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FEATURE: BIG SCREEN IN 2017
Films to get excited about this year

By Daniel Lammin, 1st January 2017
Feature.BIG SCREEN IN 2017|FILMS TO GET EXCITED ABOUT
By , 1st January 2017
While this past year turned out not to be as strong a year as anticipated, there’s a lot to be excited about with the films coming up in 2017. Of course it’s filled with remakes, reboots and never-ending franchises, but some of those have a flavour of the unusual about them, and mixed in with them are smaller, original and just as exciting films from some of the greatest filmmakers working today. If every film on this list is worth the anticipation, we have one hell of a year of film ahead of us.

THE DARK TOWER
This coming year will also see the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s masterpiece ‘IT’, but where that production sounds problematic, director Nikolaj Arcel’s attempt to contain King’s sprawling, messy fantasy epic has been endlessly intriguing every step of the way. Using the books as a starting point, it may end up being its own beast, and along with the dream casting of Idris Elba as Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black, this could end up being one of the great surprises of 2017.
'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST' TRAILER
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Anyone who reads SWITCH regularly will know that I'm a huge Disney fan and that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is my favourite Disney film. So that explains why I would be at two minds about their live-action adaptation. On one hand, the cast (which includes Emma Watson, Dan Stephens, Luke Evans, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson) is great. On the other, director Bill Condon’s career has included hits (‘Gods and Monsters’, ‘Mr Holmes’) and two Twilight films. I’m both excited and terrified.
SWITCH: 'ALIEN: COVENANT' TRAILER
ALIEN: COVENANT
‘Prometheus’, Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe back in 2012, was a mixed bag. Visually breathtaking but crippled by a troubled screenplay, it still made enough money to justify a follow-up, and it seems that Scott is taking the franchise back to its bloody roots. The first trailer looks frantic and intense, but let’s hope it isn’t another case of a trailer being better than the final film.
SWITCH: 'WONDER WOMAN' TRAILER
WONDER WOMAN/GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2/SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING/THOR: RAGNAROK
I’m lumping all the superhero films together because unlike most years, all four of the major superhero films being released in 2017 have something genuinely exciting about them. A female-led superhero film directed by a woman, the follow-up to one of the genre’s greatest surprises, Tom Holland’s first proper shot at Spider-Man and a Thor film directed by the guy who made ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ - this could be the best year yet for the blockbuster genre.
SWITCH: 'THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE' TRAILER 4
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
‘The LEGO Movie’ is pretty much now a modern classic, so any further adventures within that world and style are worth getting excited about. What makes this one all the more so is that it focuses on Will Arnett’s sublime version of Batman, bolstered by voice work from Zach Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson and even Mariah Carey. Let’s hope it’s as witty and nuts as its predecessor.
'WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES' TRAILER
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
The reboot of the Planet of the Apes series has turned out to be far more exciting than anyone would have expected, the recent instalment ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (2014) proving one of the most intelligent blockbusters in years. With ‘War’, director Matt Reeves returns with Andy Serkis continuing to tear up the screen as ape leader Caesar with a film that already promises to be bigger, bolder and more brutal than what we’ve seen before. This could end up being the blockbuster event of the year... until December, anyway.
ANNIHILATION
Writer Alex Garland blew everyone away with his extraordinary directorial debut ‘Ex Machina’ (2015), and now follows it up with another sci-fi thriller built around an intriguing concept - a secret expedition which "defies the laws of nature". It also features a stellar cast including Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaacs and Jennifer Jason Leigh, if a new film from the director of ‘Ex Machina’ wasn't enough to get you excited.
SWITCH: 'DUNKIRK' TRAILER
DUNKIRK
Any new project from director Christopher Nolan is enough to set the heart racing with anticipation, but this time the man who helped redefine both superhero films and sci-fi takes on one of the most decisive events of the Second World War, the evacuation of Dunkirk. The first trailer suggests the enormous scale of the project, but considering the emotional punch of ‘Interstellar’ (2015), this could be an unexpectedly moving film as well.
SWITCH: 'BLADE RUNNER 2049' ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER
BLADE RUNNER 2049
On the surface, a sequel to the great sci-fi masterpiece seems like a preposterously bad idea. But when it has director Denis Villeneuve (‘Arrival’, ‘Sicario’) at the helm, reuniting with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, all of a sudden the idea of returning to Ridley Scott’s iconic replicant world of the future seems all the more intriguing. At the very least, regardless of what the story is, it should be a technical masterclass.
'STAR WARS VIII' PRODUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT
STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII
To be honest, after the devastating mess that was ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, my faith in the resurrected franchise is a bit shaken. However, the prospect of idiosyncratic writer/director Rian Johnson taking over the growing saga of Rey and her destiny with the Skywalker family is just so damn intriguing and hopefully means we’ll see a stylistic shift in this story from a galaxy far, far away. Also, Laura Dern is in it. Who doesn’t want to see a Star Wars film with Lauren Dern in it?

As well as these films, we’ll also see new films from great directors like Darren Aronofsky (‘Mother’), Todd Haynes (‘Wonderstruck’), Joon-ho Bong (‘Okja’), Michael Haneke (‘Happy End’), Steven Spielberg (‘The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara’), Cate Shortland (‘Berlin Syndrome’), Jennifer Kent (‘The Nightingale’) and currently untitled projects from Kathryn Bigalow and Paul Thomas Anderson. There’s also some added blockbuster clout with ‘Logan’, ‘Kong: Skull Island’, ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ and ‘King Arthur: The Legend Begins’ - which all could be either great or awful.

And to top it all off, we’ll finally get to see major contenders from the 2016 awards season ‘Moonlight’, ‘Jackie’, ‘Lion’, ‘Toni Erdmann’, ‘Loving’, ‘Live By Night’, ‘Fences’ and ‘Silence’.

What do you think about the look of the films? Something you think we missed? Leave a comment and let us know.

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