It was a summer of car chases and cartoons come to life, but now Tinseltown’s thespians are ready to assume their glow in the spotlight. Prepare for a variety of favorite actors – including Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in more movies than can be counted – to showcase award-worthy performances on multiplex and streaming screens.
Two Stephen King sequels promise to shock: It Chapter Two, in which adult characters played by the likes of James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain face down the clown with a red balloon who so terrorized their childhoods, and Doctor Sleep (filmed in Atlanta) with Ewan McGregor as the grown-up “Danny” from The Shining who can’t escape his demons either.
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which will debut both on Netflix and in select theatres, is a gangster tale starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. It’s the story of mobster Frank Sheeran and the disappearance of one of the leaders of the biggest crime families in American history.
Giving Netflix a scrappy run for its money in the streaming department will be the debut of Disney+ in November, complete with the full binge-able back-catalogue of the studio’s films plus a Disney live-action Lady and the Tramp (set in Savannah) and Anna Kendrick as Santa’s daughter Noelle in a save-Christmas quest.
Iconoclast directors Taika Waititi and Rian Johnson, each most recently helming Marvel and Star Wars movies, return to eccentricity with Jojo Rabbit, a WWII-set fantasy with Rebel Wilson and Scarlett Johansson in small roles, and Knives Out, a star-studded whodunit with Chris Evans, Daniel Craig and Jamie Lee Curtis along for the mystery.
Sometimes Hollywood finds an ideal match between actor and lead role. Tom Hanks plays Mr. Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Harriet features Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in the story of the Underground Railroad. Joaquin Phoenix is already getting festival buzz as the Joker, an R-rated look at the classic DC villain’s origin story. Goldfinch features star-on-the-rise Ansol Elgort as an art forger. And Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut embarking on a space flight in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the solar system.
The Report stars Adam Driver and Annette Bening in a docudrama about an FBI agent’s investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. And a stage director played by Driver and his actor wife played by Scarlett Johansson struggle through a grueling divorce that pushes them to their limits in Marriage Story. Plus, the biopic Ford v Ferrari stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale and follows the 1966 Le Mans race, in which Ford designers attempt to crack the code of their rival sports car’s racing team.
J.J. Abrams concludes the nine-part Skywalker saga with Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in which we will finally discover the origins of Daisy Ripley’s Rey, get a glimpse of never-before scenes with Carrie Fisher, witness the return of Billy Dee Williams, discover the fate of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and find out what that pesky phantom menace has been up to behind the scenes. Finn and Poe also get mysterious girlfriends (Kerri Russell and Naomi Ackie), and beloved BB-8 gets a new scooter-like companion droid.
Heads are being scratched not because of fleas but because of feline CGI fur effects as folks anticipate the adaptation of Broadway’s Cats, featuring the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift in full four-legged singing and dancing creature mode.
And let Oscar talk begin! Steven Soderbergh’s biographical comedy-drama The Laundromat stars Meryl Streep whose dream vacation takes wrong turns into the world of off-shore tax schemes. Gary Oldman, Jeffrey Wright and Sharon Stone round out the ensemble. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women stars Laura Dern, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in a spry adaptation of the literary classic. And Sam Mendes’ 1917 features Richard Madden and Benedict Cumberbatch in a WWI dramatic adventure.