Monday 3 January 2022

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies for 2022

As the 2021 holiday season slows to an end, the time has come to set our sights on what we can expect in 2022. I am of course talking about the many movies that will serve as escapism over the course of the next 12 months, be that at the cinema or on the various streaming platforms like Netflix. Thankfully, we don't have that many carryovers from the previous year this time around, as the film industry continues to adapt to the new climate, even in the face of the latest variant of concern.

I've tried as much as possible to limit my selection of 2022 movies to those ones that currently have concrete release dates, as well as some form of teaser, trailer or promotional material shared detailing what the film is about. That said, I might still sneak in one or two pie-in-the-sky movies simply because my anticipation for it cannot be contained, even in the absence of said details. So with all that out of the way, here are my Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2022.

10. Morbius

One of the few films to get bumped into 2022, Morbius is an upcoming superhero movie wherein Jared Leto plays the eponymous scientist turned vampire. Sony Pictures Entertainment is currently busy building its own shared cinematic universe to rival Disney's, with their Spider-Man movies serving as its foundation. And so far, it would appear that they've scored nothing but hits with both Venom movies and all their Spider-Man films managing to resonate with fans. This is why all eyes are currently set on Morbius to keep that winning streak going.

9. Jurassic World: Dominion

The highly-anticipated third film in the current Jurassic World trilogy (itself a spin-off of the prior Jurassic Park trilogy) should be hitting cinemas just in time for summer. And if the 5-minute prologue that was shown on IMAX screens last year is anything to go by, the film looks primed to follow in the footsteps of both Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Colin Trevorrow returns to direct, after stepping away for the prior installment, and his latest film is set 4 years after the last one, following that film's surprise ending.

8. Lightyear

Pixar once again returns to the property that helped make them a household name in the realm of animation, but not in the form of another Toy Story sequel. Lightyear is rather a prequel of sorts, going over the exploits of the astronaut that served as inspiration for the Buzz Lightyear line of action figures from those other films. Little is known about the project beyond that premise, but if the studio's body of work is anything to go by, then moviegoers are in for a treat.

7. Black Adam

The Rock steps into the realm of superhero fiction in Black Adam, an upcoming film in the DCEU. The long-in-development project is being positioned as a spin-off of the 2019 film, Shazam!, which is itself set to receive a sequel in 2023 (keep an eye out for it on my 2023 most anticipated films list). Fans got their first real look at the movie in last year's DC FanDome, with a short clip that shows plenty of potential for what would hopefully be another win for the DCEU.

6. The Flash

Speaking of DC FanDome, one of the films that had the most buzz heading into the event was the forthcoming Flash movie. Simply titled The Flash, the film finds Ezra Miller reprising his role as the DC speedster from Justice League. But what had fans most excited was the news that both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck would be reprising their roles as Bruce Wayne/Batman in a story that involves time travel and multiple timelines. And those fans finally got their first glimpse of the former in the short clip that was shown during the event.

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Following the incredible success of the first Black Panther film in 2018, as well as the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, a lot of speculation has been had regarding what direction the next film in the series would be forced to take. The first film remains one of the most widely beloved films in the MCU, and a lot of that has to do with the man at the center of the film. And while the new film's production is still very much influx at the moment, it is currently slated for a November 11th release date. Here's hoping that it not only honors and carries on Chadwick Boseman's legacy, but also meets and exceeds expectations in other ways.

4. Turning Red

We return to Pixar yet again on my list of most anticipated films for 2022 with Turning Red, an animated film about a young girl with an uncanny tendency to turn into a giant red panda whenever she gets anxious. The premise alone is reason enough to get excited for the film, but when you couple that with some truly gorgeous animation and the studio's pedigree, then it quickly becomes one of 2022's most promising titles.

3. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part One)

As though the highs of the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home were not enough to tide Spidey fans over until his next MCU appearance, Sony upped and dropped a trailer for the sequel to their Academy Award-winning animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This time around, it appears that Miles Morales and friends would be going "Across the Spider-Verse" as its title alludes. The film is just the first part in what is currently being billed as an overall trilogy, so buckle up for what is sure to be another wild ride.

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

And while we are still on the topic of Spider-Man, or Spider-Man: No Way Home specifically, the next movie in the MCU looks set to address the ramifications of the events of that film. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stephen Strange would have to join forces with Wanda Maximoff as he attempts to deal with the consequences of his actions. The film also appears to tie into his appearance in the animated What If...? series, so there's plenty riding on it as things currently stand.

1. The Batman

After suffering a delay that saw it get bumped from October into March 2022, Matt Reeves' The Batman is presently slated to do gangbusters at the box office. The film will have Robert Pattison putting on the caped crusader's cowl in the masked vigilante's latest attempts to clean up the streets of Gotham. And if the trailers are any kind of indication, then this version of Batman might just be the most brutal we've gotten thus far.

Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan have left a rather high-water mark for all subsequent Batman films to follow. But as we saw from Ben Aflleck's take on both Bruce Wayne and Batman, there are still several shades of his character yet to be explored on the big screen. The Batman appears to be the latest one of those, a gritty look at crime fighting that has more in common with films like Se7en than the likes of Batman v Superman and Justice League. And I am all for it.