The 2018 summer movie season is packed with films that include everything from quirky indie titles to cinematic universe events, big-budget franchise sequels, and most importantly a movie about a gigantic prehistoric shark. Since the original Iron Man came out ten years ago, the "summer movie season" has come to encompass the months of May through to August. It's fitting, then, that as the Marvel Cinematic Universe celebrates its tenth anniversary, another MCU movie will shake things up by kicking off Hollywood's summer in the last week of April. Whether that means that Marvel has killed the summer movie season or is simply pushing the envelope further, we leave to your discretion
Speaking of Marvel breaking the mold, the studio did just that in February with Black Panther, giving rise to the first proper cultural phenomenon of 2018 in the process. Avengers: Infinity War will undoubtedly start the "summer" off with a bang too, but it's merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the film industry will have to offer over the next four months. Yes, superheroes will be big yet again, but there's a whole lot more on the horizon than comic book adaptations and franchise relaunches - assuming that you know where to look.
Per tradition, these films are listed in the order of their theatrical release. That means we leave it to you, the readers, to decide which ones are your most anticipated releases of the Summer 2018 Movie Season. So, with that mind, here is Screen Rant's 2018 Summer Movie Preview - The 20 Films to See.
Avengers: Infinity War (April 27)
Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet -- the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.
If it feels like there was a Marvel Cinematic Universe event only yesterday, that's because Black Panther is still hanging around the top ten at the box office more than two months after its debut. The time has nevertheless come for Infinity War to pit Thanos against the many, many superheroes currently hanging their hat at Marvel Studios. Audiences has spent upwards of a decade becoming emotionally invested in many of these same characters, and the MCU itself has permanently changed the blockbuster landscape over that same time.
Nothing lasts forever though, and those same fans are now bracing themselves for Avengers: Infinity War, knowing that this may be the end of the road for their favorite(s). Of course, the great cinematic universe "experiment" that is the MCU as moviegoers know it isn't over yet, what with Avengers 4 still more than a year out. In the meantime, the day has come to strap in and get ready for a wild ride; the purple man in the floating chair is finally standing up, so you know he means business.
Tully (May 4)
Marlo, a mother of three, is gifted a night nanny by her brother. Hesitant to the extravagance at first, Marlo comes to form a unique bond with the thoughtful, surprising, and sometimes challenging young nanny named Tully.
It's a far cry from Thanos taking on the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, but the reunion of the team responsible for Young Adult and Juno on Tully is an exciting development in its own right. Director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody have been keeping pretty busy in the seven years since their second collaboration, as of course has Young Adult and Tully star Charlize Theron herself. At the same time, only the latter has really been making big waves with their projects of late.
Reitman's last two films as director (Labor Day and Men, Women & Children) were largely dismissed by critics and general audiences, so Tully stands to serve as a welcome comeback effort for him in particular. The movie has been generating good buzz since it screened at Sundance earlier this year and should offer a nice change of pace from Infinity War, when it arrives a week after. Toss in Mackenzie Davis and this comedic meditation on motherhood might prove to be a winner in more than one way.
Deadpool 2 (May 18)
Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool battles the evil and powerful Cable and other bad guys to save a boy's life.
Ryan Reynolds' second go-round as The Merc With a Mouth (X-Men Origins: Wolverine who?) was always going to be one of this year's most anticipated comic book film adaptations. However, it's also now the only X-Men movie that audiences will be getting in 2018, what with X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants having both been shuffled back to 2019 for reshoots (heavy ones, in the latter's case). Also, there's that whole Disney buying Fox thing going on right now, too.
Whatever the future holds for Wade Wilson on the big screen, Deadpool 2 is happening now and is bringing Cable, Domino, and even the X-Force into the fold. With all the hullabaloo over Fox's other X-Men properties (see also Gambit), it's easy to forget that the Deadpool sequel also went through some reshoots recently, after having changed directors during pre-production. However the final movie product turns out here, it certainly won't be a simple rehash of the first Deadpool.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)
Through a series of daring escapades, young Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian.
Lucasfilm's young Han Solo movie has had one of the stranger journeys from conception to realization of a major tentpole in recent memory. For a long time everything seemed right as rain, with Jump Street and LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller calling the shots on the film. Then, with literally just a few weeks left in production, the duo stepped down (or were fired, the jury's still out on that one) and Ron Howard took over and seemingly re-filmed a hefty chunk of the movie.
Mysterious creative differences aside, Solo is all finished now and will even debut at the Cannes Film Festival before it begins playing in theaters. Even with all the behind the scenes turmoil, more and more fans are becoming optimistic about this one, what with the trailers showing Alden Ehrenreich settling comfortably into Harrison Ford's iconic boots as the eponymous nerfherder. The trailers further suggest Solo is really embracing its western-in-space premise, which is similarly encouraging.
Hereditary (June 8)
When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun their sinister fate.
The trailer for Hereditary is one of those great horror movie previews that piles on the freaky imagery, leaving you wanting to know what is even happening and why. Toni Collette stars in the film as a woman who, as the title implies, discovers something messed up about her family's genetic line, following the death of her mother. Whatever the big family secret is, it got audiences at the Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals to heap praise upon Ari Aster's feature-length debut.
A24 is hoping to translate that buzz into commercial success at the box office by positioning Hereditary as counter-programming to the big summer blockbusters. If there's reason for concern though, it's that mainstream audiences and festival attendees tend to want different things from their horror movies. Hereditary might be destined to become a cult film in the vein of The Babadook, It Follows, The Witch, and most recently It Comes at Night, for that reason.
Ocean's 8 (June 8)
Criminal mastermind Debbie Ocean and seven other female thieves try to pull off the heist of the century at New York's annual Met Gala. Their target -- a necklace that's worth more than $150 million.
Gender-swapping franchise reboots/revivals have a muddled track record of box office success, but Ocean's 8 has the potential to be one of the more lucrative additions to the pack. It probably helps that the film isn't a straightforward remake of a popular title that features a female main cast (a la 2016's Ghostbusters), but a spinoff and semi-continuation of the Ocean's movie trilogy from the 2000s. George Clooney's Danny Ocean is even an important plot point in the film, as the trailers have revealed.
Filmmakers Gary Ross and Steven Soderbergh are longtime collaborators and thus far Ross' spinoff appears to be successfully channeling the same tone and style that his friend embraced on the 2000s' Ocean's trilogy. If that and Ocean's 8's A-list cast of women wasn't enough, the film could provide a nice palate cleanser in the midst of the summer blockbuster season. Effects-driven tentpoles are good fun, but sometimes you just want to watch a bunch of Hollywood stars trade quips and steal things.