With summer blockbuster season 2017 in full swing, and with Fast & Furious 8 speeding over the $1bn mark already, a bunch of filmmakers are furiously putting together their films for release this time next year (or thereabouts). Here, as things stand, is the state of summer blockbuster season 2018. We’ve veered towards UK release dates on the whole, but as always, things can quickly change.
Also, we’ve not included unnamed films: Universal, for instance, has reserved a slot for one of its classic monster universe movies, but not told anybody what it is yet. As more information pops up, we’ll keep this list up to date…
Tomb Raider (March 16th)
Summer blockbuster season effectively kicks off in March in 2018, with the Warner Bros-backed big screen reboot of the Tomb Raider movie franchise out first. Alicia Vikander is taking on the role of Lara Croft in this one, with director Roar Uthaug plucked from his successful disaster movie, The Wave, to make his English language directorial debut with this one.
Walton Goggins, Dominic West and Hannah John-Kamen are also in the cast, for a film that’s drawing from the more recent videogames. Warner Bros will want sequels.
Robin Hood (March 23rd)
There always seems to be a bunch of Robin Hood projects on the go, and Lionsgate is going down the dark and gritty root for Robin Hood: Origins. On paper, this is ground that the Russell Crowe-headlined Ridley Scott-directed Robin Hood movie tried to cover back in 2010. That was due to inspire sequels, but few fancied watching Scott and Crowe do another one.
Lionsgate is hoping that putting Taron Egerton at the heart of its film will be a smart move, and he’s surrounded by a strong cast, including Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Foxx and Tim Minchin. Note that the film is no longer called Robin Hood: Origins. It’s plain old Robin Hood now, and Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) is directing.
Ready Player One (March 30th)
Whilst Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s nerd-gold tome Ready Player One has been in post-production, the bearded one will have found time to launch, direct and release The Post, starring Tom Hanks. Which gives a flavour as to the extensive post-production work Ready Player One will require, to bring a mix of dystopia and 80s movie and videogame references to the big screen.
Spielberg’s cast here includes Mark Rylance, Ben Mendelsohn (he’ll be doing a fair amount of press next March…), T J Miller, Simon Pegg, Olivia Cooke, Tye Sheridan and Hannah John-Kamen. Hugely looking forward to this one, too. Zak Penn (Game Over) has penned the script, by the way…
Magic Camp (April 6th)
Disney’s first entry into summer blockbuster season 2018 isn’t actually one of its big franchise movies. Rather, it’s got potential franchise-launcher Magic Camp, from Mean Girls director Mark Waters.
The film features Gillian Jacobs, Jeffrey Tambor and Adam Devine, and it follows a summer camp for wannabe young magicians. It sounds Harry Potter-y on paper, but actually, the film will focus on an end-of-summer magic competition. It’s just the kind of film that you may not have heard of now, but may just be unable to escape next spring. We’re certainly not going to knock Disney remembering to take a few punts outside of its usual collection of franchises either.
The studio also has A Wrinkle In Time set for early March, too. We’re looking forward to that.
X-Men: The New Mutants (April 13th)
Here we go. The first full-on comic book movie of the summer, and the first of three X-Men films that 20th Century Fox has earmarked for a 2018 release. The Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone is steering this one, with hints to its build up in X-Men: Apocalypse.
The New Mutants will focus on the first bunch of graduates from Professor Charles Xavier’s school for gifted children, and strong rumour suggests that James McAvoy will be back as Professor X for a start. The rest of the cast remains unconfirmed, but some of the younger members of the X-Men: Apocalypse cast are possible candidates for an appearance.
The Pact (April 20th)
Summer season comes with R-rated comedies as part of the deal, and The Pact comes from Kay Cannon, who wrote the Pitch Perfect trilogy of movies (Pitch Perfect 3 is out at the end of the year). Cannon makes her directorial debut here, with the story following three dads who try to stop their daughters from having sex on prom night. Leslie Mann and John Cena lead the cast.
Rampage (April 20th)
Dwayne Johnson traditionally has two or three movies out each summer, and 2018 ain’t bucking that trend. Firstly then, Rampage, based on the monsters-destroying-buildings videogame of the 1980s. Given how thin the plot of the Rampage games was, it’s basically an excuse for Johnson and his San Andreas director Brad Peyton to wreak further havoc, and pretty much put together whatever plot they like to set it against (Ryan Engle and Carlton Cuse have worked on the script). The supporting cast includes Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Malin Akerman.
Avengers: Infinity War (April 28th)
Don’t expect too many films to schedule themselves around this one. The apex of Marvel’s phase three of movies, Avengers: Infinity War – to be directly followed by a thus-far unnamed Avengers movie in summer 2019 – is set to tie up the Thanos story, that’s been bubbling since way back in phase one.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo jump from the Captain America films to this and the next Avengers movie. And well, you know, pretty much all of the Marvel gang are in it. The Guardians Of The Galaxy, Captain America, Black Widow, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Thor, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Scarlet Watch – you name ‘em, they’re likely to be there.
In a summer not shy of huge movies, this is one of the ones expectedly to comfortably cruise past $1bn of box office takings. If they get the film right, maybe even $2bn.
It lands a week ahead of the US release in the UK.
Life Of The Party (May 11th)
A third project for director Ben Falcone and star Melissa McCarthy, who co-write the script too. And happy to be married in real life. They’ve thus far put together Tammy and The Boss, two modest, profitable movies. Details of Life Of The Party are under wraps, save for Gillian Jacobs and Maya Rudolph co-star. Oh, and Christina Aguilera is in there somewhere too…
Star Wars: Han Solo (May 25th)
Ah, let’s just deliver the money straight to Disney, shall we? Another comfortable $1bn in the bank here, as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller dig into the early life of Han Solo and Chewie, with Alden Ehrenreich stepping into Harrison Ford’s clobber. Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover are in the supporting cast, and Jon & Lawrence Kasdan have penned the script. We suspect this won’t be the last we see of Ehrenreich as Solo, either…
Deadpool 2 (June 1st)
Who’s brave enough to come out the week after a Star Wars movie? Ah, good on you, Ryan.
The return of Deadpool is comfortably one of the most anticipated of 2018’s blockbuster releases, with Ryan Reynolds leading a cast that includes Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, T J Miller, Brianna Hildebrand and swearing. David Leith, co-director of John Wick, is helming this time, with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick again on screenplay duties, with a bit of help from Drew Goddard. Expect cash, and no shortage of it.
Ocean’s 8 (June 8th)
Perhaps not the most expected franchise revival, but the bringing back of the Ocean’s capers may just prove a smart move from Warner Bros. Already, Ocean’s 8 feels distinct from much of the rest of the fodder we’re getting next summer.
It’s a new crew this time, led by Sandra Bullock. She’s joined by Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Dakota Fanning, Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, Helena Bonham-Carter, Richard Armitage, Rihanna and Mindy Kailing, with several surprise cameos lined up.
Gary Ross, who helmed the first The Hunger Games film, is directing this one, having co-written the screenplay with Olivia Milch.
Bumblebee (June 8th)
The Transformers cinematic universe continues, without Michael Bay directing for the first time. Instead, for the Bumblebee spin-off movie (a prequel story, we’re told), Laika studios boss and Kubo & The Two Strings helmer Travis Knight is directing.
Christina Hodson is writing the script, although casting hasn’t yet been confirmed. Paramount will be hoping that this vindicates its gamble on annual Transformers films, and Knight certainly seems a bold, good choice to direct. Tough competition in June, though.
The Incredibles 2 (June 16th)
If this writer had to pick just one of next summer’s films to transport in front of eyeballs right now, this is the one I’d use my time travel powers on. Brad Bird returns to animation – following Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland – with the eagerly, eagerly, eagerly, eagerly, eagerly awaited sequel to The Incredibles. Few plot details as of yet, just an out of office message written for next June….
Jurassic World 2 (June 22nd)
Universal waited over a decade following Jurassic Park III to bring the fourth Jurassic Park film to the big screen. With director Colin Trevorrow at the helm, its patience was rewarded. Over $1.5bn was banked, and a further instalment was set up. With Trevorrow off making Star Wars: Episode IX, he’s handed directing duties to J A Bayona (who made the glorious A Monster Calls most recently), although he and Derek Connolly penned a screenplay for the Jurassic World sequel too.
Cast-wise, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas-Howard lead the returnees, and it’s already been confirmed we’re getting James Cromwell and bonus Jeff Goldblum this time. Even considering the competition it’s up against, this may yet be the film to beat at the box office next summer – not least because not too much competition immediately follows it.
Barbie (June 29th)
Despite losing Amy Schumer from the lead role, Sony is still pressing ahead with its live action Barbie movie, that Diablo Cody, Kim Caramele and Jenny Bicks have been working on the screenplay for. Given that the film doesn’t have a director in place as this article is being written, it may yet be a project Sony pushes back. It hasn’t announced Schumer’s replacement yet either. Watch this space…
Ant-Man And The Wasp (June 29th)
Another Marvel film arriving a week ahead of the US release, this, as is now the norm. Peyton Reed is back as director, with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly headlining, in the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man. Michael Douglas and Michael Pena are also confirmed to be back, with the story for this one coming from Rudd and Adam McKay. Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari are penning the final screenplay.
No plot details have been confirmed as of yet. It’ll be the third Marvel release of the year (given that Black Panther is set for February, just ahead of blockbuster season).
The Spy Who Dumped Me (July 6th)
It sounds like an Austin Powers movie. Instead, it’s a comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, about two best friends who discover that one of their exes was a spy. Susanna Fogel (Life Partners) is set to direct. No further details are known at the moment, though.
The Purge 4 (July 4th)
After the excellent The Purge: Anarchy, the third film in the series – The Purge: Election Year – felt a little bit of a let down. Amidst talk of The Purge series going to television, though, comes a fourth cinematic adventure. This is the first not to be directed by James DeMonaco, though. He is writing the movie, but a new helmer has not yet been announced. A July 4th release date has been earmarked, though.
Hotel Transylvania 3 (July 13th)
In a summer light on obvious outright family movies – since Disney pushed back Gigantic and Wreck-It Ralph 2, only The Incredibles 2 is fighting for your animation cash – Hotel Transylvania 3 is likely to do enough to persuade Sony to greenlight a fourth film. Adam Sandler isn’t writing this one, but leads the voice cast again, along with Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg. Genndy Tartakovsky, who toyed with handing the third film over to someone else, is back to direct. The last film grossed $478m worldwide. This one should break half a billion. It’s turning into one of the biggest, active animated movie franchises on the planet.
Skyscraper (July 13th)
Where’s Dwayne Johnson gone? Ah, right here. What’s he doing this time? Defusing a hostage situation in a big tower block in China, in the role of a former FBI hostage rescue team leader. Is his family trapped in the building too? Yep. That’ll do.
Rawson Marshall Thurber, of We’re The Millers, Dodgeball and Central Intelligence vintage, has written the script and will direct. We’re in. As long as Statham doesn’t fight a shark later in the summer, this might just be the gleeful treat of the season.
Alita: Battle Angel (July 20th)
A project that James Cameron was set to direct for a long time, before his Avatar commitments took precedence. Instead, he’s overseen the project, but Robert Rodriguez – with his first feature since Sin City: A Dame To Kill For – has directed instead. Michelle Rodriguez, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz, Jackie Earle Haley, Casper Van Diem, Jeff Fahey and Ed Skrein are in the cast, working from a screenplay by Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis. It’s all based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro. You’d imagine if it did well there’ are many sequels planned.
Mission: Impossible 6 (July 27th)
Christopher McQuarrie becomes the first person to direct two Mission: Impossible films, following up the very successful Rogue Nation with the sixth screen adventure of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. No Jeremy Renner this time (his Avengers schedule is keeping him busy elsewhere), but we do get Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames and Sean Harris. McQuarrie has also penned the screenplay. We’re promised a very big stunt again with this one, but hopefully too, the kind of exciting caper we get when these films are on form.
Holmes & Watson (August 3rd)
There’s a bit of cash in the whole Sherlock Holmes thing these days, and that’s just what Will Ferrell and John C Reilly will be hoping for. They’re taking the lead roles in a comedy take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters, alongside Kelly Macdonald, Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Hugh Laurie and Rob Brydon. Etan Cohen, director of Get Hard, is helming this one too, having also written the script.
The Predator (August 3rd)
Knocked back six months from its planned February 2018 release, The Predator sees Shane Black directing, from a script that he wrote with The Monster Squad’s Fred Dekker. It’s going to be an R-rated revival of The Predator films, with Thomas Jane, Olivia Munn, Boyd Holbrook, Yvonne Strahovski and Edward James Olmos amongst the ensemble. No Arnold Schwarzenegger this time, though…
Scarface (August 10th)
Another remake of Scarface, this time with Diego Luna taking on the role of Tony Montana. Antoine Fuqua was supposed to go from The Magnificent Seven remake to this, but he dropped out instead to make The Equalizer 2. For Universal to hit its planned August 2018 release for the new Scarface, it does need to appoint a new director soon. It seems to have a script in place, with Terence Winter, the creator of Boardwalk Empire, having penned the latest draft. The new Scarface will be Los Angeles-set, focusing on a Mexican immigrant. Donald will be thrilled.
Meg (August 10th)
The Statham. A big shark. Fighting each other. Thank you movie gods. Thank you.