1. Bordertown, Jan. 3 (9:30 p.m. on Fox)
First announced in 2013, Bordertown is about two family patriarchs on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico, one a white, racist, border patrol agent, the other a successful Mexican-American business man. It was created by Mark Hentemann, a former Family Guy showrunner, and executive-produced by Seth MacFarlane, so the humor is familiar if you have ever watched that show. Despite its long gestation period, Bordertown is certainly topical. Hank Azaria voices Bud Buckwald, who would surely vote for Trump; longtime MacFarlane colleague Alex Borstein voices both Janice and Becky Buckwald; and Nicholas Gonzalez voices Ernesto Gonzalez.
2. Zoe Ever After, Jan. 5 (10 p.m. on BET)
Brandy Norwood stars as Zoe, a single mother trying to start a cosmetics empire and get back into dating after splitting from her ex-husband, a famous boxer (Dorian Missick). BET is surely looking to build on the scripted success of its Being Mary Jane, especially with its creator, Mara Brock Akil, leaving that show.
3. The Shannara Chronicles, Jan. 5 (10 p.m. on MTV)
MTV, meanwhile, would love to find another genre drama that works as well as Teen Wolf — will that be The Shannara Chronicles? The series, based on Terry Brooks’ science fiction novels, is about a post-apocalyptic world where peace is about to be shattered by, you know, evil. Like it does. And good-looking young people will have to do something about that. Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, the executive producers of Smallville for years, are in charge.
4. Shades of Blue, Jan. 7 (10 p.m. on NBC)
Was it sometime in the late 19th century when NBC first announced this Jennifer Lopez cop show? It feels that way — but it’s finally here. Lopez plays Harlee Santos, an only slightly corrupt Brooklyn detective who is conscripted by the FBI to become an informant on her colleagues. This show — created by Adi Hasak — is definitely trying to do something different and grittier from other network cop shows, and with Lopez in the lead, it works well enough. Ray Liotta and Drea de Matteo also star. Also: It feels notable and important that three of NBC’s midseason shows are led by Latina actors: this one, plus its two new comedies, America Ferrera’s Superstore and Eva Longoria’s Telenovela. (Both of which officially premiere Jan. 4, but have already aired in several sneak peeks.)
5. My Sweet Audrina, Jan. 9 (8 p.m. on Lifetime)
If you have read this completely bonkers 1982 V.C. Andrews novel — about child rape and crazy parenting, basically — you have two questions about Lifetime adapting it as the final entry in its recent Andrews binge: HOW? AND WHY? Also: YES. And maybe: WHAT TIME?
6. Shadowhunters, Jan. 12 (9 p.m. on Freeform)
Cassandra Clare’s popular YA fantasy novels The Mortal Instruments were adapted into an actively terrible, little seen movie in 2013. If you have managed not to come across it, you are blessed! Wisely, Freeform, the new name for ABC Family, saw the opportunity here to give this widely read series a second life. (And it should work better on television anyway.) Katherine McNamara plays Clary, a Brooklyn high school student who trips into the Shadow world that’s always been there — a world of vampires, warlocks, and Shadowhunters, human-ish people with angel blood in them that police the supernatural world.
7. Colony, Jan. 14 (10 p.m. on USA)
In the near future, Los Angeles has been walled in and occupied by a mysterious military force (doing the bidding of alien invaders). Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) play a couple with kids who get caught up in the power struggle between the resistance and the collaborators. Lost’s Carlton Cuse created this series with Ryan J. Condal.
8. Idiotsitter, Jan. 14 (10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central)
I laugh at this show’s tagline: “One’s an Idiot. The Other’s Her Sitter.” Jillian Bell (Workaholics) and Charlotte Newhouse (The Big Bang Theory) created and star in this show, in which Newhouse’s Billie, Ivy League–educated and broke, takes a job as a nanny to Bell’s Gene, a rich moron who is under house arrest. You can watch the pilot here if you want to check it out.
9. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Jan. 15
Director Michael Bay + the highly contested attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya — what could go wrong? Haha, so much! From the trailers, though, 13 Hours looks like it’s staying away from the fraught politics of the tragic 2012 incident, and just wants to blow things up. Whether this movie’s release in an election year can simply be viewed as a nonpartisan, but jingoistic action thriller remains to be seen, but it is getting the same January wide release as two other patriotic films in the past two years, Lone Survivor and American Sniper — both of which were huge hits. (13 Hours, which stars James Badge Dale and John Krasinski, isn’t getting a December Oscar qualifying run, though. Because Bay.)
10. The 5th Wave, Jan. 15
After an alien invasion kills most of the Earth’s population, a teenaged girl (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) goes in search of her little brother from whom she’s been separated. This is based on the first of a YA trilogy by Rick Yancey, the third book of which is set to be released later in 2016. Nick Robinson (the older brother in Jurassic World), Maika Monroe (excellent in It Follows), and Liev Schreiber (who is Liev Schreiber) round out the cast. The commercial hopes for this film are clear.
11. Angie Tribeca, Jan. 17 (TBS)
TBS is doing something inventive with its new Rashida Jones comedy — it will show all 10 episodes of its first season in a 25-hour marathon on Jan. 17, and then premiere the second season Monday, Jan. 25 at 9:30 p.m. Angie Tribeca has an Airplane-ish vibe, and there is a scene in the pilot with Lisa Kudrow, a guest star, that made me laugh so hard I cried. Steve and Nancy Carell created the show, and Ira Ungerleider is the showrunner. Jones plays Angie, a cop, and is surrounded by a funny ensemble (at least in what I have seen). Warning, though: Watching Angie Tribeca in close proximity to the deadly serious Shades of Blue will cause cognitive dissonance.
12. The Circus, Jan. 17 (8 p.m. on Showtime)
Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — and political consultant Mark McKinnon — will have a half hour weekly show going inside the 2016 presidential race. If you’ve read Halperin and Heilemann’s books about the 2008 and 2012 elections (Game Change, part of which was adapted into the HBO movie, and Double Down), you know that they seem to get both a lot of access and a lot of dirt.
13. Billions, Jan. 17 (10 p.m. on Showtime)
Damian Lewis plays Bobby Axelrod, a zillionaire hedge fund guy, and Paul Giamatti is Chuck Rhoades, the ambitious U.S. attorney who wants to bring him down — honestly, though, they both seem like horrible people. Their wives are played by Maggie Siff from Sons of Anarchy (she is married to Chuck, but works for Bobby) and Malin Akerman.
14. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Jan. 21 (8 p.m. on The CW)
The CW’s third DC Comics show — after Arrow and The Flash — features a whole lotta superheroes. From the future, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill from Doctor Who), travels back in time to assemble a crew that will help him prevent big bad Vandal Savage from destroying the world (and killing Rip’s wife and son). Beside Rip, there are eight other leads! Including Arrow favorites Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). And then six others, including, notably Wentworth Miller (as Captain Cold) and Dominic Purcell (as Heat Wave) in a Prison Break reunion. (The two-part pilot of Legends of Tomorrow did not grab me the way Arrow or The Flash or CBS’ Supergirl did, all of which are produced by Greg Berlanti. But I trust this crew, and will keep watching.)
15. London Spy, Jan. 21 (10 p.m. on BBC America)
In its five parts, Tom Rob Smith’s London Spy combines a twisting, layered mystery; a doomed romance; a close character study; and a highly stylized, meticulous production. And it’s really fun and great and sad. Ben Whishaw plays Danny, a cute, but getting just a little bit older, gay man who has grown tired of his own partying — just in time to meet Alex (Edward Holcroft), a quiet, rich, closeted virgin. (Who happens to be hot.) They fall in love, but when I tell you that the title gives away one of Alex’s secrets, you can’t be mad — because it’s the title! Danny gets involved in a nightmare, but he refuses to give up trying to find out the truth (nor will his connected friend Scottie, played by a humane Jim Broadbent). By the time Charlotte Rampling showed up in a key role, I was an addict. (As my colleague in London, Scott Bryan, has put it, London Spy is also confusing: worth it, though.) BBC America has a lot of good stuff in 2016, including another thriller, Undercover (spring), Thirteen, a mystery about a long-time victim of kidnapping who is finally freed (also spring), and the supernatural The Living and the Dead (summer).
16. Baskets, Jan. 21 (10 p.m. on FX)
Zach Galifianakis plays a rodeo clown (a depth he sinks to after he fails at a fancy French clown school — because he can’t speak French, which is funny to watch). Galifianakis, Louis C.K., and Jonathan Krisel created the show.
17. The Boy, Jan. 22
OH MY GOD, THIS TRAILER, HELP HELP HELP. Scary doll! Haunted doll! Plus: murderous child, and creepy, old house. Lauren Cohan — Maggie from The Walking Dead — plays the lead, a nanny for the scary/haunted/murderous doll child. Which brings us back to: HELP US LIVE THROUGH THE BOY.
18. Chelsea Does, Jan. 23 (Netflix)
Though there is still no start date for Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, her four-part documentary series, Chelsea Does, launches in January. Handler puts marriage, racism, Silicon Valley, and drugs through her (lack of) filter.
19. The X-Files, Jan. 24 and 25 (Fox)
There are two things happening here, and, luckily, they can happen at once: The X-Files, one of the most daring, influential television shows of all time, is coming back with Chris Carter, its creator; two leads, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny; and other original cast members. The other thing that’s happening is it makes absolutely no sense. That isn’t new either! And it will happen this time for only six episodes, which is many fewer hours than the nonsense the show devolved into for a whole bunch of its nine seasons. When we see them again, Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Anderson) have both moved on from their former jobs and each other’s lives — she is a surgeon, and he is a recluse — but soon enough, they’re brought back into that alien-seeking life. It seems, at least from Mulder’s enthusiasm, if not what we actually see or understand on-screen, that he’s about to finally figure this puzzle out, which will, of course, reactivate their old enemies too. Yet both Mulder and new character Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale, who plays a conspiracy theorist who is half Glenn Beck, half, well, Joel McHale on The Soup) deliver two crazed monologues about government control that would make Alex Jones go, “Whoa, guys, please calm down.” If we weren’t so happy to see Mulder and Scully under any circumstances, what would we think of all of this? Let’s just leave it like that. Because it is nice to see them. Fox (the network, not the Mulder) is leaning so hard on genre in its schedule this season, and it will be interesting to see what happens, both with this X-Files reboot and with Second Chance (9 p.m. on Jan. 13) and Lucifer (which premieres on Jan. 25 after The X-Files’s second night). The truth will be out there soon enough!
20. The Magicians, Jan 25 (9 p.m. on Syfy)
Lev Grossman’s trilogy of Magicians novels created a world in which young adults discover they are magicians and have to contend with the burdens of those gifts, as well as the joys. This Syfy adaptation by executive producers Sera Gamble and John McNamara has aged the characters up from the books — instead of attending Brakebills, a Hogwarts-like university for the magically inclined, it’s more like…grad school. (This decision seems to work well.) Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) is the show’s main character, and our way in — he’s now figuring out why he’s been depressed his whole life. But if Brakebills seems to be life-changing, Quentin will also soon find out that Fillory, the Narnia-like world he’s fantasized about his whole life, isn’t as fictional as he had thought.
21. Outsiders, Jan. 26 (WGN America)
WGN continues its serious, aggressive push into quality scripted television with Outsiders, a drama about the Farrells, a lawless family in Appalachia the government wants to evict. David Morse plays Big Foster, the clan’s patriarch; Thomas M. Wright (unrecognizable from Top of the Lake and The Bridge) plays the local sheriff, who is about to butt up against the Farrells. (WGN will also air Underground, a 10-episode drama about the Underground Railroad from John Legend, Misha Green, and Joe Pokaski, on March 9.)
22. Grease: Live, Jan. 31 (7 p.m. on Fox)
The erosion of live-viewing in network television has given us at least one real gift: live musicals. For the past three years, NBC has been the sole provider in this game, with its terrific version of The Wiz being the latest. Now Fox is getting into this business with Grease: Live. Julianne Hough will play Sandy, Aaron Tveit will take on Danny, and Vanessa Hudgens will be Rizzo!
23. And Then There Were None, Winter TBD (Lifetime)
This Agatha Christie adaptation is a co-production with BBC One. It just aired in the U.K. and was a big hit with viewers and critics. Sarah Phelps adapted this new version of Christie’s classic novel, and the cast includes Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister!), Sam Neill, Aidan Turner (Poldark), and Miranda Richardson.
24. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Feb. 2 (10 p.m. on FX)
This massive project has many parents: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the screenwriters who wrote Ed Wood and The People vs. Larry Flynt, adapted The Run of His Life, Jeffrey Toobin’s 1996 book about the O.J. Simpson case. There’s also executive producer Nina Jacobson, who was developing this miniseries for Fox before it moved to FX. And then there’s director–executive producer Ryan Murphy, who has infused the episodes with his memorable visual style and casting acumen. Even if you were obsessive about this news story and trial, there’s plenty of insight here, and it’s put together expertly (FX sent out 6 of the 10 episodes to journalists). Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran is a particular standout — he seems to have transformed into him. Cuba Gooding Jr. is nuanced as Simpson, managing a difficult role that could have devolved into parody. Paulson is great, as always: It’s safe to say she can do anything. John Travolta as Robert Shapiro is — well, he makes some very strange choices that you will have to see for yourself? But it’s certainly a spectacle, which works. If there’s one off note, it’s the show’s tendency to lean too hard into the Kardashian connection (Robert Kardashian, played by David Schwimmer, was Simpson’s close friend). I get why: The crime and the trial were the beginnings of a certain sort of tabloid culture, and the Kardashian kids, The People v. O.J. Simpson tells us, are later manifestations of that turn. But it’s pretty distracting, not to mention reductive. Regardless, these are wonderful dilemmas to be presented with from an also enjoyable, often riveting, series.
25. Madoff, Feb. 3 and 4 (8 p.m. on ABC)
Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner will play the Madoffs in this two-night miniseries from ABC’s news division. It’s based on ABC News’ Brian Ross’s reporting, and subsequent book, The Madoff Chronicles. (HBO will also get into the Madoff business at some point, with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer playing Bernie and Ruth.)
26. Hail, Caesar!, Feb. 5
This Coen brothers project — the third in their “Numbskull Trilogy,” which includes O Brother Where Art Thou and Intolerable Cruelty — has been in the works for years and years, and had taken on mythological status. Around the time of Inside Llewyn Davis, they said they thought it would finally happen — and now here we are. Josh Brolin plays a Hollywood fixer in the 1950s studio system, called in after a movie star (played by George Clooney) is kidnapped. Behold, Hail, Caesar!’s massive cast: Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, and more.
27. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, Feb. 8 (TBS)
The former Daily Show correspondent will be television’s only female late-night host when her weekly show premieres. At New York Comic-Con, Bee did not hide how ridiculous she finds that idea, saying that when she saw the all-male Vanity Fair cover of late-night hosts, she thought, Fuck you. She also tweeted this.
28. Zoolander 2., Feb. 12
The original Ben Stiller movie had an ill-timed release at the end of September 2001; the silliness of Zoolander’s spirit just wasn’t the right fit for the sad, fearful moment. But that was remedied in the time that followed, and now, more than 14 years later, the sequel is upon us. Derek (Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) will team up to save the world from Mugatu (Will Ferrell), and Penelope Cruz and Kristen Wiig join the cast. Along with approximately 1 million cameos.
29. Deadpool, Feb. 12
In development pretty much forever, this Marvel character (in a movie made by Fox) certainly brings a different tone to the current crop of superheroes. “You look like Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah,” Deadpool is told in the film’s red band trailer. “Exactly!” replies Ryan Reynolds as the title character. Deadpool, directed by Tim Miller (his first feature), made a big splash at Comic-Con last summer. (Very off joke in this recent trailer, though, when Deadpool says “I so pity the dude who pressures her into prom sex” after his young sidekick, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, flattens a foe.)
30. How to Be Single, Feb. 12
Based on the 2008 novel by Sex and the City writer Liz Tuccillo, How to Be Single examines well-trod territory — especially trod by Sex and the City. But the trailer has funny jokes! Dakota Johnson plays Alice, who is new to the New York dating scene, and becomes the Padawan to her sexually confident friend Robin (Rebel Wilson).
31. Vinyl, Feb. 14 (HBO)
Every few years, HBO launches a gargantuan project, and Vinyl is one of those. Set in wild 1970s New York City, Vinyl follows Richie Finestra, the head of a record label, played by Bobby Cannavale. Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, and Juno Temple also star — but among Vinyl’s executive producers are two even more famous names: Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. Terence Winter of Boardwalk Empire is the showrunner. (HBO has not yet sent out Vinyl to screen.)
32. 11.22.63, Feb. 15 (Hulu)
With its original programming initiatives of the past few years, Hulu has found success in comedy — but in 2016, the streaming service will push into drama. 11.22.63 is a limited series based on Stephen King’s 2011 novel — about a teacher named Jake who goes back in time to prevent John F. Kennedy’s assassination — starring James Franco. Chris Cooper and Josh Duhamel also star, and Cherry Jones plays Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother.
33. Love, Feb. 19 (Netflix)
Gillian Jacobs plays Mickey, and Paul Rust plays Gus, two lost, recently broken-hearted Los Angeles residents who meet when Mickey leaves her wallet at a cult meeting and can’t pay for her coffee at a 7-Eleven-ish store. Rust created this show with Judd Apatow and Lesley Arfin. (Love has already been ordered for a second season.)
35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Feb. 26
This sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will stream and be released in theaters more than 15 years after Ang Lee’s stunning original film — and Michelle Yeoh is back as Yu Shu Lien. This time, Yuen Wo-Ping, the martial arts choreographer of The Matrix and Kill Bill films, directs. And it looks just as stunning this time around. Sword of Destiny is Netflix’s first film release of 2016.
36. Eddie the Eagle, Feb. 26
A combination of Britcom, biopic, and sports movie, Eddie the Eagle follows the story of Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, Britain’s first-ever Olympic ski jumper. In the 1988 winter games, he finished last in his two events, but endeared himself to the public, becoming something of a folk hero. Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) plays Eddie, and Hugh Jackman plays his coach.
37. The Witch, Feb. 26
The Witch — creepy as hell, and deeply original — made a big splash at Sundance 2015: Writer-director Robert Eggers won Best Director in the narrative competition. Set in 1630 New England, the film tells the eerie story of a colonial family beset by supernatural evil, which causes them to turn on each other. This one will stick with you. (Speaking of Sundance: There will be lots of independent movies that will be bought at Sundance 2016, and then distributed throughout the year — but we don’t know which ones yet!)
38. Hap and Leonard, March TBD (SundanceTV)
James Purefoy, Michael K. Williams, and Christina Hendricks star in this 1980s-set caper in which Hap (Purefoy) and Leonard (Williams) are best friends, and Hendricks plays Hap’s ex-wife. The three of them get involved in some shit.
39. The Real O’Neals, March 2 (8:30 p.m. on ABC; regular time slot, Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m., starting March 8)
Inspired by the writer Dan Savage, this intelligent, funny sitcom is about a religious Catholic family that ends up admitting to one another that they’re not perfect. Martha Plimpton and Jay R. Ferguson play the O’Neal parents, who are having problems; Matthew Shively plays the oldest son, who is anorexic; Bebe Wood is the youngest kid, and an embezzler; and Noah Galvin plays the middle kid — who comes out as gay.
40. The Family, March 3 (9 p.m. on ABC; regular time slot, Sundays at 9 p.m., starting March 6)
Joan Allen plays a well-off Maine politician married to Rupert Graves, who begins The Family with three younger children — until the littlest, Adam, is kidnapped and presumed to be murdered. (A local creep, played by Andrew McCarthy, even goes to prison for it.) Ten years later, her two remaining kids, Willa and Danny (Alison Pill and Zach Gilford) are type A and a drunken mess, respectively. Then, Adam shows up, with scars and stories of rape. So what happened? There’s nothing here you’ve never seen before, including a long-missing person showing up after years and years, and those once closest to him wondering whether it’s really him. But the pilot of The Family presents a soapy thriller that I will surely watch again. Jenna Bans, a Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal veteran, created this show, and that sort of expertise is felt here.
41. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, March 4
Tina Fey, a producer here too, stars in the adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s 2012 memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Fey plays Kim, a reporter who goes to the Middle East to cover the war after its early phase has ended. Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Alfred Molina also star. Note: It is a comedy!
43. Knight of Cups, March 4
Because Terrence Malick — the uniquely perfectionist director – made this movie, it was on our 2015 list too. (See #120: full of lies, as it has turned out.) Since then, it premiered last February at the Berlin International Film Festival to mixed reviews, with Erik Kohn of IndieWire warning, “John Gielgud delivers, in voiceover narration, the first of many excerpts from John Bunyan’s 1676 Christian tome The Pilgrim’s Progress…” The movie, at least the one people saw, stars Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and more, with Bale playing a screenwriter trying to figure out What It All Means. Of course, with another long period to work on it, perhaps Malick has recut it to be about a rabbit and fox solving a crime. Who knows.
44. Eye in the Sky, March 11
With little hype going into the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Eye in the Sky drew some strong reviews: Variety compared it to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. Helen Mirren plays a colonel, and Aaron Paul, a drone pilot. Gavin Hood, of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Ender’s Game, directs.
45. Midnight Special, March 18
Michael Shannon plays Roy, a man trying to save his 8-year-old son, who has special abilities of the science fiction kind. Joel Edgerton’s and Kirsten Dunst’s characters want to help him; Sam Shepard’s and Adam Driver’s characters want the kid for their own purposes. Midnight Special is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the director of the well-received Take Shelter and Mud.
46. The Little Prince, March 18
The Little Prince made its debut at Cannes in May, and was the response was mostly positive. Since the original 1943 story is so slight, the narrative film has had to expand it, which some liked more than others — but even its detractors agreed it is gorgeous.
47. The Divergent Series: Allegiant, March 18
This mediocre, cash-grab franchise begins its ending now — but, naturally, the final (truly terrible, universally despised) book has been cut in two. So it won’t be a merciful death! These movies have put together a superlative cast — who deserve better.
48. The Passion, March 20 (Fox)
What the what: On Palm Sunday, Tyler Perry is hosting and narrating a live musical of The Passion. According to Fox’s press materials, it will be a “dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. The story will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.” Also, it’s set in the modern day.
49. The Catch, March 24 (10 p.m. on ABC)
From executive producers Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Allan Heinberg, and Julie Anne Robinson. Mireille Enos of The Killing plays Alice Vaughan, a Los Angeles private investigator who gets duped by her own fiancé (Peter Krause). But then she seeks to catch him. (ABC has not yet sent out this screener, so I have no idea.)
50. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, March 25
Henry Cavill returns as Superman, Ben Affleck makes his Batman debut, Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor, and Gal Gadot plays Wonder Woman. For those of us who have never liked a Zack Snyder movie, but love Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Batman, the release of each successive trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been a stabby experience. Still, there is hope until there is no hope!
51. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, March 25
Have you noticed a new trend on this list, which is long-delayed sequels to movies? There are a whole bunch coming this year — not reboots, but sequels: Zoolander 2, Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Bridget Jones’ Baby… and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It’s an interesting twist on going to the same well twice, and, for fans of these movies, often welcome (I think?). When we last saw Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) in a flash-forward at the end of the 2002 movie — a sleeper hit that was a massive box office success — they’d had a daughter. From the trailer, that daughter is now applying to colleges as far away from her mother as possible; there will also be a wedding.
52. The Path, March 30 (Hulu)
Jessica Goldberg, a Parenthood writer, created The Path, and Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) is an executive producer. This Hulu drama is about a couple — played by Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan — involved in a controversial religious movement with a charismatic leader (Hugh Dancy). Let’s all place bets about when the Church of Scientology flips out about this show!
53. The Invitation, April 8
At a dinner party at a beautiful house in the hills of Los Angeles — one that happens not to have cell service — a group of friends may or may not be in danger from their hosts. Or is Will (Logan Marshall-Green), who suspects them, going crazy? Full disclosure: I’m friends with the director (Karyn Kusama) and the writers (Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay) of this movie. It is also excellent, or I would just leave it off this list! Here’s Variety’s review of it out of SXSW.
54. Hardcore Henry, April 8
Hardcore Henry — directed by Ilya Naishuller — came out of nowhere at the Toronto International Film Festival and set off a bidding war. BuzzFeed News’ film critic Alison Willmore wrote that it’s “insanely violent, incredibly dumb, and undeniably inventive in the most will-make-you-throw-up-from-motion-sickness sense of the word.” She also wrote that “its need to shock gets tiresome after only a few minutes. But there’s something wild and new about getting a practitioners’-eye view of, say, parkour. And star Sharlto Copley’s tendencies to chew on the scenery actually work in this context.”
55. The Boss, April 8
Melissa McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone, directed 2014’s Tammy, starring McCarthy, and the effort turned out to be her one true misstep since her post-Bridesmaids run began. (But had that movie been marketed and judged on a much smaller scale, it might have been viewed differently.) Falcone and McCarthy are trying again with The Boss, and from the trailer, it doesn’t look like there will be any tonal mistakes: McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a rich entrepreneur who goes to prison for insider trading, emerges penniless, and has to move in with her former assistant (Kristen Bell) and her daughter.
56. Hunters, April 11 (Syfy)
Adapted from Whitley Strieber’s Alien Hunter book series — and never forget that Strieber says he himself has been abducted, so he would know all about this — Hunters is about an FBI agent’s search for his wife, which leads him into a cadre of investigators looking into terrorists…who may be aliens? Nathan Phillips, Britne Oldford, and Julian McMahon co-star.
57. Confirmation, April 16 (HBO)
God, this cast! Kerry Washington as Anita Hill, Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas, Greg Kinnear as Joe Biden, Treat Williams as Ted Kennedy, Dylan Baker as Orrin Hatch, Jennifer Hudson as Angela Wright (the other Thomas accuser) — and it goes on. Rick Famuyiwa, the director of 2015’s Sundance hit Dope, takes on the Thomas confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, which led to one of the most divisive, revealing, pivotal moments in American feminism (and institutional misogyny). Considering its ending, spoiler alert: Confirmation will be a horror movie.
58. Containment, April 19 (The CW)
Oh lord, this show. Its plot is about an outbreak of a deadly — and disgusting! — virus, which spreads, horribly (and disgustingly!) throughout Atlanta. (It was picked up in the spring, but in a strange bit of timing, a Syrian refugee is Patient Zero.) The authorities, thinking they have the virus isolated, cordon off 4,000 people in a small part of the city. But of course it is not isolated! These things never are! There is no question that Containment, adapted from a Belgian series by Julie Plec, is done well. Its large, mostly unknown cast is comprised of police and health care officials and doctors and people in quarantine. Its pace is exciting; it attaches you effectively to these characters. But are you down for this topic in fiction? Personally, I am not. But as I exclaimed during the two-hour pilot, “I am not enjoying this!” my partner yelled, “I am GRIPPED.” And then also: “Basically, we should all be four to six feet from everyone at all times.” (One of Containment’s many lessons.) So you know which camp you’re in: Either you want to see people’s faces in close up as they cough up blood, or you don’t.
59. Uncle Buck, Spring TBD (ABC)
Perfectly cute adaptation of the 1989 John Hughes movie in which John Candy plays a sloppy, hapless uncle — but this time, with a black cast. Mike Epps plays Buck, who moves in with his brother (James Lesure) and sister-in-law (Nia Long) to help take care of their kids.
60. Preacher, Spring TBD (AMC)
Dominic Cooper, who is good in everything, plays Jesse Custer, a Texas preacher with supernatural power. He is joined by Tulip (Ruth Negga of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and Cassidy, an Irish vampire (played by Joe Gilgun). Preacher is based on the Vertigo comic book series, and adapted by Sam Catlin (of Breaking Bad.) Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are also executive producers.
61. The Night Manager, Spring TBD (AMC)
Another collection of superlative actors for this one: Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, and Tom Hollander star in this miniseries adaptation of the 1993 John le Carré novel. A former British soldier (Hiddleston) goes undercover to bring down a businessman (Laurie).
62. The Girlfriend Experience, Spring TBD (Starz)
In this expansion of Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film, Riley Keough (of Mad Max: Fury Road — and Elvis Presley’s granddaughter) plays Christine Reade, a law student and intern, who discovers she can make money as a GFE prostitute.
63. Everybody Wants Some, April 15
This seems so fun: It’s Richard Linklater’s “spiritual sequel” (according to marketing materials) to Dazed and Confused, but it looks like everyone is Wooderson. Blake Jenner (no relation, but of Glee Project and Glee fame) plays a college baseball player living with his partying teammates.
64. The Jungle Book, April 15
Pushed from 2015, Jon Favreau’s remake of the Disney classic looks stunning — and maybe absolutely terrifying for children? Check out the trailer and judge for yourself. Neel Sethi plays Mowgli; Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and other famous actors also lend their voices.
65. Barbershop: The Next Cut, April 15
Another stuttered sequel, though Barbershop: The Next Cut is the third in this series. (The original Barbershop was released in 2002, and Barbershop 2 in 2004). Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson, and more all return — and Nicki Minaj and Common join the cast. This is Malcolm D. Lee’s first feature since the success of The Best Man Holiday in 2013.
66. The Huntsman: Winter’s War, April 22
By making this movie a prequel, The Huntsman is doubling down on what especially worked in the surprisingly good 2012 original (Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron). And it’s avoiding the messiness of dispensing of Kristen Stewart’s Snow White, as well as Snow White and the Huntsman’s director, Rupert Sanders (with whom Stewart had an affair that lit the tabloids on fire). Also, Winter’s War adds Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain — these are good things. It looks batshit, frankly! That is a compliment.
67. All the Way, May TBD (HBO)
Bryan Cranston will reprise his Tony-winning role as Lyndon B. Johnson in HBO’s version of the also Tony-winning play by Robert Schenkkan. All the Way tells the story of the passing of the 1964 Voting Rights Act, as well as the election of that year. Anthony Mackie plays Martin Luther King Jr., and Melissa Leo takes on the role of Ladybird Johnson.
68. Captain America: Civil War, May 6
As anyone on the internet knows, how trailers land is a mixed bag, sometimes causing dread (and presaging failure), and other times, increasing excitement a thousand-fold. It’s safe to say that the first look at Captain America: Civil War fell into the second category. It will pick up where Ant-Man’s post-credits sequence left Bucky and Cap, which will set up Cap’s adversarial relationship with Tony Stark. Cannot wait. Joe and Anthony Russo direct again, and after this, they will move on to the Avengers franchise.
69. The Free State of Jones, May 13
In his first movie since the initial Hunger Games, Gary Ross writes and directs the historically based story of Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), who led a secession of his Mississippi county from the Confederacy during the Civil War. (Knight was also married to a former slave.) Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, and Mahershala Ali also star.
70. Money Monster, May 13
George Clooney and Julia Roberts star, and Jodie Foster directs her first movie since the cursed 2011 effort The Beaver (starring mid-scandal Mel Gibson). Clooney plays Lee Gates, a famous TV finance guy taken hostage by a viewer (Jack O’Connell) who has lost all his money because of an on-air stock tip. Roberts plays Gates’ producer.
71. Snowden, May 13
The Oliver Stone take on the Edward Snowden story was originally scheduled for 2015, but was pushed when apparently it simply wasn’t finished. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Snowden, and, in some inspired visual casting, Shailene Woodley plays Lindsay Mills, his girlfriend. Snowden is based on The Snowden Files by the Guardian reporter Luke Harding.
72. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, May 20
The main cast is back — Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron — and will be joined by Chloë Grace Moretz as their new antagonist.
73. The Nice Guys, May 20
In a comedy-mystery directed by Shane Black — the screenwriter of the Lethal Weapon buddy movies — Ryan Gosling plays a 1970s private investigator who teams up with a tough guy (Russell Crowe) to find a missing girl. Kim Basinger plays the girl’s mother, which makes this an L.A. Confidential reunion for her and Crowe.
74. X-Men: Apocalypse, May 27
The most recent X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, came out in summer 2014 as director Bryan Singer was fending off accusations of sexual assault. (Singer was never charged with a crime.) He’s back directing again with this sequel, which brings back Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult, and adds Sophie Turner (Sansa from Game of Thrones!) as Jean Grey. Oscar Isaac plays Apocalypse.
75. Alice Through the Looking Glass, May 27
The sequel to the 2010 Tim Burton movie Alice in Wonderland — this time, James Bobin (Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted) directs. Mia Wasikowska returns as Alice, Johnny Depp again as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. The plot diverges from Lewis Carroll’s novel: Here, Alice will go back in time in order to save the Mad Hatter.
76. Me Before You, June 3
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones’ Mother of Dragons!) plays opposite Sam Claflin (Finnick from The Hunger Games!) in this adaptation of the 2013 novel by Jojo Moyes. Clarke’s Louisa is a sheltered, working class young woman who gets a job taking care of Will, a resentful, quadriplegic man. The New York Times review of this book said: “When I finished this novel, I didn’t want to review it; I wanted to reread it. Which might seem perverse if you know that for most of the last hundred pages I was dissolved in tears.” There will be sobs!
77. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, June 3
When googling this movie, I laughed reading that this sequel will feature a “classic villain from the TMNT canon.” (To be clear, it was both “classic” and “canon” that were funny to me.) The first movie, of course, was huge — worldwide, too. Megan Fox returns as April, and Stephen Amell and Laura Linney join the cast.
78. Warcraft, June 10
Based on the bazillion-dollar video game franchise, Warcraft has been in the works for years. Travis Fimmel plays the knight Lothar, and Toby Kebbell plays the orc leader — the two must come together to save their species. Paula Patton, Ben Foster, and Dominic Cooper also star. (Here’s the trailer, the effects of which surely will look better on the big screen.)
79. Finding Dory, June 17
Have you been experiencing random moments of delight that you can’t explain? Maybe it’s because Finding Dory is coming soon. In the Finding Nemo sequel, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who now lives with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (voiced this time by Hayden Rolence), will go in search of her family — whom, naturally, she had forgotten. If it’s half as funny, smart, moving, and stunningly beautiful as the first movie, the world will be just a little bit better for it.
80. ESPN Films 30 for 30: O.J.: Made in America, Spring/Summer TBD (ESPN)
O.J.’s on the mind these days. In what will surely be the most comprehensive documentary ever made about the O.J. Simpson case, Ezra Edelman (Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals) has directed a five-night 30 for 30 examining this endlessly enthralling story. (On March 13, ESPN’s wonderful documentary series will also broadcast Marina Zenovich’s Fantastic Lies, a documentary about the Duke lacrosse rape disaster.)
81. Atlanta, Summer TBD (FX)
Donald Glover returns to television in Atlanta, a 10-episode comedy in which he plays Earnest “Earn” Marks, an unsuccessful rapper who starts working with his star cousin (played by Brian Tyree Henry).
82. Elena of Avalor, Summer TBD (Disney Junior)
Disney’s first Latina princess! Elena will be introduced in an episode of Sofia the First, and then will get her own series (the date hasn’t yet been announced, but it will be “shortly thereafter” her Sofia episode, according to Disney). Read BuzzFeed’s Alex Alvarez for more about Elena of Avalor.
83. Adventures in Babysitting, Summer TBD (Disney Channel)
Elsewhere in the Disney-verse, the newest Disney Channel Original Movie will be a remake of the 1987 Chris Columbus movie Adventures in Babysitting. The logline describes this as “reimagined,” in which competing babysitters played by Disney Channel stars Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) and Sofia Carson (Descendants) search for a missing kid.
84. The Dresser, Summer TBD (Starz)
The 1983 movie The Dresser, based on Ronald Harwood’s play, was nominated for five major Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director (Peter Yates), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Harwood), and Best Actor nominations for both Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney. The twosome in this remake — Ian McKellen takes the Courtenay role of Norman, the dresser, and Anthony Hopkins takes over for Finney as Sir — should be just as fearsome. Richard Eyre, of Notes on a Scandal, directs.
85. BrainDead, Summer TBD (CBS)
After these many seasons of The Good Wife, consistently one of the smartest, most relevant, and surprising shows on television, there is no way not to trust its creators, Robert and Michelle King. A new show by them is welcome news (even if it does instill fear in me that we will soon have to say farewell to The Good Wife — but that is another topic). Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Tveit starring in BrainDead also sounds great. And who doesn’t love a D.C. thriller? I will say that I am slightly — truly just a wee bit — concerned that its premise involves brain-eating aliens who are taking over the government. Again, though: In Kings we trust. (Next summer, CBS will also have American Gothic, a mystery about a Boston family contending with the knowledge that its late patriarch was a murderer.)
86. Animal Kingdom, Summer TBD (TNT)
TNT will soon enter its grittier era under Kevin Reilly, late of Fox, NBC, and FX, whose taste in dramas never did jibe with the broad needs of network television. (Reilly was the head of FX when that channel changed basic cable forever with such shows as The Shield and Nip/Tuck.) Crime drama Animal Kingdom is based on the 2010 movie by David Michôd, and moves the setting from Australia to Southern California. Ellen Barkin will play the Jacki Weaver role (perfect!) — Scott Speedman and Shawn Hatosy also star.
87. Independence Day Resurgence, June 24
I’m sorry, but: YES, YES, YES. No Will Smith this time, and uh, no Randy Quaid. (Also, Maika Monroe is great and all, but why recast Mae Whitman as President Whitmore’s daughter?) But anyway: This looks awesome, and whatever greedy reason there was to bring these murderous aliens back to try to kill everyone again, I vote YES. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum lead the cast, and Liam Hemsworth joins. Roland Emmerich, who directed the 1996 original, returns.
88. The BFG, July 1
Steven Spielberg’s next film is this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 children’s novel. The late Melissa Mathison — she died of cancer in November — wrote the screenplay. (Mathison wrote E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial!) Ten-year-old Ruby Barnhill plays the lead, Sophie, who befriends the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), a vegetarian rarity among his kind.
90. Ghostbusters, July 15
One of the most horrifying meninist nontroversies — of many, sadly — in recent years, was the backlash against the all-female Ghostbusters. Future historians will look back on the misogynist outrage directed toward Paul Feig and this fantastic cast — Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig — and they will probably say, ”We give up.” Cannot wait to see this.
91. La La Land, July 15
Damien Chazelle, whose 2014 Whiplash was nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay — and won an Oscar for J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor — will reunite Crazy, Stupid, Love co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in this musical. (At one point, Whiplash’s Miles Teller was attached to this movie, but Chazelle cast Gosling instead — causing Teller, he told Esquire, to text Chazelle saying, “What the fuck, bro?”)
92. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, July 22
Please let me live until July 22 so I can see Patsy and Edina again.
93. Star Trek Beyond, July 22
The most recent Star Trek movie — according to J.J. Abrams himself in an interview with BuzzFeed News — was “lightweight,” and angry fans are certainly holding a grudge. Justin Lin of three Fast & Furious movies is taking over directing, and the trailer certainly indicates a different visual style, if not tone, for the franchise. With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek approaching, and the new television series coming in the next year or so, there’s lots at stake here.
94. Jason Bourne Chapter, July 29
For the first time since 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon will play Jason Bourne, and Paul Greengrass (who directed both The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum) will direct. Julia Stiles will be back as Nicky Parsons, and Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander will be new faces in the cast. In August, Damon was reticent about giving away details about the movie, but did tell BuzzFeed News’ Adam B. Vary that it is very much set in a “post-Snowden world.”
95. Suicide Squad, Aug. 5
David Ayer’s movies, both ones he’s written (Training Day) and directed and written (End of Watch and Fury) have a certain relentless, nail-biting pace to them. Which makes Suicide Squad — in which villains of DC Comics are forced to carry out government missions — an exciting, slightly terrifying project in his hands. Will Smith is Deadshot, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Cara Delevingne is Enchantress, and more. But especially: Jared Leto will play The Joker. Shudder.
96. Ben-Hur, Aug. 12
This movie was pushed from a February release to August, which perhaps does not bode well for it. But considering director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) is behind it, this remake starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, and Nazanin Boniadi will be a visual spectacle. (Will it be as gay as the 1959 version? Let’s hope!)
97. Sausage Party, Aug. 12
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are producing and co-writing this 3D animated film for adults about a hot dog seeking the meaning of life. Rogen recently told HitFix that “it looks like a Pixar movie,” that he has been working on it “for years and years and years and years,” and that “it’s been difficult.” Michael Cera voices Barry, the lead, and Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Bill Hader, and Jonah Hill also lend their voices to Sausage Party.
98. Arms & the Dudes, Aug. 19
Another movie pushed from its release date earlier in 2016. This Todd Phillips-directed film is based on the Rolling Stone article turnedbook, Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History by Guy Lawson. The subtitle pretty much says it all. Miles Teller and Jonah Hill co-star.
99. Sully, Sept. 9
It’s too bad that at 85, Clint Eastwood is too old to play Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways captain who successfully landed a commercial plane on the Hudson River in 2009 — but Eastwood has directed Sully, and Tom Hanks will certainly do in the role.
100. Bridget Jones’s Baby, Sept. 16
Renée Zellweger hasn’t acted much at all in the past several years, but 2016 will change that. She’ll co-star in Same Kind of Different as Me (April 29), and will also return to this culturally significant series. We first saw Bridget on screen in the adaptation of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001, and it brought Zellweger an Oscar nomination for her performance. The sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, came out in 2004. Now, many years later, audiences will find Bridget successful in work, and at her “ideal weight,” according to director Sharon Maguire, in a slightly alarming interview with Entertainment Weekly. She will also be pregnant, and unsure of whether the father is Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) or Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey). Fingers crossed! (At least one person is very excited, and that is Zellweger, who also told EW that “Bridget Jones is one of those movies that I watch on TV over and over.” Which made me laugh! (Because she is talking about her own work.)
101. Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fall TBD (Fox)
Kenny Ortega, the director and choreographer behind High School Musical (and a million others), will direct this taped special. Laverne Cox will play Tim Curry’s role from the original 1975 movie, Dr. Frank-N-Furter. (When this casting was announced, there was a stir of concern in the trans community about a transgender woman playing a transvestite character.)
102. The Magnificent Seven, Sept. 23
A remake of the 1960 Magnificent Seven and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the new Magnificent Seven reunites Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua (pictured together above) — who collaborated on 2001’s Training Day, for which Washington won Best Actor, and the violent, satisfying Equalizer in 2014. Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke are among the cast; Peter Sarsgaard will play the villain.
104. The Accountant, Oct. 7
This movie was meant to come out before Ben Affleck as Batfleck, but the release date was moved from January 2016 to October. He plays an accountant who has a double-life as an assassin (!!!!), and the film also stars Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, and John Lithgow. Gavin O’Connor — who made Warrior, one of the best movies of the past 10 years — directed, so there is reason to hope.
105. The Girl on the Train, Oct. 7
If you have read the best-selling Paula Hawkins murder mystery that has assembled a perfect cast — Emily Blunt (Rachel), Rebecca Ferguson (Anna), Haley Bennett (Megan), and Justin Theroux (Tom) — you are excited for this. You may also wonder how exactly Erin Cressida Wilson’s screenplay will handle the fact that Rachel is a blackout drunk who not only can’t remember whether she is a murderer, but can’t remember the murder. I choose to have faith. Tate Taylor of The Help directs.
106. Inferno, Oct. 14
Dan Brown + Ron Howard + Tom Hanks = undecipherable nonsense. But fun, right? Hanks will again play Robert Langdon, and again, I will not understand a damn thing that happens in this movie. Who cares, though? Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, and Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen!) co-star.
107. Doctor Strange, Nov. 4
The beloved Benedict Cumberbatch will play Marvel character Doctor Strange in the second Marvel Cinematic Universe entry of 2016 (Captain America: Civil War being the first). Scott Derrickson, who’s done mostly horror (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the Sinister movies) directs — Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Karl Mordo, Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One (!!!!!), and Mads Mikkelsen will be the story’s villain.
108. Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk, Nov. 11
Ben Fountain’s inventive novel won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award, and Oscar winner Ang Lee directs what will surely be one of the prestige movies of 2016’s awards season. Unknown actor Joe Alwyn will play Billy Lynn, a soldier in the Iraq War who is invited to be an honored guest at an NFL game — with the weight of knowing that he will soon be back fighting. Lee has shot the film at 120 frames per second, which has never been done before — let’s hope for immersive, and not nauseating. (Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies were filmed at 48 frames per second, so this will be a great leap forward from those.)
109. A Meyers Christmas, Nov. 11
Producer Will Packer (the Ride Along movies, Straight Outta Compton) and writer-director David E. Talbert have brought together Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Mo’Nique, Danny Glover, and Nicole Ari Parker to play a family that gathers at Christmas for the first time since their matriarch died. This feels like one of those movies with a black cast that will shock Hollywood when it’s a box office success.
110. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Nov. 18
If Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 in 2011 signaled the end of the Harry Potter franchise, we now know that not to be true at all. Truly a reason to rejoice! (Also, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open on London’s West End in July, pre-dating this movie, so 2016 will be the beginning of the next phase of whatever J.K Rowling has for us.) Fantastic Beasts is based on her 2001 spin-off textbook, and stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. (If you can’t remember his canonical significance, here.) Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, and Alison Sudol also star. David Yates, who took over the Harry Potter movies beginning with Order of the Phoenix, directs.
111. Moana, Nov. 23
This Disney animated film — directed by Ron Clements and John Musker of Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog — is the story of a Polynesian girl’s sea voyage. Auli’i Cravalho, a 14-year-old Hawaiian, will be the voice of Moana. (Lin-Manuel Miranda is contributing music to the movie, and celebrated the announcement by rapping.)
112. The Great Wall, (This movie has been pushed to 2017)
Zhang Yimou’s first English-language film stars Matt Damon, Andy Lau (pictured), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones’ late Red Viper), Jing Tian, Willem Dafoe, and former Chinese boy band singer Luhan. The plot, devised by Legendary’s Thomas Tull, imagines a world in which the Great Wall of China was built to keep out monsters, not Mongolians. The Great Wall will now be released Feb. 17, 2017.
114. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Dec. 16
The first of the stand-alone Star Wars movies will tell the story of how the Rebels eventually get their hands on the plans for the Death Star (which then, of course, sets into motion the plot of A New Hope). Felicity Jones is the film’s lead, and will be surrounded by Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alan Tudyk. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) directs.
115. Passengers, Dec. 21
A spaceship’s passenger (Chris Pratt) who is supposed to stay asleep until reaching a colony planet wakes up — and then, facing life alone, wakes up a fellow traveler (Jennifer Lawrence). Yes, the two most likable young actors will be co-stars in 2016 — and yes, Passengers will feature the sex scene Lawrence has been talking about in recent interviews.
116. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Dec. 25
Based on the best-selling 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs of the same name, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will be directed — naturally — by Tim Burton. Asa Butterfield plays Jacob, who travels back in time to the orphanage where “peculiar children” are protected; Eva Green plays Miss Peregrine. (Again, naturally.)
117. War Machine, 2016 TBD
David Michôd (Animal Kingdom and The Rover) directs Brad Pitt, Will Poulter (The Maze Runner), Emory Cohen (Brooklyn, Smash), and more (men) in Netflix’s War Machine. It’s an adaptation of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, by Michael Hastings, the late BuzzFeed reporter. (His original Rolling Stone story, which focused on Stanley McChrystal, ended up leading to McChrystal’s resignation.)
118. Hacksaw Ridge, 2016 TBD
Mel Gibson has returned from exile and is directing a movie! With famous people in it, such as Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. (Garfield plays a conscientious objector in World War II who was later awarded the Medal of Honor.) This should be interesting. Mel Gibson!
Note: This list, though long, is of course not everything. There will be movies that come out of Sundance and Cannes, and sequels such as Kung Fu Panda 3 and Now You See Me 2 that will probably be big hits. On television, CBS’ Rush Hour still doesn’t have a premiere date, nor does HBO’s long-gestating Westworld. Freeform will premiere Nicki, the new comedy based on Nicki Minaj’s young life, later in the year. A&E will have The Frankenstein Chronicles starring Sean Bean, and Damien, based on The Omen. And Netflix has a ton of new content that so far doesn’t have dates — there’s The Ranch, a multi-camera comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson; The Crown, a political/royal drama; Stranger Things, a supernatural drama about a missing boy, set in the ’80s; Will Arnett’s comedy, Flaked; Mitch Hurwitz and Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite; Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama, The Get Down, set in ’70s New York; and Marvel’s Luke Cage, which Jessica Jones fans are dying to see. And FX might have Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon’s comedy, Better Things, and Tom Hardy’s miniseries, Taboo — but they could also be pushed to 2017! This post will be continually updated with new images, trailers, release dates and any other information that makes it better and more helpful, not to mention accurate.