HARRY POTTER will take on Star Wars next year as we round up the biggest blockbusters for 2016.
Star Wars duked it out with dinosaurs and spandexed superheroes in 2015.
Next year, it looks like it’s wands at dawn as the new Harry Potter spin-off takes on a Star Wars prequel.
There’s also a wonderful return to Wonderland lined up but things are looking rather more grim in the superhero department as all of our square-jawed chaps turn on each other in two of the biggest blockbuster franchises.
Buckle up and get ready for our 2016 film predictions:
1. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (November 18)
Eddie Redmayne takes a well-earned break from Oscar-baiting traumas in The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl.
It’s time for something lighter as he plays Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter prequel, set in turn of the century New York.
There are rampaging scary monsters and an all-star cast inclusing Colin Farrell
It’s safe to say that this looks totally wizard…
But can it beat the next Star Wars film (up next) for biggest film of the year?
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16)
Even before the jaw-dropping box-office triumph of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, confidence in the rebooted franchise was high enough to set up a series of spin-off films.
First out of the gate in the Star Wars Anthology series is Rogue One, starring Brit beauty Felicity Jones with Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelson.
Set just before the original 1977 film (aka Chapter IV: A new Hope), it tells the pulse-pouding back story of the daring rebels who stole the plans for the Death Star.
You remember, the ones that Leia hid inside R2-D2 when she was captured by Darth Vader?
There will be more back stories explored in the next film in the series which will be about the direputable early days and misadventures of Han Solo and hits cinemas in May, 2018.
3. Alice Through The Looking Glass (May 27)
Mia Wasikowska’s Alice has been having a high old time sailing the high seas since the end of 2010’s Alice in Wonderland but that’s all about to change.
She returns to the fantastical realm of Underland and soon meets up with the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), Absolem (Rickman) and the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry).
Dear old Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is also there – but he is not himself. Whatever that means for someone who is certifiably bonkers…
It seems that The Hatter has lost his Muchness, so the floaty queen Mirana (Anne Hathaway) sends Alice off on a perilous (what else?) quest to put him right.
4. Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)
The big shock is the absence of Will Smith’s wise-cracking E.T. ass-whooper but his character’s now grown-up son, Dylan, played by Jessie Usher, takes over hero duties alongside Liam Hemsworth.
Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch are back as the bickering father and son, with Bill Pullman reprising his role as the former US President. Taking his place in the White House will be Sela Ward, marking director Roland Emmerich’s avowed commitment to shaking up the franchise by installing a female Commander in Chief.
The new teaser trailer warns us that the first film was merely a taster for the full fury that the returning aliens are going to rain down upon the Earth.
5. Finding Dory (Release tbc)
What was that film we love with the, you know the fish? You know, the one that.. Hang on, what colour was that fish?
Yup, forgetfulness has never been more wonderful as Ellen DeGeneres returns as the voice of everyone’s favourite blue tang – although, let’s face it, it’s not like we have a selection of them to choose from.
Finding Dory also stars the voice talents of Dominic Moore, Diane Keaton and Modern Family stars Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill.
The brand new teaser trailer starts with Dory dreaming. As usual she’s not making much sense and then things start to get emotional.
“My family,” she cries. “They’re out there. I have to find them.”
Time for a brand new emotional journey to reunite lost loved ones.
6. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25)
The new DC Comics trailer shows a terrifying new dark side to Henry Cavill’s troubled saviour of humanity. One that seems to include trussing up Batman like a 50 Shade of Grey chicken in an underground torture chamber before they go at it hammer and tongs.
Fighting, that is…
“Stay down. If I wanted it, you’d be DEAD already,” screams Superman at Batman.
And we thought these were the good guys?
The epic superhero smackdown also introduces Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
7. Suicide Squad (August 5)
Terrifyingly, however dark things get in Batman V Superman, this follow-up will be WAY worse.
This film unites some of DC Comics’ worst villains in an utterly disfunctional team blackmailed by sinister government forces to do their dirty work.
Ben Affleck’s Batman pops up for a showdown with the Joker, but this film is already all about Jared Leto’s turn as the grinning goon.
Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Cara Delevingne round out a spectacular cast.
8. Deadpool (February 4)
Ok, so we said Suicide Squad was extreme? Just wait until you see this one.
The monumental failure of Fantastic Four showed that audience have no time for wishy-washy exposition and weak characters. Well, there’s none of that here.
Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool grabs you by the proverbials. Hell, he even refers to himself as looking like a giant testicle.
There are jaw-dropping levels of graphic violence, but also a dark and devillish wit throughout that recalls the heady early glories of Kick Ass.
We are dead excited about Deadpool.
9. Captain America: Civil War (April 29)
More misery for our superhero chums in the latest Marvel romp. Although this is nominally a Captain America film, the huge cast makes it closer to a sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Increasingly unsettled by the rise of superpowered peeps, global governments want to impose the Sokovia Accords to control and restrict their actions.
Captain America (Chris Evans) does not agree, but Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), for once, sides with the authorities. One by one, they force all their friends to choose a side.
Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) back the Cap’ while Black Widow (Scarlett) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) go with the metal chap.
The trailer looks like it spells the end of the Avengers and also hints at the blink and you’ll miss it involvement of Spiderman.
10. X-Men: Apocalypse (May 19)
Is there no end to superheroes next year? Well, nope.
Bryan Singer’s latest outing for the mutant marvels pits them against the titular god-like ancient being.
Apocalypse is so bad ass that even someone as mighty (and egotistical) as Michael Fassbender’s Magneto is reduced to merley one of his Four Horsemen of the , well, you get the picture.
Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner swaps Sansa Stark for Jean Grey, opening the trailer in dramatic style with James McAvoy’s Xavier, aka Professor X, while Jennifer Lawrence is back as Mystique.
It all gets so exciting that the poor Prof loses his hair…