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HomeEntertaintmentAwards50 Most-Anticipated Movies of 2024 – IndieWire

50 Most-Anticipated Movies of 2024 – IndieWire

50 Most-Anticipated Movies of 2024 – IndieWire

2023 may not have been an excellent year for movies, but in spite of everything stacked against it (read: greedy conglomerates run amok), it turned out to be an excellent year of movies. While the fallout of the recent work stoppages will be felt for time to come, some of 2023’s losses will prove to be 2024’s gains, as much-anticipated but strike-delayed films like “Dune: Part Two,” “Drive-Away Dolls,” and Luca Guadagnino’s horny tennis drama “Challengers” have all secured fresh release dates in the first half of the new year.

Those titles will be joined by some of the most promising Hollywood blockbusters in recent memory (e.g., “Furiosa” and the Lee Isaac Chung-directed “Twisters”), must-see work from some of the world’s greatest auteurs (Bong Joon Ho’s “Mickey 17,” Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Kinds of Kindness,” and David Cronenberg’s “The Shrouds” come to mind), and huge swings from essential artists ranging from new voices like Jane Schoenbrun (“I Saw the TV Glow”) and Duke Johnson (“The Actor”) to venerated masters like Francis Ford Coppola (“Megalopolis”) and Mike Leigh (“Hard Truths”). Many of these movies have yet to receive American distribution, let alone firm release dates, but it’s a safe bet that — barring any future calamity — most or all will arrive on these shores before the year is out. 

Here, in alphabetical order, are 50 new films we can’t wait to see in 2024. 

This article includes reporting from Samantha Bergeson, Wilson Chapman, David Ehrlich, Kate Erbland, Alison Foreman, Ryan Lattanzio, Mark Peikert, Sarah Shachat, and Christian Zilko.

“The Actor” (TBD, Neon)

“Anomalisa” co-director Duke Johnson makes his solo directorial debut with another mind-bending story about a man struggling to reclaim his identity, this one starring André Holland as an actor — the actor, in fact — who loses his memory after being beaten within an inch of his life in 1950s Ohio. Based on a 2012 novel by Donald E. Westlake, “The Actor” follows Holland’s character as he tries to get his bearings in a mysterious town inhabited by the likes of Gemma Chan, Toby Jones, and Tracey Ullman. Originally slated for release in 2022 (when Ryan Gosling was set to play the lead), the movie wrapped production in April, and should be ready to debut at a major fest at some point between February and September. —DE

“Anora” (TBD, Neon)

“Tangerine” and “Red Rocket” writer/director Sean Baker returns with his eighth film and his first with Neon. Filmed on location in New York and Las Vegas on 35mm by director of photography Drew Daniels, “Anora” is supposedly a story about two sex workers, but plot information is limited beyond that; considering Baker’s previous films, we have high hopes for his handling of the topic at a time when sex work is coming under increasing scrutiny and attack. The cast includes “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” scene-stealer Mikey Madison, Mark Eydelshteyn, Yuriy Borisov, Karren Karagulian, and Vache Tovmasyan. After the success of “Red Rocket,” another Cannes premiere seems likely. —MP

“Bird” (TBD, A24)

There’s not much known yet about A24’s upcoming Andrea Arnold crime drama, but the fact that it co-stars Barry Keoghan — who left the “Gladiator” sequel to be in it — and Franz Rogowski is reason enough to be excited for the latest feature from the ever-unpredictable force behind the likes of “Fish Tank” and “American Honey.” “Bird” was shot in the south of England (by Robbie Ryan) in June and July 2023, and so a Cannes premiere doesn’t seem out of the question. (Franz Rogowski recently told IndieWire about Arnold’s directing style on the film — “like a hunter,” he said — here.) —MP

“Blitz” (TBD, Apple)

“12 Years a Slave” filmmaker Steve McQueen follows up his documentary “Occupied City” (in select theaters as of December 25) — about the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam during WWII — with another project set in the period. “Blitz,” which he wrote and directed, explores the bombing of London by the Axis during the war within a fictional story. But as McQueen told Variety, they were determined to get the details factual. “For example, was it raining? Well, what kind of rain? Those kinds of small things that seem to be so incidental but are a huge part of how people think and act and react,” he said. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Harris Dickinson, Erin Kellyman, and Stephen Graham. Apple will handle U.S. distribution with a Cannes premiere likely. —MP

“The Brutalist” (No Distribution)

Actor-turned-filmmaker Brady Corbet announced himself as a master stylist with the one-two punch of films “The Childhood of a Leader” and “Vox Lux.” He’s back with “The Brutalist,” co-written with his partner, “The World to Come” director Mona Fastvold. The drama reunites Corbet with his longtime cinematographer Lol Crowley, whose visionary images are some of 21st-century cinema’s most memorable, to center on an architect played by Adrien Brody. A Holocaust survivor, he emigrates to the U.S. with his wife (Felicity Jones) and lands a contract with a mysterious, moneyed client (Guy Pearce), who changes the course of their American dream. Corbet’s last two features premiered in Venice, along with Fastvold’s “The World to Come,” which could signal the Italian festival as another home destination when “The Brutalist” is ready. —RL 

“C’est Pas Moi” (No Distribution)

From his dreamlike eulogy for cinema “Holy Motors” to his operatic puppet musical “Annette,” Leos Carax has long been one of the most delightfully unpredictable filmmakers working on Planet Earth. Any new film that the French auteur decides to grace us with is bound to be a polarizing event. His latest, “C’est Pas Moi,” sees Carax grappling with one of the few topics that has evaded his eclectic gaze: himself. The film has been described as “a self-portrait, which revisits more than 40 years of the author’s filmography and questions the major stations of his life, while capturing the political tremors of the time.” Written in first-person, the mysterious film sees Carax encountering characters from his past films, including the leprechaun-esque subway dweller that Denis Lavant suits up as in “Holy Motors.” It’s an ambitious undertaking, and we should all cut ourselves a bit of slack for not fully grasping what he’s going for — but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Carax, it’s that the final product will always be worthy of our attention. —CZ

“Civil War” (April 26, A24)

After years of making films that explore his anxiety about technology’s ability to alienate humans from each other and the planet we live on, Alex Garland is ready to lean into his worst-case scenario for domestic politics with “Civil War.” The action epic takes American political polarization to its logical endpoint, imagining a near future where the United States has fractured into a handful of multi-state alliances fighting each other for control of the land of the (formerly) free. Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Jesse Plemons, and Nick Offerman star in the A24 film, which promises to introduce an unprecedented level of spectacle to Garland’s distinct voice. If you thought our first Civil War was bad, wait until you see what happens when helicopters and AK-47s are involved. —CZ

Mike Faist, Zendaya, and Josh O’Connor in “Challengers”

“Challengers” (April 26, Amazon MGM Studios)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by Justin Kuritzkes, “Challengers” nearly matches “Dune: Part Two” for the most highly anticipated Zendaya projects with release dates pushed thanks to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Marvel’s reigning Mary Jane and HBO’s “Euphoria” star leads as a championship tennis star/coach opposite Mike Faist as her husband and Josh O’Connor as her ex-lover. When the three are thrust into competition via a challenger event, an intoxicating love triangle takes shape — or reemerges? — as the men face off in a public grudge match with their shared romance watching on the sidelines. The filmmaker has teased a sexy, hyperkinetic, darkly complex drama about “really fucked-up people,” promising a fizzier outing from the artist behind the melancholy “Call Me By Your Name” and twisted “Bones and All.” “Challengers” was meant to open the 2023 Venice Film Festival before pushing its release, so any possible fest debut ahead of April would include Berlin or a surprise late drop at Sundance. —AF

“Death of a Unicorn” (TBD, A24)

“So Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega are driving through the woods and then run over a unicorn with their car,” sure sounds like the start of a very absurd, elaborate joke. And that is likely what “Death of a Unicorn,” written and directed by Alex Scharfman, hopes to be. But it isn’t just exciting for another opportunity to take the piss out of the super-rich (the unicorn has run off the estate of a mega-billionaire pharma CEO played by Richard E. Grant; God bless us, every one). All medieval nerds everywhere should rejoice that we’re going to get a live-action depiction of unicorns as the bloodthirsty apex predators — calmed only by the presence of a virgin — the 13th Century imagined them to be. —SS

“A Different Man” (TBD, A24)

Aaron Schimberg (“Chained for Life”) directs “A Different Man,” a psychological thriller starring Sebastian Stan as an actor who undergoes facial reconstruction and becomes obsessed with an actor (Adam Pearson, who appeared in “Under the Skin” as the one victim that alien predator Scarlett Johansson let get away) starring as him in a stage play based on his life — a role for which Sebastian’s character was passed over. “The Worst Person in the World” breakout Renate Reinsve, whose “Handling the Undead” also premieres at Sundance, stars as well. The film shot in summer 2022, with “Beasts of the Southern Wild” DP Wyatt Garfield as the cinematographer. A theatrical release date is still TBD, but “A Different Man” premieres at the Sundance Film Festival January 21. —MP

“Drive-Away Dolls” (Focus Features, February 23)

Ethan Coen (yes, of the Coen Brothers) marks his solo narrative feature directing debut with queer road-trip drama “Drive-Away Dolls,” co-written with his wife Tricia Cooke. Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan star as two friends who try to forget their exes by embarking on a road trip to Florida. All is well until the duo butt heads with criminals along the way, speeding the plot into wilder territory. A top-drawer cast of Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, and Matt Damon co-star, along with Beanie Feldstein. Coming off Qualley’s remarkable 2023 with “Poor Things” and “Sanctuary,” the film should be fodder for Qualley fans following her star-making “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” breakout performance. —SB

“Dune: Part Two” (March 1, Warner Bros.)

After missing its planned fall release date due to the SAG strike, Denis Villeneuve’s sprawling adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seemingly unfilmable sci-fi novel will finally conclude when “Dune: Part Two” hits theaters in March. After being exiled from the leadership of Arrakis, Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides has finally accepted his fate as the Muad’Dib destined to help the Fremen. The new film will see him teaming up with Zendaya’s Princess Chani (whose blink-and-you-miss-it appearance in the first film was a clever marketing gimmick if there ever was one) as the desert natives fight to reclaim their planet. The film will mark the end of the story told in Herbert’s original “Dune” novel, but Villeneuve has already teased a third film that would pull heavily from the book “Dune: Messiah.” —CZ 

“Emmanuelle” (TBD, Neon)

Audrey Diwan won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2021 for her poignant abortion drama “Happening,” and her next film boasts an impressive pedigree of collaborators who will no doubt expand on that film’s non-didactic approach to subjective storytelling around sexuality. But we’re still firmly in a female point of view: “Emmanuelle,” adapted from a 1967 novel by Emmanuelle Arsan, follows a woman (played by Noémie Merlant) on an erotic journey of the self in Paris. The cast also includes Naomi Watts and “White Lotus” favorite Will Sharpe. Neon has U.S. distribution rights to “Emmanuelle,” which shot on location in France and just wrapped this fall. Diwan co-wrote the film, whose sexually adventurous heroine was last brought to the screen in a little-seen 1974 French drama, with “Other People’s Children” director Rebecca Zlotowski. —RL 

“The End” (TBD, Neon)

How do you follow a couplet of the most harrowing documentaries ever made? If you’re “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence” director Joshua Oppenheimer, you wait 10 years before returning with a post-apocalyptic musical starring Tilda Swinton, Michael Shannon, and George MacKay as the all-singing, all-dancing members of a family who helped contribute to the end of the world. That’s all we really know about “The End” at this point, but that’s more than enough to whet our appetites for what sounds like the most unorthodox arthouse musical this side of “Annette” (and we wouldn’t be surprised if it followed in the footsteps of that film with a polarizing Cannes debut). —DE

“The Fall Guy” (May 3, Universal Pictures)

It’s difficult to conceive of a better combination of filmmaker (stuntman-turned-director David Leitch) and material (a remake of a beloved TV series about, uh, a stuntman). Throw in one of our most perpetually game leading men (Ryan Gosling), one of our most reliably exciting leading ladies (Emily Blunt), and we’ve got a recipe for something rare: a remake that makes sense. —KE

“Flint Strong” (August 9, Amazon MGM Studios)

Written by Barry Jenkins and directed by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther,” “Fruitvale Sation”) in her feature debut, “Flint Strong” dramatizes “T-Rex,” a documentary from Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper about the life of professional boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields. Focusing on Shields’ preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she would compete in the first of two back-to-back gold medaling competitions for the athlete, the film stars sitcom and “Oracle” actress Ryan Destiny in the titular role; it also features performances from Judy Greer and Brian Tyree Henry. The film was initially set at Universal Pictures before its production was upended by the pandemic, and it landed at Amazon MGM Studios. —AF

Anya Taylor-Joy in “Furiosa”

“Furiosa” (May 23, Warner Bros.)

Maybe the single most anticipated of all the movies on this list, George Miller’s long-awaited “Fury Road” prequel — set decades before the events of that modern action classic, and swapping Charlize Theron for Anya Taylor-Joy — is a mega-hyped addition to a franchise that has found success by catching audiences off-guard, and whose previous installment left us with an unleaded guzzoline high that seems impossible to top. Judging by a somewhat awkward teaser that seemed to transpose the pedal-to-the-metal insanity of “Fury Road” onto an origin story more interested in switching gears, we’re guessing that Miller doesn’t try to one-up himself so much as he swerves, shiny and chrome, in a bold new direction. Expectations be damned, here’s hoping we’ll be taken by surprise all over again; the film is expected to premiere at Cannes as “Fury Road” did in 2015. —DE

“Gladiator 2” (November 22, Universal)

At an age when many filmmakers might pivot toward smaller films or retire altogether, the 86-year-old Ridley Scott appears determined to sprint towards more ambitious projects with each passing year. After helming this year’s $200 million historical epic “Napoleon,” Scott dove head first into another sprawling period piece in “Gladiator 2.” The new film picks up 20 years after the events of Scott’s Best Picture winner from 2000, following a grown version of Joaquin Phoenix’s nephew Lucius (now played by Paul Mescal), as he returns from years of living in the wilderness and reckons with his family’s legacy. With an A-list ensemble that includes Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal rounding out the cast, this could be a blockbuster that rivals the impact of the original. —CZ

“Hard Truths” (TBD, Bleecker Street)

The 80-year-old director Mike Leigh returns to cinemas in 2024 with a new drama about family life in a post-pandemic world. As is his custom, Leigh has kept virtually everything about the film secret (the title was only announced in December 2023), but “Hard Truths” allegedly filmed over the summer. It’s Leigh’s first film since 2018’s ambitious (and costly for Amazon Studios) period drama “Peterloo,” about the 1819 Peterloo massacre. Bleecker Street will handle U.S. distribution for “Hard Truths,” Leigh’s first set in the modern era since 2010’s Oscar-nominated “Another Year.” Leigh allegedly reunited with his longtime cinematographer Dick Pope and costume designer Jacqueline Durran. —MP

“Havoc” (TBD, Netflix)

Tom Hardy stars as a detective trying to rescue a politician’s son in the aftermath of a drug deal gone awry in a Welsh city rife with corruption. Honestly, we’re excited to see Hardy as a cop for once, especially in the same year “The Bikeriders” will finally hit theaters. Gareth Edwards (“The Raid”) writes and directs the Netflix film, which includes Forest Whitaker, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Cornwell, Jessie Mei Li, Yeo Yann Yann, Quelin Sepulveda, Luis Guzmán, Sunny Pang, Michelle Waterson, Richard Pepper, and Tony Parker. Filming was completed in 2021, with additional photography happening a year later. —MP

“Holland, Michigan” (TBD, Amazon MGM Studios)

Rural thriller “Holland, Michigan” has been in the works for more than a decade, ever since Naomi Watts and Bryan Cranston were attached in 2013. Those talents have long since departed the darkly comedic project, but here’s hoping the film written by Andrew Sodorski finally reaches audiences sometime in 2024. Nicole Kidman stars and produces through her production company Blossom Films. Distributed by Amazon Studios, the story previously described as being akin to “Fargo” is directed by Mimi Cave, who made her feature debut with Hulu’s phenomenally funky horror comedy “Fresh” in 2022. The cast also includes Gael García Bernal, Matthew Macfadyen, Jude Hill, Rachel Sennott, Lennon Parham, Isaac Krasner, and Jeff Pope. —AF

“The Idea of You” (May 2, Prime Video)

The age of fan fiction spawning feature films has not yet passed, but the pedigree behind Michael Showalter’s adaption of the Robinne Lee novel of the same name (which, yes, was inspired by Harry Styles fan fiction) does have us very excited about yes, the idea of this new film. Consider the stars: Anne Hathaway, Nicholas Galitzine, Ella Rubin, and Reid Scott. Then consider the behind-the-camera team: director Showalter, who excels at thorny rom-coms (“The Big Sick,” “Hello, My Name Is Doris”), and screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt, who also excels at thorny rom-coms (“Kissing Jessica Stein,” “Friends with Kids”). OK, yes, we’ll stop skimping, and consider the plot: Hathaway plays a 40-year-old single mom who unexpectedly meets (and likes??) a rising pop star (Galitzine) who also happens to be almost half her age. Titillating! —KE

“I Saw the TV Glow” (TBD, A24)

Jane Schoenbrun’s lauded sophomore film “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” a moody and unsettling look at how the internet can literally follow us out into the wider world, was one of the gems at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, and the filmmaker looks to be building on those same tensions, ideas, and tones with “I Saw the TV Glow.” The A24-backed film, bound for 2024’s Sundance before its theatrical release, follows “two teenagers [who] bond over their love of a television series; After it is mysteriously canceled, their reality begins to blur,” which sounds like a fitting follow-up to “World’s Fair.” The involvement of Schoenbrun alone would be enough to get us excited — few filmmakers working today so keenly understand the ways in which screen life permeates our real life — but a closer look at the incredible team around the filmmaker has us even more thrilled, including producers Emma Stone and Dave McCary, plus supporting turns from Phoebe Bridgers, Fred Durst, and Conner O’Malley. —KE

Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker: Folie à Deux”

“Joker: Folie à Deux” (October 4, Warner Bros.)

Joaquin Phoenix reprises his Oscar-winning role as Batman villain (and antihero?) The Joker in Todd Phillips’ long-awaited sequel. But what hardcore “Batman” fans may not have anticipated was a musical twist, courtesy of Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. While the plot remains somewhat under wraps, the title “Folie à Deux” at least hints at a shared psychosis between Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) and Gaga’s Harley set in the backdrop of Arkham Aslyum, which we hope can only mean that “Joker 2” will be bringing the “Batman: The Animated Series” origin story for Harley to life. Throw in some singing, some dancing, and a whole lot of madness when the first look at “Joker: Folie à Deux” already shows that Academy Award winner Gaga will be meeting Phoenix’s unhinged performance beat by beat and step by step. —SB

“Kinds of Kindness” (TBD, Searchlight)

Originally titled “AND,” Yorgos Lanthimos‘ third feature with Emma Stone hasn’t released any plot details, but the duo’s track record is pretty impeccable — as is Lanthimos’ latest cast, which includes Stone’s “Poor Things” co-stars Margaret Qualley and Willem Dafoe, plus Joe Alwyn, Jesse Plemons, Hong Chau, and Hunter Schafer. Lanthimos directs from a script he co-wrote with Efthimis Filippou; the screenplay was developed by Element Pictures and Film4. The film is produced by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe of Element, along with Kasia Malipan and writer-director Lanthimos. Ollie Madden and Daniel Battsek are executive producing for Film4, which co-financed the project. In 2020, Lanthimos described what is now “Kinds of Kindness” as an anthology film with interlocking stories. —MP

“The Legend of Ochi” (TBD, A24)

A fantasy adventure film produced by A24, “The Legend of Ochi” focuses on a young girl (Helena Zengel) who runs away from home and learns how to communicate with an animal species known as Ochi. Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, and Finn Wolfhard also star in the feature directorial debut of Isaiah Saxon, who’s helmed music videos for the likes of Grizzly Bear and Björk. The movie, produced by A24, filmed in late 2021 in Transylvania, and should be ready to go this year even if an exact release date is still unknown. —MP

“Limonov, the Ballad of Eddie” (No Distribution)

Kirill Serebrennikov (“Leto,” “Tchaikovsky’s Wife”) is a prolific Russian director, accomplished in film and theater, whose open support for LGBT initiatives and own identity as a queer person have seen him face Kafkaesque criminal charges in his home country. Still, he continues to create. In the filmmaker’s forthcoming biopic, adapting French author Emmanuele Carrere’s novelization of the poet and writer, Ben Whishaw stars as Eduard Limonov. The founder of the National Bolshevik Party — later The Other Russia of E.V. Limonov — the artist was reportedly forced to flee Russia by the KGB in 1974 before returning to actively participate in politics. He would significantly shape Russian culture and thinking before his death in 2020. —AF

Kathryn Newton in
Kathryn Newton in “Lisa Frankenstein” screenshot/Focus Features

“Lisa Frankenstein” (February 9, Focus Features)

Forgive us for being wholly unable to name our favorite part of the “Lisa Frankenstein” Get Excited for This Film Starter Pack. Is it the basic logline (a twist on the Frankenstein mythos, this time with a teenage girl building her very own monster out of, eh, whatever)? Is it the talent behind the camera (first-time feature filmmaker Zelda Williams, of the Robin Williams lineage, plus a script from Diablo Cody)? Is it the talent in front of the camera (Kathryn Newton as the titular Lisa! Cole Sprouse as her monster!)? Maybe it’s just the punny title (“Lisa Frankenstein,” you either get it, or you don’t)? Screw it, it’s everything, ideally sewn together into one delightful and unexpected package. —KE

“Love Lies Bleeding” (March 8, A24)

A Kristen Stewart lesbian romance-thriller set in the ’80s from A24? What did we do to deserve such blessings? Stewart plays a gym employee whose relationship with a bodybuilder (Katy O’Brian) takes a turn for the bloody once bodies start getting rolled into rugs. Also starring Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, and Dave Franco, the movie is directed by Rose Glass (“Saint Maud”), who co-wrote the script with Weronika Tofilska. Expect plenty of mullets, double crossings, and what’s sure to be a very splashy premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before A24 releases it in theaters on March 8. —MP

“Maria” (No Distribution)

Pablo Larraín returns to the biopic genre after “Jackie” and “Spencer” with a drama about Maria Callas, starring Angelina Jolie in the title role. Unlike those two previous films, Larraín’s movie will not focus on the most dramatic moment in his subject’s life (that would be Callas being dumped by Aristotle Onassis for Jackie Kennedy) and instead zero in on Callas’ final years living in Paris, where she eventually died at age 53. Joining Jolie in the cast are Valeria Golino and Haluk Bilginer. “Spencer” screenwriter Steven Knight wrote the script. —MP

“MaXXXine” (TBD, A24)

After the barnstorming ’70s mayhem of “X” and the technicolor nightmare (in the best sense) that was “Pearl,” Ti West concludes his horror film trilogy by taking us into the age of video. Mia Goth returns as Maxine, the Final Girl from “X,” still chasing acting fame in 1980s Los Angeles. West’s grasp of suspense is only matched by a love for filmmaking and the ways in which camera placement, movement, color, and cutting can all “capture” his characters — and then, y’know, brutally murder them. With Michelle Monaghan, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kevin Bacon (!) also along for this particular ride, “MaXXXine” looks like it’s going to be an excessive, in the best sense, culmination of Ti West’s horror set. —SS

“Megalopolis” (No Distribution)

In terms of sheer ambition and riskiness, no film slated for 2024 can hold a candle to “Megalopolis.” Francis Ford Coppola’s utopian epic (with a plot that even he can’t fully explain) has been a lifelong passion project for the “Godfather” director. After decades of false starts and rejections, the maverick filmmaker finally decided to throw caution into the wind in 2022 and financed the damn thing himself. The sci-fi drama takes place in a futuristic version of New York City with obvious parallels to the Roman empire and allegedly unfolds as a love story set against the backdrop of the quest to build a utopian society. With an ensemble cast that includes Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, and Jason Schwartzman, it could be one of the buzziest titles at Cannes if Coppola hits his rumored deadline of finishing the film in time for the festival. (Given that the famously deliberate director is spending his own money and has no external pressures beyond his own mortality, any proclamations about the film’s post-production timeline should be taken with a massive heaping of salt.) Whether “Megalopolis” goes down in history as a late-career masterpiece from a Hollywood legend or an infamous misfire from a director whose productions often fly off the rails, it’s sure to be one of the biggest film stories of 2024. —CZ

“Mickey 17” (March 29, Warner Bros.)

“Director Bong Joon Ho goes to space” is really all we needed to hear to be sold on “Mickey 17.” But it’s even better that Director Bong is choosing to explore the final frontier alongside Robert Pattinson as a clone(s) who must survive in an environment that only wants to kill him. Based on the Edward Ashton novel “Mickey7,” we’re excited for “Mickey 17” to be even more of a romp with delicious cinematic twists and turns that also explores ideas of consciousness and the cost of innovation. With Naomi Acki, Toni Collette, Mark Ruffalo, and Steven Yeun all also signed up for the mission, the pleasure of “Mickey 17” could be as endless as Pattinson’s proverbial Red Shirt. —SS

“Mother Mary” (TBD, A24)

Of course a film starring Anne Hathaway, Michaela Coel, and Hunter Schaefer has to have “Mother” in the title — A24’s “Mother Mary” has a pedigree and premise destined for out-of-context Film Twitter meme-making whenever it releases next year. The drama sees director David Lowery turn away from the fantasy realms of his last two projects (Arthurian fable “The Green Knight” and Neverland-set “Peter Pan and Wendy”) to the world of modern celebrity. Plot details are under wraps, but Hathaway will play a singer, while Coel will play a fashion designer. Lowery, who wrote the script, produces alongside his usual collaborators Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston, joined here by Jeanie Igoe of Homebird Productions and Jonas Katzenstein, Maximilian Leo, and Jonathan Saubach of Cologne-based Augenschein Filmproduktion. Daniel Hart’s score for “Mother Mary” will meanwhile be complemented by original songs from Jack Antonoff and Charli XCX. —WC

“Mother’s Instinct” (TBD, Neon)

If “May December” whet your palate for a twisted two-hander with dueling Oscar-winning actresses, “Mother’s Instinct” is poised to be an equally disturbing follow-up. Olivier Masset-Depasse directs the domestic drama based on the novel “Derrière la Haine” by Barbara Abel; Masset-Depasse previously adapted the film in his native Belgium in 2018. Now, the harrowing 1960s suburbia-set drama finds its way stateside courtesy of Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain in a “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”-esque story, according to Chastain herself. Best friends Alice (Chastain) and Celine (Hathaway) lead idyllic lives as neighbors and mothers to two young boys. However, after one of their sons falls off the other’s roof, guilt and suspicion take control, spinning a psychological revenge story in motion. —SB

NOSTERATU_FP_00215_R2 Lily-Rose Depp stars as Ellen Hutter in director Robert Eggers’ NOSFERATU, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features / © 2023 FOCUS FEATURES LLC
Lily-Rose Depp in “Nosferatu”Courtesy of Focus Features

“Nosferatu” (December 25, Focus Features)

Robert Eggers hasn’t technically made a vampire movie before “Nosferatu,” but “The Witch,” “The Lighthouse,” and “The Northman” are all vampire movies, in their way. It seems as natural as coming home that Eggers would tackle a fresh take on F.W. Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece, a film whose haunting and shadowy influence has extended into much more than horror filmmaking. We are excited for Eggers, alongside Emma Corrin, Willem Dafoe, Nicholas Hoult, Ralph Ineson, Lily Rose-Depp, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and 2,000 rats to finally get to tell this story through Eggers’ particular lens. It’s one whose rich atmosphere, magnetic tragedy, and otherworldly horror all seem to fit Eggers’ style like a stake to the heart. —SS

“Oh, Canada” (No Distribution)

The prolific Paul Schrader debuts another film in 2024, this time pairing Jacob Elordi and Richard Gere together in an adaptation of late author Russell Banks’ decades-spanning novel “Foregone.” Schrader’s “American Gigolo” collaborator Gere plays a dying documentarian who comes to terms with his legacy, shown in flashbacks with Elordi playing the younger version of himself. Michael Imperioli and Kristine Froseth also star in Schrader’s follow-up to “Master Gardener.” The adaptation of “Foregone” has been teased by Schrader as a musing on (what else but) death itself, with Gere’s Leonard Fife re-examining how being a draft dodger fleeing to Canada shaped both his career and life. —SB

“The Outrun” (No Distribution)

Saoirse Ronan stars as a recently recovering alcoholic who returns to Scotland’s Orkney Islands, where she must finally confront her troubled past. Filmmaker Nora Fingscheidt made a splash with the 2021 Netflix hit “The Unforgivable,” starring Sandra Bullock, and this follow-up seems highly promising. The film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, where it will look to acquire U.S. distribution (StudioCanal is handling abroad). Fingscheidt adapted Amy Liptrot’s memoir with Liptrot and Daisy Lewis. Brock Media’s Sarah Brocklehurst optioned and developed Liptrop’s memoir, producing alongside Ronan, Jack Lowden, and Dominic Norris under new banner Arcade Pictures. —MP

“Paddington in Peru” (November 8 in the UK/January 25, 2025 in the US, Sony)

“Paddington 2” is one of the greatest movies ever made (a once hyperbolic-seeming opinion that has since come to be accepted as scientific fact), a work of art so profound that it almost seemed plausible that mastermind Paul King would never try to top it. And, in a way, he hasn’t: Despite returning to co-write the franchise’s long-rumored, slow-gestating third installment, the “Wonka” director has replaced himself behind the camera with “Paddington” newcomer Dougal Wilson, which may not even be the most significant change in a sequel that replaces Sally Hawkins with Emily Mortimer and ditches the London suburbs for the Amazon rainforest. Here’s hoping the series’ marmalade-flavored magic will survive the trip. —DE

“The Perfumed Hill” (No Distribution)

For his first movie since 2014’s masterful “Timbuktu” (which IndieWire named one of the best films of its decade), Mauritanian-born Malian auteur Abderrahmane Sissako returns with a sweeping romantic drama that spans from the Ivory Coast to the tea fields of Guangzhou. “Girlhood” actress Nina Melo stars as a woman who ditches her husband-to-be at the altar and flees east from West Africa, eventually meeting — and falling for — a Chinese man (Han Chang) who initiates her in the ancient art of Chinese tea ceremonies. If that premise sounds a touch more like “The Taste of Things” than you might expect from such a fearlessly political filmmaker, we imagine that Sissako will find a way to put his own indelible spin on a story he was inspired to tell after eating at a restaurant owned by an Afro-Chinese couple; a restaurant called “The Perfumed Hill.” Fingers crossed for a Cannes premiere. —DE

“Polaris” (No Distribution)

It’s been six and a half years since Lynne Ramsay’s last film, the contract killer thriller “You Were Never Really Here,” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Various other projects have come but never gone for the Scottish filmmaker whose “We Need to Talk About Kevin” is now widely regarded as a modern masterpiece of social horror. Along with “Morvern Callar” and “Ratcatcher,” Ramsay is four-for-four in a spiky career in which she has (refreshingly) struggled to conform to a more traditional Hollywood silhouette (see everything that went down with “Jane Got a Gun,” whose production Ramsay left in 2013). Her next film, “Polaris,” wrapped filming in mid-2023 and is her first original script not adapted from fiction since her debut “Ratcatcher.” Little is known about the film other than it will reunite Ramsay with “You Were Never Really Here” star Joaquin Phoenix and is rumored to be a period piece horror film set in Alaska. —RL 

“Pussy Island” (TBD, Amazon MGM Studios)

Zoe Kravitz makes her directorial debut with “Pussy Island,” a post-#MeToo tale she said she rewrote “a million times” with “High Fidelity” screenwriter E.T. Feigenbaum following Harvey Weinstein’s crimes coming to light. Channing Tatum stars as a tech mogul who invites a cocktail waitress (Naomi Ackie) to his remote private island for a weekend of debauchery. Kravitz has only teased the film as a confrontation of modern sexual politics that she began creating in 2017 after her own experiences with men in Hollywood. Steven Soderbergh and Donald Glover weighed in on the script, with Glover hinting that the film is a “dangerous” story of deceit, betrayal, and entrapment. —SB

“Queer” (No Distribution)

Luca Guadagnino has a tendency to overpromise on what projects he’s able to see through, from a revamp of “Scarface” to a gender-swapped “Lord of the Flies” (both are now on ice). Plus, at this point, he’s already got one backed up in the queue with the strike-delayed release of “Challengers” now set for April. However, one film he did wrap and shot entirely at the famed Cinecittà Studios in Italy is an adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ 1985 novel “Queer.” Following an American expat (Daniel Craig) who becomes romantically entangled with a younger man (Drew Starkey), the film takes place in 1940s Mexico City, with costumes by Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson. Guadagnino is a mainstay at Venice and other fall festivals; look out for this one later in 2023. —RL 

“Rebel Ridge” (TBD, Netflix)

Jeremy Saulnier has been pretty quiet since “Hold the Dark” slipped onto Netflix in 2018 (his only recent credits are two episodes of “True Detective”), but the “Blue Ruin” director is about to come back with his biggest film so far: a high-velocity thriller about an ex-marine played by “Foe” star Aaron Pierre who seeks revenge on a bunch of crooked cops. At this point, more is known — or at least discussed — about the film’s COVID-related delays and controversial recasting of John Boyega than about “Rebel Ridge” itself, but Saulnier is a singularly muscular filmmaker who wields brute-force tension like nobody else in the business, and that’s reason enough to be excited for his return. —MP

“The Shrouds” (No Distribution)

David Cronenberg originally envisioned his high-concept “The Shrouds” as a limited series for Netflix. But since that fell through, he repurposed this personal and, he says, autobiographical supernatural drama as a feature that shot in Toronto over the summer. Here, Vincent Cassel plays a grieving widower who creates a device that helps people reconnect with their dead loved ones — by allowing them to watch their beloved departed decompose in real-time. The filmmaker’s wife and sometimes-editor, Carolyn Cronenberg, died in 2017, giving the film a particular autobiographical potency even for a director whose works are always already entrenched in death and decay. Other faces in the cast include Diane Kruger, Guy Pearce, and Sandrine Holt. After 2014’s scorching Hollywood satire “Maps to the Stars,” Cronenberg stepped away from the camera to focus on novel-writing and even starring roles on TV from “Alias Grace” to “Star Trek: Discovery.” He’s back on a roll since his 2022 dystopian body horror sci-fi, “Crimes of the Future,” and “The Shrouds” will inevitably be another must-see. Expect this one to show up in the Cannes competition, where a new Cronenberg almost always shows up. —RL 

“The Substance” (TBD, Universal)

Back on screens in the upcoming new season of FX’s “Feud,” Demi Moore also stars in this upcoming body horror movie, opposite Margaret Qualley. Written, directed, and produced by Coralie Fargeat for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films, the film was also set to co-star Ray Liotta before his death in 2022. No word on whether or not that role was recast, but considering that this is described as Fargeat’s feminist take on the genre — after her explosive take on the revenge thriller with 2017’s “Revenge” — the movie promises to be plenty provocative when it finally hits screens. —MP

“Twisters” (July 19, Universal)

Listen, if Lee Isaac Chung is making it (as his “Minari” follow-up?!), we’re there. It’s just fortunate that this dedication applies to a film we can’t help but be very curious about. A sequel (or, in this case, “a continuation”) of the iconic Jan de Bont actioner has long been in the offing (in the air?), but that it’s finally a go in the hands of one of our most sensitive filmmakers? Now, that’s a real twist. If nothing else, Chung has already capitalized on one of the great legacies of de Bont’s film: building an impressive ensemble cast. This one includes Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell, Anthony Ramos, Brandon Perea, Daryl McCormack, Maura Tierney, Harry Hadden-Paton, Sasha Lane, Kiernan Shipka, Nik Dodani, David Corenswet, and Tunde Adebimpe. Let’s roll! —KE

“Union” (No Distribution)

“The Hottest August” director Brett Story, one of the best and most formally adventurous of North America’s young documentarians, teams up with “Crime + Punishment” filmmaker Stephen Maing for this raw but presumably exhilarating look at modern labor organizing — specifically, the formation of the remarkable (but fraught) Amazon Labor Union in response to low pay and working conditions at the mega-retailer’s Staten Island warehouse. It’s safe to assume “Union” will be snapped up by a major streamer after its premiere at Sundance in January 2024. It’s even safer to assume that the streamer in question won’t be Prime Video. —DE

“Untitled Joseph Kosinski Formula 1 Film” (TBD, Apple)

A big Hollywood blockbuster seems like the only logical escalation of the “Drive to Survive” era of Formula 1. But if anyone can make such a movie more like the 2021 championship battle and less like the 2023 Max Verstappen world tour, it’s “Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski. Brad Pitt and Damson Idris star as a driver pairing for underdog team APXGP, which we know because the still-untitled film shot alongside the regular F1 teams at a number of races this year and had its (modified F2) cars line up on the grid at Silverstone. Kosinski’s technical expertise and love of speed should shine through regardless of whether the Formula 1 film can actually drive on the limit. —SS

“Wizards!” (TBD, A24)

Pete Davidson is back in films with this stoner comedy — and according to reports out of recent test screenings, the A24 film also promises to be a gross-out comedy. “Passages” New York Film Critics Circle winner Franz Rogowski stars opposite Davidson as two frequently stoned beach bar operators who find a bag of cash and then encounter a host of oddball characters played by Sean Harris, Orlando Bloom, Naomi Scott, and Rahel Romahn. David Michôd (“The King”) writes and directs from a script he co-conceived with Joel Edgerton. But beware — according to preview audiences, there is apparently a very literal shit-eating scene in the movie. —MP

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