With the 2015 retrospectives all wrapped up, it’s time to look ahead to the biggest stories (we hope) of 2016.
There’s nothing quite like the start of a new year in fandom, when anything could happen. Last year I wished upon a star for some fandom good news and then some of my wishes actually came true. From Spider-Man’s move to Marvel to a Gilmore Girls revival and even the exact headline of our Star Wars: The Force Awakens review, I’m starting to think there’s something to these psychic abilities people speak of.
With that in mind, it’s time to predict what some of the best 2016 headlines could be and why they are actually possible. And you’re welcome, in advance, when they do actually come true.
Why it’s feasible: Who could have predicted that a theme park celebrating the murdering of children and exploitation of the underprivileged population for the benefit of an affluent minority wouldn’t be received well? (Everyone. We all predicted it.) Lionsgate have spoken about their plans to expand the Hunger Games franchise, but with the lacklustre reception of Mockingjay, Part 2 by some fans and the outraged response to their planned theme parks, they might be reconsidering their plans to, you know, essentially become the Capitol. We can only hope, because this is the worst idea they have ever had.
Why it’s feasible: Lionsgate may have misstepped with the Hunger Games theme park but there are still a lot of fans (us included) who would like to see more of the Hunger Games on film — luckily, so too does Lionsgate. We expect to hear movement on this front while the Mockingjay, Part 2 momentum remains, and Finnick’s Hunger Games would be the obvious choice (we’ve already planned out how a Finnick trilogy could work, so Lionsgate — call us). Author Suzanne Collins implied in a recent open letter that the Hunger Games books were finished, but we’re hoping further films give her an opportunity to continue to shape this franchise.
Why it’s feasible: Fan excitement is at peak levels for the Harry Potter sequel, but we are all less excited by the fact that you have to get to London to see it (and then buy two theater tickets). J.K. Rowling has always been so conscious of her fans, so it would make sense for her to announce next year around the premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that both parts of the show are being recorded and then broadcast in cinemas worldwide. And it just wouldn’t be a Harry Potter film without midnight screenings.
Why it’s feasible: This was on my list last year and it’s going to be on my list for as long as it has to be, because this will be my hill to die on. The Russo brothers have done more to advance Natasha’s character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in what we’ve seen so far of Captain America: Civil War than the rest of the Marvel films combined. Now that they control the creative direction of Marvel Phase Three it would be the perfect time to (finally) introduce a new, solo Black Widow film, for which they could lay the groundwork in Civil War.
Why it’s feasible: Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already done a lot to modernise this classic franchise in the casting of a diverse main trio. What is still missing however is an LGBT character, and given some of Isaac’s comments during the press tour, we wouldn’t be surprised if he revealed this backstory for Poe. You can read more in our character study of Poe Dameron.
Why it’s feasible: With Academy-award-winner Eddie Redmayne in the starring role, most of the Harry Potter team behind the scenes, and J.K. Rowling as the freaking screenwriter, at this point it’s hard to believe how Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them could go wrong. The trailer has us all kinds of excited, and we are hoping that this trend continues and the Harry Potter (sort of) prequel brings back that J.K. Rowling magic when released in November 2016.
Why it’s feasible: Hamilton, the broadway musical that tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through rap and hip-hop, has been the breakout fandom of the year. The problem is it’s such a hit that it’s now almost impossible to get tickets (and it’s in New York City), so many of us have only experienced the show through the cast album. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has already expressed interest in filming the show with the current cast, and hopefully he will take that one step further and screen the show in cinemas for fans who otherwise will have no opportunity to see Hamilton.
Why it’s feasible: Everything has looked good so far for Deadpool but they’ve ruined this character before, so we won’t be totally satisfied until we have seen the film. Still, this headline seems like a pretty safe bet.
Why it’s feasible: Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat has hinted recently that he might be looking to make a move from Doctor Who. When he does, possibly in the next year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a change of direction in the show beginning with the casting of a new Doctor.
Why it’s feasible: Honestly, this is the story we are always hoping for. With both The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts premiering in 2016, now would be the time for J.K. Rowling to announce that she was working on novelisations of these stories. After all, books are another great way to make sure all fans get to experience these Harry Potter spinoffs. The Wizarding World started out on the page; it only seems fitting that it ends up back there in some form.