What we're anticipating the most in 2017

Contributed by
Jan 6, 2017

If you’re looking forward to Wonder Woman, you’re not alone. Or Star Wars: Episode VIII. Or American Gods. Or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We’ve been chomping at the bit for months, if not years, for certain TV shows, movies, comic books and events. 2017 promises to bring us sweet geek satisfaction.

Check out our list of most-anticipated media for the Year of the Rooster. You’ll likely find yourself agreeing wholeheartedly … and writing down the names and release dates so you can see it for yourselves.

A shout-out to the upcoming TV series' Big Hero 6 and Watership Down, as well as the return of American Horror Story and Game of Thrones.

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The Expanse

Syfy, February 1

Syfy's The Expanse is hurtling back into our viewing orbit, and I am primed and prepped for launch. I've rewatched the first fantastic season again over the holiday break and can't wait to thrust back back into CQB (Close Quarter Battle) with the crew of the Rocinante and the protomolecule chaos tumbling out of the catastrophic happenings of the Eros Event. This spectacular, stylish space opera is exactly what I'd been thirsting for in a popcorn sci-fi series, and the showrunners, writers and actors are promising an even more explosive sophomore season. The upcoming storyline will finish up the events of Leviathan Wakes, the first novel in the series penned by James S.A. Corey — the writing team of Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham — and contains elements of the second book, Caliban's War, especially the nightmarish outbreak on the Jovian moon of Ganymede. Also, I hung out with Chad L. Coleman (Colonel Fred Johnson), who gave me the inside scoop (my ears only) of what's coming up, and it's gonna blow your geeky mind. Remember the Cant! - Jeff Spry

Powerless

NBC, February 2

Upcoming TV show Powerless will be filling in the blank that that the DC Universe has intentionally left empty: humor. Although DC universe-based television shows tend to have a lighter touch than its relentlessly grim films (Man of Steel, I’m looking at you), Powerless plans to go full-on funny. The half-hour show is about a company that insures bystanders against superheroic-based catastrophes. Add the possibility of seeing DC Universe’s characters on the screen, and you’ve got potential for outright hilarity. Plus, it will co-star Alan Tudyk, who makes everything he appears in funny just by being in it. - Carol Pinchefsky

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Legion

FX Network, February 8, 10 p.m.

No one can say that they’re 100 percent happy with the way the X-Men have been handled on film, so why not let Fox’s FX Network give it a try? Showrunner of the Fargo anthology Noah Hawley wants to adapt the story of Legion, the mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men. David Haller (Dan Stevens), a.k.a. Legion, suffers from a form of dissociative identity disorder, and each one of his personas controls a different superpower. There’s no telling how Hawley will decide to adapt the character, but odds are that Legion could tap its source material. Hawley’s Fargo is extremely cinematic, and that alone has me excited for what he can do with a new set of toys, namely the X-Men. From the trailer, it looks like it will be an exciting, can’t-miss venture. I don’t have any expectations going in, but Hawley and FX are enough to earn my trust. - Ernie Estrella

Batwoman solo comic book series

February

Batwoman was one of the highlights of the otherwise lackluster New 52 relaunch at DC Comics back in 2011. It was dark and interesting, and it was great to have a lesbian hero as the headliner in a solo series. That solo series was also a casualty of the Rebirth relaunch last year, but she’s been a main character in the new Detective Comics series, which has been excellent. I’m really looking forward to her brand new Rebirth title, co-written by James Tynion (IV) and Marguerite Bennet (who has been kicking ass on Bombshells). I can’t wait to dive further into Kate Kane’s history, and expand on some of the stuff we’ve learned during her time in the pages of Detective Comics. - Tricia Ennis

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Kong: Skull Island

March 10

If seeing a helicopter get swatted out of the sky by an ape as tall as a Midtown skyscraper doesn't get you excited, you need to have your pulse checked. Thanks to those jaw-dropping trailers and the well-executed viral campaign, Kong: Skull Island has my complete attention. The idea to super-size Kong is a brilliant choice, as is the choice of placing the film in the mid-70s, on Skull Island. Throw Tom Hiddleston as a traumatized special forces soldier, and Samuel L. Jackson in what seems to be the Captain Ahab role, and you've got a whale of a monster tale brewing. We're in dire need of an epic monster movie with some genuine shock and awe, and judging by what we've seen so far, that's what we're getting with Kong: Skull Island. Who's with me? - Mike Avila

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Iron Fist

Netflix, March 17

I’m a huge fan of the Netflix Marvel series so far, and Iron Fist is its next title. The 13-episode series stars Game of Thrones alum Finn Jones as the titular character, who’ll be displaying some badass kung-fu moves in the upcoming series (Jones has trained for months to get in fighting shape). Expect to see plenty of awesome action pieces and great new characters (Colleen Wing, Ward Meachum, Joy Meachum, Harold Meachum and Zhou Cheng), as well as some familiar faces (the characters of Madame Gao, Claire Temple, Misty Knight and Jeri Hogarth). Iron Fist will also introduce us to the mystical city of K'un-Lun, where our boy Danny Rand trained for fifteen years while being presumed dead in a plane crash before returning to New York City to claim his inheritance. I’m psyched to see the final piece of the puzzle that will lead to The Defenders. - Nathalie Caron

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The Handmaid’s Tale

Hulu, April 26

Based on the chilling 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale shows a United States overthrown by the religious right. Women are stripped of their rights—including the right to read. In the book, our heroine Offred (Of-Fred. That’s right. she’s lost her own name) is forced to become a “handmaid,” that is, a surrogate, to a military commander and his wife, as infertility is rampant. Each page of the novel is filled with dread as the Offred is increasingly and relentlessly threatened on all sides. I’ve long been underwhelmed by shows that take a concept and try to go “dark.” This pitch-black premise promises to show the rest of television how dark is done. - Carol Pinchefsky

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American Gods

Starz, April

American Gods is one of those novels that is cinematic even on two-dimensional pages, and now Neil Gaiman’s fantastical saga will be materializing on Starz this April. Think deities old as time immemorial wandering around museums and dive bars in jeans. After years of worshipping them in spirit, it’s impossible to say which of Gaiman’s supernaturally vivid characters we’re more impatient to see in the flesh. Con man Mr. Wednesday, played in the trailer to shady perfection by Ian McShane, manages to be entertaining far beyond his complicated — and darkly hilarious — scams. Mr. Nancy is spidery in as many ways as an arachnid has legs. Mad Sweeney is an overgrown leprechaun who gets entangled in bar fights as often as he snatches magical coins out of thin air. Shapeshifting funeral directors Jacquel and Ibis have an eerie intrigue about them. At the nexus of a war between ancient and modern gods set in a starry alt-verse is Shadow Moon, who only thinks his misadventures are over after being released from prison. It seems Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have managed to conjure something powerful as myth. - Elizabeth Rayne

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

May 5

There's an easy quality to Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously director James Gunn's first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe took a load of time and energy to make, but in the end, it came across with a breezy swagger that started with a big "Come and Get Your Love" hug and ended with a new super-team. Something that worked so well the first time obviously carries with it the risk of a sophomore slump, but everything I've seen from Vol. 2 so far tells me that Gunn and company aren't resting on their laurels. The same Guardians fun is still there, but there's more ambition this time, combined with a new sense of team dynamic that, if executed properly, could take the second installment to a whole host of new comedic places. The film's most recent trailer was my favorite of 2016, and the addition of characters like Ego the Living Planet (who ever thought we'd get that on the big screen 10 years ago?) ensures that I'll be in the theater with bells on for this one. - Matthew Jackson

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Sense8

Netflix, May 5

The Wachowskis have always been ambitious (take, for example, the bold yet frustrating Cloud Atlas), and the layered storytelling of Sense8 is no exception. Even their collaborations are ambitious. Fellow storyteller J. Michael Straczynski's (Babylon 5) contributions can be seen and heard throughout, as well as fellow director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), who is on board for the second season too. Season 1 spent time establishing eight different characters and their respective worlds and stories, but Season 2 plans to spend more time building connections between them — yet somehow balance all of those individual stories. Now that all of the characters are aware of each other and their unique talents, I'm looking forward to more complex sequences, ”team ups" and more explorations of science fiction elements. The Sense8 Christmas Special might have whet the appetite, but what we really need are the next 10 episodes. - Ernie Estrella

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Star Trek: Discovery

CBS All Access, May

Well, we had to wait a bit longer than expected, but for the first time in more than a decade, Star Trek is returning to TV, and we couldn't be more excited. This isn't just a new Trek show. It also promises to be a series that weaves itself into the lore of the pre-existing franchise while also giving us a season-long story arc from the very beginning. The storytelling possibility there, coupled with writing and producing talents like Bryan Fuller, Nicholas Meyer, and Alex Kurtzman is reason enough to get excited. But wait, there's more. Discovery also has the potential to be the most diverse Trek series ever, with a cast that already includes Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, and the brilliant Michelle Yeoh. - Matthew Jackson

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Wonder Woman

June 2

Is there any geek lady out there who isn’t excited for Wonder Woman? Seriously. Raise your hands and I’ll happily tell you why you’re wrong. Sure, the previous entries in the DCEU have been … let’s say “disappointing,” but I refuse to give up hope. Wonder Woman is at least as well-known as the other members of the Trinity, and it’s about time she got a movie worthy of her own brand of mythic badassery. If the film is anything like the trailers, we’re in for an exciting Amazonian ride. - Tricia Ennis

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War for the Planet of the Apes

July 14

Over the course of two previous films, the rebooted Planet of the Apes series has become one of the most thoughtful, intelligent and compelling sci-fi movie franchises out there, paying respectful homage to what made the original series so fascinating yet updating it brilliantly for the modern age. Now with War for the Planet of the Apes, director/co-writer Matt Reeves and star Andy Serkis appear poised to bring their story to a turning point that, judging from just the first trailer, looks visually spectacular and emotionally devastating. As an Apes fan since childhood, no reboot has made me happier, and I can't wait to see what the third film delivers and how it moves the series forward. - Don Kaye

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

July 7

As we get ready for the third proper Spider-Man reboot in less than a decade, I never expected to be this excited about yet another Spider-Man movie. But Tom Holland's version of Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War was an absolute scene stealer — and the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming made it clear this isn't like all the other Spidey stories we've seen before. It does a fantastic job of nailing that John Hughes-esque vibe with the high school setting, and Holland plays a grounded Peter who actually feels like a high school kid dealing with all these fantastical things. Plus, seeing Spider-Man zipping through the streets of New York alongside Iron Man? Jaw-dropping. I'm hopeful this will be the Spider-Man movie we've been waiting for all along. -Trent Moore

The Dark Tower

July 28

We’ve been waiting for Stephen King’s Gunslinger to ride across a desolate beach and open strange portals since 2007, and now Roland Deschain will finally emerge from the shadows and begin his quest in The Dark Tower (if the release doesn’t get magically delayed again). J.J. Abrams has worked his wizardry on the epic that sends a shadowy, pistol-packing knight from a ravaged world on a mission to mystical place rumored to connect infinite universes. Cloaked in paranormal phenomena and inspired by Arthurian legend, The Dark Tower will be the first in a foretold trilogy of films that gradually shed light on the shadowy figures that bewitched us in the books. Sorcery and enchanted kingdoms aren’t the only things that have us impatient for this darkly dreamlike adventure. With a talented cast lead by Idris Elba as the lone remaining gunslinger of Mid-World and Matthew McConaughey as his necromancer arch-nemesis, King’s multifaceted characters are sure to leap off the pages almost supernaturally. - Elizabeth Rayne

Pandora: The World of Avatar

Summer 2017

Straight Talk. While I have next to zero interest in the 17 Avatar sequels James Cameron is currently working on, I’m madly excited for this summer’s debut of its theme park cousin. "Pandora - The World of Avatar" sounds like a major adrenaline shot to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, and to theme parks in general. As someone who spends an absurd amount of time going to the Orlando theme parks, I'm one of those who feel we've reached the tipping point with motion simulation-based rides. But all signs point to the Flight of Passage ride, which puts riders on the back of a winged banshee, being much more immersive than anything else we’ve experienced at Disney or Universal parks. But the other signature attraction, the all-ages boat ride Na’vi River Journey, really has me jazzed. The reaction from a recent D23 fan club pow-wow with Disney Parks execs already suggest the Na’vi experience could rival the wild Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Shanghai Disneyland. Star Wars Land may still be a few years away, but Pandora sounds like a great place to hang out in the meantime. - Mike Avila

The Inhumans 

ABC, September

There are so many things to look forward to in 2017 that I had a hard time choosing what I’m most excited to see in the coming year. But my first choice has to be Marvel’s The Inhumans, an eight-episode series that will finally see Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Triton and Lockjaw in their first ever live-action appearance. Not only are we getting to see the Inhuman Royal Family (I can’t wait to see who they will cast in the main roles), but also some of the action will take place on the moon and will be filmed with IMAX digital cameras (it’s actually an ABC, Marvel and IMAX co-production). Don’t call Marvel’s The Inhumans an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff, because we’ve been told it has nothing to do with the mother Marvel series. However, with Dexter and Iron Fist showrunner Scott Buck steering the Inhumans ship, I think we’re going to be in for a wild ride. Look for the first two episodes of Marvel’s The Inhumans to debut exclusively in IMAX theaters for two weeks on Labor Day Weekend before airing on ABC. - Nathalie Caron

Star Wars: Episode VIII

December 15

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a refreshing appetizer this holiday season, and except for some rough editing patches and a freakishly distracting CGI Moff Tarkin, I really enjoyed it. But now I'm hungering for the real deal, the celebrated main course that's been baking for months, a slingshot back to the main storyline of Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, Kylo, Chewie and Luke in the continuation of The Force Awakens. The plot is wrapped in secrecy, but the film will apparently begin with the meeting between Luke and Rey on Sellig Michael when we left off, and the questions of Rey's parentage and Luke's failure with Kylo are mysteries that will no doubt be explored. Carrie Fisher's shocking death last month paired with the comfort that we'll see her final performance as General Leia Organa makes this next installment bittersweet, and I will absolutely shed some man tears when she first appears on screen in December. 

Note: My uncle, Bill Varney, was the re-recording mixer on The Empire Strikes Back and won an Academy Award for Best Sound, so I considered myself bound by blood to the franchise. And yes, I did get to hold the Oscar once. - Jeff Spry

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The Defenders

Netflix, TBA

Often referred to as “The Avengers for TV,” Marvel’s The Defenders has carved out a lane of its own - -even before it has aired. We’ve watched Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand/Iron Fist (Finn Jones) battle crime bosses, sociopaths, and ninjas, but the worst is yet to come. This fall,  these heroes will come together to fight a common enemy – Sigourney Weaver! We’ve seen what they can do apart in their own series', so I can't wait to see what they’ll accomplish together. - Krystal Clark

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12 Monkeys

Syfy, TBA

It's getting hard to deny the fact that Syfy's 12 Monkeys is one of the most criminally underwatched shows on television. Home team or not, this adaptation of the cult hit film has easily become one of the smartest and most ambitious projects ever put to the small screen. The world-building and mythology came to a crescendo at the end of Season 2 with about three jaw-dropping cliffhangers, and I can't wait to see where showrunner Terry Matalas and the gang take the story this year. From going deeper into the past, to finally giving us a look at the far-flung future, all we know for sure is that "The Witness is safe." And we can't wait to find out what that actually means in Season 3. - Trent Moore

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Twin Peaks

Showtime, TBA

Even with films like Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive on his resume, Twin Peaks remains David Lynch's most enduring creation. The combination of small town soap opera, surrealism and horror was like nothing seen on TV up to the time it premiered, and it has cast a lasting influence on countless shows since. There was definitely a sense that Twin Peaks was always unfinished business for Lynch, so the arrival of, at long last, a third season is cause for celebration. Can he and his enormous cast (including many of the original actors) recapture the same tone and spirit that they channeled those first two years? That remains to be seen, but I savor the chance to find out. - Don Kaye