50 Most Anticipated Films of 2017: Jedi, Aliens, and Apes, Oh My!


The Oscars, for many of us, are a way to celebrate the end of the year. Sure, we count down the New Year with everyone else on the 31st of December, but for us awards-loving geeks, we know the calendar doesn’t truly flip over until Uncle Oscar weighs in. Now, with the 89th Academy Awards behind us, it’s time to begin focusing on what 2017 has in store for us.

I have to be honest, this year looks AMAZING, e”specially for a sci-fi nut who grew up on “Star Wars,” “Blade Runner,” “Alien” and “The Planet of the Apes” movies. To see those franchises continued in the hands of acclaimed and up-and-coming directors like Denis Villeneuve, Rian Johnson and Matt Reeves, there’s a lot to be feverishly giggity-giggity about.

The following is my list of the 50 films I am most excited about in 2017. A list like this is to be taken as more of a preview of the upcoming year than anything else. As we learn about the slate for the year – and trailers drop in our lap – expectations will rise and fall like the tide. As always, we will want to hear from you, so be sure to weigh in on what films you are most looking forward to below!

Look for the official “Year-in-Advanced” predictions to go up on Wednesday!

50. “The Mercy”
Release Date: TBD
Director: James Marsh
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Colin Firth and David Thewlis
Synopsis: Yachtsman Donald Crowhurst’s disastrous attempt to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race ends up with him creating an outrageous account of traveling the world alone by sea.

49. “Murder on the Orient Express”
Release Date: Nov. 22
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh
Synopsis: Renowned Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of a wealthy American traveling on the Orient Express, the most famous train in the world.

48. “Wonder Woman”
Release Date: June 2
Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston and David Thewlis
Synopsis: An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes.

47. “Based on a True Story”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Eva Green, Emmanuelle Singer and Vincent Perez
Synopsis: A writer goes through a tough period after the release of her latest book, as she gets involved with an obsessive admirer.

46. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”
Release Date: July 21
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Clive Owen, Rihanna and Rutger Hauer
Synopsis: Time-traveling agent Valerian is sent to investigate a galactic empire, along with his partner Laureline.

45. “American Made”
Release Date: Sept. 29
Director: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson and Jesse Plemons
Synopsis: A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.

44. “The Glass Castle”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson and Max Greenfield
Synopsis: A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

43. “War Machine”
Release Date: TBD
Director: David Michod
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Meg Tilly, Emory Cohen, Lakeith Stanfield, Topher Grace, Ben Kingsley, Michael Anthony Hall, Will Poulter and Scoot McNairy
Synopsis: A satire of America’s war with Afghanistan with a focus on the people running the campaign.

42. “Mary Shelley”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Starring: Elle Fanning, Maisie Williams and Douglas Booth
Synopsis: The love affair between poet Percy Shelley and 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, which resulted in Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein.

Angehörige eines einheimischen Naturvolks umzingeln Brian Fawcett (Tom Holland) und seinen Vater Percy (Charlie Hunnam) während ihrer Expedition im Amazonasdschungel

41. “The Lost City of Z”
Release Date: April 21
Director: James Gray
Starring: Tom Holland, Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller
Synopsis: A true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.

40. “Wilson”
Release Date: March 24
Director: Craig Johnson
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer, Laura Dern and Margo Martindale
Synopsis: A lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged man reunites with his estranged wife and meets his teenage daughter for the first time.

39. “The Current War”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston
Synopsis: Electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse compete to create a sustainable system and market it to the American people.


38. “Downsizing”
Release Date: Dec. 22
Director: Alexander Payne
Starring: Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Alec Baldwin, Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris and Margo Martindale
Synopsis: A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.

37. “Under the Silver Lake”
Release Date: TBD
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace and Summer Bishil
Synopsis: Modern noir crime thriller set in Los Angeles.

36. “Mudbound”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Dee Rees
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jonathan Banks, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige
Synopsis: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

35. “Atomic Blonde”
Release Date: July 28
Director: David Leitch
Starring: James McAvoy, Charlize Theron, John Goodman, Toby Jones, and Sofia Boutella
Synopsis: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

34. “Wonder Wheel”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake and Jim Belushi
Synopsis: Plot unknown. Described as a period drama set in New York in the 1950s.

33. “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
Release Date: July 7
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau and Angourie Rice
Synopsis: Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Peter Parker attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man.

32. “The Discovery”
Release Date: March 31
Director: Charlie McDowell
Starring: Rooney Mara, Riley Keough, Robert Redford, Jason Segel and Jesse Plemons
Synopsis: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.

31. “T2 Trainspotting”
Release Date: March 31
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner and Jonny Lee Miller
Synopsis: After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie.

30. The Beguiled
Release Date: June 30
Director: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Ferrell
Synopsis: At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries and an unexpected turn of events.

29. “Granite Mountain”
Release Date: Sept. 22
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale and Andie MacDowell
Synopsis: A drama based on the elite crew of men who battled a wildfire in Prescott, Arizona in June 2013 that claimed the lives of 19 of their members.

28. “The Greatest Showman”
Release Date: Dec. 25
Director: Michael Gracey
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zac Efron
Synopsis: The story of American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

27. “Suburbicon”
Release Date: TBD
Director: George Clooney
Starring: Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Julianne Moore
Synopsis: A crime mystery set in the quiet family town of Suburbicon during the 1950s, where the best and worst of humanity is hilariously reflected through the deeds of seemingly ordinary people. When a home invasion turns deadly, a picture-perfect family turns to blackmail, revenge and betrayal.

26. “Okja”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun and Giancarlo Esposito
Synopsis: A young girl named Mija risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja.

25. “It”
Release Date: Sept. 8
Director: Andres Muschietti
Starring: Finn Wolfhard, Bill Skarsgard, Nicholas Hamilton and Sophia Lillis
Synopsis: In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.

24. “Battle of the Sexes”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue, Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming and Natalie Morales
Synopsis: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

23. “Annihilation”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Alex Garland
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac and Gina Rodriguez
Synopsis: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

22. “Baby Driver”
Release Date: Aug. 11
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Eiza Gonzalez, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Ansel Egort
Synopsis: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

21. “Ghost in the Shell”
Release Date: March 31
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Michael Wincott and Juliette Binoche
Synopsis: A cyborg policewoman attempts to bring down a nefarious computer hacker.

20. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
Release Date: May 5
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, and Kurt Russell
Synopsis: Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

19. “Logan”
Release Date: March 3
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen and Boyd Holbrook
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

18. “Song to Song”
Release Date: March 17
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Haley Bennett, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Trevante Rhodes, Val Kilmer, Benecio Del Toro, Holly Hunter and Clifton Collins Jr.
Synopsis: Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.

17. “Wonderstruck”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Todd Haynes
Starring: Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Cory Michael Smith and Tom Noonan
Synopsis: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.

16. “Logan Lucky”
Release Date: Aug. 18
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Katherine Waterston, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank and Macon Blair
Synopsis: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

15. “Life”
Release Date: March 24
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds
Synopsis: An international space crew discovers life on Mars.

14. “Untitled Detroit Project”
Release Date: Aug. 4
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: John Krasinski, John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, Kaitlyn Dever, Hannah Murray and Jack Reynor
Synopsis: A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States’ history.

13. “The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Mark Rylance and Isaac Eshete
Synopsis: “The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara” recounts the story of a young Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy in 1858 who, having been secretly baptized, is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian. His parents’ struggle to free their son becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.

12. “Mother!”
Release Date: Oct. 13
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Domhnall Gleeson
Synopsis: Centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

11. “Mary Magdalene”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Garth Davis
Starring: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim
Synopsis: The story of the biblical Mary Magdalene.

10. “Molly’s Game”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Joe Keery and Chris O’Dowd
Synopsis: Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful becomes a successful entrepreneur (and a target of an FBI investigation) when she establishes a high-stakes, international poker game.

9. “Darkest Hour”
Release Date: Nov. 24
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, John Hurt, Ben Mendelsohn and Kristin Scott Thomas
Synopsis: Winston Churchill leads a charge against Adolf Hitler’s army in the early days of World War II.


8. “The Dark Tower”
Release Date: July 28
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Starring: Idris Elba, Katheryn Winnick, Matthew McConaughey, Jackie Earle Haley and Abbey Lee
Synopsis: The Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, roams an Old West-like landscape where “the world has moved on” in pursuit of the man in black. Also searching for the fabled Dark Tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.

7. “The Snowman”
Release Date: Oct. 13
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloe Sevigny, Val Kilmer, J.K. Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, James D’Arcy and Jamie Clayton
Synopsis: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.

6. “War for the Planet of the Apes”
Release Date: July 14
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn and Sara Canning
Synopsis: A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar becomes embroiled in a battle with an army of humans.

5. “Alien: Covenant”
Release Date: May 19
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Fassbender, James Franco, Noomi Rapace, Katherine Waterston, Guy Pearce, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir and Carmen Ejogo
Synopsis: The crew of a colony ship discover an uncharted paradise, with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

4. “Dunkirk”
Release Date: July 21
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy and Harry Styles
Synopsis: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

3. “Untitled London Couture PTA Film”
Release Date: TBD
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville
Synopsis: Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, a dressmaker is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family.

2. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Release Date: Dec. 15
Director: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaacs, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleason, Carrie Fisher, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels
Synopsis: Having taken her first steps into a larger world in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.

1. “Blade Runner 2049”
Release Date: Oct. 6
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Lennie Davis and Barkhad Abdi
Synopsis: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Some other titles to look forward to: “Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”; “Personal Shopper”; “Kong Skull Island”; “The Mummy”; “Snatched”; “Jumanji”; “You Were Never Really Here”; “Lady Macbeth”; “Thor: Ragnarok”; “The Lovers”; “Euphoria”; “The Book of Henry”; “Lady Bird”; “Journeyman”; “Mute”; “The Florida Project”; “Wind River”; “Tully”; “It Comes at Night”; “Stronger”; “Justice League”; “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”; “The Shape of Water”; “Coco”; “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”; “Happy End”; “Tulip Fever”; “The Seagulls”; and “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”

What are you most looking forward to seeing in 2017?