2016 had its up and its downs, but if it had nothing else, the year at least had some amazing media; from new and returning television and music artists to movies to all of the game changers in different mediums. We can only hope that 2017 is able to deliver in these departments as well. So, we decided to compile a list of things that are currently planned to be released this year that we’re excited about!
Note: These lists are in no particular order and are not completed lists (for in case we get some surprise Beyonce drops from someone who knows…) Some dates may be subject to change.
2017 in Music
noname’s Telefone tour
After the release of her debut mixtape, Telefone, Chicago-based artist noname is set to kick off her North American headlining tour (featuring Chicago-based artist Rayvn Lenae) this month with her first stop on January 14th in Madison, WI. Telefone is available on all streaming platforms. Check out tour dates and where to get tickets here.
“I can’t stress how much I’d recommend noname. Her lyrical brilliance is on a whole different level. You’ve probably heard of her, she’s been mentioned by quite a few online blogs and magazines giving her rave reviews on her dope mixtape and if not from online blogs and magazines, if you listened to Chance the Rappers Coloring Book you’ve already gotten a taste of her work. I’ve joked a few times on Twitter that my life is currently me just waiting for her to announce her Chicago tour date, that’s because it’s 100% accurate. (P.S. noname if you’re reading this please drop the Chicago tour date).” – Brie
Bridgit Mendler on tour w/ Powers
Returning back to music, Bridgit Mendler is set to be a guest with the group Powers as they headline the Nylon Music Tour this year. Check out tour dates and where to get tickets here.
“Anyone that knows me knows that I was waiting for Bridgit’s comeback since immediately after Hello, My Name Is… She released her latest EP, Nemesis, in November of 2016 and it does such a strong job of showing how much Bridgit has grown as an artist and a person, while also still holding a familiar voice to her previous music. I’m so excited to see Bridgit grow more as an artist and see her release more music, but I’m also excited to hopefully get to see her in concert when she comes to Chicago this Spring.” – Brie
The Aly & AJ 2017 Comeback
Not a lot has been said about this project, but Aly & AJ have been giving music updates for their 10 song EP, they recently shared with Naked Magazine.
“Aly & AJ were the original teen pop queens of my childhood. To this day I could probably recite word for word their Into the Rush album and maybe even their Insomniatic album. That said, I can’t wait to see the direction of their new music and see how the two of them have grown and developed as artists. If you have not heard Aly & AJ yet, please get on that I promise you, your life will never be the same in a good way.” – Brie
Laura Marano’s Debut Album
Laura Marano had a pretty awesome 2016 with the release of her first single “Boombox” and her follow-up “La La.” She performed on stuff including the RDMAs, she hosted stuff including Miss America 2016, and she walked the red carpet of stuff including the MTV Music Awards. All before the release of her debut album.
“Laura getting closer and closer to releasing her debut album feels almost like seeing a friend accomplishing their dreams/goals. I haven’t heard as much of her new stuff as fans that have gotten to see her in concert, but it’s always exciting to see someone finding their voice, being comfortable in their voice, and taking control of that which is what it feels like Laura is getting to do/striving to do with her upcoming stuff. I’ve heard so much good stuff about the other songs she’s performed for fans so here’s to getting to see/listen to this new chapter in Laura’s life.” – Brie
“Laura’s debut album has been a long time coming and quite literally years in the making. Fans got a glimpse at her sound with the releases of Boombox and La La, both providing the solid foundation of Laura’s pop-perfect vocals. Her voice is soft enough to grab a touch of indie and hard enough to grab a touch of indie and hard enough to give her the control over where she goes rather than be forced into something. Improvement is something she worked on since first real song ‘Words’ and a few other songs on her Soundcloud years back and she’s shown over the past year just how much her hard work has paid off. With a new year just beginning and Laura teasing about what’s to come, one can only hope that finally means her album. Sign me up.” – Mary
2017 in Movies
The film is based on the true story of a team of African-American women who do the, what seems, impossible and provide NASA with the necessary mathematical data for the first successful space missions. In select theaters now, in theaters everywhere January 5, 2017.
“Okay, listen folks, I haven’t seen it yet but it literally has ALL of my favorite things; Black Girl Magic (literally sending people to space because they’re so talented), Janelle Monae (‘I want to be Janelle Monae when I grow up’ – I say at the age of 20), Taraji P Henson (who I want to adopt to be my auntie, very badly), Octavia Spencer (who I also want to adopt to be my auntie), and women, especially women of color shattering glass ceilings especially in STEM (yeah, I’m a writer, I’m also a math nerd so I live for women in STEM). But on a more serious note, just like a lot of people, the story of these three amazing African American women was not taught to me in school when learning about the 1969 Moon Landing or the Civil Rights Movement so to see their achievements being told and appreciated means so many things to me and other black girls/women. Hidden Figures is relevant in a lot of ways, some frustrating (like the fact that black women still have to fight for their dues) and some empowering (black women not only excelling but excelling together, thus shine theory). Hopefully, this movie not only gets this story included in class curriculums but that this movie helps include women (especially women of color and black women) in the sequel. Also, one of my 2016 highlights is definitely getting to interview Saniyya Sidney about getting to play Taraji P. Henson’s daughter in the movie.” – Brie
“This film has been on my need-to-watch list since the very first trailer came out so long ago. While the film opened to limited theaters starting Christmas, it’s officially released on January 5, 2017. There are many reasons that this film is so important and to see the stories of three brilliant minds at NASA, who seemed to be brushed aside and forgotten, at the forefront of a sure to be mega-hit is outstandingly wonderful. This is sure to be a must-see!!” – Mary
A spin-off of the 2014 animated movie, The LEGO Movie about Batman (Will Arnet) as he comes to terms with his lonely life while also fighting crime. Out February 10, 2017.
“Look, The LEGO Movie is arguably an iconic, cinematic masterpiece that was snubbed at the Oscars the year it qualified. Starting off with that very heavy opinion, I’m really excited about LEGO Batman. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been more excited about a secondary character spinoff as I am about this and a lot of it has to do with the trailer which is hilarious, but you can also tell it has heart, and also because let’s be real; Batman had some of the best lines in The LEGO Movie. There are times when movies and shows that spin-off with a funny side character tend to lack something, rather it’s the ability to carry an entire story from the perspective of a side character or it relies too much on the original work that it has nothing to offer. But so far, I really don’t think that’s the case with this movie.” – Brie
Beauty and the Beast
A live-action adaptation of the beloved animated movie, Beauty and the Beast focuses on Belle (Emma Watson), a young woman who dreams of so much more than the provincial life she’s living in, when she is held captive by a Beast to free her father. In theaters March 17, 2017.
“This film has me torn in a lot of ways. The released snippet of Emma singing doesn’t have me thrilled, once again I’m anxious about her acting, the idea of the amount of CGI used has me nervous, and Ewan Mcgregor should have been allowed to stick with the first French accent he tried to go with. Despite all this, I have this on my personal 2017 list because of pure curiosity. As a big fan of both Maleficent and Cinderella, my expectation coming into BATB is more of an, ‘expect the worst, hope for the best.’ There’s no solid footing on how I feel regarding it but I’ll give it a chance. And to be honest, I really want to see how they handle, ‘Be Our Guest.’” – Mary
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2
Not much has been said about the sequel to the hit movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, but so far, what we can probably safely say is that the Guardians of the Galaxy grow more as a space family while helping Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) learn more about his biological family. In theaters May 5, 2017
“The three main things I’m excited about with this movie are 1. Gamora (Zoe Saldana), 2. Baby Groot, and 3. The soundtrack which is hopefully on par, if not, better than Vol 1. Outside of those things, I’m still excited about the movie, but I’m also a little nervous because I really hope it isn’t Peter and Gamora heavy (do they have a ship name?). I loved their dynamic in the first movie and I wouldn’t be against the two moving more towards a romantic dynamic, but there’s just something about watching the trailer(s) and seeing them inch (or push) towards Peter and Gamora that feels almost like when you’re watching someone play a game of Jenga and they pull a piece from the bottom . Hopefully, they cleverly succeed.” – Brie
Sequel to Prometheus, the first in the Alien prequel series, the crew of the colony ship Covenant is quick to discover that the seemingly perfect paradise is actually anything but. In theaters May 19, 2017.
“Although Prometheus slipped under my radar when it came out (how I will never know), the second film of the prequel series is here to bring the thrills and hills. Even the short few seconds of the spine expanding and bursting sends a shiver down my back while simultaneously recalling the baby alien bursting from a chest in the original film. With interesting new characters coming along and David back again, it’s a film that seems to promise edge-of-the-seat suspense and thrills.” – Mary
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
In the new installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Captain Jack Sparrow is on the search for the Trident of Poseidon while Capitán Salazar goes on the search to kill every pirate in the sea. In theaters May 26, 2017
“Parentage theories seem to be my thing. But as much as I loved Jack Sparrow in the first three, I’m more focused on seeing Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan/Turner again (though Elizabeth is only briefly) with their possible (DEFINITE) son Henry. Pirate adventures movies, especially these released by Disney, have always been fun and Orlando Bloom as Will constantly made me swoon since I was younger. I’m hype.” – Mary
Now mentored by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to balance the ups and downs of being an ordinary high schooler by day and a crime-fighting superhero by night. In theaters July 7, 2017
“I usually hate when people, especially reviewers, start something off with, ‘I’ll be honest I went into this thinking I was going to HATE it but turns out it was actually good! Wow! Go figure!’ Now that I’ve called myself out, I was super iffy about another Spider-Man reboot when it was first announced. Not because I thought the others were bad…the opposite actually, it’s because I thought they were good. But also because I was really hoping that the money would go towards making an inclusive, female-led superhero movie. But then, Marvel announced that they booked Zendaya and I was sold right then and there. Then, I saw Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War and immediately left the theater wishing I was about to walk into another theater to see Spider-Man: Homecoming at that very moment. And when more of the cast was announced, including Donald Glover (Atlanta) and Tony Revolori (Dope), I’m so ridiculously excited that we’re getting so close to, not just the release of the movie, but the press with this cast. Sidenote: I may not have gotten my inclusive, female-led superhero movie, but shoutout to the fact that the movie is inclusive with multiple people of color.” – Brie
Favored heroes of the DC Universe join together to defeat a common villain. In theaters on November 17, 2017.
“DC has lacked recently with some of their films. Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad left most of us with secondhand embarrassment at a number of points. With that being said, to see DC try its hand at a larger, more inclusive movie with its superheroes is interesting. So far, the track record hasn’t been smooth sailing but the first trailer alone had people putting their faith back into the DCEU. With The Flash already making laughs from highs thirst seconds in the trailer and Wonder Woman looking awesome and just ready to do it all herself, it’s hard not to get excited. Where precious DCEU films (since The Dark Knight trilogy) has failed remarkably with characterization, development, and/or script, the hype around Justice League is seeming to restore damaged faith that was placed in WB. Time will only tell if we’re all fools once more.” – Mary
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Picking up right where The Force Awakens ended, this eighth episodic film will bring fans deeper into the Star Wars universe, expand the new group of characters we’ve been introduced to, and hopefully bring about old favorites. In theaters December 15, 2017.
“Out of all of the Star Wars I’ve seen, or remember seeing I should say, The Force Awakens is actually my favorite one. I’m not super invested in the Star Wars universe, that said, I am one hundred and one percent a part of the group of people that believes Rey is a Skywalker. I’m here for you all and I feel you all. So with this movie, I’m most excited to see Carrie Fisher being the Princess/Queen/General that she was/is, Rey (Skywalker), Finn, BB8, and Rey hanging out with her dad who is absolutely Luke Skywalker.” – Brie
“As with most things involving Star Wars, not much is known regarding VIII. Fans are highly anticipating the return of Luke as Well as finding out which parentage theory surrounding Rey is right and which is wrong (Honestly, it’s gotta be Rey Skywalker otherwise so much in TFA feels ruined/messed up but that’s more discourse for a different time). Even in VII, audiences were hoping to see a reunion amongst the original trio. While that is assuredly not happening because of Han, there is a deep desire and hope that Luke and Leila got to reconnect in this upcoming film, especially after the heartbreaking passing of Carrie Fisher. Rian Johnson has seemed to be a promising candidate for continuing the series. But really, it’s Star Wars. Is there really a need for an explanation beyond that? Until December rolls around, may the force be with us.” – Mary