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2018’s most exciting films, TV and music

The new year arrives with the prospect of greatness. The return of Wes Anderson, Roseanne and Jack White could make 2018 one to remember.

Here are some of the most anticipated movies, TV shows and albums planned for release this year.

On the big screen…

Lady Bird (16 February)

Saoirse Ronan plays a high-school senior in California struggling to grow up

If you can hold on and survive the dry January film climate, February arrives with the promise of more Oscar contenders.

One of them is Lady Bird, actress Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed directorial debut about a teenage girl growing up in California.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan and has been so well received it broke the Rotten Tomatoes record with 100% positive reviews.

Annihilation (23 February)

For those who think Ex Machina was the greatest thing to happen to sci-fi since Stanley Kubrick, writer turned director Alex Garland is back with another ambitious thriller.

Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gina Rodriguez star, with Oscar Isaac returning for a supporting role.

The film follows an expedition of biologists to an environmental disaster zone, where they find things that challenge their perceptions of reality.

Mary Magdalene (23 March)

Mary Magdalene

A biblical drama directed by Garth Davis, the man who got an Oscar nod last year for Lion, could seem like a tame production destined not to break any barriers.

But having Joaquin Phoenix play Jesus and Rooney Mara play Mary Magdalene shows that this seemingly commercial director has some arthouse in him.

We hope for the best.

Pacific Rim Uprising (23 March)

It will premiere on the same day as Mary Magdalene, so could throw up a tricky decision for some cinema-goers.

However, if you’re a big Pacific Rim fan, chances are it won’t be much of a conundrum.

Not only does this promise to be another monster/robot clash of epic proportions, but it also brings back director Guillermo del Toro – only this time in the producer’s chair.

Del Toro could be on his way to an Oscar for Shape Of Water, so has delegated the dirty work to Steven S DeKnight, a man known only for mediocre TV shows.

Hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Isle of Dogs (30 March)

This is definitely the highlight of the year for any proper film buff.

Yes, one could argue Wes Anderson has become a parody of himself, falling into the traps of set design and losing the innocence which made his debut Bottle Rocket such a fundamental piece of film.

But one thing Isle of Dogs has in its favour, is that it acts as the spiritual sequel to Fantastic Mr Fox, one of Anderson’s best works.

The movie tells the story of a 12-year-old Japanese boy who sets off alone in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots.

The cast is every person Wes Anderson has ever met and then some. A who’s who of Hollywood A-listers including Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

Disobedience (4 May)


You probably never heard of director Sebastian Lelio, but he is quite big in Chile.

Following in the footsteps of his fellow continentals, he has migrated to Hollywood with a basket full of A-listers including Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz.

The two Rachels play childhood friends whose desires are taboo in New York’s Orthodox Jewish community.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (25 May)

Woody Harrelson, Chris Miller, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, Phil Lord and Donald Glover

Following the divisive Last Jedi, which left diehard fans and critics fighting over the fate of the galaxy, Solo promises to be a much more tame, editorialised movie.

The reason being that its two original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were fired by Lucasfilm for being too bold, and have been replaced by Ron Howard.

Knowing Ron, the film will follow protocol and ensure that fans have a good dosage of mind-numbing entertainment and a completely unnecessary backstory.

Ocean’s Eight (22 June)

Ocean's Eight

You might think all-female reboots of modern classics don’t really work – not in the box office and not among fans or critics.

That didn’t stop the terrible Gary Ross from putting together eight of the most interesting women in cinema to pull off a heist so boring you struggle to finish the trailer.

Still, the stellar cast, which includes Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Cater, will surely do their best to save the project.

It’s worth giving it a shot. It’s not like the first Ocean’s film is Ghostbusters-good, so there is less room for ruin.

Mary Shelley (6 July)

Mary Shelley

Elle Fanning plays Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, in the story of how she came to write her most famous novel and her romance with Percy Shelley, played by Douglas Booth.

The movie also stars Game Of Thrones’ Maisie Williams and Tom Sturridge, and is likely to make even the most millennial of spectators fall for period drama.

Halloween (19 October)


This is where things get weird – and interesting.

Indie director David Gordon Green has taken on the Herculean and seemingly unnecessary task of once again rebooting one of the great horror classics.

The movie has been written by John Carpenter himself and brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, who will face Michael Myers (apparently) for the last time.

Good luck with that.

Outlaw King (TBA)

Outlaw King

Scottish director David Mackenzie has spoiled us. His last two works, Starred Up and Hell or High Water, are among the greatest films of the century.

Now he is back with the story of Robert the Bruce. Yes, the good-hearted coward from Braveheart.

Only, this time, it aims to actually tell the story of the Scottish king, whose courage was essential to defeat the English army.

Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Florence Pugh star in the main roles.

Upcoming TV shows…

Westworld (spring)

Evan Rachel Wood

With no date set so far, we at least know that Dolores and the Westworld gang will return some time in the spring.

HBO and Sky Atlantic are looking to fill the hole that will be left by Game Of Thrones in two years’ time and are putting all their eggs into a sci-fi basket.

With its tricks, twists and turns, Westworld has left many questions – and die-hard fans are hoping to have them answered.

Jessica Jones (8 March)

As if there weren’t already enough superheroes in our lives, Netflix has decided to recycle the lamest bunch of all.

The Defenders were a disgrace, but Daredevil put on a good show and Jessica Jones was mildly entertaining.

The best thing we can say about season two is tht we hope it’s better than the first.

Roseanne (27 March)

A nostalgia boost with a pinch of sarcasm, Roseanne is back more than 20 years after it first aired.

ABC made a good bet and is sure to do well with bringing back the much-loved show, something newer players like Netflix have already done with Fuller House and Arrested Development.

Sharp Objects (June)

Sharp Objects

If having Amy Adams make her TV debut wasn’t exciting enough, this is an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel by the same name.

Flynn wrote two other novels which have been adapted for the big screen, Dark Places and Gone Girl, the latter being picked up by David Fincher.

Sharp Objects is the story of a newspaper journalist who must return to her hometown to report on a series of murders.

Now for the music…

Jack White (TBA)

onstage at the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 Person Of The Year Gala honoring Bob Dylan at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 6, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The annual benefit raises critical funds for MusiCares' Emergency Financial Assistance and Addiction Recovery programs. For more information visit musicares.org.

Jack White has promised a new solo album but given very little detail about what to expect.

The golden boy of White Stripes fame has released a solo album before, but says this one will be “good gardening music or roofing music or, you know, back-alley stabbing music”.

Sounds… great.

Manic Street Preachers – Resistance Is Futile (6 April)

Manic Street Preachers 20th Anniversary Tour For "The Holy Bible." at The Fonda Theatre on May 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

This one has a name. Resistance Is Futile will be the band’s 13th album and has been described as “widescreen melancholia”.

“The main themes of Resistance is Futile are memory and loss; forgotten history; confused reality and art as a hiding place and inspiration,” said a band statement.

My Bloody Valentine (TBA)

performs on stage during the 2009 All Points West Music & Arts Festival at Liberty State Park on August 1, 2009 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Kevin Shields’ band will “100%” release a new album this year. That is according to Shields himself.

“Basically, the record started off as an EP, and I realised it has to be, like, a mini-album, because it’s going to be at least 40 minutes long,” he said.

“So it’s going to be an album, but I don’t really know how many tracks it’s going to be. It’ll probably be seven or eight, by the looks of it.”

There will also be a summer tour.

Vampire Weekend – Mitsubishi Macchiato (TBA)

 on June 13, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Responding to a fan on Twitter, frontman Ezra Koenig said the album was “80% done” and promised we could expect it this year.

Mitsubishi Macchiato is the title, but not much else is known.

“I wanted to do something that at least has elements of spring time you know, because life has to keep going,” he said.

The Prodigy (TBA)

O GO WITH Britain-music-Prodigy-Japan-entertainment,INTERVIEW by Alastair HIMMER This photo taken on August 13, 2015 shows members of the British band The Prodigy, Liam Howlett (top L), Keith Flint (bottom L), and Maxim (R) posing prior to an interview in Tokyo. Techno-punk rockers The Prodigy, who took the world by storm with their angry lyrics and controversial videos in the 1990s, want to be viewed as a British 'national treasure.' AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO

For those noughties bangers who miss the good old days of loud, angry music, The Prodigy have confirmed a new album is on the way.

The band haven’t released anything since 2015’s The Day Is My Enemy.

Arctic Monkeys (TBA)

Alex Turner of British band Arctic Monkeys performs on stage during the Rock-en-Seine music festival on August 22, 2014 in Saint-Cloud, near Paris. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

This started out as a rumour but has now been confirmed. The band’s sixth album will pick up where they left off nearly four years ago.

Bassist Nick O’Malley said that the album should be out in 2018 and that “if it isn’t, we’ve got problems”, according to NME.

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz (TBA)

The Strokes perform at the City of Angels benefit concert at the Wiltern on July 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Casablancas is back with a new band. The Strokes frontman is now of The Voidz, and his sophomore record has already premiered in a few underground gigs.

One of the album’s tracks is called Wink, and there is not much more to say.

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