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The biggest movie news stories of 2016

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2016 has been an eventful year for news, but seismic headlines haven't solely been the domain of political commentators. From trailer debuts to tragic deaths, here are the 15 biggest news stories that rocked the movie world.

15. Deadpool becomes the biggest R-rated movie of all time

Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds’ Merc With A Mouth rather took everyone by surprise this year, even outgrossing his older, more serious bigger brothers in the X-Men universe.

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14. Emily Blunt is cast as Mary Poppins

Emily Blunt at the Sicario premiere

Finding an actress who is practically perfect in every way is a big ask. Emily Blunt has impressive range, is what we’re saying.

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13. Sigourney Weaver cast as the Defenders’ villain

Sigourney Weaver with the Defenders cast

Marvel’s small-screen offering swelled this year, with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage all arriving on Netflix. The upcoming Avengers-esque team-up will benefit from having Lady Weaver as the baddie.

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12. The Force Awakens is crowned the biggest film of all time in the UK

chewbacca han solo the force awakens

Unsurprisingly, the seventh episode from a galaxy far, far away broke all manner of box-office records, and remains the UK’s biggest hit. Avatar still holds the prize for the world’s biggest, mind.

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11. J.J. Abrams sneaked out a new Cloverfield movie

mary elizabeth winstead john goodman 10 cloverfield lane

10 Cloverfield Lane rather snuck up on everybody back in January. Abrams pulled the same sneaky trick in October with upcoming space sci-fi God Particle.

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10. Alan Rickman dies, aged 69

Alan Rickman

In a year where too many of our heroes were taken away, for many of us, this one stung the most.

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9. James Cameron is making four Avatar sequels

Zoe Saldana - Avatar

Never a man to do things in small doses, James Cameron decided that his vision of a Na’avi-verse could not be contained by merely one three-hour film.

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8. Fantastic Beasts is also getting four sequels

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts

Trilogies are so 2015. This year, it was all about pentologies. Or quintets. Whatever the correct nomenclature, J.K. Rowling also decided that her franchise needed another four films to complete the story.

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7. Spider-Man makes an appearance in the Captain America: Civil War trailer

Spider-Man pic

“Hey everyone!” Our first glimpse of Spidey in the MCU – swiping Cap’s shield in the process – sent excitable shockwaves rippling through the nerd-o-sphere.

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6. First teaser for Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk

Dunkirk trailer grab

Christopher Nolan prepares to fight on the beaches and the landing grounds in his first war movie. True to form, the first teaser gives virtually nothing away, but it’s a spine-tingler.

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6. Brie Larson cast as Captain Marvel

Brie Larson Instagram image Captain Marvel announcement

“Call me Captain Marvel”, tweeted Brie Larson, shortly before being unveiled on stage at Comic-Con as Marvel’s newest superhero.

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5. Anton Yelchin dies, aged 27

anton-yelchin7

Of all the untimely deaths that 2016 brought, Anton Yelchin’s tragic passing was perhaps the most shocking.

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4. Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar

Leonardo DiCaprio

After five near-misses, Leo finally did it. Here’s hoping Amy Adams – also five nominations and no wins – can do the same.

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3. #OscarsSoWhite

Chris Rock

Oscars host Chris Rock addressed the giant hashtag-sized elephant in the room at this year's ceremony, wondering aloud why all 20 of this year's acting nominees were caucasian.

2. Alden Ehrenreich confirmed as young Han Solo

Alden Ehrenreich

Han always refused to hear the odds, but even he couldn’t ignore bookie’s favourite Alden Ehrenreich.

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1. The Ghostbusters controversy

The Ghostbusters and Ecto-1

When Paul Feig signed up to direct a brand new Ghostbusters movie, he could have hardly realised that he was entering a storm of sexism and outrage unlike any other. Reaction to the news that the team of rebooted 'busters would be ladies was swift and fierce. Outraged bloggers declared they would boycott the film. The trailer became the most ‘disliked’ of all time on YouTube. Leslie Jones was chased off Twitter by racist trolls. All of it seemed a farcically disproportionate response to a harmless and innocuous film about catching ghosts.

The film makes a sly reference to the controversy in a memorable scene. Feig was defiant, tweeting at one point: "Fuck the haters". Jones, for her part, took to her regular Saturday Night Live gig to respond in style. "Do you think some words on the internet can hurt me?" she said during the Weekend Update segment. "I once had a crazy bitch try to beat me with a shovel at a bus stop becuase I took her spot on the bench. Now that's a troll!"

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