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The summer movie season is almost upon us, and you know what that means, right? Blockbusters galore!
Once temperatures rise into the 80s, it's pretty much mandated that every major studio in Hollywood roll out the red carpet for their hottest moviegoing titles. This year, the cinema space will be filled with wizards, fighter jets, dinosaurs, hamburgers, canine samurai, train-riding assassins, and Jordan Peele. Battles will be fought, worlds (and in some cases, entire multiverses) will be saved, and we, the audience, will cheer like our lives (and popcorn) depend on it.
For a better snapshot of all the genre content to expect on the big screen over the coming months, below is our guide, in order of release, of all the titles jockeying for your allowance money at the multiplex this year.
Picking up after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Multiverse of Madness finds Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on a dangerous mission to save all of reality... again. Evil Dead and Spider-Man alum Sam Raimi directed the hotly-anticipated MCU sequel, working off a reality-hopping screenplay penned by Loki head writer/executive producer, Michael Waldron. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Benedict Wong (Wong), Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez), and Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer) co-star.
Firestarter (May 13)
Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, this film is the second Firestarter adaptation to be produced for the big scree since 1984. (SYFY did a TV sequel miniseries, Firestarter: Rekindled, in 2002.)
Ryan Kiera Armstrong (The Tomorrow War) will light up the screen as Charlie McGee, a young girl with pyrokinetic abilities on the run from a shady government agency calling itself The Shop. Keith Thomas (The Vigil) directs from a script by Halloween Kills co-writer, Scott Teems. Zac Efron, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, and Gloria Reuben co-star.
The film will be released day and date in theaters and on Peacock.
Men (May 20)
Writer-director Alex Garland's twisted (in a good way) new movie, Men, stars Jessie Buckley as Harper, a woman who heads to the English countryside in an effort to grieve the death of her husband. What should be a relaxing period of emotional decompression turns into a full-on nightmare when something in the surrounding woods begins to stalk her. Rory Kinnear (multiple Kinnears, actually) and Paapa Essiedu round out the cast.
Chip n' Dale: Rescue Rangers (May 20)
An adaptation of the classic Disney cartoon, Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers takes a meta and Roger Rabbit-style approach with a blend of live-action and animation. In fact, Roger Rabbit even has a cameo in the film. John Mulaney and Andy Samberg take on the roles of Chip and Dale, respectively. Years after their animated show went off the air, the intrepid chipmunk duo are forced to reunite when one of their old cast mates mysterious disappears. Akiva Schaffer (MacGruber, Palm Springs) directs.
This movie will be released exclusively on Disney+.
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27)
This long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic will once again puts audiences in the "Danger Zone" as Tom Cruise's Maverick trains the next generation of fighter pilots, including the son (Miles Teller) of his old wingman, Goose (RIP).
The project, which was delayed numerous times by the pandemic, has been in development for more than a decade. At one point, the late Tony Scott was returning to helm the sequel to his '80s classic. Top Gun: Maverick marks the second collaboration between Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski — both of whom previously worked together on 2013's Oblivion. The draw for Maverick is the marketing's emphasis on practical flying stunts, with Cruise and cast mates scene behind the stick of actual military aircraft in glorious IMAX. Granted, real pilots did most of the flying when actors were in the cockpit, but Cruise reportedly flew a plane or two a couple of times in the movie.
The Bob's Burgers Movie (May 27)
Fox's hit animated sitcom goes from the small screen to the silver one with all the usual burger fixings: Lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and grand musical numbers. The action kicks off when a broken water main creates a sinkhole that blocks access to the titular eatery, effectively ruining the Belchers' plans for a successful summer. While Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) try to keep their business afloat, their children take on a mystery that could save the family's entire livelihood. Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, Zach Galifianakis, and Kevin Kline co-star.
Jurassic World Dominion (June 10)
Dinosaurs run amok (again) and shady corporations are up to no good! Just another day in the Jurassic World universe with this threequel, Jurassic World Dominion.
Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow steps back into the director's chair for this trilogy capper to the prehistoric franchise he softly rebooted all the way back in 2015. This time around, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Wearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) are joined by the OG Jurassic Park heroes: Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum).
Lightyear (June 17)
After four massively successful Toy Story movies, Pixar decided to give the character of Buzz Lightyear (the intrepid Space Ranger of Star Command) his own feature film. But this isn't exactly the Lightyear we all know and love. This movie is about the legendary science fiction hero who inspired the best-selling action figure in the Toy Story universe. Fresh off his retirement as Captain America in the MCU, Chris Evans takes on the role of voicing Buzz.
The Black Phone (June 24)
Based on the story of the same name by Joe Hill, The Black Phone takes place in the late 1970s where a young boy (Mason Thames) is abducted by a notorious child murderer (Ethan Hawke).
Trapped in the man's basement, where he will almost certainly meet a gruesome end, the boy starts receiving aid from the killer's previous victims, who place calls to a phone that is disconnected. Director Scott Derrickson re-teams with the star of his 2012 film, Sinister, for what is sure to be one of the most popular horror movies of the summer.
Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 1)
The Rise of Gru unfolds against the groovy backdrop of the 1970s. Hoping to one day be the world's greatest super-villain, a young Gru (once again voiced by Steve Carrell) seeks out membership in the Vicious 6, a pre-eminent collection of law-breaking badasses.
When the up-and-coming ne'er-do-well double crosses the dangerous team, he's forced to turn to their former leader, Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin), for help. Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, and Julie Andrews are also part of the voice cast. Jack Antonoff, Grammy-winning founder of The Bleachers, curated a soundtrack of period-appropriate hits.
Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8)
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, the titular God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) has shed those extra pounds and become a temporary member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. He doesn't want to fight anymore, but that's just wishful thinking because a new villain, Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), is out on a vengeful warpath to rid the universe of all its gods. Before he can truly retire into a life of pacifism, Thor must vanquish this final foe with a little help from allies like Korg (Taika Waititi) and King Valkyrie of New Asgard (Tessa Thompson).
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (July 15)
Michael Cera voices the eponymous Hank, a down-on-his-luck dog who wants to become a samurai in order to protect a village from being wiped off the map by a vicious baddie played by Ricky Gervais. To learn the ways of the warrior, Hank turns to a reluctant feline teacher, a washed-up samurai master voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. Mel Brooks, George Takei, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Hounsou, and Michelle Yeoh co-star.
Nope (July 22)
Jordan Peele's third directorial effort, the very anticipated Nope, makes contact with a sleepy California gulch town plagued by strange occurrences. Something is happening up in the sky, but in true Peele fashion, we're a little hazy on the details! And that's a good thing! It's rather refreshing to be surprised by a major blockbuster nowadays and from what we've seen so far, Nope is shaping up to be a novel spin on the whole "scary-sh**-goes-down-in-a-small-town" horror trope.
DC League of Super-Pets (July 29)
The Justice League is old hat — give us an adventure with the pets of the various team members. Dwayne Johnson heard our prayers. In addition to executive producing this family-friendly animated outing, Johnson also stars as the voice of Krypto, Superman's loyal canine companion. When the world's greatest heroes are abducted by Lex Luthor, it's up to their animal buddies to save the day.
The supporting voice cast on this one is seriously stacked with John Krasinski as Superman, along with Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, and Keanu Reeves voicing characters both new and familiar.
Bullet Train (July 29)
Everyone wants to kill Brad Pitt in John Wick director David Leitch's adaptation of the Japanese novel written by Kōtarō Isaka. Pitt assumes the role of Ladybug, a veteran assassin on a train full of hired guns all trying to punch his ticket. And by "punch his ticket," we mean murder him in cold blood.
Bodies Bodies Bodies (August 5)
In Bodies Bodies Bodies, a bunch of spoiled rich kids hoping to party throughout a hurricane suddenly find themselves targeted by a mysterious killer who can't be bought off with daddy's money. SYFY WIRE's own Matthew Jackson got to check out the film (directed by Halina Rejin) at the SXSW festival in March, describing it as "one of those horror films that feels like it'll be watched over and over again by the people who get it. It's a blast."
Secret Headquarters (August 12)
Owen Wilson (Loki) and Michael Peña (Ant-Man) star in this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced family romp about a kid who finds the lair of the world's greatest superhero beneath his house. The Adam Project breakout star Walker Scobell leads the young cast. Project Power duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are the directors. Secret Headquarters will exclusively stream on Paramount+ Friday, Aug. 12.