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People That Don’t Wear Capes

A new “Batman.” The return of James Cameron. And finally — we hope — the “Top Gun” sequel we’ve been waiting for.

There are plenty of big movies on deck for 2022, even as a new COVID variant runs rampant and leaves large swaths of the entertainment industry in a state of unease. The pandemic wreaked havoc on Hollywood, and caused mass upheaval in 2021 as studios scrambled to release movies in theaters, on home viewing platforms and in many cases, both at the same time.

 

The result: superhero movies continued to surge at the box office, with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” proving it’s still possible to pack theaters in record numbers. But serious movies aimed at adult viewers — from “Respect” to “The Last Duel,” from “King Richard” to “West Side Story” — fell and fell hard, leaving many to question whether the future of movies will simply be a playground for blockbusters or if there’s any room left for films about people that don’t wear capes.

Time will tell, but for now, here’s a look at what will be rolling out in theaters over the next 12 months, a year that will see no shortage of familiar faces and characters gracing screens.
And as the previous two years have taught us all too well, dates are always, always subject to change.

 

A double shot of Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise has sat out the pandemic, and hasn’t been seen on screen since 2018’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” He was due to return in 2020 with his “Top Gun” sequel and in 2021 with his latest “Mission: Impossible” adventure, but both were pushed back due to the uncertainty of theatergoing (Cruise is an ardent believer in the big screen movie theater experience).

Both are now on deck for 2022, with “Top Gun: Maverick” set for May 27 and “Mission: Impossible 7” due out Sept. 30. And that’s not all: perhaps the biggest day on Cruise’s calendar comes in July, when the box office superstar turns 60.

 

A new Dark Knight

Exit Ben Affleck, enter Robert Pattinson. The “Twilight” star becomes Bruce Wayne as a new chapter of the Dark Knight saga begins with “The Batman” on March 4. Director Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield,” “War of the Planet of the Apes”) takes the reins on the franchise and pits Batman against the Riddler, played this time around by Paul Dano, in a turn that’s sure to be darker than Jim Carrey’s take on the joking madman back in the hypercolor world of 1995’s “Batman Forever.”

One wish: can we skip the origin story of young Bruce Wayne’s parents getting killed in an alley? We get it already.

What do we know about the latest movie from Jordan Peele? Not a whole heck of a lot. But the “Get Out” director, who stumbled a bit with his follow-up film “Us,” is back with “Nope” (July 22), which reteams him with “Get Out” star (and Oscar-winner) Daniel Kaluuya, along with Keke Palmer and Troy-raised Oscar nominee Steven Yeun. And that’s about all we know, folks. We’ll find out the rest when everybody else does.

 

Peele back

What do we know about the latest movie from Jordan Peele? Not a whole heck of a lot. But the “Get Out” director, who stumbled a bit with his follow-up film “Us,” is back with “Nope” (July 22), which reteams him with “Get Out” star (and Oscar-winner) Daniel Kaluuya, along with Keke Palmer and Troy-raised Oscar nominee Steven Yeun. And that’s about all we know, folks. We’ll find out the rest when everybody else does.

 

Sequels, threequels and more

A reimagined “Cinderella” for the (latest) Air Jordan generation, “Sneakerella” hits screens Feb. 18. “Disenchanted” (TBA) is a follow-up to 2007’s “Enchanted.” “Lightyear” (June 17) tells the origin story of “Toy Story” good guy Buzz Lightyear. And “Death on the Nile” continues the tale of 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

With the rest of these, the titles pretty much say it all: “Downton Abbey 2” (March 18), “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (April 8), “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (April 15), “Legally Blonde 3” (May 20), “Jurassic World: Dominion” (June 10), “Minions: The Rise of Gru” (July 1), “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Dec. 16), “Knives Out 2” (TBA), “Hocus Pocus 2” (TBA). Note: I ate the boy’s breakfast for a whole year Drama

 

Heroes never die

They only get stronger. They said “Jackass” would never last forever, well then how do you explain the 20-plus year legacy of Johnny Knoxville and his band of merry revelers? They’re back for another round of painful stunts in “Jackass Forever” (Feb. 4) which we hope is not a farewell because we’re still not ready to say goodbye to these American legends. May “Jackass Forever Ever” grace our screens in 2030. Note: G Storm Drama

 

Originals!

This may come as a surprise, but not every story in Hollywood is based on a previously existing property. Crazy, right? A handful of the original stories heading to the screen in 2022 include Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in the romantic comedy “The Lost City” (March 25); Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in director Olivia Wilde’s 1950s-set thriller “Don’t Worry Darling” (Sept. 23); Ryan Reynolds in the time travel adventure “The Adam Project” (TBA), starring as a man who teams up with his younger self to confront his late father; “The Lighthouse” director Robert Eggers returns with his Viking epic “The Northman” (April 8) starring Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Bjork (!); Channing Tatum makes his directorial debut with “Dog” (Feb. 18); Michelle Yeoh stars in the multiverse sci-fi epic “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (March 25); and Brad Pitt and Tobey Maguire star in the latest from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle with “Babylon” (Dec. 25). Note: Embracing Someone’s Dark

 

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