Well, we’re here—it’s the beginning of a new year. Best of luck to you and all of your soon-to-be-abandoned resolutions in a year looking to restore the entertainment industry to its former glory.
2020 was like a misguided night out. In 2021, the box office nursed its wounds and began to recover—from No Time to Die to Spider-Man: No Way Home —which grossed $1 million worldwide in less than a month (and without the help of China). It would seem the death of movie theaters was a myth and Warner Bros.’ HBO Max release strategy wasn’t the best idea. TBD.
Now, a slew of hotly-anticipated reboots, remakes, and sequels are scheduled for release in 2022. For example, Nicolas Cage is finally set to play himself and Avatar is apparently still a thing. Courtesy of COVID-related delays, some (mostly Tom Cruise movies) have been waiting in the ether for what seems like years. While audiences remain eerie of a crowded multiplex and sticky floors, theaters are about to give them a litany of reasons to mask up. Here are the most anticipated movies of 2022.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
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most anticipated movies 2022
15. 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent' - April 22
After years of seeming like he wasn’t in on the joke, Nicolas Cage has become self-aware, gone meta, and we’re here for it. In what looks like a Being John Malkovich rip-off ready to ride its premise (for better or worse) The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent stars Nic Cage as Nic Cage. Finally.
14. 'Halloween Ends' - October 14
2018’s Halloween brought Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode ala T2: Judgment Day . On top of that, it retconned everything after John Carpenter's original with vaguely satisfying results. Unfortunately, the sequel, Halloween Kills (2021), felt like a really bad video game lace with subpar social commentary. Hopefully, 2022’s Halloween Ends will conclude this latest trilogy in speculator, "let's keep rebooting things," fashion.
13. 'Uncharted' - February 18
Generally, it’s unwise to expect much from video game adaptations. However, Naughty Dog’s Uncharted franchise is interactive cinema —a modern-day action-adventure in the realm of Indiana Jones. While Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg are not who players pictured on the big screen in the series' main roles, if Uncharted can capture even an ounce of the game's magic, it should at least be a good time.
12. 'Hocus Pocus 2' TBA
It’s been almost three decades since the release of the original Hocus Pocus , the okay Halloween movie that’s now drenched in nostalgia. This year’s Hocus Pocus 2 will see Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimi, and Doug Jones will reprise their roles from the first film as the Sanderson sisters return to bother a new generation. Children and rapidly-aging millennials alike can’t wait to see this one which will release on Disney+...at some point.
11. 'Scream' - January 14
Halloween can do it, so why can’t every other horror franchise ever made? Enter 2022’s Scream , which is really just Scream 5 . Clean title=good. This one actually comes out next week. So, why not? Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox are back to combat Ghostface—which should be a good time.
10. 'Top Gun: Maverick' - May 27
Mission: Impossible 7 and Top Gun: Maverick were supposed to release in 2021. Instead, the only Tom Cruise-related entertainment fans got was that now infamous, leaked on-set recording. Given our affinity for crazy Cruise and what a sure to be stunning flight sequences, we can’t wait to see him and Val Kilmer back as Maverick and Iceman, respectively, alongside a young group of pilots, who, yes, love to play volleyball.
9. 'Black Adam' - July 29
If you follow Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on social media, then you’re more than well aware of how Black Adam is going to “redefine the hierarchy of power in the DCEU.” Johnson has been attached to the role of Teth-Adam/Black Adam since being fan cast probably a decade ago. His upcoming origin film will not only introduce one of the most powerful and violent antiheroes in DC lore but the Justice Society of America. If done right, Black Adam will be a huge step in the right direction for Warner Bros/DC Films.
8. 'Mission: Impossible 7' - September 30
The Mission: Impossible franchise is the reason Tom Cruise is still relevant. Each installment has somehow improved upon the next thanks to this guy’s willingness to risk life and limb in the name of Sciento...entertainment. Mission: Impossible 7 , which will almost certainly go by another name upon release, will mark the beginning of the two-part end for Ethan Hunt and his crew. Regarding stunts, the film is confirmed to include something involving an exploding bridge, a dirt bike jump, and helicopter parachuting.
7. 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' - November 11
Tragically, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had to go ahead without its eponymous character in Chadwick’s Boseman’s T’Challa. Marvel Studios and company made the wise decision not to recast his character and, instead, create what should be an ode to his legacy—which is reason enough for anticipation. Regarding the actual plot, we know nothing. However, the film will feature the MCU debut of Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams aka Ironheart.
6. 'Thor: Love and Thunder' - July 8
Writer/director Taika Waititi revitalized the Thor franchise with 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok (in which he also played Korg) before going on to have continued success outside of Marvel with films like Jojo Rabbit. Now, at the height of his power, he will bring audiences Thor: Love & Thunder, which will see Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster inherit the mantel Goddess of Thunder aka Mighty Thor. On top of that, the film will also feature Chris Hemsworth's Asgardian, Christian Bale as villain Gorr the God-Butcher, Russell Crowe as Zeus, cameos from the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Matt Damon as an actor.
5. 'The Flash' - November 4
The Flash is Warner Bros./DC Films’ Hail Mary/reset button/last chance. After royally shitting the bed with 2017’s J ustice League , and then ignoring the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League , The Flash is rumored to erase what’s left of the Snyder-Verse from the DCEU’s continuity. Ezra Miller will return as Barry Allen/Flash alongside Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman in a multiversal film inspired by Flashpoint and also featuring Supergirl and Michael Keaton's long-awaited comeback as Batman from the Tim Burton movies. In short, The Flash is DC’s answer to Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home .
4. 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)' - October 7
No one is Spider-Man’d out yet. Back in 2018, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse surprised everyone, becoming one of the best superhero movies ever, and is likely the reason No Way Home ’s live-action Spider-Verse came to fruition. The sequel will see Shameik Moore return as Miles Morales alongside Hailee Steinfeld’s Spider-Gwen and, hopefully, Jake Johnson’s Peter B. Parker. Joining them will be Oscar Isaac’s Spider-Man 2099, Issa Rae’s Spider-Woman, and who knows who else. As far as we know, we may also see Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire get the animated treatment.
3. 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' - May 6
Phase Four of the MCU has gradually been building towards one multiversal extravaganza: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness . Based on the recent trailer, the film appears to be a quasi continuation of Disney+’s animated What If…?. What fans know from that series, WandaVision , and Loki , is that the multiverse is in disarray, and Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, Benedict Wong’s Wong, Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, and Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer will have to fix that while Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo ruins everything. If all that (and the prospect of some mutants/X-Men) wasn’t enough, Doctor Strange 2 marks director Sam Raimi’s first Marvel film since 2003's Spider-Man 3 .
2. 'Avatar 2' - December 16
James Cameron’s sequel to the highest-grossing film of all time has been in production for a decade and we can’t help but still want to see it. Sure, 2009’s Avatar is basically just a shiny remake of Disney’s Pocahontas in retrospect but the technology was still impressive. Now, Avatar 2 looks to incorporate pioneering underwater filming technology as Sam Worthington's Jake and Zoe Saldana's Neytiri align themselves with the water-based Metkayina Na'vi tribe. Kate Winslet will star as Ronal, a leader of the Metkayina, and Sigourney Weaver will return as Dr. Grace Augustine.
1. 'The Batman' - March 4
Matt Reeves’ reboot of the caped crusader will follow Pattinson as a younger Bruce Wayne/Batman ala Batman: Year One. The Batman will explore a very corrupt Gotham plagued by criminals including an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as the Penguin, Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman, and Paul Dano’s The Riddler. The film’s trailer’s have been in a league completely their own; Michael Giacchino’s score is perfect and the cinematography is next level—from upside-down bats to hallway fights reminiscent of Rogue One . This one looks to top Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in a big way.
Once again, Batman will prove to be DC’s crown jewel.