Top anticipated movies of 2019

(Photo by Entertainment Weekly/20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate)

KAMPALA – From John Wick: chapter 3 and it: chapter 2 to Toy story 4 and the Goldfinch, we look ahead to the biggest movies coming out in 2019.

There is a whole lot more to look forward to this year. With that in mind, we’ve pored over the release calendar and scoured the planet for news and details to bring you this list of the most anticipated 2019 movies.

Plenty of the upcoming movies are long-anticipated sequels, prequels, and reboots – think Zombieland 2Dark PhoenixToy Story 4, and John Wick: Chapter 3 – and there are a ton of hotly anticipated remakes, too: The Lion King and Dumbo among them.

Be sure to keep an eye out for some stellar-sounding originals, like the adaptation of The Goldfinch and Elton John biopic, Rocketman. It’s looking like another big year at the movies, and for your wallet – start marking your 2019 movie calendar now.


The Upside (2019)
Directed by: Neil Burger
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies
Opening on: January 11, 2019

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in this Paul Feig-scripted remake of the French hit The Intouchables, a feelgood dramedy about an ex-con who forms an unlikely bond with the paralyzed man who hires him as his caregiver.

Glass (2019)
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy
Opening on: January 18, 2019

Those who left Split absolutely buzzing at the hint of a Shyamalan-iverse were thrilled when it was announced that Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson would be joined by James McAvoy for this crossover named for Jackson’s Unbreakable villain, Mr. Glass.

Serenity (2019)
Directed by: Steven Knight
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane
Opening on: January 25, 2019

Interstellar co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway reunite for this thriller about fishing boat captain who is pulled into a web of deceit when his ex-wife shows up and begs him to save her from her abusive new husband. Originally scheduled for October of 2018, this was pushed back for unknown reasons, but its stellar cast should make for an interesting watch, at the very least.


What Men Want (2019)
Directed by: Adam Shankman
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield
Opening on: February 8, 2019

This gender-swapped take on the Mel Gibson comedy What Women Want sees Taraji P. Henson playing a sports agent who can hear what the men in her industry are thinking. And, we suspect, she won’t take no s–t from any of them.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
Directed by: Mike Mitchell, Trisha Gum
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish
Opening on: February 8, 2019

Everything is less than awesome in Bricksburg five years after the events of the first Lego Movie, and they’re only set to get worse when some very marketable space invaders come to town.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Ed Skrein, Michelle Rodriguez
Opening on: February 14, 2019

Initially scheduled for the summer of 2018, this James Cameron-produced adaptation of the Japanese manga had already been pushed back once to a December release, before Fox decided that month was already competitive enough. Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, and Michelle Rodriguez all co-star in this blend of live action and CGI about a cyborg girl who faces her past with the help of the scientist who rescued her from the scrap heap.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Fererra, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington, Kristen Wiig
Opening on: February 22, 2019

Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, and Gerard Butler return for the third and ostensibly final chapter of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, which finds Hiccup leading the village of Berk, now a dragon utopia. When Hiccup’s dragon Toothless encounters a potential mate and a new threat bears down on Berk, however, the two of them embark on a journey to magical hidden world (natch) in order to save their way of life.

(Photo by Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios)

Chaos Walking (2019)
Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo
Opening on: March 1, 2019

Just when it seemed the YA novel adaptation trend might be on its way out, Chaos Walking comes along to say, “But wait! Have you seen one with Rey from Star Wars and Spider-man?” Doug Liman (Edge of TomorrowAmerican Made) directs this big-screen version of the sci-fi novel about a young man living in a colony on another planet who believes all women have been killed by a virus until he meets a mysterious girl who may hold the key to the planet’s secrets. Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star, with Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, David Oyelowo, and Cynthia Erivo in supporting roles.

Captain Marvel (2019)
Directed by: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Lee Pace, Samuel L. Jackson
Opening on: March 8, 2019

However will the Avengers recover from the mass destruction wrought by Thanos in Infinity War? Some folks suggest we’ll get some answers in Captain Marvel, which takes place in the 1990s and introduces the world to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), the Air Force pilot who receives superpowers from… Well, we won’t spoil anything here. Indie co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take the helm as Captain Marvel becomes Marvel’s first female superhero to get her own solo movie.

Us (2019)
Directed by: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Opening on: March 15, 2019

Plot details are still few and far between at this point, but we know that Jordan Peele is writing and directing another thriller as a follow-up to his 2017 smash hit Get Out. It will star Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Moss, and Black Panther‘s Winston Duke among others, which already makes this sound like a really promising project.

The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Sean Patrick Thomas, Patricia Velasquez
Opening on: April 19, 2019

This James Wan-produced frightener stars Linda Cardellini as a widowed social worker who finds striking – and terrifying – parallels between what’s happening to a family she is investigating and the strange occurrences haunting her own.

Under the Silver Lake (2019)  54%
Directed by: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace
Opening on: April 19, 2019

Director David Robert Mitchell had a horror sleeper hit in 2015 with It Follows, and for his sophomore effort, he turns to understated mystery. Andrew Garfield stars as a man who embarks on a quest through Los Angeles to find a mysterious woman who has suddenly disappeared after the two of them shared a brief encounter. Originally slated for late 2018, it was moved back several months.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Directed by: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Starring: Everybody
Opening on: April 26, 2019

Avengers: Endgame promises to bring resolution to the conflict between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Thanos, the Mad Titan, which began in this year’s Infinity War. We know almost nothing about what will happen in the film – save for the fact Hawkeye is back, Ant-Man joins the fight, and Tony’s lost in space, all revealed in the first trailer – but the upcoming Captain Marvel (see above) will likely provide some clues, and considering this will mark the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “phase three,” we’ll probably end up saying good-bye to a few more characters.


Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Directed by: Rob Letterman
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse
Opening on: May 10, 2019

In case you hadn’t heard, Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise ever, so it’s a little surprising we’ve never gotten a proper blockbuster movie out of it. That’s all going to change next year with Detective Pikachu, a live-action/animation hybrid film based on the video game of the same name, which will feature Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. While it’s not entirely off-brand for Reynolds to sign on for a role that only requires him to scream his character’s name over and over again, Detective Pikachu actually speaks, so don’t worry about him pulling a Vin Diesel/Groot here.

The Rosie Project (2019)
Directed by: N/A
Starring: Ryan Reynolds (rumored)
Opening on: May 10, 2019 (rumored)

Speaking of Ryan Reynolds, he’s also rumored to be attached to this romantic drama based on a novel by Australian writer Graeme Simsion. None of the cast or crew has been confirmed yet, and we don’t have any details on the plot, but the book centers on a straight-laced genetics professor who formulates criteria to find his perfect match, only to fall in love with a woman who doesn’t make the cut.

John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019)
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston
Opening on: May 17, 2019

At the end of John Wick: Chapter 2, Keanu Reeves’ titular hitman went on the run after he broke the rules and murdered a high-level crime lord on the grounds of the Continental, the all-purpose sanctuary and day spa for assassins. This movie picks up right where that one left off, as John must survive the bounty on his head without the aid of the larger criminal underworld.

Rocketman (2019)
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell
Opening on: May 17, 2019

“Someone dared besmirch Harland Williams by remaking his classic Rocketman?!” Relax, that was our first reaction too, but this is actually a biopic on the life of Elton John. Taron Egerton stars, as the film covers John’s formative years: from childhood prodigy, to where Philadelphia freedom took him knee-high to a man, and into his wondrously fruitful partnership with lyricst Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). Eddie the Eagle‘s Dexter Fletcher directs.

Ad Astra (2019)
Directed by: James Gray
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland
Opening on: May 24, 2019

If you liked Interstellar, you may want to (tele)scope this one out. (Sorry.) Director James Gray (The Lost City of Z) takes to the outer reaches of space to tell the story of an engineer (Brad Pitt) who embarks on a fantastic voyage in pursuit of his father (Tommy Lee Jones), who took a one-way trip to Neptune 20 years prior.


The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
Directed by: Chris Renaud
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Lake Bell
Opening on: June 7, 2019

Without breaking a sweat, Minion-peddler Illumination Entertainment created another hugely profitable animated series with 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets, a colorful look into what animals get into when you’re out, gadding about. Patton Oswalt, the Christopher Plummer of comedy, will replace Louis C.K. as the voice of Max, the Jack Russell Terrier.

Men in Black International (2019)
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Neeson
Opening on: June 14, 2019


Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Directed by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton
Opening on: July 5, 2019

Just to get it out of the way, we’ll acknowledge that the existence of this movie itself is essentially a spoiler for Avengers 4 — though that didn’t make Peter Parker’s final scenes in Infinity War any less moving. In this follow-up to Sony’s 2015 reboot of the character, Tom Holland’s Spidey faces off against Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, and Jon Watts returns to direct. Oh, and thanks to a conveniently “accidental” reveal by Holland on Instagram, we now know what the title will be.

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019)
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden
Opening on: July 26, 2019

For his ninth film (if you count Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as one movie), Quentin Tarantino has recruited a killer cast to tell a story that revolves around an aspiring actor and his stunt double who attempt to establish their careers in Tinseltown in 1969 just as the Manson Family murders are taking place. So, you know, typical family-friendly Tarantino stuff.


The New Mutants (2019)
Directed by: Josh Boone
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga
Opening on: August 2, 2019

The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone collects some of today’s hottest young stars — including Split’s Anya Taylor-Joy, Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, and Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton — to play next-generation X-Men from Marvel’s comic book series of the same name. But the New Mutants’ dark path is riddled with horrors as they discover their abilities while imprisoned in a secret facility.

Hobbs And Shaw (2019)
Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham
Opening on: August 2, 2019

Recognizing the star power of Dwayne Johnson, Universal decided to spin his character off from the Fast and Furious franchise alongside Jason Statham for what will likely be some high-octane version of a buddy-cop action flick. Stunt coordinator-turned-director David Leitch (John WickAtomic BlondeDeadpool 2) is signed on for this one, so we expect the action will be appropriately bonkers.


It: Chapter Two (2019)
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgård
Opening on: September 6, 2019

Stephen King fans who saw 2017’s IT were quick to point out that the film only tells half of the original novel’s story, namely the half that takes place when the characters are still kids. This follow-up takes place 30 years later with a grown-up cast that includes Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, among others, and they’re out to take down Pennywise the shapeshifting clown (Bill Skarsgård) for good.

Downton Abbey (2019)
Directed by: Michael Engler
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Imelda Staunton, Geraldine James
Opening on: September 20, 2019

The hit UK period drama following the lives of the inhabitants of a fictional Yorkshire estate finally comes to the big screen, with several of the primary cast members reprising their roles and a handful of newcomers joining the fun. Series creator Julian Fellowes is producing the film, with seasoned TV vet Michael Engler (30 RockUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) returning to the series to direct.

The Kitchen (2019)
Directed by: Andrea Berloff
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, Domhnall Gleeson, Common
Opening on: September 20, 2019

Don’t let this movie’s comic book origins fool you; a superhero story this is not. This period crime drama follows three New York women in the 1970s, all wives to Irish mobsters, who decide to take up their husbands’ business when they’re all nabbed by the FBI.

The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
Directed by: Thurop Van Orman, John Rice
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Rachel Bloom, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Sterling K. Brown, Awkwafina
Opening on: September 20, 2019

2016’s The Angry Birds Movie did about as good a job as one could expect, to turn a mobile video game with no narrative premise into a feature-length family film. What’s this sequel about? Who knows? But with its instant brand recognizability and a voice cast that includes Peter Dinklage, Rachel Bloom, and Bill Hader, does it matter? Probably not!


Zombieland 2 (2019)
Directed by:
 Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin
Opening on: October 2019 (exact date unknown)

It will have taken exactly 10 years, but Sony is finally giving fans a sequel to the 2009 hit horror comedy, Zombieland. All of the original braaaaaaiiiiinnnsss are on board, including director Ruben Fleischer (who directed the upcoming Venom) and writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, and the four key leads – Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin – have all signed on. According to early reports, the movie will see the foursome taking on zombies that have evolved since the events of the first movie.

Gemini Man (2019)
Directed by: Ang Lee
Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen
Opening on: October 4, 2019

Will Smith stars in this sci-fi thriller with shades of Rian Johnson’s Looper that centers on an assassin looking to exit his career as who faces his biggest obstacle: a younger clone of himself. Academy Award-winner Ang Lee directs, with the stellar supporting cast rounded out by the likes of Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen.

Joker (2019)
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro
Opening on: October 4, 2019

Separate from the other Joker movie that will see Jared Leto reprising the character he played in 2016’s Suicide Squad, this origin story for the Clown Prince of Crime will star multiple Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix as the titular criminal mastermind with Todd Phillips (Old SchoolThe Hangover trilogy) set to direct. Robert De Niro and Atlanta and Deadpool 2 star Zazie Beetz are also both currently in talks to co-star.

The Addams Family (2019)
Directed by: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Allison Janey
Opening on: October 11, 2019

Directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan last brought us the R-rated Sausage Party, and they look to translate some of that irreverent wit to this animated version of The Addams Family, which features the voices of Oscar Isaac as Gomez and Charlize Theron as Morticia. The art style closely resembles the original artwork by creator Charles Addams, and the supporting cast includes a nice combination of industry vets and up-and-comers.

The Goldfinch (2019)
Directed by: John Crowley
Starring: Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Ansel Elgort, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Wilson
Opening on: October 11, 2019

Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) stars in this adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that charts the life of a young teenager who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum and eventually enters a life of crime. Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman, and Jeffrey Wright play supporting roles, while director John Crowley is best known for his multiple Oscar-nominated drama Brooklyn.


Charlie’s Angels (2019)
Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Kristen Stewart (rumored)
Opening on: November 1, 2019

Who’s the Bosley? No word yet on this new movie take on the classic ’70s/’80s action franchise about thee kick-ass female detectives. Elizabeth Banks moves further into the directing game after Pitch Perfect 2; Lupita Nyong’o and Kristen Stewart are currently rumored to star.

Untitled Terminator Project (2019)
Directed by: Tim Miller
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Linda Hamilton, Gabriel Luna
Opening on: November 1, 2019

Deadpool director Tim Miller takes the reins of the iconic Terminator franchise with a reboot that starts where the first two films in the series left off. (Those other film efforts are dismissed as an alternate timeline.) With James Cameron on board as producer and both Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning, the effort feels legit — even if it will reportedly see Sarah Connor pass the torch to a new female lead.

Death on the Nile (2020)
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh
Opening on: November 8, 2019

Kenneth Branagh will return as detective Hercule Poirot following the surprise success of 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, which Branagh also directed. No word on who will be cast as the sailing suspects in this latest Agatha Christie adaption.

Kingsman 3 (2019)
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth
Opening on: November 8, 2019

With James Bond 25 delayed until 2020, director Matthew Vaughn is taking the opportunity to snag its release date to close out his Kingsman franchise with a third installment, with Taron Egerton and Colin Firth presumed to return. We don’t know much else about it, except that, according to Vaughn, it will bring a conclusion to the relationship between Egerton and Firth’s characters.


Jumanji 2 (2019)
Directed by: Scott Rosenberg
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, Kevin Hart
Opening on: December 13, 2019

Little is known about this sequel to the bigger-than-expected 2017 hit, which proved a canny bit of counterprogramming to The Last Jedi during that year’s holiday moviegoing period. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle screenwriter Scott Rosenberg is attached, as are the four leads/key avatars: Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Dwayne Johnson.

Masters Of The Universe (2019)
Directed by: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee
Starring: N/A
Opening on: December 18, 2019

Children of the ’80s rejoice: the most powerful man in the universe is back. This is the second attempt to bring the protector of Grayskull’s secrets to the big screen, and is directed by Adam and Aaron Nee, who made a well-received indie, Band of Robbers, about a grown-up modern-day Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

Star Wars: Episode IX (2019)
Directed by: J. J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o
Opening on: December 20, 2019

Fanboys who felt Rian Johnson took their story far, far away from where they wanted it to go were relieved when The Force Awakens helmer J.J. Abrams entered the captain’s chair for this sequel trilogy finale.



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