by Will Price, ’18

On March 4th, the Academy Awards ceremony put a cap on a surprisingly strong year of original screenplays for 2017. The Shape of Water, Get Out, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri were just three movies that received rave reviews, and Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water took home best picture to top it off.

The conclusion of the Oscars signaled a new year for moviegoers. It’s yet to be seen if the overall film quality can carry over to 2018, but there are sequels and spin-offs on the way that already have people talking months before release. From Mr. Incredible to Mary Poppins, many well-loved characters are making comebacks this year.

Incredibles 2- June 15th

This long-awaited sequel finally comes to theaters this summer, following the Parr family in the direct aftermath of the events of the first. Coming out over 13 years after the first installment, this movie shifts the narrative towards Helen, more commonly known as “Elastigirl,” as Mr. Incredible struggles with being a stay-at-home dad.

The first one was critically acclaimed with two Academy Awards, and a sequel was planned was scrapped shortly thereafter. As one of the best animated films during the 2000’s, many current high schoolers will be eagerly anticipating the movie. With the return of the beloved super family as well as Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone and Brad Bird as Edna Mode, the bar is set higher than ever for Pixar.

Solo: A Star Wars Story- May 25th

The second spinoff of the Star Wars saga follows beloved character Han Solo prior to the events of the original movie, A New Hope. Alden Ehrenreich now stars as Solo, the smuggler who, along with wookie sidekick Chewbacca, became a fan favorite character for one of the most famous movies of all time. There’s a reason Solo was named #3 in Empire Magazine’s “Top 100 Movie Characters of All-Time” list in 2015. Harrison Ford played a large part in that, and Ehrenreich has big shoes to fill.

The film has a strong cast outside of Ehrenreich. Woody Harrelson stars as Tobias Beckett, the mentor of Solo. Emilia Clarke, most commonly known for her role in the Game of Thrones series, plays partner Qi’ra. Donald Glover stars as Lando Calrissian, who appeared in the the second and third films of the series portrayed by Billy Dee Williams. The film has been surrounded by skepticism due to a Hollywood Reporter article that rumored co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired last summer. They reportedly complained of “zero creative freedom,” among other things, and of needing to have an acting coach hired unusually late in production to help out Ehrenreich.

Whatever the case may be, the film will have fans flocking come late May- the previous spin-off, Rogue One, earned over a billion dollars at the box office. Lucasfilm has struck out with castings before- most notably Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. As one of the most beloved characters in movie history, the movie will still make millions in the box office, causing the anticipation to mount less than three months away from the release date.

Mary Poppins Returns- December 25th

Coming out at Christmas time, this sequel to the beloved 1964 film stands as the longest gap between two connected live-action movies at 54 years. The original movie stands as one of the most famous films of all-time, gaining 13 Oscar nominations and being the only Disney film to earn a “Best Picture” nomination in Walt Disney’s lifetime.

The new movie is set to take place 25 years after the events of the original, in 1930s London. Emily Blunt will star as Poppins, who was played by Julie Andrews in the first film. Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, the apprentice to Bert. Poppins and Jack return to the Banks family, now grown up, after Michael suffers a loss. With the teaser trailer being released on March 4th during the Oscars, the buildup will be huge for a sequel of this magnitude.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom- June 22nd

In 1990, the literary world was introduced to the world of dinosaurs with Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. It would only take three years until Steven Spielberg brought it to the big screen, earning over $1 billion in the box office and making one of the most famous films of the 20th century.

Fallen Kingdom follows the events of dinosaurs roaming freely as a volcanic eruption sits around the corner. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reprise their roles from the previous film and work to save the dinosaurs from the impending doom.

With the sixth film’s release date already being announced for 2021, it’s clear that Universal Studios has faith that moviegoers will still race to see what happens in the land with dinosaurs.

Waiting for a sequel to a film takes patience from everyone involved. We take for granted the process of writing a script, finding a cast, and making a quality movie. In the case of the Incredibles, it took 13 years for fans to get a well-deserved sequel. Those who saw Mary Poppins when it first came out at age 10 are currently 64, a year away from retirement. 2018 will be a year that cinema fans of all ages can get excited about a sequel.