Every movie that is at least moderately successful these days has the studio asking the filmmakers to turn out a sequel that is bigger and better. It’s a guaranteed way to draw in the millions of viewers that have grown to become fans of an established property. Whether they involve superheroes or princesses or assassins or fighter pilots, or whether the predecessors came out in the past couple of months or thirty years ago, there are plenty of sequels coming in the next year. So, without further ado, these are without a doubt the 10 most exciting sequels coming our way in 2019!
10. Top Gun: Maverick
It’s been over three decades since we last saw Tom Cruise in his flight suit and shades, piloting a fighter jet and giving foreign threats the finger. Belated sequels have become very fashionable in comedy films in recent years, as we’ve seen Ben Stiller reprise his role as Derek Zoolander and Will Ferrell reprise his role as Ron Burgundy and Jim Carrey reprise his role as Lloyd Christmas, all with varying degrees of success. This is a rare case of a long awaited sequel in the action movie genre. It’ll be great to see Cruise back playing Maverick again. The original movie was a staple of patriotic Reagan era ‘80s action cinema and it’ll be interesting to see how the new sequel adapts to the current divisive political climate. Back in the ‘80s, the original movie was considered to be an awesome action extravaganza, with audiences ignoring its pro-war agenda and the fact that it was basically a two hour Navy recruitment video because Tom Cruise looked so damn cool in the role of Maverick. But now, we’ve got the Trump administration and mixed opinions on Syria and Russia and drone warfare to think about. Maybe the movie will take that into account.
9. John Wick 3: Parabellum
The last time that we caught up with John Wick, he was preparing to take on every assassin in the world. A price has been put on his head – $14 million, to be exact – and any killer on the face of the Earth can have at him. So, in the third part of the series, he’s going to have to keep his wits about him. He’s screwed. He let his emotions get the best of him and he killed a member of the High Table in the Continental. Now, it’s going to be an all out war with the assassin community, with one side being represented by one man and the other side being represented by everybody else. This could be the most action packed movie in the franchise yet – and that would really be saying something, since the first two are pretty much all action. Chad Stahelski, the director of the first two movies, is returning to direct this third installment, and Derek Kolstad, the writer of the first two movies, is returning to write this third installment. Halle Berry is also joining the cast to play an assassin hunting down Wick. It should be one hell of a ride.
8. It: Chapter Two
The epic 1,000 page tome by Stephen King that last year’s record breaking horror extravaganza was based on is actually split into two parts. The first part sees the titular monster terrorizing the main characters as kids, while the second part sees them take on the monster again when it returns twenty-seven years later. In the second part, the Losers Club have all grown up, so we won’t be seeing that cast of child actors back for the sequel. Instead, we’ll see them recast with adult actors, and it seems as though the producers have lined up the perfect actors to fill the roles. James McAvoy will play the lead role of the stuttering Bill Denbrough, while Jessica Chastain plays his love interest Beverly Marsh. Plus, the hysterically funny Bill Hader will fill Finn Wolfhard’s comic relief role as Richie Tozier. Plus, Bill Skarsgard is back to reprise his role as Pennywise, bringing a truly unsettling element to the character that even Tim Curry didn’t manage to do. Whether or not the sequel will break the original’s record of highest grossing horror movie in film history remains to be seen, but it is almost guaranteed to be a blockbuster hit.
7. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Movies based on toys are usually no good – just ask Michael Bay – but Lego hired all the right people when they set out to bring their toys to the big screen and it ended up being a huge hit. They’ve been taking their sweet time with this sequel (it will be released a grand total of five years after the original came out), but hopefully that just means they’ve been working extra hard on it and it will have been worth the wait. In case you don’t remember, at the end of the last movie, it was revealed that the whole thing was being controlled by a jerky dad played by Will Ferrell who wanted to glue all the Lego toys together until his son taught him about the values of fun and saved the toys. That’s when all the emotional stuff came into play – the whole thing was a metaphor for a fractured father/son relationship. Then the dad let his daughter play with the toys, so a bunch of huge Duplo toys came into the mix. Whether that was a throwaway gag or an indicator about the plot of the sequel remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: it will be a lot of fun.
6. Wonder Woman 1984
The DC Extended Universe had paled in comparison to the Marvel Cinematic Universe before Diana Prince came along with her solo movie set during World War I. It was an instantly iconic movie, with a lead character that fans would follow to the ends of the Earth and a lead actress who nails her every quirk and power. The movie had feminist overtones, but it wasn’t on the nose about it. Gal Gadot’s lead performance as Wonder Woman speaks for itself – she is a powerful woman and women can be powerful and female superheroes can be cool. Now that we’ve settled that and everybody is finally on board, we can get on with the story. While the first one was set during the First World War (known back then as the Great War), this sequel will take a leap forward in time to the ‘80s, so Diana might bump into Adam Goldberg or the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Set photos have revealed that Chris Pine and his character Steve Trevor are back for the new movie – even though he definitely seemed to die in the last one – so it will be interesting to see how he is reincorporated into the story, since he has to be both brought back to life and brought seventy years into the future.
5. Frozen 2
So, they’re finally doing a sequel to everyone’s favorite icy animated musical. It’ll be arrived in theaters next November. Why in the heck has it taken so long? Well, Kristen Bell explained that it was pretty much so Disney could get the story absolutely perfect before getting down to business. She said, “The story is great, and they exude quality. It took them a while, because they wanted to figure out what story they needed to tell [was] and what would be important and engaging and I think they found it.” Shortly afterwards, she began recording her lines for the movie and then the animators got to work, which of course takes a while. The sequel will feature not just an all new story, but also all new songs, which will be either exciting or dreadful, depending on who you are. If you’re a kid who will commit those songs to memory and then sing them endlessly, then it’s a good thing. If you’re the parent of that kid, then it’s a bad thing. Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown have joined the cast of the sequel and they’re very talented actors, so it should turn out very well.
4. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Yes, Tom Holland is already working on his next standalone movie as Peter Parker, better known as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and yes, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is supposed to be dead after Thanos snapped his fingers and he disintegrated. But let’s be honest, Marvel wouldn’t have gone through all those legal struggles with Sony to get a cash cow like Spider-Man and kill him off after they’d gotten one solo movie out of him (three total). In the next big ensemble MCU movie, which still has yet to be titled, we’ll find out exactly how Spider-Man comes back to life. And just two months after that, he’ll be off on his second standalone adventure. That presents the studio with a bit of a marketing problem for this, but that’s up to them to deal with. In the next installment, apparently an irreversibly changed Peter Parker (presumably a little shaken up from his stint outside the space time continuum) will take a summer vacation around Europe with his friends. While he’s there, he will encounter the iconic comic book villain Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who funnily enough, almost played Spider-Man himself back in 2004 when it was believed that Tobey Maguire might not recover from an injury.
3. Toy Story 4
We thought we had seen the last of Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang after their story was all wrapped up. When we met them, they were the toys that a young Andy played with, and when we left them, Andy was all grown up and on his way to college and they were now the toys that a young Bonnie played with. It was a perfect way to wrap up the story. Now that the team at Pixar are diving into that story, we need to get up to the sixth installment in the franchise, just to round out the Bonnie story now. We need to see her going to college, all grown up, passing the toys on to some other kid. There has yet to be a bad installment in this franchise. Every single one has delivered a knockout, a pretty much flawless masterpiece that is emotionally engaging and compelling and hilariously funny and also tearjerking and tragic at parts – especially that third one. They have all had a near perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. So, the standard has been set pretty high and Pixar really can’t screw it up this time. We can have faith that they’ll knock it out of the park again. Rumor has it that this fourth installment focuses on Woody’s relationship with Bo Peep and is more of a romantic comedy than the previous ones.
2. Star Wars: Episode IX
JJ Abrams is returning to the saga that he brought back into our lives to round out the sequel trilogy that he began. It was announced recently that, contrary to earlier reports, Carrie Fisher will be getting digitally resurrected for the movie so that Princess Leia Organa can finish her story. They were initially going to leave her out completely out of respect, following her tragic death in late 2016, but after the family signed off on it and the filmmakers realized that they simply couldn’t do this movie without Leia, they changed their minds. This movie has a lot to answer for. We need to find out definitively who Rey’s parents are and we need Finn to follow up on his new lease on life and we need Rey and Poe to spend more than two seconds together and we need to see if Kylo Ren can finally be redeemed. This won’t be the last movie in the saga by a long shot, but it is the last movie in the sequel trilogy – the last movie in Rey’s story, the last movie in Finn’s story, the last movie in Kylo Ren’s story – so there is a lot riding on it to be an epic finale.
1. Avengers 4
This is absolutely, unequivocally, without a shred of a doubt, one hundred percent the most exciting, most ridiculously anticipated sequel coming to theaters in 2019. Hell, it might even be the most highly anticipated sequel in the history of film. We’ll finally get to see what happens in the world after Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of all the life in the universe. We’ll finally get to see where all those Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy went when they disintegrated, because let’s be honest, they’re definitely not dead. Characters like Spider-Man and Black Panther are worth far too much to Disney and Marvel for them to just kill them off. Plus, they’ve made it pretty obvious that those characters aren’t dead by not only slating their next standalone movies for release, but actually shooting them. Chris Pratt and Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch and Chadwick Boseman are all working on their next Marvel movies. So, they’re not dead. But that’s not necessarily a spoiler for the next movie – it’s an intriguing question. How are they going to get all of these characters back? Only one thing is for sure: it’s going to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever.