Summer movie season is starting to wind down, and we have to admit that it was a bit of a disappointing one. In a sea of mediocre sequels and reboots and live-action remakes, there weren’t a ton of standouts to make this year particularly memorable. But we’re not too concerned, because fall movie season is right around the corner, and it’s a super stacked couple of months! We’re getting everything from the much-anticipated sequel, It: Chapter Two, to touching fare like the Mister Rogers biopic, along with an intriguing new Rian Johnson movie and so much more.
We selected 12 of the movies we’re most looking forward to, along with their release dates, in the hopes of getting you as hyped as we are about all of the good stuff coming our way soon!
It: Chapter Two
Release Date: September 6
The return to Derry is upon us! This sequel to 2017’s horror mega-hit It, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, is sure to be another blockbuster. This time, we follow the Losers Club as adults, when they return to their hometown to face the evil that manifests every 27 years, often in the form of the maniacal clown Pennywise. The book’s ending is known for its surrealist psychedelia, so we’re extra curious to see how that translates to film.
Release Date: September 13
Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for The Goldfinch, a novel about a young boy who survives a terrorist attack that kills his mother, and comes into the possession of a famous painting that haunts his life and dictates his future. The Dickensian story is making its way to the big screen, with Brookyln’s John Crowley directing and Ansel Elgort in the leading role. We have high hopes that this one will pull off the book’s almost poetic quality. If early trailers are any indication, The Goldfinch is bound to be a heartbreaker.
Release Date: September 20
Brad Pitt is having a bit of a career renaissance thanks to the success of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. His next feature comes from filmmaker James Gray, who is known for meditative, fascinating character studies. It’s almost impossible to tell what this space drama is about—we know Pitt plays an astronaut searching for his father—but we got major Interstellar vibes from that first trailer. That certainly makes us curious to see what Gray and Pitt come up with together.
Release Date: October 2
We have no idea what to expect from this wildcard of a movie. Joaquin Phoenix stars as the famous Batman villain, in an origin story that has already sent comic fans into a tizzy. The film, directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame, has been compared to Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, and it’s playing at TIFF, which means the studio is confident in their final product. But how will fans respond?
Zombieland: Double Tap
Release Date: October 11
The first Zombieland was an immediate genre classic, blending the creepy undead with slapstick laughs, and creating its own fun world of mythology along the way. The original cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin) are back for seconds in this decade-later sequel, which looks even zanier and more self-referential than the first one.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Release Date: October 18
If you didn’t cry at the first trailer for Marielle Heller’s Mister Rogers movie, which stars Tom Hanks as everyone’s favorite neighbor, do you even have a heart? The film is based on a real-life Esquire profile of the famed children’s program host, and co-stars Matthew Rhys as the journalist who digs into the allure of Mister Rogers. This one is absolutely bound to be a tearjerker, so best start preparing.
Release Date: October 18
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is taking a break before heading back to the Marvel Universe and bringing us this comedy. The story follows a young boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler. If that sounds like dangerous territory for a lighthearted film, worry not. Cerebral humor is a specialty of Waititi’s, and Jojo Rabbit is bound to subvert expectations. (We hope, anyway.)
Release Date: October 18
Robert Eggers surprised everyone with his feature debut, The Witch. That horror period piece was an instant critical success, which meant all eyes were on what the budding auteur would do next. Like Ari Aster, Eggers used his new reputation to double down on his weird aesthetic and deliver an even more polarizing film. That film is The Lighthouse, which took Cannes by storm earlier this year and is already one of the most anticipated horror films of the year. It stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as two lighthouse keeper slowly going mad together, and the trailers make that madness look absolutely terrifying.
Terminator: Dark Fate
Release Date: November 1
Linda Hamilton has returned to the franchise that made her a household name back in the ’80s, reprising her role as Sarah Conner in a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. (In the mold of the recent Halloween, this one will pretend the other sequels don’t exist.) This film boasts an array of female characters and looks like it could be just the thing to get this messy franchise back on track.
Release Date: November 8
Stephen King’s The Shining is one of the author’s most personal and celebrated novels, and was adapted into Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece. The author famously hates Kubrick’s take on the material, and doubled down on his ownership with Doctor Sleep, a sequel that follows adult Danny Torrance as he continues to grapple with his unique powers. Writer/director Mike Flanagan is seemingly making a peace offering with his upcoming film adaptation of Doctor Sleep, which will combine King’s story with elements from Kubrick’s film.
Release Date: November 22
The first Frozen was such a massive success, that even people who’ve never seen it can sing at least a few bars of “Let It Go.” A sequel was inevitable, but we weren’t sure what direction Disney would take. It turns out, as the trailers indicate, Frozen 2 will be an adventure film, and it looks epic—a beautiful CGI spectacle that is sure to be a feast for families this holiday season.
Release Date: November 27
Rian Johnson polarized audiences with his intense Star Wars sequel The Last Jedi two years ago, and is now taking a step back from the blockbuster world to write and direct this calculated murder mystery. Knives Out boasts a truly insane cast (Chris Evans! Daniel Craig! Jamie Lee Curtis!) and looks like an Agatha Christie novel come to technicolor life. Johnson is a bold filmmaker who’s constantly making surprising choices, so we have no idea what to expect… but consider us especially curious.
Feature Image: Warner Bros. Pictures