THE BIG 2023 PREVIEW

Happy New Year – especially to us, because 2023 marks our TENTH anniversary!! There are lots of changes coming your way across this milestone year of ours, so stay tuned for when we reveal what we have in store (or, y’know, maybe just scroll on down to the bottom of this page…)!

But before any of that, there’s a whole legion of movies to spotlight that are set to bring the next twelve months to serious new heights! Here are merely twenty of the biggest films to get excited for in 2023…

20 – FAST & FURIOUS 10

It’s the beginning of the end for Dominic Toretto and his family of fellow car enthusiasts, as the mega-successful blockbuster franchise prepares to crash out with a two-part finale, starting with this mysterious new entry.

All the old gang is back (minus Dwayne Johnson, whose beef with Vin Diesel is still ongoing), with new additions including Jason Momoa as a fierce new villain, Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson in a mystery role, and Oscar-winning legend Rita Morena as none other than Toretto’s grandmother. Also new to the franchise is director Louis Leterrier, who filled in for Justin Lin after he unexpectedly departed production shortly after filming commenced, but bringing on board the director of The Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk and Now You See Me (and, erm, Grimsby) could give this second-to-last instalment the craziness that it deserves.

Most of all, though, expect there to be death (and logic) defying car stunts, which begs the question: if they finally went into space last time round, where the hell are they going to be driving a car next? We’ll find out soon enough…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

19TH MAY 2023

19 – THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES

Even though Katniss Everdeen’s story is well and truly wrapped up, there are still plenty of tales left to tell in the post-apocalyptic world of Panem, including that of how the monstrous President Snow came to rise in power and become the villain we all know him as today.

The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s prequel novel takes us back 64 years before Katniss was even a glint in her father’s eye, with a young Coriolanus Snow (played here by Tom Blyth) becoming a mentor for the tenth version of the deadly annual Hunger Games, with West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler as his mentee from the impoverished District 12. As a villain origin story, especially within this fascinating universe, it should be an interesting prequel, to say the least.

Maybe it’ll even make up for the overwhelming mediocrity of that last Hunger Games movie…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

17TH NOVEMBER 2023

18 – TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS

After some time away to recover from Michael Bay’s sensory onslaught, as well as the underwhelming box office performance of the well-received Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots are back in a brand-new big screen adventure that promises a whole new direction for the franchise.

Creed II director Steven Caple Jr. takes over directing duties this time round (which automatically makes this far more watchable), as our heroes from Cybertron come across new factions of robot warriors for the first time, in a plotline inspired by the popular Beast Wars faction. With lots of cool effects, intriguing new heroes and villains, and even a 90s setting, this should hopefully be a Transformers movie that actually lives up to its legacy.

Let’s just hope that Caple Jr. resists the urge to bring back Skids and Mudflap…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

9TH JUNE 2023

17 – DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: HONOUR AMONG THIEVES

Let’s be honest, there’s no way that this version of the classic RPG board game can be any worse than the critically-demolished 2000 version wherein Jeremy Irons sneered and snarled his way to an easy paycheque – but the good news is that this big-screen reboot, from Game Night directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, looks set to drag it right through the mud.

An all-star cast from Chris Pine to Hugh Grant to Bridgerton breakout Regé-Jean Page are in place to introduce a brand-new set of heroes and villains to audiences looking for a fun new fantasy world to get lost in. As the title suggests, there’s plenty of dragons (and, yes, maybe a few dungeons as well) to behold, all of which seem to be faithful to the imaginative game that continues to enchant players to this day. Expect plenty of humour, action, imaginative effects, and a compelling story that’s easy for anyone to enjoy.

Although, it has to be said: we’ll miss that over-the-top Jeremy Irons performance. Give us one more bit of silliness, Mr. Irons…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

3RD APRIL 2023

16 – SCREAM IV

Ghostface made up for lost time last year with his deadliest outing yet that took aim at legacy sequels and modern horror tropes, but in his sixth outing – quickly greenlit after the previous film’s box office and critical success – he’s going where no slasher villain has truly gone before: Manhattan.

Nobody is safe when the gory action heads to the East Coast for the first time, not even surviving victims Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Courtney Cox, or Hayden Panettiere (who makes her return as fan-favourite Kirby), all of whom must deal with a new killer behind the mask in one of the most populated cities in the world. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who took the reigns from the late Wes Craven for the previous Scream movie, are also back, so you can expect a plentiful balance of self-aware humour and gnarly kills that make the last one look like a walk in the park.

Strap yourselves in for another violent ride – and maybe don’t answer the phone…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

3RD APRIL 2023

15 – SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS

It’s a bit of a dark time for the current DC Universe, with major upheavals by new heads James Gunn and Peter Safran including the removal of Henry Cavill as Superman, having to figure out what the hell to do with the seemingly-cursed Flash movie (also out later this year), and putting multiple asterisks over the future of all other established heroes. So, it’s best to focus on what positives we have left of this disintegrating cinematic universe, and what better place to start than with the anticipated sequel to one of their brightest entries?

Zachary Levi returns as the adult superhero avatar of teen hero Billy Batson, who along with his fellow superpowered foster siblings must battle villainous gods Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu in order to save the day. Thankfully, they’ve also got Djimon Hounsou’s powerful wizard Shazam as well as West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler on their side, not to mention returning director David F. Sandberg and new writer Chris Morgan (of the Fast & Furious franchise) who look set to deliver plenty of light-hearted fun to a superhero movie that the entire family can enjoy.

Don’t expect Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam to make an appearance, though – ironically, it’s because the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe really did change…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

17TH MARCH 2023

14 – ELEMENTAL

Pixar had a mixed 2022 – on the one hand there was Turning Red, but on the other there was Lightyear – which looks to be rectified by what they have in store for 2023, including their first original long-form series Win Or Lose on Disney+, and especially their glorious-looking feature for the year.

Directed by long-time Pixar associate Peter Sohn (best known as the voice of Remy in Ratatouille), this unusual romance tells the story of two individuals who find out they have a lot in common – except, this is a universe where everyone is made up of different elements, and our romantic leads are the unscientific mix of fire and water, which begs the question: how will things work out for the two of them? Hopefully, this is a Pixar film where there are no easy answers, as well as bucket-loads of charm and gorgeous animation that puts many others to shame.

Expect it to be another fiery hit for the animated studio, and not something to pour cold water over…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

16TH JUNE 2023

13 – JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4

Nobody is ever safe when John Wick – Baba Yaga himself – is out for revenge, and that’s more true than ever in this fourth entry where Keanu Reeves’ gun-wielding hitman has just about everyone in his sights.

After being left for dead at the end of the previous chapter, Wick now seeks a way to get back at the untouchable High Table of assassins, which according to the trailer appears to involve duelling a never-not-intimidating Bill Skarsgård and Donnie Yen as a blind frenemy (although, as we’ve learned from Rogue One, take away his eyesight and he’s more dangerous than ever). The results are bound to be brutal, violent, and above all awesome, as Reeves shoots his way through every enemy he can spot with all the energy and high-octane thrills that we’ve come to expect out of this illustrious action series.

Let’s just hope that nobody even thinks to bump off another one of his dogs…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

24TH MARCH 2023

12 – COCAINE BEAR

Everything about this movie sounds too good to be true, but we don’t care because this could well be one of the year’s most awesome cinema experiences, for very simple but persuasive reasons.

For one, it’s based on the actual story of a bear ingesting several kilos of cocaine and going on an insanely gory rampage, which is already hilarious enough but when you have top comedic talent involved like director Elizabeth Banks and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, you know for sure that you’re in for something special. Throw in a top ensemble cast, from Keri Russell to Alden Ehrenreich to the late Ray Liotta in one of his final performances, and you have a crazy, delightfully B-movie comedy that you’d be foolish to not at the very least be curious about.

God help us, though, if this coke-addled bear gets its claws into Leonardo DiCaprio again…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

24TH FEBRUARY 2023

11 – THE LITTLE MERMAID

It’s understandable to be sceptical about yet another live-action remake of a Disney classic, but there are still plenty of things to be excited by with this new take on the studio’s underwater musical.

Director Rob Marshall (no stranger to Disney musicals, having previously made Mary Poppins Returns and Into The Woods for the studio) is in charge of bringing the story of Ariel – here played by star-in-the-making Halle Bailey – and her quest to find love on the surface world to graceful life, which is no small feat given the immense popularity of the original. However, with Lin-Manuel Miranda on board to pen some new songs, writers David Magee (also of Mary Poppins Returns) and Kingsman’s Jane Goldman crafting different story beats, and top actors like Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy playing some of the film’s most iconic supporting characters, this could well be the rare Disney remake to break the mould and possibly set a new standard on how to successfully bring classic animation to the real world.

Then again, it’d had to mess up pretty bad if it turns out to be as bad, if not worse, than last year’s Pinocchio redux…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

26TH MAY 2023

10 – ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA

After headlining two films designed as MCU palette-cleansers after some heavier entries, Ant-Man and the Wasp’s third outing is by far their most consequential for not just their universe, but many others as well.

For the first time, audiences are sucked in alongside our shrinking heroes to the Quantum Realm, the microscopic universe that’s home to countless strange and terrifying creatures – but none more so than Kang the Conqueror, the multiverse-spanning supervillain whose presence here is bound to have a lasting effect on the MCU going forward. After being teased at the end of Loki’s first season (with the second also due this year), Jonathan Majors’ foe is introduced in full force here, putting even the lovable Ant-Man and his squad in danger of not making it out alive.

It’s one hell of a way to kick off Phase Five, and a glorious start to Marvel’s pretty strong year ahead…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

17TH FEBRUARY 2023

9 – BARBIE

If we’ve learned anything from The LEGO Movie, it’s to never doubt the filmmakers tasked with bringing iconic children’s toys to the big screen, and in the case of director Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, it seems that we may yet have another unexpected smash hit on our hands.

Gerwig, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Noah Baumbach, clearly has much more on her mind than simply filling Mattel’s company quota, so it’d be unwise to expect anything straightforward with her take on the famous doll, played here by Margot Robbie (and, if rumours are correct, multiple other actors as well) with Ryan Gosling as her loyal accessory boyfriend Ken. The star wattage doesn’t stop there, for there are seemingly roles for everyone here, from comedy stars Will Ferrell and Kate McKinnon to the MCU’s Simu Liu and even Doctor-in-waiting Ncuti Gatwa – all of whom populate a candy-coloured world that honours Barbie herself, as well as the kids that have played with her for decades.

The potential for this is astronomical, so hopefully Gerwig will deliver…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

21ST JULY 2023

8 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3

While there’s plenty of juicy developments afoot in the MCU, there is also some serious heartbreak with the third and final outing for the galaxy’s biggest bunch of a-holes.

James Gunn, himself departing Marvel for DC after this (not surprisingly, given the drama surrounding his firing and rehiring), writes and directs the Guardians’ most emotional and devastating mission yet, which sees beloved members like Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon face deadly enemies such as the High Revolutionary and Will Poulter’s all-powerful Adam Warlock, both of whom could spell potential doom for these lovable characters after years of delighting audiences with their antics. Whatever happens to them here, though, expect this to be the last time you’ll see all of them together, with their uncertain futures bound to cause much interest as to how things will pan out for them.

One thing’s for certain, though: the galaxy will be a much sadder place without the Guardians around to protect it…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

21ST JULY 2023

7 – CREED III

The boxing saga that began with Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa and continued with Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed reaches new heights in this third instalment of the revamped series surrounding the latter character.

Jordan not only returns as the titular boxer, but he also makes his directorial debut for the powerful story of two former childhood friends – the other being Jonathan Majors as the vicious Damian – facing their demons and, of course, duking it out in the ring. While the sporting action is bound to be thrilling and captivating, not least because it’s shot in IMAX in a franchise first, it’ll also mark the first film in this universe to not feature Stallone’s Rocky, who opted out after giving the character a fitting conclusion last time. With or without the Italian Stallion, though, Creed III is set to bring the saga to unfathomable places that make things all the more compelling.

Although, one can’t help but feel they missed a trick by not calling the movie Threed, which would have almost certainly made it rank higher on this list…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

3RD MARCH 2023

6 – OPPENHEIMER

Despite not exactly saving cinema back in 2020 with Tenet, Christopher Nolan is back with yet another cinematic experience that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible – and it also happens to be his most explosive feature to date (pun very much intended).

Nolan, who has shifted over from Warner Bros to Universal this time round – like the rest of us, he wasn’t too fond of the studio’s controversial handling of its pandemic releases – has assigned the mother of all casts for his biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who created the atomic bomb. In addition to Nolan regular Cillian Murphy as the nuclear physicist himself, there will be appearances from Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Kenneth Branagh, Gary Oldman… and we’re not even halfway through the cast list! However, the cast is a mere fraction of the ambition that Nolan eyes for his daring new feature, which should be a summer blockbuster that rightfully challenges viewers to see past the atomic explosions and see the man who brought such a destructive device into the world.

It earns extra points for recreating a nuclear explosion without the aid of CGI – how he managed to achieve that, not to mention what it looks like, we’ll find out soon enough…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

21ST JULY 2023

5 – DUNE: PART TWO

The second part of Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel wasn’t a guarantee even when the first film came out – luckily, its resounding critical, financial, and awards success not only ensured that the latter half of the tome would be brought to the big screen, but that it would be even grander and more unmissable than the last one.

Villeneuve reunites with many of his Oscar-winning team from the first film, including cinematographer Greig Fraser, editor Joe Walker, and master composer Hans Zimmer, as he ventures back to the planet Arrakis to complete the story of young Paul Atreides, who we last saw being accepted into the Fremen clan after his family was ousted by the villainous Baron Harkonnen, and is about to take his sweet revenge on the repugnant ruler. Cast-wise, all the main players return such as Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Zendaya and many more, but what’s interesting are the newer players: Florence Pugh will have a sizeable role to play, as will Elvis star Austin Butler who fills the role made famous by Sting in David Lynch’s previous adaptation, while the Emperor of the Universe is played by none other than Christopher Walken (which is, in and of itself, more than enough reason to get excited).

It’ll be a sci-fi tale with as much scope and ambition as anything else that Villeneuve has done, and should serve as a formidable continuation of this incredibly epic adaptation…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

3RD NOVEMBER 2023

4 – SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE

Even outside of the MCU, there are exciting new superhero stories being developed, including the latest animated extravaganza to feature web-slinger Miles Morales which, as we’ve learned from last time we went into the Spider-Verse, is filled with plenty of unusual new takes on the classic hero.

In what is sure to be a grand return to the visceral cartoon landscape introduced in the previous Oscar-winning film, Morales journeys to many different Multiverses with his friend Gwen Stacy, all of which feature almost every Spider-Man that you can think of in what has to be a treasure trove of Easter eggs for eagle-eyed comic fans. However, the key detail is that none of the emotion or heart appears to have been lost amidst all the universe-hopping, with Morales continuing to be a great and lovable character to root for, and some engaging new conflict with uncertain friends/foes such as Oscar Isaac’s Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099.

It’s going to be an awesome experience for anyone who’s ever wanted to don the Spider-suit, but an even more rewarding time for anyone who loves the character with all their heart…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

2ND JUNE 2023

3 – THE SUPER MARIO BROS MOVIE

The world’s most iconic and beloved video game character is finally headed to the big screen (and no, the one from the 90s with Bob Hoskins doesn’t count), and not only does it look as though the wait has been worth it, but this could well be the single greatest video game movie ever made, just for how faithfully it treats this source material.

Sure, it’s easy to make fun of how Chris Pratt is voicing Mario himself (even though he’s just doing his job, and doing it no better than any other big-name actor out there), but if you’re willing to put that minor thing aside, you’ll be amazed at how accurately Illumination has replicated the vast and colourful world of the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond. It really feels as though the video game that we all grew up playing and loving has sprung to life, with designs that are unmistakably those of the familiar characters, from Charlie Day as Luigi to Jack Black as Bowser to even Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, all in a story that feels true to the timeless spirit of the adventurous plumber.

It’ll be a momentous occasion for video game fans everywhere, especially for those who have loved Nintendo’s mascot from day one…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

7TH APRIL 2023

2 – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE

In case you haven’t noticed, Tom Cruise is on a marathon sprint right now. With Top Gun: Maverick soaring into people’s hearts with its daring aerial action and plentiful storytelling, it’s hard to think how on earth he’s going to top any of that – but judging from the early footage of his latest impossible mission as Ethan Hunt, he may well have found a way.

Cruise has been championing the first of a two-part finale to his Mission: Impossible franchise for years, starting and continuing production all through the pandemic, and training for stunts that top pretty much everything that he’s done in the last six movies combined. At last, he and returning director Christopher McQuarrie can show the world what they’ve done (at least, the first part of it, with the second due a year later in 2024), with a top-secret plot that takes Cruise’s Hunt and his team of spies across the globe for all sorts of mayhem and races against time, not to mention some nifty new gadgets and tricks that keep themselves on track. There are also plenty of faces both new and old, including Hayley Atwell as a mysterious new friend named Grace, and Henry Czerny who returns as Eugene Kittridge for the first time since the original 1996 film, but how they all fit into the unknown narrative is, as of yet, a mystery. Most of all, though, there will be death-defying stunts, which Cruise of course performs himself in front of the camera. In this case, there are train crashes, desert-set escapades, and a motorcycle stunt to end all motorcycle stunts, all of which will be utterly enthralling to watch on the biggest screen imaginable.

However you may feel about Cruise, it’s unwise at this point to bet against him, and it’s not long before we see what kind of cinematic achievement he manages to conjure up this time…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

14TH JULY 2023

1 – INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY

2023 is going to see a lot of heroes making their mark on the film world, but none of them will even hold a candle next to one of the greatest movie heroes of all time, here making his final bow before hanging up his whip and fedora for good.

Harrison Ford’s fifth and final outing as the adventurous archaeologist is a welcome return for the character after the mixed response of his fourth feature, which saw him dealing with aliens, Communists, and Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams. Thankfully, none of those things (at least, so we’re told) are in this film, which comes from director James Mangold after franchise creator Steven Spielberg stepped back into a producing role instead, who takes Indy and the audience on an all-new adventure that involves ex-Nazis, the Space Race, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as delightful new character Helena, who also happens to be Jones’ goddaughter. As usual, there’s plenty of adventure and excitement for audiences of all ages, but most of all it’ll be a bittersweet farewell to a character who has been at the forefront of a seismic shift in blockbuster filmmaking, and who for decades has delighted viewers with adventures that have helped inspire entire waves of similar movies with strong, but undeniably human, lead heroes. Also bowing out – not just from this franchise, but also the film world in general – is legendary composer John Williams, who has indicated that his score for this movie will be the final one in the 90-year-old’s career, and what better way to tap out than by revising one of his most beloved and instantly iconic themes.

Whatever adventures await Indiana Jones this time, it’ll be one hell of a closing bow for one of cinema’s greatest characters…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

30TH JUNE 2023

ALSO OUT THIS YEAR (DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BREATH)

  • M3GAN (out: 13th January 2023)

  • Knock at the Cabin (out: 4th February 2023)

  • Magic Mike’s Last Dance (out: 10th February 2023)

  • 65 (out: 10th March 2023)

  • 80 for Brady (out: 24th March 2023)

  • Renfield (out: 14th April 2023)

  • Evil Dead Rise (out: 21st April 2023)

  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (out: 28th April 2023)

  • Love Again (out: 12th May 2023)

  • Strays (out: 9th June 2023)

  • The Flash (out: 16th June 2023)

  • No Hard Feelings (out: 23rd June 2023)

  • Insidious: Fear the Dark (out: 7th July 2023)

  • The Equalizer 3 (out: 7th July 2023)

  • The Marvels (out: 28th July 2023)

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (out: 4th August 2023)

  • The Meg 2 (out: 4th August 2023)

  • Gran Turismo (out: 11th August 2023)

  • Haunted Mansion (out: 11th August 2023)

  • The Last Voyage of the Dementor (out: 11th August 2023)

  • Blue Beetle (out: 18th August 2023)

  • A Haunting in Venice (out: 15th September 2023)

  • The Expendables 4 (out: 22nd September 2023)

  • Kraven the Hunter (out: 6th October 2023)

  • True Love (out: 6th October 2023)

  • The Exorcist (out: 13th October 2023)

  • Trolls 3 (out: 20th October 2023)

  • Saw X (out: 28th October 2023)

  • Wish (out: 24th November 2023)

  • Wonka (out: 15th December 2023)

  • The Colour Purple (out: 20th December 2023)

  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (out: 29th December 2023)

 

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