Now that the year’s first two months of typically unimpressive movies are about over, I thought I’d compile a list of the films I’m most looking forward to in 2017, as long as they’re good. I will be quite disappointed if any of these turn out to be stinkers, but I certainly hope that my expectations are justified. These are all films set for release in 2017, but there are even some long-expected 2018 films that have great potential if done right, such as Spielberg’s Ready Player One (I’m planning on reading the book closer to its release), an adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, and a sequel to Mary Poppins, believe it or not. Here then are the films I sincerely hope will be worth waiting for.
- The Dark Tower
While I haven’t read the Stephen King series it’s based on (it’s apparently meant to be a sequel), the concept of an apocalyptic gunslinger (Idris Elba) and interdimensional travel certainly has me intrigued.
- Hirune Hime
Around the time the live-action Ghost in the Shell hits the theater, the director of the original film’s sister series Stand Alone Complex will be releasing this fantastical-looking film in Japan. Featuring what appear to be a robotic flying motorcar, a giant monster, and a magic tablet, it has the potential to be this year’s standout anime.
- My Little Pony: The Movie
I’ll admit that I’m a casual fan of the Friendship Is Magic series, so I know that if this movie is done right, it could be really good. It could also be terrible, but with big-name stars like Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, and Zoe Saldana, there’s a chance the movie could gain wider appeal.
Christopher Nolan directing a war movie about one of the largest and most daring rescues in military history? Can’t wait. I do hope Nolan keeps the violence controlled to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
I love a good time loop story, and ever since I heard of this Source Code-sounding thriller in the works, I’ve been eager to see how well it compares with the others of its genre.
- Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Not many trailers get me hyped just from the visuals alone, but this time-and-space-traveling sci-fi based on a comic looks like a special effects extravaganza and just plain cool. Luc Besson can direct some weird movies, but I hope this one will be more accessible.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
I still enjoy the second and third Pirates sequels, flawed as the third one is, but the fourth undoubtedly missed the mark. With this fifth tale of Captain Jack Sparrow versus ghost pirates, I’m crossing my fingers that it’s a fun and worthwhile story and not just another cash grab.
- The Current War
I was thinking of doing a list of films I wish would get made, and the history of Edison and Tesla would have been near the top. Lo and behold, it’s due out this year! Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Edison, Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, and Nicholas Hoult as Tesla, this looks like a likely Oscar candidate for the end of the year, and I hope they do the true story justice.
- Alien: Covenant
I’ll be honest, the trailers for the next Alien installment don’t thrill me. It looks like everything we’ve seen before from the franchise, but I’m hopeful that this sequel to Prometheus has more than meets the eye. They haven’t even shown Noomi Rapace from Prometheus, so the advertising is likely holding something good back.
- Death Note
Forget the live-action version of Ghost in the Shell; I’m much more interested in an American adaptation of Death Note, the acclaimed manga and anime about a notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it. If done right, the battle of wits between a megalomaniacal student (Nat Wolff) and the eccentric detective (Keith Stanfield) tracking him down could be amazing. I’m a bit concerned that Adam Wingard is directing and might lean it more toward the horror genre, but we’ll have to wait and see.
- Anything Marvel
This encompasses all three Marvel movies for the year ahead, including Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and especially Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. There’s a lot to hope for. Can Marvel’s treatment of Spider-Man live up to the original? Will a team-up between Thor and Doctor Strange be as awesome as it sounds? Will Guardians still have the nostalgic sense of fun that the first had? The trailers are promising, and Marvel still appears to be going strong.
- Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
I liked The Force Awakens, but compared with how everyone else loved it, I was disappointed with its over-reliance on nostalgia and familiar plot points. Rogue One had a different tone, but it felt original. If Episode 8 can combine the feel of Force Awakens with a more original storyline, it could be the best Star Wars movie yet, as long as they stop killing off main characters. Due to Carrie Fisher’s passing, I know what to expect for Leia, but if they kill off Luke too, I will NOT be happy. Please be awesome!
Here are some other films you may or may not be expecting that I hope will be good, in order of how eager I am. How’s that for subjective? What other upcoming films have captured your interest?
The Mummy – Can’t be as good as the Brendan Fraser version, but I’m keeping an open mind.
Murder on the Orient Express – Strong ensemble and Kenneth Branagh as director have my interest.
Cars 3 – It looks more serious than the silly Cars 2, and I hope it redeems the franchise.
Logan – Why does it have to be R-rated? Will Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart leave their X-Men roles with a bang?
God Particle – This follow-up to 10 Cloverfield Lane will be set in space but takes place in the same universe.
The Zookeeper’s Wife – Based on a true story, a zoo-keeping couple hide Jews in Nazi-occupied Warsaw.
Pitch Perfect 3 – I enjoyed the second film more than the first, so hopefully part three won’t disappoint.
Life – A smaller-scale version of Alien set much closer to home.
Kong: Skull Island – Another remake seems unnecessary, but the action looks cool.
Coco – Another animated take on Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Pixar, don’t fail me now.
Wonder Woman – I thought Suicide Squad would do it, but this is DC’s last chance to convince me they can make a good superhero movie.
Jumanji – I love the original, so this remake with the Rock better not ruin it.
Downsizing – The incredible shrinking Matt Damon! Sounds interesting enough.
Godzilla – This anime version has potential since the man behind Madoka Magica is its screenwriter.
The Breadwinner – The animation studio behind Song of the Sea looks like it’s tackling a more realistic subject about a girl in Afghanistan who must pretend to be a boy to support her family.
Tulip Fever – This romance with Dane DeHaan and Alicia Vikander has possibilities, since the tulip-mania of the Netherlands is an interesting slice of history.
Brain on Fire – Technically from last year, but Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a real-life journalist with an unexplained brain disorder.
Wonder – Looks like an updated version of 1985’s Mask but with Jacob Tremblay as a boy with a facial deformity.
Tommy’s Honour – When was the last inspiring golf movie? Long enough ago for another, I’d say.