Jason’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Films of 2023
Hello, everyone! The year of 2022 is quickly winding down as we all are getting ready to celebrate and ring in the new year. For those keeping track, 2022 was a slightly better year than 2021, but it wasn’t exactly the “best year” of what it used to be for everyone, including the movie industry with several big and small releases being shuffled and / or delayed. Yet, those changes are becoming fewer and fewer, with a somewhat sense of “normalcy” returning to the moviegoing world. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting my personal top ten “Best” and “Worst” lists of 2022 movies. Be sure to check them out!
Moving on, the start of 2023 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 2022, here’s a look at my top fifteen most anticipated movies of 2023. So, while there are plenty of movies that I am looking forward in 2023, not all of them are going to fit into this 15-selection list. Thus, without further ado….
#15 – Wonka
Release Date: December 15th, 2023
The allure and fascination of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has been a fixed point of interest for Hollywood, including actor Gene Wilder playing the quirky candy owner / inventor in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and then actor Johnny Depp playing the character in the 2005 remake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In 2023, the character of Willy Wonka will once again return to the big screen, with actor Timothée Chalamet stepping into the role of the famed and eccentric chocolate / candy maker, in the movie titled Wonka. Details on the upcoming film are vague, with the premise being a prequel to Dahl’s novel and acting as an origin tale for Willy Wonka as he explores the world and has many adventures prior to opening up his famous chocolate factory. With Paul King directing, Chalamet in the lead role, and a terrific supporting cast (i.e., Jim Carter, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Coleman, Rowan Atkinson, and Keegan-Michael Key, Wonka shows quite some promise of breathing some new cinematic light into Dahl’s iconic character.
#14 – Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Release Date: June 9th, 2023
The Transformers film franchise has really had a bumpy road, with the series slowly declining in the way of entertainment and cohesiveness. It still makes a ton of money, but has loss that particular “spark” (or in the film’s case the “Allspark”) in the integrity. 2018’s Bumblebee prove that the series can still work, especially on a more focused narrative, which has lead to the return of the large story in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The trailer alone looked quite good and looks to be another big, sprawling tale to be told in the clash between autoboots and deceptions, as well as adding the new primal characters. This is movie a continuation of the Bumblebee movie or does it take place sometime after the events of Transformers: The Last Knight? Will the human characters from the previous films make an appearance or is it going to be a new roster? It’s hard to say all of these questions will be answered (fully), but I am hoping that Rise of the Beasts proves to be an effective blockbuster endeavor and to bring back the Transformers series on course and in the correct way.
#13 – The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Release Date: November 17th, 2023
It’s been several years since The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 debuted in theaters, closing out the film franchise of Katniss Everdeen’s saga of participating in the “life or death” games known as the “The Hunger Games” and the overthrowing of President Snow’s tyrannical rule over Panem. Now, in 2023, the dystopian world of Suzanne Collins’s returns to the cinematic realm in the form of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which takes place 64 years before the events of the first book / first movie. Details and trailer promotions for the upcoming film are vague, but with a narrative to follow from Collins’s 2020 novel release as a blueprint, a solid cast, including Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, and Jason Schwartzman, and Francis Lawrence (who directed three out of the four Hunger Games features), The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes looks to be an interesting prequel endeavor that I can’t wait to see….
#12 –Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Release Date: June 30th, 2023
It’s been sometime since we last saw Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, with the disappointing release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull debuting back in 2008 and being a major letdown from the famed archaeologist adventurer. Discussions for a fifth installment has been talked about since then with a lot of “back and forth” as to who was going to direct it and if Ford himself would return to play the titular character. Now, almost fifteen years later, Jones is back on the big screen and is gearing up for another grand adventure of exploration and daring escapes in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. It will be interesting to see how this movie will play out, especially since Spielberg won’t be in the director’s chair this go around and will be replaced by director James Mangold, the man behind the widely successful Ford v Ferrari. With plenty of action and adventure promised and with Ford’s Indy back in action, The Dial of Destiny looks to be an interesting “next chapter” for the famed adventurer, and I can’t wait what’s in store in this latest film of this beloved franchise.
#11 –John Wick: Chapter 4
Release Date: March 24th, 2023
The John Wick franchise has been a celebration of the “one man army” mantra troupe of action movies as well as being a very visual cinematic endeavor, with each installment bringing something new to the table and adding more intrigue into the myth of one John Wick (aka “Baba Yaga”). In 2023, the continuing saga of Mr. Wick will return in the form of John Wick: Chapter 4, the fourth entry in the series that began back in 2014. Seeking claim his freedom from the High Table, Wick battles his way towards that goal, yet with a new enemy standing before him and proves to be his most challenge adversary yet. With director Chad Stahelski return to helm for another bout of this franchise as well as main staple lead Keanu Reeves as John Wick, this fourth chapter in the deadly assassin saga is shaping up to be the most ambitious feature in the franchise, one that will further explore more of feature’s underworld viewing of hitman, mercenaries, and assassins. I, for one, can’t wait to see where the movie will take John Wick.
#10 – Fast X
Release Date: May 19th, 2023
Every road has an ending. Yes, whether you love it, hate it, or fall somewhere in-between, the Fast and Furious franchise has had a long run at the movies and garnishing a hefty sum at the box office (as a whole), while moviegoers enjoy “larger-than-life” heroics of saving the world. Fast X, the tenth film of the main narrative (eleventh if you included the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw). Details on the plot of the movie remain elusive, yet one can assume that the new film will start to conclude the new story arc, which began back in The Fate of the Furious, of the franchise, with Fast X being a part one-esque endeavor and to be concluded in the follow-up sequel in 2024….the last film of the series. With the promise of more explosive action, “over-the-top ridiculous stunts, and more saving the world heroics, Fast X looks to be another bombastic blockbuster, especially with the returning roster of characters as well as some new ones. If you’re looking for a good, mindless “popcorn” feature for your “summer at the movies” entertainment, Fast X is poised to surely fill that appetite.
#9 – Creed III
Release Date: March 3rd, 2023
Trailer: Creed III Official Trailer
Some legends must stand on their own. After the conclusion of 2018’s Creed II, the story of Adonis Creed had come full circle, with most loose ends up tied up as well as wrapping up Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky character arc in this particular spin-off franchise. Thus, it was sort of a surprise to hear that a third Creed film was in the works, with Michael B. Jordan set to return (as well as direct the movie), but not with Stallone’s character involved on the project. From the film’s premise it looks like this third adventure for Jordan’s Adonis finds the fame boxer confronting his past in the form of the character Damian Anderson, who is played by actor Jonathan Major. The Creed franchise has been a nostalgic “blast in the past” that had one foot in the Rocky franchise and the other in his own realm. Creed III looks to make the jump into making its own thing. How this movie will be received by another thing entirely. One thing is true…. Creed III looks to be a very personal (and enticing) saga for Adonis Creed.
#8 – Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One
Release Date: July 14th, 2023
The Mission Impossible franchise has lived a long lifespan, with actor Tom Cruise at the helm and providing numerous daring action escapades and thrilling stunts to see protagonist character Ethan Hunt perform. 2018’s Mission Impossible: Fallout proved that the movie series still has plenty of action energy and cinematic interest to keep going further and in 2023…. the saga of Ethan Hunt and his team will continue with the release of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One, the seventh entry in the franchise. Details on the plot of the movie are still shrouded in mystery, but the film promises a lot of big action, suspenseful thrillers, and daring stunts as well as telling a sprawling narrative (perhaps the most ambitious one of the franchise), with the 2023 film acting as a part one endeavor and the latter half being released the following year. With the movie being directed by Christopher McQuarrie, longtime collaborator with Tom Cruise, returning to helm this latest project as well as plenty of recognizable faces (some old to the series and new ones for the feature), Dead Reckoning Part One is one mission that I can’t wait to accept!
#7 – Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Release Date: February 17th, 2023
I have never been a particular super big fan of the Ant-Man movies. I do like how they are more of the “street level” narrative of the MCU as well as the likeable cast (Rudd, Lilly, Pena, and Douglas), but I felt like these movies are a bit underwhelming and don’t have the same type of grandiosity blockbuster entertainment as some of the other entries in this shared cinematic universe. That being said, I am quite curious to see what lies in store for Scott Land and company with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. With returning director Peyton Reed at the helm as well as several key acting talents returning to reprise their character roles, Quantumania looks to be quite an intriguing adventure, including the hidden worlds and odd character that lie within the folds between worlds in the Quantum Realm. Perhaps the biggest interest comes in the form of the cinematic debut of Jonathan Major’s Kang (yes, who made his debut in the TV series Loki, but makes an appearance in the feature films in this movie), a character that is to be setup as the new “big bad” in the MCU’s “Multiverse Saga”.
#6 – Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Release Date: December 25th, 2023
Originally set to be released on December 16th, 2022, the second cinematic adventure of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman returns to the big screen in 2023 with the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Can I personally say that I loved 2018’s Aquaman, which was kind of a surprise for me, especially after the poor / sour taste that 2017’s Justice League left the DCEU. Thankfully, Aquaman overcame that previous film’s bad reception and delivered a fun visual epic that definitely delivered the high entertainment blockbuster flair. Plus, I felt that Jason Momoa was fantastic as Arthur Curry / Aquaman. All around, I felt that Aquaman was terrific, and I have been looking forward to a sequel to this 2018 film. Thankfully, 2022 will bring that sequel with the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Not much as been fully revealed (and no trailer as of yet), but with director James Wan returning as well as much of the principal cast (Momoa, Heard, Wilson, Abdul-Mateen II, Kidman, etc.), I’m quite excited to see where this next chapter in Arthur Curry’s journey will take this aquatic superhero as well as the how this movie will be received to the Amber Heard controversy and the recent shake-up from DC / WB.
#5: The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Release Date: April 7th, 2023
The Nintendo video game brand has spawned many iconic characters throughout the years…. from Zelda, Kirby, Donkey Kong, and (of course) Mario, the Italian inspired plumber who save the day from Bowser and saves Princess Peach. The company tried once before (back in 1993) to bring Mario to the silver screen with the live-action film Super Mario Bros. Unfortunately, the movie failed miserable with critics, fans, and moviegoers alike, with Nintendo refusing to produce any type of feature film adaptation of their beloved IPs in their catalogue roster of popular video game characters. Flash forward to 2023 and Nintendo (along with Illumination Entertainment) has finally ready to try again with Mario in the film The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Given what been said and shown in the film’s movie trailers, this animated feature film looks quite promising, especially in the amount of cartoon details to bring these characters to life as well as the numerous video game references / characters featured and the terrific voice cast, including Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy, Seth Rogen, and Jack Black. All in all, I can’t wait to see what this movie has offer…. let’s a-go!
#4 – Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
Release Date: May 5th, 2023
Trailer: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Official Trailer
It’s time to face the music! In amongst the grand cinematic design of the MCU, the Guardians of the Galaxy movies have always been leading frontrunners of the “cosmos” space aspect, launching viewers into a sci-fi adventure with a ragtag band of misfits characters that share plenty of laughs along the way as well as some of the more heartfelt moments of the entire franchise. The year of 2023 will see the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 fly into theaters and will embrace those signature monikers once again, with the primary cast and director James Gunn returning to helm the feature. Given what has been said about the project (and shown in the trailer), it’s clear that everything is coming to an end and this would be the last of this Guardians team. With sci-fi action aplenty and emotions planning to run high with shedding a tear or two, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 looks to be epic farewell to the galactic misfits that were first introduced in 2014. Like what Rocket says, “We’ll all fly away together….one last time!”
#3 – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Release Date: June 2nd, 2023
Before 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home dazzled and engaging moviegoers with the colliding of multiple iterations of Spider-Man coming together across the multiverse, 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse exploded into theaters and gave way with a similar idea, navigating an entertaining story of a young Miles Morales, a newcomer to his Spidey powers, and his involvement with other Peter Parker / Spider-Man variations from alternative realities. It was an ambitious project with stunning visuals, solid voice cast, and some great comic book entertainment. In 2023, the follow-up sequel to Into the Spider-Verse finally comes to light in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Details on the project are still a little bit vague, but the plot seems to return to Miles Morales once again, who know ventures into the multiverse and explores a whole new adventure in the Spidey-Verse. With anticipation running high for another solid endeavor, returning voice cast members, and a new styles of animation, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is one movie I can’t wait to see in 2023!
#2 – Oppenheimer
Release Date: July 21st, 2023
Trailer: Oppenheimer Official Trailer
When director Christopher Nolan does a movie, everyone look to it has the next “big thing” in Hollywood. True, he has an incredibly solid track record with past endeavors, including The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk. In 2023, Nolan, following the mostly positive reviews (yet still harboring some mixed feelings) from 2020’s Tenet, releases his next big project titled Oppenheimer, which is set to the life of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the manager of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, and his contributions that lead to the creation of the atomic bomb. With a very ambitious cinematic take on such events, a visionary director at the helm, and a sprawling recognizable cast, Oppenheimer is set to be one of the pinnacle movie releases of the 2023 summer.
#1 – Dune: Part Two
Release Date: November 3rd, 2023
This is only the beginning….
It is no surprise that the 2021’s Dune, a film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel, was a grand and commercial success. Detailing the first half of novel, the movie was visual fantastic, with director Denis Villeneuve’s vision for Herbert’s science fiction world upon the planet Arrakis, the newly stewardship of the Atreides family, and both foreseen and unforeseen machinations at work that pulls the young Paul Atreides towards a destiny that he can’t escape. Gorgeous shots, beautifully scored, incredibly detailed in the world building, and terrifically acted, 2019’s Dune was an epic vision of grandeur and boldly dramatic for a incredible movie experience. And….several days after it’s theatrical release….Warner Bros (along with Villeneuve) announced that Dune: Part Two was greenlit and set to arrive in late 2023.
Those who’ve read Herbert’s novel will know of what to expect in this second half of Herbert’s first novel, but for those who don’t know……Warner Bros. Pictures have released this summary……
“This follow-up film will explore the continuing journey of Paul Atreides, united with Chani and the Fremen, as he seeks revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”
With director Denis Villeneuve returning to the director’s chair for this ambitious vision, most of the film’s “behind the scenes” key players returning to their posts, many of the returning “dream team” cast coming back to reprise their character roles, new cast members joining the movie (i.e. Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, and Christopher Walken), Dune: Part Two looks to be another ambitious and epic sci-fi endeavor, one that hopes bring a proper continuation of what began in 2019 as well as honoring the endearing legacy of Frank Herbert’s timeless tale of power and control.
I can not wait to see what lies in store for Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, which is why this movie is my most anticipated film of 2023.
Yes, I know that were some other 2023 movie releases that I didn’t mention on this (i.e., The Little Mermaid, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Flash, Barbie, The Marvels,, etc.), 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 2023? Let me know….