OUTSIDE it’s cold and dark. Never has a night in front of the box – or snuggled down in a cinema seat with a box of popcorn – seemed so appealing. But what awaits us next year? With the entertainment industry seemingly in near meltdown, do we need to prepare for film and television Armageddon? As the twinkling Christmas highlights fade from our screens, will be find ourself off air in some kind of television doomsday scenario?

Fear not. Sexual harassment scandals may continue to break in waves across the industry, but meanwhile some outstanding film and television has been produced. With television still enjoying a golden age of storytelling on channels from Amazon, Netflix and new kid on the block Hulu to traditional broadcasters like BBC and Channel Four – along with an increasing number of exciting collaborations between old and new broadcasters – 2018’s crop of mini-series look in fine fettle. Next year’s film releases meanwhile offer a the whole gamut of emotions from fear to feel good and are packed full of big names. Here’s our round-up of what to look out for:

TV

Britannia, Sky Atlantic/Amazon Prime

This spectacular looking 10-part drama series – set in 43 A.D and starring Kelly Reilly, Zoë Wanamaker and David Morrissey – takes on the Roman invasion of what would become the British Isles. The first co-production between Sky and Amazon Prime Video, it follows ancient Rome’s conquest of the Celts in the British Isles – “a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the powerful forces of the underworld”. Celtic rivals Kerra and Antedia must work together to fight off the Roman invasion led by Aulus Plautius, which sounds like tough work. Meanwhile all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the lush landscapes, epic battle scenes and an array of fairly creepy looking characters.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,Netflix

This is the year that will see the Coen Brothers,Ethel and Joel, turn to streaming. Their first project for Netflix is a Western anthology featuring six tales about the American frontier. Each chapter will feature a different story about the American West, stars Tim Blake Nelson as Buster, and is sure to be simply oozing with style.

Kiri, Channel 4 and Hulu

Kiri is a dark, four part thriller by Jack Thorne,the writer behind National Treasure and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and starring Bafta-winning actor Sarah Lancashire. It deals with the abduction and murder of a young black girl, soon to be adopted by her white foster family, and the trail of lies, blame and guilt which come to the light in the wake of tragedy.

Troy: the Fall of a City, BBC and Netflix

Shameless star David Threlfall and The Missing’s Frances O’Connor lead the cast as the ancient King Priam of Troy and his wife Hecuba, in the BBC1 series created by The Night Manager writer David Farr. Told from the perspective of the Trojan royal family at the heart of the siege, this is rich story of love, intrigue, betrayal and belonging amid the devastation and destruction of war.

Killing Eve, BBC America

An eight-part thriller written by hugely talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways) and Jodie Comer (The White Princess, Thirteen) as a psychopathic assassin and the woman charged with hunting her down. It will premiere on BBC America next year and hopefully come to our side of the pond soon after.

Press

Press is set in the world of newspapers – its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24 hour news cycle, its future uncertain. Created by Mike Bartlett’s (Doctor Foster, King Charles III), it stars Charlotte Riley as the deputy news editor of fictional broadsheet, ahem, The Herald. Honest, it has nothing to do with us.

Maniac, Netflix

This dark-comedy television series in ten parts by Cary Fukunaga, stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone is a remake of a Norwegian dark-comedy series about an institutionalized man who lives a fantasy life in his dreams.

Castle Rock, Hulu

The trailer for this Stephen King-inspired show and is practically dripping in dread. The stories piece together the horror writer’s interconnected worlds but the whole thing is firmly set in the familiar location of Castle Rock, where many of his creepy stories are based. Prepare to find yourself on the edge of your seat.

Good Omens, Amazon Prime Video and BBC studios

This adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel titled “Good Omens” has been re-written as a six-episode limited series by Gainman himself and will be released in the same year as its fictional Apocalypse is due, with “final judgement” expected to rain down on all humanity. Given events of 2017 it may sound like a documentary but we are assured its fiction.

Collateral, BBC

Collateral is a gripping, high-octane thriller set in present day London, from pre-eminent playwright David Hare and starring Academy-Award nominee Carey Mulligan (An Education, The Great Gatsby, Suffragette). It’s set over the course of four days (in four parts) and explores the spiralling repercussions surrounding the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery man.

Films

Black Panther, Marvel Studios

So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken audiences to Earth, Asgard and all around the Galaxy. Next up is the secluded African nation of Wakanda, rich with vibranium and home to cutting-edge technology. Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Aaron Boseman, it is a different type of Marvel movie according to producers, and a long overdue move away from its almost exclusively white world.

Release: 9 February, 2018

Red Sparrow, 20th Century Fox

This spy thriller stars Jennifer Lawrence as prima ballerina Dominika Egorova who faces a bleak and uncertain future after she suffers an injury that ends her career. So she turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons and meets CIA agent Nathaniel Nash –played by Joel Edgerton. When he tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust, her loyalty is tested. With high end production values and all the right elements of escapism it looks like a sure fire hit.

Released on March 2, 2018.

Isle of Dogs, Indian Paintbrush

It is Wes Anderson’s first film since the fabulous visual feast Grand Budapest Hotel, nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. This time the setting is a dystopian future Japan where dogs have been banished to a island made of garbage, following the outbreak of canine flu. The film utilises the same stop-motion animation seen in Anderson’s 2009 Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr Fox and there’s no denying that a voice cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Yoko Ono amongst others showcases talent of gargantuan proportions. The criticism levelled at it for hiring mostly white Americans despite the Japanese settings does feel legit though.

Released: 20 March, 2018

Ready Player One, Warner Brothers

It’s dystopia all way for this sci-fi film based on the novel by Ernest Cline, set in 2044 and directed by Steven Spielberg. It follows protagonist Wade Watts – played by Tye Sheridan – who like the rest of his “missing millions generations” enters a virtual reality game in hope of inheriting a fortune in a world wrecked by an energy crisis.

Release: March, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War, Walt Disney

If you’re looking for big, daft, American superhero-ness this is the film for you. Based on Marvel Comics and starring Robert Downey Junior this time the Avengers unite with the Guardians of the Galaxy to defeat Thanos who is trying to do bad things that threaten reality. This will not threaten yours but it’ll be fun.

Release: 27 April, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars story, Walt Disney

Another one for big kids, the plot of this “space Western” is centered on a young Han Solo –Alden Ehrenreich – the roguish smuggler who later meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars and charts his adventures with his loveable Wookiee partner Chewbacca. Following Rogue One, which came out last year, this prequel is the second stand alone film from the Star Wars stable.

Release: May 2018

Ocean’s Eight, Warner Brothers

Ignore the haters. What’s not to love about an all-female remake, especially when it stars high calibre actors including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway? This offers a new twist on the compelling heist that gave the original its true feel-good factor.

Released: 8 June, 2018

The Incredibles, Pixar

We have waited more than 13 years since the original but finally the Incredibles 2 – featuring the animated “Super family” the Parrs – is due to land. This film will focus on Helen Parr (Holly Hunter), also known as Elastigirl, while her husband Bob (Craig T. Nelson) remains at home to watch their children Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Jack-Jack. There are new adventures, a new super villain and a super sinister plot. Director Brad Bird famously said he would only release part two if he could come with an even better plot than the original, so we’re expecting a lot.

Released: 15 June, 2018

The House with a Clock in its Walls, Universal Pictures

A spooky gothic horror directed by Eli Roth, this literary adaption starring Cate Blanchett, Jack Black and Kyle MacLachlan amongst others, tells the tale of a young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt, who aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world. It’s a feast of warlocks, sorcery and magic.

Release: 21 September, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns, Walt Disney

In depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by Mary Poppins, played by Emily Blunt and just as enigmatic as ever, following a personal loss. By sprinkling some of her much-loved magic she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.Yes, there are songs aplenty…and it’s out just in time for Christmas next year. With luck it’ll be practically perfect in every way.

Release: December 2018

Written by : Karin Goodwin

Taken from : http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15684325.The_best_film_and_TV_in_2018__Comic_book_comedies__gothic_horrors__dark_dramas__classic_remakes___and_a_space_Western/

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