With so many major movies in development, it's almost impossible to keep track of them all, let alone when they're out and who's in them. To help with this most taxing of problems, we've put together a single, definitive list of every major (or just plain interesting) release currently wending its way towards a multiplex near you. All release dates are UK-based, and correct at time of writing, but as is the way of these things, details are subject to change. We'll be keeping the list updated, so be sure to check back regularly.
Live By Night
Ben Affleck briefly removes his Bat-mask and plops his director’s cap on – the first time he has worn such a hat since 2012’s Argo. Adapted from the novel by Dennis Lehane, it sees Baffles return to his native Boston after previous sojourns with The Town, Gone Baby Gone, and Good Will Hunting. How do we like these apples? We like them very much indeed.
xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage
You may remember Vin Diesel’s character Xander Cage dying in xXx 2: State Of The Union. You may have a better memory than us. In any case, he’s definitely not dead, and remains ready to kick more terrorist ass – occasionally while skiing, it seems. (Pro tip: do not Google ‘xxx Vin Diesel’. At least not on a work computer.)
Son Of Rambow’s Garth Jennings dips his toe into animation for the first time with this family-friendly crowdpleaser. A scan of this film’s cast list is an amusing game in itself: Matthew McConaughey... as a koala! Scarlett Johansson... as a porcupine! Taron Egerton... as a gorilla!
Choose life. Choose a sequel to one of the best British films ever made. Choose getting the cast and crew back together after two decades. Choose an adaptation of the book sequel with the title Porno. Choose a different title. Choose one which was technically already used by the Terminator franchise. Choose the possibility that they might change this name eventually.
Fifty Shades Darker
The 2015 film adaptation of E.L. James’ notorious slap-and-tickle-fest overcame widespread critical derision – and the fact that the book is demonstrably not very good – to cash in a cool half a billion at the box-office. If you weren’t on board first time around, prepare to be beaten into submission: another sequel is already on the cards.
The Lego Batman Movie
While DC’s live-action portrayal of the Caped Crusader is doom and considerable gloom, their blocky animated output gives reason to be cheerful. Will Arnett’s take on Bruce Wayne was the unquestionable highlight of The Lego Movie; his very own solo movie will surely be among the highlights of 2017.
The Dark Tower
This is one of those films that we can scarcely believe is nearing completion. After Stephen King wrote the first book as a college senior (“in a shitty little cabin”), the apocalyptic Western wasted away in development hell for nearly three decades. It’ll be quite a treat to see The Gunslinger finally go toe-to-dusty-toe with The Man In Black.
John Wick: Chapter 2
The first John Wick was an electrifying combination of high-octane action, a broodingly brilliant Keanu Reeves, and a cute puppy. Expect more of the same in this ante-upping sequel, which promises international locations, balletic shoot-outs, and a new pooch.
The Great Wall
China has been an “emerging market” for a little while now, so The Great Wall (the most expensive film ever shot entirely in the country) feels like a bit of a watershed moment. Expect the usual jaw-dropping beauty from wuxia specialist Zhang Yimou – though another debate over casting whitewashing might overshadow things.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Though it has been mostly ignored by mainstream critics and audiences, the Resident Evil series has been ticking along rather nicely: currently the the most successful film franchise ever based on a video game, it has if nothing else kept the husband-and-wife team of Anderson and Jovovich in steady employment. Though we are suspicious of that “Final Chapter” title – the Friday The 13th series used the same title in 1984, and went on to have another eight sequels.
Wolverine, the most prominent and pre-eminent of all the X-Men, has not quite had the best time of it during his solo movies as he has during the bigger ensemble pieces. But Logan is looking to buck that trend, and give Hugh Jackman, the longest-serving screen superhero of all, a fitting swansong before he finally hangs up those iconic Adamantium claws for good. If that spine-chilling Johnny Cash-soundtracked trailer is anything to go by, this'll be a treat.
Kong: Skull Island
Jordan Vogt-Roberts is the latest director to graduate from humble Sundance indie (in his case, The Kings Of Summer) to monster-sized blockbuster. Skull Island’s take on the legendary ape, this time around set in the 1970s, serves as a bit of a precursor to an even more monstrous showdown in 2020, when Kong is scheduled to do battle with a young chap by the name of Godzilla.
Beauty And The Beast
Disney continue to plunder the archives of its extensive animated back catalogue and update it for today’s live-action/CGI-hungry generation. Worth seeing if only to witness classically-trained actor and multiple Oscar-winner Emma Thompson play her greatest role yet: a teapot.
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
Lord knows, the Arthurian legend has been told a fair few times in the past couple of millennia. But Guy Ritchie is clearly hoping to put his own fun, freewheeling, vaguely cockney spin on things. The British director also kindly continues his ex-footballer rehabilitation programme: after achieving such progress with Vinnie Jones, he is now providing employment for David Beckham, by casting him as ‘Blackleg Leader’.
Readers of a certain generation will feel a flood of nostalgia at the prospect of a new Power Rangers movie, which reconfigures the youthful team of alien-battling superheroes for the 21st century. Bryan Cranston – who voiced several characters on the original series, including Snizzard (who can forget?), returns to the franchise to play the team’s mentor, Zordon.
Ghost In The Shell
What started as a manga series in Japan became an acclaimed anime film in 1995 – and now a live-action Hollywood adaptation. A whitewashing controversy has already reared its ugly head with Scarlett Johansson's casting, but the insanely complex source material alone makes this worthy of your attention.
The hardest-working man in British film has made his first film in America. Ben Wheatley’s sixth film in seven years boasts a Martin Scorsese executive producer credit, a starry cast, a tough ‘70s aesthetic, and the appropriate facial hair to boot. After High-Rise’s nihilist weirdness, expect sparse, straightforward action this time around.
Fast & Furious 8
It’s been fifteen years since Vin and his pals first found themselves in various states of fast fury, and despite the franchise saying an emotional farewell to the late Paul Walker, the billion-dollar juggernaut shows no signs of slowing. F&F Episode VIII has been filming in Cuba, Iceland, New York and Atlanta, and will bear the fruits of a testosterone-fuelled on-set feud, if The Rock’s Instagram feed is anything to go by. Daddy’s gotta go to work!
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Ain’t nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy, ‘cept Guardians of the Galaxy. In a marketplace crowded by superheroes of various stripes, Guardians still manages to offer something very unique and different: a playful, inventive Star Wars-y romp with a killer soundtrack. We can’t wait to see what’s next for this gang of losers.
In a similar vein to Starsky & Hutch, Hollywood has resurrected a largely serious TV show and transposed it onto a largely silly movie. The original Baywatch, with its potent mix of busty bikinis interspersed with occasional spurts of heroism, was at one point the most popular television show in the world, so Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) will be hoping to capitalise on that. If nothing else, it’s as ample opportunity as there’s ever been for The Rock to get his pecs out.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The fifth in Disney’s ever-profitable theme park franchise nearly sank to bottom of Davy Jones’ Locker during a production that rivalled Apocalypse Now for behind-the-scenes bother. Most notably of all, after Johnny Depp illegally imported his pet dogs, Pistol and Boo, into the country, production was almost ground to a crushing halt by, erm, Australia’s agriculture minister. Shiver me timbers, indeed!
Sure, there was that Supergirl movie in the 1980s, and there was that Halle Berry Catwoman movie we have all collectively agreed never to mention again, but this still feels like a ceiling being smashed: finally, after a ludicrous wait, Hollywood has finally deemed women worthy enough to have a proper A-list superhero of their own. Expectation and pressure is high, especially given DC’s wobbly start off the cinematic block, but the omens – and trailers – look good.
After the MCU made approximately thirty bazillion dollars, all the talk in Hollywood meeting rooms are of franchises and shared universes. So it goes at Universal, which launched its Shared Monsters Universe in slightly spluttering style with Dracula Untold, and now boasts the star power of the Cruiser for this reboot. Wolf Man, Van Helsing and Bride Of Frankenstein movies are all on the way, too. Monster, monster!
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Matthew Vaughn has managed to surprise everyone with this sequel to his 2015 spy romp – first, by announcing that Colin Firth would return (with a cheeky “rumours of my death...” teaser poster); and then announcing that about fifty A-listers (Berry, Moore, Tatum, Bridges) would be along for the ride. Also: Elton John. As in, the actual Elton John. Will be worth the admission price just to see how that works.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Michael Bay has promised (promised!) that this will be his last jaunt in the Transformiverse, so chances are he plans to go out with one of his patented bangs. In a series that has often attracted serious acting talent for a very silly enterprise, The Last Knight features an actual knight, Sir Anthony Hopkins, to steer it home.
That title is loaded with dual meaning, for this is something of a homecoming parade: Marvel is finally welcoming its most famous character into its cinematic universe, following a license-sharing deal with Sony. It’s also a literal homecoming parade, as a high-school age Peter Parker must battle outlandish villains and adolescent hormones alike. Fortunately, despite being the second Spidey reboot in five years, we won’t have to see Uncle Ben dying again.
War For The Planet Of The Apes
The second sequel to the prequel of the original film (adapted from a book, incidentally) reaches a militaristic apex. Andy Serkis is back in his mo-cap suit and the apes are arming up for an all-out conflict. We may finally see the maniacs who, as Charlton Heston put it, blew it up.
Every great director has at least one great war movie in them. Spielberg made Saving Private Ryan; Kubrick made Full Metal Jacket; Coppola made Apocalypse Now; Huston made, er, Escape To Victory. Christopher Nolan’s thoughtful approach to blockbuster filmmaking, his penchant for practical effects (he has apparently crashed real vintage planes), and his love of vast IMAX-sized cinematography surely makes this one of 2017’s most anticipated. Also, Harry Styles is in it. Yes, that Harry Styles.
Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets
After churning out fun but highly disposable action movies for the better part of two decades, French enfant terrible Luc Besson is heading back to the science-fiction whimsy that produced arguably his best work in The Fifth Element. This is based on an extremely popular run of French comics set in the 28th century and will apparently feature over 8,000 species of aliens – including one that looks a bit like Bob the Builder.
What started as a sequel to Prometheus (itself a prequel to Alien) is now a straightforward prequel to Alien – not to be confused with Neill Blomkamp’s planned Alien sequel. Following? Good. Michael Fassbender’s flower-sniffing android David may be the only element of Prometheus to return, though Noomi Rapace has apparently filmed a cameo.
The EmojiMovie: Express Yourself
Who among us hasn’t looked at a phone keyboard of smiley faces and thought, “this has the potential for a rich, textured, three-act narrative. It's a story just waiting to be told!” If this manages to not be 💩, we’ll be mighty impressed.
Rising from the ashes of Edgar Wright’s aborted attempt to make Ant-Man (which collapsed under the weight of the dreaded “creative differences” curse) comes this entirely original and Marvel-free effort. We don’t know much about it, except that it’s a music-based crime thriller, though there are potentially cryptic hints to be gleaned from Wright’s Instagram feed.
There was the ABC miniseries with Tim Curry, and True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga almost made it with Will Poulter, but now, finally, it looks as though Stephen King’s iconic horror will make an appearance on the big screen. Prepare to be terrified of clowns all over again.
Blade Runner 2
A sequel to Ridley Scott’s masterful sci-fi had been talked about for years, but always seemed to languish in development hell, lost like tears in inclement weather. Now that Sir Ridders has handed over the reins to Denis Villeneuve, the visionary behind the excellent Sicario, we could be seeing things you people wouldn’t believe, again.
Friday The 13th
Due: October 13th, 2017
Director: Breck Eisner
In a sentence: Jason Voorhees lives (again).
For those keeping score at home, this is the second time that this particular horror franchise has been rebooted, after 2009’s poorly-received effort; and unless it changes, it will (rather confusingly), be the third in the franchise to bear the standalone Friday The 13th title. Jason Voorhees, it seems, can never die (if he’s even in this one).
Last we saw them in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Thor had sallied off home to Asgard and Hulk was looking all mournful, alone in a quinjet. Now they’re teaming up for what Mark Ruffalo has described as a Midnight Run-style road trip across the universe. Taika Waititi’s comedy pedigree (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt For The Wilderpeople) gives you an idea of the tone to expect.
With Zack Snyder at the helm, Justice League seemed certain to inherit the gloomy mood from Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman. But the surprise teaser unleashed at Comic-Con suggests quite a different tone to the one we’ve previously seen. New characters like The Flash and Aquaman threaten to inject the franchise with – dare we say it – a bit of fun.
A poke in the gorgeously-animated eye for anyone who might complain that Pixar does too many sequels, Coco is another entirely original proposition from the animation studio, this time based around the Mexican Day of the Dead. Ignore the similarities to 2014’s The Book Of Life – with Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich calling the shots, this one promises to be mágico.
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Picking up almost immediately where The Force Awakens left off, the latest episode proper from the galaxy far, far away will see Rey still standing on that island on the planet Ahch-To, arm outstretched while attempting to hand the lightsaber to Luke. Details on the still-untitled Episode VIII remain scarce, obviously, but given this is the franchise’s 40th anniversary year, they’re sure to go big.
Pitch Perfect 3
It may not have Elizabeth Banks in the director’s chair any more (she’s busy rebooting Charlie’s Angels, though she’ll still produce and star) but the Pitches still promise to be back with a vengeance, third time around. It takes a brave film to go up against Star Wars, but the theory is that this particular brand of girl power will offer some counter-programming to the sci-fi blast-’em-up adventures of Episode VIII.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
The third entry in the post-apocalyptic series very nearly didn’t happen after a nasty on-set accident left its star, Dylan O’Brien, in hospital. Production was halted and the release date was pushed back a year. Happily, O’Brien is on the mend, and unlike its YA counterparts, the filmmakers have wisely opted not to split the final entry in twain.
After years of sequels and adaptations – very good ones at that – Early Man will be Aardman’s first entirely original stop-motion feature film since Chicken Run, and the first time the British studio’s acolyte, Nick Park, has returned to this director’s chair in a decade. The usual winning mix of hand-crafted animation and wry British humour is a given.
We’ve already seen Black Panther get his claws out in Captain America: Civil War; now we get to see him prowl about for his own movie. Ryan Coogler – on blistering form after Creed – is another deft director choice from Marvel, and Coogler has brought Creed’s star, Michael B. Jordan, along for the ride.
Pacific Rim: Maelstrom
The apocalypse remains cancelled, it seems. While it languished in development hell too long for original director Guillermo Del Toro to stick around, this enjoyably garish franchise continues under Steven S. DeKnight’s stewardship, with John Boyega – playing the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost – boarding the, ahem, boy-Jaeger.
Due: March 2, 2018
Director: Shane Black
In a sentence: Get to da sci-fi action sequel choppa!
Shane Black starred in the original 1987 Predator as filthy joke-telling commando Hawkins, and offered minor script rewrites. Now he’s returning to the series for a full-blown sequel. Rumours abound that Schwarzenegger might reprise his role as Dutch, but until we hear otherwise that remains wishful thinking for now.
Due: March 2, 2018
Director: TBC Cast: Ryan Reynolds In a sentence: The Merc With A Mouthier Mouth.
Yes, Wade Wilson will return for a sequel to the film that surpassed all expectations in 2016. Director Tim Miller will not be returning, citing those pesky creative differences again, but Ryan Reynolds will definitely be back to slip back into the red-and-black spandex and regrow baby hands. As the Ferris Bueller-esque post credits sequence alluded, Deadpool's frequent adversary Cable will be along for the ride.
Ready Player One
For a man approaching his seventies, Señor Spielbergo shows little sign of slowing down. This adaptation of the hugely popular Ernest Cline novel – Spielberg’s first sci-fi since 2005’s War Of The Worlds– has the automatic advantage of being partly shot in Birmingham. Jasper Carrot’s cameo is yet to be confirmed.
Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel’s third Avengers entry is going big, in more ways than one. The script will apparently squeeze in 67 characters; it’ll be dealing with a cosmic godlike menace in the form of Thanos, teased ever since the franchise began; and it’ll be the first film to be shot entirely on IMAX. It’s so big, in fact, that it’s spilling over into a second currently-untitled movie, due the following year, with both being shot back-to-back.
Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film
When Disney announced plans for a Star Wars spin-off movie featuring the origins of Han Solo, the internet grumbled. Who would dare step into the illustrious boots of Harrison Ford? The answer, as it turns out, is Alden Ehrenreich, and fan reaction has been surprisingly positive. With Donald Glover also onboard as Lando Calrissian, what are the odds that this actually turns out to be quite good? Well, we all know how Han feels about odds.
Bad Boys For Life
It will have been 15 years since shit last got real for our beloved Bad Boys. Michael Bay might not be at the helm any more, but Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces, The Grey) can be considered a safe pair of hands. Bullishly, Sony has already made noises about a fourth film.
Ant-Man And The Wasp
“It’s about damn time,” says Evangeline Lilly’s Hope van Dyne, when she’s finally handed a super-suit of her own during Ant-Man’s post-credit sequence. Well, quite. Marvel has finally deemed a female superhero worthy of a banner movie, even if she has to share the stage with a bloke. If it’s half as entertaining as the first film, this will be a pint-sized riot.
Toy Story 4
Toy Story 3 had such a perfect, trilogy-closing finale that Pixar’s announcement of another film in the series was a little surprising. But heck, they’ve surpassed themselves with every sequel, and having the company’s Supreme Leader, John Lasseter, in the director’s chair can’t be a bad thing. To infinity, etc!
Formerly known as Jungle Book: Origins to distinguish it from Jon Favreau’s billion-dollar live-action/CGI hit, Andy Serkis’ debut as a director has been beset by reported behind-the-scenes wobbles, and its release date has been continually pushed back. But he is the undisputed master of performance capture, so this latest take on the Kipling classic is bound to bring something new to the table.
Indiana Jones 5
Yes, there was that Film Which Must Not Be Named (something about a crystal skull?) but there’s still reason to be optimistic that the fedora-wearing hero still has a crack of the whip left in him. All we know so far is that Harrison Ford will definitely be returning – no Chris Pratt recasting here, thank you very much – and that he definitely won’t be killed off. Though, given that Ford will be in his late seventies by the time filming commences, this must be something of a swansong. Will Indy finally get to ride off in the sunset (again)?