Is it just me or does 2017 look like one of the best years for mainstream films we’ve had for a long time now?
In recent years we’ve had a few films to look forward to, some living up to expectations, some not ,shall we say. However, I’m going to be the beacon of hope here and whet your appetite for a list of fthe most anticipated movies of 2017 that will not let us down, probably.
15. Power Rangers
So being the 27 year old male that I am, when the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV show first aired in 1993, I was its prime target audience. I can still remember how amazed I was when Tommy the Green Ranger showed up to decimate the Power Rangers. I was a little scared but couldn’t help thinking he was such a cool character! I even had the Green Ranger outfit and dagger which played the music to summon his Dragon Zord. Like I said, I thought he was cool.
After a brief exile, he would return as the White Ranger, which is where my memories mostly end. Maybe the high standards of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV show were beginning to decline, or I was getting older and realised it wasn’t that good? Either way when I watched the trailers for Power Rangers 2017 the nostalgia was just too much to resist and at the end I shouted out ‘It’s Morphin’ Time!’ Not really, of course I didn’t. That would be ridiculous right?
This new film is of course a new take on the characters so I don’t know how much nostalgia is going to carry me through the film, but I can’t help being excited at the thought of Bryan Cranston’s Zordon calling on the Rangers to fight Elizabeth Banks’ Rita Repulsa. The fact we haven’t even seen the new Zords in the trailers yet is another plus for the movie. I’d like to think it’s because they know it’s going to be the showpiece of the film, or it’s because they know they look awful. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.
14. Beauty And The Beast
Ever since Emma Watson was announced as Belle I thought that this film would have the potential to be good, that really is some great casting. Along with supporting actors in Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame playing the Beast, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Luke Evans, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson to name a few. From what we’ve seen in the trailers so far it seems they are not going to stray too far from their own source material. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, I personally find it a damned if you do or damned if you don’t situation.
Of course we want to see our favourite scenes from the original in this live action remake, the Beast saving Belle from the Wolves and the grand dance scene in the hall. As spectacular as these will be to see, I’m still hoping for at least some original ideas in the film. I personally would like to see the film play up just how scary the Beast can be.
I think we can pretty much guarantee fans will like this version of the classic tale, however, the original animated film is hailed in such high regard that will liking the film be enough? In a time where most audiences seem to jump to either loving or hating films, if it’s not perfection, will it really be enough?
13. Thor: Ragnarok
From the very little we know about this latest Marvel offering it seems that Thor will have some pretty big company with him this time. The big green not so friendly giant that is the Hulk will be joining the Asgardian in what rumours are suggesting is an adaptation of the fan favourite Planet Hulk story line. Judging from the few pieces of concept art that have been released we can see both Thor and Hulk in military garb looking ready to take on whatever is about to be thrown at them. We also have a few new interesting cast members to join an already impressive cast. The ever reliable Cate Blanchett, Creed’s Tessa Thompson, Sam Neil and co-Jurassic Park graduate Jeff Goldblum are all ready to join this Norse trilogy closer.
With the reveal of Loki seemingly taking the place of Odin at the end of Thor: The Dark World and managing to stay pretty quiet since then in other Marvel films. I’m sure fans will be eager to see how this will play into the plot of the new film. Thor himself has also been pretty absent since Age of Ultron but we did get an after credits scene with him and a certain Doctor.
This brings me onto the possibility of Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange himself making his first trip into the extended Marvel universe. This will only bring even more excitement considering the positive reception of his solo outing. The thought of Thor, Hulk and Doctor Strange teaming up is certainly a film I want to see.
12. Ghost In The Shell
If you’ve seen the original 1995 anime feature film of the same name you could probably guess why this has taken so long to be made into live action. The original anime film is certainly a mind binding trip into a futuristic world where humans are at the peak of network connectivity.
In a world of such vast capabilities it of course requires some kind of authority to make sure everything stays legal and safe. That’s right the internet police will come for you, or to be more specific Section 9 led by the human-cyborg hybrid called Major will come for you. Scarlett Johansson will be paying the role of Major.
The story follows Major tracking down the most dangerous criminals and extremists attempting to wipe out the advancements of Cyber technology, led by the mysterious hacker called the Puppet Master. The film has already had some controversy with the casting of Johansson as Major, an Asian character in the 1995 film, calls of white washing in Hollywood films are not anything new.
Whatever the general consensus regarding this is, it’s a film that certainly has a cult following and will be hard pressed to have the same kind of impact that its anime counterpart had. But in a time where society is so dependent on technology this film could really have the potential to make a huge impact. If done right it could be talked about in the same vein of what films like The Matrix and Blade Runner had on their respective zeitgeist.
11. Justice League
If you had told me a few years ago that Justice League would only be 11th on my list of most anticipated films of 2017 I would not have believed you. Unfortunately, due to the rather mixed reception of the attempted DC universe so far there hasn’t been much anticipation built up from Zack Snyder and co, more trepidation than anything else.
This will be Snyder’s third attempt at building a DC universe that both critics and fans want to be a part of. Man of Steel had a mainly positive reception, whereas Batman Vs Superman was mostly greeted with disappointment and anger from fans and critics alike. Being a massive DC fan myself I only have the highest of hopes for this universe to someday compete with the powerhouse that is Marvel Studios. But at the moment they are playing catch up, which is clearly affecting the quality of their films.
On the positive side of things, Ben Affleck turned out to be an amazing Batman. The thought of him interacting with the other characters of the Justice League will be sure to create some great moments. Since there has been no sign of Superman in the trailers so far it looks like the makers are bravely building the team without him at the moment. While it’s a high possibility that Supes will be back in some capacity sooner or later, we can at least see how these characters will cope with working together without the natural leader and glue that is Superman.
10. Lego Batman
You saw the Lego movie right? If you did you’ll know a certain character stole the movie from everyone. With what looks to be a huge cast of characters Batman will certainly have to be the shining star of the show to make sure someone else doesn’t steal his movie away from him.
From the few plot points given in the trailers for the film so far it looks to be the somewhat familiar tale of Batman taking a young ward under his wing. The young ward being the boy wonder himself, Robin. Now there has always been jokes made about the relationship between the dynamic duo and the makers know exactly the ones you want to hear.
Or if you want jokes about just how much Batman and his greatest enemy need each other you’ve got that too. The look that Joker gives after hearing that Batman doesn’t currently have a bad guy and likes to ‘fight around’ is hilariously heart breaking. I for one cannot wait for this latest incarnation of the caped crusader to show more of his comedic roots, let’s just hope there’s no ice jokes.
9. God Particle/Cloverfield 3
When the first Cloverfield was doing its marketing campaign no one knew quite what it was. They knew it was set in New York and something big was alive in the city. Well, it seems the second outing decided to go even more mysterious than that. The trailer for the second film was released without any pre-release buzz.
Audiences suddenly realised they were getting the much requested sequel they had been asking for years now. Whenever the people involved in the making of the first film were asked about the possibility of a sequel, ‘maybe someday’ was the general answer being thrown out.
So what a thrill it was to see that first trailer of Mary Elizabeth Winstead eating what seemed to be a pleasant dinner with John Goodman and John Gallagher. The three hear a strange sound from above when Winstead suddenly cracks Goodman across the head with a glass to make an attempt to escape, from what is revealed to be an underground bunker, with Goodman screaming that she doesn’t know what’s out there.
We know the feeling. We currently have no idea what this trilogy closer is going to bring us. I for one am a massive fan of the sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane believing it to be a vastly superior film to the original entry. I can only hope that this is a series that continues to get better with each entry and ends a high note, if the third is the last one?
8. Wonder Woman
For me this is the film to finally get the DC universe off its knees and sprint right into contention with Marvel. After the recent films have failed to kick start the franchise as well as fans and critics would have hoped, it’s time for filmmakers to really throw down Wonder Woman’s gauntlets and make a statement.
I for one, thoroughly enjoyed Wonder Woman’s appearance in Batman vs Superman. The supporting cast of Chris Pine and Lucy Davis look set to provide the romance and comedic value respectively. While it looks like Danny Huston is set to provide a villainous turn while other surprises are yet to be revealed.
When Gal Gadot was announced as Wonder Woman there were many doubters, I was one of them. I had no problem with her physicality for the role, it was more to do with her acting ability. The only films I had seen her in was that of the Fast and Furious franchise, which of course isn’t exactly known for it’s stellar performances.
Going by the trailers I am eagerly anticipating an engaging entry in the DC universe with it looking similar to the tone of Captain America: The First Avenger. While this was always going to be a comparison given the similarity in the two character’s origin stories, it’s good to see they are following a blueprint that has been proven to work.
7. Alien: Covenant
If you’ve seen the trailer for this latest outing into the Alien world of Ridley Scott and co then you’re probably in one of either two camps, you love the idea of going back to the gritty R rated style Scott produced in his first Alien film or you think he blew it with Prometheus so why should this be any different?
Well, while either could be true at the moment it’s great to see Scott continuing his resurgence into the genre which made his name as a director. Very little is known about the plot at the moment. The crew in this film land on a strange planet and begin to search for any signs of life, sound familiar?
One criticism of the trailer many have had is the clear indications of who will be encountering what in the film. We’ve already seen a possible three deaths in the trailer at least. While it’s nice to see the old favourites return to do their thing, was it really necessary to show that much in the trailer?
Unfortunately, that seems to be a sign of the times these days with most movie trailers. The balance of enticing the audience while also trying to keep it’s surprises secret is a hard rope to walk. However, I’ve put it in my top 7 of next year so it must have done something right?
6. Spider Man: Homecoming
The appearance of Spider Man in Captain America: Civil War was a joy to watch for all involved. That was one of the best representations of Spider Man I’ve ever seen in live action. Yes I know he only got minutes of screen time but everything from the style of the suit, especially the eyes, to his mannerisms it was everything I’ve ever wanted in a live action Spider Man.
Call me crazy, but for my money I still haven’t seen a great Spider Man film or performance in any of the previous entries. I know Maguire has his fans, especially for Spider Man 2, but I just don’t get it. They have all been okay to entertaining films for me. While Garfield had the potential to be a very good Spider Man, he was let down by poor scripts and thoughtless direction.
Tom Holland has an incredible opportunity to stamp his mark on this role and really make it his own. Peter will be in high school again and he will be that nerdy awkward teen we all love to route for. The inclusion of Michael Keaton as the vulture could turn out to be a master stroke and finally provide us with a worthy villain in a Marvel film for the first time since, well Loki.
Oh and I haven’t got to Tony Stark, Iron Man himself, being the makeshift mentor to the wannabe avenger. We’ve already seen how well Robert Downey Jr and Holland play off each other in Civil War and the trailer for this film. A particular highlight being Peter going for what he thinks is a hug when in fact Tony is just getting the car door for him. I just hope this is the start of us finally seeing a great Spider Man in a great Spider Man franchise.
This one is going to hurt, guys. It’s supposedly the last time we will ever see Hugh Jackman play the role which made him into a Hollywood megastar. I for one have bittersweet feelings about this. I am eager to see what kind of send off Logan will give us but at the same time saddened to know we will not be getting anymore Jackman as Wolverine.
We all know that this will not be the last time we see the character but I can’t think of anyone in Hollywood right now who could do the job as well as Jackman. If losing one iconic actor wasn’t enough it looks like it could also be the end of the great Patrick Stewart as Professor X. I say this because going from the very ominous tone in the trailers it looks like Logan still has a lot of trauma to go through. The image of him standing over a grave with a bloodied shirt only means one thing in my mind.
It’s been an eventful ride for Jackman as Wolverine with both highs and lows for his portrayal of the character. While some of his films have been underwhelming to say the least, no one can doubt Jackman’s passion for playing the role. Let’s hope his last film will be a fitting tribute to a great character played by a great actor.
The latest offering from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan is surely going to be his best chance yet at getting the golden statue. For most directors of his ilk it’s almost a right of passage to tackle some kind of epic war film. This film depicts the true story of the Dunkirk evacuation in France after allied forces were seemingly trapped until help intervened.
With a great cast it’s certainly one to put down on any film fans calendar. Nolan alumni Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy star in the film along with recent Oscar winner Mary Rylance as well Kenneth Branagh. However, if you’re tired of the usual names popping up, making his quite extraordinary film debut is Harry Styles. So if nothing else at least the film will have a large female audience.
But let’s be fair here, I’m sure Nolan didn’t pick Styles just because he’s a massive One Direction fan, he went through the audition process like everyone else and clearly made enough of an impression to be in this film. I believe I read a quote from Nolan that it was vital to have someone young in this role to bring across the naivety and inexperience of war in these tragic situations.
As Nolan usually does, large sections of the film have been shot in IMAX. One of his trademarks as a director is his eye for spectacle and grand scale filmmaking. So the thought of seeing the type of battle sequences from a story such as this is a very intriguing thought.
3. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians Of The Galaxy was a remarkable surprise for all involved. A set of characters that even the most avid of comic readers would not have heard of, it turned out to be a massive hit with critics and fans. From the moment Hooked On A Feeling played in those first few trailers people became very intrigued. For the early looks at volume 2 so far we have gotten Fox On The Run by The Sweet, I’ve already downloaded it.
To be able to repeat the success of the first film was always going to be a very difficult task for director James Gunn. The story seems to be focusing on what exactly Peter Quill’s true parentage is. While this has remained a mystery it looks like the humour is still very much one of the centre focal points. We’ve already seen some great interplay between Peter, Drax and Gamora involving Peter’s ‘love’ for his fellow crew members.
We haven’t even got to what is surely going to be the scene stealer in this sequel. He may look a little different from last time but he sure is a lot cuter. Groot is back in baby form ready to charm us all over again, but just because he’s small doesn’t mean he can’t take you down if you upset him. We’ve seen how much damage an angry Groot can do before, imagine a Groot with a temper tantrum and you get the idea. With new cast members in Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell and Nathan Fillion it looks like volume 2 could be end up being more than a worthy sequel to the first instalment.
2. Blade Runner 2049
When I first heard they were making a sequel to such a genre defining film as Blade Runner I was very concerned. Sequel’s made after such a long period are rarely ever a good idea, let alone a sequel to one of the best films ever made. The plot has been mostly kept under wraps so far with only a recent trailer providing a brief glimpse of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford reprising his role as Deckard.
The story will apparently follow Gosling’s character trying to uncover a long buried secret which could cause what’s left of the dystopian society into further turmoil. This leads to him tracking down former Blade Runner Rick Deckard who has been missing for 30 years.
If you have seen Blade Runner you will know that, depending on which cut you have seen, the film ends on an ambiguous note involving Deckard. Now while Ridley Scott has himself confirmed a certain theory regarding the ending of the film it can always be interpreted in different way by the new filmmakers.
While Ridley Scott isn’t in the director’s chair this time, we have a more than capable deputy to take over in Denis Villeneuve. A director who really is a man in demand at the moment, hot off the recent success of Arrival and Sicario, he is certainly a director capable of dealing with complex storytelling and challenging themes. While it is too early to tell if this film will live up to the legacy of the original, I can’t help but be extremely excited about going to this world.
1. Fast and Furious 8
1. Star Wars Episode VIII
Was there really any other choice here? After the huge success of The Force Awakens and now Rogue One, the Star Wars renaissance has returned with a seriously impressive foundation to build off. J.J. Abrams and Gareth Edwards really have done a great job of reminding us just how good Star Wars can be when given the right direction and story.
With what happened in TFA to beloved characters and the silent return of old favourites we are all eager to see where this story is going. Some had problems with the amount of nostalgic imagery used in TFA, so while the reboot of the franchise has been a successful one, the proceeding films must make sure to try and build a wholly original direction and story to tell.
The sad passing of Carrie Fisher is a massive blow for the franchise and of course for all who knew her. How much of a role she will have played in the story we don’t know, but we do know she had completed filming for Episode VIII.
The previous film has left many questions and theories for the fans to mull over since its release. A common point of mystery is who Rey’s parents are. Now while there is evidence to suggest she may be a Skywalker I for one hope this is not the case. The Skywalker’s are of course a staple of the Star Wars universe, but that is exactly what it is, a universe. I would like the franchise to continue expanding beyond what we are familiar with.
However, an argument could be said that this was tried with the prequel saga and was not met with universal enthusiasm, myself included. We can only hope we continue to love visiting the Star Wars universe.
So, what do you think of this list? What are you looking forward most to seeing next year?