Superhero flicks and franchise vehicles aren’t the only films on our eagerly anticipated list this year. Hollywood has a lot more to offer, from treasure hunting quests and serial murder mysteries to talking red pandas!
Nothing is certain in life except death, taxes, and a steady supply of Hollywood movies. Come what may, the film industry will continue its attempts to entertain us, even if it has to do so while a global pandemic rages on.
Another year brings with it more movies, and yes there will be sequels. Think of an uber-popular film, now add a number in front of its title – Avatar 2, Mission: Impossible 7, John Wick: Chapter 4, Scream 5, Knives Out 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Hocus Pocus 2, Legally Blonde 3, Creed III – and chances are it’s coming to a cinema near you very soon.
And of course the big franchises will continue minting money. Marvel will unleash its latest superhero onslaught (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. See also: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) and Morbius.) And so will DC (The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, even DC League of Super-Pets!)
But established movie series aren’t the only source of cinematic anticipation for moviegoers. Yes, we’re all waiting for Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion, but there is also a lot more movie magic in store for us if we wander off the beaten path. Here are five such films you can look forward to this year…
Damien Chazelle is taking us back to the golden age of Hollywood, this December, in the period drama Babylon. Set in the 1920s, the film blends fact and fiction and covers the movie industry’s transition from silent films to talkies. Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie have been confirmed as the leads, which makes things all the more promising.
And it appears there’s going to be quite a bit of Mr. Pitt in our lives this year (lucky us!) because there’s another Brad Pitt starrer that’s also on our radar: Bullet Train. The action thriller revolves around five assassins who find themselves on a Japanese bullet train, and boosts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Joey King, Andrew Koji, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, and Sandra Bullock among many others.
The Uncharted production has been on quite the rollercoaster ride since the project first entered development over a decade ago. Now, several revamps and personnel changes later, the prequel to the acclaimed video game series will finally arrive in cinemas this February, and we can only hope it will have been worth the wait.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Holland as Nathan Drake, the Indiana Jones-esque adventure will tell the origin story to the games, as the protagonist goes on his first treasure hunting adventure with wisecracking partner Victor Sullivan (played by Mark Wahlberg, who was, at one point many, many moons ago, set to star in the lead role.)
Killers of the Flower Moon
Martin Scorsese has adapted David Grann’s non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI – which investigates a series of murders of affluent Native Americans under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s – into a film.
The cast – Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Jesse Plemons – is star-studded. The budget is over $200 million. And our anticipation is through the roof. The movie is expected to hit theatres this year, although an exact release date has yet to be revealed.
Not many of us would have wagered that Jordan Peele would emerge as the saviour of the horror genre, yet here we are. Now, after the runaway success of Get Out and Us, he is working on his third movie, a horror flick titled Nope that stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer and is scheduled for a July release.
Do we even know what the film is about? Well … nope. Are we excited about it anyway? Hell yeah!
Seeing how he has been redefining the boundaries of horror, we hope he manages to bring something new to the genre once again.
It’s always a treat when Pixar releases a film, especially when it’s not a sequel to one of their previous films! We will, of course, be blessed with the Toy Story spin-off Lightyear in June, but before that, we will get a Pixar original in the form of Turning Red, their first film solely directed by a woman (Domee Shi). The coming-of-age tale is centred on a Chinese Canadian girl (voiced by Rosalie Chiang) who suddenly transforms into a giant red panda when experiencing strong emotions. Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell have reportedly written songs for the movie, so that’s another reason to check out Turning Red when it arrives in cinemas this March.