A fantastically varied year of film has come to an end, and looking forward to 2018 there’s a lot to be excited about. Highly-anticipated sequels, franchises returning from the dead, adaptations finally coming to life, and fascinating new original projects from some of cinema’s greatest minds; it’s shaping up to be a landmark year. And so as we leave 2017 behind, it’s time to take a look at twenty-five films coming out this year I’m most looking forward to.
Before we begin, a few notes:
- This list is based on what is scheduled to come out in 2018 as of this moment. Some of these may get delayed to 2019 for a variety of reasons, but as of now they are due for release next year.
- I’m only counting films that have a confirmed release for next year. There are plenty of films, especially smaller projects or awards contenders, that are in development with an aimed 2018 release. But if it doesn’t have a date on the calendar, it’s not getting counted.
- Films that will be released here in the UK in 2018 but were released in the US in 2017 don’t count, so don’t expect to see films like Coco, The Shape of Water or The Post on this list.
- This is not a prediction of what I think will be the best films of 2018; some of them I even have serious doubts about. These are merely the movies I am most excited and/or interested to see, and their quality will be judged when I have actually seen them.
And now, we may begin…
- Sicario 2: Soldado
Release Date: 29 June (US, UK)
I wouldn’t say Sicario was a film in desperate need of a sequel or spin-off, but after Blade Runner 2049 I’m more open to the idea. The absence of Denis Villeneuve and Emily Blunt is disappointing, but putting the spotlight on Benicio Del Toro’s Alejandro is definitely the right decision; he was the most magnetic character in the original. I’m not really liking how uber-slick and action-focused the trailer seems to be making the film look, but here’s hoping this is just iffy marketing and the film upholds the sombre, grimy tone the original so effectively utilised.
Release Date: 9 November (UK), 16 November (US)
Not much information on this one at the moment, but certainly seems like a change of direction for 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. We’re already getting another female-driven heist movie in 2018 with Ocean’s 8, but this one is probably going to be more gritty than fun. I’m hoping for something like Triple 9, but with a little more style.
- Cloverfield 3 (AKA God Particle)
Release Date: 2 February (US), 9 February (UK)
The supposed third instalment of the Cloverfield anthology series, this one has been pushed around the release calendar a lot, which does indicate a lot of post-production retooling which is rarely a good sign. Hopefully, a solid cast and premise, plus the Cloverfield name, can help push this one into the limelight.
- The Kid Who Would Be King
Release Date: 28 September (US, UK)
It’s been far too long since Attack the Block director Joe Cornish took the helm. After his cult hit debut, he’s mainly been relegated to writing, but now he’s finally stepping back up for this family adventure film. It sounds kind of like A Kid in King Arthur’s Court in reverse, which isn’t the most unique of premises, but I’m confident Cornish has some clever twist on the concept that’ll make it another possible underdog smash.
Release Date: 19 October (US, UK)
The Halloween franchise should really be laid to rest, and the constant reboots and retconning the mythology is getting really tired. That being said, this new venture may have what it takes. You’ve got David Gordon Green behind the camera, Danny McBride co-writing it with him, Jamie Lee Curtis back in the role that made her the star, and not only John Carpenter’s seal of approval but providing the score too? Don’t tell me that at least has you curious.
- Alita: Battle Angel
Release Date: 20 July (US, UK)
A dream project of James Cameron for decades, the manga adaptation has instead been given to Robert Rodriguez whilst Cameron produces as he makes his Avatar sequels. After this year’s failures with Ghost in the Shell and Death Note, Alita stands as the last real chance for Western manga and anime adaptations. The decision to do Alita herself through motion capture and make her proportiante to an anime character is a move I have conflicted feelings about, but otherwise design-wise this movie looks really impressive. If it crashes and burns, at least it will do so in a brazen, Jupiter Ascending-level of boldness.
Release Date: 21 December (US, UK)
Justice League may not have delivered exactly what all fans wanted, but it did at least pivot DC films in a more optimistic direction, and Aquaman is their first movie out of the gate with this new mindset. Jason Momoa’s portrayal of the King of Atlantis so far shows some promise, but having to hold his own is going to be the ultimate test as to whether this film will end up being a Wonder Woman or not. With someone as talented as James Wan behind the wheel, I’m hoping more for the former.
- The New Mutants
Release Date: 11 April (UK), 13 April (US)
2018 is going to be a big year for the X-Men franchise, and kicking off the slate is probably the most daring of their entries this year. We haven’t seen a straight-up horror-superhero movie since the Blade movies, but this is going for more straight-up terror than guts and gore. Mixing that kind of horror with superpowers is going to be an interesting proposition, but there’s also the fear this could easily end up going the way of Fant4stic. Here’s hoping Fox learnt their lesson.
- First Man
Release Date: 12 October (US), 2 November (UK)
Damien Chazelle is coming off a high with La La Land, and now he’s reteaming with Ryan Gosling for a truly out-of-this-world biopic. It’s surprising that no one has made a big Neil Armstrong movie already, but better late than never and both Chazelle and Gosling are more than capable of pulling it off. Just have a little less mansplaining jazz this time, please?
- Early Man
Release Date: 26 January (UK), 16 February (US)
Aardman films are always one to watch, but to see Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park back in the director’s chair makes this one especially interesting. Hopefully reusing some of their concepts for The Croods before DreamWorks took it away from them, this prehistoric stop-motion adventure flick can hopefully bring back a little more of that classic Aardman charm.
- Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Release Date: 21 November (US), 30 November (UK)
Of any Disney movie, Wreck-It Ralph cried out for a sequel the most. Six years later, fans are finally being granted that wish. Taking Ralph and his friends into the world of online gaming feels like a natural progression, and hopefully we’ll see a greater variety of worlds than the limited locales in the first film. Plus, it’s going to have pretty much every Disney Princess in it. That is a sight I cannot wait to behold.
- Untitled Laika Film
Release Date: May 18 (US), TBA (UK)
I literally don’t know anything about this movie. But it’s a Laika movie, and that’s all I need to know to be excited about it. If you aren’t hyped too, you should be. Next!
- A Wrinkle in Time
Release Date: 9 March (US), 23 March (UK)
Ava DuVernay is finally being given her big-budget shot with this adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel, and from everything so far it looks like she’s knocked it out of the park. Taking a novel way ahead of its time and updating it further with an eye of diversity is exactly the kind of family movie we need right now, and even though this is a big step up from DuVernay’s other work I trust she is more than capable of helming this ship.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
Release Date: 6 July (US), 3 August (UK)
Ant-Man was a surprisingly decent excursion for Marvel from the usual world-ending stakes, and now director Peyton Reed has full control over the sequel after having to reassemble the remains of Edgar Wright’s vision last time around. Bringing Wasp into the fold is a natural progression and should bring more female prominence to a series severely lacking it, and here’s hoping the size-bending action sequences are taken to the next level of insanity and hilarity.
- Mission: Impossible VI
Release Date: 27 July (US, UK)
The movie we all have to blame for Henry Cavill’s CGI upper lip in Justice League, this sixth instalment in the Tom Cruise action franchise is the first to be helmed by a returning director: Christopher McQuarrie returns from Rogue Nation to pick up the story where he left off. Not much is known right now, but insane stunts and thrilling chases are sure to be abound. The only thing we know for sure is this: it looks like Cruise has short hair in this one, breaking the long/short switching game between previous instalments.
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release Date: 14 December (US, UK)
Spider-Man: Homecoming only teased at the existence of Miles Morales in the MCU, but this animated feature will put the new wall-crawler in the spotlight for the first time in cinematic history. The film is still something of an enigma, but with Lord & Miller involved with the screenplay, a bold artistic design to the animation, and a talented voice cast including Shameik Moore and Mahershala Ali on board, there’s no reason not to be intrigued by this side venture from Sony Animation. I’m certainly more excited for this than whatever that Venom movie they’re making is.
- Pacific Rim: Uprising
Release Date: 23 March (US, UK)
The first Pacific Rim was a great movie that ultimately failed to find a big enough audience, but the fans have been vocal enough to keep support for a sequel alive. After a few false starts, we’re finally getting what we asked for in a bigger and brighter follow-up. Sure, the lack of Guillermo del Toro at the helm is a little disappointing, but John Boyega already looks like a step-up in protagonist from Charlie Hunnam, and what we’ve seen of the Jaeger vs. Kaiju fights seem to be in line with what everyone wanted from the first film. Let’s just hope the story can keep all the underlying nuance of the first and not devolve into just the mindless action most audiences took away from the original.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
Release Date: 25 May (US, UK)
The only movie that arguably had a more troubled production history than Justice League in recent memory, this spin-off film focused on the young exploits of a certain intergalactic smuggler faced a massive overhaul with the firing of directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. With veteran Ron Howard now captain of the ship, the fate of this film is certainly up in the air, but this fan is hoping they can salvage the best elements of Lord & Miller’s work and deliver a coherent movie Star Wars fans can be proud of. With characters this iconic and a cast this talented, it’s the least they deserve.
Release Date: 23 February (US, UK)
All I had to know was that this is Alex Garland’s new film, and it was immediately guaranteed a top ten spot. The trailer only heightens my anticipation. After an amazing directorial debut with Ex Machina, seeing the veteran scribe take his vision of sci-fi to an even greater scale is a natural evolution. Featuring an all-star cast including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson, this looks like it could be Garland’s answer to Arrival.
- Black Panther
Release Date: 12 February (UK), 16 February (US)
It’s been a long time coming, so to finally see a major superhero movie with a predominantly non-white cast (and such prestigious ones as that) on the immediate horizon is incredibly reassuring; Wonder Woman proved the genre doesn’t have to be dominated by straight white guys, and this is the next natural step. Ryan Coogler looks like he’s adjusted to blockbuster filmmaking fast after Fruitvale Station and Creed, and though the film’s plot does already seem to be following MCU formula already (do we really need another villain who is just an inverse of the hero?), the visuals do a lot to make this one to stand out from its forebearers.
- The Predator
Release Date: 3 August (US, UK)
A new Predator movie directed by Shane Black? Sign me up now! This sequel brings cinema’s greatest extraterrestrial hunter to the suburbs against a team of Marines; it’s like a mash-up of elements from all three previous movies, and already has confirmed connections to the previous films (Jake Busey is playing the son of his dad’s character from Predator 2!). Black already has history with the franchise, having acted in the first film as Hawkins, and so to see him tackle the fourth instalment with old buddy Fred Dekker seems like a perfect way to bring the series full circle. And c’mon, seeing a Predator movie with Black’s style and sense of humour is a mix that has so much promise!
- Untitled Deadpool Sequel
Release Date: 1 June (US, UK)
The first Deadpool bucked all doubts and ended up becoming a key pop culture defining film of 2016, and now the sequel looks set to mine where they could not before. Bringing Cable into the mix was always a certainty, but to nab Josh Brolin for the role whilst he’s still Thanos in the MCU was a bold but perfect move. It’s sad that Tim Miller parted ways with the project, but Atomic Blonde helmer David Leitch seems to have a handle on things and I’m sure Ryan Reynolds’ charisma will be more than enough to power this highly-anticipated sequel into the good books.
- Incredibles 2
Release Date: 15 June (US), 13 July (UK)
The only sequel every Pixar fan can agree needed to happen is finally happening; it’s just sad we had to wait through two Cars movies and Finding Dory just to get here. With Brad Bird back at the helm and all the core characters returning in a story that picks up right where the original left off, The Incredibles 2 has incredibly high expectations to live up to. If this was something that was only thrown together recently without Bird’s involvement, I’d be far less excited. But not only is Bird back, but it’s clear he’s been waiting this long because he wanted to do it right. Here’s hoping the wait will be worth it.
- Avengers: Infinity War
Release Date: 27 April (UK), 4 May (US)
Ten years of filmmaking have been leading to this moment. So many blockbusters later, many of which seemed like risks at the time, and now we are here at the end of an era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the beginnings of a new one. To see characters from all across the series, even as far-reaching as the Guardians of the Galaxy, finally come together to fight the baddie first teased at the end of The Avengers is a cinematic event that rivals the first time Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assembled in 2012. Hopefully, not only will this film bring a close to so many story threads and set the series in a bold new direction, but maybe we’ll finally see some major ramifications to the universe moving forward. I mean, could we finally see a major character die? It’s morbid to think, but I kind of hope they bite the bullet and just do it already.
- Ready Player One
Release Date: 30 March (US, UK)
I am a massive fan of Ernest Cline’s ode to geekdom in novel form; if you at all consider yourself a nerd and haven’t read it, fix that quickly. With such a reverence to 80s pop culture, to see a key player in creating much of what we have nostalgia for in that decade make the film itself is a move that could go either way. Will Steven Spielberg’s lack of nostalgia goggles for an era he helped define be a benefit or a hindrance? I honestly don’t know, but I certainly know I can’t wait to find out. With properties like Stranger Things and It proving so popular recently, Ready Player One couldn’t come out at a better time and, if it proves to be a success, will maybe spur new life into some of the more obscure properties it highlights.