The Most-Anticipated Films of 2022

Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon in Claire Denis’s Fire (2022)

We saw a lot of Tilda Swinton in 2021, and we’ll be seeing even more of her in 2022. When Swinton, Wes Anderson, and much of the rest of his cast were promoting The French Dispatch a couple of months ago, they had already wrapped production on Asteroid City. Not much is known yet about Anderson’s eleventh feature other than that it will likely be a romantic comedy and that it was shot in Chinchón, a pleasant little town about thirty miles southeast of Madrid that has been drawing filmmakers for decades. Scenes in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings (1961), Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight (1966) and The Immortal Story (1968), and Pedro Almodóvar’s Matador (1986) were filmed in Chinchón.

Anderson is known for creating a familial atmosphere on his sets, and many actors who have worked with him in the past were eager to sign up for Asteroid City: Swinton, the first to be cast, as well as Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Rupert Friend, Jeffrey Wright, and Liev Schreiber. Newcomers this time around include Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Hope Davis, Matt Dillon, and Maya Hawke.

Swinton will star opposite Idris Elba in Three Thousand Years of Longing, George Miller’s first feature since Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Again, we don’t yet know much about the story, but it may involve a scholar, a djinn, and three wishes. “This film has been simmering in the back of my mind for some time,” said Miller last year. “If we can pull it off, I believe we have the makings of something unusually tasty.” It will be “more or less at heart a two-hander, even though it’s way more complex than that . . . There are action scenes, but they are by the by, and I guess you could say it’s the anti–Mad Max.

When the pandemic first shut everything down in 2020, Joanna Hogg retreated with Swinton and much of the production team that had worked on The Souvenir Part II to Wales, where they quietly shot The Eternal Daughter. The story hinges on a middle-aged woman and her elderly mother, who confront long-suppressed secrets when they return to their family home, a grand manor that has now become a nearly vacant hotel.

David Fincher has been shooting The Killer in Paris with Swinton and Michael Fassbender. Andrew Kevin Walker, who wrote Se7en (1995), has adapted Alexis Nolent’s series of graphic novels about an assassin working through an existential crisis, and Scott Stuber, the head of original films at Netflix, promises that Fincher is nailing “the methodology of that world . . . It’s a really fun, big movie.”

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The End, starring Swinton, Stephen Graham, and George MacKay, sounds big and possibly fun, too. “I’ve been interested in the apocalypse for a long time,” the director of The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014) told Karen Nussbaum in the American Prospect last year. While researching wealthy families, he discovered that “one of them was buying a doomsday bunker that was more of a palace than a bunker. I decided to make a film about a family in a bunker twenty years after the world has ended—and to make it a musical.” As touchstones, Oppenheimer has cited Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days (1961) and Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964).

Comedian, writer (Saturday Night Live), actor, and showrunner (Los Espookys) Julio Torres will costar with Swinton in his first feature as a director. There’s no title yet, and the story is still a secret, but the cast has been expanding to include Isabella Rossellini and RZA. And Swinton has one more project on this year’s calendar. She will voice the Fairy with Turquoise Hair in Pinocchio, a stop-motion animated feature codirected by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson, who worked with Wes Anderson on Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).

Del Toro, Cuarón, Iñárritu

Pinocchio and Frankenstein are flip sides of the same story, del Toro tells Collider’s Vinnie Mancuso. His and Gustafson’s Pinocchio “subverts the moral underpinnings of the original fable, which is, in order to be a real boy you have to change. You’re going to become flesh and blood. This is about becoming a real boy by acting. Acting like a real human, period.” Besides Swinton, the cast includes Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Finn Wolfhard, Christoph Waltz, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and Ron Perlman.

By the time Netflix presents Pinocchio at the end of 2022, we will likely have begun seeing the first episodes of del Toro’s other project for the streamer, the horror anthology series Cabinet of Curiosities. Jennifer Kent, Ana Lily Amirpour, Panos Cosmatos, Catherine Hardwicke, and Vincenzo Natali are among the filmmakers directing stand-alone stories, two of them written by del Toro.

While Alfonso Cuarón prepares to write and direct Disclaimer, a series for Apple based on Renée Knight’s 2015 novel and starring Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline, the third filmmaker in the trio of close friends and Oscar-winning directors, Alejandro González Iñárritu, has wrapped production on Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths). A comedy centering on a Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker returning home to face the new reality of his country, Bardo stars Daniel Giménez Cacho (Chronos, Zama) and features cinematography by Darius Khondji (Uncut Gems) and production design by Eugenio Caballero (Pan’s Labyrinth, Roma).

Scorsese, Spielberg, Schrader

Three filmmakers who had a hand in changing the course of American cinema in the 1970s are still at it. Killers of the Flower Moon, based on the 2017 book by David Grann, will be Martin Scorsese’s sixth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio and his tenth with Robert De Niro. Jesse Plemons plays an FBI agent leading an investigation into the murders of wealthy Osage people in Oklahoma in the early 1920s. One of the projects Scorsese will turn to next, by the way, is a biopic based on the life of Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia starring Jonah Hill.

Paul Schrader, who has put his own The Card Counter in the #1 spot on his 2021 top ten—good for him!—aims to continue the comeback streak that began with First Reformed (2017). Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver will star in Master Gardener, the story of a horticulturist torn between two women, one old enough to be his mother and the other young enough to be his daughter. Talking about the film in Zurich in October, Schrader said that the man is “having romantic relations with both, but what I liked the most is that now, they can talk to each other. What would happen in Taxi Driver if Cybill Shepherd and Jodie Foster went out to get coffee?” Schrader plans to start shooting in February, so it’s conceivable that the film could be out by the end of the year.

Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans has a release date: November 23. This will be Spielberg’s most directly personal project yet, and it’s likely that it has grown out of a project he was thinking about making more than twenty years ago when his sister, Anne Spielberg, wrote a screenplay, I’ll Be Home. Cowritten with Tony Kushner (Lincoln, West Side Story), The Fabelmans will star Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, a young aspiring filmmaker, and Michelle Williams as his mother, Paul Dano as his father, and Seth Rogen as his uncle. The cast also features Jeannie Berlin and Judd Hirsch.

Wonder Years

James Gray, too, is drawing from a chapter in his childhood. Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, and Anthony Hopkins will star in Armageddon Time, a story set in Queens just before the presidential election that put Ronald Reagan in the White House. “In some sense, yes, it’s about my childhood, but [it’s also] an illustration of familial love really on every level,” says Gray. “I’m of the belief that most people do their best and that they try their best under difficult circumstances and in some sense that’s a beautiful thing and very moving to me.”

Richard Linklater has just about wrapped up Apollo 10½, an animated feature for Netflix set in Houston in 1969, the year of the first moon landing. Linklater was nine, and Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” made quite an impression. “This thing will be out early next year I imagine,” said Linklater in September. “It’s like Waking Life twenty years later. I shot it with green screen. It’s more ambitious. It’s been a fun movie to be working on during an otherwise miserable time in the world.”

The Cronenbergs

“I have unfinished business with the future,” announced David Cronenberg back in April, and he then spent August and September shooting Crimes of the Future in Greece with Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Scott Speedman, and Don McKellar. This will not be a remake of Cronenberg’s 1970 Crimes of the Future. The new film will take us to a not-so-distant future when humanity begins to biologically alter itself in order to adapt to the synthetic environment we’ve created. Some embrace this “Accelerated Evolution Syndrome,” while others try to maintain control over it. “We are being pulled into a world that is not quite like this or any other,” said Mortensen in Athens, “and yet it is one that feels strangely familiar, immediate and quite credible.”

Infinity Pool, currently in postproduction, will be the third feature from Cronenberg’s son Brandon. Alexander Skarsgård and Cleopatra Coleman star as James and Em, a young jet-setting couple vacationing at a luxury resort where something ominous looms just outside the hotel gates. In September, Caitlin Cronenberg made a one-minute short with her father, The Death of David Cronenberg, which was auctioned off as an NFT. An award-winning celebrity photographer, she has now lined up her first feature, Humane. Twenty percent of the world’s population has been lost to an environmental catastrophe, and one father’s decision to volunteer for the government’s euthanasia program goes terribly wrong.

DeLillo, Baumbach, Gerwig

In 1985, Don DeLillo imagined another sort of environmental catastrophe, an “Airborne Toxic Event” caused by a chemical spill that sends a black noxious cloud out over a town where Jack, a professor of Hitler studies, lives with his wife Babette and four children. Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig will star in Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of White Noise, and one of the producers, Uri Singer, has already secured the rights to two more DeLillo novels, Underworld (1997) and The Silence (2020).

Novelist Lauren Wilkinson (American Spy) has in the meantime signed up to adapt DeLillo’s 1988 JFK assassination novel Libra as a limited series. It’s unclear whether the series will be completed and released in 2022, but while we’re looking ahead, let’s note that Gerwig is hoping she’ll be able to start shooting Barbie, cowritten with Baumbach and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, at the top of the year.

On Fire

Back in February, Claire Denis wrapped production on Fire, and she’s already begun shooting The Stars at Noon, based on Denis Johnson’s 1986 novel, in Panama with Joe Alwyn and Margaret Qualley. So we should be hearing about the premiere of Fire any time now. Juliette Binoche plays Sara, a woman caught between two men, Jean (Vincent Lindon)—they’ve been together for ten years—and François (Grégoire Colin), his best friend and her former lover. The cast also features Mati Diop and Bulle Ogier.

Because Christian Petzold has written the screenplay and received funding, a few German sites have Die Glücklichen—the title could be translated as The Happy Ones or The Lucky Ones—listed as a 2022 release, but frankly, that seems optimistic. In June, Petzold told ScreenAnarchy’s Dustin Chang that he wanted to wait until next summer to begin shooting. “It's about a group of young people in the summer at the Baltic Sea, surrounded by forests, and the forests are burning, and their desire and their hearts are also burning, and the fire in the end is out of control,” said Petzold. “Paula Beer will play the main female role.”

Period Pieces

Terrence Malick reportedly began shooting his biblical epic The Way of the Wind in the summer of 2019 in Italy before moving on to Iceland. The current status is anyone’s guess, but we do know that Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul) will play Jesus and Mark Rylance has confirmed that he will portray four versions of Satan. Further cast members include Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Kingsley, and Joseph Fiennes.

In August, six years after the release of his most recent feature, Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer finally began shooting his loose adaptation of Martin Amis’s 2014 novel Zone of Interest in Poland. The story begins in Auschwitz in 1942, when a Nazi officer falls for the wife of a commandant, and eventually skips to 1948 and the aftermath of their illicit encounters. The cast, production status, and A24’s plans for a release are all currently unknown.

Andrew Dominik started working on Blonde, a project based on Joyce Carol Oates’s 2000 novel conjuring the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, more than ten years ago. In 2016, he told Collider’s Christina Radish that Blonde tells “the story of how a childhood trauma shapes an adult who’s split between a public and a private self. It’s basically the story of every human being . . . It’s how we all operate in the world.” Those who have seen rough cuts, including Oates, assure us that we will be very impressed by Ana de Armas’s performance as Monroe. Blonde should arrive on Netflix next fall.

Lisandro Alonso’s Eureka will be a story told in four parts, taking us from a small town on the border between Mexico and the U.S. in 1870 to a present-day Native American reservation in South Dakota and ultimately an indigenous settlement in the Amazon. “Though it begins in 1870, Eureka is really a present-tense affair, capturing the tragedy of modernity, a sense of disconnect with nature, and an ancestral past in a world alienated by its pursuit of wealth,” says Alonso. His cast includes Viggo Mortensen, Viilbjørk Malling Agger, Rafi Pitts, Maria de Medeiros, and Chiara Mastroianni.

In August, Pietro Marcello began shooting L’envoi in France. It’s the story of a woman (Juliette Jouan) growing up between the two world wars, and Marcello promises a touch of magic realism as he tells a tale that spans twenty years. The cast includes Raphaël Thierry, Louis Garrel, Noémie Lvovsky, Ernst Umhauer, François Négret, and Yolande Moreau.

Joel Edgerton, Mark Rylance, Marion Cotillard, Sebastian Stan, and Vanessa Kirby star in Brady Corbet’s The Brutalist, a story spanning thirty years. A brilliant architect arrives in postwar America with his wife and is hired to design a grand modernist monument by a seemingly charming industrialist.

Set in Madagascar in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Robin Campillo’s École de l’air centers on Thomas, a boy going on ten who has been reading Fantômette, Georges Chaulet’s series of books for young readers featuring the first female superhero in French literature. Growing up on a French army air base, Thomas is beginning to form his own ideas about colonialism.

Sprawling Casts

We’ll be waiting nearly a full year for Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, a tale set in Hollywood just as the silent era is giving way to the talkies. Margot Robbie, playing Clara Bow, stars alongside Brad Pitt, and the rest of the cast includes Li Jun Li as Anna May Wong, Katherine Waterston, Tobey Maguire, Jean Smart, Spike Jonze, Olivia Wilde, Flea, and Max Minghella. The release is currently set for Christmas Day.

Canterbury Glass may or may not be the title of David O. Russell’s next feature, which will be out on November 4. The current synopsis reads in full: “A doctor and a lawyer form an unlikely partnership.” And what a cast. Margot Robbie again, and Christian Bale, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola—and Taylor Swift.

Artists at Work

In Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up, Michelle Williams plays Lizzie, an artist juggling family and friends as she prepares for a potentially career-defining exhibition. Lizzie channels the energy of the chaos in her life into her art. The cast includes frequent Reichardt collaborator Larry Fessenden as well as John Magaro (First Cow), Judd Hirsch, Maryann Plunkett, Heather Lawless, Amanda Plummer, James Le Gros, André Benjamin, and Hong Chau.

Cate Blanchett will play Lydia Tár, the first female chief conductor of a major German orchestra, in Tár, the first feature from Todd Field since Little Children (2006). The score will be composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir, the cast includes Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, and Mark Strong, and Focus Features has set a release date: October 7.

Thoughts and Scares

Here’s what we know about Jordan Peele’s Nope. Daniel Kaluuya, who broke through in Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out (2017), is back. His costars include Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun. There’s a site and a poster, and Universal will release the film on July 22. That’s it for now.

Joaquin Phoenix will play one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time in Ari Aster’s “nightmare comedy” Disappointment Blvd. Joining Phoenix are Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Amy Ryan, Parker Posey, Richard Kind, and Meryl Streep. The Northman, Robert Eggers’s Viking revenge thriller set in tenth-century Iceland, stars Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Claes Bang, Björk, and Ralph Ineson. The film is set to open on April 22, and the first trailer has just been released.

Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear star in Alex Garland’s Men, the story of a woman vacationing alone in the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband. “Prepare for something truly extraordinary and reassuringly weird,” posted cinematographer Rob Hardy on Instagram back in May.

Luca Guadagnino has wrapped production on Bones & All, an adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’s 2015 novel about a young woman who can’t seem to resist the desire to eat anyone who cares for her too much. The cast features Taylor Russell as Maren Yearly as well as Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Jessica Harper, Chloë Sevigny, Francesca Scorsese, and director David Gordon Green.

Cruel Worlds

In Tori and Lokita, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne will tell the story of a young boy and an adolescent girl who have each traveled alone from Africa to Belgium, where they meet and team up to overcome the harsh conditions of their exile together.

Loosely based on actual events that occurred at a Mennonite colony in Bolivia, Miriam Toews told the story of a group of women meeting in secret to discuss how to deal with multiple, repeated, and ongoing incidents of sexual abuse in her 2018 novel Women Talking. Sarah Polley’s adaptation stars Frances McDormand, Ben Whishaw, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, and Jessie Buckley.

Ruben Östlund’s dark comedy Triangle of Sadness stars Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean as a couple invited on luxury cruise; the captain (Woody Harrelson) is a committed Marxist. The ship sinks, the passengers are stranded on a deserted island, and suddenly, the cleaning lady, the only one among them with essential survival skills, upends the group dynamic.

Zoë Kravitz plays an agoraphobic tech worker who discovers evidence of a violent crime in Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi. Reactions to her report from the higher-ups in her company range from uninterested to hostile, so she has to overcome her fears and head out into the streets of Seattle, which are thronged with demonstrators protesting the city’s treatment of the homeless. Up next for Soderbergh is Full Circle, a six-episode series for HBO Max about an investigation into a botched kidnapping.

In Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet, a group at a research facility “devoted to culinary and alimentary performance” becomes embroiled in power struggles, artistic vendettas, and gastrointestinal disorders. Asa Butterfield, Gwendoline Christie, and Ariane Labed lead the cast.

Just last week, Alice Winocour wrapped production on Revoir Paris, which centers on an American writer living in Paris and conducting research on the dancers of the famed Crazy Horse club. After she becomes involved in a terrorist attack, she struggles to pull her life back together. Revoir Paris stars Virginie Efira (Benedetta), Benoît Magimel, Maya Sansa, and Grégoire Colin.

Unhappy Families

Mia Hansen-Løve’s One Fine Morning stars Léa Seydoux as a mother raising her eight-year-old daughter alone in a small Parisian apartment while caring for her father, who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. When she crosses paths with an old friend, sparks flare. Costars include Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, and Nicole Garcia.

Yorgos Lanthimos should have Poor Things, an adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel, ready some time next year. Emma Stone stars as Belle, who tries to drown herself in order to escape her abusive husband (Ramy Youssef). When she’s rescued, her father (Willem Dafoe) replaces her brain with that of her unborn child. Mark Ruffalo, Margaret Qualley, and Kathryn Hunter appear in supporting roles.

Florian Zeller’s The Son will not be a sequel to The Father (2020), but rather, an adaptation of his 2018 play. Peter (Hugh Jackman) and his new partner Beth (Vanessa Kirby) have just had a baby, and their busy lives are disrupted even further when Peter’s ex-wife Kate (Laura Dern) shows up with their teenage son (Zen McGrath). Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar and everything else for his lead performance in The Father, takes on a supporting role.

Brendan Fraser will play Charlie, a 600-pound middle-aged man trying to reconnect with his seventeen-year-old daughter (Sadie Sink) in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. The cast includes Samantha Morton and Hong Chau. Adapting his own 2012 play, Samuel D. Hunter has written his first feature-length screenplay.

Editor Saela Davis worked closely with Anna Rose Holmer on The Fits (2015), and now the two women have codirected God’s Creatures, the story of a mother in an Irish fishing village who lies to protect her son. Emily Watson and Paul Mescal (Normal People) lead the cast.

Nicole Holofcener will begin shooting her new comedy Beth & Don with Julia Louis-Dreyfus early in the year. Beth is a novelist happily married to a supportive husband—until she overhears him say that he hasn’t liked her writing in years.

Love Stories

A detective (Park Hae-il) investigating a possible murder in the mountainous countryside finds himself falling for the man’s widow (Tang Wei)—a prime suspect—in Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave. Postproduction is just about complete, and Park has already begun work on his limited series adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s award winning novel The Sympathizer.

In Ira Sachs’s Passages, Franz Rogowski and Ben Whishaw play a couple who have been together for fifteen years when one of them strikes up an affair with a woman (Adèle Exarchopoulos). Shooting began last month.

Josephine Decker has just wrapped production on The Sky Is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson’s adaptation of her 2010 novel for young adults. Following the sudden death of her big sister, Lennie (Grace Kaufman), a high school student, finds herself drawn to her sister’s grieving boyfriend but also to a new boy in town who has arrived from Paris.

Tahar Rahim and Virginie Efira star in Serge Bozon’s playful musical Don Juan. Jilted on his wedding day, an actor starring in a theatrical production of the seventeenth-century play begins trying to seduce every woman he meets. When the leading lady quits, the production brings in his ex-fiancée.

What Else?

2022 will give us plenty of superheroes and tentpoles, of course, and we’ll be hearing about those soon enough. But who isn’t looking forward to Rian Johnson’s Knives Out 2, featuring the return of Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc, the “Last of the Gentlemen Sleuths”? Whodunnit? Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Madelyn Cline, Jessica Henwick, or Ethan Hawke?

There will be series to look forward to as well, not the least of which is Olivier Assayas’s reimagining of his 1996 feature Irma Vep. Among those joining Alicia Vikander in the cast are Jeanne Balibar, Lars Eidinger, Vincent Lacoste, Hippolyte Girardot, Alex Descas, and Carrie Brownstein.

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