By Elijah Sarkesian
Hollywood certainly outdid itself with blockbusters in 2015. Jurassic World had the biggest opening weekend of all time, only for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to snatch the record with $238 million in December.
Even before those two came out, there were plenty of hits at the box office, and gay moviegoers were all over the abundance of good movies this year. Several sequels were expected successes (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7), and a few were surprise smashes (Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2). Even some literary adaptations (The Martian) and original concepts (Inside Out) were bigger hits than anyone expected.
So how to top this massive year? Beloved superheroes fighting each other! OK, it’s more than that, but do get ready for studios to start cranking out more of what they think you love, at a much quicker rate.
Some may turn out as mere cash grabs, but the trend toward superheroes and anti-heroes also means that plenty of familiar faces – alongside a few new ones — will pop up on screen.
We’ve picked out 10 that we’re looking forward most to seeing in the New Year.
Technically, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool has already appeared on screen—kinda. Reynolds played the Merc with a Mouth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That version was bad, so the foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking pansexual superhero called it out in one of the funniest campaigns of 2015. Now the Deadpool team is pushing on its R rating, so expect something a lot more wild than the typical superhero film.
In the battle for superhero supremacy, DC Comics gets out first with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Superman is the target of Batman’s wrath after the destruction of Metropolis in 2013’s Man of Steel, which has also created havoc in neighboring Gotham City. Ben Affleck becomes the latest Batman, while Wonder Woman and Aquaman make big-screen debuts. If the subtitle doesn’t make it clear, the film opens the door to a bigger DC team-up: 2017’s Justice League.
Not content to let DC get the most major superheroes in a single film, Marvel brings in nearly every Avenger, past and present, to side with either Captain America or Iron Man on an incredibly divisive issue. Civil War also adds a couple of new heavy hitters like Black Panther and Spider-Man.
The X-Men team behind First Class and Days of Future Past return with a trip to the ‘80s in X-Men: Apocalypse. Professor X and Raven lead a group planning to stop the first mutant, the immortal Apocalypse, from destroying mankind. But Apocalypse has a team of his own known as the Four Horsemen, which includes Magneto and Storm.
Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy, brings back together Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, along with Saturday Night Live stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. With the original film’s cast making appearances, and Chris Hemsworth as the new secretary, there’s plenty here to love.
The third film in the current Star Trek series coincides with the 50th anniversary of the original television series. And it includes one of the major parts of the TV series: the five-year mission. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the crew are on the final frontier when they get stranded on a planet facing a ruthless new villain played by Idris Elba.
In a year full of superhero brawls, teams and mashups, Suicide Squad brings together a slew of antiheroes. Fan favorite Harley Quinn makes her big-screen debut among villains promised reduced jail time in exchange for performing high-risk jobs. The team targets the Joker, played by Jared Leto in what promises to be a completely unhinged take on the iconic character.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov. 18)
Do you miss the Harry Potter series? Don’t worry; J.K. Rowling is writing a new series of films that return to the Wizarding World. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives at the Magical Congress of the United States of America in 1926, and the search for dangerous creatures that escape from Newt’s magically expanding briefcase.
For decades, Star Wars fans have always waited for years between films. That’s over. A year after The Force Awakens, the spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduces standalone films into the mix. First up is a look at a young Han Solo’s mission to steal the plans for the original Death Star. With a heavy-hitting film team led by director Gareth Edwards, expect something a lot different from any other Star Wars film. Including zero Jedi.