2018 was a solid year as far as cinema went – with Avengers: Infinity War turning into a box office titan that just wouldn’t be stopped. 2019 looks set for a similar pattern, as the sequel to Infinity War is due for release, along with a few other noteworthy flicks to catch!
Release date: 8 March 2019
Captain Marvel’s (Carol Danvers) introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been long awaited, and it’s finally here. Best of all for fans of the character, her movie and entrance seems to have a big role to play in the final stretch of the MCU’s trajectory. It shouldn’t be surprising, though, considering that she’s one of the most powerful characters the Avengers has been associated with, and in her solo outing, we’re going to be treated to a full origins that shows us just why she’s such a force to be reckoned with – just in time to whet our appetites for the grande finale: Avengers: Endgame.
Release date: 5 April 2019
The DC film universe’s mini revival continues after the positive reception of James Wan’s Aquaman, with the first time introduction to the silver-screen of Billy Batson and his super-powered alter-ego Shazam. The DC universe has been working hard to shake off its reputation as drab and un-fun, which makes Shazam’s arrival on the scene all the more understandable since he’s probably the most light-hearted and humorously inclined of the Justice League’s members. This will be equal parts super-hero action and slapstick buddy comedy, but it’ll need to bring it’s A-game to duke it out with the other comic-book movies also hitting screens in 2019.
Release date: 26 April 2019
Well, we all knew it would be Avengers dominating this year’s most-anticipated lists. This is the big one. We’ve enjoyed well over a decade of build-up and investment in what will probably go down as the best comic book movie series, but it’s about to reach a conclusion of sorts in Endgame. It follows directly on the events that concluded Infinity War, and of course, there’s been terabytes of speculation on exactly how Endgame will wrap things up. Bottom line, though, we can’t really be sure. We’re just going to have to wait and see, but if Infinity War was anything to go by, then this will blow the roof off.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Release date: 17 May 2019
“What…?” you might ask – and not without sufficient justification. A live-action Pokémon movie has been on the fringes of the fandom’s interest for a while, but this is unlikely to be exactly what they would’ve expected. Pikachu is effectively the mascot character for the franchise, so having a mystery movie that follows around the most popular and iconic Pokemon voiced by Ryan Reynolds seems like a decent bet. Who knows, maybe if this one hits the ground running the studio will greenlight a few more Pokemon projects in future?
John Wick 3: Parabellum
Release date: 17 May 2019
Keanu Reeves and the John Wick franchise seem to have contributed significantly to breathing new life into the action genre, so it should be no surprise that Wick is coming back for his third adventure. The first was a fairly small-scale affair, while the second branched out a bit more and included a larger cast of the international assassin underground. The third looks to be expanding even more, which should come as a surprise since there’s now an open (and presumably global) contract out on John Wick’s head. If it’s anything like the previous instalments, it’ll be an unmissable rush of badass fight sequences and epic gunplay.
Release date: 24 May 2019
A live-action remake of one of Disney’s most highly acclaimed animated movies will always be an ambitious project, and none more so than Aladdin – primarily because of the late Robin Williams’ portrayal of Genie. They managed to get a charismatic replacement in Will Smith, though, and all eyes will probably be on him and his performance in this adventurous caper. Guy Ritchie directs, which bodes well for the comedic aspect of the film given his knack for witty dialogue. Hopefully this one lives up to its predecessor’s success, although it’ll be a tough act to follow given how popular the original was.
Godzilla : King of the Monsters
Release date: 31 May 2019
Godzilla’s reappearance on the big screen in 2014 was met with slightly mixed reception, not because it wasn’t a well-executed movie, but probably because the average audience member was expecting to see far more of the titular behemoth than they did. It’s been a long time in the works, and based on what the first trailer revealed, this time they won’t be using the massive beasts sparingly. Instead, it looks like it will be the opposite, and in addition to Godzilla, we’ll be seeing a few of his most famous rivals (and perhaps an ally or two) join for what is likely to be a movie of truly epic scale.
Men in Black: International
Release date: 14 June 2019
For audience members who were around when the first Men in Black released back in 1997, it might seem sacrilegious to have a sequel that doesn’t feature the combo of Kay and Jay (Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith), but like all good things, even that alien-catching duo has to come to an end. Luckily, they’ve been replaced with a combo that has already shown great comedic chemistry and entertainment value: Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who first teamed up to great effect in Thor: Ragnarok. Although the old guard isn’t there anymore, this should still be a hugely entertaining movie worthy of continuing the franchise.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release date: 5 July 2019
The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame (scheduled for release in April), where everyone’s friendly neighbourhood superhero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent! Jake Gyllenhaal also makes his entrance into the MCU, taking on the role of iconic Spider-Man villain, Mysterio.
IT: Chapter 2
Release date: 5 September 2019
It’s been a surprisingly good period for horrors and thrillers lately, and that trend is going to continue as Pennywise returns for the sequel to 2017’s IT. Just as it was with the original version, the modern remake will be divided into two parts, with the second part finding the cast of part one grown up, but still dealing with the aftermath of their encounter with the malevolent clown all those years ago. Chapter 2 retains the same director, so the quality and frights should both make a terrifying comeback.
Star Wars: Episode IX
Release date: 19 December 2019
The third Star Wars trilogy has been quite a game-changer for the franchise, but has been a bit of a mixed bag with fans because of the ambitious decisions that have been made regarding the plot and story arc. Whatever people’s feelings on it might be, though, the conclusion to this trilogy is likely to be something spectacular. The link between Rey and Kylo Ren has yet to be fully explained, and what the fate of force-users will be at the end of this film remains a mystery, as does the nature of the Sith vs. Jedi conflict. Whatever the outcome, expect a visual roller-coaster that few movies will be able to match.
Which movies are you most excited for this year? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.