By Katie Bray
2022 was a strange year for the entertainment industry. From the constant delay of shows and movies to the mixture of blockbuster hits and flops. With 2023 already underway, here are the most anticipated movies of the year – so get your popcorn ready…
Featuring our favourite fashionable feline, Puss in Boots explores Puss’ anxiety of his own mortality after using up most of his nine lives. Given one last chance to keep his legend going, Puss, Kitty Softpaws, and Perrito seek out the legendary fallen star in the hope he can use its wish to renew his lives.
With an artsy animation style reminiscent of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, and an engagement with mature themes, Puss in Boots is sure to bring back some of that Shrek nostalgia and comedy in the form of a new spin-off story, mixed with the versatility of voice actors like Antonio Banderas. We simply can’t wait!
Despite the online debates about Disney live-action remakes, I am undeniably excited to see where Disney goes with this classic retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s original tale. The Little Mermaid follows the story we all know and love. A young mermaid princess defies her father in the pursuit of all that is human, eventually falling in love with a young prince and signing a dangerous contract with sea witch Ursula.
Whilst I enjoyed the reboot of The Lion King, I’m not so sure it needed adaptation and the classic still remains my favourite, but with a story like The Little Mermaid there’s so much versatility; the sea and people can feel real and Ursula could look even more fabulous and terrifying! Additionally, Halle Bailey’s new rendition of ‘Part of Your World’ is already phenomenal.
Another controversial genre… the adaptation of the video game. The Super Mario Bros Movie will follow Mario as Luigi is captured by the maniacal Bowser and threatens to doom the gaming kingdom. Whilst Chris Pratt seems a strange choice for the iconic role, I can’t say I’m displeased with any of the talented actors casted.
The animation style looks gorgeous and the world-building seems to bring in references for old and new Mario lovers alike. Mario does seem more dopey than usual, but it seems to suggest this may take place at the beginning of the goomba hopping, pipe-travelling Italian plumber’s career. Time will tell whether this movie can WahOOOW crowds when it releases in April.
Disney Pixar’s Elemental is a tricky one as not much has been released about the plot. IMBd suggests it will follow what seems to be the meet-cute “Ember and Wade, in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together”.
Since Pixar has released so many new innovative animated movies in the last few years (from the Toy Story series and Soul, to Onwards, and Inside Out) this is sure to be another cute but emotive journey, and hopefully, a hit.
After Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been getting crazier and crazier with multiverses, magic, time travel, and reality-bending (to name a few). Ant-Man 3 is supposedly a new step toward the next greatest threat to the world.
The sequel will set up the entrance of Kang: The Conqueror as Ant-Man seeks another way to reconnect with his now-grown daughter after the time he missed with her when trapped in the Quantum Realm during Thanos “Blip” incident. He meddles with time, space, and quantum reality in search of reliving the years he lost with her. Hopefully, this will be as touching and comedic as his previous outings and may truly be the right step for the Marvel universe despite some recent flops.
I, and many other fans, would find it impossible to hate a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so I am biased! From the epic music, and cute creatures, to the unlikely friendship of social outcasts as they grow to be a family that remind you: “WE ARE GROOT” audiences have been simply hooked.
This is said to be the last official journey of this rendition of the Guardians and will follow their journey as they seek out Gamora (a Gamora from the past due to Avengers: Endgame madness) and convince her to reunite with them as they face another galactic threat. The trailer showcases a pre-experimented Rocket, new worlds to explore, passed-out Peter, injuries, heartache, and the debut of the powerful Adam Warlock.
One of the best DC Universe movies of all time is coming back for its sequel as orphaned kid Billy Batson comes to terms with the consequences of being a super-hero and leader, trying to pull his super-family back together and feeling like a clumsy unheroic fraud.
Meanwhile, the daughters of Atlas loom over him, threatening to retake the powers of the gods from them and destroy the world. With a mix of humour, a focus on growing up, and a dash of comedy this is almost certainly one I will be racing to watch.
Miles Morales returns in this amazingly animated, comic-book-style production. As Spider-Man, (Miles) Spider-Gwen, and the many versions of Spider-Man in the web of reality must face a new threat. However, clashes between the Spider-People divide Miles as he has to fight for and “redefine what it means to be a hero” and save the world.
The first film was beautiful in its mix of quippy humour and deep emotion, fast animation styles, epic beats, and comic book/movie references. This sequel is sure not to disappoint.
Guns, machetes, and pencils at the ready as John Wick makes his return. In the aftermath of John’s ex-communication from mysterious assassin group “The High Table” and his rejection of joining them once more, he seeks a way to destroy the organisation. However, he must battle new and old enemies alike across the globe in order to achieve his goals.
Is it true that no one can escape the Boogeyman? Or will he too bow to the Table’s power? Another high action, star-studded, gripping outing for John Wick in his spiralling task of vendetta, all started by a man, a dog, and a gun.
Indiana Jones takes up the whip and fedora once more, horse riding his way back into cinemas. While returning to a series years after its initial release has often been less successful (take The Mummy, Jurassic World, and the final Star Wars movie for example), I’m desperately hoping that writers can combine enough nostalgia and good storytelling to bring Indy back to his glory days, especially after the strangeness of Crystal Skull. Many people grew up watching his adventures and ardently hope it will succeed and rope in a new generation of fans.
Sometimes it feels like the Mission Impossible series is never-ending. However, I have never found anything quite like it in its ability to pull off crazy stunts, unexpected plot twists, devastating dangers, and interesting characters. Whilst James Bond is a classy gadget-ready spy, he doesn’t have the same charisma or kinship-making; Fast and Furious seem to have leaned past my suspension of disbelief after they shot a car through space, pulled a car through a building with magnets, momentarily turned Dom into a bad guy, and gave him an unmentioned brother despite the fact family means everything.
Ethan Hunt’s emotional depth and lack of fear, the caring and witty repartee of his friends, and the constantly-raising odds of his endeavours make for great stories I still love to this day, and I am happy for another addition to the franchise.
An unexpected sequel to grace the theatres 10 years after the previous instalment, Evil Dead Rise directed by Lee Cronin uses Sam Raimi’s world of Deadites and Necronomicons, moving from the oft-used cabin in the woods to a claustrophobic city apartment.
When the infamous verses are read, Ellie (a mother and sister) slowly descends into madness as an ancient demonic force takes hold. It essentially gives me the vibes of one of my favourite horror flicks, Insidious 3 (a fifth installment also arriving this year), with its dingy and horrifying feel mixed with possession and sickening images, although the Evil Dead always goes one step further with its gore. It’s unlikely to include Ash (Bruce Campbell) and seems to steer away from some of the campy and comedic elements of the series.
Along with Saw X, Scream V is another horror giant returning this year. Unfortunately, news has been released that series classic Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) will not be included despite surviving all five previous movies. However, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega will be reprising their roles.
Finally exiting the seemingly cursed murderous town of Woodsboro, the sisters try for a fresh start in New York but trouble follows them as the masked ghostface killer returns with a vengeance. But who could it be this time and will they escape?
Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey (February 15)
Ok… Hear me out… There are some movies that look so strange and potentially bad that they are hilarious laughs. I LOVED Willy’s Wonderland for its crazy campiness and Nicholas Cage’s presence, so this just seems amazing to me.
After Pooh bear and friends were finally released into the public domain, horror creators decided to continue playing with the distortion of nostalgic childhood “friends”, this time occurring in a Friday 13th-like setting: the Hundred Acre Woods. As Christopher Robin comes back home to visit his friends he discovers they have gone on a wild murdering spree and are willing to do whatever it takes to enact revenge. My fingers are crossed that Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey won’t take itself too seriously.
And that’s curtains on this years movie round up. Which film are you most excited for? Let us know on social media @themancunion!
Powered By Spotlight Studios
0161 275 2930 University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR