We saw numerous great films in 2023, both in theatres and on Netflix, ranging from the summer’s biggest event, ‘Barbenheimer,’ to Disney blockbusters The Little Mermaid and Indiana Jones 5.
There was Maestro, a Netflix Oscar contender, Tom Cruise’s comeback to Mission: Impossible, and Martin Scorsese’s latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon.
There were also independent successes, such as filmmaker Celine Song’s Past Lives, a British rom-com revival with Rye Lane, and success for shock fare, such as Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn and Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’ May December.
However, with the months-long (and now-resolved) actor and writer strikes in the United States that brought Hollywood to a standstill, we’ve seen a slight shift in 2024’s anticipated film lineup – but there’s still plenty to look forward to.
From Emma Stone doing strange things with a piece of fruit in Poor Things to the highly anticipated sequels to famous film series like Inside Out 2 and Beetlejuice 2 – and don’t forget Paddington 3 – we’ve got lots to look forward to next year.
Here’s a look at some of the most anticipated and interesting films due to hit theatres in 2024…
Poor Things has been generating continuous buzz since its pearl-clutching global debut at the Venice Film Festival in September, which allegedly left some fans fleeing for the door during its raunchier scenes.
At the London Film Festival, leading lady Emma Stone was dubbed ‘one of cinema’s horniest legends’ for playing Bella Baxter, a young woman brought back to life with the mind of a baby by a brilliant but unconventional scientist (Willem Dafoe) in a daring take on the Frankenstein tale.
From ingenious uses for apples to references to ‘tongue-play’ and athletic sex sessions, fans see and hear it all in the new film, directed by The Favourite’s Yorgos Lanthimos and based on Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel of the same name.
Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael, and Vicki Pepperdine round out the cast, and Tony McNamara, a previous Lanthimos partner, wrote the screenplay.
It will almost likely generate headlines (and may not be suitable for family watching).
Poor Things hits cinemas on January 12.
All of Us Strangers
Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal are ready to smack you over the head with the emotional force of All of Us Strangers if you want your heart torn and lovingly patched back together again by a couple of subtle lead performances.
Both Irish performers, who play lonely author Adam and his mystery neighbour Harry, have already received praise for their performances as well as their smoking hot chemistry.
Adam is pulled back to his boyhood home as he begins on a documentary on his parents (played well by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell), only to discover them living there exactly 30 years before they died.
The nostalgia and closeness are very strong, especially as All of Us Strangers, based on the Japanese novel Strangers by Taichi Yamada, was shot in director and writer Andrew Haigh’s boyhood home.
This will most certainly bother you long after the credits have rolled.
All of Us Strangers is in cinemas from January 26.
Back to Black
The Amy Winehouse biopic, directed by Fifty Shades of Grey filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson, is slated to hit theatres in the spring, but just a few photographs of its starring actress, Industry star Marisa Abela, have been revealed thus far.
From what we’ve seen so far, Abela has a striking likeness to the troubled Rehab singer, who died at the age of 27 in 2011.
The highly anticipated feature film, produced by StudioCanal, Focus Features, and Monumental Pictures, has kept screenplay specifics under wraps but promises to capture her ‘vibrant years living in London in the early aughts and her arduous road to stardom’.
The Amy Winehouse Estate, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Publishing have all given their full support to the biopic, which will, of course, incorporate her cherished music, such as Valerie and Love Is a Losing Game.
Back to Black also includes Jack O’Connell as Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan as her father Mitch, and Lesley Manville as her grandmother Cynthia.
Back to Black releases in cinemas on April 12.
Challengers was pushed back to 2024 shortly after its first teaser aired in the summer, and it was also cancelled as the opening feature at the Venice feature Festival in September.
That means fans have had plenty of time to digest the meaty material teased by our first look at the picture, which stars Spider-Man actress Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist as young tennis aces who have a very close connection (and threesome).
Zendaya plays as Tashi Duncan, who is eventually revealed to be the wife and coach of Grand Slam winner Art (Faist) in the film directed by Luca Guadagnino.
During a losing streak, she signs him up for a Challenger tournament where he would square off against her former boyfriend and his ex-best buddy Patrick (O’Connor) – understandably, tensions are high.
Challengers is set to launch in cinemas on April 26.
Inside Out 2
We’ll have had to wait nine years for this sequel, but judging by the enthusiastic reaction to the first teaser of this Disney-Pixar film in November, it’ll have been well worth the wait.
With Riley, the lead character from 2015’s Inside Out, now a teenager, a new emotion has been added to the five others that currently fill her head in the shape of Anger, Joy, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust.
Enter a frazzled and orange Anxiety, expertly portrayed by Stranger Things’ Maya Hawke.
The first film won the Oscar for best animated picture in 2016 and is widely regarded as one of Pixar’s most unique works, thus expectations are sky high.
Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling did not return as Fear and Disgust in the sequel due to rumoured wage conflicts, and were replaced by Tony Hale and Liza Lapira, respectively.
However, Amy Poehler, Phyliss Smith, and Lewis Black reprise their roles as Joy, Sadness, and Anger.
Inside Out 2 hits cinemas on June 14.
This Marvel feature has been in the works for a long time, due to actor and producer Ryan Reynolds originally suggesting that this Deadpool threequel will signal the return of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in September 2022.
Despite the Oscar-nominated actor’s public retirement from his hallmark character with 2017’s Logan (and that lovely, hmm, final conclusion), it seems Reynolds was too enticing a proposition to pass up.
Shawn Levy, who previously collaborated with Reynolds on Free Guy in 2021 and The Adam Project the following year, will direct Deadpool 3.
Emma Corrin, who starred in The Crown, has been cast as the film’s villain, joining Jennifer Garner, who is reprising her role as Elektra from Daredevil, as well as Brianna Hildebrand, Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, and Leslie Uggams, as well as Succession actor Matthew Macfadyen in an unspecified role.Before the strike-related stoppage, photos from the UK-based set featured Jackman in a comic-book-accurate outfit as Wolverine for the first time in his famed yellow suit.
Deadpool 3 is in cinemas from July 26.
Beetlejuice is one of Tim Burton’s most memorable films, establishing Michael Keaton as the titular diabolical ‘bio-exorcist’ in the 1988 original, hired by a married but deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to scare away the new tenants of their house.
Burton has reunited with cast members Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz and Catherine O’Hara as her mother Delia, as well as Beetlejuice debut Wednesday actor Jenna Ortega, who will allegedly play Lydia’s daughter Astrid, more than 35 years later.
Willem Dafoe, Monica Bellucci (who plays Betelgeuse’s wife) and Justin Theroux are reportedly scheduled to participate in the long-awaited sequel, which has been in the works since 1990.
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‘It’s something that I really want to do under the proper conditions, but it’s one of those projects where it needs to be perfect,’ Burton told Collider in 2016. It’s not the type of film that begs for a sequel; it’s not the Beetlejuice trilogy.’
Burton stated to The Independent that when he came on to film the sequel in its current version in 2022, he removed everything from the script to “go back to the basics of working with good people, actors, and puppets.”
We’re crossing our hopes and toes that this will be a quality sequel deserving of its cast and creatives’ abilities.
Beetlejuice 2 releases in cinemas on September 6.
Joker: Folie à Deux
Lady Gaga, who played Harley Quinn alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, a.k.a. Arthur Fleck, gave us our first official glimpse at Joker 2 back in February.
Phoenix is returning to the role that earned him his first Oscar in 2020, but the sequel will undoubtedly differ from the original’s psychological thriller approach because it is a musical.
DC Studios CEO James Gunn has stated that the picture is a DC Elseworlds project, which takes place outside of the primary cinematic DC Universe he is now revamping with co-CEO and chairman Peter Safran.
Over the holidays, Joker writer and director Todd Phillips shared a few additional images from Folie à Deux, including a peek at Arthur through the bars of a prison cell and a shot of him in full clown make-up alongside Gaga’s Quinn.
Zazie Beetz reprises her role as Arthur’s old neighbour Sophie, while Brendan Gleeson and Catherine Keener have joined the ensemble as well.
Joker: Folie à Deux is set to launch in cinemas on October 4.
Paddington in Peru
After a troubling hiccup in February this year, when voice actor Ben Whishaw stated that all had ‘gone quiet’ on the long-awaited Paddington 3 – which had been in the works since 2021 – the threequel finally began production this summer.
Although no narrative specifics have been revealed as of yet, the film has been officially titled Paddington in Peru (and was filmed there), so we can safely assume that Paddington will be returning to ‘deepest, darkest Peru,’ his native country.
The third picture will be released seven years after the sequel – and a decade after the first – which brought us to the joys of a tap-dancing Hugh Grant, who recently reunited with Paddington director Paul King for Wonka.
After Citizen Kane was dethroned, Paddington 2 became (for a painfully brief time) the top-rated picture on Rotten Tomatoes, with a perfect score.
Hugh Bonneville, Dame Julie Walters, Imelda Staunton, and Jim Broadbent return, with Emily Mortimer replacing Sally Hawkins as Mrs Brown.
Olivia Colman and Antonio Banderas have also joined the group as newcomers.
Paddington in Peru hits UK cinemas on November 8, and US cinemas on January 17, 2025.
Wicked: Part One
Fans have been ecstatic about the big screen version of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s stage musical Wicked, which has been a major smash on the West End, Broadway, and all around the world for the past 20 years.
Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande were announced to play Elphaba and Glinda in this origin story of The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, starring Jonathan Bailey and Jeff Goldblum.
When the actors’ strikes ended in November, the majority of people were eager for this film to resume shooting in the UK.
April provided us our first official sight at the principal characters in their separate outfits, barring leaked set photographs (which fans have obsessed over).
Given that mega-musician Grande has struck up a headline-grabbing affair with co-star Ethan Slater, this is guaranteed to be one of the biggest pictures of 2024.
It will also just be the first installment of the film, with a sequel set for release in 2025.
Wicked: Part One is in cinemas from November 27. Wicked: Part Two is currently slated for release on November 26, 2025.
Other films to look out for in 2024
Mean Girls – A screen adaptation of the musical stage show version of the 2004 original movie, which has triggered Millennials with its tagline: ‘This isn’t your mother’s Mean Girls’. (January 19)
The Colour Purple – Another screen adaptation of a stage musical, this Colour Purple is produced by Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, who nabbed multiple Oscar nominations with their 1985 film version of Alice Walker’s novel. (January 26)
Argylle – Henry Cavill plays a super-spy for director Matthew Vaughn, created by Bryce Dallas Howard’s introverted writer who is then approached to help a team of real-life agents complete a mission. (February 2)
The Zone of Interest – Gathering major buzz since its Cannes debut, this film follows a Nazi commandant trying to build a dream life for his family near Auschwitz concentration camp. (February 2)
The Iron Claw – Zac Efron’s epic transformation into pro wrestler Kevin Von Erich is something to behold in this biopic about the real life sports star and his wrestling family dynasty. (February 9)
Madame Web – Dakota Johnson makes her Marvel debut as a paramedic and clairvoyant who can see events within the ‘spider world’, alongside Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor and Adam Scott. (February 16)
Imaginary – The latest jumpscare from horror masters Blumhouse is about to ruin teddy bears for us all. (March 8)
Dune: Part Two – The delayed follow-up to 2021’s Dune from Denis Villeneuve, which snagged six Oscars. Austin Butler and Florence Pugh join Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet in the cast. (March 15)
Mickey 17 – Director Bong Joon-ho follows up his Parasite success with a mysterious new movie about humanity’s attempts to colonise a distant planet, starring Robert Pattinson, Mark Ruffalo and Steven Yeun. (March 29)
The Fall Guy – Ryan Reynolds and Emily Blunt star in a team-up that surely should have happened before as a retired stuntman drafted back into service to help his director ex. (May 3)
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – George Miller is back with another spin-off/prequel in his post-apocalyptic franchise, this time starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth. (May 24)
Ballerina – The first spin-off in the John Wick universe, following ballerina-assassin Rooney (Ana de Armas) as she hunts the murderers of her family – and yes, Keanu Reeves is in it. (June 7)
Bad Boys 4 – Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back once more, nearly 30 years after the first film and four since the last one, alongside new star Vanessa Hudgens. (June 14)
The Bikeriders – Tom Hardy and Austin Butler play 1950s bikers in this film that watches the gang develop over a decade, which is stolen by Jodie Comer’s compelling performance. (June 21 USA, UK release TBC)
A Quiet Place: Day One – A prequel to the original runaway hit, based on creator John Krasinski’s story, and starring Lupita Nyong’o, Stranger Things’ Joseph Quinn and Djimon Hounsou. (June 28)
Despicable Me 4 – Yes, Steve Carell is trotting out his oddly unspecific European accent again as lovable-really villain Gru. And we assume there will be plenty more Minions action too. (July 5)
Kraven the Hunter – A very delayed release for Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s extremely ripped Spider-Man antagonist origin story. (Aug 30)
Gladiator 2 – Sir Ridley Scott is following up his 2000 classic, which revolves around Maximus’ love Lucilla’s son Lucius, played by Paul Mescal. Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal are also among the stacked cast. (November 22)
Mufasa: The Lion King – Directed by Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), this sequel to the live-action The Lion King, which nobody really asked for, follows Simba as king of the Pride Lands exploring his father’s origins with his cub. (December 20)
Nosferatu – A remake of the 1922 German Expressionist vampire classic, written and directed by The Northman’s Robert Eggers, and starring Bill Skarsgård, Nicholas Hoult and Lily-Rose Depp. (December 25 USA, UK release TBC)
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