JAN 5

DEVIL’S GATE

When a woman and her son mysteriously vanish, FBI agent Daria Francis (Amanda Schull) is dispatched to the small town of Devil’s Gate, North Dakota to investigate the number one suspect: religious fanatic Jackson Pritchard (Milo Ventimiglia), husband and father of the missing persons. But when Francis and local deputy Colt (Shawn Ashmore) arrive at Pritchard’s foreboding property, they discover much more than they bargained for lurking in the basement.

JAN 26

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE

In the epic finale to the Maze Runner saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.

FEB 2

CLOVERFIELD 2017

After a physics experiment with a large hadron accelerator causes the Earth to seemingly vanish completely, the terrified crew of an orbiting American space station is left floating in the middle of now-even-more-empty space. When a European spacecraft appears on their radar, the Americans must determine whether it’s their salvation, or a harbinger of doom.

FEB 16

MONSTER HUNT 2

Set in a world where monsters and humans co-exist, the franchise tells the story of Wuba, a baby monster born to be king. Wuba becomes the central figure in stopping an all-out monster civil war.

FEB 23

ANNIHILATION

In seeking answers to her husband’s tragic disappearance, a biologist volunteers for an expedition into an area sealed off by the government for the last 30 years as an environmental disaster zone. A secret agency known as the Southern Reach has sent in 11 expeditions over those years to discover the truth about Area X, and those attempts were failures. She and her team find a pristine wilderness, but they also notice quickly that the rules of nature and evolution seem to work a little differently. And the creature they find is dangerous. Based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, which is the first book in the "Southern Reach" trilogy and will be published by Farrar Straus & Giroux.

MAR 9

A WRINKLE IN TIME

Follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a young girl traumatized by the disappearance of her scientist father (Cris Pine) years before. She finds herself on an interplanetary journey with a schoolmate and her younger brother to find her father. They are aided by a trio of supernatural beings: Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).

MAR 23

PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING

Sequel to 2012's Pacific Rim. The original film centers on a defense force consisting of mechas, giant robots and their human pilots, who are fighting to save humanity from gigantic monsters invading from an other-worldly dimension. John Boyega will play the son of Elba’s character, who sacrificed his life in the original film (Hollywood Reporter, 9/21/16).

MAR 30

READY PLAYER ONE

Film centers on a young outcast named Wade Watts. In the near future, Watts escapes from his daily drudgery by logging into an online game called ‘The Oasis’. When the game’s billionaire founder dies, he offers players his fortunes as the prize in the virtual treasure hunt. Watts gets in on the action, but soon finds himself facing off against corporate foes who will go to any lengths to get the money – in both the real world and in ‘The Oasis’.

  • Based on the novel by Ernie Cline.
  • Ready Player One will be distributed by Warner Bros. and, in select territories, by Village Roadshow Pictures.
  • Stars Tye Sheridan, Simon Pegg

MAY 25

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

The movie will explore the duo’s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian. -- starwars.com

  • Starring Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thandie Newton
  • DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
  • SCREENWRITERS: Lawrence Kasdan , Jon Kasdan
  • Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, the writer and director known for Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon, is familiar to Star Wars fans for having co-written the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens.
  • "This is the first film we've worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you're late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you've loved since before you can remember having dreams at all” said Christopher Miller and Phil Lord.
  • This will take place 10 years prior to Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
  • Per Variety (1/11/16), the new Han Solo could have a small cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars before appearing in his own standalone pic. The actors being considered for the Han Solo role include Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen and Blake Jenner.
  • Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke’s role will round out a dynamic cast of characters that Han and Chewie will encounter on their adventures (Lucasfilm, 11/18/16).
  • Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy explains, “This [movie] moves closer to a heist or Western type feel. We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film (Variety, 11/22/16).”
  • Woody Harrelson is the top choice to play Han Solo’s mentor (Variety, 1/3/17).
  • The movie is slated to hit theaters on May 25, 2018. There's some rumored talk the release may be pushed to December 2018 time frame (1/3/17).
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger told an event audience the film will span the Star Wars rogue's years from age 18 to 24. Han (played by Alden Ehrenreich) will meet Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and will be seen finding his ship, The Millennium Falcon (Hollywood Reporter, 3/23/17).
  • Warwick Davis will appear as an unspecified character (Hollywood Reporter, 7/26/17).
  • Composer John Powell (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda) will score the film (Hollywood Reporter, 7/26/17).

JUN 22

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

Plot details are under wraps - likely a continuation of the events at the end of Jurassic World.

  • Jurassic World, which opened in theaters in June, is the No. 3 domestic release of all time with $614.3 million, and the No. 3 worldwide release of all time (06/15/15)
  • Director J.A. Bayona told EFE (10/15/16), "It will be darker and scarier than the previous film. Obviously when you have Chris Pratt, it will also be very funny. But it will be darker. It is a second step in a trilogy, and the second step is always dark as in The Empire Strikes Back or the Wrath of Khan, which are the examples you always get."
  • Director J.A. Bayona added to EFE (10/15/16), “The film takes the story where it has never been before. To me, it surprised me. We are going to places where the saga has never been before, and at the same time we are paying tribute to the franchise. We will take it a step further. There are things that will happen that people are not expecting and they really are shocking.”
  • Bryce Dallas Howard says her Jurassic World character won't be in heels for the sequel (Collider, 10/22/15).
  • In September 2016, screenwriter Colin Trevorrow said that the film would be based on concepts from the novels, and stated that the film would be heavily inspired by the idea that, "A mistake made a long time ago just can't be undone (Jurassic Outpost, 9/30/16).
  • Derek Connolly is also a screenwriter.
  • Jeff Goldblum will return as Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician who came to Jurassic Park as an insurance consultant in the original film (Hollywood Reporter, 4/25/17).

 

AUG 3

THE PREDATOR

An ex-Marine discovers the existence of fierce aliens but finds that no one believes they exist.

  • A sequel to the 1987 sci-fi film, Predator.
  • Originally conceived as a reboot of the Predator franchise until Shane Black came aboard and said he's making a sequel to the franchise instead.
  • Olivia Munn will play a scientist opposite Boyd Holbrook’s Special Forces commando (Hollywood Reporter, 11/5/16).
  • Jacob Tremblay will play the son of Holbrook's character (Hollywood Reporter, 1/25/17).
  • Also stars Thomas Jane, Keegan Michael-Key.

AUG 10

THE MEG

In the film, a deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew—and the ocean itself—from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. What no one could have imagined is that, years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below... bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.

AUG 17

CAPTIVE STATE

A sci-fi thriller set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after it has been occupied by an extraterrestrial force. Captive State uses a grounded sci-fi setting to shine light on the modern surveillance state and the threats to civil liberties and the role of dissent within an authoritarian society (Participant Media, 1/11/17).

AUG 31

KIN

Chased by a vengeful criminal (James Franco), the feds and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, a recently released ex-con (Jack Reynor) and his adopted younger brother (Myles Truitt) are forced to go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.

SEP 14

THE DARKEST MINDS

Set after a pandemic kills most of America’s children and teenagers, some survivors develop various superpowers. They are deemed too dangerous for society and are taken from their families and placed inside internment camps. A 16-year-old with telekinetic powers escapes her camp and joins a group of teens on the run from the government.

OCT 5

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

The story is set in the 1960s at a run-down hotel near California’s Lake Tahoe named the El Royale and centers on a cast of characters whose own shady agendas will violently collide.

DEC 14

MORTAL ENGINES

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future. -- official plot version from universalpictures.com

  • Based on the 2012 novel which is the first book in a four volume series by Philip Reeve.
  • Peter Jackson's longtime protege Christian River will make his feature directorial debut with the fantasy film (10/24/16).

DEC 22

BUMBLEBEE

The story is set in the year 1987, where Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

  • As Michael Bay told Entertainment Weekly, "It's kind of like a new Transformers. We had three, the first trilogy, and this is going to be the next one. It's the first of a new trilogy. I'm not necessarily sure that I'm doing [the others], but that's what it's meant for (April, 2014)."
  • Per Variety (10/4/15), Hasbro's Steven J. Davis confirmed in a Q&A that a Transformers 5, 6, 7 and 8 are in the works. “Nine of some of the most creative writers I have ever worked with, shepherded by Akiva Goldsman, who many of you may know won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind and written a bunch of great movies,” he went on. “And they plotted out the next 10 years of Transformers. Similarly, we are doing the same in television and in digital. So stay tuned, Transformers 5 is on its way, and 6 and 7 and 8.”
  • Laika CEO Travis Knight, who directed Kubo and Two Strings, will be making his live-action directorial debut on the pic (Variety, 5/31/17).
  • Hailee Steinfeld will play a tomboy who also holds a job as a mechanic after school. Sources say the tale is a prequel to the main film series, focused on Bumblebee's life in an earlier decade (Hollywood Reporter, 7/11/17).
  • This is the first spinoff in what Paramount and Hasbro hopes will be a Transformers Cinematic Universe that will include prequels and offshoots (Hollywood Reporter, 7/13/17).

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Replies to This Discussion

CLOVERFIELD 2017
After a physics experiment with a large hadron accelerator causes the Earth to seemingly vanish completely, the terrified crew of an orbiting American space station is left floating in the middle of now-even-more-empty space. When a European spacecraft appears on their radar, the Americans must determine whether it’s their salvation, or a harbinger of doom.

When the first Cloverfield movie came out, they were asked about the significance of the title. The answer was that it was chosen randomly. My theory is that they took the name from an offramp of the Santa Monica Freeway, which is the name of the street at the exit.

I read A Wrinkle in Time just a couple of weeks ago for the first time. (I was looking for something quick to read on a plane.) I can see why it’s a perennial favorite, but I wish I had read it for the first time as a “tween.” I gave it to a friend to give to her little girl (who is a tween), and she cannot put it down.

I hope you guys enjoy these lists. I thought I might as well share my research for the 2018 movies column, rather than let it lay fallow. And Jan. 1 was a good day to do it!

Yes, definitely. I've already gone through and marked my calendar with the ones I'm interested in.

Great! I'm delighted the lists are of some use!

There is some overlap, which means some judgment calls. For example, The Incredibles 2 is a fit for both "major superhero movies" (which is the subject of this week's column) and "animated movies," and is listed in both lists. OTOH, The Predator is listed as both sci-fi and horror on various movie websites, but I only listed it in sci-fi -- there are horror elements, but it just seems more sci-fi to me, so that's the only list I put it on. Your mileage may vary.

And I only listed movies that had a release date as of Jan. 1. There are tons of movies that are tentative for 2018, with varying degrees of likelihood. I left 'em all off, until they get a date. When they do, I'll add them on. (Feel free to alert me to new dates, y'all.) And needless to say, release dates are subject to change.

Also, there are also some movies that I might have simply missed or listed erroneously. If someone points out such an error, I'll fix it.

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