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01.27.2016by: Paul Shirey

2016 Paramount Pictures Preview

This year, Paramount Pictures has some solid offerings, most of which consist of franchise sequels with a few original flicks tossed in for good measure. 2015 had Paramount pulling in $647.7 million with hits like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION bringing home the bacon and scoring some critical hits like ANOMOLISA and THE BIG SHORT. Of course, there was that unfortunate TERMINATOR: GENISYS business to contend with...

2016 has some more promising sequels, though, including follow ups to ZOOLANDER, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, JACK REACHER, THE RING, STAR TREK, and CLOVERFIELD, all of which are more enticing than more time traveling robots with Austrian accents. So, take a look at what Paramount has in store for you this year and let us know what YOU are most looking forward to from the studio.

Zoolander 2 (February 12th)

Ben Stiller returns to direct and star in the sequel to his 2001 sleeper, ZOOLANDER, bringing back his male model best bud Hansel (Owen Wilson) to once again take on returning fashion bad guy Mugatu (Will Ferrell). Joining the cast are a bevy of big-name stars and celebrities, including Kristen Wiig, Penelope Cruz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christine Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Olivia Munn, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Billy Zane, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato. Let's hope this one avoids the long-delayed sequel curse.

ZOOLANDER 2 opens on February 12th.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (March 4th)

Based on the memoir "Taliban Shuffle" by journalist Kim Barker, this "based on a true story" comedy stars Tina Fey as Barker, who recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2002. Joining Fey are Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, and Josh Charles in the Glenn Ficarra/John Requa directed flick. The trailer left a good impression, but the heavier undertones (i.e. war) don't always bring in the masses. It's a good change of pace for Fey, however, and could help her spread her wings a bit.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT opens on March 4th.

10 Cloverfield Lane (March 11th)

Surprise, surprise, J.J. Abrams has done it again! After keeping us guessing as to what 2008's CLOVERFIELD was all about, he's done it again with the sequel, which is helmed this time by Dan Trachtenberg and stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. in yet another mysterious tale that still hasn't revealed its full hand yet. It's an interesting surprise from Abrams and co. and has left us all wondering what it's all about, not to mention how closely it ties to the previous (possibly or possibly not related) film. We're definitely intrigued.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE opens on March 11th.

The Little Prince (March 18th)

Based on the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the first-ever animated feature of THE LITTLE PRINCE tells the story of a little girl who is transported to other worlds through the tales of her aviator neighbor. Balancing between digital and stop-motion animation the film has already enjoyed great success overseas and will now bow before U.S. audiences to see if it takes. Led by an impressive voice cast including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti, Mackenzie Foy, and Albert Brooks, it's certainly off to a good start.

THE LITTLE PRINCE opens on March 18th.

Rings (April 1st)

Director F. Javier Gutiérrez (BEFORE THE FALL) takes on the popular franchise of THE RING with this third entry in the series that resurrects the long-haired, soaking-wet ghost girl Samara to haunt audiences with VHS tapes, crawling out of TVs, and making people's faces look like they just watched an ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS marathon. The film stars Johnny Galecki, Alex Roe, Aimee Teegarden, and other "young Hollywood" kiddos that make up the demographic for these pics. You know what you're in for.

RINGS pops into screens on April 1st (I swear!).

Everybody Wants Some (April 15th)

After the massive success of BOYHOOD, director Richard Linklater is staying close to his roots with a psuedo sequel to both of his greatest hits: BOYHOOD and DAZED AND CONFUSED. Following a group of college students in their first year of college, including Zoey Deutch, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, and Blake Jenner, the film looks to recapture the fun and hijinks that typically accompany the coming-of-age genre, just in Linklater level resonance.

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME on April 15th.

Same Kind of Different as Me (April 29th)

Based on the book that trumpets itself as "A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together" the film tracks a homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) and an upscale art dealer (Greg Kinnear) whose lives intersect, causing them to reflect on their past, forming an unlikely bond. Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight, and Olivia Holt round out the cast in what sounds like a melodramatic affair with some strong performers.

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME opens on April 29th.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3rd)

After a successful first go with 2014's TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, the boys are back and this time they're bringing the kitchen sink of friends and foes from their cartoon/comic history, including the return of (a new) Shredder, Casey Jones, Baxter Stockman, April O'Neill, and of course fan favorites Rocksteady and Bebop (as well as a near guarantee of Krang popping in). Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Stephen Amell, Laura Linney, Tony Shalhoub, and Johnny Knoxville help make up the ever-growing cast to what looks to be a really fun sequel that focuses more on the creatures than the humans.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS swings into theaters on June 3rd.

Star Trek Beyond (July 22nd)

With J.J. Abrams off in a galaxy far, far away, the STAR TREK reins were picked up by FAST & FURIOUS helmer Justin Lin with star Simon Pegg (Scotty) helping to pen the script. Taking a more fun and adrenaline-fueled approach, the third entry in the newly rebooted series looks to harken back to the original show's roots with some off planet adventures and more indigenous alien co-stars. Although that "Beastie Boys-led" first trailer rubbed some the wrong way this still looks like a good time. All Enterprise cast members are returning, along with new additions Idris Elba as the big bad and Sofia Boutella as a mysterious alien warrior, so there's plenty to look forward to.

STAR TREK BEYOND beams into theaters on July 22nd.

Ben-Hur (August 12th)

Director Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED) brings his skills to re-tell author Lew Wallace's beloved classic, this time replacing Charlton Heston's Judah Ben-Hur with Boardwalk Empire's Jack Huston. The tale of a wealthy nobleman who is betrayed by his best friend and forced into slavery only to fight his way back for revenge has enjoyed a long stay as a film classic thanks to the 1959 version from director William Wyler. Rodrigo Santoro trades Xerxes for Jesus and Morgan Freeman lends his presence as well, which should help sweeten the deal. Can Bekmambetov temper his style to fit such a retelling or are we in for some "chariot curving" madness? We'll see.

BEN-HUR charges into theaters on August 12th.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (October 21st)

2012's JACK REACHER was a surprise hit and a slow burn for many, but has gained the reputation as a reputable thriller starring Tom Cruise in the titular role that adapts a popular series of novels by Lee Child. Christopher McQuarrie hands the directing duties over to Cruise's THE LAST SAMURAI director Ed Zwick for this outing, which brings Cruise's Reacher back to his old military base where he finds himself accused of a 16-year-old murder. THE AVENGERS' Cobie Smulders joins the fray, along with Patrick Heusinger as a villain known as The Hunter. If the sequel is half as fun as the original then we should be in for a good yarn. In Cruise we trust when it comes to action thrillers, though.

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK runs into theaters on October 21st.

Untitled Brad Pitt/Robert Zemeckis film (November 23rd)

Robert Zemeckis continues his ride back into live-action films with this WWII set romantic thriller that tracks an Allied counter-intelligence agent (Brad Pitt) falling in love with a French agent (Marion Cotillard) only to find out later that the woman he has married and had a baby with is likely a Nazi spy. Doesn't exactly sound like ROMANCING THE STONE, but Zemeckis is an accomplished filmmaker and we'll watch pretty much anything he does, even when it was just creepy mo-cap movies. Great cast and a great filmmaker should make this a good one.

UNTITLED Brad Pitt/Robert Zemeckis film (Just pick a name guys, c'mon) opens on November 23rd.

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