Following on from the disastrous box-office returns of 2020, many hoped that 2021 would signal a return to pre-pandemic levels of box office returns. While 2021 has indeed been a major improvement over 2020, helped in part by the release of major studio tent-poles such F9: The Fast Saga, No Time To Die, Dune, and the big winner of the year: Spider-Man: No Way Home.
There are hopes among many that 2022 will signal the full return to the theatrical experience, with studios optimistic that large franchise movies will draw those reluctant viewers back into the cinema. According to BusinessWire, IMDb, using user data from its almost 200 million monthly users, has compiled a list of the most eagerly anticipated movies of 2022.
Finally arriving in 2022 is The Flash, a movie that has been stuck in development hell for years now. Originally announced in 2014 as part of a large slate of DC movies, The Flash, starring Ezra Miller, was originally scheduled to release in 2018. However, the movie sat in development limbo until Andy Muschietti (IT, IT: Chapter 2) finally began work on the movie in 2020.
2022 will finally see The Flash arrive in cinemas, and perhaps more exciting is the return of Michael Keaton’s Batman for the first time since Tim Burton’s Batman Returns in 1992. The Flash, partly inspired by the comic book Flashpoint, is due to explore the DC multiverse, hence the return of Keaton’s Batman. Affleck’s caped crusader is also signed on to appear in the movie.
Starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, Uncharted is another attempt to bring a video game to the big screen. Adaptations of video games into movies have traditionally been a mixed bag, particularly in recent years. On the relatively successful side, there are films like Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog, while movies like Monster Hunter and Assassin’s Creed fared less well, both critically and commercially.
Based on the action-adventure games created by Naughty Dog, the movie was in development hell for almost a decade, before Holland and Wahlberg were finally cast as Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan respectively. After parting with as many of six directors, Ruben Fleischer (Venom) is finally bringing this enthusiastically anticipated Indiana Jones-esque treasure hunting romp to the silver screen.
Mission: Impossible 7
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible – Fallout), and starring franchise leading man Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible 7 suffered heavily from production shutdowns during the pandemic. Joining the cast this time around are Hayley Atwell and Esai Morales as the film’s primary villain.
Without any promotional materials or trailers as of yet, fans of the franchise will have to wait a little longer for their first look. Nevertheless, there’s little doubt, with Tom Cruise as the leading man, that the movie will feature jaw-dropping stunts and explosive action set-pieces.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness
Returning to the world of superhero filmmaking for the first time since 2007’s often maligned Spider-Man 3, Sam Rami directs this sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange after original director Scott Derrickson left the project due to creative differences. Following off the heels of multiple Marvel Studios projects such as Spiderman: No Way Home, WandaVision, and Loki, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will bring Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s ally turned antagonist Karl Mordo on a mystical journey to repair the multiverse.
One of the most interesting and anticipated things about the movie, as confirmed by the first trailer, is that this is the first major Marvel Studios movie whose plot and events will be directly impacted by the Marvel Studios Disney+ shows. This is a further sign of confidence in the interconnectedness of the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney’s streaming platform.
Jurassic World: Dominion
Returning to the dino-world of Jurassic Park for this threequel is Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow. The return of Trevorrow to the directing chair has been a cause for celebration among fans of the franchise, particularly after the disappointing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
However, Trevorrow’s resume has been particularly patchy as of late. Having been brought on to direct Star Wars: Episode IX (titled Dual of the Fates in Trevorrow’s original draft), Trevorrow was removed from the project after a falling out with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy. Trevorrow’s last feature-length release, The Book of Henry, bombed upon its release, and many critics derided it as one of the worst movies of 2017. Not much is known about the plot of Jurassic World: Dominion yet, except the welcome news that original Jurassic Park stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum will reprise their characters and join the series regulars, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Killers Of The Flower Moon
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for this upcoming American Western crime drama. Based on the novel Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by journalist David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon follows the investigation into the murders of members of the Osage tribe in the 1920s after the discovery of oil deposits on their land.
Co-financed by Apple TV+ and Paramount Pictures, with a budget reported to be in the region of $200 million, anticipation is high for Scorsese’s follow-up to the epic crime drama The Irishman.
Top Gun: Maverick
The long-awaited sequel to the 1986 hit, and the second major Tom Cruise vehicle releasing in 2022, Top Gun: Maverick, directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) reunites Cruise’s Maverick with Val Kilmer’s Iceman while introducing a new generation of fighter pilots into the fray.
Whether this new entry has the wings to fly as high as its predecessor remains to be seen, but after more than 35 years since the original Top Gun, there’s sure to be plenty of nostalgia to be enjoyed for long-time fans of the film.
Thor: Love And Thunder
The second Marvel Studios movie on IMDb’s most anticipated list and the fourth solo adventure featuring Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian god of thunder, Thor: Love and Thunder reunites Hemsworth and Taika Waititi after 2017’s crowd-pleasing romp Thor: Ragnarok.
Joining the cast this time around is Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, along with returning cast members Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), and long-time absentees Jamie Alexander (Lady Sif) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), who, over the course of the movie, is destined to become a female version of the mighty god of thunder. With an appearance from the Guardians of the Galaxy, Waititi’s signature sense of humor, and a killer soundtrack no doubt, this one is bound to be another crowd-pleaser for MCU fans and casual viewers alike.
The fifth film entry in the long-running post-modern slasher series, Scream is the first movie in the series not directed by Wes Craven, who tragically passed in 2015. Scream, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett continues the legacy of the franchise by bringing back previous stars of the series, including Courtney Cox and David Arquette while introducing a new set of characters destined to be hacked apart by the infamous Ghostface killer.
Whether this new chapter in the series re-invigorates interest in the franchise remains to be seen, but the decision to release the movie in January, instead of an October Halloween release, is a baffling choice by the distributers.
Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and featuring an all-star cast including Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell, The Batman will explore Bruce Wayne during his early years of crime-fighting as he faces off against corruption and villainy in crime dystopia Gotham City.
A reboot of the character following Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the character in Zack Synder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Synder’s Justice League, Reeves has promised a grittier and more realistic interpretation of the character, presumably bringing it closer to what Christopher Nolan did in his Dark Knight Trilogy. Originally scheduled to release in 2021, the movie’s production was suspended in March 2020 in the midst of Covid-19, and didn’t resume production until May 2020, pushing its release date into 2022.
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