By Thomas Simpson
Hollywood’s obsession with superhero movies doesn’t look to be slowing down with 2016 seeing seven films released by Marvel and DC. Although Alejandro González Iñárritu likened this to “cultural genocide,” the upcoming films look to offer something different. With Suicide Squad boasting an all-star cast and a darker take on the genre, David Ayer is looking to break the mold.
Over in the Marvel camp, Bryan Singer, who was redefining the superhero movie before Christopher Nolan was suiting up Christian Bale, is back with X-Men Apocalypse and an exceptional cast.
This isn’t a list of superhero films however, instead these are films that have caught my eye while perusing this year’s listings. Regarding Iñárritu, I’d have liked to have added The Revenant to the list but it did get a limited release in December to ensure it was Oscar eligible. Sorry.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
If ever a film promised what it said on the tin then it’s Burr Steers upcoming comedy horror. Based on the hugely successful novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen’s world is infected by the undead, pitting classic literary characters against the zombie horde.
Ryan Reynolds stars as the “merc with a mouth” in a project that was long feared dead. Sharing the same continuity as the X-Men series, Deadpool has received what looks to be a very fair, if surprising, R rating. With gratuitous violence and fourth wall breaking bad language, Tim Miller’s film is definitely not for kids.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Two of the most legendary heroes in comic book history are set to go head to head this summer on the big screen. Response to the trailers have been mixed as Warner Bros. hope to kick-start their own DC Universe. Expect this one to be a moody spectacle.
Oliver Stone’s new film is a biographical political thriller based on Edward Snowden, the computer professional who leaked classified information. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role, expect an unflinching and penetrating criticism of the American Government.
On a lighter note, Roald Dahl’s much loved children’s story gets a live action remake. Directed by Stephen Spielberg, the BFG will tell the story of how a young orphan named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) takes on man eating giants with the help of her own lovable behemoth (Mark Rylance).
Untitled Fifth Bourne Film
After the disappointment of The Bourne Legacy, we welcome back Matt Damon as the ultimate fighting amnesiac Jason Bourne. With Paul Greengrass back in the director’s chair, the new installment to the series is sure to be a return to form.
Ron Howard’s adaptions of Dan Brown’s books may not be loved by critics but they’re hits at the box office. Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon to solve many more puzzles while finding himself the target of a major manhunt.
Fresh off the criticisms that faced American Sniper, Clint Eastwood turns his gaze towards Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the American pilot who heroically landed the troubled US Airways Flight 1549 full of passengers on the Hudson River. With Tom Hanks in the lead, expect this one to be received more warmly.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Harry Potter saga may be long concluded but there are many more stories to be told from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. David Yates directs Eddie Redmayne in this spin-off that looks to be layered with allusions to real life political and social issues.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
If you’re already looking for a post-Star Wars The Force Awakens fix, this should tide you over until Episode VIII is released. Set slightly before the events of Star Wars A New Hope, Disney looks to keep the ball rolling by further expanding on their own Star Wars universe.