From Batman to ‘Black Panther 2’: 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2022
Another year, another lineup of movies we desperately hope will be coming to a theater near us some time in the foreseeable future. 2022 may have already started to do the push-and-punt game with release dates (check you out in the spring, Morbius! See you in 2023, John Wick 4!) in anticipation of what may be a shakier-than-expected return to a “normal” filmgoing year. That said, there’s a lot to look forward to seeing over the next 12 months, from new superhero movies to big-name, star-studded ensemble dramas to more superhero movies to historical epics, throwback comedies and yes, even more superhero movies. Not all heroes wear capes, though in terms of blockbuster culture circa right now, almost all of them rock a lot of spandex.
We’ve singled out 50 movies set to screen, stream, or some combination of the two from now until December, including (but not limited to) some perpetually postponed studio films from the last few years, a few fan-favorite franchise reboots, a lot of likely awards-circuit MVPs, and a host of other upcoming titles we’re extremely excited about. Release dates are subject to change; in fact, they likely will be some musical-chairs going on as things hopefully settle down on the public-safety front. (We’ll keep updating this list as lineups get switched around, so you may want to bookmark this page.) Here’s your moviegoing guide for 2022. Stay safe, mask up and we’ll see you in one multiverse or another.
The 355 (Jan. 7)
Take one C.I.A. agent (Jessica Chastain), pair her with her intelligence counterparts from Britain, Germany, Columbia and China (played respectively by Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz and Bingbing Fan) and have them use their skills, their smarts and an endless series of wigs to stop the world from being blown to smithereens. Name the group after the codename for America’s very first female spy, and boom! You have a thriller that will likely have many actual booms in it. Simon Kinberg, who’s had a hand in a number of X-Men movies over the years, directs.
Scream (Jan. 14)
Has it really been 25 years since director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson’s meta-take on slasher films breathed new life into the horror sub genre? This fifth entry in the series takes it back to basics and, if the stripped-down title is any indication, comes full circle as the franchise’s original final girl, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), returns to Woodsboro to confront a new masked killer. How we’ve missed you, Ghostface! David Arquette and Courtney Cox are back as well; Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid and 13 Reasons Why‘s Dylan Minnette supply the fresh blood.
Jackass Forever (Feb. 4)
That’s right: Johnny Knoxville has assembled gonzo-comedy’s versions of the Avengers for one last round of getting punched in the nuts, being shot out of cannons, eating weird shit and enduring any number of other creative examples of grievous bodily harm for our amusement. There may be an extra layer of danger this time out, given these guys are old men now — you don’t bounce back from getting gored by a bull in your 50s the way you did in your 20s! — but time and experience does not seem to have tempered Knoxville & Co.’s love of a good death-defying stunt or prank. Plus Eric Andre, Machine Gun Kelly and Tyler the Creator are joining in on the fun.
The Worst Person in the World (Feb. 4)
Norway’s selection for the Best International Feature Oscar follows Julie (Renate Reinsve), a woman trying to figure out a career, an age-appropriate lifestyle and something resembling a future as she slouches into her thirties. A relationship with a cartoonist (Anders Danielsen Lie) seems to hold promise for a while. So, too, does a dalliance with a man (Herbert Nordrum) she meets at a party. Mostly, Julie just wants to avoid being…well, see title. A huge hit in the festival circuit, the latest from Joachim Trier (Reprise) is easily his best film in years — and is about to become your new favorite 21st-century romantic dramedy.
Kimi (Feb. 10)
Does Steven Soderbergh ever sleep? The prolific filmmaker has apparently made yet another movie during the pandemic — this new one concerns an agoraphobic tech-company employee (Zoe Kravitz) in the Pacific Northwest who’s perusing a data stream one fine day when she believes she finds evidence of a murder. In order to solve the crime, she has to do the impossible: venture outside her house. Worse, the streets of Seattle are filled with protesters and cops, i.e. a powder keg ready to blow. So it’s a thriller that’s like a Gen-Z Blow-Up with a dash of Medium Cool? We’re in.
Uncharted (Feb. 18)
Tom Holland takes a break from webslinger duties to play Nathan Drake, the globetrotting, treasure-hunting hero of the popular videogame series who has a gift for getting into life-or-death scrapes. A sort of prequel to his PlayStation adventures, this movie rewinds to Drake’s early days, when his mentor (Mark Wahlberg) was teaching the kid some tricks and helping him hunt for clues regarding his missing brother. Quicker than you can say “so he’s like Lara Croft but a young dude?”, Drake is running along roofs, solving puzzles, falling out of airplanes, and trying to avoid Antonio Banderas’ ruthless bad guy. Ruben Flesicher (Zombieland) directs.
The Outfit (Feb. 25)
A British tailor (Mark Rylance) plying his trade in 1930s Chicago finds himself in the middle of a gang war involving a briefcase, a goon with a gunshot wound and a mysterious network of underworld bigwigs. if nothing else, this may be the most stylish crime thriller we get all year. (Seriously, check out those fits in the trailer.) Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, Johnny Flynn and Simon Russell Beale costar. Graham Moore, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, makes his directorial debut.
Apollo 10 1/2 (2022)
If you’re a fan of Richard Linklater’s occasional forays into animation — see: Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly — you’ll dig the filmmaker’s new movie about a bunch of youngsters watching the Apollo 11 moon landing and dreaming of their own outer-space excursions. Like those earlier movies, this one is done in a similarly Rotoscope live-action-to-toon style, though we’re guessing this one is a lot less surreal and way more kid-friendly. Shazam’s Zachary Levi, Jack Black, and Set It Up‘s Glen Powell lend their voices to a story that Linklater said is based on his own personal memories of seeing the historic event on TV.
The Batman (Mar. 4)
Andy Warhol once declared that in future, every actor will take a crack at playing Batman for 15 minutes (we’re paraphrasing slightly here). Now it’s Robert Pattinson’s turn. The former Twilight heartthrob-turned-consciously-arthouse-weird-movie-star gives us a moody caped crusader, right at the beginning of his career dedicated to cleaning up Gotham City. Paul Dano is the Riddler, here reimagined as a particularly nasty serial killer targeting the rich and famous. Zoe Kravitz makes for a particularly slinky Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, and Colin Farrell is virtually unrecognizable as the Penguin. If director Matt Reeves can do for the dark knight what he did for giant monsters with Cloverfield, this could be way better than your average superhero joint.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (Mar. 25)
Never mind all these multiverses — bring on the Michelleverse! Hong King cinema legend and Crazy Rich Asians matriarch Michelle Yeoh is the owner of a dry-cleaning facility that finds herself facing a mountain of back taxes. She soon finds herself in a life-or-death battle against her auditor (a frumpy Jamie Lee Curtis); luckily, Yeoh has the help of numerous interdimensional versions of herself. The directorial duo known as the Daniels, a.k.a. the geniuses behind Swiss Army Man and the music video for DJ Snake’s “Turn Down for What,” have been known to amping up the absurdity to epic proportions. They may have outdone themselves with this.
The Lost City (Mar. 25)
A romance novelist (Sandra Bullock) must promote her new book about a lost city brimming with priceless artifacts. Then a billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) kidnaps the author to help him find what he thinks is a real lost city brimming with treasures, and the hunky, Fabio-like dude (Channing Tatum) who models for her covers sets out to rescue her. Full disclosure: He may merely be an incredibly handsome, highly incompetent boob. (Also, judging from the trailer, Tatum may not be the only photogenic actor to make an appearance here.) This seriously looks like a rejected movie from the mid-1990s, which you are welcome to treat as either a feature or a bug.
Next Goal Wins (2022)
Thomas Rongen had been a soccer coach for years when, in 2011, the former Dutch-American defensive midfielder was hired to head up the national American Samoa team. It would be charitable to say that, at the time, they weren’t exactly considered contenders, and Rangen had his work cut out for him. If you’ve seen the 2014 documentary on his tenure, you know what happened next — and if you haven’t, then writer-director Taika Waititi’s feature-film take on how the coach whipped a ragtag bunch of players into shape will fill you in. Throw in Michael Fassbender as Rongen, and your itch for an uplifting sports-underdog comedy starring a handsome movie star will be properly scratched.
The Bubble (2022)
Imagine you’re an actor, and you’re away on location shooting some sort of big-budget blockbuster film. Then a pandemic hits, and you and your fellow A-list thespians are stuck together in your hotel, unable to see anyone else while under strict quarantine. You’d probably drive each other a little crazy, right? That’s the bare-bones premise of writer-director Judd Apatow’s new comedy, and while we don’t know much more than that, a) it’s an Apatow movie and b) the cast includes Pedro Pascal, Karen Gillian, Rob Delaney, Leslie Mann (of course), Fred Armisen, Keegan Michael-Key, David Duchovny and breakout Borat star Maria Bakalova, so we’re certainly curious to see what they’ve done with this torn-from-the-headlines showbiz scenario.
Morbius (Apr. 1)
Comic-book readers of a certain age may remember a Spider-Man villain known as Morbius, a biochemist by day and “living vampire” by night. And because Sony is raiding their Spidey-character back catalog for crossover movie ideas, we now get a stand-alone origin story in which one Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) decides to try some experimental, and fairly extreme methods to treat his own rare blood disease. The side effects include superhuman strength, a sensitivity to light, the occasional transformation into a monster and a taste for Type O. At least now Leto has some fangs to help chew the scenery! Matt Smith, Tyrese Gibson and Jared Harris costar.
Aline (Apr. 8)
Once upon a time, a girl growing up in Quebec discovered she has a world-class singing voice. She met a manager, who steered her to fame, fortune and global superstardom; he also married her as well. After embracing her destiny as a pop diva, she settled into a lucrative residency in Las Vegas. If this story sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because that’s exactly what happened to Celine Dion — only writer-director-star Valérie Lemercier is portraying a fictional version of Ms. Dion, named Aline Dieu, in what is a biopic by any other name. The French actor is also playing the singer from ages 5 (!) to 55. Our hearts will go on, indeed.
The Northman (Apr. 22)
‘Fess up, you’ve been dying to see a good Viking revenge saga for a long, long time now. Filmmaker Robert Eggers, he of The Witch and The Lighthouse, has your back: He’s put together a star-studded tale of a Norse warrior (Alexander Skarsgard) seeking vengeance against the death of his father, with Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, and Claes Bang donning furs and horned helmets right alongside him. If you’ve seen Eggers’ previous work, you know that his tendency to be as historically accurate as humanly possible creates an incredibly immersive, you-are-there experience. Bonus: Bjork shows up as a character named “The Slav Witch,” so it’s got that going for it as well.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Apr. 22)
It’s Nicolas Cage, in the role he was born to play: Nicolas Cage, Superstar. When the Face Off star finds himself in debt, he takes on offer to attend a millionaire’s birthday party in Spain for some quick cash. It turns out that there are a few snags in the plan, however, involving the C.I.A., Cage’s family being kidnapped and a superfan who wants the actor to recreate his most famous roles. This sounds completely Cagetastic. Tiffany Haddish, Pedro Pascal, Neil Patrick Harris and Ike Barinholtz are around to lend Nic all the support he needs.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
The Nightmare Alley director’s first stop-motion animation movie (co-directed by The PJs‘ Mark Gustafson) revisits the story of the wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy — and promises to be a much darker, less Disneyified take on the classic Italian fairy tale. The voice cast is stellar: Ewan McGregor is the talking cricket (don’t call him Jiminy), Tilda Swinton is the blue fairy, Ron Perlman is the master of the marionette theater, Cate Blanchett as a kindly bird, Christoph Waltz playing both of the animal con men who swindle our young hero.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (May 6)
“Madness” seems to be the key word regarding this new MCU entry, which ended up switching directors (goodbye Scott Derrickson; hello, Sam Raimi), has apparently undergone Covid-related reshoots, and looks to connect a number of recent Marvel narratives from both the big screen (Spider-Man: No Way Home) and the smaller one (Loki, WandaVision). Benedict Cumberbatch is back as the Sorceror Surpreme, who’s trying to keep all these separate timelines from colliding into each other, as well as keeping various supernatural forces at bay. Elisabeth Olsen is confirmed to appear as the Scarlet Witch; we’re assuming she won’t be the only Avenger dropping by.
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)
Because you never really get rid of that need for speed, right? Tom Cruise returns to one of his most famous roles: Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, former hotshot fighter pilot who’s now an instructor in the Navy’s “Top Gun” program. Naturally, he’s got some things to teach the whippersnappers who think their egos can write checks which their bodies can, in fact, not cash. Especially since one of them, Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), has a huge chip on his shoulder and a need to prove himself. Oh, did we mention he’s the son of Maverick’s late partner, Goose? Also hovering near various cockpits and landing strips: Ed Harris, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, Glen Powell, and The Good Place‘s Manny Jacinto. Take our breath away one more time, Tom!
The Gray Man (2022)
How many times has this happened to you: You’re working for the Central Intelligence Agency, you get betrayed by the powers that be, you have to use all of the skills they’ve taught to survive (and save your family)…and then one of your old running buddies gets dispatched to take you out! Tuesdays, amirite?! Anthony and Joe Russo direct this adaptation of Mark Greaney’s first novel about a rogue agent, with Ryan Gosling playing the title character and Chris Evans as his former colleague who’s now the cat in this cat-and-mouse game. Also ready to get their hands dirty with some cinema du espionage: Ana de Armas, Bridgerton‘s Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfre Woodard, Wagner Moura and Michael Gandolfini.
Jurassic World Dominion (Jun. 10)
The sixth film in the dinosaurs-run-amuck franchise and the third film in the Jurassic World trilogy (please mark your score cards accordingly) fast-forwards four years after the last JW entry, Fallen Kingdom — and you may remember that 2018 blockbuster ending with a host of giant, scaly predators now jumping, swimming, flying and [gulp] preying among the general population. Big-wave surfers getting picked off by pterodactyls and city streets being overrun with ravaging velociraptors are the new normal, in other words. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are once again trying to avoid being chomped, while Jurassic Park O.G.s Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are back to weigh in on the chaos as well.
Lightyear (Jun. 17)
Finally, the real scoop behind everyone’s favorite Toy Story interstellar action figure. This Pixar spin-off takes us back to Buzz Lightyear’s beginning, long before he was the delusional, plastic lil’ buddy of Woody and friends — this is supposedly an animated version of the fictional live-action movie that inspired the toy, with no less than Captain America, i.e. Chris Evans, voicing the human Buzz. Taika Waititi is also lending his dulcet tones to an unnamed character as well. In the spirit of equal time, we’re demanding a companion film that dives into Woody’s backstory, to be entitled When Snake Met Boot.
The Good Nurse (2022)
Charles Cullen worked as a nurse in New Jersey from 1986 to 2003. During that time, he would end up murdering a number of his patients. Cullen eventually confirmed 29 of their deaths, and confessed to 40; the real number, however, might be in the hundreds. This portrait of a serial killer from Danish director Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking, TV’s Borgen) sounds like the perfect recipe for a chilling procedural; Eddie Redmayne plays Cullen, and Jessica Chastain plays a fellow nurse who finds his methods of treatment to be a little suspicious, not to mention the way the folks under his care have a way of prematurely expiring.
Elvis (Jun. 24)
Given the way that Kurt Russell captured the King of Rock & Roll in John Carpenter’s 1979 movie, there’s really no reason to do another biopic on Elvis Presley. Unless, of course, you can get Baz Luhrmann to cowrite and direct it, in which case you’re likely to get an oddball, over-the-top version of Presley’s rise and demise. (Finger crossed he’s going to Moulin Rouge this thing to the max!) Plus Austin Butler has the smoldering sex appeal of a young Elvis, and we’re extremely curious to see what Tom Hanks does with Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s infamous, control-freak manager.
Thor: Love and Thunder (Jul. 8)
Taika Waititi’s sequel to his MCU best-in-show entry Thor: Ragnarok asks the question: What if someone besides the traditional tall, blond and handsome Thor took on the powers of the God of Thunder? Like, say, his old romantic interest Jane Foster? Chris Hemsworth is back as the big ol’ Asgardian, Natalie Portman returns to play Foster, Tess Thompson gives us more of her tough-talking Valkryrie, and Christian Bale joins the party as Gorr the God Butcher. Oh, and apparently a whole bunch of the Guardians of the Galaxy were in the neighborhood as well, so they’re in this too. Cool.
Bullet Train (Jul. 15)
The international assassin community is, we’re told, a pretty close-knit bunch — so it isn’t surprising when a professional killer with the handle “Ladybug” (Brad Pitt) finds himself recognizing some of his peers on a Japanese bullet train while he’s on a job. The question is: How are all of them on the same speeding train? Do all of their respective hits happen to have some sort of common connection? And more importantly: Who may be setting them up, and why? Sandra Bullock, Zazie Beetz, Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson play the other killers; Michael Shannon and Bad Bunny are also along for the ride. Considering that this adaptation of Kôtarô Isaka pulp-crime novel is being directed by John Wick’s David Leitch, you should expect carnage, and a lot of it.
Nope (Jul. 22)
Here’s what we know about Jordan Peele’s upcoming new project: Like Get Out and Us, it’s a horror movie. It stars Daniel Kaluuya (which has led some folks to wonder if it’s a stealth Get Out sequel), Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun. The poster features what appears to be a giant cloud hovering over a small city, and the film was shot in 65mm by the same cinematographer who lensed Dunkirk…so it’s likely to be big. That’s about it so far, but c’mon: Jordan Peele, horror movie? You’re there no matter what.
After Yang (2022)
In the future, androids will become key members of the family unit. So when one household’s “techno-sapien” named Yang (Justin H. Min) shuts down for mysterious reasons, the dad (Colin Farrell) begins to hunt for a solution. Eventually, he’ll key into Yang’s brain chip — and begin to see our world through a robot’s eyes. The sophomore movie from video essayist/filmmaker Kogonada (Columbus) takes the well-worn sci-fi question of “what does it mean to be human?” and turns into a thoughtful, low-key mediation on the nature of bonding, memories, love, life and the joy of competitive group dancing. Not in that order, of course. Jodi-Turner Smith, Haley Lu Richardson, Sarita Choudhury, and Clifton Collins Jr. costar.
Bros (Aug. 12)
Billy Eichner has already gifted us the greatest gonzo-interview TV show ever (see: Billy on the Street) — now he gives us a major all LGBTQ rom-com. Two men (Eichner and Luke McFarlane) meet cute and fall head over heels for each other. They’re clearly meant to be together, if only the usual host of romantic comedy shenanigans don’t get in the way first. The fact that Eichner, who cowrote the script with director Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek), has given us a goofy studio comedy about two men in love is groundbreaking enough, but he’s also cast the entire production with out-and-proud gay performers. Even, as he was quick to note after the film was announced, the straight parts.
Wendell and Wild (2022)
A new film from Henry “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Selick, and it stars Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele? Yes, please! The duo voice two demons who find themselves locked in a knockdown, drag-out battle with a no-nonsense nun. Selick first mentioned he was developing this animated movie back in 2015; this could be the great lost Key and Peele sketch we’ve been pining for since they ended their show that same year.
Knives Out 2 (2022)
Farewell, James Bond; welcome back, Detective Benoit Blanc. Daniel Craig reprises his Southern-accented, Sondheim-singing sleuth from Rian Johnson’s delightful 2019 tribute to whodunnits, complete with a new group of suspects he can trip up in their own webs of deceit and chicanery! This time around, Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Janelle Monae, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Ethan Hawke find themselves arousing the interest of everyone’s favorite detective. This can’t come soon enough.
Salem’s Lot (Sep. 9)
Stephen King’s classic novel about a writer returning to his hometown and discovering that something strange is plaguing the town (hint: it involves sharp teeth, jugular veins and sleeping in coffins) was adapted for TV in 1979, starring David Soul and James Mason; it continues to haunt that first generation of King fanatics who caught it over two nights. Now his seminal vampire story gets the blockbuster treatment, courtesy of writer-director Gary Dauberman — which, considering he wrote the screenplays for both of the It movies, gives us hope that this new Salem’s Lot will do justice to the source material.
The Woman King (Sep. 23)
In the West African kingdom of Dahomey, all-female military units help defend their nation for centuries. A new recruit named Nawi (The Underground Railroad‘s Thuso Mbedu) bonds with her platoon’s general, Nanisca (Viola Davis), and soon becomes a key ally in the fight against those who would destroy their way of life. The new film from Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Old Guard) has “old-school historical epic” written all over it, what sounds like one hell of a role for the mighty Davis and a supporting roster that includes John Boyega and No Time to Die‘s Lashana Lynch. It’s probably not a coincidence that this is being positioned right as the awards season is kicking into gear, either.
Don’t Worry Darling (Sep. 23)
It’s the 1950s, and a young couple (played by Florence Pugh and Harry Styles) have just moved into a suburban community that promises to be the new thing in utopian 20th-century living. Sure, there may be something mysterious going on with their new neighborhood, and the husband’s job seems a little odd, and this housewife may have some suspicions about her own spouse not being on the level, but hey: what could go wrong? You may have heard about director Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to Booksmart thanks to some offscreen business, but we’re jazzed about this psychological thriller for any number of other, less gossipy reasons — and when you consider that Pugh has been on a serious roll lately, not to mention her facility with horror, this sounds like it has sleeper-creepshow hit scrawled all over it.
Mission: Impossible 7 (Sep. 30)
You can’t keep a good superspy down, especially if he’s played by the seemingly indefatigable Tom Cruise, which means we get a seventh movie in what’s become one of the more dependable action franchises around today. Details on the plot are as classified as the Impossible Mission Force’s dossiers, but we do know that series regulars Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Kirby and Simon Pegg are onboard, and Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell joins the team. We’re assuming Tom did all of how own stunts once again, and that he’ll try to outdo the previous spectacular M:I set pieces by jumping off a building while wrestling a live alligator or something.
You can’t talk about the Civil Rights movement without talking about Bayard Rustin, the man who was a key advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., inspired the Freedom Riders to head South and helped organize the March on Washington. He was also a gay man who was forced to constantly defend his sexuality and found himself ostracized because of it; he’d later take up the mantle of LGBTQ rights and other humanitarian causes before his death in 1987. Rustin has been long overdue for a movie that writs his legacy large, so thank god a director like George C. Wolfe (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) is the one who’s handling the biopic duties, Colman Domingo is set to play Rustin, while the rest of the cast is a who’s who of heavy hitters: Jeffrey Wright, Chris Rock, Audra McDonald, Glynn Turman, Bill Irwin, CCH Pounder.
Poor Things (2022)
The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos reunites with star Emma Stone for the story of Belle Baxter, a Victorian-era woman who drowns herself in order to escape her monster of a husband. Science then brings her back from the dead, only, well, things are a little different now. Really, who doesn’t love a good Promethean black comedy now and again? Her castmates include: Mark Ruffalo, Christopher Abbott, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef and The Tragedy of Macbeth‘s Kathryn Hunter.
White Noise (2022)
“Prescient” doesn’t begin to describe Don DeLillo’s award-winning 1985 novel about tragedies turned into spectacles, airborne toxic events and paranoia over simulated realities; it’s gone from being the author’s best-known work to something like a handbook for 21st-century anxiety. And while it’s not exactly the sort of book that you’d expect a filmmaker like Noah Baumbach to adapt, the combo of the Marriage Story director taking on what is also, among other things, a satire of academic theory and a tale of middle-class ennui makes a skewed kind of sense. Adam Driver is a college professor specializing in Hitler Studies and cowriter Greta Gerwig is his wife, both of whom find their lives disrupted by an unexplained social catastrophe. Also joining the handwringing party: Don Cheadle and Andre 3000.
Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse (Part One) (Oct 7)
Sure, we just had Tom Holland encountering a bunch of folks from various multiverses recently, but the 2018 animated movie — the one in which we finally got a Miles-Morales-as-Spider-Man adventure — explored that territory first. To say we’re stoked to see where this sequel takes the animated side-Spidey world greatly undersells our enthusiasm; it’s one of the few superhero movies that’s captured the giddy thrill of reading comic books while wearing some serious smarts on its web-patterned sleeves at the same time. Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld are in the vocal booths again, and Soul writer/co-director Kemp Power joins the creative team.
The Flash (Nov. 4)
Funny we should mention multiverses, because guess what? There’s some head-on timeline collisions in this solo outing of the speedy D.C. hero as well. Ezra Miller sprints back into the picture as Barry Allen, determined to reverse the course of his mother’s death via some fleet-footed tricks. He then somehow opens up a portal to other alternate realities yadda yadda yadda, with the end result being that he has to deal with two different Batmans. And yes, the rumors are true: Michael Keaton will once again be donning the mask and cowl of Gotham City’s favorite vigilante, which will be its own kind of time travel for those who grew up in the 1980s. Of all the official DCEU movies we’re getting in 2022 — that includes Dwayne Johnson’s Shazam-antihero entry Black Adam on July 29th and an Aquaman sequel in early December — this is the one we’re most intrigued by.
Untitled David O. Russell Project (Nov. 4)
We have a date for the next project from our favorite mercurial director; some pics that have been floating around the interwebs suggest it’s a period piece; and we recently read a synopsis that described the story as, “a doctor and a lawyer form an unlikely partnership.” Past those tidbits, however, there’s been an impenetrable cone of silence as to the specifics of David O. Russell — apparently, even a title might be some sort of giveaway. All we know is the cast, which is absolutely apeshit bonkers. All of the following actors are credited as being in this movie: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Robert De Niro, Michael B. Jordan, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, Mike Myers, John David Washington, Michael Shannon, Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Chris Rock, Alessandro Nivola, Andrea Riseborough, Rust and Bone‘s Matthias Schoenaerts, and somebody named Taylor Swift. This isn’t an ensemble, it’s a freakin’ SAG meeting.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Nov. 11)
It’s tough to imagine a Black Panther movie without the late, great Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed Wakanda’s king T’Challa and helped turn Ryan Coogler’s 2018 blockbuster into the greatest MCU movie to date. Coogler and the returning cast (which includes Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira and Angela Bassett) have said they want this sequel to honor Boseman’s legacy in addition to building off the first film’s story, and the emphasis is supposedly going to center more on Wright’s Shuri, the king’s techno-savvy sister.
She Said (Nov. 18)
Every great journalistic story deserves its own star-studded drama (see: All the President’s Men, Spotlight), and this particular ode to the Fourth Estate focuses on how the New York Times helped shatter the silence around sexual assault in the film industry and thus launch the #MeToo movement at large. Carrie Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, raking muck on monsters and, specifically, ex-head of Miramax Harvey Weinstein; Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, and Samantha Morton costar. German filmmaker Maria Schrader (I’m Your Man) directs.
The Fabelmans (Nov. 23)
Steven Spielberg has spent a good portion of his career detailing some very extraordinary childhoods — now he’s finally turning the cameras on his own upbringing. This highly autobiographical story of a Jewish-American kid growing up in Arizona, cowritten by Spielberg and his Lincoln/West Side Story collaborator Tony Kushner, it stars Gabriel LaBelle as Steven’s stand-in, named Sammy; Paul Dano and Michelle Williams play Sammy’s parents, Seth Rogen is his boisterous uncle and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Julia Butters is his little sister. The filmmaker has been talking about doing something on formative years since the late 1990s, and the fact that he’s finally revisiting these wonder years in his seventies suggests a personal reckoning of sorts.
Crimes of the Future (2022)
David Cronenberg has been teasing for years that his next big-screen project would be a return to his roots…and it turns out he wasn’t joking. This remake of his 1970 sophomore feature — about a dermatologist searching for signs of civilized life after a plague has wiped out most of the population — will indeed bring the Canadian director full circle, and is bound to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public at a very interesting moment given its subject. Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Scott Speedman will probably get put through some serious long-live-the-new-flesh paces with this one.
Many Marilyn Monroe fanatics — let’s call them “Marilynologists” — have often cited Joyce Carol Oates’ fictional retelling of the iconic blonde’s life as a key book in understanding her personal story, even though Oates herself has said the novel is as much about the parasitic world of celebrity as it is about the Seven Year Itch star. Whether Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James) will play up the “fame, fame, fatal fame, it plays hideous tricks on the brain” aspects over the specifics of Marilyn’s career remains to be seen, but we can say that Ana de Armas makes for a stunning screen counterpart to Monroe, and that casting Adrien Brody and Bobby Canavale as versions of Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio, respectively, is inspired.
Avatar 2 (Dec. 16)
Ok, so James Cameron swears we’re finally getting the first of what will be at least three more sequels to his gamechanging 2009 sci-fi epic, which have been in production since the Obama administration. To be fair, the filmmaker and his crew have spent a lot of time developing the bleeding-edge tech they needed to realize his extended vision (including motion-capture scenes performed underwater, which is an FX first), and the notion of shooting all these subsequent movies back to back was bound to delay things slightly. But assuming nothing major happens, we will be going back to Pandora and hanging with the Na’vi again this year, folks.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Dec. 23)
There’s been a wave of Whitney Houston documentaries over the last few years, digging into the good, the bad and the ugly of the legendary singer’s story. Now we get the official biopic, with Master of None’s Naomi Ackie playing the talented, troubled Houston. The rest of the cast sounds promising as well, with Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Nafessa Williams as Whitney’s confidante Robyn Crawford and Stanley Tucci (!!!) as Clive Davis. If you’ve seen Kasi Lemmons’ incredible debut Eve’s Bayou, then you know she’s the right person to bring the dramatization of Houston’s story to the big screen.
Babylon (Dec. 25)
Should you have been wondering what Oscar-winning writer-director Damien Chazelle would do for an encore after the one-two punch of La La Land and First Man, the answer is: tackle the birth of Tinseltown. His latest is set in the early days of Hollywood’s film industry glory days, complete with glitz and glamour and scandals behind-the-scenes drama. It’s also got an ensemble to die for: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tobey Maguire, Jean Smart, Olivia Wilde, SNL’s Chloe Fineman, Flea and Spike Jonze. And if the news that Robbie is playing silent-film “It girl” Clara Bow makes you as giddy as it makes us, then Merry Christmas, Fellow Film Nerd.