With 2015 long gone and the new year in full swing, it’s time to take a look at some of the most anticipated movies set to be released in 2016.
2015 saw big box office hits like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Inside Out, and Jurassic World. This year looks to be even better with DC and Marvel releasing major installments in their respective franchises, Minions’ creator Illumination Entertainment releasing a new film, and even the release of sequals to classic movies decades after the originals.
All of the movies are listed in chronological order.
Deadpool – February 12th
February is usually a dumping ground for movies as awards films from December spill into the new year, while the big budget blockbusters are saved for the summer months. But every once and a while, a hidden gem comes along like Deadpool. What looks to set this film apart from other superhero films is an irreverence that Deadpool has towards himself and others. Where standard superhero films take themselves too seriously, Deadpool is just starting to have fun. That’s what makes Deadpool refreshing in what’s starting to become an oversaturated superhero market. The movie is directed by Tim Miller and stars Ryan Renolds as the off-kilter hero Deadpool.
Zoolander 2 – February 12th
It took Zoolander fifteen years to get a sequel, but it’s finally happened. The cult classic is back, and Zoolander and Hansel are as clueless as ever. In the sequel, the two male models are recruited by Interpol to figure out who’s killing off the world’s most beautiful people, all of whom made the signature Blue Steel look when they died. Will Ferrell is also back and reprises his role as evil villain/fashion mogul Mugatu. The movie is directed by Ben Stiller and stars Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Will Ferrell.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – March 25
Even though Zack Snyder’s 2013 reboot of Superman ‘Man of Steel’ left some fans divided from the movie’s stylized tone and controversial ending, the Last Son of Krypton is back, and this time, he’s facing off against The Dark Knight. Early trailers of the film showed the Caped Crusader battling against the Man of Steel, but with the release of the movie’s latest trailer the two heroes look to team up with Wonder Woman to face off against Doomsday. The movie will feature Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and of course Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman.
Captain America: Civil War – May 6th
Over the past eight years Marvel has built something truly special with its Cinematic Universe. The ability to have characters move freely between films has only bolstered the kind of experience of seeing a favorite superhero team up with another to fight evil. Civil War, the third Captain America film, features many of the heroes from other Marvel films, but it’s set to split the Avengers right down the middle. Civil War is based off the comic series where Cap and Iron Man have a falling out over the Sokovia Accords, which is an international document that registers superhero identities and regulates when they can use their powers. The movie is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the same directing team that spearheaded ‘The Winter Soldier,’ and stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, and Jeremy Renner.
X-Men: Apocalypse – May 27th
The X-Men series has been revitalized over the last couple years with the reboot of X-Men: First Class in 2011 which showcased Charles Xavier and Magneto in the 60’s as they scoured the globe to gather mutants and help them. The more recent ‘Days of Future Past’ combined stars from the present and the past X-Men movies, as Wolverine was sent back in time to stop a doctor from creating the ultimate mutant killing machines. The third film in the new franchise, “Apocalypse” features a villain, aptly named Apocalypse, who is an ancient immortal mutant that awakens after thousands of years. Apocalypse wants to destroy mankind, and Charles Xavier, Raven, and the reset of the X-Men team up to stop him. The movie is directed by Bryan Singer and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Munn, Evan Peters, and Oscar Isaac.
Independence Day: Resurgence – June 24th
It’s been twenty years since Independence Day’s original release back in 1996 and the movie’s sequel has finally made its way into theaters. Independence Day: Resurgence picks up twenty years after the first film. Humanity has spent the time preparing for the alien’s next invasion by using the alien’s technology to upgrade their weapons and defenses. The film takes place all over the world, with parts of it even being featured on the moon. While Will Smith wasn’t able to make it into the sequel due to his work on Suicide Squad, most of the cast from the first film made it back for the sequel. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich and stars Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Joey King, Maika Monroe, William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, and Bill Pullman.
The Secret Life of Pets – July 8th
The next animated film from Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind Despicable Me and Minions, moves away from the little yellow minions and towards pets. Specifically the film focuses on the lives of pets who are left unattended when their owners leave for work or school each day. You can tell from just the trailer that the film looks like a fun movie that could turn into an instant classic. Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney directed the animated film with actors Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, and Dana Carvey voicing characters in the film.
Ghostbusters – July 15th
After waiting over twenty-five years, Ghostbusters fans will finally get a new version of the classic film when it hits theaters in July. Featuring a semi-rebooted version of the original film, the comedy will follow four women as they bust ghosts and save New York City. Some of the classic Ghostbusters cast will be seen in the new film with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver set to make appearances. A trailer for the new movie still hasn’t come out, but fans can expect it by the end of the month. The movie is directed by Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.
Suicide Squad – August 5th
Suicide Squad is the other big DC film to be released this year and is set to feature a cast of villains who are sent on a secret government mission to save the world. Though it will likely kill them, the squad members are promised the possibility of shortened sentences. From its latest trailer, the film seems to have a lighter tone, which is a good variation from the standard superhero affair that has been filling theaters lately. Even though the film focuses on the Suicide Squad, the Joker will be featured in the movie and will be played by Jared Leto. The film is directed by David Ayer and stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – December 16th
With the critical and financial success of the newest film in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, it’s no surprise that the next Star Wars film would have so much excitement behind it. Rogue One takes place before Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a stand-alone film set in the Star Wars universe. Since the film’s release is so far out, the only details that have been revealed is that the story will revolve around “resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.” The movie is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forrest Whitaker, and Alan Tudyk.