Movie trailers have turned into a cultural event. Just look at ESPN, which saw its Monday Night Football viewership spike 13% the night it debuted a new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’ve reached a point where there are premiere dates for these snippets and short teasers for the full-length promos.
With a seemingly never-ending list of movies coming out next year and an onslaught of previews to match, it’s easy to get lost in the hype. That’s why we’re narrowing it down for you and looking at the trailers that make you laugh, cry, wide-eyed or just plain excited.
These are the 15 Best Trailers for Movies in 2016.
15. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
This ain’t your high school English teacher’s Jane Austen. The comedy horror is the film adaptation of the book of the same name written by Seth Grahame-Smith. It remains true to the love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy set in Regency England, but there’s a twist—an outbreak of the Black Plague which is causing the dead to rise. Swapping bonnets for Katana swords, the Bennet sisters are highly trained and ready to fight for their lives.
Capturing the drama and suspense of the horror films before it, the preview also gives off a Charlie’s Angels vibe when Elizabeth and her sisters face off against the undead during a dance. And if seeing Darcy beheading one of the foul creatures isn’t a good sign, there’s no telling what is.
Release Date: February 5, 2016
Deadpool is not your average superhero. He’s vulgar, violent and loves to break the fourth wall with constant pop culture references. Audiences got their first taste of Ryan Reynolds in costume when test footage leaked just before San Diego Comic-Con in 2014, prompting a release date announcement and high expectations for the film.
The red band trailer, which debuted on Conan, features a cancer stricken Wade Wilson undergoing an experimental treatment that turns him into an unkillable superhero named Deadpool. With comical references to Reynolds’ failed turn as the Green Lantern and an awesome soundtrack of Salt-N-Pepa and Xzibit, the first officially released footage did not disappoint.
Release Date: February 12, 2016
13. Zoolander 2
It’s been nearly a decade and a half since Zoolander was released, but that didn’t stop more than 52 million people from watching the trailer within its first week. With those numbers, the heavily delayed follow up to the 2001 cult hit has broken the record for the most views by a comedy. There’s no telling how the actual movie will turn out but it’s clear that audiences are excited.
Labeled as “old” and “lame,” Zoolander and Hansel are enlisted by Interpol to stop a conspiracy to kill the world’s most beautiful people. Interest in the trailer was undoubtedly aided by an array of celebrity cameos including Benedict Cumberbatch as an androgynous supermodel and Justin Bieber being murdered. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell are all reprising their roles.
Release Date: February 12, 2016
12. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Many were skeptical when the first footage of this film leaked online during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The movie looked like it would wallow in darkness and take itself much too seriously like its predecessors. However, things are looking up after the latest trailer debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Mankind faces a new threat when Batman takes out a personal vendetta against Superman. Not to be lost in the drama, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor brings some much-needed humor to the situation. We also get our first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman when she crashes the male-dominated scene.
Release Date: March 25, 2016
11. I Saw the Light
Who knew Tom Hiddleston could sing? When the British actor—best known as Thor’s troublesome brother Loki—was first cast as folk legend Hank Williams, the country singer’s grandson Hank Williams III spoke out in opposition. Hiddleston publicly assured Williams that he would be true to the role and it looks like he kept his word.
The film chronicles the American singer’s brief life, from his meteoric rise to fame to its harmful effects on his family and health. Hiddleston is joined by Elizabeth Olsen, who plays his wife Audrey. He immersed himself in the character by taking up singing lessons and even playing live at the Wheatland Music Festival in Michigan.
Release Date: March 25, 2016
10. The Jungle Book
Twenty-one years after the animated film was released, Disney debuted the first trailer for the live action version of the classic tale. By the looks of things, there will be a darker and less musical tone to the story.
Directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, the likes of Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Christopher Walken as King Louie, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera and Giancarlo Esposito as Akeela have been called upon to star in the film. Newcomer Neel Sethi, whose only other credit is a short film, will take on the role of Mowgli.
Release Date: April 15, 2016
9. Captain America: Civil War
Like it or not, there will always be a certain amount of hype surrounding a Marvel film. Captain America: Civil War is certainly no exception. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to deliver the first full-length preview, which features Captain America and Iron Man at odds over Bucky Barnes.
Picking up after the events in Avengers: Age of Ultron, yet another international incident forces politicians to develop a system of accountability which will determine when to call in the Avengers. This, coupled with the fact that Barnes is a wanted man, sparks a rift between Steve Rogers, who wishes to do things on his own terms, and Tony Stark, who’s in support of government oversight. It’s impossible not to be excited over seeing Barnes and Rogers reunited, and getting our first glimpse of Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther.
Release Date: May 6, 2016
8. The Nice Guys
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe aren’t exactly known for their comedic timing, but this film has them relying on those underutilized skills. The trailer’s dark humor mixed with gratuitous violence and an intriguing soundtrack gives off a strong Pulp Fiction vibe, and that’s a good thing.
Set in ‘70s Los Angeles, a struggling private eye and a hired enforced team up to investigate the disappearance of a girl and the apparent suicide of a fading porn star. Crowe and Gosling star alongside Matt Bomer, Keith David and Kim Basinger. The crime thriller reunites Crowe and Bassinger for the first time since 1997’s L.A. Confidential.
Release Date: May 20, 2016
7. Alice Through the Looking Glass
Not to be overly optimistic, but this film actually looks better than the first one. The trippy new trailer debuted in early November, but somehow got lost in the frenzy surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
After much time away, Alice returns to Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The sequel to the 2010 fantasy film will see Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman and Martin Sheen all reprising their roles.
Release Date: May 27, 2016
6. X-Men: Apocalypse
The first released images of original mutant Apocalypse drew comical comparisons to Power Rangers villain Ivan Ooze, but the internet might soon change its tune. The trailer debuted Thursday night and has already garnered 4.5 million views.
When Apocalypse awakens after a millennia at rest, he is disillusioned with the world he finds. The first and most powerful mutant, who is also worshipped as a god, recruits a team of other mutants to cleanse humanity. Obviously, Charles Xavier is not going to let that slide and assembles his own crew to save the world. With glimpses of its all-star cast in action, the trailer’s defining moment is a stoic and newly-bald Professor X staring straight into the camera. Game on.
Release Date: May 27, 2016
5. Finding Dory
2003’s Finding Nemo could be considered a modern classic. It earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and boasts a 99% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So when Ellen debuted the trailer for the sequel on her daytime talk show, it’s not surprising that people were excited.
This time around, the story will center on Dory and her quest to be reunited with her family. Set six months after the events in Nemo, she suddenly regains some childhood memories with clues that might help her find them. The forgetful blue fish sets out on that journey with friends Nemo and Marlin at her side.
Release Date: June 17, 2016
4. The Legend of Tarzan
Right after the first images of Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan and Margot Robbie as Jane Porter were released, Warner Bros. surprised everyone with a trailer as well. The live action film comes 16 years after the beloved animated feature, boasting music by Phil Collins, made its way to theaters.
Unlike the Disney classic, this one follows Tarzan after he’s acclimated into human life. Living it up as John Clayton III and married to Jane, he is invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade representative for Parliament and to investigate the activities at a mining encampment. This first look features a darker, more serious iteration of the recognizable character plus, not at all surprising, Christoph Waltz as the villain.
Release Date: July 1, 2016
3. Star Trek: Beyond
After Benedict Cumberbatch’s big reveal as Khan in 2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness angered its core audience, this sequel has something to prove. The film saw a new director in Fast and Furious’ Justin Lin, plus a writing credit from self-admitted fanboy Simon Pegg. The trailer, which debuted the same week that Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters, pushes past the restraints of an origin story and takes the crew straight into the action.
This time around, powerful aliens destroy the USS Enterprise and leave the remaining crew stranded on an unknown planet where they few a new enemy. With big explosions, quippy dialogue and the heart pumping soundtrack of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” which was used in the first film, this one looks like it’s going to be a lot more fun. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana and Anton Yelchin are all reprising their roles, and newcomer Idris Elba joins the film as the villain.
Release Date: July 22, 2016
2. Independence Day: Resurgence
Continuing the theme of long-awaited sequels, this one comes 19 years after the first movie made its way to theaters. The trailer debuted in mid-December and features a heavily bearded Bill Pullman, a short-haired Vivica A. Fox and a worried Jeff Goldblum reprising their roles.
After the events of the first film, nations around the world recovered alien technology to collaborate on a defense program that would protect the planet. This added security will be tested when the aliens return much stronger than before and plan another attack. Mankind must join forces once again to save themselves from extinction. Even without Will Smith (his character dies before this film takes place), it’s hard not to have faith in the project after hearing a rehashed version of that awe-inspiring speech delivered by Pullman in the first one. The sequel will include newcomers like Liam Hemsworth, Brent Spiner and Jessie Usher as Smith’s son.
Release Date: July 24, 2016
1. Suicide Squad
Anyone who steps into the Joker’s shoes after Heath Ledger will be under intense scrutiny, and that’s exactly what happened when Jared Leto was announced as the green-haired villain. He insists that his interpretation of the beloved character will be wildly different and, by the looks of the trailer, he isn’t lying.
Unlike the other comic book movies coming out next year, this film centers on a group of supervillains called in for black ops missions in exchange for clemency. The superstar cast includes Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and even Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne.
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Is there an awesome trailer missing from this list? Let us know in the comments!
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