Now that blockbuster season is over at the cinema, it is time to look at what is coming to theatres in the next few months. I normally find the September to November period of cinema to be a bit of baron wasteland where films that are released before the Oscar season either underperform or are just plain bad. However, this year that looks like it might change as there are several films out in this period that have caught my eye and look like they could be very good. So without further ado, here are the films that I am looking forward to from now until December.
10. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
Director: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan
When this film was first announced, I was not looking forward to it. This is mostly because the original Jumanji (1995) was such an enjoyable film to me as a child; I did not want this new film to tarnish it by being a run of the mill remake. However, when the cast was announced and the trailer was released my view of this changed. The trailer shows four American students in detention tidying up a basement at school where they find an old video game console with the game ‘Jumanji’ in it. When they turn it on they pick avatars in the game and in doing so are sucked into the game. The trailer shows them coming to terms with what has happened and realizing that because they are in a video game, they have special abilities. The trailer doesn’t really give away the plot either; it shows us plenty of action, explosions and general camaraderie between the cast who look like they have good chemistry between one another. I think this film is going to do well when it comes out. I am intrigued to see what a lighter/adventurous tone does to this Jumanji film, considering the original had a slightly darker and sinister feel to it. I also believe that Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart will convince audiences to go and watch it because of their star power, which will help it at the box office. However, its big problem upon release is that it will be going up against The Last Jedi, the eighth installment of the Star Wars saga in the box office which could make people not go and see it. However, I will be going to see this because judging from the trailer (posted below) it looks like it will be an enjoyable, leave your brain at the door film which will be a fun family film.
Release Date: December 20th
Box Office Prediction: $350-450 million dollars
9. Justice League
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, J.K Simmons, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons and Ciaran Hinds
The second biggest release this year, and probably the film that is going to be the most polarising amongst audiences. The start of the DCEU hasn’t exactly had smooth sailing weather since its conception. However, following the release of Wonder Woman I now believe that DC and Warner Brothers are on the right path and can finally go up against Marvel Studios with their latest Superhero offering. Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy; Steppenwolf, who is looking to bring death and destruction to earth. From what I have seen from the Comic Con footage and the trailers, this film promises funny moments and plenty of action packed scenes. There will be new characters introduced into this film universe for audiences such as Cyborg, The Flash and Aquaman who all look like they bring a fresh and lighter feel to a film franchise with a moody feel to it. There’s a lot riding on this film but I feel that since Joss Whedon stepped on board after Snyder dropped out due to awful circumstances, he can bring his experience from directing the first two Avengers films and help guide the film in a successful direction.
Release date: November 17th
Box office prediction: $800-930 million dollars
8. Murder on the Orient Express
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Coleman and Dame Judi Dench
Based on the acclaimed novel by Agatha Christie, director Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this film as the famous moustached detective; Hercule Poirot. A lavish train journey unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful murder mystery as Poirot is in a race against time to find a murderer on a stranded train before they strike again. Everyone is a suspect. I have always been a fan of a good old murder mystery story, so when I heard that there was going to be a new adaptation of this story, it made me very excited. This huge ensemble cast, has the talent the make this film a huge hit, particularly with Branagh at the directors helm so I am convinced he will treat the original source material with the utmost care and respect whilst also bringing a fresh take to it. If you are not familiar with the story, then I would recommend not watching previous versions or reading the book (But seriously, go ahead if you want to) so you can experience the edge of your seat suspense and excitement that the film promises.
Release date: November 3rd
Box office prediction: $250-300 million dollars
7. Blade Runner 2049
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista and Robin Wright
The long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s original neo-noir futuristic classic. There is a lot of pressure on this film, due to THE original having embossed its iconic mark on cinema history. So I can’t help feeling slightly anxious that its follow up, could have the potential to tarnish its legacy somewhat. But Star Wars has successfully established a pattern that is possible to have an excellent sequel many years later. Set thirty years after the original, Ryan Gosling plays a replicant hunter who, discovering an old secret that finds him tracking down his famous predecessor; Rick Deckard. This well-know iconic character is, of course, played by Harrison Ford, reprising one of his most famous roles. While to this day, I still get confused at the original film, there is no doubt that Villeneuve looks to have created something special, creating a film filled with Sci-Fi thrills and mystery. Judging from the trailer, he has nailed the dystopian aesthetic of the films predecessor, complete with what sounds like another incredible synth based soundtrack, this time coming from composing heavy weight; Hans Zimmer. With Villeneuve at the helm, this film is in excellent hands, with critically acclaimed films such as Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival under his belt, we could have a modern day classic on the horizon.
Release date: October 6th
Box office prediction: $400million dollars
6. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Elton John and Jeff Bridges
To say the first film was a surprise is an understatement. Full of ridiculous fight sequences, street lingo, glorious comic book style violence and excellent characters, Kingsman is back for what promises to be another riotous offering. After their HQ is destroyed, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to a discovery of an allied spy organisation across the pond known as The Statesmen. Together, these two elite spy organisations must band together to defeat their common enemy. With Matthew Vaughn back again, I’m hoping he can he build on the momentum of the first film and bring a bigger, better and crazier film extravaganza to the cinema. My only qualm with this is that it gives away a massive reveal in the trailer, which I wish they had kept quiet until the film comes out. I also feel that there is a bigger risk with this film, as it’s not come from a graphic novel like the first film did, so hopefully they are able to pull this off the same way as the first one.
Release date: September 20th
Box office prediction: £550 million dollars
5. The Shape of Water
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer
I was very surprised that this film remained had crept under my radar for so long. Guillermo del Toro is easily one of my all time favorite directors, so when I found out that he had a new film out on the way and out this year, the news put a big smile on my face. The film is set against the backdrop of the Cold War in 1962, and follows the story of Eliza who is a mute who befriends an amphibious creature known as ‘The Asset’ out of loneliness. The trailer gives off vibes that are very similar to one of del Toro’s earlier offerings; Pan’s Labyrinth (an all time favorite), it looks dark, mysterious, magical and full of heart. An aspect I’ve always enjoyed of del Toro’s filmmaking is his way to deliver an emotional twist throughout his films (with the exception of Pacific Rim) and the occasional bursts of violence that shock his audience so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these features ended up being in this film. Also expect political undertones to the challenge the audiences with. Its been a long time since I have enjoyed a fantasy film at the cinema, so I am confident that this can provide me with the great fantasy offering I’ve been waiting a long time for.
Release date: December 8th
Box Office prediction: £80-130 million dollars
4. The Snowman
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Charlotte Gainsbourg and J.K Simmons
Without a doubt the most dark and disturbing film on this list and certainly not a whimsical Christmas tale of a snowman. Michael Fassbender leads a cast in this murder mystery in an adaptation from a book of the same name directed Swedish filmmaker; Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Like I said, I am a fan of murder mystery, and this looks like its going to be a brutal and thrilling cinematic experience similar to David Fincher’s Seven. After the disappearance of a victim on the first snowfall of winter, detective Harry Hole fears that an elusive serial killer may be active once again. With the help of others, he must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall. This film looks brutal, disturbing and full of twists and turns by keeping the audience guessing until the last minute. My guess is that this film will not be for the faint hearted, just in time for Halloween as well and most importantly, the Oscar season.
Release date: October 13th
Box office prediction: $40 million dollars
3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Director: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges and Caleb Landry Jones
Martin McDonagh who directed In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths returns with his latest offering for the first time since 2012. With a star studded cast that includes the criminally underrated Sam Rockwell who deserves much more recognition. This film follows the story of a woman whose daughter is murdered and takes a stand against the police using billboards questioning why no arrests have been made. McDonagh’s appears to be turning into the new Tarantino, with his films featuring witty dialogue, dark humor and excessive bloody and ultra violent moments. If this film can hold up to McDonagh’s previous films, then we are in for a wild ride and this film promises a journey of injustice, great characters and a slow burning thriller from start to finish climaxing in wonderful bloody chaos.
Release date: November 10th
Box office prediction: $30 million dollars
2. Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddlestone, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum and Sir Anthony Hopkins
A good year for Marvel Studios ending on what is sure to be a high note. While the previous two Thor films were met with a mediocre response and had quite a serious tone that took itself way too seriously, it this final film of the Thor trilogy that looks like it is going to shake it up. Bringing New Zealand director; Taika Waititi to me is a stroke of genius, his past films such as What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople show he is the right kind of weird and humor to helm a big project such as this. The film follows Thor being imprisoned on the planet Sakaar and forced to compete in a lethal gladiator tournament against former ally; The Hulk. He must win in order to be allowed to return home to stop Hela, The Goddess of Death and the impending Ragnarok, the doom of Asgardian civilization. The best aspect of this film is that only a small part of it takes place on Earth, the rest is being described as a ‘cosmic buddy road movie’ between Thor and The Hulk which to me sounds fantastic. With Waititi being in charge, expect lots of strange but hilarious humor, vibrant colour and fun action set pieces in what is sure to be the craziest film of the year. A perfect set up for Avengers: Infinity War released next May.
Release date: October 27th (UK)
Box office prediction: $650-730 million dollars
1. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern, Warwick Davis, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Domhnall Gleeson, Benicio del Toro and Andy Serkis
Here it is, my number one, the biggest film release of the year. And not exactly the most surprising entry for this film to those who know me. From a young age, I have adored the Star Wars saga. So when the prequels came around, I was excited and liked them when I was younger. However, as I grew older, the prequels started to pale in comparison to the original three. But in 2012, when Disney announced their historic acquisition of LucasFilm for just over $4 billion dollars, I started to think that we could potentially have some better Star Wars films on the horizon. Film franchises into their eighth film, are normally stale and rehash old tropes from a period when their films were good, however, this is different with Star Wars. Following the fantastic seventh film; The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi looks to build on the momentum from this and deliver yet another glorious space epic for fans around the world. Once again following Rey as she takes her first steps into a larger world, her journey continues with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the epic saga. There was plenty set up in the previous film that people are looking to be answered in this film, such as who are Rey’s parents? How has she force sensitive? Who is the last Jedi? Who is The Supreme Leader Snoke? And why Luke is leading a life solitary on island full of penguin like creatures called Porgs. Director Rian Johnson who directed the brilliant Sci-Fi thriller; Looper is in charge this time round for a film with higher stakes, it certainly has a darker tone and a more artistic style of filming to it judging from the trailer and has echoes of The Empire Strikes Back. Expect plenty of epic space battles, lightsaber duels and an emotional farewell to Carrie Fisher in her last as Princess Leia, following her tragic death at the end of 2016.
Release date: December 14th
Box office prediction: $1.4 billion dollars
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