As we depart even farther from the previous year, the moviegoing community looks forward to 2017 – which promises to be a great 12 months of feature films. 2016 may have lacked in the category of satisfying blockbusters, but it did provide audiences with several memorable, Academy worthy pictures. Looking ahead, however many of 2017's most anticipated movies serve to bode well for a return to form for many big budget franchises.
Numerous classic film and television series are vying for a major revival in the coming months, but only a handful of movies managed to crack this list. In all honesty, this countdown could be at least three times longer and still leave out a handful of notable pictures. But, in the interest of keeping this article relatively brief, I have decided to feature the cream of the crop; the most notable and newsworthy; the films we will be talking about for months and months to come.
There are a lot of buzz-worthy indie flicks and one-off films that would be great additions to this list, but again, for the sake of brevity, I specifically limited this article to franchise films. Unfortunately, that means that movies such as Dunkirk and Baby Driver are disqualified from this countdown, but it should be noted that I am extremely excited about both of these pictures, among others.
Here are the 10 Most Anticipated Blockbuster Movies of 2017.
The following titles did not quite make the cut, but are still some of my more anticipated franchise films: Beauty and the Beast; Cloverfield Anthology (God Particle); Kingsman: The Golden Circle; Kong: Skull Island; Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Power Rangers; Thor: Ragnarok; Wonder Woman.
10. Lego Batman
Director: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Cera
Release: February 10, 2017
Summary: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
After the smash hit that was 2014's The LEGO Movie, it is hard not to be excited about this charming animated adventure. Arguably the film's best ancillary character – Batman/Bruce Wayne, as voiced by Will Arnett – gets his own spinoff film in, what will hopefully end up being, a successful cinematic universe.
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart
Release: March 3, 2017
Summary: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Sure, the first two entries of Wolverine trilogy have not been the most praised or beloved of the genre, but with this being the last go for Hugh Jackman as the titular hero, fans would be hard-pressed to bet against this film. Not to mention, the films first two trailers are promising to say the least.
8. Alien: Covenant
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender
Release: May 19, 2017
Summary: The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
Legendary directory Ridley Scott might have hit a bit of a rough patch in recent years with some critically maligned endeavors, but after last year's Best Picture Nomination, The Martian, things look to be turning around for the esteemed filmmaker.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel
Release: May 5, 2017
Summary: Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' continues the team's adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.
Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) was arguably the biggest, and one of the most pleasant surprises of the franchise – which is certainly saying something. The film's sequel probably won't sneak up on anyone, but the trailer does suggest another hilarious adventure with beloved fan-favorite characters.
6. Ghost in the Shell
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Scarlett Johansson
Release: March 31, 2017
Summary: A cyborg policewoman attempts to bring down a nefarious computer hacker.
Ghost in the Shell looks to achieve for live-action anime films what Warcraft and Assassin's Creed hoped to for video game movies last year. Of course, the latter titles did not fair too well either critically or monetarily, but a live-action video game film adaptation is bound to successfully make the leap sooner or later; the same could be said about anime.
5. War for the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson
Release: July 14, 2017
Summary: A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar becomes embroiled in a battle with an army of humans.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is simply one of the finest summer blockbusters of the past decade. After Tim Burton's unsuccessful turn helming the franchise in 2001, rebooting the series was seen to be an incredible risk. Nevertheless, the first two entries in this trilogy were both extremely well-received by fans as well as critics, and this upcoming title looks as epic as anything we have seen before from this series.
4. Blade Runner 2049
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford
Release: October 6, 2017
Summary: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) is one of the hottest directors in Hollywood right now, Ryan Gosling has been enjoying a fruitful award season as a result of his turn in likely Best Picture contender La La Land, and Harrison Ford has been a perennial movie star since the 1970's. It is almost needless to say any more as each of these ingredients look to complement each other quite nicely in one of next year's most anticipated films.
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Director: John Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Release: July 7, 2017
Summary: A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero.
Yes, we have seen six live-action films featuring the web-slinger with three different actors portraying the character – all in the last 15 years. That being said, it's Spider-Man! There is a reason Spider-Man stands among some of the most popular fictional characters of all time. If John Watts and company can get the formula right, this film could truly be something special.
2. Justice League
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot
Release: November 17, 2017
Summary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
Fans have been burned by the DCEU in the past, but Justice League looks to make film history. Seeing all of these heroes on the big screen at the same time seemed to be a pipe dream comic book readers for a long time, but it will soon be a reality. Cinematic universes are still relatively new for Hollywood – here's to hoping that it Warner Bros. and company can right the ship and join the ranks of Marvel Studios.
1. Star Wars Episode VIII
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver
Release: December 15, 2017
Summary: Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.
We still know next to nothing about one of 2017's most anticipated films, and yet, it is still one of 2017's most anticipated films. Star Wars holds a weight to it that few (if any) franchises match. The Force Awakens was easily 2015's biggest blockbuster and Episode VIII looks to do the same in 2017.
What are your most anticipated blockbusters of 2017? Make sure to let me know your pics in the comments.