30. The Mountain Between Us (Oct 20)
Acclaimed international director Henry Abu-Assad is making this film about a man and a woman who survive a plane crash and have to depend upon one another for their safety and survival. It co-stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. I’ll be honest in the most of the films on my list are driven more by directors than actors or a plot synopsis, but this one is entirely because of Winslet and Elba, which is an interesting pairing. The plot is also a plus. Adapted from a 2011 novel by Charles Martin.
29. Murder on the Orient Express (Nov 22)
Kenneth Branagh, after a successful live action adaptation of Disney’s Cinderella, is now directing a remake of the classic Agatha Christie tale, most famously adapted into a movie in the 1970s with Albert Finney, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Vanessa Redgrave, Jacqueline Bisset, and Anthony Perkins. This adaptation also features a loaded cast: Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfieffer, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Michael Pena, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Coleman, and Josh Gad.
28. Mute (TBD)
Duncan Jones had a massive misfire in 2016 with World of Warcraft, but practically every video game adaptation is doomed to failure. His two films prior to that (Moon and Source Code) are two of the better sci-fi films in recent memory. This seems to be a return to that, as Mute is a bit of a passion project for him. The film takes places in a neon-soaked future where a mute bartender goes looking for his missing girlfriend in Berlin. The synopsis on IMBd describes it as a sci-fi Casablanca. If so, sign me up. Alexander Skarsgard plays the lead, with Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux also in prominent roles. This is supposed to be released on Netflix.
27. A Cure for Wellness (Feb 17)
After over a decade of making films involving Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski is making this film that looks and feels like a similar vein to his 2002 film, The Ring. A young executive employee is sent by his company to retrieve their CEO from a “wellness center” where things are not as they seem. The trailer looks like Shutter Island crossed with a Guillermo Del Toro film. The cast features Dane DeHann, Jason Isaacs, and Mia Goth.
26. Red Sparrow (Nov 10)
Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton are the leads here in a film about a Russian spy who falls in love with a CIA officer and considers becoming a double agent because of it. The film also features Jeremy Irons and Matthias Schoenaerts. This reteams J-Law with Francis Lawrence, director of 3 of the 4 Hunger Games movies. It’s based on a novel by Jason Matthews. I’m a sucker for good espionage thrillers. Hopefully this is one.
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Oct 6)
Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of my favorite films of 2015. It was a great action film that had a lot of fun with the spy action genre clichés. Director Matthew Vaughn is back to direct this sequel. Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Sophie Cookson, and possibly Colin Firth return from the first film, and Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, and Halle Berry are just some of the new names on board for the sequel about the Kingsmen having to work with their US counterparts, the Statesmen to save the world.
24. T2 Trainspotting (Mar 10)
Trainspotting was one of the defining movies of the 90s. It was a breakout role for Ewan McGregor and a breakout film for director Danny Boyle. Now, more than 20 years later, Boyle, McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Johnny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Kelly Macdonald have reunited for the sequel. There’s likely to be some lofty expectations attached to this one from the people who adored the original.
23. The Dark Tower (July 28)
After many twists and turns in the road to being made, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is finally being made into a film. Idris Elba is Roland Deschain, the man known as The Gunslinger who is searching for the dark tower in the hope of saving his dying world. Matthew McConaughey plays the villain, The Man in Black. Jackie Earl Haley, Katheryn Winnick, and Abby Lee are also in the film. It will be interesting to see if this turns out ok, given the many fits and starts surrounding this project and how long it too to finally get it made.
22. Soldado (TBD)
Sicario was my favorite film of 2015. I loved everything about that thriller. It was such a perfectly encapsulated piece that stood on its own that I am hesitant to see it messed with in any way, in this case, the form of a sequel that does not have Denis Villeneuve at the helm. Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin are back, and the script is also from Taylor Sheridan, which gives me hope. In fact, those are the only reasons that this movie is even on the list this high. If Villeneuve were involved, it would be in my Top 5 almost certainly. This film continues the story of the war of drugs along the US-Mexico border.
21. Logan Lucky (Oct 13)
Even though he claimed he was retiring, Steven Soderbergh is back with a film slated for release this Fall about two brothers who plan a heist during a NASCAR race. The cast is loaded, featuring Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Katherine Waterston, Katie Holmes, Hillary Swank, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough, and Seth McFarlane. Anything Soderbergh makes is worth being interested in.