2016 was a vintage year for movies thanks to quirky comedies such as The Nice Guys and Deadpool, action romps like Suicide Squad and Rogue One and enjoyable kids’ films Fantastic Beasts and a live-action remake of The Jungle Book. That said, 2017 is shaping up to be another cracker with some impressive film features in the pipeline.
If you think your New Year’s hangover was bad, spare a thought for Danny Boyle's boys. Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle will reprise the roles they played in the gritty film Trainspotting two decades ago. The plot of T2 sees Mark Renton (played by McGregor) returning to Scotland to make amends with his friends Spud and Sick Boy while trying to avoid psychotic Franco who has just been released from prison. As you might expect, all does not go to plan for the band of former addicts. Choose to think your grey January isn’t so bad after all. Choose to watch history repeat itself. Choose T2 at the cinema.
Release: 27 January
Traditionally the cinema is full of hearts, flowers and predictable rom coms in time for Valentine’s Day – and yes, Fifty Shades Darker hits UK screens on 19 February. But if you’re after something more thought-provoking, Hidden Figures may be for you. The film tells the amazing untold tale of three African-American women working at Nasa who were the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. It’s stirring stuff and a celebration of brain power and diversity. Plus it’s got an amazing cast with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe taking the leads, as well as Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner.
Release: 17 February
Kong: Skull Island
From the sublime to the ridiculous. March sees the release of Kong: Skull Island. Yes, there’s lots of CGI, a giant gorilla plus plenty of monsters and fighting, but it looks like fun. The disaster movie’s set in the 1970s and follows a team of dubious scientists who set out to explore the island, including dropping bombs on it, which you’ve guessed it, annoys Kong the giant gorilla. It’s just about as plausible as Jurassic World, but a good way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon in the company of Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson who are among the stars of the predictable monster hit.
Release: 10 March
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
The fate of the universe is set to be revealed this April (kind-of) with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2. As you might expect, the soundtrack is awesome and the cast isn’t bad either, with Chris Pratt reprising the role of Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Vin Diesel voicing Groot and Bradley Cooper voicing much loved Rocket the raccoon. And there’s a host of new characters too – both good and evil. As the team continues its travels of the outer reaches of the cosmos, they must fight to keep their new ‘family’ together and reveal the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. There’s lots of side-swapping, cool space tech, effects, one-liners and action, making the sequel one of Marvel’s kookier ventures.
Release: 28 April
Prepare to jump out of your seat and cower behind a cushion. Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with his sci-fi classic Alien, this spring. Alien: Covenant is the second part of the prequel trilogy that began with Prometheus and sees the crew of the colony ship Covenant journey to a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. They discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but (surprise, surprise) it’s actually a dark, dangerous world whose sole inhabitant is the ‘synthetic’ David, played by Michael Fassbender, one of the very few survivors of the doomed Prometheus expedition. Well, you didn’t expect things to go well did you?
While details are scarce, it’s rumoured the new release will feel very much like a terrifying Alien movie and David may journey to the home planet of the Engineers in a bid to discover what led to the creation of the terrifying Xenomorphs.
Release: 19 May
She may be the most famous female superhero of all time, but this summer Wonder Woman’s been given a makeover. Set in the early 20th century, the new film focuses on Diana before she became Wonder Woman. As Diana princess of the Amazons (and a formidable warrior) she meets American pilot Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, when he crashes onto her idyllic island of Themyscira and tells tales of the raging conflict going on elsewhere. Convinced she can stop the threat, Diana fights alongside conventional soldiers in World War One to discover her full powers and destiny as saviour of the planet. Yes the plot’s silly and the effects OTT, but what would summer be without a superhero blockbuster?
Release: 2 June
Another summer, another Spiderman. This this time it’s not an origins story again (thank god). Spiderman: Homecoming sees British actor Tom Holland suit up as the geeky superhero and follows the journey of Peter Parker as he begins to navigate his new-found identity built upon his experience with the Avengers as seen in Captain America: Civil War. Described as a ‘coming of age’ movie we expect to see action within the walls of Midtown High School and Peter’s home life living with his aunt May.
But his world is rocked by the arrival of new villain Adria Toomes, known as the Vuture – a madcap inventor turned bad with a flight suit - played by Michael Keaton. With plenty of action sequences, Spiderman fans won’t be disappointed and there’s the bonus of scenes with Iron Man too. Tony Stark mentored Spiderman in Captain America and Robert Downe Jr will feature in the new film, although it’s hard to guess how much he’ll be in it.
Release: 7 July
War for the Planet of the Apes
If you’re a fan of eerily-realistic combative apes, the chances are you can’t wait to see the third instalment in the popular Planet of the Apes franchise. In War for the Planet of the Apes the chips are down for Caesar and his apes who are forced into a war with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer heavy losses, Caesar begins his own quest to avenge his kind. The climax of the film brings Caesar and the Colonel face to face, with the sworn enemies pitted against each other in an epic battle that will not only determine the future of both species, but the fortunes of the planet.
Release: 14 July
Prepare to have nightmares well ahead of Halloween. Stephen King’s novel IT, which has been terrifying readers for decades, is coming to the big screen and it looks damned scary. If you’re already freaked out my clowns, you might want to avoid this film. The plot focuses on the disappearance of children in the town of Derry, Maine. One group is forced to face their biggest fear – an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. And yes he has a painted face and creepy yellow eyes. Watch at your peril.
Release: 8 September
Blade Runner 2049
It’s one of the dystopian cinematic masterpieces of all time. But after 35 years Rick Deckard will be back in Blade Runner 2049. While the plot is mostly under wraps, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling reveals a secret that could wreak havoc on what’s left of society. This shocking discovery leads him to track down missing retired blade runner Rick Denhard (Harrison Ford) who reprises his iconic role. Directed by Ridley Scott, this film is set to be one of the most anticipated of the year. We can hardly wait.
Release: 6 October
This is probably the most eagerly anticipated superhero battle of the year. Comic book fans have been waiting for Justice League forever and we predict it will be one of the biggest box office hits of 2017. Batman and Wonder Woman team up to recruit a band of meta-humans to stand against a newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this league of heroes – Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), and The Flash (Barry Allen) - it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. With appearances from Superman (Henry Cavill) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) the film also includes performances from Willem Dafoe, Jeremy Irons, Amber Heard and Jesse Eisenberg
Release: 17 November
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Coming to a cinema near you from a galaxy far, far away is Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga. Currently, details are scare as all eyes are on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But it’s thought the cosmic tale will focus on Rey, played by Daisy Ridley – who first appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 – continuing her epic journey through space with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Issac) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
With Rian Johnson (of Brick and Looper) taking over directing duty from JJ Abrams, we expect episode VIII to be tense and brooding. But will we see more of Luke Skywalker in this coming instalment and will we finally find out why and how Darth Vader gets his iconic helmet? Have to wait till December, we will.
Release: 15 December