We’re over three-quarters of the way into 2019 and Oscar season's certainly heating up. Around the corner, there's an exciting mixture of blockbusters and prestige awards movies, including The Irishman, Terminator: Dark Fate, Knives Out, and, of course, the final entry in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
With only a few months remaining, now's also a good time to look ahead to 2020 – the first year since 2014 not to boast a new Star Wars movie. However, we'll no doubt manage, thanks to an exciting roster of upcoming movies in 2020, including No Time to Die (AKA Bond 25), two new movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Black Widow and The Eternals), two original Pixar films, Christopher Nolan's Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, and the return of Wyld Stallyns in Bill & Ted Face the Music. Excellent!
Put simply, when it comes to upcoming movies, the next few months are going to be epic. So read through this list of the most exciting films heading your way and start planning your cinema trips now!
Release date: October 11, 2019
Yes, we’ve already seen a lot of Will Smith this year, thanks to his turn as the Genie in Disney’s live-action Aladdin reboot, but for Big Willie uber-fans there really is only one upcoming movie to look out for in 2019 – Gemini Man features two of him.
Directed by awards darling Ang Lee on one of his occasional forays into blockbuster filmmaking (his last was 2003's Hulk), Gemini Man sees Will Smith’s elite assassin being hunted by a younger hitman clone, named Junior, who looks and sounds a lot like Smith did in the Fresh Prince era... Filmed at 120 frames-per-second and making heavy use of de-aging CGI, there’s no question this will hit the mark when it comes to delivering spectacle.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Release date: 11 October (Netflix)
Yeah, bitch! Years after Breaking Bad came to an enthralling end, the story of Jesse Pinkman continues with El Camino, which reaches Netflix very, very soon.
Breaking Bad's creator Vince Gilligan, who will also direct El Camino, has remained particularly quiet about the new movie, though we have seen a couple of trailers for the Breaking Bad movie. We do know that 12 original cast members are returning for the movie, which starts just moments after the series ended. Who exactly? Only Skinny Pete and Badger have been confirmed. Let the speculation over whether Walter White will return commence!
Zombieland: Double Tap
Release date: October 18
Almost exactly a decade after the first Zombieland proved to be a zombie comedy like no other, director Ruben Fleischer (Venom), writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool), and cast members Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin all return for Double Tape. The sequel also welcomes new cast members Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Thomas Middleditch, and Luke Wilson.
The official synopsis reads: "Through comic mayhem that stretches from the White House and through the heartland, the Zombie slayers must face off against many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors. But most of all, they have to face the growing pains of their own snarky, makeshift family.”
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Release date: October 18
It won't come as much of a surprise that the brilliant Maleficent is getting a follow-up. Although star Angelina Jolie hinted at the possibility of a sequel to the 2014 blockbuster just a week after the original film debuted, it wasn't until 2016 that Maleficent 2 was officially confirmed.
Jolie will reprise her role as the eponymous Maleficent, and Elle Fanning will return as Princess Aurora. Michelle Pfeiffer is on board as Queen Ingris, although little is known about her character at this time. Interestingly, Chiwetel Ejiofor is also on the cast list, potentially playing a love interest for Maleficent, so let's hope she's a little luckier in love this time around. According to the official plot synopsis, the film will continue to explore Maleficent and Aurora's complex relationship as they "form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within".
The Addams Family
Release date: October 18 (US)/October 25 (UK)
If Thanos was responsible for the finger snap that dominated the first half of 2019, the loudest clicks in the back end of the year will belong to The Addams Family. Yes, the world’s most creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky family are back on the big screen for the first time since 1993 (1998’s Addams Family Reunion was a straight-to-video affair) and this time they’re animated.
That means the heavily stylised character designs can lean closer to their cartoon origins than ever before, while director Conrad Vernon (Monsters V Aliens, Sausage Party) has recruited an impressive voice cast. Oscar Isaac plays dad Gomez, Charlize Theron is mum Morticia, Chloë Grace Moretz is daughter Wednesday, Finn Wolfhard (from Stranger Things) is son Pugsley, Nick Kroll is the eccentric Uncle Fester and Bette Midler plays Grandma. I, Tonya Oscar-winner Allison Janney is on villain duties as morally dubious reality TV host Margaux Needler – and as the first trailer proves, that famous theme tune is going to be stuck in your head for months.
Release date: October 18 (US) / January 3, 2020 (UK)
Hot off the back of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s next movie probably isn’t what most people were expecting. Based on Christine Leunens’ World War II set novel Caging Skies, Jojo Rabbit centres on a young German boy (Jojo) who finds out his mother’s hiding a Jewish girl in the attic. But there’s a weird twist in the tale, because Jojo has an imaginary friend: Adolf Hitler, played by Waititi himself. “I didn’t base him on anything I’d seen about Hitler before,” he told Deadline. “I just made him a version of myself that happened to have a bad haircut and a shitty little moustache. And a mediocre German accent.”
Waititi’s assembled an impressive cast for his latest movie, with Marvel’s Scarlett Johansson, Three Billboards…’ Sam Rockwell, Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson, Leave No Trace’s Thomasin McKenzie and The Office’s Stephen Merchant.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Release date: October 23 (UK) / November 1 (US)
We've been here before and ended up disappointed, but this time 20th Century Fox promises a Terminator reboot that ignores all other Terminator sequels, minus Judgment Day. Terminator: Dark Fate has two things that all those other sequels lacked: original star Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, and James Cameron back on the creative team.
Deadpool's Tim Miller is on directing duties, while Mackenzie Davis stars as the augmented cyborg fighter Grace, Natalia Reyes plays Terminator target Dani Ramos, and Diego Luna will portray the latest robot killer in the Skynet production line. Plus, Arnold Schwarzenegger's back.
Release date: November 1 (Cinemas) / November 27 (Netflix)
Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro. Joe Pesci. Al Pacino. If that list of names does not have you excited, then turn back now. The four men have been working tirelessly on The Irishmen for years now, and, finally, the opus (which has a daunting run-time of 210 minutes) reaches cinemas later this year.
Scorsese has made heavy use of de-ageing technology, with Pacino supposedly not appearing in a single scene as his current age. Whether they can pull it off remains to be seen. But with four icons of cinemas all working on one project, cinefiles should be extremely excited.
Release date: October 31 (UK) / November 8 (US)
A few years ago, no one could have guessed that a sequel to one of the best horror movies of all time, The Shining, would be coming to cinemas. Okay, technically we're getting an adaptation of Stephen King's sequel novel Doctor Sleep, but it is coming – and a lot sooner than we initially thought.
Originally scheduled for 2020, this upcoming movie has been brought forward considerably, which bodes well for a film that will follow a grown up and still psychic Danny Torrance, who gets involved with a cult that preys on young children who 'shine'. Even better, Ewan McGregor has signed on to play the grown-up Danny and it's being written and directed by Mike Flanagan who brought us the excellent Haunting of Hill House last year.
Release date: November 15
"Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away." Those are the famous words of George Michael that have been transformed into an entire movie. Directed by Paul Feig, Last Christmas stars Emilia Clarke as a down-on-her-luck store worker who's looking for love. Cue: Henry Golding as her guardian angel, who helps transform Clarke's character's life for the better. This promises to be a emotional as Michael's music.
Release date: November 15 (US) / November 29 (UK)
The thing about popular franchises is they tend to keep bouncing back. Since its ’70s heyday, Charlie’s Angels has been rebooted on both big and small screens, so it was inevitable that someone would have another crack at reinventing the female-fronted spy adventure show. This time, the spymaster general is director Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2), who’s recruited Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska to go out on missions for the Townsend Agency.
Banks is playing the Angels’ handler Bosley. Djimon Hounsou is also playing Bosley. And so is Patrick Stewart. And that’s not a miscalculation on Banks’s part. “‘Bosley’ is now a rank in the organisation, like lieutenants,” Banks tells Entertainment Weekly. “All of the Angels have been played by different women and have had different names, but the Bosley character was always named Bosley no matter who played him. We thought, ‘Well, that must mean it’s more than a name.’”
Makes sense, seeing as this isn’t so much a reboot or a remake as a “continuation” of the original series and the Cameron Diaz/Drew Barrymore/Lucy Liu-fronted movies of the early 2000s – with more than just a single trio of Angels. “If you were rich in 1976, you only got richer,” says Banks. “Charles Townsend is richer than ever, so he’s grown the business into a global spy agency.”
Release date: November 22, 2019
Go on, admit it. You love Frozen and you're more excited than you care to admit about its sequel. This Disney movie may still have princesses and a talking snowman sidekick, but the House of Mouse has upped its game considerably in recent years, bringing us more feminist fantasy tales that appeal to both kids and grown-ups alike. Now Frozen 2 is on the way and it promises more adventure, more danger, and more catchy tunes to get stuck in everyone's head.
Alongside the royal sisters, Anna and Elsa, old favourites Kristoff, Sven, Grand Pabbie and enchanted snowman Olaf are all back for the (sleigh?) ride, while there's a hint that Frozen 2 will be a little darker than its predecessor – which kind of makes sense when you consider its littlest fans have grown up a fair bit since the first movie became a phenomenon in 2013. Expect your sons, daughters, nephews and nieces to be booking your seats as soon as possible.
Release date: November 27 (US) / November 29 (UK)
A whodunnit from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Looper director Rian Johnson? Count us in. Knives Out has a stunning cast and promises to be one of the twistier tales of 2019. "An old-fashioned whodunit given some contemporary frills (it’s set in the present day), Knives Out is inspired by the Agatha Christie template and understands what makes that formula tick" writes our reviewer. "It’s very funny – but while the characters are broadly drawn and played, it’s not a parody. It’s an extremely satisfying confection, hitting the spot far more effectively than Kenneth Branagh’s somewhat stodgy Murder On The Orient Express remake."
Jumanji: The Next Level
Release date: December 13, 2019
A sequel to a 20-year-old Robin Williams vehicle about a kid trapped in a board game, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was not a “sure thing” when released in 2017. Yet, when the movie turned out to be a transformative blockbuster that made over a billion at the box office, a sequel was inevitable.
Jumanji: The Next Level sees Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan back in the jungle, while Danny DeVito and Danny Glover joining the cast as a pair of older guys who find themselves zapped into a videogam. The twist is that Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan aren't necessarily avatars for the same people this time around. Ever wondered what it would be like if DeVito was in the Rock’s body? Now's your chance to find out...
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Release date: December 19 (UK) / December 20 (US)
A movie that needs no introduction... Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marks the final instalment in the Skywalker saga and promises to be an epic conclusion to all nine episodic movies.
Kylo Ren's now Supreme Leader of the First Order and that the Resistance are living in each other's pockets on the Millennium Falcon. To some surprise, Emperor Palpatine's back, and Daisy Ridley's Rey looks set to turn to... the Dark Side? How director JJ Abrams will fit this all into one movie – and that's without mentioning returning roles from Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher (through unused footage from Force Awakens), and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian – remains a mystery. Whatever the case, there's no denying that we're extremely excited to blast out into a galaxy far, far away once again.
Release date: December 20
Arguably the most-talked about movie coming in December, Cats looks set to be a slightly bonkers retelling of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-written musical. The movie adaptation stars everyone from Idris Elba to Taylor Swift. The CGI has been controversial, but the Tom Hooper-directed movie will no doubt be a winner this Christmas.
Release date: December 25 (US) / December 26 (UK)
Anyone order a movie adaptation of a classic American novel directed by an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and starring a cast of who's currently who in Hollywood? Well, you're in luck, as the eighth adaptation of Little Women, directed by Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep, among others, is coming.
Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott's novel of the same name, also stars Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper, Louis Garrel, Tracy Letts, James Norton, Bob Odenkirk, and Eliza Scanlen.
The synopses reads: "Gerwig has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms -- is both timeless and timely."
Release date: December 25 (US) / January 10, 2020 (UK)
From director Sam Mendes (Spectre) comes 1917, a World War One movie that follows two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic actor George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), who are given a seemingly impossible mission. The official synopses says the pair are "in a race against time" as "they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers— Blake’s own brother among them."
The movie reunites Mendes with cinematographer Roger Deakins, marking their fourth collaboration following Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, and Skyfall. Mendes co-wrote the script with Penny Dreadful's Krysty Wilson-Cairns.