The last time I did a list like this was in January of 2020. Pretty sure only a couple of those movies actually released in theaters that year. Several of those movies, I still have not seen. So I didn’t think it was worth it to put together a list of movies to anticipate in 2021, figuring I could be wrong again, what with the film industry release dates being so fluid and all. Thanks a lot, COVID.
But theaters seem to be open for good again… I hope. I mean, I suppose there could always be another strain of the virus at some point that causes society to grind to a halt again. I’m gonna go ahead and call that variant Omegageddon. Pass it on… add a hashtag… let’s make it a thing. The Omegageddon variant will take no prisoners and can only be stopped in a Michael Bay movie with lots of slow motion explosions.
I digress… There are a number of films planned for 2022 that I am looking forward to seeing. These are the 22 I feel most excited about going to the theater for. I’m sure there will be others that I will make time to see. Maybe they’ll be included in some kind of honorable mention in the end. For now, these are in order of their planned release dates…
Scream – 1/14
Arguably one of the greatest franchises of the horror/slasher genre. The original film turned horror on its ear back in 1996. Sure, the sequels have varied in quality, as they do with just about any franchise. But to see this revival/reboot/resurrection… whatever… is incredibly exciting. And to bring back the three ultimate survivors in Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox is worth the price of admission alone. It might be too much to hope that all three will survive one more time…
Moonfall – 2/4
Is there anyone who loves destroying the world more than Roland Emmerich? How many of his films have decimated humanity? Sure, this latest endeavor looks absolutely ridiculous. But the special effects just keep getting better and better. I think it’ll be fun to see the world end again from the comfort of my uncomfortable theater seat.
The Batman – 3/4
I’ll be honest… I would trade a dozen new Batman movies for a sequel to Man of Steel. Warner Bros. keeps putting all their weight behind Batman time and time again because it always seems like no one knows how to write or create a decent Superman story anymore. But we can always find more ways to make Bruce Wayne darker and grittier than ever. I’m sure The Batman will be great. I just can’t keep getting excited for Batman when my favorite hero keeps getting the shaft.
Morbius – 4/1
This is another one I’m only semi-excited about. More like I’m excited adjacent… Because of its possible connections to Spider-Man in some way. Not sure if that means it’s a part of the multiverse of madness (more on that later) or if it directly connects to Sony’s Venom franchise. Either way, one feels obligated to see them all at some point.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – 4/8
I was not one who cared much to see the first Sonic the Hedgehog. I only recently decided to watch it because it as free on Hulu. And I only did that because I’d seen how many people were excited about the trailer for the sequel. And they were only excited about the trailer for the sequel because they adored the first movie. So I had to give it a chance. And it’s great… Maybe the best video game adaptation out there, aside from Free Guy (which isn’t actually adapted from a real game). And Jim Carrey looks even more over the top this time as Dr. Robotnik.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – 4/15
The little franchise that could. And why wouldn’t Warner Bros. keep dipping into the wizarding well that gave us Harry Potter? As long as these movies keep making money, they’re going to keep making them, and I’m going to keep seeing them. Did the last movie make a whole lot of sense? Not really. Does it make sense that they ejected Johnny Depp from the role of Grindelwald but let Amber Heard keep playing Mera in the Aquaman sequel (more on that later)? Nope. But it’s more backstory that no one asked for, so why not? You know what I would ask for? A movie about Harry’s father, James, and Sirius, and the other Marauders at Hogwarts or even after when they go up against Voldemort the first time.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – 4/22
Nicholas Cage as Nicholas Cage? Yeah.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – 5/6
After the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, I have so many questions. I don’t actually expect this movie to answer them all, but at least it will carry on the story in a potentially satisfying way while also serving as a commercial for Thor: Love and Thunder.
Top Gun: Maverick – 5/27
This was supposed to be released two years ago. I was looking forward to it then, I’m still looking forward to it now. At the same time, in the two years that have passed, I can’t help but ask the question… why is this movie a thing? Is it worth it to make a sequel to the original Top Gun 30ish years later? If getting nine Fast & Furious movies in the last 20 years hasn’t satisfied our need for speed, maybe this one will.
Jurassic World: Dominion – 6/10
I’m not sure what else we need to learn from this franchise that we haven’t already learned. Cloning dinosaurs is a bad idea. But it’s clearly a lesson that the powers that be in this fictional world continue to ignore. Now that dinosaurs are actually out in the real world, it should make things a little more interesting. And I’m in it simply to see Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm return in a more than cameo kind of way.
Lightyear – 6/17
Buzz Lightyear gets his own spin-off movie. How awesome is that? It’s like we’re getting a movie based on the character that the toy in Toy Story was based on. Layers upon layers upon layers. Next, we just need a Woody’s Round-Up TV show on Disney+. And let’s do it with actual marionettes instead of CGI. You can still get Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, and Kelsey Grammer to reprise their characters’ voices. Wait… this is about Lightyear. Yeah… looks awesome.
Thor: Love and Thunder – 7/8
I don’t think we know much about this one yet… If we do know something, I haven’t been paying close attention. Which is okay with me because it means I’m avoiding spoilers. I know Natalie Portman is coming back and she will be worthy to wield Thor’s hammer. I know that Taika Waititi is back in the director’s chair, which is great because he did such an awesome job with Ragnarok.
Nope – 7/22
The next movie from Jordan Peele is shrouded in mystery. All I’ve seen in relation to Nope is a movie poster. And that poster is pretty dang ambiguous. No clue what this thing is going to be about. But if it’s anywhere near the level of quality we got from Get Out and Us, count me in.
Black Adam – 7/29
Feels like this movie has been in the making for the better part of a decade. Oh… it has been? Even longer than that? Okay… Dwayne Johnson made it clear that he wanted the role of Black Adam as early as 2007. Initially, the character was going to be introduced in a potential Shazam film, but that kept getting put on hold. So it was decided to give the anti-hero his own movie, which will obviously be connected to but also separate from Shazam! and its upcoming sequel. We’ve only seen a tease of a teaser for this thing, but it kind of looks awesome.
Salem’s Lot – 9/9
Movies based on Stephen King novels seem to have seen a resurgence in recent years, for better or worse. This movie could be interesting, as it’s been adapted twice before, but both were made for television movies. What will a bigger budget and a bigger screen do for this story that two attempts on television couldn’t?
Mission: Impossible 7 – 9/30
I would be surprised if this is the final title for this movie. I would also be surprised if this movie is actually released in 2022. Whatever the title, whenever it comes out, it’s another Mission: Impossible movie. Why wouldn’t I see it?
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One – 10/7
Up until I saw Spider-Man: No Way Home, I called Into the Spider-Verse the best Spider-Man movie ever made. To say I’m anticipating this sequel is an understatement. And knowing that the title indicates that another is for sure on the way? Bring it.
Halloween Ends – 10/14
I called Halloween Kills one of my biggest disappointments of 2021. I stand by that. Doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to how they plan to wrap this franchise up once and for all (?).
The Flash – 11/4
There have been a lot of missed opportunities where the DC Extended Universe has been concerned. I really hope that this is not going to be another one. This movie has the potential to be the best one to come out of this shared universe/multiverse. And how can I not get excited to see Michael freakin’ Keaton returning as Batman? Yeah, that’s happening!
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 11/11
This is one that I would actually be surprised if it is released on time. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that there have been issues with filming for one reason or another. That’s not a good sign. I trust that Ryan Coogler and the powers that be can find a way to continue the Black Panther story without Chadwick Boseman while also honoring his legacy. I just don’t necessarily think they can deliver with the timetable that’s in place.
Creed III – 11/23
The Rocky franchise found new blood with the Creed franchise. For the first time, Adonis Creed will not have Rocky Balboa to lean on. Do I think Michael B. Jordan can carry on this franchise without Sylvester Stallone? Absolutely. Dude has the acting chops and then some. But will audiences turn out knowing that Rocky isn’t around? I hope so.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – 12/16
The final movie of 2022 that I’m looking forward to is the Aquaman sequel. The first movie was just a fun and entertaining ride. I can’t say I know much about this one, except that there are a lot of returning characters. Should be good enough.
Those are the movies I’m looking forward to. Yes, I’m aware that the first of four planned Avatar sequels will be released later this year. I left it off this list for a reason. I could not care less about another Avatar movie. I’ve never understood why the first one was such a big deal when it came out 13 years ago. I don’t understand why anyone cares that a sequel is coming out 13 years later. I don’t understand why there’s a need for four more of those movies. Pretty sure you could not pay me to go see it.
What movies are you looking forward to this year? Let me know down in the comments!