In just a few short months, 2015 will end with its typical parade of thought-provoking awards bait films, the type of stuff that will absolutely reward your time, if not your sense of fun. If you’re the type of moviegoer who’s waiting anxiously for next year’s biggest laughs and biggest action scenes, then you’re in luck. Next year’s biggest films are already wrapping up production so that studios can get them out the door in time. In 2016, superheroes will still rule the day, off-the-wall comedies will abound and when you want to round up the family, there will be some animated comedies to chose from. There’s a lot to look forward to in the cineplex next year; just check out these contenders!
1. Captain America: Civil War
Marvel’s 2016 tentpole may very well be a shoe-in for highest grossing picture of next year. With more than six months still to go until the film’s May 6 release, fans are already foaming at the mouth to see Robert Downey Junior’s snarky billionaire go toe-to-toe with Chris Evan’s boy scout out of time. Directed by the new MCU head honchos Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: Civil War also features the first appearance of Tom Holland as the MCU’s Spider-Man and chameleonic lead actor Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, plus pretty much every other superpowered person you’ve ever seen in a Marvel movie (but not Thor).
2. The Boss
Melissa McCarthy is taking another shot at the box office crown with The Boss, which follows a former “titan of industry” (McCarthy … whose character is totally not based on anyone real …) and her assistant (Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell) as they try to rebrand the saucy millionaire and get her back on top once again. If you haven’t been a fan of McCarthy’s previous independent efforts (like Tammy, for example), The Boss might change your mind.
3. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Finally, we’re getting more of J.K. Rowling’s genius set to celluloid. The new adventure from the writer of the Harry Potter series has been written entirely for the screen and sees Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne recording his adventures exploring the secret community of witches living in 1926 New York. If you were a fan of Rowling’s previous wizarding series, then the odds are good you won’t be disappointed by the author’s newest foray into the magical world.
4. Doctor Strange
Marvel’s other movie in 2016, Doctor Strange marks a new direction for the MCU. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is focused not on the stars (as other films in the universe have been), but on other planes of existence. Plenty of magic and otherworldly monsters is a gamble for Marvel. Will it be an injection of originality like Guardians of the Galaxy, or an underwhelming comedy like Ant-Man (which was still, admittedly, very good)? Only time will tell.
5. Hail, Caesar!
The Coen Brothers are back on the scene with a musical devoted to the Golden Age of Hollywood scandal, the 1950’s. George Clooney (naturally) plays a fixer whose job is to keep the bratty studio talent in line. Stars Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum are just two of the slew of talented people in the cast, and with a script from the Coen Brothers, you can expect plenty of incisive commentary, zany antics and inspired weirdness.
6. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
The sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel is really a Batman movie in disguise. This time around Ben Affleck dons the cape and cowl as a man who’s trying to counter the power of a God left unchecked (that would be Superman). Beyond those two heavy hitters, you can expect both Wonder Woman and Aquaman (at the very least) to get in on the fun as Warner Bros. begins the arduous work of setting up their own DC Cinematic Universe (apparently those are pretty popular these days).
7. Zoolander 2
Justin Bieber is dead. No, not really, but in the cracked universe of Zoolander, the Purpose singer is cooling on a slab, an assassination that sets brainless model Derek Zealander and his equally daft bestie Hansel on the trail of the killer. The whole gang is returning for the second installment in the series, with new additions Kristen Wiig and Benedict Cumberbatch (among a boatload of others) signing on for the fun. You might roll your eyes at the thought of a sequel, but keep in mind that Ben Stiller is never one to take on a project just for the money. Expect some inspired silliness when Zoolander 2 drops next year.
8. Finding Dory
An all-star cast is teaming up for Finding Dory, a sequel to Pixar’s 2003 smash hit Finding Nemo. Right now, plot details are mum, but you can bet there’ll be a search of some sort and that the characters will learn valuable lessons of every stripe. While director Andrew Stanton was last at the head of Disney’s massive bomb John Carter, you can bet the man who directed Wall-E has something special in store for returning fans and newcomers alike.
9. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
When Seth Grahame-Smith wrote an inventive re-imagining of Jane Austen’s classic comedy of manners it caused a bona fide literary sensation. After all, if Austen’s snoozefest could use any additions, it’s a pack of bloodthirsty zombies. Now, a talented cast of both established talents and up-and-coming young stars is working to bring the book to the silver screen. Helmed by Igby Goes Down director Burr Steers, you can bet you’ll be seeing much more of this one when it releases next year.
10. Assassin’s Creed
If there’s anyone who can convince audiences to flock in droves to see a movie that’s based on a video game, it’s Michael Fassbender. The X-Men star has teamed up with game developer Ubisoft to develop the studio’s popular era-jumping franchise. If you’ve never played the game, just picture this: Michael Fassbender will most likely play various members of a family lineage that excels in creative murder and the preservation of individual freedoms. In other words, heady ideas and brutal violence … just Fassbender’s area of expertise.
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