Yes, 2018 had some great releases, some great surprises and some great new directions, but it also had some great big stinking turkeys and a lot of disappointments. That’s just the nature of the wheel of cinematic fortune. But that’s now in the past and we have to look forward and honestly, this might be the best year for films ever.

If you’re a film fan, you’re going to be busy in 2019.

Kingsman: The Great Game

Kingsman-The Great Game

Ahead of the confirmed return of Taron Egerton’s Eggsy for the third Kingsman movie in the established timeline, the franchise is heading back in time for a prequel set in the early 20th century.

The brand carries enough hype for fans to be excited and there’s lots of talent in the cast already to suggest this might be a good way to expand the universe. Trust’s Harris Dickinson looks to be in the Egerton role as he finds a mentor in the shape of Ralph Fiennes who takes him under his wing.

Then there’s the excellent Daniel Bruhl and Charles Dance involved too and rumours that both Rhys Ifans and Matthew Goode could join. It’s set to be directed by Matthew Vaughn and it might be a little much to expect it to stay in its 2019 release slot, given how far it has to come in production, but it’s still listed for now.

Release Date: 8th November 2019

 

Child’s Play

Childs Play 2019

After successful revivals for Pennywise and Michael Myers, it was always inevitable that we’d see more horror icons rebooted on the big screen. With the Candyman and Jason Vorhees quickly shuffled into production too, we also have Chucky the killer doll’s return to the big screen (and hopefully relevance) coming in 2019.

Well, sort of anyway. The new murderous toy will be called Buddi, rather than Chucky, and the original iteration of the character will still live on in Don Mancini’s planned TV project. The creator of Chucky isn’t involved (and neither is Brad Dourif, who voices him usually), so there are lots of fans who might be a little upset with the remake.

What it does have going for it though is a good cast, headed by Aubrey Plaza and the excellent Brian Tyree Henry, a beautifully compelling premise and an iconic character. Hopefully, the film-making will be up there with the potential.

Release Date: 21st June 2019

 

Jumanji 3

Jumanji Welcome To The Jungle
Sony

After the runaway success of the second Jumanji movie – despite all sorts of concerns about its very existence, particularly in the wake of Robin Williams’ tragic death – it was inevitable we’d get more of this franchise. And wouldn’t you know it, a third movie was announced with Welcome To The Jungle’s Jake Kasdan back in the director’s chair and the principal cast of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas and Jack Black back too.

There’s very little in terms of detail so far, though some of the stars have hinted that the film may explore the origins of the cursed game. With the cast all signed up and the power of The Rock’s juggernaut social media presence behind it, we can expect success again. And maybe even another billion dollar haul, but none of that compares to the promise that it should actually be a lot of fun too.

Release Date: 13th December 2019

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Hobbs and shaw Movie
Universal

Yes, that is genuinely the real title of this Fast & Furious spin-off, whose brand power the studio clearly didn’t have enough faith in without the F&F tag on the front.

The spin-off stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, continuing their unlikely bromance after The Fate Of The Furious (where they turned from enemies into frenemies and then finally to friends). Or family, as Vin Diesel would probably much prefer I called them, since Dom Toretto is obsessed with that word.

The team-up sees them also joined by Vanessa Kirby playing Shaw’s sister to tackle Idris Elba’s global terrorist and we can probably expect lots of full-frontal action, full-frontal glowering and full-frontal baldness from all sides.

Release Date: 2nd August 2019

 

Terminator 6

Terminator 2019
Paramount Pictures

The year after Michael Myers’ return to the big screen was helped massively by the marketability of Jamie Lee Curtis’ return as Laurie Strode, the Terminator franchise is aiming for the same effect with Linda Hamilton’s return as Sara Connor.

She will appear alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Paramount will no doubt hope that that helps wipe out fan perception of some of the more confusing swerves that have happened in the sequels since.

However they choose to deal with the timeline, the chance to see Hamilton and Arnie together again and a continuation of the franchise is very much welcome, just as it alwas is. It’s only ever the execution that lets it down, rather than the intent.

Release Date: 1st November 2019

 

Terminator 6

Terminator 2019
Paramount Pictures

The year after Michael Myers’ return to the big screen was helped massively by the marketability of Jamie Lee Curtis’ return as Laurie Strode, the Terminator franchise is aiming for the same effect with Linda Hamilton’s return as Sara Connor.

She will appear alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Paramount will no doubt hope that that helps wipe out fan perception of some of the more confusing swerves that have happened in the sequels since.

However they choose to deal with the timeline, the chance to see Hamilton and Arnie together again and a continuation of the franchise is very much welcome, just as it alwas is. It’s only ever the execution that lets it down, rather than the intent.

Release Date: 1st November 2019

 

Men In Black: International

Men In black International
Sony Pictures

Though it took some time to come out, Men In Black 3 was great and arguably the best in the series (particularly in terms of story and emotional heft) and it clearly inspired Sony to extend the franchise a little further. In place of the mooted crossover between MIB and 21 Jump Street, though, we’re getting an internationally flavoured spin-off.

This could only have ever worked with the right talent behind it and the appointment of F Gary Gray to direct was a great start backed up brilliantly by him hiring Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson, Rafe Spall, Kumail Nanjiani and Rebecca Ferguson – as well as bringing Emma Thompson back.

What’s not to love about charismatic personalities fighting aliens and protecting the Earth from itself and knowing too much?

Release Date: 14th June 2019

 

Hellboy

Hellboy Poster 2
Lionsgate

It will always be a shame that Guillermo Del Toro’s various attempts to make a third movie in his Hellboy franchise all failed, but at least we’re getting another big screen outing for the most badass anti-hero from the depths of Hell.

Ron Perlman may have felt perfect as the character, but in Stranger Things’ David Harbour, Neil Marshall has a hell of a replacement. We already know he looks the part and Marshall has promised more of a horror angle than Del Toro’s fantasy focus, which is a nice swerve.

The first trailer was a little divisive, given the wandering tone, but we can at least count on Marshall channelling the tone of the comics, while also offering something different to what Del Toro did. A retread would have just been completely unnecessary, after all.

Release Date: 12th April 2019

 

Glass

Glass Thumbnail
WhatCulture

The first essential movie of the year sees M Night Shyamalan completing his superhero trilogy (which kicked off with Unbreakable and of course secretly included Split) with Glass.

The film sees the union of James McAvoy’s villain with Samuel L Jackson’s supervillain for a plot to (presumably) escape imprisonment and testing by cynical government agencies (alongside Bruce Willis’ David Dunn) and take over the world while Dunn tries to stop them. This time the focus will be more on Glass, despite the central conflict between the Beast and Dunn (AKA The Overseer), who holds the key to the secrets behind the other two.

We can probably expect LOTS of story, lots of opportunities for Jackson to ham it up and McAvoy to explode and hopefully a revival of sorts for Willis, who is in dire need of a shot of postivity these days.

Release Date: 18th January 2019

 

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man Far From Home Tom Holland
ABC

He might have “died’ in Avengers: Infinity War, but Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was always going to come back for his second solo outing as part of Disney’s deal with Sony on the character’s rights.

This time out he’s battling Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio (as well as a host of other villains, like Michael Keaton’s Vulture and Michael Mando’s Scorpion also appearing) and heading to Europe to fight off the Elementals, a villainous group who Mysterio claims to be an expert on when he’s hired by Nick Fury to help Spider-Man. It won’t be that simple.

There are lots of returns confirmed, including Fury, Zendaya’s MJ, Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill, Keaton, Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, among others. The question of whether Tony Stark might secretly be involved depends heavily on what happens in Avengers: Endgame, of course.

But even without him, this ranks as one of the most exciting of the year on the back of the excellent Homecoming.

Release Date: 5th July 2019

 

Us

Us Jordan Peele
Universal Pictures

Jordan Peele’s Get Out was one of 2017’s most surprising success stories. It was a great film, but an Oscar win for a horror and over $250 million grossed worldwide for a first time director known previously for comedy acting was completely unexpected. Well earned though it was.

Inevitably, what he’s set to do next became instantly more hyped and it was great to see him sticking with horror even if the enigmatically named Us remained deliciously detail free for a long while. And then all of that changed with the first trailer, which promised a sort of home invasion movie with a delirious twist – the invaders are dark versions of the victims themselves.

The cast – featuring Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o excitingly – is great but this is all about whether Peele can do it again. On the strength of that trailer, there’s no question.

Release Date: 15th March 2019

 

Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 Woody Buzz Jessie
Pixar

There have been some pretty pronounced hot takes on Toy Story 4 since its announcement several years ago. It has the issue of Toy Story 3 being the perfect end to the tale of Woody and Buzz (even with short films coming afterwards) and the story seemingly wrapped up nicely.

With that consideration, a fourth movie looked difficult to justify and the inevitable conclusion was that Pixar were trotting out an established brand knowing they could make a fortune from it. But even though the first version of the film was apparently scrapped, we’re assured the story is justification enough for the sequel’s existence and the first mini-teaser introducing the existentially-challenged Forky the Spork was certainly intriguing.

At the end of the day, Toy Story is still Pixar’s flagship franchise and with Toy Story 3, Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory all making a billion, it’s likely this will be just as popular. And come on, it’s Pixar!

Release Date: 21st June 2019

 

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel Powers
Marvel Studios

Captain Marvel is on her way. Thanks to a page sent moments before Nick Fury and his final swearword died on the wind, the most powerful hero ever introduced to the MCU is coming to deal Thanos his defeat.

But before then she’s coming to the MCU for her own solo movie and the franchise’s first proper female-centric stand-alone, which looks set to introduce a longer storyline involving the Skrulls, which could shape Phase 4.

Everything shown so far looks great (even if the trailers could have done with a LITTLE polish) and the talent involved (both acting and behind the camera) is hugely impressive, so it should deliver on all that promise. And of course, for an added bonus, we get returns for characters like Nick Fury, Agent Phil Coulson, Ronan the Accuser and Korath, so there’s plenty to reward already-invested MCU fans.

Release Date: 8th March 2019

 

The Lion King

The Lion King Simba
Disney

With the success of The Jungle Book still weighing down Disney’s wallet, Disney’s third live-action adaptation of 2019 sees that film’s director, Jon Favreau, returning to the jungle to bring the story of Simba to life once more.

Putting the technology developed (and further refined) for The Jungle Book, Favreau has amassed a seriously impressive cast, including Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, Beyoncé, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre and Alfre Woodard (among many others) for his new take.

We know why this will appeal – the story is great, the characters iconic and the songs right up there with the best Disney has ever made – but the chance to see this story (which a whole generation of key box office buyers will have seen in the cinema first time round) and the new elements makes it a whole new kind of exciting.

Release Date: 19th July 2019

 

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers Endgame
Marvel Studios

Has there ever been a movie more hyped than Avengers: Endgame? Has there ever been a heavily-hyped movie that actually DESERVES that sort of exaggerated excitement? Have you ever felt like a plastic bag, blowing in the wind… Hang on, sidetracked there for a moment.

Anyway, everything you need to know about Avengers: Endgame is already boaring a hole in the back of your mind. Thanks to the Russos’ decision to split the Thanos saga in two, we were all left with a raft of compelling questions in the wake of the Mad Titan snapping his fingers. Most pertinently, what the actual F*CK, Grimace?

This finale of the first ten years of the MCU, then, is a cinematic experience like no other – a tentpole to end all tentpoles – with the promise of hundreds of characters, brilliant set-pieces and the end of lots of the stories of some of the defining characters of the last decade in blockbuster film-making.

And even with all of the loose ends to tie up, we’re getting new things: Captain Marvel, a new villain (allegedly), Ant-Man’s return, Hawkeye’s genesis into Ronin… How can you not be quivvering with excitement already?

Release Date: 26th April 2019

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