2017 brought us a surprisingly high number of critically acclaimed blockbuster movies, a fortunate far cry from the miserably disappointing days of 2016, as such expectations are back at their suitable heights for 2018. We here at The Edge love a good bit of anticipation (who doesn’t?!) and this year our excitement isn’t just limited to the blockbusters, there are are all kinds of films on our radars! Read on as The Edge writers tell you all about their most anticipated films of 2018!
Black Panther, dir. by Ryan Coogler
Release date: February 12th
The next film in the long line of entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther arrives this February. The 18th instalment in the MCU, the film takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and tells the story of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who returns home to Wakanda, his technologically advanced African country. As a new ruler, he soon finds that he will have to fight for the throne with hostile factions in his country, When two of his enemies plan to destroy his country, T’Challa must once again become Black Panther and unite with C.I.A agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and the Wakanadan special forces, among them Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, to defeat them and save his kingdom from being dragged into war. Black Panther is one of 2018’s most highly anticipated releases, among both critics and moviegoers, not only because it is the next instalment in the MCU, but also as it is the first Marvel film in this universe not to have a white male lead. Expectations are high and excitement is rife for the February 12th release of this historic film.
Words by Szymon Brewinski
You Were Never Really Here, dir. by Lynne Ramsey
Release date: March 9th
2017 proved to be the year of the unexpected Indie gem. Few would have placed Get Out, A Ghost Story or The Florida Project among their most anticipated last January and if they did their foresight was better than ours. If 2018 is to follow suit, and continue the same level of triumph for the little guy, then a very reasonable place to align your anticipation would be with Lynne Ramsay’s upcoming You Were Never Really Here.
Already met with a tremendous critical response and both Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at Cannes, You Were Never Really Here is rumoured to be a blend of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. Following a tortured hit man (Joaquin Phoenix) tasked with taking out a paedophile ring, its sure to be both one of 2018’s best and most brutal experiences. For those with half an eye on the festival circuit, this is a film which will have been on the radar for sometime, claiming lengthy standing ovations throughout its tour since May. Quickly becoming a British treasure, Ramsay has previously proven that she is one of cinema’s most skilled hands with darker subject matters and is unlikely to suggest any less with her latest. It may prove a difficult film to track down, and venturing away from the nearest multiplex may be required, but it will definitely be a film which you can’t afford to miss.
Words by Liam Beazley
Ready Player One, dir. by Steven Spielberg
Release date: March 30th
Often enough the best blockbuster movies are the ones that do things differently, be it with their stories, characters or visuals. In an increasingly un-unique world of blockbuster filmmaking, one film in 2018 promises to be wholly distinctive from the rest of the pack – Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Set in the near future in a world ravaged by poverty, The Oasis – a virtual computer game world – is the only escape from the misery of every day life. But when its creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, it is revealed that his fortune is up for grabs, hidden as an easter egg within The Oasis, behind a number of challenges. As players scramble to find the egg, one gamer, young Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) finds the first clue and triggers an Oasis wide race for victory, a race that has much wider implications for the outside world.
Production for Ready Player One has been steeped in secrecy, with Spielberg’s sets reportedly on lockdown to retain the purity of the film’s wonderment, the trailers have offered us glimpses of what’s in store, but the full spectacle is yet to be unleashed. The book the film is based upon evokes such a rich playpen of ideas for Spielberg to work with, whilst also crafting a thrilling story with strong characters that keeps you hooked – come for the concept, stay for the characters. Ready Player One promises to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. With a talented cast and fantastic ideas behind it, get ready for Mr Spielberg to change the blockbuster game once again.
Words by David Mitchell-Baker
Isle of Dogs, dir. by Wes Anderson
Release date: March 30th
Very few directors have a style as unique as that of Wes Anderson. With his quirky sense of dark comedy and perfectly symmetrical shots, Anderson’s films are almost always a must-see. Now, four years after The Grand Budapest Hotel, he’s back with a new stop-motion animation film – Isle of Dogs. Set 20 years into the future, dogs have been sent to a remote island off the coast of Japan after the city of Megasaki suffers an outbreak of “dog flu”. The story follows five dogs who have grown tired of their isolated life, and a young boy who arrives on the island looking for his missing dog, Spots. This leads the dogs to team up with the boy and help him find his missing friend, while simultaneously avoiding capture by the Japanese government.
There are several factors that should draw attention to this film. Amongst these is the decision to set the film in Japan, a country that generates a lot of interest amongst our generation. Meanwhile, the stop-motion looks incredible, much like Anderson’s previous animation, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Finally, as is typical for Anderson, the film boasts a spectacular cast, including Scarlett Johansson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston and Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Jeff Goldblum. Add the golden touch of Anderson’s unique style, and you have a film that’s likely to go down as another great film on the résumé of a brilliant director.
Words by Christian Wise
God Particle, dir. by Julius Onah
Release date: April 20th
After 2008’s Cloverfield unleashed a city-consuming monster onto the streets of Manhattan in found-footage style pandemonium, and its spiritual successor 10 Cloverfield Lane hit critical acclaim eight years later, its ballooning cult-following had little to question of the shared Cloverfield universe other than: dammit Abrams, when’s the next one?
Which is a good question, considering the fact that God Particle has had three push-backs and, originally slated for a February 2017 release, is now due to be released this coming April. If it ever does get released, Cloverfield’s tertiary chapter will take to the skies, following a group of astronauts (headed by David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daniel Brühl) who must figure themselves out Life-style when a fatal experiment involving a particle accelerator leads to the earth suddenly vanishing.
In the typical hush-hush of Cloverfield marketing (10 Cloverfield Lane was released with little prior notice and was predominantly marketed through the Cloverfield A.R.G.), there is little else known about the franchise’s third instalment. However, given that the final few seconds of Cloverfield sees a satellite fall from the sky into the sea without any further explanation, and 10 Cloverfield Lane’s Howard (John Goodman) has been linked – through the Cloverfield A.R.G – to Tagruato’s satellites, it’s very possible that God Particle will follow suit and provide some explanation from above ground. Whatever way, God Particle promises to be a step-up from its earthly origins and might even prove to be one of the year’s greatest. Considering how brilliant its predecessors were, that’s some promise to make; considering how long I’ve waited for this film to finally arrive, it bloody better be.
Words by Sophie Trenear
Avengers: Infinity War, dir. by Joe & Anthony Russo
Release date: April 27th
The culmination of ten years’ worth of superhero cinema, Avengers: Infinity War is my pick for most anticipated film of 2018. In 2008 the MCU was born with the release of Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. as the playboy-billionaire-philanthropist Tony ‘I am Iron Man’ Stark. Iron Man set the bar for a new breed of superhero movies that aren’t afraid to take the genre in brave new directions. From the mythic Thor (Chris Hemsworth), to the comic-camp Captain America (Chris Evans), and finally to the badass Guardians, Marvel has evolved to the behemoth that it is today.
Bringing together every character in the MCU, Infinity War sees our heroes and heroines come against the biggest threat in the known universe: Thanos (Josh Brolin). First introduced in the post-credit sting for Joss Whedon’s first superhero team-up—Avengers Assemble—in 2012, the malevolent Titan has been biding his time pursuing the six Infinity Stones with which he can impose his twisted will on reality. The fate of the known universe has never been more uncertain and it will take everything The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy have to defeat him.
Amidst the anticipation for what will be the close of Marvel’s Phase III, is the bittersweet knowledge that Infinity War may also mark the final appearances of stalwarts such as Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. But what’s more is that Infinity War also marks a new beginning for the MCU, making it one of the most anticipated films of 2018.
Words by Laura Woodhouse
Deadpool 2, dir. by David Leitch
Release date: June 1st
Deadpool was a side-splitting treat when it was released just before Valentine’s Day 2016, with its low-budget approach, no holds barred comedic tone, and Ryan Reynolds’ charismatic performance as the titular “merc with a mouth” all working perfectly together to produce one of the critical and commercial successes of that year. So I’m obviously excited for more of the same when Deadpool 2 finally releases on June 1st.
But aside from that, Deadpool 2 promises to delve even further into the world of the comics than the original, by introducing us to Josh Brolin’s time-traveling soldier Cable and Zazie Beetz’s mutant mercenary (and potential Cable love interest) Domino, whilst also serving as the starting point for X-Men spin-off X-Force, due to start production later this year and featuring Reynolds, Brolin and Beetz as their Deadpool 2 characters. It remains to be seen whether Fox can capture lightning in a bottle twice, but an already terrific ad campaign – reminiscent of that behind the original – already has me eagerly anticipating the return of your parents’ least favourite superhero.
Words by Sam Law
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, dir. by J. A. Bayona
Release date: June 8th
In 2015, the Jurassic Park franchise returned to our screens in the form of Jurassic World: a CGI-extravaganza that was critically applauded and commercially successful. So, naturally, how could they resist the second instalment (you can hear the cash registers ringing!)
Due for release in June this year, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues where its predecessor left off. After the demise of the park in the last film, dinosaurs now roam free. But a massive volcanic eruption threatens their existence. Can they be saved, or is there a darker conspiracy at play that threatens not only the dinosaurs but humanity itself? It all sounds very Doctor Who-y, but – admittedly – that somewhat adds to its appeal.
Thankfully, much of the original stellar cast returns including Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. They’ll also be joined by some familiar faces: Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs), Toby Jones (Captain America/ The Hunger Games) and Jeff Goldblum (the original Jurrasic Park/ Independance Day). I’m hopeful these additions will bring fresh energy into the film, helping it avoid the infamous sequel pitfall.
We are sure to be treated to some CGI brilliance – if the trailer is anything to go by – and the film will tick all the boxes of your classic fantasy action-adventure. If a ‘save the dinosaurs’ storyline can compete with an ‘attack of the T-Rex’ narrative; well, only time will tell.
Words by Bruno Russell
Incredibles 2, dir. by Brad Bird
Release date: July 13th
Ever since the Underminer rose from the ground and brought chaos to the quiet suburban idyll of the Parr family at the end of 2004’s The Incredibles, both children and adults alike have been dreaming of a sequel to Pixar’s well-loved superhero adventure. 14 years later and this dream has become a reality, as the film we’ve all been waiting for, Incredibles 2, is out this year. Written and directed once again by Brad Bird, Incredibles 2 will pick up exactly where the first film finished – the first Pixar sequel to do so. Our original hero, Bob Parr/Mr Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) will be taking a backseat from the crime-stopping with his wife Helen Parr/Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) taking the central role.
If the first promotional materials are anything to go by, there’s a lot – both new and old – to be excited about here. The first teaser trailer focuses on Jack-Jack coming to terms with his powers (much to the surprise of his father, Bob), suggesting that this tiny character could play a huge role in the new film. There’s little information so far as to how Helen and Bob’s other two kids, Dash and Violet, will fit in, but given that The Incredibles was all about the family being best at saving the world when they come together, they’re sure to be at the heart of the action. Due for a July release, Incredibles 2 promises to be a nostalgic summer treat.
Words by Alice O’Hare
Ant-Man and the Wasp, dir. by Peyton Reed
Release date: August 3rd
Probably the most underhyped superhero film coming out this year, Ant-Man and the Wasp will be the first MCU film to drop post-Infinity War when it releases this summer. Admittedly, we’ve seen very little from this film to get excited about – currently Disney seem to be focusing heavily on the February and April releases of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War respectively, and understandably so – but with Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michael Peña all returning alongside newcomers Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfieffer and Walton Goggins, and with the humorous tone of the original Ant-Man hopefully set to make a comeback, there should be plenty for fans to get their teeth sunk into once promotional material starts flowing and the film finally comes out in just a few months’ time.
But what’s got me really looking forward to Ant-Man and the Wasp is how it will be one of only two films (Captain Marvel, which releases on March 8th 2019, being the other) to plug the gap between Infinity War and 2019’s “The Avengers film formerly known as Infinity War: Part II“, and as such it should prove a tantalising treat in answering some of the lingering questions left by April’s mega-blockbuster event. Add to this that we’ll finally be introduced to one of the founding members of the Avengers in the comic books – in Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp – and we should be in for one hell of a ride this summer.
Words by Sam Law
Venom, dir. by Ruben Fleischer
Release date: October 5th
In a bid to give the Sony Marvel Universe a new lease of darker life, Spider-Man villain Venom is getting his own film. Marvel have been incredibly secretive about the plot of this standalone project, but we do know that Venom will follow in the steps of Deadpool and Logan by having an ‘R’ rating. Conscious decisions to make the superhero genre more explicitly violent have thus far been immensely popular, with Logan in particular being a critical success. Venom is pitched as an action/sci-fi/horror and so it only makes sense that it joins these films in adopting a gritty approach.
Venom has huge shoes to fill given the domination of Marvel films in recent years but there’s no reason it can’t exceed our expectations, helmed by director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) and fronted by Tom Hardy. Having already showcased his ability to portray a villain as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy will be undergoing motion capture in the lead role of Eddie Brock, a journalist who bonds with an alien Symbiote over mutual hatred of Spider-Man to become Venom. There’s an acclaimed supporting cast too, with Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson and Riz Ahmed all involved in the project. It might be a while until we get a better glimpse of what Venom is really about given that shooting is still underway, but current signs suggest it will be more than worth the wait.
Words by Alice O’Hare
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, dir. by David Yates
Release date: November 16th
The first Fantastic Beasts film came as something of a surprise to everyone. There were so many expectations that the latest thread of the Harry Potter franchise would be drawing it out to death, with the announcement of five films based on a textbook within the Potter universe evoking groans from many. What we saw, however, was an innovative, fresh view of the wizarding world, with a stellar performance from Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, the magi-zoologist who captured all of our hearts within the first five minutes. What we also saw, perhaps more importantly, was a plotline which incorporated elements from the Harry Potter story we are all so familiar with, the biggest being the inclusion of Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).
Those familiar with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will know about the history between Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore, and this is the story that will be explored further in the next four films. In the second film, The Crimes of Grindelwald, we are to be introduced to a young Dumbledore, played by Jude Law, who looks absolutely perfect in the role in the promotion material released so far. Although not much has been released regarding the plot for this film, it already looks pretty exciting. In a picture of the cast, we see the return of Newt and the loveable muggle/no-maj Jacob (Dan Fogler), among others, and even new characters like Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), surely the ancestor of Bellatrix, whose inclusion fills me with intrigue. Any further insights into the Wizarding World are a treat, especially since these screenplays are written by J.K. Rowling herself, and The Crimes of Grindelwald is sure to be spectacular.
Words by Abi Cutler
Mortal Engines, dir. by Christian Rivers
Release date: December 14th
Historically book-to-film adaptations haven’t been… the biggest successes, but with a bit of luck The Mortal Engines should buck the trend. Based on Phillip Reeve’s quartet of YA books, the steampunk series sees a post-apocalyptic world where cities move around on wheels as ‘Traction Cities’, inhabitants living on top, ‘preying’ on small towns that the cities come across. The story follows a fugitive Hester (Hera Hilmar), around the moving monster of London, which looks more Transformer than city. The adventures start when she forms an unlikely alliance with historian and London citizen Tom (Robert Sheehan). Chaos ensues, and a resistance team emerge, determined to fight back against the vicious class system that forms on the cities.
The film should be visually impressive – a Mad Max vibe was given off by the trailer, and there are certainly enough weird and wacky surroundings for the special effects team to have some fun. It’s all a bizarre idea perhaps, but the film has the guiding hand of Christian Rivers as director, and a team of talented producers including Peter Jackson – someone who’s proved good at niche fantasy book adaptions in the past. In a year filled with highly-anticipated sequels, remakes and massive superhero universes, The Mortal Engines might just provide something a little different – and whilst it likely won’t win any awards, it should be a lot of fun.
Words by Ali Treanor
Mary Poppins Returns, dir. by Rob Marshall
Release date: December 21st
After an extraordinary long break of 54 years, one of Disney’s most treasured characters rejoins us in Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the renowned Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews. Emily Blunt, known most famously for her roles in The Devil Wears Prada and more recently the book-to-film adaptation of The Girl On a Train, has been tasked with filling some pretty tough shoes in taking over the role of Mary Poppins after Andrews’ legendary performance in the 1964 adaptation.
The film is certainly something to look forward to, particularly in light of the 2013 release of Saving Mr. Banks, an extremely insightful movie which tells the story of how Mr. Disney himself managed to acquire the rights to turn P.L. Travers’ original novel into an all-singing, all-dancing children’s movie. Whilst some people may show concern of the new movie being an unsuccessful attempt at a remake, it is important to note that whilst the characters are the same, this is a sequel, so an extra added bit of magic to the treasured Julie Andrews’ version rather than a remake.
Another incentive to be excited for this brand new motion picture is the star studded cast. Alongside Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda – most famously known for creating and performing in the West End phenomenon Hamilton – takes on a new role as one of Poppins’ companions, a street lamplighter named Jack. In addition, we will be graced with the appearance of some of our most renowned British actors, including Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Angela Lansbury. Not to forget a small cameo from Dick Van Dyke, known for his intriguing Cockney accent and endearing portrayal of Bert in the original movie. Expectations are certainly high!
Words by Abigail Wood