Spring movie preview: The most anticipated flicks include Disney remake and “Furious” No. 8

March 14, 2017 GMT

It’s less than two months before Marvel’s latest blockbuster kicks off the so-called “summer movie season” on May 5 — which will only be mid-spring.

But there looks to be a couple of blockbusters in this abbreviated spring movie season.

“Beauty and the Beast,” Disney’s latest live-action take on its animated favorites, opens Friday for the spring-break crowd, while “The Fate of the Furious” revs up in April with the eighth film in that franchise.

Both of these will be two of 2017’s biggest hits.

The following films, and dates, are subject to change.

Friday

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Disney continues its run (“Maleficent,” “Cinderella”) of live-action versions of animated classics, with Emma Watson seeming like perfect casting as Belle and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”) as the Beast.

‘The Sense of an Ending’

A brilliant British cast of Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Michelle Dockery star in this drama about an elderly man forced to look back at a moment in his past and realize how it will shape his legacy.

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‘The Belko Experiment’

Think “The Hunger Games” but with adults in suits for this wicked “social experiment” horror flick that finds co-workers locked in an office and given an order: Kill each other or be killed.

‘My Life as a Zucchini’

This touching story of an orphan learning to love and trust again is a stop-motion animated story from Switzerland and a nominee for best animated film at the recent Academy Awards. This English-language version features the voices of Nick Offerman, Will Forte and Ellen Page.

March 24

‘Life’

There is life on Mars. Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson find it in this sci-fi thriller.

‘CHiPs’

This raunchy comedy reboot of the TV motorcycle-cop series finds Michael Pena (“Ant-Man”) playing Ponch and Dax Shepard (the “Parenthood” star, who’s also the writer-director) in the Jon Baker role.

‘Power Rangers’

Red, yellow, pink, black or blue: There’s a ranger for each of these colors, here to save the world, of course.

‘The Salesman’

This drama from Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”), about a couple falling apart while performing “Death of a Salesman” on stage, won him his second best foreign film Academy Award last month.

March 31

‘Ghost in the Shell’

Scarlett Johansson stars as the cyborg policewoman known from the wildly popular Japanese manga favorite and sci-fi animated film, attempting to stop a hacker in this effects-heavy flick.

‘The Boss Baby’

What a wonderful time, bringing home your new baby — unless it’s actually a grown-up with the voice, and the mind, of Alec Baldwin.

‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl star in this drama about a couple running a zoo in Poland when Nazis attack. After several animals are killed, they maintain a smaller zoo — and hide hundreds of Polish Jews.

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‘Wilson’

Woody Harrelson stars in this comedy about a misanthrope who tries to turn his life around when he discovers he has a teen daughter he has never met.

‘Personal Shopper’

Kristen Stewart stars in this mystery/ghost story about a young woman unhappy with her life working as an assistant in the Paris fashion scene. From director Olivier Assayas (“Clouds of Sils Maria”).

‘Land of Mine’

This recent best foreign film Oscar nominee from Denmark finds a group of young German prisoners-of-war tasked with removing mines placed on Danish land by the Nazis during World War II.

April 7

‘Going in Style’

A trio of retirees — Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin — decide bank robbery is the answer to paying the bills. Based on a 1979 comedy that starred George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg.

‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’

The little blue cartoon characters return for a third film. If only they could battle Trolls, and the loser can’t make any more movies.

‘The Case for Christ’

An investigative journalist who’s also an atheist works to dispel the beliefs of Christianity at the same time as his wife’s faith is growing in this drama based on a true story.

‘Your Name’

A pair of high schoolers, unknown to each other, become linked after a phenomenon when they begin body-switching in this 2016 animated film from Japan.

‘The Void’

In this low-budget horror film, a simple case of a police officer helping a bleeding man get to a hospital turns into a life-and-death chase when patients and staff begin transforming into something not of this world.

April 14

‘The Fate of the Furious’

“New roads ahead” — that’s one tagline for the latest “Fast and Furious” movie, in the post-Paul Walker era. “Family no more” is another one on the poster. Add Charlize Theron to the mix, and this one looks wild.

‘Spark’

In this odd little animated sci-fi film, a teen monkey and his pals battle an evil overlord. Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Stewart are among the voice talent.

April 21

‘Unforgettable’

Catfight! Watch out for this thriller in which a woman (Katherine Heigl) looks to make life miserable for her ex-husband’s new wife (Rosario Dawson).

‘Free Fire’

A crime-action-comedy set in the 1970s finds an arms sale gone bad and everyone trying to survive in a warehouse. Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy are part of a colorful ensemble.

‘Born in China’

Disneynature’s annual “Earth Day movie” documentary goes into the wilds of China to watch a panda and her cub as well as other species.

April 28

‘The Circle’

A woman (Emma Watson) falls into a mystery when she begins working for a powerful tech company. Tom Hanks and John Boyega lead an exceptional cast.

‘Colossal’

Anne Hathaway stars in this sci-fi comedy in which a woman whose life is thrown into turmoil comes to realize that her emotions are somehow connected to a giant monster attacking Seoul, South Korea.

TBA

‘T2 Trainspotting’

Mark Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud return to the big-screen, set 20 years later, and with director Danny Boyle back for the sequel.

‘Song to Song’

Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara star in the new Terence Malick film, which sees intersecting romances set against the backdrop of the Austin, Texas, indie music scene.

‘Gifted’

Chris Evans, Lindsay Duncan and Octavia Spencer star in this drama that finds a man who is raising his super-intelligent niece embroiled in a custody battle with his mother.

‘Their Finest’

A stellar cast including Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy and Sam Claflin star in this dramady about a British movie crew making a propaganda film during World War II. From director Lone Scherfig (“An Education,” “One Day”).

‘The Lost City of Z’

Charlie Hunnam portrays true-life British explorer Percy Fawcett, who in 1925 set out to find a mythical city hidden in the Amazon forests, but he disappeared. Based on a best-selling book.

‘The Promise’

Armenian genocide is the subject of this historical drama that also involves a romantic triangle starring Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon.