Happy New Year, folks! There’s lots to look forward to this year, from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (a first for any royal in history) to the Qatar World Cup in December, but most importantly Hollywood is prepping some of its biggest blockbusters for full-on theatrical releases – and we’re going to take a look at just some of them today!

So, without further ado, here are 20 reasons to get excited about 2022…

20 – FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE

Despite the critical and financial disappointment of The Crimes of Grindelwald, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts prequel series is steaming ahead with another new chapter that takes our heroes – Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and Dan Fogler’s Muggle/No-Maj Jacob among them – to new and exciting places within the Wizarding World.

This one also promises more of Jude Law’s younger version of Dumbledore – hence the title – which can only be a good thing seeing how he was one of the better parts of that previous film. It’s likely we’ll find out more about his relationship with evil wizard Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen after that whole business with Johnny Depp), and if it’s anything like Rowling has hinted about in the past, prepare for things to get emotional fast.

Either way, it should mark a magical return to the world of wizards and witches alike…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

8TH APRIL 2022

 

19 – HALLOWEEN ENDS

While Halloween Kills may have been (figurative and literal) overkill, this upcoming third entry in the rebooted – again – sequel series to John Carpenter’s classic 1978 slasher is destined to conclude the story once and for all, and for that it’ll be mighty interesting to see how things pan out.

The showdown we’ve all been waiting for, that of unstoppable serial killer Michael Myers versus hardened survivor Laurie Strode, is bound to happen at long last, with one decisive victor in a battle that audiences have been waiting for since the first film. A rumoured time-jump in the narrative, said to factor in the pandemic, will also make things a bit more tender to process, making our fighters just a little bit older and therefore more dangerous before their ultimate face-off..

Who will make it out alive? You know when that will be answered…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

14TH OCTOBER 2022

 

18 – UNCHARTED

In development for what feels like forever, the popular video game adventure series finally gets a big-screen version worthy of the theatrical scope that the games provide.

Tom Holland portrays a younger version of fortune hunter Nathan Drake, with Mark Wahlberg as his mentor Victor Sullivan, and under the direction of Ruben Fleisher their globe-spanning adventures together are bound to not only be thrilling to watch, but also hugely entertaining with a good sense of humour to prevent its potential self-seriousness. It certainly looks as though the spirit of the games is alive and well in this adaptation, hopefully making the long wait between game and cinema worth it.

At the very least, it’ll do until Indiana Jones finally returns in 2023…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

11TH FEBRUARY 2022

 

17 – SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2

Debuting just before the pandemic hit, the surprisingly-not-terrible video game adaptation of the iconic character of Sonic became a decent-sized hit before, y’know, the rest of 2020 happened.

This follow-up promises much more of what worked before, including awesome displays of Sonic’s super-speed powers, new developments with his human bestie James Marsden, and of course plenty more of Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik, now sporting his famously bald head and bushy moustache. Not only that, but classic Sonic side characters Tails and Knuckles are set to make their big-screen debuts here as well, and as with the blue hedgehog himself they look as close to their original designs as possible, without the need to radically redo it all this time.

Sure, there’s also a Mario movie due out this year too, but in the absence of a trailer or even a solid title for that one, Sonic will – for now, anyway – take this video game spot on this list…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

8TH APRIL 2022

 

16 – JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION

The Jurassic World series has, so far, not even been able to leave a patch on the legacy of the original Jurassic Park – but that could change with this third instalment, which adds a much wider canvas to the prehistoric sci-fi world than ever before.

With the dinosaurs now loose upon the world, the threat has become much greater than ever before, which has prompted director Colin Trevorrow – returning after sitting out the last movie – to combine his current cast including Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, with legacy faces Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum who reunite on-screen together for the first time since Steven Spielberg’s ground-breaking original. Hopefully, these familiar folks will generate a spark that has been sorely missing in this revamped series, and won’t just be there to stir up some cheap nostalgia for the far superior 1993 blockbuster.

Either way, get ready for plenty more dino-on-dino action on a much more colossal scale…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

10TH JUNE 2022

 

15 – THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT

This year, Nicolas Cage will tackle his most insane, most ferocious, and most unpredictable character yet: himself.

In perhaps the most meta role of his career, Cage will be playing a warped version of himself, who reluctantly decides to attend the birthday party of superfan Pedro Pascal, where danger and madness inevitably unfolds. It’s bound to be a fascinating send-up of Cage’s career and known public persona, and with great comedic talent like Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan and Ike Barinholtz involved you know that the self-aware humour is going to be off the charts.

For Cage fans everywhere, this is probably going to be the equivalent of an epic Marvel event…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

22ND APRIL 2022

 

14 – THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER

Chris Hemsworth is back once more as the titular God of Thunder in what seems to be the biggest, and most bonkers, big-screen outing yet for one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes.

Taika Waititi returns to the director’s chair – meaning, yes, more Korg too! – for a cosmic epic that spans the galaxy and sees Thor go out against Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, which surely spells certain doom for our hunky Asgardian? Not quite, for he’s got some strong back-up this time, not just from Tessa Thompson’s returning warrior (and newly-crowned Queen of Asgard) Valkyrie, or even members of the Guardians of the Galaxy that Thor was last seen heading on adventures with, but also his former love Jane Foster – played once again by Natalie Portman – who is primed to become the Mighty Thor after being endowed with her own god-like superpowers.

The stage is thus set for a Marvel epic like no other, all under Waititi’s blissfully tongue-in-cheek stylings…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

8TH JULY 2022

 

13 – BLACK ADAM

Dwayne Johnson’s debut in the DC Universe is about to change the hierarchy of power entirely, and from the basis of this first-look, we’re inclined to believe that statement.

The popular anti-hero is perfect casting for Johnson, who has long championed a feature-length movie about the arch-nemesis of established DC hero Shazam, and with his Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra at the helm expect plenty of energetic action and maybe even the odd bit of darkness to this very different hero’s journey. The Justice Society of America will also make its debut here, serving either as friend or foe to this new all-powerful arrival, though with Pierce Brosnan amongst that group you’re never quite sure (unless he starts singing, in which case he’s definitely a foe).

After the debut of this movie, Superman had better watch his back…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

29TH JULY 2022

 

12 – LIGHTYEAR

There are no toys to be found in this epic space adventure, which charts the origins of the real-life space ranger who inspired the action-figure range we all know and love from the Toy Story movies.

Chris Evans voices the cadet known as Buzz Lightyear, who goes on a vast and noble quest throughout the stars in a dazzlingly animated adventure which sets itself apart from anything that Pixar has yet done, with new and exciting worlds to explore and maybe, just maybe, call-backs to everything from the little green aliens to the evil Emperor Zurg. The possibilities are endless, and in true Pixar fashion we may well get everything we hope for from a movie about the space ranger himself.

It looks like it’s going to take us from infinity and beyond, and maybe even further…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

17TH JUNE 2022

 

11 – THE NORTHMAN

After impressing on much smaller scales with The Witch and The Lighthouse, filmmaker Robert Eggers expands his ambition with arguably his biggest film to date, and if both The Green Knight and The Tragedy of Macbeth have taught us anything this past year, it’s never to underestimate the power of a gritty historical adventure.

Eggers’ latest effort takes us back to the rough Viking era, for an epic revenge thriller as Alexander Skarsgård seeks to kill the person who offed his father Ethan Hawke – and if that wasn’t starry enough, not only are the likes of Nicole Kidman and Björk also showing up here, but Eggers also reunites with his respective stars of The Witch and The Lighthouse Anya Taylor-Joy and Willem Dafoe, in what appear to be roles that could out-crazy their parts in those other films.

It looks set to be a gorgeous, gruesome and entertainingly gritty revenge story this side of The Revenant, and could position Robert Eggers as one of our most reliable new filmmakers…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

22ND APRIL 2022

 

10 – BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER

Perhaps the most bittersweet of the Marvel movies scheduled for this year is this one, which hits hard with the loss of lead Chadwick Boseman and therefore the main character of T’Challa (who has, thankfully, been confirmed to not be recast so as to honour the late actor’s legacy).

The question is, though, with the King of Wakanda now absent, who will take up the mantle of the Black Panther? All signs point to fan-favourite Shuri, played once again by Letitia Wright, but really anyone could stake their claim towards the coveted title, whether it’s other returning faces like Lupita Nyong’o or Danai Gurira, or newcomers like Michaela Coal in an as-yet undisclosed role. Expect future Ironheart hero Riri Williams to also make her debut here, played by Dominique Thorne before her in-development Disney+ show.

No matter who ends up becoming the next Black Panther, though, director Ryan Coogler and his cast and crew are creating what is sure to be a heartfelt tribute to its former holder…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

11TH NOVEMBER 2022

 

9 – DON’T WORRY DARLING

After surprising everyone with her rousing directorial debut Booksmart, Olivia Wilde is back with a decisively mysterious new thriller that has everyone guessing about.

Said to be a 50s suburban satire, featuring a cast that includes Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine and Wilde herself, there isn’t much we can surmise about the film just yet – except that it looks as though things could turn into a disturbing David Lynch nightmare at any moment, with darkness and seedy behaviour lurking underneath the belly of society. Whatever that could mean is entirely up in the air right now, but as with Booksmart we’ve learned to never doubt Wilde as a filmmaker, so this should be keenly observed from now until its release date.

Also, for Harry Styles fans, it’s guaranteed to be a big-screen event like no other…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

23RD SEPTEMBER 2022

 

8 – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7

While production has been hit multiple times by the pandemic – it began filming in February 2020 (oops) before finally completing principal photography in September 2021 – it’s only made the seventh entry in the long-running Mission: Impossible series that much more anticipated.

Expect plenty more death-defying scenarios that Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt will put himself in, with a new mission that will take Hunt and his team to dangerous new heights (quite literally, it seems) while facing some new realities that could harm their capabilities, or possibly improve them. The addition of Hayley Atwell as a mysterious new face will surely shake things up, while the reintroduction of Henry Czerny (last seen all the way back in the first 1996 instalment) will bring a sense of nostalgia for the very roots of the film series.

As ever, it will set the bar even higher for Tom Cruise and his daring stunt-work until the next movie in the franchise…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

30TH SEPTEMBER 2022

 

7 – NOPE

Still in doubt about Jordan Peele’s new brand of social horror? The proof as to why you shouldn’t be is right above, which is all we need to get excited about his new upcoming horror entry.

Reuniting with Get Out star and newly-certified Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya, who stars alongside Steven Yeun and Keke Palmer, Peele’s third film as writer and director is shrouded in mystery, with only a title and an eye-catching teaser poster to go by. Even so, there’s plenty of reasons to keep an eye on this one, in particular the fact that it’s being shot on 65mm IMAX film which suggests a much larger canvas than he’s worked on before, and with Christopher Nolan’s regular cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema providing the imagery it’s also set to be his most visually-dazzling to date.

Whatever Nope ends up being, expect audiences to say “yep” to this one…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

22ND JULY 2022

 

6 – DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS

It’s going to be a big year for comic book movies and the multiverse, starting with the second feature to star Benedict Cumberbatch’s magical Marvel hero.

Fresh from tampering with the multiverse in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Dr. Stephen Strange will team with Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch for an epic quest through numerous alternate dimensions, directed by horror and superhero legend Sam Raimi in what is being billed as Marvel’s first horror movie. How much of that horror we’ll see here is still in question, and with the movie recently conducting some re-shoots we could well see some surprising additions that could span several past Marvel universes or introduce disturbing new ones.

One thing’s for sure, the multiverse isn’t going away any time soon…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

6TH MAY 2022

 

5 – THE FLASH

It isn’t just Marvel going the multiverse route, but DC as well in a major shake-up that could change this particular cinematic universe forever.

The first solo adventure for Ezra Miller’s super-speedster Barry Allen/The Flash takes us on a vast and strange journey throughout multiple timelines, thanks to a journey to the past that ends up changing everything in the present, and possibly the future too. Among them is a new Kryptonian in the form of Sasha Calle’s Supergirl, what appears to be another version of Miller’s Barry, but most notably of all we have ourselves two Batmen from different universes: Ben Affleck’s version, and none other than Michael Keaton’s classic interpretation, which will be a major moment for lovers of Tim Burton’s first two movies with the iconic DC hero.

Hopefully, in the middle of all that, there’ll be plenty of room for an actual Flash movie as well…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

4TH NOVEMBER 2022

 

4 – SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (PART ONE)

Thought that Spider-Man was done with the whole multiverse situation after No Way Home? Not so fast, for it’s Miles Morales’ turn to go back within the colourful and illustrious Spider-Verse in this anticipated follow-up to the Oscar-winning animated hit.

Writers and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller take us on a powerful new journey that’s so big it’s being split into two parts (Part Two will be released in 2023), and for good reason: on top of bringing back Miles Morales and Hailee Steinfeld’s Gwen Stacy for this new dimensional adventure, we’ve got much more of Oscar Isaac as Spider-Man 2099 – last seen during the post-credits scene of the first movie – and numerous other surprises concerning the character’s long comics history. If it’s anything like the first film, and chances are it will be, then it’s going to be a dazzling and visually astonishing ride.

But will Spider-Ham be returning also? That will be one of the many reasons to keep speculating about this one…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

7TH OCTOBER 2022

 

3 – AVATAR 2

It’s been a long time coming, but James Cameron’s eagerly-anticipated follow-up to The Biggest Film Of All Time© is finally scheduled to debut this year (for now) – and if there’s anything we can take away from the runaway success of James Cameron’s first film, it’s that we should never underestimate him in the slightest.

The first of four (!) planned sequels will follow Na’vi couple Jake and Neyteri (played once again by Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana via motion-capture) and their young family as they are forced from their home by the returning humans and encounter new beings from beneath the depths of Pandora. This brings in Cameron’s skills for underwater shooting, which will surely be a major milestone in the realm of motion-capture effects, and with further returning faces Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang the stage is set for an epic continuation of this futuristic sci-fi story.

Maybe this time, as well, the story won’t be so derivative of everything from Pocahontas to Dances with Wolves

WHEN’S IT OUT?

16TH DECEMBER 2022

 

2 – TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Now making its third consecutive annual appearance on this list, all the signs point to this also being the year that the long-awaited sequel finally debuts in cinemas.

The follow-up to the Tom Cruise-starring 80s blockbuster hit, with Cruise returning as that cocky pilot Maverick, isn’t a mere cash-grab for nostalgia of the original, but will showcase some enthralling new pilot stunts performed by none other than Cruise himself, shot on glorious IMAX that allows the full scope of the image. Beyond the thrilling stunt work, however, this is set to be a personal outing for Cruise’s Maverick as he is called in to train a new generation of pilots that look upon him as a legend in his field, but inevitably there is drama to unfold as one of the new recruits is the son of his fallen comrade Goose. How will said offspring, played by Miles Teller, feel about being taught by the guy who was there as his old man was killed? Needless to say, there’s going to be some tears shed, as well as a lot of that glorious homoeroticism that the original has become known for.

For Cruise, it will be a golden opportunity to return to one of his signature roles, but for all of us it’s going to be a dazzling experience that only the man himself could dream up…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

27TH MAY 2022

 

1 – THE BATMAN

How many more iterations of Batman do we need? Not enough, apparently. While we’ll be seeing plenty of past Bruce Waynes in The Flash later this year, director Matt Reeves will introduce us to an all-new rendition of the hero which looks as though it’ll be the darkest, pulpiest and most thrilling version of the character to date.

Robert Pattinson is donning the mask this time round, going up against a number of nemeses from Paul Dano’s creepy Riddler, to an unrecognisable Colin Farrell’s brutal gangster The Penguin, to Zoë Kravitz as skilled cat burglar Catwoman, all while navigating a gritty murder-mystery that will test both Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego like never before. It will be a truly momentous day for Batman fans everywhere, who will adore the return to film-noir detective themes that the original comics bathed themselves in, and so far it looks as though director Matt Reeves has delivered on the quietly epic story that brings the hero into an all-new light.

All eyes will be on Pattinson to see if he has what it takes to be up there alongside Keaton, Bale, Affleck and others as the definitive Batman, and so far it looks like he will be a formidable contender…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

4TH MARCH 2022

 

ALSO OUT THIS YEAR (DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BREATH)

  • Scream (out: 14th January 2022)

  • Morbius (out: 28th January 2022)

  • Jackass Forever (out: 4th February 2022)

  • Moonfall (out: 4th February 2022)

  • Death on the Nile (out: 11th February 2022)

  • Turning Red (out: 11th March 2022)

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era (out: 18th March 2022)

  • Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre (out: 18th March 2022)

  • The Lost City (out: 25th February 2022)

  • The Bad Guys (out: 1st April 2022)

  • Bullet Train (out: 8th April 2022)

  • DC League of Super-Pets (out: 20th May 2022)

  • Elvis (out: 24th June 2022)

  • Where the Crawdads Sing (out: 24th June 2022)

  • Minions 2: The Rise of Gru (out: 1st July 2022)

  • The Railway Children Return (out: 15th July 2022)

  • The Man From Toronto (out: 12th August 2022)

  • Bros (out: 26th August 2022)

  • Salem’s Lot (out: 9th September 2022)

  • The Woman King (out: 16th September 2022)

  • Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (out: 21st October 2022)

  • Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (out: 18th November 2022)

  • Creed III (out: 23rd November 2022)

  • Matilda (out: 2nd December 2022)

  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (out: 16th December 2022)

  • Mario (out: 21st December 2022)

  • I Wanna Dance with Somebody (out: 23rd December 2022)