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2017 Blockbusters: Justice League

The biggest blockbusters of 2017

Spaceships, superheroes, monsters and mummies… these are the most mega megabudget movies of 2017

By Tom Huddleston
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From fast cars to invisible planes and superheroes to spaceships, 2017 is shaping up to be a bumper year at the box office. Once again the blockbuster landscape is dominated by reboots, sequels and spinoffs. Some we can’t wait to see (like the long-awaited ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and the further adventures of Rey and Finn in ’Star Wars: The Last Jedi’). Others we still need to be convinced about (‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’, ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’). But with the odd original property (Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’) and a few intriguing gambles (will megabudget Stephen King adaptation ‘The Dark Tower’ please fans or flop badly?) this should be a fun, satisfying, not-too-challenging 12 months at the multiplex.

RECOMMENDED: The 2017 movies we can't wait to watch 

The biggest movies of 2017

1. Ghost in the Shell

Film Action and adventure

Worthwhile remake or unnecessary whitewash? This Hollywood reboot of the mind-melting Japanese anime classic has a lot going for it – including cutting-edge effects, big sci-fi ideas and Scarlett Johansson in the lead role. But it has some potential drawbacks too. Director Rupert Sanders made the godawful ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, while there have been complaints that the Japanese heroes of the original have been transformed into Caucasians. Still, the trailers do make it look totally eye-popping.

We can’t wait to see… The shootout scene in the flooded ruins of Tokyo, which judging from the trailer has been lifted wholesale from the original.

2. Fast & Furious 8

We’re not sure why they felt the need to change the original title, ‘The Fate of the Furious’ (geddit, F8?), but that’s unlikely to be the dumbest thing about this latest petrolhead smash-up, the first in the series without original frontman Paul Walker. His absence aside, the cast keeps getting bigger and better: Jason Statham and Kurt Russell are still on board, Charlize Theron has parlayed her gearstick experience in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ into a role as the new villain, and even Helen bloody Mirren’s set to turn up. Bring on the noisy, ridiculous fun.

We can’t wait to see… Helen Mirren and The Rock on screen together. It’s going to be lovely.

Released April 14

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3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

They’re back! The snarky human one, the foxy green one, the muscly blue one, the raccoon and the cute tree. The first ‘Guardians’ was an unexpected delight, a fast ’n’ frothy space adventure full of dizzying action and daft quips. Expect more of the same from this sequel, following the intergalactic criminal crew as they hunt for Star-Lord’s lost parents. Writer-director James Gunn has promised stronger female characters this time: ‘We not only pass the Bechdel test, but run over it and back up over it again.’

We can’t wait to see… Baby Groot. Awwww.

Released April 28

4. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

What’s rhyming slang for ‘Excalibur’? Yep, Guy Ritchie has got his mitts all over England’s defining myth, the tale of the boy king who teams up with a wandering wizard to reunite the realm and stand against the darkness. The trailers are guaranteed to infuriate anyone who loves the old stories, filled as they are with Cockney bovver boys and rampant CGI. Still, Ritchie’s take on ‘Sherlock Holmes’ turned out to be unexpectedly entertaining, so maybe this’ll be alright too.

We can’t wait to see… What the hell Scroobius Pip is doing in it.

Released May 12

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5. Alien: Covenant

We’ll see if Ridley Scott can redeem himself after ‘Prometheus’: the ‘Alien’ prequel was a fiasco of dull characters and dumb ideas. But ‘Alien: Covenant’ already looks like an improvement – a recent clip introducing the terrific cast was more fun than the entire last movie (Danny McBride’s trash-talking pilot is our fave thus far). The plot is pretty simple: the crew of the Covenant arrive at a distant world and find David (Michael Fassbender), the robot from ‘Prometheus’. Oh, and they also discover something slimy, toothy and peckish…

We can’t wait to see… The alien, back in action.

Released May 19

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Film Action and adventure

Does the world really need another ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie? Well tough, because we’re getting one. The last film, ‘On Stranger Tides’ was a tediously unfunny mess – but that didn’t stop it making billions worldwide. So here comes the inevitable follow-up, as Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) slaps on the guyliner and goes toe-to-toe with old adversary Salazar (Javier Bardem).

We can’t wait to see… The end credits.

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7. Wonder Woman

Film Action and adventure

It’s fair to say that the DC Comics’ Extended Universe project hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly so far. ‘Batman v Superman’ was largely derided as a gloomy noise fest. The upcoming ‘Batman’ movie stalled when star Ben Affleck walked away from directing (he’s now been replaced, promisingly, by Matt Reeves). Can ‘Wonder Woman’ get us back on side? It’s set during the First World War, as American pilot Chris Pine crashes on a remote island and meets Amazon princess Diana, fated to become the superheroic Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).

We can’t wait to see… Whether or not she’s got an invisible plane. Please let her have an invisible plane.

8. The Mummy

Yet another ‘shared universe’ project gets underway, as Universal revives its monster movies – ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Dracula’, ‘The Wolfman’, ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, and ‘The Mummy’ – for a series of action-packed blockbuster romps. First up, this reboot of the dusty old legend of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who returns from the dead to wreak havoc. Tom Cruise steps into the plucky old-fashioned hero role, with Algerian actress Sofia Boutella as the titular demon.

We can’t wait to see… What ker-ayzee accent Russell Crowe’s chosen to play cameoing doctor Henry Jekyll.

Released June 9

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2017 Blockbusters: Transformers - Last Knight
2017 Blockbusters: Transformers - Last Knight
Andrew Cooper

9. Transformers: The Last Knight

Yep, the punchy robots are at it again. In this follow-up to ‘Age of Extinction’, the world is in tatters following the departure of Optimus Prime for planets unknown. Can Mark Wahlberg and his muscle top hold everything together? Somehow, this new movie will incorporate King Arthur, Winston Churchill and Hitler – remember the faff last year when Blenheim Palace was draped with swastikas? – as well as Anthony Hopkins as a waistcoated British aristocrat. Sounds… perplexing.

We can’t wait to see… Sir Anthony desperately clinging to his dignity while acting against a robot that’s also a forklift.

Released June 23

10. Despicable Me 3

Film Animation

If there’s one thing guaranteed to get us interested in a third ‘Despicable Me’ movie, it’s the addition of a spot of ‘South Park’ madness. So props to directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda for bringing in the foulmouthed cartoon show’s main man Trey Parker to voice Balthazar Bratt, an ’80s child star turned supervillain. He’ll be loveable ex-baddie Gru’s main adversary this time round. Expect plenty of Minion slapstick to boot.

We can’t wait to see… Parker’s character breaking into song. It’s got to happen.

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2017 Blockbusters: Spiderman Homecoming
2017 Blockbusters: Spiderman Homecoming
Eric Charbonneau

11. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Squeaky-voiced and fanboy-enthusiastic, Tom Holland’s all-new Spider-Man was one of the unexpected delights of last year’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’. So we’re expecting good things from this standalone flick, as the school-age Spidey explores his new powers with the aid of sarcastic mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). It remains to be seen whether co-starring turns from Michael Keaton as winged villain Vulture will elevate ‘Homecoming’ above the usual superhero stuff.

We can’t wait to see… Angourie Rice, the mouthy kid from ‘The Nice Guys’ as Peter Parker’s high school crush.

Released July 7

12. War for the Planet of the Apes

Film Action and adventure

‘Apes… do not… want war!’ growled ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’. Well tough shit, monkey-face. You’ve got one. In the third film in the rebooted (and thus far pretty fantastic) ‘Apes’ series, our hirsute heroes stumble on an armed-to-the-teeth platoon of human soldiers led by Woody Harrelson’s no-bullshit Colonel. The result? A lovely tea party. No, not really. War! Director Matt Reeves is back in the chair, and we’re expecting simian spills and thunderous thrills.

We can’t wait to see… We’ll be very disappointed if the film doesn’t end with Woody getting ripped apart by a mob of angry gorillas.

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13. Dunkirk

Film Drama

To fully appreciate Christopher Nolan’s star-studded take on Britain’s most inspirational military defeat, you really ought to invite your grandparents. This is the modern equivalent of one of those wartime epics the BBC always screen on bank holidays, as a cast of thousands – including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and that nice young man Harry Styles – play British soldiers awaiting rescue as the German troops close in.

We can’t wait to see… Generals pushing miniature wooden boats around a massive map.

14. The Dark Tower

Film Fantasy

It’s taken decades, but Stephen King’s epic ‘Dark Tower’ fantasy series is finally getting a big-screen adaptation. Idris Elba has been cast as The Gunslinger, a cowboy-like hero in a dusty world of magic and myth, pursuing his arch enemy The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) towards the titular edifice. The books are for King completists only, but here’s hoping director Ron Howard can turn its overly convoluted plot into something more streamlined and audience-friendly.

We can’t wait to see… If the fanboy Twitter crusade against Elba’s casting can get any more embarrassing.

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15. Blade Runner 2049

It’s the sequel we didn’t think we wanted, until ‘Arrival’ director Denis Villeneuve signed on, Ryan Gosling was cast in the lead and Harrison Ford agreed to return. Now we can hardly wait. No, it’ll never touch the flawless original, but we can’t wait to be back in that world of flying cars, skyscraper-sized billboards, neon noodle shops, fake snakes, off-world colonies and philosophical killer androids. Bring it on.

We can’t wait to see… How they tackle the question of supposed android Ford’s ageing.

Released October 6

16. Thor: Ragnarok

Film Action and adventure

Another Marvel movie? Really? But this one’s directed by Taika Waititi, who made the marvellous ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ and ‘Hunt For the Wilderpeople’. It also features Mark Ruffalo’s loveable Hulk in a major role and Jeff Goldblum as a character called The Grandmaster. So we’re stoked: the last two ‘Thor’ flicks were shiny, colourful fun, and this one ought to double down on the belly laughs and bonkers fantasy.

We can’t wait to see… Tom Hiddleston’s sneering, preening Loki is always a delight.

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17. Justice League

All of DC’s brooding heroes come together to fight the forces of even-more-darkness: Batfleck, Superman (who, last we checked, was dead), Aquaman, Wonder Woman and some kid called The Flash. This is the direct follow-up to ‘Batman v Superman’, but hopefully it’ll feature fewer scowling men hitting each other in puddles and more flying about, saving the world and generally getting into scrapes. We’re not exactly sure who the villains are: Willem Dafoe plays the suitably evil sounding Nuidis Vulko, while Ciaran Hinds is a character called Steppenwolf. So there’s our first big laugh.

We can’t wait to see… How you pronounce ‘Nuidis’.

Released November 17

18. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Love it or just-quite-like it, ‘The Force Awakens’ revived the ‘Star Wars’ saga with great new characters and a wealth of mysteries just begging to be solved. In charge of providing said solutions is writer-director Rian Johnson, whose previous movies ‘Brick’ and ‘Looper’ reveal him to be a filmmaker as comfortable with deep emotions as he is with eye-popping effects. The stage is set for a serious-minded but head-spinningly entertaining ‘Star Wars’ movie that might – just might – rival ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

We can’t wait to see… The whole bloody thing. Roll on December.

Released December 15

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