With 2017 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! There’s another new Star Wars, more high profile superhero movies than ever before, several long-awaited adaptations and sequels, and much, much more making up our list of the most anticipated movies of 2018.
Some interesting quick observations: There are eight Marvel-branded features opening in theaters, multiple long-awaited animated Disney sequels, the very first Star Wars summer movie under the Disney umbrella, and new projects written and directed by Alex Garland and Wes Anderson.
Now Live: Most anticipated video games of 2018
How the 2018 most anticipated movies list was generated: 10 members of the Screen Rant team listed their top movies currently confirmed for wide theatrical release in 2018 at the time of writing (end of 2017) and is based on their interests at that time. Films listed by each staffer get points for being listed in their personal top 30 and additional points for where they were ranked. The scores by movie for all participants were tallied up to provide us the below listed ranking.
Keep in mind, many of these films have barely begun marketing at the time of publication and the starting list began at nearly 100 releases. This is a tally of multiple separate lists and no doubt yours will be different so before you ask “why is or isn’t _____ on this list?!” you know why. Share your most anticipated movies in the comments so we can compare! And here’s last year’s list of our 30 most anticipated movies of 2017.
30. Ocean’s 8
Release Date: June 8, 2018
Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Olivia Milch, Gary Ross
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Dakota Fanning, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Olivia Munn, Adriana Lima, James Corden, Katie Holmes, Matt Damon, Richard Armitage, Kylie Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Kim Kardashian West, Nea Dune, Kendall Jenner, Carl Reiner
Studios: Smokehouse Pictures, Warner Bros.
Set in the same universe as the Ocean’s 11 franchise that ran from 2001-07, Ocean’s 8 brings together an all-star cast of leading ladies, and we suspect, some great cameos too!
The tide has turned and it’s a whole new “Ocean’s” when eight women plan and execute a heist in New York.
The first Ocean’s 8 teaser trailer didn’t hit the mark, but we can only hope with Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit) directing and writing, and Steven Soderbergh producing, this could be a fun crime adventure.
29. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, Toby Jones, James Cromwell
Studios: Amblin Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Jurassic World blew the box office up and set new records worldwide when it debuted, and for the sequel director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls) steps in for a different kind of dino adventure set four years after the first. In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing find a reason to return to the island of Isla Nublar.
Why? To try and save dinosaurs from a volcano while encountering terrifying new breeds dinosaurs while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet. The plot is as rough as the trailer but we can only hope the sequel is somewhat smarted and logical than what the characters do in the first.
28. Alita: Battle Angel
Release Date: July 20, 2018
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Eiza González, Christoph Waltz, Michelle Rodriguez, Ed Skrein, Mahershala Ali, Elle LaMont, Jackie Earle Haley, Casper Van Dien, Keean Johnson, Jeff Fahey, Lana Condor
Studios: Twentieth Century Fox
Director Robert Rodriguez, with the help of James Cameron, is trying to do something especially unique with the long-awaited adaptation of the 1990 manga series created by Yukito Kishiro. Alita: Battle Angel, an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment.
Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first. As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships. It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love. Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.
The first Alita: Battle Angel teaser trailer emphasized impressive visuals, albeit weird uncanny valley stylistic choices that may make Alita a tough project to market.
27. Tomb Raider
Release Date: March 16, 2018
Director: Roar Uthaug
Writer: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominic West, Nick Frost, Daniel Wu, Emily Carey
Studios: GK Films, Warner Bros.
Assassin’s Creed and the second attempt at Hitman: Agent 47 didn’t do it recently. No video game adaptation really has, even with the help of Oscar-caliber talent in front of the camera. So, what will make Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft any different? The Tomb Raider video game franchise has seen new life since its gritty and realistic reboot from which the film draws its inspiration from, but the first Tomb Raider trailer – like many of our ‘first looks’ at 2018 movies so far – and poster failed to impress. Can Tomb Raider beat the odds? We’re hopeful.
26. Red Sparrow
Release Date: March 2, 2018
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Justin Haythe
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciarán Hinds, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Matthias Schoenaerts, Joely Richardson, Sergei Polunin, Thekla Reuten
Studios: Chernin Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
The movie that may make Marvel’s plans for a Black Widow solo movie obsolete or too family friend, Red Sparrow – based on the Jason Matthews novel – sees Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence play prima ballerina Dominika Egorova whose live changes after a career-ending injury.
She soon turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons. Egorova emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow after completing the sadistic training process in this “hard R” rated film. As she comes to terms with her new abilities, Dominika meets a CIA agent who tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust.
25. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Director: Simon Kinberg
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Tye Sheridan, Jessica Chastain, Olivia Munn, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sophie Turner, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Jonigkeit, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Daniel Cudmore
Studios: Twentieth Century Fox
The next entry in the core team-based X-Men series is by far the most mysterious one from Fox yet. No on-set press was allowed for X-Men: Dark Phoenix for the directorial debut of Simon Kinberg who has a hit-and-miss history with Fox’s Marvel properties, from X-Men 3 and Fantastic Four failures, to the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Where 2018 sees the X-franchise explore a grounded horror with The New Mutants and an R-rated time-travel buddy cop adventure with Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix takes the series into space for the first time as the franchise attempts to re-do the Dark Phoenix saga from Marvel Comics, aliens and all. But could it do even more? Star Sophie Turner says this movie “Revolutionizes” the superhero genre.
24. Robin Hood
Release Date: September 21, 2018
Director: Otto Bathurst
Writer: Joby Harold
Cast: Taron Egerton, Paul Anderson, Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Foxx, Tim Minchin, Josh Herdman, Antonio Lujak, Ian Peck, Björn Bengtsson
Studios: Appian Way, Lionsgate
The last big budget take on Robin Hood involved Russell Crowe in a relatively series epic, but this new take with a younger titular thief promises to be funny and full of action – so says star Taron Egerton of Kingman fame. Even more exciting however is that this Robin Hood origins is inspired by John Wick when it comes to its action and we can’t get enough of that.
Think John Wick but with a bow and arrow, bolstered by a supporting cast featuring Jamie Foxx as Little John and Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham. If this adaptation is done right, it could be the first to successfully launch its own franchise in an era where period action flicks are few and far between.
23. Sicario 2: Soldado
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Director: Stefano Sollima
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Catherine Keener, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Matthew Modine, Christopher Heyerdahl, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ian Bohen
Studios: Black Label Media, Columbia Pictures
There’s no way a Taylor Sheridan written piece wasn’t going to make this list. Did you see Wind River or the first Sicario?
The Sicario sequel, titled Soldado (which means “soldier”), brings back Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin and re-teams them to stop the cartels from transporting something worse than drugs across the US-Mexico border. Now, they’re smuggling what they label terrorists and it’s up to Alejandro and Matt Graver to save the day. Maybe.
22. A Wrinkle in Time
Release Date: March 9, 2018
Director: Ava DuVernay
Writer: Jennifer Lee
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Levi Miller, Zach Galifianakis, Mindy Kaling, Michael Peña
Studios: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
One of the most visually interesting films coming to theaters in 2018, Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic aims to bring moviegoers on an adventure across time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. A Wrinkle in Time synopsis:
Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted.
Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.
Release Date: , 2018
Director: Travis Knight
Writer: Christina Hodson
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Pamela Adlon, Christian Hutcherson, Kenneth Choi
Studios: Allspark Pictures, Paramount Pictures
It’s a very strange time for Hasbro and Paramount’s once-lucrative Transformers franchise, which sank like a rock in water at the box office this year with its fifth and least successful entry, Transformers: The Last Knight. And it was this one that was supposed to launch the Transformers movie universe with annualized releases going forward, alternating between core sequels and spinoffs! There was even an epic writers room assembled to expand the universe, but they may have ruined it before it even started.
Unless of course, the first spinoff, the lower budget Bumblebee movie can do something unique and special. Its setting, star, and nod of the original Transformers animated series are already off to the right start but can it fight off franchise fatigue?
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.
20. Isle of Dogs
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, Fisher Stevens, Kara Hayward, Harvey Keitel
Studios: American Empirical Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Wes Anderson wrote and directed a new movie coming in 2018 so that should be enough to earn your attention. And yes, it features several of the Wes Anderson regulars!
In the future, an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that’s a garbage dump. The outcasts must soon embark on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on the island to find his beloved pet.
Isle of Dogs is another stop-motion piece from Anderson who loved the experience with Fantastic Mr. Fox and is inspired by the work of Akira Kurosawa and stop-motion animated holiday specials by Rankin/Bass.
19. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writer: Phil Lord
Cast: Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, Shameik Moore, Brian Tyree Henry
Studios: Columbia Pictures
The eighth Marvel-branded movie opening in theaters in 2018 is also the only animated one and if you haven’t seen it, check out the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to witness its unique and awesome comic-inspired animation art style.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie) helped put together the story for Sony Columbia’s first animated Spidey feature and it includes all sorts of Marvel Comics characters you won’t be seeing in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequels, and for readers, it stars none other than fan-favorite Miles Morales!
18. Mowgli (The Jungle Book / Jungle Book: Origins)
Release Date: October 19, 2018
Director: Andy Serkis
Writer: Callie Kloves
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, Eddie Marsan, Freida Pinto, Tom Hollander, Matthew Rhys, Jack Reynor, Peter Mullan, Rohan Chand, Louis Ashbourne
Studios: Imaginarium Productions, Warner Bros.
Delayed and delayed, and then renamed from Jungle Book: Origins to Mowgli, one must ask how this movie can possibly compete with Jon Favreau’s mega successful The Jungle Book. The quick answer is the amazing talent and creativity of Andy Serkis, the man who deserves all the Oscars with his work in the Apes franchise. This take on the classic tale is also designed to be more adult and features an incredible cast:
Blending live action and performance capture, the story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli (Rohan Chand) raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often-harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo (Andy Serkis) and a panther named Bagheera (Christian Bale), Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins. The other story’s central animal characters are: Kaa, the snake (Cate Blanchett); the leader of the wolf pack, Akela (Peter Mullan); the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui (Tom Hollander); Nisha, the female wolf (Naomie Harris), who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Nisha’s mate, Vihaan (Eddie Marsan); and Mowgli’s Brother Wolf (Jack Reynor). Freida Pinto and Matthew Rhys also star.
17. Mortal Engines
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Director: Christian Rivers
Writers: Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh
Cast: Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Joel Tobeck, Hera Hilmar, Frankie Adams, Colin Salmon, Caren Pistorius, Leila George
Studios: Media Rights Capital, Universal Pictures
Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.
Shot in New Zealand and backed by the power of Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop and his creative team (which includes The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings’ Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh), Mortal Engines is the fantasy adventure to look forward to in 2018.
16. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Release Date: July 6, 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Paul Rudd
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I., Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer, Walton Goggins, Randall Park, Hannah John-Kamen
Studios: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Scott Lang went from ex-con trying to do right into hero having to thieve in order to save the world, and his family. And then he joined one of the Avengers teams in Captain America: Civil War. With the power to not only shrink, but to become Giant Man, and now with the far more capable Hope van Dyne suiting up as the Wasp, they must work with Dr. Hank Pym on an urgent new mission which may tie into the events of Avengers: Infinity War and which will certainly involve the original Wasp, played by Michelle Pfeiffer who makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut.
15. Creed II
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Writer: Cheo Hodari Coker
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Dolph Lundgren, Tessa Thompson
Studios: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Annapurna Distribution
Creed 2 only just found its new director in Steven Caple Jr., who steps in to replace Sylvester Stallone in a story that we know brings back Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago and introduces his son as the likely new opponent for Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) to fight.
14. The New Mutants
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Director: Josh Boone
Writer: Josh Boone
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Maisie Williams, Alice Braga, Happy Anderson, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Thomas Kee
Studios: Marvel Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
We can’t give enough credit to Twentieth Century Fox for turning things around (mostly) with the X-Men franchise. With massive missteps in X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the studio and producers turned it all around with the X-Men: First Class quasi-reboot which lead to X-Men: Days of Future Past. Already the most adult of the major studio superhero franchises, Fox took it up notch by greenlighting an R-rated ending to Hugh Jackman’s mutant career in the Oscar-worthy Logan and before it, the game-changing Deadpool.
Not stopping there, Fox aims to keep pushing boundaries for their series and the genre as a whole with three separate X-Men releases in 2018, the first of which being The New Mutants which introduces an all-new roster of characters from Marvel Comics and puts them in a horror movie! Keep being different and taking risks with this, Fox! Even if you’re under the Disney umbrella now.
13. Ready Player One
Release Date: March 30, 2018
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Hannah John-Kamen, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance
Studios: Amblin Entertainment, Warner Bros.
Based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel of the same name, and infused with just as much geeky pop culture referencing, Steven Spielberg takes the director’s chair for the sci-fi action flick, Ready Player One.
The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.
12. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Director: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Writers: Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon, Pamela Ribon
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Alan Tudyk, Kelly Macdonald, Idina Menzel, Auli’i Cravalho, Anthony Daniels, Taraji P. Henson, James Corden, Ming-Na Wen, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Anika Noni Rose, Irene Bedard, Rebecca Wisocky, Paige O’Hara, Jodi Benson, Jennifer Hale
Studios: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
It only took six years but Rich More is finally bringing moviegoers another Wreck-It Ralph adventure, with even more recognizable characters this time around – especially for you Disney classics fans!
Wreck-It Ralph is escaping out of his arcade and into the expansive universe of the internet when “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” hits the big screen.
11. The Predator
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Director: Shane Black
Writers: Shane Black, Fred Dekker
Cast: Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, Boyd Holbrook, Lochlyn Munro, Thomas Jane, Sterling K. Brown, Jake Busey, Keegan-Michael Key, Niall Matter, Edward James Olmos, Alfie Allen
Studios: Twentieth Century Fox
We’re always game for a Shane Black action movie, and this one involving The Predator makes it something mysterious and special. If the Alien franchise can return and get a sequel, so to should Predator. This one is technically Predator 4 (and Arnold Schwarzenegger could make an appearance!) and Black aims to turn this and any potential sequels into ‘event’ style films that are both, more intimate like the original, and more mysterious.
10. The Incredibles 2
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk, John Ratzenberger, Craig T. Nelson
Studios: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
With the Fantastic Four still dead, there couldn’t be a better time for the better version of that to make a return in The Inredibles 2! It inexplicably took 14 years but everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back – but this time Helen is in the spotlight, leaving Bob at home with Violet and Dash to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life.
It’s a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.
9. Deadpool 2 (Untitled Deadpool Sequel)
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Director: David Leitch
Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Zazie Beetz, Eddie Marsan, Karan Soni, Jack Kesy, Stefan Kapicic, Leslie Uggams
Studios: Donners’ Company, Twentieth Century Fox
Ryan Reynolds is back in the role he was born to play, and this time, he and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick finally get to introduce the fan-favorite, time-travelling mutant soldier Cable (Brolin). Story detail remain unknown but everyone still alive from the first movie makes a return while several new key mutants (including Domino) get introduced in a film that will setup not only Deadpool 3, but the long-awaited R-rated team-up, X-Force. If you aren’t excited yet, Brolin signed a 5-picture deal to play Cable for the long haul, and potentially help bridge together all of the upcoming X-Men movies.
8. God Particle: Untitled Cloverfield Sequel
Release Date: February 2, 2018
Director: Julius Onah
Writers: Oren Uziel, Doug Jung
Cast: Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Ziyi Zhang, David Oyelowo, John Ortiz
Studios: Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures
God Particle, like Dan Trachtenberg’s The Cellar in 2016, was not made as a Cloverfield movies originally but in the era of sequels, prequels, spinoffs and branding above all else, it’s similarly being converted under J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production house. All we know is that God Particle is currently another untitled spiritual successor to Cloverfield and that fact, combined with what we knew about God Particle already, make it one of the most curious and anticipated films of the year.
Explained: How God Particle Evolved Into Cloverfield 3
It was even on our 2017 most anticipated movies list before delays. It’s coming to theaters in about a month, and like 10 Cloverfield Lane, there’s no marketing lead-up because it doesn’t need it. The mystery and name itself have given Paramount and Bad Robot a wonderful (and financially thankful) marketing ploy of letting mystery do the work for them. We’re game.
7. Mission: Impossible 6
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris
Studios: Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures
We lose Jeremy Renner, who was initially introduced into the franchise to pick up the mantle for Tom Cruise, but in exchange we get Henry Cavill’s most infamous mustache – a glorious piece of facial hair which caused so much trouble for Warner Bros. and Justice League reshoots.
Christopher McQuarrie both writes and directs M:I 6 which makes it an easy recommendation without knowing more, but this movie delves more into Ethan Hunt’s past, helping flesh out the lore of the franchise lead. Is the end of Tom Cruise’s Hunt, or just another entry in a franchise we want to see continue. Bring back Renner for the next one, guys!
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Director: James Wan
Writer: Will Beall
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Wilson, Graham McTavish, Temuera Morrison, Michael Beach, Ludi Lin, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Studios: DC Comics, Warner Bros.
The DC cinematic universe is a total mess, but that doesn’t mean there are elements we don’t love and want to see more of, like the heroes of Justice League. Momoa was a scene-stealer, but seeing his actual story from the books play out under the direction of James Wan looks to be somethign special.
Warner Bros. tried to rush their team-ups to catch up to Marvel, but failed to pay respect to their characters. After the success of Wonder Woman, let’s hope they learned! We expect good things from Aquaman and its creative direction and cast as a standalone adventure. It’s a shame its the only DC theatrical release in 2018 versus the eight Marvel ones.
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Sonoya Mizuno, Benedict Wong
Studios: DNA Films, Paramount Pictures
What if I told you the writer of Dredd and Sunshine, and the writer-director of Ex Machina, had a movie coming out in 2018? It’s called Annihilation, based on the first novel of the same name in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. A team of scientists enter Area X, an environmental hazard zone where the laws of nature seemingly don’t apply.
Annihilation was originally intended for a wide theatrical release but after refusals to dumb down the film after test screenings the deal with Paramount fell apart and Netflix is now distributing, something Garland is disappointed by. Still, Netflix did right by Bright, and the film promises to have an insanely mind-blowing ending so we couldn’t be more excited.
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Director: Ron Howard (previously, Phil Lord and Chris Miller)
Writers: Jon Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Joonas Suotamo, Warwick Davis, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Clint Howard
Studios: Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Pictures
One Star Wars movie per year, forever, until we die or the movies take a hit critically/financially. Extensive reshoots and additional direction seemed to work in favor of Lucasfilm’s very first Star Wars Anthology, Rogue One, so we can only hope the change in directors at the last minute (with Ron Howard taking over for Phil Lord and Chris Miller after shooting 90% of the originally planned film) does the same.
Marketing hasn’t started yet for Solo: A Star Wars Story at the time of this writing, but the force is strong with film franchise from a galaxy far, far away and much of our team is curious and excited to learn more about the ambitious recasting of the iconic Han Solo. And c’mon, we’re getting Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Win!
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writers: Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel, Scott Rosenberg
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson, Riz Ahmed
Studios: Columbia Pictures
Like Solo: A Star Wars Story, the marketing has not begun for the long-awaited Venom movie, a project Sony has tried to get off the ground multiple times over the last decade plus. All we’ve seen is star Tom Hardy in behind-the-scene photos looking as buff as ever and that’s almost enough of a selling point to pique our interest.
Venom poses one of the most interesting questions for Marvel-based movies coming in 2017 (of which there are eight!). Will it or won’t it connect to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man and how will the first “adjunct” movie to the main Marvel Cinematic Unviverse actually fit in? How is Venom really Venom if he’s never had Peter Parker and his spidey powers as a host or is that coming later? An all-star cast, director, and property still make for a wonderful mix as a standalone origin story for the Venom symbiote.
2. Black Panther
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writers: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, John Kani, Florence Kasumba
Studios: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
It took way too long to finally get T’Challa on the big screen by Marvel made it happen with Chadwick Boseman’s epic introduction as a key figure in Captain America: Civil War. Where Iron Man has his tech and pride, and Captain America has his country and liberty, Black Panther is above all that.
He’s a hero of his people, and their leader. He’s their monarch, the king, and their super-powered hero and in February we’ll get to see what that really means and what secrets Wakanda has to share. And it could even be the location of the sixth and final Infinity Stone, the soul gem.
Related: About That Last Infinity Stone…
Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically-advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
1. Avengers: Infinity War
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Karen Gillan, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Benedict Wong, Danai Gurira, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Josh Brolin, Sebastian Stan, Pom Klementieff, Tessa Thompson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Tom Hiddleston, Benicio Del Toro, Linda Cardellini, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Sean Gunn, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angela Bassett, Terry Notary, Letitia Wright, Isabella Amara, Tiffany Espensen, Winston Duke
Studios: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Moviegoers may never seen an ensemble as big or impressive as what Marvel Studios has spent a decade plus building towards. Beginning this summer with Avengers: Infinity War is what will be the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, to be capped off with part two (the untitled Avengers 4) in 2019. After that, who knows, especially with Disney acquiring Fox and its movie IP (which includes Fantastic Four and the X-Men).
We’ve seen Avengers: Infinity War teaser trailer and while we share concerns over the idea of Avengers battling more faceless, nameless CGI drones (the 6-legged, unarmed, attackers in Wakanda) the idea of all Marvel heroes coming together to fight their greatest villain Thanos (who they still need to prove is their greatest villain) is potentially the most epic thing we’ll see all year. Excelsior!
What are your own most anticipated movies of 2018? Share your thoughts and rankings in the comments!
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