39 Sci-Fi Movies Coming to Theaters in 2016

Wednesday, 06 January 2016 - 12:54PM
Comic Book Movies
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 - 12:54PM
39 Sci-Fi Movies Coming to Theaters in 2016
2015 may well have been dominated by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but when it comes to an all round show of Sci-Fi force, 2016 may well be the biggest in history. With DC Comics and Warner Bros. kicking off their new cinematic universe in earnest, the latest installment in the new Star Trek series, Marvel's biggest movie yet, and another Star Wars movie all on offer, 2016 is shaping up beautifully for fans of this wonderful genre. Here's a guide to all the best sci-fi movies coming to theaters this year.


400 Days - January 12th 2016(limited release)

(Credit: SyFy Films)

Always wanted to see the stars of CW's DC Comics universe together on the big screen? 400 Days may well be your best bet, because this sci-fi thriller features Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, and Tom Cavanagh, all of whom have been lighting up our TV screens in the Flash/Arrow universe. Set in the near future, 400 days sees a group of astronauts placed in simulated isolation for 400 days in an attempt to study the psychological effects of long-term space travel. But yes, you guessed it, the simulation might not be as simulated as we once thought....

Moonwalkers - January 15th 2016

(Credit: Alchemy)

Ok, this isn't strictly sci-fi but what self-respecting sci-fi fan wouldn't at least be a little intrigued by a comedy about one of the world's most famous conspiracy theories? Moonwalkers imagines what would have happened if the Apollo 11 astronauts never made it to the moon and the government instead decided to hire Stanley Kubrick to fake the televised landing. Starring Rupert Grint and Ron Perlman, Moonwalkers should go some way to lifting those January blues.   

The 5th Wave - January 22nd 2016

(Credit: Sony)

Are you currently mourning the departure of The Hunger Games saga? Well, we've got good news, because yet another Young Adult powerhouse is being adapted for the big screen. Based on Rick Yancey's popular book series, 5th Wave follows Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) as she attempts to survive in a world that has been devastated by a series of increasingly dangerous alien attacks. Having been separated from her family, Cassie must traverse a dangerous country in an attempt to bring her younger brother back to safety. Can 5th Wave fill the Hunger Games void? The franchise has a worthy helmer in Moretz, and the premise is more appealing than the likes of Divergent and Maze Runner, so there is certainly some potential there.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - February 5th 2016

(Credit: Lionsgate)

Take a trip back to a time when romance was chivalrous, gentlemen were true gentlemen and everyone dressed really, really fancy....then throw in a few zombies and see what happens. That's the basis of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's unique take on a Jane Austen classic. We were pleasantly surprised with what we saw at San Diego Comic Con last year, and with the likes of Lily James, Lena Headey, Charles Dance and Matt Smith involved, there's will be plenty of talent on show to support the wacky plot.

Deadpool - February 12th 2016

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Bored of straight-laced superheroes and the monotony of comic book movie plots? We have good news for you, because Deadpool is here to bring you a comic book movie adaptation the likes of which you've never seen. After overwhelming levels of fan requests for Fox's Ryan Reynolds-helmed Deadpool movie to become a reality, the studio finally recognized the potential of putting the 'Merc with a Mouth' on the big screen. Reynolds and co. had us wiping away tears of laughter at the Deadpool panel in San Diego last year, and with an R-Rating under its belt, this is looking likely to be the Deadpool movie we all hoped and dreamed that we would one day get.


Midnight Special - March 18th 2016

(Credit: Warner Bros.)

Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) directs a brilliant cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Michael Shannon, and Adam Driver in this alternative exploration of what it might be like to live with super powers. While Midnight Special may have a major sci-fi element to it, there's a lot to offer fans of action blockbusters with almost the entire movie to be played out in a chase format. Shannon plays the father of a gifted young boy who becomes subject to the attentions of an extreme religious sect on one side, and an elite government task force on the other. Should the boy's powers fall into the wrong hands, it could end in disaster for the entire planet.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant - March 18th 2016

(Credit: Lionsgate)

Allegiant may be the last book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series, but as is the way with Young Adult sci-fi adaptations, it's being stretched out to two movies, the first of which hits theaters in March. Following the events of last year's 'Insurgent', Tris and co. prepare to take their first trip beyond the wall in an attempt to put an end to the bloodshed in Chicago. Little do they know, they're about to step right into the middle of a battle that makes events from inside the wall look like a playground scuffle.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - March 25th 2016

(Credit: Warner Bros.)

Prepare yourselves. After a 3 year wait since 'Man of Steel' graced our screens, the DC Comics Cinematic Universe kicks off in earnest, uniting two of the biggest comic book heroes of all time for their first big screen team-up. While Henry Cavill returns as the Man of Steel, Batman v Superman will also see the debut of two new iterations of beloved DC Comics heroes, with Ben Affleck donning the Batsuit and Gal Gadot ushering in a new era of the Wonder Woman story. Much is riding on this movie, both for Warner Bros and for the fans of DC Comics, but with Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor Jr. looking every part the perfect villain, there's high hope that the DCEU will kick off its new generation of storytelling in the perfect way.


Criminal - April 15th 2016

Didn't get enough of Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool earlier this year? Have no fear, because the Canadian icon is back for another dose of Sci-Fi in Criminal. Reynolds is one of a number of big names in a cast that includes Alice Eve, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, and Batman v Superman's Gal Gadot. As good as the cast is, the premise is a predictable one. A dead CIA agent's memories and skills are implanted into the brain of a criminal on Death Row in an attempt to foil a diabolical plot.

Ratchet and Clank - April 29th 2016

(Credit: Focus Features)

The beloved titular heroes from Insomniac's video game series are getting their very own movie. James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: Clone Wars) voices Ratchet, the little fuzzball who dreams of one day becoming an heroic Galactic Ranger. The movie will serve as an origin story for Ratchet and his robotic companion, Clank (voiced by David Kaye), retelling the plot from the first game in the series, which shows us how the pair came together to help save the Galaxy from the evil Chairman Drek.


Captain America: Civil War - May 6th 2016

(Credit: Marvel)

Many moons ago, Warner Bros. and Marvel played out a tense game of 'release date chicken', with the former intending to release Batman v Superman on May 6th and Marvel coolly stating that they already had a movie planned for the same date. WB were the ones to blink first, opting to shift their release away from Marvel's then-untitled Captain America movie. Some months later, it became clear why that decision was taken, because the that untitled Captain America movie turned out to be Marvel's biggest project to date. Captain America: Civil War pits all but a handful of Marvel's heroes against each other as the world's governments attempt to place limitations on the way they wield their powers. Come May, it will be time to ask ourselves if we're on 'Team Cap' or 'Team Iron Man' as we witness one of the biggest battles the MCU has ever seen.

High-Rise - May 13th 2016

Tumblr's favorite Marvel villain plays a doctor who is seduced by the luxury of the upper class in this adaptation of J.G. Ballard's dystopian novel. Reviews have been positive-to-mixed, but mostly just plain baffled by this weird little movie, so it might be worth seeing for curiosity alone (and for the Hiddles, of course). 

The Lobster - May 13th 2016

The Jury Prize winner of the Cannes film festival stars Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz as two guests at a hotel in which you are required to find a romantic partner within 45 days or turn into the animal of your choice. It's sci-fi speed-dating on LSD. Despite the weird premise (or maybe because of it) The Lobster is an unexpected must-see.

X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27th 2016

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

The conclusion to a trilogy that started with X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Apocalypse will see one of the Marvel Universe's most feared villains hitting our screens. Though he may look worryingly like Ivan Ooze, Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse has enough power to pose the greatest threat the X-Men have ever seen. As well as Apocalypse, Simon Kinberg will also introduce new iterations of famed X-Men characters like Jean Grey (played by Sophie Turner), Jubilee (Lana Condor), and Archangel (Ben Hardy). The movie will also serve as Jennifer Lawrence's last X-Men appearance, but it's yet to be seen whether or not the ever-present Hugh Jackman will make an appearance ahead of his last spot in the X-Men franchise in 2017.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - June 3rd 2016

(Credit: Paramount)

It was hard to say anything positive about Jonathan Liebesman's 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, but it still made a reasonable sum at the box off (just under $500m globally), which means Hollywood has given its blessing to a sequel. Dave Green (Earth to Echo) replaces Liebesman as director, and Arrow star Stephen Amell joins the gang as classic cartoon hero, Casey Jones. But if that's not enough to get you jazzed for the sequel, rest assured that Paramount are throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at this movie to get fans of the franchise on board. Classic villains Bebop and Rocksteady featured heavily in the trailer, while we've just discovered that the villainous squid-brain, Krang, will also be making an appearance. 

Warcraft - June 10th 2016

The beloved video game gets an adaptation that looks like a confused, sloppy mess of CGI. Maybe we'll be surprised, but as of now we couldn't recommend it to anyone, especially WoW fans. 

Independence Day: Resurgence - June 24th 2016

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Roland Emmerich's Independence Day franchise is making a comeback, and while we were sceptical about a sequel being delivered 20 years after the original, having seen the first theatrical trailer, we have to say that it looks like a lot of fun. It's a shame Will Smith won't be returning, but securing the services of Jeff Goldblum is a big coup. As far as the plot goes, it's all reasonably straightforward: 20 years after their crushing defeat at the hands of us lowly Earthlings, the aliens are back with bigger, badder spaceships, and they want revenge. Too bad we've got Jeff Goldblum and dreamboat Liam Hemsworth on our side.


The Purge 3 - July 1st 2016

(Credit: Universal)

The Purge had an interesting story but was poorly executed, while the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, sacrificed plot for some neatly organized action. We're not sure these two lacklustre showings really warrant a third movie, but perhaps the filmmakers will learn from their prior mistakes. They've re-signed Frank Grillo, which is a start, but it remains to be seen whether or not the franchise still has anything else to offer.

Equals - July 1

Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult are star-crossed lovers in a dystopian world that has eradicated all emotion. The actors are wonderful in the film, but the sci-fi element relies far too heavily on YA cliches. Read our full review here

Cell - July 8

John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson star in this sci-fi thriller about a strange pulse transmitted through global cell phone networks that turns humans into rabid animals. As one of a handful of survivors, a New England artist embarks on a dangerous voyage to find his son and put an end to this technological plague.

Ghostbusters - July 15th 2016

(Credit: Columbia)

If you see something strange in your neighbourhood this year, don't bother calling Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd, because there's a new team of Ghostbusters coming to New York City. The new, all-female Ghostbusting team is packing some serious comic talent with SNL favorites Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones being joined by the hilarious Melissa McCarthy. Chris Hemsworth plays the Ghostbusters' secretary, Kevin, while the old guard will be represented in the form of cameos from original franchise stars Murray and Aykroyd. How will 2016 ghosts compare to their 1980's counterparts? Head to the theater in July to find out.

Star Trek Beyond - July 22nd 2016

(Credit: Paramount)

So what if JJ Abrams jumped ship to work on Star Wars? The Star Trek movie revival must continue, and fans will no doubt be hoping that director Justin Lin (Fast and Furious), and a screenwriting team that includes Simon Pegg and Roberto Orci can get the franchise back on track after the slightly disappointing effort of Into Darkness. Star Trek Beyond sees Chris Pine's Captain Kirk doing what he does best, which is getting the USS Enterprise destroyed by his enemies. Stranded on an alien planet, the crew of the Enterprise wind up in a conflict with a powerful new alien foe. Idris Elba will play the role of the movie's big bad, which should be enough for any self-respecting geek to get excited about.


Suicide Squad - August 5th 2016

(Credit: Warner Bros)

David Ayer's Superhero/villain ensemble movie might boast an insanely talented cast, but all the talk leading up to this movie has been about one person. As excited as we are to see Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and Will Smith's Deadshot, fans just can't stop talking about the prospect of seeing Jared Leto portraying DC Comics' most famous villain, The Joker. Numerous stories have emerged from the Suicide Squad set detailing Leto's admirable (crazy) method approach to playing the Crown Prince of Crime, but following in the footsteps of Heath Ledger's iconic performance is not going to be easy, and DC fans are unlikely to settle for anything but the best. Elsewhere, it's likely that Cara Delevingne's Enchantress will serve as the movie's initial baddy, but don't count out Viola Davis's Amanda Waller when it comes to delivering some serious menace to the plot. The Oscar winner has previously said that her version of the character would have even the mighty Superman quaking in his boots....

The Space Between Us - August 19th 2016
Described as a sci-fi take on Romeo and Juliet, The Space Between Us follows the first human to be born on Mars (Asa Butterfield) who, after being raised on a secret Red Planet colony, falls in love (via the Internet) with a girl from Colorado (Britt Robertson) and devises a plan to travel to Earth and meet her. Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino will anchor the young stars, while Peter Chelsom (Serendipity, Hector and the Search for Happiness) directs.

Spectral - August 22nd 2016

Emily Mortimer heads up a team of special ops soldiers who are dispatched to take on a force of supernatural beings. It's being dubbed as a Black Hawk Down meets Ghostbusters, which sounds interesting, I guess. It's being lined up to focus on 3D formats at the theaters, so it looks like the success of this one will ride mostly on its effects.

Max Steel - August 22nd 2016
Based on the line of action figures from Mattel, Max Steel follows Max McGrath and his alien companion Steel as they combine their newfound superpowers to become the titular hero. It might be good fun, but as of now it sounds too dumb for words.


Patient Zero - September 2nd 2016

(Credit: Screen Gems)

Who said the Zombie genre was dead? Patient Zero is here to ensure that the latter half of 2016 has a healthy dose of undead action with a new twist on the usual zombie apocalypse flick. With most of the world wiped out by a rapidly spreading virus, Matt Smith's character could offer the chance to save the human race. What's so special about him? He speaks the language of the infected, and sets about using his ability to track down the disease's origins and find a cure. Game of Thrones stars, Natalie Dormer and John Bradley, star alongside Stanley Tucci and Matt Smith's zombie-whisperer. 

Replicas - September 7th 2016

The Keanu revival continues in 2016 with Reeves reuniting with John Wick Executive Producer Stephen Hamel for Replicas, a sci-fi thriller about bringing folks back from the dead. Reeves plays a talented neuroscientist who becomes obsessed with reviving his family who died in car accident. The only problem is, if he's to be successful he'll have to battle some of the Government's top agents and (probably more importantly) the laws of science.



Doctor Strange - November 4th 2016

(Credit: Marvel)

We're ridiculously excited for this entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While origin stories are becoming somewhat worn out in the Comic Book Movie genre, Doctor Strange's story is one that has bundles of potential for big screen entertainment. Add in the fact that Marvel have secured Benedict Cumberbatch to play the charismatic Stephen Strange, and you've got yourself a Marvel movie that should really stand out from the crowd. As if that wasn't enough, Scott Derrickson's movie can also boast a supporting cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, and Mads Mikkelsen as the as-yet-unnamed big bad.

What Happened to Monday? - November 15th 2016
In a dystopian world where families are only one child, a group of identical septuplets find themselves being hunted by a shadowy organization who has already taken one of their group away from them. Noomi Rapace heads up the cast, with Willem Dafoe and Glenn Close also starring.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - December 16th 2016

(Credit: LucasFilm)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently ripping up box office record books across the globe, and while we may have to wait until 2017 to see the stories of Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren continued, 2016 will offer up a very different kind of Star Wars cinematic experience. Rogue One will be unlike any of its 7 big screen Star Wars predecessors in that it will likely be completely void of Jedi and Sith. Set before events of Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One will chart the exploits of the daring group of Rebel soldiers who risked their lives to steal the plans to the Imperial Death Star, helping the Rebellion to score a crucial victory against Emperor Palpatine's forces.

Passengers - December 21st 2016
What movie could possibly hope to match Star Wars at the box office? Well, how about a sci-fi blockbuster starring two of Hollywood's most in-form actors, helmed by an Oscar-nominated director. That's the prospect we have on our hands with Passengers, which is set to hit theaters just one week after the aforementioned Star Wars story. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) directs the blockbuster duo of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence who play two citizens embarking on a lengthy journey to a human colony on a distant planet. When one of the passengers is accidentally awoken from stasis too early, he struggles with the prospect of spending the next 60 years on a spacecraft with no company. Eventually, the lonely traveller decides (somewhat selfishly) to shake another passenger out of stasis, potentially dooming them both to death before they reach their destination.

The Great Wall

UPDATE - 04/26/16 05:43 pm

Moved to a February 17, 2017 release date in the US
This is likely to be more Fantasy than sci-fi, but this sounds like too much fun not to write about. Starring Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe, The Great Wall is a major US/Chinese production that adds a bit of mystery to the construction of China's most famous landmark. Set in the 15th century, The Great Wall follows a team of British explorers who discover the hasty construction of a huge wall that spans thousands of miles. It soon turns out that the wall isn't just to keep the Mongol raiders out, it's also there to defend against a horde of supernatural beings. 

Release Date TBC


(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

UPDATE - 04/26/16 05:43 pm

Fox has pushed the Gambit movie off its schedule, with a release date now likely in either 2017 or 2018.
Channing Tatum stars as the Louisiana-based card-slinging mutant in this latest expansion of Fox's X-Men universe. Gambit has never had much of a feature role in previous X-Men movies, but with Tatum on board and Jackman's Wolverine soon to be departing our screens for good, it could be that Remy LeBeau is being courted to anchor the new wave of X-Men stories. Of course, this is all just conjecture at this point, but if Tatum lives up to the promise of his talents, this could be far from a one-off picture.

Passage to Mars

(Credit: Jules Verne Adventures)

Passage to Mars will tell the story of an epic arctic expedition that was dubbed as the first Martian road-trip on Earth. As a six-person crew embarks on a month-long trip in an experimental vessel, their endeavour soon becomes a journey that will last for over two years. Zachary Quinto and Charlotte Rampling head-up the cast, which also includes NASA legend Buzz Aldrin.

The Circle
Emma Watson, John Boyega, and Tom Hanks deliver some serious star power to this adaptation of Dave Egger's best-selling novel. Principal photography on The Circle only started late last year, so we may have to wait until the fall of this year to see it in theaters.

Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) and Dominique Tipper (The Expanse) star in DxM, a story about a team of scientists who discover a way to transport human consciousness from one brain to another. But, of course, someone wants to use this new-found technique for less benevolent reasons than saving lives. The production is finished on this one, but it's still awaiting a US distributor.

The Blob
Samuel L. Jackson helms this modern-day take on a 1950's Sci-Fi/Horror classic, and presumably he's "had it with these monkey fighting space blobs on his plane".

Story of Your Life
When alien spacecraft land on Earth, a talented linguist is sent to investigate whether or not the mysterious beings come in peace. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner star in this adaptation of Ted Chiang's short story, and it's being directed by Sicario's Denis Villeneuve, who incidentally is slated to take on the sequel to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. This could be one to look out for.
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