Welcome to the future, boys and girls! This year features a veritable smorgasbord of VFX heavy movies and cutting them down to just ten (okay, eleven) is harder than keeping Star Wars spoilers under wraps.
Deadpool (Companies involved: Digital Domain, Blur, Luma Pictures, Rodeo FX, Image Engine, Atomic Fiction) – Feb. 12
The Merc with a Mouth finally makes it to the big screen after years of development hell. With a penchant with breaking the fourth wall, Mr. Pool will certainly be a different kind of super hero.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Companies involved: MPC, ScanlineVFX, Weta Digital, Double Negative) – Mar. 25
The perennial comic book store argument finally gets a definitive answer as Zack Snyder pits the two most iconic super heroes in a fight for the ages. Guaranteed slow motion explosions and spandex covered fisticuffs as Warner Bros. tries to build a shared universe a la Marvel.
The Jungle Book (Companies involved: MPC, Weta Digital) – Apr. 15
Adapting the Rudyard Kipling novel in a live-action/CG film is no small undertaking. Thankfully, director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) knows what he’s doing – the folks at MPC and Weta Digital know a thing or two about creating stunning photoreal animal performers too.
Captain America: Civil War (Companies involved: Industrial Light & Magic, Double Negative, Luma Pictures, Method Studios) – May 6
Superheroes have become the bread and butter of the VFX industry – and a huge draw at the box office. With the unenviable task of building off the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this third installment in the super soldier’s story will pit friends against friends, all leading up to the epically titled, two part adventure Avengers: Infinity War.
X-Men: Apocalypse (Companies involved: MPC, Digital Domain, Rising Sun Pictures, Hydraulx, Legacy Effects) – May 27
After the events of X-men: Days of Future Past, Fox wiped the slate clean with all the continuity fumbles of the last few X-men films (we’re looking at you X-men Origins: Wolverine). With Oscar Isaac playing the unstoppable and probably unfriendly villain Apocalypse, this film will be the true test to see if the franchise can survive after its successful timeline reboot.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (Companies involved: Industrial Light & Magic) – Jun. 3
Say what you will about the quality of the first film’s story (let’s be honest, it made absolutely no sense), at the very least the sequel to the reboot (sigh…) is embracing it’s cartoony roots by introducing the duo of Bebop and Rocksteady, a warthog with a purple mohawk and a Russian rhino. Yep, you read that right.
Warcraft (Companies involved: Industrial Light & Magic, Blizzard) – Jun. 10
They say that films based on video games are doomed to fail. With a built-in fanbase, a stellar director at the helm with Duncan Jones, and the wizards at ILM creating the visual effects (see what we did there?), if there’s one film that has a chance of breaking that trend, it’s Warcraft.
Ghostbusters (Companies involved: Sony Pictures Imageworks, MPC, Zero VFX, Iloura) – Jul. 15
Little is known about the plot of this reboot, but frankly that’s OK with us. With a phenomenal cast and the best comedy director in the game (Paul Feig), this could be the return to form that fans of the original films have been clamoring for. We can’t wait to see what crazy ghosts and ghouls this generation’s VFX masters can produce.
Doctor Strange (Companies involved: Industrial Light & Magic) – Nov. 4
Officially the weirdest film on this list, Doctor Strange is ostensibly another high profile super hero film. It seems like every time Marvel checks the back issue bins for their second (or third) tier characters, they still manage to make magic and with Benedict Cumberbatch donning the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, it’s likely to continue casting a spell over audiences.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Companies involved: Framestore, MPC, Cinesite, Rodeo FX) – Nov. 18
A different type of wizard in a different era. Based off the book by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, this installment brings us back into the wizarding world, but in 1920s New York City. Creatures, effects, and magic seems to be what’s on tap in December. Hopefully also some butterbeer.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Companies involved: Industrial Light & Magic) – Dec. 16
Ever wonder what happened to the Bothan spies that delivered the plans to the Death Star in the original Star Wars? Well wonder no longer. Set between the prequels and the original trilogies, the first of the Star Wars spinoffs will be riding high off the success of The Force Awakens. Start your spoiler engines!
Honorable Mentions: The BFG, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Star Trek Beyond, Independence Day: Resurgence, Suicide Squad, Pete’s Dragon, Assassin’s Creed