And so it’s that time of the year again, where we start to turn our attentions away from 2015 and look ahead at what the next year has to offer us. With that in mind, I’ve combined a list of the ten movies I’m most looking forward to over the next year…
James Wan’s The Conjuring may not have been groundbreaking, but it was scary as hell. As far as modern day horror films go, it sits head and shoulders above the likes of Paranormal Activity and Insidious – Wan’s other film-baby – in that its tone and style is more in keeping with a 1970’s chiller.
Its sequel, subtitled The Enfield Poltergiest, sees Wan return with his central cast from the first film. This time the setting is in England, as the story recounts the Warren’s most disturbing and infamous case.
It’s a story that was recently made as a mini-series by Living, which was genuinely creepy. If this is half as scary as the series, or the first Conjuring movie, then I’m sure it’ll be one of the most terrifying-but-fun cinematic experiences of the year.
As somebody who could be best described as an amateur gamer at best, it’s safe to say that I’ve never played the any of the popular World of Warcraft games. Yet, I’m still looking forward to its cinematic adaptation mainly because of the involvement of director and writer, Duncan Jones.
Even though Jones has only two feature length movies under his belt to date, Moon and Source Code have proven him to be a filmmaker of immense talent, so I’m interested to see what he’ll do with a big budget blockbuster of this scale.
With a history of bad video game movies, could Warcraft be the one to turn the tide? Early trailers and images suggest that at the very least, it’ll be one of 2016’s most visually impressive features.
8 – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
I’ve been more than vocal about my concerns surrounding Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which go way beyond the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman – I’m actually a fan of Affleck by the way, but more so when he’s behind the camera instead of in front of it.
My biggest worry with the film is that it’ll be overstuffed with heroes and villains, in an attempt for DC to replicate the success of Marvel but in a fraction of the time. Plus, I’d have much preferred a straight up sequel to Man of Steel.
It’s still made my most anticipated list though, if only because I’m eager to see whether it will be as bad I think, or one of 2016’s biggest surprises.
7 – Ghostbusters
Do we really need another Ghostbusters movie? Probably not: especially when you consider that any appearance from an original cast member will be more than likely limited to a small cameo.
However, whilst this sequel/re-boot of the modern classic may not have the likes of Bill Murray taking centre stage, its idea to focus on a group of female Ghostbusters is, at the very least, intriguing.
I can’t claim to be a massive fan of director Paul Feig or his go-to star Melissa McCarthy, but the potential of this new slant on the franchise is enough for it to make my list.
6 – Finding Dory
Pixar made a return to form this year with the masterpiece that is Inside Out, and yes I even enjoyed The Good Dinosaur somewhat. Next year, however, sees the studio returning to familiar waters with a sequel to one of their most popular movies to date, Finding Nemo.
This time it’s the loveable and forgetful Dory that takes centre stage, as Marlon and Nemo must go in search for their missing friend. It has been hinted that as well as meeting Dory’s family for the first time, all manner of sea creatures, new and old, will also appear in the movie.
With Finiding Nemo being one of Pixar’s most stunning movies to date, the advances in technology over the years should make Finding Dory a true visual delight. Lets just hope it’s a sequel which does the original justice, in terms of charm and heart.
5 – Creed
As a big fan of the Rocky films – all but Rocky V, that is – I was already looking forward to the sequel/spin-off, Creed, before all the glowing reviews started coming in.
What I had naturally assumed, as I’m sure most people did, was that this latest addition to the Rocky franchise, which sees the titular character train up Apollo Creed’s son, would be nothing more than a last ditch attempt to get more money out of the Rocky ‘brand’.
However, with Creed opening to critical acclaim over in the states, with some even claiming it could be worthy of a few awards, my interest has been considerably peaked. As a big fan of Stallone – he’s a better writer than most give him credit for – I hope this is a knockout.
4 – The BFG
Next year sees Steven Spielberg takes on Roald Dahl, with an adaptation of his much beloved novel, The BFG.
There’s of course a lot to be excited about when it comes to this movie, that it’s sort of difficult to know where to begin. It boasts an excellent cast which includes Mark Rylance, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, Penelope Wilton nd Jemaine Clement, who support the relatively newcomer, Ruby Barnhill.
It’s directed by one of the greatest film-makers of all time, has a score from one of the greatest composers of all time, John Williams, and is written by the late and great Melissa Mathison of E.T fame.
Add to the mix the fact that this will be Spielberg’s first live action 3D movie – which I’m hoping will use the technology in the same way as Scorsese’s Hugo – and The BFG has all the makings of being one of 2016’s very best.
3 – The Revenant
With plenty of award season buzz surrounding The Revenant, we won’t have to wait long until we finally get to see it in January; which is only a good thing.
Directed by last year’s academy award winner, Alejandro González Iñárritu, this tale of survival and revenge is set to be a visceral and harrowing film experience.
From the footage we’ve seen in the trailers so far, the cinematography looks incredible, and the performances from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy look stellar. Could this finally be the performance which bags Leo that covated Oscar? Many seem to think that might just be the case.
2 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
One of the most exciting things about 2016, is that we’ll be returning to the magical world of Harry Potter. Usually, a proposed prequel to the Harry Potter movies would be enough to send fear into the hearts of fans everywhere; but, with J.K. Rowling responsible for the screenplay – her first ever – and regular Potter-director David Yates back behind the camera, Fantastic Beasts has a lot going for it.
What’s more is that we’ve been told that this will in fact have very little to do with the Harry Potter series, with a story that focuses on Newt Scamander, an employee of of the British Ministry of Magic.
All involved are keeping plot details close to their chests, but we do know that the adventure will take place in 1920’s New York, which opens up the Rowling’s magical world, considerably. With the always fantastic Eddie Redmayne in the central role and the amount of talent behind the camera, you can bet that this will be the start of a whole new series of wizardry adventures.
1 – Star Wars: Rogue One
The first of what it to be many spin-offs, Rogue One will tell the story of the real fighters responsible for stealing the Death Star plans way back before Episode IV; meaning it should perfectly lead into A New Hope.
We’ve had no other information than that as of yet, but I’d hazard a guess that this will provide an opportunity to bring back a few certain wheezy-villian, whilst filling in some of the gaps between the earlier films.
Again, it had a great cast with Felicity Jones in a central role, as well as supporting players such as Mads Mikkelson, Ben Mendelsohn and Forrest Whitaker to name but a few.
Gareth Edwards, who made one of last year’s best movies with his remake of Godzilla, is at the helm of this one, so we know the franchise is in good hands at least. Plus, it’s Star Wars. Any opportunity to see a film from that universe on the big screen is one to get excited about.
So there you have it. They are my most eagerly anticipated films of 2016, but what are yours? Feel free to leave some comments below, letting me know.