We love to bring you a group feature here at Filmoria. We just love writing them, we hope you enjoy reading them and they certainly give us plenty to talk about. So we thought why not finish off this year’s collaborative focus on the films we’re most looking forward to in 2017.
Of course, there’s plenty to be excited about. Comic book adventures, emotional dramas, whimsical musicals and hard-hitting Oscar contenders; it’s fair to say it may well put 2016 to shame if we’re lucky. So, without further ado, feast your eyes on the movies we’re personally looking forward to next year and let us know yours in the comments section and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.
Chris Haydon – Star Wars: Episode VIII
After the roaring critical and financial success of J.J. Abrams’ glorious The Force Awakens (2015), and most recently Gareth Edwards’ exhilarating Rogue One (in UK cinemas now), there is no other franchise moving in such a positive direction quite like Star Wars is.
In 2017, director Rian Johnson of Looper fame will take control of operations in A Galaxy Far, Far Away with Star Wars: Episode VIII (the film is yet to be officially titled; expect an unveiling at Star Wars Celebration in April…), which will reunite global audiences with Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron, as well as Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and General Leia Organa.
In typical Star Wars fashion, we currently no absolutely nothing about the movie; no plot information, additional casting, duration et al, but we do know it has an official release date on 15th December – exactly one year after Rogue One.
We also know that it is bound to be the biggest film of the year, and without doubt the most anticipated. Since Walt Disney acquired Lucasfilm, they have been broadening the scope and scale of the Star Wars brand, and films like The Force Awakens have done more than install faith into those who lost sight during the prequels: they have given us hope. This writer personally cannot wait to rekindle with Daisy Ridley’s newfound Jedi and see just what happens following that dramatic lightsaber exchange…
Darryl Griffiths – Dunkirk
From the stellar genre hybrids that were his critically-acclaimed interpretations of a certain Dark Knight, to the mind-bending narrative thrills of Inception. A release of a Christopher Nolan project is increasingly becoming a bonafide cinematic event to savour and judging the initial teases of his latest, this is shaping up to be no exception.
Giving the remarkable story of various British, French and Belgian soldiers being evacuated, in the heat of intense warfare with German forces during World War II the IMAX treatment, it has all the credentials to be a fitting companion piece for the late Richard Attenborough’s big-screen take on the event back in 1958.
Nolan regulars Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy anchoring proceedings. Add the class of stage and screen veterans Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance. Dunkirk may just be the film to conquer all next Summer.
James Thompson – Logan
Looking to swiftly rectify the disappointment of X-Men: Apocalypse, Hugh Jackman makes his final bow as Logan AKA Wolverine in what promises to be a very different kind of affair for this comic book series. Based on Mark Millar’s classic Old Man Logan storyline, this final hurrah for Jackman looks every bit the powerful drama and the anticipation is only heightened by the promise of an R rating, meaning Wolverine’s visceral streak will be felt with full force.
The pairing of Jackman and Patrick Stewart is one that we’ve known and loved for years so this immediately bodes well, but it will also be of great interest to see Logan’s interaction with what is likely to be his on-screen replacement in young Dafne Keen as X-23, essentially the female version of the beloved Wolverine.
The trailer was personally my favourite of any this year and the whole grounded feel of James Mangold’s upcoming movie makes it the standout from a very crowded blockbuster scene for 2017.
Martin White – Blade Runner 2049
The long-awaited sequel to the 1982 influential and thought provoking original that some people felt wasn’t needed. Lots of criticism has been made on how the pacing of Blade Runner is just too dull and slow. This writer personally disagrees, dazzling and majestic in its visuals, stunning and grand in its aesthetics; complete with an amazing score from Vangelis and simply breathtaking cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth.
This time, Ridley Scott passes the directing reins over to critically acclaimed film-maker Denis Villeneuve. If there were any initial doubts about the French-Canadian born director helming the sequel, all of them should be confidently squashed by now after seeing his latest that is Arrival, his first foray into Sci-Fi that is currently taking audiences by storm.
Set 30 years after the original Blade Runner, Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard and is joined by an exceptionally interesting cast that includes the likes of Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. With our first look at its teaser trailer and numerous still images released earlier this week, Blade Runner 2049 has instantly become my most anticipated film of 2017.
Sarah Buddery – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
The original had us all “hooked on a feeling” and now Star-Lord and his ragtag band of misfits are back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, hitting UK cinemas in the summer of 2017.
The first film proved to be a real surprise hit with many Marvel fans having little to no expectations for this relatively unknown property. However the Guardians quickly won our hearts with their zany space antics, proving to be one of the most popular films in the MCU so far. No chance of this film slipping under the radar, because the expectations for the sequel are already incredibly high.
The trailers show great promise so far, with an excellent retro soundtrack that was the staple of the first movie, and the overwhelmingly adorable Baby Groot who is set to steal all our hearts! Not only do we have all the returning cast members back on board, but also have the one and only Kurt Russell joining the cast as Peter Quill’s father! This is a film which I am fully expecting to be better than the original, and I can’t wait to see if it delivers on its promises!
James Wheatley – The LEGO Batman Movie
As far as I’m concerned, the movie event of 2017, superhero or otherwise, comes in February with the release of The LEGO Batman Movie.
The LEGO Movie far exceeded all expectations when it was released in 2014, and Will Arnett’s Batman was one of the standout characters. Since then we’ve had two DCEU movies – Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad – which both received mixed receptions (to put it kindly)*. How exciting is it to know there’s a Batman movie around the corner that will actually be great?
Okay, so we don’t know for sure it will be great, especially without LEGO Movie directors (and all round saviours of comedy) Lord and Miller, but the trailers, which have been around for ages now, are still hilarious.
The caped crusader is joined by familiar Batman characters: Robin, The Joker, Batgirl and Alfred, voiced by Michael Cera, Zach Galifianiakis, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes respectively. Holy awesome cast, Batman! GOB and George Michael Bluth as Batman and Robin? That surely can’t be anything other than great. Sure to be meta as hell, referencing – and poking fun at – all incarnations of Batman, The LEGO Batman Movie looks set to be the joyful and colourful antidote to the dull, grey Snyder-verse we deserve and need right now
*Full disclosure: I actually quite liked Batman V Superman. Sorry.
Liz Tressider – Wonder Woman
DC’s recent slate of films has been controversial at best, but 2017 seems to indicate a change of tone. Critics have been reassured that Snyder’s Justice League will see a lighter storyline – or, if not, at least a few more jokes – but the real gem in the DCU’s line up promises to be Wonder Woman.
The film will star Gal Gadot in the titular role and, taking a page from Marvel’s book, puts the introduction of one of its most iconic characters in a period setting – hopefully creating a definitive separation from the DCU’s previous fare. Wonder Woman happens to be the first mainstream comic adaptation with a woman in the driving seat since 2005’s Elektra (the less said about that one, the better), so expectations are high – but judging by the trailer released earlier this year, Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins (and kudos goes to Warner Bros. for hiring a female director) will have no problems delivering, hopefully spearheading the resurgence of a cinematic universe that’s been struggling since Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy came to an end.
Ria Amber Tesia – Beauty and the Beast
The 90s are a special time period; they gave us an explosion of Britpop and one of my favourite Disney animations of all time, Beauty and the Beast. It’s been 26 years since Disney’s original outing, where I was bowled over by the feisty Belle, narcissistic Gaston and that cute as a baby panda frolicking in the snow, Chip.
The latest version of Beauty and the Beast is a live action remake and going by the trailer, stays true to its predecessor. It’s in the very capable hands of director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey), and that coupled with a killer soundtrack should make for highly entertaining viewing.
Beauty and the Beast is a must for Emma Watson fans, whose appearances since Harry Potter have been few and far between. With a stellar cast including Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Kline, this tops my list of must watch films in 2017.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the team here at Filmoria!