In the era of adaptations and sequels we live in, more attention is being devoted to movies that are still years away from reaching the cinema. To some extent, news of such projects so far in advance can be a tease. On the other hand, it opens the door for infinite speculation and preparation, which for a lot of movie fans is half the fun. So just for kicks, here’s a look at five future projects, what we know about them so far, and how you can get ready for them.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice
What We Know: Due out in 2016, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be both the sequel to 2013’s Man Of Steel and the beginning of a larger franchise. Director Zack Snyder appears to be seeking to compete with Marvel’s Avengers empire in bringing together DC’s biggest hero names in one film. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Ben Affleck is playing Batman, and Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa joined the cast as well, as Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively.
How You Can Prepare: Obviously, re-watching Man Of Steel is necessary. However, I’d also recommend scouring old Batman and Superman comics if you want to be prepared to fully understand the plot. Filmmakers seem to enjoy piecing together elements of various comic stories and an understanding of these backstories can enhance the cinematic experience. Snyder has cited his own admiration of Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” comic arc as inspiration for the project, so that may be a good place to start!
What We Know: News is trickling out slowly about an Assassin’s Creed movie, so the details are a bit hazy. But what appears clear is that Michael Fassbender will star in a film based in some fashion on Ubisoft’s wildly popular gaming franchise. Robert Downey, Jr. has also joined the project, which now has serious cinematic potential. That’s especially true compared to other game-to-movie adaptations that seemed like bad ideas from the start.
How You Can Prepare: This one’s easy: play the games. Play all of the games. The Assassin’s Creed franchise is deeply engaging, filled with gorgeous graphics, excellent gameplay, and historical settings and plot lines that are often so accurate they’re almost educational.
What We Know: Matt Damon and Edward Norton will reprise their respective roles in a sequel to arguably the most popular poker movie of all time. There are also rumours that Robert De Niro may join the cast, with IMDB noting on their page for the film that he’s been sought after for the villain role. Although, there’s a chance John Malkovich may also return as Teddy KGB, the first film’s “bad guy”.
How You Can Prepare: In addition to watching the first movie again, the best preparation for Rounders 2 is to play and understand poker. A lot of gambling films only dabble in the actual gaming, but Rounders provided a realistic and entertaining look at actual poker situations, which means you’ll be better equipped to enjoy the movie if you understand the game itself. Betfair have a pretty good guide on how to play texas holdem that can get you started, and once you understand the game you can play just about anywhere these days: online poker rooms, mobile apps, or the old-fashioned way with friends around a table. Sharpen your poker game, and Rounders 2 will be all the more fun.
The Hateful Eight
What We Know: Essentially another violent, quirky western said to be set in a world similar to that of Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino’s next project. The movie was jeopardized when Tarantino was reportedly infuriated by a leak of his script early in the process, but it’s back on board.
Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Dern, and Kurt Russell, among others, in a stellar cast.
How You Can Prepare: This isn’t exactly a sequel, so there’s no single movie to watch in preparation. Instead, I’d recommend watching all of Tarantino’s major films, because in a way, they’re all connected. Also, understanding the links between them will help you appreciate the director on a whole new level. Fascinating breakdown of the network that exists beneath the surface of the movies. You can bet The Hateful Eight will feature similar connections.
What We Know: There have been a lot of Avatar 2 rumours over the years, with the most persistent being that James Cameron will seek to explore the moons surrounding his imagined planet of Pandora. However, the truth is we just don’t know much beyond a reported 2016 release date. As recently as August of this year, Zoe Saldana—she starred in the first film— didn’t even have a script yet! Saldana only revealed that the movie will be a “spiritual journey.”
How You Can Prepare: Keep an eye on your IMAX and 3D cinemas. I’m not one for these types of visual overproductions in general, but Avatar, to many, remains the single best movie for this type of experience. It’s a decent bet that a lot of these types of cinemas will look to circulate the original again before the sequel comes out. And whether or not the actual story of Avatar was for you, there’s nothing quite like it on a major screen.
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