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50 Films Coming out in 2019 to Anticipate (or Avoid) Part II

Updated on January 10, 2019
ChrisSawin profile image

Chris is a certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes and a member of the Houston Film Critics Society. He also writes for Bounding Into Comics.

Production stills from Captive State, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Ad Astra, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and The Mystery of Dragon Seal: The Journey to China.
Production stills from Captive State, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Ad Astra, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and The Mystery of Dragon Seal: The Journey to China.

Part I | Part III

Films closer to release have the substantial requirements we’ve come to expect from films we haven’t seen but may be intrigued with such as plot synopses, full listings of the cast and crew, posters, production stills, and often times trailers, clips, or behind the scenes footage. But some are so far off that post-production is still in the final stages or its release date is still being finalized by the studio.

March 29th - Captive State

Co-written and directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Captive State stars Ashton Sanders, John Goodman, and Vera Farmiga. It has a District 9 meets Battle of Los Angeles (if it didn’t suck) kind of feel to it from the trailers.

“Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict - the collaborators and dissidents.”

Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce as Toby and Don Quixote in Terry Gilliam's, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote."
Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce as Toby and Don Quixote in Terry Gilliam's, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote."

March 2019 - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Nobody makes a film like Terry Gilliam. I always approach his next film as if it were his last because he always seems to have issues with production or finding studio support for completed projects. His battle with getting a film about Don Quixote completed spans at least two decades, so I feel like The Man Who Killed Don Quixote deserves any support it can get. Screened at last year’s Fantastic Fest and I was gutted to have missed it.

“Toby, a disillusioned advertising executive, becomes pulled into a world of time jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality.”

April 12th - High Life

“A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.”

High Life stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Andre Benjamin, and Mia Goth.

April 12th - Missing Link

I’m a gigantic fan of Laika films and Missing Link doesn’t look like it lives up to the usual animation royalty Laika typically reaches for and attains so effortlessly, but I’m hoping the film is better than the trailer lets on. From writer/director Chris Butler (writer and director of ParaNorman and screenwriter of Kubo and the Two Strings), Missing Link features the voices of Zach Galafianakis, Hugh Jackman, Emma Thompson, Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Stephen Fry, and Matt Lucas.

“The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost considers himself to be the world's foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel's last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America's Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man's primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.”

April 26th - Avengers: End Game

Plot details are being kept under wraps for this, but how can you not be excited for End Game after sitting on Infinity War for this long? Rumored to involve time travel and will likely be the last film for one or all of the original Avengers, Avengers: End Game is going to be bittersweet and an amazing experience to partake in with a theater full of people who love the genre.

Robert Pattinson as Monte in, "High Life."
Robert Pattinson as Monte in, "High Life."

May 10th - Detective Pikachu

The first Pokemon film to take place in reality. You either love or hate the more realistic designs used for the computer generated Pokemon in this, but it looks to be extremely silly with humor that will appeal to casual and die-hard Pokemon fans alike.

“The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry's former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City--a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world--they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.”

May 17th - John Wick: Chapter 3

“John Wick is still on the run following his assassination of a member of the High Table in The Continental, and with a $14 million global contract out on himself. Banned from every Continental service, John’s objective is to fight his way out of New York City.”

From John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 writer and director Derek Kolstad and Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 3 is listed as being called Parabellum on some sites. Said to be the last John Wick film, Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, and Laurence Fishburne return while Jason Mantzoukas, Halle Berry, Anjelica Huston, Robin Lord Taylor, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos, and Huroyuki Sanada (rumored) join the cast. Personally, I was hoping Peter Stormare would be back, but oh well.

Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick in, "John Wick: Chapter 3."
Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick in, "John Wick: Chapter 3."

May 24th - Ad Astra

Another movie in space! From The Immigrant and Lost City of Z director James Gray, Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as Roy McBride, an astronaut attempting to communicate with his missing father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) who was last seen on Neptune. Gray claims that the film is like a, "giant mash-up," of Apocalypse Now and 2001 with a little Heart of Darkness thrown in for good measure. Also stars Donald Sutherland, Ruth Negga, Jamie Kennedy, and John Ortiz.

May 24th - Brightburn

Produced by James Gunn and written by one of Gunn’s brothers (Brian Gunn) and one of his cousins (Mark Gunn), Brightburn looks to be homage to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in order to tell a very different story about a boy with Superman-like powers who becomes a villain. Stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman (The Office), and Matt Jones (Breaking Bad).

A glimpse at producer James Gunn's, "Brightburn."
A glimpse at producer James Gunn's, "Brightburn."

May 31st - Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Trick ‘r Treat and Krampus director Michael Dougherty has taken over the Godzilla franchise.

“The new story follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance.”

Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins are the only returning cast members from the 2014 film. Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance, Kyle Chandler, Bradley Whitford, Ziyi Zhang, Thomas Middleditch, CCH Pounder, and O’Shea Jackson Jr join the cast.

June 28th - Ford v. Ferrari

Director James Mangold’s follow up to Logan. Stars Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal, and Josh Lucas.

“The true story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari to win Le Mans in 1966.”

July 5th - Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Homecoming writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers and director Jon Watts return for Far From Home. Peter Parker goes on vacation with friends to Europe and encounters Jake Gyllenhaal as Spider-Man villain Mysterio along the way.

July 26th (China) - Wish Dragon

Chris Appelhans has worked as an illustrator (Coraline), an environment designer (Fantastic Mr. Fox) and a visual development artist (The Princess and the Frog), and now he’s directing his first film with Wish Dragon. Other than being about a dragon that grants wishes and, “discovering the greatest wish of all,” not much else is known about the film at this time. The film will be in English despite its Chinese cast. The film is led by Constance Wu, Jackie Chan, John Cho, Will Yun Lee, Jimmy O. Yang, and Jimmy Wong.

Stop-motion animation studio Laika's, "The Missing Link."
Stop-motion animation studio Laika's, "The Missing Link."

August 2nd - The New Mutants

A horror based superhero film that has basically been sitting on the shelf for a year and a half. The New Mutants has had a lot of production issues, release date shuffling, and reshoots to supposedly make the film scarier. I’m a big fan of the original New Mutants comic run and I’m still crossing my fingers that Warlock will make an appearance. Don’t be surprised if some familiar faces from the X-Men show up since a certain master of magnetism and one of the most powerful psychics of the Marvel Universe both mentored the team at one time or another.

August 9th - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film starring nearly every working actor today. Focusing on the characters of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of,

“A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles.”

September 6th - It: Chapter Two

I hopped on the reboot of It way later than everyone else, but I enjoyed it immensely. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to experience the film in the theater with a packed audience, so I hope to rectify that with It: Chapter Two. The second film picks up 27 years after the first film where the Losers Club has all gone their separate ways and moved away until a devastating phone call brings them all back together again. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman, director Andy Muschietti, and Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard all return while James McAvoy, Jay Ryan, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, and Andy Bean are all newcomers to the cast.

September 19th (Russia) - The Mystery of Dragon Seal: The Journey to China

This one is weird. The Russian film Forbidden Kingdom from 2014 went straight to DVD just about everywhere except Russia where it was the highest grossing film in the country. Its success paved the way for this sequel and gave the film the opportunity to cast the likes of Jackie Chan, Rutger Hauer, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Its summary makes it sound like a sequel to Around the World in 80 Days.

“The English traveler Jonathan Green receives from Peter the Great an order to map the Russian Far East. Once again he sets out for a long journey full of incredible adventures that will eventually lead him to China. The cartographer will unexpectedly face a lot of breathtaking discoveries, encounter bizarre creatures, meet with Chinese Princesses, and confront deadly martial arts masters, and even the king of all dragons, the Dragon King. What could be more dangerous than meeting eye-to-eye with Viy, except doing it again? What would be stronger this time, a staunch skepticism of the scientist or the old black magic that has seized power of Eastern lands?”

Jackie Chan in, "The Mystery of Dragon Seal: The Journey to China."
Jackie Chan in, "The Mystery of Dragon Seal: The Journey to China."

© 2019 Chris Sawin


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