13 Science Fiction Movies – 2nd Half 2017

spaceship in atmosphereNow that I have wrapped up science fiction movies in the first half of the year it’s time to move on to the second half. Some of these movies have already appeared in the theaters to a variety of receptions.

Here are the 13 science fiction movies in H2 2017 in chronological order of their published release dates. If there is no specific release date, I did not include the movie because it may or may not appear in 2017. Release dates can fluctuate in either direction for a variety of reasons. Some films never get a release date and go directly to TV or DVD.

13 Science Fiction Movies

But here’s my best take on the baker’s dozen of science fiction movies that are likely to hit theaters before the end of the year. Production budgets are estimated and rounded up, when available. Movie links go to the movie’s IMDB page.


War for the Planet of the Apes movieWar for the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: July 14
Director: Matt Reeves
Summary: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.
Production Budget: $150,000,000
Tomatometer: 94% Fresh, 87% Liked
Status: Must See. The others have all been excellent and the RT scores on this one promise more of the same.

Man Underground
Release Date; July 14
Directors: Michael Borowiec, Sam Marine
Summary: A reclusive conspiracy theorist enlists people from his small town to help him make a low-budget movie about his experience encountering aliens while working as a geologist for the US government.
Production Budget: NA
Tomatometer: 89% Fresh, No Liked score yet
Status: This movie is playing now but I have not seen it playing anywhere nor have I seen any trailers for it. The Tomatometer score is encouraging but now the challenge is distribution. Where is it?

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Release Date: July 21
Director; Luc Besson
Summary: “A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.”
Production Budget: $177,200,000 (This is the most expensive indie movie made to date)
Tomatometer: 54% Rotten, 59% Liked
Status: We saw it and wished we had saved the ticket money.



Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the Dark Tower Movie

Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey

The Dark Tower
Release Date: August 4
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Summary: “The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.”
Production Budget: $60,000,000
Status: I have read all seven books by Stephen King and I’m a fan of Idris Elba. I’m looking forward to this movie.

Brave New Jersey
Release Date; August 4
Director: Jody Lambert
Summary: A comedy about a small New Jersey town on the night of Orson Welles’ legendary 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, which led millions of listeners to believe the U.S. was being invaded by Martians.
Production Budget: NA
Status: This is anybody’s guess—and marginal science fiction to boot. It could be fun.


Release Date: September 29
Director: Neils Arden Oplev
Summary: “Medical students experiment on “near death” experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives.
Production Budget: $20,000,000
Status: This is a remake of the 1990 movie directed by Joel Schumacher that starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon and William Baldwin. I’m including it, even though it’s borderline science fiction, because I really liked the original. Mr. Sutherland reprises his character in the remake.


Blade Runner 2049, Ryan Gosling, Ana DeArmas

Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling

Blade Runner 2049
Release Date: October 6
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Summary: “A young blade runner’s discovery of a long buried secret leads him on a quest to track down former blade runner, Rick Deckard, whose been missing for thirty years.”
Production Budget: NA
Status: This is the second of two big science fiction releases this year (Alien Covenant was the first). The trailer looks excellent. I have high hopes for this one. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard from the 1982 original directed by Ridley Scott.

Release Date: October 20
Director: Dean Devlin
Summary: “When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone.
Production Budget; NA
Status: We have seen the trailer and it looks promising. There are enough scenes in space to lift this movie above the standard disaster movie genre. It’s on the Maybe list, depending on critical reviews.

Cloverfield 3
Release Date: October 27
Director: Julius Onah
Summary: “A shocking discovery forces a team of astronauts aboard a space station to fight for survival while their reality has been altered.”
Production Budget: NA
Status: TBD. This film may or may not appear in this time frame. Multiple sites differ.

The God Particle
Release Date; October 27
Summary: “A group of scientific researchers on a space station attempt to harness a new energy source called the “God Particle,” only to unleash something terrifying. Julius Onah (The Girl Is in Trouble) directed this sci-fi thriller, which stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris O’Dowd, and Zhang Ziyi”
Production Budget:


The Shape of Water movie, Guillermo Del Toror

Doug Jones

The Shape of Water
Release Date: December 8
Director: Guillermo DelToro
Summary: An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
Production Budget: NA
Status; This could be interesting or it could be science fiction schmaltz. TBD.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Release Date: December 15
Director: Rian Johnson
Summary: “Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.”
Production Budget: NA
Status: Now that Disney owns the franchise, we see more Star Wars movies. They are no longer Event Films, a status achieved by scarcity, not quality. Star Wars movies have disappointed us more than the Alien franchise. Still, the last one wasn’t terrible and I have this one on the Probably list pending critical reviews.

Release Date: December 22
Director; David Ayer
Summary: “Set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. A human cop is forced to work with an Orc to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for.”
Production Budget: NA
Status; It’s too soon to see. This could be a fantasy version of Men in Black. It definitely includes a MacGuffin. I look forward to the trailer.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

2 thoughts on “13 Science Fiction Movies – 2nd Half 2017

  1. My son and I are looking forward to the Blade Runner sequel, which the trailers make us think could be awesome, but who knows? …And of course we will go to the next Star Wars movie. I didn’t care for the “The Force Awakens” so much as it appeared to me to be largely derivative – my son partly agrees and suggested that Abrahms actually did that on purpose, which he claims has been written about. We did like “Rogue One” also, but the digitized versions of a young Princes Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) weren’t that convincing in my opinion.

    I’m not big on the “Planet of the Apes” franchise since the Charlton Heston original versions, where I think they just beat the concept to death with more and more lame sequels which looks like it might be the same here.

    “The God Particle” sounds like it could be interesting, but my first guess on “Geostorm” is that it’ll be more SFX (Re: “Independence Day” and “Transformer” franchises) than of good SciFi story lines such as “Interstellar” and “The Martian”.

    I don’t know much about the others as yet to have a decent opinion about them.

    • Mike: I mostly agree except for the Planet of the Apes reboots. Those movies are so far superior to the original or any of the 20th Century sequels that they don’t bear comparison.

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