After last Saturday’s “2018 Hotties” post, I added several titles and then tried to reorganize the whole thing. Right now I’ve got 20 strong-sounding features, a good percentage of which could end up as awards-bait fall releases (The Irishman, Roma, Back Seat, First Man, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife). Plus 7 upmarket genre films plus 13 likely standouts from (in no particular order) Benh Zeitlin, Yorgos Lanthimos, Laszlo Nemes, Clint Eastwood, Garth Davis, Richard Linklater, David McKenzie, Joel Edgerton, Robert Zemeckis, Wes Anderson‘, John Curran, Jennifer Kent, Paolo Sorrentino and Paul Verhoeven.

That makes for a total of 40 noteworthy 2018 films to look forward to, of which maybe 20 or 25 will deliver the real goods…who knows? But the year is already looking pretty nifty. And none of these fall under the category of mind-melting, idiot-brand, superhero franchise CG Asian-market slop. And yet I am looking forward to Ryan Coogler‘s Black Panther as well as Peyton Reed‘s Ant Man and the Wasp.

Topliners: 1. Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano); 2. Adam McKay‘s Backseat (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell); 3. Damien Chazelle‘s First Man, a space drama about NASA’s Duke of Dullness, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke); 4. Saoirse Ronan in Mary, Queen of Scots (w/ Margot Robbie, David Tennant, Jack Lowden, Guy Pearce); 5. Clint Eastwood‘s The 15:17 to Paris (Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Bryce Gheisar, Alek Skarlatos, Thomas Lennon, Jaleel White, Tony Hale, P.J. Byrne).

6. Steve McQueen‘s Widows (Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Andre Holland, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell); 7. Terrence Malick‘s Radegund (August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Michael Nyqvist, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jürgen Prochnow, Bruno Ganz; 8. Alfonso Cuaron‘s Roma (Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf, Yalitza Aparicio, Daniela Demesa, Enoc Leaño, Daniel Valtierra); 9. Jacques Audiard‘s The Sisters Brothers (Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, Rutger Hauer, Riz Ahmed, John C. Reilly); 10. Barry JenkinsIf Beale Street Could Talk (Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Diego Luna, Dave Franco).

11. Bryan Singer‘s Bohemian Rhapsody (15-year period from the formation of Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury up to their performance at Live Aid in 1985) w/ Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Allen Leech, Lucy Boynton. 20th Century Fox, 12.25.18; 12. Bjorn Runge‘s The Wife (Glenn Close‘s Best Actress campaign + Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Annie Starke. Max Irons); 13. Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On The Basis of Sex; 14. Gus Van Sant‘s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (costarring Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, Mark Webber); 15. Felix von Groeningen‘s Beautiful Boy with Steve Carell and Timothy Chalamet. 16. Xavier Dolan‘s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates); 17. Asghar Farhadi‘s Todos lo saben (Spanish-language drama w/ Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Barbara Lennie, Ricardo Darin, Inma Cuesta, Eduard Fernandez Javier Camara); 18. Spike Lee‘s Black Klansman (John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Corey Hawkins — Focus Features); 19. Woody Allen‘s A Rainy Day in New York (Timothee Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Diego Luna, Liev Schreiber); 20. Stefania Solluima‘s Soldado (Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Catherine Keener — Columbia, 6.29.18).

Upmarket Genre: 1. Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria (Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth); 2. Ron Howard‘s SoloA Star Wars Story (Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton); 3. Lynne Ramsay‘s You Were Never Really Here; 4. Alex Garland‘s delayed Annihilation; 5. Lars von Trier‘s The House That Jack Built (Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, Bruno Ganz); 6. Steven Spielberg‘s Ready Player One (Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T. J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance); 7. David Lowery‘s The Old Man and the Gun w/ Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss. (7 — grand total of 27)

FOURTH CLUSTER: 28. Benh Zeitlin‘s Wendy (was filming in March ’17, should be released by late ’18); 29. Yorgos LanthimosThe Favourite (reign of Queen Anne in early 17th Century) — Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, John Tormey; 30. Laszlo NemesSunset (a young girl grows up to become a strong and fearless woman in Budapest before World War I). With Susanne Wuest, Vlad Ivanov, Björn Freiberg. (3 or sub-total of 30)

3.30.18: Garth Davis‘s Mary Magdelene (Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tahar Rahi). (31)

Richard Linklater‘s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer) (32)

David McKenzie‘s The Outlaw King (Braveheart-ish action-adventure piece about 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English, etc.) Costarring Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Stephen Dillane (33)

Joel Edgerton‘s Boy Erased starring Lucas Hedges (34)

Robert Zemeckis‘s The Women of Marwen (35)

John Curran’s Chappaquiddick. (36)

Jennifer Kent‘s The Nightingale (19th Century Australian revenge saga) w/ Aisling Franciosi, Baykali Ganambarr, Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman, Ewen Leslie. (37)

Paolo Sorrentino‘s Loro (life of Silvio Berlusconi) (38)

Paul Verhoeven‘s Blessed Virgin (17th Century lesbian nun love affair) w/ Virginie Efira. (39)

UNCOMPLETED, UNLINKED: Claire DenisHigh Life (father and his daughter living in deep space isolation) w/ Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth, Juliette Binoche; A Fantastic Woman, On Chesil Beach; Mike Leigh‘s Peterloo; Coen Bros. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (miniseries); Brian DePalma‘s Domino; Jason Reitman‘s Tully and then The Front Runner; Vincent Grashawl‘s And Then I Go, (two boys are bullied at school); Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s The Wild Pear Tree; Olivier AssayasE-book; James Gray‘s Ad Astra; David Robert Mitchell‘s The Silver Lake. (13 + 39 = sub-total of 52)

OTHERS, UNLINKED: The Widow (d: Neil Jordan (Interview With The Vampire) Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Zawe Ashton, Stephen Rea; Unsane (d: Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky) Cast: Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Amy Irving; Kursk (d: Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt, Far From The Madding Crowd) Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Colin Firth, Lea Seydoux, Max von Sydow, Michael Nyqvist, Audust Diehl, Peter Simonischek; Private Life (d: Tamara Jenkins (The Savages) Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Molly Shannon, Kayli Carter, Denis O’Hare; Cold War (d: Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida) Cast: Joanna Kulig, Agata Kulesza, Borys Szyc, Tomasz Kot, Adam Ferency; Untitled Noah Baumbach Project (d: Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories) Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern, Merrit Wever, Azhy Robinson. (6 + 52 = sub-total of 58)

NOT TO MENTION: Mute (d: Duncan Jones (Moon) Cast: Astrong>Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Florence Kasumba, Sam Rockwell; White Boy Rick (d: Yann Demange (71) Cast: Richie Merritt, Matthew McConaughey, Bel Powley, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh; Apostle (d: Gareth Evans (The Raid) Cast: Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton, Bill Milner, Kristin Froseth; Maya (d: Mia Hansen-Løve (Goodbye First Love, Eden, Things To Come) Cast: Suzan Anbeh, Roman Kolinka, Judith Chemia, Alex Descas; Beach Bum (d: Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers) Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fisher, Bria Vinaite; The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (d: Terry Gilliam (Brazil) Cast: Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgard, Oscar Jaenada; The Land Of Steady Habits (d: Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) Cast: Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco, Connie Britton, Thomas Mann, Elizabeth Marvel; The Little Stranger (d: Lenny Abrahamson (Room) Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, Charlotte Rampling, Kate Phillips; Can You Ever Forgive Me? (d: Marielle Heller (Diary Of A Teenage Girl) Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Jane Curtin, Jennifer Westfeldt, Dolly Wells; Fahrenheit 451 (d: Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, Laura Harrier, Martin Donovan; The Other Side Of The Wind (d: Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) Cast: John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Oja Kodar, Susan Strasberg, Dennis Hopper, Claude Chabrol, Paul Mazursky. (11 + 58 = grand total of 69)

Genre Sludge: Francis Lawrence‘s Red Sparrow; Robert Rodriguez’s Alita — Battle Angel (in 26th Century, a female cyborg is rescued from the scrap heap by a scientist) w/ Eiza González, Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Rodriguez).

Ang Lee‘s Thrilla in Manila (third and final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier); screenplay by Peter Morgan…seems very indefinite.

Joe Wright‘s Stoner w/ Tommy Lee Jones, Casey Affleck — ’18 or ’19?

Steven Spielberg‘s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara (doubtful); Nash Edgerton‘s Gringo; Thoroughbreds by Cory Finley; Dragged Across Concrete by S. Craig Zahler; Entebbe by Greg Berlanti; Serenity by Steven Knight, w/ Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou.