VultureHound’s 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2019

We’re nearly two weeks into 2019, giving us all the time we need to recover from our various New Years celebrations, make New Year’s resolutions, forget about said resolutions and most importantly, analyse the film slate for the year ahead.

For film fans, a lot of the joy of cinema comes not only from watching movies but also from the anticipation. Pouring through every little detail found in the trailer, speculating on the twists and turns the movie will take, furiously debating why it will be the ‘film of the year’ with friends and colleagues, and if the mood strikes, shouting your excitement at random passers-by in the streets.

As movie fans who love to do all of those things, here at VultureHound we’ve voted on which 2019 movies are the ones that get us to those levels of excitement. We’ve picked out our ten most anticipated films of 2019, ranked them and assembled some of our writers to share their thoughts on what makes these movies worth getting excited for:

10. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Picture credit: Universal Studios

Out: July 26th

Everything about our beloved Fast and Furious franchise is quite frankly, bonkers. Whether it’s plots, actions sequences, or Dwayne Johnson’s enormous biceps, nothing in this series is done with subtlety. And over the last decade, there has arguably been no two actors better suited to these over the top action films than Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, which makes their Fast and Furious spin-off, Hobbs and Shaw, an eagerly anticipated adrenaline pumping entertainer.

“I will beat your ass like a Cherokee drum,” yells Johnson’s character Luke Hobbs at Deckard Shaw (Statham) while the pair trash talk one another from their prison cells in Fate of the Furious. They then proceed to escape, Hobbs by hulking up and slinging security guards left and right, and Shaw with his slick martial arts skills.

Their banter back and forth is classic cheesy action humour, but both actors pull it off, as they possess a charm and charisma missing from someone like Vin Diesel. Also, both characters have different skill sets when it comes to fighting, making the action even more enjoyable.

Combine all of this with our beloved Idris Elba playing Hobbs and Shaw’s antagonist, and ladies and gents; we have ourselves an unmissable summer blockbuster.

Humza Hussain

 

9. Fighting with My Family

Picture credit: MGM

Out: February 14th

Wrestling movies can be quite hit or miss, particularly given the all-consuming nature of the WWE machine. We’re squarely within that machine for Fighting with My Family, which tells the story of recently retired WWE star Paige and her younger years in a wrestling-obsessed British family, but everything looks like it’s set just right for this one to fly.

Stephen Merchant is in the director’s chair and he has assembled a terrific cast, with the incomparable Florence Pugh as Paige, alongside the likes of Nick Frost, Lena Headey, Jack Lowden and Vince Vaughn. Merchant has also been ably supported by Dwayne Johnson — modern wrestling’s biggest mainstream success story — in shepherding Paige’s terrific story to the big screen.

Trailers tease a breezy, comedic tone as the film tells its compelling underdog story. It’s obviously a WWE-approved take on Paige’s life, but everything we have heard about it suggests they have worked hard to get the wrestling side of things right, including in-ring segments filmed in front of a real live crowd at a Monday Night Raw taping. Could this be the mainstream wrestling movie that finally does the unique art form justice? We’ll all have our fingers crossed.

Tom Beasley

 

8. Shazam!

Picture credit: Warner Bros.

Out: April 5th

I’m not really one for superhero movies. I don’t mean that I don’t enjoy them, I do. It’s just that I hit fatigue level sometime between The Avengers and Man of Steel. With both Marvel and DC, or rather Disney and Warner Bros., mapping out their cinematic universes well beyond 2022, it feels more gruelling than hopeful.  The possible stifling of filmmaker creativity aside, I’m not getting the same rush from them as I once did.

That said, Shazam! looks brilliant and I am really looking forward to it.

Is it because it’s directed by David F. Sandberg? Maybe, but that’s not the main reason. Is it because it features a rollcall of emerging actors such as Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer alongside the talent of Mark Strong and Djimon Hounsou? Again, partly, but that’s still not the main reason.

No, the main reason is that it looks fun.

You remember that, DC Films? Remember when you were fun and not mistaking Christopher Nolan’s realism for Snyderesque ‘miss-the-whole-point-of-the-story’ Grimdark? You briefly remembered with Wonder Woman but then went for Joss Whedon smugness by accident in Justice League.

Yes, Batman is popular and the comics are grim but that doesn’t mean you have to make everything joyless. I am hopeful, not certain mind you, but hopeful, that Shazam! will get DC Movies on track with the source material by making something fun.

Pat Fox

 

7. Joker

Picture credit: Warner Bros.

Out: October 4th

With Wonder Woman 1984 now being moved to 2020, the next big theatrical release for DC Comics after Shazam! arrives will be a peculiar but fascinating oddity in Joker, a completely separate, standalone movie about the roots of Batman’s ultimate arch-nemesis.

Described as a gritty crime drama with shades of Taxi Driver (a film that was directed by Joker producer Martin Scorsese), this low-budget film is crafted by director Todd Phillips (The Hangover Trilogy, War Dogs), starring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular Clown Prince of Crime, and is an 80’s-set origin story that will show the Joker as a failed comedian struggling to survive in a crime-infested Gotham City before turning to a life of crime.

This DC movie looks not to be your standard comic book film, and a film detailing such an iconic villain’s origin story is one risky gamble, but whether or not that gamble will pay off remains to be seen once the film opens this October.

 Ryan Pollard

 

6. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Picture credit: Marvel Studios

Out: July 5th 2019. 

Obviously, everyone is sitting at home, quietly twiddling their thumbs in anticipation for Avengers: Endgame. Every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far has been building to the big final smackdown with Thanos, and the events of Infinity War have many a fan baying for his blood. But what happens after the inevitable seismic events of Endgame settle and the MCU is left with nowhere to go but into uncharted territory? Surely that’s just as exciting?!

Spider-Man: Far From Home sees the start of the MCU’s Phase 4 slate of films, and promises to place Tom Holland’s young Spider-Man at the centre of the franchise. He may be dealing with a small issue of being a pile of dust at present, but it was always inevitable that he’d be back. After the brilliance of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, it would be the dumbest move in comic book movie history not to continue.

Director Jon Watts returns to helm this latest offering, which promises to take Spidey out of New York City and throw him into a globetrotting, espionage-tinged adventure across Europe. More exciting is the prospect of seeing Jake Gyllenhaal in action as bubble-headed Spidey villain Mysterio, plus appearances from Michael Keaton’s Vulture, the villainous Hydro-Man, and MCU regulars Nick Fury and Maria Hill (Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders). Beyond that, what happens to Spidey and the Avengers is anyone’s guess. Thus why we can’t wait to find out what the future holds…

– Matt Dennis

 

5. Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Picture credit: Warner Bros.

Out: May 10th

Pokémon – a franchise many millennials grew up on and still enjoy today whilst baby boomers look on in bewilderment.

What started as a pair of video games called Pokémon Red and Green for the original Gameboy in 1996 has transformed into a globally known brand with further video games, a long-running anime, manga, mobile games, cuddly toys and more. Growing up, I vividly remember kids in the playground trading Pokemon cards to complete their collection.

Now in 2019, we are due to see the first major live-action Pokémon movie: Detective Pikachu, otherwise known on the internet as Deadpool 3: The Great Mouse Detective. I will admit I was somewhat sceptical at first but upon seeing the first trailer, I became instantly excited. The trailer shows a huge amount of potential for great entertainment. It barely matters if it’s a trashy but enjoyable movie or the Oscar-winning darling no one saw coming: it looks like it’ll be the movie every adult and child who has grown up with Pokémon in some way will endlessly enjoy.

Jennifer Drewett

 

4. Captain Marvel

Picture credit: Marvel Studios

Out: March 8th

Without a doubt, Captain Marvel is one of the most anticipated films of 2019. Being left with a cliffhanger to end of all cliffhangers (if that is possible) at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, audiences were teased in one of the final scenes when Nick Fury is able to transmit a message before disappearing, and a symbol appeared onscreen which fans of the comics would recognise as Captain Marvel’s. Later, we were treated to trailers and sneak peeks of on set photos as to how Captain Marvel fits into the MCU which added to the speculation on whether she will be the one to defeat Thanos. But before all those questions can be answered, we need an origin story first.

Not only the first Marvel film where a female superhero is front and centre (without a male counterpart sharing top billing), but also the first Marvel film where directing duties are shared by a woman. Co-written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the story will see U.S Air Force fighter pilot Carol Danvers become Captain Marvel, one of the galaxy’s most powerful heroes, and join the elite Kree military team, Starforce. The film will introduce the evil enemy Skrulls which Captain Marvel will no doubt be fighting. Set in the 90s, we’ll also be treated to familiar faces as well as new recruits into the MCU. We’ve been waiting a very long time to see the first female-led superhero film from Marvel and as this film is also a prelude to Endgame, expectations are high and anticipation is even higher.

Katie Hogan

 

3. Toy Story 4

Picture credit: Pixar

Out: June 21st

We have had the teaser poster. We have had the teaser trailer. And now, with 2019 in full swing, the countdown clock can tick and tock towards the summer release of the fourth instalment in the Toy Story franchise. Will the wheels, wings or potato head segments fall off this animation juggernaut? Will it be an outing too far? After all, the tissue tugging tenor of the third film signed off on a note so poignant and affecting that maybe magic will not be conjured again. And yet, one thing we do know for certain: you cannot write the Pixar team off. They have a canny knack of upending convention, injecting fresh, sophisticated shades on the most tried and tested of cinematic terrain; not to mention mind-boggling invention.

The film has been cited by Pixar president Jim Morris as not so much an out-and-out continuation of Toy Story 3, but a separate story. Newcomers Patricia Arquette, Keanu Reeves and Jordan Peele are set to join series’ mainstays on voice cast duty, and there is a scent of promise with the news that Inside Out writer Josh Cooley has been handed the director’s chair. In terms of story, what we currently know is that this is set to be a road trip romantic comedy (yes, really) that will give way to a final scene that Tom Hanks has already dubbed a ‘moment in history’. No pressure then.

Greg Wetherall

 

2. Star Wars: Episode IX

Picture credit: Lucasfilm

Out: December 19th

No doubt, someday soon, general audiences will get tired of Star Wars. We’ve had a new film every year since Disney bought the franchise back to the forefront of entertainment in 2015 with The Force Awakens. And while they may have announced they’ll soon be slowing down their film output, there’s still at least two new television series in development, countless books and comics, new video-games, board games and any other manner of entertainment you can think of.

Furthermore, the response to the previous ‘saga’ film, The Last Jedi, was mixed, with a very vocal section of the fanbase bemoaning the fact that the Luke Skywalker they saw on screen wasn’t their Luke Skywalker, among other problems. Soon after, Solo: A Star Wars Story was dubbed a ‘flop’, and many attributed that to the heavy backlash against Last Jedi.

But this year, Star Wars returns to cinemas once more for the supposed final chapter in the Skywalker Saga, with Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams back in the director’s chair. The film is set to end the Saga once and for all, and by the sounds of things, it will do so in style; ending the long-lasting war that started in Attack of the Clones, returning Lando Calrissian to the forefront, revealing the future of the Jedi and determining the final fate of one of the best new characters in Star Wars: Kylo Ren.

The newest Star Wars epic promises the best of both worlds, taking the character progression of Rian Johnson’s movie and mixing it with the crowd-pleasing nature of an Abrams spectacular. One that could reunite the fanbase and remind us all why we got so excited for more Star Wars in 2015.

Emrys Moungabio

 

1. Avengers: Endgame

Picture credit: Marvel Studios

Out: April 26th

“Part of the journey is the end.”

That’s what Tony Stark utters at the opening of the record-breaking Endgame trailer that was released last month, and while he might be drifting alone in space, you get the feeling we’re being addressed here. For the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, unfamiliarly, in doubt; while you can be sure the franchise that churns out half a billion dollars with every film won’t come to a complete standstill, the shape of things to come is, for once, uncertain.

The end of Infinity War left us with half of all life in the universe wiped out – counting T’Challa, Peter Quill and Peter ‘I don’t feel so good’ Parker amongst Thanos’ victims. The big purple bastard has achieved what he set out to do and now seems to be leaving his armour to dry and going all Terence Malick in his extragalactic fields of wheat.

Half the Avengers remain, however, and you can be sure that the Cap’n and co. won’t sit still for long. A post-Ragnarok Thor has seen Chris Hemsworth enter the hottest comedic vein of his career (look out for Men in Black: International this year, too), while the Russo bros’ established willingness to get dark also promises a finale with plenty of vengeance and tragedy (Chris Evans is almost certainly hanging up the vibranium shield as his 6-film deal has run out).

Try not to miss this one.

Chris Shortt