Dark Tower

Based on the Stephen King series of novels by the same name, this post-apocalyptic western stars Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black. If McConaughey’s character sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same character from King’s other novel, The Stand. In the novels, it’s up to the Gunslinger to try and make it to the Dark Tower as he believes the secret to saving his world lies there. This movie has been in development for a few years now and has gone through a few permutations. We’ll see on July 28 what parts of this saga the movie will adapt, no matter what they do, I’ll take Idris Elba in any movie I can get him in. That dude is awesome.

Blade Runner 2049

It’s confession time again. I had never seen Blade Runner until December of last year. I was raised in a pretty conservative home and was simply never exposed to the original. After viewing, I can say that it wasn’t necessarily for me. I loved elements and hated others (the sound editing in the theatrical version was atrocious, even for the period). I am a fan of the original Philip K. Dick story, sci-fi, and noir did right but it has been iterated upon and influenced so much in the last 34 years that it doesn’t feel as fresh now. Ridley Scott is back to direct the sequel and Harrison Ford is back to star. This time they’re joined by Ryan Gosling and I’m excited to see how the world has evolved in the last 30 years. Blade Runner 2049 takes us back to LA on Oct. 6.

Thor Ragnarok

Thor is possibly the weakest series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first movie was good, not great and the sequel was mostly forgettable. The franchise needed some new blood and some new ideas. In comes director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt For The Wilderpeople) and the inclusion of the Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Cate Blanchett as Hela, the Asgardian Queen of Hel. Along with the new blood come some new concepts and locales including the adaptation of the World War Hulk storyline and some gladiator style fights and a couple of alien worlds. Waititi has spoken about the ‘80’s vibe’ of the film and said that ‘it’s a crazy movie’ and ‘…most ‘out there’ of the Marvel movies’. I’m pretty excited to see what this thing turns out to be on Nov. 3.

Justice League

You can’t mention this movie without talking about Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. That movie was largely made in an attempt to set up the larger DC Cinematic Universe. Justice League is intended to cement it. We’ll see what Wonder Woman brings but after BVS and Suicide Squad there is some work to be done to make this thing stick. It may surprise you to know that I didn’t hate BVS but I didn’t love it either. I saw the extended version on home video (I refuse to pay to see a Snyder murderverse movie in the theater) and thought the issues most people had with it were fixed in that version. Suicide Squad, on the other hand, was hot, hot garbage. There was very little about that movie that worked. For Justice League to work it will have to be a movie about people. It can’t just take us from scene to scene forcing us to view a bunch of disconnected moments. We need to like and care for the characters for it to work. This is the biggest movie Warner Bros. has released in a decade. Not because it will make a ton of money but because if it doesn’t work DC superheroes are in a lot of trouble. We’ll see how it turned out on Nov. 17.

Star Wars Episode VIII

Star Wars is a juggernaut. When a movie in the series is released you can’t escape the merchandise or the trailers. Personally, after I see the initial trailer for a new Star Wars, I go on blackout. I ignore all news, I watch no more trailers, I just want to see the movie. I know the story, I don’t need to speculate. I want to see it unfold on screen. JJ Abrams did a fantastic job with the last mainline film and so did the marketing team. There was never too much given away and when I saw the movie in the theater I was surprised and excited and all the other feels I’m supposed to feel during a great movie. Rian Johnson is on board to direct this one and while I’m sure it will feel like a Star Wars movie, Johnson gave us a pretty distinctive flick in Looper and I can’t wait to see how this world feels under his direction. The next episode hits on Dec. 15.

Are there any movies that I missed or do you think my opinions are wrong? You can yell at me on Twitter @billsegroves.