Thanks in large part to the global pandemic, movie releases in theaters were virtually non-existent in 2020, and any new titles that saw the light of day were often confined to streamers like HBO Max and Disney Plus.
2021, however, turned out to be one of the best years for movie fans in living memory. Not only did we see four Marvel movies released in the last year (Black Widow, Shang-Chi, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, which collectively stretched the task of watching the Marvel movies in order), but we also enjoyed the big-budget action from theatrically released films like No Time to Die, Dune and The Matrix Resurrections.
Fortunately, 2022 continued along the same lines. We’ve already seen the release of (get ready…) Uncharted, The Batman, Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, Lightyear, Thor: Love and Thunder, Prey, Nope, and Don’t Worry Darling this year, but still there are many more new movies on the way soon.
Below, we’ve rounded up the biggest of the lot – from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to Avatar: The Way of Water. For the horror fans among us, we’ve also put together a list of the biggest new horror movies yet to come this year.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release date: November 11, 2022 (in theaters)
When Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11, you’ll be hard pressed to find a dry eye in the house. Following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman in August 2020, no one really knows how director Ryan Coogler plans to handle the loss of the actor in this long-awaited sequel to the 2018 mega-hit, but you can bet that Marvel fans across the board world will be eager to find out.
Talking to good morning america (opens in new tab) in March 2021, Lupita Nyong’o said that while the film is inevitably “different” in many ways, the entire cast and crew “dedicate themselves to re-imagining or continuing. [Boseman’s] Legacy.” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will also mark Marvel’s third Phase 4 adventure to hit theaters in 2022 (after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder).
bones and all
Release date: November 23, 2022 (in theaters)
Timothée Chalamet reunites with Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino for Bones and All, a road movie with a twist that promises to move and shock in equal measure. Taylor Russell (Waves) stars opposite Dune as a cannibal wanderer who, while on the run across America, encounters similarly troubled characters played by Mark Rylance and Michael Stuhlbarg. Judging by the trailer, we don’t suggest watching this one on a full stomach.
Matilda the Musical by Roald Dahl
Release date: November 25, 2022 (in theaters)
An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical, Netflix’s new film Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results. Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch and Stephen Graham star in this inevitably animated film, which will be released in cinemas in the UK on November 25th, before heading to Netflix internationally on December 9th.
Avatar: The Water Way
Release date: December 16, 2022 (in theaters)
James Cameron is anything but prolific these days – Avatar: The Way of Water (aka Avatar 2) will only be his third film in 25 years – but when he steps behind the camera, you’ll know you’ll see something groundbreaking. He tends to spend the long breaks between releases waiting for cinematic technology to catch up with his vision, so his return to Pandora’s spectacular alien ecosystem will feature world-first underwater performance capture sequences.
Kate Winslet (who held her breath for an incredible seven minutes during filming), Jermaine Clement and Cliff Curtis join the cast alongside Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana. Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang also return, despite their characters being presumed dead. While this sequel was pushed back a year as part of Disney’s massive Covid-19-induced release date, you won’t have to wait another decade for more Avatar – part 3 is set for December 2024, with a quarter and a half. fifth film also in the works.
You can check out our review of the long-awaited first trailer for the film here.
Release date: December 25, 2022 (in theaters)
Set during the 1920s, in a transitional era of Hollywood that saw silent films give way to ‘talkies’, Babylon looks set to hand out even more awards to director Damien Chazelle, whose previous credits include Oscar-winner Whiplash, La La Land and First Man. A tale of “immoderate ambition and outrageous excess,” the film traces the rise and fall of various characters during an era of rampant decadence and depravity, says the Paramount studio.
Babylon – which counts Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Tobey Maguire among its cast – will receive a limited theatrical release on December 25, 2022, before opening in the US on January 6, 2023 and in the UK on January 20, 2022. 2023. Paramount Movies is likely to debut on Paramount Plus in the future as well.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release date: March 17, 2023 (in theaters)
Admittedly, we’ve now moved into 2023 territory, but Aquaman 2 was scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2022, so it’s mentioned here. Going by the less internet-friendly title of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Aquaman 2 will appear on screens to continue the underwater adventures of Jason Momoa’s DC superhero. This highly anticipated sequel reunites the actor with original co-stars Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman and Patrick Wilson – as well as director James Wan – and will see the title character forced to “forge an uneasy alliance with an ally unlikely to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation.” Expect even more comic book carnage, then.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)
Release date: June 2, 2023 (in theaters)
The first part of a two-part sequel to the 2018 hit Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) will follow Miles and Gwen as they encounter different worlds (and characters) on their travels across the multiverse. The film’s producers have already revealed that each dimension of the Miles Morales-led second Spidey movie “will have its own art style” and “will look like it was hand-drawn by a different artist”, so there’s a good chance this one will look even better than the excellent original. Additionally, the same duo also revealed that Across the Spider-Verse may be tied to the MCU after all, which means we could see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in animated form for the first time. As with the sequel to Aquaman (above), this one was initially slated to release in 2022, but is now slated to arrive in 2023.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One
Release date: July 14, 2023 (in theaters)
Okay, we know this list was supposed to exclusively detail the 2022 movies, but Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One (or Mission: Impossible 7 if you’re in a hurry) has suffered so many scheduling delays that it’s worth including as a footnote here.
Tom Cruise will have turned 60 when this seventh entry in the iconic franchise hits theaters, and it will also mark the penultimate exit of the actor’s famous action hero, Ethan Hunt. Having delivered the best installments in the long-running franchise with Rogue Nation and Fallout, Christopher McQuarrie is also back on camera for issue 7 and its follow-up. Plot details are currently tighter than a government vault, though the film’s bombastic first trailer gave us our first glimpse of Hunt and the company’s return to action.
To better prepare for the chaos to come, check out our ranking of the six Mission: Impossible movies released so far.