10 – Power Rangers – March 24
Go Go Power Rangers! Whether or not you’ve ever had a preference for the red, yellow, pink, blue, black, or even the occasionally-seen green or white rangers, those ninja steel-wielding high schoolers were loads of fun to watch (and dress up as) back in the day. The forthcoming Power Rangers isn’t the first movie to capitalize on the mighty morphin ’90s craze, of course. During the original family television series’ popular run, the show’s cast members teamed up for a big-screen adventure in the somewhat successful 1995 film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which was quickly followed up by 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie and several spinoff series.
However, Director Dean Israelite’s take on the story offers a much more serious and emotionally charged account of how these misfit teens managed to become a band of unlikely world saviors, battling back the forces of evil—namely, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks)—with the help of their sage mentor Zordon (Bryan Cranston). The film features young actors Dacre Montgomery, R.J. Cyler, Naomi Scott, Becky G., Zack Taylor, and Billy Cranston as the superhero squad, and if the film does manage to renew even a smidgen of the Power Rangers frenzy that the series enjoyed in the ’90s, it’s going to be massive.
9 – IT – September 8
The 1991 TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s IT amassed a cult following but, unfortunately, the four-hour feature’s laughable special effects and disorienting cutaway-style editing haven’t aged well. Tim Curry’s original performance as the town-terrorizing clown Pennywise still set a high bar for anyone to follow in the role, though—his signature cackle remains a chilling childhood memory for many—so when director Andrés Muschietti revealed his new version of the character (now played by Bill Skarsgård) in a costume that could’ve easily been borrowed from a schoolgirl’s dress-up chest, it’s only natural that he faced a little blowback.
There’s still reason to believe this thing will be a hit with the King faithful, though. There’s a bevy of talent on board, including Skarsgård and Finn Wolfhard (of the breakthrough young cast from Stranger Things), and there were plenty of scenes from the book that were glossed over in the first adaptation. IT is just one of two chapters in the story of an ageless monster who picks the wrong group of kids to mess with; part two is expected to pick up their story as adults, when they reunite to grapple with it again.
8 – The Fate of the Furious – April 14
The fate of the Furious franchise seemed a bit uncertain in the wake of star Paul Walker’s sudden passing in 2013, which complicated production of 2015’s Furious 7 and put the burden of additional expectations on his longtime co-star and friend, Vin Diesel. But with nearly $4 billion in worldwide grosses, Universal wasn’t about to garage its gearhead soap opera, so like clockwork, the gang will return for an eighth installment—and one that’s already being set up as a callback to previous chapters as well as a springboard into a new trilogy that will reportedly see stories pivot away from the heist capers of recent sequels and into a spy saga spearheaded by Kurt Russell’s Frank Petty character.
According to the official synopsis, the new sequel—titled The Fate of the Furious—finds Dom (Vin Diesel) lured back “into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him” by a “mysterious woman” (Charlize Theron), setting up another worldwide adventure that sends our crew “from the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea.” Listen carefully and under the roar of the motors, you can already hear the box office cash registers ringing.
7 – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – January 27
Five years after Resident Evil: Retribution, Milla Jovovich returns to close out the sci-fi horror franchise she’s led for more than a decade—and nearly $1 billion in worldwide grosses. Despite the long lapse between sequels, this sixth installment will reportedly pick up right where Retribution left off while following director Paul W.S. Anderson’s mandate to come full circle with the saga of a dystopian future in which a corporate-created virus has unleashed a zombie plague. In other words, if you haven’t been watching so far, this isn’t the best place to come in—but if the Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City, and “t-virus” are meaningful phrases for you, then you may want to mark your calendar.
6 – Dunkirk – July 21
After a decade spent in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, writer-director Christopher Nolan has put his considerable talents to work on a historical drama about a World War II battle. Dunkirk reunites Nolan with a pair of his Dark Knight and Inception alums, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, and early footage hearkens back to the heart-pounding beachfront battle imagery in the legendary opening scene from Saving Private Ryan.
Nolan’s attention to historical detail on the partial IMAX production—including shooting on the site of the real-life events that inspired it—will no doubt serve his tale of heroism and survival well. And considering his box office track record, Dunkirk is sure to be a summer blockbuster that’s much more engrossing than the usual generic popcorn fare.
5 – War of the Planet of the Apes – July 14
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves returns for this follow-up, which picks up from Dawn’s final scene—a grim foreshadowing of the major conflict brewing between genetically enhanced primates and a human population decimated by a virus dubbed the Simian Flu. Andy Serkis is back as the apes’ leader, Caesar, whose journey from young chimp to noble warrior has formed the backbone for the franchise’s overall arc. He’s joined by Steve Zahn (as a new ape) and Woody Harrelson (as a character known as the Colonel, reportedly the film’s chief antagonist). Reeves, who co-wrote the script, is keeping storyline details under wraps, but says the events depicted in War for the Planet of the Apes see Caesar achieving “mythic” status.
4 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5
Initially, it seemed like a hilariously dumb idea for Marvel to turn a relatively obscure comic about a ragtag team of intergalactic do-gooders—whose ranks include a raccoon-like creature and an alien resembling a sentient tree—into a $200 million movie. Nearly $775 million in box office receipts later, Guardians of the Galaxy could be the start of an Avengers-style franchise for the studio, and Chris Pratt, whose biggest credit prior to taking on the role of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill came as doughy doofus Andy Dwyer in NBC’s Parks & Recreation, is a full-on action hero. The gang’s all back for Vol. 2, along with writer-director James Gunn, and while we don’t have many details regarding what they’ll be up to this time around, we’re confident it’ll be tons of fun.
3 – Logan – March 3
Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for so long that it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else in the role of the adamantium-clawed X-Men mutant. Soon, Fox will need to figure out who’ll be the next actor to play the part, but first, Jackman’s getting his swan song with a third standalone Wolverine feature. The film’s plot draws from Marvel’s Old Man Logan comic, about an alternate-future version of the (nearly) ageless hero. The film will also feature the return of Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, adding yet another layer of closure for longtime fans of the franchise.
2 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – May 26
Pre-production on this fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga started back when the previous sequel, 2011’s On Stranger Tides, was on its way to theaters, and its path through development has been strewn with script difficulties and budget-induced delays. Still, any new chapter in a franchise that’s grossed nearly $4 billion counts as a promising development for the studio, and Disney has stood by while producer Jerry Bruckheimer steered Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to its destination. Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki), this adventure sees Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow face off against an old nemesis played by Javier Bardem—and sees the return of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner in his new guise as Davy Jones.
1 – Star Wars: Episode VIII – December 15
This is Star Wars we’re talking about, so the list of things we truly know about Episode VIII is awfully short. But we do know a couple of important facts: one, Rian Johnson (Looper) will be in the director’s chair; and two, most of Episode VII’s cast will be back, including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver, along with OG franchise stars Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. (Carrie Fisher had wrapped filming for Episode VIII before her tragic and unexpected death.) Beyond that, pretty much all we can tell you is that this installment follows the events of Episode VII, and advances the new trilogy pitting the Resistance against the First Order led by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his apprentice Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Oh, and another thing: it’ll sell tons of tickets.
- Source: Looper