Warner Bros. Pictures; EuropaCorp; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
By Eliza Berman
Updated: December 27, 2016 9:57 AM ET | Originally published: December 22, 2016

Whatever you want to call 2016—a dumpster fire, a candidate for the Worst Year Ever, ridiculously hot and getting hotter—the year brought no shortage of big-screen distractions. Four women wielded proton packs; Daniel Radcliffe graduated from Harry Potter to farting corpse; and Disney expanded into the South Pacific. The teen movie canon got another worthy entry; Michael Shannon was in everything and he was great; and La La Land proved that musicals are anything but dead. And when the world outside got a little too unpredictable, there was always Zac Efron with his shirt off—and damned if 2017 won’t bring more of the same.

Here’s hoping 2017 brings us many new reasons to go to the movies, starting with the films on this list:

 

 


January

Jan. 20: Split

M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller (trailer above) stars James McAvoy as a guy with 23 personalities, some of which are particularly threatening to the three young women (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula) he kidnaps and locks in a dingy basement.

 

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Jan. 6: Underworld: Blood Wars

Jan. 6: Amityville: The Awakening

Jan. 20: XXX: The Return of Xander Cage

Jan. 27: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter


February

Feb. 3: Wheeler

Actor Stephen Dorff blurs the line between fact and fiction, playing the role of an aspiring country singer infiltrating real-world Nashville and winning over actual Music City audiences.

Feb. 10: The Lego Batman Movie

Will Arnett reprises his role as a big-headed plastic Batman, balancing nights fighting crime with days raising his new adopted son.

Feb. 17: A Cure for Wellness

Director Gore Verbinski sets a psychological thriller at a mysterious European spa, where a young executive (Dane DeHaan) travels to retrieve his company’s CEO.

Feb. 24: Get Out

Jordan Peele makes his directorial debut with a horror film (trailer above), in which a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) goes to meet his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family, among whom he quickly realizes his life is in danger.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Feb. 3: Rings

Feb. 10: John Wick: Chapter 2

Feb. 10: Fifty Shades Darker

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the people whom actor Stephen Dorff convinces that he is a real-life country singer in the movie Wheeler. Dorff convinces Nashville audiences of his musical bonafides.


March

March 3: Table 19

Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow and Chris Robinson are among the misfit wedding guests seated at a table for randos in this dramedy written by Jay and Mark Duplass.

March 17: Beauty and the Beast

The classic 1991 animated Disney movie gets the human touch in this live-action remake (trailer above) starring Emma Watson as beast tamer Belle.

March 17: Dean

Comedian Demetri Martin’s directorial debut, an award-winning Sundance hit with two parallel love stories (Martin and Gillian Jacobs; Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen), makes its way to theaters a year after its film festival debut.

March 24: Wilson

Woody Harrelson is a neurotic misanthrope who finds out he has a daughter with his ex-wife (Laura Dern) in this comedic adaptation of the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World).

March 24: Life

In this sci-fi thriller from the writers of Deadpool, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds play astronauts who discover life on Mars.

March 31: The Zookeeper’s Wife

Jessica Chastain stars in the adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s bestselling nonfiction book about a zookeeper and his wife who sheltered hundreds of Jews in Poland during World War II.

March 31: Ghost in the Shell

Scarlett Johansson stars, controversially, in this adaptation of the Japanese manga series, which has been called out as an example of Hollywood’s whitewashing of Asian roles.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

March 3: Logan

March 10: Kong: Skull Island

March 24: Power Rangers

March 24: CHiPS


April

April 27: How to Be a Latin Lover

Wet Hot American Summer star Ken Marino directs his first feature, a comedy about an aging Latin lover, with an all-star comedic cast that includes Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Michaela Watkins and Rob Huebel.

April 28: The Circle

Emma Watson stars opposite Tom Hanks in this adaptation (trailer above) of Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel about a new employee at a tech company that turns out to be darker than it first appears.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

April 7: Smurfs: The Lost Village

April 14: The Fate of the Furious


May

May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and, most importantly, Baby Groot continue their perilous journey through the cosmos in this sequel (trailer above) to the 2014 Marvel movie.

May 12: Snatched

Amy Schumer cast Goldie Hawn—who hasn’t appeared on the big screen in 15 years—as her mother in this comedy about a South American vacation gone terribly awry.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

May 19: Baywatch

May 19: Alien: Covenant

May 26: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


June

June 2: Wonder Woman

Seventy-five years after her DC Comics debut, the Amazonian superhero gets her own movie, an origin story starring Gal Gadot.

June 16: Rock That Body

A promising treat for Broad City fans: Lucia Aniello, a director of the Comedy Central show, directs and co-writes (with husband Paul W. Downs, who plays Trey on the show) this comedy about a bachelorette party, starring Kate McKinnon, Scarlett Johansson and Zoë Kravitz.

June 30: The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola remakes Clint Eastwood’s 1971 western—which flopped, in part, because viewers thought it emasculating to its macho star—with Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning.

June 30: The House

Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell star in a comedy about a couple that opens an illegal casino to raise money for their daughter’s college education. (To be fair, does it really matter what it’s about when it’s Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell?)

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

June 9: Dark Universe: The Mummy

June 9: World War Z 2

June 30: Despicable Me 3

June 16: Cars 3

June 16: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

June 23: Transformers: The Last Knight


July

July 7: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Tom Holland becomes the fourth Peter Parker in as many decades in this re-upping of the franchise, which stars Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Michael Keaton as The Vulture.

July 21: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Dane DeHaan, Rihanna and Cara Delevingne star in this French sci-fi epic, adapted from a comic book series, from Lucy filmmaker Luc Besson.

July 21: Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan returns with his first blockbuster (trailer above) since Interstellar, an action drama starring Tom Hardy and Harry Styles about the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.

July 21: Girl Trip

Though the plot is still under wraps, this buddy comedy, co-written by Black-ish showrunner Kenya Barris, stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Queen Latifah.

July 28: The Dark Tower

Idris Elba is the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey is the Man in Black in this adaptation drawn from the Stephen King series first published in 1982.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

July 14: War for the Planet of the Apes


August

Columbia Pictures

Aug. 4: Emojimovie: Express Yourself

It was only a matter of time before Emojis leapt off the small-small-screen onto the silver screen, reminding children that prayer hands and smiley-faces with sunglasses are the key to expressing their true selves to the world.

Aug. 11: Baby Driver

Lily James and Ansel Elgort star in this action thriller from Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) about a doomed getaway driver.

Aug. 25: Villa Capri

Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones are frenemies stuck in witness protection who are forced to work together to prevent a mob hit.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Aug. 11: Annabelle 2


September

Tom Cruise, on Nov. 9, 2016 in Tokyo.
Ken Ishii—Getty Images

Sept. 22: Granite Mountain

The true story of the 2013 Prescott, Ariz. wildfire, which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters, comes to the big screen with the help of Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly and Jeff Bridges.

Sept. 29: American Made

Tom Cruise re-teams with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for a biopic about Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Sept. 22: The LEGO Ninjago


October

Oct. 6: Blade Runner 2049

Thirty-five years after Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner comes a sequel (trailer above) from Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, which takes place 30 years after the events of the first movie and stars Ryan Gosling as a new blade runner searching for a missing Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).

Oct. 13: The Snowman

Michael Fassbender is a detective searching for a missing woman in this thriller adapted from a book by Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø.

Oct. 20: Geostorm

Next year’s entry into the disaster movie canon involves climate-controlling satellites which threaten to create an apocalyptic storm if Gerard Butler doesn’t manage to get them under control fast enough.

Oct. 27: 2017 Cloverfield Movie

J.J. Abrams’ anthology of monster movies, which began with 2008’s Cloverfield and continued with 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, gets a third installment, the details of which will likely be kept secret until shortly before release.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Oct. 13: Friday the 13th

Oct. 20: Insidious: Chapter 4

Oct. 27: Saw: Legacy


November

Nov. 3: Thor: Rangarok

Chris Hemsworth and his hammer descend upon New York City in the third Thor film, directed by New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi and described by Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) as a superhero road-trip movie.

Nov. 17: Justice League

The whole DC Comics crew—Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman—unite to face a common enemy in this superhero convention (footage above), which had better be light and airy to compensate for Batman v Superman’s super-somber serious-fest.

Nov. 22: Coco

Pixar’s Día de los Muertos-inspired animated film counts Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt among its all-Latino voice cast.

Nov. 22: Murder on the Orient Express

Kenneth Branagh joins a long list of actors who have played Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot in this new adaptation of her 1934 novel, which Branagh also directs.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Aside from the above extensions of the Marvel and DC universes, November is surprisingly light on the franchise front.


December

Columbia Pictures

Dec. 15: Star Wars: Episode VIII

The follow-up to The Force Awakens needs no introduction. It’s a Star Wars movie. Everyone’s going to see it and it’s going to be huge.

Dec. 22: Jumanji

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star in this reboot of the 1995 Robin Williams adventure movie, based on Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book.

Dec. 22: Downsizing

Alexander Payne, who made Nebraska, The Descendants and Sideways, offers a respite from the action-blockbuster fare with a satirical film, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, about a man who decides to shrink himself.

Dec. 25: The Greatest Showman

Hugh Jackman, who has been developing the project since 2009, plays circus pioneer P.T. Barnum in this musical biopic, costarring Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya.

Reboot/Remake/Sequel Watch:

Dec. 22: Pitch Perfect 3

 


TBA

Melinda Sue Gordon—20th Century Fox

Battle of the Sexes: Emma Stone and Steve Carell face off as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, who famously played one another in a tennis match, watched by some 90 million people, in 1973.

Creed 2: Early in 2016, Variety reported that MGM was aiming for a November 2017 release for Creed 2, which would put the boxing sequel out two years after the first, but given that director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B. Jordan are tied up with Black Panther, a 2017 release may be shaky prospect.

Mary Magdalene: Rooney Mara plays the biblical figure (opposite Joaquin Phoenix’s Jesus) in this film from Garth Davis, whose 2016 drama Lion is currently getting awards-season play.

War Machine: Netflix will release this adaptation of Michael Hastings’ 2012 bestseller The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, with Brad Pitt starring as General Stanley McChrystal.

Bright: Netflix will also release this David Ayer/Will Smith thriller (for those willing to give the pair a second chance after Suicide Squad), which centers on gang wars between humans and Orcs in South Central L.A.

Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Project: It’s safe to say that a reunion of the director and star of There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, respectively), has more than a few cinephiles excited. The untitled project is set in London’s fashion world in the 1950s.

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