Update #1: Mission: Impossible 7 has been delayed to 2023 and as such, has been removed from this list.
Update #2: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash have both been moved to 2023 and have been removed from this list.
As we look back on the year in cinema, we must also divert our gaze to the future. With most of the films out now, audiences are always hungry to know what’s next on the horizon, especially after the last two years, which were filled with delays upon delays. 2022 should see a much more stabilized release window (knock on wood) so nothing should change (again, knock on wood). With that in mind, we have 20 films that, at this moment, we’re pretty jazzed about. Some opinions naturally change once we actually see the film in action (which is why Uncharted is no longer on this list compared to last year-the trailers just haven’t been doing it for me as a big fan of the source material) and some films are so under our radar, we don’t even know about their existence until a trailer drops (such as Belfast, which was not on our list last year but ended up being one of my top three films of the year). So with that in mind, we hope you enjoy this list, which features everything from superheroes and franchises to original material from talented directors, in no particular order.
Downton Abbey: A New Era
The first Downton Abbey movie was an honourable mention list and as such, it seems appropriate to include the sequel as well. I’m not going in expecting a masterclass of filmmaking, but I do enjoy the franchise and as such, am ready to head back and see what this new era is all about.
Jurassic World: Dominion
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, but it did do a neat job of setting up Jurassic World: Dominion. The standalone prologue and the short film, Battle at Big Rock, have both been really good and the latest film promises to reunite the current Jurassic World cast with the classic Jurassic Park cast of Sam Neil, Jeff Goldbloom and Laura Dern in roles that aren’t just mere cameos. Fingers crossed this one delivers, but regardless, it’ll be a hit.
I’m cautiously optimistic about Matt Reeve’s upcoming Batman film. One on hand, I’m quite nervous about the casting of Robert Pattinson. Don’t get me wrong, great actor, but is he Batman? Time will tell. This film looks like it will be more of a Batman movie than a Bruce Wayne film, so maybe he’ll do a good job behind the cowl. On the other hand, the look and tone of the movie looks so good and straight out of the Arkham video game series that I can’t help but be intrigued.
The first Creed movie ranks as one of the best sports films and one of the best Rocky films ever made. The second one was good, not as good, but still a worthy watch, but I found it concluded Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed’s story arc quite nicely. But now, Jordan is behind the camera making his directorial debut and telling a story without Rocky in it this time around. Can Adonis stand on his own? Jordan would like to hope so, but let’s see for ourselves.
Knives Out 2
Netflix must really have loved Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, because they forked over (heh) almost $400 million for a pair of sequels. The first one is set to debut this year and will bring back Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc alongside new cast members, including Ethan Hawke, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Katheryn Hahn and Edward Norton, among others. The plot is currently unknown, but that doesn’t damper the excitement.
Babylon is Damian Chazelle’s new movie and will star Tobey Maguire and Brad Pitt. That’s as much as I have for you, but rumours are it will be a Hollywood period piece. But considering it’s Chazelle’s next movie (La La Land, Whiplash), you should be excited.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has the sad and monumental task of filling in the void left by the great, late Chadwick Boseman. There have been calls to recast T’Challa, but rumours indicate the mantle will be passed to his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright) and her journey will begin a new in this film, which will once again be helmed by Ryan Coogler. The first film was so fresh in its depiction of the villain actually changing the hero’s mind that I wonder how Wakanda Forever could even top it.
David O’Russell’s New Movie
Much like Babylon, I have little to no information for you about this movie at this time. But the film is directed by David O’Russell (American Hustle, Three Kings) and will star Anya Taylor-Joy, Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, Rami Malek and Robert DeNiro. Good enough for me.
Across The Spider-Verse (Part One)
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse is one of the coolest and most artistically creative films I’ve ever seen. It’s wicked funny and full of heart. Plus, it’s a literal moving comic book. So of course I’m ready for a sequel and, oh surprise! The sequel will be a two-parter and Oscar Issac will be playing Spider-Man 2099. I’m so in.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Taika Watiti promises that Thor: Love and Thunder will make Ragnarok seem tame by comparison. There will be Christian Bale and Natalie Portman joining Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder this time, as well as space sharks. Prepare for weirdness. I’m not overly fond of Taika’s brand of humour as I find it detracts from the drama, but there’s no doubt the man is a great director, as evident by his other works.
If you were feeling tired of all the Disney live-action remakes, Guillermo Del Toro has heard you. While Disney is making its own Pinocchio movie this year with Robert Zemeckis directing, we’re more excited for what Del Toro is offering. The film will be stop-motion animated and Del Toro shares directing duties with Mark Gustafson, a relative newcomer. The cast includes Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, Finn Wolfhard, Burn Gorman and John Turturro and promises to be a dark and twisted retelling of the classic fairy tale.
I’m cautiously optimistic about Lightyear. On one hand, it’s Pixar’s big movie of the year and has a connection to the beloved Toy Story franchise. On the other hand, it could very well be a run-of-the-mill attempt at franchise building, as the film isn’t about the toy Buzz Lightyear but the “real” Buzz Lightyear. Also jarringly is Tim Allen being replaced by Chris Evans in the title role. Well, at least it’s not Chris Pratt.
Bob’s Burgers Movie
Bob’s Burgers is funny and now we get to experience that on the big screen. Sounds like flippin’ fun to me!
Top Gun: Maverick
I feel like I’ve been hyped about this one for quite some time now. It appeared on my 2020 list as well as my 2021 list and now we’re going for the hat trick in 2022. This looks like one that you’ll want to see on IMAX, with the aviation stunts looking completely bonkers. Story-wise, we have Tom Cruise returning as Maverick, who is now a flight instructor at Top Gun. One of his students is none other than Miles Teller’s Rooster Bradshaw, son of Goose from the first film, who died under Maverick’s watch. A lot of potential for crazy action and a good story.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
One of my most anticipated of the year comes as a sequel to a movie I thought was good but not great. But Sam Raimi is behind the camera on this one, his first feature film since Oz The Great and Powerful. In the film, Strange will enter the multiverse and will feature horror elements as he fights another version of himself alongside Wanda Maximoff.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Fantastic Beasts has had a slippery slope so far. The previous film was the lowest reviewed film in the Wizarding World franchise, with particular criticism drawn at the convoluted writing. Then there was the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp, which forced the actor to resign his role of Grindelwald and be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. Then, the very public campaign that writer J.K. Rowling has unleashed against the trans community has made her the black sheep of the film industry, making her name almost unmarketable. So yeah, Secrets of Dumbledore has a lot riding against it. But Warner Bros have brought in Steve Kloves to co-write the film this time around, the man who wrote 7/8 Harry Potter films. With the added time due to the pandemic and a new writer on the team, here’s hoping that Secrets of Dumbledore can elevate the franchise.
Not much is known from Jordan Peele’s latest film, but that doesn’t really matter-it’s the latest directorial effort from Jordan Peele, what else do you need to know?
The upcoming film from acclaimed director Robert Eggers looks to be his most epic and perhaps his most accessible. The film is basically Viking Shakespeare, with Alexander Skarsgard playing Amleth (Hamlet) and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga (Ophelia), as the titular Northman returns home to slay his uncle, who killed his father when he was a child.
So that’s my list! Hopefully, I can see most of these movies, but who knows with the pandemic and such. Let me know what your most anticipated of the year will be!