As 2018 prepares to shuffle away like a pensionable usherette and 2019 gets ready to throw open its doors like a brand new 28-screen multiplex, it’s time to cast our eyes over next year’s cinematic offerings.
From Oscar hopefuls and musical biopics to superhero sequels and blockbuster remakes, there’s something for almost everyone over the next 12 months.
Here’s a by no means exhaustive preview of coming attractions.
With the Oscars taking place on 24 February, the first few months of 2019 will see a large number of film awards contenders jostling for attention.
- Who will win big this awards season?
- Secrets to spotting an Oscar winner
It all kicks off on New Year’s Day with quirky royal drama The Favourite staking its claim as the one to beat.
It’s early days, but many are already tipping its leading lady Olivia Colman to be the latest queen-playing Brit to take home an Oscar.
Other candidates in the mix include drug addiction tear-jerker Beautiful Boy, gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased, Nicole Kidman crime thriller Destroyer, two racially-charged period pieces (Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk) and another royal saga in Mary Queen of Scots.
- Margot Robbie’s reluctance to play Elizabeth I
- ‘Don’t tell me to hate my father’
There is also a slew of biographical dramas tackling such diverse subjects as William Shakespeare (All is True), French author Colette, comedy duo Stan and Ollie, literary forger Lee Israel (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), war reporter Marie Colvin (A Private War) and ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (The White Crow).
- How Rudolf Nureyev continues to inspire
- Hugh Jackman does not want your vote
Fans of American politics, meanwhile, can gorge on portraits of former US vice-president Dick Cheney (Vice), one-time presidential hopeful Gary Hart (The Front Runner) and supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (On the Basis of Sex).
Elsewhere in January, director M Night Shyamalan will be hoping Glass proves as shattering as the previous two instalments in his Unbreakable trilogy.
And there’ll be more superheroics in March with the arrival of Captain Marvel, the first female heroine from the MCU (that’s Marvel Cinematic Universe to you) to get a stand-alone vehicle.
Animation fans can look forward to two high-profile sequels in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, not to mention manga-inspired action in Alita: Battle Angel.
Another classic animation will get the big-budget live-action makeover treatment when Tim Burton brings Dumbo back to the big screen.
The superhero bandwagon rolls on into April with the debut of Shazam!, the return of Hellboy and Marvel’s Infinity War follow-up Avengers: Endgame.
- Avengers 4 name ‘a very big deal’
- Ed Skrein quits Hellboy over ‘whitewashing’
May sees an evil superhero crash-land on Earth in Brightburn, while June brings us another batch of super-powered mutants in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Pokemon’s Detective Pikachu gets his own big-screen vehicle this spring, while the Men in Black will be back – minus Will Smith – in Men in Black International.
- ‘Gross’ furry Pikachu divides Pokemon fans
Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, meanwhile, will keep the little ones entertained – as will new animations Missing Link and Wonder Park.
- Keanu Reeves has a role in Toy Story 4
Elton John’s rise to fame will be recreated in musical biopic Rocketman, while the music of the Beatles will infuse the latest (and still untitled) comedy fantasy from Love Actually’s Richard Curtis.
And then there is Aladdin, another live-action Disney remake starring Will Smith as the Genie. We knew he’d turn up somewhere, and he’s reassured fans he will be blue, just like his animated predecessor.
There are six letters in summer and six letters in sequel. Coincidence? Probably, but there’s no doubt they go together like Wallace and Gromit.
You only have to look at this year’s offerings for proof, with everything from Spider-Man: Far From Home and Gerard Butler actioner Angel Has Fallen to It: Chapter 2 and Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw ensuring it will be déjà vu all over again at your local picture palace.
- Elba joins Fast and Furious film scenes
- Margot Robbie pictured as Sharon Tate
But wait! Who’s this? Why it’s only Quentin Tarantino, back to bring us a dose of Manson-era mayhem in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
There are also big-screen versions of two British telly favourites – Downton Abbey and Horrible Histories – plus yet another Disney remake in The Lion King.
- Lion King trailer captures imagination
- Downton movie ‘like a school reunion’
Yes Sir Elton, we can feel the love tonight.
More TV staples reach the big screen towards the end of the year via new versions of Charlie’s Angels, The Addams Family and Masters of the Universe.
- Kristen Stewart set for Charlie’s Angels
- Phoenix becomes latest Joker in the pack
We’ll also see Joaquin Phoenix give his version of Batman’s nemesis in Joker, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest iteration of the Terminator franchise.
Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX will bring down the curtain on what’s certain to be a bumper year for the Disney empire.
And we’ll end with something paws-itive and purr-tinent – the all-star film version of moggy mews-sical Cats, arriving on 20 December to ensure we’re all feline groovy next Christmas.
- JJ Abrams to direct Star Wars: Episode IX
- Miaow! Royal Ballet star joins Cats film
Tabby or not tabby? That is the question.
All release dates are subject to change.
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