The year 2019 is already a major one for movies, and with the new Avengers movie comes the official start of the summer blockbuster season. Not only will it feature the conclusion of the ambitious (and bizarrely controversial) new Star Wars trilogy, it will also bring a new Quentin Tarantino picture and the third chapter in the John Wick saga. Perhaps most importantly, we'll finally get to see what Pikachu is like as a detective. Here, we've rounded up 33 movies set for release in summer 2019 and beyond that are already on our radar -- and since it's never too early to start speculating, we've already begun our 2020 Oscar watch.
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Release date: April 26 Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Infinity War) Why we're excited: Given the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, it's very likely that most of the runtime of the newly titled Avengers: Endgame will be devoted to one long funeral sequence. No epic space-battles, quippy one-liners, or clever call-backs to previous movies -- just raw grief over the horrors Thanos unleashed at the end of the previous film. Or, you know, the remaining un-snapped-up Avengers will have to team up to rescue all their magically disappeared buddies. Honestly, it could go either way. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 3 Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O'Shea Jackson Jr., June Diane Raphael Directed by: Jonathan Levine Why we're excited: In this optimistic fantasy/romantic comedy that got a bunch of positive buzz out of SXSW, Charlize Theron plays an accomplished politician who taps a journalist named Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) to be her speechwriter as she makes a run for president. These two have a particular relationship: Theron's Charlotte Field used to babysit Fred way back in the day. Will this make their ensuing romance weird? Probably! (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 10 Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe Directed by: Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) Why we're excited: If you weren't won over by the mere concept of a teeny little Pikachu solving crimes while wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat, the trailer will certainly do the trick. Ryan Reynolds voices the eponymous Pokémon, which is a little weird at first, but the rest of the movie looks so good it actually works. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 10 Cast: Diane Keaton, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, Jacki Weaver Directed by: Zara Hayes Why we're excited: Following in the footsteps of last year's Book Club, here's another movie in which Diane Keaton plays an aging woman who finds a new passion with a group of female friends. In that movie, she achieved this by reading Fifty Shades of Grey; in this one it's by starting a cheerleading group in a retirement home. Seriously, nothing sounds better. (Watch the trailer.)
John Wick: Parabellum
Release date: May 17 Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose Directed by: Chad Stahelski (John Wick: Chapter 2) Why we're excited: Wick is back, yet again, except this time the intricate network of homeless agents and high-powered assassins and swanky hotels crisscrossing the globe won't be able to help him. After the events of John Wick Chapter 2, during which Wick broke one of the cardinal rules of his business by killing a man inside a safe zone, he has a contract out on his life and will have to fight his way out of New York City all by himself. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 17 Cast: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton Directed by: Joanna Hogg Why we're excited: This was hands down one of the best movies we saw at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It's a deeply personal yet unsentimental film from director Joanna Hogg, telling the story of a young filmmaker in a complicated (to say the least) relationship. Tilda Swinton appears, yes, but this is all about the work of her daughter Honor Swinton Byrne, an actress we'll be watching for decades to come. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 24 Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari Directed by: Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) Why we're excited: Your tolerance for Disney's recent run of live-action remakes of beloved animated classics probably depends on your nostalgia for the source material and your love of weird cartoon-like CG creations. This guaranteed-to-be-swashbuckling remake of Aladdin, which features Will Smith in the role of the magical genie, will be directed by Guy Ritchie, so expect lots of flashy camera work and whirring visual effects. In addition to the old songs, composer Alan Menken reportedly also penned a couple new ones as well. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 24 Cast: Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Billie Lourd, Jason Sudeikis Directed by: Olivia Wilde Why we're excited: Women finally have their Superbad equivalent in Wilde's directorial debut. The comedy follows who high school seniors Molly (Feldstein) and Amy (Dever), who have spent their entire adolescence studying. But on the last day of school before graduation they realize they didn't need to forgo fun in order to get into prestigious colleges, so they decide to break their self-imposed rules and party their hearts out. Their night of debauchery takes some hilarious detours. For instance, they end up at a murder mystery party presided over by the school's drama dorks and in an Uber driven by their principal. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 24 Cast: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn Directed by: David Yarovesky Why we're excited: This horror film, written by members of the Gunn family -- as in James -- asks the question: What if baby Superman crash-landed on Earth but was actually totally evil? (Watch the trailer.)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Release date: May 31 Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe Directed by: Michael Dougherty (Krampus) Why we're excited: The 2014 version of Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, was shockingly, incredibly good, and paved the way for a new monster franchise based on classic kaiju properties. It's been a few years, but Godzilla is back, this time calling on his (hers? its?) monster allies to battle a creature that could end the world as we know it -- and judging from the trailer that was released during Comic Con this year, it's going to be beautiful. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 31 Cast: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers Directed by: Tate Taylor Why we're excited: In this Blumhouse production, Octavia Spencer goes bad as a creepy lady who lures a bunch of teens to party in her basement after buying them alcohol. It looks like a potential camp classic in the making. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: May 31 Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden Directed by: Dexter Fletcher Why we're excited: Aiming to win over the box office with the same nostalgia that made Bohemian Rhapsody a hit, Rocketman is the biopic of Elton John. But unlike the controversial Queen movie, this one has a touch of fantasy to it, taking a cue from the Across the Universe playbook and including dreamlike musical sequences. Kingsman's Taron Egerton stars, and actually sings, as Elton. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: June 7 Cast: James McAvoy, Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender Directed by: Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse) Why we're excited: After a pretty bleak entry into the X-Men movie universe with X-Men: Apocalypse (you know, the one where Oscar Isaac is purple and says "Learrrrrrrning" while touching a TV set), the franchise needs a little bit of galvanization. As a repeat of the complicated "Dark Phoenix" storyline that murdered X-Men: The Last Stand, there's no telling whether or not this movie will be any good, but it will certainly be a spectacle. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: June 7 Cast: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, John Lithgow, Reid Scott Directed by: Nisha Ganatra Why we're excited: One of the biggest Sundance hits this year, finds Emma Thompson playing a venerated talk show host whose show is becoming a bit stale. Told she needs diversity on her staff, she hires Mindy Kaling's Molly Patel, a total newbie in the world of comedy, who nonetheless is just what she needs. Kaling also wrote the script. (Watch the trailer.)
The Dead Don't Die
Release date: June 14 Cast: Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Selena Gomez Directed by: Jim Jarmusch Why we're excited: We could just spend this entire section listing the other members of the cast for this zombie comedy from legendary director Jim Jarmusch. Hell, why don't we? Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Rosie Perez, Carol Kane, Danny Glover, RZA, Iggy Pop, and more. With an ensemble that good, who even needs a plot? It will open at Cannes before hitting theaters about a month later. (Watch the trailer.)
Men In Black International
Release date: June 14 Cast: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson Directed by: F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) Why we're excited: With Will Smith over at Disney playing the Genie inAladdin, his old franchise is getting some new lifeblood. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are the new duo protecting the galaxy, with Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson as their elder counterparts. The action largely moves to London, but those worms are still hanging around. (Watch the trailer.)
Toy Story 4
Release date: June 21 Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack Directed by: Josh Cooley Why we're excited: After a number of delays, Woody, Buzz and the rest of their plaything pals are returning to the screen with a new story, featuring a strange new character: Forky, a creation built out of a spork and some googly eyes. The toys all end up on a road trip that will likely make us contemplate the meaning of life. (Watch the trailer.)
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release date: July 5 Cast: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya Directed by: Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming) Why we're excited: Wait, you're saying, Tom Holland's Peter Parker probably didn't die in the first Infinity War? Yeah, no one's buying that, especially because he's back for this sequel. (Though maybe it's an Infinity War prequel? Hell, Marvel's done weirder things.) Anyway, Peter and his school friends are on vacation in Europe, where he probably has to perform some Spidey heroics. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: July 12 Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Shuzhen Zhao Directed by: Lulu Wang Why we're excited: Awkwafina makes a heartbreaking star turn in this film from Lulu Wang, about a Chinese family that lies to their matriarch about her own cancer and the American-raised granddaughter whose conflicted feelings make for some very awkward moments.
The Lion King
Release date: July 19 Cast: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones Directed by: Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book) Why we're excited: The third Disney remake of an animated film to drop in 2019 is the highest profile. Can you roar Beyoncé? Jon Favreau -- who did the whole photorealistic CG animals thing in The Jungle Book -- helped the Mouse assemble a cast that almost makes this endeavor worthwhile. Donald Glover is Simba. Beyoncé is Nala. Billy Eichner is Timon. And, obviously, James Earl Jones is back as Mufasa, because why mess with something that good. (Watch the trailer.)
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release date: July 26 Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino Directed by: Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight) Why we're excited: After a pair of Westerns, writer and director Quentin Tarantino returns to the confines of Los Angeles for this historical crime film set in 1969 in the midst of the Charles Manson murders. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a washed-up TV actor who lives next door to actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and pals around with his stunt double (Brad Pitt). Because this is a Tarantino movie, the cast also includes Al Pacino, Bruce Dern, Damien Lewis, Scoot McNairy, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Lena Dunham, and probably a handful of other actors that will make you go "Hey! That person is in this!" (Watch the trailer.)
Hobbs and Shaw
Release date: August 2 Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba Directed by: David Leitch (Deadpool 2) Why we're excited: Was this the movie that killed the bro-ship between Dwayne Johnson and his Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel? There has certainly been plenty of behind-the-scenes drama in the F&F crew, not least of which are Tyrese Gibson's dramatic subtweets of The Rock, accusing him of tearing this family apart, but let's be real: a movie starring Johnson's villain-turned-hero Luke Hobbs teaming up with (or facing off against?) Jason Statham's villain-turned-baby-protecting-hero Deckard Shaw is a can't-miss. (Watch the trailer.)
The New Mutants
Release date: August 2 Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga Directed by: Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) Why we're excited: Originally scheduled for an April 2018 release date (the current release date could be pushed back again, according to Disney), this horror-tinged X-Men spin-off starring Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as young mutants figuring out their new abilities underwent reshoots and appeared to be caught in corporate limbo following the sale of 20th Century Fox to Disney. Is that a bad sign? Maybe! But maybe this will be a case where the tinkering actually improves the movie. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: August 9 Cast: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper Directed by: Ari Aster (Hereditary) Why we're excited:Hail Paimon? The director of Hereditary offers more spooky, arty, summer fare. Here, he takes on the horrifying world of a Swedish cult where flower crowns turn into something a lot more sinister. (Watch the trailer.)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Release date: August 9 Cast: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, Kristen Wiig Directed by: Richard Linklater (Last Flag Flying) Why we're excited: Maria Semple's delightful novel about an eccentric architect, leaving her teenage daughter to track her down, gets adapted by Richard Linklater. Cate Blanchett plays the Bernadette of the title. (Watch the trailer.)
IT: Chapter 2
Release date: September 6 Cast: Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Bill Skarsgård Directed by: Andy Muschietti (IT) Why we're excited: While the first installment of ITwas a box office, critical, and spooky success, Chapter 2 had a big task ahead of it: Finding the right actors to embody the children of Derry terrorized by Pennywise. Luckily, the cast assembled is somewhat uncanny. At this point we just assume Sophia Lillis is going to grow up into Jessica Chastain. Anyway, the Oscar nominee -- along with the likes of James McAvoy and Bill Hader -- are all set to perform the "The Ritual of Chüd."
Release date: October 4 Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp Directed by: Todd Phillips (The Hangover) Why we're excited: How many portrayals of the Joker does the universe really need? After Suicide Squad, which found Jared Leto putting his tatooed spin on the comic book villain, another star vehicle for the killer clown doesn't feel terribly urgent, but we're trying to keep an open mind. With The Hangover filmmaker Todd Phillips directing this Scorsese-inspired riff on the character starring Joaquin Phoenix, you can bet it'll be "twisted." (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: October 11 Cast: Will Smith, Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Benedict Wong Directed by: Ang Lee (The Life of Pi) Why we're excited: Ang Lee is back in 2019 with a movie that is pretty much Looper, if Looper starred Will Smith. Henry Brogen is an assassin who wants to retire and start a new life, but he finds himself accosted at every turn by a younger, stronger clone of himself. We don't know too much else about it, but it sounds great, and it just goes to show: you can check out from the assassin business anytime you like, but you can never leave. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: October 11 Cast: Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright, Sarah Paulson. Directed by: John Crowley (Brooklyn) Why we're excited: Sure, there's still no movie adaptation of The Secret History -- (Can we have one? Please?) -- but another Donna Tartt novel is getting a big screen adaptation in The Goldfinch. The decades-spanning story follows a young man named Theodore Decker from boyhood. As a child he was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during a terrorist attack, in the chaos he takes a 17th Century dutch painting titled, of course, "The Goldfinch." In the film version, directed by John Crowley, Ansel Elgort plays Theodore, and he's joined by Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright, and Sarah Paulson.
Untitled Terminator Sequel
Release date: November 1 Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna Directed by: Tim Miller (Deadpool) Why we're excited: Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun! That's the sound of the score for James Cameron's Terminator series rising in the background, signaling that the producers behind this franchise are going to take another shot at rebooting it in a satisfactory way after the super-messy Terminator: Salvation in 2009 and the nearly incomprehensible Terminator: Genisys in 2015. This still untitled entry in the series will feature Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Mackenzie Davis in the main roles, while Deadpool director Tim Miller steps behind the camera and Cameron returns in a producer role.
Release date: December 20 Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift Directed by: Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) Why we're excited: The most ludicrous Broadway musical ever in existence arrives in inexplicable movie form. A punchline since the 1980s, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats is based on an intentionally nonsensical book of T.S. Eliot poems. How on Earth it gets transferred to cinema remains to be seen -- will there be people in cat costumes? Animation? -- but Les Misérables director Tom Hooper thinks he has a strategy. He tapped a bunch of stars to be his Jellicles (Google it) including Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and the most famous cat lady ever, Taylor Swift.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Release date: December 20 Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac Directed by: J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) Why we're excited: As the culmination of the third Star Wars film trilogy, Episode IX will probably be 2019's most anticipated movie of the year. Whether you loved The Last Jedior hated it, the misadventures of Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron are going to be the only thing anyone wants to talk about for a good portion of next year, so you might as well mark your calendar to pre-order tickets now. (Watch the trailer.)
Release date: December 25 Cast: Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh Directed by: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) Why we're excited: Greta Gerwig reteams with Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet for her first post-Lady Birdfilm: An interpretation of the oft-interpreted Little Women, also featuring Emma Watson, The Little Drummer Girl's Florence Pugh, and Sharp Objects' Eliza Scanlen as the rest of the March sisters. It's a top-notch row of young actors expert at breaking your heart.