Your 2016 Pop Culture Cheat Sheet

Lena Dunham: Courtesy of HBO.
Rashida Jones: Courtesy of TBS.
Rihanna: Chelsea Lauren/REX Shutterstock.
Kristen Wiig & Kate McKinnon: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Well hello, fellow pop culture maven. You look like someone who enjoys marathon binge-watches, seeing the latest blockbusters and indie flicks the second they hit theaters, downloading albums the moment they drop, and seeking out the next great read.

If we just described you perfectly, you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome to your 2016 pop culture cheat sheet. This is a guide to the most important movies, TV shows, books, and albums in the pipeline. We’ve done the due diligence for you and curated the perfect list of everything worth knowing about in the new year.

Want to know when Game of Thrones returns? How about when Rihanna’s new album will finally become a reality? When can you finally see the epic mashup of Jane Austen and the undead in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?

Click on through for all of that info and more. Let us entertain you. Let us make you smile.
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Photo: Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films and BBC Wales for BBC One and MASTERPIECE.
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (January 1, PBS)
Special
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

The dynamic duo of Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Freeman) find themselves transported to Victorian London to battle a vengeful bride in this 90-minute special. Nice 'stash, doc.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Joe Viles/FOX.
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (January 3, Fox)
New series
Starring: Jack Cutmore-Scott, Justin Bartha, Meaghan Rath

This sitcom follows a group of cohabitating Millennials trying to get their shit together after college.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE.
Downton Abbey (January 3, PBS)
Final season
Starring: Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael

It’s the swan song for the upstairs/downstairs residents of the now-iconic British abbey. We’ll miss Dowager “What is a weekend?” Countess the most.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC.
The Bachelor (January 4, ABC)
Season 20
Starring: Ben Higgins, several women named Lauren

After 20 seasons, the most popular name among contestants is still Lauren, there’s a woman whose actual job description is “chicken enthusiast,” the Bachelor is still white, and all of the trailers are wondering if he can juggle twins. The times, they are not a-changin’.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: John P. Fleenor/FOX.
New Girl (January 5, Fox)
Season 5
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield

The season kicks off with Nick (Jake Johnson) becoming part owner of the bar, Cece (Hannah Simone) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) very happily engaged — except she hasn’t told her parents, and Winston (Lamorne Morris) becoming a local celebrity after he rescues a young boy. Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is sort of biding time until she goes on maternity leave (which will be explained on the show as “jury duty”) and gets temporarily replaced by Megan Fox.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Patrick Wymore/ABC.
Marvel’s Agent Carter (January 5, ABC)
Season 2
Starring: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy

Peggy (Hayley Atwell) leaves New York City and heads off to sunshine and palm trees — with a side of ass-kicking and espionage — in Hollywood.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Courtesy of MTV.
The Shannara Chronicles (January 5, MTV)
New series
Starring: Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, Ivana Baquero

Based on Terry Brooks’ fantasy books.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Ron Tom/ABC Family.
Pretty Little Liars (January 12, Freeform)
Season 6
Starring: Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Ashley Benson

The Liars are now 5 years older and have (mostly) moved out of Rosewood and on with their lives. But can they ever escape A and all of their past secrets?

Watch trailer.
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Photo: John Medland/ABC Family.
Shadowhunters (January 12, Freeform)
New series
Starring: Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Harry Shum Jr.

Inspired by Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments books.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Courtesy of TV Land.
Younger (January 12, TV Land)
Season 2
Starring: Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar

Now that Liza (Sutton Foster) opened up to Josh (Nico Tortorella) about the fact that she’s a 40-year-old pretending to be 26 so she can work in publishing, will she start telling more people about her big secret? Maybe, say, her daughter (Tessa Albertson) who just returned from some time abroad in India?

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Courtesy of TV Land.
Teachers (January 12, TV Land)
New series
Starring: Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert

From renowned comedy troupe the Katydids and executive producers Alison Brie, Ian Roberts, and Jay Martel comes this dark sitcom about a group of teachers you really don’t want shaping any young children’s minds...or going near them at all, really.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Tyler Golden/TBS.
Angie Tribeca (January 17, TBS)
New series
Starring: Rashida Jones, Hayes MacArthur, Deon Cole

Angie Tribeca (Jones) is a lone-wolf detective who works for the LAPD’s RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit) in this satire of every police procedural you’ve ever watched.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Mike Rosenthal/FYI.
Kocktails With Khloé (January 20, FYI)
New series
Starring: Khloé Kardashian

Billed as “The happiest hour on TV,” KoKo’s new talk show features the popular Kardashian hosting dinner parties with friends in hopes of creating a more intimate version on the typical televised gab-fest.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: WTTV Limited.
London Spy (January 21, BBC America)
New series
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Charlotte Rampling, Jim Broadbent

This eight-part mystery chronicles the enigmatic love story of Danny (Whishaw) and Alex (Edward Holcroft) — if that is his real name — who meet by chance one morning when Danny is just emerging from a club, and Alex is out for a run. Danny is under the impression that Alex is an investment banker, but when Alex goes missing, Danny learns that he might actually be part of MI6.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
The X-Files (January 24, Fox)
Reboot
Starring: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny

FBI agents Dana Scully (Anderson) and Fox Mulder (Duchovny) are back to investigate the paranormal and search for the truth, which is out there [insert whistling tune].

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Tommy Garcia/FOX.
Grease: Live (January 31, Fox)
Special
Starring: Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens

Unable to allow NBC to have all the live musical glory, Fox decided to get in on the game with everyone’s favorite, most hand-jiviest of high school romps. Oh yeah!

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (February 2, FX)
New series
Starring: David Schwimmer, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Sarah Paulson

A behind-the-scenes look at the trial that had Americans glued to their television screens while lawyers battled to get a football star acquitted of double homicide. Oh, and it sort of introduced us to the Kardashians.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Greg Gayne/ABC.
Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder (February 11, ABC)
Midseason premieres
Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis

Mark your calendars and set your DVRs for the return of TGIT.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Vinyl (February 14, HBO)
New series
Starring: Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple

Sex and drugs and rock and roll in 1970s New York, brought to you by HBO, Martin Scorsese, and Mick Jagger. Our bodies are ready for excess.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hulu.
11/22/63 (February 15, Hulu)
New series
Starring: James Franco, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight

English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to prevent President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on the fateful day in Dallas. The eight-part series is based on Stephen King’s novel. King and J.J. Abrams serve as executive producers.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Jason Frank Rothenberg/Comedy Central.
Broad City (February 17, Comedy Central)
Season 3
Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer

Our favorite best friends are back for more adventures in New York City, including a trip to the DMV, seeing Abbi’s dad, going to the club, and a visit from Hillary effing Clinton.
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Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO.
Girls (February 21, HBO)
Season 5
Starring: Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke

The girls appear to be growing up: Hannah (Lena Dunham) is dating Fran (Jake Lacey). Marnie (Allison Williams) is getting married. Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is in Tokyo. It’s unclear what Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is up to, but she looks as ethereal as ever while offering Hannah some tough love.

Watch trailer.
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Fuller House (February 26, Netflix)
New series
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Andrea Barber, Jodie Sweetin

Beloved TV shows from our youth are being rebooted everywhere you look, so really, it was just a matter of time before someone revived this TGIF classic. In the Netflix original series Fuller House, almost everyone is back in the original beloved San Francisco house — save for Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), who’s in New York City working as a successful fashion designer (sound familiar?) — to help a newly widowed D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure) raise her kids.

Watch trailer.
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Photo: Trae Patton/NBC.
The Voice (February 29, NBC)
Season 10
Starring: Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine

Christina Aguilera is returning as a judge for the reality competition’s 10th season.
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Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC.
The Catch (March 24, ABC)
New series
Starring: Mireille Enos, Peter Krause, Sonya Walger

The newest show from Shondaland follows a successful fraud investigator (Mireille Enos) who somehow manages to get conned in her personal life.

No trailer available.
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Photo: Chuck Hodes/FOX.
Empire (March 30, Fox)
Midseason premiere
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett

Head back into the Lyon’s den when the juicy soap returns.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Game of Thrones (April, HBO)
Season 6
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner

This is the teaser art HBO has released for the sixth season of Game of Thrones, and “teaser” is definitely the best word for it. This photo of course fails to answer the one thing we’re all dying to know: Is Jon Snow really dead!?

Watch trailer.
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How To Be Single (February 12)
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie

Fifty Shades of Grey's Dakota Johnson gets to show off her comedy charms in How To Be Single, a romantic comedy about unlucky-in-love New York women. She stars alongside Rebel Wilson, who is, as ever, in fighting, foul-mouthed form.
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Zoolander 2 (February 12)
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz

Ready your Blue Steel. Derek Zoolander is back in all his idiocy.
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The Witch (February 26)
Starring: Ana-Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie

This horror movie set in 17th Century Puritan New England received rave reviews out of the Sundance and Toronto fests. Now we can see for ourselves just how terrifying it is. Director Robert Eggers used natural light and did meticulous research. Newcomer Ana Taylor-Joy proves herself one to watch as the daughter whose nature is questioned when a baby goes missing. Spooky.
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (March 4)
Starring: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman

Tina Fey goes to war in the adaptation of The Taliban Shuffle, Kim Barker's memoir about her days as a reporter in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Don't worry, it's supposed to be funny.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25)
Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams

To many, Zack Snyder’s brooding, thundering Man of Steel was a disappointment. Now Snyder has upped the ante for the follow up, having Superman (Henry Cavill) face off with the Caped Crusader (Ben Affleck). Jesse Eisenberg gets to ham it up as Lex Luthor, while Gal Gadot will swoop in to show the boys how it’s done as Wonder Woman.
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The Boss (April 8)
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage

Last time Melissa McCarthy collaborated with her husband the result was the bizarre comedy Tammy. But we have more than enough goodwill for the couple that we’re looking forward to The Boss, which stars McCarthy as a Martha Stewart-type figure who rebuilds her life post-jail by organizing a girl scout group.
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Demolition (April 8)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a widower who starts writing letters to a vending machine company in a dramedy directed by Jean Marc-Vallée. Reviewers were mixed when the film debuted at Toronto, but if it involves Gyllenhaal operating power tools, we're in.
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The Jungle Book (April 15)
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba

It’s looks like Disney invested more than just the bare necessities in the live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. The animals may be CGI, but they appear incredibly lifelike. The voice casting is also perfect. Bill Murray voices the bear Baloo, Idris Elba is tiger Shere Khan, and Scarlett Johansson makes the snake Kaa sexy (of course).
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The Huntsman: Winter's War (April 22)
Starring: Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Chris Hemsworth

This sequel to 2012's Snow White and The Huntsman ups the lady power by a lot. One evil queen? Try two. Emily Blunt joins Charlize Theron in villainy, and Jessica Chastain is set to match Chris Hemsworth in hunting skills.
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Captain America: Civil War (May 6) and Doctor Strange (November 4)
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton

With a new year come new Marvel movies. In 2016, the Avengers will fight each other in Captain America: Civil War, and Benedict Cumberbatch will try his hand at superheroics in Doctor Strange.
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Photo: Moviestore/REX Shutterstock.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (May 20)
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons

The first Neighbors movie was a blast, and not just because of Zac Efron’s abs. Now Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, and Efron are back in a sequel that introduces some sorority girls played by Chloe Grace Moretz and Kiersey Clemons.
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Maggie’s Plan (May 20)
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke

When this played back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, we were among those delighted by it. Rebecca Miller directs Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, and Julianne Moore in a farce about marriage and infidelity. Moore plays a Danish academic. Her accent alone makes the movie worth seeing.
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Alice Through The Looking Glass (May 27)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen

After taking a turn for the serious in Black Mass, Johnny Depp returns to wackiness for this sequel to Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland. James Bobin takes over as director and Sacha Baron Cohen assumes the bad guy role, as Time.
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Finding Dory (June 17)
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Ty Burrell

Does she just keep swimming? Does she? We’re putting our faith in the great minds at Pixar that they'll deliver on this follow-up to Finding Nemo that focuses on the lovable forgetful fish.
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Ghostbusters (July 15)
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones

Do you need any convincing? This is our most anticipated movie of the year. Paul Feig assembled an awesome cast — Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones — to take on spectral menaces. We will be calling them.
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Photo: Erik Pendzich/Rex/REX Shutterstock.
La La Land (July 15)
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J.K. Simmons

Damien Chazelle clearly knows his way around a movie with music. He directed indie hit Whiplash, which found Miles Teller bleeding for his drumming. Chazelle now reunites charming humans Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for a musical, and both are up for the task. Stone recently starred on Broadway in Cabaret and we know Gosling can hoof it from his Mickey Mouse Club days. J.K. Simmons, who won an Oscar for Whiplash, also stars.
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Star Trek Beyond (July 22)
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Sofia Boutella, Idris Elba

Now that J.J. Abrams has left the place no man has gone before for a galaxy far far away, the Star Trek franchise is in the hands of Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin. Even Simon Pegg, who co-wrote and stars as Scotty, didn't love the action-heavy trailer, but he promised that "there's a lot more to the film." Idris Elba plays the villain. Only, be warned, he's swathed in a lot of makeup.
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Photo: Snap Stills/REX Shutterstock.
Untitled Matt Damon/Bourne Sequel (July 29)
Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander

We don’t know much about the plot of the new Bourne movie, but we do know that Matt Damon is back. That's reason enough to be pumped.
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Suicide Squad (August 5)
Starring: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne

This one could have an impact on your Halloween plans. Even though we’ve only seen a trailer and some odd images, the DC Comics adaptation about a team of villains has already produced some iconic imagery, especially the getup worn by Margot Robbie’s gum-smacking Harley Quinn. The biggest question we have: Can Jared Leto’s Joker possibly hold a candle to Heath Ledger’s?
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Photo: Beretta/Sims/REX Shutterstock.
Bridget Jones’s Baby (September 16)
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey

The last Bridget Jones movie came out way back in 2004, so it’s been a bit since we’ve spent time with the Londoner played by Renée Zellweger. But Bridget is back and pregnant in this threequel. Colin Firth has returned to play Mark Darcy, but Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) has been replaced by a new character, played McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey). Which one is the father of Bridget's baby? That's the mystery, according to Entertainment Weekly.
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The Girl On The Train (October 7 )
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Haley Bennett

The book The Girl On The Train has been compared to Gone Girl, what with its shifting perspectives, twisty plots, and unhinged women. The movie adaptation stars Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson.
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Photo: Brian Patterson/REX Shutterstock.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (November 11)
Starring: Joe Alwyn, Steve Martin, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel

Ang Lee is an idiosyncratic filmmaker. He’s made martial arts films and romantic comedies, a Jane Austen adaptation and a Hulk movie. His 2016 film is based on the eponymous novel about soldiers at a football game before being redeployed to Iraq. Newcomer Joe Alwyn plays the title character, while Kristen Stewart plays his older sister.
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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (November 18)
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller

It’s been about five years since we said goodbye to the Harry Potter franchise, so we're read for some more magic. The movie, written by J.K. Rowling herself, stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a British wizard in New York in the 1920s who has a magical briefcase filled with fantastical creatures.
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Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Moana (November 23)
Starring: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk

Finally got “Let It Go” out of your head? Cool. Time to put another Disney tune in there. Moana features Disney’s first Polynesian princess (voiced by newcome Auli'i Cravalho) and co-stars The Rock, who will be singing songs co-written by Hamilton genius Lin-Manuel Miranda.
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Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16)
Starring: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed

Directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards, the first of the new Star Wars spinoff films is a prequel that takes place just before A New Hope and focuses on the rebel quest to steal plans for the Death Star. You know, the plans that Princess Leia gets to Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode IV. It features a stacked cast that includes Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, and Diego Luna among many, many others.
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Passengers (December 21)
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne

The fact that this sci-fi romance stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt is reason enough to buy tickets. The two play passengers aboard a ship who awake many years before they are supposed to. (It also features a sex scene that Lawrence can't stop talking about.)
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The Circle (Undated)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane

Is this the post-Potter Emma Watson project we’ve been waiting for? Watson stars opposite Tom Hanks in the adaptation of Dave Eggers book about the tech world. James Ponsoldt, who directed the excellent David Foster Wallace movie The End of The Tour, is behind the camera.
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Sia
This Is Acting (Jan. 29)

Pop’s most enigmatic star is releasing an album that only she could conceive: a greatest rejects collection. Sia’s sophomore LP is comprised of songs she wrote for other artists — including Beyoncé and Katy Perry — that they passed on. "I feel like they're hits, but nobody wanted them," she told Rolling Stone. "So I thought, 'Let's see, as an experiment, if I'm right.'" If the tracks she’s already released — including “Alive,” originally written for Adele, and “Cheap Thrills,” intended for Rihanna — are any indication, the ingénue herself could become pop’s leading lady in 2016.
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Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Azealia Banks
Business & Pleasure (Date TBD)

Last May, Banks shared the title of her new album — and that’s about it. Oh, wait. She also said at the time that she’s, like, halfway done and it will be out in 2016. We’re not sure if this album will be any good, or if it will be enough to turn around Banks’ poor public image, but it’s certainly something everyone will pay attention to once it premieres.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/REX Shutterstock.
Britney Spears
B9 (rumored titled; date TBD)

Spears confirmed in November that she’s working on a new album. What she has not confirmed, however, is that this new album will come to us in 2016. But, given the amount of time she’s spent in the recording studio and the hashtag #B9 she’s used in every social media documentation of studio time, we feel like it’s happening this year. Plus, her Vegas residency has been extended for two more years.
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Photo: Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock.
Christina Aguilera
Currently untitled (Date TBD)

The pop goddess is looking to make a comeback with not one but two new albums. One will be in Spanish, a follow up to her 2000 album Mi Reflejo. The other, in English, will reflect her “love for yoga and breathing… not [as] an exercise, but just feeling more one with the Earth and everyone being connected,” she’s explained. As if that New Age-y inspiration weren't enticing enough, Pharrell Williams — her former fellow coach whom she’ll rejoin on The Voice later in 2016 — worked closely with her on the record.
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Gwen Stefani
Currently untitled (Date TBD)

There’s a silver lining to Gwen’s split from hubby Gavin Rossdale after nearly 13 years of marriage. “I needed to go through what I needed to go through to write the record that I needed to write" the No Doubt frontwoman explained to Entertainment Weekly. Inspired by those fresh wounds, her first single, “Used To Love You,” is about reeling from heartbreak. It's devastating and gorgeous. Is it wrong to be so excited for somebody’s post-breakup self-therapy?
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Photo: REX Shutterstock.
Kanye
SWISH (Date TBD)

In December, the proud new dad tweeted, “DON’T ASK ME FOR ANYTHING TILL AFTER I’M FINISHED WITH MY ALBUM.” Except he's been "almost finished" with it for a year and a half. Yeezy recently told L.A.’s Real 92.3 that it’s “sounding good. It’s like a sonic painting, and it gets better and better every week.” We don’t know what a sonic painting is, exactly, but maybe we would if we had a chance to experience Swish. Seth Rogen’s had a private listening of this album, which is random.
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Photo: Matt Baron/REX Shutterstock.
Katy Perry
Currently untitled (Date TBD)

Perry’s manager has confirmed her fourth studio album will hit this year — it’s just a matter of which month. Maybe it’s coming after her tour winds down? Either way, we’re on the lookout.
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Photo: David Fisher/REX Shutterstock.
Lady Gaga
LG5 (tentative title; date TBD)

Can you believe it’s been five years since Gaga's had a No. 1 hit? What we know now is that she is close to releasing her follow-up to 2013's disappointing ARTPOP, and that she's got some fantastic producers onboard: "Just Dance” and “Bad Romance” collaborator RedOne, hit-maker Mark Ronson, and disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder. It also feels worth mentioning that Elton John’s already heard this album and has called it “really, really fantastic.”
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Photo: Matt Baron/REX Shutterstock.
Rihanna
Anti (Date TBD)

As we write this entry, we are also keenly aware that the RiRi album could sneak its way into the final moments of 2015. Rihanna’s announced her 2016 Anti tour already, and she’s been doing this AntidiaRy campaign with Samsung where she keeps walking through rooms and we think maybe the final room means, like, oh here’s my album! It’s all very stressful, actually. Since November 19, the campaign has done a weekly release of a new room, of which there are eight in total. So, there’s a real chance this album’s dropping at Christmas. But, for this sake of this roundup, let’s hope it’s more of a New Year’s Day situation.
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Photo: Gabriel Grams/REX Shutterstock.
Modest Mouse
Whatever (Date TBD)

Isaac Brock, the band’s frontman, confirmed the group is releasing a follow-up to Strangers to Ourselves in 2016. Actually, what he said was, “as quickly as it’s legally allowed to be,” but 2016 is when that is. Pitchfork reports the album will feature Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. There’s also a chance the album title will be intentionally misspelled: Whabever or basically anything else Brock says, because he “wanted to go as dumb as fucking possible, mainly to be agnostic,” and because he “thought it was funny.”
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Photo: Matt Baron/REX Shutterstock.
Wiz Khalifa
Rolling Papers 2: The Weed Album (Date TBD)

Despite the redundancy of subtitling anything called Rolling Papers with The Weed Album, this one’s going to make headlines. This is Khalifa’s follow-up to his 2011 album, which was unshockingly titled Rolling Papers. When a fan on Twitter addressed the lack of originality of the new album title, the rapper replied, “So negative, try smiling.” So, yeah.
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Photo: Justin Ng/REX Shutterstock.
M83
Currently untitled (Date TBD)

M83’s front-man Anthony Gonzalez is teasing a “very epic” release sometime this year, five years after the French electronic group’s Grammy-nominated masterpiece, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. So, what can we expect? Not a redux of sexy after-party mainstays like “Reunion” and “Midnight City.” Gonzalez told Entertainment Weekly that the just-finished LP is an eclectic, genre-melding effort, “quite different from the previous albums, which is what I’m the most proud of.”
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Image: Courtesy of Penguin.
The Assistants by Camille Perri (May 3, 2016)

A debut novel from Cosmopolitan's books editor-at-large, The Assistants asks the question so many twentysomething (and thirtysomething, and fortysomething) women ask themselves all the time: How did men end up holding all the power?

But the plot takes things a step further, as low-paid assistants to titans of industry decide to regain some ground through an elaborate money-siphoning scam. Perri has crafted addictive characters you can't help but root for, despite all off-putting traits. Only a matter of time before this one hits the big screen. Can't wait.
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Image: Courtesy of Knopf.
The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff (April 12, 2016)

This collection of short (and really) short stories exemplifies just how powerful economy of language can be. At once acerbic and heartbreaking, Schiff's fictional plots draw on the modern female experience — what it means to share a bed, to endure a loss, to seek a crutch, and willingly become one yourself.

This is a debut work that will hopefully be followed by many others. As for the real reason the bed moved... You'll just have to wait and read it for yourself.
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Photo: Rob Latour/WWD/REX Shutterstock.
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Fall 2016)

Not much is known about the debut book from the comedian. But if we know Amy Schumer, this collection is going to be ten types of hilarity served up with a heapy side of raunch and another of pointed commentary. Details on Schumer's essays are still scant, but we're keeping an eye on this one.
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Image: Courtesy of Sarabande Books.
You Should Pity Us Instead by Amy Gustine (February 9, 2016)

Every so often, a book comes along that truly has the power to make you both laugh and cry — sometimes within a single page.

Amy Gustine's talent for unearthing the heartbreaking beauty within the seemingly mundane comes to life in this gorgeous collection. Each story unravels complexity that lives right below the surface — and compels us, in our own existences, to consider looking a little deeper.
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Image: Courtesy of Picador.
Shelter by Jun Yung (March 2016)

A tenure-track professor, struggling with crippling debt, takes in the estranged parents who showed him no kindness as a child. But what does it really mean, to care for your own family?

That's the question at the center of this impressive first novel, which examines both our obligations to our own happiness — as well as to one another.
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Image: Courtesy of Picador.
The Lonely City by Olivia Laing (February 2016)

"Loneliness centers on the act of being seen. When a person is lonely, they long to be witnessed, accepted, desired, at the same time as becoming intensely wary of exposure," writes Olivia Laing, lauded author of The Trip to Echo Spring, in an essay dedicated to the subject of being alone.

The book dives into the topic even more deeply, drawing from personal experiences as a thirtysomething living entirely alone, yet also surrounded by people, in New York City. At the center of it all lies a question: Not what tethers human beings together, but what keep them apart?
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Image: Courtesy of Ecco.
Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi (March 8, 2016)

Former model and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has come a long way from her grandmother's humble kitchen in South India. And yet, despite her many palate adventures, the food she treasures most is a simple rice dish from her childhood.

This memoir — which exists at the intersection between Blood, Bones & Butter and Wild — traces a family history while also turning an eye on the shape, smells, and tastes of the present moment. It's an evocative and often mouthwatering read that you won't want to set aside for later.
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Image: Courtesy of Knopf.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (May 24, 2016)

There is certainly some hype surrounding Stephanie Danler's debut novel, which centers on a young NYC transplant who gets sucked into restaurant life at one of the city's best restaurants and finds herself entangled in a foreboding love triangle.

But Sweetbitter has earned all the attention with gorgeous, sensual prose and a page-turning plot line that casts a spell down to the very last sentence of the final page. It's tantalizing in all the right ways. We're already considering going back for seconds.

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