2017 is almost down to close. A new year is upon us, and with it, plenty of new things to look forward to. We thought we’d share some of the excitement with you folks and let y’all know on the movies we’re most eagerly anticipating next year. So here’s presenting our list of the Top 10 Highly Anticipated Movies for 2018.
Ready Player One (Release Date: Mar 30, 2018)
Directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One is based on the 2011 novel of the same name authored by Ernest Cline. The movie sees the central character plunge himself into the virtual reality world of Oasis on a hunt to discover a stash of treasure hidden inside the system by its creator and plays out the encounters he has therein. Depicting a dystopian future, the movie is a lot more relevant now than ever what with all the talk and buzz around virtual reality having picked steam significantly in the last two years thanks largely due to Facebook and Oculus’s efforts in the area. In fact, one could make a strong case for the organization behind the Oasis being representative of a futuristic Facebook. With Spielberg returning to direct a fictional sci-fi action adventure and the trailers having received high praise, this one should certainly be a must watch.
Aquaman (Release Date: Dec 21, 2018)
Helmed by acclaimed filmmaker James Wan responsible for such movies as Insidious and Furious 7, Aquaman is the next installment in the famed DC Expanded Universe (DCEU) starring Jason Momoa in the lead role. The movie tells the story of Arthur Curry, half-Atlantean, half-human who is capable of surviving both beneath the sea and on land and explores the aftermath of his life after the events of 2017’s Justice League while presumably also giving us some insight into his origin. The movie is also set to feature stars like Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson and Nicole Kidman in pivotal roles (with Dafoe even having a cameo in Justice League that ended up being cut). With no Star Wars for competition this fall, the $160 million movie is slated to arrive December 2018.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Release Date: Nov 02, 2018)
The follow-up to the not-so-well received X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix features most of the same cast of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Evan Peters and others with the addition of Jessica Chastain . Set in the 90s, the movie is a re-attempt of sorts at the Dark Phoenix storyline from the comics which received criticism for the way it was adapted in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Wanting to do a faithful adaptation, producer Simon Kinberg is more heavily involved in the installment, now writing, producing and directing the movie for a Nov 2018 release. Principal photography has wrapped with the movie now undergoing post-production for its targeted release date. While the concept of this movie was interesting and much looked up upon for most of last year, the recent turn of events with the Disney-Fox deal have cast a bleak future on this movie’s significance and whether or not there will be any follow-ups to this as Marvel looks to incorporate X-Men in the MCU.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Release Date: Jun 22, 2018)
After arriving with a thud on the big-screen, 2015’s Jurassic World ended up making a huge amount of money, grossing $1.6 billion. It follows then that the sequel to the dino-blockbuster, now the fifth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, is high on the list of excited fans and movie-goers. Despite ending up as the third highest-grossing movie of all time, Jurassic World was not without its share of criticism with fans calling the reboot a traditional action-adventure flick that eschewed the elements of suspense in favor of cheap thrills. And while the filmmakers have tried to assuage fan concerns emphasizing that the next film would be a return to the suspenseful nature of the original, even bringing in horror director J. A. Bayona to helm with Colin Trevorrow taking a backseat to writing, the recently released trailer has done little to alleviate fan concerns. Regardless, with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard still in the lead and Jeff Goldblum returning to the franchise as Ian Malcolm, the movie still has a lot going in its favor and doesn’t stop it from being one that people are highly anticipating.
Deadpool 2 (Release Date: Jun 01, 2018)
When the foul-mouthed merch appeared in his solo outing in 2016’s Deadpool, little did anyone know that he would be so popular as to have his solo movie make more than $750 million and end up becoming the highest-grossing R-Rated movie of all time. Such was the level of anticipation that a sequel was planned and confirmed even before the movie’s release. The original was known for its unique and innovative marketing campaign and if the recently released weird Thanksgiving Teaser is anything to go by, the sequel plans to take it several notches ahead. As with X-Men, Disney’s acquisition of Fox means the future of Deadpool is in flux for now although seeing the movie’s success and independent nature, the best thing for Marvel would be to somehow work Deadpool into the MCU behind the scenes without rebooting the franchise.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (Release Date: May 25, 2018)
A fan-favorite character and a rather troubled production have put this at the top of fan anticipation list, if nothing else just to see how this Star Wars movie turns out. Troubles mounted shortly after the casting of Alden Ehrenreich with Disney being unimpressed by his performance after seeing the daily rushes. This was followed by the departure of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller citing “creative differences” with Disney after which Ron Howard was brought in to complete the film. Recently, rumors have emerged that Disney is genuinely worried Solo will bomb. There are of course bright spots, chief among which is the movie’s premise revolving around the early days of smuggler Han Solo and what made him what he was when audiences first saw him in 1977’s Star Wars. The cast is also an impressive bunch with Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany starring. Finally, Donald Glover has been tapped in to play Lando Calrissian. All these give fans something to anticipate as the movie comes out this summer and will become the first Star Wars movie since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith to release in that time frame.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Release Date: Nov 16, 2018)
When Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them came out in 2016, it was a resounding hit with critics and audiences alike, grossing more than $750 million at the box-office. One of the key reasons for its success had to do with the script which, instead of being adapted by someone else, was penned by J. K. Rowling herself. The writer of the Harry Potter series has since announced that Fantastic Beasts was the first in a series of five movies to be released 2 years apart each with the second of these out in Nov 2018. Subtitled The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel will see Grindelwald break out of prison and build his army to rule over the muggle population. His crimes will draw out Dumbledore and force him to enlist the help of his protege Newt Scamander and his aides Tina, Queenie and Jacob to thwart Grindelwald’s plans. Plenty of mysteries abound which it is difficult to dig into without getting into spoilery territory; for instance teenagers have been cast to play Dumbledore and Grindelwald suggesting that the sequel could also tell fabled tales about their early friendship. The movie stars Johnny Depp as Gillert Grindelwald, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore and Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange with Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol reprising their roles as Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein respectively.
Ocean’s 8 (Release Date: Jun 08, 2018)
The Ocean’s trilogy was known for mainly two things: the heist-focused plot with twists and turns abound and an all-star cast. This spin-off cum sequel attempts to take the same route, at least with its all female star cast. Featuring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchette, Anne Hatheway, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna among others, the film is about Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie assembling her own crew to pull of a grand heist in New York City. The first trailer was released earlier this month to rave reviews and audience expectation is high for this female centered spin-off to one of the few franchises that had retired on a high. It comes out on June 2018 amidst a rather crowded summer.
Black Panther (Release Date: Feb 16, 2018)
When Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War released in theaters on May 2016, fans immediately took a liking towards the newly introduced Black Panther, giving Marvel enough confidence to move ahead with his own flick. Played with flair by Chadwick Boseman, that movie saw T’Challa succeed his father T’Chaka, the original Black Panther as the new King of Wakanda without going too deep into its origins. His solo outing Black Panther is slated to explore the aftermath of the Civil War and give us a deep-dive into the hidden African nation of Wakanda. Directed by Ryan Coogler who himself grew up with Black Panther comics and conducted diligent research before even scripting the movie, it features a well rounded cast comprising of Michael Jordan, Danai Guria and Lupita Nyong’o along with Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis reprising their roles from Avengers: Age of Ultron. The movie is also significant for being the first black superhero movie ever made and bows in theaters on Feb 2018, a few months before the movie that tops out list. To whet your appetites, you can check out a few stills from the movie here.
Avengers: Infinity War (Release Date: May 04, 2018)
Ever since Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced at the El Capitan theater that Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will conclude with the two parter Avengers: Infinity War, fan excitement for this movie has been through the roof. Even a small trailer aired for the movie comprising of footage from prior films was met with a much enthusiastic applause from the audience and saw the internet recreating it despite Marvel never releasing the official footage. And after seeing the Russo brothers prove in Captain America: Civil War that they’re more than capable of directing a superhero ensemble, fans were all the more excited to see both Avengers movies end up in their hands.
Since then there have been a few changes here and there, with both Avengers movie now being their own standalone movies instead of being two-parters and Spider-Man being a part of both movies after the historic deal worked out between Marvel and Sony. Infinity War had a showing at both Disney’s D23 and Marvel’s Comic Con and while the footage shown there wasn’t released officially, it did manage to get leaked. What fans got instead was a trailer that has raised hype levels up several notches and resulted in over 230 million views in 24 hours on all platforms making it the highest viewed trailer of all time. The movie now sits at the top of several highly anticipated lists (including ours) and with it being the culmination of 10 years’ worth of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began with 2008’s Iron Man. It comes out on May 4, 2018 and should unsurprisingly shatter box-office records.
Notable Mention: 2.0
While Indian movies generally don’t make it to such lists due to them lacking international appeal, a few ones do stand out. Last year’s Baahubali 2: The Conclusion ended up trending on Google’s search rankings and we foresee a similar future for next year’s 2.0. The sequel to the 2010 South Indian movie Enthiran a.k.a. Robot, 2.0 is directed by Indian veteran Shankar and stars Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar in the lead roles along with Amy Jackson with A. R. Rahman returning to score. The movie has been the subject of some debate due to its constantly postponing release date, which if recent reports are to be believed is due to some dispute with an American VFX firm for defaulting on timely delivery of the movie’s effects shots. Originally set for release on Oct 2017, it was first pushed back to Jan 26, 2018 before once again being postponed to Apr 20, 2018. And while little in terms of official plot has been made available, the movie has had a grand music launch in Dubai coupled with two behind the scenes videos released to get people excited. Budgeted at $70 million (Rs. 450 crores approx.) it is touted as India’s most expensive film yet and will be released in 3D all over.
Notable Mentions: Ant-Man And The Wasp
This tiny little movie has been off the radars of a lot of people, thanks in large part due to it managing to stay away from any sort of controversy throughout its production. While the first Ant-Man had a fair bit of problems surrounding its production due to the change in directors and all, shooting on the sequel seems to have gone by without a hitch. Aside from featuring a stellar cast comprising of Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Paul Rudd and Michael Pena with the sequel having added veterans like Michelle Pfieffer and Lawrence Fishburn, little is known about the movie in terms of official plot. Rumors though have circulated that the movie will feature the aftermath of Scott Lang’s actions in Civil War and his decision to rush to the aid of Steve Rogers leaving behind everything else. There were also brief rumors of Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye making an appearance in the movie although they were quickly shot down by director Peyton Reed. Finally, this is one of the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to feature a female superhero in the lead title. All these make it an exciting movie to look forward to when it hits theaters in Jun 2018, two months after Avengers: Infinity War.
There you have it. This is our list of movies we’re most excited for in 2018. As is the case with most lists of such nature, this is highly subjective though it should largely resonate with most fans. What are your thoughts on this list? Did we miss any movie? Or do you think some movies here don’t deserve to be here? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget to have a Happy New Year.