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Let’s all go to the movies again (safely): 10 of the most anticipated film releases of 2022

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 14, 2022

By Paul R. Sell For The Spokesman-Review

While I’m always hesitant to say that an entire year was an excellent time for movies, I have no problem saying that with 2021. And there’s hope that this trend will improve in 2022.

2022 should be a worthwhile year for movies, with some noteworthy big blockbusters, but also great independent films and interesting entries in genres like horror and animation.

Here are 10 films being released in 2022 that I’m looking forward to watching:

“The Batman” (March 4)

Director Matt Reeves has always created inventive and intense films, which makes him perfect to direct the next entry in the Batman series. What makes this version so different is that it’ll follow a young Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) who is a little more prone to break his one rule while hunting down a psychotic serial killer. The film promises to explore the “world’s greatest detective” angle of the Dark Knight.

“Disappointment Blvd.” (April 22)

Ari Aster, director of two of the best horror films of the last decade in “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” will be releasing his newest thriller this year. It boasts an impressive cast, including Joaquin Phoenix, Meryl Streep and Parker Posey. Not much is currently known about the plot other than it’ll span decades while painting a portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

“Lightyear” (June 17)

If Pixar is going to continue making films related to the “Toy Story” series, this is how it should be done from now on. While not set in the beloved universe of living toys, “Lightyear” will be a sci-fi adventure that gives Buzz Lightyear an origin story, as well as the creation of Star Command and how Buzz became their greatest space ranger. If you ever watched the 1990s TV show “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” you can probably expect something similar to that.

“Nope” (July 22)

2022 should be an excellent year for horror films. Along with “Disappointment Blvd.” and the (supposedly) final “Halloween” film, Jordan Peele will also be releasing his next entry in the horror genre. While we don’t know much about the plot, it will reunite Peele with Daniel Kaluuya, while Steven Yeun (“Minari,” “Invincible”) and Keke Palmer join in the mayhem.

“Mission: Impossible 7” (Sept. 30)

I had this film in my list of most anticipated films of 2021, and yet my excitement has not diminished in any way even if the pandemic causes the production to be delayed. The “Mission: Impossible” series seems to have Benjamin Button syndrome – while other film franchises get worse as they continue, this series gets better with each entry.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)” (Oct. 7)

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” might be one of the greatest animated achievements in film history in terms of visuals and storytelling. So, to see the same people returning to this spider-multiverse, especially after the success of “No Way Home,” should be nothing short of amazing. I’m not a big fan of splitting the story into two films, but these filmmakers have earned my trust.

“Canterbury Glass” (Nov. 4)

For the best cast of the year, look no further than David O. Russell (“The Fighter,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and his newest thriller. The cast includes Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Chris Rock and Anya Taylor-Joy. The plot is being kept under wraps, other than an uneasy alliance between Bale and Washington’s characters and that it will be a period piece.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Nov. 11)

Of the three Marvel films being released in 2022, this is the one that deserves the most attention. After the tragic and far-too-early loss of Chadwick Boseman, director Ryan Coogler promises that this film will pay tribute to Boseman while still advancing the story of Wakanda and the Black Panther. It should be interesting to see how Coogler and Marvel go about this, but I have no doubt that it will be heartfelt and grand.

“Avatar 2” (Dec. 16)

Yes, I promise that James Cameron’s “Avatar” series is not a dead franchise. It might be a decade too late, but we’re returning to the world of Pandora with new spectacles and even better visuals. Cameron has said this sequel will mostly be set in an underwater portion of Pandora, so it could be a combination of Cameron’s two biggest hits – “Avatar” and “Titanic.” Throw in some killer robots, and it’ll be classic James Cameron.

“Pinocchio” (TBD)

You can’t go wrong with Guillermo del Toro, especially when he’s in his fantasy wheelhouse. Much like his take on “Pan’s Labyrinth,” this adaptation of the classic tale will have a stark contrast with its setting of 1930s fascist Italy, making for probably the most unique and unforgettable film of 2022.

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