In 2016, we got to watch Marvel and DC heroes beat the bejesus out of each other over misunderstandings, experience sci-fi space films which sometimes do not have explosions to settle its climaxes, and tune into some surprises like the beautifully-animated ‘Kubo and the Two Strings and the much-lauded anime Kimi no Nawa/Your Name. Despite the economy and political climate going on a downward spiral, it was truly a wondrous time for films.
So how will 2017 fare for cinemagoers? Well, we have a number of huge blockbuster films and a few new contenders that can outshine the previous year. Check out the full list of films that will pique our geek sensibilities.
Release date: January 19
Turns out M.Night Shyamalan can’t screw up that much with movies. After dishing out bombs like After Earth and divisive films like The Visit, can the director make his thriller about a kidnapper with 23 split personalities work? The main actor is James “Professor X” McAvoy so maybe there’s hope yet!
2. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Release Date: January 26
It’s Alice (Milla Jovovich) versus a tonne of zombies and Umbrella Corporation mutants as this is the last stand for the humans in this final Resident Evil movie (or so they say) storyline. We still can’t believe this series has been ongoing and staying strong since 2002.
3. LEGO Batman Movie
Release Date: February 9
Will Arnett is back as the Batman we all loved in ‘The LEGO Movie’ because he makes the “take me seriously even if what I do is intensely comical” schtick incredibly well. Now he has a growing Bat family to deal with, featuring Michael Cera as Robin and Rosario Dawson as Batgirl.
4. John Wick: Chapter 2
Release Date: February 16
People were blown away by John Wick, a surprise hit action flick starring Keanu Reeves. What will John Wick do this time around? Whatever it’ll be, expect lots of kickassery and gunfire casualties.
5. Get Out
Release Date: February 23
Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame will be making his directorial debut with this horror film. What’s it about? A young African American who visits his white girlfriend’s estate and family, who are all not what they seem. There’s quite a lot of racism and American colonialism subtext buried in the trailer; it’ll be fun to see where the final production will head to.
Release Date: March 3
This X-Men spinoff focuses on the possibly last portrayal of Hugh Jackman as the mutant Wolverine, unless of course, 20th Century Fox has more millions to shell out for the Australian actor. Now dishevelled and slowly losing his healing factor, he has to take care of an ailing Professor X and a young girl named Laura who is going to be X-23 if you know your X-Men comic lore.
7. Kong: Skull Island
Release Date: March 9
Samuel L.Jackson and co. charter off to the Pacific to explore an unknown island, only to discover that a bunch of monsters and a giant ape named King Kong reside there. The kicker about this film is that if this does well, a Godzilla vs. King Kong movie will definitely be out in the far future.
8. Beauty & The Beast
Release Date: March 16
A tale as old as time about a monstrous prince and a farm girl raised by a crackpot inventor falling for each other, and the village Adonis who comes between them. It’s also a tale ripe for a re-booting with a star-studded cast featuring Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), and Luke Evans (Gaston). Also, young Obi Wan plays a talking candlestick while Gandalf voices a talking clock. We’re still wondering if people really wanted this.
9. Power Rangers
Release Date: March 23
Speaking of unnecessary reboots, how about one revolving around a 90s kid’s show made out of stock Japanese Sentai footage? Five kids get sent to Angel Grove, cope with life, and also be given the burden of piloting giant dinosaur mechs and kicking ass as color-coded space enforcers.
10. Ghost In The Shell
Release Date: March 30
Based on the hit manga and anime, this new adaptation pits Scarlett Johanssen as The Major who has to bring down a cyberhacker, which then leads to a huge government conspiracy. As long as the spirit and nuances of the manga and anime are preserved, we’re down with this. Any chance we can get Yoko Kanno to do the soundtrack?
11. Smurfs: The Lost Village
Release Date: April 6
Finally, a Smurfs movie that will not anger the ghost of Peyo. No stupid Neil Patrick Harris and live-action bullcrap; we have a CGI-animated Smurfs movie featuring a fantasy-laden adventure where the usual Smurfs gang (Brainy, Smurfette, Hefty, Clumsy, Papa) search for a hidden village to find more of their kind. That’s how a Smurf movie is supposed to be done!
12. The Fate Of The Furious
Release Date: April 13
Or The F8 Of The Furious if we’re going to play along with the number wordplay for this car action series. Vin Diesel ditches his Fast & Furious crew for some Charlize Theron. There is probably more to this double-cross, but you’re probably enamoured over that submarine popping up in the end of the recent trailer.
13. Guardians Of The Galaxy: Volume 2
Release Date: May 4
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a lovely surprise hit from director James Gunn. Will he be able to capture lightning in a bottle again with the sequel? This one’s about the space gang who are on a quest to uncover Star Lord, Peter Quill’s lineage. Kinda coincidental that it’s out the same month where Star Wars memes go apeshit on social media.
Release Date: May 25
Yet another reboot of a 90s series. This one’s about two beachheads given the job to become lifeguards and patrolling the beaches of California. Not much to say about this except there’s a good bit of comedy between stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zach Efron, as well as some geek eye candy courtesy of Priyanka Chopra and Alexandra Daddario.
15. Alien: Covenant
Release Date: May 25
If you’re not a fan of comedy, how about some sci-fi horror from Ridley Scott and his Alien franchise? A crew of the good ship Covenant thought they were going to arrive in a paradise of a planet. As with all movies featuring sci-fi’s favourite phallic-shaped killers, the xenomorphs, it’s anything but.
16. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Release Date: May 25
Seriously, Disney is still making this despite the failure of the previous Pirates film? Well, you can’t keep a pirate weirdo Johnny Depp down: he now has to reclaim the trident of Poseidon for macguffin magic voodoo reasons. Major reason to watch this is obviously Johnny Depp of course and maybe just maybe, it’ll actually recapture the magic we saw in the original Pirates movie.
17. Wonder Woman
Release Date: June 1
Comic culture’s first-ever mainstream female superhero gets a live screen adaptation, bullet-deflecting bracers and all. We pray that this does not catch by the Warner Bros. Film hubris curse. After all, the only good thing about the Batman v Superman trainwreck was Wonder Woman’s on-screen presence.
18. The Mummy
Release Date: June 8
Tom Cruise replaces Brendan Fraser in this gritty reboot of the 1999 film, where a bunch of archaeologists find a mummy tomb, accidentally open it, and all hell breaks loose. The title character’s replacement for Arnold Vosloo? A svelte mummy princess played by Sofia Boutella, whom you remember as the assassin Gazelle in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
19. Transformers: The Last Knight
Release Date: June 22
What’s the latest addition to this long-running film adaptation about talking semis-slash-robots and explosions? Anthony Hopkins, of course. If it’s anything like the other four films, they’ll be a mix of bots fighting each other, humans outwitting bots, and car chases in giant cities. Why are we all paying money for a repeat?
20. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Release Date: July 6
After two previously terrible Spider-Man films, Sony most likely said “screw it” and handed the keys to the Spider-Man franchise back to Marvel Studios. Will the house that made Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr. a staple household name, do the same with Peter Parker and Tom Holland? If his cameo in Captain America: Civil War was anything to go by, we are totally on the hype train for this flick.
21. War For The Planet Of The Apes
Release Date: July 13
The final instalment of the surprise hit reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This one deals with the ape leader Caesar holding down the ape fort against a large human army led by Woody Harrelson.
Release Date: July 20
This is for all war and history buffs: a retelling of Operation Dynamo on the beaches of Dunkirk during the early stages of World War II courtesy of Christopher Nolan. Featuring actors such as Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Kenneth Branagh, so you know Nolan’s making a huge attempt at keeping the film historically accurate with actual European actors.
23. Valerian & The City Of A Thousand Planets
Release Date: July 20
Did you like The Fifth Element by Luc Besson? Well, here’s its spiritual successor, sort of. This one’s based on a 1967 French comic series that one of the influence for Star Wars. The main character Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are sent to investigate a giant beautiful yet deadly galactic empire. Much like its source material, the movie’s going to be big on style and pizzaz.
24. Blade Runner 2049
Release Date: October 5
The first Blade Runner in 1982 was a sci-fi cyberpunk noir masterpiece, so it’s easy to understand why fans and auteurs cry foul at a sequel. Regardless, it’s happening and it will mark the return of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), now aged and a bit wise. He’ll most likely team up with the new Blade Runner Officer K(Ryan Gosling) to get to the bottom of a society secret that could throw the world into chaos. Just make sure that Vangelis is back on soundtrack duty.
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Release Date: October 5
The sequel to the hit action film now centres on the new Kingsman headquarters led by Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong). When that base is getting attacked by a new evil society, they turn to their American counterpart, The Statesman, for additional help.
26. Cloverfield 2017
Release Date: October 26
Not much is known about the third installment to the long-spanning series featuring monsters and aliens that pop up at the climax. But the last film 10 Cloverfield Lane did alright, so this one might do more with its mysterious premise.
27. Thor: Ragnarok
Release Date: November 2
Remember that awesome director Taika Waititi who did What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople? If you don’t, please watch his two movies now. Loved them? Good, because the next mythological magical adventures of Thor will be helmed by him. We have no idea what the story will be, but it’ll involve flying hammers, bits of oddball comedy amidst the expected drama, and some Hulk action.
28. Justice League
Release Date: November 16
Personally, it’s too soon to have a Justice League movie since the previous DC Comics films were, to put it mildly, utter disappointments among critics and fans. But hey, who are we to judge if Warner Bros. decide to play one last gambit in the form of an all-star superhero action flick?
29. Star Wars Episode VIII
Release Date: December 14
You know you’re going to watch it. You have no idea what’s in store for the new Star Wars heroes Finn, Rey, and Poe Dameron, but you’re going to buy tickets for it when the pre-orders open up. Heck, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and we’re super-hyped to see what’s going to happen in a galaxy far, far away.
30. Jumanji 2017
Release Date: December 21
Wow, The Rock sure is putting his face up a lot in film. First Baywatch, then that Fast & Furious sequel, and now this reboot of the Robin Williams vehicle featuring a jungle-themed board game coming alive and terrorising its players.