Now that we’ve had the chance to go through the best and worst movies of 2016, we can finally look ahead to what 2017 has to offer. At a quick glance, there’s a ton of remakes, reimaginings, and retellings amidst the usual sea of sequels. However, there are ten (give or take) that really stand out for one reason or another.
10. ’Captain Underpants’
Before you say anything, I know that this is a weird pick. But let me preface this by saying that I read some of the most random things when I was a kid. From Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s autobiography to Edgar Allen Poe to a wide variety of comic books, my bookshelf was quite an eclectic collection of literature. But one series that always stood out to me was ‘Captain Underpants’. Writer and illustrator Dav Pilkey’s tale about two fourth graders who hypnotize their aggressive principal to believe that he’s a superhero that they made up caught my imagination because it was so silly. With over the top villains like Dr. Diaper, Sir Stinks A Lot, and Professor Poopypants, silly is really the only word that I could use to describe it. Basically, it’s good, old-fashioned toilet humor meant to make kids giggle and that was part of the fun of reading these books when I was a kid. Plus, everyone kept trying to ban these books, so I had to read them out of defiance.
But now ‘Turbo’ director David Soren is leading an adaptation of the novels for Dreamworks starring Ed Helms as the titular Captain alongside Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Nick Kroll, and Thomas Middleditch. Considering that the studio managed to assemble an all-star cast for a goofy little movie like this, I’d probably be interested regardless of my personal connection to the ‘Captain Underpants’ series. But hopefully the movie stands up to the standards set by the young mid to late 90s version of myself.
Release Date: June 2, 2017
9. ‘Ghost in the Shell’/‘The Great Wall’
You were probably going into this list expecting to see movies that I am excited for in the New Year. Well, with all the controversy surrounding ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and ‘The Great Wall’, I’m anticipating how bad they could be. And not just in terms of the quality of the script or the direction. After all, it could be interesting to follow the story of a counter-cyberterrorist cyborg or a mighty warrior that joins forces with the most formidable armies in China to protect the country from an ancient beast. But on one hand, their casting choices are extremely detrimental to the representation of Asians and Asian Americans in cinema. Conversely, the footage released from both movies so far are pretty interesting. Whether they’re solid movies or not, they’re still very important pieces of a conversation that more people need to participate in, so they have definitely made this list.
Release Date: March 31, 2017/February 17, 2017
8. ‘The Dark Tower’
As a fan of ‘Star Wars’ and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I can appreciate when filmmakers are planning a huge, ambitious story. For a number of years now, an adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ has been the most ambitious thing gestating in Hollywood. Set for a major motion picture and a television series following a lone frontiersman knight on an epic quest, the project had previously involved legendary filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard and stars like Javier Bardem, Viggo Mortensen, Russell Crowe, Aaron Paul, and Liam Neeson before ultimately landing in the hands of Sony Pictures and Danish writer/director Nikolaj Arcel along with their stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Despite being largely unfamiliar with the source material, I really want to see how ‘The Dark Tower’ turns out.
Release Date: July 28, 2017
7. ‘The Space Between Us’
Though it made an appearance on my most anticipated list for 2016, ‘The Space Between Us’ starring ’Ender’s Game’ star Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson of ‘Tomorrowland’ was pushed back to 2017 for one reason or another. Regardless of whatever those reasons are, I’m still looking forward to seeing this sci-fi romance between a boy from Mars and a girl from Earth play out.
Release Date: February 3, 2017
6. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’
As a whole, the Thor franchise has been the most disappointing series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first one was okay, but nothing too great. Then ‘Thor: The Dark World’ turned out to arguably be the worst Marvel Studios film released so far thanks to too much exposition, questionable pacing, and entirely too little Christopher Eccleston. However, the Asgardian Avenger is in for a huge shake-up with director Taika Waititi and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. Who would have thought that the God of Thunder would be taking part in an intergalactic buddy road movie with the incredible Hulk as played by Mark Ruffalo? Taking inspiration from the acclaimed ‘Planet Hulk’ and ‘Ragnarok’ storylines, this thing could get really wild in a hurry, so I’m looking forward to tagging along for the ride.
Release Date: November 3, 2017
5. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’
Ten years ago, no one could have guessed that a movie based on the Guardians of the Galaxy would be amazing. Hell, I’ll bet most people wouldn’t have been able to tell you who made up the team five years ago. But here we are in a world where Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon are some of the most beloved characters in the entire Marvel Universe. Now they’re ready to come back with a whole new adventure in 2017, so you can bet your ass that it’s one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I mean, did you see that trailer? Not only does it look like director James Gunn is going bigger and crazier than the first installment with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, but Baby Groot (and his little coat) is too adorable to be ignored. Since the credits rolled on the first movie, I have been ready to hop on the Milano and go for an adventure with the Guardians once again. Thanks to 2017, we’re finally getting that chance.
Release Date: May 5, 2017
4. ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’
One of my favorite science fiction movies of all time is ‘The Fifth Element’. I remember thinking that is was absolutely remarkable how Luc Besson was able to create these aliens and their worlds. Everything was so vibrant and colorful and amazing. Now, it looks like the French filmmaker will have the opportunity to do something like that again, except now he has a whole new world of technology at his disposal to bring the world of ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ to life. I can only imagine what he plans to show us with his latest futuristic feature following the space and time travelers played by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.
Release Date: July 21, 2017
3. ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’
After seeing ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, I immediately wanted to watch more ‘Star Wars’ movies. Though I could easily watch its sequel (‘A New Hope’), there’s something way more exciting when you know that a brand new episode is coming in less than a year. What a time to be alive! So after meeting Jyn Erso and her crew, it’ll be great to return to Rey, Finn, and Poe in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ to see what unfolds for them as they face Kylo Ren and the First Order. Also, it doesn’t hurt that we’ll be getting more BB-8. After the year that we just had, the more BB-8 in our lives the better.
Release Date: December 15, 2017
2. ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’
Yes, I included all three Marvel Studios releases on my most anticipated list, but how could you not be excited about each new chapter that the House of Ideas has in store for True Believers around the world? However, after ‘Captain America: Civil War’, it’ll be especially great to see what’s next for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who just so happens to be the best live-action portrayal of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger to date. Though the audience has certainly grown tired of all the reboots surrounding this particular franchise, it seems like this is the fresh start that Spidey needed on the big screen. Plus, it just seems right to finally have a young Peter Parker come home to the MCU. By taking that angle, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ gets to explore areas of the character than haven’t been depicted in movies yet. Hopefully, it’s as well received as his debut appearance alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes so we can go from homecoming to junior prom, senior prom, the Sadie Hawkins dance, and graduation.
Release Date: July 7, 2017
1. ‘Wonder Woman’
I’ve built up a reputation on ScienceFiction.com as a Marvel guy. Based on this list alone, I’m clearly a fan. However, that doesn’t mean that I want other comic book movies to fail. It’s quite the contrary actually because when everybody does well, then everybody is pushed to be better. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some epic comic book movies in theaters for many years to come. But that can’t happen if DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. fail with their cinematic universe. And since Zack Snyder is still involved in ‘Justice League’, I have a hard time thinking that that movie will be the one to change the public perception of DC’s live-action movies.
‘Wonder Woman’ on the other hand can be a huge game-changer. Not only does it appear to actually be a good movie based on trailers and various other promotional material (unlike its predecessors), but a feature film starring the Amazonian warrior has been a long time coming. It doesn’t matter if her film franchise had to be rebooted as much as Batman’s or Superman’s. The bottom line is that Wonder Woman should have had a cinematic presence greater than or equal to her male counterparts by now. And judging by her appearance in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, she just may surpass the current iterations of her peers and get the recognition that she rightfully deserves. Sure, the bar is set really, really low, but ‘Wonder Woman’ has the potential to be the best DC movie since ‘The Dark Knight Returns’.
Release Date: June 2, 2017
What are some of your most anticipated films of 2017? Are you excited about any of the movies on our list? Let us know in the comments below.