From Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic to Luca Guadagnino’s chilling love story Bones & All, we highlight the most exciting film releases of the year ahead
In an uncertain world, where most of us have had no need for a diary for almost two years, one thing’s for sure – 2022 boasts some properly exciting films. From coming-of-age tales to Shakespeare, as well as themes including abortion rights, Elvis, and teenage cannibalism, there really is something for everyone. Here, we outline ten of the most exciting features of the year ahead.
The Batman (4 March 2022)
Robert Pattinson as Batman? Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman? Colin Farrell as Penguin? Even if you aren’t a fan of the cult DC Comic characters or have any idea about what goes on in Gotham City, this Matt Reeves directed revival movie is set to be ridiculously impressive. Stellar cast aside, the fight scenes, the special effects and the sound are going to be a treat. But with that being said, there is enough focus on each character’s interior world and emotional intelligence to stop it from becoming too much of an action orgy.
Elvis (24 June 2022)
Elvis lives on in this new musical biopic about the late American singer from Romeo + Juliet director Baz Luhrmann. Austin Butler plays a young Presley, snake-hipped and with huge of quiff, in this dreamy telling of the life and fame of one of the world's most iconic performers. As fans of Luhrmann might expect, the film’s aesthetic is both highly theatrical and deeply glamourous, using bold colour, soft focus and plenty of shadow to create an otherworldly feel to a very real life.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (14 January 2022)
Shakespeare’s Macbeth has been staged and adapted numerous times since it was first performed in 1606. But this latest screen offering is the first film Joel Coen has directed without his brother. Starring Denzel Washington as Macbeth opposite Frances McDormand as the manipulative Lady Macbeth, two of the most famous roles in history are in perfect hands. Shot in black and white with an almost square frame evoking very early filmmaking, this is a heavily stylised visual treat.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (release TBC)
Judy Blume’s coming-of-age classic novel finally hits the big screen over 50 years since it was written. Blume has repeatedly refused to sell the film rights until now, which proves how much faith she has in director Kelly Fremon Craig to capture the essence of 11-year-old girl Margaret Simon as she navigates puberty, religion and selfhood. Starring Rachel McAdams, this will be a nostalgic watch for anyone who has ever been a teenager, but particularly those of us who pored over Blume’s words and felt they were written just for us.
Bones & All (release TBC)
A love story featuring cannibalism might sound like a flawed formula, but the adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’s young adult novel, Bones and All starring Timothée Chalamet, is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2022 – not least because it sees Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino reunite with Chalamet. Audiences follow a young couple Lee (Chalamet) and Maren (Taylor Russell) – both outsiders in their own unique ways – across a beautifully-shot America as she searches for the father she never knew. However, the pair must confront Maren’s compulsion to literally devour anyone she loves.
Nope (22 July 2022)
Jordan Peele’s latest film is nothing short of a mystery. Sources close to production remain tight-lipped about the plot – in fact all we can find is the poster artwork which depicts a town in the foothills of imposing mountains overshadowed by a heavy, dark cloud. However, with Daniel Kaluuya starring and Peele’s form for providing terrifying on-screen offerings, as in Get Out and Us, we’d wager that Nope is unlikely to be a rom-com with a happily ever after.
Call Jane (UK release TBC)
Detailing the story of the fight for women’s rights to abortion in pre-Roe v. Wade 1960s America, the story of Call Jane is, unfortunately, still acutely relevant today. Directed by Phyllis Nagy, the plot centres on Joy (Elizabeth Banks), whose pregnancy threatens her life. However, given abortion’s illegal status, Joy has no sense of solidarity or choice until she happens upon an underground network of women who work to offer options for those left helpless by the law. While the sets and costumes are a delight – and this is ultimately and uplifting film – it is a stark reminder of how brutal the fight to choose really is.
Deep Water (release TBC)
This physcological thriller based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith is directed by Adrian Lyne, whose past work falls right at the apex of raunchy and sadistic (see Fatal Attraction and Unfaithful). The plot certainly lends itself to Lyne’s area of expertise: Vic Van Allen (Ben Affleck) agrees that his wife Melinda (Ana de Armas) can have affairs on the condition she doesn’t leave their family. This seems to work seamlessly until some of Melinda’s extracurricular partners are found dead. Expect constant mind games punctuated by eye-popping sex scenes.
See How They Run (release TBC)
The West End of 1950s London is the backdrop to this clever whodunnit starring Saoirse Ronan as a wet-behind-the-ears detective. It’s the directorial debut of Tom George (This Country) and promises turns, mystery, comedy and suspense. But perhaps most brilliantly, aesthetically speaking, at least, is how many of London’s iconic theatres feature, including St Martin’s and The Dominion.
The Eternal Daughter (release TBC)
Pretty much anything Tilda Swinton appears in is worth a watch – and this drama directed by Joanna Hogg is no exception. Largely set in a vacant hotel, which was once the grand family home of a now middle-aged woman and her elderly mother, audiences are treated to the digging up of long-buried secrets. Haunting, dramatic and bleakly beautiful.