5 big-name fantasy, sci-fi movies hitting screens in 2017

alien covenant movie trailer sci-fi

There are few things as magnificent as being transported from our utterly mundane, twenty-first century lives to the enchanting landscapes of fictional adventures. Few genres can achieve this as effectively as science-fiction and fantasy.

By the looks of it, we won’t be spending a lot of time in the real world this year. 2017 is filled with a fantastic roster of otherworldly adventures.

Here’s a list of some of this year’s most notable fantasy and sci-fi movies coming this year.

Alien: Covenant

Release Date: 19 May
Director: Ridley Scott

As an avid fan of the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant is unquestionably the film I’m looking forward to the most this year.

It takes place between the events of Prometheus and the original Alien. We follow the crew of the colony ship, Covenant, as they make their way across the galaxy to investigate a remote planet they believe could be an “uncharted paradise”.

Covenant will feature an incredible cast. Katherine Waterston will be portraying Daniels, a terraforming expert, and James Franco her husband and captain of the Covenant. Billy Crudup will take on the role of the first mate, Christopher Oram, while Danny Mcbride will be seen as chief pilot Tennessee.

Michael Fassbender will be returning as the ship’s synthetic android but will be playing both Walter, the Covenant’s new-and-improved android, and David, the synthetic seen in Prometheus (which they find wandering on this “uncharted paradise”).

The Mummy

Release Date: 9 June
Director: Alex Kurtzman

The age of nostalgia is upon us! It seems that we have yet another reboot in our midst, although The Mummy is one I certainly don’t mind.

According to the trailers, the reboot has a considerably more dark and serious tone to it than the mirthful original. But it seems to be rife with action-packed special effects, still holding true to its super-adventure roots.

As the plot goes, millennia ago an ancient wicked Egyptian princess was withheld from achieving her rightful destiny. She is then awakened in the modern-day world and, with a powerful lust for revenge, she sets out to “claim what she has been denied”.

The ever-lovable Tom Cruise will be playing the protagonist, Nick Morton, a paramilitary archaeologist who seems to be part of the team who discovers the ancient princess’ sarcophagus (played by Sophia Boutella). And in an interesting twist, Russell Crowe will make an appearance as the infamous Dr Jykell, who will be the connection between Morton and the secret monster-hunting society known as the Prodigium.

Blade Runner 2049

Release Date: 6 October
Director: Denis Villeneuve

The original Blade Runner (1982) was the first film to truly bring the neon-drenched noir aesthetics of the cyberpunk genre to the big screen. Ridley Scott’s film was a beautiful cinematic masterpiece with stimulating themes that challenged our notions of humanity.

This year we are blessed with its sequel, Blade Runner 2049. Judging by the intriguingly ominous trailer, this entry will have the same dark and enigmatic tone as the original, with director Villeneuve even setting out to trump the aesthetical prowess of Scott (producer) with his own range stunning visuals.

As the title suggests, the sequel is set in 2049, thirty years after the events of the original. We follow LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a newly recruited blade runner (agent who hunts down criminal andriods) as he discovers a dark secret that could lead to the end of humanity. As he delves deeper into this mystery, the trail leads him to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner and protagonist of the original film.

Beyond that, there isn’t much more known about Blade Runner 2049’s plot. We can only hope that it even touches the captivating nuances of the original.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Release Date: 15 December
Director: Rian Johnson

Officially there is not much known about The Last Jedi (there isn’t even an official trailer out yet), but we thought it would be a travesty to not include in this list.
So far we know that The Last Jedi will take off where we left in The Force Awakens and a Google search will provide you with the very enlightening plot description: “The further adventures of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Rey (Daisy Ridley).”

But in recent months a few interesting facts have surfaced that could shed a little more light on what to expect from the The Last Jedi, the most revealing being a series of tweets by Daniel Miller, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who shown some footage of Episode VIII earlier this month. One tweet said: “We just saw more ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ footage. In it, Luke asks Rey, “Who are you?” Then we see her deftly handle a lightsaber.”

For the rest of us we’re going to have to wait until April before the reveal of the teaser trailer at the Star Wars celebrations in Orlando.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Release Date: December 22
Director: Jake Kasdan

Although Sony is claiming that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle isn’t a reboot, as they felt it would dishonour the late comedian Robin Williams, I can’t think of any other way to describe it. You can make up your own mind after reading this entry.

According to LRM Gig Patta, this instalment will be an “updated and different take on the concept”.

That sounds a whole lot like a reboot to me.

Recent footage recently revealed at CinemaCon provided us with some more context on the plot. It shows four high school kids who are forced to clean the school basement as part of their detention. While they’re busy cleaning, one of them discovers an old-school TV game console.

Bored with their duties, they start playing the video game and after choosing their in-game avatars (the four protagonists of the film), they are transported into the dangerous jungle of digital Jumanji.

While I think the video game take is an interesting approach, I would really have liked to lay my eyes on the original board game again. And it would have been great to see the kids enter the original, “analogue” world where Alan Parish (Robin Williams) was trapped for twenty six years.

The film will feature a strong cast with actors such as comedy duo Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan. Nick Jonas will even be making an appearance as an “in-game” adventurer who will aid them in their journey.

Wiehahn Diederichs


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