By Rebecca Daniel, Senior Editor
Summer movie season is coming and many of the year’s most anticipated blockbusters were filmed right here in Georgia. With so many movies being released each weekend, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of your options. Don’t worry, we’re here to fill you in on what’s coming up and which of this season’s hits could have been filmed in your backyard! Whether you like action, comedy, drama, sci-fi, foreign, or indie films, this guide highlights a little bit of everything. Let’s get started!
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Directed by: James Gunn
In this highly anticipated sequel, the team is back as they try to figure out Peter Quill’s parentage. There’s no doubt that this highly anticipated sequel (filmed at Pinewood Studios!) will be one of the summer’s biggest hits.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Unfolding after the events of Prometheus, the crew of the Covenant ship discover a seemingly vacant planet, but quickly find themselves fighting for survival as an alien hunts them down.
Anyone who can see this in a dark theater has nerves of steel. This looks downright horrifying.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Unlike the TV show’s dramatic feel, the movie looks to be more of a raunchy comedy. Also different from the LA-based show, the movie was shot in Tybee Island, Georgia.
Starring: Cate Blanchett
Directed by: Julian Rosefeldt
The Academy just saw this preview and announced that Cate Blanchett has won all of the acting Oscars for 2018. (ok, so technically that hasn’t happened, but look at this acting skill!) In all seriousness, this movie solely consists of Cate Blanchett playing 13 different roles. The hype is real.
Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Orlando Bloom, Kaya Scodelario
Directed by: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
Jack Sparrow is back again. In the (supposed) final chapter of the Pirates franchise, he has to find the trident of Poseidon while on the run from ghost sailors. It’s always something.
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
It’s happening. We’re finally getting the Wonder Woman origin movie! It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten a female led superhero movie so this is really big. (Still waiting on that Black Widow movie, Marvel.) It’s big for Wonder Woman fans, action movie fans, and maybe most of all, DC. After the two train wreck movie releases last year, DC needs Wonder Woman to succeed. Let’s hope that this is the film that turns the corner.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Wouldn’t it be crazy if this was actually a sequel to The Boss Baby? Think about it…Baby Driver. It could easily be about a baby that drives a taxi. “You’ve heard about The Boss Baby, now go see Baby Driver!”- a money-hungry studio executive somewhere.
Baby Driver actually looks much better than it’s title suggests as it follows a young getaway driver who begins working for a crime boss. Not to mention it was filmed all over Atlanta and Juliette, Georgia last year!
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins
Directed by: Bong Joon Ho
A young girl tries to save her animal, Okja, from the hands of a national company.
It’s exciting to see Netflix release an original film with a major director and high profile cast.
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Collin Farrell
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Truthfully, The Beguiled looks pretty creepy. The trailer highlights a seemingly innocent girls school that quickly turns sinister as they take in an injured Union soldier. Despite the creepiness, I’m always excited to see what Sophia Coppola has come up with next. Any director that made the cinematic masterpiece known as Marie Antoinette has my attention.
A Ghost Story
Starring: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck
Directed by: David Lowery
A Ghost Story was the critical darling of the Sundance Film Festival. The film deals closely with issues of grief, time, and existence as a white cloaked ghost comes back to view his grieving wife dealing with his loss. I know, it sounds weird. But this isn’t a “spooky, haunting” movie. From what I’ve read, it’s meant to be a deeply symbolic and truly unique film experience.
Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya
Directed by: Jon Watts
Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming follows Peter Parker as he tries to navigate high school and adjust to life as Spider-Man. What a unique concept for a Spider-Man movie! I feel like there’s a new Spider-Man franchise every two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, this looks perfectly watchable and I will be looking out for some ATL locations since a lot of the movie was filmed here last summer. However, it feels way too soon to reboot the story again.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Who would have thought that the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise would turn out to be so good? I was a doubter, but as soon as I stepped out of Rise of the Planet of the Apes those doubts disappeared. Since 2011, we have watched Caesar’s fascinating story unfold. War for The Planet of the Apes looks to be the final chapter as the ape vs. human conflict continues to escalate. (I hope the apes ride horses again because that is just too good.)
Starring: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated new film is a historical World War II drama detailing the evacuation of Dunkirk. There’s no doubt this will be a massive event considering Christopher Nolan films always draw an audience.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne
Directed by: Luc Besson
In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline are special operatives who must work together to protect the universe. I’m not gonna lie to you, this looks bad. I’m seeing a whole lot of CGI and very little semblance of a storyline. Granted, some of the CGI looks impressive (with a budget of $197 million, it better look good) I’m interested to see what happens with it this summer. It will either fail miserably or surprise everyone and be pretty good. Time will tell.
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy
Directed by: David Leitch
In this spy thriller with a very John Wick-vibe, Charlize Theron plays an undercover MI6 agent sent to Berlin to investigate a murder during the Cold War.