Women Who Will Kick Ass Onscreen in 2018

8:00 AM 12/28/2017

by Katie Kilkenny and Mia Galuppo

'Black Panther' and 'Tomb Raider' are just a few of the movies that will put female stars at the center of the action.

Black Panther, Tomb Raider and Annihilation Still - Split - Publicity - H 2017
From left to right: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures

2017 gave us a tween X-23 decimating a small armada of guards, Valkyrie taming The Hulk, Rose Tico battling the First Order and Robin Wright back flipping off of a horse, mid-stride. Needles to say, it was a good year for women in blockbusters. 

While we have to wait until 2019 for a new Wonder Woman, there are several ladies that will occupy screen time in 2018 in those big sci-fi, fantasy, action adventure and comic book tentpoles that audiences can look forward to. 

  • Mary, 'Proud Mary'

    Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson shifts into anithero action-star gear — and wears some cool disguises — in the thriller Proud Mary, out Jan. 12. The Babak Najafi-directed film sees Henson's Mary working as an assassin for an organized crime family in Boston. Her life changes when she meets a boy she orphaned on the job. 

  • The Women of 'Black Panther'

    Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba) are the warriors and royalty that will be defending Wakanda in one of the most anticipated films of 2018. Audiences will get to see them in action on Feb. 16 in the Marvel Studios film. 

  • The Biologist, 'Annihilation'

    At the center of Alex Garland's Ex Machina follow-up is an unnamed protagonist tasked with leading an all-female and similarly unnamed team into the mysterious Area X, which is teeming with inexplicable plants and animals. Natalie Portman stars in the near future sci-fi thriller, out Feb. 23, alongside Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Jennifer Jason Leigh. 

  • Dominika Egorova, 'Red Sparrow'

    Jennifer Lawrence reunites with Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 director Francis Lawrence for an adaptation of ex-CIA agent Jason Matthew's 2013 spy novel Red Sparrow. In the spy thriller, out March 2, Lawrence plays an injured Russian ballerina who enrolls in the program that instructs Russian spies in how to seduce their targets —  and ends up falling in love with a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton). 


  • Meg Murry, 'A Wrinkle in Time'

    Ava DuVernay's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic sci-fi fantasy book (out March 9) comes complete with Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and Oprah in a dazzling array of metallic lipsticks, but the film's center is Meg, played Storm Reid. The ever-determined Meg traverses space and time to find her missing scientist father on the planet that houses the universe's greatest evil.      

  • Lara Croft, 'Tomb Raider'

    Alicia Vikander is stepping in to Angelina Jolie's well-treaded combat boots for the 2018 reboot of the video game adaptation. The film, out March 16, is written by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and sees Lara Croft head to an island where he adventurer father (Dominic West) disappeared. 

  • Domino, 'Deadpool 2'

    Atlanta break-out Zazie Beetz will play a newcomer anti-hero in the comic book franchise made up entirely of anti-heroes. As Domino, she will undoubtedly butt heads with her fellow mercenaries: Ryan Reynold's Deadpool and Josh Brolin's Cable. The follow-up to 2016's R-rated comic book movie will hit theaters on June 1.  


  • The Ladies of 'Ocean's 8'

    In 2018 Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter and Sarah Paulson are gonna rob the Met Gala. The Ocean's franchise spin-off, which hits theaters on June 8, follows Debbie Ocean (brother on George Clooney's Danny) as she assembles her team to pull off a heist on fashion's biggest night. 

  • Alita, 'Alita: Battle Angel'

    Robert Rodriguez' take on the Yukito Kishiro's manga centers on an amnesiac female cyborg — played by Maze Runner actress Rosa Salazar — that rediscovers her past as she begins work as a bounty hunter. Alita, which counts James Cameron as a producer, is out July 20.

  • Ruby, 'The Darkest Minds'

    After an illness kills 98 percent of the world's children, survivor Ruby (The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg) develops mysterious powers in The Darkest Minds (out Sept. 14), an adaptation of the dystopian YA trilogy of the same name. Confined to a federal "rehabilitation camp" because of her powers, Ruby breaks free to join other kids with mysterious abilities who are on the run from the government.

  • Laurie Strode, 'Halloween'

    Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her iconic role as Halloween's Laurie Strode to confront Michael Myers one last time in this 2018 sequel to the Halloween franchise, set to release on Oct. 19. This time around, Judy Greer will play Laurie's daughter, Karen.

  • Lisbeth Salander, 'The Girl in the Spider's Web'

    The Crown's Claire Foy steps into Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace's combat boots as hacker Lisbeth Salander in an English-language adaptation of David Lagercrantz's Millenium series continuatino, set for release in Oct. 19. Sverrir Gudnason will play the magazine editor Mikael Blomkvist, who teams up again with Salander to investigate a case involving U.S. government secrets and Russian hackers.

  • Hester Shaw, 'Mortal Engines'

    The long in-the-works movie centers on Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) in a post-apocalyptic future where cities are now on wheels traversing what is left of Earth, battling with each other over what remains of resources. Mortal Engines, which hits theaters Dec. 14, follows Shaw as she battles for her survival as her small town is being pursued by London.