We've all been there before...
You're at the movie theater. You sit in your seat, waiting anxiously for the movie to play. You've been anticipating this movie for months. You saw the trailers, you saw the posters, you might have even followed the casting and filming for the movie beforehand. With all the time you invested in lead up to this movie, you feel that this movie is guaranteed to be great. When you finally get out of the theater, all you can say about the movie is...
Every year features at least a handful of movies that are greatly anticipated, only to underwhelm when finally released. It has practically become tradition to look at the slate for the coming year, and pick out which ones will fail to live up to expectations. This year has plenty of films that may fall under that category, but lets look at five particular movies that are most likely to achieve said dubious status:
5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwad
Admittedly, I might not be the best person to make this sort of claim, since I am not much of a Harry Potter fan. But, given the shaky press this film has gotten so far, it's a claim I feel comfortable making. Much of the discussion surrounding this film revolves around the controversial casting of Johnny Depp as the villainous Grindelwad. Once arguably the biggest movie star in the world, Depp has seen his reputation damaged through poor movie choices and his alleged abusive relationship with his ex-wife Amber Heard. It doesn't help that, historically, popular franchises don't have the best luck when it comes to making prequel series (Ex: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings).
On paper, this upcoming solo outing for the popular Spider-Man villain doesn't look that bad. Tom Hardy playing the titular character is every fan-caster's dream come true, and he's part of a cast that includes multi-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams and Nightcrawler's Riz Ahmed (who's possibly playing another popular Spider-Man villain, Carnage). However, one factor may lead to this film's undoing:
The murky connection it has to the current cinematic incarnation of Spider-Man.
This is a big problem, as Venom's origin is directly connected to Spider-Man. If it is not connected to the current Spider-Man movies, this film runs the risk of being completely worthless. There is also a concern that Sony might try to soften the edges on the character, in an attempt to make him the launching point of a separate cinematic universe. This could easily be a death kneel for the film, as fans have no faith in Sony developing a cinematic universe, and that fans want to see Venom portrayed as the savage monster he is.
3. Solo: A Star Wars Story
If you thought the controversy around Last Jedi was intense, this spin-off featuring the galaxy's most famous stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf Herder looks like it will beat it's companion film by a mile. This spin-off film's production problem's have been infamous, from original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord being booted from the project in favor of Ron Howard to rumors that Disney is expecting the film to be a failure. True, Rogue One overcame similar production problems, but its hard to see lightning striking twice in this case. Its also troubling that, despite the film being scheduled for release in May, there has been very little promotional material released. Don't be shocked if this film is delayed until the holiday season.
2. Bohemian Rhaspody
I really, really want this movie to be great. I'm huge fan of Queen, and I think Freddie Mercury's legacy as a music showman is rivaled only by that of David Bowe. On top of that, lead actor Rami Malek looks absolutely amazing in production images released so far. However, much like Solo, production issues look to derail it. Original director Bryan Singer was recently fired from the project, with reports of issues between him and Malek being the focus. There should also be concern as to whether or not Rami Malek has the singing chops to do this role justice. While this film may still end up getting award-season attention because of its subject matter, there is a big chance that it will end up as another example of a biopic that should be so much better than it really is.
1. X-Men: Dark Phoenix
In an age where comic book movies rule the box office with an iron fist, it is shocking that a film from a franchise as influential to the genre as X-Men has finished production with little to no fanfare. This is arguably because there is so much working against this film:
1. The previous film, X-Men: Apocalypse, was incredibly underwhelming. On top of that, the film is shifting focus to characters introduced in the last film that weren't given much development. It is hard to get excited for a film when its following up a sub par film, with characters you don't really care for.
2. The new (yet convoluted) timeline for the franchise made by X-Men: Days of Future Past robs this movie of any and all suspense. If you saw the ending to DOFP, you already know whose going to survive, and whose probably going to die. Plus, if you factor Logan into it, everybody's gonna windup dead eventually.
3. Although the Dark Phoenix story-line is certainly worthy of a film adaptation, the people working on the film do not inspire a lot of confidence. The movie is directed by Simon Kinburg, who is not only a first time director, but someone who had a hand in the last (failed) attempt to adapt the Dark Phoenix story-line in X-Men: The Last Stand. Did I mention that he also had a hand in that god awful Fantastic Four reboot? On top of that, it could be argued that Sophie Turner is horribly miscast as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix after a poor performance in X-Men: Apocalypse.
4. This movie is coming out almost a year after Disney purchased all of Fox's film and TV properties, including the X-Men film franchise (pending government approval). It is very possible that, once the deal is approved, Marvel Studios will simply start from scratch with their version of the X-Men. As such, there would be no point in investing in these characters, since we're probably going to see new versions of them in 2-4 years. Sure, there's always a chance of Marvel Studios simply adding these characters to the MCU. However, if they were willing to recast Spider-Man after Andrew Garfield only did two movies before their deal with Sony, I highly doubt they will want to keep this version of the X-Men (especially with the continuity baggage that comes with them).