Fresh takes on old classics – and even some recent mediocrities! – are landing in British cinemas in 2019.
Disney will be releasing remakes of Dumbo, The Lion King AND Aladdin in 2019, along with Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2; plus there’s more family-friendly fare from The Lego Movie 2, Playmobil: The Movie and The Secret Life Of Pets 2. Action and superhero fans can catch new tales in their universe of choice: Dark Phoenix expands the X-Men story, Captain Marvel joins the MCU, while Avengers: Endgame threatens to blow the whole thing up. See the full list below… [See also: how to get cheap Odeon tickets.]
1. The Lego Movie: The Second Part
The name alone sounded like a cynical cash-in, but the original LEGO Movie silenced the doubters with its relentlessly surreal sense of humour. Now the loveable brick buddies are back and facing a new, terrifying enemy: DUPLO.
2. Captain Marvel
Marvel Studio’s first female-led superhero film – hot on the heels of 2018’s much-applauded Wonder Woman– is written by Guardian of the Galaxy’s Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve. Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers, a fighter pilot turned superhero who has to save the world from this and that.
3. What Men Want
A gender-swapped version of the nice-enough 2000 comedy starring Mel Gibson, which means this time it’s a lady who can hear men’s thoughts and uses it to her commercial advantage (while learning IMPORTANT life lessons along THE WAY.) The script will either make some trenchant observations on our current cultural moment OR wildly miss the mark, but expect some think-pieces on ‘why it isn’t as woke as it thinks.’
We’re not crying, you’re crying, wait, we’re also crying, and everyone is crying. The plucky little elephant goes 3D in one of several Disney remakes this year, and it’s directed by the legendary Tim Burton. Eva Green, Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton take top billing… along with the elephant of course.
This was set to be a sequel to Hellboy II, but when director Guillermo del Toro wasn’t invited to return to directing duties, leading man Ron Perlman declined to take part also. So this time around, it’s Neil Marshall in the director’s chair and David Harbour in the big red face, for more deadpan anti-hero quipping.
6. Avengers: Endgame
Clickity-click: it’s the ‘final’ (?) chapter in the MCU’s ever-expanding ensemble action fiesta. Can the heroes… fight.. back against… whatever the thing is that is happening now? LET’S FIND OUT.
7. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
Possibly the most surprising trailer of 2018. What is even happening here? I can’t deny that I’m going to have to see this one.
8. John Wick: Chapter 3
Keanu Reeves returns as the briskly-efficient badman, fighting his way out of New York City as the world’s most professional killers try to claim a bounty on his head.
This live-action remake of Aladdin has been directed by Guy Ritchie, of all people, while Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, and Will Smith star. Early glimpses of Smith’s Genie have been received less than warmly, so let’s see how it all turns out shall we?
10. Godzilla, King of the Monsters
A follow-up to the 2014 movie, Stranger Things’ Millie Bobbie Brown joins the cast as the big ole monster joins forces with humanity to do battle against even bigger, older monsters. Go Godzilla go!
11. The Secret Life Of Pets 2
More cutesy adventures in this animated sequel full of talking pets. ‘IS NOTHING I DO GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU MOTHER???’
12. Dark Phoenix
Our queen Sophie Turner (that’s Sansa Stark to you) is the latest mutant to join the X-Men universe in this sequel to 2016’s Apocalypse. Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jessica Chastain all return to the series.
13. Toy Story 4
What does it take to become a toy? When two googly eyes are attached to a plastic spork, FORKY is reluctantly born, and promptly freaks the fork out. Just as well he has Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang to show him the ropes.
14. The Lion King
A fully-3D if not exactly live-action remake of the animated classic, this take on Lion King boasts an all-star voice cast of Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Amy Sedaris, James Earl Jones and BEYONCÉ among many others.
15. Playmobil: The Movie
“What if ‘The LEGO Movie’, but for our toys?” This was surely the question on the lips of some Playmobil marketing exec just a few years ago, and will soon be a cinematic reality. Anya Taylor-Joy, Daniel Radcliffe and Adam Lambert are a few of the faces behind the figures in this comic romp.
16. Hobbs and Shaw
The Fast and Furious characters, played by The Rock and Jason Statham, get their very own spin-off as they form an unlikely alliance in the fight against wrong’uns.
17. IT: Chapter Two
The first ‘IT’ film might have been released just two years ago, but this sequel is set 27 years later. James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader are among those playing the grown-up versions of The Losers Club, although their younger counterparts from the first film will be returning to the cast also. Bill Skarsgård will once again be clowning around as the terrifying Pennywise.
18. Downton Abbey
Arguably the era of ‘Downton Abbey as cultural sensation’ has been and gone, but producers will be hoping it captivates the British imagination once more as the first D.A. film arrives in cinemas next year. Plenty of the original cast are set to reprise their roles while Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James and David Haig are among a bevy of newcomers. Posh innit.
19. The Addams Family
While everyone else is remaking their animations as live-action movies, this fresh take on the Addams Family comics goes animated. Directed by the lads behind the gloriously silly Sausage Party, it’s a hoot of a voice cast, with Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, and Allison Janney all contributing.
20. Frozen 2
Oh god, it’s happening! Unlike the snow, details of this one are thin on the ground, but expect some more Disney magic from Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and co.
And a few more besides…
An untitled ‘Terminator’ reboot (yes, Schwarzenegger is STILL in it) and ‘Jumanji’ sequel are also in the works for the back end of 2019. The ‘Shaft’ reboot from a few years back (not massively well-received in the first place) introduces ‘Son of Shaft’, a likely baton-passing move from Samuel L Jackson to a new generation, in the youthful form of Jessie T. Usher.
The Kingsman series is getting a third instalment, while the fabulous Zombieland also gets a 2019 follow-up with Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg reuniting to kick undead ass. Look out for a new How to Train Your Dragon movie in spring, too.
Joaquin Phoenix will be playing The Joker in ‘Joker’, the origin story of the Batman baddie, while you’ll also see films made of Artemis Fowl, Asterix and Dora the Explorer, featuring Benicio Del Toro (?!!) as her foe Swiper.
And, quite amazingly, former West End musical mainstay CATS will be turned into a movie by the Les Miserables creative team, and it stars (not kidding) Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, James Corden and Ian McKellen. I’m not sure how we’re feline about this one – but we can’t wait to see how it turns out.