Although 2017 has just ended, it’s hard not to get excited about the upcoming film slate for 2018. With so many films being released, it’s sometimes hard to navigate which films should be seen in a theater with an audience, versus streaming it at home.
All of these anticipated films will deliver on one thing: spectacle.
With anticipation for these big releases growing by the day, here are 15 movies you can’t miss in 2018.
1. BLACK PANTHER
In Theaters February 16, 2018
T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. When an old enemy, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) threatens the fate of his nation and the world T’Challa dons the mantle of the Black Panther and springs into action. Based off of the Marvel character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Sterling K. Brown.
2. READY PLAYER ONE
In Theaters March 30, 2018
From director Steven Spielberg comes Ready Player One, a dystopian adventure based on the sci-fi novel by Ernest Cline. In the near future, gamers compete inside a massive video game universe to find an “Easter egg” hidden by the network’s recently deceased creator which promises real life riches. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) becomes the first player to successfully navigate the first level of the test, sparking a high-stakes international race to crack the game’s code. The film also stars Olivia Cooke, Hannah John-Kamen, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, and Mark Rylance.
3. THE NEW MUTANTS
In theaters April 13, 2018
The X-Men franchise gets another spin-off, this one focusing on the student heroes of Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, from writer/director Josh Boone. Inspired by “The Demon Bear” storyline by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, The New Mutants is a superhero horror film focusing on five young mutants, discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will. Together they fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. It stars Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, Anya Taylor-Joy as Magik, Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Sunspot, and Blu Hunt as Mirage. The New Mutants looks more like a super-powered Stranger Things than the upcoming X-sequel, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which arrives later this year. And that might very well be a good thing.
In Theaters October 19, 2018
With the blessing of original director and co-writer John Carpenter, the long-running franchise is being resurrected with a sequel that ignores all previous installments. Produced by Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, Paranormal Activity) and co-written by David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. Carpenter serves as a creative consultant and will score the film and Green will direct. Judy Greer is joining the cast as Laurie’s daughter, Karen Strode, and Andi Matichak as Karen’s daughter, Allyson. Even more exciting is that writer/director Nick Castle, who played the original Michael Myers, will once again don the white mask after forty years.
6. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
In Theaters May 25, 2018
With the tepid response to Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the behind-the-scenes drama with the production, Solo: A Star Wars Story is a must-see. Originally directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord (who were fired two weeks before Principal Photography was completed), Ron Howard took over, reshooting much of the film. There’s little known regarding the plot, but reportedly the film focuses on Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo)’s adventures before joining the Rebellion, including their early encounters with Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Solo also stars Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Paul Bettany. No word yet if Greedo, Jabba The Hutt, or the Kessel Run will appear, but I’d bet on the Millennium Falcon on it.
7. DEADPOOL 2
In theaters June 1, 2018
20th Century Fox’s description of the upcoming sequel might not be entirely accurate:
“After surviving a near-fatal knee boarding accident, a disfigured guidance counselor (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Poughkeepsie’s most celebrated French Bulldog breeder while also learning to cope with an open relationship. Searching to regain his passion for life, as well as a new stuffed unicorn, Wade must battle ninjas, tight assed metal men, and babysit a group of stereotypical side characters as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and creative outlets for his very open-minded sex life. He manages to find a new lust for being a do-gooder, a sparkly Hello Kitty backpack, all while earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best 4th Wall Breaking Superhero.”
John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch takes the reigns of the sequel which reunites cast members Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, and Karan Soni and introduces comic favorites Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz).
8. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 6
In theaters July 27, 2018
Like the IMF themselves, virtually nothing is known about the sixth film in the Mission: Impossible series other than Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation writer/director Christopher McQuarrie is back running the show. Rumored to explore more of Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise)’s backstory, the film reunites former cast members Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Monaghan, and Sean Harris with newcomers Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby. Packed with over the top stunts, the film will likely include Tom Cruise’s flubbed jump between two buildings that left him with a broken angle.
9. THE INCREDIBLES 2
In theaters June 15th, 2018
After thirteen years, the Parr family returns to the big screen courtesy of writer/director/voice of Edna Mode, Brad Bird. Original cast members Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, and Samuel L. Jackson are joined by John Ratzenberger, Bob Odenkirk, and Catherine Keener in this epic, animated sequel. Unfortunately, plot details are as tight as a super-heroes spandex costume, but there’s little doubt that Bird and Pixar won’t disappoint on one of their most beloved franchises.
In Theaters October 5, 2018
Now that Sony has successfully collaborated with Marvel Studios and revived the dormant Wall Crawler franchise with Spider-Man: Homecoming, their next step was to exploit every other character they still had the rights to. First up is Venom, the story of Eddie Brock, a co-worker of Peter Parker, who becomes attached to the alien symbiote that Parker was previously connected to. Since Peter or Spider-Man isn’t in the film, there’s little here to get excited about. And then they announced the Tom Hardy was playing Brock.
Without a doubt, Hardy is one of cinema’s strongest actors and under the direction of director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), there’s little doubt that Venom isn’t intriguing. Add a supporting cast that’s rumored to include Michelle Williams, Bruce Campbell, Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson, and Riz Ahmed, and suddenly this spinoff becomes a dark horse for one of the year’s most intriguing releases.
11. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
In Theaters June 22, 2018
Director J. A. Bayona brings audiences back to Isla Nublar four years later with former Jurassic World park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) reaching out to Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady to help rescue the remaining dinosaurs from the island after it’s revealed that the island is built upon an active volcano. Once united, the duo uncovers a conspiracy that endangers both humanity and the dinosaurs. Returning is the B.D. Wong as the mad scientist Dr. Henry Wu and the great Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcom. New cast members include James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin, Toby Jones, and Rafe Spall.
Chaos theory, dinosaurs, and volcanos. Perfect summer entertainment!
12. FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD WIDOWS
In Theaters November 16, 2018
The second of several movies in the expanded Harry Potter universe, The Crimes of Grindelwald Widows continues the adventures of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). J.K. Rowling returns to script the David Yates helmed film, which sees Newt in Paris teaming with his favorite Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to hunt down the nefarious wizard Gillert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Returning cast members include Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Carmen Ejogo. In addition to Depp and Law, new cast members include Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Derek Riddell, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson. Little is known about this installment, but with three additional films planned, the fun is just beginning.
13. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
In theaters May 4th, 2018
“There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to fight the battles we never could.”
And now, 18 films later, The Marvel Cinematic Universe unites to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment. This epic combines the casts of all films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe under the direction of the Russo Brothers; conceivably the biggest collection of movie stars ever assembled. The cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Benicio del Toro, Tessa Thompson, Peter Dinklage, Stellan Skarsgård, Tom Holland, Linda Cardellini, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
In theaters December 21, 2018
Set following the events of Justice League, comes the next adventure for returns to his role as Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa). According to sources, in the film, Aquaman is the reluctant ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and finds himself caught between surface dwellers that are always polluting the globe and his own people who are ready to invade the surface. Now, he must balance both the nations and deal with new enemies from within the kingdom while learning more about his heritage. From director James Wan (Insidious and Furious 7), Aquaman also stars Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, and Nicole Kidman.
15. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
In theaters December 14, 2018
Unless you’ve been reading comics, it’s likely that you’re unaware that Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider-Man out there. As a matter of fact, Miles Morales, the Afro-Latino teen from a parallel Earth has turned out to be an extremely beloved take on the super-hero. In this film, written by Phil Lord (as in one of the fired Solo: A Star Wars Story directors), Miles Morales must juggle his high school life with his status as a superhero ever since the death of Peter Parker. Rumors seem to suggest that other versions of Spidey will appear (hence the term, “Spider-Verse” and the voice cast includes Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, and Brian Tyree Henry. No announcement yet for Parker’s voice, but hearing Tobey Maguire in the role would be pretty fun.