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Our Most Anticipated Movies of 2023

Pictured clockwise from top left: 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,' 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,' 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' 'Barbie,' 'Killers of the Flower Moon,' and 'Dune Part Two'

2022 was a great comeback year for movies, with releases like A24’s hit Everything Everywhere All at Once, Matt Reeves’ gritty noir The Batman, and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. Of course, these are the major titles in a sea of standouts, like the Knives Out sequel Glass Onion, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Guillermo del Toro’s recent take on the beloved classic Pinocchio. With this in mind, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to what 2023 has in store for us. These are the 12 films we’re most excited to see in theaters this year.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania'
(Marvel Studios)

Set to release on February 17 in both the United States and the UK, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will mark the beginning of Phase 5 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This new era of the MCU will focus on the multiverse and an all-new ominous bad guy named Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). It will also, of course, see the return of many of our favorite heroes we’ve come to grow and love, in addition to a slew of new faces. 

The third Ant-Man movie will most likely be premised after the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the first season of Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. As seen in the official trailer, Quantumania will follow Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang as he enjoys his fame and fortune, only to be transported down to the microcosmic Quantum Realm after a botched experiment. 

Asteroid City

Wes Anderson attends the premiere of 'The French Dispatch'
(Stephane Cardinale, Corbis via Getty Images)

Asteroid City is the 11th film from quirky and off-beat auteur Wes Anderson, and is expected to have a limited release in theaters on June 16 before it opens nationwide on June 23. Not much is known about the plot, but in true Wes Anderson fashion, what we do know doesn’t seem to give away much. An official description for the film reads as follows: “Set in a fictional American desert town circa 1955 and its Junior Stargazer convention, the film brings together students and parents from across the country for scholarly competition, rest and recreation, comedy, drama, romance, and more.”

Longtime fans of the director can also expect the return of many of Anderson’s frequent collaborators, including Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and Edward Norton. Among the many big names attached to the film are a few Anderson first-timers, including Tom Hanks and Margot Robbie. 

Barbie

Margot Robbie's Barbie gives a big smile while sitting in a pink Corvette
(Warner Bros.)

July 21, 2023 is probably among the most anticipated and important dates for cinephiles this year because it marks the release of two critical films: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. We will be seated for both.

Starring Margot Robbie as the titular Barbie—or Barbara Millicent Roberts, if you prefer to call her by her full name—and Ryan Gosling as Ken, the film is set to showcase many iterations of the famous Mattel pair. Its plot is still being kept tightly under wraps, although audiences have been given a brief teaser that is also an epic homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Beau Is Afraid

Joaquin Phoenix as the title character in 'Beau Is Not Afraid'
(A24)

If Beau is afraid, we’re all just confused.

Ari Aster’s new film left everyone puzzled when its initial poster featured its star, Joaquin Phoenix, as a young boy in silk pajamas, with only his name written across the image. Most people (myself included) wrongly assumed the film was actually titled “Joaquin Phoenix.” A24 has since released a trailer, and it’s … intriguing. In it, we follow Phoenix’s Beau as he navigates hazy and flimsy family memories on the way to see his mother. This is probably the best way to put it; the rest you have to see for yourself in the trailer.

Dune: Part Two

Zendaya as Chani in 'Dune'
(Warner Bros.)

The second part of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s best-selling sci-fi epic is set to land in theaters on November 3. The first movie closely followed and stayed true to the source material, so we’re excited to see the second film pick up where its predecessor left off with Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet)’s rise to power and the ensuing rebellion. Zendaya’s Chani, who only made a brief appearance in the first film, is expected to have a much bigger role in Part Two.  

How Do You Live

Legendarily renowned director Hayao Miyazaki is back and out of retirement with one last feature film—here’s to hoping that he breaks that promise again soon—entitled How Do You Live. based on a 1937 novel of the same name, little is known about the adaptation itself. However, its source material follows a 15-year-old boy who makes his way through life after the passing of his father. Based on that tidbit alone, we can probably expect a quintessential Studio Ghibli story featuring magic, poignancy, and an ode to growing up.

During a 2017 television interview, Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki revealed Miyazaki’s sudden return to directing with this emotional explanation: “Miyazaki is making the new film for his grandson. It’s his way of saying, ‘Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film.’” TEARS. 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Harrison Ford returns as the titular hero in 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'
(Disney)

Indy is back for one last adventure, and after several delays, it looks like we’re finally going to see it. Set to arrive in cinemas on June 30, the film will of course follow Harrison Ford’s sardonic archaeologist, who will be joined this time by his goddaughter Helena (played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Together, they’ll go toe-to-toe with a mysterious new villain named Voller, played by Mads Mikkelsen. We haven’t learned much about the film’s plot, but we do know that Mikkelsen’s villain is based on a real person named Wernher von Braun, a Nazi turned NASA engineer. 

Ford has been vocal about his love for Indiana Jones and has stated on several occasions that Indy will be retiring with him, definitively shutting down any rumors of characters replacing the protagonist or any whispers of recasting him altogether. 

“Nobody is going to be Indiana Jones. Don’t you get it? I’m Indiana Jones,” the actor once said in an interview with Today

He’s backed by Lucasfilm big boss Kathleen Kennedy, who stated on the record with Vanity Fair, “We would never make Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford. Having just finished the fifth movie, I can tell you, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t on set where I wasn’t like, ‘Yes – this is Indiana Jones’.”

We agree. Harrison Ford is and will forever be Indy. 

Killers of the Flower Moon

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon'
(Apple TV)

Martin Scorsese is back, only this time it’s not with a gangster movie, but with a western—a first for the celebrated director. Based on journalist David Grann’s 2017 nonfiction book of the same name, Killers of the Flower Moon follows the story of a plot to annihilate nearly 60 members of the Osage tribe from 1921 to 1925. As per usual for Scorsese, the film stars longtime collaborators Robert de Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. They are joined by Jesse Plemons and Brendan Fraser, whose recent comeback has been amazing to watch unfold

Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in 'Oppenheimer'
(Universal Pictures)

Christopher Nolan’s first-ever biopic, as previously mentioned, shares a release date with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. The highly anticipated film will also see the return to the silver screen of Peaky Blinders star and frequent Nolan player Cillian Murphy as the titular J. Robert Oppenheimer. The movie follows his time leading the operations at the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, which produced the first nuclear weapon. Although Murphy has worked with Nolan before—in the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and the award-winning war drama DunkirkOppenheimer is the actor’s first time headlining an ensemble cast for the director.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy sitting together in 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'
(Sony Pictures Animation)

The MCU has had several field days following the return of Spidey to his home court with Tom Holland’s iteration of everyone’s favorite web-slinger. Sony has, however, managed to bank an unprecedented achievement of its own with the character, winning an Oscar for arguably the greatest Spidey movie ever made, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. And now they’re back, possibly better than ever, with a sequel that follows Miles Morales into six more universes beyond his own. As with the first movie, this follow-up will be rendered in varying art styles, keeping audiences fully immersed and invested as Miles crosses multiple universe, uniting more variants of Spider-Man to face an all-new threat. 

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Calling all Tumblr Friends from 2012, we’re heading back to Panem. Suzanne Collins’ best-selling prologue to The Hunger Games trilogy is set for an adaptation starring West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler as protagonist Lucy Gray Baird and The Gilded Age’s Tom Blyth as a young President Coriolanus Snow. The prelude to the celebrated YA dystopian fantasy follows a teenage Snow (played by veteran actor Donald Sutherland in the original films) around the time of the 10th annual Hunger Games. Snow is set to tutor District 12’s tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, who manages to captivate audiences—something Snow realizes he could use to their advantage. 

Wonka

2023 will see the third iteration of Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—this time in the form of a prequel starring Timothée Chalamet. Although not much is known about the film just yet, multiple photos have circulated online showcasing the actor in the character’s famous top hat and purple coat and we know that it’s going to be a musical. Chalamet himself confirmed that he has not one or two musical numbers, but seven. Seven. I can already feel the excitement. 

Which movies are you looking forward to this year? 

(featured image: Sony Pictures Animation / Disney / Marvel Studios / Warner Bros. / Apple TV / The Mary Sue)

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Danielle is a twenty-something writer and postgrad student based in the Philippines. She loves books, movies, her cat, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting 35mm film and going to concerts.