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Lot of films to look forward to this year

Top directors taking on some head-scratching projects

Timothee Chalamat stars in Wonka.

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 4, 2023

The most labor-intensive edition of ScreenTime I write each year tends to be the first column, when I attempt to look at the year ahead and make predictions that aren’t stupid. This was a much easier column to write years ago when there were fewer movies and more predictability. 

But alas, here we go, the (obvious) films coming in 2023 that we’re hoping are good:


My man Christopher Nolan leads one of the most impressive casts ever assembled while taking on the “light” topic of J. Robert Oppenheimer. If you’re unfamiliar with Oppenheimer, the reductive take is that he’s the guy who ruined the world by making the atomic bomb a reality. Another light text for Nolan. 

This will be good. It’ll be grand. It’ll be the most impressively produced film of 2023, almost certainly. We should be excited.


Director Greta Gerwig and ScreenTime favorite Noah Baumbach collaborated on the screenplay for this one, which is just about the only reason I’m hopeful about this project. The film stars the most exciting actress currently working, Margot Robbie, in the title role, as well as Ryan Gosling as Ken. The trailer is undeniably brilliant. Excited about this one.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Here’s one I’m not very excited about, but feel needs mentioning. Amazing cast, Phedon Papamichael shooting it, Kathleen Kennedy producing it, John Williams on music, and, most importantly, James Mangold on directing duties. 

Mangold has yet to make a bad movie, and has made several Tier Two classics. Harrison Ford is back as Indiana, and joining him are Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, and my guy Mads Mikkelsen. Sounds like a fun action movie is brewing.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Pt. 1

I don’t think I need to say much about this one. It’s Tom Cruise and his buddy Director Christopher McQuarrie doing their thing once again. Will. Be. Fun.

Dune: Part Two

I suspect this one will do really well, probably much better than even the first one did. Denis Villeneuve is a brilliant technical director who has assembled a remarkable production team that seems to be capable of just about anything. Greig Fraser is shooting Dune: Part Two, which means any serious cinephile is going to have to watch the film. Also, check out this cast: Lea Seydoux, Christopher Walken, Florence Pugh, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling, Josh Brolin, Charlotte Rampling, Rebecca Ferguson, and Stellan Skarsgård. Wow. Oh, and of course there are the leads as well: Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. Meh.

Asteroid City

My guy Wes Anderson is back with another ensemble film featuring what will almost certainly be more of the best production design cinema has ever seen. At this point, I don’t think Anderson is ever going to write an all-time great screenplay, but he will assemble all the best actors and crafts workers and make something that’s incredibly satisfying to stare at for 100 minutes. 

Asteroid stars (big breath) … Tom Hanks, Steve Carrell, Margot Robbie, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Hong Chau, Maya Hawke, Jeffrey Goldblum, Jeffrey Wright, Liev Schreiber, Matt Dillon, Fisher Stevens, Rita Wilson, Bryan Cranston, and Willem Dafoe. Wow. In a year of stacked casts, Anderson once again wins.

Infinity Pool

This trailer is playing before just about every movie I’ve seen recently. This suggests that some people with money really believe in director Brandon Cronenberg. And they should. Cronenberg’s first two features (Antiviral and Possessor) are quite good. Look for this to be one of the first cinephile favorites of 2023.

Magic Mike’s Last dance

I’m not really sure how to feel about this one. I think Channing Tatum is a fun frontman and Steven Soderbergh is one of the best filmmakers of his generation. Does that mean I want to see more of this world? Meh. I’m only excited about this one because it’s Soderbergh with a lot of support. 

I suppose watching Tatum dance with one of the sexiest women to ever live, Salma Hayek, is something to look forward to. Mostly I’ll be watching to try to figure out why Soderbergh chose this as his next project.

Creed III

It’s hard to say if this  trilogy has legs or not. The Rocky films are the definition of cinematic longevity, but I’m not sure that quality extends to the Michael B. Jordan-led films. They’ve certainly been fun, but I think they lack the magic of the first four Stallone-led films, which easily happen to be some of my most-watched movies ever. Here are the facts: no Stallone in this film; Jordan is directing; Ryan Coolger helped with the screenplay; and the great Jonathan Majors is playing Creed’s rival, Dame Anderson, who is supposedly something of a Clubber Lang doppelganger. I’ll watch it. It’ll be fun. But will it be great? I doubt it.


 So here’s the thing: I don’t really think much of Timothée Chalamet. I know his face is pretty, but I don’t see the appeal beyond that. Here he plays a young Willie Wonka under the direction of Paul King, who directed the two wonderful Paddington films. Wonka is a musical shot by Chung Chung-hoon and featuring Keegan-Michael Key, Sally Hawkins, Matt Lucas, and two mega ScreenTime favorites, Rowan Atkinson and Olivia Colman. I’ll see this one, but my hopes aren’t very high. Here’s hoping it satisfies the Chalamet Mob.

Also, there’s going to be a new House Party film as well as Gremlins 3. It’s hard for me to not be oddly excited to see those two. Fingers are crossed.


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