My 2024 Movie Outlook: Dune, Godzilla, Lord of the Rings, Furiosa, Inside Out 2, Wallace & Gromit & More

24 movies that I’m looking forward to seeing in 2024.
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two
Timothée Chalamet returns as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two

The end of the year naturally brings year-end lists (and I’m currently working on my year-end mix), but it also beckons us to look towards the future. And in the case of pop culture nerds like myself, that means looking forward to all of the music, movies, etc., that will be coming our way in the new year.

Due in part to the Hollywood strikes, the 2024 movie schedule has been completely upended, with several big movies — including Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse and the eighth Mission: Impossible film — have been pushed to 2025. But that still leaves quite a few promising films in the next 12 months.

The Beekeeper (Jan 12)

I have a fondness for both Jason Statham and for movies in which stoic protagonists take on the elites who are scamming and preying on the weak. Thus, The Beekeeper — in which Jason Statham plays a stoic protagonist hellbent on bringing down a group of elites who are preying on the weak — handily checks several boxes for me. Directed by David Ayer, The Beekeeper also stars Minnie Driver, Phylicia Rashad, and Jeremy Irons.

I.S.S. (Jan 19)

I didn’t pay much attention to Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s I.S.S. until I saw the trailer, which sets the movie up as a tense sci-fi thriller. The American and Russian astronauts aboard the International Space Station represent humanity’s best. However, their ideals are put to the test when war breaks out and both teams receive messages to seize control of the station for their respective nations. If nothing else, I.S.S. looks like it could be a decent popcorn thriller even as its storyline hews a bit disconcerting given current geopolitics.

Argylle (Feb 2)

There’s been some talk about Henry Cavill becoming the next James Bond. I’m skeptical about that, but at least with Apple’s Argylle, he gets to play some sort of secret agent. Bryce Dallas Howard stars as an introverted novelist responsible for the ultra-popular Argylle novels. But soon enough, she’s on the run from an evil underground syndicate when her novels get a little too close to the truth of their activities. In addition to Cavill and Howard, Argylle also stars Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Dua Lipa, John Cena, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Dune: Part Two (Mar 1)

2021’s Dune was everything — and I mean everything — that I could’ve ask for in a sci-fi epic. Director Denis Villeneuve delivered in every way imaginable, from the stunning production design and special effects to the thoughtful world-building that brought Frank Herbert’s classic novel to life. A sequel was a foregone conclusion, as young Paul Atreides unites with Arrakis’ Fremen to seek vengeance on the Emperor and those who destroyed his family. Meanwhile, his bizarre visions hint at a terrible future that threatens all of humanity. Dune: Part Two was originally scheduled for the fall of 2023, but was moved to 2024 due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Mickey 17 (Mar 29)

Based on Edward Ashton’s sci-fi novel, Mickey 17 stars Robert Pattinson as the latest in a series of expendable clones sent to colonize a distant world. That’s an interesting premise in and of itself. But when you add in the fact that Mickey 17 is written and directed by Bong Joon-ho — a director who loves working all sorts of subtext and cultural commentary into his movies (e.g., Parasite, Snowpiercer, The Host) — you have real potential for something really interesting.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Apr 12)

It’s a good time to be a Godzilla fan. Godzilla Minus One was a commercial and critical triumph, Apple’s Monarch brought Godzilla et al. to the small screen, and now we have Godzilla and King Kong reuniting. Godzilla vs. Kong left me feeling a bit ambivalent, and this honestly looks to be a bit more of the same. (Like, what’s going on with Kong’s gauntlet and Godzilla’s glow-up?) But you know what, I’ll take whatever Godzilla I can get. Godzilla x Kong stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Dan Stevens.

Civil War (Apr 26)

With films like Ex Machina and Men, Alex Garland is no stranger to making thought-provoking — and just provocative — films. And his latest, about a group of journalists risking their lives to cover the civil war that’s broken out in the United States, looks to be his most provocative yet. Civil War stars Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Nick Offerman as the President of the United States of America.

The Fall Guy (May 3)

Ryan Gosling headlines this movie adaptation of the classic ’80s TV series about a Hollywood stuntman (played by Lee Majors) who uses his stuntman training and skills to moonlight as a bounty hunter. This time around, though, the stuntman (Gosling) must use his skills to solve the mystery of a movie star’s disappearance. The Fall Guy is directed by David Leitch, a former stuntman responsible for the John Wick franchise, so you know the movie’s going to have some crazy sequences. Starring alongside Gosling are Emily Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Winston Duke, Stephanie Hsu, and Hannah Waddingham.

Road House (Mar 21)

The original Road House, starring Patrick Swayze as a surprisingly erudite bouncer, is peak ’80s cinema. Amazon’s upcoming remake stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a former UFC fighter who gets hired to work at a Florida bar where things aren’t exactly what they seem. The film also stars Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen, and Conor McGregor, and is directed by Doug Liman, who has delivered some excellent films in the past, including 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow and 2002’s The Bourne Identity.

Furiosa (May 24)

George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is a marvel of modern action filmmaking, and Furiosa — which follows a younger Furiosa (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) as she tries to return home, only to get caught between two rival warlords in the post-apocalyptic wasteland — looks like it picks up right where the preceding film left off. The trailer makes it clear that Miller is going for the same over-the-top bonkers vibe that made Fury Road so electrifying. The film also stars Chris Hemsworth as the warlord Dementus.

Inside Out 2 (Jun 14)

Originally released way back in 2015, Inside Out remains one of Pixar’s finest films, filled with enough imagination, creativity, and heart for any ten movies (read my review). It’s so good, in fact, that the notion of a sequel seems nigh-sacrilegious, even as it sort of makes sense. This time around, Riley is a teenager, and Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust are not at all prepared for Anxiety to arrive on the scene. Behind the scenes, Tony Hale and Liza Lapira are replacing Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling, respectively, as Fear and Disgust.

Deadpool 3 (Jul 26)

The third Deadpool film brings Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth into the MCU proper, and though plot details haven’t been released, the film does see Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine after 2017’s Logan. (In keeping with Deadpool’s snark, this is a further undoing of the events of 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.) Also returning to the world of superheros is Jennifer Garner as the assassin Elektra, last seen in 2005’s Elektra. The film is directed by Shawn Levy who previously worked with Reynolds on Free Guy (which was so much better than it had any right to be) and The Adam Project (which was fun, but didn’t quite live up expectations).

Paddington in Peru (Nov 8)

The first two Paddington movies are absolute delights as they follow the adventures of the titular marmalade-loving bear as he journeys to London from “Darkest Peru,” is adopted by the Brown family, and has a series of heartwarming adventures brought to life by some truly inventive visuals. For the third Paddington movie, Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) and Browns decide to travel to Peru to visit his Aunt Lucy. Needless to say, things will probably go awry in the most spectacular, and delightful, fashion. Note: November 8, 2024 is the UK release date; the film is currently scheduled for a 2025 release here in the States. But I’m including Paddington in Peru in my 2024 list because I really hope that changes.

Red One (Nov 15)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reunites with his Jumanji director Jake Kasdan for a Christmas-set action/adventure movie that also stars Chris Evans, Lucy Liu, and J. K. Simmons as Santa Claus. No plot details have been released, but apparently, it’s a reimagining of the Christmas myth. That sounds rather cheesy, but no matter if it turns out to be anywhere as entertaining as the Jumanji films.

Gladiator 2 (Nov 22)

More than 20 years have passed since Ridley Scott’s Gladiator swept into theaters. The tale of Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) attempting to survive gladiatorial combat in order to avenge his family was a massive success, winning several Oscars including “Best Picture” and “Best Actor.” A sequel seemed unlikely though, but Scott announced one in 2021, this time focusing on a young man saved by Maximus in the original film. Gladiator 2 stars Paul Mescal in the lead role alongside Denzel Washington, Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi, and Pedro Pascal.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (Dec 13)

Set nearly two centuries before the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The War of the Rohirrim is an animated film that chronicles the exploits of Helm Hammerhand, a legendary king of Rohan. The film features the voices of Brian Cox and Miranda Otto, who reprises her role as Éowyn and narrates the film. Noted anime filmmaker Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ultraman, Blade Runner: Black Lotus) directs while the animation is handled by Sola Entertainment, which will be employing hand animation for the first time in their history.

Nosferatu (Dec 25)

Thanks to The Witch and The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers had established himself as one of today’s more unique filmmakers, one whose films are fascinated with myth and folklore. Nosferatu reimagines the classic vampire tale originally released in 1922 by F. W. Murnau. Bill Skarsgård stars as the nefarious Count Orlok, who becomes infatuated with a young woman played by Lily-Rose Depp. The film also stars Nicholas Hoult as her husband, as well as Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Willem Dafoe. (Back in 2000, Dafoe starred in Shadow of the Vampire, a fictionalized retelling of the making of Nosferatu; he played actor Max Schreck, who turns out to actually be a vampire.)

Damsel (TBA)

Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things, Enola Holmes) stars as a young princess who is sacrificed to the dragon that’s threatening the countryside. The princess, however, has other plans. Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intacto), Damsel also stars Angela Bassett, Ray Winstone, and Shohreh Aghdashloo.

Death of a Unicorn (TBA)

Thanks to titles like Everything Everywhere All at Once, Beau is Afraid, and After Yang, A24 has established themselves as a purveyor of truly unique films. Alex Scharfman’s Death of a Unicorn certainly looks like it’ll continue that trend; Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega star as a father and daughter who accidentally hit a unicorn with their car, and must enlist the aid of a wealthy pharmaceutical CEO. As an added bonus, iconic director John Carpenter wrote the film’s score.

The Electric State (TBA)

Simon Stålenhag’s retro-futuristic artwork has captured the imagination of many individuals, evoking nostalgia, wonder, and dread in equal measure. His Tales from the Loop was turned into a haunting TV series by Amazon, and now, it’s Netflix’s turn to bring his art to life. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War), The Electric State stars Millie Bobby Brown as a young woman who sets out to find her missing father with the help of a robot companion. The film also stars Chris Pratt, Ke Huy Quan, and Stanley Tucci as well as the voices of Brian Cox, Jenny Slate, and Giancarlo Esposito.

Joseph Kosinski’s Untitled Formula 1 Film (TBD)

With Top Gun: Maverick, Joseph Kosinski provided ample proof that he could make cinematic thrills. For his next film, he’s turning to the world of Formula 1 racing. Brad Pitt plays a retired racer who is hired to mentor a young racer (Damson Idris). Buckle up; I think this one’s going to go for broke, in all the best ways possible.

Love Me (TBA)

How’s this for a premise? A buoy and a satellite — played by Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun — meet online and fall in love after the end of human civilization. Love Me is the directorial debut of Andrew and Sam Zuchero, who’ve released several short films as Sam & Andy.

Megalopolis (TBA)

Francis Ford Coppola began working on Megalopolis back in the ’80s, and after some stops and starts, ended up self-funding the film to the tune of $100 million of his own money. Adam Driver stars as an ambitious architect who wants to rebuild New York City as a utopia after a disaster. Megalopolis also stars Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Schwartzman, and Dustin Hoffman.

Untitled Wallace & Gromit Film (TBA)

Few films are as delightful as Aardman Animations’ Wallace & Gromit series, which chronicle the exploits of cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his faithful canine companion, Gromit. Their latest film will premiere on Netflix in 2024, and finds the duo divided over Wallace’s reliance on his inventions. But when his latest invention (surprise!) develops a mind of its own, it’s up to Gromit to save the day… again.

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