It's been more than a week since the airing of the 89th Academy Awards, and as the ceremony is still fresh in people's minds, it's time to look at next year's potential batch of Oscar nominees. Yes, it's weird to focus on movies that won't be out until about 9 or 10 months later, but it's fun to take a long-range guess and see which movies will live up to their pre-release hype and which ones will flounder. Now with that out of the way, on to just a small sample of Oscar hopefuls (Note: Many of the films listed do not have a release date and could likely be pushed into 2018.)
"Battle of the Sexes"
Following her Best Actress win, Emma Stone will play Billie Jean King and fight Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in the famous tennis match entitled "Battle of the Sexes." The directors of Little Miss Sunshine will be telling the story of that match in a fun comedy-drama that's sure to garner Stone another Oscar nomination.
After John Lithgow's stunning portrayal of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the Netflix series The Crown, Gary Oldman will portray the big-screen version of the iconic leader. From Atonement and Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright, Darkest Hour could give Oldman an Oscar nomination and possibly a win if he plays the right cards in portraying Churchill.
"Untitled Detroit Riots Movie"
Depicting the 1967 Detroit police raid riot, Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, will direct this historical, yet timely crime drama. Add this director's pedigree and a cast featuring Star Wars's John Boyega, The Maze Runner's Will Poulter, and Captain America: The Winter Solider's Anthony Mackie, and you've got the recipe for a potentially great movie.
From Sideways director Alexander Payne, this movie definitely has a unique sci-fi concept. The film is a "social satire" involving a man who voluntarily shrinks himself in order to get more out of his life. Sounds crazy, but with a great director who has succeeded in making great satire before (Election), and an impressive cast including Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Alec Baldwin, Christoph Waltz, and Jason Sudeikis, this looks like a winner. But could it win Best Picture?
Christopher Nolan is one of the most popular directors working today, and it seems Dunkirk will follow his long string of critical successes. And with a story depicting the World War II evacuation at Dunkirk, France, and the film reportedly being an incredible spectacle for the eye, it's likely that Nolan's movie will make a splash at the Oscars, a la Inception.
"The Greatest Showman"
After the huge success of La La Land, it's possible that the Academy will go two in a row in terms of nominating a musical for Best Picture. Produced by and starring Hugh Jackman, who has developed the project for years, this biopic about circus ringleader P. T. Barnum is expected to have show-stopping numbers, thanks to its songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who helped with the lyrics for La La Land, and of course Australian theater legend Jackman himself, along with supporting actors like Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zac Efron, and Zendaya.
Aaron Sorkin has been a prolific writer for decades, from plays like A Few Good Men to shows like The Newsroom to movies like The Social Network. But with Molly's Game, Sorkin will now make his directorial debut. Sorkin of course will still write the screenplay for this film, which is based on the real-life Molly Bloom, who became a hugely successful entrepeneur, and a later target by the FBI through a high-stakes, international poker game. Bloom will be played Jessica Chastain in this biopic, alongside great actors like Idris Elba and Kevin Costner. Yeah, this is gonna be a great one!
From the director of Black Swan, mother! is a film with very little revealed. What we do know is that this film features the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfieffer and Javier Bardem, and focuses on a couple's relationship being tested when certain uninvited guests arrive at their home. Doesn't seem all that exciting, but the great cast and great director are sure to make this a great movie
Fresh off of Sundance 2017, this post-WWII melodrama has already gotten plenty of critical attention, most notably its supporting cast, like Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige. If the film becomes a huge hit with the Academy, it could have a chance to make history by having its director Dee Rees become the first African-American woman to be honored with a Best Director nomination.
"Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson fashion film"
Little is known about this project currently in production, outside of it taking place in the fashion world of 1950s London, and the basic plot of a dressmaker being commisioned by royalty. However, with Daniel Day-Lewis as its star, and Paul Thomas Anderson of Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood as its director, it's clear that this movie will be a must-see and something the Academy can not pass up. Definitely expect this to be a hot topic come awards season.