he played in Captain America: Civil War). The good news is that they are not going to repeat the original story again (thank goodness) but the film is set to pick up Peter’s story shortly after the events from Captain America: Civil War and the storyline looks like it will be a coming-of-age story of our young superhero. The action (and there will be plenty) is set to center around Peter Parker’s struggle to balance life as a high school student with the activities of his alter ego, Spiderman.
What everyone is wondering is who will be the villain? Well, we’ll tell you this: there is more than one villain, and among them is Michael Keaton!
Ok, we’re not trying to make anyone feel old or anything but we’re just saying that the TV show that this film is based on first aired 27 years ago in 1989… Jesus.
We’re so glad it’s being listed as an action comedy because, seriously, can you even think of this title without a little smile? Although David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson do not have major roles, it is thought that they will have some cameos. There will definitely be eye-candy though– Alexandra Daddario will star alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the role of Summer Quinn. You may remember her from San Andreas where she also played alongside Johnson.
The only question that remains is, are you ready to see the unlikely pairing of Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron strutting their stuff in those infamous red costumes? Don’t worry, you have until May next year to prepare yourself!
9 Wonder Woman
Finally! It’s about time we see a female superhero with her own feature film.
This film is being directed by Patty Jenkins– she's well-known for her incredible work directing the 2003 film Monster, so we are pretty sure it’s going to be epic. In this story, Diana Prince A.K.A Wonder Woman is raised on the all-female island of Themyscira, where she is trained to be a formidable warrior. When a pilot (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island and tells her of an impending war (World War I), Wonder Woman ventures out to save the world. Be prepared for sexy, but tough, costumes, and serious fight scenes exploding onto the big screen in June 2017.
Other actors, you can look forward to seeing are Robin Wright (Everest), Danny Huston (Frankenstein), and Connie Nielsen as the Amazon Queen.
Do you want the good news, or the bad news? Ok, here are both anyway. The good news is that this remake of Stephen King's story will follow the same storyline as the book and miniseries (why change something that works?) but the bad news is that your fear of clowns is not going to diminish; in fact, we can almost guarantee it’s going to get much worse after this movie!
In September 2017, this new, terrifying version of It will once again bring seven friends together to battle the evil Pennywise the Clown who will now be played by Bill Skarsgard. Obviously, Bill has some big shoes to fill (and we’re not talking about clown shoes here) but he has said that rather than trying to imitate Tim Curry, he will be bringing his own style to Pennywise. The only question we ask is whether you will be brave enough to watch it.
P.S. There’s going to be a sequel.
7 Kong: Skull Island
Let’s be honest– the 2005 version of King Kong wasn’t that great. But the trailer for this second installment in Legendary's Godzilla-Kong film series looks incredible– let’s hope the film will live up to the hype.
The director for this installment is Jordan Vogt-Roberts who made his directional debut with The Kings Of Summer (2013). The actors will include the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, and Brie Larson to name but a few and the story is set in the 1970s when a team of discoverers finds a virgin island in the Pacific– with one (enormous) unexpected resident…
In 2015, Legendary announced plans for a 2020 movie which will unite both Godzilla and Kong in one film. The basis of this storyline will begin in Kong: Skull Island and continue in Godzilla 2– set for release in 2019. So if this film does deliver as promised, you have at least two more to look forward to!
Look, it’s hard to follow a cult classic like Jumanji, especially 22 years (yes, 22) later. But that’s exactly what director Jake Kasdan (from Bad Teacher) plans to do with this sequel of the same name. And with Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, and Kevin Hart you can be sure there’ll be plenty of laughs. But without Robin Williams, can it ever really be the same? When the film was announced in December 2015 fans were not pleased at all. The frosty reception was sparked by folks saying that it came too soon after the legendary comedian's death. There was a general feeling that the film was unnecessary and was even described by some as “insulting”.
The plot is set to follow that of the original (meaning it’s a continuation rather than a remake) where two kids play a magical game and end up releasing a man who's been trapped inside it for years. Grab your kids or your nieces and nephews and go check it out in July 2017.
5 The Dark Tower
Stephen King fans will immediately know that this is a film adaptation of King's successful book series The Dark Tower. Idris Elba will play the role of Roland Deschain A.K.A the Gunslinger who, armed with a pair of revolvers, is trying to reach 'The Dark Tower' in order to preserve his dying world. He’s not alone, no, he’s joined by Matthew McConaughey as the Man In Black.
This adaptation has been a bit of a stop-and-start project from as far back as 2007, so we’re quite pleased that they’ve finally announced the release date for February 2017. It’s a strange type of story too, it’s not easy to describe in a genre– somewhere between fantasy, science fiction, western, and horror.
The location and time that the story is set in are a little convoluted (think parallel dimension in the wild west) but we’re sure it’s going to be worth it!
4 Fast & Furious 8
Like Pirates of The Caribbean, Fast and Furious looks like a franchise that could go on indefinitely. Next year, fans can look forward to the eighth installment– Fast 8. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, and Jason Statham are just a few of the actors who will be returning. There are some new faces as well– Charlize Theron has been cast as a villain named Cipher and Helen Mirren is also confirmed to have a role in this street-racing flick.
While most of the Fast and Furious movies have been set in California Fast 8 is rumored to be set in New York City, but there will be loads of exotic locations to look forward to as well including Cuba and Iceland.
The movie, of course, will have a bittersweet flavor as it is the first movie in the franchise (apart from The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift) that won’t include Paul Walker. Not to worry— if the trailer is anything to go by, there will be plenty of sexy cars and nail-biting action to console you.
3 Alien: Covenant
Is it just us or does it seem like a “Covenant” film eventually pops up in every movie franchise?
Alien: Covenant is a sequel to the 2012 Prometheus and will be the sixth installment in the Alien Franchise. The film promises to answer some of the origin-related questions that were raised in the first movie. We know a lot of fans were left a bit disenchanted after watching Prometheus, which didn’t really seem to offer much connection to the rest of the movies. Director Ridley Scott has promised that this one will definitely bridge the gap.
The storyline will center on the crew who stumbles across a planet they believe to be some kind of paradise but, of course, it’s not. Instead, they will find David, the only survivor of the Prometheus expedition.
2 Beauty and The Beast
In March 2014, every Disney fan can look forward to a new adaptation of the classic story of Beauty and The Beast. Belle, a young beauty played by none other than the lovely Emma Watson, is captured by the Beast, played by Dan Stevens, who you will remember as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abby. Because she has a soft heart, she befriends the unusual staff of the castle and slowly starts to see what lies beneath the Beast’s tough exterior. But will their love blossom before Gaston, a knight set on taking Belle for himself and killing the Beast, finds them?
Bill Condon was chosen to direct this film and following his successes with movies like Chicago and the last two installments of the Twilight series, we can be sure that this is going to be a romantic musical to remember.
1 Power Rangers
This will be the third movie in the Power Rangers franchise following Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997). This will be a reboot of the original story where Zordon (played by Bryan Cranston) chooses five students from Angel Grove High School to become Power Rangers. The Power Rangers will be played by newcomer Dacre Montgomery, Becky G. (her first feature film), Ludi Lin, Naomi Scott (The Martian), and R.J. Cyler (Me and Earl and The Dying Girl).
Together with their mentor Zordon, these five will need to defend the earth against an alien threat. The cast is made up of young actors who are not that well known yet so it will be nice to see some fresh talent on the big screen.