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News / Life / Entertainment

Movies to look forward to in 2024

By Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
Published: January 8, 2024, 6:00am

A new year brings cause for contemplation, resolutions, optimism … and a whole new slate of movies. In the spirit of that optimism, here are a handful of upcoming releases that sound intriguing; here’s hoping all of them bring happy diversion. (Note that all dates are tentative and entirely changeable, depending on the whims of movie studios and the universe at large.)

“Argylle”

A spy thriller that involves an introverted novelist, a tabby cat and Catherine O’Hara? Sign me up. Matthew Vaughn (“Kingsman: The Secret Service”) directs; Bryce Dallas Howard, Henry Cavill, Bryan Cranston and Samuel L. Jackson star. (Feb. 2)

“Dune: Part Two”

One of several major movies pushed out to 2024 due to the writers and actors strikes last summer and fall, this sequel — following the well-received 2021 first installment — reunites Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in the second half of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic. (March 1)

“Civil War”

In a contentious election year, this one might hit a little close to home: Alex Garland’s latest follows a team of journalists as they attempt to cover a rapidly escalating civil war. Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Cailee Spaeny (“Priscilla”) and Nick Offerman (as the president of the United States) star. (April 26)

“Challengers”

If you had “tennis romantic triangle” on your 2024 Movie Bingo card, congratulations! Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me By Your Name”) directs this tale of three young tennis players — played by Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist — and their rivalries on and off the courts. (April 26)

“My Ex-Friend’s Wedding”

I would have highlighted this one for its title alone, but its premise — four childhood friends plot to stop their former friend’s wedding after receiving a drunken wedding-eve call from her — does sound pretty fun. Kay Cannon (“Pitch Perfect”) directs a screenplay co-written by novelist Taylor Jenkins Reid; Amanda Seyfried and Ariana DeBose headline the cast. (May 10)

“IF”

In a mini-“The Office” reunion, John Krasinski and Steve Carell co-star in this sweet-looking family comedy about imaginary friends, written and directed by Krasinski and also starring Ryan Reynolds, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Louis Gossett Jr. (May 17)

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”

Apocalyptic movie franchises never die; they just keep spawning origin stories. This one looks at the early life of warrior Furiosa, played here by Anya Taylor-Joy; George Miller, who directed the very first “Mad Max” movie way back in 1979, is at the helm. (May 24)

“Inside Out 2”

“Inside Out,” the enchanting 2015 Pixar movie that took place inside an 11-year-old girl’s brain, ended with an intriguing hint of its next stop: adolescence. It took a few years, but that sequel’s finally here, with Amy Poehler reprising her role as the voice of Joy. (June 14)

“Twisters”

Lee Isaac Chung, who directed the lovely 2020 film “Minari,” makes his big-budget feature debut with this adventure drama, supposedly a “new chapter” of the 1996 disaster film “Twister.” The cast includes Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell and Kiernan Shipka of “Mad Men” (who, should you wish to feel old, is now in her mid-20s). (July 19)

“Beetlejuice 2”

In the increasingly crowded category of Sequels to Movies That Came Out A Really Long Time Ago, here we have what sounds like a cheery reunion of the 1988 horror comedy “Beetlejuice,” directed once again by Tim Burton and featuring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara. (Sept. 6)

“Joker: Folie à Deux”

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first “Joker” movie, but this one sounds potentially interesting, as a) that’s a bold move to give it a French subtitle (it means, roughly translated, “a shared madness”), b) Lady Gaga co-stars opposite Joaquin Phoenix, as Harley Quinn, and c) apparently it’s a musical. Really? OK, I’m in. (Oct. 4)

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“Gladiator 2”

More than 20 years in the making, this Romans-not-on-holiday sequel is (like the 2000 original) directed by Ridley Scott — and if your 2024 Movie Bingo card featured “Denzel Washington in a toga,” you are in luck! Alongside him will be Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi and Djimon Hounsou, reprising their roles from the original. (Nov. 22)

“Wicked: Part I”

The smash Broadway musical comes to the big screen — well, the first half of the musical, anyway — directed by Jon M. Chu, whose credits include “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights.” Cynthia Erivo plays the green-skinned witch Elphaba, Ariana Grande plays Glinda the Good, and also on hand are Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh and Bowen Yang. (Nov. 27)

“Nosferatu”

Hello, horror fans — this take on F.W. Murnau’s 1922 “Nosferatu” (itself inspired by Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”) might be delicious. Robert Eggers (“The Northman,” “The Witch”) directs Willem Dafoe as a vampire hunter; Lily-Rose Depp, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Emma Corrin co-star. (Dec. 25)

“Hedda”

This one sounds intriguing: The ever-wonderful Tessa Thompson, who proved between the drama “Passing” and her comedic turn in the “Thor” Marvel movies that there’s nothing she can’t do, will star in Nia DaCosta’s re-imagining of Ibsen’s play “Hedda Gabler,” as a housewife bringing ruination to all those close to her on the night of a party. (TBD 2024)

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