With 2015 nearing its inevitable end, it is not only time to compile our obligatory Best-Of lists (and I have a lot to see yet before I make mine, darn it), but also to look ahead to 2016: a year that will see a metric buttload of geeky and nerd-friendly movies released to the masses. It’s going to be a pretty packed year from the looks of it, and there will surely be a few entries not yet on our radar that’ll make enormous splashes. But, for the sake of hype, let’s do a rundown of the most anticipated movies of Hoverboard Year + 1. (Note: narrowing this down to just the big ones was a herculean task. There will be stuff not mentioned.)
Deadpool (February 12)
People have been looking forward to this one since 20th Century Fox announced they were making it, and with a Hard-R rating to boot. The teaser proved so popular at San Diego Comic-Con that they had to show it twice so cheering fans could hear all the dialogue. It’s a hard property to market, hence the February release date, but we can only hope it’ll capture the gory gallows humor of the comics.
Zoolander 2 (February 12)
I personally am not excited for this movie, but I know a lot of people are. Hell, the first movie is one of Terrence Malick’s favorites, so there must be something to it.
Zootopia (March 4)
Disney’s animated movies have been really great in the past few years, after the lull that reigned through the early 2000s. Based on character and setting design alone, Zootopia looks like it’ll be a whole lot of fun. Plus, look, it’s Disney so any cute animal characters to sell plush toys is a good idea.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25)
Here’s a little indie movie you probably haven’t heard of. JK, guys, it’s only one of the most talked about movies in years. Warner and DC’s hope for launching an ambitious comic book film franchise to rival Marvel’s is beginning in earnest with this one, and we’re all on tenterhooks waiting to see if it pays off. Plus, I’m really looking forward to Batfleck; I don’t care what anyone else says.
The Jungle Book (April 15)
As excited as the response to Deadpool‘s Comic-Con footage was the reaction to Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book footage at D24, which had people buzzing about the beyond-impressive visual effects and the director’s apparent devotion to getting everything perfect. Personally, they had me at “Bill Murray as Baloo.”
Captain America: Civil War (May 6)
Yeah, you know this movie. You just saw the trailer. It’s going to be epic, and it might truly spin the MCU into uncharted territories. A game changer 12 movies in? Not a bad plan.
X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)
I cannot express how much I loved Days of Future Past when I wasn’t expecting to. I mean, who could blame me for being gunshy after some less-than-stellar mutant outings there for awhile? But this third part in the First Class version of the characters, which takes it to the ’80s, will see a lot of familiar faces encountering the oldest mutant of all. I’m in, Bryan Singer; I’m in.
Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27)
There’s another Lewis Carroll book, so that means there’s room for another Tim Burton-produced adaptation. A reunion of sorts from Sweeney Todd with Sasha Baron Cohen joining Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the CGI-ful land of Wonder.
WarCraft (June 10)
We’re reeeeeeally excited to see how Duncan Jones’ very-long-awaited adaptation of the Blizzard MMORPG phenomenon will translate to movie form, but the effects look like they definitely captured the aesthetic and feel of those gaming experiences.
Finding Dory (June 17)
This is a movie that’s going to probably have people saying “awww” a lot. It’s a Pixar movie, after all. Thirteen years after Finding Nemo, we brave another undersea adventure, this time with the amnesiac Dory (Ellen Degeneres) remembering parts of her past and Nemo and Marlin having to follow along.
Independence Day Resurgence (June 24)
Remember that alien invasion movie they made 20 years ago? Well, now there’s another one! At the time, the effects were incredibly impressive, so let’s hope Roland Emmerich’s follow-up will have that going for it. I hope it will be good, but I’m excited for it either way.
Ghostbusters (July 15)
I know who I’M going to call. (I’m really unhappy with myself for that one.) Paul Feig’s reboot of the beloved 1984 movie and its sequel will star four incredibly funny women (namely, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones) and is something all of us here at Nerdist hope is as good as Feig’s most recent winner, Spy.
Star Trek Beyond (July 22)
Now, we liked a lot of the Abrams-directed Star Wars reboot, but without him, we were a little worried about the future of the franchise. That is until we heard one thing: “written by Simon Pegg.” Yep, we’re in. Geek royalty with a great sense of humor doing a (we hope) movie about actually trekking the stars.
Bourne 5 (July 29)
Because the one with Jeremy Renner didn’t really do very well, Matt Damon is back with director Paul Greengrass for another go-’round of fighting and looking at people from rooftops. This one will also star Alicia Vikander, who is quickly becoming my favorite actress working today.
Suicide Squad (August 5)
Even more than BvS, this is the movie that’ll really determine how deep a DC Cinematic Universe can go. Even though it feels weird to redirect the spotlight from Will Smith, it makes sense that they’re focusing so far on the Joker (Jared Leto) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Deadshot ain’t a household name, after all.
Gambit (October 7)
Doug Liman is directing the third Fox/Marvel movie of the year, with Channing Tatum (for now) as the titular cajun. Our biggest question about this is if they’re going to have time to shoot it. Weren’t they just talking about Tatum not being in the movie anymore? We’ll see!
Doctor Strange (November 4)
By the hoary hosts of Hagrid… is that the thing we’re supposed to say? I know a fair amount about most comic book characters but Doctor Strange, much like Guardians of the Galaxy was, is one of those more obscure Marvel titles many comic fans know little about, save the general premise. But with Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Tilda Swinton, how could I NOT be excited for whatever this movie has to offer?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18)
I’ll spend all the time in the J.K. Rowling-verse that Hollywood is going to allow me to, even if it does mean I have to watch a movie starring Eddie Redmayne.
Moana (November 23)
Disney’s second film to focus on Hawaii, this one is about a “young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.” And Dwayne Johnson is doing the voice of Maui. That’s super cool.
Star Wars: Rogue One (December 16)
Yeah! Every year for the foreseeable future, we’re going to get a Star Wars movie, and this one is particularly exciting because it’s the first “anthology” movie (meaning it’s not an official episode number, acting kind of like an Expanded Universe adventure). Everyone’s banking on this being about the group of heroes who discover the Death Star plans that kick off the opening of A New Hope. Way stoked.
Assassin’s Creed (December 21)
Another video game movie, this one’s got Michael Fassbender as an ancient assassin. Look, if it’s got the stealthy flipping and climbing and stuff we love from the games, along with a story that can be condensed into two hours, then next Christmas will be looking pretty good.
And there you have it! Whew! See, we’re already almost to 2017 when you look at it this way. Which movies are you most excited for? Did we leave out any big ones? Let us know in the comments below!
Images: Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney, Unisoft, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Pixar
Kyle Anderson is a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com and he spent way too long compiling this list. Yell at him to go outside on Twitter!