Firstly, happy new year! We’ve made it to 2019, and for me that means one thing: A whole bunch of new movies to look forward to! Here’s the big ones marked on my calendar!
Blindspotting [4 January]
A comedy-drama in the crime film arena, which seems to investigate modern American crime and race issues. This film made plenty of Best Films-lists in America where it came out last year.
Glass [18 January]
It took 18 years, but M Night Shyamalan’s finally delivered a sequel to Unbreakable – in my opinion one of the best superhero films ever. Bring on Glass, which reunites Bruce Willis’ David Dunn, James McAvoy’s Kevin Crumb, and Samuel L Jackson’s Mr Glass.
Dominee Tienie [25 Januarie]
Frank Opperman stars as the titular dominee in this film adaptation of the one-man play written by Dana Snyman.
The Favourite [1 February]
From the director of The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer [Yorgos Lanthimos], this period comedy-drama looks like just the right mix of over-the=top socio-politics of the 18th century British royalty.
What Men Want [8 February]
Is a gender-switched remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson-starring comedy necessary? Probably not. But it probably won’t hurt either.
Liewe Lisa [14 February]
An Afrikaans romance film just in time for Valentine’s Day? Yes please!
Green Book [15 February]
A “buddy” comedy-drama about an African-American Jazz pianist and his Italian-American bodyguard and driver – a charming movie about friendship between people from opposite worlds.
Alita: Battle Angel [15 February]
This Manga adaptation from writer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez has a lot of potential. We haven’t seen anything groundbreaking from the trailers yet, but we’re holding out hope.
Die Stropers [22 February]
An Afrikaans drama born from a South Africa/Greece/Poland co-production won several Silwerskerm awards last year after debuting at the Cannes film festival.
Mary Queen of Scots [1 March]
A historical drama starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie looks big, dramatic, and probably an acting awards contender.
The Lego movie 2: The Second Part [1 March]
Could this Lego Movie sequel come anywhere near the 2014 Chris Miller/Phil Lord hit? Probably not, but I’ll bet it’s be a similarly good time to The Lego Batman and Ninjago movies.
Captain Marvel [8 March]
Who cares about the details when there’s a new Marvel movie? Okay what about when it stars Brie Larson? And takes place in the 1990s? With Samuel L Jackson as a younger Nick Fury? Okay, it’ll at least keep you busy until Avengers Engame in April.
Die Seemeeu [15 March]
Another Christiaan Olwagen movie – already! A South African adaptation of a classic Anton Chekov play, with Cintaine Schutte, Albert Pretorius, Sandra Prinsloo, Marius Weyers, Deon Lotz, Rolanda Marais, Martelize Kolver, Gerben Kamper, Geon Nel, en Alyzzander Fourie.
Destroyer [15 March]
A crime drama starring Nicole Kidman in a Golden Globe-nominated performance, from director Karyn Kusama after 2015’s The Invitation.
Dumbo [29 March]
Tim Burton’s recent movies have been hit-or-miss, but this remake of Dumbo could be a magical kind of Edward Scissorhands-with-animals.
Welcome to Marwen [29 March]
Robert Zemeckis is always pushing filmmaking technology, and although Welcome to Marwen hasn’t had the best reception after its American release, but it’ll most probably be an innovative and visually spectacular movie.
Eighth Grade [5 April]
Bo Burnham’s debut feature is a coming-of-age film that deals with mental health and social media. It got great American reviews upon it’s release there last year.
Ander Mens [5 April]
Starring Bennie Fourie and directed by Quentin Krog, Ander Mens is a dark comedy-drama unlike anything you’ve seen in Afrikaans. With touches of Hitchcock and Weekend at Bernie’s, with great performances by Fourie and Frank Opperman.
Shazam! [5 April]
The superhero genre is either going full circle or reaching saturation. Shazam is a little weird, conceptually, but looks like a fun movie nonetheless.
Pet Sematary [19 April]
Not that the original needed to be remade, but I’m sure a modern version of this classic Stephen King story won’t hurt anyone – and might actually be pretty good. I’m especially excited for John Lithgow as neighbour Jud.
Hellboy [19 April]
Instead of a highly-anticipated third movie in Guillermo del Toro’s series, we’re getting a reboot with David Harbour in the lead role. The trailer makes it seem different and lighter in tone, so we’ll have to see if it still resonates with audiences.
Avengers: Endgame [26 April]
After that cliff-hanging ending, nobody can wait to see what happens next with Marvel’s Avengers!
Detective Pikachu [17 May]
YES PLEASE. This movie has some really weird ideas, but it’s a cool-looking, self-aware, live-action Pokemon movie. Like you’ve been asking for forever.
Aladdin [24 May]
Another one of Disney’s live-action adaptations of their 1990s animated classics – but this one, directed by Guy Ritchie and trying to be more culturally ‘diverse’, looks visually spectacular so far, judging from the teaser.
Brightburn [31 May]
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that this James Gunn-produced science fiction horror film is a spin on the classic Superman origin story. A couple’s prayers are answered when a child arrives from outer space – but this one might be evil instead of good…
Rocketman [31 May]
This Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton is “based on a true fantasy”, according to the trailer – and that is enough to convince me. Here’s hoping for a Finding Neverland-like fantasy/drama with real heart, plus good music!
Godzilla 2: King of Monsters [31 May]
The first film in the American revival of the classic kaiju monster movies was surprisingly good, but can they keep it up? This sequel features mostly new characters and seems to attempt to expand the shared universe – in preparation for 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong.
Dark Phoenix [7 June]
The latest in the X-men series, Dark Phoenix sort-of retells part of the story of 2003’s X-men: The Last Stand, but with younger characters in a different timeline (after X-men: Days of Future Past reset things). This might be the last in the current X-men series (depending on the potential Disney/Fox merger), so this movie might be conclusive in all the right ways, and redemptive of X-men: Apocalypse‘s critical disappointment).
Men In Black International [15 June]
Moving on from Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith’s characters, this Men in Black spinoff crosses the pond, and possibly sets up future movies. There’s no reason to doubt this will be a good and fun movie, with Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, and Liam Neeson. [I’m secretly still hoping for the rumoured MIB/Jump Street crossover film, MIB 23]
Toy Story 4 [15 June]
You might argue that they should’ve ended the Toy Story series on a high note with #3, but this one might still be surprising and good. It’s too early to tell, although the teaser trailer doesn’t seem especially inventive or groundbreaking.
Spider-man: Far from home [5 July]
Spider-man: Homecoming showed that Tom Holland is great in the lead role, and integrates nicely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We still don’t know how this fits in with the Avengers films (maybe Endgame will reveal that?), but regardless of continuity, there’s no reason to expect disappointment from this sequel.
Untitled Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis [5 July]
Not much is known about this film – directed by Danny Boyle from a screnplay by Richard Curtis – but that should be enough. Add a cast including Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran, Ana de Armas and Lamorne Morris, and what could possibly go wrong?
The Lion King [19 July]
The spectacular teaser trailer of this CGI remake of the 1990s Disney classic proves that it’ll look amazing, and respect the original film (maybe slightly improving on certain details). Another one in the what’s-the-point-of-a-remake pile, but I think a modern take on this story might prove fruitful.
New Mutants [2 August ]
Another X-men spinoff – but different to Deadpool or the Wolverine movies in that it crosses over to another genre. Mutant horror? Yes please!
Hobbs And Shaw [2 August]
A spinoff of the suprisingly successful Fast & Furious franchise. The producers seem to know what they’re doing, and Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham can definitely carry (and sell) a movie on their own.
Once upon a time in Hollywood [9 August]
A new movie from Quentin Tarantino is always good news – unless that movie is The Hateful Eight. Let’s hope this one is back on par?
IT: Chapter two [6 September]
IT was a surprisingly effective pop-horror movie helped reinvigorate the genre, and this sequel/continuation will hopefully only bring more of the same.
Fiela se kind [13 September]
A new version of this Afrikaans classic can either be a welcome fresh take, or sacrilege. We’ll find out in September!
Joker [4 October]
Todd Philips (of the Hangover movies) directs this different take on Batman villain the Jokes, ignoring the current trend for shared universes – rather embracing the comic book way of doing things where there’s no single definite version of any character.
Racheltjie de Beer [18 October]
A feature film version of an Afrikaans folk tale. But is there enough story to fill a whole movie?
Zombieland 2 [25 October ]
It took way longer than it should’ve, but we’re finally getting a sequel to the 2009 surprise zombie-comedy hit. With Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin returning to star, and Ruben Fleischer back directing.
Untitled Terminator sequel [1 November]
While the Terminator films (after Terminator 2: Judgement Day) have often disappointed, they’re usually pretty fun and action-packed. This one, however, is said to disregard all previous films after Terminator 2, and reunites original franchise creator and stars James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.
Untitlted Jumanji Sequel [1 November]
The Dwayne Johnson-starring sequel to the 90s classic Jumanji succeeded in turning the franchise into something new and exciting, but barely referenced the orginal film. Whether the next film will be equally inventive, and use the opportunity to tie the franchise together, remains to be seen.
Untitled Kingsman movie [22 November]
Not much is known about the third Kingsman movie, except that writer-director Matthew Vaughn is returning, but lead actor Taron Egerton might not.
Frozen 2 [29 November]
The sequel to one of the most ear-wormy and convention-breaking Disney films means we can’t really predict where Elsa and Anna will end up – except that there will very likely be singing involved.
Star Wars: Episode IX [20 December]
Almost nothing yet is known about this movie, except that Rey, Finn, Poe, Rose and Kylo Ren is back – with the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and a posthumous appearance by Carrie Fisher as General Leia (achieved by utilising previously deleted material). This will be the final instalment in the main Star Wars episodic “Skywalker” saga – until they change their mind again in a decade or two.