Year In Anticipation: What We’re Looking Forward To In 2016

The face of every Geek on at least some of the things on this list.
The face of every Geek on at least some of the things on this list.

2016.  Did any of us think we’d live this long?  Yeah, probably.  We’re Geeks, not morbid.

So, what sort of Geek Entertainment has us here at Gabbing Geek at least a little curious?  See behind the cut, with some items getting some expert Geek Commentary from the Geek Guru himself, Jimmy Impossible.

Film

Batman Vs. Superman:  Dawn of Justice

batman_v_superman_red_kyrptonite

What is it?:  Finally, Batman and Superman meet officially in live action on the big screen.  Sure, they won’t get along at first, but that can’t last.  There’s a bald billionaire that deserves a stomping.

Why we’re excited:  Superheroes are finally being done right on the big screen.  In the past, we had a Superman or a Batman here or there, maybe a Blade if we were good, but now special effects technology has finally caught up, and these two are the heroes that more or less spawned every superhero since:  the high flying moral paragon and the shadowy vigilante.

Why we’re wary:  This movie has an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach, and quite frankly, it looks like it may just be a set-up for a Justice League movie.  The various Marvel movies only did a scene or two for the Avengers set-up, but this one has the purpose mentioned in the subtitle.  Plus, it still has Zach Snyder behind the camera.

Jimmy says:  I haven’t been as turned off by the Batsoup trailers as most, but this movie has definite train wreck possibilities. I did feel they showed their hand too early showing our heroes (including a wonderfully cast Wonder Woman) teaming up to fight Doomsday. There are reports that he is not the ultimate baddie in the film…could we be seeing Darkseid? Or something to lead into the Justice League movie? While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Man of Steel, I’m always intrigued by what happens next with Batman.

Deadpool

deadpool_IMAX

What is it?:  Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth has finally gotten his own film, and it looks like we may have our first R-rated superhero movie.

Why we’re excited:  That test footage showed a real grasp for the Deadpool character, a mouthy comedian with a lethal sense of humor that continually breaks the fourth wall.  The trailers, especially the red band ones, continued that sense of getting the character right, and if nothing else, Ryan Reynolds looks like he had a lot of fun making it.  This may be the character Reynolds was born to play.

Why we’re wary:  Deadpool would be a very, very easy character to screw up.  That February release date doesn’t make me feel much better either.

Jimmy says: I’ve never been a big fan of the Merc with a Mouth. I don’t dislike him, but he always seemed to just come off as a violent Spider-Man to me. His portrayal in X-Men: Origins – Wolverine didn’t help matters. But now it looks like they are doing right by Wade Wilson. And if the film comes anywhere near the brilliance of the ad campaign the last few months, it should be a lot of fun.

Star Wars:  Rogue One

Rogue1Logo

What is it?:  The story of the daring group of Rebel spies that stole the plans for the first Death Star and smuggled them to the Rebellion.  We all know what happened after that.

Why we’re excited:  Star Wars:  The Force Awakens showed us all that the property is in good hands over at Disney, and if they can continue to capture the feel and wonder of the original films, we’ll be in for a good time.

Why we’re wary:  Well, it is a Star Wars prequel.  We’re naturally ambivalent about those, at best.  Besides, as with any prequel, the sense of suspense has to be lessened.  Yeah, we knew Rey and Finn weren’t going to be killed by Kylo Ren, but we know with even more certainty that those Death Star plans are going to successfully stolen by the plucky Rebel spies.

Jimmy says:  We know so little about this film right now it is hard to predict, but I think it will be a very interesting test for Disney’s new darling franchise. Set just before the events of A New Hope, it will be the first feature Star Wars film to not feature any of our known cast of characters. I suppose our favorite droids may cameo, and the door is open for a Darth Vader appearance…

Captain America:  Civil War

fanmade_captain_america_civil_war_opening_credits

What is it?:  A loose retelling of the original Civil War storyline when Captain America and Iron Man went to war over a law governing superhumans.

Why we’re excited:  The Russo Brothers delivered the best Marvel sequel to date so far with Winter Soldier.  Can they succeed again with an even bigger cast, for a movie that might as well be Avengers 2.5?  We sure hope so.  Plus, we’re expecting the Marvel Studios debuts of both the Black Panther (seen in the trailer) and Spider-Man.

Why we’re wary:  Studio interference has already driven a few talented directors away from the Marvel stable.  How much of that went into this movie?  And how much is it just a set-up for Avengers:  Infinity War?

Jimmy says: Could this be the most anticipated movie of next year? It will surely be up there for geeks. With the critical and commercial success of Captain America – Winter Soldier, we’d be looking forward to any Cap sequel. But let’s throw in Iron Man, and pretty much every other MCU hero into this one. It’s not Avengers 2.5 they tell us, but it’s close enough. Oh, yeah, someone named Spider-Man makes his hypenated debut here as well.

X-Men:  Apocalypse

oscar-isaac-apocalypse

What is it?:  Finishing up the prequel trilogy with a romp through the 80s, the younger Xavier and Magneto face off against each other once again, this time with the immortal mutant Apocalypse pulling the strings.

Why we’re excited:  Bryan Singer really made a fantastic movie with Days of Future Past, the best X-Men film in years, and he’s back for this one.  Rising star Oscar Isaac joins the cast as Apocalypse, with Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender returning for another movie that should bring everyone back to the point when the first X-Men came out.

Why we’re wary:  The X-Men films are currently the longest running superhero franchise, and there could be some mutant fatigue setting in right about now.  With the flop of Fantastic Four, Fox’s only superhero success has been with the X-Men.  Will they lean too heavily on the mutants to build a cinematic universe?

Jimmy says: After the weird and wonderful aside that was Days of Future Past, this seems to be the true sequel to X-Men: First Class, with nary a Wolverine in sight. Like Star Trek Beyond, I’m not getting good vibes from the trailer. Mainly due to hating the look of Apocalypse himself. But the last two films have not disappointed, so hopefully the final film of this trilogy delivers as well.

Dr. Strange

Doctor-Strange-Movie-Logo-Official

What is it?:  Marvel Films expands its universe into the realm of magic, bringing in their Sorcerer Supreme to clean some demons out of hiding.

Why we’re excited:  Have you seen the cast?  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg…quite frankly, Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s probably the best casting Marvel’s done since Robert Downey Jr. got Tony Stark, might be one of the weakest elements in a cast like this.  And he’s good!

Why we’re wary:  At some point, a Marvel movie is going to flop.  While it probably won’t be this one, is the introduction of actual magic into a world mostly defined by vaguely science-sounding stuff going to be a bridge too far for casual moviegoers?

Jimmy says: If you told me prior to a few years ago, maybe even more recent than that, that I would be looking forward to a Doctor Strange movie, I’d never have believed you. But it’s hard to deny this is building some buzz, as anything casting Benedict Cumberbatch is likely to do.

Star Trek Beyond

star-trek-beyond-movie-2016-trailer

What is it?:  Another sequel to the popular, action-packed Star Trek revamp.  The trailer suggests that the main characters are going to scattered after an attack of some kind.

Why we’re excited:  Director Justin Lin has a good action pedigree, and these movies got people excited about Star Trek again.  With a screenplay by longtime Trek fan and current Scotty Simon Pegg, we should get a funny and exciting movie this time around.

Why we’re wary:  You know what these movies aren’t?  They aren’t quite Star Trek.  Star Trek was  a smart philosophical series, and much of what enrages longtime fans is how much the new movies aren’t that.  The real problem with Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t that it was bad; it was that it tried to remake the best of the original Trek movies, Wrath of Khan.  Pegg has even said his original draft was rejected because it was too Trek-y.

Jimmy says:  Full disclosure, I’m more of a Next Generation guy than classic Trek guy, but I’ve really enjoyed the two new Abrams films. But with Abrams gone on to smash records with that other Star franchise, I’m a little concerned about this one. Justin Lin has done some good work on the Fast and Furious franchise, but the first trailer for this film gave me a Star Trek: Nemesis vibe…which is not a good thing. Hopefully it goes beyond to prove me wrong.

Independence Day Resurgence

independence-day-2-resurgence-title-treatment

What is it?:  After a long absence, the aliens that nearly destroyed the world in the original Independence Day are back and they’re looking to finish the job they started.

Why we’re excited:  The original was the very definition of a mindless popcorn flick.  As long as you didn’t think about it too hard (or at all), it was a fun time at the movies.

Why we’re wary: Was anyone really clamoring for this movie?

Ghostbusters

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What is it?:  A new, all-female team of Ghostbusters is here, busting ghosts that need a bit of busting.

Why we’re excited:  Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are very funny women, and the movie got a thumbs up from Bill Murray…enough for Murray to be in the new movie, though not as Peter Venkman.  If you had to remake/revamp/revive Ghostbusters with an all-female group, these were the women to use.

Why we’re wary:  Sequels and revamps this long after the beloved original are going to look like a cash grab no matter who’s involved.  That makes many people wary as it is.

Suicide Squad

Suicide-Squad-Harley-Quinn-Margot-Robbie

What is it?:  The DC superteam made up of convicted super-powered criminals forced to run missions for the U.S. Government under the control of Amanda Waller, a woman who can look Batman in the eye without peeing herself.

Why we’re excited:  Truth be told, this one looks better than Batsoup.  The casting for Waller couldn’t have been better, and I’ll admit to being personally intrigued by Jared Leto’s Joker.

Why we’re wary:  How much is Will Smith playing the typical Will Smith character here?

Jimmy says: I like looking at Margot Robbie, but that’s about the only thing that doesn’t make me worry about this movie. It has the potential to be really great, I’ll give it that, but Will Smith as Deadshot? And Leto’s Joker is just too far out there for me, but maybe I’m wrong. Unlike Batsoup, which I think has the opportunity to be mediocre, I think this is either the best new DCU movie to date, or a complete mess.

Finding Dory

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

What is it?:  This sequel to Finding Nemo focuses on the forgetful Dory, obviously missing if the title is anything to go by.

Why we’re excited:  It’s Pixar, and Inside Out reminded us they know what they’re doing.  Factor in that Finding Nemo might be one of the best movies Pixar’s ever made.  And if nothing else, it’ll be real pretty to look at.

Why we’re wary:  We love Pixar because it’s so darn original.  They’ve done some good sequels, but I’m still wary when they pull out a follow-up instead of something new.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

fantastic_beasts

What is it?:  I’m not quite sure what exactly is it, aside from a new story set in the Harry Potter universe.

Why we’re excited:  The story is from J.K. Rowling herself, and that’s about all I can say for certain.

Why we’re wary:  It appears to be a prequel, with none of the characters that we grew to love in the original story.  That can be a blessing or a curse, truth be told.

Bourne 5

bourne1

What is it?:  Jason Bourne is back, and he always kicks a lot of ass.

Why we’re excited:  Matt Damon came back for this.  MATT DAMON.

Why we’re wary:  I haven’t heard too much about this one, so I have no idea.

Jimmy says: I’m a total Bourne geek from the books and the other movies in this series. Minus Bourne Legacy which was ok, but I’m glad to see Matt Damon back in the starring role. There have been numerous Bourne books since Ludlum’s original trilogy, but they’ll probably be mostly ignored outside of the titles as has been done with the other sequels.

Warcraft

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What is it?:  Based on the popular video game, the humans and the orcs are going to war.

Why we’re excited:  World of Warcraft is one of the most popular MMORPGs of all time.  The game actually has a fairly rich backstory, with morally complicated characters on both sides of the ongoing Alliance/Horde conflict.

Why we’re wary:  Well, it’s still a movie based on a video game.  And I really doubt it has that big a budget all told.

Television

Sherlock

Sherlock_The_Abominable_Bride

What is it?:  The modern-day retelling of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson continues.

Why we’re excited:  We don’t even have to wait long for this one.  The first episode, one set in the 19th century, is TONIGHT.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are a fun duo for this series.

Why we’re wary:  Both Cumberbatch and Freeman are pretty damn busy these days.  Can they really devote a lot of time to this show, even though both men apparently enjoy making it?

Jimmy says: I was late to the party when it came to Sherlock, but now I’m hooked. The three episode mini-movie seasons are fantastic when watching but awful when they are over and cue the exceptionally long break until the next season. This special should keep us somewhat satisfied until the official season four…in 2017. Boo-urns.

The X-Files

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What is it?:  Mulder and Scully are back, investigating things that the FBI would like to assume don’t really exist.

Why we’re excited:  The X-Files was a geek staple of the 90s that helped lead the way to the current Geek Renaissance that we’re all enjoying.  Many series that went for long plots with mysteries, like Lost or the Battlestar Galactica revamp, owe something to The X-Files.

Why we’re wary:  Remember the last movie?  Or the last couple seasons of the original series?  Those are some good reasons to be wary.

Jimmy says:  Back in the day I was a huge X-Files fan. Wait, that was 20 years ago? Damn I’m old. Anyway, like most things, it had a good run and then dragged on way too long after they should have put it to rest. Duchovny’s finale return and the last movie have done little to remove that sour taste from my mouth. So I’m keeping my expectations low for this six episode renewal, with every hope they exceed them.

Agent Carter

This one is too cute NOT to use!
This one is too cute NOT to use!

What is it?:  Another season of Hayley Atwell busting spies in the postwar Marvel Universe, looking fabulous the whole time.

Why we’re excited:  I’ve never been shy of saying how much I don’t care for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Agent Carter manages to show what Agents should be by using concepts like “bright colors” and “charismatic central characters” to its advantage.

Why we’re wary:  For this one, I got nuthin’.  Is Dominic Cooper free to appear again as Howard Stark?

Jimmy says:   Note to self…finish Agent Carter Season One.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

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What is it?:  The most interesting supporting characters from Arrow and The Flash get their own team-up show to fight Vandal Savage throughout time and space.

Why we’re excited:  Marvel may be beating DC hands down on the big screen, but outside of Netflix, DC has the edge on TV.  Most of the characters here (Firestorm, the Atom, Captain Cold and Heat Wave, White Canary) have been tested and worked out great on other shows, and the scope of the adventure looks huge.  The producers know how to treat Silver Age DC material.

Why we’re wary:  Supposedly, the series has cost the network so much money, there might not be a second season even if it is a hit.  Best not to get too attached if true.

Luke Cage

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What is it?:  One half of the original Heroes for Hire gets his own series after a fun supporting turn on Jessica Jones.

Why we’re excited:  Cage was great on Jessica Jones and Mike Colter played the character well.  Cage brings a different corner to the Marvel Universe, as the ex-con product of a science experiment gone wrong.  A hero when someone pays him, it may be interesting to see such a mercenary character played sympathetically.

Why we’re wary:  How much fun is Luke on his own?  What we’ve seen of him thus far has been with Jessica.  I’m not too worried about Luke Cage, but that is a good question to ask.  Heck, the Netflix series I am worried about is Iron Fist.

Daredevil

daredevil

What is it?:  The blind lawyer who beats up mobsters is back for more!

Why we’re excited:  Daredevil was an unexpected delight.  We may have thought it would be good, but we didn’t think it would be that good.  With the Punisher and Elektra being tossed into the mix this year, it looks to be an exciting continuation.

Why we’re wary:  Daredevil is the Iron Man of the Netflix TV corner of the MCU.  Will the second season be an overcrowded mess like Iron Man 2 as the show tries to do too much all at once?

Jimmy says (on both Luke Cage and Daredevil):  Netflix is really nailing these shows. The first seasons of both Daredevil and Jessica Jones were spectacular, so how can you not get excited about what they’ll do with Cage and more DD? Cage was a standout in Jessica Jones and now spins off on his own adventure. DD is “only” adding the Punisher and Elektra for season two. How can that not lead to awesomeness?

Preacher

Preacher-Poster

What is it?:  Based on the Vertigo series, Preacher Jesse Custer goes looking for God…and not the way you think he normally would when phrased that way.

Why we’re excited:  This series has been floating around for a while, and it looks like it may have found a good home on AMC.  The series could be the same sort of edgy as the original series as a result.

Why we’re wary:  Preacher probably would have been even more at home on HBO.  There’s a lot of language, sex, and other things from the source material that might be too much for even a basic cable network, and that’s not even getting into a show where God is the villain.  The source material is probably going to be sanitized, no matter what, but how much due to the show not being on a premium cable channel remains to be seen.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

What is it?:  Oh, you know what it is.

Why we’re excited:  Since the last season ended, that one fan favorite character has been missed, and we can confirm it here:  Hodor is back, folks!  Seriously, fans have been looking for clues on if and how Jon Snow survived the season finale last year.  The series also is clearly headed out into unknown territory as the source material is almost completely used up at this point.

Why we’re wary:  Well, they did use up almost all the source material, and the Dorne material last year didn’t seem to add up to much in the end.  Can these guys stick the landing without Martin’s works as a guide?

Books

City of Blades

bennettrj-2-cityofbladesus

What is it?:  A sequel to City of Stairs asks a big question:  what happens to the afterlife if the god in charge of it dies?

Why we’re excited:  The podcast hasn’t covered City of Stairs yet, but both Ryan and I are looking to read the sequel, and Jenny told me she was loving Stairs.  That is all I am going to say about this book at this time.

Why we’re wary:  The sequel changes protagonists to a supporting character from the first book.  The character in question is cool, but will the loss of the original protagonist and her assistant hurt the sequel?

Morning Star

morningstar2

What is it?:  The Rising Rising trilogy comes to a conclusion.

Why we’re excited:  Are you new to this site that you even have to ask that question?

Why we’re wary:  Can Pierce Brown stick the landing?

Stiletto

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What is it?:  A sequel to The Rook, an unexpectedly fun take on spies and urban fantasy.

Why we’re excited:  The Rook was a ton of fun, as psychics and mystics and other things protected Britain from threats beyond the scope and power of most mortal authorities.  The structure, where a young, mid-level officer in the organization looses all her memories and has to relearn everything she used to know, was a great way to drop readers into the middle of the action AND explain the setting to them as they went.

Why we’re wary:  This book has been promised for a while, and I’ll believe it’s ready when I hold a copy in my hands, even a virtual one on my Kindle.

Winds of Winter

grrm

What is it?:  The next book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

Why we’re excited:  It’s only a rumor at this point, but the book may be released in 2016, sometime during the next season of Game of Thrones.  If it does, you know at least half the Geeks here will be reading it before the year is out, though we may be hating ourselves for doing so the entire time.

Why we’re wary:  Does anyone really believe any sort of release date for any of these books anymore?  I think more people expect Martin to die before the series is finished.  The TV show may end up doing a better job of telling this story anyway.

Video Games

Uncharted 4

uncharted

What is it?:  I dunno.  Ask Jimmy.

Jimmy says: Just because something gets labeled as derivative, doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome. It would be easy to dismiss Nathan Drake as an Indiana Jones knock off, but then you’d be missing out on one of the greatest game franchises of the past 9 years. Uncharted blew me away with it’s story and visuals. Games didn’t get much better than that…until Uncharted 2, which set the bar so high it was ridiculous. With innovative gameplay and another involving story, it was hard to put down. The third game in the series was on par, but lacked the significant jump in gameplay that we saw from 1 to 2. With the power of the PS4 now behind this last sequel, I’m curious to see what Naughty Dog has in store for us.

Gabbing Geek

Hey, the podcast should be back again at some point, Ryan and Watson will have their box office top ten predictions, Jenny will give us some awesome cosplay, and Jimmy and I will get back to our DCAU rewatch real soon.  And that’s just a few of the fun things you know we’re going to be doing, so be sure to check in as 2016 continues to roll along.

2016 looks like it should have at least some good stuff for everybody.

The hamster agrees.
The hamster agrees.
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