2016 is going to be an amazing year at the cinema.
The number of big franchise films scheduled to be released this year is astounding. We will see movies from Marvel Studios, DC Studios, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, just to name a few.
I can’t recall any year in recent memory with this many blockbuster films that are worth watching. In order to make sense of it all, we compiled a list of our 20 most anticipated movies that will be released in 2016. We divided our list into four categories:
- 1. Comic Book Movies
- 2. Fantasy Movies
- 3. Science Fiction Movies
- 4. Family Movies
Let's take a look at our 20 most anticipated movies of 2016!
Our 5 Most Anticipated Comic Book Movies
If you enjoy comic books, this is your year. Both DC and Marvel Comics are releasing films on some of their most popular characters. Our 5 most anticipated comic book movies listed by release date are as follows:
Deadpool is a non conventional comic book, breaking the 4th wall on occasion. Ryan Reynolds, who previously played as the Green Lantern, will be portraying Deadpool. Based on all the promotions for the film, 20th Century Fox (which owns the rights to Deadpool), will be staying true to the original story and theme of the character. It looks like it will be a lot of fun, at least if you enjoy raunchy comedy, gore, or Ryan Reynolds.
Synopsis: Gifted with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor, mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) adopts the alter ego Deadpool and hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Release Date: February 12
Batman v Superman
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the film that will start putting the pieces together for The Justice League. While The Dark Knight trilogy was a great set of films, none of them took place in the DC Cinematic Universe. Batman v Superman will be our first look at DC's official Batman. The film will also feature Wonder Woman, who steals the show in the trailer.
Synopsis: Mankind faces a new threat as Batman (Ben Affleck) embarks on a personal vendetta against Superman (Henry Cavill).
Release Date: March 25
Captain America: Civil War
Another year, another Marvel movie. While it seems like Age of Ultron was just released, Civil War may the last Marvel movie featuring a near full cast of the Avengers until Infinity War in 2018. I can't wait for this action packed movie to be released. It's also likely that at least one of our beloved characters won't make it to the end of this film alive.
Synopsis: A feud between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) leaves the Avengers in turmoil.
Release Date: May 6
DC spared no expense on casting for Suicide Squad. The film features Oscar winner Jared Leto as the Joker, as well as Will Smith as Deadshot and Ben Affleck as Batman. Suicide Squad will be a fun excursion from the typically goody-two-shoes superhero saves the city movie plot.
Synopsis: Supervillains accept a secret government mission that will likely result in their deaths.
Release Date: August 5
Above: Fan made teaser by David Johns
Doctor Strange is one of the films I am most excited to see this year. I was pleasantly surprised when Marvel announced that Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Doctor Strange. He seems perfect for the role. Marvel had been eyeing Benedict for a while, but in the last few years his demand as an actor skyrocketed. In order to book Benedict during a time he wasn't under contract, Marvel decided to shift the entire production of the movie in order to fit his needs.
Synopsis: Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) discovers the world of magic after surviving a car accident.
Release Date: November 4
Honorable Mention: X-Men Apocalypse, Release Date - May 27
Our 5 Most Anticipated Fantasy Movies
CGI has enabled huge growth in blockbuster fantasy films over the past decade, and this year is no exception. In 2016, we see the return of classic franchises as well as a few interesting stand-alone films. Our 5 most anticipated fantasy movies listed by release date are as follows:
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska return six years later for the second modern Alice in Wonderland movie by Disney. The movie will be based on the second Alice in Wonderland book, which takes place 6 months after the original. The film also stars Anne Hathaway as The White Queen, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Stephen Fry as the Chesire Cat, and Alan Rickman as the Blue Caterpillar.
Synopsis: Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).
Release Date: May 27
It's been over a quarter-century since the last Ghostbusters film was released in 1989. Ghostbusters 3 will feature an all-female led cast. This film has all the makings of an enjoyable comedy, and even features Chris Hemsworth as the Ghostbuster's receptionist.
Synopsis: Four women (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon) battle troublemaking specters.
Release Date: July 15
Kubo and the Two Strings
After watching the teaser trailer, Kubo and the Two Strings looks absolutely stunning. The artistry and visual effects create a unique environment that you rarely see in film animation. Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, and George Takei, are among the voice actors billed for the film.
Synopsis: On the run from gods and monsters, Kubo (Art Parkinson) must find a magical suit of armor once worn by his father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known.
Release Date: August 19
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Harry Potter is back! No, not Harry Potter himself, just the franchise. J.K Rowling's 128 page spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written in 2001, is now a movie. The book delves deeper into the magical creatures of the Harry Potter universe and takes place in early 20th century New York. The film looks like plenty of fun and has a fresh distinctive feel from the original series.
Synopsis: Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) must track down an array of magical creatures in 1926 New York.
Release Date: November 18
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is breaking every movie record out there. It comes as no surprise that Disney is trying to release a new Star Wars film every year. This year, we get Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Rogue One takes place slightly before the beginning of the original trilogy. The film will be following a Rebel team of fighters as they try to steal the plans to the Death Star.
Synopsis: Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Release Date: December 16
Honorable Mentions: Warcraft, Release Date - June 10 & Tarzan, Release Date July 1
Our 5 Most Anticipated Science Fiction Movies
2015 saw its fair share of science fiction films; including, The Martian, Ex Machina, Terminator Genisys, Chappie, and Jurassic World. 2016 will bring sequels to Independence Day & Star Trek, as well as original screenplays. Our 5 most anticipated science fiction movies listed by release date are as follows:
The Divergent Series returns with Allegiant this spring. I enjoyed the plot for the first Divergent movie released in 2014. The film is based on the popular book series by Veronica Roth. Allegiant is the second of three books in the trilogy. There's also a companion book based on the perspective of one of the more popular characters in the franchise. Can Divergent producers create a great series, just like The Hunger Games? We will find out this March.
Synopsis: Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known in order to find a peaceful solution for their embroiled city. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.
Release Date: March 18
Starring Adam Driver (Star Wars) and Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man), Midnight Special stands out as one of the more unique movies coming out this year. Its trailer shows us an intriguing plot that is reminiscent of a "good" M. Night Shyamalan film. I'm looking forward to this movie, because it separates itself from the sci-fi plots we have seen in the last few years.
Synopsis: The government and a group of extremists pursue a man (Michael Shannon) and his son (Jaeden Lieberher), a boy who possesses special powers.
Release Date: March 18
Independence Day: Resurgence
ID4 was one of my favorite theater experiences ever. This time around, we lost Will Smith... but at least we still get to see Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, and Brent Spiner reprise their roles from the original movie. The main addition to the film this go around is Liam Hemsworth, who will be replacing Will Smith as the new pilot. Liam has some decent movies in his filmography, but It seems impossible to imagine him adding as much character to the film as Will Smith did in 1996. Despite this seemingly generic casting choice, you can expect Resurgence to be a great summer blockbuster, released just ahead of the July 4th holiday.
Synopsis: Using recovered extraterrestrial technology, the nations of Earth collaborate on an immense defense program to protect the planet. When the aliens attack with unprecedented force, only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can save the world.
Release Date: June 24
Star Trek Beyond
The new Star Trek is directed by Justin Lin from the Fast and the Furious franchise. After an action packed trailer, many criticized the film for departing from its science fiction roots to concentrate on action sequences. Simon Pegg later went on record to quell the naysayers, saying, "I didn't love it (the trailer), because I know there's a lot more to the film. There's a lot more story, and a lot more character stuff, and a lot more what I would call 'Star Trek stuff."
Synopsis: Stranded on a hostile planet, Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew face an alien threat.
Release Date: July 22
A space movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence? Sign me up! Without any pictures, it's hard to imagine what this film will be like, but we already know Chris Pratt rocked with Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. The synopsis looks fresh, and I can't wait for a trailer to be released to give us more context.
Synopsis: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result, a single passenger is awakened 60 years early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger.
Release Date: December 21
Honorable Mention: The 5th Wave, Release Date - January 22
Our 5 Most Anticipated Family Movies
DreamWorks, Walt Disney Studios, and Pixar, are all released animated family movies this year. Our 5 most anticipated family movies listed by release date are as follows:
Kung Fu Panda 3
Kung Fu Panda is back. This time, Po finds his father and squares off vs the villain Kai, voiced by J.K Simmons (Spider-Man). The film continues its long history of food jokes from the first two films and promises plenty of kung fu action.
Synopsis: After reuniting with his long-lost father (Bryan Cranston), Po (Jack Black) must train a village of clumsy pandas to help him defeat the villainous Kai (J.K. Simmons).
Release Date: January 29
The scale of the world in Zootopia is breathtaking. After watching the trailer, it looks like it's going to be a great family film. It's made by the same people who created Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6, all of which were critically acclaimed and received ratings above 7.5 on IMDB.
Synopsis: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she quickly learns how tough it is to enforce the law. Determined to prove herself, Judy jumps at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case. Unfortunately, that means working with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a wily fox who makes her job even harder.
Release Date: March 4
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book is a live action remake by Walt Disney Studios of the original 1967 animated film. Voice actors include Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Luptia Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken. With such a great list of voice actors, The Jungle Book should be a treat to watch.
Synopsis: After a fearsome tiger threatens his life, Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a boy raised by wolves, leaves his jungle home and, guided by a stern panther (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited bear (Bill Murray), sets out on a journey of self-discovery.
Release Date: April 15
It's hard to believe over 12 years have passed since the original release of Finding Nemo. This go around, Dory forgets everything all over again and Nemo helps her on a quest to find her mother. According to a recent nationwide survey, Finding Dory is the 2nd most anticipated movie of 2016.
Synopsis: With help from Nemo and Marlin (Albert Brooks), Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) the forgetful fish embarks on a quest to reunite with her mother (Diane Keaton) and father (Eugene Levy).
Release Date: June 17
Disney has a new princess, a beach loving kid from ancient Oceania that washes up old feelings reminiscent from Lilo & Stitch. Moana is scheduled to be released this November, perhaps to compel us to attend Florida's Disney World while the rest of the country is frozen.
Synopsis: In ancient Oceania, in the South Pacific, the young Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.
Release Date: November 23
Honorable Mentions: The Secret Life of Pets, Release Date - July 8 & Ice Age: Collision Course, Release Date - July 22
What movies are you most looking forward to this year?What did we miss? Leave us a comment below.