Top 25 Movies Coming In 2017
With the slate of movies set to release this year, 2017 is shaping up to be one for the ages. I hope you like sequels and reboots, because almost every single film on this list falls into one of those two categories. Only The Great Wall, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and The Dark Tower are not derived from a previous cinematic incarnation. And even though the studios are inundating us with superhero movies, the quality does seem to be getting better. Only time will tell if Hollywood can actually live up to the Hype. Here are the Top 25 movies coming 2017!
1. The Lego Batman Movie - 2/10/17
Director: Chris McKay (Robot Chicken)
Composer: Lorne Balfe (Call of Duty)
The success of 2014’s The Lego Movie seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ll admit when I first heard about this movie, I thought the studios had hit the crack pipe a little too hard. But after watching it, I was pleasantly surprised at how witty and well-made it was. This spin-off features the return of Will Arnett as the caped-crusader and brings on several new stars to round out the cast. I’m sure director Chris McKay, who is best known for his work on Robot Chicken, will undoubtedly bring a quirky hilariousness to whatever ridiculous story they have in-store.
2. Fifty Shades Darker – 2/10/17
Director: James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, House of Cards)
Composer: Danny Elfman (Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
The sequel to 2015’s smash hit and cougar favorite Fifty Shades of Grey, this film has a new director and screenwriter. While this might strike fear into the rapidly beating hearts of fans, they can relax in their binds because director James Foley is no stranger to the subject matter having directed several classic Madonna videos and House of Cards episodes. Filling in for screenwriter duties is none other than the author E.L. James’ husband, Niall Leonard. Add in returning composer Danny Elfman and you can expect a scintillating experience as Christian and Anastasia explore each other further.
3. The Great Wall – 2/17/17
Director: Yimou Zhang (Hero, The Flowers of War)
Composer: Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man, GoT, Westworld)
It’s no secret that China wants to take over Hollywood. The rise of the Chinese middle class has triggered a boom for the movie industry in that country and one of their richest billionaires has plans to buy up the major American studios. The Great Wall is helmed by one of China’s biggest directors, Yimou Zhang, and holds the title for the most expensive Chinese film ever made. It will no doubt be a visual spectacle as Matt Damon joins Willem Dafoe to fight along some Chinese A-listers against vicious supernatural monsters. James Horner was originally supposed to score this film, but his unfortunate demise forced the film makers to look elsewhere. Ramin Djawadi is very capable in the action genre having delivered epic scores for Iron Man, Clash of the Titans and Pacific Rim in addition to many others.
4. Logan – 3/3/17
Director: James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine)
Composer: Marco Beltrami (Hellboy, The Wolverine)
As with all actions stars, age catches up to you. So, this will be Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine (as well as Patrick Stewart’s as Professor X). This third stand-alone Wolverine film deals with Logan in a future where nearly all mutants have been killed off and he and Charles Xavier live in hiding. They must protect a young female clone of Wolverine from an evil organization in what will be an attempt to reboot the franchise. Director James Mangold said: “Logan is an attempt to bring an end to Hugh’s amazing line of performances as Wolverine. And the ambition of doing that is to try and make an ‘adult film’ about Wolverine. To make a movie for grownups. We’re not trying to make a movie that [satisfies] everyone. We’re trying to make a movie that stands out and is different because it’s kind of a grownup drama that also features intense action.” Also, similar to Rogue One, there’s been a composer switch at the last minute. For unknown reasons, Marco Beltrami will be scoring in place of Cliff Martinez.
5. Kong: Skull Island – 3/10/17
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer, Nick Offerman: American Ham)
Composer: Henry Jackman (X-Men First Class, Captain America: Civil War)
Hollywood loves an origin story, and that’s exactly what you get here. I mean it has been over 10 years since the last remake so we’re certainly due for another drink from the King Kong well. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has primarily worked on TV and comedic projects, so it’ll be interesting to see what he brings to the table here. With Samuel Jackson, Brie Larsen, John Goodman and John C. Riley working the screen, this could either be awesome or horrible. Luckily, composer Henry Jackman is a veteran to the action genre having done the music for two Captain America movies, Kick Ass 1 & 2, Kingsman: Secret Service, and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back just to name a few.
6. Beauty and the Beast – 3/17/17
Director: Bill Condon (Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Mr. Holmes)
Composer: Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Tangled)
Disney continues to build their mountain of revenue while other studios are struggling. Owning Lucasfilm now doesn’t hurt, but they already have an arsenal of timeless content that will allow them to continuously line Mickey’s ears with gold for eternity. The success of Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book has proven the live-action remake is as viable as ever. This version of Beauty and the Beast hopes to sprinkle some “Potter” magic with Emma Watson starring as Belle and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. Alan Menken, who composed the original Beauty and the Beast music, returns here to reminisce and expand his already famous music.
7. Ghost in the Shell – 3/31/17
Director: Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman)
Composer: Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan)
The original 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell was a cult hit and remains a pillar in the genre. Rumors of a live-action remake have swirled for years and are finally culminating in this film. Scarlett Johansson has developed into quite the action star after her roles in The Avengers and Lucy, so she’s a fairly logical choice for portraying “The Major” – a cyborg policewoman. Clint Mansell is sure to provide a dark score based on his work for Moon, The Wrestler and Darren Aronofsky’s films.
8. Fate of the Furious – 4/14/17
Director: F. Gary Grey (Friday, The Italian Job, Straight Outta Compton)
Composer: Brian Tyler (AVP, The Expendables, Furious 7)
The Fast and the Furious franchise was in doubt after Paul Walker’s untimely death and subsequent treatment in that last film. But it seems they’re trying to turn over a new lease with Vin Diesel’s character Dom, turning to crime as he’s compelled by new villain Charlize Theron. Considering how successful every film has been thus far, it makes sense to keep the train fueled and prepared to extend the series indefinitely. Watching Vin and the Rock battle it out while flanked by Charlize Theron will undoubtedly drive traffic to the theater.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – 5/5/17
Director: James Gunn (Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Composer: Tyler Bates (300, Watchmen)
One of the big surprises of 2014 was the $333 million Guardians of the Galaxy was able to rake in. Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana have showed they can anchor a franchise with a mix of humor and beauty. This is pretty much a guaranteed success with the entire cast returning along with writer/director James Gunn. The team must fight to stay together as their adventure leads them to discover the mystery of Peter Quill’s lineage. Look for Groot to have an increased role.
10. Alien: Covenant – 5/19/17
Director: Ridley Scott (Alien, The Martian)
Composer: Jed Kurzel (Assassin’s Creed)
We’re hoping this film brings us a little closer to the original Alien movie than Prometheus did. Alien: Covenant was announced as the second film in a new Alien Trilogy (Prometheus being the first) where the crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but it is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor or the doomed Prometheus expedition. Let’s hope Ridley can bring the heat with a relative newcomer in composer Jed Kurzel.
11. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – 5/26/17
Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg (Max Manus, Kon-Tiki)
Composer: Geoff Zanelli (Gamer, Mortdecai)
With a reported budget in excess of $350 million, the fifth installment in this series has taken Jerry Bruckheimer 6 years to bring it to screen. We see Johnny Depp back in his familiar role of Jack Sparrow and will hopefully break a string a flops that has afflicted Depp over the last few years. Hans Zimmer will not return for scoring duties, instead handing them off to one of his Remote Control minions, Geoff Zanelli, so it should still have that familiar sound.
12. Wonder Woman – 6/2/17
Director: Patty Jenkins (Monster)
Composer: Rupert Gregson-Williams (Zookeeper, The Legend of Tarzan)
Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad have been getting DC back in the game that Marvel has ruled for the last decade. Now the long anticipated Wonder Woman film is set to arrive. Gal Gadot stars as the Amazonian warrior princess who leaves her sheltered island paradise to help stop the conflicts that are plaguing the outside world. Judging by the trailers, it looks like we’ll be in-store for a pretty compelling adaptation. This will also setup the Justice League film that hits a few months later. Rupert Gregson-Williams, who is usually associated with comedies, has been brought on to score the flick. We’ll have to wait and see how his action chops are.
13. The Mummy – 6/9/17
Director: Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us)
Composer: Brian Tyler (Thor: Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Tom Cruise stars in this reboot of the Mummy franchise. He is joined by the sword-footed villainess from Kingsman: Secret Service, and Star Trek Beyond alien Sofia Boutella, as the mummy princess Ahmanet whose destiny was unjustly taken and was entombed beneath the unforgiving desert. She is awakened present day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors beyond human comprehension. I’m not sure if the world needs another “Mummy” movie, so I’m not holding my breath on this one. Only time will tell if this is a worthy endeavor or not.
14. Transformers: The Last Knight – 6/21/17
Director: Michael Bay (Armageddon, Transformers)
Composer: Steve Jablonsky (Transformers, Battleship, Ender’s Game)
I don’t know anyone was sitting around wishing for another Transformers movie, but you have to admit they make great action flicks with excellent sound. Thankfully, the last film saw audiences saved from resident Holly-weird bizarro Shia LaBeouf and replaced with a much more digestible Mark Wahlberg. In this entry, Optimus Prime finds out he’s responsible for killing his home planet of Cybertron. Hopefully, people can avoid his metallic cyber-tears spraying everywhere as he attempts to bring his planet back to life. Michael Bay has continued with the same sound team throughout the series, including composer Steve Jablonsky and sound designer Erik Aadahl. If you’ve ever watched a Transformers movie on a home theater, you know that they’re some of the best sounding movies you can watch.
15. Spider-Man: Homecoming – 7/7/17
Director: Jon Watts (Clown, Cop Car)
Composer: Michael Giacchino (Tomorrowland, Doctor Strange)
After being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, the webbed-one is getting his own solo feature. He will receive the tutelage of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) in the film, which will assist in his battle against The Vulture (Michael Keaton), a flying supervillian. There has been an abundance of Spider-Man films over the past couple of decades, but it seems like they’re ready to do him some justice with this incarnation. Plus, he has a little more depth with the Avengers tie-ins. Fresh off his Doctor Strange and Rogue One stints, Michael Giacchino is set to bang out the score for another action/superhero movie.
16. War for the Planet of the Apes – 7/14/17
Director: Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)
Composer: Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Star Trek, Rogue One)
Master of motion capture Andy Sarkis is back as Caeser, leader of the genetically modified primates in this third installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot. Woody Harrelson also stars as a ruthless colonel who leads an army of humans that set out to decimate the apes. This conflict forces Caeser into dark places as he ascends to mythic status. Michael Giacchino comes on board to provide the soundtrack for the brutal war games that ensue.
17. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – 7/21/17
Director: Luke Besson (Fifth Element, Lucy)
Composer: Alexandre Desplat (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Imitation Game)
One of the few non-sequel/reboot/remakes of the year, visual master and writer/director Luke Besson adapts the classic French comic Valerian & Laureline to the big screen. Expect this to be a visual feast in the vein of The Fifth Element, with a deep storyline that takes two special operatives into a major intergalactic city comprised of thousands of different species as they try to thwart unseen forces bent on destroying it. Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke and Dane DeHaan star as veteran Alexandre Desplat takes on the task of composing a score to match the epic scale of this science fiction saga.
18. The Dark Tower – 8/4/17
Director: Nicolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair)
Composer: Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool)
Stephen King’s stories have been a goldmine for Hollywood. But, one of his most popular works, The Dark Tower series, has never made it to the big screen. In an interesting move, rather than remake each of the eight books in the series, The Dark Tower film will allegedly take place after the books end and will follow the Gunslinger Roland (Idris Elba) through the sci-fi western landscape as he tries to reach the Dark Tower in order to save his world. He is pursued by the Man In Black (Matthew McConaughey) who will try to prevent him from doing so. If done properly, this could be the beginning of a very cool new franchise. Plus, it’ll be great to see Mr. McConaughey oustide of his uber-pretentious Lincoln commercials.
19. IT – 9/8/17
Director: Andres Muschetti (Mama)
Composer: Benjamin Wallfisch (A Cure for Wellness, Hidden Figures)
Another Stephen King adaptation hits the theaters this year with It. The 1990 TV version was a cult hit with Tim Curry as the demonic entity Pennywise, a clown who terrorizes the neighborhood children. But this version promises to retain the signature gore of King’s book that the TV miniseries sorely lacked. Also, they apparently plan to split the book into two movies allowing for further explorations into the more disturbing aspects of the narrative. Bill Skarsgard stars as the eponymous exploiter of fear in this sure to be terrifying adaptation.
20. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – 9/22/17
Director: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: Secret Service)
Composer: Henry Jackman, Matthew Margeson (Kick-Ass 2, Kingsman: Secret Service)
Director Matthew Vaughn specializes in clever action films, and with 2015’s Kingsman he provided a surprisingly fresh treatment of the James Bond-esque British secret agent genre. With a blend of quirky humor and gratuitous violence, his brand of film making has translated well to the box office. In this sequel, the primary cast returns with the addition of several other big names including Julianne Moore as the villain and Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Elton John in key roles. The only plot points we know are that the Kingman’s headquarters gets destroyed and they must head to the US for help from their American counterpart, but you can bet that this action comedy will entertain in unpredictable ways.
21. Blade Runner 2049 – 10/6/17
Director: Denis Villenueve (Sicario, Arrival)
Composer: Johann Johannsson (Theory of Everything, Arrival)
The cult classic Blade Runner is on many, many people’s top ten list of the greatest sci-fi films ever made. Rumors of a sequel have swirled for years having never been able to materialize into a full release, but now decades of anticipation will be manifested in Blade Runner 2049. Ridley Scott is not directing this one, but he is on as a producer and the original screenplay co-writer Hampton Fancher is back in the same role here. Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto and Harrison Ford star in this futuristic thriller that takes place thirty years after the events of the first film. I’m a little disappointed that Vangelis won’t reprise his role as composer as his original score was integral in immersing the audience in the now classic dystopian future-scape. It’ll be interesting to see what homages composer Johannsson will give to the original.
Friday the 13th – 10/13/17 – CANCELLED
Director: Breck Eisner (Sahara, The Last Witch Hunter)
UPDATE: In February, Paramount announced that it was pulling the reboot of Friday the 13th from its October 13th release date. No official reason was given, but it seems to be (at least partially) attributed to the disappointing performance of its Rings horror reboot. No other information was provided as to whether they would continue the production later or not.
The 2009 Friday the 13th reboot wasn’t exactly a huge success, so it’s interesting that the studio is trying it again this year. Supposedly, this version will explore the unanswered question of why Jason can’t be killed. Will he be revealed as an alien or simply as a supernatural force? Perhaps he arose from a pool of evil energy whose sole existence is to ravage scantily clad teenagers on vacation. Since it doesn’t seem like there’ll be any direct correlation to the previous films, this could serve as another reboot or just a standalone movie. Filming won’t begin until the spring, but rumors are they will film from Jason’s POV to help explain why Mr. Voorhees can’t be permanently killed, in this 13th Friday the 13th film.
23. Thor: Ragnarok – 11/3/17
Director: Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows)
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh (Hotel Transylvania, The Lego Movie)
The end times in Norse Mythology are a series of events that include a great battle where a number of gods are killed. This time is known as Ragnarok and is not good news for the illustrious hammered-one, Thor. This film has all the makings to be the best of the three Thor films and is rumored to include an epic confrontation with the Hulk. I don’t know how closely they plan to adhere to the mythology, because it is said that Loki, Odin & Thor all perish in Ragnarok, yet we know Chris Hemsworth has signed on for at least one more Thor movie and is in the next Avengers film. In a unexpected move, Mark Mothersbaugh has been brought on to score the film. The former Devo singer is primarily known for his quirky scores on Wes Anderson’s early films, but he has begun to branch out to more mainstream action oriented pictures.
24. Justice League – 11/17/17
Director: Zack Snyder (300, Batman v Superman)
Composer: Junkie XL (Divergent, Batman v Superman)
With a sequel already in the works and the news that nearly every character in this movie has or will be receiving solo spin-off films, DC comics is giving Marvel a run for its money as they begin to further saturate the super-hero market. Justice League follows Batman and Wonder Woman as they form an alliance with other “metahumans” including Aquaman, Superman, Cyborg, and The Flash to battle another supervillain. This is supposed to be lighter fare than Batman v Superman, which will be a departure for the traditionally dark directing style of Zack Snyder.
25. Star Wars: Episode VIII – 12/15/17
Director: Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper)
Composer: John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter)
This is clearly the most anticipated movie of the year. 2015’s The Force Awakens took in well over 2 BILLION dollars in its run (which incidentally, is more than the GDP of 26 countries on this planet) and the peripheral film, Rogue One, has already amassed almost half of that. The Star Wars fan base is among the most loyal of any genre, especially considering their endurance of the abomination we now know as the “prequel-trilogy.” With the franchise now safely out of the abusive hands of creator George Lucas, the films are now being driven by a younger generation of creative film makers who seem to understand and respect the fan perspective as well as that of the studios. Episode VIII begins right where the The Force Awakens left off and it appears that it will be considerably darker than the last one. Fans will be clamoring to find out what truths the now grizzly Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will bestow upon us as we follow Rey and Finn deeper into this universe. Legendary composer John Williams will once again wield his iconic themes throughout this episode as new director Rian Johnson (who’s no stranger to deep and dark material) leads us into uncharted territory.