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Sun 29 May 2016 10:27 AM

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15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas

Sequels, spin-offs and adaptations expected to dominate at box offices in the emirates

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Blockbuster season is upon us and there is about to be an onslaught of superheroes, space invaders, sequels and cartoons on our screens. Spectacle rather than originality is the dominant force in cinema at the moment, with the vast majority of the following films being sequels, adaptations of books, computer games or spin-offs of existing franchises. The only truly original movie is an animation about what poodles do when humans are not looking, so don’t expect your brain to be tested, says Time Out Dubai.

Do get ready for some major blockbuster action coming to a cinema near you before the end of the year, though.

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Alice Through the Looking Glass

\n\nThe poster says directed by James Bobin, but it’s the produced by Tim Burton strapline that best explains the visual style of this Lewis Carroll sequel. With Alice back in Wonderland, a nightmare collage of characters and locations gets a fantasy makeover on the largest scale imaginable.

\n\nCast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen.

\n\nWatch if you like: Anything Tim Burton has ever done, Johnny Depp being weird.

\n\nTrivia: Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter was so popular in 2010’s Alice in Wonderland that a new back story has been penned with Rhys Ifans drafted in to play the role of his father – a role that doesn’t exist in the books.

\n\nRelease date: July 21

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Finding Dory

\n\nThis takes place six months after Nemo was found and the forgetful Dory takes centre stage. Expect another ocean-crossing, heart-tugging, life-affirming quest to find a lost fish’s family.

\n\nCast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy.

\n\nWatch if you like: Pet Rescue, seafood, anything Pixar has ever done.

\n\nTrivia: Thirteen years have passed since the original. Alexander Gould, the actor who voiced Nemo, has grown up, and his voice has broken, so he has been replaced by Hayden Rolence in this film.

\n\nRelease date: July 7

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Independence Day: Resurgence

\n\nIt’s been 20 years since aliens blew up the White House. Guess what? They’re coming back for more. Which is more than can be said of Will Smith, who has decided he’s had enough already and has skipped the sacks full of cash that must have been waved at him to join this long-suspected sequel. Turns out the first film’s alien invasion was just a scouting mission and this time, they’re here to invade properly.

\n\nCast: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Vivica Fox.

\n\nWatch if you like: Explosions, aliens, lots of waving of American flags.

\n\nTrivia: The Burj Khalifa makes a cameo in the trailer for this sequel and our eagle-eyed viewing places it in London, not Dubai.

\n\nRelease date: July 7

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
The BFG

\n\nSteven Spielberg plus Roald Dahl. For anyone who grew up in the ’80s, this is the ultimate fantasy pairing. Spielberg directs this live action remake of Dahl’s story of giants who come out at night to collect and create dreams for children. The book is drenched in imagination, action, humour and good family values. It also introduced the world to the word “Whoopsy-splunkers” and we’re hoping that makes it onto the screen.

\n\nCast: Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Ruby Barnhill.

\n\nWatch if you like: E.T., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Whizzpopping.

\n\nTrivia: Producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (long-time Spielberg collaborators) began discussing a BFG movie as far back as 1991. At that time, they were eyeing Robin Williams for the title role.

\n\nRelease date: August 11

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
The Legend of Tarzan

\n\nIt’s been a while since we saw a live action Tarzan, but this epic adventure looks to put the vine-swinging hero right back as the king of the jungle. An origin story and redemptive return rolled into one is directed by Harry Potter favourite David Yates – he helmed the final four movies as well as the Hogwarts spin-off – so we’re expecting great things.

\n\nCast: Margot Robbie, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson.

\n\nWatch if you like: Men in trunks leaping about, wildlife documentaries.

\n\nTrivia: More than 20 actors have played Tarzan over the years, making him a more common role than Batman, James Bond and Superman combined.

\n\nRelease date: July 28

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
The Secret Life of Pets

\n\nWhat does your cat get up to when you’re not home? Does your dog secretly enjoy thrash metal? These are the questions asked by Despicable Me and Minions director Chris Renaud. Those credentials alone point to cutesy comedy capers aplenty, but we’re also taking note of the cast, which includes some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy. We’re expecting some proper grown-up laughs.

\n\nCast: Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper.

\n\nWatch if you like: Minions, cute animals.\n\nTrivia: The voice of Tiberius the hawk will be provided by Albert Brooks who also voices Marlin, the father of Nemo. That means his films will probably make as much as two billion dollars at the global box office this year and his face never appear on camera. The secret life of voiceover actors, more like.

\n\nRelease date: August 18

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Ghostbusters

\n\nWe’re calling this a reboot. Not a sequel, not a prequel and certainly not an origin story of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A female cast replace the much-loved original foursome of academics and assorted stragglers who discover scientific proof of ghostly activity in New York and go about battling the supernatural pests.

\n\nCast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

\n\nWatch if you like: Needless reboots, spooky comedies, the music of Ray Parker Jr.

\n\nTrivia: Reaction to the reboot has been mixed, with the trailor getting 600,000 dislike marks on YouTube – the most of all time for any film content. By the way, stat fans, the most disliked video on YouTube is a Justin Bieber song. It has six million dislikes.

\n\nRelease date: July 14

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Star Trek Beyond

\n\nDirector J.J. Abrams jumped (space)ship to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so only takes producer credit on this third instalment from the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Despite there being four spin-off TV series, it’s the original characters of Spock, Kirk, Scotty and co. that we most love and they’re all present here as the Enterprise crew battle aliens.

\n\nCast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba.

\n\nWatch if you like: Retro sci-fi, space politics, successful reboots.

\n\nTrivia: Look out for some Time Outers playing starring roles in this one. Parts of the film were shot on location in Dubai and our very own Sofia Vyas and Chanelle Tourish were among the extras. Will they make it beyond the cutting room floor?

\n\nRelease date: July 21

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Jason Bourne

\n\nThe forgetful super-spy is back. Properly back this time, with Matt Damon and everything. It’s not like Bourne: The Confusion or whatever it was called when part four took a tangent with new characters in starring roles. Expect his single punch knockouts, a steely glare and insider knowledge on how to evade capture while going directly towards the people who are trying to capture him.

\n\nCast: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles.

\n\nWatch if you like: Superheroes without capes, government conspiracies, theoriginal trilogy.

\n\nTrivia: This could get complicated. Matt Damon had said he wasn’t interested in making a Bourne return any time soon after 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum. He did concede that it might happen in ten years’ time. Turns out it only took nine.

\n\nRelease date: July 28

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Suicide Squad

\n\nDid you ever stop to think what the supervillains are doing when the heroes are saving the Earth? This DC Comics flick answers that exact question as The Joker, Deadshot and Harley Quinn are among an elite taskforce of bad guys and girls recruited to put their criminal tendencies to one side for a change.

\n\nCast: Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Cara Delevingne.

\n\nWatch if you like: Batman, The Dirty Dozen, cheering for the wrong team.

\n\nTrivia: A sequel was discussed before filming even finished, and you should not be surprised to see some crossover with future Batman films. Ben Affleck’s caped crusader is the reason why the squad are imprisoned in Gotham’s Arkham Asylum in the first place.

\n\nRelease date: August 4

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Inferno

\n\nCinema’s most bookish action hero, played once again by Tom Hanks, returns with more riddles, puzzles and literary intrigue. Directed by Ron Howard and based on the Dan Brown book of the same name in the Robert Langdon saga, this is the second sequel to The Da Vinci Code.\n\nCast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan.\n\nWatch if you like: Crossword puzzles, Indiana Jones, Dan Brown novels.\n\nTrivia: Inferno screenwriter David Koepp is the fifth most successful of all time, with credits including Indiana Jones, Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park and War ofthe Worlds.\n\nRelease date: To be announced
15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

\n\nTom Cruise returns as retired military cop Jack Reacher in an unexpected follow up. Based on the 18th book in the long-running action thriller series by Lee Child, it sees Jason Bourne-alike Reacher returning to his old military HQ only to find he’s been accused of a 16-year-old homicide.

\n\nCast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Holt McCallany.

\n\nWatch if you like: Mission: Impossible, Jason Bourne, Lee Child books.

\n\nTrivia: This sequel almost never got made thanks to a less than stellar box office performance. It was hoped this would be a franchise in the style of Mission: Impossible. US box office takings were average, however, and it was only the popularity worldwide that encouraged the studio to stump up cash for this follow-up.

\n\nRelease date: To be announced

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Doctor Strange

\n\nHe has a cape, a complex back story and a habit for grandiose discoveries when travelling in the mountains of Tibet. Yes, make no mistake, Benedict Cumberbatch’s neurosurgeon-turned-conflicted-lifesaver is very much a superhero. Based on a Marvel superhero with a cult following, this is a more cerebral hero than you may be used to.

\n\nCast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong.

\n\nWatch if you like: Comic books, meditating, Sherlock.

\n\nTrivia: Although it is part of the same universe as Thor, Iron Man and the rest, it is more focused on the supernatural.

\n\nRelease date: To be announced

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

\n\nThe pitch: A prequel based on an oblique reference to an imaginary text book in a children’s novel must be a first, even by Hollywood standards. But all you really need to know is that this is a spin-off from the Harry Potter universe written by J. K. Rowling. There is no Harry Potter, in fact not even a sight of Hogwarts, but this can be considered a work of historic importance to the wizard community and takes us in search of dragons.

\n\nCast: Eddie Redmayne, Ron Perlman, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston.

\n\nWatch if you like: Harry Potter, dragons, antique text books.

\n\nTrivia: With all the Harry Potter books already filmed and released, Warner Bros. persuaded J.K. Rowling to make her screenwriting debut with an original story set in the Harry Potter universe. Neither a sequel or a prequel, it’s pure Rowling, and part of a trilogy of planned movies to come.

\n\nRelease date: To be announced

15 summer blockbusters coming to UAE cinemas
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

\n\nWhen is a Star Wars film not a Star Wars film? When it’s a standalone spin-off in the Star Wars extended universe. If that makes about as much sense as Jar Jar Binks explaining trade embargoes, then you just need to know that Disney handed over US$4 billion (Dhs14.7 billion) to George Lucas for the rights to Star Wars a few years ago. Upon doing so it declared its intention to make a movie every year following the release of The Force Awakens. This will be the first of the standalones and is set in the time immediately after Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) and before Episode IV (A New Hope). All too geeky for you? Just know that there is a Star Wars film about rebel fighters blasting around space trying to steal Death Star plans.

\n\nCast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed.

\n\nWatch if you like: Extending universes, Star Wars, overthinking things.

\n\nTrivia: There are at least a couple of sequels to Star Wars: The Force Awakens already in the pipeline but it is two more standalones that are making us geek out the most. Spinoffs that tell the story of a young Han Solo (confirmed) and also Boba Fett (rumoured) are enough to make any geek vibrate with uncontrolled glee.

\n\nRelease date: December