The last two years of movie releases have been like nothing else in recent decades. From March 2020 on, the COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc with release dates, as films were continuously delayed and many sent straight to streaming and digital platforms. While 2021 saw a lot more theatrical releases than 2020, there are still movies that are yet to be released and the industry has changed forever as a result of the upheaval.
While no one is pretending that 2022 will be a normal year–COVID is still very much out there–it should have more of a regular feel than the two preceding it. For the most part, studios are reverting back to theatrical models–albeit with much-reduced windows–and it seems reasonably likely that many of the movies currently scheduled to arrive in 2022 will keep their scheduled dates.
So what does 2022 have in store for movie fans? Inevitably there’s a lot of superhero action on the way, with numerous movies from Marvel and DC, including the latest Thor, Doctor Strange, and Aquaman movies, plus the highly-anticipated debut of Robert Pattinson as Batman. Tom Cruise has two much-delayed films due–Mission Impossible 7 and Top Gun: Maverick–and Keanu Reeves will return for the fourth John Wick movie. And we will hopefully, finally, find out what James Cameron has been cooking up for many years with Avatar 2.
It’s not all sequels and franchise movies, however. Pixar’s Turning Red, the action movie Bullet Train, Robert Egger’s viking thriller The Northman, Jordan Peele’s Nope, and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon are among the original movies set to arrive in 2022. Whatever your movie taste, there’s little denying the next 12 months have a lot to offer, here’s GameSpot’s guide to the biggest movies to watch out for in 2022.
Release date: January 7
X-Men veteran Simon Kinberg directs this female-led action spy movie, co-written by acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck. It’s about a group of international agents who are brought together to recover a top-secret weapon. The impressive cast includes Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, and Édgar Ramírez.
Release date: January 14
Ten years after Scream 4, the Ghostface killer is back to stalk another group of teens in Woodsboro. The latest movie in the hugely successful slasher series sees the return of the three original stars–Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette–plus a new cast that includes Jack Quaid, Melissa Barrera, and Jenna Ortega. Wes Craven, who helmed all the previous films, sadly died in 2015, so Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (Ready or Not) handle directing duties this time around.
Release date: February 4
Independence Day and 2012 director Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster epic stars Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry as part of a team who must fly inside the moon to stop it from moving too close to the Earth and causing worldwide destruction. Moonfall sounds utterly ridiculous in all the best ways.
Release date: February 11
Kenneth Branagh returns as Agatha Christie’s iconic detective Hercule Poirot, in a sequel to 2018’s Murder on the Orient Express. It’s also directed by Branagh and like its predecessor, has a star-studded cast that includes Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, and Sophie Okonedo.
Release date: February 18
There have been numerous attempts to get an Uncharted movie made over the past decade, and the video game adaptation finally arrives in February. It stars Tom Holland as adventurer Nathan Drake, with Mark Wahlberg as Drake’s companion Victor “Sully” Sullivan. Director Ruben Fleisher has confirmed that the movie will be a prequel to the game series.
Release date: March 4
The first of DC’s three 2022 releases sees Robert Pattinson make his debut as a younger Bruce Wayne, in his second year as Gotham’s vigilante crimefighter. Director Matt Reeves has promised a dark, noir-influenced take on the Dark Knight, and the supporting cast includes Colin Farrel as Penguin, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, and Andy Serkis as Alfred.
Release date: March 11
Pixar’s charming-looking Turning Red focuses on a 13-year-old girl named Mei Lee, who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets excited or stressed. Killing Eve star Sandra Oh voices Mei Lee’s overly-protective mother, and the movie is written and directed by Domee Shi, who previously made the Oscar-winning Pixar short Bao.
Release date: April 8
The sequel to the hit live-action Sonic movie will see Sonic given permission to stay home alone while Tom and Maddie go on vacation. Unfortunately, Dr. Robotnik (now calling himself Dr. Eggman) is back, searching for an emerald that can give him terrible destructive powers. Ben Schwartz voices Sonic once more, with Jim Carrey playing Robotnik/Eggman. New cast members include Idris Elba as Knuckles, Robotnik’s anthropomorphic echidna assistant.
Release date: April 1
The latest Sony-produced Spider-Man spin-off focuses on the “living vampire” of the title. Jared Leto takes on the lead role as scientist Michael Morbius, who is given vampiric superpowers after an experiment to cure a blood disease goes wrong. The cast also includes Matt Smith and Jared Harris, and the director is Daniel Espinosa, who previously showed his genre skills with the sci-fi horror Life.
Release date: April 8
Acclaimed director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse)’s next movie is a typically intense-looking Viking movie starring Alexander Skarsgård as a Norse warrior out on a mission of bloody vengeance. The film also stars Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and Björk.
Release date: April 15
The second Fantastic Beasts movie was a critical and commercial disappointment, but hopefully, the third part will deliver some of that old Harry Potter magic. Mads Mikkelsen takes over from Johnny Depp as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald, with Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Ezra Miller all reprising their roles from the previous films.
Release date: May 6
Director Sam Raimi returns to the superhero genre for the first time since Spider-Man 3 for the second Doctor Strange movie. This latest adventure will see Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) unleash an evil force during his research into the Time Stone. Elizabeth Olsen will return to the MCU as Wanda Maximoff, with Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor all set to reprise their roles from the first film.
Release date: May 20
The hugely successful Legally Blonde movies helped make Reese Witherspoon into a huge star in the early 2000s, and a third installment arrives in 2022 (fourth if you count the direct-to-DVD Legally Blondes). There’s no word yet on what the plot will involve, but it’ll be fun to see Witherspoon back in the role of aspirational Elle Woods.
Release date: May 27
Top Gun was the most successful movie of 1986 and now stands as one of the decade’s most-loved films. So it’s surprising it’s taken over 30 years for the sequel to arrive, but with Tom Cruise as big of a star now as he’s ever been, there’s no reason to think Top Gun: Maverick won’t match the original’s success. Cruise is back as hotshot fighter pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, and the cast also includes Westworld’s Ed Harris as a tough admiral, Miles Teller as the son of Maverick’s late pal Goose.
Release date: May 27
The action-packed John Wick series has given Keanu Reeves some of the biggest hits of his long career, and he’s back for a fourth part in 2022. Wick is still on the run from the assassin underworld, and this latest entry sees Rina Sawayama, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Scott Adkins, and Clancy Brown join series regulars Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and Lance Reddick.
Release date: June 10
The latest movie in the long-running dinosaur series sees the return of three cast members from the original ’90s movies–Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm. They’ll team up with more recent stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, and the movie will show how the world deals with the dinosaurs who have broken free from captivity and now roam freely roam the Earth.
Release date: June 17
Pixar’s spin-off from the Toy Story series focuses on the “real” Buzz Lightyear–as opposed to the doll version. It’s an origin story that reveals how a young test pilot with big dreams about exploring the universe becomes the world-famous Space Ranger. Chris Evans performs Buzz’s voice.
Release date: July 1
The 2015 Despicable Me spin-off Minions proved to be even more successful than any of the main films, so inevitably a sequel is on the way. Minions: The Rise of Gru is set in the ’70s and focuses on Steve Carell’s Gru, who is a young boy dreaming of becoming a feared supervillain. In order to prove his villainy, he steals a valuable stone from the evil group Vicious 6 and finds himself on the run. Luckily, those iconic yellow Minions are on hand to help him out.
Release date: July 8
The fourth Thor movie sees Taikia Waititi return as director, following the success of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. Natalie Portman reprises her role as Jane Foster, last seen in Thor: The Dark World, who will take up the hammer to fight alongside Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as The Mighty Thor. Tessa Thompson is back as Valkyrie, while Christian Bale plays the villainous Gorr. In addition, Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt will appear as Star-Lord.
Release date: July 15
Brad Pitt toplines this high-concept action thriller about a group of assassins who find themselves on a high-speed Japanese bullet train with seemingly different assignments. Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch helms, and the cast also includes Joey King, Andrew Koji, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, and Zazie Beetz.
Release date: July 22
We know almost nothing about Jordan Peele’s next horror movie, apart from the main cast (Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yuen) and the fantastic title. The movie’s poster provided a few clues, suggesting it might have something to do with a big scary cloud looming over a small town. All will be revealed in July.
Release date: July 29
Dwayne Johnson will make DC debut in Black Adam, playing Shazam’s nemesis, an antihero who takes a darker and more violent approach to superhero life. The movie will also feature members of the Justice Society of America, the classic DC superhero team, namely Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan).
Release date: September 30
The seventh movie in the globe-trotting action series finally wrapped production in September after an epic shoot interrupted several times by the pandemic. This latest adventure will see Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his team face a new villain played by Ozark’s Esai Morale. Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell joins the cast, while long-time fans will be excited to see the return of Henry Czerny as Eugene Kittridge, the former CIA director last seen in the first Mission: Impossible.
Release date: October 7
The first Enter the Spider-verse was perhaps the best animated superhero movie ever made, which deservedly took home the Best Animated Movie Oscar. So expectations are high for the sequel. The movie will focus on the relationship between Miles Morales/Spider-Man (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacey/Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld). Other multiverse Spideys include Oscar Isaac as Spider-Man 2099, Jake Johnson as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Issa Rae as Jessica Drew /Spider-Woman, and Takuya Yamashiro as the Spidey from 1978’s Japanese animated Spider-Man series.
Release date: October 14
The third part of David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy will be set four years after this year’s Halloween Kills, with Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode set for a final showdown with the masked killer Michael Myers. The cast also includes Andi Matichak as Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson and Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, a role she played in both Halloween Kills and John Carpenter’s 1978 original.
Release date: November 4
Ezra Miller is set to reprise his Justice League role as fast-footed Barry Allen in this long-awaited DC movie. The film will take influence from the Flashpoint series of comic books and feature two different Batmen, played by Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, who returns to the role after 30 years. It and It: Chapter 2 director Andy Muschietti is helming.
Release date: November 11
The tragic death of Chadwick Boseman in 2019 put Marvel’s Black Panther sequel into question, but this follow-up will reportedly shift the emphasis onto Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister, played by Letitia Wright. Other returning cast members include Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Winston Duke as M’Baku, and Angela Bassett as Ramonda. Ryan Coogler directs once more.
Release date: December 16
The sequel to the hugely successful DC movie Aquaman arrives in December, with Jason Momoa back as Arthur Curry. All of the main cast from the first film will feature too, namely Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Orm, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus,
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II asB lack Manta, and Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry. We don’t have many plot details yet but expect another extravagant undersea superhero adventure.
Release date: December 16
James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to his groundbreaking 2009 sci-fi blockbuster has been in the works for many years, but with any luck, we’ll finally get to see it in 2022. The movie will take us back to the planet of Pandora, with much of the story set in and around its vast oceans. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, and Giovanni Ribisi return from the first film, and new cast members include Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, and Michelle Yeoh.
Release date: TBD
Martin Scorsese’s period crime drama focuses on the investigation into the murders of the Osage people in Oklahoma in the 1920s. It has a star-studded cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemons, Robert De Niro, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow, and is adapted from David Grann’s best-selling nonfiction book of the same title by Eric Roth (Dune, Forrest Gump).
Release date: TBD
Nearly 30 years after the much-loved spooky comedy Hocus Pocus was released, the sequel will finally hit Disney+ in 2022. Original cast members Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy return as the witchy Sanderson sisters, with Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) directing.