The Most Anticipated Movies of 2022

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If we’re being honest, we were hoping we'd be further out of the COVID-19 pandemic than we are currently. Things are trending in a weird direction, making it hard to believe that some of these release dates won’t move. That said, if you’ve hit the cinema during the pandemic, it’s not like they aren’t moving. You still need to be safe (and maybe stay home if you’re not feeling well), but movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home proved that the power of giving people what they want can get people out doing things. Maybe 2022 film release dates won’t move. Time will tell.

What will we see in 2022? There are a number of franchise entries in there—and not just in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Extended Universe. There’s a fifth Scream film, a new Batman, and even the third Creed film. Franchises are the wave, and with Hollywood needing to recoup as much as it can heading into a third year with COVID restrictions, these larger-scale entries may be where the cinemas are heading...sadly.

Bleak box office outlook out of the way, the Complex PC squad took a look at the calendar and broke down the 30 most anticipated movies of 2022. Hopefully you’re staying safe if you’re braving the elements to see some of these films. Be diligent; we want to turn it around so the future is brighter than where we currently are. Popcorn’s still on you!

'Scream'

Director(s): Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Starring: Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release date: Jan. 14

The Scream franchise returns with the fifth installment, and the first without horror legend Wes Craven at the helm (RIP). It is a direct sequel to 2011’s Scream 4, and sees a cast of new faces—including Melissa Barrera (VidaIn the Heights), Jenna Ortega (who’s in everything from Season 2 of You to the upcoming Wednesday Addams series over at Netflix), and more—aliging with David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and familiar faces from the horror series. The film does wisely critique the genre (keeping with a theme of the entire franchise), and is a welcome addition to the Scream legacy. Also makes for a great excuse to run the other films back. —khal

'Jackass Forever'

Director(s): Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Wee Man, Danger Ehren, Preston Lacy​​​​​​​
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release date: Feb. 4

After kicking off the 2022 U.S. box office season (low-key) with Scream, Paramount returns with Jackass Forever, the fourth Jackass film (and the fifth in the Jackass series, which includes 2013’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa). If you’ve seen one Jackass film—which could feature all kinds of wild sophomoric pranks, contraptions, and feats of bravery—you’ve seen them all. That said, there’s a novelty for this kind of insanity being up on a movie screen. This time a round, Jasper Dolphin is a part of a new squad alongside the Johnny Knoxvilles and Steve-Os (but not Bam Margera, who has been vocal about his issues with the Jackass crew). Getting kids in theaters for this will be interesting, but trailers have been trailering, and Knoxville will be Royal Rumbling, so there’s a chance! —khal

'Marry Me'

Director(s): Kat Coiro
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, Maluma, John Bradley, Sarah Silverman
Distributor: Universal Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Feb. 11

Rom-com queen Jennifer Lopez is back with another one right in time for Valentine’s Day. After a few COVID-related delays, Marry Me is finally hitting theaters on Feb. 11. The movie tells the story of a music superstar named Kat Valdez (Lopez) who is about to get married to singer Bastian (Maluma) in front of an audience of her loyal fans at a concert. Right before she goes on stage to say “I Do,” news leaks that her fiance was cheating on her and things go south. Already in a wedding dress, Kat chooses a total stranger, a quiet teacher named Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson), from the crowd and marries him instead. As expected, after spending time together to keep up appearances, the superstar and the teacher eventually fall in love. 

It’s been a while since we’ve seen J.Lo in her romantic comedy bag after she had one hell of a run in the early 2000s. Judging by the Marry Me trailer, her chemistry with Wilson might be exactly what fans of the genre have been asking for. Whether you’re planning for a big night out for V-Day or a chill night in at home, Marry Me will be available in theaters (and Peacock) on Friday, Feb. 11. —Karla R.

'Uncharted'

Director(s): Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Release date​​​​​​​: Feb. 18

Fresh off of Sony’s wildly-successful Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland leads Uncharted, the long-awaited action-adventure adaptation of the equally-successful Uncharted video game series, with games like Uncharted 4 being praised for how cinematic the game feels. The film finds Holland as Nathan Drake, who links with his homey Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Wahlberg) to go on a treasure hunt that may also lead to Drake finding his brother. Anyone who’s played or watched gameplay of the Uncharted games know how insane this could be; the hope is that Holland can finally hit his stride as a lead, outside of the Spidey suit. —khal

'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

Director(s): David Blue Garcia
Starring: Nell Hudson, Elsie Fisher, Jacob Latimore, Jessica Allian, Moe Dunford, Mark Burham, Olwen Fouéré, Alice Krige
Distributor: Netflix​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Feb. 18

The latest horror requel is Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre which, similar to Halloween (2018), disregards every Texas Chainsaw Massacre film after Tobe Hooper’s original 1974 film in order to continue where that story left off. It’s the ninth Texas Chainsaw Massacre film overall, and the first to be produced by Legendary Pictures. It feels very much like the older school way to make sequels; Friday the 13th’s direct sequel picked up on the story in a weird way, and was primarily a retread of the first film that ended up giving more backstory than you were expecting. We aren’t saying that THAT is what’s happening, but it’d be nice if it was close. —khal

'The Batman'

Director(s): Matt Reeves
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson, Barry Keoghan, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Mar. 4

Robert Pattinson has been on a roll; in the decade since the Twilight saga has completed, he’s taken on some intriguing roles, including being on the run in 2017’s Good Time, being up in space in 2018’s High Life, wanting to be all up in the lighthouse in 2019’s The Lighthouse, and being all up in time in 2020’s Tenet. That’s a banger a year for the last five years; after No Way HomeThe Batman may be the next one to crack a billion. Pattinson’s Batman is outside of the DCEU, and finds the Caped Crusader on the hunt for The Riddler while unraveling his own family’s ties to corruption. If you’d said that Pattinson would’ve landed the Batman role back in 2012, we would’ve laughed. After his latest string of bangers, Pattinson has earned TF out of this one. —khal

'The Lost City'

Director(s): Aaron and Adam Nee
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Brad Pitt
Distributor: Paramount Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Mar. 25

One thing about me, I’m going to watch anything Sandra Bullock is in. The A-Lister is headed back to theaters after her stint as the queen of Netflix. Recently, she has starred in not one but two of the streamer’s biggest and most-watched movies with The Unforgivable and Bird Box. Now she’s teaming up with Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt, and Paramount Pictures for The Lost City, arriving in theaters on March 25.

The action-comedy flick is about author Loretta Sage (Bullock) who writes about exotic places in her popular adventure novels. While she’s on tour promoting her new book alongside her attractive cover model named Alan (Tatum), Loretta gets kidnapped by a billionaire who hopes she can lead him to an ancient city’s lost treasure from one of her books. In order to prove that he’s more than a pretty face, Alan sets off on a mission to rescue her. Daniel Radcliffe and Da’Vine Joy Randolph are also part of the cast, and Brad Pitt will make a cameo appearance. —Karla R.

'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

Director(s): Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis
Distributor: A24
Release date​​​​​​​: Mar. 25

The trailer for The Daniels’ Everything Everywhere All at Once felt like A24’s answer to Spider-Man: No Way Home. Michelle Yeoh and company careen through the multiverse, duking it out and using their wits to try and rectify the what and why being the situation. [Ed Note: Maybe watch No Way Home again before diving into this one, lol.] It’s proof that these ideas can exist outside of the superhero realm, one that (hopefully) proves that, in a time where the franchise is king, we can give the smaller production companies a chance to bring the big ideas —khal

'Morbius'

Director(s): Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, Tyrese Gibson, Michael Keaton
Distributor: Columbia Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Apr. 1

The Jared Leto-led Morbius is now on its seventh release date since July of 2020. Much of that has been due to the impact the COVID-10 pandemic has had on the theater industry, but regardless, where it sit’s in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe is a mystery, especially after No Way Home. Leto’s Morbius is a gifted doctor who looking to cure himself, randomly turning himself into a vampire-like being. How he will fit into the Spider-Man Universe isn’t that hard to conceptualize, especially given the No Way Home mid-credits scene, but what any of this means for the future of the franchise isn’t as easy to grasp. —khal

'Sonic the Hedgehog 2'

Director(s): Jeff Fowler
Starring: James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Idris Elba, Jim Carrey
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release date​​​​​​​: Apr. 8

Growing up, it took owning the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 cartridge and the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge and connect them to get Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic 2. These days, you just hire Idris Elba as his voice. Knuckles is riding with Eggman (Carrey) in the hunt for the Master Emerald, and it’s up to Sonic and his new homie Miles “Tails” Prowler to stop him. The first film was one of the bigger pre-pandemic hits, so it’ll be dope to see how this one moves once the fan favorite Knuckles hits the big screen. —khal

'Ambulance'

Director(s): Michael Bay
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González
Distributor: Universal Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Apr. 8

Michael Bay’s upcoming action flick Ambulance tells the story of the desperation people feel when the healthcare system fails to protect them. William Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) needs money to cover his wife’s medical bills and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Will, a decorated veteran, calls on his adoptive brother, career criminal, Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal) for help. Knowing Will is desperate to help his family, Danny uses that as leverage to convince his brother to steal $32 million from a Los Angeles bank. Things don’t go according to plan and the thieves attempt to get away by stealing an ambulance carrying an injured cop and an EMT worker. A high-speed chase ensues, and the brothers have to figure out how to keep their hostages alive while trying to get away from the law. Eiza González, Garret Dillahunt, A Martinez, Keir O’Donnell, Moses Ingram, and Wale Folarin are also in the cast. Universal Pictures delayed the movie by two months and will arrive on April 8 instead of Feb. 18. —Karla R.

'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore'

Director(s): David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, Mads Mikkelsen
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Apr. 15

There is a big appetite for anything Harry Potter related thanks to the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 20th anniversary in 2021, so Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is right on time. This is the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, following 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The upcoming fantasy film, directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J. K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, will see much of the first two film’s cast return including Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Ezra Miller as Credence (aka Aurelius Dumbledore), Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, and Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein. 

This time around, Professor Albus Dumbledore knows that the powerful wizard Gellert Grindelwald is attempting to take control of the wizarding world and enlists the help of Newt Scamander and a group of wizards to stop him. Johnny Depp departed from the Grindelwald role in 2020 and was replaced on this film with Mads Mikkelsen. The film’s release was pushed back due to the recasting and COVID-related setbacks before landing on an April 15 release date. But the story doesn’t end there, as two more Fantastic Beasts films are already in the works. —Karla R.

'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness'

Director(s): Sam Raimi
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez
Distributor: Marvel Studios​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: May 6

With the No Way Home end-credits scene basically being a teaser for this film, fans should be set for Doctor Strange's next big screen adventure. After the events of helping Peter Parker out, Doctor Strange is facing the wrath of the multiverse. He’s strong, but the multiverse is ruthless. Maybe that’s why he calls on The Scarlet Witch, who makes her first appearance in the MCU since WandaVision ended. The ramifications of the multiverse in the MCU are still being felt; this movie feels as important to the main theme in Phase 4 than anything else Marvel Studios has released thus far. Do not miss this one. —khal

'Top Gun: Maverick'

Director(s): Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer
Distributor: Paramount Pictures​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: May 27

One of two Tom Cruise-led franchise sequels set to drop in 2022 may actually happen. May. Here’s what I wrote about it last year. We’re about in the same spot anyways, right? “Another day, another ‘80s flick getting a new-school sequel. This time around, action icon Tom Cruise jumps back into the cockpit to play Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the arrogant pilot who’s now in the position of being a flight instructor. Val Kilmer is back as the Iceman, Maverick’s former rival-turned-friend, and while there’s not much in the way of plot out there, this film boasts an interesting cast of characters. Miles Teller’s starring as Rooster, the son of Maverick’s late homie Goose, while Jennifer Connelly is on as Maverick’s love interest, Penny. Ed Harris and Jon Hamm are onboard, as is Insecure star Jay Ellis. Fans of action flicks mixed with a heavy dose of romance, fasten your seatbelts.” —khal

'The Bob's Burgers Movie'

Director(s): Loren Bouchard
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts
Distributor: 20th Century Studios​​​​​​​
Release date: May 27

Bob’s Burgers fans, rejoice: the long-awaited animated musical comedy hits theaters this May. With their business impacted for an indefinite amount of time, Bob and Linda have to figure out a mystery that will hopefully get them right. With the cast from the hit Fox series onboard, this one could light up the box office is handled right. This is also the film’s third release date; let’s help make it stick. —khal

'Jurassic World: Dominion'

Director(s): Colin Trevorrow 
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Mamoudou Athie, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, Campbell Scott, Isabella Sermon, Justice Smith, Omar Sy, Daniella Pineda, DeWanda Wise, BD Wong
Distributor: Universal Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: June 10

Bringing most of the Jurassic Park franchise into this latest film, fans who saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom know that the dinosaurs are taking over our world. It looks like this film will bring all of the forces together to try and figure out a way to stop this invasion before the invasion wipes out humanity. If you’ve been around these films, it’s really about seeing dinosaurs wreak havoc on buildings, and each other. Expect al of this and more...we're just hoping the story is tight enough to justify this trek back into the Jurassic World. —khal

'Lightyear'

Director(s): Angus MacLane
Starring: Chris Evans, Taika Waititi
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: June 17

Pixar is finally giving us a prequel for Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear and his quest to become a Space Ranger. There aren’t huge plot details known at this time, but a huge splash was made when Chris Evans was cast as the young Lightyear (Taika Waititi is also on the project). It may sound childish to even want to see it at this big age, but to be honest, everyone is going to be hype for this, especially if reviews come back that it’s as good as Pixar and Disney have been making their sequels. —khal

'Thor: Love & Thunder'

Director(s): Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Jaimie Alexander, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Jeff Goldblum
Distributor: Marvel Studios​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: July 8

This could be the best Marvel film to drop in a bit. It has the potential to be, at least. As Thor is still dealing with being Unworthy, a new Thor hits the scene, and she’s not messing about. Natalie Portman makes her return to the MCU as Jane Foster in this adaptation of Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor series, where Jane Foster is living with cancer by day and literally Thor by night. How this will factor into the MCU is anyone’s guess, but the comic was a dope twist on the Thor saga. With Taika Waititi back in the director’s chair after Ragnarok​​​​​​​, this one is also bound to be FUNNY AS HELL. —khal

'Nope'

Director(s): Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun
Distributor: Universal Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: July 22

After their massive success Get Out, Jordan Peele is reuniting with Daniel Kaluuya for his upcoming film, Nope. The incredible Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun will also be in the cast. There’s not much additional information about the director’s latest horror film available just yet, so it seems like we all might be going into the theaters clueless. Peele hasn’t said a word in regards to the plot aside from teasing the upcoming movie by sharing a movie poster last July, which featured a small cloud/kite floating above a small town nestled in between mountains. Do we really want to know what to expect beforehand or should we go into any film blindly anticipating that Peele is going to blow our minds? The Academy Award winner knows a thing or two of what it takes to make a great film, so we trust that whatever he’s about to deliver with Nope is worth the wait and all this suspense. —Karla R.

'Black Adam'

Director(s): Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell, Marwan Kenzari, Pierce Brosnan
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: July 29

Originally set to debut Black Adam as the villain in Shazam! (2019), Dwayne Johnson’s DC Extended Universe character received his own title in 2017, and after delays (and no doubt working around The Rock’s busy schedule) and the COVID-19 pandemic, the antihero finally gets his due this July. It’s essentially The Rock with Shazam! powers, and we know that the two will eventually meet up, but this film is set to introduce other DC Comics characters, like Atom Smasher (Centineo) and Hawkman (Hodge). Will be interesting to see more of this side of the DC Comics world on-screen; it will also be interesting to see how DC continues to build out the DCEU with heavy hitters like Johnson now firmly in place. —khal

'Mission: Impossible 7'

Director(s): Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Hayley Atwell, Rebecca Ferguson, Pom Klementieff, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Shea Whigham, Rob Delaney, Mark Gatiss, Henry Czerny, Cary Elwes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Sept. 30

I’m actually tired of writing about this film and it’s anticipated release status. Here’s (most of) what I wrote last year. It basically fits. “Tom Cruise’s back for the seventh installment of the Mission: Impossible series. These films are some of the best-damned action films you’ll see all year… or in your life. If you’re looking for plot points, we can’t help you out there, but just know that Cruise rides hard for this series, so he has to make it just as ill—if not iller—than previous iterations.” —khal

'Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part One)'

Director(s): Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Jake Johnson, Issa Rae
Distributor: Columbia Pictures​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Oct. 7

Before the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, many were calling 2018’s Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse the best Spider-Man film (although Spider-Man 2 would like to have a word with both of them). That debate aside, Shameik Moore’s Miles Morales is back in another romp through the animated multiverse—the first of a series? It’s hard to say what this is or what it will turn into, but any chance we can get to return to this world, we’re there. —khal

'Halloween Ends'

Director(s): David Gordon Green
Starring: Danny McBride, Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier (screenplay); Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Kyle Richards
Distributor: Universal Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Oct. 14

Where do we go from here? After the disappointing story in Halloween Kills, it's hard to tell what to think about the end of this requel trilogy. Actually, Halloween Kills is low-key my favorite 2021 horror film when speaking strictly about the kills—that car scene alone, you feel me? In any case, the actual story in the film was cringe, and the word around the reported time jumps and storyline alignment with real-world issues feels a bit forced. It can be done, but the work has to be good, or at least solid. If it comes off as weak as some of the beats in KillsEnds better up the ante on the kill count. —khal

'Hocus Pocus 2'

Director(s): Anne Fletcher
Starring: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Sam Richardson, Tony Hale
Distributor: Disney+​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Late 2022

Creating sequels to cult-classic films like Hocus Pocus is dangerous territory, but if anyone can do it, it’s Disney. The first film premiered in 1993 and it has since become a go-to film to watch during Halloween. Hocus Pocus told the story of the Sanderson sisters, Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy), who were accidentally resurrected after they were sentenced to death in 1693 for practicing witchcraft. Midler, Parker, and Najimy are all returning for more mischief, and Doug Jones is also reprising their roles from the first film. New cast members include Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, Belissa Escobedo, and Tony Hale, as well as Ted Lasso stars Hannah Waddingham and Sam Richardson. Hocus Pocus 2 doesn’t have an official release date just yet, but it is scheduled to be released in time for Halloween. The sequel will be available on Disney+, but it has yet to be announced if it will also be getting a theatrical release. —Karla R.

'The Flash'

Director(s): Andy Muschietti 
Starring: Ezra Miller, Ron Livingston, Michael Keaton, Kiersey Clemons, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, Sasha Calle, Ben Affleck
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Nov. 4

Not gonna lie, The Flash not coming out until Nov. of 2022, almost a year after Sony and Marvel dropped Spider-Man: No Way Home, which included a “Flashpoint” reference is kinda trash. Folks have been hype for this Flashpoint-influenced film, which has already been a part of the Arrowverse CW Flash series. When the Flash teaser featured multiple Batmen, including Michael Keaton, you knew what time it was. And again, with DC in this transitional phase, we could be seeing the groundwork being laid for an entirely new-looking DCEU. Or maybe the seeds they've been sewing are starting to root. Either way, this could be the game-changer DC needs. —khal

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

Director(s): Ryan Coogler
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett
Distributor: Marvel Studios​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Nov. 11

After Chadwick Boseman's death in 2020, there’s been an ongoing conversation surrounding what to do in the Black Panther sequel. With Coogler and the rest of the cast on hand, it looks like we will have the Wakanda we wanted to see, just without our King. There’d been speculation that T’Challa’s young sister Shuri (Wright) would take the mantle, copying a similar Marvel Comics storyline, and word in Novemeber of 2021 said that the production of the film went on hiatus due to an injury Wright suffered earlier in the year. Apparently, they’d shot everything they could without here, so they are just waiting for her to heal up so they can finish production. We’ll see this November; hopefully the film can still make this release date! —khal

'Creed III'

Director(s): Michael B. Jordan
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Nov. 23

The third Creed film will have its third director in series star Michael B. Jordan, who chose this to be his directorial debut. Jordan says that he’s been soaking up the knowledge of the directors he’s come in contact with over the years. “[I’m] definitely talking to Steven [Caple Jr., Creed II director] and Ryan [Coogler, Creed director],” Jordan told Complex last April. “Denzel [Washington], and David O. Russell, and Ben Affleck, and all the directors, Stefano [Sollima, Without Remorse director], [everyone] that I’ve been blessed to work with and to get a chance to know over the years. I’m listening to them. They’ve done it before. ‘What do I need to look out for? Alright, being in front of the camera and behind the camera, what other stresses and obstacles come with that? Alright, cool.’ Just trying to be a sponge and listen to as much as I can, but then also trying to have a clearer vision for what I’m trying to do as possible. I’m excited to share it with you guys in a couple of years.”

“There’s a lot that I’ve been daydreaming about for the last few years about where it can go, what I want to see Adonis go through and experience in his family,” Jordan said when asked about his early vision for this third film. “This one is starting to shape up like an origin story, a trilogy, and a sequel all at the same time. I’m really happy about [where] it’s going. It’s personal, too. [There are] a lot of personal things being folded into this one as well.” It looks like Jordan and his boo Lori Harvey were recently spotted in the ring, so Jordan's likely deep in the Creed III zone. It will be dope to see how Jordan takes hold of the franchise, similar to how Sylvester Stallone did with the Rocky series. —khal

'Avatar 2'

Director(s): James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Cliff Curtis, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver
Distributor: 20th Century Studios​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Dec. 16

It’s been five years since had to get real about James Cameron's Avatar universe. As the project grew bigger (and new tech needed to be developed), the question was if all of this was even necessary. 20th Century Studios (aka Disney) deemed it important enough, but now is the time for all of this reported $250 million budget to be thrown on screen. It has to deliver, and follow up a film from 2009. It’s a tough order but James Cameron also made Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Anything can happen. —khal

'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom'

Director(s): James Wan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren, Pilou Asbæk, Temuera Morrison
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Dec. 16

While details surrounding the Aquaman sequel aren’t plentiful, word is the Aquaman world will be built out further. It’s also set to introduce The Shark, who is portrayed by Indya Moore. It also features Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who has blown up like we thought he would in the years since the first film dropped. Other than that, it’s hard to really imagine what this film will be giving us currently, but with a December release? Keep your eyes peeled. —khal

'I Wanna Dance with Somebody'

Director(s): Kasi Lemmons
Starring: Naomi Ackie, Ashton Sanders, Stanley Tucci
Distributor: TriStar Pictures​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Release date​​​​​​​: Dec. 23

TriStar Pictures’ Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody will hit theaters on Dec. 23. Naomi Ackie will star as the iconic singer, and the film will look at the life and the career of the legendary Grammy-winning star. Ashton Sanders will portray Bobby Brown, who was married to Houston for 15 years. Stanley Tucci will play Clive Davis, and Nafessa Williams, Clarke Peters, and Tamara Tunie have also joined the cast. Kasi Lemmons is directing a screenplay written by Bohemian Rhapsody writer Anthony McCarten. The film is being made with the support of Houston’s estate and will include a look at her full life and career as well as a journey through her music. —Karla R.

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