Out of the top ten highest grossing films ever, exactly three of them were released in the year of 2019, making it the most financially successful year in cinematic history. Then 2020 happened (we don’t need to go there) and long story short, everything in sight got delayed. What we were left with was effectively 2 years worth of blockbusters, indies, and large scale projects pushed and compacted into a single year; the year of 2022. So here is a list of every notable film releasing in 2022.
Quantity, quality, and scale – 2022 has it all. In this list you’ll see a little bit of everything, from intriguing small-scale works, large-scale releases from the best living film-makers, and mega-scale blockbusters that have been a decade in the making. This is NOT a top-blockbusters list, but rather, a collated list of the films that are likely to make a meaningful impact critically, financially, or culturally in the world of film. There are films here that may end up as duds or box office bombs and there are films here that could win Best Picture at the 2023 Academy Awards – movies of all shapes and sizes are included in this list; if I have a passing interest in it, it’s on this list.
DISCLAIMER: The following list is in no specific order. Release dates are subject to change.
2022 in Film
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.
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.
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.
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; what it also shows is that said interest hasn’t slowed either. Director Jaume Collet-Serra recently collaborated with Dwayne Johnson in the Disney adventure film Jungle Cruise so it is no surprise to see them matched up again. It is also no surprise to see a horror director, yet again, helming a superhero flick.
A followup to Captain Marvel, this MCU flick aims to up its ante, hopefully improving upon the critically lukewarm first film. Promising to include characters built entirely from the Disney+ series WandaVision (Monica Rambeu) and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) there’s hope that this trio of heroes can provide something a little more marvellous, especially with acclaimed horror director Nia DaCosta (Candyman, Little Woods) helming this vision.
Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land, First Man) returns with a Hollywood golden age era flick starring Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Samara Weaving. Details are scarce, but we may be getting a period film not unlike Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the critically acclaimed homage to Hollywood by Tarintino; a total guess on my part.
Tomb Raider 2
This follow-up to the Alicia Vikander led adventure flick truly adds the stack of adventure films releasing in 2022, alongside the likes of Uncharted and Indiana Jones. With newcomer Misha Green set to direct, hopefully this time they figure out the formula, as the first film had its share of problems.
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 follow-up 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.
The third and final instalment in the Jurassic World sub-franchise has finally hatched, as filming was concluded even through strict COVID-19 protocols – this instalment 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. Colin Trevorrow returns as director and actors Sam Neil, Jeff Goldbloom and Laura Dern are set to reprise their iconic roles.
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 horror genre, as his influence can be seen stamped across countless flicks of late. With nothing more than a cloud-balloon and presumably carnival setting as indication of its story, threads across the internet are shaking with speculation.
After endless delays we may finally be greeted with The Flash, yep, that very same one in the DCEU that we all know. Ezra Miller returns alongside Ben Affleck in yet another multiverse type film presumably based on the Flashpoint comics. Rumours of cameos are abundant, but none better than Michael Keaton being cast to return as Batman. Director of the IT horror films Andy Muschietti has been pegged as the director, unsurprising given his long-standing relationship with Warner Bros and the film industries propensity as a whole to select horror directors for their superhero flicks.
An animated adaptation of Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear as he ascends into space on a galactic journey. Both Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios join forces to helm this feature, hopefully leading audiences to some impactful 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. Details are scarce, however we do know that it continues to follow the character of Private Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig).