People tend to complain about there being a lack of original films in theatres and their numbers decreasing with every year. There was even a chart floating around not too long ago backing up the fact that original films have taken a nose dive in recent years.
With the advent of franchises and film universes, adaptations of popular works, sequels, prequels, midquels, sidequels and the like, and the [almost] guaranteed millions that they will make at the box office, it’s hard to get an original film project off of the ground. But some filmmakers have managed to do just that! Those are the films that are being highlighted in this list.
We’re qualifying an original film as one which is not based on a pre-existing work (novel, comic, game, anime, film, song, etc – no remakes or reboots) and is not one of the several “-quels” that exists. It can be based on a true story and can be part of an anthology (like God Particle, which was going to be part of this list but got its date pushed back).
Here are 10 original films that will be arriving in theatres this winter (January to March).
For the TL;DR version of this list, watch the video above.
Proud Mary – January 12th
Written by: John S. Newman and Christian Swegal.
Directed by: Babak Najafi.
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Danny Glover, Neal McDonough, Xander Berkeley and Margaret Avery.
Synopsis: Taraji P. Henson is Mary, a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad. – Sony Pictures.
Saturday Church – January 12th
Written and Directed by: Damon Cardasis.
Starring: Luka Kain, Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor, Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore.
Synopsis: A 14 year-old-boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process. – IMDB.
The Post – January 12th
Written by: Liz Hannah and Josh Singer.
Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood and Matthew Rhys.
Synopsis: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government. – IMDB.
Please Stand By – January 26th
Written by: Michael Golamco.
Directed by: Ben Lewin.
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Toni Collette, Alice Eve and Patton Oswalt.
Synopsis: Dakota Fanning stars as a woman who escapes a group home hoping to get her Star Trek script produced in Hollywood. On the way she must conquer a new world full of challenges. Also starring Toni Collette, Alice Eve and Patton Oswalt. – Official Website.
Winchester – February 2nd
Written and Directed by: The Spierig Brothers.
Starring: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook and Angus Sampson.
Synopsis: Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester, (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren) heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman’s madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the brilliant Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters… – Official Website.
Early Man – February 16th
Written by: Mark Burton and John O’Farrell.
Directed by: Nick Park.
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams and Timothy Spall.
Synopsis: Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of how plucky caveman Dug, along with sidekick Hognob, unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game. Early Man unleashes an unforgettable cast of hilarious new characters and marks Nick Park’s first feature film since Academy Award™ winning Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. – Official Website.
Gringo – March 9th
Written by: Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone.
Directed by: Nash Edgerton.
Starring: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Thandie Newton and Sharlto Copley.
Synopsis: GRINGO, a dark comedy mixed with white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal. – Amazon.
Thoroughbreds – March 9th
Written and Directed by: Cory Finley.
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks and Francie Swift.
Synopsis: Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost. – IMDB.
Isle of Dogs – March 23rd
Written and Directed by: Wes Anderson.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Kunichi Nomura, Ken Watanabe, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance, Fisher Stevens, Nijiro Murakami, Harvey Keitel, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Bob Balaban, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, F. Murray Abraham, Yojiro Noda, Mari Natsuki, Yoko Ono and Frank Wood.
Synopsis: Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog. – IMDB.
Acrimony – March 30th
Written and Directed by: Tyler Perry.
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Tika Sumpter and Crystle Stewart.
Synopsis: A faithful wife (Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson) tired of standing by her devious husband is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. – Official Website.