A new year is coming and that means a whole slew of nerdy movies for every sci-fi fanatic to get excited about. But how do you separate the movies that are worthy of the public’s time and money from the movies that will likely take a dive and prove to be a costly $10 nap in a mildly comfortable theater chair?
To save you the time of trying to figure out which science fiction movies are worth their while, we've compiled a list of the 10 Most Anticipated Science Fiction Movies of 2016.
Exactly how far is a person willing to go to save the lives of his family? This is the question at the center of the new science fiction thriller Replicas. Directed by Hysteria’s Tanya Wexler, the film is set to star Keanu Reeves as a synthetic biologist who is determined to bring his family back to life after they tragically died in a car accident, despite the obvious objections of the government and the laws of nature.
It is hard to gauge whether or not this movie will end up being worth the wait. Sci-fi action movies are Reeves’s bread and butter, even though they usually end up being hit or miss. But considering Reeves is coming off of Man of Tai Chi and John Wick, which are two of the most commercially and critically successful films he’s made in a while, it stands to reason that this film could likewise be a smash hit.
9 The Circle
It is an incredibly exciting thing to watch a steady parade of acclaimed and beloved actors join a mysterious and intriguing film project, especially when that project involves a fan-favorite genre like science fiction. With names like Patton Oswalt, Bill Paxton, Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and the newly minted Star Wars star John Boyega, who wouldn’t be enticed to see a film adaptation that has an eerie relevance in this era of rapidly evolving technology?
The Circle, based on the novel of the same name written by David Eggers, follows young Mae Holland and her work at a mysterious and highly-advanced tech company that aims to outfit everyone in the world with real-time cameras in the spirit of transparency – but, of course, darker forces of Orwellian proportions are at work. James Ponsoldt, who is responsible for smaller films such as The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour, is writing and directing.
8 The Blob
According to most people, the only thing that the world needs less than remakes of horror movies are remakes of remakes of horror movies. The original 1958 version of The Blob was weird and kooky, designed more to be something exciting for children to watch, and is only really memorable as a platform for a young Steve McQueen. The 1988 remake starring Kevin Dillon was goopy R-rated horror film made for the generation in love with Freddy Kruger. Does the world need another iteration of this story?
Director Simon West sees the film as being full of potential in the sci-fi arena rather than horror, having stated in an interview that he plans to approach the project with a sense of sophistication, aiming to make the amorphous antagonist more akin to the famous alien villains from Predator and Alien. And if that doesn’t sound cool and badass enough, Samuel L. Jackson is slated to star in the film too.
It is understandable that a lot of people don’t like watching horror movies, but it's a little sad that those people don't get to see what themes are explored with that kind of storytelling, especially when those stories come from the undisputed genius of Stephen King. People get so freaked out by the blood and guts that they completely miss the messages about the horrors of puberty or the dangers of alcoholism. About ten years ago, King came out with a gripping horror tome about the dangers of obsessions with technology, and now it is making its way to the big screen.
Based on the novel of the same name, Cell tells the tale of three people who are desperately trying to survive after a mysterious cell phone signal has turned users into ravenous zombie-like attackers. Bound to be gloriously gory, echoing the zeitgeist-y message of its source material, Cell will see the reteaming of John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in their second Stephen King film adaptation, after the well-liked 1408.
With all of the uproar and excitement surrounding Jennifer Lawrence’s new hair color, everyone seems to be getting excited about the upcoming Morten Tydlum film Passengers for all the wrong reasons. Yes, everyone knows how pretty she looks with bleached locks and how refreshingly frank she is about embarrassing subjects, but all of that superficial air surrounding the film is really detracting from the film itself.
Chris Pratt headlines as a man who is, after a computer malfunction, awoken from hibernation during transit to a distant planet sixty years too early. But when he is faced with the horrifying idea that he will end up dying alone, he awakes another passenger to keep him company. Between the success of recent big budget sci-fi movies like Gravity and The Martian and the quality of Tydlum’s Oscar-nominated The Imitation Game, Passengers carries a great of promise with it.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how amazing a group of collaborators can be, some people like to dismiss the potential of a movie for ridiculous reasons. The new reboot of Ghostbusters happens to be such a mistake in the eyes of a lot people. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a purist or you’re sick of reboots, the new Ghostbusters is a movie that deserves a chance just on principal, even according to Bill Murray himself.
Like so many big projects these days, the minutia of the story has been kept locked away. Other than the names of the film’s four heroines and a few photos of the ladies in their ghost-fighting jumpsuits, what we do know is that Kristen Wiig plays Dr. Erin Gilbert, who is laughed out of her new college teaching job after a book she wrote about her scientific belief in ghosts comes to light; then, of course, ghosts start wreaking havoc on the Big Apple and Gilbert has to team up with her fellow Ghostbusters to fight them back.
4 Assassin’s Creed
Videogames have a horrid reputation when it comes to cinematic adaptations, but it appears as though that trend might be broken. While there isn’t a modern gamer who doesn’t know just how fantastically immersive and mind-blowingly detailed any and every version of the Assassin’s Creed game is, the rest of the world may mistakenly think this movie is just another videogame movie. Fortunately for filmmakers, the game really is so great that making it into a film should be a piece of cake.
Academy-award nominee Michael Fassbender stars as Callum Lynch, an ordinary guy who is offered the chance of a lifetime to experience the life of his ancestors through a revolutionary technology that allows people to experience genetic experiences. But to Lynch’s surprise, his long-past relative Aguilar belonged to a secret society called the Assassins in Spain during the 1400s. Despite only one official photo from the film having been released, that single picture is awesome enough to make fans and non-fans alike excited.
3 Star Trek Beyond
Glowing critical reception aside, a lot of people had a lot of beef with the second installment of the reinvention of the Star Trek franchise, whether it was too much in keeping with the ultra popular superhero genre or its rather literal darkness or its huge departure from the now fifty year old source material. Love or hate of Star Trek Into Darkness aside, the third instalment promises to be in its own universe… literally.
Into Darkness ended with the crew of the USS Enterprise leaving for a five year exploratory mission that echoed the “to boldly go where no man has gone before” sentiment of the television show, but the newly released trailer suggests that Star Trek Beyond will focus on a bit more grounded story. Although the film’s details are carefully kept secrets, it appears as though all your favorite characters have been marooned on a strange planet and are pitted against a rather fantastic looking reptilian-esque villain named Krall, played by the unrecognizable Idris Elba. And for those looking for a lighter and more optimistic movie, Scotty actor and acclaimed comedy screenwriter Simon Pegg took charge of the script for Beyond.
2 Independence Day: Resurgence
Of all of the hokey global disaster movies that Roland Emmerich thrilled the world with, there was never one more deserving of a sequel than the movie that made Will Smith a star: Independence Day. Ideas and promises for sequels came and went over the years, but much to the delight of fans, twenty years was the magic number for the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.
A lot of people have been worrying about Smith’s unwillingness to rejoin the original cast for a second film – but on warof1996.com, which details all majors events that have occurred over the two decades between the first and second films, it is explained that the character Steven Hiller was killed while test piloting Earth’s first experimental alien hybrid fighter craft. But the new trailer shows not only a lot of exciting potential but a lot of familiar faces, such as Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum, plus some fresh new ones, like Hunger Games hunk Liam Hemsworth.
1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
With the wonderful cliffhanger that the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens left the world lingering on, everyone is hungering for some more Star Wars to satiate them. Although Episode VIII won’t be showing up until 2017, the upcoming year has something in store for those fans who won’t be able to wait that long – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Other than the promotional still of the film's cast, filmmakers have mostly silent about what to expect from this new film. Directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards and starring The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones, fans already know that the events of Rogue One take place before A New Hope. The movie will follow the band of rebels who steal the Empire’s Death Star plans, which Leia eventually entrusts to R2-D2 and sends off to Obi Wan Kenobi. And while the idea of the first anthology film from the Star Wars universe is exciting enough, perhaps the most exciting part of this movie is the potential appearance of Darth Vader.
Any other great science fiction movies coming out in the new year that we forgot about? Let us know!