We can only hope that 2022 takes a turn for the better. Meanwhile, SF and Fantasy is coming repeatedly to a screen near you. We have a list of some of the new shows and movies you might want to watch in the next twelve months:
(Subject to frequent updates as new series come to my attention. Did I miss any?)
Movies and Shows with no release date as of yet:
Batgirl: Leslie Grace plays Barbara Gordon. JK Simmons hops super-verses to play Commissioner Gordon, while 70-year-old Michael Keaton, in a bit of dope/sick casting, will appear as Batman. The exact connection to existing DC properties remains anybody’s guess.
Borderlands: Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jack Black star in the space-western adapted from the videogame and directed by Eli Roth, best-known for the Hangover movies.
Disney+ will be released two Star Wars series, Andor and Kenobie. The latter stars Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen and takes place halfway between Revenge of the Sith and
A New Hope Star Wars.
She-Hulk: Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) finally makes her MCU debut as the superhero and lawyer. After Orphan Black, I’m interested in anything Maslany does. The series will also feature the Abomination (Tim Roth) and Titania (Jameela Jamil). Rumours suggest that a certain cameo from Spider-man: No Way Home might bedevil the series at some point as well.
Moon Knight: Oscar Isaac will star, at some point this year, in what is purported to be the darkest MCU series to date.
Ms. Marvel: tentatively out in the middle of the year, the series will feature newcomer Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan. The character is slated to reappear in 2023 in the Captain Marvel sequel.
Secret Invasion: likely the second-last of the MCU series to drop this year, it features the return of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and Talos (Ben Mendolsohn).
The Man Who Fell to Earth: a remake of the 1970s Bowie film with Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role.
Paper Girls: The Amazon adaptation of the incredible graphic novel series began filming in the summer of 2021 and (in theory) should turn up in 2022. It’s a problematic series, given the young age of its main cast. Unless they significantly revise the original story, they likely would have to film every season in one-two years.
The Peripheral: Amazon will be adapting the William Gibson novel into a series. They did right by The Expanse, so this could be worth watching.
Sandman: The first season of the Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s landmark graphic novel has wrapped up. It should see air in 2022, but we do not know when.
Three Thousand Years of Longing: George Miller (Fury Road) directs Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton in an enigmatic fantasy film that apparently involves a Djinn. Little else is known.
Movies and Shows with release dates:
Morbius (Jan. 28): Michael Morbius’s attempt to cure his rare blood disease transforms him into a living vampire, which somehow brings him into conflict with the Vulture (Michael Keaton). At this point, Marvel has had some successes and failures with their minor characters. We’ll see how this one plays.
Moonfall (February 4): Halle Berry stars as an astronaut who becomes part of the effort to keep the moon from hitting earth.
The Batman (March 4): The next entry in the labyrinthine DC universe of films and TV shows features the actor Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/The Batman, Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/The Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepott/The Penguin, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler, and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennysworth/The Butler. The Bat-movies have a fine history of successes, so this one might work very well. Then again, it might suffer from (1) the shadow of past bats (2) the abundance of villains.
Moonshot (March 24): College students sneak on board a shuttle headed to Mars. I’ve been wrong before, but I’m not feeling enthusiastic at present about films being released in ’22 with “moon” in the title.
65 (April 29): Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, creators of A Quiet Place, penned this SF film about which almost nothing has been revealed.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6): a sequel to the first Dr. Strange film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and WandaVision, it draws the sorcerer (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wong (Benedict Wong), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and mystic newcomer America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) into a reality-warping plot that might even make sense.
The League of Super-Pets (May 22): a legion of well-known actors lend their voices to the forthcoming animated feature starring the metapets of the DCU.
Jurassic World Domination (June 10, 2022): so long as people will keep watching big-budget dino movies, Jurassic Park: The Franchise will never go extinct.
Lightyear (June 17): Buzz gets an origin story. I‘m not terribly interested in this one, but the filmmakers know their audience and will deliver them a fun time. To infinity… and beyond!
Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8): Director Taika Waititi (Thor:Ragnarok) returns to familiar territory. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) take on Gorr the God-Butcher (Christian Bale). The Guardians of the Galaxy and Chris’s real-life brother Luke also appear. We’re ready to book our drive-in tickets.
Nope (July 22): Jordan Peele has made another horror movie. I have no clue regarding its plot but, after Get Out and Us, I’m going to say yep to Nope.
Black Adam (July 29): Another piece in the continuity-be-damned DC Cinematic Puzzle has Dwayne Johnson playing the anti-Shazam.
Salem’s Lot (Sept. 9): This time around, they will actually be adapting the Stephen King novel of that title. Despite my disappointment with the first season’s overly-long revision of “Jerusalem’s Lot,” this project has my interest (I know I’m breaking my rule for the post, in that this is a returning show, but it’s effectively an entirely different series this season).
Distant (September 16): SF/horror about an astronaut stranded on a distant planet, which certainly reflects how many people have felt the last couple of years.
Don’t Worry Darling (Sept. 23): A housewife living in a planned community in the mid-twentieth-century begins to suspect a sinister secret. Florence Pugh and Chris Pine lead an impressive cast.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) (Oct. 7): One of the best comic-book films ever made receives its much-anticipated sequel or, rather, part one of its much-anticipated sequel.
The Flash (Nov. 4): Ezra Miller returns as the Justice League movies’ Barry Allen and Sasha Calle introduces Supergirl into the fragmented franchise. We’re almost certainly speeding into the multiverse here, since both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck turn up as Bruce Wayne.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Nov. 11): Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death led to significant revision, but the rest of the cast returns for the sequel.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 16): Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, and Dolph Lundgren return for another submarine adventure that will deliver, if nothing else, brain-soaking visual effects. Among director James Wan’s inspirations? Italian cult flick Planet of the Vampires.
Avatar 2 (Dec. 16): Avatar receives its first sequel. I’m certain this will be technically groundbreaking but, after a dozen years, how many people still care? That’s not a rhetorical question; I’m seriously wondering. The original film feels like a one-off, and its sequel momentum fizzled out at about the same time as 2012 Doomsday predictions.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (December 2022): the Guardian cast, scheduled to appear in their third Guardians film in 2023, are co-filming this live-action special. It could be fun.
Seasonal space-movie tie-ins have come a long way since 1978.