2016 is almost over, and I really can’t believe it. It feels like the summer movie season just ended, but here we are at the end of the year. That also means that we need to start looking forward to some of the films that are released next year. I, obviously, don’t know if any or all of these will be good, or even great, but with this list I’m trying to point out which films I’m super excited for.
Right, so, I know there are going to be some people that will freak out that some major releases like Beauty and the Beast, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, and The LEGO Batman Movie aren’t on my list (spoiler, I guess). But here’s the thing, I’m looking forward to so many more films in 2017 than just the 17 I’ve listed here. You see, it really hurts to not have films like David Ayer’s Bright, Duncan Jones’ Mute, and Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman on the list.
Before I get to the list and the films, let me just say that the release dates that I’ve listed may change, and some of them definitely will (for example, we don’t know when Netflix will release their films, and some of the potentially Oscar-worthy films don’t all have release dates yet). Okay, let’s get to it.
#17 – Death Note – Adam Wingard – Unknown
You may not know Adam Wingard’s name, but you probably know about some of his films. He’s made films like 2011’s slasher film You’re Next, this year’s Blair Witch sequel, and 2014’s fantastic, but under-seen and underrated, action-thriller The Guest. As far as I know, Death Note tells the story of a man who has a notebook that gives him the ability to kill anyone, just by writing the person’s name in the notebook.
Now, why does Death Note intrigue me? Well, here’s the thing, I haven’t read the manga series or seen the anime adaptation, but whenever I hear what it’s about I want to know more about it. Thankfully, we soon will as Netflix plans to release it at some point in time in 2017.
#16 – Mary Magdalene – Garth Davis – Unknown
So yeah, apparently they’re making a Mary Magdalene biopic, and it’s being directed by the guy who made his feature film debut with Lion – starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman – which is currently nominated for four Golden Globes. I have no idea when this film will be released, but if it’s any good, then The Weinstein Company will probably release it in next year’s Oscar-season.
What’s really exciting about the film are the three leading actors. Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing Peter, Joaquin Phoenix is playing Jesus, and the wonderful Rooney Mara will be playing Mary Magdalene. How can you not be, at least, a little bit excited about that?
#15 – Baby Driver – Edgar Wright – August 2017
Anyone who has ever seen an Edgar Wright film knows how special this writer-director is. His Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy is fantastic, and probably one of the best comedy trilogies of all-time, Wright’s 2010 action-comedy film adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series is a special film that doesn’t get enough credit. His next movie is Baby Driver. It is a film about a getaway driver that works for bank-robbers, and it stars Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx.
#14 – Logan Lucky – Steven Soderbergh – October 2017
Of course, the movie with the word ‘lucky’ in the title just had to be number thirteen, right? Total coincidence, I promise. Anyway, Steven Soderbergh, who you may know as the director of Traffic, Erin Brockovich, or the Oceans Trilogy, is making a comedy about a heist that takes place during a NASCAR race.
Apparently the heist is planned by two brothers – the Logan brothers – and they’ll be played by Adam Driver and Channing Tatum (who worked with Soderbergh on Magic Mike). It’s got a star-studded cast that also includes Daniel Craig, Hilary Swank, Katherine Heigl, and Seth MacFarlane.
#13 – Okja – Bong Joon-ho – Unknown
Speaking of a star-studded cast, Okja – the next film by Bong Joon-ho, who you may know as the director of Snowpiercer – includes Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Steven Yeun, and Paul Dano. Interestingly, though, the star of the film will be a young South Korean actress named Ahn Seo-hyun.
According to Deadline, her character is “at the center of the story about a young girl who must risk everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend — a massive animal named Okja.”
#12 – Justice League – Zack Snyder – November 2017
It should be hard to be excited about the next Zack Snyder film after we’ve seen what Batman v Superman turned into, but his next film is Justice League, and I can’t not be excited for that film. Will it be good? Who knows, but I’m hopeful, even though I didn’t love the Comic-Con footage.
#11 – Spider-Man: Homecoming – Jon Watts – July 2017
Spider-Man is back! I know, I know, it doesn’t really feel like he’s been anywhere, does it? Look, I know they just rebooted the Spider-Man film series a couple of years back, but with Homecoming Marvel Studios is getting their hands on Marvel Comics’ best hero: Peter Parker. I loved Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, and I can’t wait to see more of that version of Spidey.
#10 – God Particle – Julius Onah – October 2017
The original Cloverfield was the best found footage film of 2008 (really, it’s one of the best found footage films of all-time), and 10 Cloverfield Lane was one of the best surprises of 2016. Now we’re getting God Particle, which is supposedly going to be the third film in the Cloverfield anthology film series.
Here’s the plot synopsis:
A team of astronauts aboard a space station find themselves alone after a scientific experiment causes Earth to disappear. When a space shuttle appears, the space station crew must fight for survival following their horrible discovery.
#9 – Thor: Ragnarok – Taika Waititi – November 2017
Taika Waititi is such an interesting choice to direct a Thor film, and I think it’s going to pay off for Marvel Studios. Here we’re going to see Hulk and Thor team-up, supposedly, and we’re also getting Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum in the film. Sure, Thor: The Dark World was really bad, but this just seems fun.
#8 – Logan – James Mangold – March 2017
I hated X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I liked The Wolverine, but I wasn’t sure if we really needed more films with the Wolverine. After all, we’ve seen Jackman play that character for so long, but then I saw the Logan trailer. It blew me away. It’s easily one of the best trailers of the year, and if that doesn’t make you excited, then I don’t know what will.
#7 – Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan – July 2017
The best war movie in 2016 was Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, and it looks like we’re getting another great one in 2017 with Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Dunkirk is going to be Christopher Nolan’s first war movie, and I have a feeling it’s finally going to get him nominated for best director at the Academy Awards (that’s right, somehow he’s never been nominated for that before).
#6 – Blade Runner 2049 – Denis Villeneuve – October 2017
Am I the biggest fan of Blade Runner? No, definitely not. But I’ve actually been meaning to rewatch it for the longest time. What makes me so excited about Blade Runner 2049 is that Harrison Ford is returning to that universe, that Ryan Gosling is joining it, and that Roger Deakins and Denis Villeneuve are working together again.
#5 – Wind River – Taylor Sheridan – Unknown
UPDATE: As you may have seen, this film wasn’t in the original article. But this is a film I just needed to add to the list. Ever since I heard about this film, I’ve been obsessed with it. Taylor Sheridan’s last two films are just so good. Sicario was one of my favorite films of 2015, and Hell or High Water may end up being my favorite film of 2016. I need more Taylor Sheridan films in my life.
#4 – Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Matthew Vaughn – October 2017
The first Kingsman movie really surprised me. I didn’t expect to like it more than I like most James Bond or Jason Bourne films. It’s just such a great, fun, violent little movie universe. I don’t know how they’re going to bring back the Harry Hart character, but that is supposedly what they are doing. Also, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore are joining the Kingsman universe in the sequel.
#3 – Alien: Covenant – Ridley Scott – May 2017
I liked Prometheus more than most people did, and I love the Alien franchise. Some have already said that they don’t like how much the first official trailer reveals, but I disagree. I actually think this is a competent little trailer that makes me even more excited to see more and new Aliens. Also, I’ll watch anything Michael Fassbender does.
#2 – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – James Gunn – May 2017
Baby Groot is perfect. So damn cute. Oh and the movie looks really good too. No, seriously, the first movie meant a lot to me, and came at the right time in my life. It helped me to understand grief, and my own experience with grief. Now, we’re getting a sequel by the same director, and I can’t wait to see it.
#1 – Star Wars: Episode VIII – Rian Johnson – December 2017
But nothing beats the Star Wars saga episodes for me. Nothing. I absolutely loved The Force Awakens, even though it wasn’t perfect. I love our new heroes, and I can’t wait to see more of Luke Skywalker, my favorite hero of all-time, and Leia (played by the late, great Carrie Fisher), my favorite heroine of all-time. It’s also being directed by Rian Johnson, who directed some of my favorite episodes of Breaking Bad, and two movies I really enjoyed: Brick and Looper.
What films are you looking forward to in 2017? Sound off in the comments.
– Jeffrey Rex