The latest offerings from Claire Denis, Steve McQueen and Harmony Korine complete our bumper 2018 preview.
Excited to find out what movie delights await in the year ahead? You should be… Here are 30 more upcoming features to mark in your diary, including brand new works by Clio Barnard, Marielle Heller and Chris Morris. When you’ve finished, look back over the first part of our 2018 preview.
Juliette Binoche saunters through Paris in search of love after growing tired of life as a divorcee artist, in the process encountering a slew of men who all, in one way or another, come up comedically short of her expectations. Let The Sun Shine In looks to be several shades lighter than her most recent work Bastards, ditching the suicide and scheming siblings for a whimsical tale of the precarious pursuits of Parisian passions.
Saoirse Ronan stars as the eponymous Mary in her attempts to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth and the eventual imprisonment she endured as a result of her failure. David Tennant and Guy Pearce feature, while Margot Robbie fills the role of the red-maned monarch Elizabeth. With Rourke coming from a more theatrically-oriented background, this could go the way of the overtly wiggy-stagey fare that befouls many such production, or may thrive on the myriad talents of its cast.
Eta 25 May
Eleven-year-old Parvana lives under the rule of the Taliban in 2001-era Afghanistan. After the arrest of her father, she disguises herself as a boy in order to traverse the country unhindered and provide for her family in her father’s absence. Coming from the team behind recent animated classic Song of the Sea and the director of the similarly brilliant The Secret of Kells, The Breadwinner has a way to go in rivalling the previous works of its creators. That said, if the charming trailer is enough to go by, it looks set to rise to the occasion.
Eta 30 March
The Iron Giant is here. So is Deadpool. With Harley Quinn. And Freddy Krueger makes an appearance. Duke Nukem too. That might be the truck from Twisted Metal. And that’s definitely the Delorean from Back To The Future. Racing the Light Cycle from Tron. In an MMO called The Oasis. That plays host to Tye Sheridan’s Wade Watts’ battle against evil corporate forces. And it’s only one of the films on Spielberg’s 2018 schedule after his look at the release of the Pentagon Papers in the Tom Hanks/Meryl Streep political thriller The Post.
There’s no two ways about it: Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is one of the great American satires of the new millennium. It’s with white-hot excitement, then, that we await the writer/director’s follow-up, The Beach Bum – especially as it stars Matthew McConaughey as a shoreline-residing stoner who, according to the official synopsis, “plays by his own rules”. The cast list also features Isla Fisher, Snoop Dog, The Florida Project’s Bria Vinaite and Jimmy Buffett (as himself). Oh yes.
Eta 9 March
Lynne Ramsay returns with this visceral offering that follows enforcer Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) on his mission to rescue the missing Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov) in an adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ novel, her first film since 2011’s stunning We Need To Talk About Kevin. Ramsay’s ability to draw out an uncomfortable silence to breaking point, and the allure of watching Joaquin go to town on kidnappers with a hammer, keeps this firmly on our 2018 radar.
Adam McKay’s new one stars Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in a film that looks to the influence and scope of the Vice President’s policies and the way they moulded the political landscape. Alongside Bale, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell and Amy Adams star as George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Lynne Cheney respectively. McKay’s sortie into political filmmaking has proven fascinating so far, and that upward trend looks set to continue here.
Set in 18th century England during the reign of Olivia Coleman’s Queen Anne, The Favourite follows the fluctuating court standings of Rachel Weisz’s Sarah after her younger cousin Abigail (played by Yorgos Lanthimos newbie Emma Stone) arrives to vie for the Queen’s affections. The film has been labelled as an acerbic tale of envy and political intrigue, and if the director’s past work is anything to go by it should all come bundled up with a hearty helping of weird.
Travis Wilkerson’s timely documentary charts his explication of familial secrets within a wider framework of America’s preoccupation with race as he explores the murder of Bill Spann by his KKK-affiliated great-grandfather. Against the contemporary backdrop of burgeoning fanatical nationalism, Wilkerson’s grilling of the progress made since the 1946 crime seems all the more vital.
It’s been nine years since Four Lions. That’s an awfully long time since we last heard word out of camp Morris regarding anything save a few directorial outings on Veep and his work with Stewart Lee on his Comedy Vehicle. And, save the news that he’s been filming in the Dominican Republic with Danielle Brooks and Anna Kendrick, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a little longer for any definitive word on the project. All we know is that it’s coming, and that it should be dropping some time in 2018.
Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke star in Cory Finley’s directorial debut about a pair of upper-class childhood friends who set out to ‘solve their problems’ with little mind payed to the consequences. The trailer sits it somewhere between The Bling Ring and The Neon Demon, whilst it features one of the final performances of the late Anton Yelchin. Keep the calendar free for this one.
Eta 3 August
The Predator series has never quite managed to recapture the claustrophobic intensity or hyper-macho ham of Schwarzenegger’s 1987 romp, the latest attempt at a retelling being little more than a shameless cash-grab hoping to leech off the charm of the original. That said, with The Nice Guys director Shane Black demonstrated he’s got the abrasive rapport of belittling whimsy down to a T; if anyone can come close to recapturing the magic of John McTieran’s jungle jaunt, it’s Black.
To call the production of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote troubled would be a gross understatement. Terry Gilliam’s reinterpretation of the classic Miguel de Cervantes novel features a businessman’s fluctuations between the 21st and 17th centuries, and his confusion with Don Quixote’s squire Sancho Panza. With a strong cast including Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård and Adam Driver, all that’s left it to hope that after 20 years of buggery the film hasn’t suffered. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Gilliam.
Eta 6 April
Robin Campillo’s story of young men and women fighting against the slackened governmental response to AIDS in 1990’s Paris has had quite the year already. Garnering both the Grand Prix gong at Cannes and the French nomination for the Academy Awards, in addition to a slew of other praise, the momentum it has accrued through festival season looks set to carry it yet further following its early 2018 release. If the buzz is to be believed and the wholly un-mawkish tone of the trailer carries through into the film, this is certainly no bad thing.
Save for Andrew Garfield’s involvement, there’s not much to go on regarding David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to It Follows. If he manages to put as fresh a spin on the film’s neo-noir foundations as he did with the teen body-horror of that earlier film, we could be in for something very special.
Eta 11 May
Aliens, punks and the streets of Croydon play host to the John Cameron Mitchell’s expansion on the short story by Neil Gaiman. Elle Fanning dips off from her galaxy-galavanting group to explore the clubs and meet the people of the 1970’s punk explosion, crossing paths with Nicole Kidman’s peroxide-drenched Queen Boadicea and young musician Enn (Alex Sharp). So far it’s been pretty poorly received by Cannes, but that’s Cannes. It doesn’t count. Mitchell has a background in strong moviemaking pertaining to subculture music and the lives orbiting it, so we’ll give this a chance. Plus, the opportunity to see Nicole Kidman as a snarling Siouxsie Sioux alike ought to be a doozy too.
Robert Redford is back to bank robbing in David Lowery’s tale of a retiree jailbird cashing in his chips for one last heist. The story upon which it’s based is mad enough to enthrall, and Lowery has been on a near-flawless run since 2013’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, so all signs point to this one being another shiner. Plus, Tom Waits is in it.
Melissa McCarthy fills in for the departing Julianne Moore as Lee Israel, the prolific author turned-fraud turned-author again. After falling foul of the fickle fancies of celebrity scoops, Israel turns to forging letters, purportedly from famous deceased celebrities, and selling them to the media with the aid of Richard E Grant’s Jack in an effort to reinvigorate her failing career. If Marielle Heller can maintain her momentum from the wonderful The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and McCarthy goes more Spy than The Boss, we should be in good shape to forgive her for the latter.
Eta 29 June
With Stefano Sollima assuming directing duties from Denis Villeneuve, and penned by the capable hand of Taylor Sheridan, the follow up to Sicario traces the escalations in the fruitless game of attrition that is the War on Drugs. Focussed on the stretch of land bordering the US and Mexico, Soldado sees the return of Josh Brolin’s Agent Graver and Benicio Del Toro’s mercilessly clinical Alejandro. Del Toro’s presence is reason enough to give this world a second visit.
Eta 21 December
Mary Poppins makes her return in Rob Marshall’s follow-up to the 1964 classic, with Emily Blunt filling Julie Andrews’ shoes as the titular nanny. With Jane and Michael Banks all grown up and with family of their own, the brollied babysitter makes her visit after the unit suffers a loss. With the help of Lin-Manuel Miranda she revitalises the waning wonder of the wayward siblings. Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw portray the agieng Banks children, whilst Dick Van Dyke reprises his role as Mr Dawes.
Eta 23 February
Alice returns home after her father’s death to inherit the tenancy to the family farm she believes she is entitled to, though it transpires her brother Joe has his own designs on the property. Ruth Wilson and Mark Stanley portray the feuding siblings in Clio Barnard’s latest directorial offering after the stunning The Selfish Giant, while Sean Bean additionally features as the the pair’s father in the film’s many flashback sequences.
Steve McQueen’s Widows follows the fates of four women whose husbands are killed in a botched heist, who then decide to take on the job themselves in this reimagining of the 1983 series. Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo star as the eponymous bereaved with strong support from Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall and Daniel Kaluuya.
Eta 26 January
Aardman maestro Nick Park’s first directorial outing since 2005 sees Eddie Redmayne as Dug, a caveman contending with the encroachment of the Bronze Age on his Stone Age tribe. Tom Hiddleston provides the villainous tones of Lord Nooth while the capable ensemble of Richard Ayoade, Timothy Spall and Maisie Williams ensures the Aardman charm is likely to be in full swing throughout this caveman caper.
Eta 9 February
After uncovering a terrorist plot on a Parisian train, three Americans are forced to subdue their attackers. Clint Eastwood has been on something of a lull for the last ten years, and The 15:17 To Paris certainly has the air of jingoistic pornography around it, but if Eastwood can subdue his patriotic inclinations this could be a thrilling return to form.
Eta 25 May
Set before the first (note: first) Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story features a young Han and Chewbacca rollicking around the galaxy getting up to shenanigans with Daenerys Targaryen and Childish Gambino. It’s had a troubled production, but the film still looks set to make its May 25th debut. The trials and tribulations of reshoots gave us arguably the best ever Star Wars film in Rogue One, and Alden Ehrenreich is an inspired choice for young Han; all being well, Solo will live up to the astronomical expectations levied against it.
Eta 16 February
A new Guillermo del Toro film is always cause for celebration, and in his latest – a love letter to the 1954 horror classic – he posits the question at the fore of the horror zeitgeist; what if the Creature from the Lagoon began trysting with the heroine? Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones play the unlikely lovers beset by Michael Shannon’s callous Agent Strickland in a film that promises to maintain the compassionate eye del Toro has cultivated for the unconventional Other over his illustrious career.
Eta 12 February
Returning to the technologically advanced African nation Wakanda following the death of his father, Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa looks set to succeed as its king. Before he can do so, enemies old and new hatch a plan to bring down both the kingdom and the world. Teaming up with CIA-Bilbo and Danai Gurira’s Okoye, T’Challa sets out to prevent his kingdom falling into disrepair in this latest Marvel vehicle, directed by Rocky-revitalist Ryan Coogler.
Apart from the involvement of Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, not much is known about the Zellner Brother’s tale of a businessman’s Westward venture to his distant fiancée. Their last film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter was fantastic, and Pattinson describes the film as having something of a slapstick comedy feel to it which is only good news if the quality of the humour in the pair’s past work manages to work its way into this latest offering.
Eta 9 November
Whether or not Bad Boys For Life ends up materialising in 2018 remains to be seen. Given the tumultuous production the film has endured so far, it would come as little surprise if the third instalment of the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence comedy series gets pushed back yet again. The plot is being kept under wraps for now, and with Joe Carnahan’s departure in 2017 so is word of a replacement director. We’re opting to keep a sunny outlook though.
It’s about a serial killer. It tracks the course of his murders over the course of twelve years spanning the 1970s through the 1980s. He’s played by Matt Dillon in a getup that falls somewhere between Jeffrey Dahmer and Dwight Schrute. Von Trier claims it’s a celebration of the idea that life is evil and inherently soulless. Pencil this one in. Take the kids.
Published 1 Jan 2018
By Joe Boden
Upcoming features to look out for, including new works from Wes Anderson, Ava DuVernay and Jennifer Kent.
The radical director of Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? talks race and legacy in America.