This past year, Hollywood gave us enough true highs to make sitting next to random strangers a thing again. In 2023, directors Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Greta Gerwig, and Denis Villeneuve will lure us back into the dark. Two dolls, Barbie and M3gan, will burst to life, one of whom, from a distance, seems a lot more friendly than the other. Even the sequels look unusually appetizing this year: Indiana Jones will go treasure-hunting again, possibly for the last time. Adonis Creed will get back in the ring. John Wick will get annoyed and kill a bunch of people. Here are the movies we’re looking forward to most.
January 6 (Blumhouse/Universal)
It would appear that everyone, including us, is just dying to meet M3gan, the new It girl. In the new movie, the title of which is styled M3GAN, a scientist (Allison Williams) creates a life-size, AI-enabled doll to comfort her recently orphaned niece (Violet McGraw), but this doll from hell does so much more. She’s supersmart and adaptable! She dances! She…kills? M3GAN promises to be a slasher film for the American Girl doll generation, and we can’t wait to play. —Kase Wickman
Magic Mike’s Last Dance
February 10 (Warner Bros.)
The final installment in the Channing Tatum–stripper trilogy, Magic Mike’s Last Dance takes the titular character to London, where—backed by a rich investor and also love interest played by Salma Hayek—he’s creating a new show that aims to make every woman feel “she can have whatever she wants whenever she wants.” Steven Soderbergh, who helmed the 2012 original film, returns to direct and we expect the ab-showcasing costumes and sexy dance numbers will be back and better than ever as well. —R.F.
February 24 (Universal Pictures)
“A bear did cocaine” is a line uttered in this comedy thriller inspired by a real-life bear who was found dead in the ’80s next to a duffel bag of coke. (Really). Directed by Elizabeth Banks and produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street), the film depicts the bear going on a murderous, drug-fueled rampage that locals must stop. (The actual bear died after ingesting the cocaine, which had been dropped by a convicted drug smuggler parachuting in Georgia.) The movie stars Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Ray Liotta in one of his final roles. —Julie Miller
For the first time, Michael B. Jordan is hopping in the director’s chair, helming the third installment of his blockbuster Rocky spin-off franchise. In the threequel, which he’ll also star in, Adonis Creed is back and more popular than ever. All is well, until he runs into an old childhood friend, Dame Anderson (Jonathan Majors), a fellow boxer who comes for his crown. (Majors transformed into a super-buff internet-breaker for the role.) Jordan’s been training for this, in a way, for years–let’s hope it’s a knockout. —Yohana Desta
John Wick: Chapter 4
There’s something irresistible about the sorrowful, existentially confused face that Keanu Reeves makes as John Wick—it’s like he’s asking his victims, Why are you making me kill you? And, seriously, how good do I look in this suit? The balletic-action franchise now finds the hit man of legend traveling the world, rooting out underworld kingpins, and coming to terms with his late wife, who gave him that puppy that time. “I’m going to need a gun,” Wick says in the trailer. To say the least. —Jeff Giles
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
April 7 (Universal)
Yes, we’re as worried about Chris Pratt playing Mario as you are. But otherwise, we’re very curious about The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Nintendo is incredibly stingy about licensing its video game properties to film studios, so maybe we can assume there is something especially worthy about this project. If nothing else, the film will tide us over until the next Mario game is released. Once that arrives, we’ll be too busy chasing moons or stars or whatever it is this time to care much about Pratt’s Italian-ish accent. —Richard Lawson.
Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret
April 28 (Lionsgate)
It’s taken more than 50 years for Judy Blume’s formative coming-of-age novel about the prickly puberty process to hit the big screen. But perhaps the adaptation was awaiting The Edge of Seventeen’s Kelly Fremon Craig, who will write, direct, and produce alongside Oscar winner James L. Brooks and Blume herself. Abby Ryder Fortson (Ant-Man) plays the eponymous preteen, whose world is rocked by a move from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey. Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie will navigate an interfaith marriage as Margaret’s parents. And Kathy Bates shall bring the protagonist’s spirited grandmother Sylvia to life. —Savannah Walsh
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
After the inventively animated Into the Spider-Verse became a box-office smash and the rare non-Disney film to win the best-animated-feature Oscar, Sony is betting big on this follow-up, which already has another sequel, Beyond the Spider-Verse, on deck for 2024. The energetic first trailer promises, well, a lot more of what was in the first one: visual spectacle, emotional stakes, and a whole lot of Spider-Men, women, pigs, you name it. —Katey Rich
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
June 30 (Disney)
There’s more than usual riding on this fifth film in the Indiana Jones series. For one, it’s the promised conclusion to Harrison Ford’s run as the archaeologist, who has become one of the most iconic and beloved characters in film history. Secondly, it marks the handing of the whip from original director Steven Spielberg, who’s producing the film this time, to new director James Mangold (Ford v Ferrari, Logan). Finally, it’s the first big-screen Lucasfilm movie of the new Disney era that’s not a Star Wars title. The Dial of Destiny is carrying a lot, but all it has to do is be a perfect summation of four decades of global affection for this character while thrilling a new audience of kids whose parents may not even have been born when Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted in 1981. Easy, right? Phoebe Waller-Bridge joins the cast this time as his trouble-prone goddaughter, alongside Indy stalwart John Rhys-Davies as his Middle East connection Sallah, and Mads Mikkelsen and Boyd Holbrook as a pair of villains who are also in search of the eponymous mystical relic. —Anthony Breznican
Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
July 14 (Paramount)
The seventh installment of Tom Cruise’s epic spy franchise, Dead Reckoning Part One returns the action star to the role he’s been playing for 26 years now. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie and costarring Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby, the film will be the first of an ambitious two-parter that will see “many things emerging from Ethan’s past,” teases McQuarrie. Speaking to Empire, he explained, “‘Dead reckoning’ is a navigational term. It means you’re picking a course based solely on your last known position and that becomes quite the metaphor not only for Ethan, but several characters.” —J.M.
July 21 (Warner Bros.)
No one knows exactly what this Barbie movie—starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling— will be like, but star and producer Robbie told Vanity Fair that she plans to “subvert your expectations.” And there are plenty of those, after the release of images showing the two stars sporting neon spandex outfits and Rollerblades and a first trailer that teased an at-least-partially satirical look at the world’s most famous doll. Directed by Greta Gerwig (from a script she wrote with partner Noah Baumbach), Barbie is hopefully the smart, sugary pink stuff of our dreams. —R.F.
July 21 (Universal)
Christopher Nolan says he recreated an atom bomb explosion without CGI for his ambitious historical drama, featuring an enormous all-star cast. Cillian Murphy plays the titular Manhattan Project scientist, and is joined by Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, and many, many more. A movie about the advent of the nuclear age may not scream “summer blockbuster,” but remember that Nolan’s Dunkirk made $527 million worldwide in 2017. —K.R.
Next Goal Wins
September 22 (Searchlight Pictures)
It’s been nearly four years since Michael Fassbender was cast to star in what Searchlight is billing as a “heartfelt underdog comedy” from director and cowriter Taika Waititi. Since then the two have been on markedly different paths; Waititi won an Oscar for Jojo Rabbit and attached his name to a dizzying number of movies and TV shows, while Fassbender has appeared in precisely zero films. Could this based-on-a-true-story sports comedy be the beginning of a renaissance? Its recent jump from a spring release to a plum September spot suggests there might be awards ambitions in store, too. —K.R.
Dune: Part Two
November 3 (Warner Bros.)
As Denis Villeneuve wrote in Vanity Fair, “I’ve lived with Dune for most of my life. Being patient is part of the journey.” That patience should pay off with the second installment of his sci-fi epic. The adaptation of the 1965 Frank Herbert novel will see Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) unite with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen to avenge the deaths of his family. Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Christopher Walken, and Léa Seydoux have joined the cast for the conclusion of the story —Natalie Jarvey
Date TBD (Focus Features)
What might be Wes Anderson’s starriest cast yet— returning favorites Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, etc., plus newcomers from Tom Hanks to Margot Robbie—unite for what’s being billed as “a poetic meditation on the meaning of life.” The logline has a bit more: “It tells the story of a fictional American desert town circa 1955 and its Junior Stargazer convention, which brings together students and parents from across the country for scholarly competition, rest/recreation, comedy, drama, romance, and more.” Anderson films have premiered at February’s Berlin Film Festival and May’s Cannes Film Festival in years past, and either could be the first place we get a look at this one. —K.R.
Beau Is Afraid
Date TBD (A24)
Director Ari Aster’s first two movies, Hereditary and Midsommar, were so transfixing and bonkers that hopes are soaring for this one. Beau Is Afraid is a three-hour-ish surreal horror comedy perfectly cast for maximum combustibility: a jittery-AF-looking Joaquin Phoenix, along with Michael Gandolfini, Patti Lupone, Amy Ryan, and on and on. Phoenix and Aster were so tuned into each other on set, costar Stephen McKinley Henderson told The Hollywood Reporter, that “it was like they were really old friends. They could get upset and make up in the span of seconds, it seemed. But the work was always the better for it.” —J.G.
Killers of the Flower Moon
Date TBD (Apple)
We thought we were getting Martin Scorsese’s latest film in 2022, but had to wait a little longer for the long-gestating adaptation of David Grann’s epic book, which examines the murders of Native Americans on tribal land in 1920s Oklahoma. All of the usual Scorsese collaborators are back, from editor Thelma Schoonmaker to DP Rodrigo Prieto to, of course, star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. But the deep ensemble also includes rising stars like Jesse Plemons and Lily Gladstone, and at a reported $200 million budget, was produced with the kind of sweep that could herald a new Scorsese classic. —David Canfield
Date TBD (Focus Features)
For a moment, the talk of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was a movie that wasn’t a part of the festival at all—the first movie from Alexander Payne since Downsizing, which screened in Canada for buyers with the whole industry in town. That Focus Features ended up acquiring The Holdovers for a reportedly hefty $30 million indicates this one may live up to the hype. The film reunites Payne with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti as an irascible teacher on a road odyssey with a rebellious student named Angus and the school’s head cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), who’s grieving the loss of her son. —D.C.
Date TBD (Netflix)
For his directorial follow-up to 2018’s A Star Is Born, in which he played fictional, fading rocker Jackson Maine, Bradley Cooper takes on real-life composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. In addition to Cooper, who cowrote the screenplay with Spotlight’s Josh Singer, the film stars Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife, Felicia Montealegre, Sarah Silverman as his sister, Shirley, Maya Hawke as his daughter Jamie, and Matt Bomer as one of Bernstein’s love interests. As if that weren’t promising enough, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese are on board as producers. Lydia Tár, you’ve been warned. —S.W.
Date TBD (Apple)
Ridley Scott follows House of Gucci with a more ambitious biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon and Vanessa Kirby as his wife, Josephine. The film reunites Scott and Phoenix for the first time since 2000’s Gladiator, with Phoenix playing an even more renowned emperor. “He came out of nowhere to rule everything—but all the while he was waging a romantic war with his adulterous wife Josephine,” Scott told Deadline last year. “He conquered the world to try to win her love, and when he couldn’t, he conquered it to destroy her, and destroyed himself in the process.” —J.M.
Peter Pan & Wendy
Date TBD (Disney)
The past decade of Disney remakes of their animated classics has been, to put it kindly, a mixed bag. But there’s reason to have faith in director David Lowery, who has already produced a good one (2016’s criminally underseen Pete’s Dragon), as well as his own distinctive indies like The Green Knight and A Ghost Story. With Jude Law as Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell it is, yes, a very familiar story, but one we’re eager to see in Lowery’s hands all the same. The big question is whether returning Disney CEO Bob Iger will reverse the previous regime’s decision to make this a Disney+ exclusive and give it the proper theatrical release we hope it deserves. —K.R.
Date TBD (Studio TBD)
Ira Sachs has worked beautifully under the radar while building a reputation as one of our foremost filmmakers of queer love stories—the steamy and chaotic Keep the Lights On, the tender and wrenching Love Is Strange (starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina). One hopes the director can start finding the bigger audience he deserves though. His latest explores the intense emotional and sexual connections between men and women, with a trio of brilliant European actors in the lead roles: Women Talking’s Ben Whishaw, Great Freedom’s Franz Rogowski, and Blue Is the Warmest Color’s Adele Exarchopoulos. —D.C.
Date TBD (Searchlight)
After the lavish success of The Favourite, a wild, kinky take on the life of Queen Anne, seen through a tireless fisheye lens, Yorgos Lanthimos is back. And, thankfully, he’s helming another film written by The Favourite scribe Tony McNamara, based on the novel of the same name by Alasdair Gray. The book is a kind of feminist riff on Frankenstein, revolving around a woman who is brought back to life with the brain of her unborn baby. The cast includes Emma Stone (completing the Favourite trifecta), Willem Dafoe, and Mark Ruffalo, plus contempo comedy kings Jerrod Carmichael and Ramy Youssef. Two tickets, please—one for me, and another for me to watch it again. —Y.D.
Date TBD (Netflix)
The pedigree on this portrait of Bayard Rustin, the gay civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington, promises a powerfully dramatized true story, whenever it’s finally unveiled. Rustin is produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, whose previous Netflix collaboration American Factory won the best-documentary Oscar. It’s written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk), alongside Tony winner George C. Wolfe, who also directs (he previously helmed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). It’s got Chris Rock, Audra McDonald, Jeffrey Wright, and others playing key supporting parts. Most thrilling of all, though, is the placement of Colman Domingo in the eponymous lead role. The Emmy winner has experienced a late-career surge, stealing scenes in buzzy hits like HBO’s Euphoria and A24’s Zola, and he’s due for this kind of showcase. —D.C.
Date TBD (Netflix)
Back in 2019, Regina King told me her long-held dream was to star in a biopic of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, as well as the first Black woman to run for president of the United States. “It’s tough because Viola is doing it,” King said, referring to a competing Chisholm biopic starring Viola Davis. “[But] I’m not letting it go.” Fast-forward a few years and King has held on to that promise, producing and starring in Shirley directed by Oscar winner John Ridley. Chisholm, a fiery speaker with an extraordinary life, seems ripe for some biopic love. —Y.D.