2017: Year in Preview

This past year was a solid year in cinema.  Just like life, though, films never stop and projects are always developing.  The Golden Globes haven’t even been stashed away yet, and the Oscars nominations are still pending.  But hey, it’s January – meaning it’s a new year, and I’m excited as always about the possibilities of what is to come this year at the movies.

Some of the highlights of what is to come includes a huge year for the superhero fanatics (#teamDC), some cult-following novels being brought to the big screen, adaptations/continuations to classics of yesteryear, and a new Christopher Nolan film (since all of his previous movies have been masterpieces and instant classics, Nolan’s movies have now become must-see events).

I figure now is the perfect time to share what I have found regarding the projects that are due to hit theaters in 2017.  With that said, here is an extensive list of some of the films I’m most excited to see this coming year.

  1. The Circle (4/28/17) – Tom Hanks is Hollywood gold.  Movies adapted from best-selling novels are also gold.  Hanks stars as a man who runs a powerful tech company, the Circle, and becomes involved with a young woman, played by Emma Watson.  She realizes the company and the man are a little more mysterious than she thought.  Sounds golden.
  1. The Mummy (6/9/17) – For the record, this movie has nothing to do with the Mummy series that featured Brendan Fraser and The Rock several years ago.  The early trailer looks pretty crazy, and the rumor is that this is the first of the new-age monster movie revamps.
  1. Jumanji (12/22/17) This is a little under a year away, but it is already being talked about as one of the most anticipated fun films of 2017.  Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with Kevin Hart and Jack Black, this movie is said to not be a reboot, but rather a continuation.  I’m looking forward to this if for no other reason other than taking a time travel trip back to 1995 and feeling ten years old all over again.
  1. Beauty and the Beast (3/17/17) – This is sure to be a huge debut its first weekend.  Everyone, regardless of age, is familiar with this story.  As a result, everyone will be curious to see it play out on screen in a live action, non-animated version.
  1. War for the Planet of the Apes (7/14/17) – The latest in this well-done series, Caesar appears to be as bad-ass as ever.
  1. It (9/8/17) – That’s right, clown lovers – It is back!  Stephen King’s classic horror novel about a sadistic, scary-ass clown is coming to the big screen 27 years after its original TV mini-series aired.  I heard this was rumored to be coming out for the past few years, but now it finally appears ready to be released.
  1. Stronger (Release date uncertain in 2017) – I’m curious how this movie does, since it will be released within a year of Patriot’s Day, which also focuses on the Boston Marathon bombings.  Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this one as a victim of the bombings, who helps the police find the bombers.  It sounds like a great story, and like I always say, Gyllenhaal will win an Oscar one day.  Could this be the role?
  1. Kong: Skull Island (3/10/17) – NOW we can finally (hopefully) see an awesome King Kong film since Jack Black is not involved this time.  I’m hoping to hear something like “I’m sick of this mother f’n King Kong!” from Samuel L. Jackson in this movie.
  1. Life (Spring 2017) –  Some sites say that this will come out in March, but others, including the trailer, say it is set to be released on Memorial Day weekend.  Either way, Life stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds as astronauts on a space station who discover life on Mars.  The intense trailer has definitely sparked my interest.  This looks like a blockbuster sci-fi hit.
  1. Song to Song (3/17/17) – Coming off the incredible success of La La Land, Ryan Gosling heads an all-star cast in another musically influenced romance.  This movie sounds like it normally would come out during awards season between October and December, so the March release date is a little puzzling – but the cast, which features Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Benicio Del Toro among others, makes this a movie that highly peaks my interest.
  1. Transformers: The Last Knight (6/23/17) – Michael Bay’s billion dollar franchise returns!  Think the title of this one means it is the finale of the series? Think again. Bay is signed on to produce two more installments of the saga.
  1. The House (6/30/17) – I honestly don’t go to see a lot of comedies, since so many of them wind up disappointing and having the funniest parts of the movie shown in the trailer.  However, two people who can draw me to the theater for a comedy are Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler.  Both star in this one.  On top of that, the plot sounds pretty hilarious – Ferrell is a father who convinces his friends to help him start a casino in his basement to pay for his daughter’s college tuition.  I hope this is the next great comedy from Ferrell, mirroring classics like Old School and Anchorman.
  1. Hostiles (unknown release date in 2017) – Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike star in a western set in 1892, where an Army captain has the task of leading a Native American family through hostile territory.  Bale is always brilliant, and I have been waiting to see Pike in something new since her incredible performance in Gone Girl back in 2014.  There’s a chance this movie may not come out in 2017, but we are holding out hope.
  1. The Beguiled (6/30/17) – From Sofia Coppola and starring Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, The Beguiled is a movie with a refreshingly unique plot centered around a Union soldier imprisoned in a Confederate girls’ boarding school and the interactions between him and some of the girls there.  This sounds like a drama meets western type of film with a talented cast – I’m in!
  1. Star Wars Episode VIII (12/15/17) – Every Star Wars movie is an event, and I’m sure this will be no different.  Sadly, they will have to do it without Princess Leia going forward.
  1. Alien: Covenant (5/19/17) – Ridley Scott is set to have a huge 2017.  Alien: Covenant is the first of several huge releases Scott is set to produce this year (including Blade Runner 2049 and Murder on the Orient Express).  I can’t wait to see what Michael Fassbender can bring to this franchise.
  1. Split (1/20/17) – We don’t have to wait long to see this one, as it comes out on Friday. I am a big fan of James McAvoy, so even though I have been highly skeptical of most M. Night Shyamalan projects, I can’t imagine him doing a film that doesn’t have a solid script and high potential.
  1. Wonder Woman (6/2/17) – It’s been a long time since Lynda Carter brought Wonder Woman to the screen in 1975.  Gal Gadot looks to light up the screen, and young men’s screensavers all over the world, much like Carter did 42 years ago as the title character.
  1. All Eyez on Me (6/16/17) – I heard this was being developed not long after the success of Straight Outta Compton, and this could be even better.  I’m a little skeptical of Benny Boom getting the nod to direct the film, since his biggest achievements so far have come from the music video industry, but I am willing to give him a chance.  Tupac’s life was tailor-made for the big screen, and those who were in his life have been largely supportive and involved in the project.
  1. Darkest Hour (11/24/17) – Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in the true story of Churchill’s role leading the British against Hitler and the Nazis in WWII.  Darkest Hour appears to be one of those historical biopics that the Academy loves.
  1. Blade Runner 2049 (10/6/17) – Much like Mad Max: Fury Road, Blade Runner 2049 has the potential to be this year’s critically acclaimed revival of a cult classic.
  1. Untitled Cloverfield Project (10/27/17) – I love the ambiguity and mystique that J.J. Abrams creates with his films.  There is no title, nor clear plot leaked about this film.  I was a huge fan of Cloverfield, but not 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is said to not have been a sequel.
  1. Raw (3/10/17) – This movie sounds wild!  It is the story of a vegetarian veterinarian who develops a taste for human flesh.  The trailer is crazy, and allegedly, some people literally became sick at one of the premieres.
  1. American Made (9/29/17) – I know he has a unique personality to say the least, and he may be a little over the top at times, but I really enjoy Tom Cruise.  This film features Cruise as a pilot who works for the CIA, but is also a drug runner during the 1980s.  I think this could be a big year for Cruise.  It’s fun to see him in roles we don’t normally see him portray, so hopefully the movie is as intriguing as its star.
  1. Murder on the Orient Express (11/22/17) – This is based on the legendary story by Agatha Christie.  The film will feature an all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, and is also directed by and starring phenomenal British actor Kenneth Branagh as a Belgian detective who has to investigate the murder of a wealthy American traveling on the most famous train in the world called, you guessed it, the Orient Express.  This story was also made a movie in 1974, and was nominated for several awards, including six Oscars.  This rendition has some big shoes to fill.
  1. The Greatest Showman (Christmas Day 2017) – Ironically, it was just announced a day or so ago that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is closing its doors after 146 years of making people smile everywhere.  It’s perfect, though, that this year will bring a biopic about the aforementioned P.T. Barnum and his life as the founder of the greatest circus in the world.  Hugh Jackman has been helping develop this project since 2009, so a lot of dedicated time has been taken to make this a great one.  This may be an early Oscar contender.
  1. The Mountain Between Us (10/20/17) – If I could pick an actor and actress to make up a dream duo to co-star in a movie together, two of the considered would be Idris Elba and Kate Winslet.  This movie is set to make that dream a reality.  Being an adaptation of a popular book, mixed with a highly talented duo of actors creates a successful blend that could lead to potential buzz come award season.
  1. Justice League (11/17/17) – As a big fan of the DC comics characters myself when I was growing up, I can honestly say I have been waiting for this movie my entire life.  Hopefully, they show the Avengers how it’s REALLY done.
  1. The Dark Tower (7/28/17) – Based on Stephen King’s novel series of the same name, Sony Pictures spared no expense in its attempt to have this adaptation’s success in both quality and box office draw – pairing Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey (two of my favorites) together.
  1. Dunkirk (7/21/17) – Here it is! My most anticipated movie of the year!  The end of every Chris Nolan film begins my excitement for his next one.  He has mastered a superhero series, a sci-fi drama, and a mind-bending thriller.  His range has already proven to be unlimited, so I can’t wait to see what he does with a war film.  I have been waiting for this one for over a year now, and I would bet the absurd price of my IMAX movie ticket that I won’t be disappointed.

Of course, all of these movies and their release dates are subject to change, but this is what I have as of now.  Normally, the first couple months of the year dont bring out the best that film companies have to offer (for example, A Dog’s Purpose, Monster Trucks, etc.), but this year could find some sleepers mixed in.  The summer season, as always, looks to have some really solid moneymakers due in 2017.  The awards season, normally between October and December, looks to be strong this year as well.

However, my bold prediction is that this year will have at least one movie nominated and favored for Best Picture that is released outside the standard award season time frame. For the record, the last movie to win Best Picture that was released outside of awards season was The Hurt Locker in 2009 (the award should have went to Avatar but, that’s another conversation for another day), which was released in June.