As the New Year begins, we look ahead to some of the big movie releases of 2016
This is one of the four heavyweight contenders that are expected to dominate the box office during the next 12 months.
Due to open in March, the movie seems to have all the qualities of a sure-fire monster hit: two superheroes on screen at the same time (although there are rumours more super characters might well feature), the first big screen Wonder Woman, big name stars and a big budget.
Intended to be a follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel, the reboot of Superman, which itself made US$668 million (RO257 million) worldwide, it will mark a milestone in DC Comics’ history as the first live-action film to feature both Batman and Superman.
This time, our caped heroes are at war with each other as Gotham City-based vigilante Batman (a bulked up Ben Affleck) travels to Metropolis to take on modern-day saviour Superman (Henry Cavill), fearing the latter could fly out of control if left unchecked. Meanwhile, as these two are battling it out in the skies and on the ground, a sinister menace, Doomsday, emerges to threaten the existence of mankind.
Cue what promises to be some spectacular CGI special effects and stunning sequences in the time immemorial fight between good and evil.
Our super men are joined by Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the internet has been swirling with speculation about the other action heroes that may pop up, such as Aquaman and The Flash.
Superman’s old foe Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and love interest Lois Lane (Amy Adams) are also said to be appearing. Suffice to say, this hotly anticipated movie will be massive.
It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo swam onto the big screen so this sequel, set for release in June, has been a long time coming. Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue reef fish with her fishy friends, including Nemo, the lovable clown fish, on a search for answers about her past. Along the way, some valuable lessons about the true meaning of family are learnt. With Ellen DeGeneres again voicing Dory, Albert Brooks (Marlin) and Alexander Gould as Nemo, it has all the ingredients to make a splash at the box office and exceed the nearly US$1billion (RO385m) made by Finding Nemo.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
It’s a Harry Potter spin-off; need we say more? With these two words alone, it’s virtually guaranteed to print money as HP fans clamour to watch anything related to their hero. HP doesn’t actually feature but it’s set in the same universe as the boy wizard. The new hero is Newt Scamander, a young man fascinated with magical creatures. With J K Rowling adapting her 2001 book in her screenwriting debut, David Yates, who directed the last of the Potter films, at the helm, and Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne in the title role, it sounds a mouthwatering prospect.
Anyone who loves the 1984 original (and who doesn’t?) might be a little dubious at the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters reboot, but a strong cast and director (Paul Feig) should help allay any worries it could ruin the franchise. Melissa McCarthy of Spy and Bridesmaids fame, Kristen Wigg, Kate Dippold and Leslie Jones don the boilersuits to they take on ghosts invading Manhattan. Expect lots of laughs and green ectoplasm. Original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Sigourney Weaver will also appear in cameos.
*Also look out for: The fifth Bourne film (as yet unnamed) starring Matt Damon, X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Jungle Book, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Angry Birds Movie.
Bollywood stalwart Shah Rukh Khan is out to show a different side to himself in this clever offbeat offering. He plays two roles as Gaurav, a fan obsessed with a movie star, Aryan Khanna, who looks like himself, and travels to Mumbai to meet his idol. The film had been scheduled for release in early 2015, but was postponed after Khan suffered injuries (to his knee) while filming Happy New Year. Khan is said to have undergone a complete makeover for his role, with special effects involving 3D scanning and prosthetics (for the first time in his career). Exploring the complex star-fan relationships, it’s set to be one of Khan’s most layered roles in recent times. Directed by Maneesh Sharma, it is due for release in April.
* Also look out for: Airlift starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur.