2019 is setting itself up to be a memorable year in film. There are superheroes galore, the end of the Avengers, shape-shifting clowns, doppelgangers and a hitman who must fight through one of the toughest cities in the world. There’s plenty of choice, but here are 12 films I am particularly looking forward to.
After surprising us all with Split and its connection to Unbreakable, which was released 16 years prior, we now have the thoroughly good-looking Glass to look forward to. Shrouded in intrigue and a healthy dose of mystery, Glass will see M. Night Shyamalan unite Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) for a film we had no idea we would be so excited for.
There’s a vicious rumour going around that DC have finally sorted their shit out. With the forgettable Justice League behind them, Marvel Studios closest rivals seem to be back on track after the outrageous success of Aquaman. Cleverly set for release in between Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, Shazam! could and should have the box office receipts to itself in that time. Here’s hoping it’s more like Aquaman and a lot less like Suicide Squad.
10 Men in Black: International
Call me a fool, but this looks like lots of fun. Reuniting the Thor: Ragnarok dream team of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, MIB: International sees the two take over from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and set off on a globe-trotting adventure after uncovering a murder in their London branch.
Little is known about Brightburn, but judging from the first trailer we have much to look forward to. Produced by James Gunn and starring Elizabeth Banks, Brightburn is a horror take on the superhero film and specifically so Superman. This “what if” tale looks at an all-American family who adopt a boy after he crashes to earth and lands on their farm and is quite obviously different from everyone else. The tables soon turn though, as Brightburn takes the well-worn scenario and twists it to look at what would happen if this potential hero went bad and decides to hurt, rather than help people.
I make no apologies for this, because I am deliriously excited about this DC stand-alone film. Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix & Robert De Niro Joker sees a failed stand-up comedian shunned by the public and turning to a life of crime in the urban disorder of Gotham City. We have no trailer yet, but the behind-the-scenes photos and all the talk suggests this may be the breakout hit of 2019.
Save your Aladdin’s and The Lion King, because Dumbo is where it’s really at. With Tim Burton directing, Dumbo has a visual style all of its own and Burton’s narrative may allow for darker take on the classic story. With a cast that includes Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell, Eva Green and Michael Keaton, Burton may deliver his best film in years.
6 Pet Sematary
Another year, another Stephen King adaptation. The 1989 version of King’s famous book is still watchable, but the acting and effects have dated poorly even if it does remain daft fun. Come 2019 and the Jason Clarke starring horror looks to have nailed the tone and psychological torment needed for another trip to Pet Sematary.
5 Captain Marvel
The first female-led Marvel film stars Brie Larson & Jude Law and is set to unlock even more secrets held within the Marvel Universe. Larson’s Captain Marvel is a former US air force pilot turned intergalactic warrior who returns to earth to stop an interplanetary war. And judging by the end sequence of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel will also have a huge role to play in the final showdown with Thanos.
Maintaining the momentum built up in Get Out Jordan Peele returns with the horrific psychological horror Us. The first trailer landed on Christmas Day and managed to get the internet talking when they should have been gobbling turkey and nursing a hangover that started at 10AM. Twisting the Luniz’ classic “I Got 5 On It” and managing to look more frightening than a day at the beach ever should be, Us sees the Wilson family attacked by a group of doppelgangers who terrorise them on what should have been an idyllic weekend away.
3 John Wick: Chapter 3
Who knew that five years ago we would be brimming with excitement after seeing Keanu Reeves beat the shit out of everyone who crossed him. The simple revenge thriller has no grown into a world full of hitmen, adorable dogs, a hotel that serves the filthy underbelly of New York and Ian McShane chewing the scenery. Chapter 3 sees John fighting to get out of New York alive after committing the ultimate betrayal in the Continental and killing a member of the High Table.
2 It: Chapter 2
By far one of my favourite horror films in recent memory, It was a straight-up terrifying film by way of a coming-of-age drama. It: Chapter 2 catches up with the Loser’s Club 27 years after the events of It and the gang must return to their home town to finally put an end to Pennywise the clown. With a cast that now includes James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader there are high hopes indeed for the second instalment in this haunting series.
1 Avengers: Endgame
Could it really be anything else? Marvel Studios have been playing with our emotions ever since the great snap of 2018. With many heroes lost and the surviving heroes scattered, it is up to those left behind to mount one last assault against Thanos. This may be the final stand for Iron Man and Captain America while the fate of many others remains unknown. Several actors’ contracts are running out and with the dawn of Black Panther, Spider-Man and Captain Marvel it is quite clear we are moving into new territory with new heroes leading the way.
Notable mentions: The Mule, Hellboy, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Toy Story 4, Rocketman, The Lion King, The Addams Family, Star Wars: Episode IX and Green Book (which is already the best film of the year).