Epic sequels, talent, reminiscence and farewell tears

2024’s film bonanza guarantees unparallelled excitement and nostalgia for movie enthusiasts

Talking about sequels does not guarantee avoiding mistakes, as there are countless variables to take into consideration

Writing about the big upcoming premieres of the year means is to tackle the fantasy genre. Since no one has the secret of guaranteed success, neither in the cinema nor in life, when talking about the future highlights of the big screen there is a tendency to put the spotlight on two types of productions: the sequels of previous great hits and the projects with filmmakers and actors of proven solvency. Surprises like Everything Everywhere All at Once, which ended up triumphing at the Oscars, cannot be predicted, although now all eyes are on A24, the independent production company behind this success.

So let’s start by highlighting two of their projects for 2024: Priscilla (February 14), a biography about Elvis Presley’s wife directed by Sofia Coppola (another prestigious name) and Dream Scenario (March 1), with veteran star Nicolas Cage, a surreal story full of humour, which made the audience laugh heartily at the most recent Sitges Film Festival.

Talking about sequels does not guarantee avoiding mistakes, because the variables are countless. There may be a global pandemic (2020-2022) or a Hollywood writers and actors strike (2023). A year ago we were talking about Dune: Part Two, but it will finally be released in 2024. A film openings in the cinema does not guarantee success either: the fifth installment of Indiana Jones hit the screens, for example, to considerable failure. On the other hand, Warner Bros with Barbie and Universal with Oppenheimer took the box office by storm last summer. If they continue their streak, Universal could very well clean up with three powerful titles due for release: Argylle (Feb 2), a spy story with Bryce Dallas Howard and Henry Cavill, Nosferatu (no release date yet), an adaptation by Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Man from the North) of Murnau’s classic, and The Fall Guy (May 1), with Ryan Gosling playing an action stuntman who finds himself embroiled in real action.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros is betting on sequels. In addition to Dune: Part Two (Mar 1), it is also reprising a hit from 2015, which at the same time was already a sequel to Mad Max (1979). May 24 will be the release of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, directed again by George Miller, with Anya Taylor-Joy replacing Charlize Theron at the head of the cast.

More sequels

There are more nostalgic titles coming up. Beetlejuice 2 arrives on September 6, in which Tim Burton brings back to the big screen the much-missed Winona Ryder, 36 years after the original. Then there is Gladiator 2 (Nov 22), which returns 24 years later, now with Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal. Joker: Folie à Deux (Oct 4) will see Joaquin Phoenix joined by Lady Gaga, while Inside Out 2 (June 14)is a sequel to Pixar’s animated hit.

This will also be a year of much-anticipated returns. Thirteen years after his last fictional feature film, Twixt, it looks like Francis Ford Coppola will finally release Megalopolis (no release date), his first major production in 25 years. Adam Driver plays an architect who wants to rebuild New York after a cataclysm. Kevin Costner goes back to westerns, as a director and star, with Horizon: An American Saga (Jun 28). As the name suggests, it will be the first film in a series, and the second is already being filmed. After an intense decade, between The Tree of Life (2011) and A Hidden Life (2019), Terrence Malick took some time off but now he returns with the biblical drama, The Last Planet (no release date).

In 2023, we said goodbye to Woody Allen and Ken Loach, and in 2024 two other legendary names say farewell: Clint Eastwood brings his 53-year career as a director to an end with Juror No.2 (no release date) and we will get to see the latest work of veteran actor Michael Caine, The Great Escaper (Jun 26).

As a taster, the Venice Golden Lion winner Poor Things (Jan 26), by Yorgos Lanthimos, with a stellar Emma Stone aiming for the Oscar, is to be highly recommended. And from outside the US will arrive Mickey 17 (Mar 27), the new film by Korean Bong Joon-ho (Parasites), starring Robert Pattinson, Evil Does Not Exist (May 1), by the Japanese director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), and the latest anticipated film by the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, The Promised Land (Feb 2).

Feature Film

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