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‘Mean Girls,’ ‘Mad Max,’ ‘Dune: Part 2’ on tap

Here’s month-by-month look at new movies for 2024

By Adam Graham, The Detroit News
Published: January 6, 2024, 5:58am
3 Photos
Bebe Wood, from left, as Gretchen, Renee Rapp as Regina and Avantika as Karen in &ldquo;Mean Girls.&rdquo; (Jojo Whilden/Paramount Pictures)
Bebe Wood, from left, as Gretchen, Renee Rapp as Regina and Avantika as Karen in “Mean Girls.” (Jojo Whilden/Paramount Pictures) Photo Gallery

Three “Strangers” movies, two Kevin Costner sagas, one more “Mad Max” adventure. Oh my!

Those titles — and many more! — are on the bill for 2024, a movie year that looks to thrill moviegoers with plenty of familiar properties and even some original fare.

We’ll get part threes of “Deadpool,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Venom,” and sequels to “Dune,” “Joker,” “Gladiator,” “Beetlejuice” and “Inside Out.” We’ll get a “Mean Girls” musical. Another “Alien” movie. And yes, the 11th chapter in the “Saw” series is due out just in time for Spooky Season.

Here’s what’s on tap at the movies in 2024. Dates are always subject to change.


A “Mean Girls” sequel? Not really. A reboot? Guess again. “Mean Girls” (due out Jan. 12) is based on the “Mean Girls” musical, which itself was based on the “Mean Girls” movie, which came out two whole decades ago. Reneé Rapp, who plays Regina George this time around, was just 3 years old when the first “Mean Girls” was released. If you weren’t already feeling old, that oughta do it.

Also due out: There’s a haunted swimming pool in “Night Swim” (Jan. 5); Jason Statham is “The Beekeeper” in the latest from “Suicide Squad” director David Ayer (Jan. 12); LaKeith Stanfield stars in the Biblical riff “The Book of Clarence” (Jan. 12); there’s a problem aboard the International Space Station in “I.S.S.” (Jan. 19); Snoop Dogg hits the gridiron in the football-themed “The Underdoggs” (Jan. 26).


The “Spider-Man” universe continues to expand (think “Venom”) with “Madame Web,” which stars Dakota Johnson as the titular paramedic whose clairvoyance allows her to unlock secrets of the Spider World. She’s joined by “Anyone But You’s” Sydney Sweeney, who plays Spider-Woman, and Celeste O’Connor, who, um, also plays Spider-Woman. Must be a multiverse situation.

Also due out: “Kingsman” filmmaker Matthew Vaughn returns with “Argylle,” starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell and Dua Lipa (Feb. 2); Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse star in the horror comedy “Lisa Frankenstein,” from the pen of Diablo Cody (Feb. 9); Kingsley Ben-Adir stars as Bob Marley in “Bob Marley: One Love” (Feb. 14); Ethan Coen directs Margaret Qualley in the comic caper “Drive-Away Dolls” (Feb. 23).


“Dune: Part Two,” which was pushed back due to last year’s actor’s strike, is set to open March 1. The adventure picks up where 2021’s first part left off, as “Wonka’s” Timothée Chalamet explores desert regions and wages war with House Harkonnen. Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux and more join the cast; Denis Villeneuve directs.

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Also due out: Meet Chauncey, the haunted teddy bear of your nightmares, in “Imaginary” (March 8); hopefully the fourth time’s also a charm in “Kung Fu Panda 4” (March 8); Millie Bobby Brown of “Stranger Things” is a “Damsel” in Netflix’s fantasy thriller (March 8); Jake Gyllenhaal tries to fill Patrick Swayze’s shoes in “Road House” (March 21); they ain’t afraid of no ice in “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” (March 29); Robert Pattinson, Steven Yeun and Mark Ruffalo team up in “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho’s sci-fi tale “Mickey 17” (March 29).


Kirsten Dunst, Jesse “Mr. Kirsten Dunst” Plemons, “Priscilla’s” Cailee Spaeny and Nick Offerman star in writer-director Alex Garland’s (“Ex Machina,” “Annihilation”) “Civil War” (April 26), about an America turned on itself in a not-too far off future. An impossible premise, right? Right?

Also due out: We’re going back to the beginning with “The First Omen” (April 5); Vera Drew’s “The People’s Joker” is an unauthorized take on the Joker tale (April 5); the big guys are back in “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” (April 12); Zack Snyder’s space saga returns in “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” (April 19); Zendaya stars in the tennis-themed rom-com “Challengers” (April 26).


Hard-hitting action director David Leitch (“Atomic Blonde”) tackles “The Fall Guy” (May 3), an action comedy starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, an adaptation of the ’80s TV series, with Gosling as a washed-up stuntman investigating the disappearance of an A-list actor (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Blunt as a film director.

Also due out: “A Quiet Place” director John Krasinski directs himself and Ryan Reynolds in the comic fantasy “IF,” short for Imaginary Friends (May 17); “The Strangers: Chapter 1” is the first of three “Strangers” films, based on 2008’s horror hit, due out May 17; “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” stars Anya Taylor-Joy in the role Charlize Theron made famous (May 24); get some lasagna ready for “The Garfield Movie” (May 24); the “Apes” saga continues in “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (May 24).


Pixar’s last truly delightful, smart, winning film was 2015’s “Inside Out,” and the one-time animation king has been in a bit of a rough patch ever since. So here’s hoping the film’s sequel, “Inside Out 2” (June 14), can recapture some of that old Pixar magic, as the emotional head trip adds a bit of Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke, to join the rest of the feelings at company headquarters.

Also due out: Ana de Armas stars in the “John Wick” spinoff, “Ballerina” (June 7); Ishana Shyamalan, daughter of M. Night, makes her feature directorial debut with the supernatural tale “The Watchers” (June 7); Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back in town in “Bad Boys 4” (June 14); Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon and Jodie Comer are “The Bikeriders” (June 21); Kevin Costner saddles up for “Horizon: An American Saga,” the first part of his two-part Western saga (June 28); shhhh, it’s “A Quiet Place: Day One” (June 28).


Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is back, palling around with his old friend Deadpool in the as-yet-untitled third Deadpool movie, which we’ll refer to here as “Deadpool 3” (July 26), which just so happens to be the only Marvel Cinematic Universe offering on the table in 2024. Consider it a palate cleanser and also a bridge to the long-anticipated “X-Men” participation in the MCU. Or let’s just hope that Ryan Reynolds’ wisecracking superhero can still bring it like he did in the first two movies.

Also due out: Gru is back, and so are his Minions, in “Despicable Me 4” (July 3); “Twisters” expands on the universe of 1996’s original tornado-chasing thrill junkies (July 19).


Michigan boxer Claressa Shields, known as T-Rex, has her story told in “Flint Strong” (Aug. 9), starring Ryan Destiny as the fighter as she trains for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Rachel Morrison, cinematographer on “Black Panther” and “Mudbound” (for which she was nominated for an Oscar), makes her feature directorial debut, from a script by “Moonlight’s” Barry Jenkins.

Also due out: The 1955 children’s book comes to life in “Harold and the Purple Crayon” (Aug. 2); M. Night Shyamalan is back with his latest “Trap” (Aug. 2); Eli Roth brings the popular video game “Borderlands” to the big screen (Aug. 9); James McAvoy and Scoot McNairy play vacation friends in “Speak No Evil,” a remake of a 2022 Danish film about how vacation friends maybe aren’t such a great idea (Aug. 9); director Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe”) takes on the “Alien” franchise with “Alien: Romulus” (Aug. 16); Kevin Costner returns with “Horizon: An American Saga – Part 2,” the second part of his 2024 epic (Aug. 16); Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars in the comic book adaptation “Kraven the Hunter” (Aug. 30).


A “Transformers” origin story, “Transformers One” (Sept. 13) turns back the clock to get to the root of the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron, to find out what went wrong between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Hopefully we can all achieve some healing as a result.

Also due out: Someone must have said his name three times, because Beetlejuice is back in “Beetlejuice 2” (Sept. 6); “Saw XI” (!!!) (Sept. 27).


Following his best actor Oscar win, Joaquin Phoenix returns to the role of Batman’s greatest foe in “Joker: Folie à Deux” (Oct. 4), which may or may not be a full-blown musical but which definitely stars Lady Gaga as Joker’s main squeeze, Harley Quinn. Director Todd Phillips returns, which further ensures the film will ruffle a few feathers; few 2024 projects seem quite as enticing, or quite as provocative.

Also due out: Smile, it’s “Smile 2,” the sequel to 2022’s surprise horror hit (Oct. 18); Art the Clown is back in the Christmas-themed “Terrifier 3” (Oct. 25); Christopher Abbott stars in “The Wolf Man,” the latest from Leigh Whannell, who did a killer job back in 2020 updating “The Invisible Man” for a new age (Oct. 25).


“Wicked,” “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the hit 2003 musical, is being split into two movies; “Wicked: Part One” (Nov. 27) is set to hit theaters in time for Thanksgiving, while the second part is due out in November 2025. Cynthia Erivo stars as a young Wicked Witch of the West, while Ariana Grande plays Glinda the Good Witch. Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh and “SNL’s” Bowen Yang co-star.

Also due out: Rami Malek, Rachel Brosnahan and Caitríona Balfe star in the spy thriller “The Amateur” (Nov. 8); Tom Hardy’s Venom is back for thirds in “Venom 3” (Nov. 8); Robert De Niro stars as dual mob bosses in Barry Levinson’s “Alto Knights” (Nov. 15); Ridley Scott returns to the world of “Gladiator” with “Gladiator 2,” starring Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal (Nov. 22).


The little blue guy is back in “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” (Dec. 20), the latest adventure featuring the video game superstar and his human pals (James Marsden and Tika Sumpter among them). Jeff Fowler is returning to the director’s chair for his third go-round.

Also due out: Barry Jenkins will direct “Mufasa: The Lion King,” a musical prequel to the 2019 “Lion King” remake (Dec. 20); “The Lighthouse’s” Robert Eggers takes on “Nosferatu” (Dec. 25); Jordan Peele returns with his as-yet-untitled follow-up to “Nope” (Dec. 25).