06 Feb Most Anticipated Movies 2017
In the third of my year-end movie quartet, I’ve showcased the ten films I’m most excited to see in 2017. I originally intended for this to the fourth of the four, but given we are ankle-deep into February already, and a couple of the below are nigh, haste has won over.
So quickly quickly, I bring to you…
FANTANA’S MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS OF 2017
10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan
I love a Marvel movie, but seldom will I return to one for a second viewing. Guardians of the Galaxy is the exception, coming off as something more akin to Firefly/Serenity than that from the Marvel cannon. The balance of action, plot, character and camaraderie is spot on and Volume 2 looks like much, much more of the same.
Oh, and the soundtrack will be kick-ass!
Release Date: April 28th (UK)
Alexander Skarsgård, Justin Theroux, Paul Rudd
Now I can’t say I know much about Mute, but what I do know sounds top. A futuristic sci-fi noir, with flavours of Blade Runner, within which Leo, a mute bartender played by Skarsgård, searches Berlin’s criminal underbelly for his missing partner in the year 2052. Directed by Duncan Jones of Moon and Source Code promise (we won’t mention Warcraft…) and casting Theroux (the Leftovers) and Rudd (Anchorman, Ant-man) as a couple of curious surgeons, the images that have been released thus far look tantalisingly gritty. Look out for this one hitting Netflix in the twilit stages of the year.
Currently there is no trailer available for Mute, so instead enjoy these stills from the set;
Photo Credit: IMDb
Release Date: Unannounced at time of writing
8. Kong: Skull Island
Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell, John C. Reilly
I don’t know why. Sometimes a trailer comes along and just gets you. The military versus monsters theme has resonated with me since Predator, so the sight of Jackson’s hard-edged commandos stalking through giant rib cages definitely scratches that itch. In films like this character is key, and with a supporting cast boasting Shea Wigham (Boardwalk Empire), Thomas Mann (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), a lot will depend on director Jordan Vogt-Roberts getting that aspect right. Some of the ‘science’ depicted in the trailer (dropping bombs in order to map the island landscape?) will need to be overlooked I’m sure, but there’s no denying the action sequences look to be something special, and the sheer scale of Kong… oh yes.
Release Date: March 10th (UK)
Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance
In a departure from his usual cocktail of science fiction with a double dash of realism, Christopher Nolan goes straight up biographical with this ode to the battle and evacuation of the titular French harbour town. Nolan is one of a handful of directors of whom I am all in no matter what they do. And although the presence of one Harry Styles on the cast list has made me temporarily question the auteur’s judgement, there is more than enough good stuff in the trailer (“There’s no hiding from this, son.” – oooh, chilling!) to convince me to keep the faith.
Release Date: 21st July (UK)
6. Alien: Covenant
Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Noomi Rapace
After the less-than-well received Prometheus, Ridley Scott is bringing the alien franchise back on track – or at least intends to. I am one of the minority who actually enjoyed the prequel, so it has been easy for me to get amped for Scott’s latest in the series (the 2nd of his prequel trilogy), but the trailer has made that even easier, with a relatively understated cast, a simpler plot involving a colonisation mission gone awry, gorgeous framing that I have come to expect and love since Legend, and a simmering sense of dread we haven’t seen in an Alien movies since, well, Alien!
Release Date: 19th May (UK)
5. Ghost in the Shell
Scarlett Johansson, Michael Wincott, Michael Pitt
Between Ghost in the Shell, Mute, and the number one on this list, you’d be forgiven for thinking I might favour a particular movie when putting this list together, but it’s really not my fault. It’s not my fault director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Hunstman) has packed his trailer with skull-numbing eye candy; it’s not my fault that city looks insane; it’s not my fault the shootouts look even better (!); it’s not my fault I loved the anime as a kid; it’s not my fault Scarlett Johansson hasn’t looked this good since Vicky Cristina Barcelona; it’s not my fault the supporting cast consists of the stellar Michaels Wincott (the Crow, Alien Resurrection) and Pitt (Boardwalk Empire). It’s not my fault.
Release Date: 31st March (Worldwide)
Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen
As already stated, I do not possess an abundance of love for a superhero movie (unless your name is Christopher Nolan); more of a passive tolerance for an oversaturated sub-genre. But in the Logan trailer I don’t see superheroes. Perhaps that is down to canny editing and a charmingly distracting Johnny Cash soundtrack, but what I see does not borrow from the X-men/Wolverine franchise so much as it does from modern B-movie treats such as the Guest, John Wick, and the Book of Eli. There’s a real grit lit feel about Logan, gone it seems are the sporadic tongue-in-cheek jokes that usually lighten the mood, and the R rating will do us a wealth of favours I’m sure in separating it from the X-franchise in the same way that worked for Deadpool. For once it looks like we might have a Wolverine movie on our hands that presents an actual threat to our indestructible hero and that, for me, is an alluring thing indeed.
Perhaps it’s just a clever trailer… we shall see.
Release Date: 28th February (UK)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada
After discovering life on Mars, the crew of an international space station are thrown into peril when the organism proves to be more than they anticipate. That’s the logline for Daniel Espinosa’s Life, and boy is that simple enough to get my blood going. One of my favourite sub-genres is the ‘space crew in trouble’ sci-fi trope and not since 2007’s Sunshine have I one to rave about. Admittedly I would suggest you avoid Sony’s second trailer – Hollywood is currently going through a major trailer crisis, whereby they can’t help but layout the entire plot in highlight form! – however, the initial promo (below) should be enough to whet the appetite.
Release Date: 24th March (Worldwide)
Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson
Probably the main entry on this list that no one will have even heard of. There is no footage or trailer available for Annihilation as yet. The only images released have been set out below. It’s based on Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach novel of the same name, which is widely described as ‘just okay’. So why so high on the list?
That would be one Alex Garland, writer and director. Garland wrote the Beach, still my favourite book of all time (the film, not so much). Garland wrote a couple other enjoyable novels before moving into screenwriting. Garland penned the screenplays for 28 Days Later…, Sunshine, and Dredd – all fantastic movies in my opinion. Most recently Garland wrote and directed 2015’s Ex Machina, which was outstanding and made my top ten of that year. Given the man’s propensity for thought-provoking takes on science fiction, it’s a safe bet Annihilation will be equally as challenging.
So. That’s why.
Photo Credit: Collider
Release Date: No release date announced, but scheduled for September
1. Blade Runner 2049
Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista
The only thing better than flavours of Blade Runner is Blade Runner itself. The only thing better than that is Blade Runner directed by Denis Villeneuve.
You can understand why I’m excited about this one.
The trailer doesn’t give very much to go on besides the establishment of Gosling’s protagonist and the return of Ford’s original blade runner, Deckard. Whether Deckard will have a meaty role to play we’ll have to wait and see, but a small part of me hopes he takes a back seat early on and leaves the driving to Gosling. That said, of all directors working today I could not have asked for a better helmer than Villeneuve. His track record is extraordinarily strong (Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, Arrival) and I have every faith that, in Blade Runner 2049, he will deliver something very, very special.
Release Date: 6th October (UK)
OTHER NOTABLES: Get Out, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, War Machine, Death Note, Zashchitniki, Spider-man: Homecoming, the Boss Baby, Colossal, the Yellow Birds, Bushwick, Bad Day for the Cut, Kuso, and I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.
What movies are you most looking forward to this year? Let me know in the comments below.
Here’s to a 2017 full of delights and surprises.