Usually, this slate doesn’t appear until the start of the New Year, but I’m making an exception since a few films that were originally slated for 2021 or 2022 got pushed back. One can blame the pandemic and recent legal issues with certain talents for causing this list of highly anticipated movies of 2023 to constantly change. Some movie projects simply had bad luck in terms of finding a date that works in a competing world as people are ready to head back to the theatre than let a pesky pandemic dictate what they can do.
This list is certain to be added upon as more international releases are made known, and then pared to a top ten for my annual list at the start of the new year. There are other films to consider, but Moujin: The Secret Coffin, Coyote vs Acme, and The Last Voyage of the Demeter aren’t dated.
Also, my list further expands upon the material I presented from my panel from last weekend, during Capital City Comic Con‘s Autumn Fall Show.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA
I haven’t been particularly excited for any of Marvel’s Stage Four films, but of the few that are highly entertaining, last year’s Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness and this Ant-Man film may well follow a theme. That is, it concerns the fates of all the planes of existence.
Also, early reports suggest this picture is worth catching because it’s supposed to give more information about the grand plan.
D&D: HONOUR AMONG THIEVES
After the last three attempts at making a live-action D&D movie, hopefully the fourth time will be the right one. Those movies (self-titled, Wrath of the Dragon God and Book of Vile Darkness) went direct to home video release, and ever since then, fans have been wanting that definitive live action version of the game. That is, it must reference all the classic monsters and tropes that define a game. Here, the producers are taking a cue from Guardians of the Galaxy–tossing a band of adventurers together and hope they can do what’s right to save a world.
Although, I must ask, why can’t one of D&D’s best adventure modules be adapted to screen? It’d do a lot more than satisfy the hard core, and there’s two that I’d love to see serialised in the eventual Netflix series–Ravenloft and Temple of Elemental Evil!
Aug 11, 2023
I was honestly okay with the last version that starred Eddie Murphy. The visuals and setup from that film honours everything the ride offered. It was cheesier and this upcoming adaptation is said to be scarier. What we know so far is that here, Gabbie is a single mom and she bought a haunted mansion for dirt cheap. But it comes with a lot of baggage–tons of ghosts whom she hopes the team of exorcists and priests can get rid of!
SHAZAM 2: FURY OF THE GODS
Although this film doesn’t involve the return of Doctor Sivana, or feature the worm from the last film’s post credit sequence, Shazam, and family has to deal with the daughters of Atlas in this sequel.
That is, there will be more mythology. Perhaps we’ll get an understanding on where the power of Atlas comes from.
JOHN WICK 4
There will be more glorious mayhem as the titular hero combats a global crime network. They have raised the bounty on this former hit-man, and he doesn’t like it. In this outing, he’s travelling from New York to Paris to Osaka and Berlin to take down this syndicate. Hopefully it’ll put an end to the constant search for him, but I doubt it.
I’m excited when the fight hits the streets since that’s where the best stunts happen. Who knows, maybe some agencies will take notice and get involved to put an end to the shanigans!
EVIL DEAD 3: RISE
The good news: this Sam Raimi approved and produced movie is a continuation of the franchise. The bad news: don’t expect to see Bruce Campbell return.
In this take, we have contemporary heroes, Beth and Ellie, who discover the Necromomicon, while exploring their new digs. And in what they discover sees the evil taking to the big city in an attempt to grow and take over the world. That is, these two will have to stop the evil from “rising” after a long time of hiding in a cramped Los Angeles apartment.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3
Adam Warlock has a contemporary role to play in the MCU, and it doesn’t concern Thanos! In a post-Blip world, James Gunn is changing the fate of this group. This movie is about The Search for Gamora and not following the path of a certain Star Trek movie…
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER VERSE
Sadly, the constant delays may quell interest. It’s been pushed back twice, and hopefully the third time’s the charm. Here, Miles Morales’ relationship with Gwen (Spider-Woman) is the focus! They’re going to become a couple at some point in time, and as for their next adventure, it may even tie into Ant-Man which concerns a quantum-level, multiversal threat.
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS
The fact Michael Bay isn’t “directly” involved boxes good things! It’s loosely based on Mainframe Entertainment/Rainmaker’s series (Beastmasters), and as for whom they’ll face might be the coming of Omicron as one fan trailer is hoping for. But instead, we’ll see more Autobots come to the fore and deal with a very primal threat.
INDIANA JONES 5
Harrison Ford is all yippee kai yay about keeping the titular role all to himself. He even broke a bone during filming, and while production was halted, he was in good spirits.
As for what kind of global threat he has to fight next, the choices are limited since it’s a chronological tale akin to the Young Indiana Jones television series. Maybe we’ll see how it’ll all connect instead of being non-canon. Can anyone imagine surviving Nazis and the USSR working together?
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE DEAD RECKONING PT 1
This motion picture is broken up into two parts for good reason. There’s going to be a lot of action that’ll leave audiences breathless, and as for whether it’s the end for Ethan (Tom Cruise), he’s not getting any younger. When considering the controversy in finding places to blow up, I’m sure there’ll be more hurdles to finish part two.
Not a lot of information is available about this movie, other than it stars Xolo Maridueña. He plays Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes who finds a blue scarab and gains superpowers. I know him best from the animated Justice League and recent Young Justice. In the latter, fans get to find just how complex this character is. The backstory shows a troubled origin where we have to learn who is truly in control. Is it human or alien?
DUNE PART TWO
This second film is basically taking a cue from Peter Jackson. It’s better to take your time with the material and unlike LotR where we know where each work begins and ends, Frank Herbert’s story was one big novel. I liken this chapter to be like LotR: The Two Towers. This is the movie to watch rather than the teaser that was Dune.
GHOSTBUSTERS AFTERLIFE SEQUEL
We’ll see a continuation of what the post credits sequence teased at, and hopefully we’ll also watch the half of the old team reunite at least. It’s safe to say Murray won’t be involved in this take. Instead, it’ll be about the new generation learning from half the team, and answering the question the last movie left off concerning a certain containment system.
If the early teases are correct, this movie may be called Ghostbusters: Firehouse.
AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM
This sequel starring Jason Momoa has this actor being a lot more involved with story development since he loved playing the soon to be King of the Sea. As for co-star problems, whether it’s true a certain actress is being edited out or not, the tabloids and online chatter is going crazy. As for who can rule the seven seas, that’s anyone’s guess.
Three Highly Anticipated Movies of 2023 Deserving Honourable Mention
SHIN ULTRAMAN (Japan)
Hideaki Anno can do no wrong in his update to the next beloved Japanese franchise. Here, this iconic Sentai hero gets a modern update, and the lucky person to become this galaxy’s protector is hardly feeling that. This film is good to watch since it examines the relationship aliens have with this human species.
I saw this film at Fantasia Film Festival, and hopefully there’ll be a continuation after it makes a full America-side debut. As audiences get re-introduced to this hero, it’s sure to spawn a new generation of fans
THE VISITOR FROM THE FUTURE (France, Live Action)
In a devastated future, the apocalypse threatens the Earth. The last hope lies with a man capable of time travel. His mission: to return to the past and change the course of events. But the police hunt him down in every era. A race against time begins…
UNICORN WARS (Spain-France, Animation)
Featuring the backdrop of an age-old war pitting religiously bigoted teddy bears against environmentalist unicorns, the plot underscores how two bear siblings vie for the love of their mother.
Please check out part two. This other list considers theatrical and online releases coming this year.