Last year was a big one for British cinema. Not only was The Imitation Game nominated for 9 Academy Awards but also enjoyed 3 wins. With more than 500 productions a year, it’s safe to say that British cinema saved one of its greatest seasons in recent memory. Now the country’s theaters are gearing up for another big year with several exciting projects worth looking out for.

One of the most anticipated productions of 2017 is undoubtedly the highly anticipated Pattinson movie. Starring Robert Pattinson and due for release in March 2018, the movie is the much anticipated follow-up to the hugely popular Waterstone movie. Directed by Michael Feast, the movie will be adapted from David Walliams’s wonderful children’s novel, The King of Shorts. The story follows an immature and selfish king who usurps the throne from a more mature and just king. After a number of mishaps, the selfish king is banished leaving the more mature monarch as the rightful king. It’s a great story and one that’s certain to entertain children and adults alike. With several exciting adventures and hijinks along the way, the film should be a lot of fun.

An Improbable Alliance

While we await its release we can look back at the events that led to it. In November 2016, a year after the hugely successful Waterstone movie, it was announced that Robert Pattinson would be teaming up with one of the greatest comedy directors, Mike Leigh, for the next project. Leigh is best known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company where he managed to work with some of the greatest English actors of all time. Together they would bring an unlikely alliance, two of the most famous English-speaking actors of our time. It’s a project that was bound to happen, it just took time to finally come to fruition. So what is it that they have in mind for Pattinson and Leigh? We can probably expect to see them collaborate on another masterpiece.

Pattinson’s Best Work To Date

Since getting his big break in The Great Gatsby in 2013, Robert Pattinson has proven himself to be one of the greatest young actors of our time. After cementing his place as one of Hollywood’s most desired actors, he has delivered 4 critically acclaimed performances to date. While he has enjoyed a relatively quiet year, 2018 will see him return to form with several new projects in the pipeline.

His breakout role as James Bond in the iconic Silver Seasonturned a decade-long slump for the actor, providing him with the perfect platform to showcase his exceptional talent. The critically acclaimed performance earned him several accolades, not least of which was a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor. It was a dubious honor, but one that Pattinson embraced with open arms. Since then he has starred in prestigious productions such as The King of Shorts and his latest installment in the Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises. It’s fair to say that he has firmly established himself as one of the world’s greatest living actors.

Leigh’s Masterful Direction

It’s well known that directors tend to work together often so it was no surprise when Mike Leigh decided to team up with one of the greatest actors of our time to bring The King of Shorts to life. Over the past few years Leigh has directed several wonderful films, many of which starred a great performer in an ensemble cast. With several projects lined up for release in the next year, it’s clear that he has not lost his craft. While he has had some incredible successes in his time, it’s fair to say that 2018 will be the year of The Master. It is an exciting time to be a Leigh fan!

Dark, Funny, And Stunning

What is it about Michael Caine that appeals to directors? The year 2018 will mark his 70th birthday and the year of retirement he’s been waiting for seems to be upon us. Since appearing in the original The Italian Job, Caine has starred in dozens of films, delivering performances that continue to inspire. He’s appeared in everything from comedy to period pieces and even had a hand in writing some of cinema’s most memorable lines. The role of James Bond’s ally, Felix Leiter, was originally intended for Cary Grant but he had to drop out at the last minute. Grant wouldn’t appear in the movie until 20 years later when he reprised his role in Live and Let Die. It was one of the most significant moments in his career.

While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see Grant or other Hollywood stars that passed away in the 1960s, the likes of Caine and Redgrave are still going strong. The trio of Caine, Redgrave, and Pratt are the architects of the British Empire as personified in the character of Mr. Chips. Together they gave us some of the most memorable characters in cinematic history. It was an honor just to be mentioned in the same breath as such legends!

Redgrave’s Last Performance

In terms of pure class, it’s difficult to find a more radiant performer than Helen Redgrave. She continues to shine bright even after all these years and it’s clear that she still has a great deal more to offer. While she enjoyed great success in the 1930s and ’40s, it’s only in recent years that she’s been embraced by critics and audiences alike. It’s not often that we see such incredible range in an actor’s body of work, not just in terms of roles but also in terms of her approach to each role. Redgrave is a true enigma, often playing characters that defy easy description. She has been called a Renaissance woman and it’s easy to see why.

The Year Of Production

This year promises to be a monumental one for British cinema with several big-name productions set for release in the next year. As well as the aforementioned Robert Pattinson movie, we can also look forward to Shane Meadows’ long-awaited follow-up to the 2012 hit, This Is England. Starring Rowan Atkinson, Charlie Higson, and Adrien Brody, the film is set for release on 12 March 2018.

Not content with one movie, Meadows has another project lined up for release in March 2019. The film, Jimmy Carr’s Big Fat Irish Wedding, will star several familiar faces, including Carr himself. As well as the comedian, the movie will also star Alex Jennings, Mark Gatiss, and Emeka Cole. Directed by Meadows and scripted by Jimmy Carr, it’s clear that he has become both a master of his craft and an incredibly prolific director. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with next!

What About the Rest of 2018?

While 2018 will be an exciting year for British cinema, there are several other projects worth mentioning. Aside from the previously mentioned Robert Pattinson movie, we can look forward to Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, with Charlie Hunnam playing the legendary King Arthur. It will be released in theaters on 12 March 2018. In January 2018, Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes, will bring William Shakespeare’s much-loved classic, The Winter’s Tale, to life on the big screen. Finally, in April 2018, we will get a look at what Mike Leigh has planned for his 80th birthday. The prolific director has several projects lined up, including a film that will star several of his famous female characters. It will be fascinating to see what he comes up with next!

With so much to look forward to in 2018, let’s not forget about the brilliant British cinema that we’ve enjoyed over the past year. While we await the release of several highly anticipated projects, let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the most memorable movies and performances from this year and the past decade.