It’s that time of year. The weather gets warmer, the flowers start to bloom, and movie releases get just a little more adult. At least, in theory. We’ve rounded up all the movies Gizmodo readers want to keep an eye out for through the end of the year.
This spring, awards season blends with genre in a bunch of unique ways thanks to filmmakers such as Robert Zemeckis, Damien Chazelle and Luca Guadagnino. Then there are the usual holiday blockbusters as well as a lot of small and interesting horror movies, different takes on the superhero genre, unexpected sequels and spin-offs.
Here’s all the eclectic sci-fi, horror and fantasy films coming to cinemas (and streaming) in the next few months.
The latest film in the Conjuring Universe takes the villain from The Conjuring 2 and gives her what looks like a super creepy backstory starring American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga and Hateful Eight’s Demian Bichir. Even the marketing for this one has been over the top, so we’re hoping this can live up to the expectations of the franchise. (September 6)
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s old nemesis is back, even if the star isn’t. The Predator reinvents and reimagines the popular franchise for modern times with a super eclectic cast (Sterling K. Brown, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen), multiple variations on the iconic alien killer (including dogs), and a lot more mythology.
Most exciting though? It’s the first collaboration between director Shane Black and co-writer Fred Dekker since The Monster Squad. (September 13)
The House With A Clock In Its Walls
Director Eli Roth teams up with Steven Spielberg’s team at Amblin for this young adult adaptation starring Cate Blanchett and Jack Black as two people who help train a young boy in the ways of magic. Harry Potter this is not, though. It has an even creepier and contained vibe to it, one we are very, very interested in. (September 20)
Some humans believe that there’s a mythic creature out there called “Bigfoot”, right? Well, what if the Bigfoot creatures shared legendary stories about “Smallfoot”, a creature who walks and talks and, well, is a human? That’s the premise for this star-studded (Channing Tatum, Zendaya, Gina Rodriguez, Lebron James, Danny DeVito, James Corden) animated film. (September 20)
It’s been blowing away fans at festivals and now, finally, Nicolas Cage’s hyper-kinetic cult movie is coming to cinemas. In the film, Cage goes on a murderous rampage when his wife is kidnapped by a cult. From the trailer, it looks as though the performance is one of Cage’s most daring to date, and that’s saying something. (September 21)
The first film in the unofficially titled “Sony Universe of Marvel Characters” brings one of Spider-Man’s most famous villains to life… without Spider-Man.
Tom Hardy plays the evil anti-hero in a film with a lot of potential, but even more question marks. We all want this to be so, so good because Venom deserves it. And it could be. But wow, is it going to walk a fine line. (October 4)
Oscar winner Damien Chazelle teams back up with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling to tell the story of Neil Armstrong and the incredible journey for him, and his team, to actually walk on the Moon. This has Oscar bait written all over it. (October 11)
Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid films, is back. This time, he has Dan Stevens (The Guest) and Michael Sheen (Good Omens) in a period film about a man who must travel to a mysterious island inhabited by a cult to save his kidnapped sister. Cool premise, great cast, amazing filmmaker, we’re in. (Coming to Netflix October 12)
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
The first Goosebumps is one of those movies that if you did see it, you were probably pleasantly surprised by it. Well now here’s the sequel, and while Jack Black isn’t back as R.L. Stein, the character’s legacy continues as a group of kids finds one final enchanted Stein book — and it just so happens to be a book that makes Halloween real. (October 25)
One of our most anticipated films of the spring is this reboot/sequel for John Carpenter’s landmark horror film, Halloween. This film wipes away all of the franchise’s sequels and imagines Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) as a woman ready to get revenge on the terrifying killer that terrorised her almost 40 years ago. Everything we’ve seen or heard leads us to believe this will be a worthy sequel to the 1978 classic. (October 25)
Film fans generally don’t get too excited about remakes of iconic genre films, such as this re-do of Dario Argento’s Suspiria. But those remakes aren’t usually directed by visionaries such as Luca Guadagnino, or feature stars such as Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson. When they are, though, the result is not just a very high level of expectation and anticipation, but also hope for a new modern classic. (November 8)
When Overlord was first announced, its mysterious genre plot and producer J.J. Abrams had many guessing it was a new Cloverfield movie. Well, it isn’t. What it is, is a film about a group of American soldiers who find themselves behind enemy lines during World War II and discover that Nazis are making zombies. Who needs Cloverfield monsters when you have zombie Nazis to kill? (November 8)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald
The second of five proposed Fantastic Beasts films takes the Harry Potter prequel franchise and opens it up. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) joins with a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to battle the villainous Gellert Grindewald (Johnny Depp). All the characters from the first movie are back, but expect this to be much more Potter than the last one. (November 15)
The Nutcracker And The Four Realms
There’s no doubt the visuals in this Disney-fied reimagining of The Nutcracker are going to be absolutely incredible. The cast — Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley — is also amazing. But the fact the film will have two director credits (Joe Johnston and Lasse Hallstrom) raises some huge questions. Still, there’s a lot of potential here. (November 22)
Ever after seeing multiple trailers and posters, it’s unclear exactly what makes this new version of the Robin Hood tale, starring Taron Edgerton, Jamie Foxx and Ben Mendelsohn, so different from the dozens of others. The characters are a little different, the story is slightly changed, the effects are more advanced, but aren’t those things always true? It’s gonna take something special for this one to grab audiences. (November 22)
On its surface, an origin story for one of the most memorable holiday characters in history feels like a stretch. Who cares why the Grinch became such a grinch? And yet, the more we see from this Illumination animated film, the better and better it looks. This will probably end up being one of the biggest hits of spring. (November 29)
The Christmas Chronicles
Produced by Chris Columbus, the man behind Goonies, Gremlins, Home Alone, Mrs Doubtfire and the Harry Potter films, The Christmas Chronicles tells the story of what happens when two kids scheme to film the real Santa Claus and end up almost ruining Christmas. Not intriguing enough for you? Santa Claus is played by Kurt Russell. Boom. (On Netflix November 22)
Years after being a literal joke on the HBO series Entourage, Hollywood has finally made a big budget Aquaman movie. And it looks pretty damn great. Director James Wan brings all his blockbuster experience to the origin story of Arthur Curry, with a great cast and huge sweeping adventure. Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction for the DC universe. (December 13)
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
We’ve seen all manner of live-action superhero movies in cinemas, so why can’t those heroes be animated too? That’s the question we’ll get answered in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a gorgeous-looking Spider-Man film that seems as though it’ll push the limits not just of what an animated film can be, but a superhero movie as well. (December 13)
Let’s be honest. The last four Transformers movies have been pretty bad. It was time to try something new. Cue director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), who is taking just one Autobot (Bumblebee, duh) and telling a more personal Transformers story, complete with all the bells and whistles. If it works out, this could take the franchise in a whole new direction. (December 20)
From Peter Jackson and the team behind The Lord of the Rings comes this epic, steampunk story set in a post-apocalyptic world where cities have become mobile in order to move around and find resources. It feels as though it wants to be a new LotR epic, but the trailers haven’t inspired that kind of confidence so far. (December 26)
Alita: Battle Angel
Alita: Battle Angel is one of the biggest question marks of the season. The story of a young robot assassin was delayed from a winter release and the trailers have drawn all manner of different reactions from fans. There’s no denying that the team behind the film, including director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron, are capable as is the tremendous cast (including Oscar winners Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali). Maybe we just haven’t bought into this new world yet? We’ll see. (December 26)
OK, this one sounds awesome. From the writer of Arrival (Eric Heisserer) and director of The Night Manager (Susanne Bier) comes this thriller starring Sandra Bullock as a mother who must travel down a river with her kids, blindfolded, in order to avoid the post-apocalyptic horrors around them. It also stars John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson and Australian Danielle Macdonald. (On Netflix December 21)
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Disney’s favourite video game characters, Ralph and Vanellope, are back. When there’s a problem at the arcade, they find themselves in a world more vast than they can even imagine: The internet.
The first Wreck-It Ralph was excellent and there’s no reason to think that its sequel, with the whole original cast returning (as well as newcomers voiced by Taraji P. Henson and Gal Gadot), won’t be even better. (December 26)
Mary Poppins Returns
No one who saw the original Mary Poppins back in 1964 could have ever imagined, over 50 years later, Disney would make a big-budget musical sequel. And yet, here it is. Mary Poppins Returns takes decades after the original film, with the Banks kids now all grown up and having problems with their own kids. Enter Mary Poppins, now played by Emily Blunt. (January 1)
Welcome To Marwen
Though it’s based on a very realistic, very grounded, very heartfelt documentary called Marwencol, visionary director Robert Zemeckis decided to take the story to the next level. The story is based around a veteran who was brutally assaulted and escaped the pain by building a toy paradise in his backyard. It’s a risky proposition, but Zemeckis — along with stars Steve Carell, Gwendoline Christie, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Mann and Diane Kruger — may have found the perfect balance of pop and drama. (January 10)