The big blockbusters of summer 2019

Captain Marvel, Avengers 4, Godzilla, The Lion King and Dora The Explorer, they're all lining up for us next summer...

As summer blockbuster season gets into full swing, it’s time for our annual peek ahead to the big movies already jostling for position in next year’s peak schedules. Appreciating that blockbusters get spread through the year more than ever now, there’s still, in the traditional summer window, this little lot to look forward to…

March 8th

Captain Marvel

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Marvel finally, over a decade after it started spinning the plates of its cinematic universe, brings us a movie with a female character at the heart of it. Brie Larson is taking on the title role in this one, in a movie that’s being directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Larson is joined in the cast by Lee Pace, Ben Mendelsohn, Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law, Clark Gregg and Gemma Chan. Expect a lot of money to be made.

March 22nd

Greyhound

Tom Hanks headlines this one, the story of navy officer commanding the Greyhound of the title during World War II. Aaron Schneider is directing, and Hanks himself penned the screenplay for this one. Joining him in the ensemble are Elisabeth Shue and Stephen Graham. We don’t know much more than that at this stage…

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March 29th

Dumbo

Disney helps itself to a ton of extra cash with its first live action fairytale sort-of remake of the year. It’s recruited Tim Burton, who steered Alice In Wonderland to over $1bn of business and kickstarted this current trend, to direct the movie. Eva Green, Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and a CG elephant star.

April 5th

Shazam

If 2018 is a relatively quiet year for the DC Extended Universe, then 2019 is where it makes up for that a bit. First up? That’d be the long-mooted Shazam, starring Zachary Levi in the title role. Mark Strong co-stars, with David F Sandberg directing. No sign of The Rock as Black Adam, though: he’ll be moving into his own standalone feature instead.

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The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle

It’s time for the latest Doctor Dolittle remake, clearly, with this time Robert Downey Jr taking on the title role. Syriana director Stephen Gaghan is steering the project, and in the cast for this one are also Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, John Cena, Ralph Fiennes, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen and Antonio Banderas. Some of them are lending their voices, some of them will appear in the flesh.

Pet Sematary

Write off horror films in the summer schedule at your peril. A fresh take on Pet Sematary has been in the offing for a number of years, but next year, we finally get to see it. Taking the Stephen King novel as its source, the new movie has Jason Clarke in the lead role, with Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer directing. Expect it to not cost too much money to make, and then to bring in lots of cash.

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April 26th

The Avengers 4

The second part of the Avengers: Infinity War story comes to the screen next April, and unsurprisingly, the movie has the release date all to itself. Star Wars: Episode IX aside, this is the blockbuster to beat next year, with the Russo brothers again directing, and potentially putting in place a whole new future for the Marvel cinematic universe. We wait and see…

May 10th

Detective Pikachu

The first post-Avengers blockbuster on the UK schedule, and even then leaving a two-week gap, is the Detective Pikachu movie. Ryan Reynolds and Kathryn Newton have signed up for this one, using the Pokemon videogames as its source. Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) is directing.

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The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project was a popular book about a university professor who, er, creates a questionnaire to help him find a wife. The film adaptation has been quiet of late, but remains on the schedule at the moment for next May. Interestingly, it’s set to star Ryan Reynolds, so one of the two films due out on May 10th 2019 is going to have to budge. Ben Taylor is earmarked to direct.

May 17th

John Wick: Chapter 3

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The third part of Keanu Reeves action franchise sees Wick on the run after killing a a member of the High Table on the grounds of The Continental Hotel – strictly forbidden. He’s got a massive bounty on his head and just a one hour grace period to get the hell out of New York City. Returning director Chad Stahelski said in an interview that his next instalment wouldn’t be going bigger as such, but would more likely delve into the details and intricacies of Wick’s world.  Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, Common and Laurence Fishburne will reprise their roles, with Angelica Huston and Halle Berry now also on board.

May 24th

Aladdin

Disney’s live action telling of one of its most popular animated features has been handed over to Snatch and King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword director Guy Ritchie. Will Smith plays the Genie, Mena Massoud is Aladdin, and the film is already in post-production. Expect extensive effects work, though, a la Beauty And The Beast. Disney will be hoping for a hit on that level.

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May 31st

Godzilla: King Of Monsters

Talking of cinematic universes, Warner Bros and Legendary will be picking up from Kong: Skull Island for their latest monsters movie. Whether this one acts as a direct sequel to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla movie, or more of a follow on from Skull Island, remains to be seen. We do know that Michael Dougherty is directing this one, with Sally Hawkins, Vera Farmiga, O’Shea Jackson Jr and Charles Dance amongst the cast.

The Secret Life Of Pets 2

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Harrison Ford voices his first animated movie with Illumination’s follow-up to the hugely successful The Secret Life Of Pets. Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet and Lake Bell are also in the ensemble, and the plot – we’d wager – involves more pets, having some kind of secretive life. Don’t hold us to it though. It’ll be a megahit.

June 7th

Charlie’s Angels

Elizabeth Banks is directing this reboot of the franchise which began as a TV show in the 70s and was turned into a couple of movies in the early 2000s. Kristen Stewart, Lupita Nyong’o and Naomi Scott are currently on board to star. It’s still in development so no guarentees this will actually land in summer 2019, but Sony has certainly earmarked the date.

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June 14th

Men In Black 4

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth take the two lead roles this time around, in a sequel that takes place in the world of the previous three films in the Men In Black series, but doesn’t tie directly to them. Straight Outta Compton and Fast & Furious 8 director F Gary Gray is directing this one, and it’ll be shooting in London later this year.

June 21st

Toy Story 4

It’s been some time coming, but nearly a decade after Toy Story 3, Pixar/Disney is unleashing a fresh sequel in the series. Josh Cooley is taking over as director this time, with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen returning to voice Woody and Buzz. Story details are being kept quiet for the time being. Expect a megahit.

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June 28th

Cowboy Ninja Viking

Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) directs Chris Pratt, in this adaptation of the comic book by A J Lieberman. The movie is set to film in Canada later this year, and the central character is a man with multiple personal disorder, who takes on attributes of a ninja, a Viking and a cowboy. As you do. An off-kilter comic book movie, from a director long overdue a big blockbuster movie gig, fingers crossed this one works out.

July 5th

Spider-Man: Far From Home

The next instalment in the Marvelverse following on from Avengers 4 is Spidey’s follow up to Homecoming. It’ll mark the first part of Marvel’s phase four, and right now all plot details have been kept very much underwraps. At the moment all bets are off in relation to the direction the movie will go, since everything is riding on where we find the webslinger at the end of phase three. Homecoming director Jon Watts is back at the helm, and that’s about all we can be certain about. 

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July 12th

Top Gun 2

Tom Cruise returns to one of his most successful movies ever, over 30 years since the original debuted. He’ll be back as Maverick in the cunningly entitled Top Gun: Maverick. Joseph Kosinski will direct Cruise for the second time (after Oblivion), but no casting beyond Cruise – who will be back as Maverick – has been announced thus far. Top Gun: Maverick, with Maverick in it, will film next for Cruise. Who is playing Maverick.

July 19th

The Lion King

Director Jon Favreau and Disney struck gold on their last collaboration, the live action-ish retelling of The Jungle Book. As such, Favreau moved on to Disney’s most successful hand drawn animated movie ever, The Lion King. It’s a similar drill: a few new songs, CG recreations of the original characters, that kind of thing. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa in the new movie, which has an extensive cast including Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Beyonce and John Oliver. It’ll take a billion dollars at least. Bet you a quid.

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July 26th

Hobbs And Shaw

Yes please. The first official movie spin-off from the Fast & Furious series, this one pairs the characters played by Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Bluntly, a couple of hours of them scrapping it out – with Statham winning, natch – would do us. But director David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) will presumably throw in things like story and stuff. It’ll never catch on. Can’t wait, bluntly.

August 2nd

The New Mutants

It looks like the long-delayed New Mutants movie will be going out without an X-Men prefix now, with director Josh Boone’s film undergoing reshoots and retooling that will add another character and reportedly rejig the back part of the movie. Fox is believed to be relatively happy with the first cut, just wants more edge, a la Logan and Deadpool. Keep an eye on this one….

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August 9th

Artemis Fowl

Eoin Colfer’s book series comes to the screen, in a Disney-backed adaptation. Disney has reunited with Kenneth Branagh again for the new project, and he’s directing a quality ensemble cast. Amongst it are Dame Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Ferdia Shaw, Nonso Anonzie and Tamara Smart. We’re guessing that Disney fancies a new franchise here, given the number of books that Colfer has penned in this series.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s latest project is his late-60s set Hollywood story, about two men trying to make a name for themselves against a backdrop of the Charles Manson murders. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt take the male lead roles in this one, both reuniting with Tarantino (who, of course, has penned the script). Margot Robbie and Zoe Bell are also confirmed for the cast. Filming is set to take place this summer, and Sony has signed up to direct the movie.

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August 16th

Dora The Explorer

A good chance of a solid hit here. Dora The Explorer is, of course, a really good animated series, and Paramount has ordered a live action version. The Muppets director James Bobin is helming this one, and Nicholas Stoller has been working on the script. Isabela Moner is going to be playing Dora.

The Grudge

Rounding out the summer, The Grudge movie franchise comes out of mothballs for a fresh reboot. Nicolas Pesce has signed up to direct the new film, and the cast this time around is going to be led by Andrea Riseborough. Lin Shaye, from The Conjuring movies, is also on board. We’re going to go out on a limb again and suggest that further sequels are planned…