2018 was, by most people’s standards, a solid year for cinema. From Blockbuster titans such as Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther to silent, independent treasures like Roma and Leave No Trace; this was the year that appeased to the tastes of casual filmgoers and avid cinephiles alike. Thankfully, 2019 is shaping up to be just as good a year, perhaps even stronger; boasting a collection of projects destined for greatness.
We at JUMPCUT have come together to collect our most anticipated films that 2019 has to offer, and boy, are we excited. So without further ado, here are our top 10 most eagerly anticipated movies of 2019.
#10 – Us [dir. Jordan Peele]
In 2017, directorial debutant Jordan Peele, known by many as one of the members of comedy genius duo Key and Peele, stunned the cinematic world with Get Out – a harrowing, satirical tale of racial discrimination in its most barbaric form.
2 years later he is set to return to our screens with Us, a horror-thriller promised to be a spiritual sequel to Peele’s predecessor. Boasting a diverse cast including the likes of Elisabeth Moss, Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, we can expect another chilling tale dealing with similar societal issues as seen in Get Out. Although plot details about his new project are being kept under wraps, a new trailer is set to be released on Christmas day – and what better way to spend your festive season than to be terrified stiff by the genius of Jordan Peele?
Written by Corey Hughes
#9 – Captain Marvel [dir. Anna Boden; Ryan Fleck]
When Thanos snapped his herculean fingers at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, all seemed lost. Half of the universe’s population was eradicated at the sound of the snap; our beloved heroes dissolving to dust in the wind. But there could be a way out. A way to defeat Thanos once and for all. Enter Captain Marvel.
Hailed by many as Marvel’s most powerful superhero, Captain Marvel makes her long-awaited feature debut in her titular origin story set to release early next year. Stepping into the esteemed boots of Marvel’s heroine is Brie Larson, a name alone worthy of generating great excitement. The Oscar-winning actress is joined by MCU newcomers Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn and Gemma Chan, and also by regulars Samuel L. Jackson as (now two-eyed) Nick Fury and Lee Pace as the villainous Ronan – a cast not to be missed.
There’s a lot to be excited for here, least of all its contribution to fuelling the excitement for Avengers Endgame; another eagerly anticipated release in 2019 that will undoubtedly be featured later on in this list…
Written by Corey Hughes
#8 – IT: Chapter 2 [dir. Andy Muschietti]
2017 was a big year for the franchise and, as you would expect, the worldwide box office was dominated by Marvel, Star Wars, Wonder Woman and Fast and Furious. One of the unexpected hits of the year came in the form of a child-eating clown in Andres Mushcietti’s IT. Loved by critics and audiences alike, IT stormed to a worldwide box office of $700m and proved that there is still a place in the market for blockbuster horror, despite the surge in excellent indie horror films in recent years.
It is no surprise then, that a sequel will hit our screens in September 2019. The film will see Jessica Chastain team up with Muschietti again after working together on Mama. Bill Skarsgard will reprise his role as Pennywise and James McAvoy is the other standout name signed on to star alongside the returning kids. Exact plot details are still being kept quiet, but if we use Stephen King’s novel and the 1990 mini-series as a template, we can expect to see Pennywise return to Derry 27 years on from the events of IT and what’s left of the Losers Club reunite in an attempt to rid their hometown of this evil once and for all.
Written by Nick Deal
#7 – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood [dir. Quentin Tarantino]
Only Quentin Tarantino, known for his provocatively visual style of filmmaking, could make a movie based loosely on the Charles Manson killings and cast such a charming ensemble of actors. With the likes of Leonardo DiCpario (returning from his Oscar win in The Revenant), Margot Robbie, Kurt Russell and Brad Pitt among the selection, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood seems too good to miss, but when Tarantino himself describes DiCaprio and Pitt as “the most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman”, this is a cinematic experience that will go down in history.
But for many, the return of Tarantino is enough to get butts in seats. Since his initial declaration that he will not be making more than ten feature films, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood marks his ninth; destined to be another milestone in his illustrious career thus far. Has he really only got one more film left in him after this? We sure hope not.
Written by Corey Hughes
#6 – Glass [dir. M. Night Shyamalan]
It’s fair to say that M. Night Shyamalan, deemed by many as the master of the plot twist (sometimes at the expense of plausibility), has had a bit of a topsy-turvy career. With undeniable classics under his belt like The Sixth Sense and Signs, he’s also got some stinkers tucked away too; The Happening and The Last Airbender, yes, I’m looking at you. But with the warm critical and audience receptions for his last outing, Split, it seems that the inconsistent director is back on the right track.
Since Bruce Willis’ shock cameo in the final moments of Split, Shyamalan teased a joint-universe within his own films – the fact that the events of his last project co-exist within the same universe of Unbreakable; a trademark twist. The upcoming Glass is the sequel of all sequels, bringing together James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson’s characters into one explosive feature. You can see why it’s featured on our list.
Written by Corey Hughes
#5 – Godzilla: King of the Monsters [dir. Michael Dougherty]
Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla left some people wanting more. It focused more on the human element, it showed the action from a human perspective, looking up at the kaiju as they wrecked skyscrapers. At one point, Godzilla is shown in full for the first time, and the film cuts away to show the ensuing fight on a small news broadcast in the background. I get the problems people have with it. But, with that said, when Edwards shows us the action, it is epic. In every possible way, it is fantastic, it’s weighty, it’s brutal, it’s how you’d expect three 300ft tall monsters fighting would look. We want more of that. Less human, more monster.
Enter Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Everything about this long-awaited sequel (5 years on from its predecessor) points to it being bigger. It will reintroduce classic monsters from the Godzilla canon in Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, and pit them all against each other and Godzilla in a winner-takes-the-Earth battle of the millennium. Add in some exciting new actors to the cast like Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance, and Bradley Whitford, you have a film that’s worth your attention beyond just the kaiju fights.
If you haven’t had the chance yet, the newest trailer is essential viewing as it shows these 3 in mind-blowing action, and it shows the beginnings of a mammoth clash between Godzilla and King Ghidorah, Godzilla’s giant 3-headed arch-nemesis. It is going to be a film that needs to be seen on the biggest, loudest screen you can find. I’ll be there opening night.
Written by Rhys Bowen Jones
#4 – Joker [dir. Todd Phillips]
Not since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy – without being remotely persuaded by Wonder Woman’s origin – has DC zapped me enough to rival the enthusiasm I have for the mega Marvel universe. Nor did Jared Leto come close to re-establishing the Joker as his own like Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger did before. But a new circus is in town to pave the way for a fresh batch of DC origins led by The Hangover director Todd Phillips, who’s ready to unravel the mind of a serious, but not so serious clown.
Joaquin Phoenix – who we’ve already seen sprinting through Manhattan in full retro-clown costume – is Arthur Fleck, portrayed as a failing comedian who turns criminal amidst his misfortune. Set in the 1980s, this vision will follow the storyline of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke that should be flawless material for a raw and grounding backstory that’s set to be a stand-alone project. With promising support from Robert de Niro and confirmed appearances from Thomas Wayne, a young Bruce, trusty butler Alfred, and even Arkham Asylum, Phillips will keep Joker connected to Batman treasures in vintage, indie style.
Rumoured to be titled DC Dark or DC Black, Joker will be crucial in reinvigorating a distinct line of DC movies that show promise of being purely character driven – hinted by its low budget of $55 million and a likely R rating – that will combat the franchise’s CGI heavy past. The Joker’s history is ambiguous – put clearly in his Killing Joke quote “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice” – putting creative freedom at an all-time high when building his foundation. 2019 should confidently host an intriguing version of his dark and twisted making.
Written by Jo Craig
#3 – John Wick: Chapter 3 [dir. Chad Stahelski]
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and not to piss off John Wick.
Keanu Reeve’s John Wick has become somewhat of a contemporary action hero to match the likes of Jason Bourne and James Bond, a darkened, hardened and relentless figure whose reputation strikes fear into anyone who knows his name. Chapter 3 sees the culmination of Chad Stahelski’s John Wick trilogy, its two predecessors setting the benchmark for the modern action flick with its reliance on long-shots and exuberant fight sequences to demonstrate Wick’s fearless physicality.
The Wick films also lay the foundations for an interesting mythological backdrop, particularly its realm of assassins who roam mysterious Continental hotels across the globe. It will be interesting to see how these mysteries play out in the forthcoming film, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’re all here just to see Keanu Reeves annihilate his enemies in the most stylistic and aesthetically stimulating way possible. Especially from horseback. Orgasmic…
Written by Corey Hughes
#2 – Avengers: Endgame [dir. The Russo Brothers]
“Oh god” uttered Captain America, only to be followed by a hauntingly melancholic suite and a mightily satisfied smile from the Great Titan. When that shot cut to black, certainly in my screening, you could feel an unparalleled devastation in the air. Comic book filmgoers have been treated to darkness before, but this was new. Sudden, harsh, genocidal; this was the good guy’s worst primal fear – the bad guy winning. Some say it’s cheap, some say it’s inconsequential, I say it’s genius. How else are we fully to believe the universe-spanning power of Thanos than if he doesn’t get the chance to click those gold-plated, stone-garnished fingers?
Fitting then that the trailer for the climatic Avengers film, Endgame, is ruthlessly sombre. The loss, the agony, the powerlessness; this is a different kind of superhero movie. More urgent, more emotional. “Thanos did exactly what he said he was going to do. He wiped out 50% of all living creatures.”
It’s a modern cinema wonder the Russo’s pulled off Infinity War, but Endgame is different. Endgame is in the purest sense of the word, an event. The decade-spanning culmination of the world-building, victories and losses we as viewers have invested in.
How is it all going to pan out? How will Tony Stark survive? Will he and Cap see each other again? How did Ant-Man make it out the Quantum Realm? How will they save the day? The inevitability of heroes returning doesn’t dampen the tension, it elicits further compassion. We want to push our arms through the screen to give our remaining Avengers a pat on the back, just to say, “It’ll be okay”. But there’s more than every chance it won’t be – The Russo’s aren’t chumps. The question that’s leaving everyone’s trembling lips is, “Who’s going to (actually) die?”.
Depending on your age growing up, your ‘big series’ varies. For some, it’ll be Star Wars, or Indiana Jones, or for later generations, Harry Potter. But in terms of scope, consistency and vision, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the grand-daddy of the blockbuster franchises. Make no qualms; Endgame is, arguably, the biggest movie of all time. My excitement couldn’t be contained within any Infinity Stone – many, many, many tears will be shed on April 26, 2019. See you there.
Written by Cameron Frew
#1 – Star Wars – Episode IX [dir. JJ. Abrams]
Topping our list is the as of yet untitled Star Wars Episode IX, a film with perhaps larger expectations on its shoulders than it probably deserves. It’s no secret that preceding instalment The Last Jedi split audiences down the middle, meaning Episode IX is the rare blockbuster that, to leave the legacy it hopes to, needs to both satisfy those still on board with the saga and revitalise the interests of those who fell off over the past year. It’ll be a gargantuan feat, so here’s hoping JJ Abrams is up for the task.
What can we expect from Episode IX itself, though? Well, that’s hard to say. The film is being kept a secret as you’d expect for a trilogy-concluding blockbuster of this magnitude, and if there’s one thing absolutely no one can deny about The Last Jedi, it’s that it shook the saga up to such an extent that predicting what comes next is entirely impossible. Will Rey complete her Jedi training and fulfil her destiny? Will the Resistance rise up and defeat the First Order? What state with the currently unstable First Order even be in when we rejoin the story? And, number one on my mind, what fate awaits Kylo Ren as his journey of self-discovery reaches its big conclusion? The one thing we do know, though? None of us are going to want to miss this one.