A new year is almost upon us, and we’ve now got a very clear idea of what films will be making waves and causing storms in 2016. From superheroes to intrepid adventurers, hidden blade-wielding assassins to magical creatures, here’s what we’re most looking forward to next year.
Continuing one of our favourite film franchises of all time, Creed sees the return of Sylvester Stallone as one of the world’s most iconic (fictional) boxers, Rocky Balboa. This time, however, the Italian Stallion takes second billing to Michael B. Jordan’s titular Adonis Creed, son of Rocky’s first opponent, Apollo Creed. Creed‘s been out for a while in the States, but it won’t see a release over on our shores until the middle of January – the 15th, to be exact – so we’ve avoided all spoilers until we can (finally!) see it in our local cinema next month, and boy are we excited! He may not have had much to do in the better-best-forgotten Fantastic Four, but Michael B. Jordan looks on top form as Creed in the pre-release trailers and footage that we’ve taken a peek at, and we’re pretty certain that (pun alert) he’s gonna fly now in this new film.
We can hardly believe it, but the fourth-wall breaking, chimichanga-loving Merc with a Mouth is finally getting the cinematic outing he deserves on 10 February. Reprising (or should that be ‘rebooting’) his role from 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool looks suited and booted in the footage we’ve seen so far, and we’re counting down the days until February so we can see this! Bringing along his friends Negasonic Teenage Warhead (yeah, we’re not sold on the superhero name just yet, either) and X-Men stalwart Colossus, Wade Wilson is ready to bring how own brand of foul-mouthed justice to those who are set out to get his “best girl”, bringing a completely different meaning to the phrase ‘superhero’ as he does so.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March)
Any preview of 2016 would be incomplete without featuring DC’s opening gambit in its attempt to take on the success of the MCU, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice promises to be an all-out action film, bringing together some of the Justice League’s most iconic members, as well as the ‘Holy Trinity’ of DC superheroes, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Out on 25 March, Batman v Superman not only features the return of Henry Cavill as the Caped Crusader – his second outing as the character since 2013’s Man of Steel – but will introduce Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, before we see the latter in her own solo film, which has recently started production. With Batman v Superman tying directly into David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, we can’t quite tell you how many times we’ve poured over the latest trailer for clues and hints as to the film’s content, as well as just to relive the awesome before the full feature is released in Q1.
The Jungle Book (April)
Jon Favreau’s new take on the Disney classic, The Jungle Book, is just around the corner, and if the first trailer is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat! Mixing live action and state-of-the-art CGI, The Jungle Book boasts a stellar cast, which includes the voice talents of Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Scarlett Johansson (Captain America), Idris Elba (Thor), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters), Christopher Walken (Hairspray) and Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3). Released on 15 April 2016, there’s no news yet if the film will include the iconic Bare Necessities song, although you can just make out a few bars of the song in the first trailer, if you’ve listening closely enough…
Captain America: Civil War (April)
Not content with Doctor Strange being their only offering in 2016, Marvel are reeling out Captain America and his friends Bucky Barnes and Falcon for Captain America: Civil War. Referred to by some as The Avengers 2.5, due to it including most of the Avengers, including Black Widow, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye, as well as returning character General Ross, last seen in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: Civil War centres on the fractious battle between Tony Stark’s Iron Man and Captain America, who come to blows over their differing stances over the Serkova Accords, which request that all superheroes answer to a central governing body. Most intriguingly for fans, Captain America: Civil War will also give us our first look at a couple of new Avengers, including Tom Holland as the latest incarnation of Spider-Man and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, seen in the first trailer for Civil War, released back in November. Little is known about Spider-Man’s involvement in the MCU at this time, but we’re sure to find out which side of the battle he’s on when the film is released in the UK on 29 April.
X-Men: Apocalypse (May)
Can you believe that the last film in the X-Men franchise, Days of Future Past, was released in 2014? It seems like it was first in cinemas years ago! Still, there’s not too long to go now until its sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, storms into cinemas (see what we did there?) promising to unleash all kinds of mutant disaster in its wake. Starring Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as the titular villain and reuniting X-Men alumni both past and present, as well as introducing a slew of new characters, Apocalypse can only be a recipe for Box Office success. We’ll be first in line for a showing when it touches down on 19 May, and you can see the latest trailer on the Screening Blog now.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June)
2014’s reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may have been met with mixed reviews, but we here at Screening Towers very much enjoyed it. In 2016, the ‘heroes in a half shell’ are making their cinematic comeback with returning stars Megan Fox and William Fitchner, as well as bringing back the vocal talents of all four turtles – Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Johnny Knoxville and Jeremy Howard. New this time around, however, is more elements of the hit TV show, including fan favourite villains Bebop and Rocksteady and the hockey-puck wielding Casey Jones, played by TV’s Arrow, Stephen Amell.
Independence Day: Resurgence (June)
As we enter the 20th year since the release of the original Independence Day, what better way to celebrate than with a sequel? Gone is Will Smith in favour of Hunger Games alumni Liam Hemsworth in the lead role, but we can take solace in the return of original stars Jeff Goldblum and Bill Paxton, who are both making a comeback to their roles of David Levinson and President Whitmore, respectively. Taking place in real time – two decades after the events of the first film – Independence Day: Resurgence sees the Earth protected from extra-terrestrial invasion by a series of new defences, but when a new threat comes out of the darkness, will they be enough to protect us? We’ll all find out when the film is released in the UK on 24 June.
Finding Dory (July)
It wouldn’t be a cinematic year without a tentpole release from Disney and/or Pixar, and 2016 is no exception. Continuing the adventures of Nemo, Marley and Dory, Finding Dory follows the forgetful fish as she goes on a journey of self-discovery to find out the whereabouts of her birth parents. Featuring the voice talents of returning cast members Ellen Degeneres as Dory, as well as Hayden Rolence, Albert Brooks as Marlin and Willem Dafoe as Gill, Finding Dory will also introduce us to a whole host of new aquatic characters for audiences young and old to fall in love with, including Diane Keaton as Jenny and Idris Elba and Dominic West in as-yet-unknown roles. Finding Dory opens in the UK on 29 July, and the first trailer has just been released.
Bourne 5 (July)
It’s incredible to think that we’re just seven months away from the release of the next film in the Jason Bourne franchise and it still doesn’t have a proper name, let alone any form of official footage from the set or otherwise. Still, if referring to this one solely as Bourne 5 makes the months until July come closer, we’re more than happy to do so! Returning star Matt Damon previously said after the relative failure of attempted spin-off, 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, that he’d only return if the script was good enough and if director Paul Greengrass was on board, so it looks like the stars are aligning for a blistering return to form for saga, which is scheduled to open in the UK on 28 July.
Star Trek Beyond (July)
Following on from the release of the first footage for Star Trek Beyond, we’re excited to rejoin the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they commence their five year journey into the iconic Final Frontier. Written by self-confessed Trekkie and star Simon Pegg, the third instalment in the Star Trek cinematic franchise is directed by Justin Lin, after previous director J.J. Abrams jumped ship and left for a galaxy far, far away to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’ve got full confidence in Lin’s directorial abilities, however, as he’s been behind loads of films in the Fast & Furious saga, which should serve him well going into Star Trek Beyond. We don’t know too much about the plot of this latest film just yet, so we’re eagerly awaiting more info as we move ever-closer to its release on 22 July.
We’re just a few months away from the reboot of the iconic Ghostbusters franchise, and strangely, very few details have been released about the new instalment. Focusing on a new team of all-female Ghostbusters led by Kristen Wiig and comprising her friends Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Lesley Jones, as well as their receptionist Chris Hemsworth, Entertainment Weekly has revealed that “dead criminals from all eras of New York’s underbelly past have returned to roost among the living in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. Pilgrims, oldtimey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits, and even a couple of zoot-suited gangsters are ready to take on four formidable female busters looking to rid the city of its phantasmic filth”. With confirmed cameos from some of the original Ghostbusters cast, we’re really hoping that the new generation of ‘busters lives up to our expectations when the film releases on 15 July.
Suicide Squad (October)
David Ayer’s team of oxymoronic, heroic super villains blasts into cinemas next August as the doors of Belle Reve prison open to release chaos. Bringing together a fantastic cast including Will Smith as Deadshot, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Jay Hernandez as El Diabolo, Karen Fukhuhara as Katana and Adam Beech as Slipknot, as well as the terrible twosome that is Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jared Leto’s terrifying new take on The Joker, Suicide Squad could well be amazing, or downright awful! We’re hoping for the latter, however, especially as this should tie in nicely with DC’s new cinematic universe and Batman v Superman, which won’t have been out that long when this is released in the UK on 5 August.
We’re huge fans of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series – both the books and their accompanying cinematic adaptations – so after hearing very little about the successor to 2009’s Angels and Demons, you can imagine our surprise when it was revealed that production on Inferno was in full swing, with a UK release set for 14 October 2016. Once more starring the incomparable Tom Hanks in the lead role as symbolist Robert Langdon, this time accompanied by Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Theory of Everything) as Dr. Sienna Brooks, Inferno sees the two attempt to stop a fiendish plot surrounding Dante’s legendary poem.
Doctor Strange (October)
Of course, with a new year comes a slew of new films from both Marvel and DC’s camps, and arguably the one we’re most looking forward to from the former’s roster is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Following new hero Dr. Stephen Strange as he assumes his mystical alter-ego, the first look at Cumberbatch in character as Strange got the Internet buzzing when it was first released earlier this week by Entertainment Weekly. Promising a much darker and more magical hero than any we’ve seen thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and starring our favourite TV detective in the lead role, Doctor Strange is shaping up to potentially be our favourite film in the MCU to-date! We’re counting the days until it’s released in the UK on 28 October.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November)
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll be well aware that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has invited us to rejoin her in her Wizarding World for a new tale based on her Comic Relief book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Released on November 18 in the UK, Fantastic Beasts follows magician Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he journeys to recapture a series of escaped magical creatures from a mysterious suitcase he’s been carrying around with him. Set in 1920s New York – some 70 years before Harry’s story begins – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Ron Perlman, Alison Sudol and Katherine Waterston; the first trailer was released earlier this month.
Assassin’s Creed (December)
Based on the wildly popular video game series, Assassin’s Creed stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, who joins Abstergo to explore the memories of Aguilar, his ancestor and master assassin. Little is known about Assassin’s Creed as of publishing this article, but we’re huge fans of the video games, so are following this one with anticipation and a nervous excitement – especially given that videogame adaptations have been notoriously… well… terrible in the past. Assassin’s Creed has all the makings of an excellent film, however, as it brings together some big names including Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises), Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Jeremy Irons (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), so we’re hoping this’ll buck the sad trend of videogame adaptations past when it opens on 30 December 2016.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December)
Alongside the news of a new instalment in the main Star Wars saga, Disney announced the release of a series of connected films which were originally given the moniker of Star Wars Anthologies, however which have now been retitled to Star Wars Stories. The first in this new series of connected films, Rogue One, focuses on a small crew of Republic fighters who are tasked with stealing the plans to the iconic Death Star featured in the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, and stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitake, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed and Jonathan Aris. After the unparalleled (but not entirely unexpected) success of this year’s The Force Awakens – for which our full, spoiler-free review is now online – we’re eager for more from the Star Wars universe as soon as possible, so Rogue One should quench our thirst until Rhian Johnson’s as-yet-untitled Episode VIII drops in 2017.
So there we have it – our full and comprehensive look at all the film’s we’re counting the days down for in 2016. Has your favourite made the cut? What are you most excited for next year? Drop us a Tweet to @screeningapp and let us know!