Our predictions for the 10 surprise hit movies of 2017

  • Our predictions for the 10 surprise hit movies of 2017

January always brings a fresh breath of excitement for the upcoming films of the year, and 2017 boast blockbuster releases such as Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, Justice League and Blade Runner 2049.

But in this list, we're going to try and predict the lesser known films that will turn out to be either surprise box office hits or huge fan favourites...

10. Coco - Pixar's Mexican-inspired musical adventure, and their last original movie until 2020

Due: December

The main focus of Pixar's marketing in 2017 at the moment is Cars 3 and Lightning McQueen's expected topple from the top - but let's be honest, merchandise aside, the Cars films have never hit the heights of Pixar's other titles.

Which is why we suspect that December's Coco - inspired by the Mexican celebration Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) - may be the better Pixar film this year.

With a deluge of Pixar future sequels planned, it is their only original movie until 2020, and while little is known about the project, it could be one of Pixar's best original films of recent years.

9. The Dark Tower - a sci-fi western based on the Stephen King dark fantasy series

Due: December

The planned 'western revival' hasn't gone to plan, with recent films The Hateful 8, Jane Got A Gun and The Magnificent Seven all failing to enthuse audiences with tales of the Old West, but that could be set to change with 2017's The Dark Tower.

It is a quasi-sequel to the popular Stephen King book series and rather than a straight western, it is a science fantasy western horror, about an 11-year-old adventurer who enters another dimension and encounters frontiersman knights and sorcerers.

With Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, it is not short of star power, but a decade-long road to the big screen means that Danish director Nikolaj Arcel has a lot of pressure to deliver - but with such a rich and exciting source material, he might just pull it off.

See also | The 8 biggest surprise hit films of 2016 

8. Life - a space station crew bring Martian life aboard, with deadly consequences (so, Alien?)

Due: March

A space thriller with a high-profile cast, including Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson, Life has managed to stay fairly quiet considering it is releasing within the first three months of the year.

Aboard a space station, six astronauts study a single-celled organism that they have collected from Mars - the first example of extraterrestrial life; but the crew soon discover that the life form proves more intelligent and dangerous than anyone expected.

Full of tension, and a few jump scares thrown in for good measure, Life could prove to be one of the most thrilling and genuinely terrifying films of the year.

Watch the trailer here

7. Wonder - Room star Jacob Tremblay's new tear-jerker

Due: April

Jacob Tremblay, who had us crying giant tears during his fantastic performance in Room, takes on another monster role that could mark him out as the best child actor of all time (yes, even Macaulay).

In what we're imagining as a cross between Robin Williams' Jack and the 1985 drama Mask, Tremblay plays a boy with a facial deformity who, joining a new school, sets out to make everyone understand that he's just another ordinary kid.

With Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson playing his parents, expect the 10-year-old Tremblay to once again steal the show and have the tears rolling down your cheeks.

See also | Pearl & Dean's early Oscar 2017 predictions: Best Actor

6. The Snowman - the Jo Nesbø adaptation of Norway's first serial killer

Due: October

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Swedish director Tomas Alfredson adapts fellow Scandinavian and bestselling author Jo Nesbø's 2007 novel The Snowman, the seventh entry in his famous Harry Hole series.

Michael Fassbender plays Detective Hole as he investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman, in the case of Norway's first official serial killer.

The cast includes Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer and J.K. Simmons in a drama that, if done correctly, could be as good, if not better than The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo.

5. God Particle - astronauts make the Earth disappear in the new Cloverfield sequel

Due: February

With a great cast, including David Oyelowo, Chris O'Dowd, Daniel Brühl and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi horror sees a team of astronauts aboard a space station seeing the Earth disappear after one of their scientific experiments go terribly wrong.

Producer J.J. Abrams announced that this would be another 'spiritual successor' to Cloverfield after the enormous success of 2016's 10 Cloverfield Lane.

While we haven't been given any details of how this will continue the Cloverfield mythos (parallel universes?), we can be sure that if this continues with the quality and success of the other Cloverfield films, then it will be an absolute corker.

4. Untitled Detroit project - Kathryn Bigelow's take on one of America's most destructive and deadliest riots

Due: TBA

Still without a name, let alone a release date, Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow gets behind the camera for the first time in five years to direct the real-life story of the 1967 Detroit riot.

Bigelow has assembled an impressive cast, including John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie and Will Poulter in the story of a police raid on an unlicensed, after-hours bar which sparked the five-day-long civil uprising which, at the time, was the deadliest and most destructive riot in America's history.

Having won the Best Director and Best Film Oscars for 2008's The Hurt Locker and earning a Best Film Oscar in 2012 for Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow's pedigree puts this project in good hopes of earning a shedload of awards too.

See also | 7 sequels that started out as completely different movies

3. Baby Driver - Edgar Wright takes on a serious thriller with a getaway driver gone wrong

Due: August

Having dropped out of Ant-Man in 2015 due to creative differences, the only films directed by Edgar Wright are the Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - all of which are obsessed over by film fans.

For the first time, the much-adored director will be moving away from comedy, as Baby Driver - written and directed by Wright - is a straight crime thriller about a young getaway driver who sees things go awry when a robbery he is working on goes wrong.

Young Han Solo, Ansel Elgort, plays the lead alongside the likes of Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey, in which we're sure will be full of all of the visual brilliance and exciting story twists that Wright is lauded for.

2. Thor: Ragnarok - the Asgardian is set to have a funnier superhero film than Guardians of the Galaxy

Due: October

While Iron Man and Captain America are currently Marvel's biggest superheroes, Thor is more of a secondary player and, apart from fan-favourite villain Loki, the films are largely forgotten.

In a year that everyone expects that the second Guardians of the Galaxy, the last Wolverine stand-alone movie and the Justice League movie will be dominating the box office charts, Ragnarok might be the one fans enjoy the most.

The reason for that is New Zealand director Taika Watiti, most famous for vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and 2016 comedy drama Hunt for the Wilderpeople, who has been drafted in by Marvel to bring a lighter, more comedic tone to the Asgardian story (as seen in a hilarious promo video) - and we're backing him to deliver.

1. Annihilation - the Ex Machina director, Natalie Portman and an award-winning novel

Due: TBA

Written and directed by Alex Garland, who saw incredible success with his wonderful 2015 sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, returns to adapt the award-winning novel Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

Natalie Portman plays a biologist who joins an expedition to an environmental disaster zone, where she finds strange plants and creatures, and the laws of nature don't apply.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar Isaac are other members of the team, in which we're expecting to be as good as Ex Machina, but with a bigger audience; but with no official release date yet, this one may slip under the radar for most.

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