As has been long promised, 2015 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year in movie history, with tons of sequels, origin stories, and event pictures stuffing the ledgers of Hollywood studios across town. Yet after the recent info dump from CinemaCon in Las Vegas, it looks like we’re going to be in store for an even bigger year in 2017!
After the wrangling that had to happen with finding a new writer following Kelly Marcel's departure, it looks like Fifty Shades Darker is on track for a 2017 release date. Stepping in for Marcel is E.L. James' husband, Niall Leonard. Fans might have to wait a little longer than they’d like to see the continuing adventures of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, but if the fan base is as passionate for the sequel as they were for the first installment, we’re sure they’ll have no problem waiting. It’s the Christian (Grey) thing to do, after all.
Release Date: 2/10/17
The LEGO Movie allowed Will Arnett’s portrayal of Batman to steal the show, and in the spirit of their famous video game franchise, LEGO is taking another IP for a spin in building block form. While the storyline is still mostly under wraps, there’s still been some crumbs promising hilarity as well as a tribute to every portrayal of Batman thus far. Lord and Miller passed the directing gig to Chris McKay, but even just their producer’s muscles should ensure this one will be enjoyable for all of the LEGO Movie fans they made last year.
Release Date: 2/10/17
Hugh Jackman says that he’s got one last Wolverine picture in him, and that last film is coming in 2017. We have no clue what this film is going to be about or who else is going to star in it, all we know is James Mangold will be reprising his directing duties after his successful tenure on The Wolverine. It’s not a lot to go on, but with the two most successful components of the last film’s success in play, it’s hard not to be excited that they’ll be sending Wolverine off with a bang.
Release Date: 3/3/17
A reboot of King Kong would normally get laughed at in this day and age. Which is why the fact that Legendary got the rights to the character was the first sign that things were going the right way, as they know how to take an outdated, often mocked classic monster and turn them into a modern menace. Throw in Michael Keaton, J.K Simmons, and Tom Hiddleston into the mix, and we have a sneaking suspicion that this film will do well enough that Godzilla just might get to meet his Legendary playmate.
Release Date: 3/10/17
After fans flocked to see Cinderella on the big screen this past March, Beauty And The Beast seems ready to replicate that glorious success in 2017. With its cast set and ready to go, director Bill Condon is following in Kenneth Brannagh’s footsteps and reviving a page of our childhood in live action. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens lead a cast that includes everyone from Luke Evans and Josh Gad to the golden trio of Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline, and Sir Ian McKellen. All of the stars look to be aligning, and Beauty And The Beast already sounds like it’ll be a delight for children and adults.
Release Date: 3/17/17
There was legitimate doubt that we’d even get a Furious 8, especially after the fitting ending Paul Walker’s character was given at the end of Furious 7. With his character’s finale looking like it doubled as a series finale, fans thought they’d never see Dom and the rest of the crew back in action. Thankfully, Vin Diesel himself confirmed that Furious 8 is fueling up for another go in the same slot it filled this year. Who will be back? We're not sure yet. But honestly, if anyone was going to tell us that the show was going to go on, it had to be Vin himself.
Release Date: 4/14/17
Admit it, you miss Rocket Raccoon already. There’s only so many times you can watch your Guardians Of The Galaxy Blu-ray before you go mad over having to wait so long for the sequel. Still, the sequel is indeed happening, and James Gunn promises the father of all conflicts in this next one. No, literally, it’s all about the dads in this one – he said it himself. With the entire crew back among the stars, the trouble they could get into is as limitless as Star Lord’s ego. Whatever it is, though, it just might lead to some complications for The Avengers down the road.
Release Date: 5/5/17
If there’s any Star Wars announcement that excited the fan base more than J.J. Abrams being announced as the director, it most certainly has to be the announcement that Rian Johnson would be taking over for the middle installment of the continuing trilogy. With his work on such dark masterpieces as Brick and Looper, Johnson’s sensibilities are cut out for the phase in the Star Wars trilogy that usually is reserved for somber and brooding uncertainty. Considering that The First Order will more than likely be just getting started with their villainous ways, and that Darth Vader helmet still requiring an explanation, Star Wars: Episode VIII is going to be a hell of a follow up to The Force Awakens.
Release Date: 5/26/17
Toy Story 4 is the idea that makes no damned sense, yet makes perfect sense at the same time. While Toy Story 3 put an emotional bow on the saga of Andy, it also introduced Bonnie and her new lease on life for Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toy box gang. With each short and special that’s been produced in the past couple of years, we’ve gradually been primed for another film outing, and while this entry is supposedly going to be dealing with a different batch of friends than we’re used to, we wouldn’t be surprised if our old friends came back in some form or another during the new story’s course.
Release Date: 6/16/17
Determined not to let a little bit of a production shake up get in their way, Warner Bros. is still plugging away on a Wonder Woman film slated for June 2017. Gal Gadot has obviously been working her ass off to get into shape as the titular Amazonian, and with Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice introducing her character properly, we’ll be ready to see her take center stage by the time the release window rolls around. Which is a very good thing, considering her standalone adventure will probably be the catalyst for another important DC film that comes a couple of months after this one.
Release Date: 6/23/17
With Humanity and The Apes properly divided, and the military assumed to be heading to the ruins of San Francisco, the sequel to Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes looks like it will be one of diplomacy and/or war games. Matt Reeves’ 2014 sequel blew the doors off of a saga that was once known for its vastly diminished returns between sequels, yet in this case, the complete opposite is true. The series is as strong as ever, and the third frame in Caesar’s rise to world domination promises to be as nuanced and brutal as the last.
Release Date: 7/14/17
While everyone is trying to figure out who the next Peter Parker will be, all of the other fans in the world are giddy over the fact that Spider Man is heading home to Marvel Studios for the first time! Untitled Spider Man is the only name we have to go on, but we do know that this movie will bring us back to Peter Parker’s high school days, and will continue whatever threads we see form during his initial appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Whoever gets to play the famed web-slinger is in for a hell of a ride, but if that first appearance goes well enough, we might breathe a little easier knowing that this new solo adventure will be as “Amazing” as we hope.
Release Date: 7/28/17
Jaeger and Kaiju are ready to tear up the old town again, as Pacific Rim 2 has recently been postponed to August 8. No big deal, though, as this will give Guillermo Del Toro plenty of time to work out the story and the production angle on a sequel that was clamored for by the fans. In fact, it’s pleasing to know that Universal is once again giving Uncle Guillermo another shot at making one of his franchises a household name, as the last time they did that they produced Hellboy II: The Golden Army. If Pacific Rim 2 is as good as the Hellboy sequel was, this just might be the movie event of 2017.
Release Date: 8/4/17
From the looks and sounds of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it seems as if Thor is going to be put through the ringer. He’d have to be in order to go back to Asgard, which will probably make him even more enraged when he finds out that his delinquent adopted brother has taken over their homeland. All we need to hear is those sentences above, and we’re already looking forward to Thor: Ragnarok. Our fingers are crossed that the third time is a charm, and that Chris Hemsworth will finally get to shine in a Marvel movie that makes us forget the enjoyable, if not weak predecessors in the Thor line of films. All snark aside, the set up for the third flick sounds pretty bad-assed. It will be here soon.
And so we land on the last big film of 2017, unless you count The Croods 2 as a big deal. Barring any huge announcements in the next couple of months, Justice League – Part I is going to be the feather in the cap of 2017’s hat. With DC’s building blocks already in play, it looks like we’re going to see the darkest, grittiest version of the Justice League we’ve seen since… well, since ever. The fact that we’re even getting a Justice League film is exciting enough, considering we’ve been teased so many times in the past. While it still needs to win us over with all that happens before it, Justice League still has a spot on our list – and in our hearts – because it’s the stuff that geeks are made of.