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Films to look forward to in 2019 from Avengers to Rocketman and the Joker to the Manson family film

Looking ahead to a year of films? The KM Group's cinema writer Mike Shaw gives his annual list of the coming year’s most anticipated movies.

1. Avengers: Endgame

Infinity War (last year's Avenger's film) wasn't great. It wasn't a bad film, but it was inferior to almost every other Marvel film, with by-the-numbers set pieces and boring storytelling. But... it had a hell of a cliffhanger and generated a ton of theories online and in my head about what will happen in the concluding chapter.

Avengers: Endgame is coming next after Avengers: Infinity War Picture: PA Photo/Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick
Avengers: Endgame is coming next after Avengers: Infinity War Picture: PA Photo/Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

More than a decade of shared Marvel movies have been building up to this moment, so for that reason, Avengers: Endgame gets a spot on this list.

Release date: April 26

2. Ad Astra

Intelligent, big budget sci-fi has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years (think Gravity, The Martian, Interstellar, Arrival) and Ad Astra looks like it could join that list. Directed by James Gray it stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who heads into space searching for his long-lost father, who went missing on a space mission some 20 years earlier. It's going to be dark, and Gray says we should expect Ad Astra to feel close to Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness.

Release date: May 24

3. Gemini Man

It's getting harder to be excited by Will Smith films, but Gemini Man is directed by Ang Lee so gets a boost. In Gemini Man, Will Smith plays an ageing assassin who wants out of the hitman game, but is being hunted by a younger, fitter, cloned version of himself - an opponent who is able to predict his every move.

Release date: October 4

4. Rocketman

When Bryan Singer left part-way through directing Bohemian Rhapsody, Dexter Fletcher took over and shaped the film into the final product. The director's next project is another music biopic: Rocketman, all about Elton John. Starring Taron Egerton as the erstwhile Reginald Dwight, the film has loads of material to play with, though it'll be interesting to see how much of the *real* story Fletcher can tell, considering the subject is still around.

Release Date: May 24

Taron Egerton will star
Taron Egerton will star

5. The Irishman

Martin Scorcese has planned to make The Irishman for many years, and thanks to Netflix, he can. This film about the assassination of Jimmy Hoffa stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro. Nobody makes gangster movies like Scorcese, and everything about this one looks high quality. There's no release date yet, but it's going to be worth the wait.

Release date: TBC

6. Joker

Just a few years ago, this movie would never have been made, as Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker still cast a huge shadow. But then came Suicide Squad and Jared Leto's less-impressive performance, which left the world crying out for a palate-cleanser. Acting as the sorbet here will be Joaquin Phoenix, starring in a story that stands alone from the other DC movies and shows how The Joker rose to power in Gotham.

Release date: October 4

Jared Leto as The Joker Picture: PA Photo/Warner Brothers
Jared Leto as The Joker Picture: PA Photo/Warner Brothers

7. Shazam!

One of the criticisms thrown at DC is that its films are too dark when compared to Marvel movies, both in tone and palette. Shazam! is the response.The comedy looks to be brighter and more fun than anything else in the company's back catalogue. Zachary Levi (Chuck) plays the lead which seemed like an odd choice at first, but the trailers so far suggest he's going to do a great job.

Release date: April 5

8. Glass

In Glass, M Night Shyamalan brings together the characters from his films Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016). The film will see Bruce Willis' hero pursuing James McAvoy's villain while Mr Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) plays puppetmaster and holds secrets critical to both men. I cannot wait for this film and hope Shyamalan can cling onto his return to form.

Release date: January 18

9. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino only plans to make 10 films, and this crime mystery, based around the Manson family murders in 1969, is film No.9. Being a Tarantino movie is a draw in itself, but factor in a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pittand Margot Robbie, and it becomes a (potential) must-see.

There will be blood.

Release date: July 26

Brad Pitt is among the cast of Tarantino's Manson movie
Brad Pitt is among the cast of Tarantino's Manson movie

10. Brightburn

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a superhero and dedicating his life to saving mankind, chooses to use his powers for evil? Brightburn is produced by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither) and (unofficially) tells the traditional Superman story before going off the tracks in a violent way.

Release date: May 24

11. Rambo 5: Last Blood

Stallone says this will definitely, definitely be the last Rambo film. That means there are probably another three to come. Whatever, in this probably very silly movie, Rambo goes up against a Mexican cartel to rescue a friend's daughter.Will this be the film that finally sees Rambo punch someone's head clean off? (something Stallone has been threatening to film for years). We can only hope!

Release date: TBC

Sylvester Stallone is reviving Rambo
Sylvester Stallone is reviving Rambo
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