18 Things We Can’t Wait To See And Play In 2018
In an era of countless long-running series that dominate the worlds of comics, games, movies, and TV, the years have a way of blurring together, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting excited about 2018. While you may find yourself in familiar territory, even the most tried-and-true franchise is likely to offer up a generous serving of surprises in the year ahead.
With that in mind, here is a spoiler-free look at 18 things we can’t wait for in 2018.
1. Avengers: Infinity War
Showing no signs of slowing down, the Marvel Cinematic Universe delivers three new movies in 2018. Black Panther (February 16) is a promising step in a new direction and Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6) is a highly anticipated sequel, but everyone comes together in Avengers: Infinity War (May 4), the sprawling, high stakes epic fans have been waiting for.
2. Solo: A Star Wars Story
It seems fair to say Lucasfilm was not entirely clear what they wanted when they started making this Han Solo spin-off, but after trading in original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for the sure hand of journeyman Ron Howard, they arrived at something worthy of enthusiasm and anticipation.
3. Star Wars: Forces of Destiny
With The Last Jedi, the Star Wars series made some much-needed feminist progress—and that continues on the page in Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny. Carrie Fischer may not appear in any more Star Wars movies, but Princess Leia (and the other ladies of Star Wars) will get many more chances to shine in this weekly comic series from Lucasfilm and IDW Publishing.
4. Sea of Thieves
For those hozing in inhabit new worlds in 2018, Sea of Thieves appears to be one of the best places to turn. Launching on Xbox and PC, this new game series from Rare Ltd. offers closer access to the world of pirates and their pursuit of treasure than any Johnny Depp movie.
5. Ocean’s 8 and Widows
Speaking of treasure hunting, two of 2018’s most anticipated movies feature elaborate plans hatched and/or executed by female thieves. Over a decade after the disappointment of Ocean’s Thirteen, the light-hearted franchise gets a makeover in Ocean’s 8, which replaces the earlier boys club with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter. For those seeking something a little more dramatic, 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn join forces for a female-heavy heist movie of their own: Widows.
For any science fiction fan who took the time to see Ex Machina—the unsettling artificial intelligence saga featuring future Star Wars cast members Oscar Isaac and Domhnail Gleeson—writer-director Alex Garland’s follow-up is essential viewing. As an added bonus, Annihilation is an adaptation of the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s celebrated Southern Reach Trilogy, which concerns a terrifying and mysterious region known as Area X.
7. First Man
Fresh off a Best Director Oscar for La La Land (not to mention the acclaim he earned for 2014’s Whiplash), Damien Chazelle reunites with Ryan Gosling to tell the story of Neil Armstrong and the historic 1969 mission that made him the first man to walk on the moon. With Chazelle at the helm, Last Man might even include the occasional zero gravity dance number.
8. Star Trek: Discovery Chapter 2
Space is the gift that keeps on giving in 2018 with new seasons of The Expanse, Killjoys, Wynonna Earp, and many more. If you’re feeling impatient, you’ll be glad to know that the wait for Star Trek: Discovery is especially short—with Chapter 2 launching on January 7.
9. The X-Files
Another enduring franchise set to return any day now on Space and CTV, The X-Files will build to yet another memorable cliffhanger and possibly more seasons/movies. But before any of that happens, creator Chris Carter says you’ll see Mulder and Scully “get kissin’ close.”
10. Game of Thrones
After an epic run on HBO, Game of Thrones finally comes to a close with a shorter-than-usual season eight. Star Isaac Hemstead Wright isn’t revealing any secrets, but there are a few certainties. “It won’t go the way some people want,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It will be too happy for some people, or too sad, or too whatever,” but don’t hold your breath for season nine because “nothing more is coming.”
11. God of War
With Game of Thrones bidding farewell, you may notice a dragon-shaped hole in your mythological entertainment intake. Fortunately, God of War is making its PS4 debut in a new incarnation that will grab your attention with adult-friendly language and gore.
12. Red Dead Redemption 2
If you’re familiar with the universally acclaimed Red Dead Redemption, there’s a good chance you’ve been waiting years for the sequel, which comes to PS4 and Xbox in the spring. Described as another “epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland,” RDD2 comes with at least one major upgrade: a new online multiplayer experience.
13. Ready Player One
In recent years, Steven Spielberg has devoted most of his time to dramas set in the past (War Horse, Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, The Post), but he heads in the opposite direction for this ambitious return to the sci-fi dystopia of A.I. and Minority Report. An adaptation of Ernest Cline’s virtual reality novel, Ready Player One looks likely to win over gamers, blockbuster buffs, and anyone with an appetite for thought-provoking futurism.
14. Isle of Dogs
Four years after delivering his one certified blockbuster (The Grand Budapest Hotel), writer-director Wes Anderson returns to the animation technique (stop motion) that yielded 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Following masses of dogs (and a 12-year-old boy) on a Japanese island that doubles as a garbage dump, Isle of Dogs seems likely to share Mr. Fox’s commercial limitations, but that’s a small price to pay for Anderson’s artistic prowess.
One of Nintendo’s signature icons, Kirby makes his way to Switch in spring 2018—with all kinds of new features. This time around, you can imbue copy abilities with different elements (wind, water, fire, electricity) and join forces with up to three friends for a new kind of teamwork.
Bringing a fresh aesthetic to the Yoshi universe, this game offers multiple paths and surprises on every course. According to Nintendo, Yoshi’s first Switch adventure “will turn everything you’ve come to expect from side-scrolling games upside down.”
17. Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles
After giving The Flintstones an edgy comic book update in 2016, writer Mark Russell gives similar treatment to another Hanna-Barbera character: Snagglepuss. Incorporating real historical figures for a vivid, disturbing portrait of the McCarthy era, this comic portrays the dapper pink mountain lion like you’ve never seen him before.
18. Halloween and Suspiria
In recent years, most horror remakes and sequels have fallen short of expectations, but 2018 brings at least two auteur-driven revivals worth getting excited about: Suspiria and Halloween. The latter is of particular interest to horror buffs, as it brings several key players (Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter) back into the fold, breathing old school life into one of the most enduring horror franchises.