Our 26 most anticipated film releases of 2016
2016 is going to be a good year. A very good year. If you don’t believe me, just check out the sheer quantity and caliber of films scheduled to be released in 2016. Firstly, there are no fewer than six massive superhero films coming out in the first part of the year alone; all of which boast awesome casts and directors, and are sure to cause a supersized splash at the box office. Then there are the sequels and reboots of some of our favourite ever films, and of course, the new cinematic masterpieces bound for every category at every awards ceremony. Since we’re so excited about each and every one of these gems, we’d never be able to rank them by any subjective criteria, so here they are in chronological order by release date, for you to put in your diaries and get pumped up about. Cinema goers; happy New Year. Film industry; we salute you.
The power team who brought us Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle are back with this irresistible new biopic focussing on Joy Mangano; the struggling single mother of three who invented the ‘Miracle Mop’ and founded her own business dynasty in the early ’90s. Go girl.
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Édgar Ramírez
UK Release Date: 01.01.16
Could Leo finally take home the Oscar for this new two-and-a-half hour epic Western from Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu? The startlingly violent yarn follows a legendary frontiersman’s struggle for both survival and vengeance in the hostile American wilderness as he tracks down the members of his hunting team who left him to die and murdered his young son. Chilling in every sense of the word.
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
UK Release Date: 15.01.16
The Big Short
From the writer behind Moneyball, this financial comedy drama about the 2007-2010 financial crisis has already been tipped for multiple Golden Globes. The joint male leads of the wicked cast play four outsiders in the world of high finance who predict the credit and housing bubble collapse, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight. The on-screen chemistry is electric, and it’s especially heartening to see Bale back on form.
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Selena Gomez, Rafe Spall
UK Release Date: 22.01.16
Ride Along 2
The brothers-in-law are back in this side-splitting follow up to 2014’s runaway hit. This time, Ben and James head to Miami to bring down a significant drug dealer to the Atlanta trade, and team up with a smart and beautiful detective along the way. With only a few days until Ben’s wedding, will the duo be able to wrap up the case and get back home in time (and in one piece)? Cue the laughing-crying emoji.
Director: Tim Story
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Ken Jeong, Olivia Munn, T.I., Tyrese, Benjamin Bratt
UK Release Date: 22.01.16
Using language and violence so brutal it would make Captain America squirm, Marvel‘s resident bad boy anti-hero isn’t holding any punches in this ruthless origin story. Former Special Forces op and cancer sufferer Wade Wilson receives treatment that transforms him into a super-healing, rage-filled vigilante on a war path as he hunts down the man who nearly ruined his life. Things are going to get very bloody.
Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Gina Carano, Morena Baccarin, T. J. Miller
UK Release Date: 04.02.16
The beloved BBC sitcom about the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon gets a big screen makeover with a whole new cast and a much bigger budget. We know that the story takes off in 1944, just after the events of the TV series, and will involve the new additions of a glamorous journalist and a Germany spy. With The Importance of Being Earnest / St Trinians‘ Oliver Parker in the director’s seat, we’re certain it will be as smart and funny as the original.
Director: Oliver Parker
Starring: Bill Nighty, Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Mark Gatiss, Tom Courtenay, Catherine Zeta-Jones
UK Release Date: 05.02.16
An assassin is targeting beautiful patrons of the Blue Steel look, and it’s up to Derek and Hansel to stop the worldwide conspiracy in this ludicrous sequel to the 2001 cult comedy. We’ll be watching it for Benedict Cumberbatch as an androgynous European model with no eyebrows, if nothing else.
Director: Ben Stiller
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Will Ferrell, Justin Bieber, Olivia Munn
UK Release Date: 12.02.16
Fifty Shades of Black
“Once you go black, you’ll never go grey”. Expect a Scary Movie-style send up in this parody of erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey, which also revels in countless other pop culture references, including Magic Mike and the Kardashians. Marlon Wayans co-writes and produces the film, as well as starring in it as a character named – you guessed it – ‘Christian Black’.
Director: Michael Tiddes
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Jane Seymour, Kali Hawk, Mike Epps
UK Release Date: 19.02.16
How To Be Single
Speaking of Fifty Shades of Grey, the original on-screen Ana, Dakota Johnson, takes on another leading role in this irresistible comedy in the same vein as Bridesmaids. Based on the novel of the same name, the story follows four single New York women who would rather be in committed relationships, but must learn how to be single in a city with ever-evolving definitions of love.
Director: Christian Ditter
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Lily Collins, Jake Lacy
UK Release Date: 19.02.16
In arguably the comics film event of the century, DC’s biggest heavyweights tussle to keep one another’s power in check, before teaming up to take on a threat even greater than each other; DOOMSDAY! While plot details are being closely guarded, we know that other DC legends Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg are also set to appear, alongside Wonder Woman and Lex Luther.
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Shannon, Jeremy Irons
UK Release Date: 25.03.16
Finally, a CGI reboot that doesn’t look rubbish. Iron Man director Jon Favreau brings Rudyard Kipling’s classic children’s tale about the boy raised by wolves to stunning 3D, with Scarlett Johansson perfecting the voice of seductive serpent Kaa, and Bill Murray giving the original Phil Harris a run for his money as laid-back bear Baloo. This is what the movies were made for.
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Giancarlo Esposito, Lupita Nyong’o
UK Release Date: 15.04.16
These are the big leagues, kids! The Avengers are back, but not assembled, as Captain America and Iron Man’s disagreement over potential government superintendence of their activities sets them into two opposing factions. Obviously, almost every Marvel superhero comes onto the scene to weigh in on the feud, meaning this will probably be the biggest superhero smashdown since, well… Batman v Superman the month before.
Director: Joe and Anthony Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Martin Freeman
UK Release Date: 29.04.16
Building on the girl power season so far is what’s sure to be an riotous follow-up to 2014’s Neighbours. This time young parents Mac and Kelly must team up with their former fraternity nemeses Teddy and Pete, in order to battle the raucous sorority sisters who’ve moved in next door. Why don’t these guys just move house, already?
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Chloë Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez, Rose Byrne
UK Release Date: 06.05.16
Following 2014’s Days of Future Past, this ninth instalment in the X-Men film franchise sees the first and most powerful mutant ever, the titular Apocalypse, awakened after thousands of years. Immortal and invincible, he proceeds to recruit a team of mutants who intend to ‘cleanse’ humanity and create a new world order. Obviously, the X-Men won’t stand for it, and Raven and Charles Xavier must rally their own team to defend human kind. Buckle up, guys; things might get a little bit Age of Ultron.
Director: Bryan Singer
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Olivia Munn, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult
UK Release Date: 19.05.16
The Nice Guys
The unlikely pairing of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe team up in this comedy caper from the director of Iron Man 3. Set in 1977 Los Angeles, two private eyes investigate the disappearance of a girl and the death of a porn star, both of which they soon find out are somehow entangled with the mob. Think Inherent Vice meets Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger
UK Release Date: 20.05.16
Everyone’s favourite shell-sporting superheroes return for a much anticipated sequel, this time out of the shadows of their sewer-based dwellings and into the spotlight, with a certain new friend (none other than Casey Jones!) in tow. We couldn’t be more excited, especially since Bebop and Rocksteady look absolutely amazing in the first trailer. “The comedy and the chemistry of the turtles was what seemed to work the best the first time, and [that is] what is the emphasis this time”, reveals Alan Ritchson, who plays Raphael. We like the sound of that very much. High fives and pizza all round.
Director: Dave Green
Starring: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney
UK Release Date: 03.06.16
Independence Day: Resurgence
“That is definitely bigger than the last one”, exclaims Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson as a menacing alien ship lurches towards earth. Twenty years on from the first time he saved his home planet from an extraterrestrial invasion, Levinson is probably pretty tired of this shit by now, but must once again go to war to save the world, with the help of some hot new cadets by his side. Without Will Smith‘s injection of humour, this one looks decidedly more sombre than the original, but will nevertheless be a welcome change from seeing Goldblum in those Currys PC World ads.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Bill Pullman, Joey King, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vivica A. Fox
UK Release Date: 24.06.16
One of Hollywood’s biggest stars teams up with one of the industry’s tiniest stars in this new buddy comedy about a former high school dork turned CIA agent, who enlists the help of an ex-class mate now working as an accountant on a mysterious ‘top secret case’. It’s basically the same formula as Ride Along and ’80s cult classic Real Men, but hey, it’s a formula that works.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Aaron Paul, Ed Helms, Amy Ryan
UK Release Date: 01.07.16
Our favourite ladies from Saturday Night Live prove they ain’t afraid o’ no ghosts in this reboot of the ’80s classic that’s sure to be legendary in its own right. From the director of Bridesmaids and Spy, expect some serious butt kicking and a whole lot of uproarious fun. Oh, and did we mention Chris Hemsworth plays a sexy secretary?
Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Bill Murray, Chris Hemsworth, Dan Aykroyd
UK Release Date: 15.07.16
With Fast & Furious director Justin Lin at the helm, this latest instalment of the Star Trek movie franchise is sure to be an action-packed thrill party. It’s also been written by Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, which means we’re it’s sure to deliver in the humour department. Let’s hope it redeems the Enterprise crew from 2013’s regrettable Into Darkness.
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Simon Pegg
UK Release Date: 22.07.16
Roald Dahl’s supersized classic comes to life in 3D in this new Disney fantasy from Steven Spielberg. Wolf Hall‘s Mark Rylance takes on the role of the iconic Big Friendly Giant, Downton‘s Penelope Wilton is the Queen of England, and adorable newcomer Ruby Barnhill wins our hearts as quiet orphan Sophie.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall, Jemaine Clement, Penelope Wilton
UK Release Date: 22.07.16
Dory’s just kept swimming since we last saw her all the way back in 2003. More than ten years later, the blue and yellow forgetful fish now embarks on a quest to reunite with her long lost parents, with the help of Nemo and Marlin, of course. Expect plenty of fun new fishy friends along the way, and maybe even some familiar faces.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Diane Keaton, Ty Burrell, Idris Elba, Eugene Levy, Willem Dafoe, Dominic West
UK Release Date: 29.07.16
Damn, it feels good to be bad… A group of inconceivably beautiful super villains is forcibly convened like a last minute X Factor group entry, and, armed with the most powerful arsenal at the U.S. government’s disposal, must defeat an ‘enigmatic, insuperable entity’ (The Joker, perhaps?). How that mission will turn out considering they’re all highly functioning sociopaths with nothing to lose and no loyalty to humanity is anyone’s guess, but we’re certain the results will be extremely entertaining.
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevigne, Jai Courtney
UK Release Date: 05.08.16
A bad-taste animated comedy from Superbad duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg? Yes, it’s really happening, and just wait ’til you hear the premise… Rogen plays the aptly named Frank; a sausage, who, after falling out of a shopping cart, embarks on a quest to discover the truth about his existence. The fact that Kristen Wiig voices a female hot dog bun gives us enough information to know that this is definitely not one for the kiddies.
Director: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, Michael Cera, Salma Hayek
UK Release Date: 12.08.16
After years in the making, J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter spinoff is finally coming to life. A prequel set some 65 years prior to Harry and the gang coming to Hogwarts, the story centres around Newt Scamander, who visits the Magical Congress of the United States of America with a briefcase full of dangerous creatures in tow. Unleash the magic!
Director: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton,
UK Release Date: 18.11.16
The first instalment of the Star Wars Anthology series, this story set between the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope focuses on a group of wayward Rebel fighters who band together to steal the plans for the Death Star, before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s rule. Exactly one year after this December’s The Force Awakens, it’s not toooo long for us to wait for.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk
UK Release Date: 16.12.16
Release dates accurate at time of publication, and subject to change.