Entertainment & Arts

What will we be watching in cinemas in 2017?

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman, Andy Serkis in War for the Planet of the Apes and Kate Beckinsale in Underworld: Blood Wars Image copyright Warner Bros/Fox/Sony
Image caption Left-right: Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman, Andy Serkis as Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes and Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld: Blood Wars

What will be playing in cinemas in 2017? Grab some popcorn and an ice-cold beverage as we look ahead to some of the film highlights of the coming year.

THE SEQUELS

There'll be no getting away from sequels this year, so let's just bow to the inevitable and accept that some of 2017's biggest releases will be bottom line-driven continuations of pre-existing properties.

That means more skin-tight leather for Kate Beckinsale in Underworld: Blood Wars, more zombie carnage for Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and a double dose of Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 8 and xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage.

Image copyright Sony Pictures
Image caption Milla Jovovich (centre) is joined by Ali Larter and Ruby Rose in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

The coming year's superhero offerings will see Hugh Jackman back as Wolverine in Logan, a second "volume" of Guardians of the Galaxy and Tom Holland making his full web-slinging debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Gal Gadot, meanwhile, will be seen as Wonder Woman in both a World War I-set solo vehicle and alongside Ben Affleck's Batman in Justice League, DC Comics' riposte to Marvel's all-conquering Avengers films.

Two of those very Avengers, Thor and The Hulk, will team up in Thor: Ragnarok, while the Caped Crusader will also be seen in The Lego Batman Movie.

There'll also be a double helping of monkey business in Kong: Skull Island and War for the Planet of the Apes, more Captain Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge and more acid-blooded xenomorphs in Alien: Covenant.

British cinema is also getting in on the act with T2: Trainspotting, Danny Boyle's 20-years-later follow-up to his 1996 cult film. There's also Paddington 2, a successor to 2014's hit outing for Michel Bond's beloved bear.

Image copyright Sony Pictures
Image caption Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller return as Renton and Sick Boy in T2: Trainspotting

On the animated front, meanwhile, there will be third instalments in both the Cars and Despicable Me franchises.

Horror fans are well catered for by the likes of Insidious: Chapter 4, World War Z 2 and Saw: Legacy, while there'll be yet more entries in the Transformers, Divergent and Pitch Perfect series.

Harrison Ford will be back as Deckard in Blade Runner 2049, while Jamie Dornan will no doubt be whipping Dakota Johnson into a frenzy in Fifty Shades Darker.

Once December rolls around, though, expect all of the above to be outstripped at the box office by Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next "official" chapter in the blockbuster space saga.

THE REMAKES

Image copyright Walt Disney
Image caption Emma Watson plays Belle while Luke Evans plays Gaston in Beauty and the Beast

Disney's live-action reprise of Beauty and the Beast is the one to beat here, though Tom Cruise will doubtless have a go with his new version of The Mummy.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will also be doing his bit for nostalgia by bringing back Baywatch in May and Jumanji in December.

Sir Kenneth Branagh will be seen as Hercule Poirot in an all-star makeover of the classic Agatha Christie mystery Murder on the Orient Express.

Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, will feature as a cyborg policewoman in Ghost in the Shell, a remake of 1995's classic Japanese anime.

The Power Rangers will return in a live-action re-do starring Bryan Cranston, while CHiPs brings back everyone's favourite highway patrolmen.

There will also be comebacks for scary clown Pennywise and serial killer Jason Voorhees in new versions of Stephen King's It and Friday the 13th respectively.

THE CONTENDERS

As usual, the beginning of the year will see cinemas bombarded by titles that will be hoping to boost their box office takings by winning a few shiny baubles.

These range from Hollywood musical La La Land, already a firm Oscar favourite; Manchester by the Sea, for which Casey Affleck is tipped to win a slew of acting awards; and Jackie, a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy starring Natalie Portman.

Image copyright StudioCanal
Image caption Casey Affleck plays a man grappling with bereavement in Manchester by the Sea

Martin Scorsese and Mel Gibson bring us the religious epic Silence and war movie Hacksaw Ridge respectively, while Denzel Washington reprises his Tony-winning stage role in the film version of August Wilson's Fences.

Other movies hoping to be in the mix include 20th Century Women with Annette Bening, Lion starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, and the indie drama Moonlight, a coming of age story about a young man growing up gay, black and poor.

The Founder sees Michael Keaton play Ray Kroc, the man who made McDonalds a global brand, while Jessica Chastain plays a lobbyist on a mission in the sleek legal drama Miss Sloane.

Image copyright StudioCanal
Image caption Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield play Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in Silence

Watch out too for Toni Erdmann, a German comedy that picked up no less than five European Film Awards earlier this month, and dark thriller Elle, in which Isabelle Huppert plays an assaulted woman who turns the tables on her assailant.

THE REST

Expect Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk to make a few waves when it arrives on our shores in July, not least for featuring One Direction's Harry Styles in a supporting role.

James McAvoy, meanwhile, gives the performances of a lifetime as a man afflicted with multiple personality disorder in M Night Shyamalan's Split.

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Matt Damon plays the lead role in Zhang Yimou's epic fantasy The Great Wall

Matt Damon will be battling monsters in China in fantasy epic The Great Wall, while Shia LaBeouf and Sweden's Sverrir Gudnason will recreate one of tennis's greatest rivalries in Borg/McEnroe.

Finally, we have The Commuter, a thriller apparently out to inherit The Accountant's 2016 mantle as the year's most boringly titled release.

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