Hi there. Since we are getting so close to the end of this year, I decided to take a kinda early look at next year and what is (unless there are some major delays or opening day switch-ups) coming to the theaters.
Using this wikipedia page as a source (yeah – that one sentence just blew away any fraction on an ounce of credibility I ever had, didn’t it?), I picked thirteen titles that I would consider the most intriguing ones – as well as a few others where I would be somewhat intrigued and will make my mind up after I’ve seen some moving footage. And I also picked a few underdogs that may end up surprising us all. On the main 13 I wrote up the U.S. release dates – because I frankly have no clue what they will be here up North. Could be a few weeks before – could be a LOT of weeks later.
So let’s get to the lists…
The 13 most interesting ones:
Split (dir. M. Night Shyamalan, January 20th)
– I finally watched Shyamalan’s “The Visit” a few weeks ago, and I ended up liking it very much, despite the found footage-aspect. Certainly showed that the director has gotten his groove back after scraping the bottom of the barrel for so many years (the only real explanation over that “After Earth”-movie would be a picture of that History Channel Aliens-guy right about here). The concept of this film sounds interesting, the trailers have looked very good and James McAvoy looks to be on fire as the lead who suffers from a major multiple personality-issue.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (dir. Chad Stahelski, February 10th)
– The first film was a definite sleeper-hit of it’s year, and proved that Keanu Reeves seems to be getting better with age. Getting into his fifties has brought some roughness into the man, who I always thought was at his best when he was playing the more unlikeable characters (“Constantine”, “Street Kings”, “Man of Tai Chi”) anyway. The second film looks to be expanding on the whole “guild of assassins”-theme which I found very interesting in the first film, and the switch to a European setting also intrigues me. Also – now we get to see how Chad Stahelski can handle solo directing duties.
God Particle (dir. Julius Onah, February 24th)
– “10 Cloverfield Lane” was one of the best movies of this year. And when they announced that this one will be the next one in the thematically linked series, it instantly became the one to watch for.
T2: Trainspotting (dir. Danny Boyle, March 3rd)
– Finally, after years of false starts – and a Fallout between star Ewan McGregor and director Danny Boyle, the gang is finally back together. I can understand why they didn’t use the title of Irvine Welsh’s sequel novel (“hey, I’m gonna go to the theater and watch ‘Porno’…”) and the “T2” moniker is pretty funny. Let’s hope it really will be the “T2” of this saga. Boyle has done solid, sometimes brilliant work ever since the original and I’m curious to see how he can handle his first sequel. Trailers have looked very promising. And fuck it: I just wanna see the band back together again.
Kong: Skull Island (dir. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, March 10th)
– Well, this one just looks like a giant bag of fun. Legendary Pictures’ big gamble in the Kong/Godzilla-shared universe got into a great start in 2014 with “Godzilla” – and the trailers make this one look like it has much more levity than that one (also: than Peter Jackson‘s ‘Kong’ – that one took itself way too seriously and was also painfully overlong). And also; this seems to feature the biggest goddamn giant gorilla on screen yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 (dir. James Gunn, May 5th)
– I thoroughly enjoyed the first GOTG. It was an outlandish, goofy adventure which was also refreshingly unconnected to the MCU for a change. And now that the origin story is out of the way, I’m looking forward to seeing how this team of misfits will do the second time around. The trailer looked good, even though I was a bit confused by them using the same trailer song this time, because the ‘mix tape vol.2’ was already established in the end of the first film. But that’s minor nitpickery. I was sold after the moment someone said “more Michael Rooker“, really.
Alien: Covenant (dir. Ridley Scott, May 19th)
– “Prometheus” had problems, for sure; the story suffered immensely from excessive rewrites and last-minute retoolings, and some scenes were outright stupid. But I loved the visuals (to be honest, that stuff Ridley Scott could do in his sleep) and especially Michael Fassbender‘s performance as David the android was exceptional. So I’m very glad that he seems to be the central character in this sequel. But this really is the “make or break”-moment for the “Alien” franchise at this point – if Scott and co. pull this one off, things are looking good. If not… Then I’d say my interest will be waning.
Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins, June 2nd)
– Speaking about “make or break” moments… “Wonder Woman” is definitely the last chance the Warner Bros./DC Comics-peeps have to prove me that there is some mojo in this franchise. This years “Batman v. Superman” and “Suicide Squad” looked like a couple of movies where the makers had absolutely no fucking idea of what they were doing. “Wonder Woman” looks by the trailers to be a not-so-damn-grim adventure and a bit more welcomely outlandish than those two. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Patty Jenkins so she can pull this off. And I sincerely hope they kept Zack Snyder the fuck off this set.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (dir. Jon Watts, July 7th)
– I have been trying to erase the memory of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” from my mind for a while now. Sony’s reboot-run of Spider-Man ended with bang in that piece of unhinged and unfocused trash. But now Sony did the smart thing and finally reached out to Marvel Films to redeem themselves. And based on the new Spidey’s appearance in this years “Captain America: Civil War“, they are off to a damned good start. Tom Holland seems to have made the part his own, this movie will (allegedly) not kill Uncle Ben for the third time, and Robert Downey jr. will return as Tony Stark. Also, we have another comeback king Michael Keaton as the Vulture. Color me once again intrigued by this franchise.
War for the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves, July 14th)
– The new “Planet of the Apes” films are something of an anomaly for 20th Century Fox: a franchise they have not managed to fuck up. This new trilogy that has told about the rise of Andy Serkis‘ Caesar to become the leader of the intelligent simians is coming to a close with this film – and I’m just DYING to see how it pays off.
Dunkirk (dir. Christopher Nolan, July 21st)
– Christopher Nolan. Filming a large-scale war epic of the Dunkirk evacuation, or “the miracle of Dunkirk”. I don’t think anything else is needed to be said there.
Blade Runner 2049 (dir. Denis Villeneuve, October 6th)
– Okay: I know making a sequel for one of the biggest classics in the scifi cinema, especially 35 years later, raised some questions. And Ridley Scott deciding to sit this one out and just sticking to producing duties did that even more. But… Let’s look at what we DO have here: we have Hampton Fancher, the screenwriter of the original. We have Harrison Ford, returning as Rick Deckard. AND – we have director Denis Villeneuve, who has become the the ipso facto “one to watch for” with his recent output (“Prisoners”, “Enemy”, “Sicario” and “Arrival”). And we have director of photography Roger Deakins. After juggling those pros against the cons, I have faith in this one.
Star Wars: Episode VIII (dir. Rian Johnson, December 15th)
– I know that whatever I write here, this choice will still raise bloody hell in any comment section. But fuck it: I trust Rian Johnson. I think he’s an extraordinary storyteller. And I think he’s going to make something special here.
The “could be kinda fun, let’s see how the trailers (or ‘further trailers’) look like” ones:
Fast 8, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Dark Tower, The Coldest City, IT, Thor: Ragnarøk, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
The ones that may surprise us all:
The Comedian, A Cure for Wellness, The LEGO Batman movie, Baby Driver, American Made, The Snowman, Downsizing, Coco.
So that’s MY list. Let’s have yours in the comments.