The leaves will soon be turning, the prestigious trailers are starting to roll out, and the film industry is making the least money it has since right after 9/11. In short, the fall movie season can’t arrive soon enough.
It’s going to arrive with a good bit of fanfare this year, starting early with the eagerly anticipated release of IT on September 8th. Before the year is over, we’ll see new films from Guillermo Del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Richard Linklater, George Clooney, Rian Johnson, Paul Thomas Anderson, and a murderer’s row of other big names. We’ll see some of the best stuff that this year’s Cannes Film Festival had to offer. We’ll see the requisite stories of historical figures alongside fresh new tales of triumph and anguish alike. After two years of eager waiting, we’ll even know what happened after Rey held that lightsaber out to Luke.
It’s unlikely that we won’t see a few disappointments along the way; the ridiculous expectations and hype cycles that tend to surround every would-be award winner during the year’s final third practically guarantee it. But there’s a lot to anticipate this year, perhaps even more than normal, from dark comedies to an original Pixar entry to the knowledge that there’s still at least one movie not on our or any other site’s radars that will yet emerge from the woodwork to surprise us all. The end of the year may also herald a return to the near-Arctic tundra we at CoS trudge through on our way to the office, but it also means that some of the best films of the year are on the way. That’s worth getting excited about, as it always is.
Release Date: December 1st via Amazon Studios
Despite all the controversy that follows Woody Allen, the guy still knows how to nail down an exceptional cast. His latest feature, Wonder Wheel, is no exception: Kate Winslet, Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Jim Belushi, and Debi Mazar all star in another nostalgic drama from the auteur, this time set around Coney Island in the late 1950s. Given the time period and the New York setting, one would expect this film to be something of a spiritual memoir to Allen’s past. Then again, maybe not. Either way, we’ve been enjoying his more recent forays into the magical past — from 2011’s Midnight in Paris to 2015’s Irrational Man to 2016’s Café Society — so we expect to have a pleasant time on this go-around, too. –Michael Roffman
Release Date: October 20th via Universal
Hey hey, Mr. Police Man. Jo Nesbø’s chilly bestseller finally slashes the silver screen this October. The Snowman’s only a few years late to the Scandinavian Explosion of 2011 (read: Stieg Larsson novels), but we’re anticipating this Norwegian nerve-rattler all the same. The too-cool Michael Fassbender is Nesbø’s famed gumshoe, detective Harry Hole. By all means, giggle at his name. Now, understand that he’s an Oslo officer whose name is pronounced “Harry HOO-LEH”. Hole is tasked with looking into an elusive serial killer that seemingly strikes on the first snow of winter, preying on women, and The Snowman is an odyssey into memory, obsessions, scandal, and brutal violence. Sounds positively like a 1995 thriller. Or 2004, when the novel’s set.
The unsung Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) is at the helm after Martin Scorsese walked away, and if The Snowman is anything like his past works, expect an assured, mature, and dense film. Of course, there are trappings with any sort of film like this – violence against women, the devolution of a whodunit developed as a slasher. But we’re very willing to give Alfredson and Fassbender the benefit of the doubt on this one. Bonus: the trailer’s use of Massive Attack was amazing, if you haven’t caught it yet. –Blake Goble
Murder on the Orient Express
Release Date: November 10th via 20th Century Fox
Agatha Christie’s most famous story has not only seen three different adaptations in film and television already, but it’s practically become a genre unto itself. The tale of an American businessman found dead aboard the infamous Orient Express en route to London and detective Hercule Poirot’s quest to find the killer, Murder on the Orient Express remains a seminal work of mystery fiction. Given its reputation, one can forgive being skeptical about Kenneth Branagh’s latest attempt to bring the story to the screen (particularly since he has offered the Poirot role to himself).
That said, there’s a certain appeal to such an old-fashioned movie making its way to mainstream audiences in 2017. Branagh has an eye for thrillers (see: his remake of Sleuth), and the cast is a healthy mix of eclectic newcomers (Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Gad) and Hollywood veterans (Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer). We haven’t really seen this kind of big, ensemble-focused potboiler since the days of ’70s disaster flicks and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
If nothing else, see it for Branagh’s amazing handlebar mustache, which somehow puts the exotic facial tapestry he sported in Wild Wild West to shame. –Clint Worthington
Battle of the Sexes
Release Date: September 22nd via Fox Searchlight Pictures
The words “based on a true story” can strike fear into the heart of many a film lover — after all, for every Hidden Figures, there’s a handful of 13 Hours-es. But who the fuck cares about that right now? Battle of the Sexes looks great. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) find their based-on story in the 1973 tennis match between world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former champ and Taylor Swift-level PR fiend Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell). If nothing else, this looks like a hell of a chance to see two of Hollywood’s most reliably charming personalities do battle on the field of charisma-based warfare, and that alone is reason enough to buy a ticket.
But Dayton and Faris are smart enough to dig deep. Expect them to soar past the nice vibes and famous faces and era-specific eyewear and explore something real. We’d be looking forward to this one in any year, but good gracious, this film seems to be arriving right on time. Just imagine Bobby Riggs with a Twitter account. —Allison Shoemaker
Release Date: December 22nd via 20th Century Fox
Last year, Steven Spielberg proved he’s pretty much lost his mojo when it comes to movies like The B.F.G.. But that’s okay because he can still knock out a solid drama like Bridge of Spies, even if that film tended to beep beep around Snoozeville. With The Post, it would appear that Spielberg has a real political firecracker on his hands — a true-life drama about the Washington Post’s coverage of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 — one that involves arguably this year’s greatest cast. Joining leading stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Steep is a who’s who of A-listers, specifically: Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Rhys, Bradley Whitford, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Alison Brie, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Zach Woods. Here’s hoping that’ll get America to buy some truth for once this year. –Michael Roffman
Release Date: November 22nd via STX Entertainment
Given the authorship he’s so often granted in coverage of his projects, it’s almost surprising that it’s taken this long for Aaron Sorkin to helm his own feature. The Oscar-winning screenwriter will make his directorial debut with Molly’s Game, based on the real-life story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-level skiier who became a high-stakes gambling madam for an elite clientele. When the roster starts to include everybody from Hollywood elites to Russian mobsters, she attracts federal attention from those who would seek to end the party.
Bloom’s memoirs offer the perfect canvas for Sorkin’s pet interests: the intrigue of the hyper-privileged, the cadences of authority figures arguing back and forth, and the ways in which the world is ultimately run by backroom dealings. Whether Sorkin can marry his gift for gab with the same assurance that so many filmmakers have lent to his verbose work over the years remains to be seen. But with Jessica Chastain as his lead (an actor born to deliver Sorkin dialogue, if ever there was one), it’s entirely possible that the infamous screenwriter could take his empire to previously unforeseen heights yet. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
The Shape of Water
Release Date: December 8th via Fox Searchlight Pictures
Two years ago, Guillermo Del Toro returned with Crimson Peak, a delightful slice of high-drama Victorian tragedy that was tragically mis-marketed as a ghastly supernatural horror feature. The director’s ornate art direction and creature designs arrived with that film in full force, but in the service of a more savagely human tale.
With The Shape of Water, Del Toro looks to return to something closer to Pan’s Labyrinth, matching his more humane instincts with the sort of literally fantastic storytelling that’s become his calling card. The story of a mute laboratory custodian (Sally Hawkins) who becomes increasingly obsessed with a government-owned reptilian creature, bent on its protection when sinister figures like Michael Shannon’s shadowy agent attempt to do it harm, Water could well herald a return to the limelight for its director. Plus, there’s still a prophecy to fulfill. More than a decade ago, Del Toro was one of Hollywood’s “Three Amigos,” Latino filmmakers who stormed their way to the forefront of the industry. Alfonso Cuarón earned his Best Director statuette at the Oscars in 2014 for Gravity, and Alejandro González Iñárritu followed him with back-to-back honors for Birdman and The Revenant. Now it’s Del Toro’s turn. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Last Flag Flying
Release Date: November 3rd via Amazon Studios
Richard Linklater works in mysterious ways. When he’s not making coming-of-age spectacles like Boyhood, he’s out committing his vision to unexpected sequels like Last Flag Flying. You know, the long-awaited follow-up to 1973’s The Last Detail? That’s the one, alright. Based on the 2005 novel of the same name by novelist Darryl Ponicsan, this story picks up years and years later and finds three former Marines reuniting to attend a funeral of one of their sons who has died in combat. Only this time around, the three won’t be played by Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, or Otis Young, but rather Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne. Based on the recent first trailer, it would appear that Linklater’s channeling less of Hal Ashby, who directed The Last Detail, and more of Cameron Crowe, whose inclination towards chummy, feel good moments and sing-along rock ‘n’ roll soundtracks is something any self-respecting fan of autumn should want in their lives. –Michael Roffman
Release Date: November 22nd via Walt Disney Studios
If Pixar’s releasing a film in any given year, that film will make any “most anticipated” list you can name (or at least, almost always — sorry, Cars 3). So, here’s Coco. Young Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) loves his family, but he also loves — loves — music. He built his own guitar, and that hard-fought instrument sits in a place of honor beside Miguel’s shrine to singer Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), but both are hidden in an attic. Music’s not allowed in this family.
It’s not a new thing for Pixar to explore how the sins of the past can spring suddenly to vibrant, undeniable life. In Coco, theme becomes plot, as Miguel visits the Land of the Dead in hopes of finding a way out of this impossible spot. Writers Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich thread their story through with Mexican folk art and folklore, surrounding their young hero with friends and adversaries linked inextricably to the culture that envelops him. Add in a score from Oscar-winner Michael Giacchino and Pixar’s reliably stunning animation, and this family film moves from “must-see” to “get me there immediately.” As you can probably tell, we can’t wait. —Allison Shoemaker
Release Date: September 29th via Netflix
One of the more minor Stephen King adaptations that has our attention is Gerald’s Game. Director Mike Flanagan has been on a roll, what with both Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil, and his passion for this project insists upon something special. For months, he’s appeared on podcasts talking about how the book, which involves a seemingly harmless sex game between a married couple in a remote retreat, is unadaptable, but something he’s wanted to do for years. While we’re a little wary of the whole “unadaptable” angle, especially since so much of the book takes place in the mind of the victim, we’re keen to see what Flanagan has up his sleeve. Each one of his films has turned a claustrophobic situation into a hellish rollercoaster, and when our Game-players consist of Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, we’re more than happy to roll the dice. –Michael Roffman
Release Date: December 22nd via Paramount Pictures
Alexander Payne’s never been one for high concepts, which is part of what makes his forthcoming Downsizing such a curious prospect. In films like Nebraska and About Schmidt, Payne told simple stories about complex characters. In Downsizing, however, Payne will tell the story of a near-future where humans can shrink themselves to 1/8 of their size as a means to reduce consumption of the Earth’s dwindling resources. As a Nebraskan who undergoes the procedure, Matt Damon will star alongside a crackerjack cast that includes Reese Witherspoon, Alec Baldwin, Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris, and Hong Chau. It’s a longtime passion project of Payne’s and should showcase an absurd side of the director that’s gone heretofore unexplored. –Randall Colburn
Release Date: October 27th via Paramount Pictures
The Coen Brothers seem to be channeling Blue Velvet with Suburbicon, a noir that aims to explore the “disturbing reality” beneath “the affordable homes and manicured lawns” of its suburban milieu. The project serves as a reunion of sorts for the Coens and George Clooney, but an unconventional one, as Clooney will be directing their script instead of starring in it.
Though the film’s first trailer features a few instances of Coen-esque humor — a blood-splattered Matt Damon eating a white bread sandwich, for instance — but Clooney has insisted that he and producing partner Grant Heslov are aiming for a darker tone. “ We thought we’d like to make something a little less funny and a lot angrier. It seems like a good time for a film that feels angry,” he told Yahoo! Movies in July.
Matt Damon and Julianne Moore star as a couple whose lives are rocked by a home invasion, and Oscar Isaac apparently “steals the movie” — Clooney’s words — as an investigator that “sets into motion a series of pretty horrendous crimes.” It certainly sounds like a Coens script, though; if Clooney’s to be believed, this one’s going to be less Lebowski and more Fargo (without the accents). —Randall Colburn
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Release Date: October 27th via A24
Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos is nothing if not a master of understated, dry wit and surprising social horror – his debut film, Dogtooth, is a simmering work of domestic surrealism, and his English-language debut, The Lobster, was one of the most intriguing films of 2016. Now, he and Lobster distributor A24 have teamed up once more for his follow-up, The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
As is the norm with Lanthimos, his films defy easy description, from their tone to their plot, and Sacred Deer is no exception. Except for one cryptic trailer and its early (largely positive) reviews out of Cannes, we know little about the film – only that it stars Lobster lead Colin Farrell and his Beguiled co-star Nicole Kidman as a surgeon and his wife, who become involved with a strange young boy (Barry Keoghan), to violent results.
By all accounts, Sacred Deer mixes Lanthimos’ obsession with strangely structured social systems with the same bloodlust you might expect from a Michael Haneke film. Given the director’s uncanny ability to mix droll and disturbing, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a fall release you should keep in your crosshairs. —Clint Worthington
Release Date: November 3rd via Walt Disney Studios
The Thor movies have always felt like something of a less-loved stepchild in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s strange, given that Chris Hemsworth has done consistently excellent work in the role and Tom Hiddleston has long served as Marvel’s best onscreen villain as Loki. Yet Kenneth Branagh’s first film was a haphazard mix of fish-out-of-water humor and stiff Shakespearean drama, and The Dark World is one of the more forgettable MCU films, even if it’s also nowhere near as bad as its reputation suggests.
With Ragnarok, however, Thor has a chance to finally do what Thor as a series should have done from the start: get real, real weird with it. Asgard has always been ripe for surrealism, and with the delightfully offbeat choice of Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi at the helm, the new film could rival the Guardians movies in the sub-category of Marvel movies that actually feel as transgressively geeky as the beloved comics that spawned them. With Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum doing high camp in key roles and the long-awaited reunion of a newly clean-cut Thor with his good ol’ buddy The Hulk, we have a feeling that Ragnarok is going to put a nice cap on 2017’s banner year for the superhero genre. At least until Justice League probably fucks it all up two weeks later. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Release Date: October 27th via Magnolia Pictures
The fissure of a marriage brought on by the cowardly act of a husband when faced with an Avalanche. Force Majeure didn’t sound like it, but that premise made for the ultimate gallows comedy of 2014 and made Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund a name to keep up with. And he’s back with something even nastier. Oh, boy. Östlund took his dark comedy game to new heights with The Square at Cannes this past May, winning the Palme d’Or, beating out mainstays like Haynes and Haneke, winning raves for its droll, exacting, and excruciating cinemania of human behavior. Sounds intense.
But you’re likely asking: really, what is this about? An art installation, and the subsequent chaos that ensues when self-righteous and angry parties lose control of their better instincts. Still sounds a little “big idea?” Well, we’re talking Tourette’s syndrome outbursts, stolen cellphones and subsequent freak-outs, and the general pomp and pomposity of modern art veneration. The Square is social commentary through vignettes, laced and lensed with a luxurious gaze through an authoritative and sinister director. Sounds like fun, to be honest. The Square will make the festival circuit this fall, with a splashy rollout at Toronto and NYFF, and see a limited release in October. We’d say don’t be a square or something like that, but Östlund might make fun of that, now wouldn’t he? –Blake Goble
Release Date: September 15th via Paramount Pictures
mother! seems to be going out of its way to invoke Rosemary’s Baby, from its conspicuous teaser poster to the film’s premise, featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a couple whose seemingly placid existence is interrupted by a mysterious stranger (Ed Harris), and soon, his lover (Michelle Pfieffer). If anything, though, early teasers have suggested that the surrealist terror of other Polanski works will inform Darren Aronofsky’s latest unnerving exercise in tension as much as that classic.
In a recent Vulture interview, Aronofsky himself insisted that audiences go into the film as cold as possible, lest his signature misdirections be spoiled ahead of time. But with his suggestion that it “…might be the most alarming entry in Aronofsky’s two-decade career,” we’re standing at full attention in advance of its early-fall release. After all, to call a movie more alarming than Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan is possibly the highest praise that any cinematic thriller could ever be granted. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
The Meyerowitz Stories
Release Date: October 13th via Netflix
It’s odd to think that Noah Baumbach’s filmography is now formidable enough to make him an industry veteran, given the relative modesty of his work, and the ways in which he’s chronicled life in its quieter moments. But from Greenberg to Frances Ha to While We’re Young, Baumbach has been on a pretty remarkable run of quality in recent years. He finds the redeeming characteristics in even the most wayward souls, a filmmaker of rare empathy, and that makes his 2017 Cannes competitor, The Meyerowitz Stories, all the more worthy of anticipation.
That’s to say nothing of the film’s all-star cast. Ben Stiller has consistently done career-best work under both Baumbach’s direction and his screenplays with Wes Anderson. Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Candice Bergen all get to play around with Baumbach’s impeccable ear for the subtleties of family dysfunction. And then there’s Adam Sandler, who’s due for his latest demonstration of how much more interesting he is as a dramatic performer than as the manufacturer of hacky Netflix comedies. Sure, The Meyerowitz Stories will also premiere on the streaming service. But all that Oscar buzz surrounding Sandler ever since Cannes wasn’t going to find him for The Do-Over. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film
Release Date: December 25th via Focus Features
Given that the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson is just a few months away, it’s maddening how little we still know of it. (Fun, in its way, but maddening just the same.) We know that it may well feature Daniel Day-Lewis’ final onscreen performance, after the actor announced his retirement earlier this year. We know that Anderson reportedly served as his own cinematographer on the project. We know that, once again, Jonny Greenwood will provide the film’s score. We know that it’s about Charles James, a famed 1950s fashion designer who served only the most elite clients, from royalty to the highest in high society. That’s about it, so far.
But come on. It’s the likely swan song for Day-Lewis, who’s been as consistently strong in every one of his meticulously crafted performances as any actor has ever been. It’s the latest from Anderson, who’s been one of the boldest and most steadily remarkable filmmakers working for about 20 years at this point. How can you not get excited about this one? —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
The Disaster Artist
Release Date: December 1st via A24
If you haven’t already heard the good word that The Disaster Artist is a rousing success, its world premiere at South by Southwest back in March was met with a standing ovation and a rousing critical response. But then, it’s based on the kind of showbiz success story that not even the best writers could dream up. By know, you probably know the legend: Tommy Wiseau takes his best shot at a Tennessee Williams-style romantic tragedy in 2003, going so far as to rent a Los Angeles billboard for years and submit it to the Academy Awards. (Un)fortunately for Wiseau, that film became The Room, the biggest camp phenomenon since The Rocky Horror Picture Show broke through.
The Disaster Artist is based on co-star Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s nonfiction account of The Room‘s chaotic production and Sestero’s tenuous friendship with the odd and enigmatic filmmaker. And although James Franco’s adaptation looks to poke fun at the creative process in all of its maddening glory, with the director also stepping into Wiseau’s shoes while his brother Dave takes over for Sestero, hopefully the film will keep close to the book’s deft balance of heart and self-aware humor. After all, Wiseau might have made a pretty “bad” movie, but in his own way, it became more unforgettable than he could ever have fathomed. Just maybe not in the way he planned. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Release Date: November 10th via Fox Searchlight Pictures
True crime and cold cases are all the rage in the States right now, but it’s doubtful that Serial was the main inspiration for Irish playwright-turned-filmmaker Martin McDonagh’s latest. McDonagh’s always had an eye for grisly scenarios and pulpy dialogue — see his ultra-violent In Bruges and mind-fucking Seven Psychopaths — and both are on display in the trailer for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which follows a local woman’s vulgar attempts to reignite the local police’s interest in the case of her missing daughter, which remains unsolved.
Frances McDormand plays Mildred Hayes, the grieving, potty-mouthed mother, while Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell play Ebbing’s stubborn (and dangerous) heads of law enforcement. The film promises plenty of dark humor, but its subject matter is also rife with pathos, especially with the spark of distrust that’s colored the country’s view of the police as of late.
In a statement, McDonagh says the film should particularly appeal to fans of In Bruges, so expect a more straightforward story than that of the oddball Seven Psychopaths. Oh, and lots and lots of swearing. —Randall Colburn
Call Me by Your Name
Release Date: November 24th via Sony Picture Classics
Alright, so this one’s cheating a little bit. We had the good fortune to catch Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 novel at Sundance back in January and can say firsthand that it’s well on its way to the top of many best-of lists in just a few months’ time. The ’80s-set romance stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer as the respective son and off-season intern of a famed antiquities expert (Michael Stuhlbarg), who fall passionately in love over the course of one sun-drenched summer in an Italian villa.
Guadagnino marries his signature visual and intellectual decadence with Aciman’s story of a love tinged with oncoming sadness, less because of a culture than because of the inevitable end of even the most unforgettable summers. It’s as emotionally rich a film as any you’ll see through the tail end of 2017, a breakout moment for its perfectly matched leads, and one of the rare cinematic love stories that feels entirely genuine, beat for beat. That’s to say nothing of Sufjan Stevens’ terrific work on the film’s soundtrack. Trust us. You’re going to want to see this. And you’ll never look at a peach in quite the same way again. — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
The Florida Project
Release Date: October 6th via A24
Too often, movies about those who live on the fringes of American society fall victim to a sort of outsider’s leer, a pearl-clutching sense of pity that denies these characters their humanity even as the film itself grasps at well-meaning audiences’ heartstrings. With Tangerine, director Sean Baker bucked that trend. His journey into one long Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, through the perspectives of two transgender sex workers and an Armenian cab driver, is one of modern cinema’s most deeply felt and empathetic works, a film about the kind of people who don’t get films made about them that never condescends or offers its thoughts and prayers.
That film was such a remarkable achievement that we’re chomping at the bit to see The Florida Project, Baker’s follow-up set in a run-down Florida motel operated by a kindlier Willem Dafoe. From the vantage of a struggling young mother’s children, the motel is a gateway to adventure and joy, which the film looks to offset with the harsher realities of those clawing to stay ahead of the poverty line. Baker’s latest looks to inject this year’s crowded awards season with something this time of year always needs, and too rarely gets: an earnest, open-minded sense of optimism and kindness. This could be something special. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Release Date: December 15th via Walt Disney Studios
“Please don’t be a reboot of The Empire Strikes Back. Please don’t be a reboot of The Empire Strikes Back.” If you’ve been saying that to yourself over and over again these past few months, you’re not alone. Seeing how J.J. Abrams essentially gave A New Hope a facelift with 2015’s The Force Awakens, fans have every right to fear that Rian Johnson might do the same with Empire and The Last Jedi. After all, we know that Rey (Daisy Ridley) is training with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), just as our famed Jedi once did with Yoda; the Resistance has some impossible land battle, which looks all too similar to the Battle of Hoth; and that our supporting characters will head to some resort destination, not too dissimilar from Bespin. Then there are those reports that suggest Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious role is actually a hacker named DJ — perhaps a stand-in for Lando Calrissian? Look, we’re not trying to be too cynical, but let’s just say, if the Empire echoes get too loud, this won’t just be the last Jedi we see, but the last Star Wars film we’ll lose sleep over. Having said that, we’ll be there bright and early with our retro tees all ready for messy popcorn spillage. May originality be with you. –Michael Roffman
Blade Runner 2049
Release Date: October 6th via Warner Bros. Pictures
Here are five reasons to get excited for Blade Runner 2049: Denis Villeneuve is one of the sharpest filmmakers alive; nobody has a better eye than cinematographer Roger Deakins; original screenwriter Hampton Fancher returned; Ryan Gosling is the most versatile actor of his generation; and Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford. Productions don’t get much better than that these days, especially for IP that isn’t already a genuine hit, and the lucrative power of Blade Runner remains to be seen. Let’s not forget that Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic started out as a minor cult hit, whose impact only grew as the years inched by, particularly with the release of its director’s cut. Since then, the film has been re-evaluated as an intensely influential piece of filmmaking, but influential doesn’t always translate to dollars. So, give it up to Warner Bros. for taking a risk. Though, based on the film’s stunning trailers, it looks like it was a worthy gamble and that fans will need to start brushing up on their origami skills. That’s the spirit! –Michael Roffman
Release Date: September 8th via Warner Bros. Pictures
Stephen King’s It has always been a book to fear. For decades now, the novel has haunted many a family’s bookshelf, taunting kids with those two red letters, as if Pennywise itself was waiting within the pages. Perhaps that explains why the first trailer for Andy Muschietti’s forthcoming adaptation ratcheted up over 197 million views in the first 24 hours, setting a new record as the trailer with the most views in one day. That kind of hype rarely happens with horror movies anymore, which is why we’re fairly confident Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have a genuine hit on their hands.
It’s often fun when a horror movie becomes a phenomenon — see: 1973’s The Exorcist, 1978’s Halloween, 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1996’s Scream, or 2002’s The Ring — and it’s even better when the movie delivers. One film’s success is another trend for Hollywood to cash in on again and again … that is, until it becomes Saw V. While the jury is still out on this one, early test screenings have proven quite positive, which means that if this does well, we’ll have plenty more King adaptations on our hands — and that’s one trend us Losers will certainly get behind. –Michael Roffman