2017 is shaping up to be a big year at the box office. ComiConverse contributor Grant Billings has a definitive rundown of the most exciting blockbusters need to look for this year.
Director: Dean Israellite (Project Almanac) Starring: Bryan Cranston (Zordon), Elizabeth Banks, Rita Repulsa, Naomi Scott (Kimberly/Pink Ranger), Becky G (Trini/Yellow Ranger), Dacre Montgomery (Jason/Red Ranger), Ludi Lin (Zack/Black Ranger), RJ Cyler (Billy/Blue Ranger), and Bill Hader as Alpha 5.
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Ever since the Rangers first appeared on TV in 1993 they have been a childhood fixture for multiple generations. I was a huge Ranger fan myself, and remember wanting nothing more than to put on green pajamas and fight evil. Now the Rangers are getting a new look and feel. Instead of pajamas they have actual battle armor. At first I was hesitant about this film, even more so after the first teaser. But after the first trailer, I'm sold and I can't wait to see this new take on the old heroes.
Director: James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine, Walk the Line) Starring: Hugh Jackman (Wolverine/Logan), Sir Patrick Stuart (Professor Xavier/Charles), Dafne Keen (Laura Kinney/X-23), Stephen Merchant (Caliban) and Boyd Holbrook as Donal Pierce.
In Hugh Jackman's last movie as Wolverine (that is if Ryan Reynolds can't convince him to do a Wolverine/Deadpool crossover), all eyes are on this movie. While The Wolverine was decent, it still did not stand up with the best films in the X-Men franchise like X-Men 2 or Days of Future Past. It is also the first time we will get to see X-23, Logan's illegitimate daughter. With a much grittier tone than the previous X-Men films, fans are eager to see what Logan's world has become. For some insight into the film, read the Old Man Logan comic book series, which was the main inspiration for the movie.
Director: Chad Stahleski (John Wick) Starring: Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Ruby Rose (Ares), Ian McShane (Winston), and Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King
Expect more of the same from this second outing in the John Wick universe. That not a bad thing. This film promises to be everything its predecessor was: a flat out action movie built around thrilling, fresh set pieces with just enough plot to keep its characters moving and its audience engaged. Just as he did for John Wick, Reeves does all his own stunts.
Director: Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows) Starring: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Karl Urban (Skurge), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster) and Sam Neill in an unknown role.
Another year, another huge Marvel movie. With an ever growing cast, one that will match up with even Civil War, star actors are everywhere in this movie. While little is known of this plot specifics, expect this movie to have hints towards Planet Hulk and World War Hulk. This movie is introducing new players as well. Hela, the queen of the Asgardian Hell and daughter of Loki; Skurge, a burly bodyguard type; Grandmaster, The Collectors older, much more powerful and evil older brother; and Valkyrie, an Asgardian warrior who rides a winged horse, is speculated to be a new love interest for Thor. With that much going on and a director best known for small, independent comedies, Ragnarok promises to be a thrilling installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; a film series already replete with exciting blockbusters.
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom) Starring: John Boyega (Finn/FN-2187), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Carrie Fisher (Leia, RIP Carrie), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Lupita Nyong'o (Max Kanata) and Benicio Del Toro in an unknown role.
After The Force Awakens in 2015 the Star Wars fandom has become bigger than ever. With dozens of fan theories (Who are Rey's parents? Are any other character Force sensitive? What will Rey's training with Luke be like?,Will Rey turn evil? Who is Snoke? Is Kylo Ren secretly good, and acting as a double agent?) Star Wars: The Last Jedi is possibly the most anticipated film of the year.
Fans all over the world have been dying to know what Johnson will do with the characters that J.J. Abrams so gracefully introduced. The Star Wars universe continues to grow, with the comic books, TV shows, novelizations, and solo films. This next installment of the main saga though will have a special place for fans of the films.
Director: Jon Watts (Cop Car) Starring: Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spiderman), Robert Downy Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian To0mes/The Vulture), Marisa Tomey (Aunt May), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson), Angourie Rice (Betty Brant), Zendaya (Michelle), Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz/Shocker) and Donald Glover in a mysterious unknown role.
In the last 10 years there have been three Spidermen. First Tobey McGuire, then Andrew Garfield, and now Tom Holland, the youngest of the group. Despite all the turnover, I still love Spiderman so much that I say "Bring it on!" This version, one we already saw a bit from in Civil War, is probably my favorite of the lot. For one, he is actually 15 when he gets his powers, as he should be. Beyond the excellent casting of Holland getting Michael Keaton to play Vulture, and the news that Donald Glover has been cast in the movie, provides further evidence that Marvel and Disney know what they are doing.
We know this film will tell the story of Peter getting used to life as a superhero, but it will be exciting to see what part fighting Vulture has in his development. Similarly, we do not yet know what his precise relationship to the Avengers will be. Expect a lot of high school drama, as well as some action and maybe even a little avenging.
Director: James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) Starring: Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Starlord), Dave Bautistaa (Drax the Destroyer), Vin Diesel (Groot), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Kurt Russell (Ego), Michael Rooker (Yondu), and Sylvester Stallone in still an unknown role.
After the first Guardians movie, Marvel's status as a powerhouse was confirmed. The music, the humor, the heart, and the character-driven action make this one of Marvel's biggest successes. By comparison, DC would never put a talking raccoon and a monosyllabic talking tree in their core cast. In Guardians Vol. 2 I am excited to see what Gunn does with new characters, and how Mantis (a member of the Guardians in comics) fits with the existing group dynamic.
Director: Jake Kasdan (Orange County, Bad Teacher & Sex Tape) Starring: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Dr. Smolder Bravestone), Karen Gillan (Ruby Roundhouse), Kevin Hart (Moose Finbar) and Jack Black (Professor Shelly Overson).
This is not a remake of the original film. Let's be honest: you couldn't match Robin William's performance in the 1995 version, or even get close. The plot of the movie follows four high school students thrust into the Jumanji game. While in the game the kids are portrayed by the four actors you see in the picture above. I am not sure how I feel about that premise, but I am willing to see how it works. I do love Jack Black and Dwayne Johnsonso I know I'm at least expecting it to be a fun movie.
Director: Guy Ritchie (The Man from U.N.C.L.E. & Sherlock Holmes) Starring: Charlie Hunnam (King Arthur), Hermione Corfield (Syren), Katie McGrath (Elsa), Jude Law (Vortigern), Djimon Hounsou (Sir Bedivere) & Eric Bana (Uther Pendragon)
This is a gritty take on the Sword in the Stone/King Arthur tale from action director, Guy Ritchie. In the movie, Arthur is raised on the streets but is called to his destiny. Not much is known of the movie beyond the cryptic, engaging trailer and talented cast. This is definitely one of the movies I am looking forward too the most as the King Arthur tale is timeless, and this version looks like a new version of an old story.
Director: Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing) Starring: Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Robin Wright (General Antiope), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), & Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta).
After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year the hype for this movie doubled. Wonder Woman, it is safe to say, was the only part of BvS that critics and fans found mostly enjoyable. Hopes for the future of the DC Extended Universe quickly rested on this film. Set in the WWI era, Chris Pine's Steve Trevor washes up on Wonder Woman's home island Themyscira. He is the first man in many centuries to reach the island. Diana Prince is at first confused and curious about him. Soon she embraces her powers and discovers the world beyond her home.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson (Fifth Element, Lucy) Starring: Cara Delevingne (Laureline), Dane DeHaan (Valerian), Ethan Hawke (Jolly The Pimp), Clive Owen (Commander Arün Filitt) & John Goodman.
Based off a beloved graphic novel set in space the film follows Valerian and his co-pilot/partner Laureline. Set in the 28th century, Valerian is a government space agent who looks for disturbances and anomalies. Since there is a lot of source material director Luc Besson could use, we don't know many plot details. Fans of the Valerian stories are extremely excited for this film and I am too. Though I am not familiar with the source material, the visual grandeur of the trailer sold me on this sci fi adventure which is sure to be one of the most exciting blockbusters of 2017.
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) Starring: Brie Larson (Weaver), Tom Hiddleston (Captain James Conrad), Samuel L. Jackson (Lt. Colonel Packard), Toby Kebbell (Maj. Chapman), John Goodman (Bill Randa), & John C. Reilly (Marlow).
Set in the same universe as the 2014 Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island follows a group of explorers to an island where they encounter monsters from bygone eras, unknowingly entering Kong's domain. This film presents the largest Kong ever brought to film. Speculation is that this is to make him comparable in size to Godzilla so the two could possibly meet in a future movie. With an all-star cast and a monster who looks spectacular in the trailers, this could be just the popcorn film to make up for 2005's disastrous Kong adaptation.
Director: Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) Starring: Scarlett Johansson (The Major), Michael Pitt (Kuze), Juliette Binoche (Dr. Ouelet), & Pilou Asbæk (Batou).
A policewoman is given a new body after an accident, she must do battle with a notorious computer hacker. While the director has said that this is not a pure action movie. The film is also a psychological study of the main character as she struggles to find herself after she is given a new body.
Director: Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, Watchmen) Starring: Ben Affleck (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman/Diana Pierce), Jason Momoa (Aquaman/Arthur Curry), Ezra Miller (Flash/Barry Allen), Amber Heard (Mera), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon), & Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent).
After the death of Superman, Batman goes on a quest to find the heroes he read about in BvS. While I am more excited for Infinity War next year, I can't wait to see a live action Justice League on the big screen. Ever since I watched the cartoons as a kid on Cartoon Network this has been a dream of mine.
Did I miss any movies you are excited for? What 2017 film are you most interested in seeing?
Grant Billings is a Contributor for ComiConverse, Follow him on Twitter: @FictionFeed_HQ