Sequels and prequels top next year's biggest movie releases

A visit to the cinema in 2017 will take audiences on a trip down memory lane as sequels, prequels and remakes pack the schedules.

Superheroes and comic book fare will continue to punctuate the year as Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman return in Justice League, Tom Holland tests his webs in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Hugh Jackman takes his final bow was Wolverine in Logan.

Chris Hemsworth will also swing his hammer again as he takes on Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Pratt returns as Star-Lord in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Gal Gadot finally steps into the spotlight in Wonder Woman.

Superheroes will even venture into the world of animation as The Lego Batman Movie aims to replicate the success of The Lego Movie in 2014.

Elsewhere in the world of animation, Steve Carell’s arch-villain Gru and the Minions will be back in Despicable Me 3 and Lightning McQueen will take a final glory lap in Pixar’s Cars 3.

Animation will also provide the inspiration for live action as Emma Watson stars opposite Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens in Beauty And The Beast and Scarlett Johansson stars a counter-terrorist cyborg in new version of Japanse manga Ghost In The Shell.

Long-awaited sequels to Trainspotting, Blade Runner and Flatliners will finally be unveiled, as will new thrills and scares in Annabelle 2 and World War Z 2.

There will also be familiar faces as Kate Beckinsale returns in Underworld: Blood Wars, Milla Jovovich wraps things up in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Johnny Depp resumes his role of Jack Sparrow in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge and Vin Diesel reprises two fan favourites in xXx: Return of Xander Cage and the eighth instalment of the Fast And The Furious franchise.

Audiences will also return to deep space in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant and be terrified afresh as a killer videotape resurfaces in Rings.

There will be remakes aplenty as Tom Cruise meets his match in Sofia Boutella’s decaying Egyptian princess in The Mummy, Pennywise the shape-shifting clown dances through nightmares in Stephen King’s It and hockey mask-clad maniac Jason Voorhees is resurrected in Friday The 13th.

The silver screen will also draw inspiration from the small screen as Power Rangers, Baywatch and CHiPs all get the multiplex treatment while Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot interrogates an all-star cast of suspects including Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer in Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express.

It won’t all be familiar fare though, as Matt Damon fronts a spectacular action adventure in The Great Wall, James McAvoy plays a creepy kidnapper with 23 distinct personalities in Split, written and directed by M Night Shyamalan, and an inquisitive company executive played by Dane DeHaan unearths dark secrets at a health spa in Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness

Also hoping to draw attention away from old favourites will be Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer’s mother and daughter comedy Snatched, and Ben Wheatley’s arms trade shoot-out Free Fire, as well as Christopher Nolan’s epic about the evacuation of Allied soldiers from French beaches in 1940 in Dunkirk.

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