By Connor Mongan ‘23
After the global pandemic caused the delay of many big budget blockbuster movies, it took Hollywood some time to get back on schedule. Now, however, movies are once again on the screens and audiences are itching to return to theaters. The new year will bring some long-awaited releases that will allow both moviegoers and Hollywood executives to breathe a sigh of relief. Here are some highly anticipated movies to keep an eye out for in 2022:
Top Gun: Maverick
More than 30 years after the release of the summertime classic, Top Gun, Tom Cruise makes his return to the skies in Top Gun: Maverick. The film, initially slated for a 2020 release, was pushed back multiple times but will finally hit theaters this year. Much of the original cast is returning, but will also be joined by fresh faces like Miles Teller and Jon Hamm.
The last time we saw Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, he tragically lost his co-pilot and wingman, Goose. This time, he will be flying with Goose’s son and training a new batch of hotshot young pilots. Little is known about the film’s plot other than the promotional material and what was shown at a San Diego Comic Con panel in 2019, but the long-awaited return of a successful franchise should draw a nice crowd.
Release Date: May 27, 2022
This March, the Caped Crusader makes his long-awaited return to the big screen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Robert Pattinson, who established himself as a Hollywood star in films like Good Time, The Lighthouse, and most recently, Tenet, is donning the suit as a darker, grittier version of a familiar character.
Pattinson’s version of the iconic hero will skip the origin story and thrust viewers right into the action as he defends Gotham City from The Riddler during his second year of fighting crime. Test screenings for the film have reportedly been positive, and trailers have amassed tens of millions of views online.
Release Date: March 4, 2022
For the first time ever, Pixar is showcasing the human side of the Toy Story universe. Lightyear will serve as an origin story for Buzz and introduce the actual Space Ranger who inspired the popular toy. The last time we saw the gang was in Toy Story 4, where Buzz and the other toys were somewhat pushed to the side in order to offer a satisfying conclusion to Woody’s journey.
With this new film, viewers will be excited to see Buzz’s iconic character take the spotlight. The animation style looks sleeker than the traditional Toy Story look, which, at this point, is expected of Pixar—a studio that has made incredible strides in their animation skills, especially with recent releases such as Incredibles 2 and Soul. Chris Evans, best known for portraying Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will lend his voice talents to Buzz in the film.
Release Date: June 17, 2022
In 2009, audiences flocked to movie theaters for James Cameron’s Avatar. The revolutionary science fiction film changed the way CGI was used in movies, and the film proved to have immense popular appeal as it shattered box office records.
The film held the title of all-time highest grossing film for a decade until it was surpassed by Avengers: Endgame in 2019—only to reclaim the title with a Chinese re-release a few months later.
This December, audiences will return to the world of Pandora in Avatar 2. The sequel has been in development for years and the studio has been working on multiple films at the same time, meaning that there will be a new Avatar film approximately every other year for the next decade.
It will be interesting to see if the film is a worthy follow-up to the most successful science fiction movie of all time, and if the box office magic can be recaptured.
Release Date: December 16, 2022