The 50 most exciting movies coming in 2023

It's going to be an incredible year at the cinema

The most exciting movies of 2023 includes Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, and The Little Mermaid. (Warner Bros./Apple/Disney)
The most exciting movies of 2023 includes Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, and The Little Mermaid. (Warner Bros./Apple/Disney)

2022 was a brilliant year for movies, and proof that the big screen experience is alive and kicking despite the challenges it faced over the last few years.

However, 2023 has the potential to eclipse it once again, with an incredible array of new movies to look forward to over the next 12 months. Returning heroes include Indiana Jones, Aquaman and Captain Marvel, while Barbie, Mario, and Ariel will all reinvent themselves anew on the big screen.

Beyond that there are new movies from Steven Spielberg, Sir Kenneth Branagh, and Christopher Nolan all on the horizon in 2023.

Read more: The best movies of 2022

These are the 50 most exciting movies coming over the next twelve months.

Words by Tom Chapman, Freda Cooper, James Luxford and Jasmine Valentine

A Man Called Otto – 6 January

Tom Hanks is Otto Anderson in Columbia Pictures A MAN CALLED OTTO.  Photo by: Niko Tavernise
Tom Hanks is Otto Anderson in Columbia Pictures A Man Called Otto. (Sony Pictures)

As the first cinematic release of 2023, A Man Called Otto sees Tom Hanks return to his rightful place as the King of emotional comedy. Already being tipped for a Best Actor Oscar nod, the film follows Hanks as morose widower Otto Anderson, whose life of solitude is uprooted when a lively family move in next door. Pregnant Marisol (Mariana Treviño) proves to be the perfect match for him, forming an unlikely friendship that’s set to change Otto’s life.

Based on the bestselling novel by Fredrik Backman, the film is an English adaptation of the 2015 Swedish smash-hit A Man Called Ove. Following in the footsteps of roles such as Forrest Gump and Mr Robinson in A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, Otto Anderson is set to play to Hanks’ strengths after some questionable outings in 2022. A Man Called Otto also stars Hanks’ real-life son Truman in flashback scenes of Otto’s younger self. -JV

Empire of Light – 9 January

Sam Mendes' Empire of Light. (Searchlight Pictures)
Sam Mendes' Empire of Light. (Searchlight Pictures)

Being about as intimate and British as they come, Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light sees the Skyfall and 1917 director swap vodka martinis and muddy trenches for popcorn. Set in a seaside cinema in the 1980s, Empire of Light has the dynamic duo of Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward in what’s pegged as a charming coming-of-age story.

Empire of Light is one of those 'magic of movies' movies that’s sure to spark nostalgia in some. As Mendes was in his teenage years around this time, it’s a love letter to the craft that inspired him to become one of cinema’s biggest names. Some critics have said it’s Colman’s best performance to date as the sad-eyed Hilary Small. - TC

M3gan – 13 January

(from left) M3GAN and Cady (Violet McGraw) in M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone.
M3gan and Cady (Violet McGraw) in M3gan, directed by Gerard Johnstone. (Universal)

There’s something about dolls – or, more specifically, their relationship with us. Let’s just say that, if the likes of Annabelle or Chucky are anything to go by, they’re not that impressed with us humans. Although this summer’s Barbie movie may think differently. Strictly speaking, of course, M3gan’s an android, although she still looks like a traditional doll and she’s just a bit over-protective of her human friend, Cady (Violet McGraw). Not that the little girl can see that.

Read more: The best horror movies of 2022

Based on a story by James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring franchise) and with the might of Blumhouse behind it, this is the film to get 2023 off to a horrific start. And we mean that in the nicest way. Even if M3gan herself suggests “you should probably run.” - FC

Tár – 13 January

Todd Field’s TÁR will have its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár in director Todd Field's TÁR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Florian Hoffmeister / Focus Features
Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár in director Todd Field's Tár, a Focus Features release. (Florian Hoffmeister/Focus Features)

Having already made waves across the pond, Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Lydia Tár is set to take the Academy Awards by storm. Tár follows the life of a fictitious conductor, who is in the process of recording a symphony that will peak her career. When one of her ex-students releases allegations about her, Lydia’s working life, relationships and mental faculties all hang in the balance.

Tár has immediately got noticed thanks to its unique angle on the artist versus the abuser — with some critics claiming viewers have got their perceptions of the story all wrong. Blanchett’s performance as Tár is so riveting, it’s left many wondering if she is in fact a real person. With stellar sound design, Blanchett and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir have even released an entire concept album on top of the film’s original soundtrack. – JV

Babylon – 20 January

Brad Pitt plays Jack Conrad and Diego Calva plays Manny Torres in Babylon from Paramount Pictures.
Brad Pitt plays Jack Conrad and Diego Calva plays Manny Torres in Babylon from Paramount Pictures.

Giving us the glitz and glamour of Tarantino’s Once Upon in Hollywood, is it a coincidence that Babylon stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie? Damien Chazelle’s work on Whiplash and La La Land means viewers are expecting similarly big things from this supersized ensemble.

Alongside Robbie and Pitt, Jean Smart, Tobey Maguire, and Olivia Wilde are a part of Babylon’s non-stop party that harks back to Hollywood's transition from silent movies to “talkies.” If anything, it should be a fascinating look at this bygone era. Also, we finally get Robbie and lookalike Samara Weaving sharing the screen. - TC

The Fabelmans – 27 January

Paul Dano, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, and Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans. (Amblin Entertainment)
Paul Dano, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, and Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans. (Amblin Entertainment)

A Spielberg movie is always a cinematic event and, up until a couple of months ago, The Fabelmans looked like sticking with that tradition. But, after a favourable reception on the festival circuit, the legendary director’s autobiographical drama seems to have fallen out of favour with US critics and cinema-goers. Yet it has so much going for it – so much, that we still can’t wait to revel in its comforting glow.

There’s Paul Dano and Michelle Williams as the parents and a supporting cast that boasts Seth Rogen and Judd Hirsh. Spielberg is a past master of warm nostalgia and that, coupled with a secret to uncover, promises he’ll be tugging on our heart strings as much as ever. The legions of awards pundits seem to think so as well, tipping it as a front runner in the Oscar race – yes, they’re talking about it already. We’ll definitely be going to see it – armed with a big box of tissues. - FC

Knock At The Cabin – 3 February

From left: Dave Bautista, Abby Quinn, and Nikki Amuka-Bird in KNOCK AT THE CABIN, directed and co-written by M. Night Shyamalan (Universal)
Dave Bautista, Abby Quinn, and Nikki Amuka-Bird in Knock at the Cabin, directed and co-written by M. Night Shyamalan (Universal)

2022 has proved to be a strong year for the horror genre, and the 2023 release Knock At The Cabin is looking to follow suit. Starring Rupert Grint, Dave Bautista and Johnathan Groff, the film follows a group on vacation in a cabin in the woods. When a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by armed strangers, they are confronted with deciding whether to avert an oncoming apocalypse.

As his first outing since 2021’s Old, Knock At The Cabin looks to be M. Night Shyamalan’s first R-rated movie since The Happening. Apparently filmed using archived cameras from the 1990s, fans could expect the unpredictable feel of Shyamalan classics such as The Sixth Sense. As an adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s novel The Cabin at the End of the World, seasoned horror fans are likely to be in for an exciting ride. -FC

The Whale – 3 February

Brendan Fraser in The Whale (A24)
Brendan Fraser in The Whale (A24)

Anyone following the festival circuit will know that The Whale is the big story for Oscar season, with Brendan Fraser providing a comeback story for the ages in Darren Aronofsky's touching drama. It tells the story of a closeted teacher who faces up to his grief and isolation, with Fraser playing the morbidly obese lead character. Sadie Sink and Hong Chau also star.

We finally get to see the film behind the ovations in February. - JL

Magic Mike’s Last Dance – 10 February

Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek. Magic Mike’s Last Dance will be released across the UK and Ireland on 10 February 2023 by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek. Magic Mike’s Last Dance will be released across the UK and Ireland on 10 February 2023. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Channing Tatum is once again baring all, but as the name of Magic Mike’s Last Dance suggests, it's presumably for the last time. The stripping series has won over far more than just hen parties, and with the Magic Mike movies (loosely) retelling Tatum’s actual experiences as a stripper, there’s more heart here than you might expect.

Tatum has described Magic Mike’s Last Dance as a “reverse Pretty Woman”, meaning it should round off the trilogy in style. Steven Soderbergh was once remembered for Erin Brockovich, but these days, the Magic Mike movies have kept him out of retirement. Better yet, Warner Bros has upgraded Last Dance from a HBO Max launch to a full-blown theatrical release. –TC

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania – 17 February

(L-R): Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Kathryn Newton as Cassandra
(L-R): Paul Rudd, Kathryn Newton, Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (Marvel)

Marvel’s little big man is back to kickstart MCU’s Phase 5 and he’s bringing a host of familiar faces with him. Paul Rudd’s there, of course, along with Evangeline Lily and Michael Douglas, plus new faces Corey Stoll and Bill Murray. Yes, you heard us right. Bill Murray. But the lion’s share of the excitement is very much directed towards Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror, who promises to shake things up, with lines like “You’re an Avenger? Have I killed you before?” See what we mean?

Read more: Every upcoming MCU movie

Kang’s arrival prepares the ground for him to take on Earth’s mightiest heroes in their next outing, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (scheduled for 2025), but many fans are already worried he could prove to be too mighty a foe for Rudd’s Scott Lang. Killing off a major Avenger is a cool way to announce your arrival, right? Yet recent rumours say that Rudd will live to fight another day. Can we wait to find out? Nope! - FC

Cocaine Bear – 24 February

Kerry Washington in Cocaine Bear (Universal Pictures)
Kerry Washington in Cocaine Bear (Universal Pictures)

Some titles just sell themselves, don't they? Based on a true story from the 1980s, this comic thriller sees a small Georgia Town defend itself from a giant bear who has overdosed on, um, illegal substances.

Read more: The incredible true story behind Cocaine Bear

Pitch Perfect 2 director Elizabeth Banks is behind the camera, with Kerry Washington in front alongside the late Ray Liotta in one of his last screen performances for a movie that looks to be Hollywood's viral sensation in 2023. - JL

What’s Love Got To Do With It? – 24 February

What's Love Got To Do With It (Studiocanal)
What's Love Got To Do With It (Studiocanal)

The British romantic-comedy is a sub-genre that’s arguably been hit-or-miss over the last few years, but Shekhar Kapur’s What’s Love Got To Do With It? looks set to stick. Lily James and Shazad Latif star as Zoe and Kaz, each caught up in Kaz’s forthcoming arranged marriage. Documentary filmmaker and dating app addict Zoe follows Kaz from London to Lahore as he embarks on marrying a stranger, learning something new along the way.

With its star-studded cast including Dame Emma Thompson and Tak Atwal, What’s Love Got To Do With It? looks set to be a beautiful examination of cross-cultural dynamics. Dubbed by early reviews as a Richard Curtis-esque film, screenplay writer Jemima Khan could be on hand to deliver another classic up there with Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. – JV

Creed III – 3 March

Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson in Creed III. (Warner Bros./MGM)
Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson in Creed III. (Warner Bros./MGM)

It’s not just fans excited to get back in the ring as Michael B. Jordan gets ready for another knockout with Creed 3. At a time franchise fatigue would’ve sunk most, Creed 3 has the honour of being the ninth Rocky movie and continues a run of successful spin-offs that started with Ryan Coogler’s Creed in 2015.

Read more: Movie franchises that continued without their star

There’s quite literally a lot of weight on Jordan’s shoulders, thanks to the series lead also taking over directorial duties here. Coogler is still on board as a co-writer, and as the man of the moment, Jonathan Majors plays a complex villain in the form of Damian “Dame” Anderson. Creed 3 is already being called a new era of the Rocky franchise, proving that (sorry) we don’t always need Sylvester Stallone. -TC

65 – 10 March

Adam Driver stars in 65. (Sony Pictures)
Adam Driver stars in 65. (Sony Pictures)

It's been well known in sci-fi for many years that in space, no-one can hear you scream. Some of the scariest stories in cinema have exploited the isolation of the stars, and hoping to continue that theme is 65, directed by the producers of A Quiet Place.

Adam Driver leads this film about an astronaut who discovers he is not alone when he crash lands on an unknown planet... populated by deadly dinosaurs. Driver is one of the hottest stars out there at the moment, and it will be very interesting to see what he brings to the horror genre. -JL

Scream VI – 10 March

A still from the teaser trailer for Scream VI. (Paramount)
A still from the teaser trailer for Scream VI. (Paramount)

Get out your Ghostface mask, it’s time for the next episode of the 90s slasher and, to save confusion, the makers have reverted to a number in the title. Calling the fifth instalment Scream was a touch confusing, after all. And this one, according to star Melissa Berrera, is going to be “100 times gorier” than any of the others.

For fans of the original, Courtney Cox returns as Gail Weathers, making her the only actor to appear in every film in the franchise. No Neve Campbell or David Arquette, then. But Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega is on board and has been hinting at a chase to rival that heart-thumping sequence in Scream 2 when Ghostface goes in pursuit of Weathers.

The action, however, switches to New York, so we can only assume Ghostface does as well. But, to coin a catchphrase, “who’s that behind the mask?” - FC

Shazam! Fury of the Gods – 17 March

(L-r) ROSS BUTLER as Super Hero Eugene, ADAM BRODY as Super Hero Freddy, GRACE CAROLINE CURREY as Super Hero Mary, ZACHARY LEVI as Shazam, MEAGAN GOOD as Super Hero Darla and D.J. COTRONA as Super Hero Pedro in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Shazam! The Fury of the Gods (Warner Bros.)

As the anticipated follow-up to 2019’s Shazam! its sequel is set to deliver 130 minutes of action-packed delight. With its initial release being pushed back by a year, Zachary Levi is back to take on villains Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu), daughters of the Greek titan Atlas. Asher Angel is set to return as Billy, with Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Michelle Borth, Ross Butler, and D.J. Cotrona all starring as superhero versions of Billy’s siblings.

With its initial trailer dropping in August, fans saw Shazam! in a state of self-crisis. Continuing the franchise’s distinct sense of comedy, action-packed fun, and a smorgasbord of well-known faces, fans are already getting excited about the superhero’s return. Some roles we have still only seen a few seconds of, such as West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler as another of Atlas’ daughters, Anthea. – JV

John Wick 4 – 24 March

Keanu Reeves as John Wick and Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick 4. (Murray Close/Lionsgate)
Keanu Reeves as John Wick and Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick 4. (Murray Close/Lionsgate)

Keanu Reeves is once again checking into the Hotel Continental, and it seems there’s no stopping the John Wick franchise. 2014 saw Reeves come back into the mainstream in a major way, with Chad Stahelski’s OG being a surprise blockbuster. Since then, the John Wick universe has continued to expand, and a role in the franchise has become one of Hollywood’s hottest tickets.

The long-awaited fourth mainline Wick movie adds newcomers, including Donnie Yen and Bill Skarsgård. Getting more bang for your buck, Stahelski has teased this could be Mr Wick’s most epic adventure yet. Don’t worry, a fifth movie has already been confirmed, while Reeves promises he’ll keep making them as long as they’re successful. -TC

The Super Mario Bros Movie – 31 March

Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. (Universal/Illumination/Nintendo)
Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. (Universal/Illumination/Nintendo)

You had to feel sorry for Mario, Nintendo’s ubiquitous plumber. He had a very bumpy ride when he first arrived on the big screen in 1993. The live action adventure with Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo was panned by critics and cinema-goers alike but, 30 years later, he’s back in a brand new adventure. And it’s 100% animated.

Read more: Meet the cast of Super Mario Bros.

The omens are good, with The Lego Movie’s Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s Charlie Day voicing his brother Luigi and Anya Taylor-Joy giving her dulcet tones to Princess Peach. The script is by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise Of Gru, Lego Movie 2) and a recently released clip takes us on a tour of the Mushroom Kingdom, where all the action takes place. Pratt gives Mario an Italian accent, which should be worth the price of a ticket all on its own. – FC

Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves – 31 March

Justice Smith plays Simon, Sophia Lillis plays Doric, Chris Pine plays Edgin and Michelle Rodriguez plays Holga in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves from Paramount Pictures.
Justice Smith plays Simon, Sophia Lillis plays Doric, Chris Pine plays Edgin and Michelle Rodriguez plays Holga in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. (Paramount Pictures)

Over the last few years, Dungeons and Dragons has exploded in popularity. The fantasy role-playing sensation comes to the big screen with an epic adventure, with Chris Pine leading a wise cracking troupe of adventurers on a magical quest.

Fantasy is huge at the moment, with Lord of The Rings, The Witcher, and House of The Dragon dominating the small screen. With trailers promising action, huge effects, and big laughs, Honour Among Thieves could be the start of a new big screen legacy. -JL

Renfield – 14 April

Dracula (Nicolas Cage) and Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) in Renfield, directed by Chris McKay. (Universal)
Dracula (Nicolas Cage) and Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) in Renfield, directed by Chris McKay. (Universal)

Thanks to the likes of Pig and The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage is back and living the acting good life. For his next project, he’ll be the face of Universal’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Renfield. Starring as Dracula’s devoted henchman, he begins to wonder what his life would be like if he didn’t have to serve his dark master.

So far, we know that the film will have strong comedic overtones, with Ryan Ridley of Rick & Morty fame onboard to write the script. The adaptation will be set in the present day, likely to echo the 21st century feels of hits like What We Do In The Shadows. With the potential for laughs incredibly high, other attached stars include Caroline Williams, Ben Schwartz, and Awkwafina. - JV

Evil Dead Rise – 21 April

Evil Dead Rise. (Studiocanal)
Evil Dead Rise. (Studiocanal)

Another horror, another sequel and another change in location. Number five in the franchise (including 2013’s remake of the original), Evil Dead Rise at last escapes the confines of that cabin in the woods and high-tails it to the big city. There’s no trailer so far, but the storyline involves two sisters Beth (Lily Sullivan) and Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), whose reunion is disrupted by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a battle for survival in the face of the most nightmarish of families.

Read more: Evil Dead Rise is a 'rollercoaster of horror'

No sign of Ash Williams this time round, but actor Bruce Campbell is on producing duty, as is the director of the original, Sam Raimi. Lee Cronin (The Hole InThe Ground) is at the helm for this instalment. 2023 is shaping up to be epic for horror fans. - FC

Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol. 3 – 5 May

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 (Disney)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 (Disney)

The intergalactic misfits are back! After briefly helping Thor in Love and Thunder, Chris Pratt leads his space-dwelling gang having settled down as the owners of spaceport Knowhere. Despite their efforts to make it a haven for refugees, their plans and their friendship are put to the test by an attack.

Read more: Everything we know about Guardians 3

Fans have been very excited by the addition of Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, a powerful being who will give the Guardians some trouble; as well as director James Gunn disclosing that this story will focus on the path of Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper). Expect more hijinks and tantalising resolutions to the storylines started in Avengers: Endgame. -JL

Fast and Furious 10 – 19 May

A still from Fast & Furious 9 (Universal Pictures)
A still from Fast & Furious 9 (Universal Pictures)

Even though the production of Fast X has been subject to some early controversy, our favourite high-chase franchise is still set to make waves with its tenth instalment. With Vin Diesel back in the driver’s seat, Jason Momoa is cast to play the film’s antagonist, while Michelle Rodriguez and Sung Kang make up the most well-known faces that will be returning. Set to be a direct sequel to F9, Brie Larson is also set to make her Fast & Furious debut.

The film will be the first half of the franchise’s two-part finale, which has been on our screens for the last 21 years. Louis Leterrier has now replaced Justin Lin as the director of Fast X, with Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs not set to return. However, Vin Diesel has previously claimed that 'Nothing is off the table' beyond the mainstream franchise, making it possible that Fast X could set something up for the future. -JV

The Little Mermaid – 26 May

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid. (Disney)

Rob Marshall is letting us be a part of her world, as the latest live-action Disney outing is taking us back to House of Mouse's renaissance for The Little Mermaid. Thanks to Marshall having previously directed the triumphant Mary Poppins Returns there are high hopes for The Little Mermaid.

Read more: Melissa McCarthy has 'fallen in love' with Ursula

Out of all the upcoming Disney reimaginings, The Little Mermaid’s casting has made it one of the most divisive but promising. Alongside Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel giving little girls of colour around the world someone to aspire to be, Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula is sure to polarise critics. Following a run of duds like Dumbo and Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid’s soundtrack alone should have fans wanting to take a dip. - TC

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse – 2 June

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)

Do we need reasons to be excited for the second animated Spidey adventure? In case anybody needs persuading, Lord and Miller, one of the most prolific of Hollywood double acts, are behind the script, and plenty of voices from the original are swinging into action – Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen, Jake Johnson as Peter Parker.

New ones include Oscar Isaac as Spider-Man 2099, an alternative version of the web slinger from the future or, as the actor describes him, “the one Spider-Man that doesn’t have a sense of humour.” Add to that Issa Rae and Daniel Kaluuya and our appetites are even more whetted than before. And look closely at the poster: the film is billed as Part One. There’s even more to come. - FC

Elemental – 6 June

ELEMENTAL, Disney and Pixar’s all-new, original feature film releasing June 16, 2023, features the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade, respectively. In a city where fire-, water-, land-, and air-residents live together, this fiery young woman and go-with-the-flow guy are about to discover something elemental: how much they actually have in common. “Elemental” is directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade, respectively in Elemental. (Pixar)

Pixar has built a legacy out of stories that make complex ideas accessible to family audiences. After venturing into the mind for Inside Out, and The Great Beyond for Soul, the studio turns its attention to the ingredients of life in Elemental.

Watch a teaser for Elemental

Imagining a world where beings of fire, water, land, and air co-exist, this film looks at what happens when a fiery young woman (voices by Leah Lewis) meets a male water element (Mamoudou Athie) and discover they aren't so different.

In a world of sequels and rehashes, Pixar continually produces original, challenging stories that should be marked down in any movie fan's calendar. -JL

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – 9 June

The teaser poster for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. (Paramount)
The teaser poster for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. (Paramount)

Five years after the release of its latest instalment (2018’s Bumblebee), the Transformers franchise is back with a bang. Set in the 1990s, fans will see the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons join forces to battle the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth. Starring Michelle Yeoh, Peter Cullen, and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is set to bring a whole new set of Transformers to our screens.

Paramount released the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts trailer in early December, giving fans a glimpse as to what the June release might look like. Watch it below.

There’s still much to speculate about, with most of the human character roles yet to be revealed. Even so, there’s plenty to get excited about — including a gorilla-shaped Transformer hidden deep in the tropical forest. - JV

The Flash – 23 June

Ezra Miller as The Flash in Justice League. (Warner Bros.)
Ezra Miller as The Flash in Justice League. (Warner Bros.)

Barry Allen might be the fastest man alive, but he hasn’t exactly been racing into action. Despite behind-the-scenes drama with actors, numerous delays, and changing directors, Andy Muschietti is due to bring back Ezra Miller’s red racer in The Flash. The IT director might seem like an odd choice, but in a year that’s also got Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Flash is holding its own.

Read more: Mind-blowing Batman movies that nearly got made

Even if the future of the DC Extended Universe is up in the air, The Flash could help it go out with a bang. Disney has already cashed in on its Multiverse, and with Barry jumping on his own Cosmic Treadmill, anyone and everyone is tipped to return. Even if we don’t get Robert Pattinson, at least Michael Keaton is reprising his role as the Caped Crusader for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns. -TC

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny – 30 June

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's IJ5. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Lucasfilm)

We’ve only recently learnt the title and had our first glimpse of what a de-aged Indy will look like. He’s not been around since 2008’s Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, so he was always going look different. It just backs up what Spielberg and James Mangold, who directs this time, have said about Indy being killed off. It’s not going to happen, even though Harrison Ford has said this will be the last time he plays the role.

We all love him and his humour and that classic adventure format never grows old, although Disney is keeping tight lipped about the storyline so far. But we do know this will be John Williams’ final score, as he’s announced he’ll retire once the film’s released.

Watch a trailer for Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

New faces in the cast include Phoebe Waller-Waller Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen and Antonio Banderas. And, when the film opens, Harrison Ford will be just shy of his 81st birthday, making him the oldest person to play the lead in a Disney movie. Welcome back Indy. We’ve missed you! - FC

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – 14 July

A still from the teaser for Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One. (Paramount Pictures)
A still from the teaser for Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One. (Paramount Pictures)

If there's one thing you can count on with a Mission: Impossible movie, it's excitement. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in the first of a two part story, Hayley Atwell joins the cast of franchise regulars, while Christopher McQuarrie returns for his third mission behind the camera.

2018's Fallout proved the spy series is as popular as ever, and the story being spread over two parts offers the mouthwatering prospect of a cliffhanger ending. Knowing Cruise's love of extreme stunts, maybe literally! -JL

Barbie – 21 July

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken in Barbie. (Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken in Barbie. (Warner Bros.)

It’s been billed as one of the most anticipated releases of 2023, yet details about Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie have largely been kept under wraps, beyond the brilliant first teaser. The storyline of the film is as yet unknown, although it has been reported that three variations of Ken and Barbie are likely to be included. The main iteration of the pair will be played by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, supported by a cast including Saoirse Ronan, Dua Lipa, and Issa Rae.

Read more: Everything we know about Barbie

The plot is likely to include a few notable figures from the Mattel world, with Gerwig’s real-life partner Noah Baumbach on hand to write the film’s script. Will Ferrell is also on board to play the CEO of Mattel, citing Barbie to be an “amazing comment on male patriarchy and women in society”. One thing we do know for sure – the eponymous Aqua song will not be featured. -JV

Oppenheimer – 21 July

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. (Universal Pictures)
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. (Universal Pictures)

If Christopher Nolan can do anything well, it’s delivering an Oscar-worthy ensemble. Following the middling reviews of Tenet, the director is poised to rejoin his glory days of The Dark Knight and Inception with Oppenheimer. Excitingly, Cillian Murphy steps up from his usual Nolan position as a secondary actor to play J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Cillian Murphy forges the future in Oppenheimer. (Universal Pictures)
Cillian Murphy forges the future in Oppenheimer. (Universal Pictures)

Boasting what some are calling the best cast of all time, Oppenheimer has also nabbed Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, and more. Retelling the real-life events of The Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb is sure to lure a crowd, and If that’s not enough, Nolan has promised to recreate the look of the world’s first nuclear explosion without the use of CGI. -TC

Gran Turismo – 11 August

It’s not unheard of for a popular video game to transition its way to the big screen, with Gran Turismo becoming the latest addition to the growing list. Based on a true story, the film will focus on a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a flurry of Nissan competitions and led him on the road to becoming an actual race car driver. David Harbour and Orlando Bloom are the big names leading the project, with Neill Blomkamp in the director’s chair.

Though Sony has kept details largely under wraps, Gran Turismo is likely to keep its focus on simulated driving action. Where franchises such as Need For Speed try to capture an emotional heart, the GT film has been pitched as more of a ‘metatextual’ blend. Even more interestingly, former Spice Girl Geri Horner has also been announced to play one of the teen prodigy’s parents. -JV

The Haunted Mansion – 11 August

Haunted Mansion is based on the classic Disney theme park attraction. (Disney)
Haunted Mansion is based on the classic Disney theme park attraction. (Disney)

Disney has enjoyed huge success making films based on its theme park rides, and now it's the turn of the supernatural Haunted Mansion. Rosario Dawson is moving in, starring as a single mother who gets more than she bargained for when she buys a spooky new abode.

Owen Wilson appears as a priest, Tiffany Haddish plays a psychic, and Jared Leto embodies the character of Hatbox Ghost. With a cast like that, who are you to say no? - JL

The Last Voyage of the Demeter – 11 Aug

German actor Max Schreck (1879 - 1936), as the vampire Count Orlok, emerges (with a rat on his sleeve) onto the deck of the Demeter, in a scene from F. W. Murnau's expressionist horror film, 'Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens', 1921. The film is based on Bram Stoker's novel 'Dracula' and was released in 1922. (Photo by Frederic Lewis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
German actor Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok aboard the Demeter in Nosferatu. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Nicolas Cage-led Renfield isn’t the only Dracula movie breaking free from Universal’s crypt in 2023, as The Last Voyage of the Demeter looks to be a more supernatural affair. Turning just a single chapter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula into a full feature film is no mean feat, but the iconic “The Captain’s Log” segment of the 1897 novel is getting its time to shine under Trollhunter’s André Øvredal.

What makes The Last Voyage of the Demeter so unique is that it’s languished in development hell since 2002. At one point, Noomi Rapace and Sir Ben Kingsley were set to star, but in its latest iteration, Game of Thrones' Liam Cunningham is the Demeter’s doomed captain and Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins plays a dashing doctor. -TC

Blue Beetle – 18 August

Teaser artwork for DC's Blue Beetle. (Warner Bros.)
Teaser artwork for DC's Blue Beetle. (Warner Bros.)

The arrival of Blue Beetle means that, despite appearances to the contrary, 2023’s superheroes aren’t all from the Marvel stable. We were recently teased with a poster for DC’s latest and it seems the film will have lots of Spanish dialogue with English subtitles. Xolo Mariduena (Cobra Kai) stars in DC’s first stand-alone superhero movie with a Latino lead, playing Mexican American teenager, Jaime Reyes. Also in the cast are Susan Sarandon, Harvey Guillen, Bruna Marquezine and Belissa Escobedo.

Read more: Every upcoming DC movie

The story involves Jaime returning home from college and unexpectedly acquiring an ancient relic of alien technology, the Scarab, which chooses the boy as his symbiotic host. With that comes a suit of armour full of extraordinary powers that transform him into Blue Beetle, changing his destiny for ever. Angel Manuel Soto is in the director’s chair for a superhero adventure which could turn out to be a ground-breaker. - FC

A Quiet Place: Day One – 8 September

(Credit: Paramount)
A Quiet Place sees earth terrorised by sound-detecting aliens. (Paramount)

One of the biggest success stories of recent years has been A Quiet Place, the brainchild of director/star John Krasinski that resulted in the 2018 hit horror and its 2021 sequel, both starring Emily Blunt. The success of both films meant a spin-off was inevitable, but fans were sent into raptures at reports of the cast for this new film.

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyongo and Stranger Things breakout star Joseph Quinn will lead the cast. On top of that, it's being written and directed by Michael Sarnoski, the filmmaker behind cult Nicolas Cage hit Pig. Little is known about the plot, although the title suggests a prequel of some sorts. Nonetheless, the talent involved should get fans very excited to see a different side of the Quiet Place universe. -JL

A Haunting In Venice – 15 September

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in 20th Century Studios’ DEATH ON THE NILE, a mystery-thriller directed by Kenneth Branagh based on Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel. Photo by Rob Youngson. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot Death on the Nile. (20th Century Studios)

Fresh off the back of 2022’s Death On The Nile, director Kenneth Branagh is proving that he certainly does have enough Poirot ideas to fill the Nile. Based on Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party, a now-retired Hercule Poirot must solve the murder of a guest at a séance he has attended. Following in the footsteps of both Death On The Nile and Murder On The Orient Express, Branagh’s third turn at the famed detective will feature an all-star cast — including Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Dornan, and Tina Fey.

For fans of Agatha Christie whodunnits, excitement for the film will be a no-brainer. Although the choice of tale is not the most obvious, we know that it will follow the death of a 13-year-old girl just after the Second World War. Perfectly timed for Halloween viewing, there’s no doubt that Branagh can make his Poirot success a hat trick. - JV

Next Goal Wins – 22 September

The cast of NEXT GOAL WINS. Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.
Michael Fassbender stars in Next Goal Wins. (Searchlight)

Taika Waititi is leaving Thor Odinson behind for now and turning his attention to Next Goal Wins — based on the 2014 documentary of the same name. Charting the rise of the 'world’s worst soccer team,' this sports comedy promises to bring Waititi’s usual levity in what’s already being called 'the Cool Runnings of soccer'.

Michael Fassbender takes top billing as Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen, joined by Elizabeth Moss and Will Arnett. Although Arnett’s role was originally a cameo for Armie Hammer, Waititi expanded it into a much bigger part when the Arrested Development star joined. Waititi clearly has a lot of love for Next Goal Wins and says he couldn’t believe he’d never heard of the documentary before being linked to the project. -TC

Expendables 4 – 22 September

Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Randy Couture in Expendables 3. (Alamy)
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Randy Couture in Expendables 3. (Alamy)

The boys are back in town for one last rodeo. Some nine years after we thought Lionsgate had waved off these hot-headed heroes, Scott Waugh is assembling a crew as the franchise’s fourth director. When The Expendables bows out, it remains to be seen whether that long-mooted all-female spin-off will rise from the grave.

Expend4bles might be a questionable title, but bringing back Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross is sure to pull in the numbers like the seemingly never-ending Fast & Furious movies. Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren are some of the few who’ve stuck with the series throughout, but in terms of newcomers, we’ve got Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Megan Fox adding some new star power to this adrenaline-packed action outing. -TC

Killers of the Flower Moon – 6 October, 20 October (wide)

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Martin Scorsese's upcoming Apple Original Film, Killers of the Flower Moon. (Courtesy of Apple)
Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Martin Scorsese's upcoming Apple Original Film, Killers of the Flower Moon. (Courtesy of Apple)

It's been over three years since Leonardo DiCaprio last appeared on the big screen in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood, and a similar amount of time since Martin Scorsese's last movie The Irishman graced our screens — but in 2023, they're both back in crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon.

The film, an Apple TV+ original, is based on the non-fiction book of the same name about a series of murders on tribal land in the 1920s.

Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone and Brendan Fraser also star in what is sure to be one of the most anticipated cinematic events of the year. -TB

Kraven The Hunter – 6 October

Kraven the Hunter is a classic Spider-Man villain. (Sony Pictures)
Kraven the Hunter is a classic Spider-Man villain. (Sony Pictures)

Aaron Taylor Johnson is the latest bookies favourite to play 007, so how does that square up with him playing the lead in a Marvel movie? Whatever, he’s set to be on our screens as one of Spidey’s most formidable enemies, playing the title role in Kraven The Hunter, which is set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. In the comics, Kraven was also a founding member of the Sinister Six, along with the likes of Doc Oc, Electro and Mysterio. The film looks like being his origin story.

KYOTO, JAPAN - AUGUST 23:  Aaron Taylor-Johnson attends the 'Bullet Train' stage greeting at Toho Cinemas Kyoto on August 23, 2022 in Kyoto, Japan.  (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson attends the Bullet Train stage greeting at Toho Cinemas Kyoto, 2022. (Jun Sato/WireImage)

Director J C Chandor forsakes smaller fare (Margin Call, All Is Lost) to make his Spider-Man universe debut, bringing with him a pedigree cast including Russell Crowe, Ariana DeBose and Alessandro Nivola, as well as Christopher Abbott playing another Spidey villain, The Foreigner.

There’s plenty of speculation about how closely the plot will follow the original comics and, with Taylor Johnson having signed a multi-movie deal to play Kraven, this could be the start of another franchise. We’ve had to wait for this one — it was originally scheduled for January — but hopefully it’ll be worth it. - FC

Untitled The Exorcist sequel – 13 October

Kino. The Exorcist, USA, 1973, aka: Der Exorzist, Regie: William Friedkin, Darsteller: Linda Blair. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Linda Blair in 1973's The Exorcist. (United Archives via Getty Images)

If you want to get hyped for this new instalment of the long-running franchise, look no further than one of its competitors. In 2018, David Gordon Green revitalised the Halloween series with a new sequel, which picked up directly after the original film. It was a huge success, and now Green and frequent collaborator Danny McBride are taking that approach to The Exorcist.

Read more: Everything we know about The Exorcist reboot

This new film will be a direct sequel to the 1973 classic, although unlike Halloween it will not retcon the other sequels. Green and McBride have shown that they can take horror icons and work them into stories that feel relevant to today, which makes their take on William Peter Blatty's scary story a very intriguing prospect indeed. Ellen Burstyn is reprising her role as Chris MacNeil from the original movie. -JL

Dune: Part 2 – 3 November

Rebecca Ferguson in Dune (Warner Bros.)
Rebecca Ferguson in Dune (Warner Bros.)

With five Academy Awards wins under its belt, Dune was the jewel in the crown of 2021 releases. Set to open in the later part of 2023, Dune: Part 2 has already generated a great deal of hype. Following the second half of Frank Herbert’s book, Timothée Chalamet is set to reprise his role as Paul Atreides, with Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, and Zendaya amongst the additional returning cast. Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, and Léa Seydoux are set to make up some of the film’s brand-new faces.

If viewers were fans of Part 1, they’re likely to be equally as delighted with Dune’s follow-up. Following the book’s narrative, there are plenty of political implications, story threads, and hostile planets left to be discovered. Alongside director and writer Denis Villeneuve, Hans Zimmer is also back onboard for the second round of intergalactic warfare. -JV

The Marvels – 10 November

Iman Vellani, Brie Larson, and Teyonah Parris will team up in The Marvels. (Marvel Studios)
Iman Vellani, Brie Larson, and Teyonah Parris will team up in The Marvels. (Marvel Studios)

Captain Marvel at last gets her sequel. Not that Marvel have made any big announcements about it yet, but there’s a steady stream of nuggets to keep us interested. Like Captain Marvel possibly having an alien husband. Word is Park Seo Joon (Parasite) could be playing Prince Yan, the leader of a musical planet where everybody communicates through song.

We’ve also had a preview of Captain Marvel’s new suit, courtesy of a toy manufacturer, and we know that Iman Vellani’s Ms Marvel will jump from her Disney+ series to the movie. It seems that Zawe Ashton (Mr Malcolm’s List) is joining the cast as a villain, but who or what she is hasn’t been revealed. Nia DaCosta (Candyman) is in the director’s chair, making her the first black woman to direct a Marvel Studios movie.

Plot details are scant, but word is there’s going to be a lot of body swopping going on, mainly involving Captain Marvel and Nick Fury – and that, of course, means the return of Samuel L Jackson. We can’t wait to know more. - FC

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – 17 November

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.  (Lionsgate)
Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. (Lionsgate)

It might be a bit of a mouthful, but The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will continue one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. There’s no Jennifer Lawrence here as Katniss Everdeen, but instead, we’ve got Peter Dinklage and Viola Davis during the events of the 10th Hunger Games.

Read more: Everything we know about the Hunger Games prequel

Tom Blyth plays a young version of Donald Sutherland’s Cornelius Snow, with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes hoping to cash in on the success of Suzanne Collins' 2020 book of the same name. Aside from some backlash over focussing on the franchise’s villain, this Hunger Games prequel could follow in the footsteps of recent villain origin stories like Cruella and Joker. -TC

Wish – 24 November

HOW DID THE WISHING STAR, UPON WHICH SO MANY CHARACTERS WISHED, COME TO BE? -- Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original fairytale adventure “Wish” is an all-new story is set in the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha, an optimist with a sharp wit and a deep caring for her community, turns to the sky in a moment of need, and makes a wish. Asha’s plea is answered by a cosmic force, a little ball of boundless energy, Star. Together, they will face the most formidable of foes to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars – wondrous things can happen. The voice cast includes Ariana DeBose as Asha and Alan Tudyk as the pajama-wearing goat, Valentino. Featuring original songs by Julia Michaels, “Wish” is helmed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, and produced by Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes. The feature film releases Fall 2023.
Wish is an all-new story is set in the magical kingdom of Rosas. (Disney)

Disney’s big musical animation for 2023 also marks the studio’s 100th anniversary. No pressure, then. Announced at Disney’s D23 Expo, Wish sets out to explain the star that Disney characters so often wish upon to make their dreams come true. At the centre of the story is 17-year-old Asha, who calls upon the heavens to help her community – and the response she receives comes from a ball of energy that makes a pact with her to help her village. It takes her and her animal companion, a goat called Valentino, to Rosas, the kingdom of wishes.

The House of Mouse has cast West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose as Asha, with Alan Tudyk (Disenchanted, Strange World, Encanto) using his extensive voice acting experience to bring Valentino to life. Sharing directing duties are Chris Buck (Frozen, Frozen 2) and first time helmer Fawn Veerasunthorn, who’s worked on Disney projects such as Raya And The Last Dragon and Zootopia. There’s no trailer for the film as yet, but there’s no doubt that the stakes are high for this one – and expectations are even higher. - FC

Wonka – 15 December

Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK.  12th October 2021.  Scenes for the new Wonka movie starring Timothée Chalamet being filmed on The Cobb harbour at Lyme Regis in Dorset this afternoon.  Timothée Chalamet who is playing the young Willy Wonka, is seen riding on top of a van roof. Picture Credit: Graham Hunt/Alamy Live News
Scenes for the new Wonka movie starring Timothée Chalamet being filmed on The Cobb harbour at Lyme Regis in Dorset, 2021. (Graham Hunt/Alamy Live News)

One of the biggest stars in Hollywood dons a very familiar hat in this origin story from Paddington director Paul King. This is the story of the early years of Willy Wonka (Timothy Chalamet), and his meeting with the Oompa-Loompas.

The Dune star hasn't put a foot wrong yet in his young career, and King's success behind the camera makes this a collaboration to get very excited for. -JL

Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel – 20 December

Ghostbusters: Afterlife comes to UK cinemas on 11 November (Sony Pictures)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife. (Sony Pictures)

Two years after the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the newbie franchise will be back with a sequel. Though details are almost completely kept under wraps (including its name), stars attached include Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, and McKenna Grace. The team are set to return to New York City following the events of Oklahoma, with new recruits including Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd.

Set to have a December 2023 release, the move back to the iconic firehouse will once again be spearheaded by Jason Reitman. As the son of the original Ghostbusters director Ivan, Reitman’s sequel could provide the perfect chance for old and new generations to unite. - JV

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – 29 December

The first look at Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was shared during FanDome 2021. (DC/Warner Bros.)
The first look at Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was shared during FanDome 2021. (DC/Warner Bros.)

Jason Momoa is flexing his muscles all over again for the much-hyped follow-up to James Wan’s Aquaman from 2018. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom explores more of the Seven Seas, with Arthur Curry facing more dangerous foes. After a fleeting appearance in the first movie, we’re promised more from Yayha Abdul-Manteen II as the legendary Black Manta.

Read more: Everything we know about Aquaman 2

The DCEU might be in a state of flux, and while Wan’s The Trench spin-off has been lost at sea, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom has been riding a wave of hype from the character’s gritty reinvention. Momoa reportedly pitched a sequel when Aquaman was still in production, but Wan didn’t want to rush things. Also, Ben Affleck could be back as the DCEU’s Batman. -TC

Watch: Jason Momoa shaves his locks