Now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, and, with the release of The Post and Phantom Thread, can finally put 2017 in our rear view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the most anticipated movies of 2018! To help out with this post (heck, it was actually his idea to do it), I’ve enlisted one of my best friends since high school – Jonah Von Spreecken. Jonah currently lives in Seattle, and is one of the most passionate movie geeks I know. It’s always great fun to chat and catch up with him on everything we’ve been seeing. We geek out about different types of flicks too, so hopefully this post covers a wide breadth of 2018’s offerings. Julie is also joining the fray to weigh in with her picks. So, here are 15 of our most anticipated movies (5 each), in order of anticipation:
JULIE: A Quiet Place (April 6)
Though it worries me when married couples work together (see: Brange), I’m very interested to see what happens when John Krasinski and Emily Blunt attempt to make a film.
JONAH: Where’d You Go Bernadette (May 11)
Richard Linklater is directing this adaptation of Maria Semple’s book that made a huge splash in 2012. If you’ve read it, you smirked and giggled at Semple’s skewering of all of the Starbucks helicopter moms that poke their noses into all the things. At the center of the story, though, is a curious mystery of a mother gone missing before a family trip to Antarctica, and her precocious daughter’s quest to find her. There’s a lot of heart to be mined here as well and I think Linklater will steer this story right. He’s certainly made a career out of telling the stories of characters who don’t quite know how to fit in while leaving the audience with a couple tugged heartstrings along the way. Lastly, Cate Blanchett is Bernadette and that’s pretty darn perfect casting.
JOHN: Ready Player One (March 30)
I haven’t been that impressed with any of the marketing so far. The trailers look chaotic, the CGI looks crummy, and the poster is just plain odd (how long is that dude’s leg?). BUT. This is a Steven Spielberg joint. And not a serious, Oscar bait, prestige Spielberg drama. But an exciting, sci-fi blockbuster – the type of movie Spielberg excelled at in the ’70s and ’80s. I want him to knock this one out of the park. The Ernest Cline book it’s based on may not have won the Pulitzer, but it’s got a great high concept at its core, uses a lot of nostalgia-soaked IP, and can be pretty exciting in parts. Hopefully, Spielberg taps into something special, and avoids a Kingdom of the Crystal Skull-type fiasco.
JULIE: A Star Is Born (October 5)
Gaga. On screen. Singing and acting. Yes.
JONAH: Mortal Engines (December 14)
I have my fingers crossed for this. Mortal Engines is based off the first book in a series of four called The Hungry Cities Chronicles. If you’ve watched the teaser trailer, you know why. The movie is about a steampunkish-post-apocalyptic future wherein the great cities of the planet are uprooted and outfitted with great traction mechanisms that enable them to rove the earth, feeding on smaller towns and collecting treasures of the destroyed past. It’s high adventure, and Peter Jackson has been shepherding this project along for years. That said, although he has had a heavy hand in developing the project, he is not directing. So as I said earlier, I have my fingers crossed that this won’t go the way of The Golden Compass, another beloved book series that had such potential but bombed as a film. This could be our next huge franchise if done right.
JOHN: The Incredibles 2 (June 15)
Does the world need another Incredibles movie? I’m not entirely convinced it does, and I really don’t want a sequel to stain the stellar reputation of the original. But, with Brad Bird back writing and directing (I’m one of the brave, the few, who enjoyed Tomorrowland), and Pixar fresh off one of its greatest efforts in Coco, I’m ready to jump back into another adventure with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Jack Jack, Dash, Violet, and Frozone. I loved the first Incredibles (it was my favorite film of 2004), and I still do. It holds up. I just hope Part 2 is as smart, funny and satisfying. If Toy Story 2 and 3 can do it…
JULIE: Love, Simon (March 16)
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens’ Agenda is a delightful book. I really hope the movie lives up to it.
JONAH: Isle of Dogs (March 23)
For a long time, I thought Fantastic Mr. Fox was Wes Anderson’s best movie. (It’s probably a toss-up between The Grand Budapest Hotel and FMF for me these days) There’s a charm to watching good stop-motion animation. It’s been fun to see Laika, the studio behind Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, consistently pump out these stories sculpted from clay. Because we only get one of these movies every couple years, the medium has become a rare delicacy. Fun fact, though: Laika’s first animated movie, Coraline, was released the same year as Fantastic Mr. Fox. I love that this kind of animation is truly a labor of love, and that Wes Anderson gets to hop down the stop-motion rabbit hole once again with this latest release. For a director that has a habit of designing all of the designs that are designed from delightful contemplations of his own design–this should be another grand jaunt to behold.
JOHN: Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)
Because it’s a new Star Wars movie. Because Donald Glover plays a younger Lando. Because Ron Howard took over directing duties from Chris Lord & Phil Miller after 80% of the movie had already been filmed, and reshot nearly all of it. Because Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay. Because Kathleen Kennedy has yet to do wrong as the new head of Lucasfilm. I don’t know if it will work. I don’t know if we need a Han Solo prequel. And, I don’t know if its troubled production spells trouble for the finished film. Stakes are high with this one. It opens a week after Deadpool 2, and could be Disney’s first Star Wars movie to underperform (if it keeps the 5/25 release date). Still a must-see for me. If Lucasfilm can pull this one off, I’ll be amazed. And incredibly enthused.
JULIE: Destination Wedding (TBD)
Keanu and Winona in a forced-proximity (wedding weekend) rom-com about two weirdos finding love. Put this in front of my eyeballs now.
JONAH: Annihilation (February 23)
I’m looking forward to this for so many reasons. For one, it’s adapted from a Jeff Vandermeer book (the first of the Southern Reach Trilogy). He’s a fascinating author, who often explores erratic fantasy worlds that are created from ecosystems that have spiralled out of control. ALSO–This is director Alex Garland’s follow up to Ex Machina–which in itself is a great reason to look forward to more work from him–but in addition to his work as a director, Garland is a novelist, having written The Beach, the book that became Leo DiCaprio’s first post-Titanic film project. There’s a viney, moldy, swelter-y feeling to Annihilation (the book) which, come to think of it, reminds me of Garland’s The Beach. This film is in good hands and has the potential to be equally terrifying and amazing.
JOHN: Avengers: Infinity War (May 4)
10 years. Over 20 movies. Each of them successful. It’s all been building to this. The cast is stacked. Josh Brolin and his CGI’d Thanos look convincingly threatening. The Guardians of the freakin’ Galaxy meet Thor. Who will live to continue on in the MCU? Who will die? Please don’t let it be Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers and his bad-ass new beard! This is unquestionably the movie event of the year. It will make all the money. And, I’ll probably end up seeing it multiple times. I’m definitely excited for Black Panther’s solo flick (all hail Ryan Coogler), but T’challa shows up here as well. Even more bang for the buck! Marvel has had varying degrees of critical success over the years, but none of its movies have been an outright dud. I have no reason to think any of that will change with Infinity War. This thing’s gonna be epic!
JULIE: Crazy Rich Asians (August 17)
I absolutely love Kevin Kwan’s trilogy of novels about decadence and family in Singapore. I’m so excited to see this film, though I wonder how they’re going to cram all the characters, gossip, and backstabbing into one film.
JONAH: Black Panther (February 16)
More Chadwick Boseman, please. Seriously, I think this guy is one of our best. He should be a household name with roles like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall–and he crushes it every time. He’s one of those actors that I’ve come to trust. As in–Oh, Chadwick Boseman is in this movie? Then it’ll be good BECAUSE of him. Maybe Black Panther is what really catapults him to the next level. To be perfectly honest, I feel like the Marvel Universe has become an obligation as of late; so many movies, gotta keep up! I don’t feel that way at all with Black Panther, it looks fresh, like it’s hatched its own mold. It looks like it’s tapped into this moment in time. I hope there are lines around the cities for this film.
JOHN: Mission: Impossible 6 (July 27)
What can I say? I am head over heels in love with the Mission: Impossible franchise. M:I-3 is in my top 5 favorite movies of ALL TIME. Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation are both fantastic. This series is my jam. I can’t wait to see what Tom Cruise and company do to top themselves. While I’m a little sad they’re not going with a new director (as they’ve done for each film in the past), I can’t fault them for bringing back Christopher McQuarrie to write and direct. I haven’t seen a lick of footage yet (not even the video of Cruise injuring himself during a stunt!), but it doesn’t matter. This is easily my #1 most anticipated movie of the year. Also want to use this space to throw a shout-out to an honorable mention: Creed 2 (out November 21)!
What movie are you looking forward to the most in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below…
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