As 2017 comes to a close it is time to look forward to 2018. So far, the box office looks to be stacked all year long. Marvel looks to continue their reign of dominance with the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp and the much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. Meanwhile, DC Entertainment looks to rebound from Justice League with the very first Aquaman movie. We also see the return of beloved franchises with the release tentpole films such as Pacific Rim: Uprising, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission: Impossible 6. For those with a bit of franchise fatigue original movies like Proud Mary and Annihilation look to be some of the most interesting films of the year. So, before the beginning of the new year here’s a look at some of the biggest action movies heading to theaters in 2018.
1. ‘The Commuter’
Release Date: January 12, 2018
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Since the success of Taken Liam Neeson has been known less for critically acclaimed dramas and more for his hyper kinetic action-thrillers. Looking to settle down Neeson has announced that The Commuter will be his last action movie. Even though it looks like typical Neeson action on its surface what makes it stand out is director Jaume Collet-Serra. The director of Run All Night and Unknown his movies with Neeson have a bit more to them. Add a surprisingly star-studded cast and you have a hell of a way for Liam Neeson to end his reign as the king of old man action.
2. ‘Proud Mary’
Release Date: January 12, 2018
Director: Babak Najafi
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Danny Glover
Since her first major role in Baby Boy actress Taraji P. Henson has been one of the most reliable stars in Hollywood. After the success of Empire and Hidden Figures she gets her first lead action role in Proud Mary. Portraying the successful hitwoman Mary, her character starts to have a change of heart when confronted by a child she has orphaned. Looking to be a mix of Leon: the Professional and the Blaxploitation films of old it could be the surprise hit of the year.
3. ‘Black Panther’
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chardwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o
When it comes to their movies Marvel does best when they don’t try to be superhero movies. For example, the Captain America movies came into their own when they turned CA: The Winter Soldier into a spy movie. Similarly, the Thor movies found their footing when they took a more comedic turn in Thor: Ragnarok. The latest to follow the trend will be February’s Black Panther. First introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is looking to be a mix of capes and political intrigue when T’Challa has to protect the throne after returning to Wakanda. It’s an interesting concept and with Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) handling the directing and such an amazing cast I have complete faith in their vision.
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson
Since his directorial debut with 2014’s Ex Machina, Alex Garland has kept a low profile. He has been quietly working on what looks to be one of the most interesting sci-fi movies in quite a while. Set in the distant future Lena, a biologist, travels into the mysterious Area X after her husband comes back with a mysterious disease. Mixing science fiction, horror and action, Annihilation looks to be one of the most unique films of the year.
5. ‘Triple Threat’
Release Date: N/A
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa
When it comes to putting together a genre movie the “Put all the big stars together” strategy has worked surprisingly well. Whether it’s classic cinema like 1960’s The Magnificent Seven to more modern fare like The Expendables a solid ensemble film can be a blast to watch. The latest to do this will be Triple Threat. Directed by Jesse V. Johnson (Savage Dog) Triple Threat will be bring together some of the biggest names in modern martial arts cinema. With stars from around the world it stars everyone from dependable hands like Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White to foreign favorites such as Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Celina Jade. While it doesn’t have a release date yet Triple Threat is sure to be at the top of any action movie lover’s Must-See list.
6. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’
Release Date: March 9, 2018
Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey
Based on the classic science fiction novel, A Wrinkle in Time looks to be one of the most creative movies in quite some time. When her scientist father mysteriously disappears, Meg discovers the he is on a distant planet and held by mysterious forces. With the help of her friends and a trio of astral beings Meg travels across the galaxy to save her father.
7. ‘Tomb Raider’
Release Date: March 16, 2018
Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Daniel Wu
Based on the 2013 reboot of the same name Tomb Raider tells the story of Lara Croft and her first expedition. Less the globe-trotting adventures seen a decade ago this Tomb Raider is looking to pair a bit more character based drama with its major action set pieces. If done correctly Tomb Raider could make Lara Croft a household name all over again.
8. ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Director: Steven S. DeKnight
Stars: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny
10 years since the “Battle of the Breach” the jaegers have been modified to become an elite defense force. As a new generation of pilots are trained, ex-pilot Jake Pentecost is recruited to take on a whole new breed of kaiju. With Guillermo del Toro writing and producing it looks to become a cult classic just like its predecessor.
9. ‘Ready Player One’
Release Date: March 30, 2018
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
In a dystopian future where the world has succumbed to perils like overpopulation humanity escapes by travelling into a virtual reality known as the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, passes away humans are given the chance to find the Easter Egg; ownership of the OASIS and Halliday’s vast fortune. As the world looks for this hidden treasure teenager Wade and his friends defy the odds fighting for it both in and out of the OASIS.
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Joe Manganiello
The Undertaker, Kane, Brock Lesnar, The Rock has faced against some of the biggest and baddest monsters the wrestling world has ever seen. And yet, somehow, he has generally avoided them on the big screen. That changes with Rampage. Based on the video game it stars The Rock as primatologist Davis Okoye. When a genetic experiment goes awry it transforms an albino ape, a wolf and a lizard into larger than life monsters. Big, loud and a bit silly, Rampage looks like the kind of fun The Rock excels at.
11. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Director: The Russo Brothers
Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson
This is it, the main event. Since being introduced during a mid-credits scene in The Avengers, Thanos has been the one slowly been built as the biggest threat the Avengers will ever face. And if the trailer is anything to go by Avengers: Infinity War will be just as big. From the return of Captain America to the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting Thor, Avengers: Infinity War looks to be the biggest and best Marvel movie yet.
12. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke
After the success of The Last Jedi Disney and Lucasfilms are heading back to the past with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Going back to a space western theme Solo: A Star Wars Story is about one of Han Solo’s earliest adventures with Chewbacca and an encounter with Lando Calrissian. While plot details are still scarce it sounds like a must-see for any Star Wars fan.
13. ‘Deadpool 2’
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz
Since Disney bought out 21st Century Fox there has been question on everyone’s minds, what about the R-Rated superhero movies? It looks like we’ll find out on June 1st when Deadpool 2 arrives. A sequel to 2016’s surprise hit Deadpool 2 looks to expand on the original with the inclusion of his comic book companions Cable and Domino. With John Wick‘s David Leitch behind the camera expect the action to finally catch up with the humor.
14. ‘The Incredibles 2’
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Holly Hunter
With Pixar pumping out more sequels in recent years one question has been asked, what about The Incredibles? One of Pixar’s biggest hits the original was a loving tribute to superheroics and old school spy movies. While we don’t know much about the plot the return of Brad Bird is more than enough reason to be excited for this long-awaited sequel.
15. ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum
In the years since the destruction of Jurassic World the dinosaurs have taken over the island. With a volcanic eruption imminent Claire and Owen are sent to save some of these remaining prehistoric beasts. But as Claire and Owen start settings things right they quickly learn about a conspiracy deeper than they could have imagined.
16. ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’
Release Date: July 6, 2018
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Walton Goggins
Following Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man is considered a fugitive after escaping from the superhero prison known as The Raft. Struggling to balance his superheroics with his responsibilities as a father he is once again approached by Dr. Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne with an important mission.
17. ‘Alita: Battle Angel’
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly
Based on the popular manga Alita: Battle Angel follows Alita, a deactivated female cyborg. Found at a local dump by Dr. Dyson Ido she is revived with her only memories being the ancient martial art of Panzer Kunst. In need of a purpose and an identity Alita becomes a hunter-warrior in a dystopian town known as the Scrapyard.
18. ‘Mission: Impossible 6’
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg
Few franchises have aged as well as Mission: Impossible. Starting as an alternative to James Bond this Tom Cruise-led series has been home to some of the most exciting action set-pieces ever put to film. Not much is known plot wise but with Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuairre returning fans know they’re in for a treat.
19. ‘The Predator’
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes
Few names get excited as much as Shane Black does. The writer of Lethal Weapon, The Monster Squad and Iron Man 3 he is one of the most talented creators in Hollywood today. Naturally, Predator fans were stoked to hear he would not only be returning to a series he has been a part of (playing Hawkins in the 1987 original) but that he has also been brought on as writer and producer. With a cast including Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane and Olivia Munn it’s looking to be another great entry in the Predator franchise.
20. ‘The Meg’
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Li Bingbing
A former Naval captain, Jonas Taylor barely escapes with his life after being attacked by a 70-foot shark; the megalodon. Years later he is forced to confront his fears when he is hired for a deep-sea rescue mission. The Meg might not be the most original movie but it sounds like the perfect breather after a summer of tentpole films.
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams
After years in development hell Sony is finally putting out a Venom movie. Aiming for an R-rating Venom is looking to establish itself as its own franchise before crossing over with Spider-Man or the MCU although there are plans for it in the future. Currently in production the plot remains unknown.
22. ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Director: Simon Kinberg
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult
Set a decade after X-Men: Apocalypse the X-men are a known group of superheroes. And while mutants are more accepted than ever the X-Men are called into space by a mysterious shape-shifting alien. An adaption of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline it will also feature Jean Grey losing control of her powers with the X-Men forced to take her on. The last of the X-Men films before they join the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s truly the end of an era.
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
After his Academy Award-winning turn with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen will go in a completely different direction with Widows. Four armed robbers, including Liam Neeson and Jon Bernthal, are killed in a failed heist attempt. With a debt left behind by their husbands the four widows are forced together to finish the job.
24. ‘Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse’
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Director: Bob Perscichetti and Peter Ramsey
Stars: Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali
Spider-Man has always had potential to go beyond New York City. The source material has a wealth of storylines involving clones, monsters and interdimensional travel. It looks like Sony will finally take advantage of this. Focusing on Miles Morales, a Spider-Man from an alternate reality, taking up the mantle of Spider-Man after Peter Parker dies in battle. Combining computer animation with hand-drawn techniques it looks to be one of the best superhero movies of the year.
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Director: James Wan
Stars: Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson
After defeating Steppenwolf with the Justice League Arthur Curry returns to the sea. Reluctantly taking the throne as king of Atlantis, Aquaman struggles maintaining peace between the surface world and an Atlantis ready for war. With his own half-brother plotting against him, the king of Atlantis may find the solution diving into his past.