2016 looks set to be a huge year at the cinema, with new takes on superheroes, a Disney reboot and a sorta Star Wars prequel. Here’s our pick of the ones to watch out for during the first half of the year…
It’s already causing controversy for its alleged transphobia (courtesy of a character played in the trailer by Benedict Cumberbatch), but fans of the dimmest male model ever will be pleased to see his return after 14 years away. It’s hard to tell whether this will be as funny as the original – there are some decent jokes in the trailer, but part of Derek’s appeal is the sustained access to his idiocy – but the fact that Will Ferrell is back at Mugatu looks promising.
We know very little about the movie other than Sacha Baron Cohen plays the hooligan brother of an ace spy (Mark Strong). We’ll watch Strong in anything and the red band trailer has a great pay-off. Here’s hoping Cohen can continue his winning streak.
This looks like another classic entry in the Coen Brothers canon, set in and around a Hollywood studio and the kidnapping of a major movie star (George Clooney). It’s got hallmarks of everything the siblings do well – period detail, crackling dialogue and a starry cast. Plus there’s enough mystery in the trailer to make us think there’s something a little deeper going on too.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
We’ve waited a long time for this match-up (a similar project was originally mooted about 10 years ago but fell by the wayside). Ben Affleck takes over Batman’s cowl, Henry Cavill is back as Supes, plus we finally get to see a big-screen Wonder Woman. People continue to question whether director Zack Snyder is the man to lead this new phase of DC superheroes (Man of Steel, was, well, underwhelming), but it needs to be seen nonetheless.
The Jungle Book
Bill Murray singing The Bare Necessities? We’re in. Purists may not like the idea of Disney’s classic being given a CGI makeover, but in director Jon Favreau, we’ve got a guy who can pull it off. He’s also gathered a dynamite cast, including Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and Idris Elba as Shere Khan, who will pulling motion capture duty rather than simply relying on computer engineers. Intriguing – and a surefire winner for the kids.
Captain America: Civil War
The new trailer looks like everything Age of Ultron should have been. Comic book fans will know the story – politicians worried about lack of oversight decide that superheroes need to register themselves, Iron Man and others agree, Captain America and friends don’t. So begins a breakdown of friendships that will (or should) have genuine consequences within the Marvel universe, a place that has become rather anodyne and stakes-free in recent years. Let’s hope this restores the edginess it needs.
Alice Through The Looking Glass
Okay, so this is in here purely for the kids, because most parents who had to sit through Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland has a less than fun time. Despite that, it still took over a billion dollars at the box office (yes, really), hence the sequel. It looks as garish and OTT as the first one, but maybe you can sneak into another movie while the youngsters are wide-eyed at this one.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Who knows what this will be like, but the original helped define the modern-day CGI blockbuster (along with Jurassic Park) so it’s earned the right for a fair viewing. The cast looks interesting – franchise bod Liam Hemsworth is the hunk and Jeff Goldblum returns, while up-and-coming star Maika Monroe looks to be the female lead. Director Roland Emmerich knows how to pull off an explosion, so we’re hoping it can emulate the awe and excitement the first one inspired.