Views / In Focus

Richard Crouse: 2018 will see more superheroes and $8B worth of Netflix films

The rise of women directors will continue with 16 female-led films screening at Sundance Film Festival, while Johnny Depp will face a year of reckoning.

Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role, leads a bundle of superhero flicks packing a punch in 2018.

Marvel Studios

Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role, leads a bundle of superhero flicks packing a punch in 2018.

Here’s what my crystal ball predicts for 2018 at the movies.

More Nicolas Cage films you won’t go see: The “Nouveau Shamanic” actor has no fewer than three films scheduled.

More men in tights: Look for spandex-clad superheroes in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity Wars, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Aquaman to name just a few. There’s even some super duper animation coming in the form of The Incredibles 2.

More movies directed by women: The Kindergarten Teacher from Sara Colangelo, Jane Fonda in Five Acts by documentarian Susan Lacy and Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post are just three of the 16 female-led films screening at Sundance this year.

More of the Netflix logo: The streaming service will release more movies than almost all of the other major studios combined. Investing heavily in the theatrical productions, they will release upwards of 80 movies in 2018 at the cost of a whopping $8 billion.

A year of reckoning for Johnny Depp: With three films set for release and several others in production audiences will make it known whether or not they still care about the quirky movie king.

The year 2018 will make it known whether or not moviegoers still care about Johnny Depp.

Vianney Le Caer / Invision

The year 2018 will make it known whether or not moviegoers still care about Johnny Depp.

A new catchphrase: “Hugs not drugs,” from the movie Deadpool 2 will become 2018’s “Sorry not sorry!”

Of course, then there are the movies themselves.

Depending on your point of view, Fifty Shades Freed will either make you want to gag or want to wear a gag.

Fifteen years after Angelina Jolie hung up her Lara Croft combat boots, Tomb Raider returns with Alicia Vikander in the character’s trademarked tank top and ponytail. That’s great news for fans of the Swedish actress, less so for fans of new, original ideas.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a remake of a remake, comes to screens courtesy of Illumination Entertainment, the masterminds behind the Despicable Me movies. Does that mean the Whos of Whoville will be played by the jellybean-shaped Minions?

We’ll have to wait for breakout director Jordan Peele to step behind the camera again, but in 2018 he’s producing the Spike Lee-helmed Black Klansman and lending his voice to the puppet thriller Abruptio.

Ex Machina director Alex Garland returns to the big screen with the genre-twisting science/fantasy/action/horror film Annihilation based on a book by Jeff Vandermeer. The author is impressed by Garland’s work. “It was so tense our bodies felt sore and beat up afterwards,” he said. Sounds good to me.

Bradley Cooper will write, direct and star in the fourth remake of A Star is Born. Lady Gaga, who will be credited by her given name, Stefani Germanotta, sits in for Barbra Streisand, who sat in for Judy Garland who took over from the character’s originator, Janet Gaynor.

Lady Gaga will be front and centre in A Star is Born.

Evan Agostini / Invision

Lady Gaga will be front and centre in A Star is Born.

Don’t mind subtitles? Check out Loveless, a film from Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev. Russia’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is the tale of a divorcing couple whose son disappears during one of their knock-down-drag-out arguments.

Want to take the kids to the flicks? Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is an animated movie that is the first feature to include all four of Disney’s major brands, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Look for cameos from princesses Cinderella and Moana as well as C-3PO, Yoda and Iron Man.

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