Franchises are the bread and butter of the Hollywood landscape. When an idea works on the silver screen, you can almost always count on the film industry to follow up on that idea. After all, there's always more story to tell in any given movie universe. This mentality has turned sequels into a thriving business, and 2017 will see an insane number of them debuts in theaters.
To help you make sense of it all, we have compiled a comprehensive list of every major franchise that is currently slated to receive a sequel over the course of the next year. It's a hefty list, so make sure to go through it carefully and get your movie going calendars thoroughly filled out. Now let's get the ball rolling with the first of 2017's many sequels...
Underworld: Blood Wars - January 6, 2017
The very first sequel to kick off 2017 will take the form of Underworld: Blood Wars. The fifth installment in the long-running vampire franchise, Blood Wars sees Kate Beckinsale return as the deadly Selene to do battle with vicious Lycan warriors as well as her fellow vampires. The Underworld franchise has developed a cult following over the course of the last decade, and we expect Blood Wars to deliver all of the black leather and action that fans have come to expect.
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage - January 20, 2017
Whether you're prepared for it or not, you're definitely going to enter the Xander Zone once again when xXx: The Return of Xander Cage debuts on January 20. Vin Diesel's return to the extreme sports/espionage hybrid franchise is over a decade in the making, so we expect him to bring his A-game as the dirty, dangerous, tattooed, and uncivilized criminal-turned-spy. The film's marketing campaign has been nothing but self-aware campiness and excellent action, so we're completely on board with the self-proclaimed "Bond killer" franchise making a glorious return to the silver screen.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter - January 27, 2017
All bets are off when Alice returns to the Hive to face off against The Red Queen, Alexander Isaacs, and an army of undead freaks looking to tear her limb from limb. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has taken any and every opportunity to remind us that this is the last Resident Evil film. With that in mind, we have a distinct feeling that we will see Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson put everything they have got into this film to send the series out with a major bang. We expect nothing less from Hollywood's longest-running video game franchise.
Rings - February 3, 2017
After a 12-year absence from the silver screen, The Ring franchise will return and send the demonic (and downright eery) Samara to haunt all of our dreams. If you're a fan of the first two films, then you will be pleased to learn that Rings will follow a very similar structure: you watch a cursed video, and seven days later she comes for you. The main difference this time around? Rings goes even further into The Ring mythology and explores a mysterious video hidden within the main video. Creepy stuff, right?
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker - February 10, 2017
The person who came up with the idea of releasing Fifty Shades of Grey just before Valentines Day probably earned a nice promotion and a hefty pay raise, because the film was an absolute smash when it debuted in 2015. Building off of that idea, it should come as no surprise that the next installment in Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele's torrid sex affair will endeavor to capture the same magic this year. Fifty Shades Darker appears to live up to its name, as the sequel honestly looks darker, and more intense -- while remaining as steamy as ever.
John Wick: Chapter 2 - February 10, 2017
Yeah, we're thinking he's back. Keanu Reeves made a huge (and bloody) splash on the silver screen in 2014 when John Wick made his grand debut. Between its immersive world, endlessly stylish characters, and absolutely badass fight sequences, the first movie proved that even the most standard revenge stories could continue to wow us. With that in mind, John Wick: Chapter 2 will continue this assassin's journey into the night as he travels to Rome to honor a debt owed to a former colleague. Expect more guns, more carnage, and a lot more fun.
T2: Trainspotting - March 3, 2017
The fact that Trainspotting will receive a sequel in 2017 is unquestionably one of the most unexpected developments of the year, but it also happens to be one of the most welcome developments, as well. A reunion in every sense of the word, T2: Trainspotting will follow Ewan McGregor's Mark Renton as he returns home for the first time in 20 years. With Danny Boyle back behind the camera, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle returning in front of it, all eyes are on T2 to completely recapture the magic of the original.
Fast & Furious
The Fate Of The Furious - April 14, 2017
The Fast & Furious franchise has an enormous trial ahead of itself with the upcoming release of The Fate of the Furious; it must prove that it can legitimately move on from the death of Paul Walker and tell a story completely free of Brian O'Connor. Based upon everything that we have seen from the film, our hopes are high. Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) has gone rogue, Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) has been locked up, and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is apparently a good guy now. Throw in some insane vehicular action, and you have the action movie to beat in 2017.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - May 5, 2017
You would be hard-pressed to find a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that isn't excited for the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Honestly, I don't even think such a thing exists. The sequel takes pretty much everything we loved about the original (intense sci-fi action, offbeat humor, and a delightful throwback soundtrack) and cranks all of those qualities up to eleven. Oh, and did we mention that they now have a Baby Groot? Because they have a Baby Groot, and he is adorable.
Alien: Covenant - May 19, 2017
It pretty much goes without saying that Ridley Scott disappointed Alien fans when Prometheus hit theaters in 2011. The film's rewrites were painfully obvious within its story, and the film was marred by a series of unlikeable characters making unlikeable decisions. That said, Alien: Covenant looks like a step in the proper direction, as the series appears to have once again embraced its horror roots. If the film is a fraction as scary as the trailer, then we're in for a treat. Even in space, they will still manage to hear us scream.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - May 26, 2017
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has seen better days. In the years since The Curse of the Black Pearl (the first, and easily the best of the franchise) debuted in cinemas, the series has been an example of diminishing returns. However, after a long hiatus, it appears that Pirates of the Caribbean is about to return stronger than ever with Dead Men Tell No Tales. The franchise seems to have once again embraced the creepiness of the original by bringing in the endlessly talented Javier Bardem as the villainous Captain Salazar, and Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow appears to have been relegated to a more peripheral role in the film -- where he works better as a character.
Cars 3 - June 16, 2017
Out of all the sequels present on this list, none seems like a bigger reinvention of an existing formula more than Cars 3. While the Cars films are considered some of the weaker entries in the Pixar universe, Cars 3's marketing campaign has seemingly promised something far darker and more mature than anything we have seen from this series before. In the midst of Pixar's current hot streak -- particularly with films like Inside Out and Finding Dory -- we may soon have the quintessential Cars movie on our hands. Honestly, that's something we weren't sure that we would ever see.
Transformers: The Last Knight - June 23, 2017
To say that Michael Bay appears to be swinging for the fences with Transformers: The Last Knight would be the understatement of the century. Not only will the film feature the return of our favorite shape-shifting robots, but it will also include flashback sequences involving an alternate history in which Hitler successfully invaded England, as well as King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable. There appears to be a sincere intention to flesh out the mythology of the Autobots in previously unseen ways, and it definitely seems to be working so far. Bring on the carnage, Mr. Bay!
Despicable Me 3 - June 30, 2017
After giving the Minions some time to shine in their own (admittedly mediocre) movie, Gru (Steve Carell) has once again returned to the center stage (where he belongs) for a third installment in the Despicable Me franchise. Even in the series' third outing, there's still quite a bit to get excited about; as a stark contrast to Gru's 1960s-esque sensibilities, the film will pit him against Trey Parker's Balthazar Bratt -- a villain inspired by the even more outlandish spy tropes of the 1980s. With those awesome elements in the mix, we have a feeling that Despicable Me 3 will be a very fun for the whole family.
Planet Of The Apes
War For The Planet Of The Apes - July 14, 2017
The newly rebooted Planet of the Apes series has seriously been playing the long game since Rise of the Planet of the Apes debuted in 2011. Although the reinvigorated series started out on completely fresh ground with only tenuous connections to the original franchise, each successive film appears to bring us closer and closer to the iconic sci-fi world that we all know and love. We are quite literally watching evolution take place on the silver screen. That trend will continue this summer with War for the Planet of the Apes, which will pit Andy Serkis' mo-cap Caesar against a grizzled human general (Woody Harrelson) in the last ditch battle to determine the dominate species on earth.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle - October 6, 2017
Nobody expected Kingsman: The Secret Service to achieve the kind of success that it experienced when it debuted in 2015, but Matthew Vaughn took the spy genre and gave it the complete Kick-Ass treatment. The film was a smash hit -- turning Taron Egerton into one of Hollywood's biggest and best up-and-comers overnight -- and all eyes are on Kingsman: The Golden Circle to outdo the original in every way. Egerton himself has already guaranteed more of everything we loved in the first film, and the casting of talented performers like Julianne Moore and Channing Tatum to round out the sequel's cast promise nothing but good things. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how they plan to bring back Colin Firth's Harry Hart.
Blade Runner 2049 - October 6, 2017
Considering the legacy of Ridley Scott's original sci-fi noir thriller, expectations were already high for Blade Runner 2049 -- then the trailer dropped. Not only does Denis Villeneuve's upcoming sequel look like a beautifully shot and expertly crafted piece of modern cinema, but it will seemingly also honor the legacy of the original by giving us a strong sense of closure on Deckard's (Harrison Ford) storyline. Ryan Gosling looks like the perfect actor to inherit the series, and we couldn't be more excited to see what the follow-up has in store.
Insidious: Chapter 4 - October 20, 2017
The horror genre has experienced an enormous resurgence in quality over the course of the last few years, and there's a strong case to be made that James Wan's Insidious franchise paved the way for that renaissance. One could easily argue that there would be no It Follows, The Conjuring, or Lights Out without this series. Insidious has thus far delivered three frightening films, and all eyes are on Insidious: Chapter 4 to give another terrifying look into the demonic astral plane. Horror franchises often have a tough time maintaining their quality after their first installment, but Insidious has managed to pull it off.
Saw: Legacy - October 27, 2017
That's right, folks. The quintessential "torture porn" franchise will return to theaters just in time for Halloween in 2017. We don't currently have too much information regarding the actual plot of Saw: Legacy (which makes sense, given the twists and turns in each of the franchise's films) but we can rest easy knowing that there will likely be plenty of bodily dismemberment and gallons of blood splashing across the screen when the film finally makes its grand debut. Would you like to play a game?
A Bad Moms Christmas - November 3, 2017
The Bad Moms franchise is one of those simple and broad ideas that come with seemingly endless potential. The first film proved to be an unexpected hit with audiences, and as such there now seems to be a concerted effort in motion to play up the "Bad" brand -- there's even a Bad Dads movie in development. This particularly enticing project will see a reunion between Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn in A Bad Moms Christmas this November, and I think we can all agree that it's going to be a hilarious and raunchy ride.
Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017
It has become a well-established fact that the Thor franchise is one of the weaker elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but director Taika Waititi seems intent on changing that with the upcoming release of Thor: Ragnarok. The threequel will take everything that we think we know about the Asgardian badass and completely turn it on its head by sending him into space to team up with The Incredible Hulk. With Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie and Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster rounding out the cast, we can rest easy knowing that this will be one of the weirdest (and most fun) superhero movies of the coming year.
Star Wars Episode VIII - December 15, 2017
Sure, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may have given us some seriously impressive action and drama in the galaxy far, far away this year, but we're still no closer to getting any answers for The Force Awakens' most pressing questions. There's a strong case to be made that Episode VIII is arguably the most highly anticipated movie on this entire list, and we're beyond excited to see what Rian Johnson does with our favorite sci-fi fantasy universe when it finally returns to see the next step in the drama of the Skywalker family.
Pitch Perfect 3 - December 22, 2017
That's right acapella fans; 2017's wide variety of sequels will be rounded out by the return of the Barden Bellas when Pitch Perfect 3 finally debuts on December 22. Despite the fact that the film's release is less than a year away, we still have very few concrete details to work with. However, we do know that Elizabeth Banks has stepped down as the film's director to focus on her producing duties and that Trish Sie has replaced her behind the camera.
"Cinematic Universe" Installments
In addition to all of the direct sequels slated to hit theaters over the course of 2017, a number of cinematic universes will receive new installments as well.
These include Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine adventure in Logan (March 3); Diana Prince's first solo adventure in Wonder Woman (June 2); Spider-Man's Marvel homecoming in the aptly titled Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7); and the first ever DC team-up with Zack Snyder's Justice League (November 17).
If you're a fan of comic book movies (which we guess you are) then each and every one of these films should have you excited.