Science fiction movies in 2016 were dominated by space-driven flicks, led by Rogue One, Star Trek: Beyond, and Passengers, as well as disastrous remakes like the thoroughly pedestrian Independence Day: Resurgence and the downright awful Ghostbusters. In 2017, fans have a lot to look forward to from the world of sci-fi, with new and exciting movies ranging from dystopian flicks, new conceptual dramas, as well as highly awaited sequels of critically acclaimed franchises. Here is a list of our most anticipated science fiction movies of 2017:
14. Kong: Skull Island
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein, Kong: Skull Island is set in MonsterVerse- a series of monster movies starring Godzilla and King Kong. Gareth Edward’s Godzilla reboot was the first movie in this universe and Skull Island is the second one, followed by Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). The movie star cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and Brie Larson, among others. The plot is a modified version of the regular King Kong story- based around the 1970s, a team of explorers and soldiers venture uncharted territory in the Pacific Ocean, and come face to face with a horde of monsters and the mythical giant gorilla King Kong. I liked Peter Jackson’s version also, even though it was a bit too long and now Skull Island will bring yet another indulgence for monster-philes. The trailer is super-exciting and the movie deserves to be watched on the biggest screen possible!
Release date: March 10, 2017
13. Alien: Covenant
The 1979 Alien movie by Ridley Scott has been heralded as one of the best ever scifi flicks ever made, and when you watch it today, it looks as futuristic as ever. Except for Aliens by James Cameron, fans of the Alien franchise have mostly faced disappointment with a string of average sequels and crossovers, such as Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs Predator and Alien: Requiem. Prometheus, which served as some sort of prequel to Alien, received praise for its visuals but the plot line was just meh. With Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott promises to take us back to the same tenebrific atmosphere that prevailed in the original movie, with a sense of palpable tension and dread.
Release date: May 19, 2017
Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Life is a movie revolving around space station astronauts and the exciting discovery of the possibility of extraterrestrial life they make with a sample from Mars. A scientific landmark beckons so can anything go wrong? The trailer is tense and suspenseful. This is a scifi horror written by the same team from Deadpool and Zombieland, and stars Jake Gyllenhall, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds. With Gyllenhall moving from one win to another in terms of his selection of movies, one can only feel excited at what Life has to offer.
Release date: March 24, 2017
11. The Circle
Based on Dave Eggers’ book of the same name, The Circle stars biggies Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, who play a big company CEO and a young recruit, respectively. Emma Watson’s character gets pulled into a huge conspiracy which seems to surround around the obsession of humans to chronicle their lives in public and the seemingly adverse consequences of the same.
Release date: April 28, 2017
10. The Discovery
Romantic science fiction is a breath of fresh air in a genre dominated by action and thriller movies. The Discovery stars Jason Segel, Robert Redford and Rooney Mara, and recently had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017. The movie plot- what would life be like if the existence of afterlife has been scientifically proven?
Release date: March 31, 2017
9. The Bad Batch
Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour received accolades for her very weird but stylish vampire horror ‘A Girl Walks Alone Home At Midnight’ and now she is back with another strange Mad Max-inspired dystopian story set in a Texas wasteland inhabited by a motley assortment of cannibals. To top it off, we have a love story based in this weird premise. This movie has major biggies like Jim Carrey, Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves, and some lucky folks have already watched it at the Venice Film Festival. It is expected to be released sometime in mid-2017 (not confirmed).
8. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Luc Besson hasn’t made anything worthwhile since his scifi epic The Fifth Element (Lucy was good, but flawed) and with Valerian, it seems that he is back to delivering the goods with some really dazzling and intricately designed visuals. The trailer looks spectacularly crazy and for anything we know, it will be quite worth watching on the big screen.
Release date: July 21, 2017
A movie made by a person (Dean Devlin, specifically) involved with the original Independence Day movie and the 1998 Godzilla movie can make many people skeptic, but let’s not deny that those two movies were great popcorn entertainment. This sounds like a typical thriller- a satellite designer tries to save the world from climate controlling satellites and a plot is also discovered to assassinate the president (ah, the good ol’ trope of assassinating a top leader). Geostorm stars Gerard Butler in the lead and promises to provide solid entertainment (we hope).
Release date: October 20, 2017
6. The Dark Tower
Based on the popular book series by Stephen King, The Dark Tower is less of an adaptation and more of a new take on the series. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, it stars Idris Elba as a lone knight patrolling the alternate dimension of Mid-World, while Mathew McConaughey is a vicious sorcerer who is bent on stopping our 11-year-old protagonist and Elba from their quest to reach the ‘Dark Tower’, located in the End-World and key to saving humanity from extinction. The announcement of the movie created a massive buzz among fans and the hype train is only chugging on faster with each day.
Release date: July 28, 2017
5. God Particle
The third movie in the Cloverfield franchise, God Particle is a scifi horror based around a team of astronauts aboard a space station, who have to face the perils when a scientific experiment causes Earth to disappear. I would have been happier if another found-footage monster movie like Cloverfield had been made but let’s see how this one turns out.
Release date: October 27, 2017
4. Ghost In The Shell
The 1995 anime Ghost In The Shell ranks as one of the greatest animated movies ever made and its remarkable amalgamation of a cerebral, philosophical premise and intense action make it a must watch for any scifi buff. In 2017, we will be treated to a live-action adaptation of the same with Scarlett Johansson in the lead. Fingers crossed for this to be fantastic.
Release date: March 31, 2017
Alex Garland created a stir with his directorial debut in 2015 with Ex Machina, a slow burn scifi thriller that explored the relationship of humans with evolving AI. In 2017, we have Annihilation starring Natalie Portman- she is a biologist whose husband disappears and puts her name to participate in an expedition into an environmental disaster zone called Area X.
2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Need anything be said more? After the gargantuan success of The Force Awakens and widespread praise for Rogue One (which IMO was far better than TFA. C’mon. That Darth Vader scene alone was better than anything made in 2016). We hope to see more of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, as well as more about Rey’s family origins (there is a popular fan theory going around that she is the granddaughter of Emperor Snoke) and the struggled and amusing evilry of Kylo Ren.
1. Blade Runner: 2049
I still get goosebumps watching the original Blade Runner- the movie was just out of the world and transported all us nerds into scifi heaven. Dennis Villeneuve, who has directed critically acclaimed movies like Sicario, and established his credentials in the science fiction universe with Arrival, seems to be the perfect man to deliver a movie worth the legacy of the original. The trailer is fantastic and hypes up the movie without giving anything away (Marvel and DC could learn the art of making a movie trailer from this). With a plethora of varied content and different themes, 2017 looks to be a wonderful year for science fiction flicks!