Welcome to CBW’s list of films to look out for in the coming year. There’s plenty to suggest and it’s hard to fit everything in, but compiled list below feels like the best bet matched with any kind of taste.
A film that feels like it’s under a cloud at the moment, with director Bryan Singer now having been fired from the production. We’ve yet to find out who the studio will replace him with, and whether it will affect the targeted release date.
Lots of very good people are still involved in the film, though, a biopic of the late Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek is taking on the role of Mercury in the film, in a production that’s long been in gestation (Sacha Baron Cohen was going to star at one point).
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh (IN BRUGES). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.
Shape of Water
From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes THE SHAPE OF WATER – an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Somewhere on the proverbial cutting room floor is an awful lot more footage of Jason Momoa as Aquaman than we got in the Justice League movie. But where was in there showed promise. Momoa has a clear screen presence, and the intriguing appointment of James Wan to direct the movie is a promising choice.
Not much, at the time of writing, is known about the film, but it’s the sole DC Extended Universe project on the 2018 release schedule. Warner Bros will be looking for a Wonder Woman-size success.
Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.
A Wrinkle In Time
A passion project for Frozen writer/director Jennifer Lee, she’s adapted Madeleine L’Englethe’s novel, with Ava DuVernay directing. Disney has pumped a nine figure budget into the production too, with a high profile cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. It’s a much-loved book and it looks like we’re getting a lavish film version. Given how sequel and franchise-driven Disney’s theatrical slate tends to be, this is a very welcome production. Looking forward to it.
The last two Tomb Raider films were forgettable, and yes, we know all about the curse of videogame-to-movie adaptations. But Roar Uthaug, the Norwegian director behind this latest attempt at a Lara Croft adventure, impressed us with The Wave – an intense disaster film with some surprisingly good effects for a non-Hollywood movie, and Alicia Vikander, a great actress, should make for a convincing Croft. Tomb Raider will take its cue from the more recent rebooted videogames, so expect a rough-and-tumble story of survival rather than the two-fisted gunplay of old.
Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.
Along with Den Of Geek pin-up Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson is still flying the flag for big action movies, and Skyscraper sounds like another throwback to the genre’s 80s heyday. Johnson plays Will Ford, an ex-Fed who’s framed for setting ablaze the world’s tallest building; Ford goes on the run and, hoping to clear his name, resolves to track down the true culprits. If you’re concerned this one will take itself too seriously, bear in mind that it’s written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who previously brought us the downright hilarious Dodgeball and We’re The Millers. We’re guessing Skyscraper won’t be the most subtle film we’ll see in 2018, but we’ll wager that it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Jennifer Lawrence reunites with the director of the last three Hunger Games movies, Francis Lawrence, for this one. It’s a spy thriller based on the book by Jason Matthews, that also features in its cast Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling and Jeremy Irons. Lawrence, J plays a Russian intelligence officer on the tail of an American mole (figuratively, not literally). But does she, too, become a double agent? Good question. But as we’ve not read the book or seen the film, we can’t tell you. Still, it looks like a good, grown-up thriller this. It’s due in March.
Mary Poppins Returns
It’s been a long time coming, but Disney is finally exploring more of P L Travers’ Mary Poppins books, in a sequel to one of its most beloved films. Emily Blunt is taking on the role from Julie Andrews, with Into The Woods and Chicago helmer Rob Marshall on directing duties. Dick Van Dyke and Julie Walters will both be making appearances in the movie too. It’s due in December 2018.
In Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.
Call me by Your Name
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
Ocean’s 8 is an upcoming American heist comedy film directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross and Olivia Milch, from a story by Ross. The film is an all-female spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven film series. It will be released on June 8, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures. Principal photography on the film began on October 25, 2016, in New York City.