Most anticipated movies of 2024: ‘Dune: Part Two’, ‘Challengers’, ‘Deadpool 3’ and more


Dune: Part Two

Easily the biggest release of the year, filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s sequel has all of us stoked. The first film, released in 2021, might have gotten a split verdict but Villeneuve’s grit to take on a mountainous challenge that many (famously Alejandro Jodorowsky) have failed to do surely earned him a lot of goodwill. The duology is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel and mapping the cultural impact of that novel would be quite a task; even Star Wars has its roots in Dune and from Star Trek to Futurama, many iconic sci-fi titles have referenced Dune in one way or the other.

The story, set in a feudal interstellar society, follows a young prince’s fight against an oppressive order with the help of indigenous people who believe him to be their Messiah. After the events of the first film, which saw a violent uprooting and erasure of the house of Atreides, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), with the help of Chani (Zendaya) and other indigenous Fremen, is just about to take the fight to House Harkonnen. As the stirring trailers show, Fermen leader Stilgar (Javier Bardem) will guide Paul to become the messiah who was promised. But what do these horrific dreams of Paul mean? We’ll find that out when the much-anticipated spectacle hits screens on March 1. The film also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgard, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh and Lea Seydoux.

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Furiosa

Make way for Miller! This year, get ready to go back to the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max as George Miller brings us Furiosa. Set as a prequel to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, the film tells the story of who Furiosa was before she became Immortan Joe’s lieutenant. Thanks to Charlize Theron’s convincing portrayal, Furiosa made a striking impression in 2015 and now, all eyes are on Anya Taylor-Joy, who is set to play the younger version of the character. Since her feature debut in The Witch to her break-out in The Queen’s Gambit and up until last year’s Amsterdam or The Menu, Taylor-Joy has upped her game consistently and now all eyes are on how she brings Furiosa to life. Joining her are Chris Hemsworth (as Warlord Dementus), Alyla Browne, and Tom Burke among others. F

Deadpool 3

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, donning the comic-accurate yellow costume. Should we say more? After a brutal year at the box office and some sour developments from actors, a major studio now has to turn to a fan-favourite dude in red to save the day. But that film, Superman: Legacy, is coming out next year.

Oh, come on. A few jokes can’t hurt our self-healing, fourth-wall-breaking Deadpool who is all set to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the third instalment on May 3. On-screen bromance between Jackman and Ryan Reynolds and the return of Jennifer Garner’s Elektra? We are sold. And..who knows? Maybe we’ll have “Sam Jackson show up with an eye patch and do a saucy little leather number.” We heard you, Reynolds.

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Mean Girls: The Musical

Even a sporadic follower of Hollywood from the 2000s would remember the cultural impact that the 2004 Mean Girls film had, becoming a timeless comfort watch for many teens struggling to fit in. Huge thanks to actor-comedian and writer Tina Fey, the film was ground-breaking in terms of writing women characters and nuanced female friendships. Based on the book ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes’ by Rosalind Wiseman, the film had an unimaginable influence on the genre of teen comedy and it also launched Fey, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried to stardom.

Now, if fans of Mean Girls are a little wary about watching a new Mean Girls adaptation, the reason might be the underwhelming sequel that was released in 2011. But here’s the thing: unlike that sequel, the upcoming modern-day adaptation has a screenplay written by Fey and the actor-comedian, alongside Tim Meadows, is also set to reprise her role from the original. For all those reasons and more, the Mean Girls fandom will rush to the screens this month, on January 12, to watch Mean Girls: The Musical. This film is an adaptation of the Broadway show version of the 2004 film and it features Angourie Rice Reneé Rapp, Auliʻi Cravalho, and Jaquel Spivey in the lead.

Joker: Folie á Deux

We still remember the collective gasp in the galleries when Arthur Fleck painted a talk show set with Murray Franklin’s brain matter in the 2019 film, Joker. Joaquin Phoenix put an ingenious touch to the famous nihilistic sociopath and his spell still holds us in a chokehold. So while that’s enough for director Todd Phillips to convince us to watch his sequel on October 4, there’s more on offer.

The sequel is a musical thriller with an ‘endearing’ love story at the heart of it all. The title, Folie á Deux (French for ‘folly of two’), is a psychiatric syndrome in which a person suffering from a psychotic disorder “influences” or “transmits” it to another. And we are so ready to watch Dr. Harleen Quinzel become Harley Quinn and send us to Philips’ ‘delululand’. Bonus trivia: Lady Gaga reportedly remained in character as Harley Quinn throughout the entire production.

Gladiator 2

Ridley Scott: “When was the last time you were home?”

Cinema: “23 years, 7 months and 25 days ago, when I first heard Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator Main theme.”

This year, Scott will take us back to Rome, to tell the story of what happened to Lucius, nephew of Commodus and the son of Maximus’ lover Lucilla post the events of his iconic 2000 film Gladiator. We all know Paul Mescal aces in characters expressing their vulnerabilities and one can’t wait to see him turn up the tension as a gladiator in the fighting pits. And joining him alongside is this stellar cast: Denzel Washington, Barry Keoghan, Joseph Quinn, and Pedro Pascal. November 22, we are ready already.

Challengers

Of all the Summer releases slated for this year, this one has got all the steam and promises to become a pop culture phenomenon. One good promo can win the audiences’ trust and so even when its Venice Film Festival premiere was cancelled, the trailer of Challengerswas enough for fans of filmmaker Luca Guadagnino and Zendaya to go all gaga over the film.

The sports romantic comedy tells the story of a young tennis prodigy Tashi Duncan (Zendaya) who gets into a hot, impulsive but quite messy ménage à trois with her fellow tennis players, Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor). “Years later, Tashi is married to Art, now a Grand Slam champion on a losing streak. She also doubles as his coach. ‘I’m playing for both of us,’ Art assures her, but things take a turn when Patrick materializes all these years later to face him in a ‘Challenger’ event. As their pasts and presents collide, and tensions run high, Tashi must ask herself, what will it cost to win?” the film’s synopsis says, and that should push you to watch the film on April 26.

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Kung Fu Panda 4

Are we even friends if we don’t attend the coronation ceremony of our adorable yet menacing panda friend who is all set to get a promotion? One of the year’s much-anticipated animated movies (we have a lot of them coming this year), the fourth instalment of Kung Fu Pandawill see Po become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace. But guess what? Po might just be up against the most vicious and powerful of foes as he is set to take on ‘The’ Chameleon, a shape-shifting sorceress who, as we see in the trailer, even resurrects Tai Lung and Lord Shen only to steal all their kung-fu abilities for herself.

To make it worse, the Furious Five are all off on individual missions. So, will Po, with help only from Master Shifu and Zhen, a corsac fox, defeat the evil sorceress? We’ll find out on March 8. Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Ian McShane and Gary Oldman are all set to reprise their voice roles and joining them as new entrants are Ke Huy Quan, Viola Davis and Awkwafina.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Ever since these two Kaijus decided to put their enmity aside to take down Mechagodzilla, a feature-length film that banks on this duo seemed inevitable. But, wait, now our radioactive lizard has pink spikes and breathes pink fire in a new live-action upgrade? And it teams up with an armoured Kong to take down an evil ape named Skar King? That’s right. The trailer of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire had surprises aplenty and it has given rise to a lot of fan theories already. Given that we don’t know much about the mysteries of the Hollow Earth or the Kaijus’ mythos have kept the flame alive.

But of all things Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, what has taken the internet by storm and what might become the talking point on April 12 this year is this: the film features a mysterious baby ape that many believe is Kong’s child. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Kaylee Hottle reprising their roles with Dan Stevens, Fala Chen and Rachel House being the new entrants.

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Mickey 17

Anything the groundbreaking Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho makes following a sensation like the Academy Awards-winning Parasite would have turned heads. But Mickey 17 is much bigger than that for other reasons as well. Based on author Edward Ashton’s novel ‘Mickey7’, this is Joon-ho going back to his roots in science fiction. He has written, directed and produced Mickey 17 as his debut Hollywood film.

Set in a time when humans can employ Expendables — disposable entities that regenerate with memories intact — the film tells the story of an Expendable called Mickey7. On a routine mission to colonise an ice world called Niflheim, Mickey 7 goes missing. When he returns, he finds a clone, Mickey 8, in place to take over. But here’s where the drama apparently unfolds: the common folk of this world have banned Expendables and so Mickey7 has to protect Mickey8 from being thrown into a recycler machine. Starring Robert Pattinson, Steven Yeun, Naomi Ackie, Toni Collette and Mark Ruffalo, Mickey 17 hits theatres on March 29.

Other notable films releasing in 2024:

The Bikeriders

The Old Guard 2

Venom 3

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Ballerina

Nosferatu

Despicable Me 4

Kraven the Hunter

A Quiet Place: Day One

Madame Web

Bob Marley: One Love

Bad Boys 4

Saw XI

The Beekeeper

The Fall Guy

Land of Bad

Borderlands

Arthur the King

Red One

Imaginary Friends (or IF)

Transformers One

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Despicable Me 4

Mufasa: The Lion King

Inside Out 2

Beetlejuice 2

The Garfield Movie

Wicked: Part One

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim

Hit Man

Argylle

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire



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