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Superheros, sequels and ‘Star Wars’ on the big screen in 2019

Updated December 27, 2018 - 7:58 am

Superheroes? Check.

Sequels? Oh, heck, yeah.

Disney continuing to remake pretty much its entire catalog except “Song of the South”? That, too.

It’s still very early, but 2019 at the movies is shaping up to look a lot like the past several years with one fairly large exception: Unlike 2018, there’s a “Star Wars” movie people might actually go see.

Here’s a look at some of what to expect over the coming year:

Comic book characters

Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Captain Marvel” (March 8) and is expected to play a key role in “Avengers: Endgame” (April 26). The latter seemingly will turn out better for Peter Parker than “Avengers: Infinity War,” considering he’s back in action in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (July 5).

The X-Men try to save an out-of-control Jean Grey in “Dark Phoenix” (June 7), while a potential new “X-Men” spinoff franchise is launched with the horror-tinged “The New Mutants” (Aug. 2).

Joaquin Phoenix takes over the mantle of perhaps the greatest supervillain ever in the origin story “Joker” (Oct. 4), setting the stage for the character to, based on the current Hollywood continuity, grow up to look exactly like a pale Jared Leto.

A 14-year-old turns into a mighty hero in “Shazam” (April 5), which is being hyped as “Big” but with superpowers. “Stranger Things” star David Harbour dons the sawed-off horns as the half-demon hero in “Hellboy” (April 12). And an abandoned cyborg shell with no memory is determined to save the world in “Alita: Battle Angel” (Feb. 14), from Robert Rodriguez.

Sequels, spinoffs, remakes and reboots

The Skywalker saga comes to an end — at least for now — with “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20).

Chris Hemsworth and his “Thor: Ragnarok” co-star Tessa Thompson take over the black suits in “Men in Black: International” (June 14).

M. Night Shyamalan combines the narratives of “Unbreakable” and “Split” — along with their stars, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy — for “Glass” (Jan. 18).

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham get their own “Fast & Furious” spinoff (Aug. 2).

The cast of “Downton Abbey” reunites for an as-yet-untitled movie (Sept. 20).

There are new takes on “Charlie’s Angels” (Nov. 1) and “Masters of the Universe” (Dec. 18), while new franchise installments include “John Wick: Chapter 3” (May 17), “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (May 31), “Zombieland 2” (Oct. 11) and “Angel Has Fallen” (Aug. 23), along with as-yet-untitled “Terminator” (Nov. 1) and “Jumanji” (Dec. 13) movies.

Family films

A secret agent (voiced by Will Smith) goes deep undercover in “Spies in Disguise” (Sept. 13). A 12-year-old criminal mastermind has some ne-fairy-ous plans for mythical creatures in Disney’s “Artemis Fowl” (Aug. 9). “Dora the Explorer” (Aug. 2) goes live-action. Patton Oswalt replaces Louis C.K. as the voice of Max in “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (June 7). And the sequel train chugs along with “The LEGO Movie 2” (Feb 8), “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” (Feb. 22) and “Angry Birds 2” (Aug. 16).

Disney sequels and live-action remakes

Online commentators already are drooling over “Hot Jafar” (Marwan Kenzari) in director Guy Ritchie’s “Aladdin” (May 24), starring Will Smith as Genie. A circus owner (Danny DeVito) hires a former big top star (Colin Farrell) to look after a newborn elephant with enormous ears in Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” (March 29). After bringing “The Jungle Book” remake to life, director Jon Favreau tackles “The Lion King” (July 19), with Donald Glover voicing Simba. The original Woody and Buzz Lightyear, meanwhile, return in “Toy Story 4” (June 21), while Elsa and Anna leave Arendelle in “Frozen 2” (Nov. 22).


The boys — and Beverly — are back in Derry, alongside their adult selves, in “IT Chapter Two” (Sept. 6). Lupita Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss star in “Us” (March 15), writer-director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to “Get Out.” Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren battle that creepy doll in an as-yet-untitled “Annabelle” movie (July 3). An apparition stalks a social worker and her children in 1970s Los Angeles in “The Curse of La Llorona” (April 19). And look out for new takes on “Pet Sematary” (April 5) and “Grudge” (June 21), as well as more supernatural shenanigans in “Happy Death Day 2U” (Feb. 14).

The return of Quentin Tarantino

Yeah, this one gets its own category. My 2019 preview, my rules. For his ninth film, the writer-director teams Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as a faded TV star and his longtime stuntman in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (July 26), set against the backdrop of the Manson Family murders with Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 02-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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