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Freaky movie year for geeks

By: -Staff Writer
/ 05:41 AM January 07, 2018
Marvel heroes in "Avengers: Infinity War"

Marvel heroes in “Avengers: Infinity War”

Repeat after me: There will never be a year in movies like 2018. If you thought 2017 was crammed full of geeky movies, then be prepared to basically live in theaters for 2018, which is stuffed up and down with movies based on videogames, comic books, sci-fi novels among other pop culture lodestones.

Mutants, magic, monsters and much mayhem is coming your way in a cinematic battle that will see many of these films go up against each other in a truly packed year. Get your geek freak on in 2018.

‘Alita: Battle Angel’

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This longtime labor of love for producer James Cameron —based on the popular manga by Yukito Kishiro— finally jumps onto screens directed by Robert Rodriguez. The action-filled tale of a cyborg’s quest for her identity will feature a CGI Alita (voiced by relative newcomer Rosa Salazar) on screen with human actors such as Christoph Waltz. July.

‘Annihilation’

This movie’s pedigree is off the charts. It’s written and directed by the guy who did the same for the excellent “Ex Machina.” It’s based on a critically acclaimed novel by Jeff VanderMeer and stars Natalie Portman. When her husband is seriously injured after entering a mysterious quarantine zone, Portman takes a team into the area to find something to save him. February.

‘Aquaman’

It’s a combination you didn’t see coming: “The Conjuring” creator James Wan joining forces with “Game of Throne’s” Khal Drogo (yes, Jason Momoa) in a comic book movie about the Justice League character everybody makes fun of. This next outing in the DC Extended Universe is DC’s only movie this year and, one way or the other, it’s going to be a surprise. December.

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

Paul Rudd returns in the lead role of the most unlikely Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) hero as the shrinking Ant-Man along with director Peyton Reed. Ant-Man will be joined by the Wasp (Evangeline Lily). It’s only one of (count ‘em) six 2018 movies based on Marvel Comics properties. (July)

‘Avengers: Infinity War’

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It’s been 10  years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe started with 2008’s “Iron Man.” Ten years and 18 movies later, you get the biggest film from Marvel yet, with all the Marvel heroes joining forces to try and stop Marvel’s biggest baddie, Thanos (Josh Brolin). It’s got the three Chrises Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)— as well as Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and everybody else. May.

‘A Wrinkle in Time’

Madeleine L’Engle’s iconic 1962 novel has gone without a big screen adaptation long enough. If you’re going to go for it, you might as well go for it with everything you’ve got, and that’s exactly what “A Wrinkle in Time” is doing, with the book’s wormhole plot directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey.  March.

‘Black Panther’

After making his first appearance in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa stars in his own movie directed by “Creed’s” Ryan Coogler. In this MCU film, T’Challa defends his homeland of Wakanda against threats like Micheal B. Jordan’s Killmonger and Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue. This looks like a fascinating action-packed exploration of one of the Marvel Universe’s most enigmatic locations. February.

‘Deadpool 2’

Everyone’s favorite Merc With A Mouth returns in the sequel nobody saw coming. Ryan Reynolds reprises his role as Marvel’s quick-healing anti-hero. Josh Brolin completes the comics’ dirty duo as the time-traveling mutant Cable. Expect more scatological references. June.

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

The second of the five films based on J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” kinda, sorta prequel brings back Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander as he is recruited by a younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) in an attempt to prevent the catastrophe being planned by the evil Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). November.

‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’

After tackling the life of General Antonio Luna in the 2015 box office smash “Heneral Luna,” director Jerrold Tarog and team now take on the short but very eventful life of the young General Gregorio “Goyo” del Pilar, the hero of Tirad Pass, with Paulo Avelino expanding on the role he first took on in “Heneral Luna.” TBA.

‘Incredibles 2’

It’s only taken 14 years, but Disney/Pixar’s stylishly dark animated 2004 take on the superhero genre finally gets a sequel. Director Brad Bird gets a second shot at his seminal film, with most of the voice cast (Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson and Bird himself as the fashionable Edna Mode). And Jack Jack gets to show off his powers. June.

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

A volcano threatens the surviving dinosaurs from Isla Nublar and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) have to try and save them. There will be much running and falling in this sequel to “Jurassic World,” by both humans and dinos. June.

‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Emily Blunt slips into the role made famous by Dame Julie Andrews in 1964—yes, that’s over 50 years between films. This movie visits the grown-up Banks children with “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda appearing as a lamplighter named Jack (no worries, original chimneysweep Bert—Dick Van Dyke—cameos). It’s directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and also features Meryl Streep and Colin Firth. December.

‘Mission: Impossible 6’

Details about this one are, haha, top secret, but suffice it to say Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt will be back for this one. Henry Cavill is supposedly the bad guy in this. July.

‘The New Mutants’

The original property featured the younger Mutants being trained to become members of Marvel’s original Mutant team, the X-Men, but it is clear from the mind-blowing trailer that this film was going to take a decidedly horror approach. Its parts are unusual (director Josh Boone’s previous film was the young adult romance “The Fault in Our Stars” and star Maisie Williams is best known as Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones”) and the film should be as well. April.

‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’

The robotic Jaegers and the gigantic Kaiju from 2013’s “Pacific Rim” return in this sequel, set 10 years after the calamitous events of the original film. “Star Wars” star John Boyega takes charge of humanity’s new stand against monstrous extinction-level threats with new super robots and monster powers. March.

‘The Predator’

The masked, invisible dreadlocked alien hunter is back in what is officially the fourth film in the franchise (slotting in between “Predator 2” and “Predators.” August.

‘Ready Player One’

If ever there was a novel that deserved to be adapted by the one and only Steven Spielberg, it is Ernest Cline’s 2011 virtual reality masterpiece. Set in 20145, the film shows how humanity has retreated into a VR space known as the OASIS. Protagonist Wade (Tye Sheridan) encounters virtually every property in the pop culture universe in his online quest to find an Easter Egg that can lead to a life-changing fortune. March.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

Get your “Star Wars” fix right here. The second of the standalone “Star Wars” standalone films, “Solo” will reveal the roguish past of everyone’s favorite smuggler Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as overseen by director Ron Howard. Donald Glover is the young Lando Calrissian and the cast also features Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton. May.

‘Tomb Raider’

Lara Croft is back but there’s no Angelina Jolie in this one. The massively successful videogame from Square Enix gets its film franchise a reboot with Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) as the new Lara Croft. The filmmakers have indicated this film will hew more to the game than the previous films. March.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2’

Six years after the original, Ralph (John C. Reily) returns as he and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) accidentally go online via WiFi. This meta-comedy about the internet and gaming features a mashup of characters from all of Disney’s biggest brands: Disney, Pixar, “Star Wars” and Marvel. Not to be missed. November.

‘Venom’

The alien symbiote that bedevils Spider-Man gets his own film with Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. Take note: It’s set in the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” setting so yes, it’s essentially MCU canon even if Marvel Studios isn’t making this. October.

‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

The mighty Mutant team returns this year with a story that adapts one of the comic series’ most famous storylines, revolving around what lies at the heart of the powers of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner). Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Micheal Fassbender) and many of “X-Men: Apocalypse’s” cast return as well. November.

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