What do moviegoers want to see right now? For decades, studios have had very specific answers to this question, but considering that 2023’s box office was dominated by two films called Barbie and Oppenheimer, it seems like those preconceived notions might be changing. When we look at the films already scheduled for 2024, there certainly seems to be a lot of familiarity that might be old hat.
But look again at a few of the auteur pieces that have already been slated. Even the blockbuster class looks surprisingly ambitious, with new works from the likes of George Miller, Denis Villeneuve, and Bong Joon-ho. There are also familiar favorites, such as a new Deadpool flick, and curious question marks–like Robert Eggers remaking the greatest vampire movie of all time more than a hundred years later. 2024 should be an interesting year at the movies. So here are a few to watch out for.
Society of the Snow
January 4 (Netflix)
J.A. Bayona, the director of The Orphanage and The Impossible heads up this true story of the Uruguayan Rugby team who’s chartered flight crashed over the Andes in 1972, forcing the survivors to go to extreme measures to stay alive. It’s based on a book of the same name by Pablo Vierci and features Uruguayan and Argentine actors, many of whom are unknowns who spent time with the real life survivors of the disaster in preparation. This is a story that’s already come to the big screen in the 1993 movie Alive (and to a lesser extent, riffed on in Yellowjackets). The movie premiered at Venice and will be released in Spain before it hits Netflix.
Twenty years after the first film, Tina Fey is expanding her Mean Girls universe with a movie adaptation of the Broadway musical that she wrote the book for, which in turn was based on the 2004 film that she also wrote and starred in. The film version, however, stars Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys) as Cady Heron, the new girl in school who catches the eye of Regina George (Reneé Rapp, who is reprising her role from the stage) and the Plastics. After Cady is convinced by social outcasts Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey) to use her anonymity to try and take down the plastics from the inside, she discovers that maybe popularity isn’t such a bad thing. Why settle for taking down Regina George when you can become her instead?
After a limited release in December, Ava DuVernay’s new film sees its wide theatrical release in the New Year. The film marks DuVernay’s return to the thorny American issues that made her earlier work like Selma and the documentary 13th so captivating. Origin is, indeed, based on a nonfiction book by isabel wilkerson that seeks to track the origin of how American racism stratified an unspoken caste system in the 20th century to rival those found in nations like India. The film stars Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, and Blair Underwood, among others.
Imagine for a moment that you’re a world-famous author, one who is beloved for writing a series of books about a boy wizard who lived. Now imagine a real wizard showed up in your kitchen and said, “Let’s go on a real magical adventure!” That is the kernel of an idea Matthew Vaughn had for Argylle, a new espionage film from the director of Kingsman, only here the main character is an introverted author (Bryce Dallas Howard) who lives vicariously through her studly literary spy that looks suspiciously like Henry Cavill in her head. But when a real spy (Sam Rockwell) shows up at her doorstep, she finds herself immersed in a world of international intrigue, double crosses, and a kitty!
Diablo Cody (writer of the cult classic Jennifer’s Body) has partnered with first-time director Zelda Williams to create what is sure to be another campy horror hit. Set in 1989, Lisa Frankenstein follows Lisa Swallows (Kathryn Newton), a lonely, misunderstood Goth girl who reanimates the body of a dead Victorian boy (Cole Sprouse) with the power of a malfunctioning tanning bed and a lightning storm. Now that she’s finally manifested (or rather created) the man of her dreams, the two embark on a journey of love, acceptance, and maybe even a little murder.
Madame Web isn’t the easiest comic character to adapt for the big screen, but that isn’t stopping Sony from trying. The next entry in their live-action Spider-Verse, Madame Web, is an origin story of sorts for Cassandra “Cassie” Webb (Dakota Johnson), a New York City Paramedic who discovers that she has clairvoyant abilities and that her destiny seems to be tied to three young women and the mysterious man hunting them down. Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, Adam Scott, Emma Roberts, and Tahar Rahim star in the film alongside Johnson.
Not only is Drive-Away Dolls Ethan Coen’s first directorial feature without his brother Joel, but it’s also meant to be the first of a trilogy of “lesbian B-movies” that Coen is writing with his wife Tricia Cooke. This comedy begins with a need to escape. Friends Jamie (Margaret Qualley) and Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) decide to embark on a journey to Tallahassee, Florida as free-spirited Jamie bemoans yet another breakup and Marian feels a need to loosen up and step outside of her comfort zone. But despite their need for a drama-free getaway, a mixup with a rental car gets the women involved with an inept but determined group of criminals who are desperate to get back a very important briefcase. In addition to its leading lesbians, Drive-Away Dolls has a stacked cast that includes Pedro Pascal, Beanie Feldstein, Matt Damon, and Colman Domingo.
Dune: Part Two
In a better world, we would have already made our return trip to Arrakis to see how Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides leads the Fremen against the evil Harkonnens while becoming a religious figure and inaugurate a galaxy-wide jihad. Instead David Zaslav channeled his inner Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and bumped the movie back to next March, forcing us to wait even longer to see Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two. The film concludes the story began in 2021’s Dune, bringing back Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, while adding to the cast Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Christopher Walken as the Emperor, and Florence Pugh as his daughter Princess Irulan.
Another day, another concept Blumhouse movie, and this time it’s basically Ted but evil. Or possibly M3GAN but a demon bear. The film sees a woman return to her childhood home where she finds the imaginary friend she had as a child wasn’t imaginary and is incredibly annoyed she abandoned him. Now Chauncy the bear “befriends” a new little girl, and he quickly shows himself to be a very bad influence. Truth or Dare’s Jeff Wadlow directs with Jurassic World Dominion’s DeWanda Wise starring.
Arthur the King
Mark Wahlberg is in a dog movie. Admit it, you’re smiling already. This particular dog movie also just so happens to be based on a true story, which in real-life involved a Swedish adventure racer who alongside a team would traverse hundreds of miles of wilderness, rivers, and mountainous terrain in an extreme form of extreme sports. And yet, to his chagrin, he met a dog who could do all that, too, right by his side. Yeah, you know how this one is going to go. Get the Kleenex ready.
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
It’s another Ghostbusters movie! Following on from Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the Spengler family leave Summerville and head to New York City to assist the remaining original Ghostbusters with a research project, but in doing so unearth an ancient evil attached to an artifact which could usher in a new ice age. Eek! Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace return as the Spenglers/baby Ghostbusters, along with Paul Rudd’s Gary Grooberson, Celeste O’Connor’s Lucky Domingo, and Logan Kim as Podcast. OGB’s Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and William Atherton are also back, and are joined by new faces Kumail Nanjiani and Brit comedian James Acaster. Hijinx guaranteed.
Mickey 17, an adaptation of Edward Ashton’s sci-fi novel Mickey7, isn’t the first English language movie from Korean director Bong Joon-ho. However, unlike Snowpiercer or Okja, Mickey 17 comes after Bong’s Best Picture and Best Director wins for 2019’s Parasite, thus upping the expectation. Robert Pattinson stars as Mickey Barnes, a clone sent to help colonize a distant world who begins to recall his past lives. Joining Pattinson are Steven Yeun, Naomi Ackie, Mark Ruffalo, and Toni Collette. We don’t know yet how director Bong will use those big Hollywood names in Mickey 17, but if he gets anywhere close to making Chris Evans talk about eating a baby, as he did in Snowpiercer, then we’re in for a crazy anti-capitalist good time!
The First Omen
Ever wondered what Omens were like before THE Omen? Now’s your chance to find out with this prequel that’s the feature directorial debut of Arkasha Stevenson, who proved her horror chops on TV show Channel Zero. The movie follows an American woman sent to work in a church in Rome who uncovers a plot to spawn the Antichrist. Servant’s Nell Tiger Free stars alongside Bill Nighy and Ralph Ineson.
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Look, the MonsterVerse movies have been hit or miss. Despite having some cool monster designs and occasional standout sequences, the series, like all American Godzilla movies, tend to focus too much on uninteresting humans. However, Adam Wingard’s first MonsterVerse outing Godzilla vs. Kong did make some steps in the right direction with its neon clash of the Titans. Hopefully, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire will continue to put the monsters first, as the titular Titans battle a new threat. However, a cast that adds Dan Stevens as Bill Randa’s descendent to a group that includes returnees Brian Tyree Henry and Rebecca Hall does threaten to distract from Old Man Kong and Hollow Earth
Rebel Moon: Part Two – The Scavenger
April 19 (Netflix)
Rebel Moon was not originally conceived of as a two-parter, but as with most Zack Snyder films these days, two or three hours just isn’t enough. So after enjoying the first part of Snyder’s “Star Wars but with violence, sex, and swearing,” (his words) this holiday season, prepare yourself for the second coming just around Easter time as we find out what happens when a band of heroes stand against the might of an evil galactic empire. But, you know, with lots of sex and violence and swearing.
Tensions are rising both on and off the tennis court in Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers. The movie follows rising tennis star Tashi (Zendaya) as she develops a relationship with fellow players and friends Patrick (Josh O’Connor) and Art (Mike Faist). Years later, Tashi has developed a devastating injury that sidelined her own career. Meanwhile Art has transformed into a world-famous grand-slam champion, albeit one with a recent losing streak. To coax him out of his funk, Tashi convinces him to play a “Challenger” event, where they both come face to face with Patrick for the first time since their youth and realize that feelings aren’t an easy thing to bury.
The Fall Guy
If I had a nickel for every time that Ryan Gosling has played a stuntman in a movie, I’d only have two nickels, but it’s kind of weird (and cool) that it happened twice. There doesn’t seem to be much else The Fall Guy has in common with Drive, but that doesn’t mean that The Fall Guy won’t still be a great time at the movies.
In The Fall Guy, Gosling plays Colt, a battered stuntman who recently took a year off to work on himself but ended up ghosting his girlfriend, a film director named Jody (Emily Blunt). Now that he’s back to work on her next film, against her wishes, he wants to make things up to her the best that he can. Part of his atonement includes keeping tabs on the leading actor he’s performing stunts for (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who has gone missing and delayed production. As Colt follows Tom Ryder’s trail, he uncovers a criminal conspiracy that the bumbling actor somehow stumbled upon, leading to plenty of hijinks and action as Colt tries to save his ex’s movie.
John Krasinski has proven himself to be quite the genre filmmaker after helming the first two A Quiet Place films. Taking a niche high-concept about monsters who use sound to track you down and turning it into a blockbuster franchise about family, Krasinski did the seemingly impossible thing: he created an original film everyone loved. And by placing IF in the summer months, Paramount clearly thinks he can do it again in a film with a fascinating concept. One little girl (Cailey Fleming) is able to see the imaginary friends all the other children around her, and perhaps even the adults, have forgotten about. And they can see her. The film also stars Krasinski, Ryan Reynolds, and a deep bench of vocal talent as the imaginary friends, including someone named Emily Blunt…
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
The recent trilogy of Planet of the Apes films starring Andy Serkis as a chimp called Caesar is wonderful. Those movies took what sounded like a dull attempt to return to the well and made it into something heartbreaking and spectacular. Still, we low-key missed how all the apes could speak and reason quite like humans in the original Planet of the Apes film series.
Well, it looks like audiences might get the best of both worlds in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, a new beginning for the franchise directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner). Set centuries after the Serkis trilogy, the apes really have inherited the Earth. One is named Noa (Owen Teague), a chimpanzee who grows up in a land where humans have reverted to a feral state, and various factions of apes are all led by beasts who call themselves “Caesar.” Is this fallen kingdom on the verge of a renaissance?
The eagerly awaited follow up to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road focuses on the backstory of that film’s star, Furiosa. Played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road, Furiosa now sees Anya Taylor-Joy embodying the young Imperator and tells the story of her kidnap from The Green Place of Many Mothers and the Vuvalini, before she ends up with Immortan Joe in the Citadel. A young Joe is set to appear, though we’ll also meet a new adversary in Warlord Dementus, played by Chris Hemsworth. George Miller returns to write, direct, and orchestrate cinematic chaos.
John Wick might be dead, but the John Wick: The Extended Universe has only begun to take its first steps. Ballerina is even expected to see Keanu Reeves check back into the Continental (the film is set before the events of John Wick: Chapter 4). This spinoff also stars an actress who is overdue for a blockbuster franchise of her own, Ana de Armas. The Oscar-nominated thespian seems poised to build quite the tab at the minibar too by playing Rooney, the eponymous ballerina who between the hours of 8 and 10 pm might play at the Nutcracker’s Ball, but the rest of the night she could very well be doing it for real. The film is also directed by Len Wiseman of the first two Underworld films and the Total Recall remake.
Inside Out 2
Even the smart people who watched the delightful Turning Red and Luca would have to admit that Pixar is on a bit of a cold streak lately, caused by lackluster entries such as Onward and Lightyear. So it’s easy to understand why the studio would return to the world of one of their greatest entries with Inside Out 2. Pixar vet Kelsey Mann steps in for Pete Docter as director to tell the story of the now-teenaged Riley dealing with her emotions. Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, and Lewis Black return to voice Joy, Sadness, and Anger, while Tony Hale and Liza Lapira take over from Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling (who reportedly refused Disney’s low-ball salary offer) as Fear and Disgust. Maya Hawke also joins the cast as new emotion Anxiety (well, new to the movie, not at all a new emotion to most people reading this).
Bad Boys 4
The third Bad Boys film, Bad Boys for Life, was better than it had any right to be. Released in January 2020 (usually a dead month for wide releases) and the first entry not directed by Michael Bay, there was reason to doubt. Yet newcomer directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah outdid themselves, creating an action movie that was honestly more fun than Bay’s efforts, as well as the last blockbuster before the pandemic. Now, after being led astray by Warners’ mistreatment of Batgirl, those directors are back alongside Will Smith and Martin Lawrence to utterly devastate Miami for another go round. We’re game.
A Quiet Place: Day One
We still don’t know a lot about the plot of A Quiet Place: Day One, but the anticipation will likely make the finished product that much better. Serving as a prequel for the first two movies in John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place series, we’ll hopefully get to see more of what this world was like in the early days of the alien invasion before the world went totally silent, similar to the glimpses we saw through flashbacks in A Quiet Place Part II. Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things), Alex Wolff (Hereditary), and Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story) are set to star, with Djimon Hounsou reprising his role of “Man on the Island” from A Quiet Place Part II.
Twisters isn’t a direct sequel to the 1996 film Twister, but it is considered to be a “new chapter” in the same world. Whereas the first film saw the cast race against a powerful storm system to try and gather data that could help track these storms in the future, Twisters will likely feature a similar premise, but with the addition of things like updated technology and a weather system that’s less and less predictable due to climate change. Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Kiernan Shipka, David Corenswet, and Anthony Ramos star in the movie in undisclosed roles, some of whom will likely be part of a new team of storm chasers. While we don’t know much else about Twisters yet, we hope that it will capture the realism, terror, and fun of the original.
Superhero movie haters, rejoice! Just one MCU movie comes to theaters in 2024, and it’s Deadpool 3. People sick of the multiverse, well, don’t rejoice, because the self-aware Merc with a Mouth will make his way from the 20th Century Fox X-Men universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing with him Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and probably a lot of other familiar faces. Ryan Reynolds returns as Deadpool, reteaming with Free Guy and The Adam Project director Shawn Levy. Morena Baccarin will return as Wade Wilson’s lady love Vanessa, and we can probably count on seeing other members of the Deadpool supporting cast who aren’t T.J. Miller.
M. Night Shyamalan is back, baby! And he’s bringing along Josh Hartnett, a guy continuing his own reclamation tour with an outstanding turn in Oppenheimer being his latest triumph. Shyamalan follows up the divisive Old and the excellent Knock at the Cabin with Trap, starring Hartnett, O.G. Parent Trap star Hayley Mills, and probably Shyamalan in a cameo for every boyfriend in the theater to whisper to their date, “That’s the director.” Outside of that, we don’t know anything about Trap besides the fact that it takes place at a concert. Will that concert feature Old’s breakout character Mid-Size Sedan!?! One can only hope.
Eli Roth making a video game movie? Hey, after producing arguably the best film of his career in Thanksgiving, it’s worth having an open mind. It can’t be any worse than FNaF, right? Plus, Borderlands is a game franchise famous for being open-world space Westerns, which means Roth has a lot of latitude to make whatever he wants of a story set in one of the most fertile of genre mashups. The film also includes an intriguing cast by way of Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Gina Gershon, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Some people don’t like the new Alien movies, and those people are wrong. However, they may have a point with Alien: Romulus, in which Fede Álvarez takes over, the first non-prestige director to helm a mainline Alien entry if you ignore those awful AvP movies. Álvarez has made some excellent films, such as The Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe, and some real stinkers like The Girl in the Spider’s Web. While this movie comes from Disney, who now owns 20th Century Studios (née Fox), it will return to the original movies’ timeline, exploring the 57 years between Alien and Aliens. Given that Ripley spent that time snoozing/missing out on her daughter’s life, she won’t appear in the film. Instead Alien: Romulus will star Priscilla breakout Cailee Spaeny, David Jonsson, and Isabela Merced.
Kraven the Hunter
Some of Sony’s Spidey-less Spider-Man movies may have been hits, but none of them have been good. The studios plan to make Kraven the Hunter, a Spidey villain with only one great story to his name, the star of a blockbuster film seems destined to fail. However, they have some help in the form of director J.C. Chandor, who made riveting stuff out of the 2008 financial crisis in Margin Call and Robert Redford alone on a boat in All is Lost. In Kraven the Hunter, Chandor will direct Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who gave his doubters pause with a strong turn in Bullet Train, as Sergei Kravinoff, the Russian big-game hunter of the comics turned into a superpowered environmentalist for the movie. Sure.
September seems about a month early for this kind of movie, but the thing about Betelgeuse (when spelled correctly) is he always likes dropping in on you at the most unexpected of times. Indeed, it’s been more than 35 years since Tim Burton’s beloved macabre comedy, Beetlejuice (which is spelled incorrectly), yet the filmmaker and Michael Keaton have finally agreed to come back alongside the definitive Goth Girl, Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz. Leaked set photos suggest Lydia hasn’t lost her morbid heart, and now she’s dragging her teenage daughter (Goth Girl: The Next Generation, Jenna Ortega) into her world of the Strange and Unusual. The film also sees the return of Catherine O’Hara and introduces Monica Bellucci as… Beetlejuice’s wife?!
Joker: Folie à Deux
When the first Joker made $1 billion on a $90 million budget, a sequel was inevitable—prestige as a “serious” and Oscar-winning movie be damned. But give credit where credit’s due: writer and director Todd Phillips is not playing it safe. If the first film shocked audiences by treating Batman’s greatest villain like Travis Bickle in pancake makeup, then viewers are going to be really thrown for a loop when Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker belts out hallucinatory ditties alongside Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. Yet for those who think musicals cannot be as dark and twisted as the 1970s tragedies that inspired Joker, all we can say is check out Cabaret.
Does the world need a Smile 2? Probably not. But then the original film’s plot, which pretty liberally borrowed from movies like The Ring, It Follows, and Drag Me to Hell, didn’t exactly win points for originality. What made it the horror hit of Halloween 2022 was how brutal and merciless writer-director Parker Quinn was at developing an oppressive atmosphere of doom. Smile is malevolently cruel, even when it’s being funny. May Quinn bring on that nightmare fuel again in Smile 2.
You either loved the first two Terrifier movies from the sick mind of Damien Leone, or you are still recovering from all that heaving you did into that emesis bag. You know if Terrifier 3 is for you. But if you’re still reading, this one’s set at Christmastime… which might be why it’s a family movie. Yep, after giving birth to Art the Clown’s severed head during the post-credits scene in Terrifier 2, Victoria Heyes (Samantha Scaffidi) has gone homicidal and is getting into the torture and slaughter business with her new hubby… or son?
When we last left Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his alien symbiote, the pair were relaxing on a beach before momentarily being sent to the MCU’s universe during the multiversal chaos of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Hopefully this sequel won’t be too bogged down by Spider-Verse tie-ins, and will properly get to explore Eddie and Venom’s relationship arc. The Venom series has been divisive among fans, but those of us who thoroughly enjoy the weird, romcom-esque take on the character will gladly be seated when Venom 3 drops in November. It’s not clear yet if Michelle Williams and Reid Scott are set to return as Anne and her new husband Dan, but Juno Temple and Chiwetel Ejiofor have been announced as newcomers for the sequel.
After decades of threatening to make a sequel, Ridley Scott is finally returning to the world of ancient Rome for a direct follow-up to his Oscar Best Picture winner. Frankly, it’s tough to imagine Scott replicating the strange alchemy that turned Gladiator into such a rousing crowdpleaser—especially given one big ingredient was a young Russell Crowe. Still, seeing the master of historical epics get to play in the Roman sandbox again is appealing.
In this one, we follow Lucius all grown up and played by Aftersun breakout Paul Mescal. Lucius, you might recall, is the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen, also returning) and nephew of the slain Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). This means he’s at the center of a web of political intrigue and imperial power grabs that will land him squarely in the arena. It may not top the original, but with any luck it will be at least as good as The Last Duel. Including Denzel Washington in your cast always helps.
The hit Broadway musical Wicked is finally getting a movie adaptation, with the first part set to premiere at the end of November. This musical is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz and tells the story of how Elphaba came to be the Wicked Witch of the West. It turns out that the politics of Oz are a lot more complicated than expected, and Elphaba gets caught up in the middle of a nefarious plot. Her friend Galinda (later Glinda the Good) is forced to choose sides, causing a rift in their relationship and throughout Oz. Cynthia Erivo plays Elphaba in this adaptation while Ariana Grande is bringing her talents to the role of Galinda. Other notable cast members include Jonathan Bailey, Jeff Goldlblum, Bowen Yang, and Michelle Yeoh.
The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim
Warner Bros. is taking its orders to produce more Lord of the Rings content seriously. First up is the animated backstory to Helm’s Deep, the formidable setting for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ siege battle. Based on appended details from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original novel, The War of Rohirrim tells of a Rohan king who was forced to shield his people from the might of the Dunderlings (wild men of the Dunlands), so he built a place to make a last stand. The film is also helmed by Kenji Kamiyama, the anime director behind Blade Runner: Black Lotus and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
If you enjoyed the wholesome sweetness of Jeff Fowler’s first two Sonic the Hedgehog movies, here is a third one with most of the gang back, including James Marsden and the voices of Ben Schwartz (Sonic), Idris Elba (Knuckles), and Colleen O’Shaughnessey (Tails). No word yet on if Jim Carrey might be convinced to make at least a cameo return.
Mufasa: The Lion King
Look, we know. Live-action Disney remakes, prequels, and reimaginings are almost all uniformly bland, soulless cash grabs (but not you, Cruella, you’re golden!). You know it, we know it, and much to Bob Iger’s mounting frustration, Disney has realized everyone else knows it too. So why is there any reason to look forward to Mufasa: The Lion King, a sequel and prequel to the lifeless remake of Disney’s greatest animated film? Because this one is written and directed by Barry Jenkins, the Oscar and Peabody award winner who directed Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk, and The Underground Railroad.
That is very intriguing. The fact he’s modeled Mufasa after The Godfather, Part II, wherein the son’s story is simultaneously told beside his father’s origins, also raises an eyebrow or two.
With The Witch, The Lighthouse, and The Northman, Robert Eggers has fully demonstrated his interests as a director: historically authentic language and world-building, surreal horror, and titles with definite articles. He’ll be breaking at least one of those trends with Nosferatu, a remake of the silent 1922 unofficial adaptation of Dracula from director F.W. Murnau. Eggers has assembled a cast of some of cinema’s greatest faces, too, including Willem Dafoe, Lily-Rose Depp, Simon McBurney, Nicholas Hoult, and Emma Corrin. But the big draw is an apparently unrecognizable Bill Skarsgård in the title role.
Jordan Peele Movie
What do we know about Jordan Peele’s next movie? Nothing. What do we need to know about Jordan Peele’s next movie? Nothing! Get Out rules. Us rules. Nope rules. Thanks to those outings, Peele has joined Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve as a modern director who can sell a movie just with his name. With such a good track record in place, we can trust that Peele’s latest will be funny, socially relevant, and very weird.
About 30 years ago, Francis Ford Coppola largely retired from cinema in order to make wine. About a little over a year ago, Francis Ford Coppola sold his winery in order to make Megalopolis. That piques curiosity, no? As does the fact that this is his first intended mainstream cinematic effort since 1997’s The Rainmaker.
Megalopolis tells the story of a couple (Adam Driver and Nathalie Emmanuel) who enjoy the very normal names of Caesar and Julia Cicero. Julia’s father is a classicalist who prefers the art of antiquity. Caesar is a forward thinker and architect who gets his wish to essentially rebuild New York City from scratch after a massive disaster. No doubt things get weird, and hopefully as surrealistically grand as Coppola’s Dracula, from there. The film also features Aubrey Plaza, Forest Whitaker, Shia LaBeouf, Coppola favorite Laurence Fishburne, and the great Talia Shire and Jason Schwartmzan. So it’s a family affair.
You’re Cordially Invited
Reese Witherspoon is the sister of the bride; Will Ferrell is the father of another bride (no relation). The two weddings end up booked at the same destination venue for the same weekend. They decide to share. Hijinks ensue. If that didn’t sound enough like a pleasant throwback to 2000s rom-coms, know that this one is directed by Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Bros’ Nicholas Stoller.
Death of a Unicorn
One of the few films actually shot during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes because independent label A24 opted to fairly pay its artists, Death of a Unicorn is Alex Scharfman’s feature directorial debut. Working from his own screenplay, Scharfman tells the unlikely story of Elliot and Riley (Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega), a father and daughter pair who run over a unicorn while driving for a summit with Elliot’s corporate overseers. His bosses are not upset though… in fact they seek to harvest all unicorns for their medicinal properties. So yeah, that old chestnut.
Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse
Okay, let’s get this out of the way first. Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse probably won’t come out in 2024. Not only do producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, have to figure out how to tie up the many, many dangling plot threads from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but they also have to keep up the level of quality established by the first two entries. And, hopefully, they’ll do it without abusing their animators, as reportedly happened with Across the Spider-Verse. All of that means it will take a lot of time to make Beyond the Spider-Verse. And to be honest, we’re willing to wait. We’ll wait impatiently, but we’ll wait nonetheless.