After we’ve all had our collective comedown from the thrills of The Batman, it’s time to look at the year ahead in film, both from a Hollywood perspective as well as some great-looking productions in our own backyard.
After Yang (dir. Kogonada, in cinemas)
After Yang looks like it will be an interesting subversion of some standard sci-fi tropes. Namely, the popular narrative that androids and AI are to be feared – think Terminator, Blade Runner, The Matrix. Instead, this film will examine it from another angle, where Colin Farrell’s Jake has a daughter named Mika whose best friend is an android, Yang. Once it malfunctions, the company informs him that the model he has is no longer supported, and recommend he gets an upgrade.
This film looks like it’ll do what all good science fiction does – examine our own lives and trials through the lens of an allegory. In this particular case, it looks like the film will look at our own relationship with and dependence on technology, as Jake goes to great lengths to have his daughter’s friend mended. This will complete a pretty great one-two punch for Farrell, after his earlier appearance this month as the unrecognisable Penguin.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (dir. Daniels, release date March 25, 2022)
After getting their start in music videos, the directorial debut of Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) with Swiss Army Man (starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe), was an off-the-wall concept delivered with a surprising amount of heart. Their highly anticipated follow-up is this high-concept multidimensional sci-fi action film produced by the Russo brothers’ company.
Industry legend Michelle Yeoh leads the film as Evelyn Wang, who exists across multiple universes. She gets swept up in an dimension-spanning adventure, where she alone can save the world by connecting with the different lives she had led across the multiverse. With a supporting cast that includes Jenny Slate and Jamie Lee Curtis, this is an early contender for the most out-there film of the year.
The Northman (dir. Robert Eggers, release date April 22, 2022)
After a promising debut in 2015’s The Witch, Robert Eggers cemented his status as a filmmaker to watch with 2019’s lauded The Lighthouse. His style is unashamedly old-school, defined by an astonishing eye for detail and a commitment to using as many props, sets, costumes, and design work that is period-accurate as is humanly possible.
While The Northman is in some ways a departure for the director, appearing to be more revenge fantasy than eerie horror, it appears these defining aspects of his previous work are intact for this film. With a script written in collaboration with an Icelandic poet and an impressive cast, this will definitely be one to look for when it hits cinemas.
Bosch & Rockit (dir. Tyler Atkins, release date June 1, 2022)
One of the hits of this year’s Sydney Film Festival, Bosch & Rockit sees Luke Hemsworth return to Australian film as a drug dealer on the run. However, things are complicated by the presence of his son, a dreamer who thinks he’s on a fantastical holiday with his father – and utterly unaware of the high stakes around him.
This is Tyler Atkins’ directorial debut. Working from his successful 2018 short but expanding it to feature-length, the cast also includes Transformers alum, Isabel Lucas. It also features a rarely-filmed part of Australia’s natural beauty, filmed primarily in the northern NSW region around Byron Bay – which is a refreshing change of pace from filmmakers normally setting their stories in the vast, inhospitable outback.
Nope (dir. Jordan Peele, release date July 22, 2022)
Despite its universally reviled status, film lovers do have one thing to thank The Emoji Movie for. If Jordan Peele hadn’t been offered the role of the Poop Emoji, leading him to quit acting, we might have had to wait longer for his transition to one of the best directors working in Hollywood. Fortunately, we don’t, and with hits Get Out! and Us under his belt, Nope is on its way.
The first trailer dropped last month, and it starts reasonably tamely, with a tour group being told the story of a ranch’s involvement with the first moving pictures. Of course, the peace doesn’t last long, and we’re treated to a litany of confusing and disturbing imagery. Shrouded mainly in mystery in terms of plot, this looks like it will be another excellent offering from Peele.
Disappointment Blvd (dir. Ari Aster, release date unknown 2022)
Another impressive up-and-coming filmmaker, Ari Aster, has firmly established his chops as a horror auteur with the one-two punch of Hereditary and Midsommar. Both films are held up as great examples of modern horror, and Aster’s collaboration with A24 Films continues with this latest.
Not much is known about the plot so far, beyond Aster’s description of it as “an intimate, decades-long portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.” With Joaquin Phoenix in the lead — clicking with Aster in a manner described by fellow actor Stephen McKinley Henderson as “sympatico” — expect big things from Aster’s third film.
Don’t Worry Darling (dir. Olivia Wilde, release date September 22 2022)
There are few details about Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to the universally adored Book Smart, but given that film’s quality and the pedigree of the cast she’s assembled – with names like Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan and Chris Pine all playing roles alongside Wilde herself – this looks to be one of the most interesting entries in 2022’s film line-up.
The plot – for what little we have confirmed – is described as a psychological thriller, where a 1950s housewife who lives in an idyllic experimental community has her reality begin to shatter around her. Wilde has said she was inspired by erotic thrillers of the 1980s like Indecent Proposal, so expect something with that energy meets The Stepford Wives? An intriguing and heady mix indeed, this is one to look out for.
The Unknown Man (dir. Thomas M. Wright, release date unknown 2022)
A crime-thriller starring Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris, The Unknown Man is being helmed by Australian writer and director Thomas M. Wright. His debut was Acute Misfortune, the thought-provoking story of the sometimes antagonistic relationship between journalist Erik Jensen and artist Adam Cullen. His second feature is highly anticipated.
The film features two men meeting as strangers and striking up a friendship. However, not everything is as it seems; as it turns out, one of the men is an undercover cop who is trying to convince the other to confess to a murder. Doubtless, the details of who is playing which character will remain a mystery until the release, hopefully for the audience to solve themselves.
Killers of the Flower Moon (dir. Martin Scorsese, release date November 2022)
A fact that feels frankly a little unbelievable even as I type it, but Martin Scorses has never made a Western film. I mean he hasn’t had to – single-handedly propping up another of America’s great genres is a tall ask in and of itself. But all that is set to change in this latest from the master filmmaker, being his 6th collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, and tenth with Robert De Niro.
The story centres around a series of murders conducted against key members of the Osage Nation after oil was discovered on their tribal lands in Oklahoma. It is an adaptation of the 2017 best-selling novel Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. It follows the subsequent investigation of the murders by a then 29-year-old J. Edgar Hoover and an “old school Texas lawman” Tom White, played by Jesse Plemons.
Babylon (dir. Damien Chazelle, release date December 25, 2022)
Yet another super-talented director, Damien Chazelle’s last film, the brilliant, intense Whiplash, netted J.K. Simmons the Best Supporting Actor Oscar he has long deserved. It also gave us a glimpse into a world rarely seen, the hyper-competitive collegiate band circuit. Chazelle’s chops as a director have been firmly established between this and La La Land.
While not much is yet known about the plot, we do know that Brad Pitt is playing Clark Gable, and Margot Robbie is playing Clara Bow. Tobey Maguire is also set to appear along with serving as an executive producer. We also know that it is a period drama, set during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Breaking News Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!