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From Paddington to Poppins, 2018 could be a great year for movies

POSTED: January 4, 2018 10:17 a.m.
Jeff Peterson/

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is slated to hit theaters on Nov. 16, 2018. It will pick up where the first “Fantastic Beasts” film left off.

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When it comes to movies, last year had its hits — like "Wonder Woman" — and it's misses — remember "The Emoji Movie"? — but you’ve got to give it to Hollywood: no matter what they produce, they always come back with more.

Looking ahead at 2018’s movie release calendar, the year is no less jam-packed with potential blockbusters (and stinkers), including some that are already looking like winners.

From solo superheroes to Han Solo to massive, game-changing team-ups, here’s a peek at just some of what’s in store for movie lovers over the next 12 months.

January

Paddington 2

Release date: Jan. 12

A sequel to 2014’s criminally underseen family flick based on Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear stories, “Paddington 2” has already garnered extremely positive reviews from overseas markets, including the character’s adoptive home of England, where it was released last November. (It currently has a nearly unheard of 100 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Release date: Jan. 26

The third and final movie in the Maze Runner series, based on the young adult novels by BYU alum James Dashner, sees the Gladers — led by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) — embark on one final mission to take down the evil government program known in the films as WCKD.

February

Peter Rabbit

Release date: Feb. 9

A 3-D animated adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s beloved children’s stories, this movie features the voice talents of James Corden as Peter Rabbit alongside Daisy Ridley and Domhnall Gleeson.

Black Panther

Release date: Feb. 16

T’Challa, the King of Wakanda (Chadwick Boseman), gets a much-deserved solo flick, adding one more layer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in anticipation of “Infinity War” two months later.

Early Man

Release date: Feb. 16

The latest family friendly feature from British studio Aardman Animations (of Wallace and Gromit fame) is set in prehistoric times as a Stone Age tribe fights for survival against a new, technologically advanced Bronze Age civilization. “Early Man” features the voices of Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams and Tom Hiddleston, among others.

March

A Wrinkle in Time

Release date: March 9

Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved fantasy novel gets the big-screen treatment courtesy of Disney and Ava DuVernay (“Selma”). When her father (Chris Pine) goes missing, a young girl (Storm Reid) embarks on a journey across dimensions to save him. Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon co-star.

Tomb Raider

Release date: March 16

This origin story for the iconic video game heroine stars Alicia Vikander as a young Lara Croft, who goes in search of answers after her adventurer father disappears while searching for a mysterious island.

Pacific Rim Uprising

Release date: March 23

Get ready for more giant mech-on-monster fighting in this sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 film. Star Wars’ John Boyega stars.

Isle of Dogs

Release date: March 23

Quirky indie auteur Wes Anderson (“The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Moonrise Kingdom”) returns to the world of stop-motion animation for this feature set in Japan, following a boy’s search for his pet dog.

Ready Player One

Release date: March 30

Anytime Steven Spielberg decides to make a movie, it’s worth paying attention. After dramatic fare recently like “Bridge of Spies” and “The Post,” the legendary filmmaker is switching back into popcorn-movie mode to tackle this adaptation of Ernest Cline’s hugely popular sci-fi novel about a competition to find an Easter egg hidden inside a futuristic virtual reality world known as the OASIS.

Mary Magdalene

Release date: March 30 (limited)

A biblical biopic about Mary Magdalene (Rooney Mara) and her relationship to Jesus (Joaquin Phoenix) and his other disciples before the crucifixion.

April

The New Mutants

Release date: April 13

With Fox’s recent acquisition by Disney, the future of X-Men franchise is a little uncertain. This Josh Boone-directed spinoff, though, takes things in an unexpectedly dark direction, turning mutant powers into the basis for a full-fledged horror movie as five mutant teens fight to escape a secret facility.

Rampage

Release date: April 20

Based on the 1980s arcade game, this Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson vehicle sees him as a primatologist trying to save the world (naturally) after a science experiment-gone-wrong transforms a trio of animals, including his own albino gorilla, into giant monsters.

May

Avengers: Infinity War

Release date: May 4

It doesn’t get much bigger than this. Bringing together pretty much every major character from the last 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for one epic battle, “Infinity War” is one of the largest productions in movie history — and if comments from the cast and filmmakers are to be believed, it could also be the end of the MCU as we know it.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Release date: May 25

A sci-fi film about a talented young space pilot who befriends a seven-foot-tall, bipedal alien bear-dog. Don’t be surprised if this one becomes a hit, though — it’s being directed by none other than Ron Howard. And of course, there is that Star Wars angle.

June

Ocean’s 8

Release date: June 8

Sandra Bullock stars as the estranged sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney from the Ocean’s 11 series), who continues the family legacy, assembling a who’s-who of criminals — girls only, this time — to pull off a ridiculously elaborate heist. Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and more co-star.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Release date: June 8

An official documentary selection in this year's Sundance Film Festival, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" takes a look at the life of beloved children's TV figure Fred Rogers, aka “Mr. Rogers.”

Incredibles 2

Release date: June 15

Yep. It’s really happening: a sequel to arguably the best superhero movie ever made. Not much is known yet about the plot other than it involving Mr. Incredible on baby duty while Elastigirl goes off to save the world.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Release date: June 22

Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) head back to Jurassic World to save the dinosaurs when a volcano threatens to wipe them out all over again. More importantly, Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm.

July

“Ant-Man and the Wasp”

Release date: July 6

Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), daughter of physicist and Ant-Man suit inventor Hank Pym and original Wasp superhero Janet van Dyne, finally gets to suit up next to Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang in this sequel to 2015’s surprisingly great “Ant-Man.”

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Release date: July 13

Dracula (Adam Sandler) and the gang go on a luxury cruise for monsters in this animated threequel directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.

Alita: Battle Angel

Release date: July 20

Based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series about a beautiful, amnesiac cyborg found in a scrap heap, “Alita” was, for many years, James Cameron’s other, non-“Avatar”-related pet project. Against all odds, it’s finally seeing the light of day, directed now by Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City”) with Cameron attached as a producer.

“Mission: Impossible 6”

Release date: July 27

Tom Cruise returns as superspy Ethan Hunt, leading an all-star team of IMF agents (that’s “Impossible Mission Force,” for the non-diehard fans out there). Also returning is director Christopher McQuarrie (“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”), making a first for the series, which has previously made a point of hiring a new director with each new installment.

“Teen Titans Go! to the Movies”

Release date: July 27

The superhero team of Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven and Starfire make their animated feature-length debut in this movie based on the Cartoon Network series.

August

“The Meg”

Release date: Aug. 10

Jason Statham battles a 70-foot shark.

September

“Robin Hood”

Release date: Sep. 21

Another year, another crack at Robin Hood. This time around, Taron Egerton (“Eddie the Eagle,” the Kingsman series) stars as a “war-hardened Crusader” with Jamie Foxx as Little John, a Moorish commander.

Smallfoot

Release date: Sep. 28

A Yeti (voiced by Channing Tatum) discovers proof that humans really do exist.

October

“First Man”

Release date: Oct. 12

Wunderkind writer-director Damien Chazelle re-teams with his “La La Land” star Ryan Gosling for this biopic about astronaut Neil Armstrong and the space expedition that led to him becoming the first man to set foot on the surface of the moon.

“Goosebumps: Horrorland”

Release date: Oct. 12

Next to nothing has been revealed so far about this sequel to 2015 family hit “Goosebumps” in which Jack Black played a fictionalized version of author R.L. Stine. That includes whether or not Black will reprise his role.

“Mowgli”

Release date: Oct. 19

Previously known as “Jungle Book: Origins,” this Warner Bros.-produced retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s classic is being directed by motion-capture wizard Andy Serkis and is said to offer a “darker” take on the material than the recent live-action Disney movie based on the same story. Serkis will co-star as Baloo along with Christian Bale as Bagheera, Cate Blanchett as Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan and Rohan Chand (“Bad Words”) as the titular man-cub.

November

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Release date: Nov. 2

Renesmee Cullen herself (Mackenzie Foy), for those Twilight fans, stars in this lavish, Disney-produced adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet, alongside Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

“X-Men: Dark Phoenix”

Release date: Nov. 2

Longtime X-Men franchise writer Simon Kinberg takes over directing duties on this redo of the Dark Phoenix storyline previously portrayed in the “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which Kinberg also scripted. This time, though, comic fans can look forward to a version of the story that, allegedly, will stay truer to the source material.

“Holmes and Watson”

Release date: Nov. 9

Forget actors like Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ian McKellan. For this (comedic) iteration of the classic crime-solving duo, Will Ferrell steps into the role of the world’s greatest detective with his “Step Brothers” co-star John C. Reilly as Dr. John Watson.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”

Release date: Nov. 9

A 3-D animated retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss story from Illumination Entertainment (“Despicable Me”) with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the loveable Christmas-hating green creature.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Release date: Nov. 16

The next installment in J.K. Rowling’s ever-expanding world of wizards and witches, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” will see Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) joining forces with none other than a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Release date: Nov. 21

Wreck-It Ralph abandons his game once again, this time traveling through the Internet — and Disney’s own storied history — as he and Vanellope von Schweetz (ahem, Princess Vanellope) try to save the arcade game “Sugar Rush.”

December

Mortal Engines

Release date: Dec. 14

Adapted from Philip Reeve’s young adult novel of the same name with a script by Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings writing partners, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, “Mortal Engines” is set in a zany, dystopian future where people live on giant mobile cities that roam the wastelands searching for and consuming smaller cities for resources.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Release date: Dec. 14

For non-comic fans, this could get confusing: “Into the Spider-Verse” is an animated Spider-Man movie not set in the Marvel Comic Universe, which is not related to “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and features a Spider-Man who is not Peter Parker — specifically fan-favorite character Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a half-black, half-Hispanic teen.

“Aquaman”

Release date: Dec. 21

After helping to save the world in “Justice League,” the half-Atlantean King of the Seven Seas/superhero (Jason Momoa) goes it alone in this movie directed by James Wan (“The Conjuring”). Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren co-star.

“Bumblebee”

Release date: Dec. 21

The first spinoff in a proposed Transformers cinematic universe (that may or may not end up happening) follows a young girl, played by Hailee Steinfeld (“Pitch Perfect 2”), who discovers the Autobot hiding out in a junkyard in 1987 California, 20 years before the start of the first Transformers movie.

Mary Poppins Returns

Release date: Dec. 25

Emily Blunt takes over for Julie Andrews as the magical nanny in this sequel to the 1964 Disney musical. In it, she reappears in 1930s London to help the grownup Banks children, Michael and Jane (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) — and Michael’s own three kids.

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