Oh god, it's December... eek! As the year comes to a close and you start panic buying Christmas presents, it's time to take a look at the exciting upcoming movies set to hit cinema screens next year. From Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, to It: Chapter 2 and Star Wars 9, 2019 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year for film, and you can make sure you don't miss a moment of it by bookmarking our breakdown of the most anticipated upcoming movies asap.
Below you'll find every film worth watching out for, from big blockbusters to indie surprises, in release date order, so you know what to get excited for first. And that's not all. It also includes the few remaining upcoming movies still to come this year. You might be busy with festive family events, but you don't want to miss out on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, and Mary Poppins Returns, do you? Read on and start planning next year's movie-watching now!
- The best upcoming horror movies of 2018 and beyond
- Every upcoming video game movie for 2018 and beyond
- The hottest new TV shows you don't want to miss
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release date: December 12, 2018 (UK)/December 14, 2018 (US)
Didn't realise there's a Spider-Man movie coming this year? Don't panic, you haven't missed a new Marvel movie without realising it. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is actually Sony's other big blockbuster of the year (besides Venom) and it's an animated film, which is entirely separate from the MCU. That hasn't stopped it from riffing off the idea of multiple Spider-Mans though as this version of Spider-Man, Miles Morales, finds himself face-to-face an alternate Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, and even Spider-Ham when their alternate dimensions are thrown together. If you're thinking the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home next year is more than enough Spidey action for you, then watch the Into the Spider-Verse trailer and be prepared to change your mind. This is a must-see upcoming movie.
Release date: December 14, 2018
You probably haven't heard much about Mortal Engines before now, but it's definitely one to watch when it comes to the best upcoming movies of 2018. Putting aside the slightly ridiculous premise - it's set in a dystopian steampunk future where cities have become, well... engines, which travel across the almost barren wasteland of the Earth searching out the few remaining resources - the first teaser trailer actually makes it looks pretty incredible. And Peter 'Lord of the Rings' Jackson is directing. Now tell me you don't want to see that? It stars Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan as two very different teenagers who get thrown together through circumstance to face down the big bad, played by Hugo Weaving. Head this way for a fun fantasy adventure...
Read more: The 25 best fantasy movies for when life just gets too much
Release date: December 14, 2018 (UK)/December 21, 2018 (US)
Remember the DC Extended Universe? Yeah, that's still a thing and the next upcoming movie from the world of the slightly darker superheroes is the Aquaman movie. When this fishy film was first announced, we were understandable a bit unsure about it, but then Game of Thrones' Jason Momoa was cast as the ripped Atlantean and his performance in Justice League got us (relatively) excited for more. Plus, The Conjuring's James Wan is directing and while that seems like an odd choice for the water-based superhero movie, it can only mean good things. Then Amber Heard joined the cast as Queen Mera and before long was joined by Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, and Dolph Lundgren. We've been patiently waiting for a first trailer for some time and finally San Diego Comic Con 2018 delivered with a first look packed full of underwater action, cracking one-liners, and more plot background. Thank you Warner Bros.
Release date: December 21, 2018
Everyone wants to do a Netflix movie this year! Sandra Bullock is joining the ranks of big name stars who are making their streaming debut in 2018 with Netflix Original movie Bird Box. Based on Josh Malerman's extremely popular debut novel, the trailer sort of makes it look like A Quiet Place but for eyes (if you know what I mean), as Malorie finds herself trying to keep her two kids alive in world under invasion. No one knows who the invaders are except that if you see them, you kill yourself, which is why the trailer is full of people wearing blindfolds. Along with Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson, and John Malkovich, Bird Box boasts an impressive cast and with Oscar-winning Susanne Bier behind the camera, this is one upcoming movie you're not going to want to miss.
Mary Poppins Returns
Release date: December 21, 2018 (UK)/December 25, 2018 (US)
You could practically hear the collective head shaking and hushed tutting when Disney first announced it was making a sequel to Mary Poppins; its crowning achievement from the early days of family cinema. But take the news with a spoonful of sugar, and you’ll soon see that there’s hope for this unexpected follow-up yet. The always wonderful Emily Blunt replaces Julie Andrews as the magical English supernanny for this musical sequel, starring alongside the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and even Dick Van Dyke. Considering Disney’s strong recent history with modern reboots from its back catalogue, this could well turn out to be the Mary Poppins sequel we never knew we needed, and we finally have the first trailer, which is practically perfect in every way.
Read more: The 25 best Disney songs to make your heart go bippidy-boppidy-boop
Release date: December 21, 2018 (US)/December 26, 2018 (UK)
No one’s denying that the last few Transformers movies have been, well, awful. Like, really, really bad. But allow me to play devil’s advocate for a second, as I try and make you hopeful for Bumblebee - the upcoming Transformers spin-off focusing on the titular Autobot from Paramount’s blockbuster franchise. Firstly, it’s not directed by Michael Bay (phew!), but Travis Knight, who’s best known for his work at Laika, on animated movies such as Paranorman, Boxtrolls, and last year’s Kubo and the Two Strings (his directorial debut). Then there’s the cast. No more Mark Wahlberg playing Mark Wahlberg with glasses. Now we have the likes of Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena leading what is essentially a prequel to Bay’s original Transformers movie. After what feels like a fairly long wait, we've finally had our first full trailer for the upcoming movie and it's looking promising. Fingers crossed for an actually-quite-good Transformers movie this Christmas.
Release date: January 18, 2019
When M. Night Shyamalan’s Split hit cinemas last year all anyone could talk about (other than James McAvoy’s incredible performance) was the Bruce Willis cameo at the end of the movie, which confirmed a shared universe with 2000’s Unbreakable. Now we have a third movie coming next year, which will also be part of the same world, called Glass. Unbreakable fans will know exactly who the subject of this film is, but if you haven’t seen it before, I’d definitely recommend watching it asap. I won’t spoil it here, but suffice to say, Glass focuses on one of its characters who is played by Samuel L. Jackson. Sarah Paulson is joining Jackson (as well as McAvoy and Willis who will both be reprising their roles from Split and Unbreakable), and the most recent trailer shows that all three of them are being kept in a facility for those who believe they have super powers. But not for long...
Alita: Battle Angel
Release date: February 6, 2019 (UK)/February 14, 2019 (US)
In development thanks to James Cameron for around 20 years, Alita: Battle Angel - an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s 1990-1995 manga, Gunnm - is one of the most exciting upcoming movies of 2018 just by nature of the fact that it actually exists now. Finally ready for release, thanks to Robert Rodriguez stepping into script-edit and directing duties based on Cameron’s original notes, it tells the story of cyborg Alita (Rosa Salazar), rescued and put back together by Dr Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), who has no memory of who she is or where she's come from. Given Gunnm’s nine-book run and pre-existing anime adaptation, there’s a lot of material to draw from, and the latest trailer reveals more of the mysterious plot as well as the look of the film. The junky, despairing world-building evokes the original work brilliantly, and Alita herself has come to life with an affectingly unreal sense of reality. Colour us hyped!
Read more: The 10 best anime movies everyone should watch
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Release date: February 8, 2019
Remember that weird Lego movie that came out a few years ago and was far funnier than it had any right to be? Well, we’re getting a sequel in 2019 and it’s called - drumroll please - The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Directed by Mike Mitchell, who made Trolls, the sequel will be produced and written by the original movie’s directing duo, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and will apparently follow on directly from the first film. Expect to see The Lego Movie’s original cast return, including Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Ferrell, as well as new addition, Tiffany Haddish who will be playing a "key new character". The sequel will apparently deal with issues of gender as real boy Finn (Jadon Sand) is joined by his little sister who loves Duplo. “[It looks at] what's different and similar about gender, when a boy plays vs. how a girl plays," original writer and director of The Lego Batman Movie Chris McKay told Collider. Sounds awesome!
Read more: 25 questions for Lego Batman - Will Arnett answers all
Release date: March 8, 2019
The first of next year’s new Marvel movies will see Brie Larson take centre stage as Captain Marvel in the MCU’s very first female-led superhero film. And, as if that isn't enough of a reason to put this flick at the top of your must-watch list for 2019, it will also probably explain why Nick Fury pages Captain Marvel in the Avengers: Infinity War post-credit scene leading into Avengers 4 later in the year. Set in the ‘90s, it'll star a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), a young Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), Guardians of the Galaxy villains Ronan (Lee Pace) and Korath (Djimon Honsou), and new MCU faces Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Ben Mendelsohn, and Lashana Lynch. Directed by Mississippi Grind duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, it will focus on the Skrull-Kree war from the comics and we recently got our first look at the classic comic book villains in some first look Captain Marvel images. And if you're hoping for a Captain Marvel trailer soon... well, you're in luck because it has just landed!
Read more: The best Marvel movies ranked, from Iron Man to Ant-Man and the Wasp