Happy New Year! 2019 has arrived with a bang, if the fireworks in London are anything to go by, and the film industry is set for a bumper year filled with incredible blockbusters. Looking at the release calendar for the next twelve months makes it look like one of the biggest yet for cinema, with hundreds of exciting films hitting our screens.
Naturally, it would take me an age to go through each and every film vying for your attention in 2019, so I’ve picked out my personal choices for the top 10 movies that you should be excited for this coming year. We’ve already counted down the top 5 best and worst blockbusters of the year. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
The Lion King
Disney’s live-action adaptations of its classic cartoons have secured the studio hit after hit after hit. The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau is returning to direct a live-action remake of The Lion King and its safe to say people are pumped. The first trailer dropped in late 2018 and the response was almost unanimously ‘wow’. It’s part of a huge summer season for cinemas and will easily sail past $1billion at the box-office. The Lion King remake is out in July.
We’re continuing the Disney theme with another live-action adaptation. This time, Tim Burton (who else?) is directing a remake of the classic House of Mouse animation and while some of his other efforts to reboot popular films *cough* Charlie & the Chocolate Factory *cough* weren’t particularly good, hopes are high here. The first trailer looked pretty good, but we will find out whether the titular elephant flies or falls like a stone in March.
You guessed it, Disney again. It would be foolish of me not to include this film here. The tension and hype surrounding the finale to last year’s Avengers: Infinity War is insane. The internet has been awash with fan theories, set photographs and interviews with the cast desperately trying not to spoil it. Infinity War was an incredible starting point, but fans are hoping for even more from Endgame. Will they get it? You’ll have to wait until April to find out.
IT: Chapter 2
It was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. Well-filmed, touching and genuinely scary, it became one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time. Bill Skarsgard’s performance as Pennywise was nothing short of extraordinary, signalling a huge merchandise push rarely seen in the genre. Therefore, the hype surrounding this second instalment is great. Andy Muschietti is back in the director’s chair with some serious talent in front of the camera. Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader all star as adult members of The Losers’ Club. Horror awaits you in September.
M. Night Shyamalan is back behind the camera with his surprise cinematic universe. Following on from Split and bringing back Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis from Unbreakable, this film promises to be absolutely bonkers. Whether or not it can continue the director’s resurgence remains to be seen, but with Sarah Paulson also starring; it’s looking likely this will be a must-watch in the usually quiet January season.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The sequel to 2013’s critically acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a long-time coming but this is the finale to Dreamworks Animations’ second most successful animated series and it’s easy to see why that is. Endearing characters, adorable dragons and stunning animation that rivals Pixar has meant Toothless and co are the favourites of many family movie fans out there. Say goodbye to Hiccup and Toothless (unless the film performs exceptionally well) at the end of February.
In many ways, the MCU is leagues ahead of the DC Extended Universe, but in others they are trailing. How? In the realm of female-led superhero movies, the DCEU has the MCU licked. Wonder Woman has proved the success of the genre and Captain Marvel is Marvel’s attempt of evening up the scales. It’s been given an unusually tame early March release slot which means they might not be expecting amazing things at the box-office but the trailers have shown much to like.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
2019 is shaping up to be massive for Disney. Bear in mind that Star Wars and Marvel are owned by the studio. Spider-Man: Homecoming was one of the pleasant surprises of 2017 with a brilliant turn from Michael Keaton as the Vulture. Replicating that simple brilliance in its sequel is not going to be easy but with Tom Holland portraying the titular web-slinger again, things continue to look promising. This sequel arrives in July.
Godzilla: King of Monsters
Wow, just wow. The first trailer for Godzilla: King of Monsters is all kinds of epic. Gareth Edwards’ vastly underrated Godzilla is a great starting point for director Michael Dougherty and the cinematography from the brief glimpses we’ve been shown looks absolutely breath-taking. Godzilla faces off against all his foes in May. Let’s hope it performs well enough for Kong to show up and spoil the party in a few years.
Star Wars: Episode IX
There was no way I couldn’t include the final part of the new Star Wars trilogy on this list. J.J. Abrams is returning to the director’s chair after LucasFilm and Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow parted ways (which I think is a real shame) but this is sure to be an epic finale filled with incredible special effects when it’s released in December. The Last Jedi was a divisive but brilliant deviation from the tried and tested formula. I personally hope this final film continues that trend.
There are just too many exciting films coming out this year for me not to include at least five honourable mentions. Here we go with the bonus round.
Aladdin – Guy Ritchie is directing the live-action remake of Disney’s classic cartoon. With Will Smith taking over from Robin Williams as the Genie, it’s not quite hit the same levels of appreciation as some of Disney’s other adaptations, but it’s definitely one to watch.
Kingsman: The Great Game – The Golden Circle was a flawed but fun sequel to the surprisingly brilliant first Kingsman movie. Matthew Vaughan is once again in the director’s chair for this prequel. It only starts filming in January 2019, so expect this one to be pushed back to 2020.
Toy Story 4 – Pixar said Toy Story 3 would be the end of it but we knew better. Low and behold, Toy Story 4 is coming to rob us of our tears in the busy summer season that’s looking absolutely packed with exciting films.
Joker – After the less-than-warm reception to Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. are pressing ahead with a solo outing in a similar vein to Sony’s Venom, but hopefully better. Joaquin Phoenix stars as the titular villain and first-look photos look promising.
Downton Abbey – Universal has co-financed a big-screen adaptation of everyone’s favourite historical television drama. The first trailer looked good and seeing Maggie Smith back on the big screen is sure to please many.
Those are my picks for the top movies to look out for this year. Are there any you feel we’re missing? Let us know in the comments below.