“We’ll be the first to admit that drawing up a list of potentially great forthcoming movies is far from an exact science. But with 2017 so chock full of promising films both large and small, we’ve at least made an attempt to sort through the crowded schedule, pick out the ones we’re looking forward to, and sort them into some kind of order.
With that in mind, then, here’s our pick of the must-see movies of next year, which, as ever, run the gamut from expensive superhero flicks to smaller dramas to mid-budget, high-concept sci-fi pictures. Some of the following will almost certainly wind up falling short of our expectations, but there’s also the fighting chance that one or two will turn out to be modern classics.
So, to get things rolling, let’s start with a disaster movie directed by the guy who produced Independence Day, and starring Gerard Butler…
We can imagine that some might already be describing Dean Devlinu2019s upcoming sci-fi movie, Geostorm, as a guilty pleasure. We donu2019t do guilty pleasures. This one simply looks a hoot.
Itu2019s a two plots for the price of one by the looks of it. There are climate controlling satellites on the one hand, that try and prevent storms that could destroy the planet. And in the midst of that, thereu2019s a plot to assassinate the president. Gerard Butler, no stranger to films with such plots, leads a cast that also features Abbie Cornish, Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Andy Garcia.
The film marks Devlinu2019s big screen feature directing debut, and hopefully it lives up to its B-movie presence, and gives us one of 2017u2019s most fun nights out at the pictures. Weu2019ve got until October to wait for it, though.
34. Beauty And The Beast
Having proven that it can make a success u2013 both critically and commercially u2013 of a live action take on The Jungle Book, Disneyu2019s reworking of its animated hits in live action arrives at another cherished movie: Beauty And The Beast.
The first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, the 1991 original is regarded as one of the very finest Disney animated features. For the live action take, Bill Condon (the last two Twilight movies, Dreamgirls, Gods And Monsters) is directing, and quite an ensemble has been recruited. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are in the title roles, whilst u2013 deep breath u2013 Ewan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Sir Ian McKellen, Kevin Kline and Josh Gad head up the support. Alan Menken u2013 who pe
ed the music (with the late Howard Ashman) to the original film u2013 is on board as well.
Anticipation is high: the first full trailer broke the one-day viewing record for a movie promo on YouTube. Weu2019ll find out if itu2019s worth the fuss on March 17th.
33. A Cure For Wellness
Gore Verbinski’s last film was Disney’s unfeasibly expensive western The Lone Ranger, but with A Cure For Wellness, he’s returning to the creepier, smaller-scale territory he explored in his Ring remake. It stars Dane DeHaan who heads to a remote clinic in the Swiss Alps to find the whereabouts of his company’s missing boss. That sounds not unlike Bram Stoker’s Dracula to us, albeit with a modern, medical twist: everyone at the clinic has some kind of illness, and it’s discovered that DeHaan’s Mr Lockhart also has the same mysterious affliction… Jason Isaacs (hello) and the brilliantly-named Mia Goth also star.
32. Murder On The Orient Express
eth Branaghu2019s last three films have been blockbusters of varying sizes u2013 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Cinderella, Thor u2013 but now heu2019s trying something a little smaller, and potentially a lot more playful. Heu2019s directing and taking the lead role of Poirot in an adaptation of Agatha Christieu2019s Murder On The Orient Express.
Michael Green has pe
ed the screenplay, and the cast includes Joh
y Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Michael Pena, Dame Judi Dench and seemingly half of RADA. Expect a release towards the end of 2017.
31. The Greatest Showman On Earth
Founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, politician and all-round showman PT Barnum’s getting his own movie, which stars Hugh Jackman as the 19th century impresario. Bill Condon co-wrote this one, and he’s the bloke who brought us the magnificent Gods And Monsters – one reason why we’re looking forward to this musical biopic. That, and the sight of Hugh Jackman singing and waving his arms in front of an elephant, of course.