Split, Dir. M. Night Shyamalan
20th January 2017
An early release in 2017, Split, directed by M. Night Shymalan, might hopefully see a return to form for a frustrating director who reached his peak in an early stage of his career. The story revolves around three friends, Claire (Hayley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula), and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) kidnapped in broad daylight with their captor (James McAvoy) displaying clear signs of dissociative personality disorder. Trailers hint at a stellar performance from McAvoy playing a man with 23 identities ranging from strange, to submissive, to dangerous with an atmpshere that seems tense and unsettling as the audience will see how the three victims negotiate through their situation and try to manipulate their captor’s more infantile and empathic personalities into helping them escape.
T2 Trainspotting, Dir, Danny Boyle
27th January 2017
The much-anticipated sequel to Trainspotting finally arrives next year and it looks like it might be what people have been waiting for. Based on the Irvine Welsh’s sequel, Porno, Danny Boyle had reportedly been awaiting the actors’ age to reach a point where they could look suitably ravaged by time and hedonistic and careless lifestyles as seen in the film’s predecessor. With trailers retaining aspects of Trainspotting revitalised for a contemporary setting.
John Wick: Chapter 2, Dir. Chad Stahelski
17th February 2017
The sequel to what some hope to be the “Keanissance”, this follows up the previous installment in which the titular character, played by Keanu Reeves, sought revenge for the murder of his puppy and gift from his recently deceased wife. While the premise was rather ridiculous, the film received rave reviews, praised for its slick and rather unapologetic action and violence. While the premise is much more straightforward this time, Wick’s old associate wishes to take control of an international assassins’ guild and Wick maintains his blood oath to help him, we should look forward to the return of this character and with him the visually impressive, raw brutality, and over-the-top action its predecessor used to reinvigorate a rather boring genre.
A Cure for Wellness, Dir. Gore Verbinski.
24th February 2017
One that looks as disturbing as it does beautifully aesthetic. A mystery surrounding a Swiss wellness center sees a young company executive, played by Dane DeHaan, travel to retrieve his company’s CEO from its grasp. Atmospherically sinister, it’s shaping up to be quite an original entry into the horror genre. Dream sequences pervade and all is not as it seems as DeHaan’s character is challenged on his grasp of reality and sanity.
Logan, Dir. James Mangold
3rd March 2017
The final installment of the solo Wolverine films sees Hugh Jackman, who has owned the roles since 2000, reprise his role for the last time. The trailer sets out a bleak and desperate world where mutants have disappeared and Wolverine, or Logan, has fell into a depressive cycle and his healing factor is starting to fail. Setting out to defend a small girl called Laura (Dafne Keen), and accompanied by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), it looks like this Wolverine film will go as violent as it will with a gritty realism. While it may be the swansong of Logan, this could intrigue audience with its downplayed superheroics instead going for a more inquisitive look into Logan’s character just as he faces his mortality.
The Sense of an Ending, Dir. Ritesh Batra
24th March 2017
In a brave adaptation of the Julian Barnes novel of the same name, this film stars Jim Broadbent as Tony Webster after he receives a letter that starts him down a path to question the very way his life has played out. The questioning of memory and personal realities comes into battle with questions surrounding the truth of matters and, perhaps most importantly for the character, feelings of regret as to how he has navigated through life and what his current meditations mean for his future.
Ghost in the Shell, Dir. Rupert Sanders
31st March 2017
Already hampered in controversy surrounding the inexplicable decision to cast a white actress as a lead role intended to be Asian, this film needs to prove itself. While the trailer may have reassured some with its first actual look of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi along with some pristine cyberpunk aesthetics and some impressive action set pieces we’ll have to see whether the significant casting sacrifices this film has made will be worth it in the end.
The Circle, Dir. James Ponsoldt
Only discoverable date 28th April 2017
Yet another Dave Eggers adaptation comes wrapped hand-in-hand with Tom Hanks. Starring Emma Watson, as a recent graduate starting at a leading tech firm, it plots her experience at the company as things become increasingly suspicious. Tackling themes of mass surveillance in the modern age and pairing it with messianic imagery of Tom Hanks as the company’s CEO, this may be a capable entry into films that are starting to question the role of technology in our everyday lives.
Alien: Covenant, Dir. Ridley Scott
19th May 2017
Everyone’s favourite aliens are back, the xenomorphs. With the trailer dropping on Christmas Day of all things, director Ridley Scott is reunited with his horrific creations. With cinematography and misé-en-scene seemingly very similar to the 1979 original hopefully it also retains the tense atmosphere, body horror and gore, and the claustrophobic environments that ensnared so many and doesn’t go down the road of Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, Dir. Jon Watts
7th July 2017
Quite literally a homecoming for one of Marvel’s most beloved heroes is yet another reboot for the series. Having made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, the webslinger is back for his own story within the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Starring Michael Keaton as the Vulture, this might just be the invigorating return Spidey needs because his last two iterations haven’t exactly ended on high notes. While it might look like a straightforward Marvel film, the younger characters and guidance of Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, might just keep this film afloat for longer than we’d think.
Dunkirk, Dir. Christopher Nolan
21st July 2017
After a voyage into the Space Odyssey-esque, Christopher Nolan is back and this time he’s rolling back the clocks to Dunkirk. It does look a bit odd in the sense it looks or sort of cut-and-dry affair, devoid of those interesting angles Nolan likes to take on his material. While it does retain the heightened feel of realism that Nolan brings, even to films like Inception, The Prestige, or Memento, it will certainly have the scale and portray the states or that all-important evacuation.
It, Dir. Andrés Muschietti
8th September 2017
Another notable reboot from next year’s roster is the classic horror adaptation from Stephen King. Resurrecting Pennywise, either the reason so many people are scared of clowns or is a clown because King knew how they terrified people, will undoubtedly thrill people who were terrified by Tim Curry’s original portrayal of the clown. Dealing with themes of childhood trauma and exploiting the small-town backdrop that King enjoys so much, we’ll see a team of kids, including the likes of Stranger Things’s Finn Wolfhard and The Midnight Special’s Jaeden Liberher, as they discover the disturbing terrors of their hometown and make battle with the insidious Pennywise.
Blade Runner 2049, Dir. Denis Villeneuve
6th October 2017
Yet another reason Ridley Scott is probably going to make a lot of money next year, the Blade Runner sequel will apparently be hitting our screens. Starring Ryan Gosling as K, a new blade runner, and Harrison Ford, reprising his role as the famed Deckard, who has now been missing for thirty years, this could either rise high into the sky or crash and burn. While many will rejoice in a resurgence of the signature aesthetics and soundtrack of the original Blade Runner, with new locales of desert and desolation thrown in for good measure, many will undoubtedly be curious as to how the world of androids dreaming of electric sheep has changed and, to quote Gosling’s character, how the world of the original Blade Runner was “simpler”.
Coco, Dir. Lee Unkrich
8th December 2017
Pixar returns next year with a new original, Coco. While indeed we will also witness the advent of a third Cars installment, this new material could see Pixar go to places it never has before, to the Mexican “Dia De Los Muertos”. With nothing but images and a small plot synopsis to pique our interest, it looks like the film is set to be Pixar’s first big musical and some vibrant colours. Let’s just hope it’s nothing too close to Guillermo del Toro’s Book of Life, although Pixar do have a habit of always finding their own way of doing something.