Eyes on the Horizon: Film and TV Upcoming in 2017

Adam Donnelly casts his eyes forwards to see what’s coming up this year—the good and the bad.[br]Type “movies in 2017” into Google—doing so reveals that the year will be jam-packed with blockbuster releases. Unfortunately, “blockbuster” here roughly translates to “safe sequels and reboots” these days. There’s nothing wrong with giving beloved stories and characters a little more limelight, but blimey if there’s not a lot of them coming.As fans anticipate The Incredibles 2 in some distant future, Pixar has instead announced Cars 3 will be arriving this summer. The bizarre franchise, wherein vehicles are sentient beings— prompting many little children to ask their mortified parents “how do they make the baby cars?”—makes for questionable trilogy material at best.Speaking of film series about living machines that really ought to go away, Transformers returns with yet another sequel this year. One can imagine that Michael Bay is tethered to some form of feeding tube in the basement of Fox Studios, slowly being drained of his inspiration and will to live.
“One can imagine that Michael Bay is tethered to some form of feeding tube in the basement of Fox Studios, slowly being drained of his inspiration and will to live.”
The mention of Bay reminds us that a Baywatch movie will be somehow materialising this year, an ancient television series revival likely suitable for the morbidly curious and few else. Rewinding a little bit, Cars won’t be the only series to be emblazoned with the number 3 in 2017, as Pitch Perfect, Despicable Me and The Smurfs (shudder) are all poised to become trilogies by the time the year is out. Sequels are slated to be unrelenting regardless of their number, however.Movie-going buzz is bound to reach fever pitch as highly anticipated releases like War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Trainspotting 2, Saw: Legacy, Insidious: Chapter 4 and, over in the camp of awkwardly-titled films, World War Z 2 and Fate of the Furious will be piledriving cinemas in the coming months.Top all this off with the arrival of Star Wars Episode VIII in December, which has fans excited after following the contradictory Rogue One, a Star Wars prequel movie that was actually good.Then must come the reboots. It’s impossible to talk about upcoming movies without mentioning what contrived crossover Marvel is concocting. Beyond Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, which is bound to please, and another Thor movie (god help us), this year’s big dumb superhero CGI kickabout is undoubtedly Spider-Man Homecoming.Homecoming is the first time that a Spider-Man picture is in the hands of Marvel itself, something that has fans excited but something the average movie viewer probably didn’t know or care about. It’s certainly looking to be a great web-flinging romp, and yet, as the third reboot of the franchise in just over a decade, it may be lacking in new ground to tread.Meanwhile, X-Men fans can expect to revisit Hugh Jackman’s grizzled, gruff, and side-burned Freddy Kruger in the eponymous Logan. On the other end of the overblown superhero spectrum, DC, after haphazardly introducing its stable of edgy protagonists through confusing cameos in Batman vs Superman, looks to properly kick-start its universe with the arrival of Justice League, joined by Wonder Woman. What a world we live in, where the honest-to-god most enticing looking DC film on the horizon is The Lego Batman Movie.Elsewhere, in the realm of hard reboots, repurposing their titles exactly, we can look forward to Power Rangers, Jumanji and The Mummy. Aliens: Covenant marks a cautiously optimistic return to sci-fi horror franchise. Topping this off are films too ridiculous to exist yet somehow soon will—2017 will bring about the dawn of both the Captain Underpants movie andThe Emoji Movie. Of course the Poo emoji will be front and centre, voiced by the illustrious Patrick Stewart and sporting a cultured accent.
“What a world we live in, where the honest-to-god most enticing looking DC film property on the horizon is The Lego Batman Movie.”
Television looks to be as stuffed to the gills as usual, with plenty of quality content across all devices and channels. All the heavy hitters such as Game of Thrones will be back on form, continuing its off-script run, while the critical darlings of the digital platforms like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will be limbering up for another go. If you’re a regular viewer of such programmes then you hardly need to be notified of their imminent return, but do keep an eye out for the new kids in town.Netflix has just released an adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s darky comical books A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s slick and superb with Neil Patrick Harris channelling his inner Jim Carrey to great effect as lead villain Count Olaf.Later on, Iron Fist will follow in the footsteps of Arrow, featuring a superhero not popular enough to get their own film, but with high enough production values that will make the series better than it had any right to be. Finally, a new Star Trek series, entitled Star Trek: Discovery, will be blasting off boldly where no showrunner has gone before as filming gets underway next week.Whatever your tastes, 2017 looks to be an action-packed year. Be it on the big screen or small, there’s plenty on offer for your viewing pleasure… or displeasure. Keep your wary eyes peeled.