5 Most Anticipated Fantasy Movies of 2016

At its most basic level, going to the movies is designed to transport audiences to another world, one which allows them to become wrapped up in the story onscreen and grants them a brief respite from the worries and cares of reality. Oftentimes, the films that managed to accomplish this the best quite literally take viewers to places that could never exist in the real world, thanks to the magic of cinema. Here are the five fantasy films we’re most looking forward to checking out this year.

1. Warcraft (scheduled for release on June 10)


Warcraft | Source: Universal Pictures

Inspired by the insanely popular video game series, Warcraft tells the story behind the first interactions between the humans and the orcs. Director Duncan Jones has previously delivered acclaimed genre fare with Moon and Source Code in 2009 and 2011, respectively. However, this project has the added pressure of pleasing legions of fans who have spent countless hours within the realm of Azeroth. Whether the film satisfies their expectations, its true test lies in drawing in moviegoers who have little knowledge of the source material.

2. The BFG (scheduled for release on July 1)


The BFG | Source: Disney

Any project with Steven Spielberg behind the camera is bound to get some attention, but when the director of genre masterworks like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park takes on a fantasy film, expectations shoot even higher. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl (Charlie and Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox), the film centers on a group of heroes led by young Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) as they set out to capture the man-eating giants invading the human world. The BFG marks Spielberg’s return to popcorn films following last year’s awards contender Bridge of Spies.

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (scheduled for release on November 18)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Source: Warner Bros.

The Harry Potter films were just as massive a global phenomenon as the novels on which they were based, and although fans the world over said their bittersweet farewell to Hogwart’s with the series’ finale in 2011, no one was likely as sad to see the story end as Warner Bros, which earned more than $2.39 billion in the U.S. alone from the eight films. This new story — starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne — intends to kickstart a new franchise set in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, and by all indications, the resulting adventure should be just as, well, magical.

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (scheduled for release on December 16)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Source: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has always blurred the line between sci-fi and fantasy, but considering that the “galaxy far, far away” has always leaned a bit more heavily on the latter, it’s no surprise to find this follow-up to The Force Awakens on our list. Set shortly before A New Hope, the story centers on the Rebel spies that delivered the Death Star plans which led to Luke Skywalker’s defeat of the Imperial super-weapon. Felicity Jones stars in the first of Disney’s anthology films set in the Star Wars universe, a destined blockbuster in the wake of The Force Awakens‘s record-breaking numbers.

5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (scheduled for release on December 25)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children | Source: Quirk Books

All the way back to his early films like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton has proven a knack for bringing fantastical world to life. With this film, he adapts the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs into a big-screen effort starring an ensemble cast that includes Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Judi Dench, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film focuses on teenage hero Jacob Portman (Butterfield) as he fights to protect a group of orphaned children from dark creatures and could be exactly the project Burton needs to re-ignite his creative spark.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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