While not completely devoid of turkeys, 2016 was a pretty good year for movies. And 2017 looks even better, with a number of hotly-anticipated sequels, adaptations, reboots and originals all ready for release.
So to gear you up for what's in store – and the cinemas – in the new year, IBTimes UK has compiled a guide to the biggest titles to look out for over the next 12 months. Starting with...
Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant is fast becoming one of the most hotly-anticipated movies of 2017 – and we can understand why. With overwhelming positive reactions coming out of preview screenings suggesting Scott is going back to the franchise's horror roots, it certainly sounds like it a crowd-pleaser.
Starring Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace and Katherine Waterston, the film centres around the crew of a colony spacecraft, who travel to an uncharted paradise. But soon after they arrive, they discover that it's dark and dangerous and has only one inhabitant; Prometheus survivor and droid David. However, it's safe to assume that they'll be some extra-terrestrials hiding out on the planet too...
Fifty Shades Darker
Following on from the events of the hugely-popular first film, Fifty Shades Darker sees Jamie Dornan's Christian desperately try to get Dakota Johnson's Anastasia back after their seemingly final break-up at the end of Fifty Shades Of Grey. From the existing trailers, fans can see that his romantic gestures eventually win the object of his affection over – but when his past flames start questioning their relationship and putting doubts in Ana's head, their future together becomes more fragile than ever.
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Ewen Bremner return as Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud in Danny Boyle-directed sequel, T2: Trainspotting.
Set 20 years after the original, the movie sees the former friends cross paths in a story loosely based on author Irvine Welsh's follow-up novel, Porno. Featuring all of the main characters – including Kelly Macdonald's Diane – it details how the gang reunite in Scotland, but with pornography serving as a connection between them all this time round, rather than drug use. Although, if the trailer is anything to go by, substances are still going to play a key part in the plot... unsurprisingly.
Beauty And The Beast
Be it the classic fairy tale or the 1991 animated classic, most of us are familiar with Beauty and the Beast. However, you've never seen it like this before. Mainly live-action, with some computer-generated characters thrown in for good measure, the eagerly-anticipated remake stars Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens as the Beast and Emma Watson as Belle – and from the clips audience have already seen, it looks absolutely gorgeous. And the voice talents of Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson too? We're there...
Reprising her role from Batman v Superman, Gal Gadot is set to take centre stage in standalone outing Wonder Woman. Directed by Monster's Patty Jenkins, the film's plot is still relatively under wraps – but the trailer indicates that titular character Diana Prince leaves her home to try to stop a war when a US pilot crashes on her isolated island. Chris Pine also stars. Yeah, this one's a pretty big deal.
Teenagers might be excited about upcoming war film Dunkirk as it will mark the acting debut of one Harry Styles, but there are far more reasons to get excited about it other than the inclusion of an ex-One Direction member. Starring Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, the movie centres on the Miracle Of Dunkirk, which saw hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers evacuated from its beaches after they were surrounded by German troops during World War II.
Given the subject matter, there's no denying it will be action-packed – but it looks like it will also pack the emotional wallop that Nolan tends to inject into his projects.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales centres on Jack Sparrow, who this time is up against old nemesis Salazar (Javier Bardem), a ruthless sea captain who has vowed to rid the world of all pirates. Salazar is a particularly terrifying enemy too, seeing as he's already dead and leading an army of ghosts to track down all those he wants to kill...
Blade Runner 2049
With Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard, Ryan Gosling starring alongside him and acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve at the helm, it's understandable why sci-fi fans are desperate for long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 to come out. Set 30 years on from the events in Ridley Scott's 1982 outing, it follows new blade runner and Los Angeles police officer K (Gosling), who unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge an already dystopian society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick – who has been missing for many years.
Of course, that's not all the movies cinema lovers should be getting excited about, but we'd be here all day if we discussed them all at length.
With that in mind, brief, honourable mentions have to go to sequels Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: Episode VIII too. Upcoming reboots Spider-Man: Homecoming and Jumanji and fantasy adaptation The Dark Tower also deserve to be kept an eye on.
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