Image source: screenrant.com
2016 looks like a year for blockbusters at the box office, thanks to a massive number of sequels, reboots, and superhero projects headed our way. There might not be any individual film to quite match the attention level of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but on the whole it would be a surprise if 2016 isn’t a busier year at the movies than 2015. There’s a lot to be excited about!
These films already have us eagerly anticipating releases—scouring the web for new trailers and details. Let’s take a look!
‘Deadpool’ (February 12, 2016)
Deadpool is one of the weirdest and most enjoyable characters in the X-Men series. Even though he was more or less bastardized in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he’s now getting a fair shot at a solo film. Oddly, Ryan Reynolds is getting a second crack at it, and this time around it looks like director Tim Miller is really unleashing him. Reynolds is perfectly capable of the combination of goofy humor and pure obnoxiousness that makes Deadpool fun.
More than anything though, Deadpool is exciting because it will be such a different superhero movie. The plot is pretty basic: an experiment on a soldier leads to superpowers, etc. But this trailer pretty much says it all: this ain’t your average Avengers flick. (Head’s up, this is the Red Band Trailer. #YouveBeenWarned)
‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ (March 25, 2016)
The build-up to this movie started well over a year ago, when casting rumors began and fans exhaustedly began pondering what yet another cinematic version of Batman would look like. In fact, the very announcement of this movie seemed to split comic film fans into two camps: those who believe Christopher Nolan perfected Batman and the character should be left alone for a while; and those who enjoyed Zack Snyder’s take on a massive superhero saga in Man Of Steel and are curious to see what he’ll do moving forward.
Fast-forward to the beginning of 2016 and we’re just a few months from the release. Now, like it or not, Dawn Of Justice is poised to dominate the headlines in entertainment for a while, as evidenced by the fact that the Internet recently freaked out over our first look at the Bat Cave (is this really that exciting?). Man Of Steel wasn’t entirely well-received by fans or critics, and again there are plenty who don’t see the need for Ben Affleck’s Batman so soon after Christian Bale’s … But this is going to be a massive movie regardless. And as for plot, the title pretty much says it all with this one, no?
‘Captain America: Civil War’ (May 6, 2016)
Not a whole lot needs to be said for this one, given that pretty much every release involving the Avengers is guaranteed to bring in a billion dollars (give or take a few pennies) at the box office. Nevertheless, Civil War looks particularly intriguing in the midst of so many superhero movies.
Like its DC counterpart Dawn Of Justice, this film will feature a conflict between characters we generally recognize as allies. In this case, it’s Captain America and Iron Man facing off and dividing S.H.I.E.L.D. in the process. The source of the conflict is an attempt by the government to restrict and regulate superhero activity, which Captain America evidently isn’t cool with. It’ll be nice to see these guys take on each other instead of some city-bashing galactic monster.
‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (May 27, 2016)
20th Century Fox has been somewhat hit-or-miss with its Marvel movies (don’t forget about Fantastic Four), but what they’ve done with the 16-year-and-counting X-Men franchise is pretty incredible. Through seven films, admittedly with a few misses, Bryan Singer and Co. have firmly established multiple generations of popular X-Men characters. It’s gotten to the point that the actors and actresses involved have taken the place of the classic comic images that represented the characters for so long.
Hear “Wolverine” and you probably think of Hugh Jackman before the yellow-costumed cartoon savage; pick up an X-Men video game and you’ll see actor renditions instead of comic-style animations; this site even features a few themed casino games with photos of the cast on display to attract players, rather than the comic images. It’s really been a complete transformation of how we see these iconic characters.
But Hugh Jackman’s excellence and video game and online casino content aside, the greatest achievements in this whole process have been the last couple of films. X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days Of Future Past brought new sophistication to the series, and the latter leads directly into X-Men: Apocalypse, in which Oscar Isaac will play the world’s first mutant (Apocalypse) and the X-Men’s most dangerous adversary yet. That’s enough to make this an extremely promising project.
‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ (June 24, 2016)
Well, arguably the most famous alien invasion movie ever made is getting a sequel 20 years later, and that about says it all. Throw in the fact that the trailer invoked Bill Pullman’s legendary “we’re going to live on” speech from the original, and excitement for this one among fans is reaching fever pitch. The absence of Will Smith, who reportedly won’t appear due to an unsuccessful contract dispute, certainly hurts, but this movie is going to draw a crowd regardless.
As for what’s happening this time, it looks as if the aliens Earth defeated in 1996 are simply back for more. In an interesting twist, however, mankind has used the alien technology from the 1996 attacks to develop more advanced defenses. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are back as (former) President Whitmore and David Levinson, respectively.
‘Star Trek Beyond’ (July 22, 2016)
J.J. Abrams, who may as well be recognized as the reigning King of Sci-Fi, rebooted the Star Trek franchise in a pretty sensational way with 2009’s Star Trek. The result is that just as we’ve seen with X-Men, there truly is a new look to this franchise for younger generations. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto come to mind when we hear the names Kirk and Spock. Modern special effects have enhanced a cinematic concept that even in its original glory days looked cheap and campy. We’ve even seen the films’ new look take over Star Trek gaming, as with X-Men, with the new actors adorning covers for console games, online casino titles, etc.
Star Trek Beyond won’t be big purely because it gets to ride this wave of new popularity. It’ll also be a fascinating release because it represents a departure from Abrams’ vision, and it’s the first real test of whether or not the modern series has staying power. Justin Lin is at the helm now, and while that might have some fanatics on edge, there’s a very promising flip-side to the new direction: Beyond will evidently be about deep space exploration, whereas the 2009 film and Star Trek Into Darkness were surprisingly grounded on Earth.
‘Suicide Squad’ (August 5, 2016)
Not to be outdone by the sequel of one of his most popular films, Will Smith will star in Suicide Squad just a month after Independence Day: Resurgence is released. He’ll play DC Comics villain Deadshot alongside Margot Robbie (playing Harley Quinn), Jared Leto (the Joker) and others, in a film about a faction of superheroes molded into a special ops team by the government.
It’s a bit of a risky move for DC and Warner Bros. given that not one of these villains has a backstory or solo film to build on. On the other hand, it might be wise of the studio to turn to DC’s villains to compete with Marvel. DC’s heroes have become a little scattered in modern film, and the company’s villains are arguably its most interesting characters anyway.
‘Assassin’s Creed’ (December 21, 2016)
Movies based on video games don’t always go very well. With that said, a lot of people feel like Assassin’s Creed might be different, in part because this is one video game series that has always prided itself on a sort of cinematic style. In other words, no one has to take a generic action hero (looking at you, Agent 47 of <em>Hitman</em>) and spin a narrative to surround him. The Assassin’s Creed franchise is bursting with rich stories and historical ideas, which means it might be more appropriate to think of this the way we think of comic book adaptations than how we view video game movies.
All that aside, it’s the cast that’s really giving this movie legs. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard—two genuine stars with both critical and box office clout—are headlining. And yes, you can already see Fassbender in all of his cloaked assassin glory. (Sorry, guys; no trailer yet!)
What movie are you most excited about for 2016? Sound off in the comments below!