Tuesday 1 January 2019

My 11 Most Anticipated Films of 2019

January is upon us once again, and with the start of another year comes a fresh slate of films to gorge on.

Dwayne Johnson and Vanessa Kirby in Fast and Furious spin-off,
Hobbs and Shaw.
Superhero films are set to dominate once again in 2019, with three Marvel films, two X-Men entries and a Shazam movie over at DC. If purple titans and golden gauntlets aren't your thing, there are plenty of other major tentpole films on the horizon. Pixar's big 2019 film is Toy Story 4, while Disney will debut not one but three live-action remakes in the form of Jon Faverau's The Lion King, Guy Ritchie's Aladdin and Tim Burton's Dumbo (who said creativity was dead?).

New films from Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, M Night Shyamalan, Doug Liman, Jordan Peele, Richard Linklater, James Mangold and Ang Lee are dotted throughout the year, as well as big sequels in the Star Wars, Fast and Furious, Frozen, Jumanji, Lego, Rambo, Terminator, Kingsman and Men in Black franchises.

What are you looking forward to seeing in 2019? Let me know in the comments section below.

Other films to look out for in 2019: Toy Story 4, Glass, The Lion King, It: Chapter Two, John Wick: Chapter 3, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Shazam, Dumbo, Alita: Battle Angel, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Joker, Aladdin, Hellboy, Detective Pikachu, Zombieland 2, Frozen 2, The Modern Ocean, Little Women, Wicked, Men In Black: International, The Goldfinch, Pet Sematary, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman, Velvet Buzzsaw, Untitled Terminator Project, Kingsman 3, Artemis Fowl, Hobbs and Shaw, Sonic the Hedgehog, Rambo 5: Last Blood, Child's Play.

11) Dark Phoenix (June 6)/The New Mutants (August 1)

Sophie Turner in Dark Phoenix.
Let's start off with a weird one; both X-Men films hitting cinemas this year were originally scheduled for release in 2018. Dark Phoenix, a sequel to Apocalypse that is centred on Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, was pushed back from November 2018 to this June, while New Mutants (which featured at number eight in this same list last year!) was bumped by over a year from April 2018 to this August!

Although Fox initially cited clashing release dates with other tentpole films as the reason behind the changes, it soon became evident that significant rewrites and reshoots on both films – in the case of Dark Phoenix, scheduling talent for reshoots was tricky given its large ensemble – was the key driving force. So this double entry onto my list isn't 'anticipated' so much as it is 'curious'. Major studio films don't often get moved around so much, and in the case of New Mutants, delayed by over a year. With the stink of 2015's Fantastic Four still lingering, Fox must not have a lot of faith in either of these projects – and I'm curious to see how and why both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants were changed as much as they have been.

10) Chaos Walking (February 28)

Okay, full disclosure, this one could go either way. Based on a series of young adult novels, Chaos Walking pairs two of the hottest young actors (Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley) with a future science-fiction plot involving deadly viruses, mysteries to be unravelled and an alien planet. On paper, it should be a good time at the movies and a decent hit for its distributor, Lionsgate.

However, as we've seen recently with the titanic disappointment of Mortal Engines, young adult films aren't drawing the same crowds they used to during the days of Twilight and The Hunger Games. But after a string of disappointments (whatever happened to that final Divergent film?), I feel like the market is crying out for a new hero in the same mould as Katniss Everdeen. Maybe Chaos Walking can plug the gap? Or maybe it'll wither and disappear akin to The Darkest Minds or whatever that other bomb was last year.

9) The Irishman (2019)

Following the likes of Mean Streets, Goodfellas and Casino, this year Martin Scorsese and Robert de Niro add another mobster movie to their decades-long partnership with The Irishman.

Scorsese and di Niro's ninth film together, The Irishman has a reported budget of $175 million (the biggest of Scorsese's career) and stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano and Bobby Cannavale. It's also exclusive to Netflix, making it without a doubt the most high-profile film to stream on the platform to date.

8) Knives Out (November 29)

Written, produced and directed by Rian Johnson (also known as the man who killed Star Wars to certain corners of the Internet), Knives Out (according to its Wikipedia page) is billed as a ' modern take on the whodunit murder mystery'. "Sounds intriguing, tell me more", I hear you mutter to yourself...

Well, in addition to a great filmmaker at the helm, a sprawling cast that includes the likes of Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Lakeith Stanfield, Jaime Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer and Katherine Langford has been assembled. Aside from that? Well, that's about it to be honest. Steve Yedlin is serving as DP, as he has done on all of Johnson's films – including the strikingly gorgeous Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But with the film not set to arrive until November, there isn't a lot of info out there about Knives Out. But hey, based on the talent behind it, I'm excited.

7) Spider-man: Far From Home (July 4)

The fact that this film exists is essentially one great big spoiler for Avengers: Endgame, but we'll try and ignore that fact. Spider-man: Far From Home, not to be confused with the Spider-Verse animation from a few weeks back, is a sequel to 2017's Homecoming and part of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tom Holland will once again squeeze into the blue and red leotard as Peter Parker, with Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Michael Keaton returning as MJ, Aunt May and Vulture respectively. MCU mainstays like Cobie Smulders, Samuel L Jackson and Jon Faverau are all reprising their respective roles. The plot reportedly revolves around Peter and his friends vacationing in Europe, where they come up against a new villain called Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

I don't envy director Jon Watts' task of being the next Spider-man film following Spider-Verse; in just a few short weeks, that film has redefined what a Spider-man film can and should be. A film that reverts to just Peter Parker and his high school woes might feel like a step back. That said, I'm interested to see where this one goes. Homecoming was a solid reboot of the character and Holland is a great pick for Peter.

6) Captain Marvel (March 7)

It only took them 10 years and 20-something films, but Marvel has finally made good on its promise of a solo film for one of its female heroes. Captain Marvel sees Brie Larson play Carol Danvers, a pilot who finds herself caught between two warring factions; the Kree and the Skrulls.

An intergalactic adventure akin to the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Captain Marvel is a long overdue milestone for Marvel, but a significant one all the same. The trailers have been colourful and compelling so far, with a narrative split between Earth and outer space. Set in the early 90s, the film is also one of the earliest in the Marvel timeline. Samuel L Jackson has been digitally de-aged to reprise his role as Nick Fury, while Clark Gregg is returning as Agent Phil Coulson. Joining them are Lee Pace (as Ronan the Accuser, last seen in the first Guardians movie), Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening and Djimon Hounsou.

If the final scene of Infinity War is anything to go by, Danvers will factor into the next Avengers movie as well, making this origin story essential viewing.

5) Us (March)

It only feels like yesterday that Get Out was dominating awards season chatter and Jordan Peele was collecting his Oscar for screenwriting, but here we are. Titled Us, Peele's new movie boasts a brilliant cast (Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss) and a delightfully simple premise that promises all manner of horror nastiness. Nyong'o and Duke play parents in a family of four who are heading to their summer beach house, only for some uninvited guests to arrive and spoil the party. If the trailer that dropped on Christmas Day is anything to go by, this is going to get grisly.

4) Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 30)

Gareth Edwards' 2014 Godzilla reboot didn't scratch the itch for a lot of filmgoers; many felt it shouldn't have shied away from showing its titular behemoth in full until the very end of the film, and the decision to nix Bryan Cranston in place of Aaron Taylor-Johnson's bland soldier character didn't help matters. 

That said, it's a film that is on high rotation at our house, and if this list were my wife's top 11 most anticipated, you can be sure Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be at the top. 

With the exception of Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins, this sequel does away with the cast from the first movie and centres around characters played by Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Charles Dance and O'Shea Jackson Jnr. That's not the exciting part though; who cares about the humans? King of the Monsters will see Godzilla square off against a range of his classic foes, such as Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah. Let them fight!

3) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (August)

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate.
Quentin Tarantino's latest arrives this August, with the snowy log cabins and gunslinging Southern plantations of his recent Western fare (The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained) swapped for a more modern setting. 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in 1969 Los Angeles and sees a faded TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry, with the infamous murder of Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) set to factor into the equation somehow.

Joining DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie are the likes of Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Timothy Olyphant, Tim Roth, James Marsden, Damian Lewis, Bruce Dern, Emilie Hirsch and Scoot McNairy.

With Tarantino's take on Tinseltown likely to be quite subversive and pumped full of satire, I can't wait to see what kind of crazy plot and dialogue he has cooked up for this killer cast. The Hateful Eight wasn't everyone's cup of tea, with most citing its length as a negative – not me though, and I fully expect Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to be just as long, winding and indulgent. Bring it on. 

2) Avengers: Endgame (April 24)

The fourth and final (for now) Avengers film arrives this April, 12 months on from dropping an atomic cliffhanger at the end of Infinity War. Everyone from Black Panther, Spider-man, Doctor Strange and Star-Lord bit the dust (well, turned to dust) last time out, and now it's up to the original line-up (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk) to regroup and defeat Thanos once and for all. 

A rather sombre trailer was debuted a few weeks back; the character-driven approach and complete lack of action is exactly what I'm hoping for with this film, after the wall-to-wall pyrotechnics that were splashed across Infinity War. It's what the series needs to give whoever carks it a fitting send off. My money is on either Cap and Stark, or both. Whatever happens, there will be tears.

1) Star Wars Episode IX (December)

A cryptic set photo JJ Abrams posted to Instagram
of a blurry Finn (John Boyega).
Anyone who has spent more than five minutes on this blog won't be surprised by my number one pick; although we know next to nothing about the next Star Wars film (nary a title or set photo to be seen, aside from the one JJ Abrams posted to Instagram when filming started, pictured right), I can't wait to see how the sequel trilogy concludes with Episode IX.

The Last Jedi may have split opinion (that's putting it lightly), but you won't find a bad word said about it under this roof. Rian Johnson's middle chapter is – I'm going to break out the M word – a masterpiece, so JJ has his work cut out for him if he's going to bring everything to a satisfying and fitting conclusion in Episode IX.

Joining the likes of Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac in Episode IX is Keri Russell, Matt Smith and Richard E Grant. Mark Hamill is listed as a cast member on IMDb (will Luke return as a Force ghost?) and the film will also reportedly repurpose unused footage from The Force Awakens to formulate a fitting send off for both Carrie Fisher and General Leia, the latter of which was very much still alive when the credits rolled on The Last Jedi.


  1. I'm looking forward to quite a few of these too, especially Endgame and Episode IX!

  2. Ooh there's a few movies here that are new to me so thanks for putting them on my radar! I'm so looking forward to Episode IX, I honestly think the anticipation might kill me!

  3. Definitely definitely definitely looking forward to all of these...especially Once Upon a Time in Hollywood!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...