There's certainly no shortage of upcoming movies as we move into the latter half of the year, and there are even more to come in 2023. After San Diego Comic-Con saw the debut of a whole bunch of new trailers and first looks for everything from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to Black Adam, we've certainly never been more excited.
It's not just superheroes who are in the spotlight, either – Olivia Wilde's intriguing drama Don't Worry Darling hits the big screen this fall, along with horror sequel Halloween Ends and Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical movie The Fabelmans. If you do want more on all the superhero movies on the way (and there are a lot), be sure to check out our guide to all the upcoming Marvel movies. For now, though, we've got the lowdown on everything from John Wick 4 to David O. Russell's first film in eight years in our guide to all the best upcoming movies.
Don't Worry Darling
Release date: September 23, 2022
Don't Worry Darling is psychological thriller set in the '50s. Directed by Olivia Wilde, her first film since Booksmart, it stars Florence Pugh as Alice, an unhappy housewife, while Harry Styles is her husband Jack – and he's hiding a dark secret. Is everything in their neighborhood as perfect as it seems? So far, so mysterious. Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Wilde herself also star.
Release date: October 14, 2022
"I would say, given what I know about the next movie, I think it will be the last time that I will play her," Jamie Lee Curtis tells Total Film of returning as Laurie Strode in the final part to the rebooted Halloween trilogy. "And I'm not saying something like, 'Oh, because I die!' It's nothing to do with that. I'm talking about emotionally what they have constructed. I think it will be a spectacular way to end this trilogy."
Producer Malek Akkad hints that "the last one is going to be way more contained", while director David Gordon Green suggests that Halloween Ends will be a departure from what came before. "I get engaged by doing something different. If I was just going to be repetitive, I would hand the reins off to someone else. When you have that opportunity within an established franchise, it’s really fun to think about how you can show different tones and perspectives and evolve," Green says.
In other words, get ready for a bloody good time, and a big ending for the characters we have known and loved over the last few decades. Hopefully, Green can deliver the send-off that Laurie Strode deserves.
Release date: October 21, 2022
Given his hulking frame and larger-than-life persona, it’s almost surprising that Dwayne Johnson has never starred as a comic-book superhero before. But all that’s about to change as he arrives to disrupt the power hierarchy in the DC Universe as Black Adam.
But while the character might not be a household name (yet), Black Adam – or Teth-Adam – has been a passion project of Johnson’s for more than a decade now. The antihero is one of the most powerful beings in DC Comics. A slave from Kahndaq granted superpowers from the wizard Shazam, Adam chose a dark path of revenge against those who wronged him, looking to settle the score by any means necessary.
The character is, according to Johnson, "a bad motherf*cker". And that’s what attracted him to hold out for 10 years to play him despite numerous opportunities to play superheroes in the intervening years.
"Official offers never happened. It was always conversations with studio heads," he tells Total Film. "But there was always something unique, different about Black Adam. He was a villain, an antihero, depending on your interpretation of what a villain is. I loved this idea that his pain and rage comes from loss, and was fuelled by oppression. And at some point, he refused to be held down anymore. If you wrong him, his family, or his people, then you will die. Period. That is just that simple."
One thing's for sure: Black Adam is set to shake the DCEU to its foundations. On working with director Jaume Collet-Serra again after Jungle Cruise, Johnson says, "Right from the beginning, we gelled, because it was like: 'OK, our goal and our North Star is the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.' Let’s have guts. Let’s get after it. And let’s be destructive."
A new trailer premiered at SDCC, which sees the antihero face off against the Justice Society of America. "My powers are not a gift but a curse," he says, "born out of rage." We then see Black Adam in action as Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate warns him he can either be the Earth’s destroyer or its savior.
Release date: November 4, 2022
Director David O. Russell is set to return with Amsterdam, his first movie since 2015's Joy. It follows three friends – a doctor, a nurse, and an attorney (Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington) – who become the prime suspects in a murder in the '30s. The ensemble cast is pretty stacked, too, with names like Robert De Niro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldaña, and Mike Myers filling out the rest of the credits.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release date: November 11, 2022
For director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the profound challenge was how to make a sequel after the death of Chadwick Boseman. Backing up comments made by Kevin Feige, production and development VP Nate Moore recently clarified one point: "As hard as it is narratively to figure out what to do, because that’s a big hole, at no point did we consider recasting."
Rising to the task will be returning stars Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Martin Freeman. Newcomers onboard include Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, soon to lead Disney Plus’s Ironheart, alongside Michaela Coel as former Dora Milaje leader Aneka and Tenoch Huerta as the underwater ruler Namor.
The movie's first trailer, which premiered at SDCC, also shows someone new in the Black Panther suit. There are theories that it could be T'Challa's sister Shuri (Wright) or undercover spy Nakia (N'yongo), but we'll have to wait a little longer to find out exactly who has donned the iconci get-up.
However these pan out, Duke (M’Baku) describes the filmmaking experience as "emotional": "We’re all a bit of a family now and we grieve together, and we’re making something really special." Fit for a king, then.
Release date: November 23, 2022
The Fabelmans is inspired by Steven Spielberg's experiences growing up in Arizona, which the director has often spoken about as being a big inspiration for his filmmaking, the first time he's properly explored his early years on screen. The movie also marks the first time since 2001 that Spielberg will be involved in writing the screenplay for one of his movies.
Michelle Williams and Paul Dano are playing roles inspired by Spielberg's parents, and Seth Rogen who's playing a character based on the director's favorite uncle. The film will follow Sammy Fabelman from the ages of seven to 18, as he discovers a shocking family secret.
Release date: December 16, 2022
Despite the exceedingly long wait – Avatar arrived to smash box-office records back in 2009 – the sequel is nearly upon us. So what took so long? In large part, producer Jon Landau says, it was down to writing not one but four scripts for the planned series of sequels up to Avatar 5.
"The scripts are the blueprint from which we work," Landau tells Total Film. "So a large portion of our time was writing... with the challenge that each of those four scripts had to individually resolve itself in a story that concludes with a big emotional resolution – but when you look at them as a whole, the connected story arc of all four movies creates an even larger epic saga."
Avatar 2 specifically picks up with the Sully family, and as much time has elapsed in the story world as in reality. Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) are now parents. "I think the story of Avatar 2, and the strength of the story, is what Jim [Cameron] always does in any of his movies: he writes in universal themes that are bigger than any one genre," explains Landau. "And if you think about this, there’s really no more universal theme than family. At the center of each of our sequels is the Sully family. What are the dynamics that parents go through to protect their family?"
The Sullys’ idyllic life is disrupted when the RDA mining operation returns to Pandora, forcing Jake to take the family to "what is perceived as a safe harbor" at the reef. "And when you get to the reef, there’s a clan we call the Metkayina," continues Landau. "The Sullys are no longer in the environment that they know, the rainforest. They become the fish out of water. They become the fish out of water both culturally and just environmentally."
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Release date: December 16, 2022
Zachary Levi returns as Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The superhero alter-ego of teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) will face off against the daughters of Atlas, While Black Adam and Billy Batson are foes in DC Comics, Shazam 2 director David F. Sandberg has confirmed that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's character won't be appearing in this movie. The sequel was originally meant to come out in 2023, but it's now taken the spot on the release calendar held by Aquaman 2 (which has in turn been delayed until 2023).
A new trailer, which debuted at SDCC, gives us our first look at the sequel's antagonists: Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler, who are playing the daughters of the Titan Atlas – Billy and co. have got to go head to head with powers unlike anything they've ever encountered before.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Release date: February 17, 2023
Scott Lang, AKA Ant-Man, is back, and this time he's facing off against the fearsome Kang the Conqueror (played by Jonathan Majors) and MODOK is also set to make an appearance. There are friends as well foes, though, with Evangeline Lilly returning as Hope, along with Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, while Kathryn Newton joins the cast as Scott's daughter Cassie.
Footage from the Ant-Man 3 debuted at Comic-Con – you can get the full rundown on what happened in our trailer description.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release date: March 17, 2023
James Wan returns to direct Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom. Never mind that The Conjuring director’s proposed solo Black Manta movie (under the guise of monster spin-off The Trench) has been canceled: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s David Kane/Manta continues to seek vengeance on Aquaman in the sequel to the 2018 hit, which had more legs with ticket-buyers than an octopus on drums. Alongside Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Wilson, and Amber Heard, Jason Momoa plunges back in, this time in a darker, bluer “stealth” suit styled after cephalopods’ camouflage skills.
Wan promises “a movie that’s more mature [than Aquaman] but yet still retains its fun,” while producer Peter Safran reiterates the series’ faith in excess: “We have turned the dials up to 11.” Next to Safran’s Spinal Tap nod, Wan references horror movies with promises of both genre elements and nods to Planet of the Vampires, Mario Bava’s stylish, proto- Alien 1965 shocker.
Also perhaps involved is lost underwater kingdom Necrus, plus a monster or 10. Concept art netted for FanDome ranges from sand creatures to toothy undersea tentacles and Curry riding a seahorse. But it wasn’t all smooth riding for Momoa: “I’m just getting beat up,” he lamented to The Ellen Show of the physically testing shoot. Sounds like DC isn’t pulling its punches here.
John Wick 4
Release date: March 24, 2023
Delayed by both the pandemic and Reeves’ commitment to The Matrix Resurrections, shooting on the fourth John Wick movie finally began in June 2021. The movie is reportedly titled John Wick 4: Hagakure, which is the name of a book by the samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It translates to 'hidden by the leaves,' and the book, a warrior's guide, is famous for the phrase "the way of the warrior is death."
Like the first three movies, this new installment is directed by martial arts expert-turned-stuntman-turned-kamikaze-filmmaker Chad Stahelski, and it will continue where the third chapter left off, with ace assassin Wick (Keanu Reeves) pursued by all and sundry due to the $14m bounty on his bonce. But don’t expect him to accept his fate: our beloved killer is about to go after The High Table, the council of crime lords that governs the underworld and that slapped that price tag between his eyes for the bullets to aim at.
John Wick Chapter 4 will open out the world of the first three movies, and again up the ante on the action, with Reeves promising the set-pieces are "amazing." Returning actors Reeves, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick will be joined by newbies Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Clancy Brown and, as a new villain, Alita: Battle Angel’s Marko Zaror. Expect thrills, (blood) spills, and many, many kills; don’t expect a happy ending.
The movie's first action-packed teaser trailer was released at San Diego Comic-Con and asks the question: "Have you given any thought to where this ends?"
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release date: May 5, 2023
It's the end of the road for the Guardians – director James Gunn has confirmed that this the last time we'll see this motley crew take on the evils of the galaxy. As for which evils they'll be facing this time around, Will Poulter has joined the cast as Adam Warlock, while Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji is playing the High Evolutionary. And, of course, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillian, Pom Klementeiff, and Vin Diesel are all returning, too.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One
Release date: June 2, 2023
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is arguable the best Spider-Man movie so far. So, there's a lot of anticipation for the sequel, Across the Spider-Verse – Part One, which is, as the title suggests, only the first part of a longer story. "Miles' story is an epic," screenwriters and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller said. "We wrote what we thought the story needed to be, and to our surprise we realized it was two movies instead of one. We're working on them both as we speak. Part Two will be out sometime in 2023. We will sleep again in 2024."
Shameik Moore returns to voice Miles Morales, while Hailee Steinfeld will be back as Spider-Gwen. Miles is team up with Spider-Man 2099, voiced by Oscar Isaac to face off against villain The Spot. As for Kimiko Glenn's Peni Parker, Nicolas Cage's Spider-Man Noir, and John Mulaney's Spider-Ham, it remains to be seen whether they'll return. When asked, Lord and Miller said: "Miles will reunite with some old friends and meet... a lot of new ones."
Release date: June 23, 2023
Hungry for more Batman after The Batman? Then welcome The Flash, finally incoming under It director Andy Muschietti. While George Clooney denies any involvement, former Bat-leads Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton will appear. Keaton’s plot function remains under-cowl, though the veteran actor did say that returning to the cape after 30-ish years felt "shockingly normal" for him.
As for other sensations, Muschietti teases shivers amid a multiverse of tones: "What you will see in Flash is a very deep, emotional story, but it’s also going to be very funny and a great epic adventure... [and] also terrifying sometimes." Muschietti is just the man for that tonal jamboree, reckons the film’s writer. "He can jump from funny to scary to emotional really fast," says Christina Hodson, who drew on the Flashpoint storyline for a tale involving time travel, the murder of Barry Allen’s mother and the opening of DC’s multiverse.
Further fine points remain secret, including the film’s villain: at a DC FanDome panel, the Scarlet Speedster himself, Ezra Miller, said there could be many, none or something more mysterious afoot. "Which is good for a villain, to have an air of mystery," said Miller, "until they POP OUT!"
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Release date: July 14, 2023
Yes, there have already been six of these action-packed blockbusters, and the series continues for good reason. Tom Cruise was born to do death-defying stunts, and this series is full of them. This time around, he's joined by series newcomers Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff, while Ving Rhames, Henry Czerny, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, and Angela Bassett all reprise their roles from previous movies. Christopher McQuarrie is back in the director's chair, and a sequel – titled Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, if we had to guess – is already dated for 2024.
Release date: July 28, 2023
The Marvels, AKA Captain Marvel 2, will see Brie Larson's hero return alongside Iman Vellani's Ms. Marvel (confirmed by the Ms. Marvel post-credits scene) and WandaVision's Monica Rambeau, who becomes the hero Photon. Zawe Ashton has been cast as the movie's villain and Candyman helmer Nia DaCosta is in the director' chair.
Release date: November 3, 2023
Mahershala Ali takes on the role of the vampire hunting antihero in Blade, after making a voice cameo in the post-credits scene of Eternals. Delroy Lindo and The Underground Railroad's Aaron Pierre are also part of the cast, and Mogul Mowgli helmer Bassam Tariq is in the director's chair. Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who previously worked on HBO's Watchmen series, is on screenwriting duties.
For more on what's to come, check out our guide to all the Marvel Phase 4 movies and shows heading your way soon.