Barbie and Oppenheimer have made summer 2023 a bumper season for cinemas, with crowds flocking to theatres in the greatest numbers seen since the COVID-19 pandemic. These two films have revitalised people’s excitement for movies, and in this article we take a look at the 10 films most likely to be the next humongous Hollywood hits.
The social distancing and mask wearing requirements of the pandemic have prevented many people from going to the cinema in recent years. People had got used to watching movies in the comfort of their own home. Things have changed drastically recently as the huge popularity of the Barbie movie has helped to reconnect film fans with their local theatres.
If movie lovers weren’t flocking to the cinema all decked out in pink for Barbie this summer, they were getting stuck into Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama Oppenheimer, which stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Robert Downey Jr, and has also been a huge box office hit. Or in extreme ‘Barbenheimer cases, even seeing both on the same day!
The success of these films during what has been a rainy old summer in the UK, has put movies back on people’s minds heading into the cooler months. Plenty of us will be relishing the opportunity to snuggle down in our local cinema and enjoy some big screen entertainment in late 2023 and early 2024.
If you’re wondering what there might be to look forward to over the next 12 months, you won’t be disappointed. What follows in this article includes forthcoming films with a little something to suit every cinema-goer’s taste, including thrillers, action films, dramas, horror, family films and comedies.
So why not get yourself in the movie-going mood, grab a box of popcorn, and read on.
A Haunting in Venice (September 15th)
If you love Poirot, or if you’re generally a fan of ‘whodunnit’ mysteries, you may well enjoy A Haunting in Venice, which sees Kenneth Branagh take up the role of Poirot for the third time in a cast that also featured Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Jamie Dornan and Kyle Allen. The plot of this supernatural thriller follows a retired Poirot, who is exiled in Venice after the Second World War, as he attends a seance at which one of the guests is mysteriously murdered. Who better than Hercule Poirot to uncover the murderer’s identity?
Saw X (September 27th)
Horror fans who enjoy the Saw movie franchise are in for an extended treat as Halloween approaches. Saw X is the 10th instalment in the franchise that first hit the big screen in 2004, and it has the longest runtime of the lot, clocking in at one hour and 58 minutes. Saw X is set in Mexico, where serial killer John Kramer (aka Jigsaw) is involved in an experimental attempt to cure his cancer. Upon discovering that the attempt was a scam, Jigsaw seeks to wreak vengeance upon his would-be predators. Kramer features more heavily in this Saw film than any other – a prospect that will have movie-goers rubbing their hands with glee this Halloween season.
Killers of the Flower Moon (October 20th)
Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio worked together on a film for the sixth time when they helped make Killers of the Flower Moon, with legendary director Martin Scorcese at the helm. Based on a book of the same name by David Grann, the film is about a series of murders that took place in Oklahoma after oil was found on Osage Nation land in the 1920s. Along with De Niro and DiCaprio, the film also stars Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, John Lithgow and Brendan Fraser, and it received a nine-minute standing ovation at the end of its screening at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in May 2023. The film addresses America’s relationship with Indigenous peoples and has been hailed as a great achievement for Scorsese, who masterfully handles tragedy and macabre horror in this emotive picture.
Dune: Part Two (November 3rd)
Timothée Chalamet’s portrayal of Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune helped to earn the film a favourable critical response, and fans of both the film and the Frank Herbert novel upon which it is based will be hotly anticipating its sequel, which will once again star Chalamet alongside Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Rebecca Ferguson. Joining the star-studded cast for the sequel are Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and Léa Seydoux, as Atreides seeks revenge against those responsible for killing his family. Expect stunning visuals and a haunting Hans Zimmer soundtrack.
Napoleon (November 22nd)
Ridley Scott, the legendary director of classic films including Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, is the mastermind behind Napoleon, which stars Oscar-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The film brings to life the story of Bonaparte’s rise to power, his astute military strategising, and his turbulent relationship with a woman named Josephine. If you are a fan of spectacular battle scenes, beautifully directed period dramas and Joaquin Phoenix’s ability to inhabit a role with remarkable depth and conviction, Napoleon is likely to be a delectable feast for your eyes and ears when it hits the big screen in November.
Wonka (December 15th)
Timothée Chalamet has clearly been a busy man in recent years, because he has another hotly anticipated film coming out just in time for Christmas 2023, this time taking up the role of the Roald Dahl character Willy Wonka. The film Wonka is a prequel to the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which starred Gene Wilder in the lead role, and Chalamet will no doubt be compared to Wilder when the film arrives in cinemas in December 15th. The plot follows Wonka’s early life as an eccentric chocolatier, and there are appearances in the film from Hugh Grant, Matt Lucas and Rowan Atkinson, along with Peep Show stars Olivia Colman, Isy Suttie and Paterson Joseph. With such a comedic cast coming together for this film, we can only imagine there will be laughs a plenty in Wonka!
The Colour Purple (December 25th)
Bringing sumptuous cinematography, heart-wrenching drama and sensational musical numbers to the big screen just in time for Christmas, The Colour Purple is directed by Blitz Bazawule and stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Halle Bailey and Corey Hawkins. With Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg among the producers, this musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel about an African American woman’s turbulent life in the south of the country in the early 20th century features several actors who have performed in the Broadway production of the novel, and is set to captivate audiences the world over when it is released on December 25th.
Elio (March 2024)
Looking ahead to 2024, and fans of Pixar Animation Studios will be excited to catch a glimpse of the studio’s 28th feature film, Elio, which stars Yonas Kibreab as an 11-year-old boy with one eye who makes contact with aliens and inadvertently becomes Earth’s ambassador in the Communiverse. With Jameela Jamil, Brad Garrett and America Ferrera also among the cast, director Adrian Molina had plenty of talent at his disposal when it came to adding voices to an animation that will take audiences deep into space and into contact with strange and spectacular settings and beings. Molina was the screenwriter and co-director of Coco, and the families who enjoyed that will no doubt love Elio.
The Fall Guy (March 2024)
There are few bigger stars in the acting world right now than Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, and they both star in The Fall Guy, which is all about a former stuntman who returns to action after the star of a new movie goes missing. Stephanie Hsu, who would widespread critical acclaim for her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once, is also among the cast for this 2024 film directed by David Leitch, which is an adaptation of the 1980s television series of the same name. Gosling takes the role of the jaded stuntman, Colt, who returns to work on a movie set where Jody, played by Emily Blunt, is directing her first film. Expect outrageous action from expert director Leitch, who previously worked on John Wick, Atomic Blonde and Deadpool.
Furiosa (May 2024)
Mad Max: Fury Road shook the franchise in 2015 as director George Miller cast Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in a wonderfully stylised action movie for a new era. In May 2024, Miller’s prequel hits the big screen, starring The Queen’s Gambit’s Anya Taylor-Joy as a young Imperator Furiosa alongside Chris Hemsworth, who plays evil overlord Immortan Joe. The anticipation for this film is huge, with action movie fans waiting with baited breath to see how Miller can move the genre forward yet again after Mad Max: Fury Road revolutionised the way action films can look, sound and feel. Theron’s performance as Imperator Furiosa was unforgettable, and fans of Mad Max old and young alike will be keen to see how Anya Taylor-Joy takes up the mantle of the character’s origin story.
Book your seats now folks, there are some great looking stories in that list!