Jason’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Films of 2019
Hello, everyone! The year of 2018 is quickly winding down as we all are getting ready to celebrate and ring in the new year. For those keeping track, 2018 saw a lot of movie releases, with some that were box-office success, some that were big time flops, and some that were just mediocre. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting my personal top ten “Best” and “Worst” lists of 2018 movies. Be sure to check them out!
Moving on, the start of 2019 is about to begin and this year looks to be a very promising for movies, ranging from several different categories and genres. Now, on the twilight eve of 2018, here’s a look at my top fifteen most anticipated movies of 2019.
15 – Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Release Date: May 10th, 2019
For literally more than twenty-five years, the world has been enchanted with Pokémon (i.e. Pocket Monsters) have taken the world by storm, producing a lengthy animated TV series, a plethora of cartoon movies, a slew of video games, and countless trading cards. However, never has the Pokémon ventured into the realm of live-action…until 2019 with Detective Pikachu. The story is slightly a bit more unorthodox than the more traditional nature narrative, but seeing all the various Pokémon creatures (rendered in CG visuals) looks amazing. However, this movie is causing a “spilt” amongst its fanbase, with some looking at it with joyous fun and others looking like feigned Hollywood “cash and grab” feature. Plus, Ryan Reynolds voicing Pikachu (that’s a bit odd). Whether good or bad, Detective Pikachu is causing a lot of people (including myself) to get excited about this movie, making myself curious to see how this movie will be received by movie critics, the general public, and Pokémon fans.
14 – Aladdin
Release Date: May 24th, 2019
Trailer: Aladdin Official Teaser Trailer
Another year, another Disney live-action remake (the one of three releases in 2019). Growing up in 90s, I loved watching Disney’s animated feature Aladdin as I can recall almost all the lines and song throughout. It’s definitely a cartoon movie that’s in my top 10 favorite Disney movies. Thus, given Disney’s recent trend of updating their classic “big hits” into live-action films, it’s no surprise that the tale of Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, and Genie would eventually materialize in a live-action format. While there has been some controversy in the film’s cast or even how some of the official images (which have been released online) have caused some fans to be dismayed about this movie’s release, I personally will be interesting how this 2019 live-action remake will ultimately shape up and how it will be in comparison to the beloved 1992 animated movie, especially how actor Will Smith will do in the role of Genie (a role that late actor Robin Williams shinned magnificently in the original).
13 – John Wick 3: Parabellum
Release Date: May 17th, 2019
John Wick, the deadly “one man” army assassin is back of third round of facing off bad guys, thugs, and other vicious assassins with the next chapter in the action film franchise. While these movies are really innovated in being original nor highly skilled dramatic poise, the John Wick films deal out plenty of imaginative aspects and creative sequences from the action movies, cultivating in some of the best action movie moments in quite some time. Now, after the rousing success of John Wick: Chapter 2 back in 2017, the infamous assassin has returned with John Wick 3: Parabellum seeking “up the ante” on its action-based premise, with actor Keanu Reeves returning to reprise his roles as the titular (silent but deadly) main protagonist character of John Wick. It will be interesting to see if this movie can surpass it’s 2017 sequel (a movie of which I love) and how he will survive with the high price bounty on his head. Whatever happens…. it’s clear that John Wick 3: Parabellum is gonna be one hell of cinematic action ride and I can’t wait to see it.
12 – Alita: Battle Angel
Release Date: February 14th, 2019
Similar to X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the movie Alita: Battle Angel, which is based upon the Japanese manage Battle Angel Alita, has been jumbled around for quite some time; originally supposed to be released in summer of 2018, then moved to December 2018, and then (finally) in February 2019. I remember seeing the film’s first trailer when I went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi back in December 2017 and was curious to see this movie. Given its super long delay to getting its theatrical release, I’m really curious to see how this movie ultimately plays out with critics and moviegoers. Personally, the movie looks great (love the film’s visual effects) and definitely has me psyched to this futuristic world and the mystery behind who Alita really is.
11 – X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Date: June 7th, 2019
Trailer: X-Men: Dark Phoenix Official Trailer
Round two I guess for this movie. While this particular superhero film appeared on my Top 15 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018 list (with a release date November 2018), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (or just simply known as Dark Phoenix) was delayed and pushed back for a new theatrical release of June 2019. In addition, while the film’s teaser trailer was vaguely impressive (at least to me), I’m still quite curious to see this movie, especially since it’s (presumably) the last X-Men film to be released under the “20th Century Fox” banner for it falls underneath the Disney / Marvel banner. Will this be the final entry of the X-Men universe that began back in First Class (i.e. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence)? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, I’ll be seeing this movie it’s opening night.
10 – Dumbo
Release Date: March 29th, 2019
Trailer: Dumbo Official Theatrical Trailer
The second Disney action-live remake from Disney sees the classic 1941 animated tale “Dumbo” brought back to the silver screen…underneath a new live-action adaptation. As to be expected, Dumbo is one of Disney’s most beloved animated movies, providing plenty of classic and iconic moments that still resonate with many of its viewers. This new cinematic adaptation seems to rework a little of the narrative, giving the tale of slightly new spin (which is kind of intriguing). Plus, Dumbo looks adorable in this new film. In the end, with a great cast (Farrell, Keaton, DeVito, Green, etc.), director Tim Burton helm the feature, and a palpable narrative piece (presumably) of “embracing” being different, Dumbo looks to fly high in 2019.
9 – Spider-Man: Far from Home
Release Date: July 5th, 2019
With the introduction of Tom Holland’s iteration of Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, the MCU has welcomed the addition of the young actor (and the character of Spider-Man) into this shared juggernaut universe of superheroes and villains. With Spider-Man: Homecoming (Spider-Man’s solo / standalone) and his inclusion in Avengers: Infinity War, further cements the idea of having the character of Peter Parker / Spider-Man to be a welcome addition in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Given the success and popularity that Holland has received, it was an almost forgone conclusion that a sequel Spider-Man movie would be appear in the years to come. Titled Spider-Man: Far from Home, this sequel movie is set to be the first entry in the MCU’s Phase IV saga and happens after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Thus, it’s safe to assume that Holland’s Parker will return after the titular events in that particular movie. With a new adventure (and the appearance of Jared Leto to be Mysterio), Far from Home has promise for the character of Spider-Man to be the shining beacon of the MCU’s future.
8 – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Release Date: February 22nd, 2019
A boy and his dragon and the impossible friendship that bonds them together. DreamWorks’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise have chronicled the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless, spanning two animated feature film, a TV series, and several other mediums that expand upon author Cressida Cowell’s original novel series. Now, four years after How to Train Your Dragon 2 was released, DreamWorks finally releases How to Train Your Dragon 3 (or rather How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World), which said to close out the franchise and acts as the final adventure to be told. Given what’s been said and how much left of the story to tell, it’s safe to assume that this third (and final) installment of Hiccup and Toothless is gonna be a great (and dramatically heartfelt) send-off to this franchise.
7 – The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
Release Date: February 8th, 2019
In 2014, The LEGO Movie was released and (quite literally) “Everything was Awesome”, with the movie striking a balance humor, drama, and animated fun within it’s narrative. Given its critical success, a franchise was born, with Warner Bros. Animated Group (under the Warner Bros. Pictures banner) produced two sequels (The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie) in 2016, finding most favoring the former than the latter. Now, after five years, a sequel to The LEGO Movie will final materialize and it looks to be a hilarious “brick” follow-up to the 2014 film. With its colorful animation, solid voice talents (all the main players are returning), and a lighthearted / whimsical adventure (from the trailer), including a new character that based on Chris Pratt’s past movie roles, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is looking to be a great animated sequel.
6 – Glass
Release Date: January 18th, 2019
Trailer: Glass Official Trailer #2
In 2000, director M. Night Shyamalan released Unbreakable (starring actor Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson that spun a narrative elements of classic superhero tropes within its cinematic context. The film was well-received, but was consider to be one the last “great” movies by Shyamalan for quite some time; following up with mediocre feature films (Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, and the deplorable The Last Airbender). In 2016, Shyamalan returned to theaters (with rousing success) with the movie titled Spilt (starring James McAvoy) and told the intriguing psychological thriller tale of a man who harbors a multitude of spilt personalities within. Now, in 2019, the marriage between Unbreakable and Spilt comes together in a crossover feature film titled Glass. With the film’s premise sounding quite interesting (a classic tale of superheroes and supervillains) and the three primary actors (Willis, Jackson, and McAvoy) returning to reprise their characters, Shyamalan’s Glass is shaping up to be a first strong movie contender of 2019.
5 – Lion King
Release Date: July 19th, 2019
The third Disney live-action remake of 2019 or rather a computer-generated remake (the debate is still ranging on if this movie is truly a live-action remake or not). Regardless, this particular movie sees to update one of the last of Disney’s “big four” animated feature films of the late 80s to early 90s (i.e. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King). To be quite honest, 1994’s The Lion King is definitely one of my personal favorite Disney animated movies of all time. I can literally quote the entire movie and know all of the songs. With the recent trend of “reimagining” their movies back onto the silver screen, Disney’s 2019 iteration of The Lion King looks to extremely promising (judging from what’s been seeing from the teaser trailer of the film). Plus, with the direction of Jon Favreau (the director of Disney’s 2016 The Jungle Book) and an awesome cast (Glover, Rogen, Eichner, Ejiofer, Oliver, and James Earl Jones reprising his roles as the voice for Mufasa), I’m quite eager to see how The Lion King ultimately shapes up to be and how it will be compared to the original 1994 animated film.
4 – IT: Chapter Two
Release Date: September 6th, 2019
There have been many adaptations of literary author Stephen King’s works, with some being memorable (i.e. Stand by Me, The Stand, and The Shawshank Redemption) and some less favorable ones (Under the Dome and The Dark Tower). 2017 saw the cinematic representation of one of King’s most beloved books with the film IT to the big screen (the first adaptation was a TV movie released back in 1990). While the movie only told part of the tale, IT was highly successful and became one of the highest grossing horror movies of all time. With the success of IT (or rather IT: Chapter One), the continuation of the story was inevitable, with 2019 seeing the release of IT: Chapter Two. With Muschietti returning to direct, this second half of King’s tale will definitely be something to get excited about and how famous “Losers Club” will come back together to defeat the enigmatic Pennywise, the Dancing Clown. Trust me…. this is one horror movie that I’m gleefully looking forward to seeing.
3 – Captain Marvel
Release Date: March 8th, 2019
Trailer: Captain Marvel Offical Trailer #2
Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seeing plenty of its various superheroes appear on-screen in both standalone feature films and large ensemble superhero team-up blockbusters. Now, a new superhero character is about to step into this shared cinematic universe, with Captain Marvel acting as the first superhero film (within the MCU) to have central female protagonist (Carol Danvers). Set back in 90s (pre-dating all the other films within the franchise), Captain Marvel sees to tell a new superhero story, while weaving elements from past entries as well (a few callbacks from the MCU). Even with a classic Marvel premise and a solid cast (i.e. Larson, Law, Mendelsohn, etc), many questions surround Captain Marvel’s release. Is it just a simple standalone endeavor from the MCU or will it shed some new light and act as the final piece to the puzzle before the franchise (the story thus far) reaches its dramatic conclusion in Avengers: Endgame? Who knows. One thing is clear. I’m definitely seeing this movie on its opening night.
2 – Star Wars: Episode IX
Release Date: December 20th, 2019
It’s clear that Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi have been met with heavy criticism from both fans and critics alike. This is why Episode IX, the third and final installment that will close out this new Star Wars trilogy (under Disney’s ownership of the Star Wars franchise) will be a very interesting one. There have been many debates on where this particular trilogy will end and what will be revealed (i.e. the mystery of Rey and her parental lineage, the mystery surrounding Supreme Leader Snoki, even if the Knights of Ren will appear in the film). There’s plenty to speculate about in this newly minted sci-fi epic and it all will be revealed back the end of 2019. It will be interesting to see how director JJ Abrams will handle Episode IX (heck, I’m curious to the name of the movie). Regardless, what is true is this: The story or Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and Poe Dameron will reach an epic conclusion (in a galaxy far, far away).
1 – Avengers: Endgame
Release Date: April 26th, 2019
Trailer: Avengers: Endgame Official Trailer
Whether you’re fan or not, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown and expanded, spanning a decade of heroic cinematics and superhero nuances with its decade long run. 2018 was great year for the MCU, releasing three movies, including the very highly anticipated movie Avengers: Infinity War. With the particular film ending on dark ending cliffhanger, the stage is set for a climatic and epic conclusion with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. I’m mean…. just read the synopsis.
“After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store.”
Given what’s been said about this movie, the setup ending at the end of Infinity War, and the climatic showdown against the Mad Titan Thanos, Avengers: Endgame is setting up to be a grandiose superhero blockbuster that’s gonna end the whole “Thanos / Infinity Stone” storyline in dramatic fashion as well as closing out the MCU’s Phase III saga and several of our favorite superheroes. Thus, Avengers: Endgame is my #1 pick for my most anticipated film of 2019.
Yes, I know that there are some other 2019 movies that I am excited about (i.e. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Men in Black: International, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, and Shazam!), but then this list would be way too long. So, what do you guys think? What are some of the movies that you are personally looking forward to seeing in 2019? Let me know….