I love a good Sci-Fi film, especially those that either really make full use of the limitless nature of the genre or that blend the fiction with enough solid science and clever concepts to make them real ‘thinkers’.
Based purely on trailers and the pedigree of cast and crew, I’m personally predicting a few months ahead of brilliant science fiction. The films that have particularly caught my attention are detailed below and are all big-budget sci-fi’s with space settings or extra-terrestrial themes, though they seem to focus on different aspects and storylines so as to offer a variety.
Passengers (Released Dec 21st in the U.S. and 2 days later in the U.K.)
This had me interested when the casting was confirmed to be pairing Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, both actors I have a fondness for in different ways and a pairing I’m really hoping could abound in superb on-screen chemistry. I’m really hoping for something special here, the trailer hints at twists and big reveals as the story unfolds so I’m aiming to avoid spoiling it for myself in advance and just making plans to see it on opening day with a good deal of confidence.
Arrival (Currently on release)
This one has me most interested thanks to the director, Denis Villeneuve, whose last feature ‘Sicario’ had me on the edge of my seat and was one of the most beautifully shot films of last year. Casting-wise this is also very strong with Amy Adams in the lead, supported by Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker and others. I’ve avoiding delving too far into the story for fear of coming across spoilers. I have a strong feeling that the narrative will have some turns that the tone of the trailer merely hints at but stay clear of. I’m expecting something like ‘Close Encounters’ and many are comparing it to others such as ‘Contact’. As it’s on release right now I’m hoping to find a chance to go see it within the next week or so, I have already had a favourable report from my brother so potentially this could quickly become a personal favourite for the awards season.
Life (May 2017)
I only saw this trailer the other day and I’ve not heard any more about the film than that so far. The trailer is quite good and what has me most excited is the casting of both Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, whose contrasting on-screen personality traits and intensities look sure to be featured to dramatic effect.
Valerian (July 2017)
This has one big thing going for it, director Luc Besson! Being as he is the director of ‘The Fifth Element’ he already has history of brilliantly doing spectacular and crazy sci-fi before and while it wasn’t a film I loved hugely, ‘Fifth Element’ was great fun and it looks like he’ll manage that sense of spectacle and adventure again. Whereas some of the other films I’m looking forward to are rooted in reality and have more cerebral science themes, Besson is revelling in the fiction side of the genre and though it may not make for the very best of the films on this list, it has a good chance of being one of the most entertaining.
There are of course many other potentially excellent films coming out over the next few months, not just within the sci-fi genre. Please leave your top tips in the comments of any you think are worth a look.