Coming Up in 2017…
Exciting space action will take center stage on the big screen this year, with the return of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” superheroes, a glimpse of what it might be like to live on Mars, and the next installment of the beloved “Star Wars” franchise.
Here is our list of the most fascinating space movies to look out for in 2017, including those that delve into the history of America’s space program and those that are out-of-this-world.
“Hidden Figures” (Jan. 6)
Start the year off with “Hidden Figures,” which features the untold true story of African American women whose work was crucial to the early space program at NASA’s Langley Research Center.
Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe) and Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) worked as some of the first “computers” at NASA in the 1960s. Their work was monumental in calculating trajectories for America’s early spaceflight.
“The Space Between Us” (Feb. 3)
Astronauts finally travel to Mars to live for an extended period of time, but unknowingly carried an extra passenger with them for their journey to the Red Planet. After being raised by scientists and growing up in solidarity, a 16-year-old boy (played by Asa Butterfield) returns to Earth from Mars to find his father and a girl he has regularly been chatting with online — and whom he may just be falling in love with. Although he’s eager to explore the new planet with his crush, his body is not accustomed to Earth’s gravity.
“Life” (March 24)
Crewmembers aboard the International Space Station receive Martian samples, and upon further study learn what it might mean to find the first proof of (potentially dangerous) extraterrestrial life beyond Earth. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, who have to deal with the unintentional consequences of one of the most important discoveries in human history.
“Power Rangers” (March 24)
A group of five misfit high schoolers accidently discover the Power Coins — the source of the original Power Rangers’ power. As the new Power Rangers, the teens find themselves infused with extraordinary powers and have to learn to work together to save their small hometown of Angel Grove from an alien threat.
“Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (May 5)
Chris Pratt returns as Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) in “Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Peter and his team of superheroes continue their cosmic adventures as protectors of the galaxy against all-new threats, including Ayesha and the Ravagers. The superheroes also continue in their quest to unravel the mystery of Peter’s true heritage, as he learns about his father, Ego the Living Planet.
“Alien: Covenant” (May 19)
This film follows 2012’s “Prometheus,” and is the second of three planned prequels to the “Alien” film series that stretch from the late ’70s to the late ’90s. The crew of the colony ship Covenant is bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy that is believed to be uncharted paradise. Upon exploring this new world, the crew discovers it is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David — survivor of the doomed “Prometheus” expedition. The film follows the group of colonists as they try to defend themselves from strange alien life forms.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (July 21)
Based on the French science fiction comics series “Valérian and Laureline,” this film follows the adventures of time-traveling agent Valérian (played by Dane DeHaan) and his partner Laureline (played by Cara Delevingne), who are sent to investigate a galactic empire. As special government operatives of the human territories, the two are tasked with maintaining law and order in the universe — and they get to wear super-sleek spacesuits.
“Iron Sky: The Coming Race” (August)
“Iron Sky: The Coming Race” follows the events of 2012’s science fiction comedy “Iron Sky,” in which Earth suffers a nuclear attack, led by a band of Nazis that fled to the moon after being defeated in 1945 and returned to Earth in 2018 to seek revenge.
Now, twenty years after the devastating attack, the former Nazi Moonbase is the last refuge for mankind, and humans must battle the Vril — an ancient shapeshifting reptilian race — and their army of dinosaurs.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” (Dec. 15)
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) continue their journey in the next chapter of the “Star Wars” saga. The film is now in production and more plot details will be released later in the year.
Other movies to look out for in 2017:
“War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 14): The next installment of the “Planet of the Apes” saga, following 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” In this year’s installment, the nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar engages in a battle with an army of humans.
“Blade Runner 2049” (Oct. 6): This sequel to the 1982 film “Blade Runner” will feature Harrison Ford (a.k.a. Hans Solo from “Star Wars”) and flying cars.
“Geostorm” (Oct. 20): Two brothers must save Earth from a worldwide net of climate-controlling satellites that surround the planet and are designed to defend against natural disasters.
“Avatar 2” (Dec. 21): The long-awaited sequel to 2009’s “Avatar,” which follows the story of a hybrid human-alien species (Avatar) created to communicate with the indigenous Na’vis from the planet Pandora. Plot details for “Avatar 2” have yet to be announced.
“The Black Hole” (TBA): A remake of the 1979 movie of the same name, in which a missing ship was found on the edge of a black hole.
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