16 Upcoming Movies for 2016 (Part 1)
Feature by Louis Rabinowitz.
2015 was a hectic year for blockbusters, from the ultra-successful revivals of Star Wars and Jurassic Park to the surprise brilliance of Mad Max: Fury Road. Despite how packed last year was, 2016 promises to be an even busier year for movies. There’s a larger than ever slate of superhero blockbusters, another couple of franchise revivals and a handful of wildcards – so with all of these exciting movies making their way to multiplexes in 2016, here’s a preview of the sixteen biggest movies 2016 will see:
All release dates are UK.
Deadpool (10th February)
After years of development hell and a botched depiction of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Merc with a Mouth is finally getting his own movie, starring Ryan Reynolds in the lead role. Deadpool promises to be far truer to the comic character than that previous depiction, and the trailers have displayed plenty of the character’s trademark profanity, ultra-violence and fourth wall breaking. The first superhero movie in years to earn an R rating in the US, Deadpool looks like a passion project made by people with a genuine love for the character, and certainly several of the trailer’s jokes bode well for the movie as a whole. As long as Deadpool can mix the irreverent, crude humour with enough substance and character depth and avoid making the character’s central gimmicks feel stale as the movie goes on, this could be the movie Deadpool’s fans have always wanted.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (25th March)
For many, this is the most anticipated movie of 2016. Morphing in production from a simple Man of Steel sequel to a behemoth face-off/team-up movie from which the entire DC cinematic universe will be launched, Batman v Superman certainly boasts one hell of a concept – the first live-action meeting of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, with all the superpowered brawls and heroic team-ups that you’d expect, alongside popular comics bad guy Doomsday and cameos from a whole host of superheroes like Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. The trailers have been a little spotty – one promising a pretentiously grim tone, and the other featuring awkward humour and an a not particularly encouraging glimpse of an over the top, hammy Lex Luthor, and director Zack Snyder is still helming after his questionable work on Man of Steel, but it’s pretty hard to beat Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman teaming up for an elevator pitch.
Captain America: Civil War (29th April)
The second superhero face-off of 2015, Civil War loosely adapts the famous comic of the same name by pitting Captain America and Iron Man (alongside a whole bunch of superpowered back-up) against each other in an ideological conflict about whether superheroes should have greater accountability. Civil War boasts a packed cast, bigger than certainly the first Avengers, and there have been worries that this’ll merely turn into Avengers 2.5, but the recent first trailer gave the encouraging indication that Civil War will substantially follow up on the Winter Soldier arc from the previous movie by centring Captain America and Iron Man’s conflict around Bucky, meaning that this is still, first and foremost, a Captain America movie. Directed by the Russo brothers, who appear to be safe hands having directed the terrific Winter Soldier, this movie marks the beginning of a whole new phase of Marvel movies.
X-Men: Apocalypse (19th May)
Continuing our unbroken streak of superhero movies (there’s other genres around, I promise), Apocalypse is presumably the final movie in this X-Men prequel-trilogy-of-sorts. There’s the usual wave of new mutants, including Psylocke, Jubilee and young versions of fan favourites like Cyclops and Jean Grey, alongside the first major villain who isn’t Magneto in ages: Oscar Isaac’s ultra-powerful Apocalypse, who is always accompanied by his henchmen, the Four Horsemen (in this case, a few conscripted mutants). Apocalypse looks like an intriguing departure from the usual X-Men formula, with a disaster movie flavour ensuring plenty of destructive spectacle, and it’s hard not to trust Bryan Singer after Days of Future Past – so if Apocalypse can wrangle its extended cast into a coherent narrative like its predecessor, this should be a fine capper to another successful X-trilogy.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (3rd June)
Undeterred by the apathetic reaction to the first movie, the Turtles are back for another go-around, this time seeing everything and the kitchen sink from the mythology including new enemies and allies thrown into the mix. The trailer looks… well, it certainly looks like it isn’t taking itself too seriously, and there’s a possibility of some dumb fun to be had here. Plus, the always-likeable Stephen Amell (Arrow) is starring as Casey Jones, so at least there’s that. As you can tell, I’m not exactly a huge Turtles fan, but for aficionados this looks like it could appeal.
Warcraft (3rd June)
The first of two major video game movies this year, Warcraft sees the famous online game translated onto the big screen by Moon director Duncan Jones. For fans of high fantasy, this looks like it could be a really interesting proposition, plugging the gap the Middle-Earth movies recently left, and there’s promise in the story about a brewing conflict/alliance between orcs and humans. Video game movies have an iffy track record, but Warcraft looks like it’s heading in the right direction.
Independence Day: Resurgence (24th June)
Twenty years after the first movie, Roman Emmerich is back for another instalment in this long-dormant franchise. Replacing previous lead Will Smith with a host of fresh faces and bringing several of the first movie’s stars such as Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman back, Resurgence promises to tap into the same well that Jurassic World did last year – a nostalgia-tinged revival that consciously echoes parts of the previous movie while updating it for the modern day. If the sequel can avoid simply re-treading the previous movie with flashier effects, Resurgence could be a whole lot of fun.
Ghostbusters (15th July)
A reboot of the 1984 classic, the new Ghostbusters swaps out the original cast of characters for a new, all-female line-up of Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones, with Chris Hemsworth and Charles Dance in supporting roles. This reboot has attracted a hell of a lot of controversy and vitriol in certain quarters of the internet, but the glimpses we’ve seen so far point in the direction of a reboot that dares to take the original’s formula in an entirely new, refreshing direction while retaining the aspects that made it famous. Time will tell on this one, but this could potentially be a reboot that still practises creativity above simple rehashing of old concepts.