Guessing the twists of upcoming movie releases has become a popular pastime among film fans, who like to scan through every trailer, set photo, or casting announcement for any hint of a spoiler. It’s almost become a sport, and studios have had to become extra careful with the information they release. Attempts to hide an obvious twist can backfire badly – just look at Star Trek Into Darkness’ “John Harrison” reveal – but for the most part, studios manage to keep big spoilers under wraps; it’s doubtful anyone saw the last scene of Split coming, for example.
That won’t stop speculation, and there’s no shortage of movies coming in 2017 – and beyond – where fans are eager to figure out the big surprises. It could be based on a rumor, a mystery casting announcement, or a scene glimpsed in a trailer, but now more than ever, hardcore fans are able to figure out where a story will go with alarming accuracy.
Of course, these guesses can be completely off the money too, but in Predicting 15 Big Twists From Upcoming Movies, the predictions listed here stand a reasonable chance of being correct. Only time will tell of course, but it will be fun finding out either way.
15 Tom Cruise Will Become Van Helsing - The Mummy
Universal is betting big with their planned Dark Universe, a new cinematic universe that resurrects iconic horror characters and gives them a 21st-century makeover. The Mummy will be first out of the gate, and future movies will feature Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man and Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster.
The Mummy is being sold on Cruise’s star power, but surprisingly, he’s not playing a classic Universal character, but an adventurer named Nick Morton. Morton is given supernatural powers by the title monster for unexplained reasons, which seemingly makes him invulnerable to damage. Interestingly enough, Cruise was previously attached to a reboot of Van Helsing a few years ago, only to sign on for The Mummy later on.
Details on who Morton is are sketchy - he's not even mentioned in the plot synopsis - and it would be odd for a major star like Cruise to sign on for this franchise and not play an iconic character. The smart bet would be that he’s secretly Van Helsing (or a familial descendant of the famed vampire hunter) and will go on to hunt the other monsters in future movies.
14 Superman Will Turn Evil - Justice League
Despite his death in Batman v Superman, nobody truly expected Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel to stay down long. Indeed, he was confirmed to be part of the Justice League movie from early on in production, but he’s been noticeably absent from recent posters and trailers, and details surrounding his role in the story are sketchy.
A popular theory is that Superman is resurrected by the villainous Steppenwolf and brainwashed into turning evil, which would unite the team and give the world a reason to fear the presence of superheroes. It would certainly be an interesting change of pace to see the iconic hero become a villain and make the battle all the more personal.
While this is still a theory, Superman’s role is obviously being kept a surprise for a reason, and his eventual resurrection will no doubt play an important role. If they do go the villain route, he’ll no doubt be redeemed before the end, and reunite with the League to save the day.
13 The Movie Is A Flashback Being Told To Bruce Wayne - Wonder Woman
There’s much excitement for Wonder Woman in the run-up to this week's release, and if reviews are anything to go by, it looks like it may be the strongest entry in the DCEU to date. The movie is an origin story for Wonder Woman – or Diana Prince to her friends – following her introduction in Batman v Superman.
Given the World War One setting, there doesn’t seem to be much room for the other members of the Justice League to make appearances, but some reports suggest a key member will tie the past and present together. It seems Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne could show up in a present day sequence talking to Diana, where she’s explaining the photograph he found of her in Dawn Of Justice.
The Justice League trailers make it look like the two superheroes will be working closely to assemble the team, so a Bruce Wayne cameo would be a nice way to tease the coming adventure and assure audiences that it all ties together.
12 K Is A Replicant - Blade Runner 2049
Despite original helmer Ridley Scott not being in the director’s chair, anticipation for Blade Runner 2049 is currently sky-high. Replacement director Denis Villeneuve is on a hot streak of great movies – Sicario, Enemy, Arrival – the trailers look gorgeous, and the cast includes Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Jared Leto and returning star Harrison Ford.
A big question from the original movie involved the topic of Deckard’s humanity, with many feeling he was a replicant himself. Scott himself has stated more than once that he tended Deckard to be a replicant, but the issue is still hotly debated amongst fans. Apparently, the new film won’t definitively answer this question either, so the topic may be destined to live on.
Little is known about Gosling's new protagonist K, who appears near mute from the trailers. There are allusions to the character being “special” though, and a brief shot makes it appear as though he’s smashing through a wall. Unless the wall in question was as structurally weak as the following entry on our list, this points to the character being some kind of replicant himself, which will no doubt play into the themes of the story.
11 Hopkins Is Playing Merlin - Transformers: The Last Knight
Michael Bay has stated – yet again – that Transformers: The Last Knight will definitely be his last time in the director’s chair for the series, but since he seemed sure of his retirement for the last two movies as well, we’ll have to wait and see. While critics may ridicule the series, there’s no denying how successful they are, and The Last Knight looks like the craziest outing to date.
It will feature the human race in a full-on war with Transformers, and it looks like Optimus Prime has turned to the dark side as well. The movie will also dive into the history of the Transformers on Earth, revealing that they were around in the time of Camelot and King Arthur. Anthony Hopkins has also joined the series as a professor with a unique insight into the history of the bots, and speculation is rife that he’s secretly playing Merlin.
The franchise has never been afraid to get silly, so it wouldn’t be a big leap to introduce an immortal magician into the series. If nothing else, they certainly selected the right actor to play the role with the proper authority.
10 Harry Styles' Character Will Die Quickly - Dunkirk
It raised a few eyebrows when it was announced that One Direction singer Harry Styles was taking a role in Christopher Nolan’s somber WWII drama Dunkirk, especially considering his lack of acting experience and the lineup of established names in the cast.
None of which was an issue with Nolan, who was impressed with Styles' audition and decided to cast him. Dunkirk will be an ensemble piece following different perspectives of the conflict from land, sea, and air, with Styles playing a young British soldier trapped on the beach.
His character is shown starting to drown during an attack on a ship, and the odds of his survival may be grim. Given Styles' lack of acting experience, his role is likely a small one, and seeing a recognizable star dying horribly during a battle so early on in the film would send a powerful message to viewers. Nolan himself would be aware of this, and it looks like he’s wringing the scene for all the drama it’s worth.
9 A Pennywise Cameo - The Dark Tower
Sony has been strangely low-key with their marketing for The Dark Tower, their long-awaited adaptation of the Stephen King book series. The first trailer was released only a few months ahead of the movie – which is normally a bad sign – and there doesn’t appear to be much of a marketing push happening. The movie itself is modestly budgeted by blockbuster standards, so perhaps the studio hopes word of mouth will turn it into a sleeper success.
The other big Stephen King release coming in 2017 is IT, which broke records for most trailer views. Interestingly, the trailer for The Dark Tower contains a brief easter egg alluding to Pennywise, and the books themselves feature appearances from many different characters from other Stephen King novels.
In the books, Roland the Gunslinger fights a creature that feeds on emotions called Dandelo, who many fans feel is really Pennywise in an alternate form. Since there are whispers of a Stephen King shared universe being developed – and It is currently one of the most anticipated films of the year – it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the monstrous clown makes some kind of appearance in The Dark Tower.
8 Black Widow Will Appear - Spider-Man: Homecoming
While fans are still waiting for Black Widow to receive her own solo outing, she continues to be a vital part of the MCU. She stole the show in The Winter Soldier and Age Of Ultron, and Scarlett Johansson only seems to be getting better in the role.
Given the team shattering events of Civil War, it’s likely that The Avengers won’t be assembling until Infinity War, and Tony Stark is the only member of the team confirmed to be making an appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He acts as a mentor to young Peter Parker throughout the story, but according to reports, Johansson was spotted hanging around the set, suggesting Black Widow will show up at some point in the story.
Perhaps Stark calls on her help in the third act, or Homecoming will end with a teaser for the next Avengers outing, but either way, it’ll be exciting to see how she’ll be involved if the rumors prove true.
7 David Becomes The Space Jockey - Alien: Awakening
-- SPOILERS for Alien: Covenant ahead --
Ridley Scott seems eager to reclaim ownership over the Alien series after being absent for over three decades. With Prometheus, he embarked on a journey to explore the origins of The Engineers shown in the original film, and Covenant showed David – the crazed Android with a serious God complex – is responsible for the creation of the Xenomorphs.
Despite being a villain, David has evolved into the lead character, with the ending of Covenant teasing big things to come. Ridley Scott has commented that this new series of films will come back around to the original, and audiences will learn who was piloting The Derelict ship seen in Alien.
He also hinted that David is continuing to evolve himself, and fan theories feel the evil android will be revealed to be The Space Jockey in the forthcoming Alien: Awakening. This makes sense for the character's journey, where he wants to create life and transcend his own limitations using the infamous black goo. If David were to give birth to the first “perfect” Xeno, that would wrap up his arc nicely while leading back to the beginning of the series as planned.
6 Yoda's Force Ghost Will Appear - Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a fun adventure, but many felt it was a little too safe. It was basically a retread of A New Hope, and the excessive amount of callbacks and fan-pleasing easter eggs got a little tiring. The Last Jedi promises to be something different, and the return of series hero Luke Skywalker has fans giddy with excitement.
The Force ghost of Obi-Wan played a big part in the original trilogy, giving Luke guidance when he needed it most. He was later joined by Anakin and Yoda at the end of Return Of The Jedi, suggesting a happy ending for all. The Force Awakens revealed the heroes of the trilogy didn’t live happily ever after, of course, with Luke’s nephew Ben turning to the Dark Side in an attempt to be like his grandfather, Darth Vader.
Luke has been living in exile since, and The Last Jedi will reveal what he’s been up to in that time. There are rumors flying that Frank Oz will make a return to voice Yoda, which comes after the actor performed a “bunch” of work for Force Awakens that was later cut. Perhaps he’ll appear to his old student Luke and provide a prep talk about the need for the Jedi, or there will be more revelations about the past.
5 Loki Will Die - Thor: Ragnarok
While Marvel movies have had good villains in the past, it's pretty tough to argue against the fact that quality bad guys are a weak point for The MCU in general. More often than not, they’re either underdeveloped or their evil plans are too boring/generic to be of interest, and they get dispatched fairly easily.
One standout has been Loki, Thor’s demented adopted brother. In both Thor and The Avengers, his evil schemes brought about a lot of pain for the heroes, but somehow he’s remained strangely likeable throughout. He hasn’t been seen since Thor: The Dark World, where he kicked his adopted father Odin off the throne and took on his likeness.
There’s not much more that can be done with the character at this point it seems, and with Hiddleston becoming a bigger star, he’ll likely want to move on to larger roles. He’s also dropped hints that his time with the character will be coming to a close, which could mean that Thor: Ragnarok will mark our final adventure with the beloved baddie. Loki would be sorely missed if he left, but it would certainly up the stakes of the story.
4 Quicksilver Will Be Resurrected - Avengers: Infinity War
Marvel has a well-known issue with killing major characters. They’ll certainly pretend to kill them – look at Nick Fury in The Winter Soldier or Coulson in The Avengers – but it won’t be too long until they come back into the fold again.
A notable exception to this rule was Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This speedy hero joined with The Avengers in the final act of Age Of Ultron, where he ended up taking a healthy dosage of bullets shielding Hawkeye and a child from enemy fire. Joss Whedon – no stranger to killing off characters – made sure at least one of the title heroes didn’t make it to the credits so that viewers knew the violence had some meaning.
Quicksilver has stayed down ever since, but one of the multiple rumors flying around Infinity War is that he’ll come back, either having been resurrected by Thanos or as a result of his super healing ability. While this would no doubt make for an emotional reunion with his sister Scarlet Witch, it might be a mistake, since it takes the edge off of one of the few permanent deaths in the series.
3 A Joker/Harley Quinn Cameo - Justice League
Love or hate his performance, Jared Leto certainly lost himself in the role of The Joker. Sadly, he didn’t get much in the way of screen time in Suicide Squad – despite lots more footage being filmed – but he certainly made an impression, even with his limited role.
It hasn’t been confirmed when the character will reappear in future movies, though allegedly, he and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn will show up in Justice League. Their one scene appearance may come towards the end of the movie, where they commit a heist and wait for Batman to arrive so they can ambush him – only for the entire League to show up too, putting a dampener on their plan.
With a movie of this size, naturally, rumors of possible cameos and cliffhangers will be flying around, but reports of this scene keep popping up, and it seems to be in line with the more lighthearted tone Justice League is aiming for.
2 Steve Rogers Will Die - Avengers: Infinity War
For years now, there has been speculation about when the main players of MCU Phase One – think Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Sam Jackson – would be leaving, and how much time is left on their contracts. There were countless rumors that Steve Rogers would die in Civil War and be replaced by Bucky, since Chris Evans is coming towards the end of his contract, while Sebastian Stan is still in the early stages of his massive nine picture agreement with Marvel.
Bucky takes over the Captain America mantle in the comics, and it feels like such a switchover is inevitable. Given the high stakes of Infinity War, it's unthinkable that all the heroes will walk away alive, and if anyone must die, you have to imagine it will be one of the main cast. Many feel it would be Tony Stark, but Downey Jr. still has a lot of fun with the role and fans adore him, so he may stick around for future movies in a mentor capacity; plus, Marvel pays him literally all the money.
On the other hand, Steve Rogers' death is one of the most iconic comic storylines in recent years – until he was resurrected of course – and his heroic demise would surely leave a lasting impact on the franchise.
1 Luke Skywalker Will Die - Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Despite The Force Awakens killing off one of the most beloved heroes in sci-fi cinema – Han Solo – it didn’t feel like a huge surprise. Sure, it was an emotional and shocking scene, but considering Harrison Ford’s off-screen lack of enthusiasm for the series, it almost felt inevitable that Han would meet his end.
The Last Jedi will finally catch up with Luke Skywalker, detailing what he’s been up since his nephew turned to the dark side. While most of the story remains under wraps, there has been much speculation that the headlining hero of the Star Wars universe will also meet his demise in the movie. Such talk stems from everything from comments made by the crew to fan theories that Rey will become the literal Last Jedi of the title.
There’s also the possibility Luke could be turned to the dark side himself, which would be new territory for the character. The Last Jedi apparently contains the most shocking twist in the history of the series, and the death of its original hero - or him turning evil - would certainly rank up there.
Do you have any bold predictions of your own concerning the biggest films of the upcoming year? Let us know in the comments!