2016 Comic Book Movie (and Star Wars) Preview
Dpalm and I already did our 2016 movie preview where you can listen to us break down all the upcoming movies this year. 2016 is going to be a big year for comic book movies. We get a steady stream of movies every few months for the entire year starting in February. I decided to put together a little guide of all the comic book movies coming out and break down what we know and some of the questions or obstacles the films themselves will have to overcome.
Release Date: 12 February 2016
Synopsis: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool.
What it has working for it: Ryan Reynolds
Saying someone was “born to play this role” is so cliché and overused but…Ryan Reynolds was born to play this role. Reynolds has played “[insert character] with a Mouth” his whole career. The only thing missing was a legit shot at playing The Merc with a Mouth. Hell, one of the few good things about Wolverine: Origins was Reynold’s playing Wade Wilson and mouthing off. Then Fox did Fox and…well, we won’t talk about that. Instead of throwing his hands up and walking away (shit, no one would have blamed him for running away) from the character of Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds stuck with it. He knew that Fox made a huge mistake and wanted to give fans the movie they’ve been asking for. Reynolds and director Tim Miller have been fighting the good fight and even better, have been doing it in true Deadpool fashion. The marketing campaign for this movie has been one of the best I've ever seen. Who can forget the way they announced that the movie would in fact be R-Rated? Then there’s the hilarious posters and promo videos. Plus the trailers have been brilliantly cut to show us everything we need to feel comfortable with this movie and yet haven’t really given much away. The last trailer featuring Colossus and Teenage Negasonic Warhead even felt more like a X-Men movie than the X-Men movies have felt. In addition to all this, the rest of the cast seems pretty solid as well. My issues with Gotham are well documented but I love Morena Baccarin. Gina Carano is always good in these roles as a bruiser with limited speaking lines and I expect her fight scenes to be brutal and assume as always.
What it has working against it: Fox
Reynolds and Miller had to fight to get this movie made. As a reminder that not all heroes wear capes, it was some brave soul who leaked the test footage that finally sold Fox that they had a potential hit on their hands. And I still can’t help but feel nervous. After the Fantastic Four debacle and the fact that Singer’s X-Men movies seem to do everything in their power to disrespect the source material, it’s hard to put a lot of faith in Fox pulling off Deadpool. The R-Rating is a good sign but hardly means this will be the Deadpool movie we deserve. The Deadpool costume looks great and even Colossus looks better than anything we’ve seen in the X-Men films. Yet Fox just flat out doesn’t have the track record of quality. The X-Men movies, even if you like them, don’t feel like X-Men from the comics. Wolverine’s two movies haven’t been good (The second was decent at best). They’ve failed three times when it comes to Fantastic Four movies. X-Force/New Mutants have been rumored for years with no real movement on either. Giving this movie an R-Rating and finally nailing the costumes isn’t enough for me to forget that Fox is shooting 2015 Kobe Bryant numbers when it comes to comic book properties. There’s hope that between Reynolds and Miller, this probably will finally embrace the characters we love in ways that Fox really hasn’t in the past. But history says to be weary.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release Date: March 25th
Synopsis: Fearing the actions of Superman left unchecked, Batman takes on Superman, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero the world really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat Doomsday created by Lex Luthor. Its up to Superman and Batman to set aside their difference along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.
What it has working for it: The Big Three
Even if you never picked up a comic book, you know who Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are. This isn’t like the Avengers where you needed individual films to introduce them to the world before bringing them together as a team. Outside of establishing Superman’s origin in Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice is going to give us a Batman and Wonder Woman that already exist. And why not? Do we really need a whole movie on how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman again? Do we need a whole movie to introduce us to Wonder Woman? No. The name recognition of these three is great enough that we can just skip to the good parts. We even know the fundamental conflict between Batman and Superman: A mortal challenging the unchecked powers of a God. So even folks who swear they aren’t excited for this movie are going to see it. They have to. The Big Three, the Holy Trinity of Comic Books, in a live action movie together. The final shot of the latest trailer with all three of them standing there? That’s what we’ve been waiting decades for and no matter what other apprehensions folks have, they’ll be in the theater come March 2016.
In addition to the big three, we might also get shots of the other members of the Justice League. Last year Snyder dropped the image of Jason Mamoa as Aquaman. In the recent Dawn of the Justice League special DC did, we got to see concept art of Cyborg, The Flash and the Green Lantern Corps. We also saw early footage of Gal Gadot in action for her Wonder Woman solo film that's filming now and it looked great. No matter how you feel about DC's ability to pull this off, it's almost impossible to not feel some kind of way about seeing these characters finally come to the big screen in this way.
What’s Working Against It: It’s Uncharted Territory
In 2016 when this movie releases, this will be the second film in DC’s Cinematic Universe. In contrast, Marvel Studios will have released 12 movies (Two phases). Logically, this is an unfair comparison that ignores some important facts. DC had three Nolan Batman films (2005/ 2008,/2012), a failed attempt at launching their Cinematic Universe back in 2011 with Green Lantern and then Man of Steel in 2013. Plus, Warner Brothers owns DC and so they’re not like Marvel Studios whose sole focus is to release Marvel comic book movies. But fair or unfair is irrelevant at this point. Twelve versus Two. That’s what people see. They see a Batman trilogy that wasn’t connected to the universe. A failed Green Lantern film. A Man of Steel film that divided audiences. Now there’s a film with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in it (not to mention Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Aquaman, Cyborg, etc) and folks just aren’t sure. The more I think about it, maybe the uneasiness is fair. Thinking back to 2012, I’m reminded that a lot of the same concerns people have for Batman v Superman are similar concerns that were had for Whedon’s Avengers movie. Leading up to that movie, there were a lot of concerns about whether this could work. Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger got decent reviews but Marvel Studios wasn’t going into The Avengers looking like the inevitable, unstoppable force they are today. People were excited but there were also a lot of questions that we just weren’t going to get answers to until we saw the movie. Marvel Studio’s MCU plan of individual films leading up to The Avengers was a risky venture and there were plenty of naysayers who thought it would be spectacular failure. Even Joss Whedon directing the film was questioned. Seven years and 12 movies later and it’s to the point where folks not only have forgotten how risky that move was but view it as something obvious that was always going to work. Now here we are approaching 2016 and DC is doing something different too. They’re going to lead into their cinematic universe with the Big Three in one movie, then break out into smaller individual films with a two part Justice League movie spread out in between. Honestly it’s never been done before. Even the X-Men movies didn’t really launch a cinematic universe. They just launched more X-Men films. Just like the MCU, none of us know if it’s going to work. Just because we haven’t seen it work before doesn’t mean it can’t. No one saw the idea of a connected cinematic universe working before Marvel Studios and now it’s almost expected. Of course now we know who Kevin Feige is and his role in the genius planning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But at the time of The Avengers, we didn’t speak or even know the name ‘Feige’. Is there a Feige at Warner Brothers/DC doing the same thing and putting the plan together? I don’t know. We do know that after Man of Steel, they took a step back and delayed the next film to actually plan things out. We do know that after that delay they came out with a roadmap of films through 2020 now. Much like how we had to let the MCU play out between 2008-2012, we’ll have to do the same thing with these films to really answer if DC’s plan is legit. We’re entering uncharted waters here. DC's characters are bigger than any of the characters Marvel was putting into the Avengers and therefore there comes more scrutiny. It doesn't matter if it's valid or not. I've seen people claim DC is stupid for casting Ezra Miller as Flash in the movies and not just bringing over Grant Gustin. Yet when Gustin was first cast as TV Barry Allen, people we're sold on him either. A season and a half later and that sentiment has changed. Perhaps DC can do the same changing of hearts and minds with this first big step.
Captain America: Civil War
Release Date: May 6th
Synopsis: Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
What is has working for it: Black Panther (and many other things)
The trailer for Civil War sent the Internet crazy and we still have 6 more months before the film comes out. Clearly there are several things working for this film. The Russos back directing. The huge cast of characters. The conflict between Tony & Steve having watched their friendship grow. Any of these things could be what I pulled out as the #1 thing Civil War has working for it. But there’s no doubt that the brief appearance of T’Challa, the Black Panther, for just 5 total seconds (if that) sent people crazy. Next to maybe Spider-Man, Black Panther is the most anticipated addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ever since the Iron Man 2 Easter Egg, folks have just been waiting. His presence is something many fans, particular fans of color, have been waiting for. The ruler of an African Nation (Wakanda) that just so happens to be the most technologically advanced civilization on the planet. He can beat Captain America in hand to hand combat and his tech makes Tony Starks look like a Nokia brick phone compared to an iPhone. His solo movie doesn’t come out until 2018 and people were already speculating on the status of the movie because they didn't have a director at the time. Three Years in advance. Now we know that Ryan Coogler will be directing. The same young director who did Fruitvale Station and the recently Oscar snubbed Creed. Marvel is taking this character very seriously. When you look at what they've done with T'Challa recently in the comics, we should be in for a real treat with his first live action appearance. T'Challa and Wakanda played a significant role in the Secret Wars storyline (both the leadup and through Secret Wars). Then Marvel is handing his solo book to writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. Any fear that we might be getting a watered down T'Challa should be gone. I think it's an important step for Marvel Studios to put a non-white character such a pivotal role as they are with Black Panther because it helps address one of their weaknesses: Diversity. Marvel's proved they can take a talking tree & raccoon and a man who can shrink and talk to ants and make money. So at this point, it seems that they should be ready to take more chances and diversify their roster. Now take that anticipation, then add in that this will also be the first appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU (very small role) and then add in the Steve vs Tony storyline and this movie is on the top of everyone’s list.
What it has working against it: Expectations
The number one enemy of every Marvel Studios movie is Expectations. Marvel Studios brings a level of quality to comic book movies that many of us never thought was possible. In 2008, Marvel Studios was able to sneak under the radar when it used Iron Man and Incredible Hulk to launch the MCU. What’s been lost in the time since then is that the Avengers characters were the B/C teams of Marvel Comics. Sure people knew who they were but didn’t really care. So the pressure that exists with Batman v Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men or even the Fantastic Four movies today just didn’t exist back in 2008. I remember when the first Iron Man trailer released, non-comic book viewers saying “But who cares about Iron Man?” What a difference a few years make. That underdog advantage is now gone. People expect and anticipate Marvel Studios movies to blow their minds. With that comes unreasonable expectations. Honestly the MCU is unmatched by any other. Even non-comic book movie franchises are trying to do the whole cinematic universe thing. Marvel Studios has become the studio and franchise that everyone wants to be and with that comes an expectation that they continually outdo themselves. Avengers Age of Ultron is one of the best comic book movies of all time. Yet it got scrutiny and criticism that other comic book movies (Hell just movies in general) just don’t get. The “legit critiques” of Age of Ultron exist in every other film made but those films don’t get those flaws held against them. Why? Because Marvel Studios is expected to do better. What would be considered a good movie from Sony, Fox or WB/DC is considered terrible if Marvel Studios did it. Fair or unfair, that’s just where we’ve arrived. Unreasonably high expectations are going to happen with Civil War. The Russo brothers were credited with Winter Solider for making a comic book movie that didn’t feel like a comic book movie. While that sounds great, it makes me wonder if critics (and some fans) will turn on them like they did Joss Whedon as their movies introduce more comic booky things. After Civil War, the Russo brothers are also doing Infinity War. Critics and audiences will be prepared for them and those unreasonably high standards might leave people feeling underwhelmed. There’s a lot going on in this movie. It’s also the debut for the two most anticipated characters in the MCU (Black Panther and Spider-Man). That's a lot of pressure and they have to meet the expectations of a lot of people. Spider-Man and Black Panther fans have been waiting almost a decade for these characters to come into the MCU. Civil War has to do all this but still appeal to the people that loved Winter Soldier for not feeling like a comic book movie. I don’t know how that’s going to happen. There’s going to be a lot of people with unreasonable expectations that this film won’t meet.
Release Date: May 27th
Synopsis: With the emergence of the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.
* I switched the order of my Pro/Con breakdown for this but it will make sense after you read it.
What’s Working Against it: Bryan Singer
Bryan Singer treats the X-Men the same way your mom treated your vintage baseball collection: No matter how much you explain their worth and no matter how much they mean to you, your mom will still throw them in the garbage during spring cleaning. Singer misses a lot of the key things that make the X-Men great and why so many of us identified with them. Where we see complex and interesting characters, Singer just sees one dimensional pawns to be thrown around and sacrificed when needed. Singer doesn’t truly understand the X-Men and so he caters to the fans who also don’t understand the X-Men. This leads to decent films but bad X-Men films. For example, Singer knows that Storm is a popular character and took that to mean that fans wanted Halle Berry back as Storm. The reality is, anyone remotely familiar with the character of Storm absolutely hates Halle Berry as Storm. Singer is oblivious to this. He then doubled down and cast a younger version of Storm who looks nothing like her comic book counterpart but rather is a younger looking version of Halle Berry. Singer rips the soul out of the X-Men with each movie he makes. I don’t expect this version to be any different from any other the ones before it. Even if you’re a fan of the X-Men movies you have to be concerned with Singer. Mathew Vaughn tried to wipe the slate clean with X-Men First Class. When he turned down directing Days of Future Past, Singer stepped in and ended up undoing a lot of what Vaughn did in First Class. Think about it: Xavier could walk for most of Days of Future Past (the explanation was laughable at best), Singer killed Angel Salvadore & Emma Frost off screen, Beast wasn’t permanently blue or furry anymore (again, eliminating the weight of what happened to Hank in First Class), Magneto’s helmet went from brilliant red to a dull red, etc etc etc. All of these things are questionable decisions that should give fans pause. I'm fine with looking at these movies as their own entities with little connection to the comic books but they should at least make sense in the world that was created. When they're nothing more than Wolverine/Mystique focused and then erase the work of any non-Singer movie, there's a problem. Erasing Last Stand and the 1st Wolverine film make sense. Undoing the groundwork set in First Class made no sense.
What it has working for it: Apocalypse
So, after everything I said about Singer, the bright spot for X-Men: Apocalypse is…Apocalypse. Having such a commanding villain is much needed in not only the X-Men movies but comic book movies in general. However, I’m more interested in the type of villain Apocalypse is. As I mentioned, Singer seems to have an aversion to making the X-Men films feel too much like a comic book but with a villain like Apocalypse he really has to change up his style. The trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, while not really moving for those looking for huge signs that Singer is changing, does have some interesting non-Singer feeling moments. The appearance of Storm riding the lightning down to the ground and the shot of Archangel both felt different from the normal Bryan Singer approaches. Also in the trailer Apocalypse himself looked more menacing than the unflattering unprocessed shots we saw that made him looking like Ivan Ooze. Oscar Isaac is a fantastic actor and despite all the issues I have with these films, I can’t say that for the most part, they cast some really great people. With an enemy like Apocalypse, I have to believe that this movie will finally be the movie that gives us the X-Men fighting as a team like we see the Avengers do. If it doesn’t happen in this movie then it’s safe to say that it will never happen as long as Singer is directing.
I should also add one more positive thing working for this film. It's also very diverse. In addition to Isaac there's Olivia Munn (Psylocke), Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Lana Condor (Jubilee). Now will all these characters be fully developed and used properly? X-Men film history tells us that they won't. However, I believe this is the year of diversity in comic book films and whether I think they're used properly or not won't matter. People will go to this movie to see characters that look like them. Hell, even Jubilee, who I recently found out actually has a significant fan base super excited to see her on screen. Who knew?
Release Date: August 5th
Synopsis: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.
What it has working for it: The Diverse Cast
Like I said above, diversity is the key word this year in comic book movies and Suicide Squad is probably the most diverse cast of a comic book movie we've ever seen. Just about everyone is represented: Black women, Black men, Latino men, Asian Women, White women, White men...we even get Adam Beach, a Canadian First Nations actor. Star Wars The Force Awakens was the icing on the diversity cake of 2015 that proved once and for all that diversity does in fact sell. Suicide Squad is just going to take that fact and smack us all in face with it and I love it. I remember seeing the list of who WB/DC were going after for this movie and Will Smith was at the top of the list and I laughed. Will Smith doing Suicide Squad? I mean I applauded WB for their ambition but I just couldn’t see Will Smith doing this movie. But he accepted. Then they cast Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and I realized that they were serious about making this into a good movie. By going with a diverse cast, I also think DC has avoided the "Who cares about xyz?" issues Marvel faced with Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and other movies. When you put together a movie with a diverse cast the answer to "Who cares about these characters?" is "everyone who looks like them." It's a smart move by DC and its something I don't think they get credit for. When you look at the slate of movies DC has coming out, while it's taken them a while to get to this point, they seem to be learning from the few shortcomings of Marvel Studios. Instead of building towards diversity, DC is leading with it. Suicide Squad is diverse, Wonder Woman is filming now for a 2017 release, Aquaman embraces Jason Momoa's native Hawaiian heritage and has an Asian director, Jon Stewart is rumored for the Green Lantern movie (there's concept art with him in it) and Cyborg has a solo movie. So while there's plenty of unknown questions with their films, one thing that isn't is that there will be plenty of diverse faces in them. So you have to root for that. Also the same pressure that is there for Batman v Superman just isn't here with this film. The latest trailer released just looks like a bunch of awesome. Add in a diverse cast and people aren't going in with the same preconceived notions as other films. They're just going in to have fun and honestly, I can't wait to see it.
What’s Working Against it: DC not embracing their history
Here’s the truth: We don’t know what to expect from DC when it comes to their movies. The Nolan Trilogy was great. Green Lantern sucked. Man of Steel split audiences. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has so much pressure to be damn near perfect it’s inevitably going to let some down. On the TV side they’ve been killing it with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. But then there’s Gotham. To me, the success of Suicide Squad really depends on how willing WB & DC are in embracing the history of their characters. The Pre-New 52 Suicide Squad books were pretty good. John Ostrander wrote some very compelling stories about Amanda Waller and the Squad. There was a lot more nuance and grey area than the heavy handed way the Suicide Squad and Waller are written in the New 52 (as well as Arrow). The question is: What does WB/DC do in this movie? Do they go with the ruthless Amanda Waller who still fought for and protected her squad or do they go with the Waller who just viewed the Squad as expendable assets. Will the squad be full of members, some of whom are there voluntarily trying to get help? Will we even see the reformation and therapy side of the Suicide Squad? Will we get the interesting dynamics between Rick Flagg and Batman? Or Deadshot & Batman (Batman claimed Floyd didn’t really want to kill him because he always pulled his shots) or will they only focus on Batman interacting with the Joker. Suicide Squad has the potential to be a real sleeper hit if they pull more from the earlier work of Ostrander that had well rounded characters versus the one-dimensional New 52 characters.
Release Date: November 4th
Synopsis: After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.
What it has Working For It: The Cast
Like the Suicide Squad, Dr. Strange’s cast is its strongest suit. It might be the most talent rich cast of any comic book movie. Look at these names:
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Tilda Swinton
- Mads Mikkelsen
- Chiwetel Ejiofor
- Rachel McAdams
That's a lot of talent for an comic book movie. Marvel has always done a great job with casting and ever since comic book movies have become "respectable" in Hollywood, they've always been able to grab some great talent. I have to be honest, this is probably the thing that's made the comic book movie renaissance so enjoyable. Actors and directors used to RUN from comic book movies. Actors didn't want to be in the films because they didn't want to be type cast or have a bad (because most of them were bad) film ruin their careers. Look, George Clooney apologized for Batman & Robin. George Clooney. Joel Schumacher is lucky he directed that film before social media because the dragging he got would have been so much worse with Twitter/Instagram/SnapChat/Facebook. But now? Not only do actors and directors want to be part of these movie franchises, they're begging for roles and opportunities. Clearly part of that is financial. Signing a 5 year film deal is guaranteed money, who wouldn't want that kind of stability in an industry that can see you waiting a while between projects? But I also think the stigma is gone.
One other thing that's working for this movie is that it should give Marvel Studios the opportunity to get weird. While they're all connected, all of Marvel's films have themes that they connect to and Doctor Strange should be no different. Magic, other dimensions and mysticism aren't things we've really touched in the MCU and this gives us something different.
What’s Working Against it: ???
I’m not sure what’s working against Doctor Strange. Traditionally I’d say “Well people don’t really care about Doctor Strange” but that’s been said about Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man and both those films were well received. So Marvel Studios has earned the trust of audiences to get them to see their movies even if the audiences aren’t well versed in those characters. Unlike Civil War though, the expectations aren’t as high. As I mentioned before, this is a talent rich and fantastic cast so I don’t have any hang ups there. Maybe like Civil War, the fact that Marvel Studios has been so good starts to weigh against them. Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man had the element of surprise in their corner. Maybe with Doctor Strange that surprised by the “unknown” factor wears off.
Another thing that could affect this movie is how they handle Asian culture. Some were upset that Marvel didn’t cast a person of color for the role of Dr. Strange. I never thought of Dr. Strange as anyone other than a white man, but casting a Latino man or an Asian man could still have worked for the role and could have been a bold choice in casting for diversity for Marvel. I do feel some kind of way about the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. I think Marvel is very uneasy about what to do with Asian characters. A lot of their Asian characters are rooted in Asian stereotypes that won't fly today but I think trying to correct that by turning Asian characters into other races isn't the right move either. I'm trying to get better at making sure I don't view diversity in only the binary black and white. With Black Panther I know as a black person, we'll have an entire movie filled with people who look like me and Kevin Feige has addressed any concerns that they won't be taking the character or Wakanda seriously. That gives me a privilege that others don't have. Agents of Shield doesn't get enough credit for having two Asian women (Ming-Na Wen & Chloe Bennet) as major characters who get to be fully developed, fully formed characters. This season Juan Pablo Raba joined the show as a gay Latino character with superpowers (Meltdown). While these are great roles, they're still only TV roles. Marvel Studio's been great so far but it would have been nice to see them embrace non-white/non-black actors for some roles in Doctor Strange like they've done on TV.
Bonus: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Release Date: December 16th
Synopsis: Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
What it has working for it: Everything
First off, this film’s plot is based off the scroller for Episode IV which sounded better than the entire plot for Episode IV. Then there’s the fact that Star Wars The Force Awakens destroyed the box office. Oh and the cast is...you guessed it...diverse as fuck. I'm not saying this film will do Force Awakens numbers (because it won't) but its going to do very very well. Throw in rumors that we might get a Vader sighting as well and yup, Disney is getting all of our money once again. Let's be real, is there anyone out there who is NOT excited to see this?
What’s Working Against it: Nothing
Disney robbed George Lucas. They bought Lucas films from him for 4 Billion and honestly, by the time The Force Awakens is out of theaters, it will make Disney more than half of that investment back. Despite the handful of contrarians, The Force Awakens was a hit with critics, audiences (people are going to see it 3 or 4 times) and the box office. Rogue One brings another movie with a female lead and a bunch of diverse characters. So what does it have working against it? Virtually nothing. Disney is going to own December for two years in a row. Then they’re going to own May in 2017 with Episode VIII then again in 2018 with the Han Solo film. Then whatever month they put Episode IX and the Boba Fett movies in 2019 & 2020 will also be owned by them. All the Money Belongs to Them. Especially if they keep tapping a diverse group of actors and actresses. The sky is the limit for them.
So there you have it. Sure there are other movies coming out this year that have comic book ties (I guess technically the new Ninja Turtles movie falls into this category) but these are the big ones. This also doesn't include things like Daredevil Season 2 and Luke Cage on Netflix or Preacher coming on AMC. Honestly, this is the year we've been waiting our whole lives for. It's going to be great.