2015 is so last year. It’s time to take a look ahead to a fresh, shiny new 12 months of movies. From big blockbusters to indie dramas and comedies, here is our essential guide to the films you'll be watching in 2016.
It’s the start of the year, which means that several films already out in the US finally pull up on UK shores. But since it’s still awards season, there are some gems to be found. We kick off with Tom Hooper’s latest awards bait drama, The Danish Girl, which finds Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander bringing to life the heart-rending true story of artist and transgender pioneer Einar Wegener, who became Lili Elbe, and wife Gerda Wegener, who supported Einar on the transition. That’s followed by David O. Russell’s latest Jennifer Lawrence joint Joy, based on the life of inventor Joy Mangano.
Jennifer Lawrence launches Joy's mop-ocalypse in David O. Russell's biopic.
On the same day is twisted rom-com Sleeping With Other People, in which Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis play former hookups who try to navigate the tricky waters of sex without love. Swinging in a very different direction is Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan, as Jeremy Chabriel’s young commune resident Alexander goes up against Vincent Cassel’s charismatic leader type Grigori, to devastating results. Matt Damon, meanwhile, has to face more supernatural threats in The Great Wall.
Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis in Sleeping With Other People.
Expect more head-to-head conflict in the middle of the month, when UK audiences finally get to see Rocky spin-off Creed, featuring Michael B. Jordan as a fledgling boxer coached by Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion. Thanks to winning work behind the camera and some great performances, Sly and the film itself are already the subject of Oscar talk. As is Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant, which subjected Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson and more to freezing conditions, but produced a stunning tale of wilderness survival. On a much smaller scale (and inside a lot more), but no less effecting is Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, with Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay as a woman held captive and the son who has only known the small room they share for his entire life. Bring tissues. Trust us.
Sylvester Stallone takes Michael B. Jordan's corner in Creed.
There might also be tears for The 5th Wave, but more likely you’ll just be worried for Chloë Grace Moretz as one of the few humans surviving after an alien invasion. Bankers might not be aliens, but they certainly pose a threat and the real-life build-up to the 2008 financial crisis is explored in The Big Short. What could’ve been a dry monetary movie is enlivened by Anchorman’s Adam McKay directing a drama featuring Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Also trying to sort out issues are Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton as political campaign managers who go toe-to-toe in South America. If they need police help, they can always call brothers-in-law Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, who are back for more cop comedy with Ride Along 2, while Zac Efron and Robert De Niro are also looking to drum up a few laughs with road movie Dirty Grandpa.
Starring Christian Bale, The Big Short promises to do for Wall Street what Dr. Strangelove did for the Cold War.
Looking for the truth are Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d’Arcy James, the crack newspaper reporting team in Spotlight, which recounts the Boston Globe's investigation into the cover up of pedophile priests by the Catholic Church. That’s in the same week as The Great Beauty director Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, which features Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as old geezers pondering life, love and music while on holiday. Should be a nice antidote to those chilly January nights.
Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play amateurish hide-and-seek in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth.
Comic-book blockbuster season starts early this year, with Tim Miller’s Deadpool kicking off February. Ryan Reynolds’ return to the role of merc-with-a-mouth Wade Wilson looks like a more triumphant – and determinedly scurrilous – affair than his infamous outing as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He gets the costume this time and everything.
Cosy, home-grown World War II shenanigans arrive in the form of the perfectly-cast rejig of Dad’s Army headed by Toby Jones and Bill Nighy, while there’s more serious drama in Jay Roach’s Hollywood blacklist biopic Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston as the eponymous Dalton. Will Smith investigates injuries on the American Football field in Concussion, while the criminal sportsmen of remake Point Break prove rather harder to injure.
Who do you think you are kidding, Mr. Hitler? Dad's Army is back.
James Watkins’ French terrorism actioner Bastille Day, starring Idris Elba, is now rather more topical than anyone would have liked. John Hillcoat is also serving up some tense thrills with ensemble heist drama Triple Nine, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck. Tim Roth stars in Michel Franco’s serious drama Chronic, about a care home nurse working with the terminally ill; Chris Pine and Eric Bana join the Coast Guard for historical drama The Finest Hours; and Julianne Moore fights for her rights against the New Jersey Police Department in Freeheld. Elsewhere the drama is more domestic: Dakota Johnson, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts enjoy an awkward vacation in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash; and there’s some light relief from Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie and Rebel Wilson in NYC-set rom-com How To Be Single.
Horror is well-served this month: the regency revenants of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies attempt to take a bite out of Lily James’ Jane Austen heroine Elizabeth Bennet; brutal Western Bone Tomahawk sees Kurt Russell fighting cannibal predators; Natalie Dormer has a very bad time in Japan in The Forest; and there’s a classic-looking evil doll yarn in William Brent Bell’s The Boy. There are also family-friendly scares as Goosebumps finally reaches the UK, starring Jack Black as the prodigious author R.L. Stine. And there’s horror of a less intentional variety courtesy of Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.
February offers a double dose of horror with Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.
Four years on from The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen finally gets his next starring vehicle as the football hooligan brother of Mark Strong’s super-spy in Grimsby. And we end the month with Alex Proyas' Gods Of Egypt, a misguidedly cast but splashy ancient Egyptian fantasy mash-up, and the Coen brothers’ glorious-looking period Hollywood knockabout Hail, Caesar!.
Mark Strong and Sacha Baron Cohen team up to tackle evildoers - and the odd off-license - in Grimsby.
Nicholas Sparks kicks things off with his usual romance offering, this time The Choice in which Teresa Palmer’s Gabby is wooed by neighbour Travis (Benjamin Walker), at least until a zombie outbreak stops... sorry, that’s not the plot at all. High-class horror Goodnight Mommy is ready to tease and twist you into knots, while tension in filmmaking is explored via documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut, featuring two master directors in discussion via archive footage. If your tastes tend more towards Gerard Butler and things going boom, you’ll be happy to learn that Olympus Has Fallen sequel London Has Fallen is finally ready to come a-calling. This time his Secret Service man Mike Banning must ensure the PM's funeral doesn't become a mass grave when terrorists target the gathering of world leaders. Expect it to be bloodier than a shadow cabinet reshuffle.
Fighty Secret Service agent Mike Banning returns in London Has Fallen.
Secret In Their Eyes, in which Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor get obsessive over a criminal case, remakes a twisty-turny Argentine Oscar-winner from 2009, while Truth features more star power with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford in the story of a real-life news scandal. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot features war, but should leaven that with laughs (note that the title is shorthanded as 'WTF' in radio code). It sees Tina Fey in another real-world story, this time charting the experiences of a war correspondent during Operation Enduring Freedom and her relationship with a fellow journo (Martin Freeman). Charlie Kaufman is looking at human emotions through another unusual lens, this time a haunting, beautiful piece of stop-motion animation in Anomalisa. David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan are among those providing the voices.
Over in YA adaptation corner, Divergent time rolls around again as Allegiant, the first of the final two films adapted from Veronica Roth’s third book (keep up) arrives, sending Tris (Shailene Woodley) into conflict with forces outside of Chicago. Jack Black’s Po is also expanding his world in Kung Fu Panda 3, as he meets his dad (voiced by Bryan Cranston), learns there are many more pandas left in the world and must face down a big supernatural threat. If you watched Baby Pandas over New Years and felt it was critically short of martial arts, that one could be for you. If you want something more terrifying, watch The Witch, which promises period chills and moral misjudgment. Robert Eggers' horror features Puritans, creepy woods and, yes, the odd enchantress.
Justice gets a thorough dawning in the latest DC/Warner Bros. blockbuster, Batman V Superman.
Bad moral judgments are also on display in Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, adapted from J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel. It features someone called Hiddleston and another someone called Evans that a few of you seem to like. The former - Tom - plays a doctor freshly moved into a dystopian tower block; the latter - Luke - leads the charge to the mayhem that soon envelops it. Joseph Fiennes finds himself in the middle of a Biblical mystery as a Roman soldier told to investigate the resurrection in Risen, which brings him into conflict with his superiors and Christ’s followers. But a clash is also at the heart of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Bats and Supes meet for the launch of the wider DC movie universe. There will be bad blood and possibly Bat-blood to boot, and a cast that boasts Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams and Jesse Eisenberg. Finally, massive indie hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding produces a sequel after 14 years - sadly not My Big Fat Greek Divorce - and there will also be wild behaviour on display in Disney’s new ‘toon Zootropolis, set in a mammalian metropolis where a rabbit cop and a fox con man must team up to solve a missing animal case.
Taking us back to the 1988 Calgary Olympics, April soars to a start with the underdog ski-jumping story of short-sighted trier Eddie The Eagle. Kingsman’s Taron Egerton stars as the plucky nutcase, with Hugh Jackman supporting as his fiery trainer and Dexter Fletcher directing. Equally light-hearted are the Zach Galafianakis / Gal Gadot spy comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses; rom-coms The Best Man Wedding – the latest in the Taye Diggs 'Best Man' franchise; Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley's DVLA-approved Learning To Drive; and historical comedy Elvis & Nixon, starring Michael Shannon as the pop icon and Kevin Spacey as the truth-averse President. But it all gets rather darker with Rings: a third American entry in the series spun off from the terrifying Japanese Ringu films. Spaniard F. Javier Gutiérrez is behind the camera on that one. We'll be behind the sofa.
Taron Egerton – plus clapperboard friend – on Eddie The Eagle.
There’s modern-day war drama in Gavin Hood’s Eye In The Sky, starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and Alan Rickman as drone jockeys and the fraught decision-makers who employ them, and harrowing World War II experiences in the Auschwitz-set (and Cannes-acclaimed) Son Of Saul. Cold War romance with Rebecca Ferguson and Charles Dance in Despite The Falling Snow, and the aftermath of the death of a famous war photographer in Louder Than Bombs. The great Isabelle Huppert leads a heavyweight cast as the snapper, while Gabriel Byrne plays her husband and Jesse Eisenberg is one of the sons. David Strathairn also appears.
For younger viewers there’s Measure Of A Man: a coming-of-age comedy with Judy Greer and Donald Sutherland in the adult cast. Then there’s superpowered-kid adventure Midnight Special, starring Michael Shannon (him again), Joel Edgerton and Kirsten Dunst, plus Jon Favreau’s gorgeous-looking new Jungle Book for Disney: not to be confused with the Andy Serkis mo-cap version that’s still at least a year away.
Team Tony or Team Steve? Captain America: Civil War invites April to pick a side.
There’s off-kilter drama from Kristen Wiig, Sebastián Silva and TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe in immigrant drama Nasty Baby and Jake Gyllenhaal in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition, action in Criminal (starring Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner and Gal Gadot) and what should be a fascinating biopic of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis in Miles Ahead, directed by and starring Don Cheadle.
If it’s a documentary you’re after this month, try Mark Cousins’ very personal I Am Belfast. The brainac culture vulture flies over to his hometown for a dreamy odyssey through its ancient streets. But if what you’re really after is blockbuster sequels, you have a choice of two. There’s Snow White & The Huntsman follow-up The Huntsman: Winter’s War, losing Kristen Stewart this time but retaining Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. And there’s the small matter of Captain America: Civil War – essentially Avengers 2.5 – with Chris Evans’ Cap and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark going toe-to-toe over the issue of a superhero registration act. The first trailer for that one has arrived…
The Huntsman: Winter's War picks up an axe and gets its swarth on in April.
Early May seems to be the place for disagreements as Bad Neighbors 2 finds Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne’s suburban married couple once again bothered by noisy neighbours. This time, it’s a sorority led by Chloë Grace Moretz, and they’ll need to call on former irritant Zac Efron for help. Expect that to end badly. Things get ramped up in Angry Birds, revealing how the big feud between the feathered friends and new piggy arrivals truly got started. Zach Braff is back in the studio system after the crowdsourced Wish I Was Here, and this time he’s bringing Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin for Going In Style, a comedy caper remake.
Raiding your seed cupboard and scowling at your pork chops in May is Sony's Angry Birds.
From caper to capes as X-Men: Apocalypse promises huge destruction and an ancient problem for our mutant heroes, in what Fox hopes will be as big or bigger than Days Of Future Past. Also on the hunt for big results given the previous film’s earning is Disney with Alice Through The Looking Glass. Gary Ross’ American Civil War passion project The Free State Of Jones offers something different, with Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the leads in the story of a real-life uprising against the Confederacy. And if you’ve ever wanted see what it would be like if Kevin Spacey played a businessman who becomes trapped in the body of his family’s cat? Then Nine Lives, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, has you covered. You total weirdo.
Michael Fassbender returns as Magneto in X-Men: Apocalypse. Tie down all loose objects.
Before we get to the blockbusters and sequels, June offers up some sweet indie drama in the form of Me Before You. Thea Sharrock’s film is based on Jojo Moyes’ novel and involves Emilia Clarke forming a surprise bond with a paralysed Sam Claflin. After which we’re onto an unusual friendship of a more fantastical kind, as Megan Fox’s April O’Neil reunites with the heroes in a half-shell for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. Arrow’s Stephen Amell joins the cast this time as Casey Jones, with the bad-guy ranks bolstered by rhino-thing Rocksteady (wrestler Stephen 'Seamus' Farrelly) and warthog-thing Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams). And if orcs are more your thing, you’ve only a week or two to wait until Duncan Jones’ Warcraft: The Beginning translates the phenomenally popular online gaming world to the big screen.
New orc times: Duncan Jones' Warcraft adaptation arrives in June.
Following Iron Man 3, but more along the lines of his directing debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Shane Black returns this month with The Nice Guys; a ‘70s-set private-eye mystery starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Then there’s The Boss, in which Melissa McCarthy’s odious self-help guru attempts to win back her fortune after a scandal; and Now You See Me 2, with Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson this time setting their illusion-y sights on an ethically compromised tech magnate.
Guess who's back in June? Yes, it's that creepy doll thing from The Conjuring.
The Conjuring 2 sees James Wan retreat from the blockbuster-dom of Fast 7 to the relative (if scary) comfort of the Warren family (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga again). This time the pair are investigating the “true-life” case of the Enfield Poltergeist, subject of a recent TV adaptation starring Timothy Spall and a lot of '70s wallpaper, and similar spooks should be in the offing. But while Wan’s Saw franchise successor Darren Lynn Bousman went on to make a gruesome Mother’s Day with Rebecca De Mornay, don’t confuse that with the one that’s out on June 17. Garry Marshall’s Mother’s Day follows his Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, setting up various sweet-natured stories for an intersecting ensemble cast: Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Timothy Olyphant, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis and Jon Lovitz this time among them. Momma Empire has already booked tickets.
June will give us the Renée Zellweger-starring historical drama Same Kind of Different As Me. The Oscar winner plays the woman who forges the unlikely connection between an international art dealer and a homeless drifter. If you’re more inclined towards CGI sturm und drang, there’s always Independence Day: Resurgence, with a new alien battle fleet arriving to blow up our landmarks. No Will Smith this time, but Roland Emmerich is back to martial the destruction, and Jeff Goldblum is on hand to crunch some numbers.
The aliens are back and this time they've probably got better anti-virus protection in Independence Day: Resurgence.
And assuming it survives that attack, a Manhattan apartment building provides the location for The Secret Life of Pets. Louis CK, Lake Bell, Kevin Hart and Steve Coogan are among the voice cast for the colourful animation showcasing what our animals get up to when we’re not looking.
The studio behind Despicable Me bring us The Secret Life Of Pets in June.
Break out the Bolly! Patsy and Edina are back for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, which in the true tradition of British sitcom-based movies, finds our hard-partying heroines off to warmer climes, albeit because they have to flee the authorities. The whole TV cast is back with a slew of cameos from the world of fashion and fame. Less fleeing, more fighting is the order of the day for Dwayne Johnson and unwilling partner Kevin Hart as old school acquaintances battle bad guys in Central Intelligence, which aims to provide one of the memorable shots of the year in a flashback to Johnson’s character’s younger days. It’s The Rock as you’ve (probably) never seen him before.
Welcome to Bollywood! Patsy and Edina return in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
The Legend Of Tarzan swings in after that, with Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie playing the titular former jungle man and wife Jane. They’ll have to swap high society life for a trip back to the Congo to investigate some bad business by Christoph Waltz. Did no-one watch Spectre? Of course he’s up to no good! While yodel-screaming through the jungle makes Tarzan feel good, it’s bustin’ that brings joy to Kristin Wiig, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon in Paul Feig’s version of Ghostbusters. We’re eager to see what they’ve got up their sleeves.
Crossing the streams in July is Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot.
No sleeves, but plenty of danger for the pre-historic cast of the ever-expanding Ice Age franchise in Collision Course, which this time sees the entire planet under threat from an extinction-level event. Guess what? It’s all Scrat’s fault as usual. Singing for their supper (and their love) are Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Whiplash director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land as a Hollywood actress and a jazz pianist. J.K. Simmons is also in that one, but we’ve already made the obvious tempo joke, so we shall refrain. If you prefer class warfare and lawlessness, the alarms are blaring and the bullets are flying in The Purge 3, about which little is known, but we’d expect violence and Frank Grillo being tough. That could also describe Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, about a father raising his family off the grid in the Pacific Northwest who has to suddenly re-enter the world and see his parenting powers questioned.
Swap popcorn for Snozzcumbers (actually don’t, they’re supposed to be awful) as Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG lumbers onto UK screens. The giant story of a little girl and a very big friend will hopefully see the director retain his crown as a master of family entertainment. Needing more science than fantasy is the crew of Star Trek Beyond, as Justin Lin takes over from J.J. Abrams for the latest voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise. We don’t yet know where they’re going, but you know they’ll do it boldly and somewhere along the way Idris Elba's villain will try to kill them.
"Ah-ah-AHHHH, ahahahahahhhhh!" Yes, it's The Legend Of Tarzan in July.
Captain Kirk's mission may not go swimmingly, but Pixar’s Finding Dory promises plenty of aquatic action as the titular blue tang (voiced again by Ellen DeGeneres) searches for her family. Assuming she can remember where they are... Wishing he could stay lost and not dragged back into action is Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, back for a still-untitled fourth run-around. Paul Greengrass is once more in the director’s chair, so we’re hoping for big, kinetic things from this one. Less is known about The Disappointments Room, which would seem to be setting itself up for a kicking from headline writers if it’s not great, but it does have Kate Beckinsale in the story of a mother and her son who release terrors from their attic. Clumsy.
Jason Bourne is back in the summer's so-far untitled actioner. The Bourne Cogitation, we're guessing.
Warner Bros./DC’s roll-out of its own cinematic comic-book universe continues in August, with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad following March’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Jared Leto stars as the new Joker, with Margot Robbie as hench-squeeze Harley Quinn; Will Smith as Deadshot; Cara Delevingne as Enchantress; Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag; Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang; and, we’re told, Ben Affleck as someone called Batman.
After all that excitement, there’s rom-com Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates, in which Zac Efron and Adam DeVine place a blind-date ad that goes viral. There’s also Disney’s live-action/CG remake of Pete's Dragon, and the rather more adult, fully CG animation Sausage Party, arriving from the filthy minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Usual suspects Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride are along for that ride.
Jared Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn cross paths in Suicide Squad.
Spectral gives us some mid-budget sci-fi action, with Emily Mortimer, James Badge Dale and a special ops team trying to take down some little (or possibly big) green men in a European city; The Mechanic: Resurrection sees Jason Statham return as the expert hitman in a sequel to the 2011 Charles Bronson remake; Ricky Gervais also revisits a familiar character, exhuming The Office’s David Brent as he seeks a new rock 'n' roll journey in Life On The Road. Equally unlikely but amazingly true is Arms And The Dudes, based on a Rolling Stone article about Miami slackers in over their heads in the murky world of international weapons dealing. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller are the dudes in question, with The Hangover’s Todd Phillips directing.
Wanted and Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov presents his remake of the epic Ben-Hur towards the end of the month: Jack Huston is manning the chariot in the title role. Pedro Almodóvar will be seeking to recover from the awful I’m So Excited with his new drama Julieta. The woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown on this occasion is Adriana Ugarte, casting her mind back 30 years to happier times.
Timur Bekmambetov will be hoping to bounce back from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with his epic new take on Ben-Hur.
There’s horror from Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez in the form of A Man in the Dark. Jane Levy turns out for him again as one of the kids who mistakenly believes breaking into the house of Stephen Lang’s blind man is a good idea. And there’s potentially more – only partly intentional – horror in Project XX, the sequel to the house-party-gone-wrong disaster from 2012. There are very few details out there about the follow-up so far, but it does appear to have a release date of August 19.
Get ready for a global pandemic as a virus turns people into rage-driven psychos in Patient Zero, which is really crying out for a doctor. Thank goodness Matt Smith stars. Elsewhere, Laika gets mythical on a quest to stop an ancient spirit wiping everyone out for Kubo And The Two Strings. Featuring slightly lower stakes – depending on who you talk to – Bridget Jones’s Baby reunites much of the original cast for the latest look at our heroine’s (Renée Zellweger) life, this time confronting the challenges of motherhood and getting older. Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey help her with one, if not the other. Chadwick Boseman’s challenge is getting revenge in Message From The King, which has nothing to do with Elvis. Instead, it finds the man we’ll have come to know as Black Panther playing a new arrival in the States looking for the people who were involved with his sister’s death.
Matt Smith and Stanley Tucci face off in Patient Zero.
In a more official law enforcement capacity, Daniel Radcliffe is an FBI agent going undercover at a secretive locale where people are being trained for a specific mission – no, he’s not heading back to Hogwarts. Imperium finds him infiltrating a domestic terrorism group and trying to stop the members creating a dirty bomb. The cast also features Toni Collette, Burn Gorman and Nestor Carbonell. There is a desperate race against time in A Cure For Wellness too, as Dane DeHaan is a man sent to find his boss at a spa that is very bad for your health. Gore Verbinski is behind the supernatural thriller, which also features Jason Isaacs (hello!), Mia Goth and Celia Imrie.
The Magnificent Seven: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Cam Gigandet, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard
The trouble is more with bandits in The Magnificent Seven, although the real mission will be for director Antoine Fuqua to prove he can remake a Western classic (itself based on The Seven Samurai). But he’s got a heck of a cast to make his argument, including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Cam Gigandet, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard. Expect the bullets to be flying later in the month. And we close things out with Deepwater Horizon, the based-on-truth story of the people on the titular rig that exploded in April 2010 and led to several deaths and the worst oil spill in US history. Originally earmarked for Margin Call's J.C. Chandor, Peter Berg has wrangled a cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’Brien, Gina Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich and Kate Hudson.
Time is very short for late-coming director Doug Liman to get Gambit ready for its slated October 7 release date. Whether that date ends up slipping remains to be seen – shooting hasn’t even started yet - but if it arrives on time it’ll be Fox’s third X-Men movie of the year following Deadpool and Apocalypse. Channing Tatum stars as the titular Ragin’ Cajun, AKA Remy LeBeau.
The Girl On The Train adapts Paula Hawkins’ novel, with Tate Taylor directing Emily Blunt in the tense story of a woman who witnesses something she might wish she hadn’t. There’s family animation in the baby-delivering Storks, Trolls (about those little dolls with the big colourful hair) and the toy-line adaptation Monster High. And there’s a different sort of beast in A Monster Calls: Liam Neeson plays a tree creature in Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantasy drama, also starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell.
Emily Blunt follows up Sicario – pictured – with a thriller of a different stripe in the New York-set The Girl On The Train.
Ron Howard and Tom Hanks follow up The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons with Dan Brown adaptation Inferno; and horror Ouija and Tom Cruise actioner Jack Reacher both get sequels too. The first sees terrible things happen when teens mess with the occult; the second sees terrible things happen when Jack Reacher feels like it. Oculus director Mike Flanagan is writing and directing the former – making it more interesting than it otherwise might have been, while Ed Zwick takes over from Christopher McQuarrie for the latter, officially titled Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. That means it’s based on the 18th novel in Lee Child’s series, in which Reacher heads back to his old military base in Virginia to be charged with a violent incident and faced with a paternity case, neither of which transgression he remembers.
Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange will see you now. Well, in October.
And we finish October as we began it: with a Marvel movie. This one is from Marvel Studios rather than 20th Century Fox’s renegade X-franchise. Benedict Cumberbatch makes his debut as sorcerer supreme Doctor Strange, in Sinister director Scott Derrickson’s metaphysical fantasy. Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton co-star. Marvel honcho Kevin Feige has promised that this is the “doorway into the supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. Phase 3 is about to get weird.
Ben Affleck slips out of Batman’s cowl for a different sort of action film in Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant. But don’t worry – it won’t mean hours of scenes with Batfleck hunched over a calculator or staring at spreadsheets... We hope. He’s a “forensic accountant” who helps to untangle monetary misdeeds and commercial crimes. If Ang Lee’s latest film is more to your taste, then get ready for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which, despite its relatively sedate book origins and story about a young soldier home from combat dealing with emotional issues, will represent the director’s latest tinkering with film technique, shot in 3D and high frame rate.
Ang Lee shows his cultural fluency with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk set during a Dallas Cowboys game.
Can James Franco handle Bryan Cranston in angry dad mode? We’ll find out in Why Him? which sees Cranston as a father who is less than impressed with the smug charms of his daughter’s (Zoey Deutch) new tech whizz boyfriend, played by Franco – assuming he managed to stop adapting, directing and starring in three different films at once with enough time to shoot the role.
Eddie Redmayne heads to '20s New York in David Yates' latest dip into the Rowlingverse, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
But the big movie people will be wanting to see in November is undoubtedly Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, with the Harry Potter prequel boasting a script by J.K. Rowling herself and veteran director David Yates back in charge. Eddie Redmayne plays magizoologist Newt Scamander on a mission to 1920s New York, who must help sort out the trouble when some of the magical beasties he’s transporting in his TARDIS-like bag escape. Will there be dragons? We hope there will be dragons.
Disney kick off Christmas month with the CG animated Moana. The Princess And The Frog’s team of Ron Clements and John Musker direct the original story, in which a girl from the South Pacific sets off in search of a fabled island with the help of Dwayne Johnson’s demi-god, Maui. The Rock looking for a rock. Sounds logical.
If that doesn’t get the coffers ringing, Disney also have Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to unleash. The first of the Star Wars side projects – the standalone stories that will alternate with the numbered episodes – is directed by Gareth "Godzilla" Edwards and apparently takes us back to those X-Wing rebels on the dangerous mission to steal the Death Star plans that Luke Skywalker will later put to good use. Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna and Riz Ahmed are among those confirmed for the cast so far.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story lands in December. Find out where the Death Star got its independent contractors then.
Trying to keep out of Star Wars’ way will be another sci-fi adventure: Morten Tyldum’s Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Plot details are thin on the ground but we do know it's written by Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts. We’ll see if that Pratt/Lawrence star power (and well-publicised salaries) can remotely compete with Star Wars’ power. There’s also more animation: of the musical variety with Sing (Scarlett Johansson and Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon doing some of the warbling); and the safely spooky variety with B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldy Operations (Melissa McCarthy, Bill Murray and Seth Rogen turned up to the recording booth for that one).
Michael Fassbender will be donning the hood and doing the free-running for video-game adaptation Assassin’s Creed. Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson and Jeremy Irons are embroiled in that adventure too. And for those who like their entertainment somewhat more esoteric there’s a new film from Peter Greenaway. Eisenstein In Guanajuato is about the great director of Alexander Nevsky and Battleship Potemkin heading to Mexico to meet Upton Sinclair about a possible privately-funded project. This will not dent Rogue One’s takings, but it’ll be interesting.
Michael Fassbender will be hitting L1 and X very, very fast in Assassin's Creed in December.
Finally for 2016 we’ve at last got a full release for Green Room. The punk-rock/neo-Nazi horror thriller starring Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat and Patrick Stewart has been all over the festival circuit for months already in 2015. And the year ends – as did 2014 – with a Tim Burton film. The fantasy adventure Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiars is adapted by Jane Goldman from Ransom Riggs’ novel, and finds Hugo’s Asa Butterfield discovering the ruined gothic institution once run by Eva Green. Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench and Allison Janney are some of the inmates who never left...
2017, here we come!