Not content with gobbling up Fox, Disney looks set to absolutely dominate cinemas in 2018. They recently announced their release calendar for the year and, while you’ve surely heard of most of these films, seeing them all laid out one after another is seriously impressive. There’s no point in messing around, though, so let’s get to the movies…
The year begins in style with Black Panther on February 16th. Directed by Ryan Coogler, this is shaping up to be an interesting departure from the usual Marvel Studios fare. Chadwick Boseman leads an all-star African-American cast that takes us to a never before seen corner of the MCU.
Next, March 9th sees the release of A Wrinkle in Time, an adaptation of the 1963 Madeleine L’Engle novel about brave children on a universe-spanning quest to find their scientist father. It stars Oprah Winfrey, Storm Reid, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Zach Galifianakis.
Magic Camp, coming April 6th, sounds like a pretty chilled out family comedy about a banker returning to the camp of his youth as a counsellor. This one might be on the back burner though, as it stars current persona non grata Jeffrey Tambor, so there’s a chance this might be pushed back.
Next up is an obscure indie film I haven’t heard of before now: Avengers: Infinity War. Apparently, it’s some kind of superhero story in which every costumed hero who’s ever appeared in a Marvel Studios movie gets together to beat up some big purple dude. Sounds like it could be pretty fun. Whatever it is, it’s out May 4th.
Hot on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ heels is Solo: A Star Wars Story, releasing on May 25th. This Han Solo origin story has had a famously troubled production, to the point that I’m surprised it hasn’t been pushed back to Christmas 2018.
Pixar’s big movie of the year is next and it lands on June 15th. The long-awaited The Incredibles 2 apparently focuses on Elastigirl’s crime-fighting past, but we don’t know too much about it just yet. Expect a proper trailer fairly soon, though.
The third Marvel Studios movie of the year, Ant-Man and the Wasp is released on July 6th. Will audiences be suffering from superhero fatigue by this point? Given that the original Ant-Man, while still a success, was one of the lesser MCU efforts, this will be an interesting study in whether fans are getting a bit cape n’ quipped out.
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Next, August 3rd sees the release of a still-untitled film about the adult Christopher Robin, starring Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell. Not much is known about it yet, save that it sounds like Winnie the Pooh meets Hook.
Now we’re getting into slightly more distant releases. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is released November 2nd and sees Keira Knightley play the Sugar Plum Fairy with a cast including Jack Whitehall, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman. Word is it’s about a young girl sucked into a fairyland by a magic toy.
The next in Disney’s live action animation adaptations lands sometime in November. Mulan stars Chinese actress Liu Yifei in the title role and, other than presumably having the same basic plot as the 1998 classic, we don’t know much about it.
November 30th will then see Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 smash into cinemas, in which Ralph and Vanellope journey through the internet in an attempt to repair their broken arcade cabinets.
Finally, just in time for Christmas, the long-awaited Mary Poppins Returns will gracefully descend into theaters on December 21st. We’ve already seen Emily Blunt in costume and, right now, we all have our fingers crossed that this will do the original justice.
Damn, that’s a lot of movies, and I’m calling it right now: Disney is going to bust apart box office records in 2018. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a studio put out such a promising release calendar and with almost everything looking pretty promising, it’ll be fascinating to see how much money the Mouse House rakes in over the course of the next 12 months.