Throughout the decades of cinema there’s always been those years that really stand apart from the rest. The most notably grand year was 1982, bringing with it E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Thing, Blade Runner, and much more. Quite simply, audiences were spoiled with an array of fantastical original worlds they had never seen before on-screen. Sure, other years had larger films, but few ever had so many significant ones in such proximity. Well, exactly 40 years later and 2022 is looking to be a year of unspeakable grandeur too.
Out of the top ten highest grossing films of all time, exactly three of them were released in 2019, making it the most successful year in cinematic history, at least, in terms of box office results. Well, then 2020 happened (we don’t need to go there) and, long story short, everything in sight got delayed and what are we left with? Well, effectively, 2 years worth of blockbusters compacted into a single year.
The following list is in no specific order.
2022 in Film
Thor: Love and Thunder
Taika Waititi returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – bringing love, thunder, and comedy as this cosmic adventure takes even quirkier heights. With the addition of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the return of Natalie Portman – things will undoubtedly be full on. Early images depict… exactly what you’d expect. Wild, wild stuff.
Death on the Nile
While its first film, Murder on the Orient Express most certainly had a modest box office reception and critical response, it’s impossible not to include this followup on the list, as its star-studded cast is quite frankly, something to behold.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
James Wan returns to Aquaman, continuing his style of campy adventure into greater depths. While controversy still looms over the casting, the scale of this flick is undeniable, as the first film provides a veritable visual feast.
John Wick: Chapter 4
The John Wick franchise is perhaps one of the most successful original franchises in recent memory, spitting out a film every 2 years, quite consistently. Chapter 4 will be shot back-to-back with Chapter 5, bringing Wick’s killing spree to eventual end.
Fantastic Beasts III
After a solid entry and a deeply unsatisfying followup, it will be intriguing to see how Warner Bro’s tackles the challenges this thinly spread series already has – with major cast members leaving and the realization that there’s another two films after this one. The future for this series is uncertain, but undoubtedly fun to follow.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2
After audiences were treated to the wildly vibrant and narratively inventive first film, it’s difficult to imagine going further with this concept while upping the ante. Alas, I have faith, sometimes, you’ve just gotta take a leap.
Robert Eggers (Dir. The Witch, The Lighthouse) returns to mythology, promising a brutal dive about a Norse prince hellbent on vengeance. Cast members mention a sequence where actor Alexander Skarsgård kneels down in monstrous physical shape, covered in blood, and screaming to the Norse gods. What’s not to like?
Like the lovechild of Tim Burton’s classic Batman films and Nolan’s gritty realism, The Batman will undoubtedly take an alternative spin on this legendary superhero, bringing audiences into the shadows of a more noir detective style, more than ever before.
Boo! Scream returns, the fifth and final installment with hopefully an entirely new spin to align with modern times. After all, Scream has and always will be a meta franchise. Let’s just hope it doesn’t disappoint.
This strange comic-book film is made even stranger by the casting of Jared Leto, an actor of bizarre flip flopping talents that range from Oscar winning to downright bizarre. Like Sony’s Venom, there’s a good chance Morbius will share some DNA.
Yep, another video game adaptation – and furthermore, one with Tom Holland, an actor whose had little luck in reaching into critically acclaimed films beyond his Spider-Man role. Uncharted will likely contend as the years adventure flick, but has stiff competition.
Mission Impossible 7
Cruise returns, with likely everything you’d expect, bigger, crazier stunts that will push the concept of action star to its limits. COVID delayed filming but everything is on track for a 2022 release. What more is there to say besides, bring it on!
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
The moment this franchise moved away from bombastic and made something a little more reserved (Bumblebee) and much more narratively satisfying, it’s box office performance paid the price – this franchise won’t make that mistake again, don’t believe me? Just read this films name.
Nobody can quite understate the importance of this film in Marvel Studios repertoire – as it holds significant emotional and cultural impact in how the character of Black Panther will be passed on. Wakanda Forever is likely to be Marvel’s most delicate film yet.
Indiana Jones 5
Harrison Fords picks up the whip once again, aiming to push himself beyond his years and return as the classic action adventure hero we all know – with acclaimed director James Mangold helming this followup, it’s hard not to be intrigued by how this film will unfold.
The Rock as an anti-hero? Sure, why not? There’s little that will surprise audiences nowadays with the amount of comic-book content releasing, but what it also shows is that said interest hasn’t stopped, just yet.
A followup to Captain Marvel, this MCU flick aims to up its ante, hopefully improving upon the critically lukewarm first film. Promising to include a character built up entirely from the Disney+ series WandaVision – Monica Rambeu.
Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land, First Man) returns with a hollywood period flick starring Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Samara Weaving – whatever this film may be, it’s likely to be a narrative indulgence.
Tomb Raider 2
This follow-up to the Alicia Vikander led adventure flick truly adds the stack of adventure films, alongside the likes of Uncharted and Indiana Jones. Hopefully this time they figure out their formula.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
Director Sam Raimi returns to Marvel in a dive into madness, featuring both Doctor Strange himself as well as the Scarlet Witch. Sure to be a mind-bending visual feast that lives up to its title. Multiverse films are reaching critical mass, and 2022 will undoubtedly be the year to rule them all.
The third film in the Creed franchise, this film will hopefully take audiences down a similar path as the first two, diving into character and keeping its gloves tight and ready for action. The only difference is that this time around, actor Michael B. Jordan will be in the directors chair as well as on-screen too.
James Cameron returns after a decade of absence to finally bring audiences a followup to the worlds most financially successful film. Avatar 2 is looking to leverage cutting edge technology to push the boundaries of visual effects. If you aren’t betting on Cameron delivering some grand storytelling, you can bet on him bringing something revolutionary – he almost always does.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
After the success of the first film, Sonic zips by to release its second installment, hopefully bringing with it the same manic energy that made the first flick such an unexpected success.
Jurassic World Dominion
The third and final installment in the Jurassic World sub-franchise has finally hatched, as filming was concluded even through strict COVID-19 protocols – this installment seemingly takes audiences away from the park for good, and into a world that is shared between man and dinosaur – an interesting concept to say the least.
Jordan Peele Horror Film
Jordan Peele returns again, with yet another horror that is likely to be revolutionary in some way or another. Peele’s rise to prominence as a film-maker has benefited the entire genre, as copycats are abundant, attempting to refine the horror formula into anything meaningful they can find.
After endless delays we may finally be greeted with The Flash, yep, that same one in the DCEU that we all know. Ezra Miller returns alongside Ben Affleck in yet another multiverse type film. Rumors of cameos are abundant, but none better than Michael Keaton being confirmed.
An animated adaptation of Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear as he ascends into space on galactic journey. Both Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios helm this feature, hopefully leading audiences to some intriguing storytelling.
Knives Out 2
Rian Johnson returns, with a lot of money from Netflix and a ludicrous cast that puts most blockbusters to shame. The who-dun-it genre has had its own little rebirth as of late and by god I’m not complaining.