Top 12 Upcoming Sci-Fi Films of 2018

As the holidays mutate into the festive new year, the Grue-Crew begin to take a look at the genre films in store for us in the coming year. And 2018 looks very promising. Breaking up the selections into three categories, the Grue-Crew take a look at the Horror Films, Genre Films (Sci-Fi/Fantasy), and Superhero Films in our near future. The article below is about the Top 12 Upcoming Sci-Fy / Fantasy Films. Look for future articles with the Horror and Superhero Films soon. Of course, the dates included below can (and, in some cases, likely will) change before they are released. So, read below and get excited, there  is  some fascinating films heading our way. The below are presented in order of release date as known on 12/29/2017.

1) God Particle

Release Date: 2/2/2018 – Director: Julius Onah – Writer: Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Cast:  Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Little is known about this rumored third entry in the Cloverfield films. As of this writing, there has been no trailer or images or marketing. But, remember, a few years back, we knew very little about 10 Cloverfield Lane until weeks before its release. It is par for the course for J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot to withhold information to generate buzz with rabid curiosity instead. The film could easily get moved to later in the year, it could even get a revised title by the time the film lands in local theaters. What we do know is Julius Onah directs from a script by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung and the cast includes  Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Ziyi Zhang, and John Ortiz. The synopsis involves scientists on a space station discovering a horrible secret via a particle accelerator. Maybe we find out in February, maybe we don’t. Time will tell.

2) Annihilation

Release Date: 2/23/2018 – Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac

In 2014, director Alex Garland wowed the Grue-Crew with Ex Machina. He returns in February with another potential heady sci-fi epic called Annihilation adapted (by Garland) from a novel by Jeff VanderMeer. The cast includes Natalie Portman as a biologist in search of her husband, Oscar Isaac, who is lost in an unnatural bubble where the laws of nature no longer apply.   Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Benedict Wong co-star. The trailers have been bizarre promising a surreal landscape and unimaginable monsters. But news from the director himself suggests he worries that audiences may not be ready for the more provocative story elements. Regardless, the Grue-Crew are excited to catch Annihilation this Winter.

3) A Wrinkle in Time

Release Date: 3/9/2018 – Director: Ava DuVernay – Writer: Jennifer Lee
Cast:  Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

A bit far out of the usual Gruesome Magazine and Horror News Radio realm of coverage, A Wrinkle in Time looks to be solid Sci-Fi YA fare. The cast is phenomenal, in  a Hollywood sense, with Oprah Winfrey (as Mrs. Which), Reese Witherspoon (as Mrs. Whatsit), and Mindy Kaling (as Mrs. Who) portraying three mystical beings from a world outside of time and space. It appears they have Zach Galifianakis at their side as The Happy Medium. Storm Reid stars alongside Deric McCabe and Levi Miller as three teens who venture into the unknown in search of their missing father played by Chris Pine. Based on the 1962 novel by author Madeleine L’Engle and released by Walt Disney Pictures this March, A Wrinkle in Time promises to be a spectacular time in the theaters for science fantasy adventure fans.

4) Tomb Raider

Release Date: 3/16/2018 – Director: Roar Uthaug – Writer: Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins

Actress Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) replaces Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the upcoming reboot of Tomb Raider. Dominic West portrays her father Lord Richard Croft and Walton Goggins is the villain Mathias Vogel. Nick Frost, Daniel Wu, and Hannah John-Kamen co-star. Roar Uthaug, the talent behind the Norwegian films Cold Prey (Fritt Vilt) and The Wave,   directs from a script by  Geneva Robertson-Dworet (the upcoming Captain Marvel film) and Alastair Siddons (Trespass Against Us). The trailers suggest capturing the spirit of the game that inspired the film with Lara Croft as a fierce 21-year-old on an adventure to find her father’s legacy.

5) Pacific Rim: Uprising

Release Date: 3/23/2018 – Director: Steven S. DeKnight – Writer: Travis Beacham, T.S.Nowlin, Kira Snyder, and Emily Carmichael
Cast: John Boyega, Tian Jing, Scott Eastwood

A follow up to Guillermo del Toro’s Kaiju epic, Pacific Rim: Uprising finds writer Steven S. DeKnight stepping into the director’s seat. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Tian Jing (Kong: Skull Island), and Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad) pilot the Jaegers this go around with Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman reprising their roles from Pacific Rim (2013). The Kaiju threat returns and Boyega’s Jake Pentecost (son of Idris Elba’s General Stacker Pentecost) is ready… but, be certain, the Kaiju have some surprises up their sleeves. Monster mayhem ensues!

6) Ready Player One

Release Date: 3/30/2018 – Director: Steven Spielberg – Writer: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Hannah John-Kamen, Ben Mendelsohn

Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg helms the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s popular 2011 novel Ready Player One set in the dystopian near future where the world comes alive in a virtual reality known as the OASIS. Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke lead the cast as Parzival (Wade) and Art3mis (Samantha). When the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, he reveals there is a hidden Easter Egg in the game and to whoever finds it first goes his entire fortune – and control of the OASIS as well. Ben Mendelsohn stars as Nolan Sorrento head of corporate giant Innovative Online Industries who wants the OASIS for themselves. Let the hunt begin! The trailers thus far have revealed tons of fun cameos from various properties even including Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Chucky from Child’s Play, the Delorean from Back to the Future, the Iron Giant, and King Kong.

7) Rampage

Release Date: 4/20/2018 – Director: Brad Peyton – Writer: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse. Ryan Condal, Adam Sztykiel
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello

The Rock faces down Negan himself (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in a kaiju influenced adaptation of a popular video game in Rampage. Dwayne Johnson also reteams up with his San Andreas / Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton. In the film, Johnson as primatologist Davis Okoye, races to save his friend George from certain destruction. His friend happens to be a highly intelligent albino ape who, under mysterious circumstances, is growing suddenly at an incredible rate. But George isn’t the only monster abound, there’s also a giant wolf (Ralph) and a huge reptile (Lizzie). It’s a battle of apex predators! Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, and Joe Manganiello co-star. The tagline reads “Big Meets Bigger.”

8) Solo: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: 5/25/2018 – Director: Ron Howard – Writer: Jon Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Paul Bettany, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson

The troubled Star Wars anthology entry focusing on everyone’s favorite rebel scum is finally making its way to theaters this May. Ron Howard is now listed as the director with Alden Ehrenreich starring as Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. While Rogue One also had its – far less public – share of drama, Solo is squarely in the public eye with its original directors ousted nearing the completion of its original filming schedule. Howard bravely stepped in to take the less-than-glorious position of picking up the pieces. Now the film nears completion and it will be up to the Star Wars fans to see how successful the film ends up. At the time of this writing, we’ve still not seen any official stills from the film nor a hint of a trailer. Hmmm. The cast also includes Emilia Clark, Paul Bettany, and Woody Harrelson. And, oh, yeah, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. If nothing else, Star Wars has always been about…hope.

9) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Release Date: 6/22/2018 – Director: J.A. Bayona – Writer: Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, BD Wong, Ted Levine, Toby Jones, James Cromwell

The mammoth-sized sequel to one of the biggest box office successes in the past few years lands in June. Chris Pratt (Owen) and Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire) return to Jurassic World: Fallen  Kingdom, a film that has to outdo itself in a big way. How does it plan to do so? For starters, it’s going to have a volcano erupt on the island of Isla Nublar where the dinosaurs have been roaming free since the end of Jurassic World. Apparently that – as displayed in the spectacular trailer – that is just the first half of the film. James Cromwell joins the franchise as Benjamin Lockwood, John Hammond’s partner in developing Jurassic Park and B. D. Wong returns as Dr. Henry Wu. Ted Levine and Toby Jones co-star. Oh, yeah, … don’t forget, Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm.

10) Alita: Battle Angel

Release Date: 7/20/2018 – Director: Robert Rodriguez – Writer: James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, Rodriguez
Cast: Rose Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Eliza Gonzalez, Christoph Waltz, Michelle Rodriquez

The American adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita manga, Alita: Battle Angel comes to us from write/production James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez. Rosa Salzer is Alita, the cyborg heroine giving life to the character via motion capture. Christoph Walz is Dr. Dyson Ido, her scientist caretaker. The rest of the cast includes Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earl Haley, and Michelle Rodriguez. Reportedly, Cameron was deadset on adapting the first four books in order to include the fictional sport “Motorball.” The budget is an astronomical $200 million.

11) Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Release Date: 11/16/2018 – Director: David Yates – Writer: J. K. Rowling
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Jude Law

J. K. Rowlings continues exploring the world of Harry Potter with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the follow up to the successful prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. David Yates returns to helm the further adventures of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his friends Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Johnny Depp, revealed in the final frames of the first Fantastic Beasts film, reprises his role of Gellert Grindelwald, a powerful dark wizard. Tieing Fantastic Beasts even more closely to the world of Harry Potter, Jude Law joins the cast as a younger version of Albus Dumbledore. Sure to be a huge hit, Rowling seems to be able to do no wrong.

12) Mortal Engines

Release Date: 12/14/2018 – Director: Christian Rivers – Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson
Cast: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, and Stephen Lang

Upon the recent release of the stunning teaser trailer, the Grue-Crew immediate described Mortal Engines a combination of Howl’s Moving Castle and Mad Max: Fury Road. Based on the novel by Philip Reeve, the film is set in a steampunk apocalypse where cities are located on wheels motoring around the desolate countryside. The trailer has one city swallowed whole by a much larger one in hot pursuit. The descriptions include “undead cyborg warriors”, pirates, and a flying city called Airhaven. Sign me up, and only twelve months to wait… sigh.


Doc Rotten
Editor-In-Chief / Founder / Podcast Producer at Horror News Radio
Doc Rotten is the founder of Gruesome Magazine. He is also a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and the podcast host & producer for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast and Hannibal Fan Podcast. He is also co-host of the Dracula podcast on TV TALK and is a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior.

Doc a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist. Still a huge fan of horror films from the 70s, Doc continues consuming horror films to this day for the site, for the podcasts and for the fun of it all.