2018 Movie Preview – Special Features #7

Believe it or not, 2017 is coming to an end. Sure, we’re still in October, but, before you know it, Thanksgiving will have come and gone and you’ll be ready to unpack Christmas presents. This year has gone by so fast. So, today I want to take a look at what films we should look forward to in 2018. 

Originally, I was going to list the eighteen films I was most excited for in 2018. However, when I started taking notes I realized that I’m actively excited about close to forty films next year. Thus, I thought, perhaps it would be more useful to provide you with a cursory preview of the different types of films next year.


SUPERHERO MOVIES

It almost seems like every time people mention the term ‘superhero movie fatigue’ another Marvel or DC Comics movie gets added to the calendar year, which is a good thing for people like me. I love seeing some of my favorite heroes on the big screen, and I don’t think I will ever become tired of it. And for fans of the genre, 2018 is going to be a great year!

It all begins in February with Marvel Studios’ Black Panther which is directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station; Creed). Although it definitely isn’t the ‘biggest’ superhero movie of the year, I think it might be the most important. Representation matters. If Black Panther is a good movie, then it could soar just as high as Wonder Woman has this year.

Speaking of Wonder Woman — there is only one DC Films blockbuster in 2018, and that film is all about one of Diana Prince’s Justice League teammates: Aquaman. Aquaman is directed by James Wan (Furious 7; The Conjuring) and it is set to be the final superhero movie of 2018.

In between those two, there are a bunch of movies featuring Marvel characters: the X-Men spin-off with a horror twist from director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) called The New Mutants; Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off currently titled Venom; and four sequels to popular superhero films: Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, David Leitch’s Deadpool 2, Simon Kinberg’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and The Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Infinity War.

Oh, and there is also this animated superhero movie that I cannot wait for — an, as of yet, untitled Animated Spider-Man film about Miles Morales.


ANIMATED MOVIES

2017 hasn’t been a great year for animated movies thus far (hopefully, Coco and Ferdinand turn out to be great.) — The LEGO Batman Movie is really the only animated movie that I’ve been excited about this year. But I think 2018 is going to be very different.

Writer-director Wes Anderson is back with a stop-motion animated comedy about man’s best friend called Isle of Dogs, and that is probably the most interesting animated film of the year. But Pixar always makes an appearance, and in 2018 Pixar is giving us a sequel to one of its most beloved films — we’re finally getting The Incredibles 2.

But my most anticipated animated sequel in 2018 is Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. The first film was a terrific and sweet surprise, and I’m so excited to see what references Walt Disney Animation Studios pack into the film.

Apparently, we also may get an animated film from Laika. All I know is that there is supposedly an untitled Laika project scheduled for the summer of 2018. Other interesting animated films include Aardman Animations’ Early Man, Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3, Illumination Entertainment’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Warner Animation Group’s Smallfoot.


FILMS BY FAMOUS DIRECTORS

The writer-director of one of my favorite films of 2013 — the science-fiction thriller EX_MACHINA — is back with another science-fiction thriller. Annihilation is Alex Garland adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer award-winning novel of the same name. You can watch the first teaser trailer above this paragraph.

Steven Spielberg has his next blockbuster ready for 2018. Spielberg is finally ready to show us Ready Player One in March 2018. Before that we’ll have seen his next film The Post, which should be an Oscar contender at the 90th Academy Awards. Spielberg is also working on another film called The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, but I don’t think it’ll be ready for 2018.

But the one non-franchise film that I am most excited about in 2018 comes from Damien Chazelle — the writer-director of Whiplash and La La Land; two of my favorite films of the decade thus far. His next directorial feature film is his first biopic — First Man starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, based on James R. Hanson’s First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.

Another director ‘on the rise,’ so to speak, is the very talented Ava DuVernay (Selma; 13th). She is teaming up with Walt Disney Pictures to give us an adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time in early 2018. Other notable Disney projects in 2018 include Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns and Lucasfilm’s next Star Wars spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Richard Linklater’s (Boyhood; The Before Trilogy) next film stars Cate Blanchett and is called Where’d You Go, Bernadette. it is slated to open in May 2018. Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) has a new film — The Favourite — slated to open in 2018 starring Emma Stone.

Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity; Children of Men) should be ready to release his next film — Roma — at some point in 2018. The next film in the Jurassic Park-franchise — Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — is coming to us next summer from Spanish director J. A. Bayona (The Impossible; A Monster Calls).

Other prominent directors are also getting ready to release their next films. Steve McQueen (not the actor) is finally ready with his next film, which is titled Widows and it stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Colin Farrell. Robert Zemeckis is ready with his next film — The Women of Marwen — in late 2018, and Lenny Abrahamson’s (Room) next film The Little Stranger is slated to open in late August 2018.

We’ve also got some very exciting actor-director films slated to open in 2018. Andy Serkis should finally be ready to release his version of Jungle Book in late 2018, while Joel Edgerton is ready with his second directorial feature film Boy Erased.

Coincidentally, Joel’s brother Nash Edgerton is also releasing his second directorial feature film Gringo in 2018. The most exciting directorial debut of 2018 is — without a doubt — Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born, which is a remake of William A. Wellman’s 1937 musical of the same name.


OTHER NOTABLE FILMS

Still with me? Good. I know — it’s a lot to take in. But I’ve got just a few more films that I want to mention here at the end. Now, obviously, I haven’t mentioned every film coming out next year, but I hope you feel like this is a good table-setter for the coming year.

Some ‘monsters’ are returning to the big screen in 2018 including in Shane Black’s The Predator and the forthcoming new Halloween film. The next Fantastic Beasts film is coming up, as is what seems to be the next Cloverfield film (God Particle). The long-awaited sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario called Soldado is coming in 2018 as well.

As for Netflix? Well, they’ve got a big year ahead of them, but I’m not sure we’ve got a good idea of all the films they’re ready to release in 2018. They’ve seemingly pushed Duncan Jones’ Mute to 2018, and I’m pretty sure we’ve got a lot of really exciting films on Netflix next year.

My favorite director of all-time, Martin Scorsese, is currently working on The Irishman, which is a Netflix film starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. I know that some sites are reporting it’ll be released in 2019, but, who knows, maybe they get it ready for an Oscar push in late 2018.


LAST WEEK: Oscar Chances for Blade Runner 2049 – Special Features #6

NEXT WEEK: Updated Best Picture Predictions – Special Features #8


– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen

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