If all goes well, this new year of movies will feel a lot smoother than the last two. Although 2021 successfully hosted the return of cinema-going and the final few infamously covid-delayed releases, it always felt like a second attempt at 2020, a sequel instead of a stand-alone movie. 2022 will surely not be another 2020 too (read that out loud!) so here are only a few of the most interesting films to look out for this year and this year only.
The Batman – March 4
When there are so many millionaire orphans in bat costumes grappling about on-screen, as Ben Affleck returns in the DCEU’s The Flash this year, and The Dark Knight Trilogy still intimidates all other superhero movies, people may think that Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne could struggle to stand out. However, when the trailers for The Batman were released, fans saw a glimpse of something completely original and still perhaps the most faithful live-action nod to the comic books to date. Displaying a dark and grungy balance between Christopher Nolan’s clean Gotham-as-New-York and Zach Snyder’s Gotham-as-CGI-painting, director Matt Reeves will hopefully deliver something that feels like we are truly in the terrifying world of Batman. With Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, and more, joining Pattinson in surely one of the coolest casts of 2022, this could also be one of the year’s biggest and darkest hits.
The Northman – April 22
Robert Eggers’ The Northman, a Viking epic exploring revenge and justice as a man attempts to avenge his murdered father, sounds as intense and bloody as it definitely will be. I’m guessing it will also be very dirty. Eggers’ past two films, The Witch and The Lighthouse, have found great acclaim in their psychological and sinister explorations of human nature and paranoia. Eggers creates haunting and claustrophobic atmospheres that blur the line between myth and reality, which is likely why his films are very divisive, so it will be exciting to see what he does with a plot that sounds more conventional than his prior films. The trailer boasts lots of action, good actors, and a score of dirt and blood-squelching sound effects.
Nope – July 22
All we know about Nope is that it’s directed by Jordan Peele and it features Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun, which is enough for it to become one of the most anticipated movies of the year. We also have a poster that Peele released last year, which shows a dark cloud in a dark sky floating above a lit-up… place. There’s also some colourful bunting drifting along with this ominous cloud above. So, yes, there are many questions, but there is also one definite answer – it will be good. Get Out and Us were brilliant blends of horror, comedy, and intensely precise and unique looks at social issues, so perhaps expect a similar approach with this one. Should you be incredibly excited for Nope? Yep.
The Woman King – September 16
The Woman King, a historical epic set in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the greatest states in Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries, is hopefully going to be one of the most exciting and talked about movies of the year. Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, who recently starred as the new 007 in No Time To Die, John Boyega, and more big names will take to screen. Davis stars as the leader of an all-female military group and Boyega lands the role of King Ghezo, the ruler of Dahomey, now the southern region of Benin. The Woman King will show a historical period rarely put on screen and hopefully, this will ignite an increasing demand in the mainstream for more stories set across the rich variety of African history.
Don’t Worry Darling – September 23
Olivia Wilde’s second film sounds rather different from her playful and sharply modern 2019 comedy Booksmart. Don’t Worry Darling is a psychological thriller about a 1950s housewife discovering dark secrets relating to her husband. It sounds intriguing, teasing the tantalising convention of sinister secrets in seemingly utopian settings. The great Florence Pugh, who seems to steal every show she’s in, heads the cast, and Harry Styles takes the role of the husband, the weightiest and most complex role of his early acting career so far. Playing a supposedly charming and glamorous man who looks very stylish in 1950s clothing seems a good fit anyway. What lies beneath all this glamour, however, and how this will be explored by Olivia Wilde, is what could make this one of the most compelling thrillers of the year.
Mission Impossible 7 – September 30
Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible movies have given James Bond a legitimate rival. James Bond is classy, he wears nice suits, and every film is drenched in the cool nostalgia of the films before it, but Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, with his boring name and Tom Cruise face, is so uncool that everything he does is just more impressive than the exhaustingly suave James Bond. The insane lengths that the production team goes to in order to get unforgettable action all on camera is why Mission: Impossible has become iconic. The last installment had Cruise jumping out of a plane, flying a helicopter, and speeding on a motorbike through Paris (without a helmet). Behind-the-scenes videos of the new seventh film show a life-size train driving off a cliff and Cruise also riding a motorbike off a cliff. With genuine emotional arcs seeping their way into the most recent MI movies, it seems that this new one will attempt to out-do all the ones before, and I personally am very excited to see a man who is turning 60 this year get involved in lots of cliff-based action.
Babylon – December 25
Damien Chazelle goes back to Hollywood with Babylon, a story set during the time of transition from silent movies to talkies. A movie about Hollywood, as seen with La La Land, is always going to be a definite contender for major awards success and with a heavy-hitting cast of Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and many more famous names, it seems like it will do well at the box office too. Chazelle’s brilliant filmography, Whiplash, Moonlight, and First Man, is incredibly impressive for how young he is compared to most directors today. It is exciting to see his career grow and it will be interesting to see what he has to say about this key moment in Hollywood history.
Image courtesy of Hargreaves Lansdown