Ten more non-franchise films to look out for in 2016

There are plenty of reboots, sequels and new additions to existing franchises on the way ready to get you plonked in front of a screen at your local multiplex, including film number three for the rebooted Star Trek series, the fifth Ice Age film, and Doctor Strange bringing the MCU movie tally up to a whopping fourteen and counting. So, after my first look at what this year had to offer away from franchise fare at the end of last year, it seems like a good time to have a look at what 2016's final six months have to offer as we reach the beginning of July.

All but two of the ten films I picked out last time have now been released, some offering pleasant surprises, others emerging as disappointing misfires, and others still doing exactly what was expected. The same will undoubtedly be true of the ten films below, but all at least potentially have something of interest within them.


Nerve
Directors: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Stars: Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis, Emma Roberts
Expected in the UK: 12th August 2016
Horror films with a social media or online slant seem to be slowly growing in popularity - see Unfriended, Chatroom and Friend Request (not that I have) for recent examples. Nerve is the latest in this trend, based around an extreme game of truth or dare played online which is viewed and manipulated by those watching. Whilst the concept might not grab you immediately, those involved might. It's directed by the duo behind 2010 documentary Catfish, one of the most interesting online-based films of recent years, so Nerve feels like one to look out for.

Wiener-Dog
Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito
Expected in the UK: 12th August 2016
Four stories connected by a dachshund as the dog moves from one owner to another. It's not a lot to go on, but Solondz's film has had a very positive reception stateside where it was distributed by Amazon Studios. Hopefully the studio will retain distribution rights in the UK and make Wiener-Dog available through the Amazon Video service online, as it's the kind of film unlikely to receive more than a limited release in cinemas.


Morgan
Director: Luke Scott
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Toby Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kate Mara
Expected in the UK: 2nd September 2016
The fact that Morgan is the directorial debut of Ridley Scott's son Luke makes it worthy of your attention alone. Add to that a story about an artificially-created being whose life is put in the hands of a corporate risk-management consultant, and a cast featuring all the reliable names above alongside The Witch's impressive young star Anya Taylor-Joy, and Morgan could prove very interesting indeed. There's something of Ex Machina about this, which can only be a good thing.

Free State Of Jones
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Matthew McConnaughy, Keri Russell
Expected in the UK: 9th September 2016
Ross' first film after directing the opening installment of The Hunger Games franchise back in 2012 is a historical drama set during the American Civil War. The story of a farmer who leads a rebellion against the Confederacy and establishes a mixed race community in Mississippi sounds interesting enough on its own. Add in McConnaughy as the lead and this becomes still more intriguing, although critical reception in the US has been mixed so far.

The Infiltrator
Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo
Expected in the UK: 16th September 2016
The latest from The Lincoln Lawyer director tells the true story of US narcotics special agent Robert Mazur, who helped to bring down Pablo Escobar's money-laundering operation in the 1980s. Cranston, who received a Best Actor nomination at this year's Oscars for Trumbo, plays Mazur alongside Leguizamo as his fellow agent. There are also a couple of noteworthy British performers within the cast, including Joe Gilgun of This Is England fame and Daniel Mays, most recently seen playing Walker in the big screen update of Dad's Army.


The Magnificent Seven
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Byung-hun Lee, Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington
Expected in the UK: 23rd September 2016
A remake of the 1960 original starring Steve McQueen, which itself was based on Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, this feels as if it could go either way. The principal cast is strong, although many of those involved have had a few duff entries onto their CVs recently. Vinnie Jones is also lurking on the IMDB cast listing, and his presence is hardly a seal of quality. Fuqua's recent output also hasn't been great. That said, the images released so far look promising, so I'm willing to give this the benefit of the doubt at the moment.

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson
Expected in the UK: 30th September 2016
Burton's form has been iffy since 2010's Alice In Wonderland (some would no doubt argue going further back than that), but this looks like something of a return to weird, enchanting form for the director. Based on the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs, with which I'm entirely unfamiliar, the subject matter sounds perfect for Burton to bring to the big screen. With a talented cast at his disposal this is the first Burton film I can remember feeling genuinely excited about for some time.

The Founder
Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Laura Dern, Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman
Expected in the UK: 30th September 2016
Keaton continues his career revival playing Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald's into the most successful fast food chain in the world. The film has been compared to both There Will Be Blood and The Social Network, and is the first film from Hancock after he directed Saving Mr. Banks in 2013, all of which bodes well for The Founder being a success. Kroc himself is a potentially fascinating character to bring to the big screen, so this could well prove to be one of the year's best films.


American Pastoral
Director: Ewan McGregor
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning, Ewan McGregor
Expected in the UK: 4th November 2016
Set in the 1960s and 1970s during a turbulent period of American history, an adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 novel - also named as one of Time Magazine's all-time greatest novels - has been in development since as early as 2003. Finally arriving on the big screen at the end of the year, American Pastoral marks the directorial debut of McGregor, who also stars. Judging by the first trailer, McGregor has picked up some impressive expertise from the filmmakers he's worked with over the years.

Sully
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Tom Hanks, Laura Linney
Expected in the UK: 2nd December 2016
Sadly not a solo outing for the big blue beastie from Monsters, Inc., Eastwood's latest tells the story of Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully landed a passenger plane on the Hudson River after complete engine failure without a single fatality. I wasn't a fan of the director's last film, American Sniper, but with Hanks and Eckhart as Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles respectively this could be very worthwhile.



By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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