As 2015 winds down, let’s take a look at the genre movie landscape of 2016. Below are all of the fantasy/sci-fi/superhero movies I could find that are scheduled for next year. Some look great, some not so much. What are you looking forward to seeing in the new year?

The 5th WaveJanuary 22

Another young adult book series adapted to the silver screen. These things all look alike to me. I read the Hunger Games books, and watched the movies, and I feel like that’s about enough of these for me.

Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesFebruary 5

This trailer seems to take its subject matter pretty seriously, presenting the movie as an ass-kicking, rock-n-roll zombie slaughterfest. I much prefer the teaser that was released several months back, which played up the humorous clash of genres. But even if the movie adopts that tone, I’m not sure the conceit can carry a whole film.

DeadpoolFebruary 12

I’m not a big fan of Deadpool as a character. His main superpower is a rather tedious and sophomoric sense of humor. But I must confess that I’m curious to see this movie. It seems like they found a tone that is true to the character without being too grating, and I actually found myself chuckling at some of the jokes (“Right up Main Street!”).

Gods of EgyptFebruary 26

Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that this is yet another movie set in ancient Egypt with an all-white cast and focus instead on the CGI blandness on display. I’m certainly not against the use of CGI in movies, but you can go too far with it (George Lucas, I’m looking at you). This movie went too far and just kept going.

The Divergent Series: AllegiantMarch 18

What was I saying about these YA series all looking the same? This series seems so bland and forgettable that you probably didn’t realize that this is the fourth installment. They’ve been churning out one of these every year since 2014!

Midnight SpecialMarch 18

This one has an interesting, Spielbergy vibe to it, and Michael Shannon is a reliably compelling actor. I’m in.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeMarch 25

Man of Steel had its moments, but in the end, I just didn’t love it. I wasn’t greatly bothered by Superman killing Zod, but I feel like it could have been handled better. In the end, it just seemed like a side effect of the grimdark filter that Warner Brothers has decided to film all of their DC movies through. That darkness continues here, though they also seem to have wedged in a couple of jokes, possibly to convince people that they could. I’m a Marvel fanboy at heart, but that doesn’t mean that I hate DC. I’d love for them to have a successful film franchise of their own. This movie will probably make a mint, but I feel like it comes at the cost of DC’s identity. (Also, can we all agree that Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is awful?)

The Huntsman: Winter’s WarApril 22

I had no idea that Snow White and the Huntsman made enough money to warrant a sequel, but here we are. Kristin Stewart’s Snow White is nowhere to be seen, but Charlize Theron is back, and is that Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt? That’s a strangely overqualified cast for what looks like a cookie-cutter fantasy effects spectacle.

Captain America: Civil WarMay 6

This is easily the movie I’m most looking forward to this year. Marvel hasn’t had a real failure yet, and this is the second effort from the Russo brothers, who knocked Captain America: The Winter Soldier out of the park. My only fear is that the movie will be a bit over-stuffed, like Age of Ultron was. Aside from all the characters that are seen in the trailer, we can also expect appearances from Ant-Man, Vision, and even Spider-Man!

X-Men: ApocalypseMay 27

I’m not sure what to think of this one. I liked X-Men: First Class quite a bit. Days of Future Past was pretty good, but a bit of a mess. This one seems to continue that trend, ramping up the crazy mutant business (and continuing to make a giant mess of this series’ continuity). If nothing else, at least we’ll finally get to see how Professor Xavier lost his hair!

Alice Through the Looking GlassMay 27

I thought we reached maximum Burton/Depp overload in the last Alice movie. I doubt the addition of Sacha Baron Cohen will make this one any less exhausting.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the ShadowsJune 3

It’s hard to believe that the Ninja Turtles have been through so many variations, with so many different styles and tones. I wouldn’t be totally opposed to seeing a Ninja Turtles movie, but I am opposed to watching a Michael Bay movie, so this series was a non-starter for me from day one.

WarcraftJune 10

This movie took so long to get made that I suspect it’s missed its window. Though it’s still popular, the video game peaked years ago, and I wonder whether there will be sufficient interest to make the movie a success. With all those orcs, there’s an impressive amount of motion capture on display, and it looks pretty good. But I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to carry a whole film.

Independence Day: ResurgenceJune 24

In the age of way-after-the-fact sequels, a new Independence Day movie isn’t surprising. But the trailer suggests that the filmmakers forgot what a monumentally stupid movie the first one was. I assume this time, the aliens will have updated their virus scan software.

The Legend of TarzanJuly 1

I’m tempted to say something about yet another oft-recycled premise, but I gotta say, this looks kinda cool.

GhostbustersJuly 15

Like most people of my generation, I enjoyed the original Ghostbusters movie. But despite Dan Ackroyd’s best efforts, I think the franchise is better left as a pleasant memory. There’s a good chance I’ll end up seeing this, but it will be more because I’ve enjoyed Paul Feig’s movies than because I really want to see ghosts being busted.


Star Trek BeyondJuly 22

This looks like a pretty good space-bound action movie. But it bears only a passing resemblance to Star Trek. That doesn’t mean it will be a bad movie, but it’s disappointing to think that a series that once valued thoughtful stories and concepts has been turned into yet another vehicle for mindless action.

Suicide SquadAugust 5

If Batman v Superman looked dark, this is absolutely opaque. DC’s strategy with their cinematic universe seems to be to do the exact opposite of everything that Marvel does. Aside from the dour tone, they also don’t seem to be interested in Marvel’s methodical world building, instead creating films that appear to take place in an already-established world of super-people. It’ll be interesting to see how well this works in the long term.

GambitOctober 17

It seems Fox was sweeping out their mutant license closet and realized that they had Gambit sitting around collecting dust. This is another movie whose premise seems to be past its expiration date, but I guess the lure of a shared superhero universe trumps considerations of whether anyone really wanted a Gambit movie. Also, I wonder how well this character will translate to the screen. I can see maybe keeping the trench coat, but the purple top and weird head sleeve are probably gone. The Cajun accent could probably be taken down a few notches, too.


Doctor StrangeNovember 4

Seems like every non-Avengers movie that Marvel brings out these days is treated as a big risk. First it was Guardians of the Galaxy and then Ant-Man. People wonder if a movie that is based on lesser-known characters can be successful, seemingly forgetting that Iron Man and Thor weren’t really household names to most non-comic readers before their movies came out and made a ton of money. So I’m fairly confident that Doctor Strange will do just fine. The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect, and the recently-released promo shots look fantastic.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemNovember 18

Who can blame Warner Brothers for wanting to squeeze a few billion more dollars out of the Harry Potter franchise? I’m sure this will do well, and tide Potter fans over until the inevitable reboot of the original movies.

Star Wars: Rogue OneDecember 16

Disney/LucasFilm’s plan is to release a new Star Wars movie every year, alternating between the main series and stand-alone films set in the Star Wars universe. This will be the first of those stand-alone movies, following the Rebel agents who stole the plans for the first Death Star. It’s an interesting strategy, and I’m eager to see how it plays out.


Assassin’s CreedDecember 21

Movies based on video games don’t have a very good track record. But the Assassin’s Creed games have more of a plot than most, and Michael Fassbender is certainly no slouch as an actor. So I’m willing to reserve judgment until I’ve seen a trailer or two.