Paul’s 15 Most Anticipated Movies of 2022

The past couple years have been a rollercoaster ride when it comes to the film industry.  With the ongoing pandemic affecting every area of life, there have been big changes in how we watch movies and what movies even come out.  There have been delays, changes in production, and switching from theatrical to streaming. However, slowly but surely, movies are starting to make a return to form at theaters.

We’ve had some box office successes in 2021, with blockbuster films finally coming back to theaters.  Of course, the biggest hit was by far Spider-Man: No Way Home, which scored the second biggest opening weekend of all time and is currently breaking countless records.  This indicates that people are willing to return to theaters, at least for the right movie(s).

Well, 2022 has a very promising movie slate.  From blockbusters to smaller-scale films, there’s going to be a lot of big projects coming out, barring any further delays.  

Below, I talk about the 15 movies I’m most excited to see in 2022…

15. Lightyear

Disney-Pixar’s latest expansion of the Toy Story franchise is a little different.  An in-universe origin story, the film reveals the human test pilot-turned-space ranger who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure line.  While the Toy Story, er, story has been fully told at this point, this is a unique premise to expand its world.  The teaser trailer is really cool, and Chris Evans is genius casting as the titular hero.  Also, with Pixar’s last three movies all going straight to Disney+, it will be nice to see something from the studio in theaters again – provided Disney doesn’t try to change anything…

14. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

2022 looks to be a big year for DC Films, and among its projects is the sequel to its biggest movie ever.  Aquaman was a big surprise back in 2018, grossing over a billion dollars and creating a really fun adventure.  It legitimized Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) as a prominent superhero, after being the butt of jokes for years.  Now, the same creative team and cast are back for more.  A lot of story details are under wraps, but with promises of more worldbuilding and a bigger role for Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), this should be another epic installment.

13. Babylon

Not much is known yet about filmmaker Damien Chazzelle’s next movie, which is a period drama that takes place in the golden age of Hollywood.  After delivering masterpieces like Whiplash and La La Land, anything that Chazelle creates is bound to be a must-see.  Babylon also boasts an amazing cast that includes Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Olivia Wilde, and the legend himself Tobey Maguire.  Yeah, I’m sold already.

12. Creed III

The Creed movies have been a successful expansion of the Rocky franchise.  The first movie was a masterpiece, and while the second one wasn’t quite on the same level, it was still a highly memorable installment.  Now, the trilogy will be completed with the third installment.  In addition to starring, Michael B. Jordan is making his directorial debut with an original story by Ryan Coogler.  Not much else is known about this one yet, but rising star Jonathan Majors will be appearing in this movie too, while Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) will be sitting this round out.  Overall, this should be another fun installment.

11. Black Adam

Dwayne Johnson became attached to play Black Adam back in the 2000s.  In the time since, we’ve had countless superhero movies, cinematic universes, reboots, and more.  Originally set to debut in Shazam!, Teth-Adam was then removed in order to develop him in his own movie.  Well, the time has finally come, and the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.  “The Rock” is finally bringing his superhero passion project to life, exploring the character and establishing him in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).  Not only that, but he will meet the Justice Society of America in their cinematic debut, featuring the likes of Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan).  This should be a fun and electrifying installment.

10. Thor: Love and Thunder

Director Taika Waititi resurrected the Thor franchise with style with 2017’s Ragnarok, deconstructing the series and resetting it for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Now, in the MCU’s first four-quel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will team up with plenty of familiar faces.  Everyone from the Guardians of the Galaxy to Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to Sif (Jaimie Alexander) are back.  Most significantly, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is returning, this time to take on the mantle of the Mighty Thor.  And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Christian Bale is playing the villainous Gorr the God Butcher.  While Thor has been a regular player in the MCU for over a decade, this is promising to be another event film that will help change the MCU’s future.

9. Knives Out 2

So far, this is the one movie that doesn’t have a theatrical release plan. 2019’s Knives Out was a super memorable whodunnit story, thanks to Rian Johnson’s terrific writing and an outstanding ensemble cast.  Now, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is back with another case, this time on Netflix.  There aren’t a lot of plot details right now, but this is expected to focus on a separate storyline with a new cast, which includes the likes of Dave Bautista and Edward Norton.  Hopefully, there will be opportunities for Knives Out 2 to be screened in theaters, but thankfully, Netflix saw the franchise potential and ran with it.

8. The Flash

At long last, this movie is here.  A standalone Flash film has been in various stages of development for decades, and with Warner Bros. intent on expanding (and resetting) the DCEU, this is the studio’s opportunity to do so.  The Flash will take loose inspiration from the Flashpoint comics, which sees Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) going back to save his mother and experiencing consequences.  The film will introduce moviegoers to the DC Multiverse, featuring new and familiar heroes.  There are legitimate concerns about this movie – the studio removing Ray Fisher is disgraceful, while rumors of removing Zack Snyder’s films from continuity are also bound to alienate fans.  However, there are promising aspects too, like the debut of Supergirl (Sasha Calle), Ben Affleck’s final performance as Batman, and Michael Keaton’s return as his Dark Knight.  At the very least, this will change the DCEU like nothing else.

7. Nope

Not much is known about this one, but at this point, do we need to know?  Jordan Peele is 2-2 with Get Out and Us, so anything he directs is going to be an event.  For this one, Peele reteams with his Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya, and he has added the likes of Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun to the cast.  When it comes to horror films, Peele has had a very unique approach, and all signs are pointing to Nope being a continuation of that.

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

2018’s Black Panther is one of my favorites in the MCU, and its cultural impact is unparalleled.  Ryan Coogler returns to continue the story of Wakanda on screen, along with many of the characters from the first film.  Most significantly, Coogler has the difficult task of continuing this story without the late Chadwick Boseman.  With T’Challa not being recast, the film is expected to explain his absence in some way.  This is bound to be one of the most emotional movie experiences in recent memory.  If the film can overcome its current production delay issues, then this should be a truly special installment in the MCU.

5. Jurassic World Dominion

The Jurassic World movies have been big moneymakers for Universal, and the next installment will be the biggest one yet.  Following off of Fallen Kingdom’s ending, Dominion will imagine dinosaurs co-existing with humans in the real world.  Not only will characters from the first two movies come back, but the film will see the returns of the original Jurassic Park trio – Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and Ellie Slater (Laura Dern).  That alone makes Dominion an event film, and seeing them work with the current heroes will be a lot of fun.  Simply put, this is Jurassic World: Endgame.  As a lifelong Jurassic Park fan, I’m very excited.

4. Mission: Impossible 7

The Mission: Impossible franchise is one of the rare ones that actually gets better with age.  Star Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie have elevated the series to new heights, with 2018’s Fallout being one of the best modern blockbusters.  Now, the duo are making two more installments, with the seventh film arriving this year.  This is another one where plot details are under wraps, but with the last film’s creative team returning and the debut of new characters, there’s enough to sell moviegoers.

3. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)

Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best superhero movies of all time, animated or otherwise.  Of course any sequels will be met with much anticipation.  Now, Sony is about to unleash its next installment, which is actually the first of a two-part story.  The film will feature returning heroes as well as new ones, such as Takuya Yamashiro/“Japanese Spider-Man,” as they unite to face a powerful new villain.  Not only is the cameo potential limitless, but I’m very excited to see Miles Morales’ (Shameik Moore) story continue.  And after Spider-Man: No Way Home, interest is definitely piqued for any and all Spider-Verse stories.

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Speaking of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the film sets the stage for Doctor Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) next adventure.  After Strange’s spell cracks open the Multiverse, he has to deal with the ramifications of that, teaming up with Wong (Benedict Wong) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to contain the madness.  The film is expected to be just as big of an epic as No Way Home, if not bigger.  Director Sam Raimi returns to the superhero genre with this film, which will have both horror influences and explore Marvel’s multiverse. And as No Way Home and Loki demonstrated, the possibilities are endless.  Simply put, this is going to be a blast.

1. The Batman

And finally, was there ever any doubt?  Batman is one of the biggest superhero series in history, and director Matt Reeves’ reboot promises to be a fresh new take.  This standalone story features a younger Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), as he is early in his career as Batman and takes on the villainous Riddler (Paul Dano).  The movie looks stylish, exciting, and unlike any other Batman movie to date.  While the characters are familiar, these interpretations of them and the world of Gotham are not.  Also, Pattinson looks to be an amazing casting choice for the Dark Knight.  Grounded, character-driven, and brutal, this is bound to be one of the best Batman movies ever – if not the best…

Which movies are you most excited to see in 2022? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @WOBAMEnt.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.