While many critics and publications have been releasing their “Best of 2016” lists right around now, I’m going to look to the future and give you what I’m most excited for in 2017. If I could, I would put almost every film in 2017 on this list as they should all be anticipated until we know a bit more about it. Judging simply by a poster or the cast and crew isn’t a fair way to anticipate something until one has seen or learned more. But based on the information we have, or based on the strength of the series, I have picked 20 films that I’m pretty stoked to see this year. Of course, there are more than 20 but having 26 say just seemed off. Will all these movies end up being good? Who knows, I know a lot of my 2016 picks ending up being duds. But here’s to being optimistic and being treated with some awesome films. Here are my 20 most anticipated films of 2017!
John Wick: Chapter 2
John Wick surprised everyone when it first came out for blowing everyone’s expectations out of the water and delivering a well shot, well edited action film with a character we actually cared about while also creating a comic book styled universe within the film. So naturally when the film got green lit for a second chapter, brings the action to Rome and reunited Keanu Reeves with Matrix co-star Laurence Fishburne, you can’t help but feel excited again.
So, what you’re saying is Logan is basically The Last of Us adaptation with Wolverine. Sign me up. The excellent debut trailer with Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” blew everyone away with its unexpected neo-western tone and the film already stands apart from the plethora of other superhero films out there. The film looks to be heavy on the characterization and is working with a smaller cast than most blockbusters. Can’t wait for this one.
Beauty and the Beast
The latest Disney classic to get the live-action treatment is Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. This remake actually looks to be incredibly faithful to it’s animated source material, staying away from the “dark and gritty” tone a lot of these remakes have been using over the past few years. Quite curious to see how it will stack up next to the animated classic and how the great cast will contribute to the story.
Ghost in the Shell
The phrase “live action anime” should make me sick after all the efforts we’ve had to far, but Ghost in the Shell looks like it knows what it’s doing. Faithfully capturing the look and feel of it’s manga and anime origins, Ghost stars Scarlet Johansson as the Major, a counter terrorism agent who also happens to be a cyborg who is on mission to prevent an assailant from wrecking havoc on the company that builds the artificial intelligence of the future. The film looks great, with grand neon lighting shining through a high tech future that looks to be the love child of The Matrix and Blade Runner.
The Lost City of Z
Really looking forward to this one. Based on the non-fiction book of the same name, Lost City of Z follows early 20th century English explorers heading into uncharted Amazonian territory looking for the City of Z, A.K.A. El Dorado. The cast includes Charlie Hunnam, Robert Paterson and Tom Holland as the doomed explorers, who never made it back to England (that’s not a spoiler, it’s in both the book and movie synopsis’).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Oga chaka. We still don’t know too much about GotG2 (which is a good thing) but the hilarious first outing directed by James Gunn left such an impression that I can’t wait for round 2. The gang returns for more space opera shenanigans while introducing Kurt Russell to the series in as quite possibly Star-Lord’s much talked about father. Plus, Baby Groot looks hysterical.
Ridley Scott returns to the Alien franchise and gives us a movie that bridges that series he created with the polarizing Prometheus film. Unlike that film however, Alien Covenant is going to be a hard R horror film, which I can’t wait to see. Michael Fassbender reprises his role as David, the sole survivor of the ship Prometheus, but will also play another android being which a completely different personality. Joining him Katherine Waterson, Billy Crudup and Danny McBride as the team that finds David and the horror that awaits them. That one shot in the trailer of the spine totally grossed me out. Excellent.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Okay, so the last few Pirates movies haven’t been the best. One can still hope that the fifth entry can be a step above the last two right? Depp returns naturally as Jack Sparrow, who must find the Trident of Poseidon in order to defeat a new pirate threat in Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) who seeks to eliminate all pirates on the high seas. The trailer does seem to present a darker film but I know trailers can be deceiving. Colour me cautiously optimistic.
Christopher Nolan’s latest offering should be enough to pique the interest of many moviegoers but mix in the fact that it’s Nolan’s first historical epic should make for a welcome change of pace as he tackles the WWII evacuation of Allied troops from the beach of Dunkirk. Nolan’s love of practical effects and stock film should create a rich film, lets just hope the characters are equally interesting.
War of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a great thinking man’s science fiction film and War looks like it will carry that tradition forward. Not wanting the conflict to reach this point, the now well versed Caesar is plunged into a war with mankind and sees him go toe-to-toe with Woody Harrelson. The shots look gorgeous and the stakes are high, with both sides looking to justify their actions.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Luc Besson returns to science fiction and that’s enough to draw my attention. Director of The Fifth Element, Besson brings Dane DeHane and Cara Delevingne together for an adaptation of the French graphic novel series that looks to be both parts space opera and straight up wacky. Bit worried that it’s too reliant on CGI shots and effects but we’re still a ways out from the July release date and that can be brushed up.
The Dark Tower
Adapted from the Stephen King book series, The Dark Tower stars Edris Elba as Ronald, the last gunslinger in a wasteland that may or may not be Earth who is on a quest to find the mysterious Dark Tower. Hot on his heels is Mathew McConaughey’s The Man in Black, a sorcerer with a connection to the mysterious tower. The books series is known for being King’s LotR, mixing fantasy, horror and science fiction seamlessly together. Curious to see how it will be adapted.
Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors working today. Each film he’s made has improved upon the last and the man just knows how to do visual comedy. Relying more on clever camera tricks and edits rather than in your face raunch, Wright always feels fresh and his latest offering Baby Driver sounds wholly original and awesome. Ansel Egort plays Baby Driver, a getaway driver with constant ringing in his ear and a near mute. To counter act his condition, he is constantly listening to music. The film will actually sync up his getaway scenes and his personal life to his never ending soundtrack, which should make for a unique cinematic experience.
Blade Runner 2049
Confession: I don’t like Blade Runner. I’ve tried and tried but I can’t get into it. That’s why I’m hoping 2049 changes things up enough that it will bring new fans into the fold, and director Dennis Villeneuve is on such a hot streak right now that I have utmost faith that I may enjoy this film. The film introduces Ryan Gosling into futuristic L.A. as a cop looking for answers and Harrsion Ford’s Rick Deckard.
Kingsman was a huge surprise when it came out and when it got green lit for a sequel, fans rejoiced. I am a bit worried that the charm may not work as well the second time around, especially with less British wit with the introduction of the Kingsman’s American counterpart, but if Vaughn can deliver a film that’s just as good as the original then bring it on.
The rumored third entry in the Cloverfield series sees a new cast (starring David Oyelowow, Daniel Bruhl among others) as astronauts aboard a space station in a post Earth reality. We don’t know much about this film, let alone if it actually IS a Cloverfield movie but the cast and premise alone should warrant an interest for moviegoers.
While the Thor films may not be everyone’s favorite Marvel films, he certainly is one of the more interesting characters and the Norse God of Thunder’s third outing brings in an interesting director in Taika Waititi. Couple this with an interesting cast of characters, including Dr. Strange and the Hulk, along with Cate Blanchette and this could actually be the unexpected good time at the movies in 2017. The humeroustic mockumentry the director released over the summer could be evidence that this will indeed be quite the different film, which is apparently set to be a galactic road trip as an imprisoned and hammerless Thor must rush back to Asgard before the end of days (Ragnarok) happens. But before that, he must compete in a gladiator death match against his former ally, the Hulk.
While Snyder’s BVS wasn’t the most amazing thing, here’s hoping Warner Bros, DC and Zack have learned from the errors of their ways and can deliver a better film than their last outing. Joining Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman this time around are Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash for looks to be a less serious adventure this time around. Lets give it a chance. If it fails, I think we can safely assume that DC films just aren’t going to cut it. Watch out for Wonder Woman’s solo WW1 film earlier this year as well.
Murder on the Orient Express
I mean, have you seen that cast? Kenneth Brannagh stars and directs the remake along with Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer and others. The film is based on the Agatha Christie novel of the same name and should be a great high budget thriller to look forward to.
Star Wars Episode VIII
Surprised, said no one ever. The yet to be titled next entry in the Star Wars saga sees Rian Johnson take over the directorial duties from J.J. Abrams and is set to start right after the events of 2015’s The Force Awakens. Most of that film’s cast is set to return along with a more prominent role this time around for Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. And that’s all we really know at this point in time, but that shouldn’t deter anyone as the series is 2 for 2 under the Disney banner and with a director like Johnson, who helmed Looper and the amazing Ozymandias episode of Breaking Bad. So expect a darker entry for this middle chapter.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena star as soldiers in the desert who are suddenly ambushed by a sniper, who injures one of the soldiers to the point of being unable to walk. Taking refuse behind a stone wall, the other ends up talking to the sniper over his radio while he thinks of a way to retrieve his partner behind the wall. It’s simple yet it has my attention, want to see what people say about this one before I decide to head in.