2017 movie predictions that will most likely come true

We've got a pretty good idea which movies will break the bank at the box office in 2017, but there's more to the year in movies than picking blockbusters and super-franchises. We've gone over the release schedule, taken a look at prevailing trends, and come up with some theories about what's happening at the cineplex over the next 12 months—and beyond.

Rey's father will (finally) be revealed

There are some bets that seem safer than others when it comes to Star Wars: Episode VIII. While it's almost a guarantee that there'll be at least one "I have a bad feeling about this" thrown in, it's less clear which, if any, throwback character cameos will come into the mix—or if any of those parentage issues left lingering around the new kids on the galactic block will finally be revealed.

With that in mind, we're predicting Star Wars fans will learn more about Rey's lineage. We expect to see her training with Luke, who seems at least somewhat likely to be her father—and don't forget, Luke found out who his dad was in the second installment of the original trilogy.

Logan will die and be replaced

Sorry, Wolverine fanatics, but we're predicting Logan (at least, as portrayed by Hugh Jackman) is not long for this world. Not only has his healing ability been compromised by the hand of time in Logan, but the movie previews also seem to suggest the story will serve as a full-length introduction for his replacement. Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23 (played by Dafne Keen), is Logan's cloned daughter in the comics—and she ultimately assumes his mantle after his death. Logan seems to be on a suicide mission to protect her in the trailer—she's so cute with those sunglasses, after all—and we wouldn't be surprised to see him make the ultimate sacrifice.

Jackman has repeatedly said he's officially ready to put away Logan's claws for good, so it seems only fitting that the studio would choose his final film as a sendoff that doubles as a setup for the character's new beginning. Can it be long before we see yet another class of X-Men with X-23 taking the lead as the new Wolverine? Fox has already reportedly courted James McAvoy for The New Mutants, so if little Laura gets a good response from Logan, count on her to be in the mix.

Torture porn might make a comeback

Under the post-9/11 Bush administration, scholars noticed an increase in the prevalence of so-called "torture porn" movies like 2004's Saw and 2006's Hostel, which arguably reflected the American public's discomfort with the government's hotly contested policies regarding "justified torture" of political prisoners.

Given that this year brings us a new President who's promised a return to those policies—and argued that they didn't even go far enough—people might just find themselves watching more gore as a respite from the similarly disturbing circumstances of reality. Or perhaps the trend will go in another direction and result in the dark political comedy sub-genre as that produced politically charged '90s murder comedies like The Last Supper and Head Above Water.

Another Disney live-action reboot will be announced

Hard though it may be to believe, there are still some Disney animated classic gems that have yet to receive the live-action treatment from the House of Mouse's ever-busier reboot machine. After Beauty and the Beast captures all the hearts upon release, the studio might have to look even further down the road for something to re-adapt. Already on deck are a villain-centric riff on 101 Dalmations called Cruella de Vil, starring Emma Stone, and a solo adventure for Tinker Bell starring Reese Witherspoon.

What's left? Now might be the perfect time to breathe new live-action life into Disney classics like Pinocchio, Dumbo, or even The Rescuers. Each have something of substance that's heavily relevant to today: the existential problem of lying, the gutting realities of animal captivity for show, and the value of international cooperation, respectively. Sound familiar? Pinocchio in particular might be perfectly suited for the reboot treatment right about now.

Stephen King's novels will also be hot commodities

Of all modern American authors, perhaps none has had quite as much of an impact on Hollywood as Stephen King. His stories have spawned dozens of movie adaptations, some of which he's liked enough to cameo within. His library has also spawned several TV shows and miniseries, but until now, some of his most high-concept stories have remained firmly shelved.

That changes with The Dark Tower, which many King fans consider the backbone of the author's extended story universe. If its big-screen adaptation does well enough upon arrival later this year, there's definitely room for growth in the series, so prepare for a full-on franchise if the box office take is right—and if the upcoming adaptation of King's IT hits, you can really get ready to see filmmakers dive into the King archives for more bestsellers that could be turned into potential trilogies.

Prepare for the sequel delays

Go ahead and free up your calendar space on June 9th now, because there's just no way World War Z 2 is going to be in theaters. Even six months out, the film still hadn't even secured a director, and it's not the only delay that's virtually inevitable this year. James Cameron's Avatar 2 release date for 2018 will probably get (another) nudge back into 2019, if not further, given the lack of progress on the production front so far and the fact that Cameron wants to make his four(!) Avatar sequels all at once.

Meanwhile, don't be surprised if the Jumanji reboot-slash-sequel gets kicked back again, too, because it's notoriously had trouble finding footing—and it wouldn't necessarily be shocking if Andy Serkis' Jungle Book: Origins ends up delayed or even scrapped altogether in the wake of Disney's critical and commercial success with its own live-action Jungle Book.

Star Wars are going to start getting busy

If we've learned anything from the Disney-Pixar and Disney-Marvel mergers, it's that when Disney's got its white-gloved paws into something lucrative, the studio's going to take full and eager advantage. That's already the case with Disney-Lucasfilm, which will undoubtedly start rolling out more Star Wars sequels, prequels, and standalone stories now that Rogue One has confirmed that the franchise is viable even outside of the Luke-Leia-Han Solo story axis.

With the Han Solo prequel on deck for 2018 and Episode IX scheduled to follow along in the summer of 2019, we can probably count on the Star Wars franchise to start looking more like the MCU, with two-a-year announcements trickling in for the release schedule. How that impacts the quality, of course, remains to be seen.

Gamora's going to get a spinoff, too

Since the superhero world seems ever geared towards expanding its franchise horizons, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel are all preparing for time in the spotlight. But there's another character who might be due for some solo screentime: Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. Once Vol. 2 drops in May, its inevitably impressive receipts will probably justify giving some member of the squad his or her own day in the sun, MCU-style, and one could easily argue that Gamora's the ideal candidate for the job.

Consider her meaty family history with Thanos and Nebula, her radness outside of being the object of Star-Lord's affection, and the fact that the early preview is already starting to distance her from the rest of the group—not to mention the fact that she's currently starring in her own solo comics title. Gamora will no doubt prove to be be key in the Avengers' fight with Thanos, and if she were to get a standalone story, it'd mean she could introduce the badass all-girl warrior group the Graces. Her credentials are there, and Zoe Saldana has a proven record at the box office. Make it happen, Marvel.

Musicals are in (again)

2016, for all its faults, did help to usher in a new generation of movie musicals. After successful broadcasts for Grease: Live and Hairspray Live drummed up impressive ratings on the small screen, La La Land reminded everyone that there's still a place for this type of good old-fashioned entertainment in theaters.

The recent passing of Singin' in the Rain star Debbie Reynolds may spark a revival of interest in classic singalong cinema (or even inspire a studio or two to take a stab at a remake), and Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt (Into the Woods) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) should get a boost thanks to the La La Land appreciation craze. Hollywood stars, take note: it might be wise to schedule some singing lessons.

Speaking of the cool kids

Emma Stone will probably be the awards season sweetheart of 2017, which means someone might finally get the bright idea to put her and Jennifer Lawrence together in a raunchy buddy comedy this year (fingers crossed). That pipe dream aside, there will be plenty of major breakouts in the months to come. Daniel Kaluuya, for example, is bound for the big time once his twisty thriller Get Out drops and details start to emerge regarding his part in Marvel's Black Panther. Count on him to capitalize on rising interest in his talent.

Alden Ehrenreich, too, is a name that might reach household status this year thanks to his forthcoming turn as Han Solo in the Star Wars spinoff. Ehrenreich has an impressive filmography under his belt already with some small but memorable roles, but headlining as Han is a career-maker—he probably heard all about that over his power lunch with Harrison Ford. Meanwhile, actress Sofia Boutella is also poised to have a major moment this year, after her work in the reboot of The Mummy and The Coldest City arrives in theaters. The latter project in particular seems promising, as it's a Cold War spy thriller that gives her a chance to steal scenes from some of the industry's elite.

Whitewashing might finally just die

This year brings us multiple films which will, again, highlight the need for studios to stop whitewashing movie casts—including The Great Wall and Ghost in the Shell, both of which have already attracted controversy.

Marvel's Doctor Strange somehow managed to survive its own offense on that front, at least where the box office was concerned, but with these two new pictures in particular, any enthusiasm seems likely to be dampened by casting backlash. Perhaps the conversations that result, whether the films are ultimately successful or not, will finally put an end to Hollywood's whitewashing tradition once and for all. Fingers crossed.

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