Even with the start of the year just weeks away, 2018 already looks stacked from a movie-going perspective.
As well as the requisite Marvel and Star Wars flicks there are plenty of other big franchise releases already announced, plus a fair few lesser-known-but-probably-more-interesting movies too.
We’ve collected all of 2018’s biggest movies here together with their latest trailers. Stay tuned next year for newly-announced flicks, fresh trailers, and smaller or indie flicks that don’t have a year-long hype cycle attached.
BLACK PANTHER (9 FEBRUARY)
After his debut in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther gets his very own starring role in film from Creed director Ryan Coogler. Black Panther sees the hero return to his mystical home kingdom of Wakanda as its new ruler, but a battle that begins there seems like it could have effects on the wider Marvel universe – especially with Avengers: Infinity War up next.
Coogler is an impressive director and Michael B. Jordan looks awesome here as an exile returning to try and usurp the throne. Black Panther should elevate the hero to a much larger role in the MCU, and what we’ve seen so far here looks pretty dazzling.
DEATH WISH (2 MARCH)
Bruce Willis has starred in more than a few awesome action flicks in his career, and Death Wish could be another one to add to that list. It’s a remake of the 1974 film of the same name, but this version from Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) shakes up the formula a bit.
Here, Willis plays a doctor from Chicago whose family is shattered during a home invasion, thus triggering a vigilante urge that he just can’t seem to shake. He begins to take matters into his own hands, stopping crimes with deadly force and chasing tips from patients that end in bad guys covered in blood. Looks intense, expectedly, albeit with Willis adding just the right kind of understated smirk to the violence.
A WRINKLE IN TIME (9 MARCH)
Inspired by the classic Madeleine L’Engle novel, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time looks like a family-friendly adventure with a stacked roster of talent onboard, starting with director Ava DuVernay (Selma) behind the camera and some flashy special effects.
A Wrinkle in Time follows a young girl in search of her missing astrophysicist father, who seems to be trapped elsewhere in the universe – and she learns to use some serious time-folding magic to find her way there. This cast has everyone from Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling to Chris Pine and Zach Galifinakis, so as long as the child actors are solid, we’ve got high hopes.
TOMB RAIDER (16 MARCH)
The earlier, Angelina Jolie-starring Tomb Raider flicks came from an era of bad video game movies… and well, that admittedly hasn’t changed much. But at least they’re better-produced now, so maybe the Tomb Raider reboot will be worth watching come March.
It’s inspired by the excellent video game reboot from a few years back, providing a fresh origin story for Lara Croft. Alicia Vikander, who was utterly memorable in Ex Machina, takes the lead role, and with the likes of Dominic West, Walton Goggins, and Nick Frost also onboard, we’ve got plenty of reasons to give it a shot.
PACIFIC RIM UPRISING (23 MARCH)
Guillermo del Toro’s original Pacific Rim was a slightly underrated delight from a few years back, but it made so much money in China that we’ve now got a sequel to look forward to in the shape of this spring’s Pacific Rim Uprising.
John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is always a plus and the Jaeger mech designs are pretty neat, although we admit we’re a little worried that Uprising is going to shift the campy, giant-monsters-and-anime tribute tone of the original into dumb, Michael Bay’s Transformers territory. But we remain hopeful, and in any case, we’re ready to see some giant mechs battle it out.
ISLE OF DOGS (23 MARCH)
We didn’t need the trailer to tell us that Isle of Dogs hails from Wes Anderson, the eccentric mind behind classics such as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, not to mention the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox. But yes, this film is definitely, definitely from Wes Anderson.
And it looks incredibly charming, of course, telling the story of a time in the future when Japan quarantines its dogs to an island full of trash after a canine flu spreads through the nation. Anderson has called on a truly extensive list of collaborators to provide voices here, from Bill Murray and Edward Norton to Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, and Scarlett Johansson.
READY PLAYER ONE (30 MARCH)
Ernest Cline’s book tends to spark a real love or hate reaction in readers, but with Steven Spielberg behind the camera, the film version of Ready Player One looks absolutely dazzling. As the trailer suggests, it’s about the collapsing world of the future in which people turn to their VR headsets for any sort of happiness, entertainment, competition, and more.
And it’s loaded with pop-culture references, ranging from the Batmobile, Lara Croft, and Chun-Li to Duke Nukem, The Iron Giant, and Gandalf, which like the book itself has inspired some early backlash. But Spielberg is a visionary, and even if the references are ladled on too heavily, we believe this’ll be a visual treat to behold on the big screen. Fingers crossed, at least.
THE NEW MUTANTS (13 APRIL)
Well, this doesn’t look like any other superhero movie we’ve ever seen before. Spun off from the X-Men cinematic universe, The New Mutants introduces heroes including Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, and Sunspot to the film franchise, but does so in the form of a straight-up horror flick.
That’s a pretty cool idea, given the premise about young mutants suddenly imbued with abilities being locked away in a testing facility. They’ll have to work together to fight back and escape (and most likely find their way into Deadpool 2 in June), and we may have to fight the urge to cover our eyes during the scary parts.
AVENGERS: INFINITE WAR (4 MAY)
Phase Three of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has spread far and wide while introducing the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange, and now they’ll all assemble alongside Captain America, Iron Man, and the crew in Avengers: Infinity War.
It’s all been building up to this for years now, as the galactic Thanos attempts to wield all of the Infinity Stones and the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy amass to battle the threat. One more, final Avengers flick will follow in 2019, but expect serious ramifications on the MCU from this one, as the rather serious first trailer above suggests.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (25 MAY)
Well, Rogue One landed well, so we obviously have high hopes for the next standalone Star Wars flick, Solo: A Star Wars Story. As you might expect, it’s the origin story of Han Solo (portrayed by young Alden Ehrenreich), and we’ll likely see how the beloved Rebel smuggler teamed up with Chewbacca, crossed paths with Lando Calrissian – played by Donald Glover (!) here – and acquired the Millennium Falcon.
There’s been a bit of a disturbance in the force with Solo, however, as original co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) were dismissed due to differences with Disney during shooting and replaced by Hollywood old-timer Ron Howard. Reminds us of the Edgar Wright-filmed version of Ant-Man that we never rightfully got when things went south with Marvel…
DEADPOOL 2 (1 JUNE)
If this teaser – which includes only mere seconds of actual movie footage – is any indication, then Deadpool certainly won’t be losing its trademark edge or weirdness. And that’s a very good thing, since that’s what makes the X-Men offshoot such a deliciously delightful big-screen watch.
Deadpool 2‘s creators say they’ve resisted the urge to go larger after the smash hit of the original, although the sequel does introduce Cable as a time-traveling, telepathic warrior and supposedly segues into a future X-Force movie team. Still, so long as it brings the laughs and over-the-top violence, we’ll be there on day one.
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM (7 JUNE)
What’s the only thing scarier than an island overrun by violent dinosaurs? An island overrun by violent dinosaurs that also has an enormous volcano erupting hot lava all over it. That’s the premise of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, now that the franchise is back in action after Jurassic World‘s enormous box office tally.
Fallen Kingdom sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters returning to the abandoned Isla Nublar to try and rescue the remaining dinosaurs as the eruption grows imminent – and as seen, that plan isn’t the safest or smartest around. But humans never could leave well enough alone in this film franchise. At least Jeff Goldblum is back!
OCEAN’S 8 (8 JUNE)
Wait, wasn’t the last one Ocean’s Thirteen? It’s true – but Ocean’s 8 isn’t simply another sequel in the ensemble heist/comedy series. Instead, it’s a gender-flipped soft reboot of sorts, starring Sandra Bullock as Danny Ocean’s distant sister who decides to assemble a crew to rob New York City’s ritzy Met Gala.
Consider it akin to the recent Ghostbusters reboot, which some people rolled their eyes at, but ultimately ended up being pretty damn funny. With the likes of Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and… Rihanna… alongside Bullock, it ought to be an entertaining new take on the formula – and if you’re pining too much for the originals then the fact that a couple of the other Ocean’s characters will cameo should keep you happy.
INCREDIBLES 2 (15 JUNE)
Now here’s a Pixar sequel we’re actually looking forward to (unlike Cars 3). It’s been 14 years since the original Incredibles film, but Incredibles 2 seemingly picks up right where the first flick left off, with little Jack-Jack showcasing some budding powers of his own.
Alongside the Samuel L. Jackson-voiced Frozone, the Parr family must battle against a new, yet-unseen threat. With original director Brad Bird both writing and directing this sequel, we have high hopes that it’ll be more Toy Story 3 and less Monsters University. Or Cars 2, for that matter.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (6 JULY)
While we were bummed to see Edgar Wright punted from the project before filming, Marvel’s Ant-Man was a pretty entertaining, albeit smaller-stakes entry in the MCU – and with this one releasing right after Avengers: Infinity War, there might be more on the line for this oddball hero.
And heroine, too – as the title suggests and the end of the last movie teased, The Wasp joins Ant-Man in the fight, with Evangeline Lilly taking the classic comic role. We don’t know too much else about this one yet, with Marvel perhaps keeping plot details quiet until Avengers is out, but it’s a Marvel flick: so yes, we’re interested.
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX (2 NOVEMBER)
X-Men: The Last Stand is the rare anomaly in the core X-Men film franchise in that it’s hot garbage – but in a post-Days of Future Past film timeline, they have the ability to try to adapt the legendary “Dark Phoenix Saga” comic arc again. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Due out in November, X-Men: Dark Phoenix portrays Jean Grey’s turn as the titular heroine, as her overwhelming powers take control and the mutant team has to fight their ally to save the world. X-Men Apocalypse (shown) wasn’t too hot, but the newer X-flicks have been more hits than misses, so hopefully this’ll be another great one.
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD (18 NOVEMBER)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a solid spinoff from the Harry Potter series, even if it didn’t quite hit the same heights – but now writer J.K. Rowling and director David Yates will have a chance to build from that origin tale with The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The titular Gellert Grindelwald is the Johnny Depp-played villain revealed at the end of the first flick, and we’ll see Newt Scamander team up with a young Albus Dumbledore to try and defeat the dark wizarding threat. And now that it’s pegged as a five-film franchise, we’ll have plenty more Fantastic Beasts for years to come…
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (25 DECEMBER)
It was supposed to be Sacha Baron Cohen in the role as legendary Queen singer Freddie Mercury, but wow, Mr. Robot himself Rami Malek looks stone-cold brilliant in this first teaser shot from the flick. Bohemian Rhapsody focuses on the first 15 years of the band, from their founding all the way up to their Live Aid performance in 1985.
We’ll see if the film still makes it out in 2018, however: director Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) was just fired after disputes with the studio and Malek during filming, Dexter Fletched – yes, of Press Gang fame – stepping in to finish shooting. It shouldn’t be a film that requires dramatic post-production work, though, so a year will hopefully be enough time to get it done.