It feels a little bit like the good old days at the movies. Black Widow, F9, In the Heights, Cruella, the sequels to A Quiet Place and Space Jam—you’re likely to see all of these titles on the multiplex marquee this weekend. In fact, the release calendar is pretty darn stacked for the rest of the year, with all the movies that studios held back during the height of pandemic closures flooding back to the theater.
But what happens after that?
Filmmakers have been hard at work to make sure cameras keep rolling, following rigorous safety precautions, on the sets of movies like Black Adam, The Northman, and Thor: Love and Thunder. While those movies got an early start and wrapped already, quite a few more are still in the thick of it, eyeing release dates in 2022 and beyond. Here’s a quick rundown of just a few of those—add them to your own movie radar when you get a chance to catch your breath.
The Little Mermaid
Now we know where Princess Ariel likes to spend her summers. For the last few months, the beloved mermaid (now played by Grown-ish star Halle Bailey) has been flippin’ her fins on the Italian island of Sardinia, where Rob Marshall just finished filming his live-action remake of the animated Disney classic. All summer long, Bailey and the rest of the pitch-perfect cast (which includes Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder) sang tunes like “Part of Your World” and “Under the Sea.” But they’ve also performed brand new ones, with music by Alan Menken (who also scored the 1989 original) and Disney-darling Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Killers of the Flower Moon
Some of Hollywood’s most legendary players are posting up in Oklahoma this summer, where the seven-month Killers of the Flower Moon shoot is about halfway through. For his 26th movie, Martin Scorsese is back with some tried-and-true collaborators: this western is his sixth time working with Leonardo DiCaprio and his tenth with Robert De Niro. It’s based on a 2017 non-fiction book of the same name and traces a chain of greed-based murders in the 1920s that targeted Native Americans in the Osage Nation, who were poised for wealth after discovering oil fields on their land. A first look photo has already appeared from the set.
Of course, a movie called Flamin’ Hot would choose to shoot in New Mexico in the middle of summer—and during some record-breaking heatwaves at that. It’s on-brand, too, for a movie about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the rags-to-riches story of the man who claims to have invented the iconic Frito-Lay snack. Multihyphenate Eva Longoria is directing the biopic (and sharing a lot of BTS on Instagram). It’s her debut as a feature-length narrative director (although did you know she produced John Wick?!), and that alone has us fired up.
Knives Out 2
Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) must have been in need of some sunshine following his cracking of the Thrombey case in gloomy New England because he’s moved on to brighter horizons—coastal Greece, to be specific. Director Rian Johnson is there too, of course, and recently posted on Instagram to announce they've started filming the sequel. It seemed hard to match the caliber of the original movie’s cast, but just take a look at the names confirmed for this next murder mystery: Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista, Ethan Hawke, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Edward Norton, Jessica Henwick, and Leslie Odom Jr. We’re not yet sure if their hijinks are a family affair like the Thrombey’s, but we’re already looking forward to hearing Benoit unpack it all for us with his conspicuous Southern drawl.
Candyman has been finished for a while, so Nia DaCosta is onto the next big thing: directing a Marvel movie—and making history by being the first Black woman to do it. She’s bringing her indie touch to the Captain Marvel sequel as it films right now in Los Angeles. The Phase Four MCU entry involves crossovers from multiple titles (no surprise there). So yes, the Captain herself, Carol Danvers, (Brie Larson) will reappear, but we’ll also be seeing Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) from WandaVision, and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) from Ms. Marvel, a miniseries debuting later this year, to lay the stage for DaCosta’s The Marvels. Disney is definitely one to plan ahead, so a release date of November 11, 2022, has already been locked into place.