A couple of posts ago we identified that both 1997 and 2009 were both vintage years as far as cinematic Sci-Fi was concerned. Which, by some fag packet maths reckoning, means it’ll be 2021 before we get another cluster of quality films. It’s no shock then to realise, in hindsight admittedly, that 2016 won’t be bucking this spurious trend. Despite the superlative reviews for Rogue One, and Star Trek Beyond being completely serviceable, there’s still not enough to make it a stand out year. Even Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, with its emphasis on narrative over special effects, still didn’t mark itself out as being a classic – although we can but hope for more movies in this cerebral vein.

So what does the New Year hold for fans of the genre?

We’ve called out Seth Ickerman’s vanity project on Drozbot before, but the film’s premise of merging the real world with the virtual remains intriguing. Plus there’s now a dedicated website where you can witness the film’s impressive opening trailer.

Ridley Scott is a name that ends up being frequently mentioned on these pages, and 2017 has not one but two films returning from his oeuvre. However, the sad reality is that both Blade Runner 2049 and Alien Covenant have some tough acts to follow. The former needs to take one of the most iconic Sci-Fi movies of the 1980s to a new and relevant space, whereas the baggage that surrounds the latter already weighs heavily against its hopes for success.

In other quarters, we have another film heavy with heritage about to receive the live action treatment – Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell. Scarlett Johansson is once again showing off her interest in Sci-Fi by taking up the role of the female cyborg protagonist – although her recent outings with Under the Skin and Lucy make us cautious for another mixed reception. And, talking of Lucy, we have a new endeavour from director Luc Besson with Valerian. We’ve not been complimentary about his output over the years here on this site, but we’ll reserve judgement despite the opening trailer seeming to hint at a Jupiter Ascending clone.

Daniel Espinosa’s Life, with both Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds bringing some serious acting skill to the production, is also of interest. But our greatest hope for the year sits with the sequel to a surprising 2014 tour de force. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is scheduled for release this April, and we’ll be hunting out our “super awesome” mixes in anticipation!

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