2023 is a highly anticipated year for cinephiles and auteurs alike. It promises to offer some riveting narratives and some new styles of postmodern filmmaking. In that spirit, some of our writers introduce you to some of the upcoming films they are curious to watch this year. Does any of your selected favourites make to this list? Read along to check that out!
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
(directed by Francis Lawrence)
Date of Release: November 17
Written by Rosie Spurrier
Without a doubt, the film I’m most excited about for this year is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I’ve even gone as far as unashamedly jotting it down in my diary. I will not miss my favourite book of 2020 come to life!
This highly anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games books is what all fans have been wanting – no, needing – since the film series ended in 2015 with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II. There were talks of a possible follow-on book, but this was a rumour fuelled mostly by hope, and lots of tweets to author Suzanne Collins. And then, 2020 rolled around and gifted us with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes hardback to distract us from the craziness of the pandemic. Thanks again, Suzanne! Not only did we get an insight into how the games began, and a closer look at President Snow in this prequel, but many questions that fans were left with after Mockingjay Part II were answered. Believe me: this book did not disappoint! Now, we sit in sweet anticipation for the movie set to premiere in November. My only hope is that the film and characters live up to the book.
Will there be any changes? Will any previous cast feature?
Only time will tell. Until then, may the odds be ever in our favour.
See the trailer for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes here via Lionsgate:
(directed by Greta Gerwig)
Date of Release: July 21
Written by Jack Reeves
Since the beginning of Hollywood, since the first film ever existed, there have always been directors. But the directors were always and forever men. Until…
Of course, Greta Gerwig is not our first female director, but between Little Women and Ladybird, she’s certainly put her signature stamp on the film industry, and it looks like she’s on track to define and refine her legacy even more with her upcoming movie. From the trailer alone, we can see this; I mean, to parody 2001: A Space Odyssey is a stroke of genius, and surely indicative of the masterpiece we can expect to hit cinemas this summer.
And it will be a masterpiece – no doubt about it. The one-sentence synopsis (“After being expelled from ‘Barbieland’ for being a less-than-perfect doll, Barbie sets off for the human world to find true happiness”) tells us that this is going to be Gerwig’s magnum opus, a tour de force of feminist cinema. Think a more colourful, less depressing, Black Swan.
But instead of Natalie Portman as an unhinged ballet dancer, we have Margot Robbie as an autonomous plastic doll, and I, for one, cannot wait to see her take down the patriarchy with her co-stars, of which there are just too many to name. A special shoutout to Ryan Gosling’s Ken, though, who looks to be serving camp.
So, as you can tell, I’m very much anticipating this film, although much speculation surrounds it.
Will it be a box office hit? An awards winner? One thing it’s sure to be though, it is going to be an unparalleled pop culture sensation.
Check out Barbie‘s trailer here:
The Meg 2: The Trench
(directed by Ben Wheatley)
Date of Release: August 4
Written by Sam Pegg
2018’s The Meg doesn’t really scream sequel potential. Even with Jason Statham as its lead always promising to be an over-the-top, action-packed, what the hell did I just watch, extravaganza. What The Meg achieved in pure chaotic fever-dream pandemonium, The Meg 2: The Trench will probably try to top it. Even as writers, John & Eric Hoeber, and Dean Georgaris return to pen a script that will try to marry shallow storytelling with monster mayhem, one thing that’s undeniable is that we’re promised plenty of carnage – and I frankly won’t be able to get enough of it. It’s one of those B-class monster movies that somehow bags itself a Hollywood budget and promises to deliver gory deaths, humourous monster bashes, and hopefully some apocalyptic beauty (if that film poster is anything to go by). If any film’s going to drag me a day-one viewing, it’s The Meg 2, and even if it’s terrible, I’ll still call it a cult masterpiece our generation won’t understand in years to come.
Killers of the Flower Moon
(directed by Martin Scorsese)
Date of Release: October 20
Written by Amy Scott-Munden
Back in 2017, journalist David Grann released his best-selling nonfiction book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. The story details a string of murders of the wealthy residents of Osage County in the 1920s which lead to complex plots, even more murders, and one of the first investigations from the newly-formed FBI. With the growth of interest in the true crime genre, this movie is sure to be a big hit when it comes to cinemas in late October!
The film adaptation comes from legendary director, Martin Scorsese, who is well versed in thrilling crime movies such as Taxi Driver (1976), The Departed (2006), and the recent Oscar nominated, The Irishman (2019). Scorsese’s muse, Leonardo DiCaprio (this is the pair’s seventh collaboration!)m will star alongside other big names such as Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, Lily Gladstone, and even Robert De Niro, although I’m assuming he’ll have a relatively small role as De Niro’s name hasn’t been publicised alongside the project as much as it should be!
The only drawback, currently, is that the movie is reportedly set to be four hours long! Quite frankly, that’s an incredibly torturous move from Scorsese, because this film cannot be watched lightly. You’ll have to take a day off work, and drink no liquids twelve hours before your viewing, if you’re thinking of seeing this in the cinema! Despite the runtime, I am very much looking forward to this dark, mysterious, and educational movie.
Perhaps it will win an Oscar or two? Who knows!