2017 is shaping to look like a giant year for movies after slow and sluggish year, Hollywood have come out swinging by stacking the deck for the upcoming twelve months. Below is my list of the 21 must see films of 2017. Bare in mind this is my list: there maybe a few films which you are excited that are missing (i.e. Transformers) but hey that’s the world of movies – everyone has their own opinions.
- Trainspotting 2 (Feb)
The year of long-awaited sequels starts here, If we can get new sequels to “Return of the Jedi” and “Independence Day” decades after the fact, then why not “Trainspotting?” The whole gang is getting back together for this one, including director Danny Boyle and stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. Appropriately, this sequel picks up 20 years after the original, with McGregor’s Mark Renton finally returning to Scotland to make amends with his friends.
- ‘THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE’ (FEB)
The jury is still out on the DC Extended Universe, but we can probably count on at least one DC movie delivering the goods in 2017. “The LEGO Batman Movie” serves as a spinoff from 2014’s “The LEGO Movie,” putting the spotlight squarely on Will Arnett’s cocky but psychologically fragile Batman. This time he’ll be joined by Robin (Michael Cera), Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and Batgirl (Rosario Dawson) – judging by the success of the “The Lego Movie” this should be a fun – easy going movie.
- ‘JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2’ (FEB)
OH HELL YES!!! The Baba Yaga returns – Keanu Reeves is back in his most popular post-“The Matrix” role. Once again, retired assassin John Wick is dragged back into the fray. Only this time, instead of seeking revenge for a murdered pet, he’s traveling to Rome in order to reluctantly help a former associate seize control of the assassins’ guild.
- ‘LOGAN’ (MAR)
2017 will mark the end of an era for the X-Men franchise. “Logan” is set to be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as iconic mutant superhero Wolverine. Taking a few pages from the comic book storyline “Old Man Logan,” this sequel explores a post-apocalyptic world where most of the X-Men are dead and an aging Logan is caring for a senile Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Logan is forced to unleash his claws one last time in order to protect a young girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), from sinister bad guys.
- ‘KONG: SKULL ISLAND’ (MAR)
King Kong is being rebooted yet again. However, the big selling point this time is that “Kong: Skull Island” is a contemporary story that takes place in the same universe as 2014’s “Godzilla.” Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and Oscar-winner Brie Larson star as members of a military expedition to the island, one that will predictably go wrong as soon as they run afoul of its oversized protector. If all goes according to plan, this reboot will pave the way for 2020’s “Godzilla vs. King Kong.”
- ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ (MAR. 17)
Disney simply won’t rest until all of their classic animated films have been remade in live-action. “Beauty and the Beast” certainly has a tall order to fill if it’s going to compete with the 1991 original. This remake stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Luke Evans as Gaston, and Josh Gad as Le Fou.
This particular remake looks to be taking a pretty faithful approach, including featuring most of the original songs. It’s a good thing “Dreamgirls” director Bill Condon was tapped to helm this one. Building on the success of last years “The Jungle Book” this will be an interesting watch and see if they can deliver.
- ‘POWER RANGERS’ (MAR)
’90s kids rejoice! The original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers are being given a big-screen reboot. Gone are the actors in rubber suits knocking over cardboard buildings, replaced by snazzy CGI effects and some amazingly detailed Power Ranger suits. Bryan Cranston plays their mentor, Zordon, and Elizabeth Banks the sinister Rita Repulsa.
- ‘THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS’ (APR)
Look, any movie that adds a submarine to a car chase ON A GLACIER gets our vote. Eight movies in, you know what you are in for, which is an overdose of popcorn entertainment.
“The Fate of the Furious” continues the series’ odd naming scheme and brings back the majority of the key characters from the previous films. The twist? Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto goes bad, joining forces with Charlize Theron’s rogue hacker villain, Cipher. That’s going to force Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) to team up and battle a common enemy.
- ‘MARVEL’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2’ (MAY)
2017 is the first time Marvel Studios will be dropping three new films in the same year. They’re kicking things off with what might be their most eagerly anticipated sequel. Expect another comedy-fueled, space fantasy romp as Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his ragtag team tries to defend the universe from bigger and worse threats.
The biggest addition to the cast (literally) will be Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet, who also happens to be Star-Lord’s wayward father (don’t ask us how that works). But we strongly suspect that Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is going to steal the show here.
- ‘ALIEN: COVENANT’ (MAY)
“Alien: Covenant” picks up more or less where “Prometheus” left off, as colonists arrive on a seemingly idyllic world to find a hive of hungry Xenomorphs. Katherine Waterston is our heroine this time around in Ridley Scott’s third film set in the universe he helped create.
- ‘PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN TELL NO TALES’ (MAY)
Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has taken a six-year sabbatical, so we hope he’s rested and ready to resume his antics when the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film hits theaters. This sequel again sees Captain Jack fleeing a vengeful, undead pirate (played this time by Javier Bardem) while also seeking a mystical MacGuffin.
- ‘WONDER WOMAN’ (JUNE)
Many would agree that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was the best part of “Batman v Superman,” so it’s just as well she’s the star of the next entry in the DC Extended Universe. “Wonder Woman” serves as a major departure for the superhero genre, both because it’s female-driven and because it unfolds during World War I.
Fans will learn how Diana of Themyscira met Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and first ventured into the world of men a century before saving Batman and Superman’s butts. The film also features Connie Nielson as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope, and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. This movie is the biggest worry for myself as it’s following the mixed response from DCs last entry’s, however, saying that this is the first movie under Jeff John’s watch and has the potential to be a show-stealer and correct the path of the DCU just in time for Justice league.
- ‘SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ (JULY)
Normally we’d be exasperated at the thought of Spider-Man being rebooted yet again, but it’s hard to complain when the newest incarnation of the character was so darned entertaining in “Captain America: Civil War.” Tom Holland is back in the role of Peter Parker, as the teen hero struggles to balance high school and his superhero responsibilities. Robert Downey, Jr’s Tony Stark will also return to help guide Peter as he confronts his first major villain, the Vulture (Michael Keaton).
- ‘WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES’ (JULY)
This latest sequel in the rebooted franchise looks to be another winner, as the ongoing war between man and ape takes a dark turn. Following a massacre of his people, Caesar (Andy Serkis) battles his inner killer as he struggles to protect ape-kind from a ruthless human known only as “The Colonel” (Woody Harrelson).
- ‘DUNKIRK’ (JULY)
Director Christopher Nolan tackles his first war movie with his latest film, which explores the WWII evacuation of Dunkirk, France as Allied forces found themselves surrounded by the German army. While frequent Nolan collaborators Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy are appearing, the film also features many first-timers, including Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and even One Direction member Harry Styles. Think the start of “Saving Private Ryan” with Hans Zimmer music (In Nolan we trust!).
- ‘THE DARK TOWER’ (JULY)
Many have declared Stephen King’s epic fantasy saga “The Dark Tower” to be unfilmable, but we’ll soon find out if that’s true. Idris Elba stars as Roland, the last surviving member of a heroic group known as the Gunslinger. Roland will pursue his nemesis, the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), for answers about the mythical Dark Tower, which holds the power to save his dying world.
- ‘KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE’ (OCT)
It might be a while until the next “James Bond” movie rolls around. Luckily, we have a “Kingsman” sequel to quench our thirst for more suave spy drama. Both director Matthew Vaughn and star Taron Egerton are back, with Egerton’s spy hero Eggsy going up against criminal mastermind Poppy (Julianne Moore). Even Colin Firth’s Harry Hart will return, despite having died in the first film. We’re interested to see how they work around that.
- ‘BLADE RUNNER 2049’ (OCT)
There’s been talk for years of filming a sequel to the legendary sci-fi classic “Blade Runner.” That sequel is finally coming to pass, for better or worse. Dennis Villenueve (“Arrival”) directs, though Ridley Scott is still closely involved as a producer. Harrison Ford will again star as a much older Rick Deckard (which kind of deflated the popular “Fifth Replicant” theory). He’ll be joined by a cast of newcomers that includes Ryan Gosling, Dave Bautista, and Jared Leto. This is my dark horse movie of the year – let’s see if Villenueve and Scott can deliver.
- ‘THOR: RAGNAROK’ (NOV)
If you loved the Thor/Hulk team-up in 2012’s “The Avengers,” then Marvel has just the superhero sequel for you. Though a direct follow-up to the previous two “Thor” films, “Ragnarok” is more a buddy road trip movie as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) find themselves trapped on an alien world and forced to battle in the gladiator arena. There will be plenty of Asgardian drama, though, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stirring up trouble, again, and Cate Blanchett making her debut as Hela, queen of the underworld.
- ‘JUSTICE LEAGUE’ (NOV)
“Batman v Superman” offered moviegoers an early glimpse of the new live-action Justice League, and that team will finally come together in late 2017. This film picks up where “BvS” left off, as Batman (Ben Affleck) assembles a team of metahuman heroes to defend the planet from the evil New God Steppenwolf and his Parademon hordes. This was supposed to be followed by a sequel in 2019, though that’s now been dropped from WB’s schedule.
Given the frosty reception to “BvS,” we’re more concerned with making sure they can do right by this iconic super-team. The first trailer at least suggests a lighter, more fun tone this time and looks to be an improvement, however, the jury is still out on whether Zack Snyder can really deliver a Justice League film DC and comic fans have been waiting for. (My fingers are crossed he can).
- ‘STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII’ (DEC)
In my mind 2016 was all about “Rogue One,” but 2017 returns to the main “Star Wars” saga as we continue where “The Force Awakens” left off. Little is really known about this sequel (only the official title), but we do know that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will play a bigger role as he begins training Rey (Daisy Ridley) in the ways of the Jedi.
Villains like Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) return as the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order continues, as Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast. Can’t wait to see what “Looper” director Rian Johnson has in store and if he can follow the success of the last two installments.
Tweet us you’re the films you’re most excited for in 2017 @ReelTimeDublin and we’ll get the discussion ball rolling.