Superheroes, sequels, reboots on tap for 2016

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

It’s another year stuffed with superheroes and sequels as Hollywood lines up its biggest franchises for 2016.

We’ve got Batman, Iron Man, “Star Wars,” Bridget Jones, Ghostbusters and many more ready to roll, and maybe even a few films not based on previously existing properties. (Maybe.)

Here’s a glance at 16 of the hottest movies headed to a theater near you over the next 12 months:

“Ride Along 2:” Kevin Hart and Ice Cube return in this mismatched buddy cop comedy, the sequel to the surprise 2014 hit that grossed $135 million and cemented Hart’s movie star status. (Jan. 15)

“Zoolander 2:” It’s been 15 years since Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) first flashed audiences with his Blue Steel gaze. Will it still be as hypnotic the second time around? Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell also return. (Feb. 12)

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:” This is DC Comics’ ploy to start making some of that “Avengers” money. Starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, this partially Detroit-shot showdown is the first building block in an eventual “Justice League” franchise. (March 25)

“Captain America: Civil War:” Batman and Superman aren’t the only superheroes being pitted against each other on screen this year. The third Captain America film — and the 13th entry into the Marvel universe — pits Cap against Iron Man, as they lead separate factions of Avengers in the world-saving business. (May 6)

“Snowden:” Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays secret-sharer Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s sure-to-be stirring political thriller. Nicolas Cage, Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood and Timothy Olyphant co-star. (May 13)

“The Nice Guys:” Shane Black, who wrote the “Lethal Weapon” movies and “Iron Man 3,” writes and directs this tale of a pair of private eyes (Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling) investigating the death of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles. (May 20)

“X-Men: Apocalypse:” Hasn’t there already been an “X-Men” movie called “Apocalypse?” Can anyone check on that? This one’s got Serious Actors Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne and James McAvoy running around and either trying to blow up the world or stop the world from being blown up. It’s hard to tell anymore. (May 27)

“Finding Dory:” Has it really been 13 years since “Finding Nemo?” My how time flies. Now we’re heading back under the Pixar-rendered sea with Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory, who heads a cast of sea creatures voiced by Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Idris Elba, Dominic West and more. (June 17)

“Independence Day: Resurgence:” “Today we celebrate our Independence Day!” Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore made that speech 20 years ago, and now he’s back as ex-President Whitmore, unless that speech was so good that voters decided to eliminate term limits for him. Jeff Goldblum is also back, as is director Roland Emmerich and a whole mess of aliens. What will they blow up this time? (June 24)

“Ghostbusters:” You used to call them on your telephone, late night when you needed ghosts busted. This reboot of the 1984 comedy classic has an all-female cast that includes Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. “Bridesmaids” helmer (and Mount Clemens’ own) Paul Feig directs. (July 15)

“Star Trek: Beyond:” J.J. Abrams hands the keys to the rebooted “Star Trek” series to Justin Lin (“Fast & Furious” 3-6) because, apparently, Abrams had other stuff going on, though there’s no way of telling what that may have been. Yes, the Starship Enterprise crew is back, and Idris Elba is causing trouble as the villain Krall. (July 22)

“Bourne 5:” Star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are back on board for the as-yet-untitled fifth “Bourne” film. Well, sixth if we’re counting 2012’s Jeremy Renner-starring “The Bourne Legacy,” but it doesn’t look like anyone else is. (July 29)

“Suicide Squad:” DC Comics’ other big tentpole for 2016, sees Will Smith and Margot Robbie leading a big cast of renegade baddies who join an elite government task force. But most importantly, Oscar winner Jared Leto suits up as the Joker. (Aug. 5)

“Bridget Jones’s Baby:” Renee Zellweger, not seen on screen in half a decade, returns to her most famous role for the first time since 2004. Plot details are scarce, but judging by that title, it sounds like she may be entering motherhood. Just a guess. (Sept. 16)

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:” Three words: Harry Potter prequel. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist” who specializes in the study of magical creatures, whose textbook would go on to become required reading for all Hogwarts students. Muggles not welcome. (Nov. 18)

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:” The first of the “Star Wars” spinoff movies that will one day become a genre unto themselves, “Rogue One” is set in the time period between “Star Wars” Episodes III and IV and follows a team of renegades who team up to steal the Death Star’s plans. (Dec. 16)