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2016 genre films to look out? for

I uh didn’t write this fast enough. Oops. Films that are SF/F genre (or genre-adjacent) that are currently scheduled to be released in 2016 for US markets. Sorted roughly by what subgenre the film is. Some parts lose their objectivity. My apologies for some of the lame jokes.

Horror and Thrillers

8 January: The Forest. It’s about (not-real) events happening in a (real, in the sense that it’s a real place) haunted forest in Japan. It stars Natalie Dormer (who audiences know from Game of Thrones) and Taylor Kinney (who audiences know from “he’s planning to marry Lady Gaga”) and has music by Bear McCreary of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.


26 February: The Witch. Pilgrims fight witches and paranoia. The writer-director, Robert Eggers, is apparently going to make a Nosferatu remake, so this movie will be a good proving grounds for that endeavour. Also yes it premiered at Sundance almost 330 days ago but somehow it’s going to finally show up in US wide release this February.

29 July: STILL UNTITLED JASON BOURNE FILM #5. So the Bourne film franchise is sort of based on a book franchise but the plots have little to do with one another. The book franchise has three books written by Robert Ludlum, but then he died, and his estate let Eric Van Lustbader write more books in the franchise, and he has written 10 books in the franchise. The fourth movie was named after the first of these books so it makes sense that the fifth movie will be named after the second of these books and be titled The Bourne Betrayal but so far there has been no officially revealed title. … Also this film is not done filming. It’s going to be filming in Las Vegas in a week. Let’s just say I’m confused here. Also Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever) is in the film.

2 September: Patient Zero. This is a zombie movie being talked up as possibly the next “Big Zombie Movie”. One human character in particular can talk with The Infected. Matt Smith (Terminator: Sega Genesis) and Natalie Dormer (The Forest) and Stanley Tucci (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) star in this Stefan Ruzowitzky (Lilly the Witch: The Dragon and the Magic Book)-directed film based on a Mike Le (Dark Summer) script.

9 September. UNTITLED NEW LINE HORROR FILM. What is this is this a joke this isn’t even


23 September. A Cure for Wellness. Not a lot of details known. It was filmed in Germany, it’s about someone sent to Europe to rescue their boss from a spa where apparently bad things are happening to the people at the spa. Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Three First Ones) directs and the cast includes Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Mia Goth (The Survivalist), and Jason Isaacs (several Harry Potter films).

14 October: The Bye Bye Man. Some college students in 1990s Wisconsin are haunted by a creepy entity. Creepy entity portrayed by Doug Jones (Hellboy), college students include Lucien Laviscount (Scream Queens), other actors include Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones), adapted from a short story by Robert Damon Schneck, and directed by Stacy Title (Hood of Horror).


Young Adult Book Adaptation

22 January: The 5th Wave. Film adaptation of Rick Yancey’s YA SF novel of the same name about an Earth bombed-to-the-Stone-Age-by-aliens. Stars Chloë Grace Moretz who you remember from Kick-Ass and Nick Robinson who you remember from Jurassic World and Live Schreiber who once stabbed Wolverine with his claws in some movie about Original Wolverine or something.


18 March: The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third out of four films to adapt the Divergent YA SF trilogy of books. It stars … the people who were in the previous films, including Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Octavia Spencer (Snowpiercer).

25 December. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It’s based on a 2011 novel about an island of orphaned children who are under threat from creatures. Directed by Tim Burton (Mars Attacks!) and starring Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), Eva Green (Dark Shadows), and Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane).


Other Book Adaptation

5 February: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Based on the 2009 novel about manners and the undead in Regency-era England. Natalie Portman helped produce it after she signed on (in late 2009) to play Elizabeth Bennet but then eventually dropped out of her acting role. The cast includes Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones). This film has taken a few years to exist, so let’s see what happens.


11 March: The Young Messiah. Film adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt which is about the wacky adventures Jesus has when his family moves back to Nazareth when he’s seven years old and he finds out he’s (spoiler alert) Yahweh! Stars Sean Bean (Goldeneye) as Severus Snape and Adam Greaves-Neal as Actually Literally 7 Year Old Jesus.

15 April: The Jungle Book. Disney really wants to make live-action remakes of their animated films. Jon Favreau (Iron Man) directs, the CGI Indian animals are voice-acted by a cast including Lupita Nyong’o (The Force Awakens), Scarlett Johansson (Age of Ultron), Idris Elba (Cancelling the Apocalypse), and Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3).


1 July: The BFG. The most famous gun in the Doom video game franchise is as we all know named after a children’s book written by Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach) about a Big Friendly Giant. Directed by Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and starring Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and Penelope Wilton (Shaun of the Dead).

1 July: The Legend of Tarzan. A guy raised by apes in Africa who has been hanging out in London is going back to Africa. Directed by David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and starring Alexander Skarsgård (Battleship), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet). Hey it’s another movie set in Africa but with few African-born actors in it! Jolly good.


14 October: A Monster Calls. Adaption of a fantasy novel for child audiences. A child is told stories by a monster every night. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (he’s going to direct a World War Z sequel) and starring Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Liam Neeson (Batman Begins), Toby Kebbell (Warcraft), and Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

18 November: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. J.K. Rowling published a book in 2001 which is basically a textbook about magical animals with comments and notes by Hogwarts students. This film is based on that book’s author. This is apparently the first in a new trilogy (and possibly more) that is set in the Potter universe but ~70 years earlier and primarily in the US. Directed by David Yates (The Legend of Tarzan) and starring Eddie Redmayne (Jupiter Ascending) and Katherine Waterston (the upcoming Oh They’re Making A Prometheus Sequel).


Video Game Adaptation

29 April: Ratchet & Clank. A CGI animated film based on the video game franchise about a Lombax and a robot having crazy adventures IN SPACE. Directed by the director/writer of the CGI animated TMNT, starring the voice acting of James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and David Kaye (Beast Wars) as … Ratchet and Clank, the characters they voice act in the games.


10 June: Warcraft. Orcs and humans fight one another in a film adaptation of the first Warcraft video game (plus some plots revealed in latter games). Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon) and starring Travis Fimmel (Vikings) as the leader of the Alliance and Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) as the leader of the Horde. As of May 2016 it will be ten years since Blizzard announced this movie, so, expect a lot of online deep thoughts about the long production time of this film, possibly including jokes about similarly long development times of video games.

21 December: Assassin’s Creed. This video game franchise has been delivering games since 2007 wherein, at different times through world history, the players (Assassins) fight against the Templars who fight for some kind of global control. Directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown), starring Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Marion Cotillard (Inception), and Ariane Labed (The Forbidden Room [2015]).


Comic Book Adaptation

12 February: Deadpool. The eighth movie in the X-Men film franchise, which is a franchise based on Marvel Comics characters, but not a Marvel Comics Universe film. Confusing, right? Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, Blade: Trinity, R.I.P.D.) is very sorry about an earlier portrayal of Deadpool on screen and so he would like to offer this movie as a form of apology.


25 March: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Sequel to Man of Steel and the second film in the DC Extended Universe. Batman and Superman fight over the reasons why Iron Man and Captain America might fight one another. Directed by Zach Snyder (SPARTA! The movie), starring Ben Affleck (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Henry Cavill (Stardust) and Gal Godot (Fast Five).

6 May: Captain America: Civil War. Sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man and Captain America fight over the reasons why Batman and Superman might fight one another. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (the pilot episode of Community) and starring a lot of actors from the previous 12 films of the MCU.


27 May: X-Men: Apocalypse. The ninth movie made about the X-Men, and a direct sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past that also recasts some of the characters from previous films. The X-Men fight 1980s fashion and one of their biggest threats, the extremely-old mutant Apocalypse. Bryan Singer directs this, his fourth role as a director in this franchise, and newly-added actors include Oscar Isaac (The Force Awakens), Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) and Alexandra Shipp (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel).

3 June: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the sixth feature film from this franchise. ..oddly enough, shares a name with a 2013 TMNT video game which was not critically appreciated? Apparently the previous film didn’t include enough characters so this will have Bebop and Rocksteady and Krang and Baxter Stockman and Casey Jones in the hopes of confusing people who purchased toys in the early 1990s.


5 August: Suicide Squad. Third film of the DCEU. Comic book villains team up (with no guarantee of survival) to take down a bigger threat. David Ayer (Fury) directs, the film’s cast includes Will Smith (Hancock), Jared Leto (Urban Legend), and Margot Robbie (The Legend of Tarzan). David Ayer has already stated that this movie has more substance and story than anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done to date so this is his opportunity to show us an amazing film.

7 October. Gambit. 52 pickup? The tenth movie made about the X-Men and apparently not a sequel to a previous movie (something something Wolverine) that had Gambit as a character. Or maybe it is; plot details are sparse. Doug Liman (Jumper) is directing. Channing Tatum (Jupiter Ascending) and Léa Seydoux (Spectre) are starring. Josh Zetumer (Robocop [2014]) has the script.


4 November: Doctor Strange. The 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows Stephen Strange as he loses his medical doctoring skills and becomes a sorcerer. Directed by Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008]) and starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek to Khanclusions), Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Martian), and Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer).

Found Footage?

19 February: Viral. About a virus killing off much of humanity and how some characters survive in quarantine? Written by the guy (Christopher B. Landon) who helped write four of the Paranormal Activity films, directed by the guys (Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman) who directed Catfish. Wikipedia is claiming this is SF horror but maybe it’s just making things up here.


Harryhausen Homage

26 February: Gods of Egypt. If you see only one movie about Egyptian deities who were primarily cast by actors from Northern Europe, this is your movie. The director (Alex Proyas) also directed Dark City and I, Robot. One of the non-white actors is Chadwick Boseman whose will later in 2016 play Black Panther. Some of the white actors include Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Gerard Butler (SPARTA! The movie). I continue to not get how or why this film got made.



4 March: Knight of Cups. Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) directs an experimental film starring Christian Bale (Reign of Fire), Cate Blanchett (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and Natalie Portman (Thor: The Dark World).


Sequels !!!!!!

22 April: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman that got made after that movie did well, but after the director and Kristen Stewart got kicked out of the franchise. Chris Hemsworth (The Cabin in the Woods), Charlize Theron (Prometheus), and Emily Blunt (Looper) are among the stars.


27 May: Alice Through the Looking Glass. The previous live-action Alice movie did well enough that this is that film’s sequel. Directed by James Bobin (The Muppets) and starring much of the cast of the previous film (Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter…)

24 June: Independence Day: Resurgence. For people who liked Independence Day, how about … more Independence Day? Directed by Roland Emmerich (2012), written by him, Dean Devlin (Godzilla), and Harald Kloser (10,000 B.C.), and starring Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park: The Lost World), Bill Pullman (Casper) and Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games). It might be the second film in a planned four film story arc. Be prepared.


22 July: Star Trek Beyond. Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage. Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage. LISTEN ALL Y’ALL IT’S A


Directed by Justin Lin (“Modern Warfare” episode of Community) and adding Idris Elba (Cancelling! the Apocalypse) and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) to the Star Trek movie reboot franchise.


14 October: Underworld: Next Generation. The fifth Underworld film and the sequel to Underworld: Awakening. Directed by Anna Foerster (five episodes of Criminal Minds) and featuring a cast including old members like Kate Beckinsale (Van Helsing) and new members like Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones).

16 December: Rogue One. The ninth film in the Star Wars franchise to be released in the US, set in the time between the end of the prequel films and the beginning of the original trilogy. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla [2014]) and starring Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Diego Luna (The Book of Life), and Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler).



15 July: Ghostbusters. Are you afraid of no ghosts? These folks might help, by busting them. Directed by Paul Feig (Spy) and starring Kristen Wiig (The Martian), Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Kate McKinnon (The Venture Bros.), and Leslie Jones (Trainwreck). Apparently this is being marketed as a reboot of the 1980s franchise so if you want more of this franchise go see this film?


12 August: Pete’s Dragon. It’s a movie about a kid. And a dragon. The dragon is CGI. They haven’t announced who they cast as the voice of the dragon. Directed by David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and starring Bryce Dallas Howard (Lady in the Water) and Karl Urban (Dredd).

25 December: Jumanji. I’m not so sure this is happening. There’s no mention of any director or cast for this film. The writers are Zach Helm (Stranger than Fiction) and Scott Rosenberg (Gone in Sixty Seconds [2000]).


SF/F Romance

29 July: The Space Between Us. SF romance. Peter Chelsom (Hannah Montana: The Movie) directs Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game) and Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) as, respectively, a boy on Mars who falls for a girl on Earth. It’s like Stranger in a Strange Land but without the cannibalism (maybe).


21 December: Passengers. Not much is known about this film so far. It’s a screenplay by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), and starring Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games tetralogy), Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix).

Historical Fiction

19 August: Kubo and the Two Strings. In ancient Japan a child named Kubo has to get a magical suit of armor. It’s apparently a stop motion animated fantasy film from the animation studio who made The Boxtrolls most recently. The Japanese child Kubo is voice acted by young Irish actor Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones), other voice talent includes Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar), Charlize Theron (Prometheus) and George Takei (Oh My!).


23 November: 長城 AKA The Great Wall. Mysterious things happen in Song Dynasty (959-1126 c.e.) China near the eponymous wall. Is an English-language film being filmed in China with the largest budget ever of a film filmed in China. Directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero) and starring Matt Damon (The Martian) and Andy Lau (Future X-Cops).

23 November. Moana. Disney is making an animated movie about a girl from Oceania and a god who try to find an island. Ron Clements and John Musker (Hercules) direct. Voice actors include Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson (Doom), and Alan Tudyk (Big Hero 6).



18 March: Midnight Special is a SF film about protecting a gifted kid from some folks who want him D-E-D dead. Cast includes Adam Driver (The Force Awakens), Sam Shepard (Charlotte’s Web), Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man 3), and Joel Edgerton (The Thing [2011]).


12 August: Spectral. “Described as a supernatural Black Hawk Down” except that it’s not set in Somalia so I don’t know what those words are supposed to mean. It’s about a Special Ops team fighting supernatural beings in a European city. It’s directed by Nic Mathieu (he’s directed some commercials), written primarily by Ian Fried (The Woman in Black) and starring Emily Mortimer (Hugo) and Bruce Greenwood (Nowhere Man)

7 October Monster High. Okay. So. There’s this fashion doll toy line about a high school called Monster High. The kids who attend the school are kids of monsters; the Universal Studio’s Monsters in particular. In addition to the toys there’s also books, video games, webisodes / tv specials / DVD releases, and apparently this year a feature film. The film will be live-action but the other videos are animated so I’m … confused on what this movie is.


Top image includes clipart from pixabay. Was there anything missed? If so include it in the comments below.

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