By Sean Gallagher
It seems like the worst of the pandemic is behind us, which means things should start to feel like 2019 again. That means there likely won’t be too many film delays this year, a problem that has plagued the last few years. There’s some carryover from last year on this list, but a slew of new titles to get excited for. So, in no particular order, here are the movies we’re most excited to see next year. As a note, a little bit of housekeeping, I’m in a bit of superhero fatigue, so while there are a ton of superhero movies on the horizon, don’t expect too many of them to appear on this list.
Dune: Part Two
Dune: Part Two is perhaps my most anticipated movie of the year but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Dune: Part One didn’t have too many haters, but it was definitely a movie that generated two kinds of reactions: “that was okay” or “fervent praise“. We have both such opinions here on the site, but I was a big fan of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel and can’t wait to see the conclusion. Newcomers to the cast include Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Austin Butler and Léa Seydoux. This entry will focus a lot more on Paul’s (Timothée Chalemet) quest for vengeance after the attack in the last movie and see him working closely with Chani (Zendeya) and the Fremen. The movie will be out on November 3rd, exclusively on the big screen this time around, and I’m sure the IMAX experience will once again be the ideal format for this movie.
Christopher Nolan returns to the big screen in 2023, but whereas his usual style is about spectacle and crazy effects, Oppenheimer will be a biopic about…you guessed it, Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. But don’t go into the movie thinking it’ll be shy on VFX-this is the movie that replicated the Trinity explosion without any CGI after all. The film stars Cillian Murphy in the title role and features an ensemble supporting cast, including the likes of Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Josh Harnett, Dane De Haan, Kenneth Branagh and Jason Clarke, among many others. It’ll be the first movie to feature black and white photography on IMAX film stock, because Nolan likes to push boundaries. You can watch this one on July 21st.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (oof that’s a mouthful), is the movie that’s competing for the title of Most Anticipated 2022 for me, alongside Dune Part 2. The Mission: Impossible films are the weird exception to action franchises, in that they keep getting better as they go along, more or less. Going in, we can expect some crazy stunts but also bigger stakes, as this is one half of a movie and we can assume then that the film’s villains will likely come out on top in this out, allowing the IMF to regroup and save the day in the sequel.
John Wick Chapter 4
John Wick Chapter 4 is a carryover from 2022 but that doesn’t mean it’s got any less excitement around it. Quite the opposite, in fact, this is one of the movies I’m most excited for and the November 2022 trailer really drove that hype to the stratosphere. Keanu versus Donnie Yen? Yes please! John’s mission is to defeat the High Table once and for all and is given an opportunity to claim a seat of his own, if he can defeat Bill Skarsgård’s Marquis de Gramont. Chapter 4 features an international setting and some returning faces, such as Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane while Hiroyuki Sanada, Scott Adkins and Shamier Anderson join martial arts legend Donnie Yen as Caine, who gets second billing on the sequel. Action junkies, rejoice.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Bring out your hat, whip and history books, Indiana Jones is back. The Dial of Destiny sees the return of Harrison Ford as the titular archeologist in what’s being touted as the final outing for the character. Not returning is Steven Spielberg, whose sitting this one out and letting Logan and Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold to take the chair. After a brief flashback set in the 40s, complete with de-aged Harrison, the film will then jump to the 60s and feature the space race. Joining Ford will be John Rhys Davies yet again as Sallah and Pheobe Waller-Bridge as Dr. Jones’ goddaughter. Mads Mikkelsen will be playing the film’s antagonist, which is the cherry on top, along with Boyd Holbrook. The movie was filmed in Scotland, England, Italy and Morocco.
Adonis Creed is back on the big screen but this time in Creed III, there’s no Sylvester Stallone as Rocky this time around. That’s because Michael B. Jordan is making his directorial debut and thought that Creed needed to get out of the shadow of Rocky. He’ll be going up against his childhood friend Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors), who was recently released from prison and is seeking for the riches and fame he feels he lost out on while he was incarcerated while his friend rose through the ranks. Time will tell if Jordan has the directing skills to make this a worthy entry in the Rocky/Creed canon. Regardless, the franchise to date has been solid, especially that first film, so I’m nonetheless excited for the third part.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Going to keep this one short. As a Dungeons and Dragons player myself, I know those games can get zany and quirky, to say the least. Honor Among Thieves, which stars Chris Pine, looks to capture that same feel but on the big screen. That means it’ll either be a fresh surprise or a hot mess. Hoping for the former.
Killers of the Flower Moon
Scorsese alert! The legendary director is back in action with his adaptation of Killers of the Flower Moon, a true crime novel about the mysterious murders of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma in the 1920s. Written by Oscar winner Eric Roth (Munich, Dune), the film boasts an all-star cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role, Robert DeNiro as co-lead, Jesse Plemmons and Brendan Fraser. It’s a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Apple TV+, so I’m honestly not sure which streamer this one will be found on (I think Apple?), or if it will get a theatrical release.
So the first Extraction wasn’t amazing or anything, but what it did excel in was action. Long takes, impressive choreography and inventive beatdowns elevated an otherwise ho-hum movie. That’s because the movie was directed by Sam Hargrave, a career stuntman and he applied his craft to the director’s chair. I’m hoping that Extraction 2 not only gives us more extended long takes, but also beefs up the story and gives Chris Hemsworth a bit more to work with.
A Quiet Place: Day One
A Quiet Place is turning into quite the franchise. Not only is a third film in the works, but we’ll get a spinoff in 2023 under the subtitle Day One. The film will star Joseph Quinn, perhaps immortalized as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things 4 and Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther), Things will be different though, as franchise director John Krasinski isn’t in the chair this time, passing duties onto Pig’s Michael Sarnoski. Based on the title though, I would imagine that the film would be a companion to the stellar opening of A Quiet Place Part II, which chronicles the first day of the alien invasion, only this time from a different point of view and likely in a different city or town. Regardless, colour me intrigued, if not a bit skeptical.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is something that looks visually stunning, but there’s also a few red flags that’s keeping me in check. Chief among them is, yes Chris Pratt playing Chris Pratt- I mean Mario-, which is an odd decision, to say the least, especially when the original voice of Mario is in this movie. There’s also the fact that Illumination is co-producing the film with Nintendo, a studio I’m not a big fan of due to their lazy and/or uninspired filmography. But I’m rooting for it despite all that, I want to be proven wrong as the teaser trailer was genuinely fun to watch and visually true to the source material.
It should be noted that that paragraph was panned before the first trailer dropped, which definitely lowered my excitement a bit, mainly due to how much more it looks like a traditional Illumination production than anticipated. I’m not a fan of that studio so I have reservations but it does look lovingly animated.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter
From André Øvredal (Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark) comes The Last Voyage of the Demeter. Those who’ve read Bram Stoker’s Dracula will no doubt recognize the title, which features prominently in the chapter “The Captain’s Log”. It will be set on the merchant ship called the Demeter and will see the crew being stalked by a mysterious and sinister presence. It will star Corey Hawkins, Liam Cunningham, Aisling Franciosi and David Dastmalchian.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
I loved Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. A moving piece of art, it was imaginative, fun, expressive and funny. So the bar is set really high for its sequel, which is the first of two sequels, the latter being Beyond the Spider-Verse due in 2024. In this one, Miles Morales goes into the Multiverse with a crew known as the Spider-Force, led by Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by Oscar Issac) as they visit six different dimensions over the course of the movie. Each dimension will, in turn, have its own art and animation style. I hope that this film can deliver another piece of amazing art, coupled with a great story.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
I may be having some intense Marvel fatigue as of late, but after the success of the Holiday Special and my love of this franchise, I’ll definitely look forward to watching Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. In fact, this may be the last time I’m truly excited about an MCU movie for some time. In the movie, Peter Quill seeks to defend the universe and a member of the Guardians. What this threat is, we do not yet know as of the time of this writing, but I’m sure director/writer James Gunn will find a way to balance wacky humour and heart.
Movies based on video games very rarely work and if they do, it’s usually nothing that’s going to garner any major acclaim. I’m not expecting too much from Gran Turismo, which stars David Harbour and Orlando Bloom, but it does look like it’s actually trying something a little unexpected. Based on a true story (betcha didn’t see that coming!), Gran Turismo is about a teenager who plays the popular video game and eventually uses all that he’s learned to compete in real-life motorsport racing. What’s more is that the movie is directed by Neill Blomkamp, the hit-or-miss director who gave us both District 9 and Chappie. So, who knows how this will turn out. But I’ll take a good movie over a bad one, so I hope it ends up being a fun ride.
Director Michael Mann is something of a legend. From Heat to Collateral, he’s a master of crime and boasts a unique directorial style. But he’s been absent from the big screen since his 2015 misfire Blackhat. Now he returns with the biopic Ferrari, which he also wrote, with Adam Driver playing the iconic Enzo Ferarri. The film will be set in 1957 and will chronicle the family’s problems leading up to the ’57 Mille Miglia, a race largely taken on public roads across 1597km, which for the winner, took around ten hours of racing to complete. Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley and Jack O’Connell also star.
Matthew Vaughn is back with a new action spy movie! And it’s not a Kingsman movie! The premise of Argylle sounds absurd and that’s part of the appeal. A world-class superspy gets amnesia and is duped into believing he’s a bestselling spy author. When his memories and skills do return, he seeks out some cold hard revenge on his former employers. The cast also looks pretty great, with Henry Cavill in the lead role (sporting a really stupid haircut!), with support from the likes of Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Dua Lipa, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena and Samuel L. Jackson.
David Fincher has a new movie coming out in 2023 that alone should be cause for excitement. I shouldn’t have to say more. But I will. The Killer is based on the graphic novel series of the same name and stars Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton. In it, Fassbender’s assassin, known only as The Killer, starts having psychological breakdowns after he starts to develop a conscious.
Written and directed by the writers of A Quiet Place, produced by Sam Raimi and starring Adam Driver, 65 looks like it should be a dumb sci-fi adventure, but based on the trailer, this looks like it could actually be a fun and tense sci-fi horror film. A space freighter seemingly goes through space and time and crash lands on Earth some 65 million years ago, back to the time of the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are scary creatures and the movie seems to be leaning into the fear of being hunted by those giant lizards.
The great Ridley Scott has been trying to make a Napoleon film since the early 2000s. Originally, the movie was to be called Tripoli but it eventually evolved into Kingdom of Heaven. But in 2023, Scott will finally bring that dream to life, with Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. The movie will chronicle Napoleon’s rise to power, but from the point of view of Empress Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby). It’s an Apple TV+ original, so here’s hoping it does get some time on the big screen, as this movie will feature six battle sequences and we all know Ridley Scott knows how to film battle sequences.
The Three Musketeers
I’ve seen so many versions of Alexandre Dumas’ masterpieces that they sometimes blend together. But I’ve never actually seen one in its native French language. This year looks to fix that, with a big-budget French production of The Three Musketeers. Split into two halves, both of which are out in 2023, the film features Eva Green and Vincent Cassell in leading roles. It’s also said to feature some 9000 extras and 650 horses, so it definitely sounds epic.
So I don’t have 100% confirmation that Rebel Moon is coming out in 2023, but reports online say it should be coming out this year, so unless I hear otherwise, let’s run with that. Rebel Moon is the first of two planned movies from Zack Snyder over at Netflix. The script, which he wrote, was actually his Star Wars pitch from before Disney bought the IP. While his vision for a galaxy far, far away didn’t go anywhere, Snyder kept the script, removed the Star Wars from the story and will instead give us a Kurosawa inspired space-opera. The film will feature an ensemble cast, including Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ray Fisher, Djimon Hounsou, Corey Stoll and Anthony Hopkins, among others. Snyder is a hit-or-miss director for me, so here’s hoping this one is a hit.
Ben Affleck returns to the director’s chair this year with AIR which will be a biopic about Sonny Vaccaro and how he got Nike to partner up with his Royal Airness, Michael Jordan, while he was still a rookie, to collaborate on the now iconic shoe lineup. Alex Convery, a relative newcomer with virtually no credits to his name, pens the script while Matt Damon leads as Vacarro with Affleck, Jason Bateman and Viola Davis in supporting roles.
Seven Kings Must Die
No official date yet, but Seven Kings Must Die is said to be coming out this year. It’s the cinematic conclusion of the really excellent The Last Kingdom series, which is set in England during the Viking invasions. The main character, Uhtred, is a man of both worlds and he’s been navigating the court of Wessex and the raiding clans over the years. No official plot yet, but expect it to serve as the season finale to the show, only much more cinematic in scope. You’ll have to be a fan of the show to get excited for the movie, but I’d definitely recommend the series. The first season is, just okay, but it really picks up from season two onward.
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