Yahoo Movie Staff count down the films that have us feeling like ’16 will be extra-sweet.
There will be plenty of superheroes at the movies in 2016, with the Avengers, X-Men, Suicide Squad, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Gambit, Doctor Strange, and Deadpool all getting some action. But there’s also some heavyweight comedy (like Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot and a Zoolander sequel), highly anticipated animation (like the Nemo sequel Finding Dory and the new princess movie Moana), irresistible romantic pairings (like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land and Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers), and Oscar-friendly adult dramas (like biopics Sully and The Founder). Let’s count down the films that have us feeling like ’16 will be extra-sweet.
Release date: Feb 12
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig
Director: Ben Stiller
The scoop: It’s been 15 years since we first caught Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel McDonald (Wilson) battling on the runway and foiling nefarious fashion mogul Mugatu (Will Ferrell). All three are back in action with new additions, including the heavily Botox’d Alexanya (Wiig) and Interpol agent Valentina (Penélope Cruz) — who is tasked with stopping the killing of the world’s most beautiful people (including Justin Bieber!)
Release date: March 4
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
The scoop: Imagine a thriving metropolis where animals rule and humans never existed. Disney Animation’s most technically intricate feature to date, Zootopia follows an ambitious meter-maid bunny (Goodwin) who teams up with a scam-artist fox (Bateman) to solve a thorny case. The duo scour the city’s astoundingly diverse neighborhoods filled with unique vegetation and colorful — sometimes very slow — citizens.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: March 25
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams
Director: Zack Snyder
The scoop: Snyder’s dark and brooding style goes even darker as a grizzled Batman (Affleck) faces off against Superman (Cavill), who’s transformed into a virtual demigod. The two revered superheroes become entrenched in a war, distracting them from the impending threat of Doomsday and, perhaps, the arrival of a certain Wonder Woman (Gadot). Will they quell their quarreling for the greater good? We’ll find out in spring!
Release date: April 8
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Bell
Director: Ben Falcone
The scoop: McCarthy teams up with Tammy director (and real-life husband and writing partner) Falcone again. But this time, she’s drunk with power as the golden phoenix-riding “wealthiest woman in America,” Michelle Darnell. After Darnell gets busted for insider trading, she goes bankrupt. Out to reinvent her image, she looks to grade-school girls to help her form a brownie-selling empire.
Captain America: Civil War
Release date: May 6
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
The scoop: It’s been called Avengers 2.5, and understandably so: Almost all of Marvel’s A-team returns for Cap’s third “standalone” feature, which finds Mr America (Evans) and Iron Man (Downey) clashing over the government’s crackdown on their squad’s special brand of vigilantism. But what Cap 3 will miss in no-shows Thor and Hulk it will make up for in the introduction of the highly anticipated Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the presence of Sony’s crossover gift Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Whose sides will they be on? Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to find out: For the sixth straight year, Marvel has the honor of kicking off the summer movie season with all kinds of bangs.
Release date: May 13
Starring: Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Jack O’Connell
Director: Jodie Foster
The scoop: Ocean’s Eleven pals Clooney and Roberts reunite in this dramatic thriller that marks the fourth film helmed by Oscar-winning actress turned director Foster. Clooney plays a Jim Cramer-esque TV finance guru whose network is taken hostage by a man (Unbroken’s O’Connell) who lost everything on a bad stock tip, while Roberts appears as the host’s love interest. With an early spring release slotted in between the Avengers and X-Men, this could be just the counter-programming our summer blockbuster season needs.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Release date: June 24
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Sela Ward, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher
Director: Roland Emmerich
The scoop: The bad news is original ID4 hero Will Smith is not back to save the day again. But the good news: Jeff Goldblum is, and from the looks of the first trailer, his character, David Levinson, has an even more involved role in fending off hostile ETs exactly two decades after the first attack. Joining him for the festivities are fresh faces Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), newcomer Usher, and Ward (Gone Girl) as the new president. Just a hunch, but our money’s on humanity again.
Star Trek Beyond
Release date: July 22
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg
Director: Justin Lin
The scoop: There are a lot of challenges facing the crew of the Enterprise this time around: They’ve lost their director (J.J. Abrams jumped ship for Star Wars), their last outing (2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness) received lukewarm reviews, and fans weren’t all that impressed by the film’s first trailer. But co-writer and co-star Simon Pegg promises that there’s much more to see and that Beyond is more in keeping with the Star Trek ethos.
Release date: Aug 5
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman
Director: David Ayer
The scoop: DC’s demented squad of antiheroes and straight-up villains unites for the multiverse’s second film of 2016, after Batman v Superman. There’s a lot of intrigue around this one: Will Leto, who went full-Method to play the Joker, live up to Heath Ledger’s incredible legacy? Is there an appetite for a dark, twisted supervillain flick? And will it really be that dark and twisted, considering Warner Bros.’ investment in the franchise?
Release date: Nov 25
Starring: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini
Director: John Lee Hancock
The scoop: If you’ve ever wondered how the Egg McMuffin gets made, this is your movie. Hancock’s biopic stars Keaton (on a roll after Birdman and Spotlight) as Ray Kroc, the milkshake-dispenser salesman who wrestled control of the McDonald’s company from its namesake founders — and turned it into the massive fast-food brand it’s become today.
Photo caption: Michael Fassbender in ‘Assassin’s Creed’ (20th Century Fox)