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[Article] – 2016: The Big Movie Preview

 

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Posted April 12, 2016 by

 
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2016 promises to be a decade defining year at the movies, but first, here’s a quick reminder of all that last year had to offer:

The Avengers reassembled, someone thought it would be a good idea to make a new dinosaur, Tom Cruise reprised a role that he’s too old for, mega franchises like Mad Max and Star Wars were reborn at the same time as The Hunger Games met its end, Whiplash redefined its genre and Pixar reduced grown men to tears; oh, and we also learned that when Arnie’s T-800 said, “I’ll be back”, he wasn’t joking.

With The Revenant, Deadpool and Zootropolis presently in circulation, this year’s already shaping up to be just as explosive as the last. Anthony Lowery brings a preview of 2016’s most unmissable movies yet to hit the mainstream circuit.

Finding Dory – 29 July

Finding Nemo auteur Andrew Stanton returns with a sequel that sees Dory attempt to discover her origins.

Along with the original cast, Idris Elba and Diane Keaton will turn in vocal work for this much-needed addition to the Pixar canon.

Bar 2017’s Toy Story 4, Finding Dory is today’s most keenly awaited animated sequel.

Ghostbusters – 15 July

Director Paul Fieg follows the trend of digging up treasured franchises whilst reunifying with Bridesmaids’ cast Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

The semi-controversial reboot will feature comedy-centric female leads that will mix things up in a way that’s consistent with Hollywood’s current addiction to diversity.

Co-starring Chris Hemsworth and with cameos from the original company, this comical sci-fi will likely spark a trilogy.

The BFG – 22 July

Steven Spielberg returns to family movie territory (since Tintin) and reunites with Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), who snatches the title role.

Though Roald Dahl adaptations never fare well on-screen (see Tim Burton’s Chocolate Factory and Henry Selick’s Giant Peach), here’s hoping that, in working from the late Melissa Mathison’s (E.T) screenplay, Spielberg can deliver a worthy reimagining of Dahl’s giant adventure.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 16 December

Here’s Gareth Edwards’ (Godzilla) Star Wars spin-off and unlike its financially driven cousin The Force Awakens, it’s shaping up to be a rather somber affair.

Set pre-A New Hope, it follows a clan of rebels as they daringly plot to steal the Death Star plans.

This Jedi-less fantasy adventure will feature Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) and Forest Whitaker with villainy from Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises).

Warcraft: The Beginning – 3 June

Warcraft is one of few videogame adaptations to hit our screens in 2016.

Perhaps the antidote to Middle-earth withdrawals, this fantasy epic sees humans spar with orcs in the realm of Azeroth.

The adventure will no doubt hoodwink Tolkien’s fanbase, but with talent like Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper starring and with towering visual effects, this has the potential to attract an even larger audience, as Universal look to spawn yet another franchise.

The Legend Of Tarzan – 8 July

Handled by David Yates (nurturer of the final four Harry Potter films), this live-action adaptation positions Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) as Tarzan and Margot Robbie (Focus) as Jane.

After adopting the London life, Tarzan is invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and vengeance.

Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz (no prizes for guessing his part), also stars in what looks to be a worthy reimagining at last; though regrettably, the film will not feature music from Phil Collins.

 

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them – 18 November

Appropriately, David Yates helms this Harry Potter spin-off (first in a trilogy) that’s penned by series author and first-time screenwriter, J. K. Rowling.

Set in 1920s New York (seventy years pre-Potter), the story follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a young magizoologist who flourishes in the city’s clandestine community of witches and wizards.

Although the prequel is unlikely to capture the same magic as the Hogwarts saga, with the same talent attached, it will still entice a mass muggle audience of all ages.

Independence Day: Resurgence – 24 June

Roland Emmerich is set to role out 2016’s flagship blockbuster, which positions Jeff Goldblum and Co. of the original cast alongside newcomers Liam Hemsworth and William Fichtner. Due to budgetary constraints, Will Smith’s Col. Hiller will not appear and instead has been killed off, survived by his son, Dylan.

Twenty years after the events of ID, an unprecedented alien force advances on planet Earth and it’s up to a select few (with their adapted alien technology) to claw the world back from the edge of extinction.

Expect Star Wars-esque space battles, groundbreaking visual effects and the wit of its predecessor.

X-Men: Apocalypse – 19 May

Here’s the culmination of the trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class.

Bryan Singer remains in seat after his initial return to the franchise in Days Of Future Past and now, the X-Men face off against En Sabah Nur or Apocalypse, the very first mutant and quite possibly the most powerful; this doesn’t mean that Magneto will be taking a sabbatical from villainy though, as he’s recruited as one of the four Horsemen ordered to protect Apocalypse.

Overnight sensation Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) plays the title role and Channing Tatum’s Gambit will make his debut. Ecstasies and anarchy seems probable.

 

Assassin’s Creed – 30 December

Macbeth’s (2015) central trio of director and stars reunite for this adaptation of the wildly popular videogame franchise that famously contrasts futuristic tech with standout periods of history.

This timeline-hopping adventure positions Michael Fassbender in both the present-day get-up of Callum Lynch and the ornate garments of his 15th-century ancestor, Aguilar.

Lynch accesses the memories of his Assassin forbear and fights in an ageless and shadowy war between the Templars and the Assassins.

Given that the console games are extraordinarily cinematic, its transition to the silver screen was only a matter of time. Cue the cool city scaling and stealth assaults.

Captain America: Civil War – 29 April

There’s much to be overzealous about here as not only does Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man clash with Chris Evans’ Captain America (tipped to be one of 2016’s defining scenes), but it’s also home to Tom Holland’s debut as Spider-Man.

As a way to heighten superhero accountability when catastrophes occur, the government introduces the Superhuman Registration Act, which consequently divides the featured characters.

Joe and Anthony Russo (Winter Soldier), who will also tackle the next two Avengers installments, helm a project that, with its extravagant scope and exciting supporting cast (including Martin Freeman and Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man), already feels like an Avengers movie.

The Jungle Book – 15 April

This could very well be Disney’s biggest live-action adaptation yet, surpassing even Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which grossed an impressive $1,025 billion.

The latest from Jon Favreau (Chef) represents the largest step forward in digital rendering since James Cameron’s Avatar, as the vast majority of what you’ll see is CGI; the only live-action element is the untested Neel Sethi as Mowgli. Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Bill Murray and Idris Elba voice the animal cast with Scarlett Johansson voicing the first female Kaa.

Maintaining some of Disney’s original songs and all of its charm, The Jungle Book is a fearless take on Rudyard Kipling’s famed fable. Its profile-raising material teases realistic creature design together with a gorgeously dense colour pallet. Expect more than the bare necessities.

Suicide Squad – 5 August

Here’s where superhero movies grow up and where our morbid fancies take flight. A secret agency recruits a taskforce of the most dangerous people on the planet to carry out a highly volatile black ops mission in exchange for clemency; it’s essentially DC’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, as it looks to a band of untrusted misfits to save the world.

Some have pegged this exposé as this year’s dark horse, but it’s so much more than that. Given the muscular and abrasive backdrop of writer/director David Ayer (Fury), chances are this will be the macabre ride that fans are wishing for.

Amongst the principal cast is Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as the cute-meets-psychotic Harley Quinn. Academy Award winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) has the entire world waiting on his performance of The Joker as he daringly follows in a role immortalised by the late Heath Ledger. Thankfully, it’s a fresh Joker, not one that tries to replicate Ledger’s Oscar-winning rendition. Here’s the rub; the success of Suicide Squad hinges, almost entirely, on Leto’s clown, who for the record looks deliciously insane. Expect nightmares.

Join the discussion and tell us what you’re most excited about this year @FilmDebate @AntLoweryTwit #BMP

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Anthony Lowery
@AntLoweryTwit
anthonylowery.co.uk
Freelance Contributor

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