Most anticipated movies of 2022

Written by:
January 21, 2022

Most anticipated movies of 2022

There may be no better time for cinephiles than a new year, bringing with it the long-awaited releases of highly anticipated films. Whether remakes, sequels, action-adventure, animation, or suspense, these new movies have been hyped for months (or in some cases, years) as fans hungrily awaited release dates. 

To determine which 2022 movies are the most anticipated, Stacker looked at all 2022 feature film releases and used IMDb popularity data from Jan. 4, 2022, to rank the top films. #1 is the most popular 2022 movie on the site.

Of course, the last two years have complicated release strategies and thrown the entertainment industry in general into uncomfortable flux. But with many new releases going straight to streaming while others debut in still-surviving movie theaters, 2022 is sure to welcome no shortage of great new films. We've additionally included the most up-to-date U.S. release date information available as of Jan. 21, 2021 (subject to change).

The forthcoming list contains several superhero films, prequels, franchise additions, and movies based on books. Whether it's a long-awaited sequel to a 1986 film featuring Top Gun pilots, the seventh film in a spy franchise based on a television show from the 1960s, or the fifth slasher film in what was originally supposed to be a trilogy, these movies are sure to entertain and thrill audiences everywhere.

#24. The Expendables 4

- Director: Scott Waugh
- Release date: Sometime in 2022

The group of mercenaries will consist of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture, who all reprise their roles for the latest installment in “The Expendables” film franchise. Many new actors will join the cast, including Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, and Megan Fox. The newest film in the franchise, which is known for bringing a host of actors who’ve portrayed famous action heroes to the screen like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, and Harrison Ford, will focus less on Stallone’s character Barney Ross than the past films and the spotlight will shine on Statham’s character, Lee Christmas.


#23. Don't Worry Darling

- Director: Olivia Wilde
- Release date: In theaters Sept. 23

This psychological thriller features a 1950s housewife (Florence Pugh) living in an experimental utopian community along with her husband (Harry Styles)—and all is not what it seems. Styles replaced Shia LaBeouf after on-set tension, and KiKi Layne replaced Dakota Johnson, who had scheduling conflicts.

#22. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse - Part One

- Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
- Release date: In theaters Oct. 7

This computer-animated film features a return to the Spider-Verse saga with the web-slinging Miles Morales, whom audiences met in the Oscar-winning film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Morales will join up with Gwen Stacy and fellow Spider-People across the multiverse to fight a powerful villain in this two-part sequel.

#21. Knives Out 2

- Director: Rian Johnson
- Release date: Sometime in 2022

The rights to the follow-up film to the popular “Knives Out” were acquired by Netflix, as were the rights to a third film. It will not feature anyone from the original cast with the exception of Daniel Craig. The “Knives Out 2” storyline follows the next mystery for Craig’s character, Benoit Blanc, with a stellar ensemble cast including Edward Norton, Ethan Hawke, and Kate Hudson.

#20. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

- Director: Ryan Coogler
- Release date: In theaters Nov. 11

In the sequel to 2018’s “Black Panther,” Wakanda and the many characters introduced in the first film will be explored. Disney confirmed that they will not recast the role of T’Challa/Black Panther after Chadwick Boseman’s death in 2020. Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, and Angela Bassett will return, though the production shut down for a bit after an on-set accident that caused injuries for Wright, including a concussion and a shoulder fracture.

#19. Mission: Impossible 7

- Director: Christopher McQuarrie
- Release date: In theaters Sept. 30

This seventh entry in the franchise brings back Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. “Mission: Impossible 7” will also feature Ving Rhames, Frederick Schmidt, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny, and Rebecca Ferguson, as well as new stars like Shea Whigham, Esai Morales, Hayley Atwell, Rob Delaney, Charles Parnell, and Pom Klementieff. Audiences will be able to stream the film on Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical release.

#18. Moonfall

- Director: Roland Emmerich
- Release date: In theaters Feb. 4

The moon is knocked from its orbit by an unknown and mysterious force, which causes chaos on Earth and threatens humanity. Former astronaut Jo Fowler has a plan, but she must work with the only people who believe it will work, including a conspiracy theorist and an astronaut, to save humanity, though they soon discover that the moon isn’t what they imagined. The film stars Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, and Donald Sutherland.

#17. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

- Directors: Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
- Release date: Streaming on Amazon Prime Jan. 14

Drac and Johnny must find a cure after a horrible transformation created by Van Helsing’s invention goes awry, and Drac winds up as a human, and Johnny becomes a monster. The fourth installment in the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise is an Amazon Original. Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi, and Fran Drescher lend their voices.

#16. Top Gun: Maverick

- Director: Joseph Kosinski
- Release date: In theaters May 27

Tom Cruise returns to play Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in this sequel to the 1980s hit “Top Gun,” and Val Kilmer returns as his one-time rival, Iceman. Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm also star in this sequel that finds Maverick called to train Top Gun grads for a specialized mission. While Anthony Edwards cannot return as fallen best friend Goose, his son Lt. Bradley Bradshaw aka “Rooster” (Miles Teller) will show up.

#15. The Flash

- Director: Andy Muschietti
- Release date: In theaters Nov. 4

The Flash will get his own film and it will feature both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck reprising their roles as Batman. Ezra Miller will reprise his role as Barry Allen, and the film will focus on a warped timeline created by Allen’s attempts to save his mother using time travel, featuring a variation on the Flashpoint storyline featured in the comics.

#14. Avatar 2

- Director: James Cameron
- Release date: In theaters Dec. 16

The original “Avatar” was the highest-grossing film of all time. Director James Cameron returns with the second installment, along with some familiar faces like Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Stephen Lang, and some new arrivals like his “Titanic” muse Kate Winslet. Set years after the first on Pandora, the Na'vi return in this family saga with Neytiri and Sully having their own children.

#13. Jurassic World: Dominion

- Director: Colin Trevorrow
- Release date: In theaters June 10

In this third installment in the franchise, stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt return as Claire Dearing and Owen Grady. At the end of “Fallen Kingdom,” the dinos found their way into the real world, and this is where “Dominion” picks up. Newcomers DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie will also join the cast.

#12. Morbius

- Director: Daniel Espinosa
- Release date: In theaters April 1

Villain or superhero? Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) battles a rare blood disease. When he attempts to cure it, he infects himself with something that may be far worse. This new introduction to the Marvel universe also stars Michael Keaton, Adria Arjona, and Tyrese Gibson.

#11. The Lost City

- Directors: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee
- Release date: In theaters March 25

Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, and Daniel Radcliffe star in this action-adventure comedy, featuring Brad Pitt in a cameo role. In the Paramount Pictures film, a romance novelist and a book cover model on a book tour wind up on a jungle adventure.

#10. Thor: Love and Thunder

- Director: Taika Waititi
- Release date: In theaters July 8

The fourth film in the Thor franchise features an all-star cast that includes Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, and Melissa McCarthy. In the film, Jane Foster battles cancer while also taking on superhero powers like Thor. Five of the people involved with the film are Oscar winners, including director Taika Waititi.

#9. The 355

- Director: Simon Kinberg
- Release date: In theaters Jan. 7

In this female-driven action film, a team of women led by CIA agent Mason "Mace" Brown, played by Jessica Chastain, go after a weapon that has wound up in the wrong hands all while they are being watched by a mysterious woman. Rounding out the cast are Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz, and Lupita Nyong’o. 355 was the codename for a mysterious female agent in the Revolutionary War who was part of the Culper Ring spy network.

#8. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

- Director: David Yates
- Release date: In theaters April 15

Jude Law plays Albus Dumbledore in this third film in the “Fantastic Beasts” series. Johnny Depp will not return as Grindelwald; he was asked to leave the project after losing a libel case against the British tabloid The Sun. In the film, Professor Dumbledore understands that Grindelwald, the Dark wizard, will take control of the wizarding world if no one tries to stop him, so he allows magizoologist Newt Scamander to assemble a team to help.

#7. Killers of the Flower Moon

- Director: Martin Scorsese
- Release date: Sometime in 2022

The upcoming Martin Scorsese film “Killers of the Flower Moon” marks the sixth collaboration between the Oscar-winning director and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the book of the same name by journalist David Grann, the film focuses on the mysterious murders of members of Osage Nation in the 1920s and the ensuing FBI investigation. The film also stars Jesse Plemons, Robert De Niro, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser.

#6. Death on the Nile

- Director: Kenneth Branagh
- Release date: In theaters Feb. 11

Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this fim as investigator Hercule Poirot, investigating a murder while vacationing on the Nile. Gal Gadot, Tom Bateman, and Armie Hammer round out the cast in this film adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel.

#5. Scream

- Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
- Release date: In theaters Jan. 14

A quarter century after the original film was released, the fifth installment in the “Scream” franchise reunites Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette. When a new group of Woodsboro teens is terrorized by a killer, Sidney Prescott comes home to help. This is the first “Scream” film that was not directed by horror film master Wes Craven, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

#4. Uncharted

- Director: Ruben Fleischer
- Release date: In theaters Feb. 18

“Uncharted” follows a thief and a veteran treasure hunter as they journey across the globe to find a 500-year-old fortune lost by adventurer Ferdinand Magellan. Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland star in this action-adventure film. The movie, based on the video game series, was supposed to be released in 2016, but its release was held up several times.

#3. The Northman

- Director: Robert Eggers
- Release date: In theaters April 22

This epic thriller reunites Alexander Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman, who played husband and wife in the HBO series “Big Little Lies.” “The Northman” features Skarsgård playing Kidman’s son and a Viking prince who vows to avenge his father’s death and save his mother. The film also stars Ethan Hawke, Björk, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Willem Dafoe.

#2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

- Director: Sam Raimi
- Release date: In theaters May 6

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Dr. Stephen Strange in this film, which also stars Rachel McAdams and Elizabeth Olsen. The film finds Dr. Strange opening up a door to the multiverse after he casts a spell. When an alternate version of Strange pops up, it will take a combined effort to save humanity.

#1. The Batman

- Director: Matt Reeves
- Release date: In theaters March 4

The film focuses on Batman’s sophomore year fighting crime, as he finds that his own family is tied to corruption in Gotham City. He also faces a sadistic enemy in serial killer the Riddler. Robert Pattinson plays the caped crusader, and he is joined by Peter Sarsgaard, Colin Farrell, and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman.

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