2017 family movie preview
Posted December 31, 2016
As 2016 winds to an end, movie fans everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. Not only did they manage to survive one of the bleakest movie years in recent memory, but looking ahead to the year that’s about to start, 2017 is already jam-packed with titles that might actually be worth the trip to the theater to see.
From live-action princesses to Luke Skywalker actually speaking to three separate movies touching on King Arthur, 2017 has a lot to offer.
With that in mind, here are all the upcoming releases families can mark to see on their calendars:
“Monster Trucks” — OK, bad way to start. Originally scheduled for release in 2015, and then again in 2016, this sci-fi action comedy has reportedly already been written off by the studio as a $115 million loss, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.
Release date: Jan. 13
“The Lego Batman Movie” — Will Arnett makes yet another bid to become the best onscreen Batman ever with this spinoff from 2014’s “The Lego Movie.”
Release date: Feb. 10
“Kong: Skull Island” — The King of the Apes meets “Apocalypse Now” in this gritty franchise reboot meant to eventually tie together with the recent “Godzilla” reboot. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson star.
Release date: March 10
“Beauty and the Beast” — Emma Watson plays it close to home as a beautiful young bookworm who even the most cold-hearted monster can’t help but fall in love with in this live-action adaptation of the 1993 Disney classic. Meanwhile, Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) is the Beast.
Release date: March 17
“Power Rangers” — The now-classic ’90s TV show about five teens who are granted superpowers by aliens so that they can do battle with other aliens gets a big-budget makeover. (Fun tidbit: Bryan Cranston, who plays Zordon in the new movie, actually voiced a couple characters in the first season of the original TV series, and the blue ranger was even named after him.)
Release date: March 24
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” — A modern version of the King Arthur story directed with the usual quotient of stylish swagger one would expect from a Guy Richie (“Sherlock Holmes”) movie.
Release date: March 24
“Ghost in the Shell” — An adaptation of one of the most well-regarded (and non-kid-friendly) anime films ever made.
Release date: March 31
“The Boss Baby” — A 7-year-old has to come to grips with the new baby soaking up all of his parents’ attention — and the fact that that baby wears a suit, carries a briefcase and sounds like Alec Baldwin. The film is loosely based on a book by Marla Frazee.
Release date: March 31
“Smurfs: The Lost Village” — This is not a sequel to the CGI/live-action hybrid movies that came out not too long ago but, instead, a fully animated reboot once again based on Belgian artist Peyo’s internationally popular and long-running series of cartoons.
Release date: April 7
“Fast 8” — So far, all we really know is that the crew is back (again), and there will probably be cars involved.
Release date: April 14
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” — Said to delve into the mystery of lead Guardian Peter Quill’s parentage, the next Marvel movie is sure to be the weirdest yet — take that “Doctor Strange” — and also probably the most highly anticipated.
Release date: May 5
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — Johnny Depp dons his leather pirate hat once again to square off against a crew of ghost pirates led by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). Also making a return this time is Orlando Bloom, aka Will Turner.
Release date: May 26
“Wonder Woman” — The third member of DC’s holy trinity finally gets her own movie (played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot) more than 75 years after she first appeared in comics and just going by the trailers, it could be the DCEU’s best movie so far.
Release date: June 2
“The Mummy” — Tom Cruise headlines this new take on the classic Universal monster movie, which is also meant to kickstart a new Universal Monsters cinematic universe (because “Dracula Untold” didn’t make enough money to do it when it tried).
Release date: June 9
“Cars 3” — Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) has to fight to stay relevant in a sport that’s about to leave him in its dust.
Release date: June 16
“Transformers: The Last Knight” — Director Michael Bay takes his fifth and, allegedly, final stab at the Transformers franchise, this time injecting it with a little bit of Arthurian legend.
Release date: June 23
“Despicable Me 3” — Gru faces off against a new antagonist (played by Trey Parker) and, even worse, his brother, too.
Release date: June 30
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” — Ol’ webhead (er … “young webhead?”) already managed to steal the show with just a brief appearance in “Captain America: Civil War.” For his first solo outing as the youngest hero in the MCU, he’s set to face off against Michael Keaton as the Vulture.
Release date: July 7
“War for the Planet of the Apes” — Picking up after 2014’s critic favorite “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “War” finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) and the rest of the apes fighting for survival against a human colonel played by Woody Harrelson.
Release date: July 14
“Dunkirk” — Recounting the incredible true story of Operation Dynamo, aka the Miracle of Dunkirk, the latest from writer-director-producer Christopher Nolan promises to be a World War II drama on an epic scale.
Release date: July 21
“The Dark Tower” — After going through a few different creative teams, Steven King’s Dark Tower series is finally making it to the big screen with Nikolaj Arcel (“A Royal Affair”) directing and Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey starring.
Release date: July 28
“Thor: Ragnarok” — Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) team up for … well, that’s still a mystery.
Release date: Nov. 3
“Justice League” — The DCEU’s answer to the Avengers.
Release date: Nov. 17
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” — The next chapter of the Star Wars saga is just around the corner, and it’s probably safe to predict that this will, undoubtedly, be the must-watch movie of the year.
Release date: Dec. 15
“Jumanji” — Four teenagers get sucked into the world of Jumanji and have to play as characters from the game. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan star.
Release date: Dec. 22
Jeff Peterson is a native of Utah Valley and studied humanities and history at Brigham Young University. Along with the Deseret News, he also contributes to the film discussion website TheMovieScrutineer.com.