Cinemagoers have a lot to be excited about when it comes to scheduled movie releases for the year. And while there are certainly many well-known sequels penned in for release, there’s also a healthy dose of original motion pictures ready to hit the big screen. Whether it be a beloved comic book franchise, a science fiction spectacular or a historical wartime biopic – we’ve got you covered on the most essential movies that you can’t afford to miss in 2017. Lights, camera, action!
20. The Lego Batman Movie (February 10)
If the first movie in the Lego movie franchise is anything to go by, then the sequel promises to be a laugh out loud riot. The spin-off to the critically acclaimed Lego Movie focuses on Batman and sees the caped crusader reprise his hilarious role as the intense superhero in a quest to bring down the villainous Joker. So, with voices from the likes of Michael Cera and Zach Galifianakis, this one is set to put most adult comedies to shame.
19. Ghost In The Shell (March 31)
Fan of cyberpunk? Well look no further than the upcoming, manga-inspired motion picture Ghost In The Shell. In a role originally pencilled in for Margot Robbie, the mysterious character known as The Major is instead taken on by Scarlett Johansson as she fights to stop an A.I. takeover in a world of dystopian proportions. But with such relevant topics, this one may be more grounded in reality than one might think…
18. It (September 8)
Despite some controversy surrounding the killer clown phenomenon of the present day, Stephen King’s frightening novel It still looks to be scheduled for a 2017 release. Marking the second movie adaptation of the book, It follows the premise of a crazed clown that petrifies his victims by playing on their worst fears. We’ve got high hopes for this one being better than your standard horror movie remake, and if it’s even close to the scare-fest that we saw from the original, horror buffs will be more than satisfied.
17. The Death of Stalin (TBC)
British comedy satirist Armando Iannucci hit gold with 2009’s In The Loop, a spin-off from the popular BBC show The Thick Of It. And he looks to follow it up with the biographical feature The Death Of Stalin. The film will focus on the last days of the dictator’s life, including the chaos surrounding it. No concrete date has been set yet, but all roads point to a release date at some point within the year. And it may be worth the wait, too – considering Iannucci’s stellar previous work.
16. Power Rangers (March 24)
If you were a child growing up in the ’90s, the TV show Power Rangers was almost a rite of passage. And never ones to miss out on a lucrative opportunity, Hollywood looks to bring back the superhero outfit in the franchise’s first movie adaptation since 1997. If the film captures the same fantastical spirit of the show, we may be singing “go, go Power Rangers” all over again.
15. Logan (March 3)
Hugh Jackman has been playing the Wolverine character for quite some time now, something which seems to be coming to an end with James Mangold’s Logan. The movie will take place in a post-apocalyptic world where the main protagonist must protect a girl from evil forces. And with actors like Patrick Stewart and Richard E. Grant making appearances, it would seem that Mangold is going for the jugular with the third and final instalment in the Wolverine movie series.
14. The Boss Baby (March 31)
After several release date changes, it seems that this charming looking kid’s movie is finally poised for release. The story follows two brothers who, despite their differences, must come together for the sake of their parents. Oh, and one of the brothers is a baby who wears a suit and carries a briefcase. What’s not to love?
13. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)
Talk about an all-star cast. The second Guardians Of The Galaxy movie (slated for a 2017 release) has star power and then some. Those making appearances include Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and Stan Lee. Phew! With that covered, the story follows the crew two months after the end of the first movie as they scour the cosmos in a bid to understand Peter Quill’s origins.
12. Split (January 20)
Ever since director M. Night Shyamalan created the eerie modern classic The Sixth Sense, a lot of focus has been put onto the filmmaker’s subsequent projects. And after some duds (Signs, The Last Airbender, The Happening), he made a return to form with 2015’s The Visit, and his latest project is the upcoming psychological horror starring James McAvoy entitled Split. Early reviews are very positive indeed, so make sure you don’t split when this mind-bender hits theaters this year.
11. Wonder Woman (June 2)
In a never-ending stream of superhero movies, the announcement that Wonder Woman would finally make her way onto the big screen may be tiresome for some. However, judging by the action-filled trailers, as well as the fact that it’s being directed by the mastermind behind 2003’s phenomenal Monster, this visceral flick may live up to the hype after all. Certainly one to watch out for.
10. Alien: Covenant (May 19)
Ridley Scott’s decision to reinvent the Alien franchise birthed 2012’s convoluted Prometheus, and so it’s worth reserving judgement until the upcoming Alien: Covenant is released. That said, the movie still promises to be an interesting prequel to the original Alien movie, while hopefully filling in some of the plot holes left by Prometheus.
9. The Beguiled (June 23)
How about a remake to get your nostalgia juices flowing? Sofia Coppola is only happy to oblige with her adaptation of the Clint Eastwood-led drama The Beguiled. Those starring in key roles include Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. The story, meanwhile, is centered around an injured soldier who moves into an all-girls boarding school during the Civil War.
8. Kong: Skull Island (March 10)
Fictional beast King Kong has been off our screens for too long now, but all that’s about to change with the advent of Kong: Skull Island. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the monster masher features the talents of Samuel Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman and Brie Larson (among others) as they come face to face with the mythical figure. As a story based on the monster’s origins, it’s already shaping up to be one of the most intriguing blockbusters slated for 2017.
7. T2 Trainspotting (February 10)
Sequels released years after their original can be a patchy affair in the movie biz, and even more so for films with a classic status. In the case of cult gem Trainspotting, these fears are understandable. However, interests peaked when it was revealed that Danny Boyle (director of the original) would be at the helm, not to mention the fact that the original cast are all back for T2. The movie sees Mark Renton return home to Scotland in a bid to make up with his former buddies. Choose T2 this year.
6. The Dark Tower (TBC)
No joke: this one looks ridiculously good. As a radical reimagining of the Stephen King novel The Dark Tower, this science fiction/western horror mashup sees Idris Elba on a quest to find the mystical dark tower in a bid to save his land from being ravaged. And with Matthew McConaughey as the evil sorcerer, the genre-bending flick is already looking like it’s going to be a hit.
5. Dunkirk (July 21)
Into the top five, and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk was always going to be here. Almost everything the director touches turns to gold. And, never one to rest on his laurels, the devoted filmmaker has transitioned from science fiction into war films with this World War II epic. It recounts the events surrounding the evacuation of soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk. Plus, experimental sound sculptor Hans Zimmer is also on board, which is almost worth the price of admission alone.
4. Baby Driver (August 11)
Director Edgar Wright is on the precipice of releasing one of 2017’s most interesting movies – the action thriller Baby Driver. The plot revolves around a character named Baby, who drives the getaway car for various bank robbers. But when a particular heist goes awry, he finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Originally slated for a March release, Baby Driver has since been moved back to August.
3. Beauty And The Beast (March 17)
It’s probably not surprising that children’s classic Beauty and the Beast is getting the remake treatment. But what is surprising is that it’s set to be a live-action film and not an animated feature. Emma Watson takes the lead role as Belle, while Dan Stevens plays the Beast. It’s also being shot in IMAX and 3D so it’s sure to be a visual spectacular.
2. Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of most influential and thought provoking movies ever made, so a long-awaited sequel is certainly a risky proposition. However, Scott is more than up for the challenge. Moreover, not only is the second instalment to the sci-fi classic being shot in IMAX, but it’s also being released as a V.R. experience through the use of the Oculus platform. It is situated decades after the original and sees new protagonist Officer K (played by Ryan Gosling) attempting to locate Rich Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) in a plan to restore social order amidst a potentially catastrophic, unearthed secret.
1. Star Wars: Episode VIII (December 15)
Boy, are Disney making the most of that Star Wars deal. Following their acquisition of the franchise in 2012, the studio have already released two big budget Star Wars movies, with a third to follow at the end of this year. And if it’s as good as the previous two, Episode VIII could complete the franchise’s surprising rejuvenation. Let’s hope the force is with it.