Right we’ve looked back at my favourite films, the worst films, and the most disappointing films of 2016. But now it’s time to look to the future, and think about what we have to look forward to next year, in my Most Anticipated Films of 2017. I’ve decided that rather than just a list I’m going to break it down by themes where I’ll mention the ones I’m looking forward to, then pick my single most anticipated in each of those categories. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to identify some of the films that you are really looking forward to next year.
Early Year Award Contenders: Let us begin with those films that will be arriving in the first month or two of the New Year and will be hoping to perform well during the award season. The two first of those that I’ll be getting to see are both released on New Years Day and they are A Monster Calls and Silence. I’m always excited for a Martin Scorsese film, and when you consider that the Silence cast includes Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver you have to be excited. Shortly after we have Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Two coming slightly later are Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, also starring Garfield, and Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins. Most Anticipated: La La Land
Animation: It’s been a great year for animated films in 2016, looking ahead to 2017 and I’m not sure it’ll be quite as great. We’re going to be subjected to the third installments of the Cars and Despicable Me franchises. Far more excitingly there is the spin off from the hugely successful Lego film a couple of years ago, The Lego Batman Movie. The trailers have been hilarious and he was the best character in the original film. On a more nostalgic note DreamWorks’ is making Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, based on a book series I was very fond of as a young child. We are also getting an original Pixar project in Coco, which I don’t know much about, but original Pixar projects always get me excited. Finally I’m really curious to see how the Emoji Movie turns out. It’s certainly a cash grab, but so were the Angry Birds and Lego Movies and they turned out ok. Most Anticipated: The Lego Batman Movie
Superheroes: Obviously the big money makers at the moment are superhero films, and we have so many to look forward to in 2017. Marvel and their cinematic universe are hitting us with a whopping 3 films next year. We’ve got the John Hughes inspired Spiderman: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Taika Waititi directing Thor: Ragnarok. On the DC side we have Patty Jenkins directing Wonder Woman, finally a female led superhero film in these cinematic universes, and we have Justice League, which will see most of my favourite superheroes join forces on the big screen. Finally Fox are bringing us Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine in Logan, which had one of the best trailers of the year. Most Anticipated: Thor Ragnarok
Sequels: We have a whole raft of sequels and franchise continuations coming next year, and whilst a 5th Pirates or Transformers film may not be at all exciting, there are a lot of sequels with great potential. We are getting the first true Ridley Scott directed sequel (or prequel I’m not sure) in the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant. There is also War For the Planet of the Apes, the third installment in the brilliant Apes saga. And Denis Villeneuve is directing Blade Runner 2049, which sounds far more promising after his work on Arrival and the release of the first trailer. On the more action side we are getting John Wick: Chapter 2 and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, sequels to two of the best recent action films. Danny Boyle returns to the world of Irvine Welsh with T2 Trainspotting, an adaptation based on Welsh’s novel Porno. On a lighter note we are getting a sequel to the utterly delightful Paddington. And finally there is the as yet untitled middle chapter of the current Star Wars saga with Episode VIII. Most Anticipated: Star Wars Episode VIII
Great Directors: There are a lot of films that have caught my attention next year on the strength of the director alone. First the Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) production Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. This really looks to have that Besson at his best vibe to it, more Léon than Lucy. Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) has a fantasy adventure, The Shape of Water, set to the backdrop of 1963 Cold War era USA, and seeing Del Toro make a film like this will always have me excited. Okja is a South Korean and America action film from Bong Joon-ho, the director of Snowpiercer. Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs the World) is back with an action crime thriller Baby Driver, this is something of a departure for him, but I love his work so am incredibly excited to see this. Alex Garland (Ex Machina) is writing and directing an adaption of Jeff VanderMeer’s book Annihilation. After seeing Ex Machina I’m completely on board for whatever he was going to next, and the great, predominantly female, cast has me even more excited. Finally Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) is back, this time with a Second World War epic, Dunkirk. Most Anticipated: Annihilation
The Rest: Finally we have some intriguing new films, which don’t really fit into any of the other categories. They are either adaptations of another work, or they are attempts to start a new franchise. Very early in the year (New Years day to be exact, and the first film I shall be seeing in 2017) is Assassins Creed, surely one of the last chances that Video Game films will get. Tying in to 2014’s Godzilla is the new King Kong film Kong: Skull Island, which has a great cast and one of he best trailers from Comic Con 2016. Disney’s live action adaptations continue with possibly their greatest animated film, Beauty and the Beast, starring the wonderful Emma Watson. Universal and Tom Cruise are attempting to revive the old Hammer Horror franchises with their first film in a new Cinematic Universe, The Mummy. And finally there is a long awaited adaption of Steven King’s The Dark Tower, which is finally making it to cinemas and will star Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Most Anticipated: Beauty and the Beast