Now that Oscars season is over, we can finally put 2016 movies to bed (well, more or less), and look ahead to 2017. As I do every year, I am going to offer a list of the films I am most excited to see in 2017.
This year, though, I am tweaking things a little. I am growing a little tired of talking about some of Hollywood’s more prevalent franchises. So I am more or less just excluding all major franchises from consideration, unless noted for a very special reason. So that means no super hero movies, no matter how intriguing they might be (say in the case of Logan), no matter how fun (Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2), no matter how refreshing (Spiderman: Homecoming), no matter how important they might be (Wonder Woman). This means no personal favorites like Fate of the Furious or Pitch Perfect 3, either. In general, I am no longer anticipating movies based on content, and instead focusing a lot more on exciting filmmakers. This has led me in some very interesting directions, as well as inspired some broader categories this year. We’ll see how much that impacts anything. Expectations are always dangerous: sometimes you can end up with La La Land or Kubo and the Two Strings being as awesome as you had hoped they’d be, while other times you get, well, The Revenant and Girl on the Train. That’s all part of the joy of anticipation.
Holdovers from 2016
Before we get to this year’s list, let’s just get this out of a way. Things got away from me last year, so there are still four films I never actually offered the full Anticipated Treatment. I will cover these at some point during this year as a kind of flashback to 2016 (because it will never die). Those are:
- A Monster Calls
- Birth of a Nation
- The Magnificent Seven
But those are extra, so let’s get to the main event.
Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies for 2017
- What the hell makes this film different than the other franchise films I said I wouldn’t include? Well, nothing, except for the fact that my inner child is absolutely stoked for this movie. This is a series that could still be really cool if it just got an update for the times, and this edgier and darker version of the series looks to be it. Of course, I have seen an edgy and super dark version of Power Rangers, and while I loved it, the real thing that makes this reboot so exciting is that it may be able to blend the fun from the series into a more serious package while also having, you know, an actual special effects budget. The chances of this film being good are honestly really low, but screw it, sometimes you have to feed your inner child. The rest of this list is franchise free, I promise.
- Release Date: March 24th, 2017
- Trailer: Yes
- This is one of the few films on my list purely based on its concept, because this film has long been pitched as the Kaiju version of Being John Malkovich, with Anne Hathaway as John Cusack and instead of Malkovich, Godzilla. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, the owners of the rights to Godzilla Toho made sure that this film couldn’t literally have Godzilla in it, which is part of what delayed its release so they could use a faux-Godzilla instead. This is such an ingenious idea and I really hope can find a modicum of success.
- Release Date: April 7, 2017
- Trailer: Yes
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
- I could pretend this is an original idea and everything and most people would never know, but in fact it is based on a French comic. So this is breaking my rule about comic book movies, but at the same time, this isn’t just another Marvel or DC superhero film. The real reason I’m excited is that Valerian presents another chance for the world to make a really good space adventure film, a genre that’s been pretty lean despite the technology now existing to make it look good. Luc Besson has come the closest to achieving this dream before with The Fifth Element, so let’s hope he can do it here. This film is likely to flop hardcore because it has no real star in it, but maybe it can at least be good. I have high hopes, hopes that I can’t wait to have dashed. It looks good so far, though, assuming Dane DeHaan can actually act…
- Release Date: July 21, 2017
- Trailer: Yes
- Edgar Wright has made a new movie! That means I shall see it. But there are other reasons to watch, particularly the film’s gimmick, in that it is cut to the soundtrack inside the main character’s head. Plus that cast of Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, and lead actor Ansel Elgort is going to be great.
- Release Date: August 11, 2017
- Trailer: Nope, though we do have a set picture
Blade Runner 2049
- Some people are probably simply excited that we finally get more Blade Runner, and with it, canon answers to the original’s many, many questions. That’s cool and all, but for me this really comes down to director Denis Villeneuve. He is one of the greatest working directors, and more importantly, this is one of his dream films to make (the other, which it looks like he will also get to make, is Dune). Seeing a truly talented director getting to make a passion project is always great. Seeing this one in particular getting to work with such iconic material is even more so. Plus, after subbing out for Bradford Young on Arrival, Roger Deakins returns as cinematographer for Villeneuve, which is bound to produce truly breathtaking results.
- Release Date: October 6, 2017
- Trailer: Yes
- Pixar has lost a little bit of its shine, but when they want to bring it, they still can. Coco represents multiple firsts for the studio. It’s Pixar’s first musical (or their version of a musical), and it also features the studio’s first minority lead, with an all Latino cast. Lee Unkrich’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Toy Story 3, Coco could really be special. More importantly, this is the last original film Pixar is making for the rest of the decade. That’s depressing as fuck, and makes me want to enjoy this treat as much as possible.
- Release Date: November 22, 2017
- Trailer: Not really, but here is something:
- This first came into my view during the Super Bowl, with its dynamite trailer. Netflix has been slowly dipping its toes into the feature film waters for some time, but 2017 looks to be the year the company really steps up its game. This film looks to be a good representation of that, with Will Smith starring in a fantasy cop movie set in an alternate present, something that sounds awesome no matter how it’s being distributed. The Netflix angle makes this even more intriguing, and has me excited and terrified for what this could mean for movies going forward.
- Release Date: Late 2017
- Trailer: Well, a teaser:
Foreign Film Placeholder
- Every year I like to get excited about a foreign film that I will hopefully be able to see, but it becomes really, really tricky because accurate American release dates for these films are rarely available. There are tons of movies that would potentially make this list if I could be sure they were actually coming out this year, and that I could actually see them. Some examples include: Mustang’s director Deniz Gamze Erguven’s second film, Kings; Sylvain Chomet’s Felini homage, A Thousand Miles; or the most likely of these to come out and be seen this year (since it has a real release date and should get play in America), Michael Haneke’s Happy End. Once it is more clear that one of these films will be a viable choice for me to see, this slot will get a more concrete name.
- Release Date: If I knew that, I would have an actual movie listed here.
- Trailer: HAHAHAHAHAHA
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film
- This has been announced relatively recently, and all that is really known is that it involves Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day Lewis, and the fashion industry in the 1950s. What else do you really need? PTA could make dry wall fascinating to watch, so I can’t wait for this film.
- Release Date: Late 2017
- Trailer: LOL, no
Untitled Detroit Project
- Kathryn Bigelow returns with her next project, about the Detroit riots in 1967. Bigelow has proven herself to be appointment viewing, and this should be no different. Add in the stellar cast, including John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Kraken favorite Hannah Murray, and more, and this as-yet-untitled film has all the right ingredients to be a winner.
- Release Date: Late 2017
- Trailer: Look, still no. I wish there was. I wish so hard.
Two More That Slip in for Very Specific Reasons
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, aka, if Rian Johnson makes your movie I will watch it no questions asked
- Look, I am tired of putting Star Wars on this list too. God knows this will be the last time I do for a while, because I don’t really care about Han Solo or Boba Fett (I mean, I’ll watch them, but I am not like “Dear Lord give me this now”), and Episode IX is being directed by Colin Trevorrow, who is still in movie jail after Jurassic World, so I automatically find anything he is involved with less exciting. The Last Jedi gets on primarily because Rian Johnson is probably my favorite working director, and so his next movie would be on the list no matter what it was. I am excited to see how Johnson handles the jump to the big leagues, especially after he was allowed to follow a more traditional path to this point (making three movies of increasing budget and scope) rather than jumping from indie to blockbuster in one step like many directors (who often flounder as a result). Johnson is the most talented director of any of the three given official Star Wars Episodes in this trilogy, and gets the middle entry (often the part of any trilogy with the most freedom), so seeing what he does with this film is going to be super amazing.
- Release Date: December 15, 2017
- Trailer: Not yet
King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword, aka this trailer is so bonkers I am watching simply because of it
- Okay, Guy Ritchie, I will bite. That trailer is amazing, and this movie could be entertaining as hell. Still, I’d better be entertained. If this film ends up being a boring mess, I will never forgive you. It can fail, but damn it, just fail in the most entertaining way possible. Also, it may actually make me like Charlie Hunnam as an actor. Okay, maybe that is a bit much, but maybe at least I will think he is kind of a good actor.
- Release Date: May 12, 2017
- Trailer: God YES!
Seriously though film, more this
Not as good, but fine this can work too.
So there you go, another year of films for The Anticipated. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!