2018 will be a year packed with big-budget spectacle, audacious indies, and posh prestige picks. But to make our most anticipated list, filmmakers got to have the extra something special to the mix.
Black Panther: So Lit
From the casting, to the character posters, and trailers, every element of this MCU movie’s build-up has had us screaming with excitement. Chadwick Boseman reprises the role of T’Challa, and takes us deep into the high-tech and gorgeous world of Wakanda. And joining him in this Ryan Coogler-helmed adventure is an awesome ensemble that includes Creed’s Michael B. Jordan, 12 Years A Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o, The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira, Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya, Black Mirror’s Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker. Opens February 16th.
Annihilation: Sophisticated Science-Fiction
As a screenwriter, Alex Garland awed and thrilled us with 28 Days Later…, Sunshine, and Never Let Me Go. Then he turned director with the thought-provoking and perturbing Ex Machina, and blew us away. So naturally, we’re desperate to see his star-stuffed follow-up, which is based on Jeff VanderMeer’s eerie novel. Better yet, Annihilationboasts some of Pajiba’s biggest crushes, including Oscar Isaac, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Natalie Portman. Opens February 23rd. A Wrinkle In Time: The Fantasy Epic Little Girls Deserve
Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved novel, Ava DuVernay’s big budget, bold and beautiful adaptation had us swooning from that first trailer. Storm Reid stars as a brave little girl who travels to space on a quest to find her vanished father (Chris Pine). Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mindy Kaling, Rowan Blanchard and Oprah Winfrey co-star. Opens March 9th. Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson Returns To Stop-Motion Animation
Nine years after the rousing whimsy of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson reunites his recurring ensemble of Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, and F. Murray Abraham for an adventure about a brave little boy (Koyu Rankin) who seeks to save his beloved pet from a toxic island of banished dogs. Also lending their voices to this quirky production are Ken Watanabe, Yoko Ono, Mari Natsuki, Frances McDormand, Greta Gerwig, Courtney B. Vance, and Bryan Cranston. Opens March 23rd. Deadpool 2: The Merc With A Mouth Rides Again Deadpool was the willfully meta, deliciously lewd, and unapologetically violent superhero movie we never thought would really be made. But Ryan Reynolds’ found the role he was born to play (again), and propelled this insane action flick to major box office success. But how do you top it? John Wick/Atomic Blonde helmer David Leitch is a good start. Add to that the return of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and the addition of Domino and Cable, and you’ve got us so excited, we’re reaching for our unicorn. Opens June 1st. Ocean’s 8: Sandra Bullock And Her Gal Gang Snatch The Met Gala
This female-fronted Ocean’s Eleven spinoff stars Bullock, seemingly as Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) sister, who shares in his criminal inclinations for flashy heists and sweet revenge. Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina co-star/have us giddy in anticipation. Opens June 8th.
The Meg: Jason Statham Vs. “The Biggest Shark That’s Ever Existed”
Really, that should be the title of The Meg, a gleefully ludicrous action movie that pits a Navy diver (Statham) against a megalodon that’s ducked extinction, and now terrorizes a research facility at the bottom of the sea. Jon Turtletaub, of National Treasure and While You Were Sleeping fame, directs. Opens August 10th.
Crazy Rich Asians: You had us at Constance Wu
Based on Kevin Kwan’s bestseller, this comedy will follow three wealthy Chinese families as they prepare for the wedding of the year. Beyond the buzz Kwan’s book garnered, this movie also boasts an incredible cast that includes Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr., and Awkwafina. Plus, it’s helmed by Jon M. Chu, the daring director of the contagiously fun Step Up 3D, the willfully bonkers G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the cruelly underrated Jem and the Holograms. Opens August 17th.
The Happytime Murders: The Muppets Go Murder Mystery
After years where names like Charlize Theron and Katherine Heigl were floated as leads, this Brian Henson-helmed crime-comedy scored with a cast that includes Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks, and long-time Muppet performer Bill Barretta, who plays the grizzled Muppet detective tasked with catching a serial killer whose targeting the stars of an ’80s children show. Yeah, edgy Muppets can go very wrong. But with Henson on board, we’re betting this will be an exciting new path for his father’s legacy. Opens August 17th.
Mary Poppins Returns: Lin-Manuel Miranda as Burt 2.0
Based on P.L. Travers’s subsequent books, this sequel to to the 1964 Julie Andrews gem stars Emily Blunt as the eponymous nanny, who returns once Jane and Michael Banks are grown, and in need of a special kind of help, and maybe a spoon full of sugar. And did we mention Lin-Manuel Miranda plays a lamp-lighter named Jack, who we assume will sing and dance and win Mary’s heart along with our own? Oh, we did? Cool. Cool. Opens December 25th.
What’s your most anticipated movie of 2018? Sound off in comments.
Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.