OK, so 2016 wasn’t a spectacular year for film. There were some major flops (Independence Day: Resurgence, Zoolander 2), but we were given some gems like Arrival and Deadpool, so it wasn’t a complete washout.
Next year is shaping up to be a big one for cinema, with much-anticipated sequels like Fast 8 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, not to mention movie reboots of Beauty and the Beast and beloved TV series Baywatch to look forward to.
Here’s a selection of some must-see movies coming out in 2017.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (May 5)
This is, without question, one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Disney/Marvel showed this reporter a brief scene from the upcoming film, featuring Yondu (Michael Rooker), baby Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) trying to take down some bad guys. If this three-minute clip was indicative of the movie at large, then boy, are you Guardians fans in for a treat. Filled to the brim with fun action, nostalgic music and off-colour jokes, it’s set to hit all the right notes.
The Founder (Jan. 20)
No matter how you feel about the food at McDonald’s, the story of the franchise’s rise to become the most ubiquitous fast food restaurant is a fascinating one. Starring Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc (the man who transformed McDonald’s into what it is today), the movie follows his historical achievement, from his invention of the “Golden Arches” to the innumerable foes he faces along the way.
Beauty and the Beast (Mar. 17)
The internet has been freaking out about the Beauty and the Beast live-action remake since the first teaser trailer launched. Early ’90s nostalgia collides with heartwarming familiarity to create this beast (sorry), which is breaking records even before its release: its first full-length trailer was the most-watched trailer ever. Of all time. More than Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yeah.
Fast 8 (Apr. 14)
Never underestimate the appeal of the Fast and Furious franchise. If you’ve never experienced a theatre full of F&F fans, then you haven’t lived. In the eighth installment of the series, it’s the same old crew with some new faces for this run around the track, including Charlize Theron, Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren.
Wonder Woman (Jun. 2)
Another long-anticipated film, Wonder Woman is the modern cinematic interpretation of the Lynda Carter TV show. Starring Gal Gadot as the title Amazonian princess, there has been a lot of buzz around the movie and whether or not Gadot has the chops to match Carter’s Diana Price. It’s worth the price of admission just to answer that question, wouldn’t you say?
Logan (Mar. 3)
Arguably the most popular character in the X-Men universe, Wolverine never ceases to fascinate us. With his pseudo-Canadian backstory, it has a resonance with those of us north of the border, too. Hugh Jackman will be back in the role, and we can only thank the movie gods for his agelessness — otherwise this would be an unbelievable casting choice.
Kong: Skull Island (Mar. 10)
Despite the fact that the King Kong story has been redone (and redone), Skull Island is at least taking a novel approach and going for the prequel. Not much information has been released thus far, but we know that the action/adventure movie explores the gigantic primate’s origins.
Justice League (Nov. 17)
Batman + Wonder Woman = superhero heaven? That’s right, Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne and Gadot’s Wonder Woman unite to bring together the Justice League, which also includes Henry Cavill’s Superman and Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman, to take down a spectacular foe. Think Avengers on steroids.
Power Rangers (Mar. 24)
We haven’t been very lucky with Power Rangers reboots in the past, but the bad-guy fighters are enjoying a sort-of resurgence in popularity. Even if this film ends up being atrocious (like the majority of its predecessors), there’s something comforting about watching the Rangers coming together to do battle. Also, Bryan Cranston is playing Zordon, so morbid curiosity will most likely win out here.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jul. 7)
This franchise is almost bruised and battered from the number of times it’s been reformed, renamed and remade, but Homecoming is also attempting the prequel angle. Peter Parker/Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland this time around) is just coming into his own and discovering his powers, but it’ll be tough to break this series out of its rut.
Star Wars: Episode VIII (Dec. 15)
No explanation needed, right? It’s not like we have any information yet, plot-wise or otherwise, on this movie anyway.
Baywatch (May 19)
This adaptation/movie reboot would be terrifying if it weren’t satirical. That’s the vibe Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is communicating: that the film will be a comedy send-up of the original TV show, complete with all your favourite characters. The Rock plays David Hasselhoff’s Mitch Buchannon and even Pamela Anderson herself will make a cameo.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Feb. 10)
To nearly everyone’s surprise, the first John Wick was an absolute hit. Star Keanu Reeves is an under-appreciated action hero, and now over 50 years old, it is a wonderful thing to watch him kick some ass and take names. The back story? Cliché. The dialogue? Cliché. Thank goodness there isn’t much of either, instead replaced with end-to-end action.
Blade Runner 2049 (Oct. 6)
Sci-fi classic Blade Runner has been long regarded as one of the best in the genre. Ever. There’s a lot of pressure on this version, the first attempted remake/sequel. The plot is unknown at this time, but Harrison Ford is returning as Rick Deckard, and the cast features Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto and Robin Wright, so it can’t go totally wrong, can it?
The Circle (Apr. 28)
Don’t snicker — the trailer for this movie makes it look like a must-see. Starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, a young woman lands a job at a powerful tech organization called The Circle, where she ends up falling for a strange man and realizing that there’s a price to be paid for knowing too much.
Dunkirk (Jul. 21)
In what will undoubtedly be an intense war film, this Christopher Nolan movie takes a nauseatingly close look at one of the fiercest battles of World War II. It has a juggernaut cast of Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance (to name a few), and it has all the hallmarks of The Pacific and Saving Private Ryan.
T2: Trainspotting (Mar. 10)
Anticipation was high for this sequel when it was first announced, but once the first full-length trailer came out, it tampered the mood a little bit. Maybe 30 years really is too long in between movies, despite the original cast returning to their once-lovable 1996 characters. Oh, and Danny Boyle is directing once again, so… OK, forget it, we’re totally seeing it.
Pitch Perfect 3 (Dec. 22)
Pitch Perfect 2 may not have been the critical darling the first movie was, but apparently there’s enough “pep” to this franchise to keep it chugging along. Harmless and feel-good, why not take another listen to The Bellas?