lifted from Empire
Ant-Man and the Wasp – 3 Aug
Peyton Reed‘s Ant-Man sequel not only sees Evangeline Lilly‘s Hope van Dyne suit up as Wasp, but also introduces her mother Janet, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Michael Pena, Judy Greer and Michael Douglas are back, and other new arrivals include Laurence Fishburne, Walton Goggins and Randall Park. Oh, and Paul Rudd is Scott Lang / Ant-Man again, obviously. Consider this a palate cleanser between massive Avengers instalments.
The Happytime Murders – 17 Aug
Here’s something we’ve never seen before: Muppet noir. Years in development, it was first cooked up back in 2008 by Brian Henson(son of Jim) as a strictly-for-adults take on puppet life, set in a world where humans and their felt friends live side by side, but the puppets are treated as second-class citizens. Murder strikes as the seedy former stars of once-popular kids’ show The Happytime Gang turn up dead one by one, and the only ‘man’ who can investigate is a washed-up private eye puppet, who ropes in his former partner at the LAPD. Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks and Joel McHaleare among the human cast.
BlacKkKlansman – 24 Aug
A fresh Spike Lee joint is always something to look forward to – but his latest project is especially tantalising. The director has teamed up with Blumhouse for BlacKkKlansman, which also sees Get Out’s Jordan Peele producing, and Adam Driver and the soon-to-be-huge John David Washington leading the cast. It’s the story here that’s most intriguing through, following the remarkable true tale of an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Lee’s take on the material looks to be shot through with satirical humour, visual flair, and righteous anger.
Yardie – 24 Aug
After years of becoming one of Britain’s best-loved actors, Idris Elbasteps behind the camera for his directorial debut. Set between ‘70s Jamaica and ’80s London, Yardie follows D — a boy who witnesses his brother’s death at a young age, and later moves from Kingston to Great Britain where he goes on the trail of the killer. The trailer not only shows off Elba’s strong visuals, but also teases a top reggae and dancehall soundtrack.
The Predator – 12 Sept
After two disappointing sequels (four if you include the AvP movies), Shane Black has returned to the franchise he first graced in 1987, this time as writer-director rather than pussy-joke-making actor. This time around, our lead is Boyd Holbrook as a former marine who stumbles across dreadlocked alien activity. Unfortunately for him, the US government is none to pleased for anything about the Predators’ presence to leak, and the aliens themselves are also on the hunt. Cue McKenna needing to team up with a rag-tag squad (including Thomas Jane, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes and Alfie Allen) to fight back.
Bad Times at the El Royale – 12 Oct
Drew Goddard directs Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges, Russell Croweand Dakota Johnson in this ’60s-set thriller. It takes place at a run-down hotel (the El Royale of the title) near California’s Lake Tahoe and gathers a cast of characters whose own shady agendas will violently collide. That’s about all anyone will say at this point, but the film’s pedigree is certainly strong.
Bohemian Rhapsody – 24 Oct
Charting the birth and huge rise of Queen to rock superstardom, this follows the band’s journey to the heights of their show-stopping appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek plays front man Freddie Mercury, with Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello and Gwilym Lee as Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Brian May respectively. Dexter Fletcher was originally attached to direct. Then he walked away and Bryan Singer was doing it. But then Singer was fired in odd circumstances during production and Fletcher came back to finish the job. May and Taylor have endured the whole saga, overseeing the story and the classic tunes.
Overlord – 25 Oct
Closer in spirit to Dead Snow than Dunkirk, this WWII horror stars Wyatt Russell and Jovan Adepo. Set on the eve of D-Day, it follows a group of American paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines for a mission that they’ve been told is crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, a Nazi-occupied village, they discover that there is something much scarier and more dangerous going on, as the enemy’s experimental tinkering with supernatural forces has unleashed something truly dangerous for the soldiers to fight. Julius Avery direct from a screenplay by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith, and J.J. Abrams is among the producers via his Bad Robot shingle. Early word claimed that this is the fourth Cloverfield film – though Abrams has since suggested that it might be unconnected to the monster saga.
Widows – 9 Nov
Based on a Lynda La Plant TV crime series from the ’80s, this involves a wgroup of women whose husbands are all killed during a robbery. Not content with mourning, the widows decide to finish the job for themselves and get the loot. Director Steve McQueen has had hi eye on this for some time, and has worked on the adaptation with Gillian Flynn. Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Rodriguez and Carrie Coon head the cast, with support from Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell and Daniel Kaluuya.
Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 – 30 Nov
This animated Disney sequel finds Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) and Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) exploring a wider digital world than before. Footage shown at D23 last summer confirmed it’s even more mind-bogglingly meta than its predecessor, with new character Yesss (Taraji P. Henson crashing the Disney website to encounter Tinkerbell, Stormtroopers and even a Marvel-yourself booth, which turns visitors into MCU characters (complete with Stan lee cameo). The first slice of 8-bit adventure grossed $471m worldwide, a more than respectable return on its $150m+ budget. This one looks set to wow nostalgic gamers and their dazzled kids in much the same way.
Aquaman – 21 Dec
First seen in action in last year’s Justice League, Jason Momoa‘s Atlantean monarch spends his first solo outing dealing with problems from Orm (Patrick Wilson), his half-brother, who is a rival to the throne. Dolph Lundgren plays King Nereus, ruler of the aquatic kingdom of Xebel, who stakes a claim to Aquaman’s queen, Mera (Amber Heard) and decides that his love life would be easier if Aquaman were dead. Also in the cast are Willem Dafoe as science advisor Dr. Vulko, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Aquaman’s mother, Temuera Morrison as his father, Thomas Curry, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the dastardly Black Manta. James Wan is the director.
Holmes & Watson – 26 Dec
The comedy pairing of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly has previously brought us Talladega Nights and Step Brothers. Now they’ve landed on a new comedy take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Baker Street sleuth and his steadfast companion. Etan Cohen, who last directed Ferrell in Get Hard, is the writer and director. Lauren Lapkus plays Millie: a young woman with a mind almost as sharp as the great detective himself, which he finds understandably worrying but also intriguing. Rebecca Hall is another new, non-Doyle character, Dr. Grace Hart. But the classic roster is represented too: Ralph Fiennes is Holmes’ arch-enemy Moriarty, Kelly Macdonald is housekeeper Mrs Hudson, Hugh Laurie is Holmes’ brother Mycroft, and Rob Brydon is Inspector Lestrade.
Alita: Battle Angel – 26 December
James Cameron remains involved here as a producer, but ceded the actual directing of his long-developing, much cherished live-action anime adaptation to Robert Rodriguez. Rosa Salazar takes the lead as the manga-eyed Alita, a cyborg found in pieces in a scrap heap by Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), who takes her home and restores her to cyber-health in the violent Iron City. Ed Skrein, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Michelle Rodriguez and Jackie Earle Haley round out the cast.