2018 is shaping up to be another big year for movies with a whole lot of popular franchise sequels getting their releases. The year will most definitely see its fair share of original movies but as far as anticipation goes it’s the bigger tentpole films that get my attention. These movies may not all turn out to be good but man I hope they are. So before I get into the top 10 I’ll run through a few honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the list.
So as it turns out both of the upcoming X-Men related films missed out on the list but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything there to look forward to. The New Mutants I am looking forward to mainly for the approach they are taking with this X-Men property. From the trailer it looks to be a dark psychological horror film with X-Men characters in it, and that combined with the talented young cast has me pumped for it. X-Men: Dark Phoenix I also really want to see in the hope that they handle the dark phoenix saga better than The Last Stand did. It doesn’t make the list however because of the ultimately disappointing X-Men: Apocalypse. The Nun is the next entry in the Conjuring Universe and despite not being helmed by James Wan, his role as a producer might have a positive impact on the output. Venom is up here almost simply due to curiosity alone, how Sony handles this in relation to the MCU is up in the air and I can’t wait to find out. I get the feeling it will be its own seperate thing but not so seperate that Marvel can’t include the character in the MCU down the track. Finally Alita: Battle Angel delivered one of the most interesting trailers in the last few weeks and with Robert Rodriguez directing and James Cameron having a writing credit I’m sold on seeing what it has to offer.
#10 – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was Warner Bros. Pictures’ solution to keeping the Harry Potter universe around with an all new set of characters. The movie wasn’t incredible by any means but it managed to capture some of that Harry Potter tone and make you feel like you were back in the wizarding world. One of the highlights of the film was certainly the new characters; Newt Scamander, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob all shared some good chemistry and made the movie a fun time. Now the Fantastic Beasts franchise is moving in a much more interesting direction as Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald is going to be much more heavily featured (so we’ll see how that plays out) but also a younger Albus Dumbledore played by Jude Law is getting his introduction. These two characters are understood to have a lot of history as both friends and rivals so I really cannot wait to see their interactions and that conflict on screen.
#9 – Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man and the Wasp is the first of 3 MCU properties on this list all of which I am obviously quite excited for. The first Ant-Man was a refreshing entry to the MCU as it was a superhero film on a much smaller scale (no pun intended) and wasn’t directly dealing with a grandiose world threat. It was a very personal story centred around Scott Lang, his family and his desire to be a better father to his daughter. The comedy was on point throughout almost the entire movie and it inhabited a very fun and lighthearted tone that was a nice change of pace in the MCU. Now as was teased at the end of Ant-Man; Evangeline Lilly will be suiting up alongside Rudd as The Wasp where we’ll see the formation of this dynamic duo. I can’t wait to see how the two of them play off each other as they exhibited some good chemistry in the first film.
#8 – Black Panther
Well would you look at that, another MCU movie…. this one is less than 2 months away and frankly it’s 2 months too long. Black Panther has impressed me with both of its major trailers which have shown off an intense variety of action sequences in the stunning hidden city of Wakanda. There is a lot to look forward to here in terms of performances with Chadwick Boseman in the lead role, Michael B Jordan getting another shot in a superhero film as the main villain, and Andy Serkis reprising his limited role from Age of Ultron as Ulysses Klaw. The supporting cast also includes Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and Forest Whitaker so there’s plenty of talent packed in this film. Everything from the overall tone to the music and the focus on hand to hand combat looks like Marvel is still churning out superhero films that all feel somewhat unique and different from one another. And my bet is that we learn in here that the final infinity stone is located in Wakanda which will lead us nicely into Avengers: Infinity War.
#7 – God Particle (Untitled Cloverfield Movie)
There aren’t many details about the second Cloverfield sequel/spinoff yet but with the way they are approaching this franchise’s sequels I cannot fucking wait to see what on earth this movie is. 10 Cloverfield Lane was one of the biggest surprises of 2016 and came out of nowhere almost making my top 10 of the year. It was a gripping mystery thriller that grabbed me early on and didn’t let go of the tension right up until the final moments. The story went places I never expected and there were plenty of surprises in this very unique and original film. But what I loved most about it is that it was a sequel/spinoff to an already existing franchise that contained some light connections to the previous film without being tied down by an existing story or even existing genre. This approach to building a franchise I fucking adore and wish more franchises took notes and adopted this way of world building. It makes room for a tonne of originality to be introduced in the 3rd, 4th, or even 5th film as you can change the genre and character every time and focusing on making a strong story first and foremost. So yeah, I really want to see what this movie turns out to be.
#6 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World returned the Jurassic Park franchise to greatness with an insanely fun and enjoyable film that gave us lots more dinosaur action to soak up. I really enjoyed the introduction of the new likeable characters played by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and the story they go on is fairly well paced and just a tonne of fun. The visual effects were fantastic and the action sequences with the indominus rex were gripping, intense, and yes I’m going to use the word again…… FUN. I loved almost every second of this movie and saw it twice in theatres as a result, it’s never going to win any Oscars but that’s hardly the goal. Now this movie would have sat at 5th or 4th on this list but the trailer wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped it’d be and so it did drop down a bit. I still have high hopes for the film itself but although the trailer was cool I guess I was just a little discouraged by it.
#5 – Mowgli
If you just stopped rapidly scrolling down this list because you got to #5 and thought “What the fuck is Mowgli?” that’s perfectly expected right now. This movie was previously titled Jungle Book/Jungle Book: Origins and is Andy Serkis’ own darker adaptation of the classic story. This live action version of The Jungle Book was announced before Disney’s own live action adaptation and I’ve been more excited for this rendition ever since. The cast for one is absolutely incredible with Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Naomi Harris, and the performance capture legend himself Andy Serkis all involved. Where the Disney adaptation was entirely CGI this version will be using performance capture which has me even more exciting especially after seeing what Serkis has done in the Apes trilogy and what Cumberbatch did as Smaug in the Hobbit films. I’ve been waiting for this movie for too damn long and just need it now, at least give me a trailer.
#4 – Incredibles 2
Pixar has gone ahead and made 2 Cars sequels and a Planes spinoff but it has taken 14 years for them to get their asses in gear and give us the sequel we have always wanted. The Incredibles is an amazing animated film and one that I along with many other people fell in love with as kids and still holds up today. The original Incredibles ended sort of on a cliffhanger eluding to the fact that there’d be another story…… now there was but all we got was a game and not a movie. That’s like if there was no more Star Wars after The Force Awakens and what happens next was explained in a mobile card game. But they’ve finally answered our prayers and we are getting a continuation of the story that will see our favourite family of superheroes return against a new and possibly even bigger threat.
#3 – Solo: A Star Wars Story
You knew it was coming, there’s no way a Star Wars film is going to ever miss out on this most anticipated list simply because it has Star Wars in the title. This isn’t an episodic film but it is focusing on one of the big 3 from the original trilogy in Han Solo. It is being directed (now) by Ron Howard and stars Alden Ehrenreich as a younger Han Solo and Donald Glover as a younger Lando Calrissian. I’m really intrigued to find out what this movie will be focusing on exactly, will we see Han win the Falcon off Lando? Will we see how Han and Chewbacca met? May we even see Han attempt the Kessel Run? I have no idea but I have all the faith in the world that this movie will all work out. It has just recently been described by the newly added cast member Paul Bettany as a gangster film at its core and that sounds fucking awesome within the setting of the Star Wars universe. Either way, with Han now dead in the new trilogy this prequel may be the last time we see the character on screen so lets hope its a good one.
#2 – Deadpool 2
The first Deadpool film was my most anticipated movie of 2016 and it delivered on everything I wanted it to and as a result it became my favourite movie of 2016 hands down. It really is a superhero comedy masterpiece and captures the essence of Deadpool as a character to perfection. The sarcastic, shit-talking, ass-kicking, fourth wall breaking superhero had me in tears for the majority of this movie as every line of dialogue was amazingly written and every comedic beat was executed beautifully. And now we have the sequel to that film which is shaping up to be just as glorious as its predecessor and all I’ve seen is a Bob Ross themed trailer with some brief snippets of footage. The film isn’t being directed by Tim Miller this time around but I have the utmost faith in David Leitch and what he will bring to the sequel. The director of John Wick and Atomic Blonde and stunt coordinator of many awesome action films has proved he is very well versed in the art of filming incredible action sequences so you can expect some epic shit to go down. And then you have Ryan Reynolds who has a phenomenal grip on the Deadpool character to where I will never be able to look at the guy again without instantly picturing the Merc with a Mouth. This movie has a tonne to live up to but I don’t doubt its ability to surprise me with greatness.
#1 – Avengers: Infinity War
What other movie could possibly be #1 in 2018? The MCU has been building to this moment since the release Iron Man, now 9 long years and 18 films later it is all going to come to a head in this absolutely packed movie (and the following year’s Avengers film). Thanos is the MCU’s big villain who has been teased a number of times since the first Avengers film and now he has come down to Earth to complete his Infinity Stone collection and it looks like it’s going to take every known hero to even have a chance at stopping him. This movie looks grand in scale, even bigger than Captain America: Civil War and will no doubt feature a shitload of destruction and almost certainly some big deaths. Thanos will not die in this movie as he still needs to appear in 2019’s Avengers 4 but there’s nothing stopping the potential death of characters such as Hawkeye, Iron Man, Captain America, Vision, and a number of other heroes. It’s going to be tough to rein in my expectations for this one due to the years of build up going into it but I have no doubts that it will be all kinds of awesome especially with the Russo brothers in the directors seat(s).
So there you have it, that’s my list of movies I am most anticipating from next year and hopefully they all (or at least most) live up to their potential greatness. Of course there will be a number of non-franchise films releasing in 2018 that I cannot wait to see but this early in the game when barely any of them have trailers it’s hard to be excited for something when you don’t know it exists. So as 2017 comes to a close there is definitely a lot to be excited about moving into 2018.