Marvel Has Given Release Dates To Five More Movies

The leadership over at Marvel Studios may try to keep plot details for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies secret for a long time, but one thing they do want you to know about as soon as possible is when movies are going to drop in theaters. To that end, it’s been revealed tonight that not only has Marvel Studios set aside another release date for 2022, it’s also scheduled four movies for 2023.

The MCU already had three 2022 release dates lined up: February 18, May 6 for Black Panther 2, and July 29. Well, now we can also count on another cinematic MCU installment coming out October 7, 2022. Marvel also announced (via THR) that its four 2023 movies will be released on February 17, May 5, July 28 and November 3 of that year.

Well, Alan Horn, the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said that Marvel Studios would keep releasing three to four movies a year, and sure enough, it looks like four per year is becoming the new MCU norm. Where once we considered ourselves lucky to get two MCU movies per year, now we’re getting basically getting one for every quarter over the next two years.

So what movies will fill those dates? Presumably we’ll have to wait a while to learn that information. As mentioned earlier, so far Black Panther 2 is the only movie that’s been officially slated for Phase 5, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of candidates we can consider.

It’s been confirmed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Captain Marvel 2, Ant-Man 3 and Blade are in the works, as are reboots centered on the Fantastic Four and X-Men, which now belong to Marvel Studios thanks to the Fox merger. There’s also still talk about if Deadpool 3 will ever be made, and let’s not forget all the projects that the MCU bigwigs are discussing among themselves in private that the public won’t catch wind about for a long time.

So yeah, it’s not like Marvel will be lacking in content to put on the big screen, and feel free to leave your thoughts on what will go where. Personally, I think that October 7, 2022 date will go to Blade. We already know Mahershala Ali is primed to play the Day-Walker, so it’d be easy enough slot him in there, and what better time of year to watch a guy cut down vampires than during the Halloween season.

As for 2023, I suspect that Captain Marvel 2 will occupy one of those dates, and fingers crossed either the X-Men or the Fantastic Four will debut that year. But beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. I expect Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Ant-Man 3 will arrive in 2022 given that James Gunn plans to work on the former movie once he’s done with The Suicide Squad, and Peyton Reed is confirmed to be returning to helm the latter movie. Who knows, maybe one of those 2023 dates is being saved for the sequel to a property that hasn’t even gotten MCU screen time yet, like The Eternals or Shang-Chi.

Rest assured, when any of these release dates are filled, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about it. For now, delve deeper into what the MCU has coming up in Phase 4 and beyond with our comprehensive guide. And don’t forget that Marvel also has plenty of Disney+ shows on the way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk all debut in 2022.

All The Terminator Movies Ranked, Including Dark Fate

The Terminator Arnold wearing sunglasses, holding a gun, with lasers behind him

Warning: SPOILERS for the Terminator film series are in play. If you’re not caught up with Terminator: Dark Fate, you should turn back now to avoid learning about the film’s events.

Usually when ranking a series like the Terminator movies, it’s best to wait until you have as clear a picture as possible for everything to fit into. Now, with Terminator: Dark Fate in theaters, and its less than great box office performance possibly having closed off the Terminator series for good, it feels like we have a full enough frame to rank these films with accuracy. Which means it’s now time for the hard work to be “dun dun-dun-dun” done, and rank each Terminator film in order of greatness, from worst to best.

Now this is purely subjective, and your rankings may vary; especially when the sequels past Terminator 2: Judgement Day come into play. Also, it should be noted that we’re only talking about the movie franchise. So if you thought we were going to pull a fast one and include Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or T2-3D: Battle Across Time, that’s not happening.

Come with us if you want to rank, as it’s time to set the record straight on how the Terminator food chain works.

Terminator: Dark Fate profiles of the cast in front of streaks of light

6. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Acting as a partial reboot to the Terminator saga, Terminator: Dark Fate imagines an alternate timeline that progresses after Skynet was destroyed and Judgement Day as we knew it never happened. Instead, a totally different A.I. was created, a new battle for humanity was waged and Natalia Reyes’ Dani Ramos is the new John Connor-style leader of The Resistance. But even bringing back Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, as well as creating possibly the most effective Terminator possible, the Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), Terminator: Dark Fate is the last place finisher in the Terminator saga.

While rewriting the series’ history isn’t the worst thing in the world, and taking John Connor off the board makes total sense without Skynet to pursue him, the execution of that idea is less than ideal. Not to mention that the entire film feels like one big chase with little to no action that impacts the future threat. There’s some elements that work, but overall, Terminator: Dark Fate is the biggest missed opportunity in the series.

Terminator: Salvation John Connor and Kyle Reese aiming guns in a robot factory

5. Terminator Salvation (2009)

Another in the long line of Terminator movies that tried to do something different, Terminator Salvation actually took us into the future war waged by The Resistance. It also showed us a John Connor (Christian Bale) who was on his way to becoming the great military leader he was always claimed to be, and the beginnings of his relationship with Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin). It also gave us Sam Worthington’s Marcus, a Terminator designed for perfect infiltration who ultimately realized he was more human than machine.

Yet for as many new and exciting ideas that were put into effect in Terminator Salvation, the end result was rather boring. This is the movie that had the guts to put Marcus’ bionic heart into John Connor in order to keep him alive. If the powers that be stuck with the original ending they had in mind, it could have been a real game changer. Instead, we got a blandly-colored war movie that played things way too safe, with very little in terms of innovation or excitement.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines the T-X and T-800 fighting in a bathroom

4. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

While the Terminator saga has had a rough go with every film since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, you can almost always pick out something positive when it comes to what each film tried to do. And one of the most positive things about that portion of the sequel canon is the fact that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines landed what once was the biggest punch in the Terminator movies: it let Judgement Day happen.

If you compare this Terminator sequel to T2, there’s no question who wins, and you can even fault this movie for going against the “No Fate” message James Cameron originally wrote into the series. But between Nick Stahl’s John Connor doing a pretty good job following up Edward Furlong’s tenure in the role, and offering some interesting new characters in Claire Danes’ Katherine Brewster and Kristiana Loken’s T-X, this sequel still remains in the realm of popcorn fun.

Terminator Genisys Pops and Sarah Connor visit the park

3. Terminator: Genisys (2015)

Everyone’s got their “best sequel since Terminator 2: Judgement Day” when it comes to the Terminator sequel canon. And this might be a controversial choice, but hear us out: Terminator: Genisys does exactly what Terminator: Dark Fate did, but better, and within the traditional framework of the series’ timeline. You read that right.

Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese were now the heroes, with John Connor (Jason Clarke) actually being taken off the board by becoming a Terminator. Reusing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 as a protector of Sarah, and making both her and her potential love interest the actual saviors of humanity, the timeline got that good shakeup it deserved. Not to mention, Skynet turning into the operating system Genisys was a pretty clever turn, and John’s new role as a villain had more stakes than just killing him off in the first five minutes.

The Terminator T-800 stalking the corridor in his leather jacket and sunglasses

2. The Terminator (1984)

Argue all you want about the sequels, there are only two solid gold Terminator films in the franchise, and both of them belong to the once and future franchise gatekeeper, James Cameron. The Terminator gave us Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first turn as the initially villainous T-800, with Linda Hamilton originating the role of Sarah Connor in her initially timid and civilian form. One long night from hell later, Sarah was a warrior for the future, preparing for the oncoming storm.

The Terminator is pure hardcore sci-fi, with a case to be made for Cameron’s first film to be classified in the horror genre in some cases. Dread and adrenaline rule this movie, with notes of hope and readiness for the future making their way into this cat-and-mouse chase of a movie. But if we’re going to be totally honest, this was a perfectly good dry run for the best film in the Terminator saga.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day John and Sarah Connor stand with a T-800 in the psych ward hallway

1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is a pure feat of alchemy, and the best film in the series without question. Taking the atmosphere and dread from the first film, and infusing it with an even more hopeful message of changing our future for the better, we see a lot of the fallout from The Terminator in every frame of this film.

And yet, at the heart of Terminator 2’s story, past the constant pursuit of Robert Patrick’s chilling T-1000, and besides Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor working through her PTSD from the first film, is the story of a boy and a machine. It wasn’t hatred of machines that saved the world, it was Edward Furlong’s John Connor becoming friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 protector.

That fuses everything Terminator 2: Judgement Day has to offer into one, solid package. It’s a fight for the future where instead of just killing everything that moves, we take a beat to learn who the real enemy is and fight on a unified front. It’s the Terminator mythos at its best, and it’s as action packed as it is emotionally charged.

A definitive ranking of the Terminator movies will probably never go past the first two films being at the top, and even then the placement of The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day is something that could be argued with as much fervor as which sequel is best. That doesn’t change the fact that fans love the Terminator movies for some of the same reasons.

Not only is this franchise a source of intense action, it’s also a lesson in humanity’s best and worst impulses. And just because our rankings have put the film so far down in the total Terminator totem pole doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out Terminator: Dark Fate if you’re the slightest bit interested, as it seems to reflect those same values in its own hypothetical way.

If you’re curious, that film is still currently in theaters, ready for you to discover it.

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Anthony Mackie Describes His Emotional Reaction To Getting Captain America’s Shield

This summer’s Avengers: Endgame was packed with huge moments for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While some scenes served as bookends to conclude stories a decade in the making, others opened up new chapters coming to the MCU, such as Old Man Cap returning after his time travel journey to pass his shield to Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. Anthony Mackie is currently filming his role on the upcoming Disney+ show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he recently explained how his new rank in this franchise feels. Here’s what Mackie said:

Hand over the tissue box, Mackie! This is pretty incredible. When the actor boldly emailed the studio after starring in Best Picture Winner The Hurt Locker years ago asking if he could earn a spot in the MCU, he likely had no idea it would pan out. He certainly considered himself lucky when he nabbed a spot alongside Chris Evans in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yet now he has appeared in six Marvel films and was passed down the helm of the franchise’s First Avenger. Now, he’ll front his own television show. That’s massive!

Just a few years ago, the idea of a Black superhero fronting something like this just didn’t happen. Then Black Panther came around. Diversity on large scale projects have swiftly started to become commonplace, but not without a long line of blue-eyed big-screen heroes first. What’s sweet is Mackie actually learned of the Avengers: Endgame scene from Chris Evans, who accidentally spoiled the scene for Mackie while the two were hanging out off set.

Chris Evans showed Anthony Mackie the scene on the page himself in a cool ‘passing down the mantle’ moment. Though the Falcon actor is quite aware of the weight on his shoulders to follow Evan’s iconic performance, calling it a “huge challenge.” Even the character now possesses the red, white and blue vibranium shield, he has assured fans he’ll still be Falcon in the television series coming in 2020.

Anthony Mackie will be teaming up with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes for the show that also stars Daniel Brühl as Captain Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter and new face Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent. The six-episode series will be the first of many MCU shows coming to Disney+ in the next few years, which include WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres in fall 2020.

Disney+ subscribers can enjoy the new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, streaming on the platform now, among many other offerings from the Mouse House.

Ford V Ferrari Has A Surprise Ending For Those Not Familiar With History That’s A Standout

Ford v Ferrari Matt Damon and Christian Bale looking out at the racetrack from the pit

Warning: SPOILERS for Ford v. Ferrari are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you might want to drive away until you’ve caught it for yourself.

Throughout the year, director James Mangold’s racing film Ford v Ferrari has been sold to audiences as a lighthearted historical biopic involving Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles’ (Christian Bale) historic quest to win the only American victory at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans racing event. But as it turns out, there’s a couple of surprises in store for those not familiar with the history behind the story this film tells, and it makes for one heck of a standout ending.

Before we go any further with spoiling what exactly happens at the end of Ford v Ferrari, we’d invite you to take a look at the most recent trailer for the film. After this point, we’ll start speaking about spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film yet and you’re still reading, you’ve been warned.

Still here? Fantastic. Now prepare to relive the heartbreak of Ford v Ferrari’s final act, as the last third of the film finds itself on a pretty unusual footing when compared to what audience would expect from such a marketing campaign. While 90% of James Mangold’s film is the rip roaring tribute to guts, glory, and automotive genius, Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles’ Le Mans story wasn’t one of ultimate success.

While all three racers running Ford cars in the 1966 event placed in first, second and third place, Miles was told by the top brass in his racing team to slow down so the trio of Ford race cars could cross the finish line at the same time. And while the first place finish looked like it belonged to Christian Bale’s lovable hard case, as it turns out, a technicality put him in second.

Carroll Shelby, also deceived by his bosses at Ford, takes this news just as well as Miles does. It doesn’t take long for Damon and Bale’s historical racing buddies to move past this betrayal and get back to building the next car. They’ve already set their sights on the 1967 Le Mans, with Ken Miles swearing that they’ll get them next year, and thanking Shelby for fulling his promise of “the drive.” And it’s at this moment that history, and Ford v Ferrari, takes the most unexpected turn yet.

Ford v Ferrari Christian Bale giving a thumbs up from the driver's seat

Unfortunately for Ken Miles, both the man and Christian Bale’s dramatized interpretation, he wouldn’t make it to next year’s event. When testing their newly redesigned Ford race car, Miles suffers another brake failure, which causes the fatal crash that would claim his life just two months after he ran the race at the center of Ford v Ferrari’s big race.

So just when you think you think you’re settling into the ending of a sports history story that ultimately redeems the human spirit, you’re hit with an emotional gut punch that sees a friend and father losing his life to the very sport he excelled at. The interesting thing is, while it’s a definitely a downer of a moment, it doesn’t derail the film that came before it.

Throughout Ford v Ferrari (the story crafted by writers Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth, from an original draft by Jason Keller), we see an undercurrent of emotion running through the life of Christian Bale’s Ken Miles. Whether it’s bonding with his son (Noah Jupe), tender conversations with his wife (Caitriona Balfe), or even his time with Carroll Shelby and the race crew, the temperamental race legend maintains his humanity in humorous and touching moments on display.

Ford v Ferrari Matt Damon and Christian Bale perched on a race car

In turn, this approach to the story heightens the stakes of the 1966 Le Mans struggles that Christian Bale and Matt Damon’s characters went through. Instead of focusing on the race, Ford v Ferrari focuses on the people that took part in its execution. Were this a movie that merely focused on the race, as audiences expected it to do, the film would have ended with title cards that described Ken Miles’ death and Carroll Shelby’s perseverance in his memory.

Rather than relegate the very human story intertwined with this narrative to simple text on a screen, the storytellers at the head of Ford v Ferrari let audiences latch onto historical figures as likable characters, shared their triumphs and setbacks in all their glory, and eventually landed an ending that only hurts so much due to the fact that you actually got to love these characters for who they were.

Historical biopics are only as good as their portrayals of the people that lived those events. With most films of the genre favoring more restrained, formulaic executions, Ford v Ferrari made the history it was telling fun to watch, through characters who felt more like living human beings than mere landmarks in sporting record. The fact that the film shows Ken Miles bravely lose the Le Mans race, and then his untimely death chasing a future victory, just instills in the audience the message that nothing’s ever promised, and sometimes history ends abruptly with no clean or happy ending.

Ford v Ferrari is in theaters now, and is sure to make audiences laugh, as well as cry, as they take this beautiful ride in racing history. If you’ve already seen it, you know what’s coming. So if you happen to see it again with friends and family, be sure to bring enough tissues for everyone.

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Sounds Like Daisy Ridley Loved Playing Dark Rey In The Rise Of Skywalker

J.J. Abrams is notoriously secretive with his projects. Yet, ahead of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker‘s release, the writer/director and Lucasfilm revealed Daisy Ridley’s Rey would wield an awesome double-edged red lightsaber and don a dark hood fit for the dark side. While the shocking reveal of “Dark Rey” is void of context, it will be featured in the upcoming conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, and it sounds like Ridley loved exploring this new side of her character. In her words:

What a great tease! Although the move feels uncharacteristic of Rey, Daisy Ridley found it to be a great experience for her to take as her Star Wars role soon reaches its end. Actors don’t often get to delve into tons of corners for a character before moving onto the next, but that’s the beauty of working on a trilogy such as this! From the looks of it, Rey has quite the unique story arc.

There are tons of reasons why Rey could go dark, most of which still leave room for her to be part of the light side by the end. She could have a twin or a clone, for example! Or maybe the scene is a dream sequence? Or is she going through an “emo phase” of sorts before coming to her senses. Who knows and why assume? Either way, we’ll get to see Ridley stretching her villainous acting muscles somehow.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes to theaters on December 20.

Superman’s Resurrection Teased By Zack Snyder’s Latest Snyder Cut Image

Arguably Justice League’s biggest not-so-secret secret was that Henry Cavill’s Superman would be resurrected, as the Man of Steel sacrificed his life to stop Doomsday at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But, just like so many Justice League plot elements, it seems as though Superman being brought back to life might have unfolded differently in Zack Snyder’s original version, i.e. the Snyder Cut, compared to the theatrical version.

Joker Is Officially Crossing The $1 Billion Mark

Just because you predict a movie will be successful doesn’t mean you’re right about just how the levels of its success. Case in point, Warner Bros’ latest DC Comics movie, Joker, has been steadily climbing commercial heights that few expected it to reach, and now it’s official: the Joaquin Phoenix-led Clown Prince of Crime origin story will cross the $1 billion mark this weekend, if it hasn’t already.

Where Joker ranks in total box office haul is unclear, as Box Office Mojo states it’s at $994.4 million worldwide, while The Hollywood Reporter has it right at the edge with $999.1 million worldwide. Either way, it’s only a matter of time before Joker hits that $1 billion milestone; who knows, maybe as you’re reading this, it will have already done so.

If we look at Box Office Mojo’s numbers, Joker has grossed $316.3 million domestically and $678.1 million internationally. As far as profits go, THR mentioned in its writeup that Joker will generate approximately $600 million for Warner Bros and its partners on the movie, Village Roadshow and Bron, each of which have a 25% stake in Joker.

It’s obviously a big deal whenever any movie crosses the $1 billion mark, but where Joker is concerned, to say it exceeded expectation is an understatement. Given the green light as a smaller-scale comic book adaptation compared to the usual DC and Marvel fare that’s shown to the masses, it’s now the fourth highest-grossing DC Comics movie of all time, trailing behind Aquaman at #1, The Dark Knight Rises at #2 and The Dark Knight at #3. It is the sixth Warner Bros movie to cross $1 billion, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey also share that achievement.

But arguably Joker’s biggest triumph by hitting $1 billion is that it’s the first R-rated movie to do so, the cherry on the sundae that was it becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time weeks earlier (not adjusted for inflation). Before now, Deadpool held the top spot with $783 million worldwide, although if one takes into account Deadpool 2’s theatrical cut and the PG-13 cut shown at the end of 2018, then technically it has its predecessor beat by $2 million.

It’s been a little over a month since Joker was released in theaters, meaning its theatrical run will start winding down in the weeks ahead. But it’s already cemented its status in the film history books not just by all the buzz and controversy generated about the story prerelease and as it was airing on the silver screen, but that it will go down as the 13th comic book movie to make $1 billion or more.

As far as critical reception goes, Joker ranks at 69% among critics and 89% among audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, and it earned a B+ on Cinemascope. But its impact on the film world and general pop culture cannot be understated, which includes the steps that Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck dances down becoming a tourist destination.

Patrick Wilson Teases The Conjuring 3 Will Be A ‘Different Beast’

While it’s been a few years since The Conjuring 2 came out, we actually saw Ed and Lorraine Warren on the big screen this summer in Annabelle Comes Home. The paranormal investigators played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga returned for the Conjuring Universe spinoff but many horror fans are still eager to see the duo back in a proper Conjuring movie. They’ll get their wish because The Conjuring 3 is on the way next year, and star Patrick Wilson teases, it will be a ‘different beast.’ The actor said:

Well folks, there are a couple of ways to take Patrick Wilson’s comments to The Hollywood Reporter, and both of them portend very cool and interesting things for The Conjuring 3. The threequel is now in post-production, and it sounds like Patrick Wilson had a really good time making it with Vera Farmiga and director Michael Chaves, who has taken over for James Wan. In addition to the new director, Patrick Wilson teased that the new movie has a very different feel.

What that means in practice, we’ll have to wait and see, but it seems that The Conjuring 3 will not simply be more of the same for this franchise. The Conjuring 3 is going to change things up in some way that results in it having a different feel to what came before. There may be certain perceptions of what a Conjuring movie is, but it seems this third film will be a very different beast, which is an exciting prospect.

Lest anyone worry that the franchise is departing from what worked so well in the first two entries, Patrick Wilson assured THR that The Conjuring 3 is still a Conjuring film. It will contain those obvious quintessential elements of Ed and Lorraine, but it will challenge the duo in new ways and take the series where it hasn’t gone before.

So what does a Conjuring movie that is a different beast look like? Well, Patrick Wilson, who is currently starring in Roland Emmerich’s Midway, seemingly offered up a not-so-subtle hint at the direction of The Conjuring 3 by saying that the pun is intended when talking about the movie as a ‘different beast.’ Although not definitive, that certainly sounds like werewolves (of a sort) will be a part of this third movie.

James Wan, who will remain on as a producer, addressed the possibility of werewolves in The Conjuring 3 years ago, and it seems like that idea could finally play out, even though the plot for the film has yet to be confirmed. The real Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated a man named Bill Ramsey, also known as The Southend Werewolf, so it seems likely Michael Chaves’ film will draw some from that case.

Netflix And Movie Trailers Of The Week: Sonic, SpongeBob, And Scoob, Oh My!

Spongebob's Redesign

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Like a flash, another work week has gone by. It was a big one for the entertainment world, especially with the launch of the new streaming service Disney+, and it’s original programming. While cinephiles might have spent the last few days binge-watching Disney’s impressive catalogue, this week also brought its own slew of new trailers. It was actually a very busy five days in that regard, with plenty of projects kicking up their marketing campaigns. And that includes movies that will have theatrical releases, and those that will make their way to audiences through streaming services like Netflix.

Because so many trailers arrived this week, it was probably very easy for casual moviegoers to miss one or two. But fear not, as CinemaBlend is doing a weekly roundup of the latest trailers and teasers to hit. So sit back, relax, and catch up on all the big releases releases that will arrive in the coming months.

Sonic The Hedgehog

This trailer has been a long time coming. Specifically, six months. Jeff Fowler’s Sonic the Hedgehog debuted its first trailer back in April, to disastrous results. Fans took umbrage with the title character’s appearance, which was quite different from the speedster’s look in video games. His eyes were too small, legs were too long, and his teeth thoroughly creeped people out. The backlash was so severe that the movie was delayed, so Sonic could be redesigned. That redesign made its debut with this new trailer, and was received much more positively. Ben Schwartz’ Sonic now looks accurate to the comics, with the director thanking fans for their support. Sonic the Hedgehog will arrive in theaters on February 14th, 2020.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob Squarepants! Who is heading back to theaters after just a few years? Also that same Sponge. SpongeBob Squarepants is a character who has been entertaining on the screen and stage for across decades, with the original animated series still on the air. The character has had two movie adaptations, and will get a threequel with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. Directed by Tim Hill, the upcoming animated blockbuster will follow SpongeBob and Patrick as they depart Bikini Bottom in an attempt to rescue Gary, who has been “snailnapped”. The starring cast from the TV series will reprise their roles for Sponge on the Run, including Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, and Rodger Bumpass. The third SpongeBob movie will theaters on May 22nd, 2020.

Fantasy Island

The past few years have seen the blooming of a horror renaissance. Many of the most successful new movies from the genre have come from Blumhouse Productions, including Halloween, Get Out, Paranormal Activity. And the studio is also responsible for the upcoming fantasy horror movie Fantasy Island. The movie is based off the long-running TV show of the same name, but appears to be far more dark and insidious. The movie follows a group of guests who travel to the titular island, which boasts being able to make fantasies come true. The trailer shows how the partying and picturesque island soon gets much scarier, specifically related to each guests’ dark fantasies. Ant-Man standout Michael Pena stars as the mysterious owner Mr. Roarke, who clearly has some evil plans. The cast is rounded out by Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Austin Stowell, and Michael Rooker. Fantasy Island will arrive in theaters on February 14, 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Way Back

Following the release of The Accountant, cinephiles have been wondering when director Gavin O’Connor might be re-teaming with Ben Affleck. And now it’s finally happened, though not via a sequel. Instead, they collaborated on the upcoming drama The Way Back. The upcoming sports drama is focused around Affleck’s character Jack Cunningham. Jack is an isolated alcoholic, who is struggling with his personal relationships and substance abusive issues. But he’s given new reason to live when asked to coach his childhood basketball team, a gig that has the potential to change his life. The trailer teases an emotional performance from Affleck, who has his own history with substance issues. He’ll be joined onscreen by Al Madrigal, The Morning Show‘s Janina Gavankar, and Michaela Watkins. The Way Back will hit theaters on March 6th, and might have the potential to get Affleck some award nominations.

Scoob!

On a decidedly lighter note is the upcoming animated blockbuster Scoob!, coming from Warner Bros. Scooby-Doo and his group of sleuthing friends have entertained audiences for decades and decades. But we’ve never seen exactly how the group came together, and started cramming into the Mystery Machine to catch bad guys. That’ll change with Tony Cervone’s upcoming movie Scoob! The animated comedy will show how Scooby met his best friend Shaggy, and the other iconic characters like Fred, Velma, and Daphne. Cervone assembled a killer cast of A-listers to voice the iconic cartoon characters, joining voice actor Frank Welker who will once again play Scooby Doo. The cast is rounded out by Will Forte, Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez, and Amanda Seyfried as the Scooby Gang. Younger version of the characters will be voiced by the likes of talented young actors like Iain Armitage and Mckenna Grace. Scoob! will hit theaters on May 15th, 2020.

Holiday Rush

Netflix is never one to be left out, so don’t worry they have a trailer on this list as well. The massive streaming service has begun releasing Christmas themed original movies over the last few years, and will once again follow suit in 2019. While we’ve already seen the trailer for Vanessa Hudgens’ The Knight Before Christmas, that’s not the only holiday flick that’ll be available to stream this December. Enter Holiday Rush, directed by Leslie Small (Kevin Hart: Irresponsible) The movie follows a popular radio DJ who is suddenly fired, and moves in with his Aunt, with his kids in tow. While he’s got a plan to get back on the air, Christmas hijinx happen along the way. The movie stars A Million Little Things and 40 Year-Old Virgin actor Romany Malco in the leading role, but he’s got a strong cast behind him. This includes Star Trek: Discovery‘s Sonequa Martin-Green, iconic recording artist Darlene Love, and La La Anthony. Holiday Rush will be available to stream on November 28th.

Clearly there are a ton of very exciting movies heading to both theaters and streaming services. The latter should become all the more common, as Disney+ joins the race alongside Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. You can use this link to try out Disney+ with a 7-day free trial. This week’s trailers are a wide variety of projects, with plenty of kid-friendly animated projects balancing out the heavy dramas and horror flicks. That’s show business, as there’s something for everyone.

While you wait for these movies to be released, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.

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Hear Taylor Swift’s New Song From Cats

Big-screen musicals are a staple of the holiday season, and this year audiences can have a jellicle ball with the live-action take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway smash, Cats. The upcoming release features a long list of A-list talents such as Ian McKellan, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson and Rebel Wilson. Additionally, mega pop star and well-known cat person, Taylor Swift plays Bombalurina and co-wrote an original song for the movie.

That final note, though! Like most things Taylor Swift does, when she goes for it, she really goes for it. The new ballad has the country singer belting about being afraid to take chances and wanting to be wanted. The title seemingly means to have nice memories or dreams to think about despite a current life of despair. The song also has a tinge of a hopeful note as she seems to mention a newfound family of sorts. It is Cats, plot confusion is all part of the experience.

Although Taylor Swift sings her penned song “Beautiful Ghosts” here, in the movie the central cat Victoria (played by ballerina Francesca Hayward) will sing it on screen. When the play’s original composer Andrew Lloyd Webber read Tom Hooper’s script, he felt a new song for Victoria was needed. So he sat at the piano and wrote a new melody and Taylor Swift effortlessly filled in the lyrics.

In preparation to build upon the iconic musical, Taylor Swift read the source material to Cats, T.S. Eliot’s 1939 poetry collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. She jokes if you can’t get T.S. Eliot, you get T.S. (her initials). Check out the behind-the-scenes on “Beautiful Ghosts” in the featurette below:

When Cats opens on the same weekend at Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, it’s expected to debut around $10 to $20 million domestically. The movie not only has Taylor Swift in it, but an original song she wrote. Maybe this will buff up interest? Swift’s Bombalurina is a secondary character in the muscial but sings four songs! See it on December 20.