Well, here we are at the end of another year. 2018 is preparing to give way to 2019, and the final lists for next year's awards ceremonies are already being drawn up in the movie world. When we look back, 2018 actually produced some excellent films. What caught your eye this year?
Was it "Black Panther"? "Avengers: Infinity War" (which we're still not over the end of, by the way), or "Ocean's 8"? Something a little more offbeat like "Ready Player One"? Whatever your favorite choices were, they're all done and dusted now, and we're ready for another fantastic year of film.
Gone are the days where you could record something in February and release it in September; modern movies take years to film and produce, and so every major release due out next year is already known. Sequels, prequels and totally new ideas; we've identified the very best of them all, and whether you should watch them, or skip them.
Watch: The Upside
The cast for this movie make it look interesting before you even look at the plot. Bryan Cranston, whose reputation has been pushed into the stratosphere by the success of 'Breaking Bad', has the starring role, with the comedy talent of Kevin Hart behind him, accompanied by the immense talent of Nicole Kidman and Julianna Margulies. You'd have to go seriously wrong to make a bad film with such a phenomenal cast.
'The Upside', which is scheduled for release on 11th January 2019, is actually based on a successful French movie named 'The Intouchables', itself a semi biographical story of the life of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. It focused on Cranston as a disabled billionaire who forms an unlikely bond with Hart's character; a former con-man who now works as his caretaker. Expect plenty of laughs - no Hart film has ever failed to deliver them - but there will surely be emotional moments, too.
Skip: 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter
People love sharks in horror movies. That's why there are so many 'Jaws' films, and also why someone made the questionable decision to make 'Sharknado'. As well as that, it's also the reason why there's a sequel to '47 Meters Down' coming out on 28th June 2019. The original wasn't a favorite among film critics but making ten times its budget at the box office always meant that a follow up was inevitable.
The same writer, producer and director are on board, but none of the original cast are back; mostly because they're either dead or have presumably learned not to dive into shark infested waters. A new cast of young women do exactly that off the coat of Brazil and are in for a nasty surprise as they attempt to explore some underwater ruins. We expect that nasty surprise to consist of several hungry sharks.
The 'Serenity' movie which is due for release on January 25th, 2019 has nothing to do with the 2005 science fiction classic of the same name, made by Joss Whedon. This is a very human, grounded neo-noir movie which is billed as a thriller. With Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles, it might be the best-looking thriller we see all year.
The basic plot is simple enough to follow; Hathaway's character is bored of her husband and wants to make space for a new one by arranging for his murder. Who else does she ask to do the deed but her ex-husband, played by McConaughey? He's charged with taking his replacement on a boating trip and sending him down to sleep with the fishes, but all may not be as straightforward as it seems. Be honest though, you'd be disappointed if it was! Expect high level drama.
Watch: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
There really is no stopping the Lego entertainment machine. Heading rapidly towards 75 years since the first building blocks went into production, the company is now bigger than ever; in 2015 it replaced Ferrari as the world's biggest brand according to Brand Finance, who measure such things. 'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part' is the imaginatively titled follow up to the first Lego movie, which was released in 2014.
This film was originally slated for a 2017 release, before being moved back to 2018 and now again to February 8th, 2019. Usually when a movie gets moved back like that it indicates a production issue, but we understand it was only done to make room for 'The Lego Batman Movie' and 'The Lego Ninjago Movie', both released in 2017. The narrative revolves around Lego Duplo bricks arriving and threatening to turn Bricksburg into a nuclear wasteland, but despite that we expect it to be full of cuteness and laughs.
Skip: What Men Want
Those of us who are over a certain age probably recall the 2000 movie 'What Women Want', in which Mel Gibson gains the ability to hear the thoughts of all the women around him following an unfortunate incident involving a bathtub and a hairdryer. 'What Men Want', which is a Paramount movie slated for a release on February 8th, 2019, is a remake of that film, but told from the perspective of women instead.
We don't know how much the plot will differ from the original; Taraji P. Henson in the lead role plays a sports agent who's constantly overlooked for promotion in favor of her male colleagues until she gains her special abilities, which sounds very familiar; but if they've managed to give us a fresh take on the original text and bring it up to date, it should be a fun ride.
Watch: Alita: Battle Angel
This is a movie that sounds like it has a lot going on. It's based on Japanese manga stories by Yukito Kishiro, but rather than staying in the manga format on the big screen, it's live action. Well, sort of. The hugely ambitious project has James Cameron at the helm as producer, who'll be making the most of his experiences on the 'Avatar' movies to bring us a film that's pitched straight down the uncanny valley between 'real' and 'digital', with confusing and unsettling the audience being part of the intent.
Described as a 'cyberpunk action film', Rosa Salazar is in the lead role with a supporting cast including Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connellly and Ed Skrein, and has famed horror director Robert Rodriguez in the big chair. Anime, cyberpunk, horror, live action and animation all in one film. It will either be an absolute triumph or a horrendous mess. We'll have to wait until February 14th next year to find out.
Watch: Isn't It Romantic
You can probably guess from the title alone that this February 15th release is a romantic comedy. This isn't your standard offering within that genre, though. Rebel Wilson takes the lead role opposite Liam Hemsworth in a movie that owes more than a little to 'The Truman Show'.
The premise of 'The Truman Show' is that Jim Carrey's character came to realize that he was the only real individual in a world full of actors and stories, all playing out to the audience of a TV show of which he was the star. In 'Isn't It Romantic', Wilson slowly comes to realize that she's been trapped inside the plot of a cliched romantic comedy and must work out how to break the rules to free herself. It's a satire of the genre which promises plenty of good humor and knowing winks to the audience. That should mean that it's a good watch.
Watch: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
February 22nd brings is what we're told will be the third and final installment in the 'How To Train Your Dragon' series of movies, which started in 2010 and got a second outing in 2014. Both previous films have been a license to print money for DreamWorks, so it will be interesting to see if they really do stop at four, if this sequel makes the kind of money the previous films have.
All the regular cast are back, including Cate Blanchett and Jonah Hill, and this time Toothless deals with getting a girlfriend whilst Hiccup is forced out of his home, and a legendary realm that was previously thought to be a myth. An enormous battle beckons, with everything on the line in what sounds like a fitting crescendo to the series. If you loved the previous films, you're sure to love this one, too.
Skip: Son Of Shaft
This movie was originally just going to be titled 'Shaft', and people on the internet got upset about the idea of remaking the 1970s original, which is considered to be iconic. The change in name is to make it clear that this is, in fact, a sequel. Specifically, it's a sequel to the movie from 2000 which starred Samuel L. Jackson, which was itself a sequel-of-sorts to the original. This is an extension of the tale, not a re-telling of it.
Jackson appears in the movie as the father of this latest addition to the Shaft family, who's played by Jessie Usher. Richard Roundtree is also among the cast, reprising his role as the very first Shaft, or Shaft Prime, if you will. This is, as you would expect, a gritty detective drama set in Harlem that promises to pull no punches. 'Son of Shaft' has 'summer blockbuster' written all over it, and hits cinemas in the US on June 14th.
If anybody has any details about the content of the upcoming film "Us", please tell us. By which we mean contact this website, not contact the makers of the movie. No plot details or trailers have been released thus far for this film, in what was a deliberate choice by the production company. It's brought to you by the same team who were responsible for 2017's surprise hit 'Get Out' and is said to be a different take on the same theme, but nobody is willing to confirm or deny that on record.
All we can tell you for certain is that it's a 'social-horror thriller', whatever that means, and that Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke and Elisabeth Moss will have prominent parts. The secrecy alone is bound to give the movie a buzz, and we'll all find out whether it was worth it together, when it's released on March 15th, 2019.
We have such torn feelings on this one! On the one hand, it's potentially going to be fantastic to see Disney's classic 'Dumbo' re-imagined as a live action movie, using all the benefits of 21st Century technology. On the other hand, if it's not very good, it could damage the very fabric of our childhood! The news that it's only 'loosely inspired' by the original 1941 film is a concern as well; everybody knows the story of 'Dumbo', some people will be upset if that tale is dramatically changed.
It's in the hands of the cast to do a stellar job alongside a CGI elephant if the film is going to be a success. Fortunately for 'Dumbo', that cast includes Michael Keaton, Danny de Vito, Eva Green and Colin Farrell. We're crossing our fingers, keeping one nervous eye on the March 29th release date, and hoping for the best.
"Shazam" is intended to be the DC Comics answer to Marvel's 'Captain Marvel' release, and we mean that quite literally. The character 'Shazam', a teenager who can transform into an adult superhero by saying the word 'Shazam' out loud, was last seen on screen in the film serial 'The Adventures of Captain Marvel' way back in 1941. That's because the character 'Shazam' used to be called Captain Marvel. However, that Captain Marvel isn't the same Captain Marvel who appears in the Marvel film 'Captain Marvel'. Confused? Good, so are we.
Asher Angel stars as Billy Batson, the title character's human alter ego, but Zachary Levi will be the man in the costume after the transformation takes place. The movie has both a lesser known hero and a lesser known cast than other superhero epics, but those who have seen previews speak of its comical, zany tone, which may make it a hit with audiences. April 5th is the day it goes live.
Skip: Pet Sematary
It's probably fair to say that Stephen King novels have a hit rate of around 50/50 when they're turned into movies. He's the undisputed king of the horror genre, but some of the out-there, fantasy inspired themes of his novels make them difficult to recreate for a film, and so some of the adaptations have fallen flat. 2019, however, looks like a big year for King.
As well as the second half of the 'IT' story, a remake of 'Pet Sematary' is out in cinemas on April 5th. We're thirty years removed from the original film, so this is a fresh take on the story for a new generation, starring John Lithgow, Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz. When a man buries his dead son in a pet cemetery built on ancient burial ground, all Hell breaks loose. Why would anyone think that was a good idea, though?
Stop us if you think that you've heard this one before. There's a new Hellboy movie coming out, and it's a complete reboot of the franchise; even though the original picture was only made in 2004, with a sequel that was released in 2008. There may be no 'golden rule' in how many years have to pass before you make a reboot, but a decade feels like it's too short. It's going to have to be outstanding to win over cinema-goers, who will remember the previous films with affection.
In truth, this was originally supposed to be a sequel to the second film, but Guillermo del Toro refused to return as director if he couldn't write the script, and Ron Perlman refused to reprise the lead role without del Toro, so the studio was forced to start from scratch instead. April 12th is the date we'll find out whether the reboot gamble has paid off.
Watch: Avengers 4
If any movie next year makes more money than this, we'll be hugely shocked. The whole world is on tenterhooks for 'Avengers 4', which is due out on May 3rd, 2019. It's a sequel to 'Infinity War', which had one of the greatest cliffhanger endings in cinema history, and yet this close to the release date we know nothing about it. At the time of writing, we don't even know the name of the film! The cast, the production company and everyone involved in making the movie are telling us nothing.
The movie is sure to be an occasion in more ways than one; as well as providing the climax to the epic tale, it will be the last movie ever to feature a cameo from cartoonist Stan Lee, who sadly passed away earlier this year. We hope that this giant film, with its huge ensemble cast, do his memory justice. We have no doubts that they will.
Skip: Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Hands up who saw the trailer for this circulating on social media, and thought it was a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch? No, it's real; the lovable and most recognizable of all the Pokémon, Pikachu, is coming to the big screen. And he's a detective. All may not be as bizarre as that initially seems; the Pikachu character has previously been seen working as a detective in a 2016 video game of the same name.
Although Pokémon movies have been made in the past, this is the first attempt at turning the franchise into a live action cinema experience. The voice and facial likeness of Ryan Reynolds in the main role should be a major positive for the film, with Justice Smith appearing as his human partner in the police force. Smith's character is the only person in the world who can understand what Pikachu is saying (think Brian and Stewie in 'Family Guy'), and the two must work together to solve a great mystery. Find out more on May 10th!
Music legend Elton John recently announced his intention to retire from music after completing an extensive farewell tour, which will mark the end of almost sixty years in showbiz for the veteran performer. Before he takes his final bow, we'll get a big-screen biopic of his life and career, with Taron Egerton in the lead role, coming to us on 24th May 2019.
Given the incredible span of time that John's career has covered, with all the changes in entertainment and society in general that have occurred during it, there's plenty of material to go at; not to mention of course the fantastic library of hit songs we can expect to hear as well. Egerton is on record as saying that whilst the movie is a biopic, it also has elements of fantasy in there, too. Because of that, we expect this to be an upbeat celebration of John's career and talent, which may shy away from some of the darker moments in his life.
It's more than just 'Dumbo' getting a live action reboot from the Disney back catalog. 'Aladdin' has also received the same treatment, and its new incarnation is scheduled to hit cinemas on May 24th; less than half a year after 'Dumbo'. Will it be a case of two similar films being released too close together, or just a guarantee of yet more money for Disney?
A fact many people don't know about 'Aladdin' is that it is itself a retelling of an Arabic folk tale, which makes reinterpreting it yet again less questionable that the decision to do so with 'Dumbo'. Will Smith is a natural fit in the role of the Genie that Robin Williams once made famous, with Mena Massoud taking the title role, and Guy Ritchie in the director's chair. That's an all-star lineup, and we can't imagine that it won't be a great film
Skip: Ad Astra
Fans of terrifying sci fi thrillers should note down May 24th in their diaries; that's when the Brad Pitt-led 'Ad Astra' gets its release, and all signs point to it being fantastic. The plot revolves around Pitt's character venturing into deep space to find out what happened to his father, who was also an astronaut, and disappeared without trace on a mission twenty years prior.
According to writer and director James Gray, the film is loosely inspired by the classic Joseph Conrad tale 'Heart of Darkness' and promises 'the most realistic depiction of space travel ever seen in a movie', with a focus on space being an unfriendly environment for humans. We suspect that means it will be even more nerve jangling than 'Gravity', and we can't wait to see it. Based on the description, though, we suspect we're not going to get a happy ending.
Skip: Godzilla: King of the Monsters
If you think there are a lot of movies in the 'Fast and Furious' series, try 'Godzilla' on for size; this film, scheduled for release on May 31st next year, is the thirty-fifth time the legendary monster has made it to the big screen. We think that's probably some kind of record.
By the thirty-fifth movie, you'd suspect that the producers might be running out of ideas. Whilst it's true that they've borrowed the title of this release from a 1956 film with the same name, it's not a remake or a reboot, and it promises a whole new set of thrills and spills. Worryingly, Godzilla hasn't come alone; he's the head honcho of an entire army of God sized monsters. That's probably bad news for the human race. Throw in the fact that Mothra and Rodan are on the scene too, and the entire production takes a turn for the epic.
Watch: Dark Phoenix
Add 'X-Men' to the list of successful franchises with a movie coming out in 2019; this twelfth installment in the series reaches us on June 7th. 'Game of Thrones' actress Sophie Turner is in the lead role, which is a first for her on movie level, so she'll be hoping it's a great success!
Where this movie actually sits in the X-Men canon is a little unclear. It's actually a re-telling of the same story we've already seen in 2003's 'X2' but is also intended as a direct sequel to 2016's 'Apocalypse'. Apparently, the intention of writer and director Simon Kinburg is to give the Phoenix story the stage it deserves, having been disappointed with the last attempt, which eventually resulted in 2006's 'The Last Stand' being invalidated by 2014's 'Days of Future Past' and effectively erased from the 'X-Men' time-line. Will this be the film that repairs the franchise's shattered continuity?
On June 14th, we get a really bold move from Sony Pictures; a 'Men in Black' film that doesn't have either Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones in it. This is a spin-off from the original series of films, but it's hard to imagine watching a movie taking place in that world without Smith appearing at all.
Action in this film actually takes place in the UK rather than the USA; apparently, MIB have a London office! The presence of Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson within the cast should result in a great film, and interestingly, rather than straight out science fiction, the plot is said to be a murder mystery. Presumably it's a murder mystery that also involves aliens, because otherwise it isn't really a 'Men in Black' film at all! Hopefully, we won't all walk out of the cinema wanting to use a neuralyzer to forget what we've just seen.
Watch: Toy Story 4
It's been eight years since 'Toy Story 3', and we're just about finished crying, so we suppose it's time for the fourth movie to come out. It's been an even longer wait than was originally planned; this film was announced in 2014 and scheduled for release in both 2017 and 2018 before finally being confirmed for June 21st, 2019. Nobody seems to be too sure what caused the hold-up.
All the toys are still living with Bonnie, after Andy donated them to her at the end of the previous film. However, their cozy existence is apparently interrupted by a fork who's being used as a toy, and thus has an existential crisis. Also, Bo Peep needs rescuing, so there's a lot going on. Tim Allen, who provides the voice of Buzz Lightyear, said the final scene is so emotional it took him multiple takes to get through it, whereas co-star Tom Hanks calls it 'a moment in history'. Great, we're going to cry again aren't we...
Skip: Ford v. Ferrari
This film is not, as the title might suggest, a feature length adaptation of 'Top Gear'. It's a biographical drama, telling the real-life story of the upstart Ford motor racing team attempting to challenge the dominance of Ferrari in the world of Le Mans endurance racing during the 1960s.
The producers were presumably inspired by the success of 2014's 'Rush' at the box office, which was also a biography from the motor racing world. Both Christian Bale and Matt Damon are in leading roles, which is as close as you'll get to a guarantee of quality; no matter what's in the script, the two performers will make you care about it. We won't spoil it for you, but we can say that the true events the film is based on are inspiring and exciting, so as long as the film does the story justice it should be excellent. You can start your engines on June 28th.
Watch: The Lion King
Did you think we were done with the live action Disney films for 2019? Absolutely not, they're going for the hat-trick with 'The Lion King'. If you're on social media, you've probably already seen the widely-shared images of Simba and Mufasa from the movie, who look photo realistic.
This movie is slated for release on July 19th, which is the precise 25-year anniversary of the original 'Lion King' film from 1994. In a connection between the two takes in the story, James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, which makes him the only on-screen performer to work on both versions of the story, although Hans Zimmerman is also back as composer, and Elton John is once again working on the soundtrack. Plenty of nostalgia, along with a modern perspective. We hope at least some of the songs from the original turn up as well. If 'I Wanna Be Like You' isn't in it, is it really 'The Lion King'?
Watch: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Fans of Leonardo di Caprio may have noted that we're a long way into this list, and there's been no sign of their favorite leading man. Fear not, he's right here, but you'll have to wait until July 26th to see him. This is a Tarantino movie starring di Caprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Damien Lewis and Lena Dunham. In short, it promises to be worth the wait.
The subject matter isn't pulling any punches either; the plot involves Charles Manson, the 'Manson family' and his spate of murders. Somehow, Steve McQueen (played by Lewis) gets involved as well. Given Tarantino's past treatment of real-life topics, we expect some similarities to 2009's 'Inglourious Basterds', which wouldn't be a bad thing. More than anything else, we expect a compelling, exciting and brilliant movie.
This might be the biggest hit with children that we see in 2019. Prepare for a cuteness overload as the popular range of plush toys, named 'UglyDolls' get their own movie. If you have little ones of your own, expect them to pester you into taking them to see it when it comes out on May 10th!
The film takes the format of a jukebox musical, with 'American Idol' winner Kelly Clarkson lending her singing voice to the lead character, and Pitbull, Nick Jonas, Charlie XCX and several more names from the world of music making contributions, too. When they're not singing, the film will highlight the themes of confidence and identity, with the overall message being the importance of being comfortable in your own skin. We expect this one to sell a lot of tickets at the cinema, and even more dolls in toy shops!
Watch: The New Mutants
There seems to be some confusion about whether 'The New Mutants' is in fact a thirteenth 'X-Men' movie. Based on the facts, it contains characters from the 'X-Men' universe and is based on comic book stories attached to the 'X-Men' world, so we'd have to say that it is. Much like her 'Game of Thrones' sister Sophie Turner appears in 'Dark Phoenix', Maisie Williams has bagged herself the lead role in this one. We have to assume that was a deliberate bit of casting!
Williams appears as Wolfsbane, a deeply religious Scottish girl trying to reconcile her beliefs with the fact that she sometimes turns into a werewolf. That can't be an easy mental process. Pitched as a 'Breakfast Club movie with mutants in it', if all goes well this will be the first of a potential trilogy of connected films, thus expanding the 'X-Men' universe even farther on screen. August 2nd is the date to watch out for.
Skip: It: Chapter Two
On September 6th, we get the second part of Stephen King's 'IT' story, following on from the first, which was the biggest horror movie of 2017. Reaction to the first half was mixed, with some feeling that Bill Skarsgard didn't quite measure up to the performance of Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown in the much loved 1980s version of the tale. To be fair to him, who ever really could measure up to Curry?
Whilst the first movie focused on the 'Losers Club' during their childhood years, this time they're forced to reunite as adults when the terror rises again. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain are on hand in major roles, and if the plot of the novel is followed closely it should be outright terrifying. Prepare yourself to sleep with the lights on when you get home from the cinema. And never, ever look at clowns the same way again.
Skip: Charlie's Angels
Welcome back to reboot city! It may not feel like it, but eighteen years have passed since the previous 'Charlie's Angels' movie, and that makes it prime for a relaunch with a new cast. The all-female all-action team also has a mostly female production staff, with Elizabeth Banks serving as both writer and director.
As with the previous movie, the film promises to inject a healthy dose of humor in with its action scenes, and with a cast containing Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Elizabeth Banks herself and, oddly, Patrick Stewart as Bosley, it should manage to handle both with no problem at all. This is a completely fresh script instead of a retelling of the previous story, so anything could happen. Filming is ongoing at the time of writing, with release expected on November 1st, 2019.
Skip: The Rosie Project
Here's a mystery for you. There is a movie slated for release on May 10th, 2019, and apart from the fact that it's based on a book of the same name by Graeme Simsion, nobody knows anything about it at all. Nobody knows who's starring in it. Nobody knows who directed it. There's been no information leaked about it whatsoever. How is that possible in the modern age?
If the rumors are to be believed, Ryan Reynolds may be the star. Almost everything he touches turns to gold at the moment, so that's a good omen for the movie if that rumor turns out to be true. The focus of the novel is a genetics professor who struggles to meet women and develops a tailored questionnaire which he hands out to prospective partners in an attempt to find the perfect match for him. A woman named Rosie doesn't seem to be suitable in any way but goes on to have a major impact on the professor's life regardless.
Watch: Zombieland Too
We'll list this one tentatively, because it's taken a lot of work to get the sequel to 2009's 'Zombieland' to production stage. At the moment, it's supposed to come out on October 11th, which will be the ten-year anniversary of the first film. However, shooting isn't scheduled to begin until January 2019, which might see it slip backwards. We'd hate it to, because Halloween is the perfect time for a 'Zombieland' film to come out.
The good news is that all the major players from the original are back on board. Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg are all understood to be returning, and the original production team and writers are back at the helm as well, meaning the film is in good hands. Zoey Deutch is known to have a part in the movie, and there are even rumors of Bill Murray. You can never have too much Bill Murray!
Watch: You Are My Friend
This movie is likely to mean absolutely everything to viewers of a certain age. If you grew up watching Mister Rogers, circle October 18th, 2019 in your calendar. You're going to want to see this.
The almost-too-good-to-be-true Fred Rogers is played in the film by Tom Hanks, which is an inspired choice. You may wonder how a movie about Mister Rogers could be made, and the answer lies in the story of a journalist assigned to do a piece on Mister Rogers, setting out with the cynical intent of exposing him as a hypocrite and a fraud. What he finds is a man who is every bit as warm and kind as his television persona, and the meeting will change his mindset, and his life, forever. This is the sort of movie that sets out to warm your heart and inject a bit of magic into your life, and all signs point to it achieving exactly that.
Skip: Terminator 6
He told you he'd be back, and so he is. Again. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in this latest entry in the long running series of films, and this time he's joined by Linda Hamilton, who is reprising her role as Sarah Connor for the first time since 1991's legendary 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'.
This newest 'Terminator' film apparently acts as a direct sequel to the 1991 film, ignoring the continuity of every movie that's happened since, including the confusing 'Terminator: Genisys', which played around with time travel and completely destroyed the continuity of the first two films. All of that now apparently happened in an alternate universe! The film has the working title of 'Terminator: Phoenix', although that hasn't been confirmed as the final name just yet. Filming wrapped in November 2018, and the movie is due to go out on November 1st, 2019.
Watch: Frozen 2
Giving the phenomenal amount of money that Disney made from the original 'Frozen' film, they were always going to make a sequel. They just couldn't 'let it go'! We know we've said this about a couple of movies now, but this is one with definite potential to be the highest grossing movie of the year. There's going to be some stiff competition for that title in 2019!
All of the major players from the original cast are back on board, meaning that all your favorite characters from the first film will be back on screen. Songs have apparently been recorded already and production is well underway, meaning that the intended release date of November 27th, 2019 is definitely possible. Chris Buck, who wrote and directed the first film and has done the same for the sequel, spoke of putting a great deal of pressure on himself to live up to the phenomenal success of the original, but he also feels he's done it justice.
Skip: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sequel
Currently in pre-production with the snappy title 'Jumanji 3', this sequel will have to get its skates on if it's going to make its projected release date of December 13th, 2019. Filming isn't even scheduled to begin until January!
Very little is publicly known about this movie other than the fact that the original cast have all been signed on for it, including Dwayne Johnson (does that man ever stop working?) and Karen Gillan. Gillan had previously spoken of an alternate end to the second film, 'Welcome to the Jungle', which would have left the door open to a sequel, but as that ending wasn't used we can't be sure where the plot will come from. We're sure they'll have thought of something that works. It's a fantasy film; there aren't really any rules! Except, of course, the rules of 'Jumanji'.
Skip: Under the Silver Lake
'Under The Silver Lake' starts off like the plot of any romantic drama you've ever see, and then things get very strange, very fast. Andrew Garfield stars as a man who has a romantic one-night encounter with his neighbor in the communal swimming pool at their apartments. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love, and then girl suddenly disappears without a trace.
Turning detective, Garfield's character sets out to find her, and uncovers a whole world of conspiracies which seem to go all the way up the chain to the richest and most powerful people I our society, and a secret which hides behind our entire culture. The film had its premiere at Cannes Film Festival back in May 2018, with the intention it would be released the following month, but it was pushed back to December 2018, and now again to April 19th, 2019. That suggests that some alterations to the edit may have been made based on the feedback from the screening.
Skip: Little Women
We're going to be honest here. We're not completely convinced this film needed to be made. 'Little Women' was written in 1868, and people have been turning it into movies ever since. Films of the novel have been released in 1917, 1918, 1933 (that's the Katharine Hepburn one), 1949, 1978, 1994 (that's the Winona Ryder one), and 2018. Yes, that's right, a film version of 'Little Women' came out in 2018, and we're getting another one on Christmas Day 2019!
So, what does this take on the original text have that the other ones didn't? Well, Meryl Streep, for a start, along with Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen. They've gone for an ensemble cast, and a large one at that. Director Greta Gerwig says that her film focuses on 'themes, rather than narrative', so we don't anticipate it to be a direct retelling of everything we've seen before.
This June 7th release has been a little low profile in terms of publicity so far, but it could turn out to be one of the best comedy movies of the year. Anything with Seth Rogen in it tends to do well. 'Flarsky' is a romcom with a twist, as world-weary journalist Fred Flarsky decides the only way to give his life meaning is to pursue a relationship with his babysitter from his youth, played by Charlize Theron.
In the time between her babysitting days and now, Theron's character has become one of the most powerful women on Earth, making Flarsky's task a little difficult. O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Andy Serkis are both in the supporting cast, which bodes well for the film's depth. It was originally supposed to be released in February, but performed exceptionally well at test screenings, which saw it pushed back to Summer, with the belief that it will find a larger audience at that time of year.
Skip: Happy Death Day 2U
The original 'Happy Death Day', released in 2017, was a surprise hit, exceeding all of its studio's expectations. Unsurprisingly, it was soon decided that there should be a sequel, and so everybody involved in the horror film is back for another go.
The original film borrowed heavily from 'Groundhog Day' in that Jessica Rothe's character lived through the day she was murdered over and over again until she found a way to break the cycle and survive. The sequel sees her re-enter that same loop - which makes the 'Groundhog Day' connection almost meta - after the original killer is himself murdered, and a new murderer walks the streets. This time, all her friends are dragged into the loop as well to make things even worse. Director Christopher B. Landon promises that many of the loose ends from the original will be resolved. We can find out for ourselves on February 14th.
Skip: Chaos Walking
'Chaos Walking' could be the birth of a whole new franchise if things go well. It's an adaptation of the Patrick Ness novel 'The Knife Of Never Letting Go', which is the first book in a trilogy. Expect all three to make their way to the big screen eventually.
The science fiction thriller, released on March 1st, features Daisy Ridley of 'Star Wars' fame in a leading role, supported by Tom Holland and Mads Mikkelsen. It's a strange plot, featuring a future Earth colony where all the women are believed to have been killed by a mutated virus, and telepathy is commonplace. Holland's character discovers a patch of complete silence inhabited by a very strange woman - who shouldn't exist - and the strangeness progresses from there. Ridley is a big fan of the original books and was understandably delighted to be cast in the film!
In a disappointment to fans of long distance travel, this is not a movie about the US bus company. 'Greyhound', expected to come out on March 22nd, is in fact a war movie based on the 1955 novel 'The Good Shepherd' by C. S. Forester.
Tom Hanks, who knows a thing or two about how to make great war movies and TV shows (having appeared in 'Saving Private Ryan' and produced 'Band of Brothers'), has written the screenplay himself, and also takes the lead role as Commander Ernest Krause, who is responsible for leading an Allied convoy of warships across the Atlantic Ocean during World War 2, with a fleet of German U-Boats In hot pursuit. That should make for some high-octane chase scenes, a lot of explosions, and great drama. Tom Hanks rarely makes a bad film, and we don't expect him to fail with this one.
Skip: Where'd You Go, Bernadette
We've hit a run of novels adapted into films! Here's another one. 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' is based on the 2012 book of the same name, written by Maria Semple. Cate Blanchett is in the title role as Bernadette, a bored and agoraphobic mother who simply vanishes into thin air one day, leaving her daughter tasked with finding her.
It may not sound like it based on that description, but this is in fact a comedy movie, as evidenced by the presence of Kristen Wig in the supporting cast. Oscar winning director Richard Linklater is in the chair, which should mean we're in for a treat. The only concern is the repeated change of release date; this was originally supposed to come out in May 2018, before slipping to October, and now being pushed back again to March 22nd, 2019.
Skip:The Curse of La Llorona
If, like us, you've seen both of the 'Conjuring' films, you'll know that they're among the most terrifying movies made in the past ten years. 'The Curse of La Llorona' comes from the same team and promises to shred your nerves all over again. This sounds like a deeply unsettling supernatural horror movie that you won't want to watch in the dark. Or on your own.
Originally titled 'The Children', the story centers around a social worker who, when digging into the family background of one of her cases, begins to find the same strange circumstances that impacted their family starting to happen to her own. It seems that the mysterious La Llorona; the ghost of a grieving mother who exists in Mexican folklore; has attached itself to her and wants her children. You can watch it on April 19th if you're feeling brave.
Watch: Hobbs and Shaw
The 'Fast and Furious' film franchise is taking the year off - sort of. Although there's no new entry in the main film franchise, we do have the spin off 'Hobbs and Shaw' slated for release on August 2nd. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are reprising their roles in what's sure to be one of the year's biggest action movies.
We don't know how much driving or racing will do with the plot but considering who's in the film it would be impossible to imagine there won't be several fight scenes. The making of the movie was a controversial process, with some in the 'Fast & Furious' franchise feeling that Johnson and Statham were taking money out of their co-stars pockets by holding up the regular franchise to make a movie of their own, so we hope they'll both feel like it was worth it when all is said and done. We're sure the box office receipts will make up for any awkwardness.
Watch: John Wick 3: Parabellum
The Keanu Reeves franchise that isn't 'The Matrix' or 'Bill and Ted' is also back on cinema screens in 2019, with an arrival date of May 17th. This is the third of the 'John Wick' movies, with a title of "Parabellum" (although recent reports suggest the name may have changed to simply "John Wick: Chapter 3").
This time around, Wick is on the run, faced with the uphill task of fighting his way out of New York when seemingly the entire city wants him dead; none more so than Hale Berry, who joins the cast as an assassin who's out for Wick's blood. Laurence Fishburne is also in a supporting role, although whether he has any useful red or blue pills for Wick to choose from remains to be seen. Expect a thrilling action ride with some great fight scenes, a lot of blood spilled, and classy noir-style cinematography.
Watch: Captain Marvel
You have to hand it to DC Comics and Marvel. Every time you think they've used every character they could possibly make a superhero movie with, they bring another one to the table and convince us its worth watching. And so, on March 8th, Captain Marvel makes it to the silver screen. The film is especially notable for being the first female-led superhero movie ever made under the Marvel banner.
Brie Larson is the woman making history as the title character. In an interesting twist on the usual narrative, the film is set in the recent past instead of the near future; specifically, we're going back to 1995. We wonder if the Spice Girls have been asked to contribute to the soundtrack. As for the plot, Earth is placed dead center in an intergalactic war, and only former US fighter pilot Carol Danvers, A.K.A. Captain Marvel, has the skills to save the day.
M. Night Shyamalan has gone from being one of the most respected directors in the world to a man that people like to make fun of. His habit of putting twists in a plot for the sake of shocking the audience sometimes makes his films feel like they don't make sense. He'll be looking to get back on form with this 18th January 2019 offering, and it seems to us like he's picked the best way to do it.
'Glass' is actually a sequel to two separate Shyamalan films; 2000's 'Unbreakable' and 2016's 'Split'. The full cast from 'Unbreakable' return, with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their roles from the hit superhero movie, and encounter the bad guy from 'Split', a psychopath with 23 separate personalities played by James McAvoy. It definitely has the recipe of a great action movie, so let's hope it delivers.
Taking on the role of the Joker from the 'Batman' universe isn't an easy proposition after Heath Ledger gave such a definitive performance in 'The Dark Knight'; just ask Jared Leto, who received rough reviews for his own interpretation in 'The Suicide Squad'. Joaquin Phoenix is the man who's been brave enough to try. He's a high-quality actor with an impressive track record, so if anyone can do it, we're backing him.
This is an origin story for Gotham's most famous villain, focusing on how Arthur Fleck transitioned from failing nightclub comedian to psychotic mega-villain, by way of a stay in Arkham Asylum. There will be no Batman appearance in the film at all, other than an apparent cameo from a young Bruce Wayne, so the stage is set for the Joker to have his evil fun without interruption. Given the fan base that the Batman universe has, this is a surefire hit, and should be an intriguing watch.
Skip: Star Wars: Episode IX
Add this one on to the list of potential movies of the year, as well! This is where the whole story ends up; the final episode of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy. There's so much plot still up in the air, mysteries to solve and questions to answer that it feels too much for one movie to carry off alone. Not only that, the producers have promised that it will also resolve stories from the previous two trilogies! If this truly is the last of the 'major' Star Wars movies, it's going out with a bang.
In a nice touch, Carrie Fisher will still appear in the films posthumously, by way of unused footage from the previous two films that has been kept in storage. Mark Hamill is somehow back as well, despite the fact that his character died at the climax of 'The Last Jedi'. Should we expect to see Harrison Ford, too? December 20th is listed as the release date, which should make 'Star Wars' a Christmas sensation.
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