My Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2019

Okay, “Better late than never” has been my motto for the past year, but now that I have a new, “less-demanding” job, here’s some blog content! I must keep up with my 2019 goals.

Here are my most anticipated films of 2019. Let’s see how this compares to the eventual Top Ten List of 2019 in December…

I guarantee there will be others that come into my radar as award season draws near, but these are the (mostly) tentpole releases scheduled to hit in 2019. So, without further adieu:

10. Captive State — Dir. Rupert Wyatt – March 15th

I don’t know why it is, but I love cheesy sci-fi laced narratives with an ensemble cast and a medium to low budget. Sure, that’s rather specific, but that’s what Captive State is shaping up to be. Captive State

Co-written and directed by Rupert Wyatt (2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Captive State evokes the tone of a mix of Enemy of the State and District 9. 

The film takes place ten years after aliens have taken over Earth, and people have divided into two groups: Worker Bees for their alien leaders, or rebels against them.

It stars Vera Farmiga, John Goodman, Alan Ruck, D. B. Sweeney, Kevin Dunn… Okay, this may not be the ensemble cast I mentioned earlier, but you’ll recognize all of these people’s faces when Captive State releases on March 15th in the US.

As with all of the films on this list, the less I know, the better. If you’re like-minded, feel free to skip the included trailers.

9.5. Under the Silver Lake — Dir. David Robert Mitchell — April 19th  

Oh, look, I’m already cheating. Yes, there were eleven films I really wanted to see, and Under the Silver Lake (this long-delayed release) is no exception.  Silver Lake follows a man on the search for a mysterious girl who just shows up in his apartment building’s communal pool one day.Under the Silver Lake

His search for her unravels a larger conspiracy that has honestly made me wonder if writer/ director, David Robert Mitchell, struck a nerve all too real in the underbelly of Hollywood, and it was that that caused a delay. Of course, that itself is technically a conspiracy, so let’s not get lost in the weeds, shall we?

At any rate, I’m looking forward to Under the Silver Lake, as I was a huge fan of Mitchell’s last film, It Follows. This film stars Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, and Riki Lindhome. Look for it as it (hopefully) releases on April 19th.

9. Shazam! — Dir. David F. Sandberg — April 5th

What a front-loaded 2019! I’ve been a fan of director David F. Sandberg ever since I came across the horror shorts he became known for on his Youtube account, ponysmasher. One of which, Lights Out, was adapted into his first feature film of the same name. Soon after, came an incredibly impressive sequel to the Conjuring Universe film Annabelle– Annabelle: Creation which was immensely better than it had any right to be.Shazam

Now, David’s third feature is the DC solo origin story for Captain Marv– well, they’ll likely call him Shazam forever to avoid confusion with a certain female badass…

I didn’t know a lot about Shazam before seeing him in the DC Animated shows, but his story is a lot like what we’ve seen with 2011’s Green Lantern or Marvel’s Captain Marvel. A young man is gifted powers by a dying alien, and voila! But this time, the hero is a twelve-year-old prepubescent named Billy Batson.

The film stars Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Jack Dylan Glazer, and Mark Strong.

Man, another DC bad guy, Mark Strong? Well, at least this one has some promise.

Look for this funny superhero film when it lands April 5th.

8. Brightburn — Dir. David Yarovesky — May 24th

Now, this is a superhero film that asks the question, What if Superman was evil? Brightburn plays out that premise, but with a horror twist. Jackson A. Dunn plays the preteen boy named Brandon, who, as a baby, crashed on Earth near his adopted parents’ farm.Brightburn
The parents, Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect) and David Denman (Pam’s boyfriend, Roy, in The Office), begin to notice a dark trend in the boy’s psyche and eventually have to (I assume) run and hide for their lives. Again, the less I know, the better.
The film is co-written by Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2’s James Gunn, so you know that it’ll be well-versed in superhero lore even though it’s a new creation.
Look for it on May 24th.

7. IT: Chapter 2 — Dir. Andy Muschietti — September 6th 
Now, to stay in the horror realm, but leave superheroes behind for a second… IT: Chapter Two is the sequel (second half, really) to the smash hit based on the novel of the same name by the one and only Stephen King. It Chapter Two
The first IT was the most successful horror film ever (not adjusted for inflation), and with reason. It was surprisingly funny, beautifully shot, and Pennywise was menacing on a whole new level. Not to mention the stellar cast proved that child actors aren’t always terrible.
Now, that cast has only grown in sheer talent as we begin to see the adult “Losers Club” with Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, and more playing the roles.
It’ll be hard to be as scary as the first IT, but I know that Andy and the crew will do their best.
Look for it on September 6th.

6. Captain Marvel — Dirs. Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck — March 8th
And we’re back to superheroes! No surprise here, since I’ve loved Marvel’s massive twenty film epic, and look forward to witnessing the 90s through Marvel’s lens. The Skrulls look like the Skrulls I know and love– green skin, big ears, 90s purple suits, and all! Captain Marvel
The film stars Brie Larson as the titular hero as she uncovers the truth behind a decades-long alien war that has been quietly happening outside of Earth until the events of this film. How will they explain this secret war (No, not THAT secret war), and how can they explain away the absence of Captain Marvel for the entirety of the MCU’s existence? Only time will tell, and it’s less than a month away.
The film co-stars Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, and boasts several recurring characters: Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, Lee Pace’s Ronin, Djimon Hounsou’s Korath, and assumedly a few more familiar faces.
Look for it on March 8th.

5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Dir. Marielle Heller — October 18th
Part of the reason I loved last year’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? documentary about Mister Rogers was that it was an amazing film. But it also reminded me of the wholesomeness of a man that I grew up watching. When Fred Roger’s show was on, I couldn’t look away, even as a bratty little kid. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Fred Rogers had such a kind spirit, and I could think of no one better to play him than the nicest man in Hollywood, Tom Hanks. What a match made in Heaven. I don’t know much about the story other than it’s about a reporter who begrudgingly writes a piece on Fred and in turn, opens his heart to the good in people (and in Fred). That to me is the embodiment of Fred Roger’s everlasting message.

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Dir. Quentin Tarantino — July 26th 
Based on yet another true story, Tarantino’s newest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is his take on the Charlie Manson/Sharon Tate tale of murder and cult status during the height of 60s era Hollywood.Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Broken record here… I don’t know much about it, and I prefer it. There’s no trailer, nor poster. The only thing we know besides the vague synopsis is this truly prolific ensemble of actors.
Margot Robbie, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, James Marsden, Scoot McNairy, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Emile Hirsch, Damian Lewis, James Remar, Luke Perry, Rumer Willis, Lorenza Izzo, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Zoe Bell, Clifton Collins Jr., Lena Dunham, and even Harley Quinn Smith.
The cast is as random as they are talented, and the only potential connection to them all is that they wanted to work with Tarantino again (or for the first time). 
At any rate, look for a film full of movie references and intense violence when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood debuts on July 26th.

3. Us — Dir. Jordan Peele — March 22nd
Jordan Peele has been living his dream. For the past few years, he’s been writing and directing horror content. First, Get Out, then The Twilight Zone reboot, and now, Us. Us
Ever since he announced he was making another social thriller, I’ve been eagerly anticipating its release. And now, it’s so close! Again, the first half of 2019 in terms of films, is chock full of slated releases!
There are dozens of theory videos on YouTube regarding the thematic elements within the film, but avoid them at all cost because they’ll likely ruin the film for you.
Starring: Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker.
Look for this new horror classic on March 22nd.

2. Knives Out — Dir. Rian Johnson — November 27th 
I’ve never been excited for a film solely based on its writer/director and ensemble cast, but Knives Out dares to break some of my rules. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson, who directed one of my favorite sci-fi films of all time, Looper. What? What did you think I was going to say?
As for the ensemble cast… Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lakeith Stanfield, Don Johnson, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Liberher, and Katherine Langford. Whew… I’m faint.
It’s an eclectic cast to be sure, but it’s the tease of a murder mystery/whodunnit plot that has me the most intrigued. And that’s all there is to know about the film as of press time, and that’s totally fine by me because… The less I know the better.
There isn’t even a poster to put here…

1. Avengers: Endgame — Dirs. Anthony & Joe Russo — April 26th
Okay, so one more superhero film, and this is the mother of them all. The true culmination of ten years of film after film, compounding on top of one another gaining traction to this ultimate finale.Avengers Endgame
Sure, the films will continue on in perpetuity, but this film completes the first massive arc and will seed the next ten years of films going forward. It’s a major accomplishment and a much-needed breather before their next phase in the MCU.
Starring pretty much everybody who’s ever been in a Marvel film thus far, Endgame proves to be the most entangled film out of the entire Cinematic Universe.
Look for it on April 26th.

And there you have it! My personal list of films that I want to see this year. To which movies are you looking forward to? Maybe some of my runner-ups like Godzilla: King of Monsters or Rocketman? Or maybe you’re more of a Downton Abbey fan?
Let me know your most anticipated films below!


-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)

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