By Sean Gardner
We are at the beginning of a new year and there are some (hopefully) great films waiting for us in 2016. These films are the one’s I am most looking forward to in the coming year.
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One
In case you can’t tell, I am a huge Star Wars nerd. So, needless to say, Rogue One is on my most anticipated list. This is the prequel that Star Wars fans always wanted but never got. It tells the story of how the Rebels stole the plans to the Death Star before the came into the hands of Princess Leia and ultimately R2-D2 at the beginning of A New Hope. After seeing The Force Awakens, I am just that much more excited to see what Lucasfilm and Disney can do next in this universe.
The Jungle Book
I loved watching the original Jungle Book animated film when I was a kid. So I was excited when I learned that Jon Favreau would be directing the live action adaptation. The trailer for this looks amazing. I love all the voice talent. My only concern is the performance of the boy who plays Mowgli. He has to carry this movie against a bunch of CGI animals and green screen scenery. It could be disastrous or it could be the performance of the year.
Apocalypse is my favorite X-Men villain and is up there with the Joker and Venom as one of my favorite comic book villains. Oscar Isaac was an interesting choice to play Apocalypse, but I am confident enough in his talent as an actor that I think he can pull it off. After Bryan Singer’s triumphant return to the X-Men franchise with Days of Future Past, I can’t wait to see what he can do with the mythology and lore of Apocalypse.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
We all knew that when The Deathly Hallows Part II ended that it was not really the end of the Harry Potter film franchise. The movies just made too much money and were too popular for J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. to not make any more. Much like the Star Wars universe, there are an infinite number of stories that can be told within the wizarding world. With Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in the lead, I am excited to return to this franchise.
A lot of people are hating on Jared Leto as the new Joker. I’ll admit that he has huge shoes to fill taking over a role that has previously been held by two Oscar winners. Even I think the new look for the Joker is not my favorite. But after seeing the trailer I am willing to give it a chance. While Leto’s Joker does not seem to be “traditional,” as soon as he says “Oh, I’m not gonna kill you. I’m just gonna hurt you really, really bad,” I immediately felt some relief. In that one line, Leto captures the essence of who the Joker is: a psychopathic criminal that just wants to watch the world burn.
Independence Day: Resurgence
I loved the original Independence Day from the 90s and I cannot wait for the sequel. I love “art house,” dialogue heavy, Oscar contending films as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just want to see aliens explode stuff to kingdom come. That’s exactly what I am hoping to get with Independence Day: Resurgence. I love that they got Jeff Goldbloom and Bill Pullman back. I look forward to turning off my brain for this one and enjoying the CGI heavy action.
Captain America: Civil War
While I was somewhat disappointed with both Age of Ultron and Ant Man, I am hoping Marvel can get back on track with Civil War. I’m looking forward to meeting Black Panther and the new Spider-Man. I loved the political thriller vibe from The Winter Soldier, and with basically the whole team of filmmakers back for Civil War, I am hoping they can continue to do well.
Some honorable mentions from 2015 include the Coen Brothers new comedy Hail, Caesar!, Deadpool, Bourne 5, and heck, even Batman v. Superman just because I am anticipating it to fail so miserably. So there you have it. What are your most anticipated films of 2016? Are there any I missed?