Now that 2015 is in the rearview mirror, it’s a good time to explore what’s in store for movie lovers in 2016.
With oodles of superhero movies as well as another “Star Wars” entry and a “Harry Potter” prequel in the pipeline, the new year is chock full of old favorites.
But there’s plenty of promising originals too, including starring vehicles for supernovas like Scarlett Johansson, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt and Emma Stone.
Below, a quick peak at 21 movies that will hopefully turn 2016 into a year to remember:
Hail, Caesar ( Feb. 5) – The Coen Brothers’ follow up to “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a comedy set in Hollywood during the 1940s. Josh Brolin stars as Eddie Mannix, a real-life Hollywood fixer who got many a celeb out of sticky jams when he worked for MGM. The cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Frances McDormand.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25) – Here’s the first fusion of the DC Comics Universe, with Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck) battling to be top dog. Will it be the ultimate gladiator showdown, as the trailer teases? Or will our two heroes work together to bring down Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) who has dastardly plans for Metropolis?
The Boss (April 8) – Melissa McCarthy is on a roll at the box office thanks to hits like “The Heat” and “Spy.” Her winning streak looks like it will continue with this comedy about an abrasive businesswoman who’s sent to prison for insider training. After she emerges from the slammer, she finds it tough to start over, at least until she teams up with one of her former employees (Kristen Bell) to take over a Girl Scout-type troop called the Dandelions.
Captain America: Civil War (May 6) – Industry insiders are predicting the latest Marvel adventure, which pits Captain America (Chris Evans) against one-time pal Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), will out-gross “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Watch for appearances by Scarlett Johansson and Paul Rudd as Black Widow and Ant-Man, respectively.
Money Monster (May 13) – Jodie Foster directs this black comedy about a working stiff (Jack O’Connell) who holds a TV personality (George Clooney) responsible for his financial woes. O’Connell takes Clooney and his entire show hostage, threatening to kill Clooney on air if the stock market doesn’t go up 24 and a half points before the bell. Julia Roberts co-stars in the film which is being touted as a successor to ‘70s classics like “Network” and “Dog Day Afternoon.”
X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27) – The gang’s all back just in time to save the world from the conveniently named mutant, Apocalypse. Bryan Singer directs a cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy.
Alice Through The Looking Glass (May 27) – Tim Burton took a pass on this sequel to “Alice In Wonderland” but that didn’t stop the cast from returning for an adventure that finds Alice (Mia Wasikowska) heading back in time to save the life of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp.)
Finding Dory (June 17) – The latest Pixar adventure is a sequel to “Finding Nemo,” one of the animation house’s biggest – and best – films. Ellen DeGeneres once again voices Dory, a blue tang fish who must find her long-lost family. Ty Burrell’s snub-nosed beluga whale helps her out.
Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24) – Two decades after Earth survived an attack by aliens, another invasion unfolds. Will Smith opted not to reprise his role but Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are back for more alien-busting alongside new cast members Maika Monroe and Liam Hemsworth.
The BFG (July 1) – If this family film is half as wondrous as its trailer, Disney is going to have a giant hit on its hands. “Bridge of Spies” scene-stealer Mark Rylance lends his voice to the title character, a good-natured colossus who befriends a young girl (Ruby Barnhill) he kidnaps from a London orphanage. Steven Spielberg directs.
La La Land (July 15) – Romances are rare these days. Romances with music are almost non-existant. So, that alone makes this songfest starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling a must-see. Damien Chazelle, who wrote and directed 2014’s astonishing “Whiplash,” oversees this tale about struggling Los Angeles performers who fall in love.
Ghostbusters (July 15) – In Paul Feig’s reboot of the classic franchise, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones take on all kinds of paranormal pests, including, according to Entertainment Weekly, “pilgrims, old-timey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits and even a couple of zoot-suited gangsters.” Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver reprise their roles from the original films.
Sully (Sept. 9) – Director Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks team up for the first time to bring the story of heroic pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to the screen. After the crash of American Airways 1549 into the Hudson River back in 2009, Sully saved the lives of all 155 passengers and crew members on board. “Sully” not only depicts the crash but portrays what happened to the pilot in the days afterwards.
Bridget Jones’s Baby (Sept. 16) – When last we saw Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) in 2004’s “Edge of Reason,” she was seemingly happily married to Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) but in the new film, she’s single again — and pregnant. Firth returns, likely to try and woo her back while Patrick Dempsey pops up as a billionaire rival for Bridget’s affections.
The Girl On The Train (Oct. 7) – All aboard this twisty mystery based on the best seller by Paula Hawkins. Emily Blunt stars as an unemployed alcoholic who develops an obsession with a couple (Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux) she imagines is perfect. She eventually finds herself in the midst of a very real mystery once Ferguson goes missing.
Inferno (Oct. 14) – Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard bring the third book in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” trilogy to life. This time around, our hero Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital room in Florence, Italy, with no memory of what has taken place over the last few days. But Langdon has to solve the mystery very quickly since he finds himself the target of a global manhunt. Felicity Jones co-stars.
Doctor Strange (Nov. 4) – Yet another Marvel adventure but this one promises to be a little weirder than most. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as a surgeon who, after damaging his hands in an accident, turns to a mysterious healer (Tilda Swinton) for guidance. The Ancient One, as Swinton’s character is called, helps Doctor Strange unlock his inner superhero. Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor co-star.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov. 18) – Set 70 years before Harry Potter discovers his powers, this adventure focuses on writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he hides away in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards and pens the classic which will, decades later, make a big impression on Master Potter. Katherine Waterston and Dan Fogler co-star.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dec. 16) – In this “Star Wars” spin-off, rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The first film in the so-called “Star Wars Anthology” series is set before the events of the first “Star Wars” film, and features Forest Whitaker, Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna and Mads Mikkelsen.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiars (Dec. 23) – Tim Burton directing a movie about oddball kids? Sounds like a perfect fit. Asa Butterfield stars as a teenager who discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. As he explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he discovers that its former occupants possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive. Watch for Eva Green and Samuel L. Jackson in supporting roles.
Passengers (Dec. 25) — Who doesn’t thrill to the pairing of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence? In what sounds like an exquisite romance in outer space, Pratt stars as an astronaut who is awoken by a malfunctioning sleep chamber 60 years too early. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger. Wanna guess who that is?