Summer ’18 preview: Superheroes, sequels and ‘Solo’
With “Avengers: Infinity War” crashing into theaters this weekend, the summer box office bonanza is officially in full swing.
Summer doesn’t formally arrive until June 21, and with the way our seasons have been acting, it’s anyone’s guess as to when it will actually feel like summer. But at the movies, it’s blockbuster season, and summer 2018 is stockpiled with enough sequels, effects extravaganzas and popcorn thrillers to beat the heat, or whatever type of weather Michigan decides to throw our way.
Since “Avengers” is already showing around the clock in your local multiplex, here are the 36 other movies we’re most looking forward to most this summer, in order of anticipation (The dates, as always, are subject to change).
1. “Deadpool 2” (May 18): Ryan Reynolds returns as the snarky superhero in the follow-up to 2016’s irreverent smash, with Josh Brolin entering the fold as Cable, a mutant soldier who is Deadpool’s opposite. We can hear them bickering — and cash registers ringing — already.
2. “The Incredibles 2” (June 15): After a 14-year wait, the first family of superheroes returns, with director Brad Bird (whose live-action work includes the fourth “Mission: Impossible” film) again at the helm. With all respect to Buzz, Woody and Dory, this is Pixar’s most anticipated sequel in ages.
3. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” (July 27): Tom Cruise was 33 when the “Mission” series started, he’s now 55. Is he getting too old to play Ethan Hunt? He badly injured himself while filming one of the new film’s stunts, but by the looks of it, the botched jump is being worked into the movie. Art imitates life.
4. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (May 25): A little ditty about the early years of Han Solo, embodied in the original “Star Wars” series by Harrison Ford, here played by Alden Ehrenreich. While Solo’s the star, truth be told, we’re just as excited to see Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian.
5. “Ocean’s 8” (June 8): The all-star heist series gets a gender flip as Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Rihanna star as a group of thieves planning a caper at New York’s Met Gala. “The Hunger Games’” Gary Ross directs.
6. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (June 22): Park management finally has this whole dinosaur thing down, and there’s no way anything could go wrong this time around. This movie is probably two hours of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard sipping drinks with dinos wandering peacefully in the background.
7. “Hereditary” (June 8): The supernatural Sundance sensation stars Toni Collette and is said to be so scary it had people running from theaters, blood dripping from their eyeballs. Can. Not. Wait.
8. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (July 6): Paul Rudd is back as the world’s smallest superhero in the sequel to Marvel’s 2015 hit, and Evangeline Lilly is the Wasp. Michael Pena, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judy Greer, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale and Laurence Fishburne round out the super-sized cast.
9. “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” (June 29): The sequel to the 2015 sleeper sees Josh Brolin (already on a roll with “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Deadpool 2”) and Benicio del Toro reprising their roles as government ops taking on the Mexican drug cartels at the U.S./ Mexico border.
10. “Life of the Party” (May 11): Melissa McCarthy goes back to college in this comedy about a mom who re-enrolls in school and becomes classmates with her daughter. McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone (“Tammy,” “Spy,” “The Boss”) directs, making this another family affair.
11. “Tully” (May 4): Charlize Theron gained 50 pounds to play a mother overwhelmed with life after the birth of her third child in this comedic drama from “Juno” director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody.
12. “Tag” (June 15): You’re it. Five friends compete in a global game of tag — yes, tag — in this action comedy, which is based on true events, somehow. With Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.
13. “Skyscraper” (July 13): Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gets his “Die Hard” on in this movie about a man trying to survive an attack inside a skyscraper — in other words, it’s “Die Hard.”
14. “Overboard” (May 4): Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez (“How to be a Latin Lover”) star in this role-reversal remake of the 1987 film, which starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
15. “The First Purge” (July 4): The fourth “Purge” movie is a prequel to the first “Purge,” explaining how we got to a world where all crime is legal — for one night only — in the first place.
16. “Under the Silver Lake” (June 29): Clawson’s own David Robert Mitchell returns with his follow-up to 2014’s “It Follows,” starring Andrew Garfield as a man investigating the disappearance of his neighbor.
17. “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” (July 13): Quick: What’s Adam Sandler’s highest grossing film? It’s not “Grown Ups,” it’s not “Click,” it’s the second “Hotel Transylvania” film. Which is why there’s now a third one.
18. “The Equalizer 2” (July 20): Denzel Washington is back in the sequel to the 2014 movie where he plays a retired black ops agent who takes out a ton of bad dudes. “Training Day’s” Antoine Fuqua directs.
19. “The Spy Who Dumped Me” (Aug. 3): Mila Kunis and “SNL’s” Kate McKinnon star as pals who wind up embroiled in an international spy plot in this comedy from director Susanna Fogel (“Life Partners”).
20. “Sorry to Bother You” (July 6): The Coup’s Boots Riley makes his directorial debut with this political sci-fi racial satire about a telemarketer (“Atlanta’s” Lakeith Stanfield) who navigates a racial tightrope. A Sundance hit.
21. “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” (July 20): More ABBA? Why not! Ten years after the first film, the cast (Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan and yes, Meryl Streep) is back for more singing, more dancing and more exclamation points! Whee!
22. “Book Club” (May 18): Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen star as four friends who read “Fifty Shades of Grey” in their book club, resulting in all hell breaking loose.
23. “Mile 22” (Aug. 3): Peter Berg makes his fourth film in a row with Mark Wahlberg in the lead. This time, Marky Mark is a U.S. intelligence officer solving some international dilemmas with a super big gun. Ronda Rousey co-stars.
24. “Slender Man” (Aug. 24): A supernatural horror film based on the mythical character who has become a frightening internet meme.
25. “First Reformed” (May 18): Ethan Hawke stars as an ex-military chaplain grieving over the death of his son in this drama from Grand Rapids-born writer-director Paul Schrader, one of film’s most legendary voices.
26. “Eighth Grade” (July 13): Comedian Bo Burnham makes his writing and directing debut with this story about the end of innocence, or at least the end of middle school. Starring Elsie Fisher.
27. “Hotel Artemis” (June 8): In her first on-screen role since 2013, Jodie Foster stars as The Nurse, a caretaker in a hospital for bad guys in this action thriller that also stars Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum and Dave Bautista.
28. “Breaking In” (May 11): Don’t mess with Gabrielle Union. In this thriller, she stars as a single mother protecting her kiddos from some unsavory criminal elements. Happy Mother’s Day!
29. “Superfly” (June 15): Cue Curtis Mayfield. In this remake of the 1972 blaxploitation classic (from “Hotline Bling” music video whiz Director X), Trevor Jackson stars as a drug dealer trying to go straight.
30. “RBG” (May 11): A documentary which looks at the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice known as the Notorious RBG.
31. “The Rider” (May 18): Director Chloé Zhao’s drama, about a cowboy (Brady Jandreau) who suffers a head injury after falling off of his horse, has been winning raves on the film festival circuit.
32. “Searching” (Aug. 3): Like the horror experiment “Unfriended,” this film about a father (John Cho) looking for his missing daughter takes place entirely on computer screens.
33. “BlacKkKlansman” (Aug. 10): Spike Lee’s latest, about an African-American detective who becomes the head of a local chapter of the Klu Klux Klan, is slated to close this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
34. “The Meg” (Aug. 10): Jason Statham takes on a giant shark, and if you need any more explanation than that, I’m not sure we can be friends.
35. “Replicas” (Aug. 24): A scientist (Keanu Reeves) works to brings his family back to life after losing them in a tragic automobile accident. Alice Eve and Thomas Middleditch co-star.
36. “The Happytime Murders” (Aug. 17): Puppets and murders, together at last, in this comic thriller about a world where puppets walk amongst us — like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” but with puppets instead of ’toons. Intriguing, to say the least.