2018 Movie Preview: Our 50 Most Anticipated Films of the Year

2017 was an outstanding year for movies, so 2018 definitely has its work cut out for it when it comes to heading to the theater. Thankfully, there seems to be no shortage of promising movies slated for this year, and we’ve picked out the fifty that look the best. That’s not to say other movies won’t come along and look even better (who’s to say what will come out of a festival or make a surprising splash on the calendar), but judging by the landscape of what we know is currently set for release this year, 2018 looks like it could be just as good as 2017.

Check out our list of our most anticipated movies of 2018 and sound off in the comments about the movies you’re excited to see this year.

Mary and The Witch's Flower

Image via Studio Ponoc

Release Date: January 19th

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Writers: Mary Stewart (Novel), Riko Sakaguchi & Hirmasa Yonebayashi (Screenplay), David & Lynda Freedman (English adaptation)

Cast: Hana Sugisaki, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yuki Amami, Ruby Barnhill, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent

I’m pretty jealous of my colleague Haleigh Foutch who had a chance to check out Mary and The Witch’s Flower last year. Luckily, the theatrical release for Studio Ponoc’s inaugural picture is just around the corner. If you’ve seen the marketing material for the animated film, you might think it’s another Studio Ghibli joint. You wouldn’t be far off; Studio Ponoc was formed in 2015 with a number of former Ghibli animators and they’ve clearly carried over some influence from their work.

Mary and The Witch’s Flower is an adaptation of Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s story “The Little Broomstick” which follows the title character’s adventures in a world of magic and mystery. It’s that fun fantasy aspect I’m looking forward to seeing here. There’s a curious cat (check), a flying broomstick (check), a magic-granting flower (check) and a college of magic (check) in which conflict arises. I can’t wait to see how Mary sorts it all out. – Dave Trumbore

Bilal: A New Breed of Hero

Image via Gulf Films

Release Date: February 2nd

Directors: Khurram H. Alavi, Ayman Jamal

Writers: Ayman Jamal, Alexander Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, Khurram H. Alavi, Yassin Kamel

Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane, China Anne McClain, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Michael Gross, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, Jacob Latimore, Fred Tatasciore

Since I’m the animation lead here at Collider, pretty much any interesting and unique animation project that comes across my vision captures my attention. Bilal: A New Breed of Hero is one such project. It technically opened back in 2015 in the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai Film Festival before playing at Annecy 2016, but its U.S. debut arrives in February.

Bilal tells the story of its title character, a hero from the ancient days of the Arabian Peninsula inspired by the real life of Bilal ibn Rabah. The tale is a classic one: Bilal, who dreams of being a warrior from his earliest days, is orphaned and sold into slavery, only to secure his freedom and attempt to do the same for his kin. It looks gorgeous. Rigorously researched by Jamal, Bilal is the product of his 2013 studio Barajoun Entertainment and is seven years in the making. Hopefully Bilal is just the beginning of a long and fruitful filmography. – Dave Trumbore

The 15:17 to Paris

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: February 9th

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Dorothy Blyskal

Cast: Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone, Jaleel White, Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Lillian Solange Beaudoin, Thomas Lennon, Tony Hale, and P.J. Byrne

This could go south quick. Movies like Act of Valor have attempted to convey the world of American soldiers by using real-life servicemen and professionals in the roles before, and the result was a grotesque blend of propaganda and dull domestic drama. The danger of this can be palpably felt in the trailers for The 15:17 to Paris, in which Clint Eastwood recreates the 2015 Thalys train attack using three of the real-life men instrumental in dismantling the terrorist operation. Eastwood rightly gets a lot of grief for his politics, which are largely baseless, but he’s a perceptive and daring filmmaker in many respects. For all the fudging of Chris Kyle’s character in American Sniper, few war films have been as blunt and bleak about the psychological toll of being a gifted, decorated soldier whose friends and closest colleagues are constantly being killed. The 15:17 to Paris doesn’t have the star power that American Sniper had but it similarly has the potential to analyze and criticize the price of American heroism while also proudly depicting the base thrills of that same brand of bravery. – Chris Cabin

Black Panther

Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: February 16th

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writers: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, John Kani

I mean, obviously. Marvel Studios absolutely knocks it out of the park with their comic book adaptations; even the weakest of the bunch is thoroughly entertaining. Black Panther looks to be anything but weak. From a social standpoint, this is the perfect time for a live-action adaptation of a very progressive and powerful African superhero and the incredibly advanced nation of Wakanda, though you’d be right to argue that Black Panther has been a long time coming. However, I can’t imagine doing any better than this incredible international cast featuring Black leads at the absolute top of their game.

Black Panther shifts the focus to Marvel’s title character after introducing him (and his mythology) in Captain America: Civil War. This is an awesome opportunity to explore the technology, history, culture, and politics of Wakanda while fully fleshing out the title superhero-king and giving lesser-known characters a chance to shine. Black Panther isn’t just one highly anticipated movie of 2018, it’s a contender for my most-anticipated movie overall. – Dave Trumbore

Early Man

Image via Lionsgate

Release Date: February 16th

Director: Nick Park

Writers: Mark Burton, James Higginson, John O’Farrell, Nick Park

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Ayoade, Timothy Spall, Mark Williams

If you’re a fan of Aardman Animation, this one’s already on your radar. It’s been a few years since their last outing, Shaun the Sheep (which has a sequel ready to go next year) and 18 years since their highest-grossing film, Chicken Run. But the stop-motion animated aesthetic of Aardman is alive and well, as evidenced by Early Man.

At first blush, this feature looks like a prehistoric comedy that centers on a conflict between the humans of the Stone Age and the more advanced members of the Bronze Age. But more recent trailers have revealed that it’s actually a sports comedy, so while the conflict will be the same, it’ll be funneled through a football (a.k.a. soccer) lens. That’s interesting to say the least, but I’m more curious to see how international and American audiences react to it, and how the international popularity of the three leads lends exposure to the latest Aardman adventure. – Dave Trumbore

Annihilation

Image via Paramount Pictures and Skydance

Release Date: February 23rd

Director/Writer: Alex Garland

Cast: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Oscar Isaac, Benedict Wong

After penning the scripts to a number of the best sci-fi movies of the 21st Century, including 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Never Let Me Go, Alex Garland made his directorial debut with Ex Machina and delivered an original chamber piece that topped them all. For his sophomore film, Garland expands his scope drastically with an adaptation of the genre-bending novel Annihilation. As written by New Weird literary figure Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation is a bizarre, slippery piece of horror via sci-fi nightmarescapes that follows a team of female scientists into a mysterious realm known as Area X, where inexplicable biological wonders and terrors await. It’s clear that Garland has taken some liberties with the source material from the trailers, including some worrying details about the motivations of the lead character, but after the bracing, thoughtful sci-fi mastery on display in Ex Machina, and eyeing the incredible cast the director put together, I’m keeping the faith Garland’s going to pull this one off. The fact that international distributors apparently thought the film was “too complicated” with a challenging female lead only makes me more excited. — Haleigh Foutch

A Wrinkle in Time

Image via Disney

Release Date: March 9th

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Jennifer Lee

Cast: Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Levi Miller, Rowan Blanchard, and Andre Holland.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay made waves with her rousing MLK film Selma, and in its wake she fielded offers for a variety of big budget projects. But she sparked to an adaptation of Madelilne L’Engle’s beloved book A Wrinkle in Time at Disney as an opportunity to tell a massive, fantastical, and hopeful story with a non-white actress in the lead role. The result is a bright, visually stunning film with an encouraging message, scripted by the co-director and co-writer of Disney’s Frozen. And given DuVernay’s talents behind the camera on her previous films, I can’t wait to see what she does with a $100 million budget. – Adam Chitwood

Tomb Raider

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: March 16th

Director: Roar Uthaug

Writers: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Dominic West, Kristin Scott Thomas, Nick Frost, Daniel Wu, Emily Carey

I’ll admit, I was skeptical about this reboot from the beginning; I’m now slightly less skeptical thanks to the first trailer and transformative featurette for the film. Much like the 2013 video game reboot changed the look and lore of Lara Croft from its rather polygonal booby beginnings, I’m hoping the live-action movie reboot will move in the same direction, giving Vikander something more to work with than was afforded to Angelina Jolie back in 2001 and 2003. Make no mistake, Tomb Raider has strong franchise potential if Uthaug, Vikander, and the creative force at work knock it out of the park with this first installment. Indiana Jones seems to have hit a snag, so I’m honestly hoping Tomb Raider can take its contemporary place and forge a new path. – Dave Trumbore

Love, Simon

Image via 20th Century Fox

Release Date: March 16th

Director: Greg Berlanti

Writers: Elizabeth Berger & Isaac Aptaker

Cast: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Alexandra Shipp, and Colton Hanyes

This one wasn’t really on my radar until I saw the trailer, but now I’m eager to see this coming-of-age story that’s also a coming out story. The film follows Simon Spier (Robinson), a high-schooler who’s coming to grips with his homosexuality. Rather than douse the story in tragedy and negative consequences, which is what this kind of movie would have been as recently as a decade ago, Love, Simon looks funny and charming. That’s not to say there isn’t weight to Simon’s struggles, but rather it’s one that’s made relatable and human rather than distant and exclusive. – Matt Goldberg

Mary Magdalene

Image via Film4

Release Date: March 16th

Director: Garth Davis

Writers: Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett

Cast: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, and Chiwetel Ejiofor

Lion filmmaker Garth Davis returns with a highly curious follow-up, Mary Magdalene, that’s sure to pique folks’ interest. Rooney Mara plays the Biblical figure while Joaquin Phoenix plays Jesus and Chiwetel Ejiofor is Peter, but this isn’t a mere simple retelling of the Gospel story. Instead, the film aims to shine a light on the figure of Mary Magdalene as a woman, and how her place among Jesus’ flock was questioned simply because of her gender. Indeed, many of the writings about Magdalene at the time were skewed from a male point of view, so it’ll be interesting to see what conclusions Davis’ film comes to about the nature of Mary Magdalene, who many believe was essentially a 13th apostle. – Adam Chitwood

Isle of Dogs

Image via Fox Searchlight

Release Date: March 23rd

Writer/Director: Wes Anderson

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Mari Natsuki, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Ken Watanabe, and many more.

Every Wes Anderson film is cause for celebration, but Isle of Dogs marks the filmmaker’s return to stop-motion animation after his masterful 2009 animation debut Fantastic Mr. Fox. This time around Anderson crafts a story set in a dystopian future Japan where dogs have been quarantined on a remote island due to “canine flu.” A young boy ventures to the island alone to find his very good boy, Spots (voiced by Liev Schrieber). Hilarity, delight, and gorgeous framing ensue. – Adam Chitwood

Unsane

Image via Relativity

Release Date: March 23rd

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer

Cast: Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, Amy Irving, Jay Pharoah, Joshua Leonard, Colin Woodell, and Sarah Stiles,

It’s the new Steven Soderbergh. Do you need another reason? You do? Does the fact that Soderbergh’s cast is led by the Queen herself, Claire Foy, as a young woman who gets locked up in a mental institution against her will sweeten the pot at all? It should, as should the inclusion of wildly inventive performers ranging from Juno Temple and Amy Irving to Joshua Leonard and Jay Pharoah. There’s also an element of morbid curiosity, as Soderbergh will be working from a script by James Greer and Jonathan Bernstein, known best for the Jackie Chan vehicle The Spy Next Door and the Lindsay Lohan romcom Just My Luck. This is not exactly the team you would pick to handle such sensitive material and there’s always the chance that this could end what has been one of the most impressive good-movie streaks in modern American filmmaking. Either way, Soderbergh has yet to make a bad movie that isn’t at least fascinating, and if 2017’s Logan Lucky is any indication, Soderbergh still has the fire and wit to render any script into a genuinely rousing cinematic experience. – Chris Cabin

Ready Player One

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: March 30th

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Zak Penn and Ernie Cline

Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, and T.J. Miller

Every new Steven Spielberg movie is an event, but Ready Player One is especially exciting for a number of reasons. Based on the book of the same name, the future-set story takes place half in the real world and half inside a Virtual Reality world called the OASIS, where our hero Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is searching for an Easter Egg that would give him control over the entire apparatus. The world is chock-full of 80s nostalgia and pop culture, so it’ll be interesting to see how/if Spielberg references so many of the iconic films he had a hand in making. This puts the filmmaker firmly back in blockbuster territory for the first time since 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin, and it’ll be exciting to see what he brings to the table. – Adam Chitwood

You Were Never Really There

Image via Amazon Studios

Release Date: April 6th

Director/Writer: Lynne Ramsay

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Alessandro Nivola, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alex Manette, Judith Roberts, and John Doman

Early reports had Lynne Ramsay’s hugely anticipated follow-up to her divisive We Need to Talk About Kevin arriving before the end of 2017, after garnering Joaquin Phoenix top honors at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for his lead performance. It’s now hitting theaters this Spring, meaning that it has moved from being the movie I’m most impatient to see in 2017 to 2018, even against tough competition from Isle of Dogs, Where’d You Go Bernadette?, and David Gordon Green’s Halloween remake. The story follows the haunting memories and furious, life-threatening actions of a mercenary (Phoenix) who is tasked with rescuing and protecting a young girl. As far as narrative goes, it’s about as simple as you can get but Ramsay has a way of making the seemingly uncomplicated into a knotty hallucinatory vision of fear, desperation, and isolation, as she did in both Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar. Any movie featuring Phoenix in the lead is worth giving your time towards but with Ramsay in his corner, You Were Never Really There radiates with potential greatness. – Chris Cabin

The New Mutants

Image via 20th Century Fox

Release Date: April 13th

*Unfortunately, Fox has delayed this release until February 22, 2019.

Director: Josh Boone

Writers: Josh Boone and Chris Claremont

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga, Blo Hunt

We’ve seen a lot of incarnations of the superhero genre over the last couple decades, but we haven’t had a superhero horror movie yet. Thankfully, Deadpool blew up the rulebook and as a result, Fox has doubled down on getting weird with their comic book adaptations. Last year, that got us Logan, one of the best superhero movies ever made, so hopes are high for Fox’s next venture, The New Mutants, which promises to bring a YA horror bent to the superhero genre. With Josh Boone, Fox seems to have found the ideal guy for the job — a director who has YA credentials from the success of The Fault in Our Stars and horror credentials from his well-documented passion for Stephen King, and with a thrilling young cast that includes Game of ThronesMaise Williams, Stranger ThingsCharlie Heaton, and reigning horror queen Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split) the pieces are lined up for New Mutants to be a unique, crowd-pleasing entry in the X-Men verse. — Haleigh Foutch

Rampage

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: April 20th

Director: Brad Peyton

Writers: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan Condal, Adam Sztykiel

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello, Naomie Harris, Breanne Hill

Here’s a movie that should just be all-out fun. It stars “Franchise Viagra” Dwayne Johnson, who had a big part to play in making Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as fun as it was, alongside three massive, city-destroying monsters. It reunites Johnson with his San Andreas and Journey 2 director Peyton, so you can expect a sort of synthesis of those two franchises in this video game adaptation. In other words, cities are going to be crushed in entertaining fashion.

“Video game adaptation” are some ugly words in this business. I’m hoping Rampage doesn’t try too hard to reverse this curse but rather focuses on having as much fun with the premise as possible. The early marketing material reveals a strong bond between Johnson’s character, a primatologist, and the highly intelligent gorilla, George. While Rampage needs this emotional attachment to give the audience something to hang onto, there’s a tough line to walk between saccharine and earnest sentiment. This will be the first big-screen adventure for The Rock in 2018, so I’m expecting a big turnout opening weekend. – Dave Trumbore

Avengers: Infinity War

Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: May 4th

Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benicio Del Toro, Linda Cardellini, Josh Brolin, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Benedict Wong, Don Cheadle

Again, obviously. This is what the MCU has been building to since 2007’s Iron Man, more so than The Avengers in 2012 and, especially, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The cast of Marvel characters—heroes and villains alike—has greatly expanded over the last few years, including the Guardians of the Galaxy, a host of new Avengers, refugees from Asgard, and the entire nation of Wakanda. That’s a lot of folks with a lot of stories, which means two things: One is that the scale of Infinity War is going to be epic, like space opera epic, allowing Thanos plenty of room to roam. The second is that some of our heroes (and their real-world counterparts) will almost certainly be ending their run with the MCU, only to have new heroes step up. Avengers: Infinity War may very well be the end of the MCU as we know it and the beginning of not just the multi-franchise’s next phase, but its face for the next decade or so. These are the on-screen and behind-the-scenes reasons for why Avengers: Infinity War is vying with Black Panther for my most-anticipated film of the year. You just can’t overstate how important this transitional film will be to the future of superhero cinema. – Dave Trumbore

Where’d You Go Bernadette?

Image via Black-Bernstein Productions

Release Date: May 11th

Director: Richard Linklater

Writers: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr., Michael H. Weber, and Scott Neustadter

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Billy Crudup, Troian Bellisario, Laurence Fishburne, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, James Urbaniak, Claudia Doumit, and Kate Easton

Richard Linklater has had this adaptation of Maria Semple’s best-selling novel, centered on a teenaged daughter’s search for her missing mother, on his plate since early 2015, following his strong showing on the awards circuit for Boyhood. If the cast is any indication, Oscars may very well come-a-courtin’ for this one too, considering the fact that it will see Linklater teaming up with Cate Blanchett for the first time to date. Blanchett will portray the titular matriarch while Billy Crudup will co-star as her husband and Kristen Wiig will play a concerned neighbor; Laurence Fishburne appears in an undisclosed role, following his excellent work with Linklater in Last Flag Flying. It’s a great cast that would bring in an audience regardless of the material but the pull here is Linklater. From the outset, the story seems to be setting the stage for a thriller, but the book is more of a comical journey, rife with dark detours and fittingly complex insights into strained familial relationships. It’s the kind of story that gives Linklater room to play with his own obsessions as well as those on the page, which is where his best movies tend to come from. – Chris Cabin

Untitled LAIKA Movie

Release Date: May 18th

Director: TBA

Writer: TBA

Cast: TBA

While I can’t say much about LAIKA’s next film—since nothing has been released or confirmed, and they’re not telling me anything just yet—I can tell you the stop-motion animation studio’s pedigree should speak for itself. Each of their four feature films have been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, with the most recent addition Kubo and the Two Strings also banking a nomination for Best Visual Effects. The studio’s technology improves by leaps and bounds between each feature allowing the creative teams more freedom of expression and a greater ability to animate exactly what they see in their minds’ eye. For my money, LAIKA’s films are the best stop-motion animated features going right now, hands down, and it’s because the top-tier animation is paired with incredible storytelling.

Kubo and the Two Strings was a great example of this; there are times when you completely forget that you’re watching a feature that’s a series of still images painstakingly shot over months and months. Part of that is because the animation is fluid and flawless with some jaw-dropping environmental and character effects; the other part is that LAIKA’s storytelling ability is some of the best out there. So while I have no clue whether their next feature will be an adaptation or an original work, what’s certain is that it will be emotional, immersive, visually stunning and awards-worthy. – Dave Trumbore

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: May 25th

Directors: Phil Lord & Chris Miller and Ron Howard

Writers: Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan

Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Paul Bettany

Well this one would have been on our list regardless, but the curiosity factor is now through the roof as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the project at the tail end of filming, and Ron Howard stepped in to oversee the completion of principal photography and some/a lot of reshoots. There are many questions that remain (Who will be credited as director? How much was reshot?), but the foundation is still a curious prospect: an origin story for one of the most iconic characters in movie history. Lucasfilm weathered stormy productions of Rogue One and The Force Awakens before, so can they get out of this one unscathed as well? We’ll find out in a few months’ time. – Adam Chitwood

Untitled Deadpool Sequel

Image via 20th Century Fox

Release Date: May 18th

Director: David Leitch

Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Briana Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic, and Leslie Uggams

The first Deadpool had the element of surprise, but now the sequel is playing the expectations game. It will be tough to top the raunchy first movie, but my hope for Deadpool 2, which brings Cable (Brolin) and Domino (Beetz) into the mix, is that the movie uses its newfound freedom to break away even further from superhero tropes. The interesting thing about the first Deadpool is that for all its vulgar comedy, it’s still a fairly traditional origin story. Now that there’s a devoted fanbase, David Leitch’s sequel has the opportunity to really throw fans for a loop. – Matt Goldberg

Ocean's 8

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: June 8th

Director: Gary Ross

Writers: Olivia Milch and Gary Ross

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, Richard Armitage

To be honest, they had me at the idea of a Met Gala heist, even if an all-female Ocean’s 11 sounded a little goofy at first. Then the casting pieces started falling into place, and as powerhouse after powerhouse signed up, it became clear that this isn’t some goofy cash grab, this is an A-list event film with the chance to be a beautiful, badass entry into the heist genre. After Logan Lucky, I am absolutely ready for more Steven Soderbergh brand hijinks and if his year-end watchlist is any indication, the producer has been pretty actively involved in the post-production process. All this before I even get to the matter of the glorious, life-affirming work costume designer Sarah Edwards is doing on Cate Blanchett. The accessories, the boots, the coats; I may not survive this film. — Haleigh Foutch

Incredibles 2

Image via Disney-Pixar

Release Date: June 15th

Director/Writer: Brad Bird

Cast:
Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, John Ratzenberger, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk

Believe it or not, Pixar’s The Incredibles came out back in 2004 … and that’s the last we heard about it … until now! The Parr Family is due back in theaters this summer and it seems as if very little time has passed for them at all. Despite 14 years in the real world, Jack-Jack is still a baby (albeit a super-powered one) and he’ll be under the care of Bob while it falls to Helen to save the world.

Honestly, I just want to check in with the Parr Family to see what’s up. Pixar’s animation capabilities have obviously evolved over the last 14 years; just look at the 13-year difference between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. The sequel keeps a lot of consistency thanks to the return of most of the same voice cast and creative team from the original film, but the world at large and the world of filmmaking has changed quite a lot in the last decade-and-a-half. Just think about how many live-action superhero films have come and gone since The Incredibles debuted. Will Incredibles 2 avoid the size and scope of Marvel and DC Comics movies in favor of a family focus, or will Pixar’s latest sequel attempt to split that focus in two directions? Time will tell, but I’m very excited for this reunion! – Dave Trumbore

Ant-Man & The Wasp

Image via Marvel Studios

Release Date: July 6th

Director: Peyton Reed

Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, and Paul Rudd

Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Michael Douglas, Judy Greer, Michael Pēna, Laurence Fishburne, Randall Park, David Dastmalchian, and T.I.

As far as the MCU goes at this point, you can keep your Infinity War and give me a dozen more movies like Black Panther and Ant-Man & the Wasp. Where the Russo brothers’ upcoming epic looks to be all action and plot from the trailers released thus far, these other two properties suggest a shift toward more character-based filmmaking, overseen by directors with their own stirring thematic concerns to infuse into otherwise thin material. Peyton Reed’s return to the Ant-Man story, after doing impressive work in the wake of Marvel’s still-raw Edgar Wright dismissal, means that the same subversive humor and unwavering commitment to displaying the hardships faced by ex-cons in finding legitimate, supportive work will likely continue in this latest chapter. And as the title suggests, Evangeline Lilly will have a much larger role opposite Paul Rudd in this feature than she did in the last movie, making for a new dramatic and thematic dynamic to add onto the introduction of Laurence Fishburne’s Goliath, Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, and Walton Goggins’s Sonny Burch. Along with Black Panther, Ant-Man & the Wasp has the potential to prove that the MCU can produce entertaining and substantive movies rather than new episodes in the most expensive TV series ever produced. – Chris Cabin

Alita: Battle Angel

Image via 20th Century Fox

Release Date: July 20th

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writers: James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, Robert Rodriguez

Cast: Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Eiza González, Michelle Rodriguez, Ed Skrein, Mahershala Ali, Elle LaMont, Jackie Earle Haley, Casper Van Dien, Keean Johnson, Jeff Fahey, Lana Condor

Okay, here’s a movie that’s probably going to burn me in the long run. The main takeaway from the first trailer is that the title character’s eyes are very, very big … like, obnoxiously and comically big. That’s kind of a shame considering that there’s a lot more going for Yukito Kishiro’s manga “Gunnm” and even the Battle Angel anime adaptations. Hopefully Rodriguez, Cameron & Co. have more in store for this film than a pair of artificially enhanced eyeballs. (I’d be shocked if they visual effects team didn’t knock the eye size down by 10% or more by the time this thing opens.)

Set far in the future, Alita: Battle Angel centers on the title character, an amnesiac cyborg discovered in scrapheap by a cyber-doctor. Once restored, Alita goes on a journey of discovery and self-discovery that introduces her to new relationships, unexpected dangers, and incredible abilities that lie dormant within her. Whether the live-action adaptation can move past the somewhat uncomfortable uncanny valley aspect remains to be seen, but I hope the core story here comes through. – Dave Trumbore

Mission: Impossible 6

Image via Christopher McQuarrie

Release Date: July 27th

Director/Writer: Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Cavill, Michelle Monaghan, Angela Bassett, Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg

We probably don’t deserve a Mission: Impossible movie with Angela Bassett in it, but thanks to Rogue Nation writer-director Christopher McQuarrie and his genius casting directors, we’re about to. A new Mission: Impossible movie is always something to get excited about in my book, but the sixth film is a particularly interesting one for a number of reasons. The major one is the return of McQuarrie in the director’s chair, a first for the franchise, which has always passed to a new director with each new sequel. It’s kept the franchise fresh and evolving for decades, but considering McQuarrie refined the Mission: Impossible format to perfection with Rogue Nation, it’s thrilling to think of what he’ll do with a second go round. There’s also the matter of Tom Cruise‘s injury, which delayed production significantly and no doubt affected what the notoriously stunt-enthused actor could perform when they returned to set. And let’s not forget, this is the film that gave us Henry Cavill’s mustache and that’s no small treasure. — Haleigh Foutch

The Predator

Image via Shane Black

Release Date: August 3

Director/Writer: Shane Black

Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane, Keegan Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Alfie Allen, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Yvonne Strahovski, Edward James Olmos

Shane Black is making a Predator movie. I mean, what else is there to say? That’s about as exciting as it gets. The Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys helmer has consistently delivered whip smart engaging genre films since he made his directorial debut with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (and long before that as a screenwriter), and now he’s returning to his roots to revamp one of the greatest action franchises of all time. Thomas Jane revealed the first plot details recently, letting slip that the film follows a bus full of PTSD army vets who team up to take down the Predators when a UFO sighting leaves them marked for death. That. Sounds. Great. Such a very Shane Black spin on the machismo-dripping origins of the Predator films. With guys like Jane and Keegan-Michael Key reading Black’s dialogue, you know this one’s going to be a holy shit, catch-your-breath laugh fest –in between all the ballistic, bonkers action, that is. — Haleigh Foutch

The Meg

Release Date: August 10th

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Writers: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber, and James Vanderbilt

Cast: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Cliff Curtis, Bingbing Li, Masi Oka, and Rainn Wilson

It’s Jason Statham versus a giant shark. I’ve already bought 1,000 tickets. – Matt Goldberg

The Nightingale

Image via IFC Films

Release Date: August 10th

Director/Writer: Jennifer Kent

Cast: Sam Claflin, Aisling Franciosi, Ewen Leslie, Damon Herriman, Michael Sheasby

Not to be confused with Michelle MacLaren‘s WWII movie of the same name, which lands in theaters in 2019, The Nightingale is the sophomore feature effort from The Babadook director Jennifer Kent. But don’t expect more monsters or nightmarish visions of parentage, because Kent is swinging in a wildly different direction with this one. Set in 1825 Tasmania, The Nightingale follows a Irish young convict woman on a mission of revenge. Chasing a British soldier through the ravages of Tasmania, she teams with an Aboriginal male outcast to help her pursue the man who murdered her family and ends up getting “much more than she bargained for.” Pretty vague, but Kent has made it clear that this one isn’t a horror film, even if it does trade in the horrors of a particularly dark period in Australia’s colonial history. With The Nightingale, Kent wants to explore the “pointlessness of revenge” and a singular period in women’s history, and if those ideas manifest as cinematically as her take on maternal phobias did in The Babadook, The Nightingale is going to be one breathless, brutal affair. — Haleigh Foutch

The Darkest Minds

Release Date: September 14th

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Writer: Chad Hodge

Cast: Gwendoline Christie, Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dicksinson, Patrick Gibson
It’s been a while since we had a good YA genre film, but Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3 director Jennifer Yuh Nelson is looking to bring the genre with an adaptation of Alexandra Bracken‘s best-selling dystopian sci-fi novel The Darkest Minds. Set in a grim future where a disease kills 98% of America’s children, the surviving 2% develop superpowers and are placed in internment camps. The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg looks to carry on the YA heroine legacy as Ruby, a sixteen-year-old girl who breaks out of her camp and goes on the run with a group of gifted, dangerous youths just like her. It sounds fun and campy, and like a great opportunity for Nelson to show what she can do in live-action. — Haleigh Foutch

Smallfoot

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: September 28th

Directors: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig (co-director)

Writers: Glenn Ficarra, Karey Kirkpatrick, Sergio Pablos, John Requa

Cast: Zendaya, Channing Tatum, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, James Corden, Yara Shahidi, Jimmy Tatro, Common, LeBron James, Ely Henry

Here’s another movie that could be a surprise crowd-pleaser but could ultimately wind up being a bust. Animated kids movies often have the peculiar property of being wildly popular among the kiddos while being incredibly frustrating for the adults who are taking them to the movies. Is Warner Bros.’ animated yeti adventure going to follow suit?

Probably. But the voice cast is interesting here, especially since the wildly popular Zendaya and Tatum play yetis, not a role that often comes up. Smallfoot has the benefit of being the first in a new potential animated franchise for Warner Bros. Animation because I don’t think that the animated yeti territory has sufficiently been explored yet. And I quite like the central conceit of Smallfoot, which plunks audiences down in a civilization of yetis, one of whom is convinced that the mythological “smallfoot” (a.k.a. humans) does in fact exist. Will this be a new favorite for the kiddos out there or just another interesting idea that was better off left in the wilderness? We’ll find out this fall! – Dave Trumbore

The Kid Who Would Be King

Release Date: September 28th

Director/Writer: Joe Cornish

Cast: Tom Taylor, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson, Denise Gough, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Nick Mohammed, and Eileen Davies

There is simply no excuse for making me personally wait seven goddamn years to see Joe Cornish direct another movie after Attack the Block. Where does this industry or Cornish himself get the brass ones to leave audiences hanging like that? Since the 2011 release of Cornish’s immensely promising debut, the writer-director has kept busy, co-writing Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin as well as the original script for Ant-Man, the one that would have been used under regular collaborator Edgar Wright. Still, it’s been a long wait for Cornish to return to the director’s chair and upon first glance, the story of a gang of kids who become swept up into a medieval adventure is not exactly alluring. Then again, it’s got Patrick Stewart as Merlin and what is Attack the Block but the story of a gang of kids who must fight off an alien invasion. A trailer will help confirm or debunk my apprehensions but for now, it’s easy enough to trust that Cornish will deliver the goods and not simply rehash the plot of A Kid in King Arthur’s Court. – Chris Cabin

Bad Times at the El Royale

Image via Lionsgate

Release Date: October 5th

Writer/Director: Drew Goddard

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges

We don’t know much about this movie, but all that’s needed as a selling point is “Drew Goddard’s next movie.” The writer and filmmaker made his debut with the long-delayed The Cabin in the Woods, and was subsequently attached to direct Sony’s superhero pic The Sinister Six which was then scuttled, and The Martian which he left as director to do Sinister Six. So at long last Goddard gets behind the camera for a 60s-set thriller that takes place in a dilapidated hotel in the Lake Tahoe region. Chris Hemsworth and Jeff Bridges star. That’s all we know, and that’s all we need to know to make this one of our most anticipated films of 2018. – Adam Chitwood

First Man

Image via Summit

Release Date: October 12th

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writers: Josh Singer and Nicole Perlman

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Pablo Schreiber, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Lukas Haas, Cory Michael Smith, Patrick Fugit, and Brian d’Arcy James

Following his trilogy of modernist musicals, Damien Chazelle now turns to a story of American exceptionalism, namely that of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), who took the first human steps on the moon in the summer of 1969. The cast alone would make this movie worth the price of admission, with Corey Stoll taking on the role of Buzz Aldrin and Claire Foy playing Janet Armstrong. What really makes First Man an appealing prospect is seeing how Chazelle does outside of the realm of music, which has provided the foundation for his first three films, as well as his script for Grand Piano. Considering the director’s triumphant 2016 awards cycle, the story of one man’s ascent to becoming an interplanetary explorer and American icon, despite some well-documented personal demons, could prove perfectly reflective of the director’s state of mind and inner world, if Chazelle can break out of his old rhythms. At the very least, it will likely act as a handsome sequel to The Right Stuff. – Chris Cabin

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Image via Fox Searchlight

Release Date: October 19th

Director: Marielle Heller

Writers: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jane Curtain, Joanna Adler

Marielle Heller made a downright stunning directorial debut with 2015’s Diary of a Teenage Girl, and for her sophomore film she’s tackling another challenging female-driven tale. Drawing from the true-life tale of Lee Israel, a famed best-selling celebrity autobiographer who earned infamy when she started telling false tales to become relevant again. The script comes from Enough Said filmmaker Nicole Holofcener and Avenue Q scriptwriter Jeff Whitty, which is one curious and intriguing writing duo, and Melissa McCarthy is making a rare dramatic turn as Israel, which is always a welcome play against type for the comedy star. — Haleigh Foutch

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Image via Sony Pictures

Release Date: October 19th

Director: Fede Alvarez

Writer: Fede Alvarez, Jay Basu, and Steven Knight

Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Stanfield, Cameron Britton, Sylvia Hoeks, and Claes Bang

Thus far, Fede Alvarez’s movies have been remarkable for the director’s cunning, riling technical abilities than narrative substance, which is far more preferable to movies with good script and strictly competent filmmaking. His Evil Dead remake and 2016’s Don’t Breathe are horror movies with style to spare, the kind of lean, effective productions that follow in the same spirit as the B-movies that sported Val Lewton’s name back in the day. What he needs is a bigger story, a slightly bigger budget, and a great cast, all of which have been gifted to him in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a loose sequel to David Fincher’s magnificent adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Claire Foy will take up the role of Lisbeth Salander while Borg vs. McEnroe star Sverrir Gudnason will play Mikael Blomkvist, and Lakeith Stanfield has an undisclosed supporting role. For fans of the series, that should be enough to plunk down ten bucks on a Friday night, but Alvarez, being at the helm working from a script by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke), adds robust potential to ta movie rife with tricky material. – Chris Cabin

Halloween

Image via Universal Pictures

Release Date: October 19th

Director: David Gordon Green

Writers: David Gordon Green and Danny McBride

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Nick Castle

From the guys who brought you Your Highness and Vice Principles comes a new Halloween sequel with John Carpenter‘s approval? Yeah, you bet, and you’re gonna want to get excited about it. As a filmmaker, David Gordon Green has always been difficult to peg down. He’s the guy behind Pineapple Express, but he’s also the guy behind George Washington and Joe. He’s an unpredictable chameleon filmmaker and considering how many options Blumhouse must have had, I’m betting his and Danny McBride‘s pitch was one hell of a doozy. It sure sound like it. Details are still under wraps, but Jamie Lee Curtis is returning for the first time since the abysmal Halloween: Resurrection killed her off. How, you ask? Because Green’s Halloween is ignoring the continuity of every film after the first one, acting a direct sequel to Carpenter’s iconic classic. Bold moves all around, and smart ones too. Factor in the fact that Blumhouse has been on such a role lately and Halloween is shaping up to be the rare post-2000 slasher film thoroughly worth getting hyped about. — Haleigh Foutch

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Image via 20th Century Fox

Release Date: November 2nd

Writer/Director: Simon Kinberg

Cast: Sophie Turner, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Olivia Munn, and Alexandra Shipp

20th Century Fox has been mixing up genres with its superhero pics lately, from Deadpool to Logan to the horror-tinged The New Mutants, so X-Men: Dark Phoenix promises to be more than your average X-Men movie. Longtime X-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut on the project, where he hopes to tackle the famous Dark Phoenix storyline in the most compelling way possible. Throw in Jessica Chastain as the film’s antagonist, outer space, and the return of Lawrence & Co. and you’ve got yourself an intriguing follow-up even if X-Men: Apocalypse was a disappointment. Here’s hoping Dark Phoenix breaks new ground. – Adam Chitwood

Mary, Queen of Scots

Image via Focus Features

Release Date: November 2nd

Director: Josie Rourke

Writer: Beau Willimon

Cast: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, David Tennant, Gemma Chan, Guy Pearce, Jack Lowden

Acclaimed British theater director Josie Rourke takes her talents to the big screen with two of the biggest powerhouse young actresses in the business for Mary Queen of Scots. Working from a script by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, Saoirse Ronan stars as the titular young queen of Scotland who famously lost her head after she attempted to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) as Queen of England. It’s rich, dramatic piece of British history that has been mined on screen before, best of all in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, but the particular players involved in this retelling promise what could be the definitive film adaptation. From interviews it’s clear that the film is intended to explore the tragic disconnect between two powerful, trail blazing female leaders who end up at odds with the only other person who could understand what they’re going through. That’s a potent set up for royal drama and with Ronan and Robbie going toe-to-toe, it’s sure serve up some impressive performances along the way. — Haleigh Foutch

Holmes and Watson

Image via Sony

Release Date: November 9th

Director/Writer: Etan Cohen

Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes, Kelly Macdonald, Rebecca Hall, and Hugh Laurie

It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly headlined a film together after their outstanding chemistry in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, but here we are. Thankfully, they’ll be back together this November and parodying Holmes and Watson, which seems like a good fit for the actors. We know that Ferrell and Reilly are good together, but they’ve also thrived under the direction of Adam McKay. It will be interesting to see how they work together when Etan Cohen (Get Hard) is running the show. – Matt Goldberg

Widows

Image via Fox Searchlight

Release Date: November 16th

Director: Steven McQueen

Writers: Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen

Cast: Viola Davis, Carrie Coon, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, Colin Farrell, Jon Bernthal, Liam Neeson, and Robert Duvall

It’s been far too long since Steve McQueen blew everyone away with 12 Years a Slave, but the filmmaker should return to the big screen this year with the great-sounding Widows. Set in contemporary Chicago, the film tells the story of four women whose thief husbands are all killed, leaving behind a debt that needs to be repaid. They subsequently conspire to forge a future on their own terms. Gone Girl author/scribe Gillian Flynn wrote the script with McQueen, an incredible cast was assembled, and we cannot wait to see this thing. – Adam Chitwood

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: November 18th

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, and Callum Turner

We knew Warner Bros. would be rebooting/reviving the Harry Potter franchise sooner or later, so thank goodness they did so with J.K. Rowling’s explicit involvement. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them revealed new areas of the Wizarding World, and the sequel promises to do the same as the action moves to Paris. Newt and his friends are tasked by a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to try and track down Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), who’s amassing an army of anti-muggle wizards. The introduction of a younger Dumbledore promises to unlock even more Wizarding World secrets, and the Paris setting will offer a brand new locale for fans to fawn over. And yes, there will be beasts. – Adam Chitwood

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Image via Disney

Release Date: November 21st

Directors: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

Writers: Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon, Pamela Ribon

Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Alan Tudyk, Kelly Macdonald, Idina Menzel, Auli’i Cravalho, Anthony Daniels, Taraji P. Henson, James Corden, Ming-Na Wen, Anika Noni Rose, Irene Bedard, Paige O’Hara, Jodi Benson, Linda Larkin

When Steve Weintraub and I walked out of the LA screening of Wreck-It Ralph back in 2012, he had a killer title idea for the sequel (which we knew would be greenlit quickly because the original was such a blast). That title: Super Wreck-It Ralph. Brilliant, right? Well, it turns out that neither the title nor the timeline of that sequel worked out quite the way we expected, but thankfully another installment of Ralph will arrive later this year.

We don’t know much at all about the sequel except to say that Ralph, Vanellope and their friends will travel onto the internet through a wi-fi router and into all sorts of trouble in order to save the arcade once again. Oh and that the sequel will bring all of the Disney Princesses together in one film, which is quite the feat. However, it’ll happen as Ralph and Vanellope visit all sorts of websites for Disney properties like Marvel, Star Wars, and who knows, maybe even Alien. Anything can happen when Ralph breaks the internet this November. – Dave Trumbore

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Image via Sony

Release Date: December 14th

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Writers: Phil Lord

Cast: Shameik Moore, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Live Shreiber

Not only is it rare for a superhero with the pedigree of Spider-Man to get a feature-length animated film, it’s rarer still to find that film distributed in wide, theatrical release. The last time I remember that happening was a little film by the name of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 25 years ago. And for added emphasis, this will be the first movie in which a Spider-Man other than Peter Parker gets to lead the show.

Yes, Miles Morales will be taking on the mantle in Sony’s animated adventure, the first trailer for which was recently revealed. The animation at work in the trailer really grabs your attention, be it the hyper-realistic New York City skyline with its neon lights, or the way the camera follows Miles in 360 degrees as he flips and spins his way through traffic, or how scenes are intercut with flashes of comic book splash pages, all of which add a fun, kinetic energy to the movie that’s unlike anything we’ve seen from Spider-Man before. It’s hard not to be excited for this one! – Dave Trumbore

Aquaman

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: December 21st

Director: James Wan

Writer: Will Beall

Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, and Patrick Wilson

Wonder Woman showed that DC superheroes can thrive away from the Zack Snyder grimdark machine, but that film also benefitted from having an incredibly clear take on the character. Does James Wan have the same clear vision for Aquaman? Hopefully, the movie will largely ignore the events of Justice League and work as a reboot of sorts for the character, allowing him to stand on his own terms rather than share the screen with other superheroes. The movie could end up being a catastrophe, but it’s worth checking out to see what the future of the DCEU could be. – Matt Goldberg

Mary Poppins Returns

Image via Disney

Release Date: December 25th

Director: Rob Marshall

Writer: David Magee

Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters, Emily Mortimer, Angela Lansbury, David Warner

Confession: Mary Poppins was my earliest favorite movie. No, I wasn’t around in 1964 when the movie came out in theaters, and not even in 1980 when it first arrived on VHS, but it quickly became a weekend obsession for young me. So of course I was a bit skeptical when I heard that there were plans for a sequel, but if it allows for more Poppins in people’s lives, I’m on board.

And with that cast, it’s hard not to be excited. Were this a straight remake, I’d be a bit more bearish on its prospects, but we’re getting a fresh vision from Magee (Finding Neverland, Life of Pi) led by the ever-delightful Blunt, the musical superstar Miranda, and someone by the name of Meryl Streep, to name a few. Plus, it’s the return of Dick Van Dyke to a fan-favorite role. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious indeed! – Dave Trumbore

Suspiria

Image via 20th Century Fox

Release Date: TBD

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: David Kajganich

Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper

Without a trailer and narry an official image for Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria remake, the unlikely film has become one of the most mysterious and tantalizing of the year — especially after the absolute knock out that Call Me by Your Name turned out to be. Guadagnino has been kicking ass and taking names in recents years, and against all odds, somehow a remake of Suspiria suddenly seems like a good idea. Dario Argento doesn’t think so, but sometimes it’s hard to let your children go, and everything about the pieces Guadagnino has assembled, from the inspired casting (including the return of Jessica Harper) to recruiting Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke to handle the score, has pointed in the direction of a confident, singular spin on the material. You don’t recruit someone like Yorke if you just want to replicate Goblin’s iconic score, and that impulse seems to extend to every element that made Suspira such an indelible and enduring film. Guadagnino is even turning away from the film’s legendary color palette, instead working with Call Me by Your Name cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom to create a film he describes as “cold, evil and really dark” . So what even is this movie if it’s nothing like the original film? It’s impossible to imagine and that’s what makes it such a fascinating project. — Haleigh Foutch

Untitled Dick Cheney Movie

Image via Paramount Pictures

Release Date: TBA

Writer/Director: Adam McKay

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Lily Rable, Alison Pill, Bill Pullman, and Tyler Perry

How does Step Brothers and Anchorman filmmaker Adam McKay follow up an Oscar win for The Big Short? With a movie about Dick Cheney, of course. Christian Bale plays the former Vice President in various stages of his life in this original feature, which boasts an incredible ensemble cast that includes Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush. This movie sounds insane in the best way possible. – Adam Chitwood

Roma

Image via Warner Bros.

Release Date: TBA

Writer/Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Cast: Marina de Tavira, Daniela Demesa, and Marco Graf

Oscar-winning Gravity filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron takes his time in between projects, but it looks like we may be getting his follow-up Roma this year. The smaller scale story takes place in Mexico City and revolves around a middle-class family in the 1970s, but as we know with Cuaron nothing is ever really straightforward. The filmmaker has said he needed a lengthy post-production period which suggests some kind of new technical ambition, and we can’t wait to see the fruits of his labor. – Adam Chitwood

The Sisters Brothers

Release Date: TBA

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writers: Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Riz Ahmed, Rutger Hauer, and Carol Kane

Based on the book of the same name, The Sisters Brothers takes place in the 1850s and revolves around a pair of assassin brothers who hunt down a gold prospector across the American West. That in and of itself is a terrific premise, but the book’s tone is darkly comedic, very much in the vein of a Coen Brothers screenplay. For the feature adaptation A Prophet and Dheepan director Jacques Audiard makes his English-language debut with a truly stellar ensemble. – Adam Chitwood

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