2016 is finally upon us. Every year brings about new movies to look forward to. This year, however, looks to be the year that the game will change forever. Ever since
blew everyone's minds back in 2012, Hollywood has been scrambling to catch up and replicate that success. I think they have finally caught on. It's not just about "shared universes", it's about making these movies different and exciting. Almost every month this year we have something to be excited about. I mean yeah, be excited for a new year and new you and blah blah blah . . . But that's a different kind of blog.
What I'm most excited about this year is that 2016 seems to be the year that Hollywood is bringing back my childhood. I mean the nostalgia was pretty heavy in 2015 but this year it's gonna be overload! My JJ-brain can barely contain it!
Granted not every film this year is directly from my childhood, but like I said before, there's a lot to look forward to mainly because a lot of the films, from trailers and marketing at least, seem to be structured differently than your average superhero/popcorn film. Let's go down the list and see what's coming.
I'll go ahead and admit this right away - I'm not a Deadpool fan. I've never read any Deadpool comics. I just know him from the hundreds of people that cosplay as him at Comic Con.
I'm not a big fan, so why am I so excited for the movie? Like I said in the beginning, it's because the movie looks very different from what we've seen before. I mean, yeah we've seen anti-heroes and gratuitous violence in a movie before but this will be the first time we see it attached to a major superhero brand, namely the X-Men. The trailers and promotion material have started to make me into a Deadpool fan. Plus, Ryan Reynolds is perfect casting. I'm all about great casting. Even thought I wasn't a huge Constantine
fan I could appreciate the show based on the perfect casting of Matt Ryan. That's how I feel about Deadpool
and Ryan Reynolds. It's enough to get me excited for the movie. It's also going to be refreshing to see the comic book movie parodied by one of its own. I think the film will be successful and help to add more diverse and wacky characters to the big screen.
BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE - MARCH 25
There it is! The big one! I've never been more excited for a movie before. I've said this numerous times, but this is the movie I've waited my whole life to see. Not only is it cinematic history with the world's most popular superheroes meeting on screen for the first time, but it's the start of a "trend" (so to speak) with the comic book movies this year - The hero vs hero fight. Granted we've seen heroes fight each other before but this will be the first time that their fight is the selling point in the movie. If this film and Captain America: Civil War are successful then it's a safe bet that we will see more Hero vs Hero fight films.
This film will also mark the true beginning of the DCEU (DC Expanded Universe). Man of Steel introduced Superman but this film will bring along Batman, Wonder Woman and rumored cameos from Aquaman and the Flash. Warner Bros aren't fooling around with that Dawn of Justice subtitle. This is gonna be a massive film and will not only give us a new take on Batman, but a new format for superhero movies in general. Plus - it's freaking Batman versus Superman! Don't act like you're not excited by that concept!
THE JUNGLE BOOK - APRIL 15
This might be an odd choice for me to include in this list. But the truth is that the Jungle Book was one of my absolute favorite movies when I was a kid. I watched it all the time. It was one of the last films that Walt Disney personally worked on before his death. To have it come to life and with an amazing cast is really exciting to me! I mean we got Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, and best of all - Bill Murray as Baloo! Baloo was one of my favorite characters as a kid. I remember crying when I thought he was killed by Shere Khan. If anyone can make this character real to me again it's Bill Murray. Plus the trailer looks phenomenal. So many movies nowadays have so much CGI that it's distracting but the CGI in this film looks incredible. The animals look real and in some cases, terrifying. Having Jon Favreau on board as director gives me high hopes that this film will be spectacular. Ahhh nostalgia . . .
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR - MAY 6
Like I said, this year sees the rise of the Hero vs Hero fight film. Although this is an entirely different beast from Batman v Superman. This film will be the continuation of Bucky's story from Captain America: the Winter Soldier and the fallout of the Avengers' actions from Avengers: Age of Ultron. That's quite a lot to juggle in one movie. But considering that it's the same writing/directing team from Winter Soldier I'm not too worried. At first I was worried that this film would be too much Tony vs Cap instead of continuing Bucky's story. The trailer does confirm that the movie will follow up on Bucky, while including the New Avengers assembled after Ultron's defeat. That's definitely a smart way to go with the movie. One of the major complaints following the Avengers is that the Avengers parted ways and seemingly didn't hang out anymore. This didn't really bother me since I've been reading comic books my whole life and it's not uncommon for Captain America to be on 2 or 3 different adventures every month. However, seeing it in live action does make it seem more "real" (for lack of a better term) so I get it.
This film definitely has the potential to be one of Marvel's biggest and best movies. If it is anything like the comic books, then it will change the way the heroes act toward one another in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Given that the Marvel films never really end on a dark note, it's safe to say that the film will probably end with everyone shaking hands and being friends again. However, I would hope that this time Marvel do something different and have the Avengers Disassembled following this film. It will make their return to form in Infinity War that much more heroic and exciting.
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE - MAY 27
The X-Men films have always been favorites of mine. However, it's always bothered me that, for the most part, the only villain they ever seem to fight is Magneto. Sure there have been some deviations but for the most part, almost every film has ended with a Magneto vs the X-Men fight. I'm hoping this will be the film that starts to buck that trend. The X-Men have some really cool, very menacing villains. This film is finally introducing a brand new villain to the mix. And not just any villain - this is one of the most powerful villains in the entire Marvel universe! We'll finally get to see a character that will truly unite all the X-Men together. And given that this is also the origin for Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, and Nightcrawler makes it that much better.
I'm personally thrilled that this film is being directed by Bryan Singer. He has definitely made the best of the X-Men movies. I don't know where the stories are going to go after this one, but I'm super excited to see what happens in this film. It looks to be living up to its title in that there will be worldwide destruction and chaos. Plus, Apocalypse is being played by Oscar Isaac, known to the world now as Poe Dameron. I'm excited to see what he does with the character and how the rest of the world reacts to a different kind of X-Men film.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS - JUNE 3
This will probably be a surprise to many people. No, I was not a fan of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. It was pretty sloppy. However, at its core, it had a decent story and was willing to take risks with the franchise. Whether hardcore "fans" want to admit it or not, risks need to be taken or else the stories WILL get old and become boring and uninteresting. The heart of the Turtles was present in the first film and the actors all did a great job as the brothers. It's just a shame that the movie was not put together very well. It might be too soon to tell, but this film looks to correct most, if not all of the mistakes.
For my money, it doesn't get any better than the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was a well made film, albeit a little too dark for younger viewers. In my opinion, there hasn't been a good Turtles film since that one. I'm hoping to be surprised and enjoy this one just as much. Given that it seems to be embracing a lot of the cartoonish elements of the Turtles including Bebop and Rocksteady as well as introducing Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, the film should definitely be better than the last one.
So pretty . . .
I'll admit when I first saw the preview I didn't think much of it. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. Like I said, it's embracing the cartoonish nature of the Turtles. Yeah, it's live action, but it's also for kids. I don't mind a little cartoony-ness in the film as long as the performances are solid. As long as the actors are giving great performances, it can soften the blow of the campiness. Otherwise, the film will be worse than the last one. We don't want that!
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE - JUNE 24
Ok, I'll be the first one to say it - In a long list of unnecessary sequels, this film is at the top of the list. HOWEVER, this was one of my absolute favorite movies when I was a kid. In a way, it was like Star Wars for me. You know how people describe the first time they saw Star Wars and it blew their minds? Well, Independence Day did that for me. I remember watching it thinking, "There's no way to beat these aliens! We're all dead!" And then being blown away by the heroes at the end of the film. I highly doubt this film can match that feeling for me. But, I'm willing to give it a chance. I won't lie, I've always secretly hoped for a sequel. Granted, it's 20 years later, but that doesn't mean it will be bad. My hope is that it will stand out amongst all the other copycat "they came to kill us" type movies that have come out since.
I'm glad that the trailer doesn't show us that much information. We get just enough exposition and fight scenes to know that this will be a different film but still feel like an Independence Day movie. Hopefully, it will live up to its predecessor and not just be a film made for nostalgia's sake. **cough Dumb and Dumber To cough**
GHOSTBUSTERS - JULY 15
Ok, so full disclosure - that link is for the music video for the first film because there's no trailer yet. Enjoy! Anyway, here it is! The movie that will divide fans right down the middle. On the one hand, people are mad because it's an all female reboot and there's no way that they can match the first film's awesomeness. On the other hand, it's an insanely talented cast and crew with a seal of approval from the original cast and crew so it should definitely be a great film. The question is - Where does JJ fall? Well . . . I have high hopes for this film. Ghostbusters is my all time favorite movie. It's funny, scary, fun, exciting, and has great characters. Any attempt to replicate it would be stupid in my opinion. However, I am intrigued by the possibility of an "alternate take" on the franchise. It's pretty clear we were never going to get a Ghostbusters 3 despite Dan Akroyd's numerous claims that a script was in development. The original actors had all moved on. I really liked that. I felt like there was a lot of dignity in the actors choosing to pursue other interests.
Since this is a whole new crew trying to do a new thing while honoring the original film I can get behind it. This is definitely a better option than trying to recast Peter, Ray, and Egon with younger actors. That would piss me off. But this? Yeah, I can give my support. I love these actresses and think they are some of the funniest people. Plus, Paul Feig is a great director. I really think this movie will blow people away. I'm hoping for a trailer soon to confirm that!
STAR TREK BEYOND - JULY 22
I wasn't always a Star Trek fan. I liked The New Generation as a kid, but I didn't get into it like I did with Star Wars. Not to say I was against it, I just didn't really get into it. That changed when I saw the JJ Abrams reboot a few years ago. It totally blew my mind! I thought it was great. I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness as well. I thought it was a great sequel, although it was silly that it was basically a remake of Star Trek 2. But that's all behind us now! I'm definitely looking forward to this film and seeing where there story goes. I love all the cast and I truly believe they fill their characters' shoes extremely well. Zachary Quinto in particular I think is a fantastic Spock and clearly got Leonard Nimoy's seal of approval. Although plot details are thin, we do know that this film was co-written by Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty. And if previous Simon Pegg-penned films are any indication, we're definitely in for a treat.
Since JJ Abrams jumped ship to direct Star Wars: the Force Awakens, a new director was chosen. Justin Lin, known for the Fast and Furious films will be injecting his signature blend of action and spectacle into the Star Trek series. While that might seem like a bad thing to some, I think it's exactly what the franchise needs. With Simon Pegg's signature wit and Lin's sense of action, this film should definitely be exciting and fun to watch.
SUICIDE SQUAD - AUGUST 5
2016 is definitely going to be a year to remember for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment. There are TWO major motion pictures coming out that will set up the DCEU. With Batman v Superman, we'll see the heroes come together and the origins of the Justice League. With Suicide Squad, we'll see a lot of major villains that have never been seen on film like Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Enchantress, and some familiar to the Arrow crowd like Deadshot and Captain Boomerang. This is perhaps the riskiest film on this list. On the one hand, there's the immediate draw of Harley Quinn and the Joker plus Will Smith's star power (if that still has any bearing). Then again, it's a DC Comics film where Superman, Wonder Woman, et al do not appear. Batman will get some sort of cameo, but it's unlikely that he will get much screen time.
This is exactly the kind of film that the superhero genre needs to survive. Hero vs Hero is all well and good and different enough to get us excited, but THIS is a film almost exclusively about the bad guys. True, these types of films have been made before but this will be the first time that a comic book film focuses on the villains. Not anti-heroes, not vigilantes, straight up bad guys. I'm very excited to see what this film will bring to the table. Since this is DC's second big "world-building" film behind Batman v Superman it has a lot of pressure to not only fit in that world but to expand it and make it seem like it fits. I don't think there will be much of an issue with that given how talented the cast is mixed with the really awesome visuals in the trailers. I have high hopes for this film. And let's face it, Jared Leto as the Joker is perfect casting.
Plus it's pretty cool to have a film where the Joker plays a major role but Batman is only a small part. That's new and exciting if you ask me!
GAMBIT - OCTOBER 7
Two things - since there is no trailer I've included a link to the Super Power Beat Down episode that was Nightwing vs Gambit. Secondly, I'm not 100% sure this film is still being made. I mean, we haven't really heard much about it other than it can't seem to keep a director for longer than a few weeks. I previously wrote about how a Channing Tatum led Gambit film could be really exciting and different and I stick by that. I'm hoping that instead of a normal superhero film, we get more of an Ocean's Eleven type deal where it's more of a heist/revenge thing. That would definitely separate this film from the rest of the pack. If Deadpool is a comedy, then this can be a heist thriller. Add in some mutants we haven't seen yet and this would be fun! Assuming it's still being made of course . . .
DR. STRANGE - NOVEMBER 4
Again, no trailer - but there's Benedict Cumberbatch doing impressions and they're funny as hell. Between Batman, Superman, Captain America, Iron Man, and even a new Spider-Man getting the spotlight this year it's easy to forget that there is still one more hero making a big debut - Dr. Strange. I'm super excited for this film. Dr. Strange is easily one of the best Marvel characters. I was a huge fan of his during Brian Michael Bendis's run on New Avengers and now he's got a new comic written by Jason Aaron. It hasn't been out long, but I've thoroughly enjoyed every issue so far. I keep thinking that if this is where the movie is heading then we are in for a real treat. My main concern with this film is that Marvel will YET AGAIN give us a lackluster villain. I think that would be a shame considering that Strange has fantastic villains like Baron Mardo and Dormammu, probably both set to appear either in this film or in the sequel. Either way, Cumberbatch is an extremely talented actor and I'm excited to see him bring the Sorcerer Supreme to life.
My hope is that this film isn't afraid to be completely different from the other Marvel movies. Given that it's being directed by Scott Derrickson, who directed Sinister, I'm sure we'll be in for something different. Sinister was really scary and a real mind twisting kind of film. I'm hoping we'll see some of that in Dr. Strange and not the usual origin story. I'm hoping the origin story here will be a little more . . . Strange . . . HAHA! . . . Ahem . . . Anyway . . .
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY - DECEMBER 16
No trailer - that link will take you to the Bad Lip Reading of Star Wars. Definitely one of the funniest things you'll ever see. Anyway, what can we say about Rogue One? Not much! We really don't know much about it, other than it takes place before A New Hope and it's rumored that the plot focuses on the Rebels stealing the plans to the original Death Star. That's cool, I guess. I'm more interested in how this film will fit into the larger scheme of things with the Star Wars movies. All of the live action films have dealt with the Skywalker family in some way, shape or form. This will be the first theatrically released Star Wars film that doesn't deal with the Force (at least directly since it's rumored Darth Vader will make an appearance) or feature any prominent Jedi in major roles (allegedly). Think about it - this will the first Star Wars film that doesn't open with an Episode number. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Will we go into Star Wars overload in the next few years? I think that would be hard to do, but I'm biased because I say the more the merrier. This film will show us a different part of the fight between the Rebels and the Empire. I'm excited to see what will happen and how it will fit into the Star Wars canon.
Whew! That's a lot of stuff to go over for this year! I'm definitely looking forward to what lies in store this year with all of these films. One way or another they will all be memorable. Bring it on, 2016! I'm ready!
Till Next Time!
JJ - the Comic Junkie!