Screen Rant’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

Most Anticipated Movies of 2016 (List)

With 2015 behind us, it's time to explore the slate of exciting movies opening in theaters over the next 12 months – some that we’ve waited a very long time for and can’t wait to see!

Read on to find out what 25 movies Screen Rant is anticipating most in 2016 - a list narrowed down and voted upon by a committee of Screen Rant writers and editors.

This list is constructed from the personal interests of our editorial staff and what we know about the projects at the time of publication (some for instance, do not have a trailer yet let alone an official title). It represents movies we're excited to see and learn more about and not movies we believe will be the best. We have a different list for that. Without further ado, let’s begin our countdown and be sure to share your own personal picks in the comments!

25. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Neighbors 2

Release Date: May 20, 2016
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Chloë Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez, Ike Barinholtz
Studios: Universal Pictures

Neighbors was a surprise hit of 2014, mixing physical and over-the-top comedy with heart and proving Zac Efron really can be a comedy star. Efron re-teams with Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, and director Nicholas Stoller for the sequel which sees the our protagonists from the first movie team-up to battle sorority sisters who move in to their neighboring house.

24. The Accountant

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - The Accountant

Release Date: October 7, 2016
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Ben Affleck, Jon Bernthal, J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Cynthia Addai-Robinson
Studios: Warner Bros.

A film that's been in development limbo for years - previously at a different studio - The Accountant sees Ben Affleck playing a forensic accountant who moonlights as an Assassin, a job that pulls another accountant (Kendrick) into the lethal mix.

23. Warcraft

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Warcraft

Release Date: June 10, 2016
Director: Duncan Jones
Cast: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Robert Kazinsky, Toby Kebbell, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu
Studios: Atlas Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures

Blizzard Entertainment's long-running Warcraft video game series and super-successful MMO get the big budget film treatment exploring the early days of the Orc horde escaping the land of Draenor and invading the human world of Azeroth. The story follows key characters in the conflict and demonstrates what happens to families caught in the war. This could be the beginning of something massive, and like Assassin's Creed, could be a turning point for the video game movie genre.

22. Midnight Special

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Midnight Special

Release Date: March 18, 2016
Director: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Sam Shepard, Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher
Studios: Tri-State Pictures, Warner Bros.

Jeff Nichols, the writer and director of Take Shelter and Mud, teams with Michael Shannon once again for a sci-fi drama about a father taking his son on the run to protect him after learning he has special powers. Check out the Midnight Special trailer to see why we're excited about this feature and its cast.

21. The Jungle Book

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - The Jungle Book

Release Date: April 15, 2016
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Saffron Burrows, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Neel Sethi
Studios: Disney

The director of Elf and Iron Man adapts Disney's classic The Jungle Book story to live-action with an all-star cast voicing the supporting animal characters alongside Neel Sethi as young Mowgli, a man-cub raised by a family of wolves, who becomes unwelcome in the jungle when fearsome human-fearing tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens to get rid of him.

20. Finding Dory

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Finding Dory

Release Date: June 17, 2016
Directors: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Diane Keaton, Kaitlin Olson, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrell, Eugene Levy
Studios: Pixar Animation Studios, Disney

It took 13 years but Pixar and Disney are finally letting Ellen DeGeneres' memorable friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunite with her loved ones in a brand new adventure from returning co-director Andrew Stanton that aims to let everyone learn a few things about the true meaning of family.

19. The Nice Guys

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - The Nice Guys

Release Date: May 20, 2016
Director: Shane Black
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Matt Bomer, Ty Simpkins, Margaret Qualley, Keith David
Studios: Silver Pictures, Warner Bros.

The writer and director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 has a new crime thriller coming this summer headlined by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Set in the stylish '70s, The Nice Guys sees a P.I. uncovering a conspiracy surrounding the mysterious suicide of a porn star. This seems like the perfect mash-up of aesthetic, cast and genre for Shane Black.

18. Independence Day Resurgence

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Independence Day 2

Release Date: June 24, 2016
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch, Angelababy, Joey King, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, William Fichtner
Studios: Twentieth Century Fox

Master of mass-scale cinematic destruction Roland Emmerich returns for a followup to the 1996 Will Smith hit Independence Day. Can you believe it's been 20 years? While Smith doesn't return, many stars of the original cast do for the next installment in what will be at least a trilogy. In the decades since humanity united to fend off an alien invasion, they've adapted the advanced extraterrestrial tech for their own defenses knowing the alien threat would return once again. And they have with more destructive force than before.

17. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

Release Date: June 3, 2016
Director: Dave Green
Cast: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry, Brittany Ishibashi, Laura Linney
Studios: Nickelodeon Movies, Platinum Dunes, Paramount Pictures

A new director whom the cast loves to work with and a bigger budget means a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with much more screen time for the actual turtles this time around. From everything we saw on set to the latest trailer and villain reveals, Out of Shadows promises to bring what fans loved about the animated series and comics to life without holding back.

16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Fantastic Beasts

Release Date: November 18, 2016
Director: David Yates
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman
Studios: Warner Bros.

And you thought the Harry Potter franchise was finished? Never! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them began when using the name Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling wrote a novel about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe - a book that's actually also in the Harry Potter books. That was sold with the majority of earnings going towards charity but now, Rowling is screenwriting an entire trilogy of movies based on Newt set 70 years before Harry Potter's story and starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.

15. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Jack Reacher 2

Release Date: October 21, 2016
Director: Edward Zwick
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Aldis Hodge, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany
Studios: Skydance Productions, Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise is on action movie roll and is returning to make more sequels to his franchises fans love most, from more Mission: Impossible sequels to followups of Edge of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher. The latter of which sees Cruise re-team with Oscar winning director Edward Zwick after they worked together years ago on The Last SamuraiJack Reacher: Never Go Back, based on Lee Child's novel of the same name, sees Reacher (Cruise) head back to his old unit where he faces accusations of an homicide.

14. The Magnificent Seven

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Magnificent Seven

Release Date: September 23, 2016
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Luke Grimes, Wagner Moura, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Peter Sarsgaard
Studios: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Village Roadshow Pictures, Columbia Pictures

Director Antoine Fuqua teaming with Denzel Washington is by default, a winning formula. Throw in Training Day co-star Ethan Hawke, and Hollywood's hottest Chris Pratt and put them in a remake of the classic western The Magnificent Seven (pictured above - it's a retelling itself of Seven Samurai) and this is a must-watch.

13. Hail Caesar!

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Hail Caesar

Release Date: February 5, 2016
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum
Studios: Working Title Films, Universal Pictures

A star-studded, Oscar-caliber cast working under the direction of the Coens is always a picture worthy of note, but this unique comedy set in '50s era Hollywood stands out as one of the year's most stylish flicks. Watch the Hail, Caesar! trailer to see yourself! This story follows Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) who has to contend with superstar actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) being kidnapped.

12. X-Men: Apocalypse

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - X-Men Apocalypse

Release Date: May 27, 2016
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till
Studios: 20th Century Fox

Before 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past even opened in theaters, returning franchise director Bryan Singer confirmed an ambitious followup that would include Marvel Comics supervillain Apocalypse and round out the X-Men: First Class trilogy. Serving as both a culmination of everything that's come before and a relaunch of the original X-Men, X-Men: Apocalypse is the beginning and the end, as it should be. And it features more mutant characters and bigger action set pieces than any movie prior...

11. Bourne 5

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Bourne 5

Release Date: July 29, 2016
Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel
Studios: Universal Pictures

At the time of this writing, the fifth Bourne movie - but only the fourth to actually star Matt Damon as Jason Bourne - doesn't have an official title. Universal kept the series alive with a spinoff starring Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy and while we couldn't be happier seeing Damon and director Paul Greengrass back in the saddle, we can only hope this leads to a team-up between him and Renner in the next installment.

10. Star Trek Beyond

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Star Trek Beyond

Release Date: July 22, 2016
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, Joe Taslim, Lydia Wilson
Studios: Skydance Productions, Bad Robot Productions, Paramount Pictures

Director J.J. Abrams may have left the Captain's chair of the USS Enterprise behind to help relaunch the Star Wars saga, but his company Bad Robot is still producing the next installment of the Star Trek franchise with Fast & Furious' Justin Lin stepping him to deliver his own version of a Star Trek story. Where Star Trek Into Darkness played on twisting fan nostalgia, Star Trek Beyond aims offer a new adventure along with new alien species. Despite mixed reception to its first trailer, we can't help but look forward to seeing the amazing cast and crew of the Enterprise back on screen together again.

9. Assassin's Creed

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Assassin's Creed

Release Date: December 21, 2016
Director: Justin Kurzel
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Michael K. Williams, Ariane Labed, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson
Studios: Ubisoft Motion Pictures, New Regency, 20th Century Fox

We've been saying it for years, that the next genre to join in dominating Hollywood will inevitably be based on video games, but studios have continued to consistently let fans down. That's about to change and Assassin's Creed - based on Ubisoft's super-successful video game series of the same name and starring and produced by Michael Fassbender - could spearhead the shift. There are countless video game properties owned, many with scripts ready, just awaiting a greenlight. If Assassin's Creed makes big bank and earns critical praise, the industry may change forever.

8. Passengers

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Passengers

Release Date: December 21, 2016
Director: Morten Tyldum
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne
Studios: Village Roadshow Pictures, Columbia Pictures

Oscar-winning Norwegian director Morten Tyldum is following up his Oscar-nominated film The Imitation Game with a myserious sci-fi romance film based on a script that's been passed around and drafted for nearly a decade. Passengers follows a starship containing thousands of colonists in hibernation when one of them (Pratt) wakes up and chooses to wake up another (Lawrence). It's described as a sci-fi romance of sorts but from the sounds of it, Pratt plays a somewhat creepy character and perhaps that has to do with who he choose to wake up. This pairing, with an Oscar-winning director, in space... sounds like a must-see.

7. Ghostbusters

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Ghostbusters

Release Date: July 15, 2016
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Andy García
Studios: Village Roadshow Pictures, Columbia Pictures

It took way too long but a third live-action Ghostbusters film is finally here. This gender-swapped reboot of sorts stars an all-new cast of top comedians and follows a pair of authors (Wiig and McCarthy) who write a book about ghosts being real, a book that's later used against them... until actual ghosts attack Manhattan. Who you gonna call?

Original cast members Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver all make cameo appearances!

6. Doctor Strange

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Doctor Strange

Release Date: November 4, 2016
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Scott Adkins
Studios: Marvel Studios, Disney

Where Guardians of the Galaxy opened the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the cosmic side of Marvel Comics lore and Ant-Man showcased the weird and intimate settings of every little corner of everyday life, Scott Derrickson's mind-trippy Doctor Strange aims to open the franchise to the magic and mystical side. A passion project of Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, Doctor Strange is an extremely important character who will be around for the long-haul and a much needed ally of the Avengers when it comes to saving the world from their greatest threats yet to come.

5. Deadpool

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Deadpool

Release Date: February 12, 2016
Director: Tim Miller
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand
Studios: 20th Century Fox

After ruining the character - among other things - with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool a.k.a. The Merc with a Mouth returns in his own solo effort, the first R-rated Marvel movie from Twentieth Century Fox. Ryan Reynolds was born to play this role and we can't help but feel proud for turning attention to this long-gestating project with our #WhyNotDeadpool hashtag we started years ago on the SR Underground Podcast.

The movie introduces Deadpool as full-fledged lethal badass but explores his origins while also attempting to recruit him to no avail into the X-Men. It sounds perfect.

4. Captain America: Civil War

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Captain America Civil War

Release Date: May 6, 2016
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt
Studios: Marvel Studios, Disney

Captain America: The Winter Soldier might be the best movie from Marvel Studios to date so it's no wonder that directors (and brothers) Anthony and Joe Russo were not only brought back to helm its sequel, Captain America: Civil War, but to take on the next two Avengers movies afterward. Just like their first effort drastically altered the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their followup brings back nearly every hero we've met in the franchise and pits them against one another in a politically charged adaptation of one of Marvel Comics' most popular crossover events. The MCU will never be the same after Phase 3 kicks off with Captain America and friends fighting Iron Man and the government.

3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Batman v Superman

Release Date: March 25, 2016
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot
Studios: DC Entertainment, Warner Bros.

Man of Steel had a polarizing effect on critics and fans, but nothing can stop excitement around the simple concept of Batman sharing the screen with Superman. It's shocking it took this long to happen but director Zack Snyder is doing that and more, as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice looks to not only build off the story elements of Man of Steel, but also introduce construct a launchpad for the Justice League team-up movie and the entire DC Extended Universe.

2. Suicide Squad

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Suicide Squad

Release Date: August 5, 2016
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis
Studios: DC Entertainment, Warner Bros.

A very different film than DC's spring release, Batman v Superman, and any other superhero flick coming this year, Suicide Squad is promising to bring something fresh and needed in the genre: bad guys. Director David Ayer (Fury) said it best while on stage at San Diego Comic-Con 2015:

"And all this 'good vs. evil' is kind of played out right now. It's time for bad vs. evil right? Time for a movie about bad guys. And who's got the best bad guys out there? DC Comics. Best villains ever."

DC Entertainment is beating all the other superhero franchises to the punch in assembling a big budget villain team-up movie, and did we mention Batman and the new Joker are in this one too?

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Most Anticipated Movie of 2016 - Star Wars Rogue One

Release Date: December 16, 2016
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed
Studios: Lucasfilm, Disney

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is breaking all sorts of box office records and represents the largest opening of all-time. Its critical acclaim, strong word of mouth, and overbearing tie-in promotions and merchandise make it the biggest movie event ever. With that in mind, it's easy to place the next Star Wars movie and the first of its kind - an "Anthology" spinoff - at the top of our 2016 list, especially one that sees the early Rebel Alliance sacrificing everything for a chance at uncovering plans (and a weakness) for the Galactic Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star. Did we mention it brings back live-action Darth Vader?

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