As one year of films ends, we have another just ahead of us. 2019 promises to be another huge year for film. So here are 20(ish) films that I’m most looking forward to in 2019. As always I’d love to hear what you are looking forward to in the comments below.
20) The Awards Contenders (Boy Erased, Burning, Destroyer, The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Queen of Scots, Vice) – We’re going to kick the list off with a couple of groups, the first being the awards contenders that haven’t yet been released in the UK. The Favourite arrives on New Year’s Day and the rest will slowly appear over the first couple of months. The fact that these have already been seen by most critics, and some in America does mean that feeling of unknown is diminished, but I can’t wait to dive in and get into speculating on what will be winning awards.
19) The Marvel and DC Superhero Films (Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Dark Phoenix, New Mutants, Shazam!, Spider-Man: Far From Home) – The next group is the Marvel and DC properties that will be getting big screen adaptations next year. I’m still not entirely certain that the Fox X-Men projects will be arriving, but Shazam! and the three MCU films are certainly exciting. Chief amongst them is obviously Avengers: Endgame, which has the unenviable task of following up the incredible Infinity War, although I cannot wait to see how they finish this 10/11 year journey.
18) Fighting With My Family – My first that’s not in an overarching category is Stephen Merchant’s film about female wrestler Paige. I don’t know a lot about wrestling, but lead actress Florence Pugh is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors working today. The trailer also looked good, and with actors like Nick Frost and Lena Headey in supporting roles there’s plenty of talent behind it, and genuine wrestling pedigree in Dwayne Johnson.
17) Farmageddon: A Shaun The Sheep Movie – The first Shaun The Sheep is an absolute delight. It’s a hilarious and lovely film from Aardman, so even though I’ve only just discovered that there is going to be a sequel next year and I haven’t seen anything from it I’m very excited. Aardman have a pretty stellar track record in stop motion animation, with Early Man their only real blip, so I can’t wait for them to make another delightful film aimed at younger viewers, but with plenty for film lovers to enjoy.
16) Frozen 2 – I feel as though Frozen has been a victim of its own success, because it’s a fantastic film that people have turned against somewhat because of its huge popularity. But I think it was a beautiful tale, and a sequel certainly has potential, particularly to delve deeper into Anna and Elsa’s relationship. Oh and I’m fully on board with the internet’s desire for Disney to give Elsa a girlfriend.
15) Zombieland Too – The original Zombieland was a brilliant and original take on the zombie genre. So I am both apprehensive and excited to dive back into that world with those characters. We haven’t seen anything from the film yet, but writer Rhett Reese has gone on to great things, particularly the Deadpool franchise, so I’m confident he can make the sequel a success.
14) It: Chapter Two – The first part of It was great. The character’s relationships and journeys were brilliantly thought out and there were some legitimately scary moment. With the stellar cast assembled It: Chapter Two should probably be higher, but I’ve heard the second half of Stephen King’s book is much weaker than the first.
13) Alita: Battle Angel – Part of the Alita trailers look like the same poor and generic anime or manga live action adaptations we’ve been stuck with. But then the rest looks like it’ll mostly consist of insane robotic fights and awesome character designs. Now I’ve know nothing about the source material, but I’m hesitantly on board.
12) Men In Black International – I’m still disappointed the Men In Black crossover with the Jump Street franchise isn’t happening, because it seemed like the natural advancement for Jump Street but Men In Black International looks like it’s going to be a great time. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are a great on screen pairing, and I think they’re going to kick ass, and the film will be hilarious.
11) Joker – I have no idea what Joker is going to be. It is technically a DC adaptation, but it seems to be losing all the superhero trappings of the Joker’s story. Honestly this could be a huge train wreck, or it could be a brilliant gritty crime film. We really have no idea right now, but I’m so fascinated to discover what this will be.
10) Once Upon A Time in Hollywood – It’s always exciting when Tarantino makes a new film, as he almost never makes a bad one. So to see him back in more modern times, with such a stacked cast, led by Pitt and DiCaprio, it’s going to be one of the big cinema events of 2019.
9) Glass – M. Night Shyamalan has had his misses, but his greatest hit has to be Unbreakable. And when we discovered that Split was secretly another film in the same world Unbreakable fans got excited. Now we’re getting a sequel combining these two films into a full on superhero flick and that’s going to great, although I’m sure Shyamalan will try and pull some big twists on us.
8) Us – Us was a curiosity we knew very little about a week ago, and then the first trailer for Jordan Peele’s sophomore film dropped on Christmas Day. And boy it looks awesome. The trailer was chilling, and I can’t wait to unpack what is going on. It was always going to be exciting to see how Peele followed up Get Out but the trailer has rocketed it up the most anticipated list.
7) Hellboy – I adore the character of Hellboy, and I’m very excited to see this new take, although I’ll forever be sad we didn’t get to finish Del Toro’s trilogy. That said the trailer has just softened my enthusiasm a little, but it seems to be fully embracing the fantasy weirdness of the Hellboy world, so I’ll still be there opening night.
6) Star Wars Episode IX – I don’t care how anyone else felt about The Last Jedi I loved every moment of it, and I’m so excited for the ending of the trilogy. But I am also a little burnt out with the toxicity surrounding the topic of Star Wars at the moment, which just holds it back from entering my top 5.
5) Artemis Fowl – The Artemis Fowl books were a big part of my childhood, with the first being one of my all time favourite books. I cannot wait to that world of fairies, centaurs, gnomes, and trolls brought to life, because it has the potential to be something really special. Artemis’ journey over the first couple of stories, starting as an apparent antagonist before gradually becoming a hero is something that could really set Artemis Fowl apart from other family fantasy films. I cannot wait.
4) Detective Pikachu – I’m a huge Pokémon fan, I love the games probably more than I love watching movies, so to see the Pokémon world fully realised in live action is going to be special. Sure Mr. Mime looks like nightmare fuel, but the majority of the Pokémon look stunning. I also love how they are clearly respectful of the entirety of the Pokémon world, not just Gen 1 and Kanto, but right up until the most recent generations. Even if the story and characters aren’t great I’m going to be in love with this world.
3) John Wick 3: Parabellum – The first two John Wick films were a breath of fresh air in the world of action. Beautifully choreographed, shot, and directed action sequences are absolutely at the forefront of the series, and the whole world of the continental and assassins is rich and fascinating. The premise has clearly heavily shifted with the events of John Wick 2, and it’s going to be great to see how they can wrap this up.
2) Godzilla: King of the Monsters – This film isn’t out yet and I’ve already got myself a T-shirt for this film because it looks stunning. The trailers alone have conjured up some of the most beautiful imagery, whilst also delivering some of the most iconic movie kaiju on a truly epic scale. I genuinely think that this new Godzilla is going to be something special, with a story full of heart, but even if it’s just an epic kaiju battle I’m going to be feeling pretty content.
1) How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden Kingdom – But my most anticipated film for next year is comfortably the third How To Train Your Dragon film. These films may have little in common with the books they are based on, but the first two films were truly something special. Of this third one can stick the landing, and the trailers have me very hopeful they can, this will be one of the great trilogies of all time. And I know this is going to destroy me emotionally, because the trailers are already there with the opening line “There were dragons when I was a boy”.