The Biggest Movie Sequels and Prequels Coming in 2024


Theatrical movies truly came back in 2023. Despite a major strike and the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic, audiences returned in droves to watch big releases. From the twin tentpoles of Barbie and Oppenheimer to the more niche faves such as Five Nights at Freddy’s, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, and John Wick: Chapter 4, the cinematic slate of 2023 gave fans of every variety a reason to get back to the cinemas. 

Moviemakers hope to continue this trend in 2024, and the key strategy seems to be sequels, prequels, and remakes. Some of these movies come from the artists who captured audiences’ hearts in the first place, while others come from fresh faces, hoping to infuse a familiar tale with new energy. 

Some of the big names include a third Sonic the Hedgehog movie, a new continuation of the shocking and shockingly successful Terrifier story, the Netflix movie Beverly Hills Cop 4, and more entries in the Transformers, Despicable Me, and Wallace and Gromit franchises. Even among these highlights, 15 movies stand out as the movies fans are most excited to watch again and again. 

Dune: Part Two – March 1

Were it not for the studio’s refusal to pay the writers and actors who make their movies, Dune: Part Two would not be on this list, as Warner Bros. moved the movie off its 2023 release calendar during the strikes. However, that change in schedule hasn’t diminished excitement for the second half of director Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel Dune.

Dune: Part Two deals with Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) striking back at the hated Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), with the help of his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and partner Chani (Zendaya). Joining this already impressive cast is Austin Butler as Paul’s nemesis Feyd-Rautha, Christopher Walken as the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, and Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan. 

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – March 29

Despite mixed reviews, the legacy sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife has done the impossible. Neither Ghostbusters 2 nor the reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call managed to earn a follow-up. But with Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the franchise gets a third entry, with Gil Kenan stepping into the director chair. The movie will team the new Ghostbusters from Afterlife, including Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace as Egon’s grandkids Trevor and Phoebe Spengler and Paul Rudd as their teacher Gary Grooberson, with the surviving originals played by Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson. Even William Atherton makes his return as EPA agent Walter Peck. 

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – May 24

Witness! 78-year-old director George Miller continues the Mad Max story by exploring the history of one of Max’s allies, the Imperator Furiosa, introduced in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Anya Taylor-Joy takes the place of Charlize Theron to play Furiosa in this sequel, which finds Furiosa kidnapped from the Green Place of Many Mothers and caught in a battle between warlords Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) and Immortan Joe. Fury Road remains one of the best action movies of the 21st century. We’ll see if Miller can match that intensity with Furiosa.  

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes – May 24

Seven years after the third entry in the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise comes Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. However, this is no ordinary sequel. New director Wes Ball goes even further, setting Kingdom 300 years after War of the Planet of the Apes. The time jump brings the latest movie even closer to the original franchise’s setting, as the chimpanzee Noa (Owen Teague) and a feral human girl called Mae (Freya Allan of The Witcher) fight the chimp tyrant Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand). 

Inside Out 2 – June 14

Few Pixar movies lend themselves to sequels, and yet the studio has been remarkably successful in turning out satisfying continuations to their movies, from the excellent Toy Story 2 to the surprisingly solid prequel Monsters University. The studio hopes to continue that trend with Inside Out 2, the sequel to one of their best movies.

Kelsey Mann makes his directorial debut to tell the story of now-teenaged Riley dealing with new feelings. Anxiety (Maya Hawke) joins Joy (Amy Phoeler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), and Anger (Lewis Black), as well as Fear and Disgust, now voiced by Tony Hale and Liza Lapira. Although the cast shake-ups raise a bit of concern on our part, we’re still feeling hopeful that Mann and returning screenwriter Meg LeFauve can capture some of the magic of the first movie. 

Twisters – July 19

What’s more shocking — that a sequel to the 1996 cheesy thriller Twister is coming out in 2024? Or that it’s directed by Lee Isaac Chung, whose thoughtful and sensitive Minari was one of the best movies of 2020? Those two surprising facts make Twisters one of the more compelling releases of the summer. Little is known about the script, but we can probably guess that at least two tornados will be involved, as will young stars Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, and the next Superman David Corenswet. Will Chung bring more depth to the project, or is simply running from tornados enough for Twisters?

Deadpool 3 – July 26

No movie on this list has as much weight on its shoulders as Deadpool 3. Not only does it bring Ryan Reynolds’s immensely popular Deadpool into the MCU, but it is the only film on the flagging franchise’s 2024 release calendar. Although Reynolds’s choice of director Shawn Levy doesn’t inspire much hope that the movie will renew any interest that Marvel lost after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels, the movie does feature the return of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, as well as other figures from the Fox superhero movies, including (for some reason) Jennifer Garner as Elektra. Can Ben Affleck’s Daredevil be far away? How about Dolph Lundgren’s Punisher? Either way, we can expect the Merc with a Mouth to handle the pressure with a wink to the camera and an inappropriate joke. 

Alien: Romulus – August 14

If Deadpool 3 represents the upside to Disney purchasing studio 20th Century Fox, Alien: Romulus represents the risk. Director Ridley Scott used the franchise he started to explore heady themes about God and creation with the interesting but not completely profitable Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. Given its original design as a streaming movie on Hulu, Alien: Romulus likely won’t have such lofty goals. However, it is directed by Fede Álvarez, who helmed the excellent remake The Evil Dead and the slasher Don’t Breathe. If Alien: Romulus doesn’t have any big ideas in the script that Álvarez co-wrote with Rodo Sayagues, at least it will have some grimy fun. 

Beetlejuice 2 – September 6

Whatever one’s feelings on the controversial Best Picture winner Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), no one can deny that it’s good to have Michael Keaton back in the movies. Keaton’s been turning out solid work since his 2014 comeback and even brought some energy as a ragged Bruce Wayne in the otherwise dismal The Flash. But can the 72-year-old actor saddle the manic energy that made Beetlejuice so electric in 1988, especially when directed again by Tim Burton, whose best years are far behind him? Keaton and Burton hope to get some help by bringing back Catherine O’Hara and Winona Ryder from the first film and joining them with the always great Willem Dafoe and Monica Bellucci, as well as the goth it girl of the moment, Jenna Ortega. 

Joker: Folie à Deux – October 4

During the lead-up to 2019’s Joker, director Todd Phillips insisted that he wasn’t making a superhero movie. But for all the grime in the finished product, the script that he and co-writer Scott Silver produced still featured appearances by Bruce Wayne and Alfred, and even ended with the Waynes heading down Crime Alley. At first, making a sequel to Joker seems to further undermine Phillips’s attempts to distance the project from other superhero fare, especially as he casts Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. However, the fact that the the sequel is a musical, and that it has the vainglorious title Joker: Folie à Deux, suggests that Phillips truly wants to do something different. Will Phillips break the confines of the superhero trope? Or will Folie à Deux end up an R-rated version of “Mayhem of the Music Meister”? 

Smile 2 – October 18

In a very good year for horror movies, Smile was the surprise hit of 2022. Thanks to a striking central image of characters flashing a menacing grin at the camera, writer/director Parker Finn’s elevated take on demons as generational trauma earned $217.4 million worldwide on a $17 million budget. No information about Smile 2 has yet been released, but it will likely follow Kyle Gallner’s Joel, who picked up the curse experienced by his ex-girlfriend Rose (Sosie Bacon) at the end of the original movie.  

Venom 3 – November 8

Nobody would call Venom or Venom: Let There Be Carnage good movies, exactly. But no one can deny that they are wacky fun, anchored by an unhinged performance by Tom Hardy as reporter Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote Venom. Kelly Marcel, a writer on the first two movies, steps into the director’s chair for the as-of-yet untitled third entry, which will also star Ted Lasso’s Juno Temple and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange). Sony has long wanted to make a shared universe out of their non-Spider-Man Spider-Man characters, so Venom 3 could also see the long-awaited return of one Doctor Michael Morbius. 

Gladiator 2 – November 22

Ridley Scott may not be directing another Alien movie, but that’s because he’s working on another Gladiator. Although Russel Crowe’s Maximus or Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus both died at the end of the Academy Award-winning Gladiator from 2000, Gladiator 2 features Paul Mescal as Lucius Verus, nephew to Commodus and Maximus superfan. In addition to returning actors Connie Nielsen and Derek Jacobi, Gladiator 2 features Denzel Washington as a former slave turned arms dealer, who helps Lucius in his battle against co-Emperors Caracalla (Joseph Quinn) and Geta (Fred Hechinger). 

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim – December 13

After the mixed response to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, Warner Bros. will take the animated route for their latest J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. Screenwriters Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou and director Kenji Kamiyama turn to the appendices to Lord of the Rings to tell a story set more than two centuries before Frodo’s journey to Mordor. Miranda Otto’s Éowyn serves as narrator, joining a cast that includes Brian Cox and Luke Pasqualino. 

Mufasa: The Lion King – December 20

Jon Favreau’s realistically animated remake of The Lion King made $1.7 billion, so of course it’s getting a follow-up. However, the prequel Mufasa: The Lion King deserves attention because it’s directed by Barry Jenkins, the incredible talent behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. Aaron Pierre, who starred in Jenkins’s underseen television series The Underground Railroad, plays a younger Mufasa, while Kelvin Harrison Jr. voices his brother Scar. Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Kani will once again play Pumbaa, Timon, and Rafiki. Here’s hoping Jenkins will be able to bring some of his filmmaking magic to what could otherwise be an empty cash grab.

The post The Biggest Movie Sequels and Prequels Coming in 2024 appeared first on Den of Geek.

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