We are firmly in 2016. Okay, so it’s just a week, but there’s no going back. So let’s take a look forward at the 16 movies to watch in 2016.
While 2015 had quite the haul of geek movies and other interesting films released, this year is already looking to top it.
The first movie on the list – and one of the few that I have had marked since the announcement of the release date – is Deadpool, which comes to theaters on Feb. 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Ryan Reynolds reprises the role of the “Merc with a Mouth,” sans mouth being sewn shut as it was in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
For those unfamiliar with Deadpool, he’s not your typical hero and this won’t be your typical movie. Think of it like this: based on the trailer, this will be an R-rated superhero Ferris Bueller, in that the fourth wall will be broken often. Get you’re chimichangas ready for a Valentine’s Day you’ll never forget.
Next up, and moving from Marvel to DC, is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coming to theaters on March 25. There is a lot riding on this film. Not only is it time for Ben Affleck to prove he is Batman, but this is DC’s start at building their own cinematic universe.
The success or lack thereof of this film will have serious repercussions for the eventual building of a live-action Justice League film. They appear to be headed in the right direction, but we’ll have to wait until five days into the spring to find out.
Moving back to Marvel, the cinematic juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues on May 6 with Captain America: Civil War.
This movie will be larger than any MCU film before it, as it will include more heroes than any of them. We will be introduced to new heroes, in addition to the first MCU appearance of Spider-Man. This one is the early favorite to be the breakout of the year.
A reboot makes the list with Going in Style, which also comes out on May 6. A heist comedy originally starring George Burns and Art Carney now has a cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Joey King, and Matt Dillon, and it’s all directed by Zach Braff. That’s a lot of star power and the reason that I believe it will not be just another reboot.
Of course, I don’t expect this to break the box office, going up against Civil War as it is, but it still makes the list.
On May 27, Tim Burton is returning to Wonderland, this time as the producer of Alice Through the Looking Glass, which is returning cast members Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway, to name a few.
This time the director’s chair will be filled by James Bobin, whose last two directed films were The Muppets in 2011 and Muppets Most Wanted in 2014. But regardless of the director, with Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter back together, I expect the same magic they always seem to produce together.
Then, on June 10, for the first time on a screen that isn’t for gaming, we’ll travel to Azeroth for Warcraft, the movie based on one of the classic games in computing. Now, we all know that when video games come to the big screen things don’t usually go according to plan and good ideas don’t always come out. See the Super Mario Bros. movie or Prince of Persia if you need examples. But I have hope for Warcraft.
Though I personally never ventured down the path of World of Warcraft, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness has a place in my heart, so I’m hopeful the name is in good hands and doesn’t disappoint.
Next comes the only true sequel I’m looking forward to in 2016: Independence Day: Resurgence. The follow-up to Independence Day comes out on June 24, with Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsh, and Brent Spiner all coming back to reprise their roles.
Now, despite the trailer giving away the tragic end to Will Smith’s Captain Hiller, I still expect that, with Roland Emmerich back at the helm directing, this to be a blockbuster. Will it break any records? Will anything? I mean Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set the bar pretty high. But this could still be the biggest blockbuster of the summer.
Away from sequels, we move into comedy and reboots, or remakes, or re-imaginings, or whatever-you-want-to-call the much anticipated and much maligned Ghostbusters coming out July 15. This time, the guys have been replaced by Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig.
It remains to be seen what this is – reboot, remake, re-imagining, or what-have-you, but the Internet hasn’t been the most supportive place for this film since its inception. But director Kevin Feig seems up to the challenge and he’s brought with him some of the original cast including Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, with the added star power of Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth.
All I know is, with that much firepower in one place, they’re going to cross the streams. Let’s just hope it works out as well as it did in the original. Otherwise, it won’t be hard to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Boldly going where no Fast and Furious director has gone before is Star Trek Beyond on July 22. Fanboy and actor Simon Pegg is one of the writers this time around, which should make this more interesting than most movies in the franchise. Pegg is literally one of us, so his opportunity to write the script should be something to see.
Finishing out July on the 29th is Bourne 5, coming as the sequel to the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum. This yet to be titled film, will see the return of Matt Damon to the role. Joined by Julia Stiles and Tommy Lee Jones among others, this should and will hopefully be another strong film in the Bourne series.
August starts out with the much anticipated Suicide Squad on the 5th. This was one of the most sought-after leaked trailers from 2015’s San Diego Comic Con. Based on that interest alone, it should do well enough at the box office.
Despite featuring villains, I’m going to classify this as a superhero film. Will it be the best one of the year? Probably not. It’s got some stiff competition in house from Batman vs. Superman, as well as from Fox’s Deadpool and Gambit (more on that momentarily), plus Mavel’s Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. It’s going to be interesting to see which of these takes home honors as best superhero film of the year.
The aforementioned Gambit comes out a month later on October 7. This is supposed to be a spin-off or have some relation to X-Men: Apocalypse (which comes out on May 27, but hasn’t made my list).
However, Gambit has made the list because the character is, was, and has been a standout in the comics and cartoons of yesteryear. He could be now, but I’m not reading any titles he’d be in. Despite that, I think it may be time to start worrying… As Gambit once said [Cable #20], “Rogue, I learned a long time ago…there’s no point in worryin’ ’bout what you can’t have.” Well, this is one we can have, so maybe it’s time for a little worry.
Later in October, on the 27th, Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Normally, a synopsis of “Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find he’s now accused of a 16-year-old homicide,” with a title of “Never Go Back,” is too on the nose. But this is Tom Cruise doing what Tom Cruise does best. Well, really the only thing Tom Cruise is doing these days, but he knows what he’s good at. Until the next Mission Impossible, here’s Jack Reacher to hold you over.
With Ant-Man last year, Marvel Studios enlarged their roster of Cinematic Universe characters. On November 4th, Doctor Strange will be further add to what Civil War doesn’t in 2016. I said that dramatically, but I mean it because it is important. Yes, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America are good entities for them to have out in all media, but it’s time to expand the roster.
Doctor Strange should be interesting to watch. I’m sure the introduction will be solid, as Marvel’s getting really good at origin films. But will it be more interesting to see what role Strange will have in the rest of the Universe? How many times will he appear and how will he manifest? Yes, I’m looking past his cinematic debut, but in the MCU, as you should know by now, it’s all connected.
And then we come to December. Star Wars: Rogue One will open on December 16, but this one will be more interesting to watch as far as fan reaction. This is the first of the “anthology” films, and if you’ve seen the new film, you know what truly happens in the end. But we still want to know how it came to be, don’t we?
Knowing how it worked in the end before going to the theater didn’t work well for the prequels, but in a smaller one-off format, this should suffice to fill the gap between The Force Awakens and Episode VIII. Suffice to say, unless they really add in some twists and turns, I don’t know if anything will top The Force Awakens until the next formal episode.
Last, but not least, is Assassin’s Creed which comes to theaters after Rogue One on December 21. I’m not sure how this will do. But with Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, this should definitely be an interesting watch, even for those who haven’t played the video game.
As a bonus pick, I’m going to add Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny to this list, which comes out in February as a select theatre release and Netflix original film. There was just something special about the first film that makes me want to recapture the magic of seeing it. As sequels go, most don’t live up to the hype or nostalgia, but a lot of time has passed since the original came out in 2000.
So, that’s the list of movies I’m looking forward to this year.
Go forth and watch, enjoy your popcorn and beverage of choice as the lights turn down and the films start up. Going to the cinema is one of life’s great pleasures and, as such, it is to be enjoyed.