The genre is alive and kicking, though franchise-infected and desperate for new ideas. January 2: 2018 Cloverfield Movie In keeping with Abrams tradition, nothing is known about this movie. Abrams has attempted to franchise a series of unrelated movies. Why? Because franchise-branding an unfranchised movie is just smart marketing, that’s why. February 23. Annihilation A high end adaptation of the 2014 VanderMeer book, starring Natalie Portman and directed by Mr. Ex Machina. Hard to tell if the book will translate into something watchable, but I’m optimistic. I think it's safe to say that, no matter what else, you have not already seen this movie. March 9. A Wrinkle In Time A classic of 20th century children’s literature, adapted with zero grace and style from the looks of the trailers. Disney has a contender for its Tomorrowland of 2018. March 23. Pacific Rim, Uprising Bad news: Pacific Rim. Good news. Boyega! March 30. Ready Player One Looks like Spielberg’s bid to return to the box office big league. But why did it have to be Ready Player One? May 25. Solo. A Star Wars story Move over Rogue One. Looks like competition for worst Star Wars movie of the 21st century. June 22. Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom. Dinosaurs and volcanoes, oh my. I’m sorry that you are going to pay actual money to see this movie. July 20. Alita, Battle Angel This movie has been in development for as long as the Freemasons have been around. Unfortunately, the trailer was a bit anticlimactic, and so is most of the work of Robert Rodriguez. August 3. The Predator As unnecessary as it is inevitable. Have marked my calendar to just give in and go see it. August 17. Captive State A post alien invasion apocalypse story. this movie has been made a dozen times in as many years, but I will keep going to see it probably. August 31. Kin Nothing from the story synopsis indicates why this is a sci fi film. But it has James Franco in it, so we already know it’s going to bomb. September 24. The Darkest Minds Starring Sequel Trilogy alum Gwendoline Christie! “After a disease kills 98% of America's children, the surviving 2% develop superpowers and are placed in internment camps. A 16-year-old girl escapes her camp and joins a group of other teens on the run from the government.” December 14. Mortal Engines Peter Jackson As Producer Not Director triumphantly reclaims his mid-December opening weekend from the Star Wars franchise for something that is refreshingly not a franchise/sequel/reboot. I will call this the biggest and most gratifying non franchise movie of 2018, because I’d like it to be that. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, it may be the birth of a new franchise, as there’s more than one book. The next Hunger Games!