As 2016 nears its end, here’s eight films to look forward to in 2017…
Like the television landscape in 2016, film has been difficult to stomach. On one hand we’ve had genuine surprises like The Nice Guys and The Invitation, and on the other we have had absolute travesties like Suicide Squad. We also have our normal collection of Oscar friendly films piling up as the year closes down — the majority of which no one will watch and the majority of which will be lauded to compensate for that fact. There are of course some genuine very good films to enjoy as well. But what about the future? What does 2017 have in store for us disciples of the cult of cinema? To think there will be a marked improvement on the past few years is probably naive but there are indeed a handful of movies that jump out. Here are the top 8 films to look forward to in 2017…
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
To find a superhero or comic book film that genuinely does something a little bit different, and that genuinely looks a little bit different, is in 2016 a very rare thing to come by. But that is exactly what Guardians of the Galaxy was and that is exactly what the trailer for the space adventure Marvel sequel looks to be. Of all the comic films on the horizon, this is without question the one to lend your attention to. It looks fun, colourful, funny, and a very rare thing in the genre; a ride that is perhaps worth taking. It’s hard to imagine buyer’s remorse with this one, and you can’t say that with many of its brethren.
Blade Runner 2049
Oh boy. A sequel to one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, a sequel directed by someone else, starring someone else, released decades after the first initially arrived before our eyes. Talk about challenging. The influence of Blade Runner, released in 1982, cannot be understated and neither can the task ahead of this most unlikely of sequels. However, with Dennis Villeneuve at the helm (one of films’ most exciting and interesting directors) and Ryan Gosling starring (equally one of films’ most interesting actors), this actually has a chance of being something more than good. Let us hope. The price of admission is surely worth the risk to find out.
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson/Daniel Day Lewis Film
Putting a film that doesn’t even have a title in a list such as this, leaves one with an uneasy feeling, but when a film is slated for a 2017 release and is not only directed by the great Paul Thomas Anderson but features the long awaited return of perhaps the greatest actor of all time in Daniel Day Lewis, to ignore it would be folly indeed. The film, set in the 1950’s London fashion scene, will surely be one of the big occasions of 2017 film. We have waited a long while now for DDL’s return (last seen in Lincoln in 2012), to not get excited about the chances of another grandiose performance (surely at least another default Oscar nom) is to not be a fan of film. On paper, it shouldn’t get much better than this.
Scott Cooper is one of the best young (relatively and in terms of filmography) directors in the game, and his fourth feature, Hostiles, sounds like his most exciting yet. Set just before the turn of the century in 1892, this adult western about an army captain escorting a Native American family across dangerous territory sounds like standard affair. But when that film stars one of the industry’s very best actors in Christian Bale and the thoroughly watchable Rosamund Pike, coupled with Cooper’s guidance, this is something to take notice of. Will it be great? Who knows. But when looking ahead to 2017, Hostiles is one of those films a fan marks down. At this point it’s all speculation, and the ingredients for this one are at least worthy of that.
Star Wars Episode VIII
Well this one is a no brainer. To say that the sequel to the highest grossing (US domestic) film of all time is something to look out for, is of course rather obvious. But add that to the fact that this is a Star Wars film, and not an interstitial like Rogue One but the next film in the new trilogy, and we have here one of 2017’s most exciting prospects. The Force Awakens wasn’t perfect, a very safe attempt, but it was exactly what we needed after all our heart ache. Episode VIII under the watch of a new director will be an interesting film to see. How will it match up to the first instalment? Can it possibly make more money? And most importantly of all, who the f*** is Supreme Leader Snoke?!
There are many great artists in film, from directors to actors, cinematographers and composers. But one of cinema’s finest, and perhaps the greatest writer in both TV and cinema, is arguably Aaron Sorkin. The man behind The West Wing, The Social Network and Steve Jobs, is an infuriating man (how can one be that good at what he does?) so anytime Sorkin lends his pen to a new product our attention is validated. But when Sorkin is not only writing the script but directing for the first time, this is really when ears start to prick. Molly’s Game — starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba — is hard to call because we don’t know if Sorkin can direct. But the man can write and anyone who appreciates that kind of thing will want to take a look at this one when it arrives. Oh, and it’s about poker, if that’s important to know.
The Dark Tower
Everyone has their franchise. Everyone has their comic series, book or product that they desperately want adapted to film. Some have seen their dreams come true, especially in recent times, but this particular writer has had to wait and hope for his. Well now that time has finally come and Stephen King’s wondrous Dark Tower series of novels is finally coming to our screens. The tale of Roland the Gunslinger and his world traversing quest is being adapted in 2017 to a single film with option for more should the demand be there. This is very hard material to adapt, and one can see it going horribly wrong, but perhaps that also means it could go incredibly right. We will see. Knees will be knocking but we will see. The Dark Tower is an incredible tale of fantasy and adventure, let’s hope 2017 treats it well.
Yeah, when cinema’s best director returns a few years after providing us with one of the most ambitious and awe inspiring movies of all time in Interstellar, and decides to lend his hand to crafting a WWII film, people get excited. No one makes films like Christopher Nolan — most people aren’t allowed to in today’s market — and no single director aside from him can generate the amount of buzz he can by just announcing a film. Nolan is a rare commodity indeed, and one that should be cherished, one of the last forces fighting against the surging tide of pop culture ridden franchise fests. And Dunkirk — about a group of Allied soldiers trapped on a beach in Northern France by the Nazis — is plenty material for someone such as him to produce another sublime piece of cinema.
There is no way Nolan can live up to the grandiosity of Interstellar, even with a war film where the world was fighting literal evil. But the man will sure as hell try — that we can know for sure. Christopher Nolan makes blockbusters. But he also makes art. In this day and age he is at a table of one, and his consistency is remarkable. Where will it rank in the league of his past accomplishments? That we cannot know, but this is without doubt the film to get excited for above all others in 2017.
Which films are you looking forward to in 2017? Let us know in the comments below…