Independence Day: Resurgence (Release: June 24)
The long expected Independence Day sequel will be Will Smith-less. He was unavailable to make a return, we'll have to wait and see whether that ends up being better off for him or not. Nevertheless, back is director Roland Emmerich with a cast of returning actors Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner, now joined by a fresh set of recognizable faces like Liam Hemsworth, William Fitchner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe and Joey King.
X-Men Apocalypse (Release: May 27)
Oscar Isaac joins the fray as a villain! Isaac has quickly become a hot commodity. If he isn't giving great performances in smaller indie productions, he's lending his increasingly recognizable face to mega franchises like Star Wars. Part of the interest for this movie is what he can do with the villain. And if their already incredible star power wasn't enough, up and comers Tye Sheridan (who has received praise for his roles in indie films by directors Jeff Nichols and David Gordon Green) joins the cast as a young Cyclops. And Sophie Turner of "Game of Thrones" fame is looking to make a name for herself in big budget feature films by joining the cast as a young Jean Gray.
Star Trek Beyond (Release: July 22)
For a science fiction series that was more thoughtful/sciency and less action/fantasy oriented than "Star Wars," "Beyond" looks to have taken even more of a step into the action/fantasy genre than the past two "Star Trek" films (which was already too far in that direction for many Trek fans). Part of that could be attributed to director Justin Lin (who takes over for J.J. Abrams) who is known for his work in the over-the-top action blockbuster series "Fast and Furious." Producers should be worried considering the ire this trailer is already receiving on social media. Rather than moving toward the series roots with a thoughtful, tense exploration of space, they've gone full action blockbuster complete with a badly green-screened look. The trailer also came out the week "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" finally makes its way to theaters. It comes across as a thinly veiled attempt to gain interest from all the viewers looking for more sci-fi action. Instead it's angered fans who still want "Star Trek" to be "Star Trek" rather than imitation "Star Wars."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Release: November 18)
Harry Potter fans, here's your long awaited return to the wizarding world. "Fantastic Beasts" is written by J.K. Rowling herself and re-teams her with director David Yates, who directed 4 of the Harry Potter films (and the upcoming Tarzan film). It stars Oscar winner (and soon to be nominated again) Eddie Redmayne and talented up and comer Ezra Miller. It's set 70 years before the events in the Harry Potter series and takes place in New York rather than London. Nevertheless, Potter fans have been waiting for Rowling to return to her wizarding world, and they won't have to wait much longer.