The beginning of another year brings in a lot of excitement for us because there are 365 days of fun we get to enjoy. Just like every year, the entertainment industry has great plans for making our year a spectacular one. There are a many highly anticipated ‘to-be-released’ movies of 2016 and we are looking forward to them.
If you don’t know what’s coming, here is a list of some of the highly anticipated movies of 2016 that are bound to be must-sees:
- Kung Fu Panda 3 (January 29)
Kung Fu Panda became a hit in 2008 amongst both kids and adults alike and its success was further enhanced with the sequel Kung Fu Panda that was released in 2011. Hence, the popular movie ended up as a legitimate franchise. Now, Kung Fu Panda 3 is coming and we get to revisit Po and go on adventures. In the first movie, he was the Dragon Warrior and had to defend his title against Tai Lung while in the second one he had to fight against an invasion by the evil peacock mastermind, Shen. This time around, we get to meet Po’s long-lost father and he also has to fight against a villain called Kai. The same actors will voice these characters with J.K. Simmons voicing Kai’s voice.
- Zoolander 2 (February 12)
Two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Ben Stiller’s comedy about a dim-witted male model have turned out to be a box office flop, but it was eventually reborn as a meme-friendly movie of the century. The ceaseless demand for the movie’s sequel is finally going to be fulfilled 15 years later. Derek Zoolander is out again and tracking an assassin who is killing the most beautiful people in the world.
- Deadpool (February 12)
This is the story of Wade Wilson, a former Special Forces operative who has now become a mercenary. He was subjected to a rogue experiment that gives him quick healing powers and he ends up developing the alter ego called Deadpool. Armed with a twisted and dark sense of humor and new abilities, Deadpool is after the man who destroyed his life.
- The Witch (February 19)
This masterful debut by Robert Eggers was a huge hit at Sundance last year and was classified as one of the most spectacular horror movies in recent times. It follows the life of a pious 17th century family who are forced into exile from their village and they build a new life for themselves and their family and the edge of a forest. This is an insomnia-inducing movie that reminds us of truly scary movies made before.
- Triple 9 (February 29)
John Hillcoat, the Australian director has demonstrated through his despairing and dark dramas such as The Road and The Proposition that he likes his movies painted black and filled with amoral and desperate characters. This crime-thriller is the perfect fit for him as a bunch of corrupt policeman led by Anthony Mackie and Chiwetel Ejiofor rob banks when they are off-duty. We see a strung-out crook in Aaron Paul, an honorable detective in Woody Harrelson and a Russian mob boss and black widow in Kate Winslet. With such grandeur, Triple 9 promises to be a gritty and amazing movie.
- Knight of Cups (March 4)
As in the years between 1973 and 1998, Terrence Malick released a lot of movies and the notorious slowpoke has gone into overdrive once again. This year, he will be releasing a lot of movies, but they no longer a big deal as they were before. However, Knight of Cups is an exception as this is a story of a Hollywood star (Christian Bale) who is trying to get out of an existential crisis with sex and it may have enough wow factor to get strong attention.
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (March 4)
This is an adaptation of Kim Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle and is about reporting in wartime Pakistan and Afghanistan. This Tina Fey vehicle has to play a dual role of not being a setback for women in journalism and still come out as a comedy. There is still hope because Tina Fey was able to pull off a balancing act in 30 Rock. Plus, the script was written by her show running partner on 30 Rock, Robert Carlock so he knows what’s what.
- The Brothers Grimsby (March 11)
Originally scheduled for a release in summer of 2015, this flick was pushed back to March of this year and revolves around an MI6 assasin (Mark Strong) who has to partner up with his long-lost hooligan brother (Sacha Baron Cohen) for saving the world. The film boasts a great supporting cast that includes Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Ian McShane, Penelope Cruz and Gaboury Sidibe.
- Batman Vs Superman (March 25)
The two most iconic superheroes in the DC universe are going head to head and it isn’t in court. This is a reboot of the Batman franchise and sequel to Man of Steel in which Ben Affleck’s cape-wearing crusader is pitted against Henry Cavill’s Superman. In case the plot about vigilante justice, abuse of power and exploited civil liberties aren’t intriguing enough, there are some other additions in the form of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot and Doomsday, the comic-book villain.
- Green Room (April 15)
You have a punk band that’s desperate for gas money, enough to take a gig at a racist compound. Then for some good measure, there is a white supremacist mastermind (Patrick Stewart), a murder and a green room where you can just barricade yourself when others want you dead. Throw in some psychopaths, shotguns, baseball bats, Rottweilers and some sharp objects and you have the siege-movie of the year.
- The Jungle Book (April 15)
There have been recycled classics, endless sequels and comic book adaptations in the form of remakes. Therefore, hype is to be expected when you hear that there is going to be a reboot of The Jungle Book. Disney launched the original in 1967 and depicted the story of an orphan boy called Mowgli who was raised in the jungle by a bear and a panther. The story will remain mostly the same in the 2016 version, but with some technological additions and will be voiced by a couple of famous celebrities. Amongst these include Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Ciancarlo Esposito, Bill Murray and Christopher Walken.
- Captain America: ‘Civil War’ (May 6)
Avid fans of Marvel comics have been waiting for this huge crossover event where an Avenger goes up against an Avenger. Who is going to come out on top? The US government has forced superheroes to register and they are subjected to federal regulation. Some like our Iron Man (Robert Downey. Jr) are in favor whereas others like our Captain America (Chris Evans) consider it too fascistic. This is their cue and the two are up fighting against each other offering us plenty of thriller espionage vibes.
- Money Monster (May 13)
Since The Beaver flopped in 2011, Jodie Foster hadn’t made another directional effort, but she has stepped out again with Money Monster starring George Clooney as a TV financial guru who is taken hostage on air by one of the viewers (Jack O’Connell) who uses one of the ‘insider’ tips by the host and ends up losing his family’s money. The ratings of the show rise as more and more viewers tune in to see how it will end. Julia Roberts is also on scene as the show’s producer.
- Snowden (May 13)
Stone has established an entire career from rabble rousing on the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, gun violence and other hot topics in the US. However, this new movie on the infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden could start a fire that will spread across comment boards, editorial pages and social media. Nonetheless, Citizenfour, the documentary by Laura Poitras that the revelations made by Snowden about NSA spying could form a real-life, high-stake thriller so it does have huge potential. Plus, we get to see Zachary Quinto.
- Neighbors 2 (May 20)
Seth Rogen has made plenty of movies about stoned men who struggle during different transitions in life, but nothing came close to the fantastic Neighbors released in 2014. The players have returned with Rogen in this sequel along with his character’s wife, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron, the frat boy who wouldn’t leave their lawn. This time, they have joined forces against some sorority sisters who are really destructive (Chloe Grace Moretz and Selena Gomez).
- The Nice Guys (May 20)
1987’s Lethal Weapon gave Shane Black his first screenwriting credit in Hollywood and he is getting back into the game with this conspiracy/comedy thriller, which is set around Los Angeles of the 1970s. Ryan Gosling stars as a private eye who is down on his luck and he partners up with Russell Crowe, a thug-for-hire to investigate a case of a missing girl and the unrelated death (apparently) of a porn star. Ultimately, they end up embroiled in a conspiracy that goes to the top. Kim Basinger also stars as the missing girl’s mom.
- Angry Birds (May 20)
Another franchise that’s coming to the big screen is Angry Birds, which is a renowned smartphone game. Initially, it had been designed for helping people in killing time, but it became a huge success and has now become a recognizable brands. Although the plot hasn’t been revealed, it might go on the same route as the game, which involves the peacefully-living birds go ballistic when some spoiled pigs spoil their eggs. The characters have been voiced by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Danielle Brooks, Kate McKinnon, Peter Dinklage and Keegan-Michael Key.
- Warcraft (May 23)
Gamers are going to be really happy this year as one of the most popular franchises of video-games is turning into a live-action movie. It is one of the three successful franchises that came from Blizzard. Based in a great fantasy world, the franchise is spread over thousands of years and includes a huge variety of races, stories, characters and worlds. As far as the movie is concerned, it will go over the first encounter of humans with the orcs. Ben Foster, Clancy Brown, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper and Travis Fimmel.
- ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ (May 27)
Mia Wasikowska’s dear Alice has to go back to the world of color-coded queens, rushing rabbits and smoking caterpillars to rescue her beloved friend, the Mad Hatter, who is none other than Johnny Depp. This is the sequel to the 2010 Disney classic and Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter also reprise their roles in this one.
- X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)
The world is threatened by a great evil and only Charles Xavier and his X-men can stop it. There is the usual wondering of mutants as to why they should protect the humans and blah blah blah. We all know the drill by now. Bryan Singer, the long-time X director finally gets to add the Apocalypse story on screen which is as gloomy and dire as it sounds. The serious bad guy in this one is Oscar Isaac. Don’t worry; we still see Michael Fassbender’s magnetic personality and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique is a good guy in this one for a change. Finally, we get to see how our beloved Professor X, played by James McAvoy got his chrome dome.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (June 3)
The prequel received a lot of mixed reviews when it came out last year, but the sequel finally has the chance to win the hearts of its audience. According to rumors, the story is going to present Rocksteady, Bepop and Casey Jones. The other cast will be the same pretty much and the only exception is Brian Tee who will be replacing old shredder. The role of Casey Jones will be played by Stephen Amell.
- Finding Dory (June 17)
One of the chief creative architects at Pixar is Andrew Stanton and he has won Oscars for Wall-E and Finding Nemo. He has returned to animation after his stumble in 2012 with John Carter and has made a comeback with this Nemo sequel that follows the lovable and forgetful Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) who goes on a journey to reunite with her family. A better part of the original voice cast, which includes Albert Brooks, have returned for this follow-up and hopefully it will turn out well.
- Ghostbusters (July 15)
Some Men’s Rights Activists nearly fainted when the news of the all-female Ghostbusters began to circulate. The original series came to a close with Ghostbusters 2 a bit ignominiously. However, this reboot looks to be highly promising as it stars four really funny women, which include Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig and they have all teamed up with the director of Spy and Bridesmaids, Paul Feig.
- La La Land (July 15)
Before the filmmaker came to prominence with Whiplash, his Oscar-winning drama, Damien Chazelle had made another movie centered music in 2009, which was called Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. This musical is going to work out really well with fans of that indie love story as it focuses on the story of a pianist (Ryan Gosling) and his girlfriend (Emmy Stone) who is an actress. In his last two movies, the filmmaker has explored how creative ambitions of young artists’ conflict with their romantic beliefs and La La Land will fit just right in.
- Star Trek Beyond (July 22)
This time the Fast and Furious director, Justin Lin, has taken a shot at this science-fiction movie franchise. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine will be taking on their lead roles and others who will be joining the crew include Idris Elba, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban and Sofia Boutella.
- Bourne 5 (July 29)
This fifth movie hasn’t been given a name as yet, but marks the return of Matt Damon who has to face his toughest assignment; cleaning the mess made by the previous film. The Bourne Legacy directed by Jeremy Renner in 2012 didn’t have the general urgency and charisma that’s part of these movie. However, this new one brings back Paul Greengrass who did a wonderful job with The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy and he and Matt Damon promises a tortured and dark adventure.
- Suicide Squad (August 6)
There is a whole batch of superhero movies slated for 2016 and makes you a bit weary. But, David Ayer’s work in this genre like Fury is turning out to be a bit different and darker than anything you expect from Warner Bros. Suicide Squad is an all-villain partnership tale that highlights what happens when the good guys are forced to team up with the deadliest psychopaths of the world. This movie could turn out to be an Avenger’s antidote with a stellar cast including Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Jared Leto as the Joker.
- Sully (September 9)
After the American Sniper in 2014, Clint Eastwood has now chosen to direct a biopic that’s based on the life of Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, an American pilot whose heroic landing of a US Airways flight in 2009 referred to as the ‘Miracle of the Hudson’ saved the lives of about 155 people who were on board. The titular role is taken up by Tom Hardy whereas the role of co-pilot Jeff skies is taken up by Aaron Eckhart, who also helped in landing the flight. Sully’s wife is played by Laura Linney.
- Doctor Strange (November 5)
The supreme sorcerer of the Marvel Universe is heading to the big screen and guess who will portray the Master of the Mystic Arts? It will be none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. Like most of the projects from the MCU, the plot of the movie is being guarded closely, but we know that the love interest role will be played by Rachel McAdams. The villains will be played by Mads Mikkelsen and Chiwetel Eijofor. Strange will be schooled in the ways of dark magic by Tilda Swinton.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 8)
When J.K. Rowling launched this spinoff of the Harry Potter world, did anyone really think it wouldn’t come to the big screen? Hogwarts textbook writer Newt Scamander and his life adventures will be brought to life by Oscar-winning actor, Eddie Redmayne along with fellow wizard friends. Rowling herself is writing the screenplay for this one and it is being directed by Harry Potter family, David Yates.
- The Founder (November 23)
The Blind Side’s director, John Lee Hancock returns with this biopic that’s based on the life of Ray Kroc, the late McDonald’s mogul and the rise of his fast-food empire. Kroc will be played by Michael Keaton, who is a supply salesman for an Illinois salesman and takes the helm of a small hamburger chain started by Mac and Dick McDonald, who will be portrayed by John Caroll Lynch and Nick Offerman.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16)
This film is going to take place in a galaxy far, far away and the plot of this spin-off movie is sounding great so far. There is a team of rebels who plan to steal blueprints of the original Death Star and this great heist has a cast that features Ben Mendelsohn from Bloodline, Donnie yen the maestro of martial-arts, Alan Tudyk from Firefly, Mads Mikkelsen and Felicity Jones.
- Passengers (December 21)
When Chris Pratt’s astropassenger is roused from cryogenic sleep 60 years earlier due to a malfunction in the spaceship, he decides to wake someone else up for some company. Guess who it is? Of course, it is Jennifer Lawrence. Interstellar romance is always a hit and with Imitation Game’s director Morten Tyldum standing behind the camera, it can turn out to be a brainy love story that has the astronomical scale seen in Gravity and the intimacy depicted in Ex Machina.