A ton of blockbuster franchises return this year along with a handful of anticipated horror releases
‘Scream’ January 14th (Theaters)
One of the most anticipated horror events of the year is the return of thegame-changing Scream franchise for its fifth installment. The new film will be the first to not be directed by Wes Craven, with the torch being passed to directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Bettinelli-Olpin, Gillet, and Vanderbilt are riding high off of 2019’s excellent Ready or Not, one of the best horror flicks of that year. The former two are also known for their contributions to the V/H/S franchise and the films Devil’s Due and Southbound. Scream will be a direct sequel to the fourth film and due to over a decade having passed since then, it also serves as a soft reboot. David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Roger L. Jackson, and Marley Shelton are all returning to reprise their original roles.
‘Moonfall’ February 4th (Theaters)
The master of disaster Roland Emmerich is back once again with more big budget mayhem. In Moonfall, a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) is convinced she has the key to saving us all – but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) and a conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley) believe her. These unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love, only to find out that our Moon is not what we think it is.
‘Jackass Forever’ February 4th (Theaters)
After eleven years, the Jackass gang is back for one more round of punishment and degeneracy. Celebrate the joy of a perfectly executed shot to the groin as Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and the rest return for another round of hilarious, wildly absurd and often dangerous displays of stunts and comedy. Johnny Knoxville has stated that this may very well be the final rodeo, in which case they’re all definitely going out with a bang. We salute you, boys.
‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ February 18th (Netflix)
The first new addition to the franchise in four years, following 2017’s Leatherface, is slated to be released this year exclusively on Netflix. Directed by David Blue Garcia with a screenplay by Chris Thomas Devlin, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (no ‘the’) will act as a direct sequel to Hooper’s original film and ignore all the other entries. Similar to the new Halloween films’ approach towards Michael Myers, Leatherface will now be a much older, but no less deadly, antagonist. The film stars Nell Hudson and Elsie Fisher as Melody and Lila, a pair of sisters who run afoul of the terrifying Leatherface (Mark Burnham) and must enlist the help of the sole survivor of the original massacre, Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré).
‘Uncharted’ February 18th (Theaters)
Based on one of the best-selling, most critically acclaimed video game series of all time, Uncharted introduces audiences to the young street-smart Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and showcases his first treasure hunting adventure with wisecracking partner Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). In an action-adventure epic that spans the globe, the two go in dangerous pursuit of “the greatest treasure never found” while also tracking clues that may lead to Nathan’s long-lost brother. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Venom) will be directing.
‘The Batman’ March 4th (Theaters)
One of the most anticipated releases of 2022 is the latest reboot of DC’s best superhero, the one and only dark knight himself, Batman. The new film will feature a younger version of the masked vigilante – played by Robert Pattinson – in only his second year of crime fighting as he takes on the criminal underworld of Gotham City. The Batman is directed by Matt Reeves, who also wrote the script alongside Peter Craig (The Town, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Bad Boys for Life). Reeves is best known for game changing movies like Cloverfield, 2010’s Let Me In, and the final two installments of the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy. Pattinson will be fighting alongside Zoë Kravitz, who stars as Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman, as the two foster a romantic relationship during their nighttime crusades of justice. The two are in pursuit of the Riddler (Paul Dano), a serial killer who livestreams his crimes and leaves cryptic messages behind. An almost unrecognizable Colin Farrell also stars in the film as Oswald Cobblepot, AKA the Penguin, along with Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.
‘Morbius’ April 1st (Theaters)
Taking place in the same Spider-Man spin-off universe as Tom Hardy’s Venom, Morbius follows biochemist Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) as he tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease. But when his experiment goes wrong, he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead. Matt Smith also stars as Loxias Crown, Morbius’ friend who suffers from the same rare blood disease, as well as Adria Arjona as Martine Bancroft, a scientist and Morbius’ fiance, and Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson as two FBI agents hunting Morbius.
‘Ambulance’ April 8th (Theaters)
From another master of mayhem, Michael Bay, comes Ambulance, based on the 2005 Danish film of the same name by Laurits Munch-Peterson. Needing money to cover his wife’s medical bills, a decorated veteran (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) teams up with his adoptive brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) to steal $32 million from a Los Angeles bank. However, when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate thieves hijack an ambulance that’s carrying a severely wounded cop and an EMT worker. Caught in a high-speed chase, the two siblings must figure out a way to outrun the law while keeping their hostages alive.
‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ April 8th (Theaters)
The first film adaptation of the iconic Sonic the Hedgehog video game series was a surprising delight back in 2022, so it’s no mystery as to why fans are excited for its sequel. After settling in Green Hills, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) is eager to prove that he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) returns with a new partner, Knuckles (Idris Elba), in search of a mystical emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ April 8th (Theaters)
Secrets of Dumbledore is set several years after the events of Crimes of Grindelwald, and will explore the looming war between Grindelwald’s (Mads Mikkelsen) army of Wizard purists and the rest of the Wizarding World. As Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his friends are sent on a mission into the heart of the enemy, Dumbledore (Jude Law) begins to realize he’s running out of time to act against his former closest friend.
‘The Northman’ April 22nd (Theaters)
Robert Eggers, the director of acclaimed films The Witch and The Lighthouse returns for his third tale of rage and madness. Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth, who is thrown into a quest for revenge when he witnesses the murder of his father (Ethan Hawke) at the hands of his uncle (Claes Bang). Once Amleth’s mother (Nicole Kidman) is taken captive, he’s forced to flee his home but vows to return and seek the justice he feels is deserved. The film also stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and Björk.
‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ May 6th (Theaters)
Following the tears through reality and time caused by the events of WandaVision, Loki, and Far From Home, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is left to deal with the consequences and fallout of a multiverse that is rapidly falling to pieces. Benedict Wong returns as Wong and Rachel McAdams will be making her second appearance in the MCU after the original 2016 Doctor Strange as Dr. Christine Palmer, as will Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Strange’s mentor and friend who has now turned against the sorcerers and wishes them all to be exterminated. Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff will also play a prominent part in the multiverse-hopping film that marks legendary director Sam Raimi’s triumphant return to the superhero genre.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ May 27th (Theaters)
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster”, the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”. Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it. This is the first sequel to the original 1986 Top Gun.
‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ June 10th (Theaters)
Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World trilogy will finally come to a close next summer with the release of Jurassic World: Dominion. The revival of the Spielberg classic Jurassic Park franchise has been met with massive box office cash and legions of new fans. Following the events of Fallen Kingdom, the new film will see humanity now facing a reality where dinosaurs now exist on the mainland. The new film will bring back the new trilogy cast like Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Daniella Pineda, Isabella Sermon, Justice Smith, and Omar Sy, but it will also feature the original cast of the original film: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and BD Wong.
‘The Black Phone’ June 24th (Theaters)
From modern horror masters Joe Hill and Scott Derrickson, The Black Phone stars Ethan Hawke as the chilling and psychotic child killer known as “The Grabber”, sporting a truly scary looking mask to go with his unpleasant personality. Mason Thames also stars as a bright 13-year-old boy named Finney Shaw who is set to become The Grabber’s latest victims, but the discovery of a mysterious phone just may help him escape, as he can hear the voices of previous victims through it.
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ July 8th (Theaters)
Taika Waitit completely redid the God of Thunder to much success with Thor: Ragnarok, so it’s no surprise that Marvel Studios wanted him back for the sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, which the director has described as a romance film. Of course, there’s sure to be no shortage of more huge laughs with the return of Chris Hemsworh as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who is the current ruler of Asgard, and none other than Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster who hasn’t been prominently seen since Thor: The Dark World. The film will also feature the whole Guardians of the Galaxy gang accompanying Thor on his adventure this time around.
‘Nope’ July 22nd (Theaters)
Jordan Peele has knocked it out of the park with his first two features Get Out and Us, helping create a horror renaissance that’s still being felt today. He’s finally returned with his third film, the brilliantly titled Nope, which sees him residing comfortably in his horror wheelhouse once again. Not much at all is known of the plot, but the film stars Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Barbie Ferreira, Brandon Pera, and Michael Wincott.
‘Black Adam’ July 29th (Theaters)
Dwayne Johnson finally gets his starring role as a superhero as this year’s DC summer blockbuster Black Adam. Well, he’s more of an anti-hero, one who’s been imprisoned for thousands of years and possesses the same powers as Shazam. The film will be directed by Jaume Collett-Serra and star Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate.
‘Salem’s Lot’ September 9th (Theaters)
A fresh adaptation of one of Stephen King’s very first stories is on the way from writer and director Gary Dauberman. Salem’s Lot follows Ben Mears (Lewis Pullman), a man who returns to his childhood home of Jerusalem’s Lot in search of inspiration for his next book only to discover his hometown is being preyed upon by a vampire (Pilou Asbæk), leading him to band together with a ragtag group that will fight the evil presence. Dauberman previously wrote both parts of the recent adaptation of It, and is most known for directing Annabelle Comes Home.
‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One’ October 7th (Theaters)
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) returns for the next chapter of the Oscar-winning, groundbreaking Spider-Verse saga, an epic adventure that will transport Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and a new team of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have ever encountered.
‘Halloween Ends’ October 14th (Theaters)
The final showdown between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the town of Haddonfield against immortal killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney / Nick Castle) comes to an end this October in Halloween Ends, the closing chapter to David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy. The film will take place four years after the events of Halloween Kills and will surprisingly address the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The Flash’ November 4th (Theaters)
Eager to join in on the multiverse fun, DC’s The Flash has speedster Barry Allen (Ezra Milelr) travel back in time to prevent his mother’s murder, which brings unintended consequences. This very first feature film for The Flash will also star Roy Livingston as Barry’s father, who was wrongfully convicted for the murder of his wife, as well as Kiersey Clemons as Iris West a journalist and Barry’s love interest. The film will also see Michael Keaton reprising his iconic turn as Bruce Wayne as multiple universes collide.
‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ November 11th (Theaters)
With the passing of superstar Chadwick Boseman, it’s difficult to say what will become of the sequel to megahit Black Panther. But with everyone returning for Wakanda Forever, including director Ryan Coogler, it’s sure to honor Boseman and push forward. Nothing is yet known about the plot, but the film will once again star Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Angela Bassett as Ramonda. It’s also reported to feature Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams AKA Ironheart, an inventor who creates a suit that resembles and rivals Tony Stark’s Iron Man. As Marvel Studios’ final film of the year, it’s sure to be massive.
‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ December 16th (Theaters)
DC’s holiday season blockbuster sees the return of director James Wan and star Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman as the underwater city of Atlantis proves to not be the only hidden civilization lost to time. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will push the villainous Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) to the forefront as he attempts to kill Aquaman as revenge for the death of his father. It will also star Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna. The film also introduces Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, a marine biologist obsessed with finding Atlantis.
‘Avatar 2’ December 16th (Theaters)
The first of several planned sequels for James Cameron’s landmark 2009 film Avatar is long overdue, but it’s proven time and time again to be foolish to underestimate Cameron. Jake Sully and (Sam Worthington) Ney’tiri (Zoe Saldana) have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans once again. The film will once again showcase incredible cutting-edge effects and filmmaking techniques, and could quite possibly change the entertainment landscape once again.