With December quickly coming to an end, 2017 is basically in our rear view mirrors and we can start looking towards 2018. But when it comes to previewing the major motion pictures premiering in the new year, it might be a fairly daunting task to figure out just which releases you’re most excited for. I mean, there will likely be something from Marvel or possibly a ‘Star Wars’ story on your list (and they’d be on mine too), but here are a few more films that fall under the ScienceFiction.com banner that may or may not get you as excited as we are to get to a movie theater next year. (And, you know, the ‘Star Wars’ and some Marvel stuff too.)
Honorable Mention: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’
For the record, ‘Jurassic World’ was not a good movie. But somehow Colin Trevorrow still managed to turn the extremely lazy and generally lackluster script into an immensely entertaining theatrical dino-spectacle that hit all the right nostalgic notes and reminded the audience of the iconic film that started it all, ‘Jurassic Park’. So to say that the sequel ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is highly-anticipated is quite the over-statement. In fact, it’s barely just anticipated. But let’s just say that there are two words that have me somewhat excited to see what new director J.A. Bayona has to offer. What are those two words? Jeff. Goldblum. Yup, Dr. Ian Malcolm is back and that alone is reason enough to be excited enough to mention this movie.
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Honorable Mention: ‘Bumblebee’
Just like ‘Jurassic World’, the Transformers movies have largely been a disappointment (with the exception of first one and the Universal Studios attraction). But the upcoming spinoff ‘Bumblebee’ starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena will have something that those movies didn’t: A different director. That’s right! Instead of Michael Bay, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ director Travis Knight will helm the prequel to 2007’s ‘Transformers’ that follows the titular character as he finds himself in California two decades before meeting Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky. Hopefully, this robot in disguise can thrive now that he has escaped the tyrannical rule of Bay and his masturbatory action with very little plot.
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Honorable Mention: ‘Mary Poppins Returns’
Though I may not be as cynical for this one as I am with the other honorable mentions on this list, I’m still on the fence about ‘Mary Poppins Returns’. After all, though Emily Blunt may be very talented in her own right, she’s no Julie Andrews. But with that being said, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s involvement does raise the stakes considerably due to his incredible work on ‘In The Heights’, ‘Moana’, and the worldwide phenomenon known as ‘Hamilton’. So while this may fall under the “Most Anticipated” category, let’s just say that I’m still cautiously optimistic about it until we get a better idea of what director Rob Marshall has in store for the practically perfect nanny.
Release Date: December 25, 2018
10. ‘The House with a Clock in its Walls’
Prior to conducting my research for this list, ‘The House with a Clock in its Walls’ wasn’t even on my radar. However, once I learned that Eli Roth was trying his hand at adapting a book originally meant for children, it definitely caught my eye. Yeah, you didn’t misread that. The filmmaker known for directing torture porn horror pioneer ‘Hostel’ and the 70s cannibal film homage ‘The Green Inferno’ is tackling a kids movie based on a novel written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey about a recently orphaned boy that has a run in with dark wizards that want to destroy the world. Wait… That sounds familiar… Anyway, Roth’s involvement enough motivation to go and check this one out.
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Following three disappointing showings from the DC Extended Universe since its launch in 2013, Warner Bros. and DC bounced back in 2017 with ‘Wonder Woman’ (and roughly half of ‘Justice League’). Now that it seems like the studios are learning from their mistakes, it makes me hopeful for their next film, ‘Aquaman’. And honestly, most of that hope comes from star Jason Momoa and his version of Arthur Curry. I’m personally enamored by the idea of a Pacific Islander playing the King of Atlantis, but after seeing him in two movies, we’ve already seen how badass this Aquaman can be and that could make for some solid superhero blockbuster action.
Release Date: December 21, 2018
8. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’
Much like ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, there’s mainly one person that I’m excited to see in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Unfortunately, it’s not even Han Solo. As soon as Donald Glover was cast as a young Lando Calrissian, I was all in on this movie. Even as troubling reports emerged that resulted in creative differences and the departure of the original directors, Glover’s involvement in a ‘Star Wars’ film was enough to keep me excited. So why doesn’t that relegate ‘Solo’ to the Honorable Mentions with the dinosaurs? Well, I have hope that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy will do what’s best for all on ‘Star Wars’. Under her regime, we’ve gotten a number of awesome new stories from a galaxy far, far away across a number of different formats. She and the Lucasfilm Story Group clearly have the best intentions in mind for this beloved franchise, so even if things look bleak, I’m going to continue to have faith until I have a solid reason not to. After all, hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you see it, you won’t make it through the night.
7. ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2’
Since ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ came out in 2012, fans have been clamoring for more adventures featuring the residents of Litwak’s Family Fun Center & Arcade. Even director Rich Moore agreed that they had barely scratched the surface of what is essentially the video game equivalent of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. Luckily, the House of Mouse agreed to give the filmmaker a chance to tell more stories in this world and explore the variety of other ways that people play video games. But as Ralph and Vanellope enter the internet via a wi-fi router in order to acquire parts to fix the Sugar Rush machine, this has the potential to get pretty nuts. I can already imagine the numerous computer puns and delightful cameos that are waiting for us when it’s game on for ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ later this year.
Release Date: November 21, 2018
6. ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’
‘Pacific Rim’ is another movie that fans demanded a sequel for almost immediately. Despite losing Guillermo Del Toro as the director and star Charlie Hunnam, things still look promising for the next round of the giant robots vs giant monsters battle in ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’. Now following John Boyega’s Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s fallen Stacker Pentecost and adopted brother of Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori, we’ll see a whole new generation of Jaeger pilots take on the returning Kaiju threat in order to save humanity once again.
Release Date: March 23, 2018
5. ‘Black Panther’
After ten years, it seems like almost every time a new movie from Marvel Studios comes out, it’s praised as an epic game changer. But for the first time in the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a movie doesn’t even have to be released yet to be a game changer because ‘Black Panther’ marks the first time in the modern era of superhero movies from the Big Two features a person of color as the titular hero. It’s seriously so nice to finally start seeing some major diversity in big Hollywood productions. But on top of all that, the King of Wakanda’s first solo film looks unlike any superhero movie we’ve seen before. Director Ryan Coogler is definitely going to change the game in more than one way once this one drops.
Release Date: February 16, 2018
4. ‘Ready Player One’
While ‘Ralph Wrecks The Internet’ will be a mash-up of some iconic video game characters, ‘Ready Player One’ is an amalgamation of every corner of pop culture. Based on the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, the upcoming film depicts a dystopian Earth where the majority of its population basically lives in a virtual space known as the OASIS. But when a race ensues to determine ownership of this space, a young man and his friends appear to be the final defense against an evil corporation taking over their way of life. Along the way, the journey is littered with cultural references from the 1980s all the way up to today. Interestingly enough, director Steven Spielberg was responsible for a number of those references made in the book that shaped the childhoods of the majority of the audience for this film. It will be very interesting to see how he handles these beloved cultural touchstones that he and his contemporaries made famous since it could come off as either really fun additions to the story or a really corny attempt by the older generation to stay cool and relevant. Here’s hoping that it’s the former and not the latter!
Release Date: March 30, 2018
3. ‘Incredibles 2’
Before 20th Century Fox tried (and subsequently failed) at bringing the Fantastic Four to the big screen, Pixar and filmmaker Brad Bird successfully delivered a movie featuring a family of superheroes with ‘The Incredibles’. However, unlike Mr. Fantastic and company who have comic books for fans to fall back on when they wanted more, the team of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack basically only existed in the one movie. Now, Bird has finally found the right story to bring the Parr family back into our lives with ‘Incredibles 2’. On one hand, it’s great that he, Pixar, and Disney didn’t just churn out another movie to capitalize on the first one’s popularity. But on the other hand, we had to wait nearly fifteen years to see the Incredibles kick the Underminer’s butt. Hopefully, it will have been worth the wait and this won’t just be some cash grab at the expense of these beloved characters and their beloved animated classic.
Release Date: June 15, 2018
2. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Back in 2012, I thought that ‘The Avengers’ was the Marvel movie crossover that I had dreamed about since I was a child. But as it turns out, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is REALLY what I’ve been waiting for. As a life-long True Believer and crossover fanatic, I’m really looking forward to seeing as many Avengers as possible in one movie. Sure, I wish that the stars of Marvel’s acclaimed TV shows could join in too, but I’ll take what I can get. But at this point, “what I can get” is still going to be pretty epic since Thanos won’t be going down without a fight.
Release Date: May 4, 2018
1. ‘The Happytime Murders’
Back in 2008, the Jim Henson Company began developing an irreverent puppet comedy titled ‘The Happytime Murders’ that riffed on the classic film noir detective genre. Similar to the musical ’Avenue Q’, this story takes place in a world where puppets co-exist with humans and it follows a disgraced ex-cop (and puppet) named Phil Phillips as he teams up with his former partner to catch a serial killer that is targeting the cast of a beloved 80s TV show. Over the years, just when it would appear to gain some traction, things would stall and the movie would return to developmental hell (at which point I forgot that this was a thing at all). But that all changed in May 2017 when Melissa McCarthy signed on to star and produce the long-gestating project. With an R rating, Brian Henson set as the director, and a stellar human cast that includes Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks, and Joel McHale so far, this has the potential to be something truly hilarious.
Release Date: August 17, 2018
What are some movies that you’re excited to see in 2018? Did any of these selections make it onto your lists? And are there any that you’re surprised that we didn’t include? Sound off in the comments!