While it's great to see original stories being told in Hollywood, the fact of the matter is that the movie industry is heavily reliant on existing intellectual property. Just look at all the sequels that are being released in 2017, from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Star Wars: Episode VIII. Following in a close second are the remakes/reboots, i.e. movies that are re-adapting previously released movies or TV shows. Sometimes these are well-received, other times they make us wonder why a studio bothered revisiting this property at all.
Make no mistake, 2017 will be remake/reboot heavy, so we've gathered all of the movies falling under this category that are being released over the next 12 months. Full disclosure, there wont be any entries mentioning direct sequels to previous reboots, which is which is why you won't see something like War for the Planet of the Apes.
Kong: Skull Island
Release Date: March 10th
12 years after Peter Jackson directed the more traditional remake of the original King Kong movie, Warner Bros is taking the giant ape in a different direction with Kong: Skull Island. Set in the 1970s as the Vietnam War still rages, the reboot will see the action taking place on Kong's home turf, as the gigantic gorilla will be dealing with a team of unwanted explorers, as well as some of the other monstrosities that reside on Skull Island, including "skull crushers." Kong: Skull Island also exists in the same universe as the new Godzilla movies, and in 2020, Kong will return to face off against the giant reptile, so don't worry about the ape meeting his demise in this movie.
Beauty And The Beast
Release Date: March 17th
Disney's live action remakes/spinoffs of their classic animated movies have mostly been well received, and Beauty and the Beast looks like it could be the most successful of the bunch yet. Starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the eponymous protagonists, this re-telling of the 1991 animated movie looks like it will have the right blend of faithfulness to its predecessor and new elements to make it stand out for a new generation. Sure the enchanted characters' appearances take some getting used to, but overall, Beauty and the Beast will surely be one of Disney's biggest hits this year.
Release Date: March 24th
The Power Rangers have been coasting along on TV almost regularly for over two decades, but the upcoming movie will reboot the original teenagers with attitude from 1993. The basic structure is still the same as it was in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, with Jason, Trini, Billy, Kimberly and Zack being given their morphenomenal abilities by Zordon to defend Earth from Rita Repulsa. That said, there's quite a bit that physically different in Power Rangers, from the Rangers' suits to Rita Repulsa's costume to even the design of the Putties. This reboot will be a more serious take on the colorful superheroes, more akin to The Hunger Games, and if successful, Lionsgate will surely pull the trigger on an entire series. Green Ranger, anyone?
Release Date: March 24th
The original CHiPs TV series than ran from 1977 to 1983 revolved around two motorcycle police officers in California, mixing light comedy with drama. However, the upcoming movie adaptation will delve fully into the comedic genre, similar to what 21 Jump Street did. Starring Dax Shepard as Officer Jon Baker and Michael Peña as Officer Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, the movie will see the two patrolmen going up against a "sadistic ex-cop," played by Vincent D'Onofrio, and his gang who are causing chaos throughout Los Angeles. Oddly enough, even though the CHiPs movie is being released in March, a trailer hasn't been released yet, so Warner Bros should put something out soon if they want to pique interest.
Ghost In The Shell
Release Date: March 31st
Although this is the first live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, it isn't the first movie with that title to be released. Back in 1995, an animated movie based on the manga was released in Japanese theaters and later in the U.S. on home media. Still, the new Ghost in the Shell will be drawing primarily from the original print source material. Starring Scarlett Johansson as The Major, the general plot will remain the same, as The Major and her strike force battling cyber criminals and hackers. Ghost in the Shell has been dealing with whitewashing controversy over the last year, but as a late March release, it should draw a decently-sized crowd to the theater.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Release Date: April 7th
It's only been three years since the last Smurfs movie came out, but rather than release another live-action/animated hybrid, Sony opted to wipe the slate clean and return those little blue buggers to more traditional surroundings. Smurfs: The Lost Village will be an entirely animated adventure that follows the core group of Smurfs traveling into the Forbidden Forest after Smurfette crosses paths with a creature who leaves her a mysterious map to the Lost Village. Gargamel and his cat Azrael will of course serve as the main antagonists yet again, but considering how poorly received the earlier movies were, reverting to a classic formula is a Smurfing good idea.
Release Date: May 26th
Like CHiPS, Baywatch is going the 21 Jump Street route by being 100% a comedy rather than take itself seriously, which was barely possible with the original TV series. Starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach and Priyanka Chopra, among others, this movie will provide just Baywatch fans want: ridiculously good-looking people getting into lifeguard shenanigans on a California beach. Really, what more could you ask for? David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson will also cameo in the new Baywatch tale, but whether this movie will appeal more to longtime fans or moviegoers with no Baywatch ties remains to be seen.
Release Date: June 9th
Rather than revert to the swashbuckling tone of the Brendan Frasier-led Mummy movies, the new Mummy reboot will harken back to the classic movie by incorporating more horror elements into the action narrative. This version will follow Tom Cruise's Nick Morton, Annabelle Wallis' Jenny Halsey and others battling Princess Ahmanet, played by Sofia Boutella, an ancient princess who has been slumbering for over 1000 years and will unleash the malevolence she's built up over all this time on the contemporary world. The Mummy will also be the first entry in Universal's Monster Cinematic Universe, using Russell Crowe's Dr. Henry Jekyll as one of the prime connective threads.
Release Date: September 8th
For over 25 years, the It TV miniseries has been the only adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel out there, which starred Tim Curry as the demonic Pennywise. Now Bill Skarsgard is taking the role of the creepy clown for the first theatrical It movie. Aside from moving the action from the 1950s to the 1980s, the story will be the same as before: a group of kids will be terrorized by a shapeshifting creature who exploits its victims fears and phobias to appropriately disguise itself. If all goes well, an It sequel will be released that reunites with the protagonists when they're adults and cross paths with Pennywise again in their home town
Murder On The Orient Express
Release Date: November 22nd
Murder On The Orient Express, Agatha Christie's beloved mystery novel, was first adapted as a movie in 1974, one that's still considered a classic to this day. Since then, there have been other live action re-tellings on TV, but the Kenneth Branagh-helmed remake marks the tale's return to the big screen. This Murder On The Orient Express will star Branagh as detective Hercule Poirot, and its main cast includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr, Michael Peña and Penelope Cruz, among others. While unconfirmed, it sounds like this remake will remain set in the past again rather than the present day, so it will be interesting to see how Branagh differentiates his version from the beloved Albert Finney-led version.
Release Date: December 22nd
Although it's been said that the new Jumanji movie will be a "continuation" of the 1995 movie, it's also been described as more of a "spiritual sequel" than a direct follow-up, so it barely makes the cut on this list. While the original Jumanji saw the eponymous game primarily wreaking havoc in the regular world, the new Jumanji will take its cue from Robin Williams' Alan Parrish and see the main characters being sucked into the game's world. Rather than appear as themselves, the four teenaged protagonists will be represented by avatars, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black.
The Six Billion Dollar Man
Release Date: December 22nd
'Member Bionic Man? Sorry, I couldn't resist. Inflation has been killer since The Six Million Dollar Man TV series aired in the 1970s, so for the upcoming movie, it will take six billion dollars to rebuild Mark Wahlberg's version of Steve Austin. While no official plot details have been revealed yet, presumably the same basic structure will be retained. After being caught in accident, Steve Austin will be grafted with bionic implants that enhance his physical abilities. Newly powered, he'll become a secret agent. It's a fitting TV property to be reimagined on the big screen in the age of superhero popularity.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.