From The Woman King to Martin McDonagh’s comeback to the long-awaited Avatar 2, the Fall/Winter 2022 release schedule has a movie for every viewer.
The slate of 2022 movies released in Fall and Winter is split between big blockbuster releases and more modest dramatic fare. The summer movie season is almost over and the winners of 2022’s blockbuster slate have become clear. Huge 2022 movies like Jurassic World Dominion and Tom Cruise’s first billion-dollar movie Top Gun: Maverick topped the box office, paving the way for a quieter Fall and Winter release schedule.
At least, the first few months of Fall and Winter will be comparatively quiet. While September and October’s release slates are dominated by mid-budget horror movies, independent releases, and awards season contenders, November and December will see the release of some more major blockbusters. With such a diverse range of releases, there is no doubt that the second half of 2022 has something for everyone.
September sees the arrival of an enigmatic sci-fi mystery and a thrilling historical epic movie to add to the 2022 movies roster in Fall and Winter, while October will see two heavyweight Oscar contenders bring their unique brands of black comedy back to cinema screens. Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever starts the Winter blockbuster slate strong in November, while The Menu serves up psychological horror and satire in the same month. December is full of huge releases, ranging from the austere ensemble drama Women Talking to a pair of long-awaited action-packed blockbusters in the form of Black Adam and Avatar: The Way of Water.
While historical epics have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, there haven't been many big-budget outings devoted to the history of the African continent. The Woman King looks set to fix this oversight, with Viola Davis starring as Nanisca, the general of Dahomey’s all-female defensive army, the Agojie. The Woman King’s trailer implies that the action-heavy release will take The Northman’s subversive spin on historical epic storytelling and give the genre's formula an overdue diverse upgrade.
Boasting the talents of Harry Styles and Florence Pugh and support from Chris Pine and Gemma Chan, the highly hyped Don’t Worry Darling can’t be faulted for star power. What is not yet clear is whether director Olivia Wilde’s sophomore effort will amount to more than a remake of The Stepford Wives (with some added Jordan Peele-inspired creepy imagery) as its early trailers imply. The tale of a post-war housewife whose seemingly idyllic existence is not as perfect as it seems, Don’t Worry Darling arrives in September and will hopefully provide a heady trip for those who love starry psychological thriller movies.
Award-winning Swedish helmer Ruben Östlund makes his English language debut with Triangle of Sadness, a dark comedy starring screen veteran Woody Harrelson about a cruise for the uber-wealthy that takes a disastrous turn. Told from the perspective of a pair of influencers invited on the exclusive trip, the acclaimed Triangle of Sadness wowed critics at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and earned Östlund his second Palme d’Or. Viewers can expect sharp satirical wit and meticulously framed chaos when Triangle of Sadness arrives in early October.
If a Palme d’Or-winning satire of class politics sounds too grim, DC’s Black Adam offers a more bombastic alternative for October moviegoers. The debut of Dwayne Johnson’s much-hyped supervillain, the Black Adam movie tells the tale of the titular antihero’s escape from his 5000-year imprisonment. Former James Bond Pierce Brosnan will provide (undoubtedly campy) support while Aldis Hodge and Noah Centineo round out Black Adam’s impressive cast, but anyone who has seen footage from the movie will be under no illusion as to the star attraction of the movie. Black Adam promises to let Johnson cut loose in his first villainous role in a long time, and looks like it will be a delight as a result.
The last time that Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s work graced the screen, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri earned Frances McDormand a Best Actress Academy Award and netted her co-star, Sam Rockwell, a Best Supporting Actor win. The Banshees of Inisherin will see the acclaimed writer-director return to the fertile ground of rural Irish black comedy movie with a strange story of a feud between two small-town locals. Fresh off The Batman, Barry Keoghan and Colin Farrell star in The Banshees of Inisherin, which reunites the latter with his In Bruges co-star Brendan Gleeson. Odds are, The Banshees of Inisherin will also reignite the spiky chemistry they shared in that earlier cult classic.
Ever since the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, how the MCU handles the loss of T’Challa’s actor has been a topic of much discussion. Fortunately, the rapturous reception of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever’s trailer implies that the entertainment Goliath has managed to do the late actor’s legacy justice. Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright lead an impressive cast in an action-packed sequel that sees the kingdom of Wakanda protect its freedom after T’Challa’s death.
Another year brings yet another exciting horror movie from Anya Taylor-Joy. The critical darling plays Margot, an unpretentious young woman who joins her foodie boyfriend (Nicholas Hoult) for an unforgettable evening of molecular gastronomy on a remote, exclusive island restaurant. Inevitably, the establishment’s mercurial chef (Ralph Fiennes) turns out to be a lot more unhinged than his outsized reputation claimed. Expect blood and bone broth alike to fly in The Menu’s grisly, blackly comic psychological thriller.
Based on Miriam Toews’s novel of the same name, Women Talking looks to be a bracing, essential look at patriarchy, religion, and the extent and limits of systemic oppression. Following a group of Mennonite women who meet in secret to discuss their abuse at the hands of their colony’s men, Women Talking will be a heavy watch that viewers might find upsetting. With an incredible cast including The Crown’s Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, and Rooney Mara, Women Talking promises to be as moving and affecting as its story is intense and unsettling.
Whether the endlessly delayed movie release of Avatar: The Way of Water will actually arrive in cinemas on December 16 remains to be seen. However, viewers put off by the absurdly long wait between franchise installments shouldn’t lose faith in the series yet. After all, Avatar: The Way of Water’s director James Cameron has never failed to deliver an immersive, awe-inspiring testament to cinema’s power for pure spectacle so far in his storied career. With new technology being developed to produce Avatar: The Way of Waters’s innovative underwater scenes, audiences can be certain that the sequel will provide a unique movie-going experience when it finally arrives in theaters and will undoubtedly be one of the biggest 2022 movies of the Fall and Winter release schedule.
Cathal Gunning has been writing about movies and TV online since 2020. His obsessions include The Simpsons, Stephen King, the Scream series, and the horror genre in general. He has spent more time thinking about Stranger Things than the writers of Stranger Things, and he has never seen a Star War.