POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS FILMS IN THE FRANCHISES MENTIONED BELOW
So another year is behind us and now we look forward to the biggest films 2019 has to offer and what I am personally holding out for. I’ll run through a few honourable mentions before jumping into the list in order from 10 to 1. So here we go.
So here’s a couple of films I’m kind of holding out for but weren’t good enough to secure a spot on the top 10 list. Captain Marvel, another MCU film, is set to introduce Brie Larson‘s hero to the world so I guess that’s one I’m looking out for. X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants were both films that appeared in the honourable mentions of my most anticipated list last year but as both were delayed from 2018 to 2019 I guess i’ll include them here. The long delays aren’t promising for what the final product will be but I’m optimistic. Then we have Joker, another take on the Batman villain with Joaquin Phoenix taking over the role. I don’t know much about this one but I’m hoping it’s a good one.
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the top 10.
#10 – Toy Story 4
Sneaking in at #10 is Toy Story 4, the followup to the trilogy of Toy Story film I didn’t think we were ever going to get. Toy Story 3 (2010) was a fantastic wrap to one of the best trilogies when it released 9 years ago, and it ended on an emotional note that I didn’t think called for another entry. But here we are, a fourth film is on the verge of being released with Josh Cooley directing and a new ‘romantic comedy’ story which sees the return of Annie Potts‘ Bo Peep character who was not featured in Toy Story 3.
I’m curious to see if the writing team can conjure up a story to stand up to the previous three but I have faith the talents over at Pixar will do a fantastic job if their track record is anything to go by.
#9 – Us
A last minute addition to this top 10 list is Us, the second film written and directed by Jordan Peele after 2017’s smash hit Get Out. The trailer dropped a week ago and blew me away with the fact that it not only intrigued me but the trailer alone had me terrified. If Get Out is anything to go by, this film will be intense from start to finish, you’ll no doubt be in the edge of your seat in fear and anticipation, and there’ll probably be small clever details you’ll only notice on repeat viewings. From the trailer, the film seems to follow a family who vacate to their beach house when suddenly chaos arises when some unexpected visitors invade their lives.
With Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke amongst the many talents involved I cannot wait to see what experimental originality this brings to the horror genre in 2019 which looks to be a big one for the genre.
#8 – Aladdin
Disney are continuing their streak of remaking their classic animated projects into live action because as it turns out they continue to make truck-loads of money. One of their live-action remakes releasing in 2019 is Aladdin, the classic genie, lamp, prince story beloved by so many. We haven’t gotten much yet in terms of footage but the EW spread and accompanying teaser were enough to gauge my interest. It looks big, it looks magical, and with the exception of 2014’s Maleficent their previous live-action retellings have been stellar.
With a cast that includes Will Smith as Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Billy Magnussen as a new character I cannot wait to see how this one turns out because it could very easily be incredible. Also, with Guy Ritchie at the helm you can expect to see some great well-shot action sequences because that’s one area he’s especially talented in.
#7 – John Wick: Chapter 3
When you think of modern genre-defining action films John Wick is right up there with the best, hence why we’re here anticipating the third instalment of this thrilling action franchise. Keanu Reeves proved he still had it when he burst onto the scene as John Wick in 2014, an ex-hitman dragged back into the line of fire. The first two films in this trilogy have been astounding in terms of their story and mind-blowing in terms of the fast-paced brutal action sequences. With Chad Stahelski once again returning to the directors chair for this one you can bet he’s going to close out the trilogy well.
The plot is still somewhat vague but the previous film left us with Wick on the run so we’ll see how the addition of Halle Berry to the already immensely talented cast helps or hinders Wick’s chances of survival.
#6 – The Lion King
Well we’ve already got one of Disney’s live-action retellings on this list so why not throw on another one in the form of The Lion King. Yes I know we are using the ‘live-action’ term loosely here because it’s technically all still animated but you get the idea. It’s already one of, if not the biggest animated films of all time so I already know this film is going to make bonkers cash-money. Everyone already knows the story and all the emotion that goes along with it so this is all about reliving the story and all of the songs with impossibly real-looking computer generated animals. I’m convinced this is going to be incredible and it’s going to be translated for ‘live-action’ in a way that benefits the format and differentiates it from the animated version.
The voice cast alone should get anyone excited with Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, and the legendary James Earl Jones reprising the role of Mufasa because we all know nobody could possibly fill that role.
#5 – Star Wars: Episode IX
Ok here we go, this had to appear on this list because there is no doubt I am keen on checking it out… but am I insanely excited for it?… no. It’s Star Wars, so there’s no way I won’t be seeing it at the midnight screening but I can’t say I’m counting down the days. As much as I love the franchise and have enjoyed the films being pumped out in this new era the approach to creating a new trilogy hasn’t been handled in a very good way.
My opinion is as thus, individually I think the films are great, The Force Awakens I absolutely adored, and The Last Jedi I did enjoy and Rian Johnson made a good film, so I don’t doubt I’ll enjoy Episode IX too. However, as a trilogy, as a sequence of films that are meant to lead into each other and connect in clever ways that make sense and pay off… it’s not doing too great. The approach of having a different writer/director for each project was a grave misstep by Disney and Lucasfilm. So the fact that they have J.J. Abrams returning for this one is a little more promising considering he helmed The Force Awakens but the damage may have already been done.
Hence, I’m trepidatious about this upcoming film especially due to the fact that we know nothing about it and it’s still just under a year away. But I do hope it all works out well.
#4 – Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Infinity War took the superhero genre by storm last year by delivering the biggest thing the genre has ever seen. Almost every previously introduced Marvel hero was present including Thanos who has long been in the shadows for the last 10 years. And it delivered, it was a phenomenal film that lived up to all of the expectations and shocked everyone with the heartbreaking ending. We thankfully don’t have to wait long for a followup because Avengers: Endgame is only a few months away and if the title is anything to go by it won’t end well for at least a few of our heroes.
I am excited for this movie however it doesn’t quite crack the top 3 for a few reasons. Firstly, the next three films I am anticipating much more, obviously, and also the frequency of films in the superhero genre is starting to wear on me. My honourable mentions is littered with superhero films because frankly they don’t get me as excited for them anymore. This is an exception due to the years of build-up to it but anything else I can comfortably wait for.
So without waiting any longer, let’s get to the top 3.
#3 – Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Gareth Edwards‘ 2014 rendition of Godzilla received very mixed reactions with people either loving the film or dismissing it as boring and featuring barely any of the titular monster. I sit more on the side of loving the film but I definitely acknowledge the flaws in the approach. On repeat viewings, the slow pacing and hiding of Godzilla doesn’t work when you know what it’s all leading to, but what I would pay to be able to experience that film for the first time again. That film featured one of the best action sequences and scenes I’ve ever seen so it’s fair to say I’m thoroughly excited for this sequel.
This looks to be upping the scale threefold with the inclusion of three classic Godzilla monsters in Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah for him to go toe-to-toe with. It looks massive, intense, stunning, and I cannot wait to watch giant monsters make our planet a battleground. The interesting choice here is having Michael Dougherty in the director’s seat who is known predominantly for Krampus (2015) and Trick ‘r Treat (2007), but he may be the man for the job, we’ll just have to wait and see.
#2 – IT: Chapter Two
In the number 2 spot is IT: Chapter Two the horror followup or ‘second half’ to 2017’s IT which blew me away with its creepy atmosphere, great performances, and well integrated humour. It was a more serious take on the classic Stephen King novel than the 1990 miniseries that had some genuinely scary moments coming out of the terrifying atmosphere which never let up. With Andy Muschietti back in the directors seat I have all the faith that this sequel will be bigger, not as funny, and twice as terrifying as the last… the reason? With the film taking place 27 years after the last, the kids are going to be much older and it typically takes a lot more to scare adults than it does kids.
The cast is another reason I’m so excited as with names such as James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and the returning Bill Skarsgård it’s hard not to be. But despite my excitement for this film being through the roof, there is only one that bests it, and that is…
#1 – Glass
M Night Shyamalan made a resurgence with 2015’s The Visit and since then hasn’t disappointed. Now, the man known for his crazy twists is releasing what is undoubtedly his biggest and most ambitious project 19 years in the making. It’s no secret by now that this film is a sequel to both Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) which will merge this shared universe that no-one knew was even a shared universe until the final scene of Split. This execution blew me away as I had no idea it was coming, then all of a sudden I was more excited for a film I never knew was happening than anything else.
Unbreakable is a phenomenal mystery thriller and a film that I believe every mystery thriller fan should see because it’s just exceptional. Then Split is a horror film which I very much enjoyed especially for James McAvoy’s multiple performances. Put them together and now we have Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, and James McAvoy side by side in the same mystery thriller and I couldn’t possibly be more excited considering it releases this month.
I am counting down the days for this one because there’s no doubt I will be there opening day to see the result.
So there you have it, my top 10 most anticipated films of 2019. If all of these films turn out to be as good as I hope they are then this will be another fantastic year at the movies.