23 Movies We’re Excited for in 2023

TJ Dietsch
Movies
Movies

Now that the New Year has hit and everyone has ended up their best of 2022 lists, you know what time it is? Time to look ahead to the movies that just might create the next installment!

As you might expect, superheroes and their exploits will play a major role at the box office this year, with new sequels starring Ant-Man, the Wasp, Shazam, Spider-Man, Flash, Aquaman and numerous more. 2023 will also offer up new entries in long-running franchises like Indiana Jones, Fast and Furious, Scream, and plenty of others.

While we’re all looking forward to seeing the next installment of our favorite series, we’re also super excited to see all-new takes on iconic properties ranging from Super Mario and Dungeons & Dragons to Barbie and the Little Mermaid, along with new films from the likes of Christopher Nolan and Nicolas Cage.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in and see what movies Fandom just can’t wait to see in 2023.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man, Stature and Wasp visit the Quantum Realm

Current U.S. release date: February 17

One of the most likable heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will help kick off Phase Five with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Paul Rudd will be joined by Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas to further explore the Quantum Realm. We’re jazzed to see what director Peyton Reed does with those favorites, but equally looking forward to seeing how Kathryn Newton’s Cassie Lang, Bill Murray’s Krylar and Jonathan Major’s Kang play into not just the movie itself, but the tapestry of the MCU moving forward, especially given we know there’s a movie down the line called Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

Creed III

Donnie and Dame face off in Creed III

Current U.S. release date: March 3

The Rocky/Creed franchise — hitting its ninth installment this March — has always revolved around what happens when the underdog challenges the champ. That’s what happened in the first Creed when Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis asked Sylverster Stallone’s Rocky to train him as a boxer. This time around though, Stallone is not appearing, as the movie follows Creed as the one who’s on top of the world, with his old pal Damian “Dame” Anderson (Jonathan Majors) wanting a shot at the crown. Jordan will be pulling double duty with Creed III as he will not only star, but create his directorial debut behind the camera.

Scream VI

Current U.S. release date: March 10

Between Wednesday, Scream, and X (and several other projects), 2022 was the year of Jenna Ortega. Here’s hoping the trend continues with her return as Tara Carpenter in the sixth Scream flick this spring. After receiving new life — and plenty of new deaths — with last year’s with installment in the slasher series, sisters Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) & Tara and fellow survivors Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) & Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding) will leave their hometown/killing ground of Woodsboro for the comparatively safer (?) streets of New York City. They’ll be joined by original Scream cast member Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers and Hayden Panettiere, returning as Scream 4‘s Kirby Reed. Notably, Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott is away for the first time in the series’ history following a salary dispute. Slashers in the big city don’t have the best reputation, but here’s hoping that returning directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin will reverse that curse and allow Ghostface to truly take Manhattan.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Zachary Levi soars once more as Shazam!

Current U.S. release date: March 17

2023 will be an interesting year for films based on DC Comics properties. Late last year, it was announced that James Gunn and Peter Safran would be taking on a new leadership role with DC Studios and re-building that cinematic universe and as a result, numerous (if not all) of the current incarnations of these characters will be put to rest. While there will be plenty of announcements and reveals this year, there are also a group of four already-completed movies that will be rolling out, giving fans of the DC Extended Universe one last hurrah before the Zack Snyder-initiated reality potentially closes its doors completely.

The first of those films hitting theaters will be Shazam! Fury of the Gods helmed once more by David Sandberg, who brought Billy Batson and his heroic alter ego to the big screen the first time around. Billy and the rest of the Shazam Family — all allowed mystical powers by an ancient wizard — return to face off against perhaps the best duo of villains imaginable: Helen Mirren as Hespera and Lucy Liu as Kalypso. All the luck to Zachary Levi’s title character, but he and his crew are up against some heavy hitters!

John Wick: Chapter 4

John Wick prepares for war...again

Current U.S. release date: March 24

After the first three John Wich installments, it might appear like there’s enough opponents for him to take on in another sequel, but thankfully that doesn’t appear to be the case. From the looks of the latest trailer, John Wick: Chapter 4 Keanu Reevesiconic character will have plenty of enemies to punch, kick, shoot and slice his way through under the watchful eye of series director Chad Stahelski. Unlike the other films, this one will not be penned by Derek Kolstad, the original writer, but we’re intrigued to see what new corners of this dark world Shay Halten and Michael Finch introduce us to. If we’re being honest, though, this one might be worth the toll of admission just to see Reeves take on big screen action powerhouses like Scott Adkins and Donnie Yen.

Dungeons & Dragons:
Honor Among Thieves

Chris Pine, Dungeon Master

Current U.S. release date: March 31

It’s no secret that Dungeons & Dragons has gone through a pop culture reevaluation over the past few years, bringing it out of the basement and setting it on the forefront. Stranger Things definitely played a part in all of that, but so has the game’s insanely deep bench of characters, creatures and scenarios, numerous of which will be put on display in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves from co-writers/directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, whose previous credits include working as writers on Spider-Man: Homecoming and directing Game Night.

Between a renewed interest in fantasy thanks to hit shows like House of the Dragon and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power as well as a stacked cast including Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith and Hugh Grant, this movie aims to be a spring juggernaut.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Mario gets a taste of Mushroom Kingdom currency

Current U.S. release date: April 7

Mario fans have been waiting over 40 years to see their favorite plumber create his way to the big screen in a form that seems even somewhat familiar and not like a jumbled fever dream. This spring, Illumination will deliver exactly that with a CGI animated feature wherein Mario finally goes to the Mushroom Kingdom where he’ll work with Toad and Luigi to save Princess Peach from Bowser! Though the fan reaction has been somewhat mixed when it comes to the A-list voice cast featuring Christ Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen and Fred Armisen, but we’ll wait until the movie comes out in April to see if it all comes together or goes down the drain.

Renfield

Nic Cage vamps with Nicholas Hoult

Current U.S. release date: April 14

If there’s not a Nicolas Cage movie (or ten) on your must-watch list in any given year, then you’re doing something wrong. This year, we obtain treated to the Vampire’s Kiss star playing Dracula to Nicholas Hoult’s title character. The Universal offering might appear more Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein than classic Dracula, but the talent involved hints at it being a true horror-comedy. The Lego Batman’s Chris McKay is directing the flick based on a story idea from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, with the screenplay by Ryan Ridley, who worked on Community and Ricky and Morty, so it seems like both genres will be well-served and maniacally elevated by Cage’s sure-to-be-eclectic performance.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The Guardians stunting in fresh threads

Current U.S. release date: May 5

The fifth phase of the MCU will continue on with James Gunn’s last trip through the cosmos with the Guardians of the Galaxy, though it was once designed to kick off Phase Four! The team has been through quite a bit since the second installment of the series, making contributions to Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and the beginning of Thor: Love and Thunder. Sure, the Guardians have been nicely integrated into the larger story of the MCU, but this movie was also oft-delayed between the brief time Gunn was fired by Disney and his subsequent work on The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker The gang got back together for the delightful The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special at the end of last year, but now fans want to see exactly how this band of intergalactic misfits mix it up with the High Evolutionary and Adam Warlock. More importantly, though, we want to witness where Gunn leaves this unlikely group of superstars.

Fast X

Dom revs up for his next vehicular adventure

Current U.S. release date: May 19

At the moment, we don’t know much about what the penultimate entry in the Fast & Furious series sustains for us and yet we’re sowever hopeful for what will surely be a visual spectacle, even with some behind-the-scenes complications. Louis Letterier (The Incredible Hulk) took over as director amidst rumors that Justin Lin had some notable disagreements with Vin Diesel, leading him to abruptly leave the movie shortly after it began production, despite directing five previous hit Fast films, including the franchise-altering Fast Five and the most recent entry. Leterrier’s no stranger to high-level action, drama and car stunts, so here’s hoping he fits in well with series regulars like Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese GibsonLudacrisNathalie Emmanuel, and Sung Kang, along with more recent additions like Charlize Theron and John Cena and newcomers Brie Larson and Jason Momoa.

The Little Mermaid

Ariel looks to a whole new world

Current U.S. release date: May 26

This year will see the release of yet another live action-ification of one of Disney’s iconic animated features with The Little Mermaid getting the treatment. This new take will feature Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. In addition to offering a different visual take on the story of the underwater princess who pines for a human prince, this movie will also give fans new takes on the classic songs with Lin-Manuel Miranda working with original composer Alan Menken to create and recreate songs for this musical adventure.

Spider-Man:
Across the Spider-Verse

Gwen and Miles ponder the multiverse

Current U.S. release date: June 2

Given Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s status as one of the most well-regarded and awarded films of 2018, it’s no surprise that individuals are stoked to see what’s in store for the sequel.  Originally set for release last year, this movie will see Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) continue his adventures through the multiverse along with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Woman Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) and Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac). This sequel’s coming at us from the directing trio of Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson as well as writers Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Dave Callaham. Amongst them, they’ve contributed to Into the Spider-Verse, The LEGO Movie, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Reintroducing Optimus Primal

Current U.S. release date: June 9

The Transformers movie franchise received a much-needed shot in the arm in 2018 with the underrated Bumblebee. That film, set in 1987, explored how the yellow Cybertronian made his way to Earth. Now, with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, threads of the previous story will be picked up in a new one taking place in 1994. In addition to bringing Optimus Prime into the festivities, this Steven Caple Jr.-directed feature will also include elements from the beloved 90s offering Beast Wars, which set a group of good Maximals against evil Predacons on a prehistoric Earth that took their alternate forms from the animal and insect life around them.

The Flash

Will Flash win the race or crash and burn?

Current U.S. release date: June 16

It’s safe to say that the years in the making The Flash movie has stumbled out of the gate thanks to numerous issues unrelated to the film’s quality, not the least of which was star Ezra Miller making headlines throughout 2022, painting a picture of a troubled individual unable to peacefully deal with his issues – not the best look for the lead in a massive superhero movie. The movie itself finds the speedster attempting to use his abilities to travel back in time and save his mother, an behave that wreaks havoc on the timestream, leading to encounters between Barry Allen and the likes of Michael Keaton‘s classic Batman from Tim Burton’s films and Ben Affleck‘s more recent Batman, and other notable characters like a new Supergirl (Sasha Calle). Fans are excited to see Keaton’s return as the Dark Knight, though it’s now tempered by the knowledge that his would-be follow-up projects Batgirl (which was notoriously filmed but then permanently shelved) and a proposed Batman Beyond movie are off the table at this point. Regardless, word is that the Andy Muschietti-directed movie has been receiving exuberant reviews from test audiences even with all the behind-the-scenes drama.

Indiana Jones
and the Dial of Destiny

Indy contemplates the 60s

Current U.S. release date: June 30

One of film’s greatest adventurers makes his triumphant return to the big screen this summer when Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones. Not content to have the whip aficionado go out on Indiaina Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Disney and Lucasfilm employed Logan‘s James Mangold to swing in and helm this new outing, this time set in the 1960s, after Steven Spielberg decided to take a step back and only serve as an Executive Producer, after directing the four previous films in the series.

The cast is packed with heavy hitters, including Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas and Toby Jones. It will be interesting to see how this new team — both behind the camera and in front of it — work together to offer a story set in the same decade that Indy creators George Lucas and Spielberg actually met.

Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part One

Current U.S. release date: July 14

Ethan Hunt’s new — and potentially last — two-movie assignment is coming down the pike starting with this summer’s likely blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Tom Cruise’s seventh big screen IMF adventure is once more written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who has kept the role since 2015’s Rogue Nation (though even before that he did uncredited work on the script for Ghost Protocol). This series has become a hallmark for the amazing stunts that Cruise performs himself and there’s no sense that he’s slowing down on this outing as you can see with that high-intensity motorcycle-bidge stunt in the trailer and recent behind the scenes footage.

The cast will be a nice mix of fresh and familiar faces with Pom Klementieff, Vanessa Kirby, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Hayley Atwell getting in on the action. The most surprising person returning to the franchise though has to be Henry Czerny as Eugene Kittridge. His first and last appearance was in the very first movie where he played the acerbic director of Impossible Mission Force who was thought to be the mole (though it turned out he was just kind of a jerk).

Barbie

She's a Barbie girl

Current U.S. release date: July 21

Those who have only seen the spot-on set photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as legendary couple Barbie and Ken might not realize that the future movie based on a Mattel toy actually has a surprising pair of filmmakers behind it: Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Working as some combination of writers, directors and, in Gerwig’s case, actors, these two — if working separately or together — are known for some of the most emotional and heartbreaking films of this century, including Frances Ha, The Squid and the Whale, Lady Bird and Marriage Story. We have no idea what the story of the movie actually entails, but the visuals look vibrant and stunning and with Gerwig directing a script she wrote with Baumbach, it’s reasonable to guess the results will be unique.

Oppenheimer

Portrait of a genius

Current U.S. release date: July 21

It can never be said that Christopher Nolan shies away from telling stories about complicated characters. With his next film, he’s showcasing the man who helped create the most important invention of the 20th century: the atomic bomb. Focusing on good scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer the movie includes a stunning line-up of talent that includes Cillian Murphy as the title character alongside Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Jack Quaid, Kenneth Branagh, Josh Hartnett, David Dastmalchian and so numerous others. The movie might not appear like the kind of story you’d expect to debut in the dead of summer, but it will certainly create its presence felt.

The Marvels

Captain Marvel in Ms. Marvel's room

Current U.S. release date: July 28

Ever since Avengers: Endgame, the MCU has been focused on construction their roster of characters. In 2023, we’re getting to see some of those newer heroes finally coming together in The Marvels. This movie finds Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris’s Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel mysteriously finding themselves linked and trading places with one another, as was shown at the end of Kamala’s Disney+ series. Beyond that, little is known about Nia DaCosta’s film, though it seems possible that it might tie into the Secret Invasion Disney+ series, which is set to debut in the spring given that both projects feature Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

Saw X

Tobin rings the bell as Jigsaw once more!

Current U.S. release date: October 27

After nine previous installments in less than 20 years, the Saw franchise is looking to obtain back to its roots again. The most recent entry, Spiral, completely moved away from Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw — who actually died way back in Saw III, but kept appearing via flashbacks — and was not especially well received. Now, with Saw X, director Kevin Greutert (Saw VI, Saw 3D)and writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger (Jigsaw, Spiral) have crafted a way to hopefully give the fans what they want by bringing back some favorite characters.

Yes, Bell has signed back on to play Jigsaw, but Shawnee Smith will reportedly also once more portray Jigsaw’s apprentice, Amanda Young, even though she was also killed off in the third movie back in 20016! So far, this series has avoided the supernatural, so if this takes place at an earlier point or fits into the increasingly complicated (and oft-retconned) timeline of parallel tales, dastardly traps and faked deaths, Saw fans will have something to talk about this Halloween.

Dune: Part Two

Paul ponders sequel potential

Current U.S. release date: November 3

When Warner Bros. announced that they would release numerous of their designed 2021 theatrical films on HBO Max the same day as theaters during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous wondered what it would mean for big sweeping films like Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. While plenty of individuals seemed to enjoy the visually stunning adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, it was unclear if streaming views would equal sequel potential and create up for missing box office revenue. Luckily for Villeneuve and everyone else involved in the film, they did obtain the greenlight to create Dune: Part Two which finds Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides recovering from the events of the first installment and figuring out how Zendaya’s Chani Kynes (who will have a lot more screen time in this one) and the Fremen will work into his future.

The Hunger Games:
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as a much younger Coriolanus Snow than we've seen before

Current U.S. release date: November 17

For a few years there, it seemed like Hunger Games fans would have to wait for producers to green light a movie based on new ideas or author Suzanne Collins to write another book before they could revisit Panem on the big screen. Thankfully for them, the latter happened in 2020 when The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes debuted in novel form. The adaptation from director Francis Lawrence (who formerly helmed the second, third and fourth Hunger Games movies) takes the prequel approach, exploring the dystopian world by way of a much younger version of Coriolanus Snow, the infamous President portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the previous films. Tom Blyth will play Snow here, tasked with training Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird after she’s chosen as the tribute for District 12 long before Katniss Everdeen volunteered.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman prepares for conflict

Current U.S. release date: December 25

There are actually so numerous DC movies coming out in 2023 that we couldn’t fit them all in without excluding some of the other flicks coming out. That is to say that after the August 18th release of Blue Beetle, the second Aquaman movie will finally come out at year’s end, perhaps also putting an end to the DCEU (though again, that all remains a bit murky right now). Even though the movie was not shot with that sort of endpoint in mind, you can expect a rough day at sea next Christmas for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, as extreme circumstances force unforeseen partnerships, perhaps with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Black Manta and/or Patrick Wilson’s Orm/Ocean Master, who are both returning for the sequel.


TJ Dietsch writes about all matters geeky, from comics and collectibles to horror and...comics.