Weekend Roundtable: 2019 Movie Anticipation

A new year is coming, and with it, a whole bunch of new movies. If we’re lucky, a few of them might even be great. Which 2019 films are you looking forward to?

Wikipedia has a list to give you some idea of what’s scheduled for the year.

Shannon Nutt

I’d love to give some creative “Oh, I never thought of that one” answer to this week’s Roundtable, but I’d be lying if I said it was anything other than Star Wars: Episode IX.

Any Star Wars movie brings with it a certain amount of anticipation, but after the controversial The Last Jedi (a movie I did a complete 180 on after a recent second viewing, moving from the like to dislike column) and the underperformance of Solo at the box office, not only does this next Star Wars movie need to be a massive hit, it needs to put the entire franchise back on course.

Here’s a known, but little discussed fact about the Star Wars universe: There have been more bad films than good ones. The saga coasted for a long time on memories of the first two films, and J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, while certainly derivative of the original trilogy, seemed to recapture the magic that Star Wars had been missing for so long. Will he be able to do it a second time? Short of George Lucas returning, I can’t think of a better guy for the job.

David Krauss

I’m a sucker for a good film noir, so it’s not surprising that the upcoming neo-noir Under the Silver Lake caught my eye. It’s about a young man (Andrew Garfield) who sets out to investigate his neighbor’s disappearance and uncovers a major conspiracy in the process. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, the film premiered at Cannes this past May. The buzz has been mixed, but the premise sounds interesting and I think Garfield is a superior actor, so I’m excited to check it out. Good noirs are hard to come by. I’m hoping this one measures up.

M. Enois Duarte

Going through the list of upcoming movies, 2019 is poised to be a fantastic year for cinema. With so many options to choose from, it’s a challenge to narrow the list down to one as my most anticipated. Nevertheless, the film that jumps to the top is the final installment of the John Wick saga, which hits theaters in May. Famed stuntman and coordinator Chad Stahelski returns to direct John Wick 3: Parabellum and brings the character’s fight to escape his dark past to a close. Or at least, that’s the idea if the legendary hitman – Keanu Reeves reprising the role that brought him back to the mainstream spotlight – can ever make it out of New York City alive after the events of Chapter 2, where audiences were introduced to the mysterious underground world of professional assassins. I’m really excited to see how Stahelski will bring the trilogy to a close.

And I really, really have to give some honorable mentions to some other hotly anticipated titles: M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, Jordan Peele’s Us, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, It: Chapter Two, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Child’s Play, Joker, and of course Star Wars: Episode IX.

Brian Hoss

The first John Wick didn’t really grab me at first, but part 2 was a different story. It’s packed full of great scenes and fun touches of style. Before it was even over, my anticipation for a third movie was quite stoked. While unlikely to duplicate the scene by scene success of part 2, John Wick 3 is as can’t-miss as sequels go.

As for a non-sequel, I’m interested to see how Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark turns out. I loved the book series as a kid, and I also have a fondness for anthology-style horror movies. Fingers crossed.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

The older I get, the less interested I’ve gotten in grim, gritty comics with hyper-realistic artwork and staggering body counts. Instead, I gravitate more toward cartoony linework and whimsical senses of humor. That’s not to say that these comics don’t still have grave stakes, but there’s just a lightness.. .a sense of joy… to them that I appreciate more now than I did in decades past.

Even though I’m looking forward to the likes of Avengers: Endgame, the superhero movie I’m most anxiously awaiting in the coming year is Shazam!. I’m a sucker for that sort of childhood wish fulfillment fantasy. The trailer is too fun for words, with a wide-eyed sense of discovery and big, beating heart that I find completely infectious. Here’s hoping that the movie lives up to that early trailer, which hasn’t always been the case with DC film adaptations. (I’m scowling in your general direction, Suicide Squad.)

Josh Zyber

I can’t get excited for superhero movies anymore. I’m about eight entries behind in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I don’t even bother keeping count of how many in DC. I hate to say that my most anticipated movies are sequels, but I just don’t know enough about any of the new properties yet to feel any hype for them. As such, the two movies I know I will definitely see in 2019 are The Lego Movie 2 and John Wick 3.

Of those two, The Lego Movie 2 is perhaps the riskier bet. Without Phil Lord or Christopher Miller directing, it may turn out to be a merely serviceable sequel like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile, I love both of the first two John Wick movies enough that I’m confident the third will be another great ride.

Your Turn

What movies are on your radar for the coming year?


  1. Chris B

    Shannon, I’d argue that Star Wars coasted on memories of the entire original trilogy, not just the first two. ROTJ is a good movie and certainly better than any of the prequels.

    Which brings me to my question, you state that you can’t think of anyone better than Abrams returning to the franchise to try and put it back on track, short of George Lucas returning. Huh? He directed all 3 prequels which were awful. I can’t think of a worse guy for the job than Lucas.

    • Yes, but my argument would be that no one knows what makes Star Wars “work” better than George, and in his defense, prequels are a tough road to go down as the audience pretty much knows what’s going to happen (this is why so few prequels are good).

      • Elizabeth

        Lucas might have known more about what made Star Wars work, but after seeing what he did to the original trilogy Special Editions and especially the prequel trilogy, I’d argue that he long ago stopped understanding. The other possibility is that Lucas had a team on the original trilogy that kept him from indulging his worst impulses. Or maybe the limits of technology at the time actually worked in his favor.

    • Thulsadoom

      The prequels get a lot of flak for their flaws, but most of those are more in terms of out-of-place humour (especially from Phantom Menace) and a seeming over-reliance on CG at the time, but Lucas has always been about pushing the boundaries. Portman’s expressionless acting didn’t help matters, though. Story and character-wise there’s a lot to enjoy in the prequels, not to mention the world building and imagination.

      Just look at the number of fan films that exploded around that time, often jumping off from the prequels, not just the original trilogy. They connected on a creative level, even if the individual instalments were criticised in various ways. What do we get now? The SW fan films are far more rare, and those there are have little-to-nothing to do with TFA onward.

      I’d take the worst of Lucas over Abrams soulless rehash any day. 😉 Having said that, I didn’t think anything could be worse than TFA, but somehow we got TLJ, which made TFA feel at least as good as the worst Transformers movie.

      As for Solo, I think it was not only too much too soon, but suffered from audience apathy after TLJ. It was actually a far better film than TFA or TLJ, though still merely a bit of light fun, and not as good as Rogue One.

      I don’t see how anything can rescue ep IX, unfortunately, in the wake of TLJ. Short of going full Bobby Ewing. And to my memory, no one’s had the audacity since that fateful shower scene, to go full Bobby Ewing. 😛

      So yeah, I’d like to see what would happen if they begged Lucas to come back, at least in a story controlling and creative/visual capacity. 😀

  2. MovieWatcher

    I’m 100% in agreement with M. Enois Duarte’s picks and while the trailer for Under the Silver Lake looks intriguing, it’s by the director of It Follows, which I found to be the most overhyped and underwhelming movie I’ve seen in the past decade. Shazam! looks pretty funny, and I’m also interested to see how Ford v. Ferrari (looks great on paper), F&F: Hobbs & Shaw, and even Terminator 6 turn out, though I’m not hopeful on T6.

  3. Csm101

    Godzilla is high on the list. John Wick 3, Avengers. One of my most anticipated for 2019 is It: chapter two. I loved the first one and really love the cast for the grown up loser’s club.

  4. Bolo

    ‘Rambo 5: Last Blood’ – I’ve enjoyed every movie in this series and if Stallone cranks out a movie that’s even half as overthetop as the last one, it will be worth its weight in popcorn. The world Mexican cartels is a perfect setting in which to unleash John Rambo for what is being billed as his final adventure.

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ – I’ve enjoyed most of Tarantino’s work and look forward to anything he does. Hopefully the release of a new film from him will trigger the 4K release of ‘Kill Bill’.

    I’ll definitely see ‘John Wick 3’. I liked the first two.

    I’ll also see ‘Battle Angel Alita’, and I may be the only one to do so. I love having the cinema to myself!

    • Rob Behrens

      In regards to Kill Bill in 4K, maybe they’ll even FINALLY release The Whole Bloody Affair edition that was supposed to come out over ten years ago!!

      • Bolo

        I actually never bought ‘Kill Bill’ on home video because I always thought the deluxe edition with WBA cut was just around the corner. That, and it plays regularly in the cinema near me, so I can see it there. I saw it a few months ago and realized I’ve come to accept the film split in two and have stopped caring whether I ever get to see the WBA cut.

        If the WBA is included in one big 4K set, I’ll watch it. But if I have to choose between purchasing just WBA or the two films as individual cut, I’ll go with the two films.

  5. EM

    Toy Story 4. There’s already an excellent trilogy, and the odds are ferociously against a #4’s maintaining the quality, but I can dream.

  6. How To Train Your Dragon 3 should be pretty good. Lion King & Dumbo getting live action movies. Frozen 2, Creed 2, Rambo 5, the next entry of The Expendables, John Wick 3. There is still promise for a decent year.

  7. Thulsadoom

    I can’t say there’s anything that’s got me particularly excited, but I’m looking forward to Alita, Shazam, the new Terminator, Downton Abbey, maybe Hellboy (but cautious, since it’s a reboot and not Guillermo).

  8. Definitely John Wick 3. The Irishman should be great with it’s pedigree being what it is, but that doesn’t always mean anything.
    I was looking forward to Under The Silver Lake when I saw previews for it in the spring. After it got pushed back six months I kind of lost interest.
    Now that the preview for Jordan Peele’s next movie has been viewed a bajillion times, I also can’t wait to see that.
    Obvious ones are Star Wars, Toy Story, and new Tarantino.
    Also Rocketman, the Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers movie, and Happy Death Day 2 U.

  9. William Henley

    Disney has 3 live action remakes coming out next year? Good grief, I guess someone at Disney said “Beauty and the Beast and Jungle Book did well, let’s crank up production!” For 2020, maybe we can get Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp and The Rescuers! Oh, no, wait, this is modern Disney, they will probably release Pocahontas, Mulan or The Princess and the Frog,

    I am looking forward to Star Wars, Terminator, and Godzilla (please WB, don’t screw up Godzilla like every other American studio who got the rights did), and will probably see those at the theater. Rentals for me will include Sonic the Hedgehog, Little Women, Frozen 2 (I thought that was a direct to video release from a couple of years ago?), Toy Story, MIB, Lego Movie and…. Detective Pikachu. Come on, admit it, you are just as curious as I am.

    • Yes, Mulan is scheduled for 2020. But Disney is working on a Lady and the Tramp Live action remake as well. Not for cinemas, though. It will premiere on Disney+.

      It’s a shame you find the idea that Disney might release movies with female minority lead characters, so upsetting, though.

    • Clark

      I’m actually quite curious to see “Detective Pikachu”, as I really liked the trailer.
      I’m also curious to see how “Aladdin” will turn out, because I think Guy Ritchie is not a good director, specially for a Disney family-film.
      Having said that, my most anticipated movie of 2019 is “Avengers: Endgame”.

  10. Pedram

    I’m surprised there was no mention of Brightburn, with the trailer having over 3 million views in a few weeks. It looks like an interesting twist on the super hero genre, imagining what things would be like if Superman turned out to be evil as a kid. OK it’s not really Superman, but it basically is. It looks pretty promising.
    I’m a bit annoyed that every article seems to be saying it’s James Gunn’s film when he neither wrote nor directed it. He’s just a producer, but they’re milking that credit for all it’s worth.

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