16 blockbusters coming to cinemas in Dubai in 2016
Time Out a list of 16 blockbusters coming to cinemas in Dubai in 2016, including the latest film releases for the UAE
Time Out Dubai Staff
Blockbuster season is upon us and there is about to be an onslaught of superheroes, space invaders, sequels, cartoons and, er, Tarzan on our screens. Spectacle rather than originality is the dominant force in cinema at the moment, with 19 of the 20 films in this preview being sequels, adaptations of books, computer games or spin-offs of existing franchises. The only truly original movie is an animation about what poodles do when humans are not looking, so don’t expect your brain to be tested. Do get ready for some major blockbuster action coming to a cinema near you before the end of the year, though…
X-Men: Apocalypse The pitch: Sequel to a prequel, with a bit of time travel, origin story and crossover characters thrown in for good measure. The plot sees the first-ever mutant awaken from a lengthy hibernation with a headache and a penchant for global destruction.
The cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac.
Watch if you like: Apocalyptic mutants, telling people you read the original comics, private education.
The trivia: The ninth X-Men film confirms their place among the most popular comic book characters in cinema. The most famous of all, Wolverine only features briefly in this instalment – but he has a third spin-off of his own coming soon.
The date: May 19.
Alice Through the Looking Glass The pitch: The poster says directed by James Bobin, but it’s the produced by Tim Burton strapline that best explains the visual style of this Lewis Carroll sequel. With Alice back in Wonderland, a nightmare collage of characters and locations gets a fantasy makeover on the largest scale imaginable.
The cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen.
Watch if you like: Anything Tim Burton has ever done, Johnny Depp being weird.
The trivia: Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter was so popular in 2010’s Alice in Wonderland that a new back story has been penned with Rhys Ifans drafted in to play the role of his father – a role that doesn’t exist in the books.
The date: July 21.
Finding Dory The pitch: This takes place six months after Nemo was found and the forgetful Dory takes centre stage. Expect another ocean-crossing, heart-tugging, life-affirming quest to find a lost fish’s family.
The cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy.
Watch if you like: Pet Rescue, seafood, anything Pixar has ever done.
The trivia: Thirteen years have passed since the original. Alexander Gould, the actor who voiced Nemo, has grown up, and his voice has broken, so he has been replaced by Hayden Rolence in this film.
The date: July 7.
Independence Day: Resurgence The pitch: It’s been 20 years since aliens blew up the White House. Guess what? They’re coming back for more. Which is more than can be said of Will Smith, who has decided he’s had enough already and has skipped the sacks full of cash that must have been waved at him to join this long-suspected sequel. Turns out the first film’s alien invasion was just a scouting mission and this time, they’re here to invade properly.
The cast: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Vivica Fox.
Watch if you like: Explosions, aliens, lots of waving of American flags.
The trivia: The Burj Khalifa makes a cameo in the trailer for this sequel and our eagle-eyed viewing places it in London, not Dubai.
The date: July 7.
The BFG The pitch: Steven Spielberg plus Roald Dahl. For anyone who grew up in the ’80s, this is the ultimate fantasy pairing. Spielberg directs this live action remake of Dahl’s story of giants who come out at night to collect and create dreams for children. The book is drenched in imagination, action, humour and good family values. It also introduced the world to the word “Whoopsy-splunkers” and we’re hoping that makes it onto the screen.
The cast: Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Ruby Barnhill.
Watch if you like: E.T., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Whizzpopping.
The trivia: Producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (long-time Spielberg collaborators) began discussing a BFG movie as far back as 1991. At that time, they were eyeing Robin Williams for the title role.
The date: August 11.
The Legend of Tarzan The pitch: It’s been a while since we saw a live action Tarzan, but this epic adventure looks to put the vine-swinging hero right back as the king of the jungle. An origin story and redemptive return rolled into one is directed by Harry Potter favourite David Yates – he helmed the final four movies as well as the Hogwarts spin-off – so we’re expecting great things.
The cast: Margot Robbie, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson.
Watch if you like: Men in trunks leaping about, wildlife documentaries.
The trivia: More than 20 actors have played Tarzan over the years, making him a more common role than Batman, James Bond and Superman combined.
The date: July 28.
The Secret Life of Pets The pitch: What does your cat get up to when you’re not home? Does your dog secretly enjoy thrash metal? These are the questions asked by Despicable Me and Minions director Chris Renaud. Those credentials alone point to cutesy comedy capers aplenty, but we’re also taking note of the cast, which includes some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy. We’re expecting some proper grown-up laughs.
The cast: Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper.
Watch if you like: Minions, cute animals. The trivia: The voice of Tiberius the hawk will be provided by Albert Brooks who also voices Marlin, the father of Nemo. That means his films will probably make as much as two billion dollars at the global box office this year and his face never appear on camera. The secret life of voiceover actors, more like. The date: August 18.
Ghostbusters The pitch: We’re calling this a reboot. Not a sequel, not a prequel and certainly not an origin story of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A female cast replace the much-loved original foursome of academics and assorted stragglers who discover scientific proof of ghostly activity in New York and go about battling the supernatural pests. The cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Watch if you like: Needless reboots, spooky comedies, the music of Ray Parker Jr. The trivia: Reaction to the reboot has been mixed, with the trailor getting 600,000 dislike marks on YouTube – the most of all time for any film content. By the way, stat fans, the most disliked video on YouTube is a Justin Bieber song. It has six million dislikes. The date: July 14
Star Trek Beyond The pitch: Director J.J. Abrams jumped (space)ship to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so only takes producer credit on this third instalment from the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Despite there being four spin-off TV series, it’s the original characters of Spock, Kirk, Scotty and co. that we most love and they’re all present here as the Enterprise crew battle aliens. The cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba. Watch if you like: Retro sci-fi, space politics, successful reboots. The trivia: Look out for some Time Outers playing starring roles in this one. Parts of the film were shot on location in Dubai and our very own Sofia Vyas and Chanelle Tourish were among the extras. Will they make it beyond the cutting room floor? The date: July 21.
Jason Bourne The pitch: The forgetful super-spy is back. Properly back this time, with Matt Damon and everything. It’s not like Bourne: The Confusion or whatever it was called when part four took a tangent with new characters in starring roles. Expect his single punch knockouts, a steely glare and insider knowledge on how to evade capture while going directly towards the people who are trying to capture him. The cast: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles. Watch if you like: Superheroes without capes, government conspiracies, theoriginal trilogy. The trivia: This could get complicated. Matt Damon had said he wasn’t interested in making a Bourne return any time soon after 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum. He did concede that it might happen in ten years’ time. Turns out it only took nine. The date: July 28.
Suicide Squad The pitch: Did you ever stop to think what the supervillains are doing when the heroes are saving the Earth? This DC Comics flick answers that exact question as The Joker, Deadshot and Harley Quinn are among an elite taskforce of bad guys and girls recruited to put their criminal tendencies to one side for a change. The cast: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Cara Delevingne. Watch if you like: Batman, The Dirty Dozen, cheering for the wrong team. The trivia: A sequel was discussed before filming even finished, and you should not be surprised to see some crossover with future Batman films. Ben Affleck’s caped crusader is the reason why the squad are imprisoned in Gotham’s Arkham Asylum in the first place. The date: August 4.
Inferno The pitch: Cinema’s most bookish action hero, played once again by Tom Hanks, returns with more riddles, puzzles and literary intrigue. Directed by Ron Howard and based on the Dan Brown book of the same name in the Robert Langdon saga, this is the second sequel to The Da Vinci Code. The cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan. Watch if you like: Crossword puzzles, Indiana Jones, Dan Brown novels. The trivia: Inferno screenwriter David Koepp is the fifth most successful of all time, with credits including Indiana Jones, Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park and War ofthe Worlds. The date: To be announced.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back The pitch: Tom Cruise returns as retired military cop Jack Reacher in an unexpected follow up. Based on the 18th book in the long-running action thriller series by Lee Child, it sees Jason Bourne-alike Reacher returning to his old military HQ only to find he’s been accused of a 16-year-old homicide. The cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany. Watch if you like: Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, Lee Child books. The trivia: This sequel almost never got made thanks to a less than stellar box office performance. It was hoped this would be a franchise in the style of Mission: Impossible. US box office takings were average, however, and it was only the popularity worldwide that encouraged the studio to stump up cash for this follow-up. The date: To be announced.
Doctor Strange The pitch: He has a cape, a complex back story and a habit for grandiose discoveries when travelling in the mountains of Tibet. Yes, make no mistake, Benedict Cumberbatch’s neurosurgeon-turned-conflicted-lifesaver is very much a superhero. Based on a Marvel superhero with a cult following, this is a more cerebral hero than you may be used to. The cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong. Watch if you like: Comic books, meditating, Sherlock. The trivia: Although it is part of the same universe as Thor, Iron Man and the rest, it is more focused on the supernatural. The date: To be announced.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The pitch: A prequel based on an oblique reference to an imaginary text book in a children’s novel must be a first, even by Hollywood standards. But all you really need to know is that this is a spin-off from the Harry Potter universe written by J. K. Rowling. There is no Harry Potter, in fact not even a sight of Hogwarts, but this can be considered a work of historic importance to the wizard community and takes us in search of dragons. The cast: Eddie Redmayne, Ron Perlman, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston. Watch if you like: Harry Potter, dragons, antique text books. The trivia: With all the Harry Potter books already filmed and released, Warner Bros. persuaded J.K. Rowling to make her screenwriting debut with an original story set in the Harry Potter universe. Neither a sequel or a prequel, it’s pure Rowling, and part of a trilogy of planned movies to come. The date: To be announced.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story The pitch: When is a Star Wars film not a Star Wars film? When it’s a standalone spin-off in the Star Wars extended universe. If that makes about as much sense as Jar Jar Binks explaining trade embargoes, then you just need to know that Disney handed over US$4 billion (Dhs14.7 billion) to George Lucas for the rights to Star Wars a few years ago. Upon doing so it declared its intention to make a movie every year following the release of The Force Awakens. This will be the first of the standalones and is set in the time immediately after Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) and before Episode IV (A New Hope). All too geeky for you? Just know that there is a Star Wars film about rebel fighters blasting around space trying to steal Death Star plans. The cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed. Watch if you like: Extending universes, Star Wars, overthinking things. The trivia: There are at least a couple of sequels to Star Wars: The Force Awakens already in the pipeline but it is two more standalones that are making us geek out the most. Spinoffs that tell the story of a young Han Solo (confirmed) and also Boba Fett (rumoured) are enough to make any geek vibrate with uncontrolled glee. The date: December.