As the modern cinema trend goes, we're seeing ever more reboots, sequels, origin stories, superheroes, and franchises.
Although it can get tiring for the cinephiles among us, it's good to remember that there are plenty of exciting new installments of our favorite stories in the mix for the coming year. Plus, a healthy dose of original ideas and artistic experimentation!
Here are my own personal most anticipated movies of 2024 (that have been confirmed so far), all of which are set to release this year if all goes well. How many do you agree with?
15. Deadpool 3
Directed by Shawn Levy
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Morena Baccarin
Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Release date: July 26, 2024
Phase 5 of the MCU will see Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine for the first time since Logan, which is widely considered the character's best movie of all time.
Logan and Deadpool are the only Marvel films to earn an R-rating, so it makes sense they should team up together. Plus, Deadpool made his debut in the Wolverine trilogy with Ryan Reynolds playing the sarcastic swordsman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009.
Deadpool has since been rebooted and modified into his own, fourth-wall-breaking, foul-mouthed spin-off films, who continues to stand out in an ever-dulling superhero genre.
I can't wait for him and Wolverine to reunite as two of the most memorable anti-heroes in the MCU!
Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Starring Zendaya, Josh O'Connor, Mike Faist
Drama, Romance, Sport
Release date: April 26, 2024
Although we all know it was mostly staged, Tom Holland didn't look too happy watching Zendaya kiss two guys within five seconds in the trailer for Challengers.
As for me? I'm more than happy to watch Zendaya strut, flirt, and bat her way through Luca Guadagnino's latest movie, who proved himself with the likes of Call Me By Your Name.
If anyone's going to Grand Slam her way to success, it's Zendaya, who stars as the tennis superstar Tashi Duncan. Except, it's not her playing. Years after their first three-way hookup, Tashi signs her husband up to play against his ex-bestie and her ex-boyfriend. Good luck...
13. Love Lies Bleeding
Directed by Rose Glass
Starring Kristen Stewart, Katy O'Brian, Jena Malone
Action, Adventure, Crime
Release date: March 8, 2024
Here we have A24, Rose Glass, and Kristen Stewart. Who wouldn't be excited by this combo? With a debut as strong as Saint Maud, Rose Glass is bound to earn more award nominations with Love Lies Bleeding.
In this one, Kristen Stewart plays a loner gym manager who falls in love with a female bodybuilder who's streamlining her way through Las Vegas in pursuit of her dreams.
Katy O'Brian took her real-life strength training up another notch for her role as Jackie, who, despite her muscles and target practice, isn't quite ready to have criminal in-laws.
Love Lies Bleeding looks to be original and captivating, drenched in the same kind of neon glow of other low-lit, high-drama indie gems.
12. Beetlejuice 2
Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe, Monica Bellucci
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Release date: September 6, 2024
It feels like Beetlejuice 2 has been in the works for ages, and although it's risky to tamper with such a cult classic, the fact Tim Burton has coupled up with the original cast members gives me hope.
Namely, it's Michael Keaton as the crude chatterbox demon Betelgeuse, alongside OGs Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara. Plus, new recruits Willem Dafoe and Jenna Ortega have track records that perfectly fit the bill, from Dafoe's The Lighthouse to Ortega's Wednesday.
In Beetlejuice 2, Tim Burton will take us away from haunted suburban houses to a Hawaiian resort, purely because he thought the juxtaposition would be funny for this horror-comedy follow-up.
11. Road House
Directed by Doug Liman
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Magnussen, Lukas Gage
Release date: March 21, 2024
The 1980s saw a boom in several different film genres, including science fiction (Blade Runner, The Terminator), teen dramas (The Breakfast Club, Stand By Me), and action (Top Gun, Die Hard).
Nestled into that latter category we also got Road House with Patrick Swayze. Road House was a highlight not because it was good but because it was so bad that it turned it into a cult favorite.
In Doug Liman's 2024 remake, Jake Gyllenhaal is probably planning to make it an actually "good" film as he takes Patrick Swayze's place as the hot-headed, ex-UFC champion bouncer Dalton.
Doug Liman's filmography shows evidence of both good (Swingers) and bad (Jumper) Hollywood movies, so I'm intrigued as to how the Road House reboot will turn out. From the clip of Gyllenhaal fighting in front of a live fan audience in Vegas, it looks to be a good one!
10. Civil War
Directed by Alex Garland
Starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny
Release date: April 26, 2024
Director of Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men and writer of The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go, the renowned Alex Garland is a visionary for all things sci-fi and apocalyptic.
As such, A24 rightly has the utmost trust in him to direct the dystopian action film Civil War. There might not be any zombies or weird rainbow shimmers in this one, but it does involve a dystopian war ravaging the US (presumably like an American Civil War Part Two).
Kirsten Dunst leads a team of journalists reporting on the extremist political upheaval, with Wagner Moura, Jesse Plemons, and Nick Offerman also appearing. If it's A24, I'm already seated!
9. Gladiator 2
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Pedro Pascal, Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington
Action, Adventure, Drama
Release date: November 22, 2024
I've already mentioned some risky Hollywood endeavors above with Beetlejuice 2 and Road House, but there's more! Like the upcoming attempt to turn the iconic historical epic Gladiator into a series.
But with a cast like Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, and Pedro Pascal under Ridley Scott's direction, there's a high chance of success here. Especially if Barry Keoghan might be in the mix, too!
Paul Mescal is replacing Russell Crowe as the protagonist, this time as the nephew of Commodus (who was the villain of Gladiator, played by Joaquin Phoenix).
Filming has only just wrapped up as of this writing, so there's a while yet until it's released. But when it is, theaters are sure to be packed!
8. Alto Knights
Directed by Barry Levinson
Starring Robert De Niro, Kathrine Narducci, Cosmo Jarvis
Biography, Crime, Drama
Release date: November 15, 2024
Not a whole lot is known about Alto Knights just yet other than the cast, the crew, and a vague plotline.
What we do know is that Robert De Niro is going to play an Italian-American mob boss. In fact, Alto Knights is going to be an extra treat for fans of De Niro and gangster films because he's starring as two mob bosses: Vito Genovese and Frank Costello.
Both were real-life crime lords during the Prohibition era. You'd be forgiven for expecting Martin Scorsese to be the director here, but plot twist: it's Barry Levinson. No one's mad about that, though, following his success with Diner, Rain Man, and Good Morning, Vietnam.
Directed by Ti West
Starring Michelle Monaghan, Elizabeth Debicki, Mia Goth
Release date: To Be Announced 2024
Finally, it's the third installment of Ti West's X Trilogy! X is one of those rare franchises that feels like it was supposed to be a trilogy, rather than sequels being tacked on in the wake of box office figures.
The films would be nothing without Mia Goth, the focal point of all three. She plays both the wannabe actresses Maxine Minx and Pearl in different decades, and MaXXXine is set to take place after the events of X.
Beyond just being great indie horrors, the trilogy is also an ode to the slasher subgenre and an inspection of cinema's history, influences, and byproducts. Plus, it's a gorgeous (if bloody) period piece, this time transporting us to 1980s Los Angeles.
6. Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson
Starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry
Animation, Action, Adventure
Release date: To Be Announced 2024
Some comic book characters have gotten raw deals in modern cinema, including Superman, Aquaman, and Green Lantern. Others got everything they deserve, such as Batman and Spider-Man.
If you'd said five years ago that Spider-Man's animation would live up to—or even surpass—the live-action films, no one would've believed you.
But in 2018, directors Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, and Rodney Rothman caught everyone off-guard with a decade-defining superhero animation in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Now, the third movie is coming up with the same incredible, dynamic visuals and characters who feel ironically more three-dimensional than most superheroes. Little is known of the multiverse narrative, but Shameik Moore will be returning as Mike Morales.
5. Joker: Folie à Deux
Directed by Todd Phillips
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Brendan Gleeson
Crime, Drama, Musical
Release date: October 4, 2024
To be fair, I definitely think Joker should've been left alone as a standalone movie. But I also trust that Joaquin Phoenix has good taste and only chooses to star in projects he deems worthy. Plus, I can't help but be curious about Lady Gaga's depiction of Harley Quinn.
Sure, Margot Robbie's version in Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad seems impenetrable, but given Lady Gaga's eccentric trademark style—I could picture Harley Quinn in a meat-suit—and amazing performance in A Star Is Born, she'll likely do well here.
Todd Phillips is directing the sequel, hopefully to imbue it with the same grimy qualities of Taxi Driver, Fight Club, and Dog Day Afternoon that we saw in the first Joker.
4. Mickey 17
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Starring Steven Yeun, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Pattinson
Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Release date: March 29, 2024
Bong Joon-ho really put the "teaser" in teaser trailer when he released the first preview of Mickey 17. The preview was basically Robert Pattinson lying in a cryogenic chamber.
There's not a lot to go on to predict what Mickey 17 will be like, but I know it's going to be great because Bong Joon-ho is directing. Plus, it's going to star the likes of Steven Yeun, Robert Pattinson, Naomi Ackie, Toni Collette, and Mark Ruffalo.
But what's it about? Well, there's a hazy logline filled with big words like "iteration" and "the ice world Niflheim," but really all we know is that it's a cool-looking sci-fi written by Charles Yu. There's also suggestion that Pattinson's character will be similar to Sam Rockwell's in Moon.
Directed by Robert Eggers
Starring Bill Skarsgård, Nicholas Hoult, Lily-Rose Depp
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Release date: December 25, 2024
If Willem Dafoe matches the zany goth vibes of Beetlejuice 2, he certainly matches the creepy German Expressionism of Nosferatu.
Few film movements have been as cinematically influential as German Expressionism, and Nosferatu is a hallmark of the early 20th century style (alongside The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis).
Scholars have even cited the original Nosferatu as the main template for horror films, with its iconic vampire character who's still scarier-looking than most high-tech SFX can produce today.
After his defining role in It, Bill Skarsgård will star here as the Dracula-esque Count Orlok (first played by Max Schreck in 1922) with Nicholas Hoult, Lily-Rose Depp, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Corrin, and Willem Dafoe as his co-stars.
Recreating such an important movie is no easy task, but if anyone can capture the horrifying essence of the original, it's Robert Eggers.
2. Back to Black
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson
Starring Marisa Abela, Jack O'Connell, Lesley Manville
Biography, Drama, Music
Release date: April 12, 2024
Amy Winehouse was bound to have a biopic made about her at some point, given that her life was filled with so much talent, awe, tragedy, and chaos. It's perfect for cinema, but also easy to capitalize on.
While director Asif Kapadia did justice to the modern soul and jazz singer in his powerful documentary Amy, the trailer for Sam Taylor-Johnson's Back to Black looks like it will do the same.
Marisa Abela will take on the immeasurable task of bringing such a big, complex personality like Amy Winehouse to life, and her small filmography suggests she was cast for talent than recognition.
Jack O'Connell looks the part to play Blake Fielder-Civil, Winehouse's ex-husband who admitted to getting her hooked on heroin, which catalyzed the songwriter's downward spiral into the 27 Club.
1. Dune: Part Two
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Starring Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Rebecca Ferguson
Action, Adventure, Drama
Release date: March 1, 2024
Much like The Lord of the Rings, Dune was the kind of novel that no one thought could be made into a movie. (Especially after David Lynch's disastrous attempt in 1984... and he's a fantastic director!)
However, now that film and technology have evolved into what can only be described as magic, Denis Villeneuve was able to successfully translate Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi novel to the big screen in 2021.
But the thickness and complexity of the 1965 book meant Dune had to be split into two parts—and the time has come for the grand finale!
Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, and Stellan Skarsgård (among many others) will reprise their roles in the feudal interstellar universe, with new exciting additions like Austin Butler and Florence Pugh. I can't wait!