2016 Most Anticipated:
As a follow up to my 2015 Favorites list I thought I would write a wee bit about the films and television shows I am most excited for in 2016! It’ll be great to review this at the end of the year and see what shows and films lived up to my expectations.
*WARNING POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD, read at your own risk!*
- TV SHOWS:
- The Flash
- Legends of Tomorrow
- The Shannara Chronicles
Arrow and The Flash
I couldn’t help but gush about how excited I were for the first two shows on this list to continue in my 2015 Favorites post. New year, new levels of epicness in the case of the CW’s Arrow on its fourth season and The Flash on it’s second season. Both shows have most certainly found their footing mastering episodes that continually build and explore a range of character arcs, relationships, and plots featuring both villains and heroes. Both season 4 of Arrow and season 2 of The Flash are centered around the destruction of big-bads Damien Dahrk (Neal McDonough) and Zoom both of whom we know little about, so I cannot wait to find out more! In terms of Arrow i’m interested to see Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) retaliation and Felicity’s (Emily Bett Rickards) recovery, the return of Roy (Colton Haynes), more of Mama Smoak (Charlotte Ross) and Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) – I ship it! The introduction of Felicity’s Father maybe, and hopefully we see more of Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum), I have loved his and Emily’s scenes so far this season #TerrificSmoak is set to be a great friendship I think! Oh and also I need to know who is in that damn grave – though i’m a little scared to find out! For The Flash my interests are definitely character-centric. I need to know more about Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), I gotta know if Killer Frost is Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) or an Earth 2 doppelganger, I’m now invested in Earth 2 Harrison’s (Tom Cavanagh) plight to save his daughter, I am hoping we get to see more of Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten), not just as a love interest for Barry (Grant Gustin) but as the badass ball of equal parts anger and adorableness that she is. Also more Cisco (Carlos Valdes) as Vibe and just more Iris West (Candice Patton) kicking ass as a journalist in general. Basically i’m ready (I think) for anything the writers want to throw at me!
Watch the promo for the rest of season two of The Flash here it returns to the CW Tuesday 19th of January. TV2 is yet to confirm a return date for both The Flash and Arrow here in New Zealand although the latter returns to the CW on Wednesday 20th January. Watch the trailer for Arrow here.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
I couldn’t be excited for Arrow and The Flash without freaking out about the latest spinoff show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which features some of our Arrow and The Flash favorites with some new faces. Including White Canary (Caity Lotz), Firestorm (Victor Garber and Franz Drameh), The Atom (Brandon Routh), Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) and Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) and Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill). Who team up in order to defeat Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) the evil immortal who we were introduced to in Arrow Season 4 episode 8 and The Flash season 2 episode 8 which featured a crossover between the shows designed to introduce Kendra’s Hawkgirl identity in order to establish the premise of Legends of Tomorrow which in a nutshell is the ‘Legends’ travelling through different periods of time in the hope of stopping the future in which Vandal Savage destroys the world. With a premise such as that the writers have set themselves up with a huge range of options and era’s of which to explore aka we will get to see wicked costumes, sets and props! Not to mention the crossover potential between the three shows is huge! Basically it’s like DC’s equivalent of the Avengers but in a TV show format. What we’ve seen in teasers so far looks incredible so I have high expectations – Legends of Tomorrow, please don’t fail this city!
Yes I am aware that over 50% of the shows on my list are superhero shows, I have a weakness for them! A new one I have a weakness for is CBS’s Supergirl starring the adorable Melissa Benoist. The show is half way through its first season which started late last year and whilst i’m not sure its on the same level as other shows of its genre quite yet it is growing. I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far and am loving the message of female importance and empowerment the show routinely reinforces. I look forward to 2016 to see what new villains (particularly excited for Italia Ricci’s appearance as Silver Banshee!) the show delivers, how Kara will continue to protect her hidden identity in her work at CatCo, what the deal is with Director Henshaw’s (David Harewood) power/past. Ooh and also Blake Jenner, Melissa’s former Glee co-star and current fiance’s, appearance as Adam Foster. I loved the two of them as Ryder and Marley on Glee so to see them together on screen again will be great. I swear between Jeremy Jordan, Melissa and Blake not to mention other members of the cast the show seriously needs a musical episode! A crossover with The Flash is rumored for sometime this year, a double network marketed crossover event could be fantastic for both show’s! I’d love to see Barry in National City or Kara in Central City! Let’s see what the new year brings!!
Supergirl airs Mondays on CBS and the show will return to TV2 in NZ on Friday 22nd January at 7pm!
The Shannara Chronicles and Shadowhunters
The final two shows on my list fit into what is my other favorite genre of television which is fantasy! MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles and FreeForm’s Shadowhunters are both based on the novels of Terry Brooks and Cassandra Clare respectively. Whilst many popular book series are often made into films, and epic ones at that, I also love the medium of TV as it gives the writers so much room to explore and play with any number of plots and characters within the novels. First up, The Shannara Chronicles now I haven’t read the novels which this show is based on, but if the show is any indication of how good the novels are then I will have to check them out. I have been excited for this show for months, I remember attending Manu Bennett’s panel at the Christchurch Armageddon Expo this past April and hearing him talk about the show, they had just begun filming, and his excitement for the show was infectious. Now I must admit I am a little bias as this show was filmed in the beautiful country that is New Zealand but there is nothing this landscape is better suited for than creating fantasy locations. Whilst I am only 2 episodes in I am already incredibly impressed at the quality of this show considering it is produced by MTV. The cast is a fantastic mix of seasoned actors including Manu Bennett and John Rhys-Davies as Allanon and King Eventine and relative newcomers Poppy Drayton, Austin Butler and Ivana Banquero as Amberle, Will and Eretria. The pace is fast and plot full of high stakes action. The writing is a little heavy with exposition and world building right now but I know that that is necessary and will lessen over time, the makeup SFX and CGI is incredible as are the costuming and set decoration. I’m incredibly excited to see where this show goes!
The Shannara Chronicles airs at 10pm ET on MTV and in New Zealand on The Zone (Sky Channel 009) Wednesdays at 8:30pm. You can check out the trailer for the show here.
Finally the last on my TV list is Freeform’s Shadowhunters. I’ve been a die-hard Mortal Instruments (and Infernal Devices!) fan for many years. I was heartbroken when the film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones turned out to be a little disappointing and performed so poorly at the box office it was never given a green light for a sequel. I adored certain members of the cast in their roles (namely Lily Collins as Clary and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace). However the fandom was granted a second chance when Freeform (then ABC) picked up the rights to create a TV show. After months of casting news, behind the scenes photos and teasers the show finally premiered this past week. I watched the pilot yesterday morning. I’m just looking at the notes I wrote whilst watching the pilot and at the bottom in big letters i’ve written the biggest reason why this show is on my most anticipated list for this year, “IT HAS POTENTIAL”. I always knew that being produced by ABC that this show would be cringe-worthingly cheesy at times and the first episode confirmed that. It was incredibly heavy with expositional dialogue as I also expected. The romance and love triangle is being shoved down our throats already which is frustrating as with it being TV format the writers have time to build it slowly. I was unfortunately amused by the writers placing Valentines secret lair in Chernobyl – I mean could they pick a more cliche villain hiding place!? However I am liking this new cast so far. From what I have seen so far Emeraude Tobia perfectly embodies Isabelle’s sexy sassiness, Dom Sherwood is already hinting at the multi-faceted nature of Jace’s character. Matthew Daddario is creating the Alec I imagined whilst reading, Alberto Rosende is the most adorable Simon, I already love him. His and Kat McNamara’s chemistry and friendship feels extremely authentic and Kat has Clary’s strong-willed yet also terrified nature down-pat so far. I’ll be interested to see what she brings to the character of Clary. Whilst the film kept the institute fairly ancient looking i’m loving the shows fusion of ancient architecture and modern technology in the institute. I’ve seen a fair few book to screen adaptations over the years and as a film student I have come to accept that there will often be differences between the source material and the television show or film so I am totally open and very intrigued to see what the writers of Shadowhunters do with the huge amount of material they have to work with!
- The 5th Wave
- La La Land
- Hail, Caesar
- Pride, Prejudice and Zombies
- The BFG
The 5th Wave
The 5th Wave (written by Rick Yancey) has got to be one of the best books I have read in the last few years. I don’t think i’ve ever seen a middle aged man so perfectly capture the mind of a teenage girl in a novel before. The book was a roller coaster ride of emotions and plot twists from start to finish. I actually remember at points having to put the book down because I couldn’t deal with how good/shocking it was! Quite often when I read I picture the words in my head as a scene and whilst reading I always though this is definitely one of those novels that would lend itself brilliantly to the visual medium of film. So as you can imagine I was ecstatic when they announced a film was to be made, I was even more excited when they cast Chloe Moretz as Cassie. Having seen Chloe in films like Hick (2011), Dark Shadows (2012), If I Stay (2014), and Kick-Ass (2010). I knew she would be capable of embodying the vulnerable yet strong-willed character of Cassie. The rest of the cast looks extremely solid including Maika Monroe as Ringer, Nick Robinson as Ben/Zombie, Alex Roe as Evan and Liev Schriber as Colonel Vosch. This story is definitely not your average YA dystopian, its like a sci-fi, pandemic, thriller, romantic drama, action, fantasy and adventure film/novel all in one. I can’t wait to see it!
The film, directed by J Blakeson and written by Susannah Grant, Avika Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner is out now in New Zealand and will be released in the USA on the 22nd January! Watch the trailer here.
La La Land
Next on my list – A musical – i’m already keen. A musical with Ryan Gosling? – I am so down for this. A musical with Ryan Gosling AND Emma Stone!?!?! – This is like a dream come true!! After spending the early part of 2015 dreaming about travelling to New York to see Emma on Broadway as Sally Bowles in Cabaret (i’m not kidding I actually looked up how much flights would cost me). I have been yearning ever since to see Emma in a musical, somehow re-watching the ‘Knock On Wood’ scene in Easy A (2010) and Will Butlers recently released music video for Anna starring Emma was not near enough Emma musical goodness. So when I heard she had been cast in La La Land, director Damien Chazelle’s follow up to his 2014 film Whiplash, I was incredibly excited. When they announced that her co-star was none other than Ryan Gosling I was just like woah this is too much. Having seen Ryan and Emma in rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and period gangster piece Gangster Squad (2013) we know their chemistry is fantastic. I cannot wait to see what these two bring to a musical! No release date has been confirmed and for now the only teaser we have is the still released by Entertainment Weekly a few weeks ago (see second picture in the collage above!) but it is enough to have me pumped!
I first saw the trailer for the Cohen brothers Hail, Caesar! when someone shared it on the UC Film Club page on Facebook. I watched the trailer with a grin on my face thinking 1) WOW what a cast (George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Alden Ehrenreich, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill, Ralph Fiennes among others!) 2) YAS my favorite time period 1920’s classical Hollywood – I love the reflexivity in making a modern film about making a film in the past, a film within a film, genius. 3) Channing Tatum dancing in a sailor costume – i’m in. 4) This looks hilarious! I love a good comedy of errors and with such a strong cast and interesting premise this film should be sure to perform well at the box office!
The film is set for release early February in the US and there is yet to be a confirmed release date for NZ, though i’m sure it will be around the same time. Watch the trailer here.
Pride, Prejudice and Zombies
I have followed this film for months as originally it came on my radar as Lily Collins was attached to star, she however later dropped out. I had never actually heard of the novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith until I heard about the films production, i’ve now added it to my ‘to-read’ list! I love modern twists on old classic tales. Between The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies (2013) and Zombieland (2009) pop culture has been extremely zombie-centric as of late. I was understandably a little apprehensive, as a poster named scifidesign posted on the films IMDb page “Has Hollywood finally lost the plot?”, it did seem to be a strange premise, but a strange premise that would most likely work incredibly well visually. Having seen the trailer and knowing that the cast includes awesome people such as Lily James, Suki Waterhouse, Lena Headey, Douglas Booth and Matt Smith the deal has been sealed for me. I’m so pumped to see this film. Prim and proper Bennett ladies kicking ass whilst maintaining proper British ettiquette? Yes, please! I also adore the film’s promotional tagline “Bloody Lovely” which is equal parts British and punny. Good job marketing team!
The film, which is directed and written by Burr Steers is set for release in the US (and hopefully New Zealand!) early February get pumped for it by watching the trailer here.
As we have already established I adore period pieces and I often chose films based on who is starring in them. So when I saw the trailer for John Crowley’s Brooklyn based on the book of the same name by Colm Toibin I was excited. Brooklyn tells the story of a young irish girl names Eilis’s immigration to Brooklyn in the 1950’s. So 1950’s costumes and cinematography? Love it. A cast including the amazing Saoirse Ronan, Julie Walters, Emily Bett Rickards, Jim Broadbent? Definitely love it. I have been a huge fan of Saiorse’s for a long time she’s brings such a depth and power to her performances yet in such a nuanced way! The trailer used one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, ‘Home’ by Gabrielle Aplin and as someone who has moved my life overseas and left my home behind I have a feeling this film will resonate strongly with me.
Whilst editing this post it was announced that Brooklyn was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Saoirse was nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture which is a huge deal for all involved in the film! I will be attending a preview screening of the film tomorrow (Thankyou to Bauer Media and Womans Day NZ for the tickets) so I will write a more detailed review which will be up sometime next week! Watch the trailer for the film here.
Finally finishing off my 2016 Most Anticipated list – the upcoming Disney live action version of The Big Friendly Giant. The novel, by Roald Dahl was one of my absolute favorites as a young girl, I had an audiobook that I listened to every night before I went to bed for years. I never stopped hoping the BFG would steal me away to go on an adventure. I still want to try a snozzcumber! Whilst I enjoyed the animated film adaptation of the novel as a child, as an adult with a strong appreciation for film and the joy it can bring people, I am incredibly excited to see what magic Steven Spielberg and Disney will work to bring this story to life, so it can be enjoyed by a new generation of children! So far only a teaser trailer for the film has been released which you can watch here. Though even the teaser has me giddy with excitement. As soon as I heard the line “it was the witching hour, when the boogeyman comes out” I got chills! We still have a while to wait for the films July release but we should get a few more trailers in that time to tide us over!
I just realized this post is over 3000 words long, If only I could write university essays this easily! Enjoy the novel, you deserve a cookie if you read all this! Let me know in the comments down below what shows and films you’re most anticipating this year!
Au revoir mes amis – C x