Hear that? That’s the sound of winter slowly melting away with the thaw of spring. And soon after that comes the summer movie blockbusters, galloping into theaters with the subtlety of a rampaging tank. Which ones should you be looking out for as the heavy coats go into the closet and the swimwear comes out? Here’s a list of our most anticipated summer blockbusters for 2017:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5) – Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Racoon are back in action in the follow-up to one of Marvel’s biggest smashes. This time, the evil is done by villainous priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), while Peter Quill’s father Ego, the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) is along for the ride. Look out for Sylvester Stallone to show up in a surprise role, too.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 12) – The oft-told King Arthur tale gets a stylized update from Guy Ritchie. This time, Charlie Hunnam picks up Excalibur as Arthur, with Jude Law as the villainous Vortigern and Djimon Hounsou as Bedivere. Check out the trailer for some excellent Zeppelin usage.
Alien: Covenant (May 19) – We’re all still trying to figure out if Prometheus was any good. However, it did make a whole bunch of money, so Ridley Scott returns with a new adventure in the Alien universe, this time following a crew of explorers setting down on a planet that quickly turns against them. Michael Fassbender is back for this one, leading up an intriguing cast that includes James Franco, Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride.
Baywatch (May 19) – The big-screen adaptation of the small-screen jiggle-fest looks like it will go down the Starsky and Hutch / 21 Jump Street route, with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron donning the lead trunks. Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach are lifeguards, and Priyanka Chopra of Quantico fame as the evil-doer.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26) – The swan song (supposedly) for the Pirates franchise sees Johnny Depp throwing on the eyepatch and hat one final time, going up against an evil Spanish rival (Javier Bardem) for the possession of the Trident of Poseidon. Old friends Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush are back for this adventure.
Wonder Woman (June 2) – Does D.C. comics have its first really superb superhero entry on its hands? Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was one of the (few) highlights of Batman vs. Superman, and her solo entry has at least delivered in trailer form so far. Chris Pine co-stars as Steve Trevor, and there’s a formidable list of Amazonian castmates – namely, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen.
The Mummy (June 9) – Universal is attempting to establish a “shared universe” of its classic monster films, and the Tom Cruise-lead The Mummy is its first entry, with Cruise as an adventurer and the Star Trek Beyond scene-stealer Sofia Boutella as the wrapped-up one. Russell Crowe co-stars as Dr. Jekyll – yes, that one – establishing himself as the Nick Fury of the future shared universe.
Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23) – Michael Bay’s clangy series of robot adventures gets yet another installment, with Autobots and Decepticons smashing into each other again. Somehow, Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and a character playing King Arthur are involved. It’ll make a ton of money. Somehow.
Baby Driver (June 28) – We never saw Edgar Wright’s version of Ant-Man (what a treat that would have been), but we did get a brand new original feature film out of that snafu. This one has an incredible cast, headed up by Ansel Englort as a music-obsessed getaway driver named “Baby,” along with Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal and Jon Hamm.
War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14) – The surprisingly great Apes franchise goes full Apocalypse Now for its third installment, with the apes matching up against a brutal human military commander (Woody Harrelson).
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 17) – The first Marvel Spider-Man installment presents a much younger Spidey, this time played by promising Brit Tom Holland, matching wits against The Vulture (Michael Keaton). Robert Downey Jr. is around as Tony Stark / Iron Man, and Marisa Tomei is Aunt May.
Dunkirk (July 21) – Christopher Nolan goes to full epic mode with this star-studded war film chronicling the famous evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II; the evacuation saved the bulk of the British army’s forces to help continue the fight. His newest features a cast of UK all-stars, including Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21) – Luc Besson, the director of The Fifth Element, heads back into space with this adaptation of the classic graphic novels. Dane DeHaan is the sci-fi super agent Valerian and Cara Delevingne is his partner Laureline; Clive Owen and Rihanna (check out her unforgettable appearance in the trailer) co-star.
The Dark Tower (July 28) – After years of false starts, the massive Dark Tower series from Stephen King finally gets a film adaptation. This one has Idris Elba as the gunslinger Roland and Matthew McConaughey as evil sorcerer Walter Padrick, and is directed by acclaimed Dane Nikolaj Arcel.