Although 2016 was something of a disappointment when it came to blockbusters, there's much more hope going into 2017.
With the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2, Dunkirk, War For The Planet Of The Apes, John Wick: Chapter 2 and, of course, Blade Runner 2049 all headed for the cinema in the new year, there's a lot of potential out there for some excellent films.
Here's our ten most anticipated films of 2017. All release dates are accurate as of writing.
10. T2: TRAINSPOTTING (January 27th)
John Hodges, Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor, Kelly MacDonald, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller - every one of them is back for the long-awaited Trainspotting sequel. The film takes place twenty years the events of Trainspotting with Renton returning to Scotland to make amends with his old crew. Renton has now given up drugs entirely and is instead addicted to endorphins and running. Meanwhile, Diane is a high-flying executive, Begby's just got out of jail (again) and Spud and Sick Boy are, well, their usual selves. It's a bold move, especially considering how much love there is for the original, but with pretty much the entire creative time back for more, it feels earned.
9. LOGAN (March 3rd)
Hugh Jackman's final outing as Wolverine is already drawing comparisons with Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, what with its old Western imagery and the fact that Jackman's portrayal of Logan / Wolverine fits with it. Director James Mangold has been adamant about how Logan is not a special-effects driven film or that entire buildings won't be levelled in the third act. Instead, it's an adult story about growing old with violent, grizzled blasts of action throughout and some haunting musical choices to boot. Johnny Cash in a superhero film? Come on, like.
8. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO (February 17th)
We've already spoken before about how John Wick changed lives, and everything we've seen so far about John Wick: Chapter Two looks fantastic. Keanu Reeves really has stumbled onto something special here because, to be honest, there's nothing really special about it. It's a lean film that requires no lore-building or endless reams of exposition to get into. The trailer, as well, doesn't give us any ideas on the plot - merely a general feel of the film itself. Also, shout-out to Peter Serafinowicz because he needs to be in more things.
7. THOR: RAGNAROK (October 27th)
We haven't seen so much as a frame of film for Thor: Ragnarok, but the five-minute short released after Doctor Strange gives us an indication of what to expect. In short, unlike any Marvel film we've seen before. That's in large part to Taika Waititi, who directed one of the best films of 2016, Hunt For The Wilderpeople. The cast, as well, as for Ragnarok looks insane. Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo returning as Hulk, Tom Hiddleston returning as Loki, Karl Urban, and there's even talk that Sam Neill will make an appearance in there too. Expectations are high for this one, especially when you consider that there's never been a Thor film that, y'know, was actually good.
6. WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (July 14th)
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was one of the most engaging and intelligent blockbusters of the past ten years. Matt Reeves' skillful direction coupled with Andy Serkis' groundbreaking work with motion-capture helped to make a truly unforgettable film about the birth of a new world and the death of an old. As Reeves is back in the director's chair again, War For The Planet Of The Apes has a lot to live up to. However, the first trailer gives us a look of the scale and story to it and it looks pretty incredible. Woody Harrelson, as well, is an interesting choice of casting. He's well-known, sure, but he's a box-office draw. In other words, he was chosen with a specific idea and purpose and not for demographics or market share. The fact that's a rarity nowadays shows you where mainstream blockbusters are.
5. ALIEN COVENANT (May 9th)-
After the bitter disappointment that was Prometheus, there wasn't much in the way of hope for Alien Covenant. However, the few images that have been teased online, the fact that veteran screenwriter John Logan has done a complete rewrite of the film, the casting of Katherine Waterston and the return of Michael Fassbender, has given us hope. Scott apparently had the roots of the screenplay written several years ago and always intended to return to Alien at some point. He even said that he disliked Alien 3 so much that he wanted to shift the series back in a direction he wanted. More than anything, Alien Covenant looks like a further return to form after the excellent adaptation of The Martian in 2015.
4. BLADE RUNNER 2049 (October 6th)
We've spoken before on the entertainment.ie Movie Podcast about how much we love Denis Villeneuve's work. There really is nobody working today who could even come close to being suitable enough to take on a sequel for Blade Runner. Indeed, were it anyone else directing this, there's no way we'd even consider giving Blade Runner 2049 the time of day. Harrison Ford has been pretty effusive about the film, calling the screenplay the best thing he's read in years. Its release date definitely indicates that it's being prepped for Oscar glory and it just well might get something outside of the technicals. Just look at the trailer.
3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL.2 (April 28th)
Baby Groot. Baby Groot. Baby Groot. Kurt Russell. '70s soft-rock. Dave Bautista's comedic chops. Chris Pratt's sideburns. More '70s soft-rock. Baby Groot. Sylvester Stallone? Bradley Cooper's Rocket Raccoon. James Gunn returning to direct. BABY. GROOT.
2. DUNKIRK (July 21st)
Although Interstellar may have been a disappointment for some, there's no denying that anything Nolan turns his hand to has been worth watching. Although World War II is a well-worn subject with many, many directors, Nolan's take appears to be drilling down a singular event - the evacuation of Dunkirk. As with all of Nolan's work, the scale and attention to detail is paramount. He's bringing in a real World War II destroyer instead of using CGI, he's actually filming on the real beaches of Dunkirk, he might even invade Germany just to get the realism down.
1. STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII (December 15th)
Lucasfilm has wisely kept Episode VIII out of circulation as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story headed for our screens. Now that it's here, we can expect something in the way of a trailer within the next couple of months. All rumours point to the first trailer for Episode VIII being attached to Beauty And The Beast with a title announcement probably in and around February of next year. Rian Johnson has a huge task ahead of him and it's going to be interesting to see how he follows JJ Abrams' path. All of the talk so far has been how Johnson is working Episode VIII like an independent film - as in, taking ideas from anyone on the set and working them into the overall film. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but one thing's for certain - Episode VIII is going to make stupid money at the box office.
What's your most anticipated film of 2017? Let us know in the comments and vote in our poll!