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It would be easy to sum-up 2022 as a tale of two Toms: Cruise and Hanks. That it was left to these 80s stalwarts to rescue last year from being bang-average at the movies is quite telling, although Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis are almost as fine a pair of flicks as you could wish for. Will 2023 offer a bit more consistency? Here’s a glimpse of what’s on the horizon, and we have to say it looks promising.
It's a horror-heavy start to the year, and Halloween's still nearly ten months away! Having said that, M3GAN looks like she might give the Child's Play franchise more than a run for its money, on Friday 13th no less. Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist will surely satisfy all you satanists out there.
One for the ladies, this, and not just because of Valentine's Day. Magic Mike's Last Dance will no doubt get pulses racing, whilst alongside it, tugging at the heart strings, is a re-release of everyone's favourite sinking ship, Titanic. Geared more towards a male audience is the weird but true story Cocaine Bear, featuring the late, great Ray Liotta in a posthumous role.
Listen up, fight fans. Forget Fury v Usyk or AJ v Wilder, as there's not one but two boxing movies for 2023! Creed 3 is the latest from the Rocky franchise, only - shock-horror - this will be the first without Sylvester Stallone, on-screen at least. There's also Heart of a Lion, the biopic of heavyweight comeback king George Foreman. Forest Whitaker playing trainer to the health grill pioneer is a rubber-stamp in itself.
If you've ever wondered about that weird guy who longs to be Dracula's servant in the story, and you're not even sure of his name, look no further than Renfield. Star of The Great, Nicholas Hoult, gets his teeth stuck into the title role. Elsewhere, Mario and Luigi are hitting the big screen as the Super Mario Brothers - let's-a go!
Marvel comes to the fore in the month of May with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. This was originally due for release back in 2020, but better late than never, as they say. Disney also throws its hat into the ring with a reboot of The Little Mermaid, and it comes as no surprise that it'll be another musical. Rising star Halle Bailey will play Ariel and also be flexing her vocal chords for Part of my World.
Not even Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse can escape the fact that this month is all about one man: Indiana Jones. Yep, Harrison Ford is back as that mist intrepid of archaeologists in The Dial of Destiny, although how he's still managing it at the grand old age of 80 is beyond us. We'll all be hoping that this is a marked improvement on 2008's disappointing Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The term 'all-star cast' is somewhat overused, but in the case of Oppenheimer it's as genuine as you'll get. How about Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, and Sir Kenneth Branagh for starters? Oh, and with Christopher Nolan directing! Mr. Cruise is back again for Mission: Impossible 7, whilst Margaret Millicent Roberts finally makes her big-screen debut - enter Barbie!
The Dracula story gets another reworking with The Last Voyage of Demeter, a reworking of a chapter from the novel. Although the ultimate vampire isn't the main character of the piece, you're all dying to know who's playing him, right? This time that honour goes to Spanish actor Javier Botet. PlayStation officianados will be able to see the classic game Gran Turismo get the silver screen treatment.
Sequels are ten-a-penny these days, but even by modern standards September 2023 has more than its fair share. There's The Equalizer 3 and The Nun 2 for starters, with Sly coming out of hiding for The Expendables 4. Sir Ken will be making his second big-screen appearance of the year, as he once again reprises his role of Hercule Poirot for A Haunting in Venice.
It's down to Saw X and a long-awaited reboot of The Exorcist to put the frighteners on for Halloween, but it's not all scares and gore. Hip-hop and NFL fans will be hotly anticipating The Underdoggs, starring Snoop Dogg. It tells the story of former football star Jaycen Jenning who, after a brush with the law, is forced to coach a struggling youth team. A worthy successor to Escape To Victory, etc, perchance?
Generations are familiar with the iconic Disney tune When You Wish Upon a Star, but now we finally get to learn how the wishing star came to be in, erm, Wish. Speaking of explanations, a Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is in the offing for the penultimate month of the year.
Has 2023 saved the best for last? Next Christmastime there'll be an early present in the form of Wonka, which tells the story of the master chocolatier's formative years. Timothee Chalamet takes on the title character, and if that's not a potentially career-defining role then we don't know what is! Paul King, director of both Paddington movies, is the safe pair of hands at the helm.
Which films are you looking forward to with fondness this year? Are there any we've overlooked? Let us know in the usual place.