New year, new you… at the movies. 2022 is off and running so it’s time to take a look ahead at 22 of the biggest, most anticipated films of the year. In the months to come, Doctor Strange will dive into the Multiverse of Madness, Thor will tangle with both Love AND Thunder, Ethan Hunt will embark on an assuredly impossible mission, and a gorgeously animated Miles Morales will thwip through a brand-new Spider-Verse adventure.
That’s not all, of course. Scream and Avatar are both back in big ways, after more than a decade away for each, with the latter hoping to nail the James Cameron “lightning in a bottle” mega-success of the original. A less surprising return? Yup, Batman’s back on the big screen, though director Matt Reeves’ take seems to be the darkest one to date.
Superheroes will most definitely still rule the roost at the multiplex in 2022, from the Caped Crusader to The Flash to Aquaman, plus equally notable crime combatants Sonic the Hedgehog and (super) sleuth Benoit Blanc. Read on for your official Fandom rundown of all things awesome on the cinematic horizon.
Keep in mind that, as the last two years have taught us more than ever, release dates — and even whether we’ll see some of these movies in a theater or not — are subject to change…
Current U.S. Release Date: January 14
11 years after the excellent and underrated Scream 4, and in a world where director Wes Craven has sadly passed on, Ready or Not’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have brought the meta horror slasher franchise back under the Executive Producer eye of original scribe Kevin Williamson. New Woodsboro teens contend with a rampaging Ghostface, as original saga survivors Sidney, Dewey, and Gale — the returning Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox – hope to put an end to the madness once and for all.
Current U.S. Release Date: March 4
Robert Pattinson, who once needlessly drew the ire of fanboys everywhere because of the Twilight saga, now dons the cape and cowl as those same fanboys’ idol, Batman, for a dark and gruesome fledgling vigilante story that also stars Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon. With Riddler portrayed as more of a Seven-style serial killer, deadly and dangerous secrets are revealed about the sordid history of the city as we enter a lived-in Gotham where Batman already patrols from the rooftops.
Exclusive Disney+ Premiere Date: March 11
With every Pixar movie since Onward bypassing theaters and getting the exclusive Disney+ home streaming release comes the recent news that Turning Red, the company’s next film, is doing the same (though we’re guessing Lightyear will still play at multiplexes). With Pixar once again exploring the emotional turmoil of teens, Turning Red will introduce us to Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between being her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. And if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever Mei Lee gets too excited, she “poofs” into a giant red panda!
Current U.S. Release Date: April 8
Following the success of 2020’s “just before the pandemic” release of Sonic the Hedgehog, Jim Carrey’s mustachioed villain, now fully transformed into a more classic-looking Doctor Robotnik, returns from the Mushroom Planet in search for the Master Emerald, with the help of an Idris Elba-voiced Knuckles the Echidna. Ben Schwartz is also back, voicing speedy super hedgie Sonic, who now must team with a new friend, Tails, in order to stop the emerald from falling into Eggman’s hands.
Current U.S. Release Date: April 22
In what some are already jokingly referring to as the origin story for True Blood’s Eric Northman, The Northman stars Alexander Skarsgård as a Viking prince on an epic journey to seek justice for his murdered father. The Witch and The Lighthouse’s Robert Eggers brings his flair for all things grim and haunting to this period revenge tale, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, and Bill Skarsgård along with established Eggers players Willem Dafoe and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Current U.S. Release Date: May 6
Director Sam Raimi not only returns to the world of Marvel superheroes, but officially joins the MCU with the second Doctor Strange movie, which now, thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home, is probably one of the most buzzed about movies of 2022. The helmer of the Sony’s original Spidey trilogy, Raimi, even brings Danny Elfman with him to provide the score as Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange enlists (a much more powerful) Wanda Maximoff to help him contend with threats from a crumbling multiverse. Original Doctor Strange stars Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor return, as Christine and Mordo, while Xochitl Gomez makes her MCU debut as America Chavez.
Current U.S. Release Date: June 10
The second Jurassic trilogy concludes with its own collision of old and new as both casts combine for one final dino-pocalypse. O.G. Park players Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum (who cameoed in 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) join World headliners Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard for an adventure set four years after the events of the last movie. With genetically engineered dinosaurs auctioned to companies around the world and others released on the U.S. mainland, humanity is now dealing with invasive dinos at every turn.
Current U.S. Release Date: June 17
This Pixar spin-off/prequel to the Toy Story series stars Chris Evans as the “real” Buzz Lightyear — the character who inspired the Tim Allen-voiced action figure (and Woody’s BFF). Finding Dory co-director Angus MacLane takes the lead here with Lightyear, though few actual plot details (or co-stars) are known at this time. The spare, but superb, teaser trailer shows Buzz zipping around the sun using an experimental new spaceship speed tech, but does he actually head into deep space for alien adventures? If so, then Andy’s known world is waaaaay different from our own.
Current U.S. Release Date: June 24
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson returns to his ghoulish horror roots (as the man who brought us Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose) for Blumhouse’s The Black Phone, about a kidnapped boy (Mason Thames) who’s trapped in a room with a phone that allows him to hear the ghostly voices of the killer’s previous victims. Ethan Hawke gets feral as the movie’s baddie, a child-napper known as The Grabber.
Current U.S. Release Date: June 24
Thor: Ragnarok writer/director Taika Waititi is back for more cosmic God of Thunder zaniness with Thor: Love and Thunder, making Thor, officially, the first MCU character to get four solo films. What lies ahead for Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, post-Endgame? Well, after (presumably) bidding farewell to the Guardians of the Galaxy, who almost all appear in Love and Thunder in some capacity, Thor must square off against Christian Bale’s ghastly Gorr the God Butcher while Natalie Portman’s Jane becomes… the new Thor! Previous Thor-ites Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, and Jeff Goldblum also return.
Current U.S. Release Date: July 22
Not too much is known about writer/director Jordan Peele’s next horror flick, Nope, but if Get Out and Us are any indication, it’s going to be a masterclass in thoughtful scares and insightful creepiness. Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya, who’s also now an Oscar winner, joins Peele once more, as part of a cast that also includes True Jackson’s Keke Palmer, The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun, The Crow’s Michael Wincott, and Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira.
Current U.S. Release Date: July 29
The dream has become a reality, as Dwayne Johnson’s long road to becoming DC’s Black Adam is finally over. Johnson, who’s been attached to the project since 2007 (and was originally eyed to play good guy Shazam), is suiting up to play the all-powerful arch-villain, who escapes after being imprisoned for 5,000 years. Black Adam will clash with the Justice Society of America – that’s Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell’s Cyclone, and Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate.
Current U.S. Release Date: September 30
Originally intended to shoot back-to-back with an already-greenlit eighth film (until Covid put the kibosh on that), the yet-untitled seventh Mission: Impossible movie brings back Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt (duh) along with his IMF team, series regulars Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and their ally, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). The MCU’s Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff join the mix a new characters and Vanessa Kirby is back as The White Widow from Mission: Impossible – Fallout. M:I 7 also digs into the franchise’s roots — all the way back into the very first movie from 1996 — to also bring back Henry Czerny as Eugene Kittridge. Esai Morales, Shea Whigham, Rob Delaney, Indira Varma, and Cary Elwes also star.
Current U.S. Release Date: October 7
Many consider 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse the best Spider-Man movie ever (animated or otherwise) so expectations are certainly high for Across the Spider-Verse, which we now know will be a two-movie adventure. With new directors Joaquim Dos Santos (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Kemp Powers (Soul), and Justin K. Thompson (Production Designer on Into the Spider-Verse) heading up this sequel — and Phil Lord and Chris Miller still executive producing and co-writing — Across the Spider-Verse will see Shameik Moore’s Miles Morales embark on an adventure across the multiverse with Hailee Steinfeld’s Spider-Gwen and a new team of Spider-People, including Oscar Isaac’s future web-slinger, Miguel O’Hara, AKA Spider-Man 2099, after his post-credit cameo at the end of the previous film.
Current U.S. Release Date: October 14
David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s new Halloween trilogy comes to a harrowing conclusion with Halloween Ends. Taking place four years after the bloody body-littered night depicted in both 2018’s Halloween and 2021’s Halloween Kills, Green told Fandom, “Part of what we’re exploring is how Laurie and a few of our characters have processed those years between Halloween 2018 and that night’s events and tragedies to Halloween 2022 [tracing the journey] to where they will come to fruition in their psychological aftermath.”
Current U.S. Release Date: November 4
Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen gets his own movie with The Flash, which has gone through multiple directors since its announcement way back in 2014. Ultimately, IT and IT: Chapter Two’s Andy Muschietti ended up helming the film, with a Flashpoint-inspired story that’s designed to play around with time travel and crack open the DCEU multiverse. Ben Affleck joins Miller as Batman (in what he says is his final appearance in the role) while Michael Keaton also enters the fray, returning as the version of Batman he played in Tim Burton’s Bat-films 30 years ago. Expect to see Michael Shannon and Antje Traue as their Man of Steel characters Zod and Faora-Ul, Kiersey Clemons return as Iris West, and Sasha Calle debut as Supergirl.
Current U.S. Release Date: November 11
The Black Panther cast continues on in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death, with a very purposeful decision made not to recast the role of T’Challa. Instead Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, and Martin Freeman will carry on, as part of a new MCU adventure that will introduce Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams – aka Ironheart – to the franchise, before she gets her own Disney+ series. Ryan Coogler made movie magic once before and Wakanda Forever looks like it just might repeat the blockbuster success of the original.
Current (projected) U.S. Release Date: November 23
While Sylvestor Stallone may not be reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed III, star Michael B. Jordan will make his directorial debut with the film, which at this point also stars Lovecraft Country and Loki’s Jonathan Majors as the antagonist (rumored to be the son of Rocky III’s Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T). Tessa Thompson returns alongside Jordan as Bianca.
Current U.S. Release Date: December 16
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that 2018’s Aquaman is the highest-grossing DECU film worldwide, with a total take of $1.148 billion. You’d think with that type of coin they’d have rushed out a sequel sooner, but here we are, four years later, finally getting Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Director James Wan is back to guide another adventure about Arthur Curry/Aquama (Jason Momoa), once more joined by friends, family members, and foes like Mera (Amber Heard), Orm (Patrick Wilson), Nereus (Dolph Lundgren), Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison), and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), though plot details remain thin at this time. All we know is that an ancient power gets unleashed, which forces Aquaman to forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation.
Current U.S. Release Date: December 16
Going toe-to-toe (fin-to-fin?) with Aquaman in December is another big-budget movie featuring a ton of underwater action – Avatar 2. 2009’s Avatar, though the highest grossing movie of all time (Avengers: Endgame briefly passed it until Avatar‘s rerelease in China last year pushed Pandora back to the top), has been largely absent from the public pop-culture discourse for over a decade, so many wonder if Avatar 2 is going to land with a thud, even as it’s intended as the first of four sequels headed our way. While there are plenty of reasons this movie could underperform, it seems unwise to count out James Cameron, who’s managed to not only break box office records more than once with original material, but also craft spectacular sequels like Terminator 2 and Aliens. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana return as Jake and Neytiri, with newcomers including Kate Winslet, Jemaine Clement, and Michelle Yeoh. Sigourney Weaver also returns, this time as a different character.
Knives Out 2
Current U.S. Netflix Release Date: 2022 TBA
Director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig lined up for big paydays after Netflix shelled out over $450 million for two Knives Out sequels. We don’t have a release date yet but we do have the all-star cast for the first new Benoit Blanc mystery, which features Dave Bautista, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Madelyn Cline, and Jessica Henwick.
Current U.S. Hulu Release Date: 2022 TBA
10 Cloverfield Lane’s Dan Trachtenberg directs this fifth installment in the Predator franchise. This time, we’re traveling into the past, as the film focuses on Naru, a Comanche warrior played by Legion’s Amber Midthunder, who protects her tribe against a towering galactic sport-hunter. The first Predator project made since Disney became the franchise’s owner after their purchase of 20th Century Fox, Prey will debut on Hulu in the US, while it will be available on Disney+ in countries who have the Star hub for the streaming service. A release date has yet to be announced.