Anticipation and reality are rarely ever aligned. Usually what we hope for and what we experience is, if anything, rooted somewhere in satisfactory results. That’s most often the best you can hope for. Is this pessimistic? Maybe. I prefer to think of it as being realistic. It’s based on experience. You grow from a youthful naivety with thoughts of “Why wouldn’t it work out?” to something, yes more pessimistic if I’m honest with myself, like “I’m hoping for the best but I won’t hold my breath either.” I think this can be applied to all facets of life, including cinema.
Experience tells me to keep my expectations tempered but my hopes without fail rise all over again at the beginning of each new year. Maybe it’s all the positivity about new possibilities that emerge at the start of a new calendar year. Or maybe I still have some of that naïve thinking deep inside despite the world’s best efforts of stomping that out of me long ago and quite frankly having never stopped to this very day. Maybe like absence, anticipation and hope also make the heart grow fonder. Or maybe I’m just stupid. That’s probably it but for everyone’s sake I won’t unearth that festering scab at this particular time.
I do believe, however, despite all of my inherent negativity and displeasure with the world, that cinema has the ability to be an exception to the rule. Of course movies like Night Swim exist which as clearly as I can put this, simply shouldn’t. Exist, I mean. But at the end of every year I compile my favorites of the year and it reminds that for all the Night Swims and Spring Breakers (worst movie of all-time), there are the Oppenheimers and American Fictions of the celluloid world that make me hold on if only for another year. So, with the hope that anticipation does in fact make the heart grow fonder, I wanted to make another compilation of my most anticipated movies of 2024.
This list will consist of all the movies I could find at the time of searching. I’m sure I could update this list on a near weekly basis but I would end up driving myself crazy. So, without further delay, as if this were a recipe page refusing to get to the whole reason you’re here, the goddamn recipe, here is the recipe…
In no particular order.
Dune: Part Two - March 1, 2024
Denis Villeneuve directs. Greig Fraser is cinematographer. The cast is stacked. The story is established and extensively beautiful. What else do I really need to say? This feels like a gimme.
Civil War - April 12, 2024
Alex Garland is directing what I hope will be his return to form after the extremely divisive Men. The cast features Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny and much of the DEVS cast returns as well. This looks to be an exciting thriller with something to say. What that message will be is part of the fun of experiencing it firsthand.
Deadpool 3 - July 26, 2024
After the leaked test footage that led to the first Deadpool, there was no way the movies could be as fantastic as those brief two minutes. Not only was the first every bit as spectacular as we could possibly hope for, the sequel was just as glorious. So two amazing R rated superhero movies that were relatively inexpensive broke the box office. A third was inevitable although as it would turn out, despite the obvious desire for it, was anything but simple to get into production. Luckily it is now very much on the way and I couldn’t be more excited to see some amazingly gratuitous Wolverine on Deadpool lovin’ I mean action. Violence. Violent action. That was close.
Furiosa - May 24, 2024
Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the greatest action movies ever made. Period. The Furiosa character is phenomenal. Now a major reason that character is so great is due to Charlize Theron who is amazing as the one-armed heroine. So a prequel not featuring her sounds a bit risky but I trust George Miller and I believe Anya Taylor-Joy is one of the best young actors working today. I think it could be every bit as amazing as Fury Road. Fingers crossed.
Ballerina - June 7, 2024
All of my hopes for these movies feature a certain amount of caution. Cautious optimism you might call it. And few leave me as excited and cautious as the John Wick spin-off, Ballerina. I trust Ana de Armas in the action role as she proved her capabilities in her all too brief role as Paloma in the Daniel Craig/James Bond swansong, No Time to Die. My tempered expectations stem from its director, Len Wiseman. He can be very hit or miss and, to no fault of his own, he’s simply not Chad Stahelski (John Wick 4 director). I hope there was enough oversight from those that made the John Wick movies to make sure Ballerina lives up to the reputation of Mr. Wick. A guy can dream.
Nosferatu - December 25, 2024
Robert Eggers still feels like a newcomer with only three movies under his belt. The good thing is those three movies are fantastic and orchestrated with such unique vision and fantastical storytelling. Eggers is the perfect choice to bring Count Orlok back to life, this time in grim, hopefully bloody color. And Bill Skarsgård, Pennywise himself(!), as the ancient vampire?! And Willem Dafoe to match his craziness?! Hell yes!
MaXXXine - TBD 2024
Ti West seeks to make the perfect trifecta horror franchise with MaXXXine. First it was the unexpected X featuring classic cinematic horror done to perfection. Then it was Pearl with the most perfect horror origin story featuring a star turning performance by Mia Goth, a new scream queen every bit worthy of the title. I’m hoping for the hat trick here.
Alien: Romulus - August 14, 2024
Ridley Scott released the reins to this franchise a long time ago and it didn’t really work out. But then he took it back and as much as I enjoy Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, they are filled with plot holes and silly characters that make the first two Alien films, both masterpieces, stand alone. I hope Fede Álvarez can revive the franchise like he did with Evil Dead. History would suggest this is going to falter but I remain interested to see what happens anyway.
The Bikeriders - June 21, 2024
This fucking movie. The stupid (but necessary) writers and actors strike unfortunately delayed this from a December 2023 release all the way to June of 2024. It’s directed by Jeff Nichols who is criminally underrated and highly talented. See Midnight Special and Mud for references. It stars Austin Butler, Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer and so many other amazing talents. This has all the makings of a modern classic.
Speak No Evil - September 13, 2024
This is more of an “interested to see what they do with it” kind of thing rather than any kind of hope. Of course I hope it’s good but the original, just released a measly two years ago, is a fantastic psychological horror with a truly twisted and pessimistic ending that I’m not sure American studios or general audiences have the stomach for. If that’s the case, will they water it down and if that’s the case it’s going to pale in comparison. The cast gives me optimism with James McAvoy, Mackenzie Davis and Scoot McNairy starring. All the success or failure rides on the question of if they will go all the way or hold back. This is an American remake of a Danish horror and for any fans of the genre, give it a shot but do so with caution. It’s a heavy one.
Part 2 Coming Soon…