As we journey further into 2023, the cinematic landscape has already dazzled us with a multitude of exhilarating releases. This year has been a veritable treasure trove of silver screen spectacles, with the return of familiar faces and the introduction of fresh narratives that have ignited our imaginations.
Audiences worldwide have been captivated by the adrenaline-fueled action of John Wick 4 and the poignant storytelling of Whale, proving that the magic of cinema is alive and well. However, as the year progresses, there is still much more to come. The remainder of 2023 is brimming with potential cinematic masterpieces that promise to leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of moviegoers.
The upcoming slate of films in 2023 is a testament to the power of storytelling, showcasing an array of genres that cater to the diverse tastes of audiences. From gripping action-packed thrillers to enchanting fairy tales, heartwarming dramas, and thought-provoking sci-fi epics, this year’s lineup is bound to satisfy even the most discerning cinephile.
Our list of highly anticipated films reflects the ever-evolving landscape of cinema, highlighting the importance of diversity, representation, and innovation in the industry. As we eagerly await these upcoming releases, we can’t help but marvel at the talent and passion that drives these creative endeavors. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of cinema, grab a bucket of popcorn, and join us on a thrilling journey as we uncover the spellbinding cinematic experiences that lie ahead in the remaining months of this extraordinary year.
40- Extraction 2
Set to premiere on Netflix in 2023, Extraction 2 reunites the power trio of Chris Hemsworth, director Sam Hargrave, and screenwriter Joe Russo. Although the plot remains shrouded in mystery, it’s important to remember that this project is the brainchild of Joe and Anthony Russo, the creators of Avengers: Endgame. The original story is inspired by the graphic novel Ciudad, co-written by the Russo brothers alongside Ande Parks, and illustrated by Fernando León González.
39- The Little Mermaid
In 1989, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, captivated a generation of children who were enchanted by Ariel, the sea princess longing to become human. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1836 tale of the same name, this classic Disney film won the Oscar for Best Original Song (Under the Sea by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman) and the 1990 Academy Award for Best Film Score (Alan Menken).
Now, three decades later, Rob Marshall breathes new life into The Little Mermaid with a live-action adaptation. Halle Bailey, an African-American singer who comprises one-half of the duo Chloe x Halle, stars as Princess Ariel. This groundbreaking casting choice signifies a significant step forward for diversity in cinema, and millions of young girls can now identify with a black Disney heroine.
38- Killers of the Flower Moon
Based on David Grann’s best-selling book The American Note, Killers of the Flower Moon delves into the captivating history of the Native American Osage tribe. In 1921, while the majority of the native population had been decimated and the remaining survivors lived on reserves, the Osage people had successfully carved out a niche for themselves. Relocated to the fringes of Oklahoma, they discovered one of the largest deposits of American oil and prospered immensely as a result.
With white servants at home, their children attending top-tier universities, and living the life of billionaires, they seemingly had it all. However, sinister events soon disturbed their idyllic existence, with poisonings, hidden explosives, and firearm assassinations wreaking havoc. The Bureau of Investigation (the precursor to the FBI) took it upon themselves to intervene. Martin Scorsese, the mastermind behind this Apple TV adaptation, has brought together his trusted collaborators Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio to bring this gripping story to life.
37- The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
Acclaimed director Wes Anderson takes on another Roald Dahl adaptation with ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,’ a collection of short stories centered around the enigmatic character, Henry Sugar. The film’s format is reminiscent of Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch,’ and as always, it features a remarkable ensemble cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, and Richard Ayoade.
36- Evil Dead Rise
The highly-regarded ‘Infernal Possession’ franchise has made its mark in the realm of horror movies, making its return to the big screen almost a certainty. Initially slated for a release on HBO Max, fans of the series will be thrilled to know that the latest installment will grace movie theaters instead. This change of plans speaks volumes about the confidence the creators have in the film.
With Sam Raimi taking charge of the script and Lee Cronin helming the director’s chair, Evil Dead Rise is set to give audiences another bone-chilling experience in theaters. This time around, the story revolves around two estranged sisters who reunite under the most horrifying of circumstances – demonic possessions. They must band together to survive the terrifying ordeal.
When it comes to Christopher Nolan’s films, the anticipation is akin to awaiting Christmas. His latest offering, “Oppenheimer,” is no exception. The biographical film tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist responsible for leading the Manhattan Project during World War II, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the atomic bomb.
Cillian Murphy portrays the titular character, with an ensemble cast featuring the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, and Rami Malek. There are rumors that Nolan, known for his aversion to computer-generated effects, used real explosives to recreate the Trinity nuclear test. Audiences are eager to see if the on-screen explosion matches the creative talent of the filmmakers.
34- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
The world’s most famous archaeologist is not quite ready to retire. In the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones saga, our hero faces his most formidable foes yet: the Nazis. Set in 1969 during the space race, this adventure aligns with the spirit of the earlier films in the series. Despite the constraints of age, 80-year-old Harrison Ford eagerly donned the iconic fedora once more, stating, “I thought it would be nice to see a film in which Indiana Jones would reach the end of his journey. This scenario gave me the impression of being able to prolong the character’s legacy.”
33- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
James Gunn is set to make his final foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the third installment of the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in 2023. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper will reprise their roles, while Chukwudi Iwuji, star of “Peacemaker,” takes on the role of an “extremely powerful” and “complex” villain.
Given the massive success of the previous two films, it’s no surprise that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is among the most anticipated movies of the year. Fans are eager to flock to theaters, hoping for another exceptional soundtrack packed with pop hits and a fitting conclusion to this acclaimed franchise.
32- Blue Beetle
In the forthcoming DC Comics movie, ‘Cobra Kai’ sensation Xolo Maridueña steps into the role of the Blue Beetle, a lesser-known superhero with the potential to reinvigorate the franchise. Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto, the film delves into the origin story of the Blue Beetle, following a Mexican teenager who stumbles upon an enigmatic alien beetle that bestows upon him an armored suit with extraordinary powers to combat malevolent forces.
Jaime Reyes, a high school student, assumes the mantle of the superhero, with the narrative unfolding in the present day. Although based on the comic book series, the movie is anticipated to be packed with more action and emotion than its source material.
Ridley Scott makes a triumphant return to historical drama with ‘Napoleon,’ starring Joaquin Phoenix as the legendary Napoleon Bonaparte, one of France’s most iconic figures. Vanessa Kirby portrays his true love, Josephine, in this biopic that unravels the story of the man behind the myth, tracing his journey from a French military leader to emperor.
Following his directorial debut in ‘A Star Is Born,’ Bradley Cooper is back with ‘Maestro,’ a biopic centered on the renowned conductor Leonard Bernstein. Cooper takes on the role of the ‘West Side Story’ composer (though hardly recognizable in early images), while Carey Mulligan plays his wife.
The film offers a glimpse into the life and work of this musical theater luminary, showcasing the intricate love story between Leonard and Felicia, which spans over three decades—from their first meeting in 1946 at a party, through two engagements, a 25-year marriage, and the upbringing of their three children.
Nicolas Cage in the role of Count Dracula? Absolutely! However, this film shines the spotlight on Bram Stoker’s classic character, Renfield—a mental hospital patient plagued by delusions and hallucinations who ultimately becomes Dracula’s most devoted servant. Alongside Cage, the movie features Nicholas Hoult as Renfield, with Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz in supporting roles. This fresh take on the Dracula legend, focusing on one of his loyal servants and marking Nicolas Cage’s return to a major Hollywood production after many years, promises to be a thrilling cinematic experience.
28- Rebel Moon
Zack Snyder’s ambitious sci-fi war movie, “Rebel Moon,” marks the latest collaboration between the director and Netflix. This partnership has allowed Snyder to bring to life one of his dream projects. Originally conceived as a Seven Samurai-style Star Wars film, which was rejected by Lucasfilm, Snyder reimagined the concept and created an entirely new universe. Sofia Boutella takes on the lead role as a young woman who spearheads a rebellion against a tyrannical intergalactic force.
Francis Ford Coppola, the acclaimed director of cinematic masterpieces like ‘The Godfather,’ makes a triumphant return to the big screen with ‘Megalopolis.’ The film, starring Adam Driver and Aubrey Plaza, tells the story of an architect who aspires to rebuild New York City following a catastrophic event. His dream is to create a utopian haven called “Megalopolis,” showcasing his visionary genius.
26- Fast X
The unstoppable ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise races ahead with its tenth installment in 2023, reuniting the familiar faces of Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Charlize Theron. Directed by Louis Leterrier, ‘Fast and Furious 10’ also boasts an impressive roster of newcomers, including Brie Larson, Jason Momoa, Daniela Melchor, and Rita Moreno, among others. Hold on tight—this high-octane adventure is set to leave you breathless!
25- Asteroid City
When you hear the name Wes Anderson, do you need any more reason to eagerly anticipate “Asteroid City”? The acclaimed filmmaker behind “Isle of Dogs,” “Lovers from the Moon,” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is renowned for his captivating stories and eccentric, colorful characters. As per his signature style, Anderson has assembled a star-studded cast for this latest endeavor.
Among the featured actors are Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, Sophia Lillis, and Jeff Goldblum. Joining the ranks of Anderson’s ensemble for the first time are Tom Hanks and Margot Robbie. We can hardly contain our excitement for this film’s premiere!
24- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Prepare for a new chapter in the robotic saga with “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” the sixth entry in Hasbro’s toy-inspired franchise. But don’t expect a rehash of Michael Bay’s previous work; the director has distanced himself from the series, and this film is rumored to be a prequel. Paramount has also confirmed that “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” will kick off a brand new trilogy, so fans can look forward to more adventures with Optimus Prime and company.
Despite the iconic doll’s less-than-stellar public image as a symbol of consumerism and accusations of promoting unrealistic beauty standards among young girls, the upcoming “Barbie” film promises a fresh and intriguing take on the character. Directed by Greta Gerwig, known for her work on “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” and starring Margot Robbie, one of the most talented actresses of her generation, we’re confident that this film will rise above mere plastic fantasies. Behind-the-scenes photos featuring Robbie and co-star Ryan Gosling in vibrant, kitschy costumes have only served to heighten our anticipation for this unique movie.
22- Kraven the Hunter
Continuing to expand the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel characters with non-MCU releases, “Kraven the Hunter” follows in the footsteps of “Venom” and “Morbius” by centering on a notable Spider-Man antagonist. While it has not been officially confirmed, Kraven’s involvement in Sony’s long-awaited Sinister Six film appears likely given his status as a key member of the villainous group. The concept of a standalone Kraven film first emerged in 2018, with a script penned by Richard Wenk and later revised by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.
JC Chandor entered talks to direct the project, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson eventually landed the titular role in May 2021. Since then, numerous trailers and promotional images have been released. With the film slated for a 2023 debut, questions swirl around its connections to Sony’s Spider-Man universes and the MCU multiverse, particularly considering Taylor-Johnson’s previous role as Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff in the MCU.
21- Meg 2: The Trench
The resurgence of creature films, ignited by classics like King Kong and Jaws, continues with the Megalodon saga. Following the success of “The Meg” in 2018, a sequel titled “Meg 2: The Trench” is set for release on August 4, 2023. This thrilling installment stars Jason Statham, Sienna Guillory, Cliff Curtis, Skyler Samuels, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Page Kennedy, and Wu Jing, promising another heart-pounding adventure filled with monstrous underwater terrors.
20- The Nun 2
The Conjuring saga has consistently delighted Warner Bros., and its continued success is evident in its multiple installments and spin-offs, such as Annabelle and The Nun. Starting September 8, audiences will have the opportunity to experience the chilling and unsettling presence of a nun in movie theaters worldwide.
19- Poor Things
With Yórgos Lánthimos seated in the director’s chair, audiences can be assured that the film will be both peculiar and captivating. His most recent endeavor, Poor Things, is a Victorian-era story of romance and groundbreaking scientific discoveries. The movie’s protagonist, Belle Baxter, is a young woman who is resurrected by an unconventional scientist.
The cast features an impressive lineup, including Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, and Margaret Qualley. Will this film manage to surpass the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Favourite? Given that it has the same writer, director, and star, the expectations are high. Fans of Lánthimos are eager to see if he can continue to deliver his unique brand of cinema magic.
18- No Hard Feelings
Following her applauded performance in Causeway on Apple TV+, Jennifer Lawrence is making a comeback to the silver screen with Gene Stupnitsky’s comedy film, No Hard Feelings. She is joined by an all-star cast, including Matthew Broderick, Kyle Mooney, Hasan Minhaj, Andrew Barth Feldman, Alysia Joy Powell, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and more. The plot centers on an unemployed woman who is hired by a wealthy couple to befriend their introverted son, offering plenty of opportunities for hilarity and heartwarming moments.
17- Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
After numerous delays, the next two years will finally see the release of the seventh and eighth installments in the Mission: Impossible franchise, with the seventh film slated for July 2023 and the eighth for June 2024. Christopher McQuarrie is back to direct both films, having helmed the previous two entries in the series, including the instant classic, Fallout.
The most recent M:I films have been lauded for Tom Cruise’s jaw-dropping stunts, as he consistently pushes the limits of what’s possible on-screen. With each new film, audiences can’t help but wonder what daring feat Cruise will attempt next, and that anticipation alone makes the seventh movie one of the most eagerly awaited of the year.
16- The Exorcist
David Gordon Green, known for his work on the rebooted Halloween series, unfortunately, delivered a mixed bag, with one outstanding film, one mediocre, and one disappointing. However, fans are hopeful that he has learned from his artistic journey, as The Exorcist will not tolerate such inconsistencies. The upcoming film is set to be a “requel,” and the casting of Ellen Burstyn indicates that it will follow a similar trajectory to the 2018 Halloween film, which disregarded the sequels to Carpenter’s original.
While this approach may not be inherently negative, it is crucial that the atmosphere, direction, and overall genre identity are executed flawlessly. Although it is easier said than done, viewers’ faith in the director has not yet been exhausted.
15- Heart of Stone
Netflix seems to be on a mission to feature Gal Gadot in every major action blockbuster it produces, and Heart of Stone is set to be her next big hit on the streaming platform. This film is described as an intense spy thriller that Netflix aspires to make its own version of the Mission Impossible or James Bond franchises. Initially planned as a Skydance Entertainment release, Netflix eventually acquired the rights to the film. Alongside Gadot, the talented Jing Lusi from “Crazy Rich Asians” and Jamie Dornan of “50 Shades of Grey” will co-star, with experienced director Tom Harper taking the helm.
14- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Spider-Man franchise has seen numerous iterations, but none have introduced Miles Morales in such a unique and diverse animated style as that employed by Sony Animation Studios. The highly anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is set to be a visual feast that outshines its competitors. The film’s art direction introduces an array of innovative animation techniques, eliciting nothing but applause. Moreover, the emotionally mature and psychologically complex script is expected to complement the film’s unique visual presentation, solidifying 2023 as the year of Spider-Man.
13- How Do You Live?
In truth, if we were forced to choose between preserving this film or all the others on our list, we wouldn’t hesitate to save only this one. How Do You Live? will be the final film by one of the most brilliant minds of the past half-century. We’re not just talking about the realms of animation or cinema – without Miyazaki, the world would be a different, less vibrant place. So, let us celebrate his extraordinary career and bid him farewell with a reverential, 90-degree Japanese bow.
The role of the iconic chocolatier had a long list of potential candidates, including renowned actors Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling. In the end, it was the charming Timothee Chalamet who secured the part. However, the most exciting aspect of this upcoming prequel to Roald Dahl’s classic novel is the film’s director, Paul King.
Having directed the universally adored adaptations of Paddington and Paddington 2, King’s imaginative and colorful energy is the perfect fit for a Willy Wonka movie. It’s difficult to imagine a better choice to create a Wonka prequel, and anticipation for the film continues to build as more information is revealed.
11- Gran Turismo
PlayStation’s most iconic and profitable franchise is speeding onto the big screen with the adaptation of Gran Turismo. This fast-paced film will tell the gripping tale of a protagonist’s ascent through the ranks of professional racing.
Blessed with a natural talent for driving, the main character will do whatever it takes to fulfill his dream of reaching the top, even if it means pushing himself and his vehicle to the edge. As he achieves new milestones and faces fierce competition from his rivals, he must overcome all obstacles to honor the hard work and sacrifices that have led him to this point.
10- Next Goal Wins
Taika Waititi has become a familiar face at Disney, working on various projects such as Marvel comic shows and even a new LucasFilm movie set in the “Star Wars” universe. However, it’s delightful to see him venturing into other endeavors as well. “Next Goal Wins,” a sports comedy inspired by a true story, appears tailor-made for the New Zealander’s unique sense of humor.
The film spotlights a football team from the Independent State of Samoa, who have faced a series of defeats since their crushing 31-0 loss to Australia in 2001. Despite this, the resilient players remain steadfast in their pursuit of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. With the assistance of Dutch coach Thomas Rongen, portrayed by Michael Fassbender, 2023 could be one of the most successful years of his career.
9- Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret
For over half a century, Judy Blume’s seminal coming-of-age novel exploring the challenges of puberty has been waiting to grace the big screen. It seems the perfect person to bring this adaptation to life is none other than Kelly Fremon Craig, the creative force behind The Edge of Seventeen. Craig will not only write and direct the film, but also co-produce it with Oscar-winning James L. Brooks and Blume herself.
The story revolves around Abby Ryder Fortson (of Ant-Man fame) who portrays the young protagonist, Margaret. The character’s life is upended when she moves from the bustling city of New York to the tranquil suburbs of New Jersey. Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie will portray Margaret’s parents, navigating the complexities of an interfaith marriage. Meanwhile, the iconic Kathy Bates will breathe life into Sylvia, Margaret’s vivacious and spirited grandmother. —Savannah Walsh
8- Dune: Part Two
The first “Dune” installment was eagerly awaited as a beacon of hope during the (post?) pandemic era. Audiences adored everything about it – the faithfulness to Frank Herbert’s literary vision, masterful direction, stunning visuals, emotional depth, exceptional cast, and the promise of an even more thrilling adventure.
With acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve returning for the sequel, all we ask is that the filmmakers maintain the high standards set by the first movie. The addition of talented actors such as Florence Pugh, Austin “Elvis” Butler, Lea Seydoux, and Christopher Walken only adds to the excitement surrounding this cinematic event.
7- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
While the DC Comics universe has faced its share of turmoil and the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial has cast a shadow over this release, fans are still eagerly anticipating Jason Momoa’s return as Aquaman in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.” The official synopsis teases a thrilling adventure: “When an ancient power is unleashed, Aquaman must forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis and the world from irreversible devastation.”
6- The Equalizer 3
The third installment of the popular action franchise starring Denzel Washington, “The Equalizer 3,” is poised to be yet another exhilarating entry in the series. With its heart-pounding action sequences and captivating storyline, this film is sure to rank among the best action movies of 2023.
5- The Flash
Following a series of setbacks and delays during the production of The Flash, fans can finally rejoice as the beloved superhero is set to make a grand return to the silver screen in June 2023. This film marks Ezra Miller’s fourth portrayal of the iconic hero in the extended universe, following his appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which garnered fan awards at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Although this is the Flash’s first-ever standalone movie, the excitement surrounding it is palpable, with much anticipation for the inclusion of two separate Batman roles. Devoted followers of the superhero genre can eagerly anticipate Ben Affleck’s final portrayal of Batman, as well as the highly anticipated return of Michael Keaton to the character.
4- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
The phenomenal success of The Hunger Games saga paved the way for an expansion of its universe with ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’. This sequel is adapted from Suzanne Collins’ novel of the same name, published in 2020. Rachel Zegler, known for her role in the remake of ‘West Side Story’, stars as the protagonist.
Set several decades prior to the emergence of Katniss Everdeen, the story revolves around Coriolanus Snow, a young and ambitious man who eventually becomes Panem’s leading tyrant. During the tenth edition of the Games, 18-year-old Snow mentors Lucy Gray Baird, the female tribute chosen by District 12.
3- The Marvels
As expected, The Marvels is set to provide viewers with a perfect blend of familiar Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) characters and a host of fresh faces to invigorate the shared universe. Among the returning stars are Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, following her appearance in ‘The Scarlet Witch and the Vision’. Iman Vellani will be bringing Kamala Khan, also known as Ms. Marvel, to life. This character first appeared in the comics in 2014 and was later featured in a Disney+ series.
2- Beau Is Afraid
Ari Aster, the mastermind behind the acclaimed films Hereditary and Midsommar, is set to release his highly anticipated new work, Beau is Afraid. The movie stars the talented Joaquin Phoenix, but will it have the same spine-chilling appeal and unsettling surprises as Aster’s previous films? Only time will tell, as currently, the focus appears to be on a blend of drama and comedy. The brief synopsis offers a tantalizing glimpse: “A portrait of decades of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.”
1- The Killer
David Fincher’s latest cinematic offering, The Killer, has generated much excitement and anticipation among film enthusiasts. While Fincher’s previous film, Mank, received mixed reactions, the director’s return to the thriller genre has garnered widespread interest. The Killer, based on the French comic book series by Alexis Nolent, was penned by Andrew Kevin Walker, who previously collaborated with Fincher on the critically acclaimed film, Seven.
Boasting an exceptional cast, including Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton, the movie tells the story of a contract killer who begins to question the purpose of his work. The Killer promises to be a riveting and thrilling experience, blending Fincher’s signature style with a compelling narrative.
As we wrap up our preview of the incredible films awaiting us in the coming months, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these cinematic gems. Which movies are you most excited about? Share your opinions and join the conversation in the comments section below. Let’s celebrate the power of cinema together as we eagerly anticipate the unforgettable stories that are about to unfold on the big screen!