The most exciting biopics of 2017

In the latest in our 10-part series, we run through the films we are most looking forward to next year (in alphabetical order). Today: biopics

American Made

Tom Cruise teams up again with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for the 80s-set story of Barry Seal, a former pilot for Trans World Airlines who turned to drug-smuggling before being recruited by the DEA as a snitch which got him involved with the Medelln cartel. Domhnall Gleeson and Jesse Plemons suggest credible backup.

Christopher Robin

Christopher

Heres Gleeson Jr again, this time in a different type of character study: a biopic of AA Milne, whose Winnie the Pooh stories were inspired by his playing with young son, Christopher. Margot Robbie is his wife; Kelly Macdonald Christophers nanny.

Felt

Thats Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, who shipped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein vital information to uncover the Watergate scandal in 1974. Liam Neeson is the whistleblower, Diane Lane his wife and Maika Monroe their daughter.

The Greatest Showman

An all-singing, all-dancing look at the life of circus impresario PT Barnum, played here by Hugh Jackman, with Michelle Williams as Charity, the tragic wife, and Rebecca Ferguson as Swedish songbird Jenny Lind. Zac Efron plays someone called Phillip, who we dont immediately remember from the Michael Crawford musical.

Polka King

Polka

Shortly to premiere at Sundance, this is the story of Jan Lewan, a Pennsylvania polka sensation who badgered fans to invest in a Ponzi scheme. Jack Blacks best role to date was also in a biopic (Bernie, another sinister charmer) so were hopeful for this one optimism boosted by the presence of Jenny Slate, Jacqui Weaver, Jason Schwartzman and JB Smoove in the supporting cast.

Professor and the Madman

Even the biggest Mel Gibson sceptic couldnt help but be charmed by the selfie some lad took of him up a mountain in Ireland earlier this year.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Likewise, its hard not to be a bit intrigued by the project Gibson was then shooting: a biopic of the two creators of the Oxford English Dictionary (the other is played, naturally, by Sean Penn), one of whom submitted some 10,000 entries while in an asylum. Comeback: noun, return to big-screen acclaim in unlikely project for vilified Aussie.

Rebel in the Rye

Rebel

JD Salinger wrote one masterpiece then went to ground for 59 years, so were assuming that this biopic will focus mostly on the days around publication. Nicholas Hoult stars as the Catcher in the Rye writer; Kevin Spacey his Columbia lecturer and mentor, Zoey Deutch as the daughter of Eugene ONeill, with whom Salinger had a relationship, and Sarah Paulson as Dorothy Olding, Salingers agent. Its another one the world will have its first glimpse of in Park City in January.

Stan and Ollie

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are the late-era Laurel and Hardy, bickering bitterly as they tour theatres in the north of England in 1953, trying to recapture the old glory days. Jeff Pope, with whom Coogan adapted Philomena, scripts; Jon S Baird (best known for Filth) directs.

War Machine

David Michds Afghanistan drama has been around a little while now it appeared on last years equivalent list but time has not dinted our appetite to see what the Animal Kingdom director does with a faintly fictionalised study of General Stanley McChrystal, who had command of the Joint Special Operations Command in the mid-2000s. Brad Pitt is the general disguised as one Dan McMahon Emory Cohen is one of his platoon, Topher Grace his press adviser, with Ben Kingsley, Tilda Swinton and Scoot McNairy also somewhere in the trenches. Netflix paid $60m for this one, so either its an imminent masterpiece or a heck of a gamble.

Read more: www.theguardian.com