Now that we’ve gotten through that fairly miserable year full of (necessary) strikes and other far more horrible stuff, it’s time to look ahead at what’s coming out this year, not just the big Oscar movies or the blockbusters, but all the fun stuff that hopefully will get people into theaters each weekend.
I begin with a caveat that many of the movies on this list haven’t even released a trailer or any other marketing yet, and I’m more likely to lean towards the movies that I have already seen a trailer for or that involves a familiar property, because those would be the ones I’m anticipating more than the unknowns.
- Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (Warner Bros.) – May 24
Anyone who saw George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road when it exploded into theaters in the summer of 2015 is very likely to have been anxiously awaiting his return to that world with this prequel starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Charlize Theron‘s title character, as well as Chris Hemsworth. This looks like a straight-up prequel telling Furiosa’s origin but with all the actions and amazing visuals of Fury Road.
- Godzilla X Kong: A New Empire (Warner Bros.) – April 12
You should know that I’m probably going to include a few movies in here that cater to my own roots as a genre fan, and when it comes to Godzilla, that’s just something I’ve loved my entire life, and even more so after the excellent Godzilla Minus One last month. I quite enjoyed Adam Wingard‘s Godzilla vs. Kong back in 2021, and I’m excited to see what happens next with Monarch: Legacy of Monsters filling in the gaps.
Universal really scored when Marvel Studios gave up its usual summer kick-off date in early May, immediately moving this action-comedy from David Leitch (Bullet Train, Deadpool 2) into the slot. Loosely based on the popular ‘80s television show starring Lee Majors, this one stars Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, looking like it throws some romance into the action-comedy, which could make this one of the summer’s big surprises.
- Gladiator 2 (Paramount) – Nov. 22
It’s been 23 years since Ridley Scott‘s historic epic won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and anyone who loved that film (or any of Scott’s work since) will be excited about him returning to that world, this time sans Russell Crowe (who also won an Oscar for that movie), but adding another regular Scott collaborator, Denzel Washington, with Pedro Pascal and Paul Mescal. It’s being released the same weekend as Napoleon last year, so it’s likely to be another awards player.
- Maxxxxine (A24) – undated
The first two movies in Ti West‘s slasher trilogy with Mia Goth – X and Pearl – were pretty fantastic, so seeing how the two of them conclude the series with Goth’s Maxine character from X getting involved in the L.A. porn industry in the ‘80s should make that another unforgettable horor experience.
- Nosferatu (Focus Features) – Dec. 25
Normally, a remake might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when it comes to a classic vampire tale that had previously been remade by Werner Herzog way back in 1979. This one is made by Robert Eggers, the visionary filmmaker behind The Witch and The Northman, with a killer cast that includes Bill Skarsgård (It) as Count Orlok, Emma Corrin, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicholas Hoult, and Willem Dafoe, the latter who got an Oscar nomination for playing Max Schreck (the original Orlok) in 2000’s Shadow of a Vampire. Sadly, we’re gonna have to wait all the way until Christmas Day to see this one.
- Deadpool 3 (20th Century) – July 26
Even though I would never consider myself a huge fan of the Deadpool character from the comics, there’s no denying that Ryan Reynolds really has turned the character into one of the more entertaining film characters with his previous two Deadpool ones. This one brings Deadpool into the Marvel Universe and brings along Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine, the first time the two characters will be on screen together since 2009’s unfortunate X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This one also brings along director Shawn Levy, who has worked quite a bit with both actors, and possibly even a few surprise cameos. Look for this to be one of the year’s biggest movies.
Filmmaker Alex Garland has never shied away from politics or difficult topics, and his latest, which stars Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Nick Offerman takes the current political situation in the country and takes it to its furthest extreme. Even though this opens in the last weekend before summer, it’s likely to be on everyone’s tongues throughout May.
- Wolf Man (Universal) – Oct. 25
After four years, Leigh Whannell finally returns behind the camera for his follow-up to 2020’s The Invisible Man, a terrific reinvention of the classic Universal horror film. This one stars Christopher Abbott, an indie actor whose popularity has grown thanks to films like Possessor and the recent Poor Things. No trailer yet, but that pre-Halloween date is terrific.
- Alien: Romulus (20th Century) – August 14
The latest installment of the sci-fi franchise begun by Ridley Scott way back in 1979 is being shepherded by Fede Alvarez of Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe, this one being a movie that takes place between the original Alien and the James Cameron-directed Aliens. It stars Cailee Spaeny, who just played Priscilla Presley in Sofia Coppola‘s Priscilla.
- Argylle (Apple/Universal) – Feb. 2
It’s always exciting to see what director Matthew Vaughn is up to, as he breaks away from his Kingsman franchise to get the early rights to Elly Conway‘s spy thriller, Argylle, which will hit book vendors next week just one month before the release of the movie. The rather META action-comedy has a killer cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard (as Conway), Henry Cavill, Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, John Cena, and even Dua Lipa.
- Mickey 17 (Warner Bros.) – March 29
I was a fan of Bong Joon-ho‘s movies since long before Parasite, and it’s pretty exciting that he’s making his first big-budget English language studio movie (if you don’t count Snowpiercer, which he did through the Weinstein Co.) Not a lot is known about this movie, and there hasn’t even been a trailer yet, so will it be another classic from the Oscar-winning South Korean filmmaker?
- Inside Out 2 (Disney/Pixar) – June 14
Speaking of classics, you can’t deny the run of fantastic films Pixar Animation Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter has produced at the company from Monsters Inc. to Up to Inside Out and his last film, Soul (which is being released into theaters for the first time next week). In this one, the young protagonist, whose emotions we met in the first movie, is becoming a teenager, so it introduces… Anxiety!
- Wolfs (Apple/Sony) – Sept. 20
Director Jon Watts has been steeped in Spider-Man for the past six or seven years, but he finally has a movie outside that realm with George Clooney and Brad Pitt playing dueling fixers, similar to Clooney’s role in Tony Gilroy‘s Michael Clayton. I may be a little biased since some of this movie was filmed in my neighbor (just like Clayton) but any movie that reunites Clooney with Pitt will be worth seeing.
- Challengers (MGM) – April 26
Luca Guadagigno‘s tennis drama was supposed to come out last year and premiere at Venice, but it was one of the movies that got delayed due to the actors’ strike. It stars Zendaya, Josh O’Connor (from The Crown), and Mike Faist (West Side Story, and it looks like it will be quite a solid sports drama, although opening against Alex Garland‘s Civil War might hurts its box office chances.
I really enjoyed Jason Reitman‘s reboot of his father Ivan Reitman‘s classic ‘80s franchise, as the younger Reitman teams with Gil Kenan (Monster House) to co-write and produce this follow-up that brings back all the characters, including Paul Rudd, McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Dan Ackroyd, and Bill Murray, pitting them against the “Death Chill.”
- Dune: Part Two (Warner Bros.) – March 1
The other delayed movie from 2023 was the second chapter of Denis Villeneuve‘s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, the first chapter, which won six Oscars, even while snubbing VIlleneuve for another directing nomination. This one stars super-hot young stars Timothée Chalamet along with Zendaya and much of the returning cast, joined by Austin Butler from Elvis. I was a bit mixed on the first movie, but I’m confident Villeneuve will stick the landing with the added time for the conclusion.
- The First Omen (20th Century) – April 5
Like I said, I’m always going to be excited when some genre franchise makes a return in any form, and though I know very little about this prequel or the filmmakers behind it, but it stars the amazing Nell Tiger Free from Apple TV’s Servant, and that’s enough for me.
- Trap (Warner Bros) – August 2
Speaking of Servant, I’m always excited and interested to see what M. Night Shyamalan is up to, and his latest mystery-thriller film brings him back to Warner Bros, who released his underrated Lady in the Water, and it stars Josh Hartnett, Hayley Mills, and Night’s daughter, Saleka, making her acting debut. As with much of Shyamalan’s projects, the plot for this one is a mystery in itself.
- Joker: Folie a Deux (Warner Bros.) – Oct. 4
It seems like it’s been forever since Todd Phillips directed Joaquin Phoenix to an Oscar, and while I probably should be excited about this reunion, which brings on board Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, I’m going to wait until I see a trailer before I get too excited.
In a daring move, the latest installment of another long-running genre franchise will be opening over Memorial Day… against George Miller’s Furiosa, which either could have the two movies cannibalizing each other’s business or it just being one of the big double features this summer ala Barbenheimer last year. Here’s hoping it’s the latter or otherwise, one of the movies will have to move. This one is directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner) with no Andy Serkis, so we’ll have to see whether this is as good as Matt Reeves‘ two films.
22. A Quiet Place: Day One (Paramount) – June 28
Taking a bit of a departure from John Krasinski‘s sci-fi thrillers, this one is a prequel directed by Michael Sarnoski (Pig) and starring Djimon Hounsou (who appeared in Part II), as well as Alex Wolff (also from Pig), Lupita Nyong’o, and Dennis O’Hare. We’ll have to see how this does without Krasinski or Emily Blunt, who starred in the previous two films.
That’s probably enough movies to preview for the year, and hopefully, we’ll have coverage for all these movies and more this year on Above the Line.