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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In order to find some less celebrated examples of the best forthcoming cinematic delights of the new year, we’ve left out some hugely anticipated movies such as Fifty Shades of Black, I Saw The Light, Zoolander 2, Star Trek Beyond, Bridget Jones’s Baby and Doctor Strange, principally because there is no chance of anyone missing any of those when they finally come out (in January, February, March, July, September and November respectively).

Here are some alternative suggestions, in order of release:

The Revenant (January 8)

Tom Hardy has become Hollywood’s go-to guy for bad guys who carry the brutality of nature in their veins. In this movie he plays the untrustworthy John Fitzgerald, partner of the explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio). When Glass is attacked by a bear, Fitzgerald leaves him for dead in the American wilderness, during a bitter winter. The Revenant is the story of what Glass must to in order to try and stay alive.

The Lady in the Van (January 15)

A treat for fans of Downton Abbey, The History Boys, Harry Potter and Alan Bennett in general, The Lady in the Van is a dramatized account of a true story, involving the put-upon playwright Alan Bennett allowing a homeless lady to park her van in the drive of his Camden house for a few days. She proved to be such a primal force that she managed to extend this grudgingly offered hospitality for over 15 years. Dame Maggie Smith delivers another toweringly flinty performance as Miss Shepherd, a woman who entirely fails to conform to anyone’s idea of homeless people and their status as fragile victims of happenstance.

Moonwalkers (January 15)

A quirky farce based on an offbeat premise, Moonwalkers is the R-rated tale of a 1969 con trick involving the manager of a rock back (Rupert Grint) who fools Kidman, a CIA operative (Ron Perlman) into thinking he can secure the services of Stanley Kubrick to film a mock-up of the moon landing. When Kidman realizes he’s been duped, this unlikely group must join forces to try and fake one of the most iconic moments in 20th century history.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (February 5)

The trouble with horror movies is they often lack depth of character, and the trouble with character-driven costume dramas is that they lack action. But if you could bring the two together, and maybe retell Jane Austen’s romantic comedy of manners with a supporting cast of the undead, surely that’s a recipe for movie gold? And if not, at least we get to see how martial arts expert Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) learns to work with the zombie killing Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley).

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (March 4)

This is the coming together of two mighty comic talents, Tina Fey and Martin Freeman—in the comic retelling of the true story of Kim Barker, war correspondent in Afghanistan and Pakistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Tina plays Kim, while Martin plays the Scottish journalist with which she begins a strange relationship in even stranger circumstances.

The Brothers Grimsby (March 11)

(Warning: slightly NSFW trailer)

Imagine a Bond movie directed by the mind behind Borat. That’s The Brothers Grimsby. Mark Strong plays a suave super-spy, his latest mission only slightly compromised by the appearance of his long-lost twin brother, played with grotesque glee by Sacha Baron Cohen. Having been separated during childhood, the brothers have to learn to get along, despite having been raised to be two very different people, and the fact that they’re being chased by angry men with guns.

The Jungle Book (April 15)

A live-action retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s tales of Mowgli, the human boy raised in the forests of India by animals that can talk. Disney have replaced cartoons, fun and infectious jazz with incredibly detailed CGI, drama and the voices of Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Bill Murray (Baloo), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera) and Christopher Walken as King Louie.

A Monster Calls (October 14)

Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is 12 years old, and he has a lot on his plate. He’s being bullied at school, he doesn’t get on with his grandparents, and his mother (Felicity Jones) is very ill. Consequently he starts to spend more time in his own fantasies, in which a monster (played by Liam Neeson) visits him and helps him to develop courage and deal with his darkest fears.

Also, as we have while to wait before the movie comes out, that gives everyone lots of time to go and read the book by Patrick Ness, which is just lovely.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18)

OK, so this one you may already know about. Eddie Redmayne stars in the first post-Harry Potter movie (which is also technically pre-Harry Potter) concerning the adventures of Newt Scamander, in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. This is the research that goes into the writing the book of the same name that Harry Potter uses to learn about magical beasts, so you can expect plenty of blast-ended skrewts, doxies and bowtruckles amid all the skyscrapers, hot dogs and subways.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (TBC)

(BBC Films/Fox Searchlight)
(BBC Films/Fox Searchlight)

Details are still a little hazy as to when the Ab Fab movie will be released, but there are rumors of guest appearances from Kim Kardashian West and Kate Moss, and the official synopsis is as follows:

“Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamor, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!”

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By Fraser McAlpine