What do Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, King Arthur and the Mummy have in common? They’re all coming soon to a theater near you — and what’s more, they’re hoping to launch their own franchises for the future.
While much of this summer’s movie season will be crowded with sequels — most notably “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the follow-up to Marvel’s 2014 hit about a space pirate and his Walkman — the big news will come from several movies that could be subtitled “Episode 1.” We’ll see Israeli actress Gal Gadot and England’s Tom Holland make their starring-role debuts as Wonder Woman and Spider-Man, respectively. Tom Cruise will bring the “The Mummy” back from the dead, and perhaps spawn a new series based on Universal’s classic monsters. As for “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” starring Charlie Hunnam and directed by Guy Ritchie, it could be the first of six feature films.
As always, summer also means plenty of comedies (“Snatched,” starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as kidnapped tourists) and horror films (“It Comes At Night,” featuring Joel Edgerton as a family man battling an unnatural evil). There will also be a wealth of such kid-friendly fare as “Cars 3,” “Despicable Me 3” and the very first “Captain Underpants” movie. Here are 30 big summer releases coming your way.
'GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2' (May 5)
The misfit Marvel heroes search for the true parentage of their quasi-leader, Peter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt). With Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
'KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD' (May 12)
A street urchin turns out to be the rightful king of England. With Charlie Hunnam, pictured; Jude Law; and Eric Bana. Directed by Guy Ritchie.
'SNATCHED' (May 12)
Goldie Hawn and Rockville Centre’s Amy Schumer play a mother and daughter who are kidnapped during a Latin American vacation. Written by Katie Dippold (“Ghostbusters”).
'ALIEN: COVENANT' (May 19)
In Ridley Scott’s sequel to “Prometheus” — itself a prequel to “Alien” — a spaceship arrives at a planet that is not as pleasant as it looks. With Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Danny McBride.
'EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING' (May 19)
A girl confined to a hermetically sealed house falls for the boy next door. With Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson. Based on the novel by Nicola Yoon.
'BAYWATCH' (May 25)
Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his new colleague (Zac Efron) must stop a local crime ring. Based on the famously jiggly TV series. Directed by Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses”).
'PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES' (May 26)
Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth “Pirates” movie. Javier Bardem, pictured, plays his ghostly nemesis, Captain Salazar.
'WONDER WOMAN' (June 2)
Gal Gadot gets her first starring role as Diana, princess of the Amazons. It’s the first major-studio superhero film directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. With Chris Pine and Robin Wright.
'CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE' (June 2)
The madcap children’s books hit the big screen in this animated comedy. Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch are fourth-grade pranksters George and Harold, while Ed Helms is their unfortunate school principal.
'IT COMES AT NIGHT' (June 9)
Director Trey Edward Schults follows his acclaimed drama “Krisha” with a horror film about an isolated family battling an unnatural force. With Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo.
'THE MUMMY' (June 9)
The process of turning Universal Pictures’ classic monster movies into a new franchise — a “monsterverse” — begins here. Starring Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and Sofia Boutella (“Star Trek Beyond”).
'CARS 3' (June 16)
Owen Wilson returns as the voice of Pixar hot-rod Lightning McQueen, this time facing a new and much faster generation of competitors. With the voices of Cristela Alonzo and Armie Hammer.
'ROUGH NIGHT' (June 16)
Five women reunite for a bachelorette party and accidentally kill a male stripper. Starring Zoë Kravitz, left, Jillian Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Ilana Glazer and Kate McKinnon.
'TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT' (June 23)
The fifth film in the blockbuster Hasbro series — and supposedly the last from director Michael Bay — stars Mark Wahlberg as amateur inventor Cade Yeager, who must discover why the shape-shifting Transformers keep returning to Earth.
'THE BEGUILED' (June 23)
A wounded Civil War soldier (Colin Farrell) turns a Southern girls’ boarding school into a hothouse of sexual tension. Director Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”) reworks a 1971 oddity that starred Clint Eastwood. With Nicole Kidman, pictured, and Elle Fanning.
'BABY DRIVER' (June 28)
Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in Our Stars”), right, plays an expert getaway driver with the unlikely name Baby. With Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx, left. Written and directed by Edgar Wright (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”).
'DESPICABLE ME 3' (June 30)
Steve Carell returns as the voice of supervillain Gru — and his cooler brother, Dru — in this animated sequel. The villain is Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former child star obsessed with the 1980s.
'THE HOUSE' (June 30)
Desperate to raise money for their daughter’s college fund, the parents (Will Ferrell, left, and Amy Poehler) start an illegal home casino. With Nick Kroll and Michaela Watkins.
'SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING' (July 7)
Not an origin story, it seems, but this Marvel-Sony collaboration will be a major test for British actor Tom Holland in the title role. With Michael Keaton as the villain Vulture.
'WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES' (July 14)
The third film in this surprisingly strong series brings back Andy Serkis as the alpha-simian Caesar, who leads a war of vengeance against mankind. With Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn and Judy Greer.
'DUNKIRK' (July 21)
Director Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight”) tells the story of Allied forces trapped on a beach in northern France during World War II. With Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Fionn Whitehead, pictured.
'VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS' (July 21)
In the 28th century, two special operatives (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) team up to protect civilization from a dark force. Directed and written by Luc Besson (“Lucy”).
'ATOMIC BLONDE' (July 28)
A sexy secret agent (Charlize Theron) goes on a mission into spy-infested Berlin. With James McAvoy. Directed by David Leitch (“John Wick”).
'AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER' (July 28)
More than 10 years after Al Gore stated his case for man-made climate change in the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” the former vice president returns to insist that all is not lost.