Fall Movie Preview 2018: Wizards, Superheroes & Shirtless Chris Hemsworth
By Leena Tailor
Photos Courtesy of 20th Century Fox / Walt Disney Studios / Warner Bros. Pictures
From Lady Gaga's big-screen debut playing -- what else? -- a pop superstar to Chris Hemsworth's sexy, shirtless turn as a cult leader, fall is shaping up to be action-packed at the cinema. Then there are the wizards, yetis and superheroes, plus aliens, astronauts and singing nannies also set to take the box office by storm! ET takes a look at the 50 biggest films hitting theaters before the end of the year.
Horror lovers need to mark Sep. 7 for the latest installment of the Conjuring freaky franchise. OG franchise star Vera Farmiga's younger sister Taissa leads this one, about the demonic nun from The Conjuring 2 returning to wreak havoc at a remote convent in 1950s Romania.
Directed by: Corin Hardy | Written by: Gary Dauberman Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir, Charlotte Hope and Bonnie Aarons
I Think We're Alone Now (Sept. 14, expanding Sept. 21)
After the human race is wiped out, Del (played by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) finds himself living in solitude until a young woman named Grace (Elle Fanning) comes along.
Directed by: Reed Morano | Written by: Mike Makowsky Starring: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Paul Giamatti
Lizzie (Sept. 14)
Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart headline this chilling biographical thriller about Lizzie Borden (Sevigny), who was accused and acquitted of the 1892 murders of her father and stepmom.
Directed by: Craig William Macneill | Written by: Bryce Kass Starring: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Kim Dickens and Denis O'Hare
Mandy (Sept. 14)
Nicholas Cage plays Red Miller, who goes on a "phantasmagoric" quest for revenge, a bloody and fiery journey to hunt down the cult that ruined his life. What more could you want from a movie? Also, it's set in the '80s!
Directed by: Panos Cosmatos | Written by: Panos Cosmatos and Aaron Stewart-Ahn Starring: Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough
The Predator (Sept. 14)
Olivia Munn is set to kick butt in this reboot of the iconic Predator franchise, which also stars Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key and Jacob Tremblay. “She gets to do way more badass stuff than I do. Way more, seriously," Brown told ET about Munn’s role.
Directed by: Shane Black | Written by: Fred Dekker and Shane Black Starring: Olivia Munn, Boyd Holbrook, Keegan-Michael Key, Trevante Rhodes and Sterling K. Brown
Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick team up for a neo-noir thriller, in which Emily (Lively) asks her pal, vlogger Stephanie (Kendrick), to pick her son up from school. “Which is a simple favor if you intend on showing up again. But then my character goes missing," Lively teased.
Directed by: Paul Feig | Written by: Jessica Sharzer Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Jean Smart and Linda Cardellini
White Boy Rick (Sept. 14)
Set in Detroit during the cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, Matthew McConaughey stars as Richard, whose teenage son becomes a police informant before getting caught up in the drug trade and ending up in prison.
Directed by: Yann Demange | Written by: Andy Weiss, Logan Miller and Noah Miller Starring: Richie Merritt, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bel Powley
Colette (Sept. 21)
Keira Knightley portrays author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who moves to Paris and ghostwrites a novel for her husband, Willy (Dominic West), only to find herself battling for creative ownership and taking on societal gender constraints in the early 20th century.
Directed by: Wash Westmoreland | Written by: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland and Rebecca Lenkiewicz Starring: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Denise Gough and Fiona Shaw
The House with a Clock in Its Walls (Sept. 21)
Tick tock, tick tock! After a 10-year-old boy moves into his uncle’s creaky house with a mysterious clock sound, he inadvertently awakens a world of witches and warlocks.
Directed by: Eli Roth | Written by: Eric Kripke Starring: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro and Kyle MacLachlan
The tagline for this decades-spanning, love story-intertwining tale from the creator of This Is Us is "This September, Life Will Surprise You." Which likely means that Life Itself -- which follows newlyweds in NYC and a couple in the Spanish countryside, among others -- will make you cry.
Directed by: Dan Fogelman | Written by: Dan Fogelman Starring: Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas
Love, Gilda (Sept. 21)
Whether you've yet to fall in love with Gilda Radner or want to fall deeper, this documentary looks back on the life and career of the Saturday Night Live comedian, with appearances by the likes of Amy Poehler, Chevy Chase, Melissa McCarthy and Lorne Michaels.
Directed by: Lisa Dapolito
Nappily Ever After (Sept. 21)
Sanaa Lathan, of Love & Basketball fame and, uh, maybe biting Beyoncé infamy, leads this adaptation of Trisha R. Thomas's novel of the same name, about a woman whose perfect life falls apart, forcing her to start over. No hair, plenty of cares.
Directed by: Haifaa Al-Mansour| Written by: Adam Brooks and Cee Marcellus Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Ricky Whittle, Lyriq Bent, Ernie Hudson and Lynn Whitfield
The Sisters Brothers (Sept. 21)
The Sisters Brothers -- yes, S-I-S-T-E-R-S -- are a pair of bumbling, boozing assassins (played by Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly) trekking across the Wild West in this comedic cowboy movie based on the critically acclaimed Patrick deWitt novel.
Directed by: Jacques Audiard | Written by: Jacques Audiard Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed
All About Nina (Sept. 28)
Lest you forget that comedians are often drunk, maudlin or otherwise emotionally stunted offstage, Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Nina, a hard-drinking stand-up trying to make it in the industry while dealing with sexual abuse and self-destructive habits.
Directed by: Eva Vives | Written by: Eva Vives Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford and Kate del Castillo
It’s back to school for Kevin Hart. As well as facing a bunch of misfit students, his character, Teddy, has to deal with his hot-blooded teacher Carrie, played by Tiffany Haddish. "You throw that ball up to Tiffany, Tiffany is going to hit it," Hart praised his co-star when ET visited the set.
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee | Written by: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg Starring: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Taran Killam, Rob Riggle and Mary Lynn Rajskub
Smallfoot (Sept. 28)
Basketball legend LeBron James and Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum are part of a star-studded voice cast in this animated musical, in which a Yeti named Migo (Tatum) fearfully discovers the "smallfoot" (aka humans).
Directed by: Karey Kirkpatrick and Jason Reisig | Written by: Karey Kirkpatrick and Clare Sera Starring: Channing Tatum, LeBron James, Zendaya, Gina Rodriguez, James Corden and Common
The Old Man and the Gun (Sept. 28)
After debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival, Robert Redford’s buzzworthy Cincinnati film centers on an “unrepentant bank robber and jail-breaker determined to live life by his own rules."
Directed by: David Lowery | Written by: David Lowery Starring: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover and Elisabeth Moss
Bad Times at the El Royale (Oct. 5)
Care to see Chris Hemsworth shirtless, seductively sauntering through a field of sunflowers? It all goes down at the El Royale, a creepy hotel straddling California and Nevada, where a bunch of strangers find themselves in turmoil. “I think it was a really big mistake to have him take his shirt off," co-star Dakota Johnson joked to ET about Hemsworth. "Because it's all you can look at. It's so astonishing. It's really impressive."Directed by: Drew Goddard | Written by: Drew Goddard Starring: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Lewis Pullman and Chris Hemsworth
A Star Is Born (Oct. 5)
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut sees him starring (and singing) alongside Lady Gaga as a musician whose relationship with fellow singer Ally (played by Gaga, in her feature film acting debut) becomes strained when her career starts to overshadow his. The film is the latest remake of the 1937 film most recently remade in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and, like every iteration of A Star Is Born before it, is already getting Oscar hype.
Directed by: Bradley Cooper | Written by: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters Starring: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle and D.J. 'Shangela' Pierce
The highly anticipated Spider-Man spin-offhas Tom Hardy taking on the role of journalist Eddie Brock, aka the antihero Venom. And it’s all thanks to Hardy’s son! “I think [Venom’s] the coolest Marvel superhero there is," he said at Comic-Con. "My son, he's a massive Venom fan. He was a strong influence on why I needed to play Venom, specifically. I wanted to do something that my son could watch."
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer | Written by: Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel and Will Beall Starring: Tom Holland, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson and Jenny Slate
Based on David Sheff’s book Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and his son Nic's memoir, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, the film is the story of a father and son (played by Oscar nominees Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet) that looks at the harrowing impact of drug addiction on one family.
Directed by: Felix Van Groeningen | Written by: Luke Davies and Felix Van Groeningen Starring: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan
First Man (Oct. 12)
La La Land director Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling reunite for a biopic about astronaut Neil Armstrong’s mission to the moon, a first-person account based on James R. Hansen’s book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.
Directed by: Damien Chazelle | Written by: Josh Singer Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler and Corey Stoll
The Oath (Oct. 12)
Here's a timely premise: Ike Barinholtz's feature directorial debut is set in a politically divided America where the president demands citizens sign a loyalty oath. Over the course of one Thanksgiving dinner, tensions mount until all hell breaks loose.
Directed by: Ike Barinholtz | Written by: Ike Barinholtz Starring: Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein and John Cho
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Oct. 19)
Melissa McCarthy portrays American author Lee Israel, a bestselling celebrity biographer who was discovered to have forged hundreds of letters and found herself no longer able to get published.
Directed by: Marielle Heller | Written by: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant
Laurie Strode is back! Forty years after the original horror film, Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her iconic role, with Laurie now facing her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she survived his murder spree four decades ago.
Directed by: David Gordon Green | Written by: David Gordon Green, Debra Hill and Danny McBride Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Will Patton, Judy Greer and Nick Castle
The Hate U Give (Oct. 19)
The screen adaptation of Angie Thomas’ Black Lives Matter-inspired Y.A. novel stars Amandla Stenberg as a young woman named Starr Carter who witnesses a cop kill her longtime friend.
Directed by: George Tillman Jr. | Written by: Audrey Wells Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Issa Rae, Common, Regina Hall, Sabrina Carpenter and KJ Apa
For anyone who loves watching Anne Hathaway play femme fatale, this one's for you. She plays the ex-wife of Matthew McConaughey's fishing boat captain, who resurfaces to ask him for a favor: murder her new husband.
Directed by: Steven Knight | Written by: Steven Knight Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou and Diane Lane
Wildlife (Oct. 19)
In his directorial debut, Paul Dano tells the story of a 16-year-old boy watching his parents’ (played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan) marriage crumble as his mother falls for another man. The movie is based on the novel by Richard Ford.
Directed by: Paul Dano | Written by: Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan and Ed Oxenbould
Suspiria (LA and NY on Oct. 26, expanding Nov. 2)
Directed by Call Me by Your Name's Luca Guadagnino and scored by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, the supernatural horror remake stars Dakota Johnson as a young dancer who arrives at a famous ballet academy in Germany to find chaos unfold.
Directed by: Luca Guadagnino | Written by: David Kajganich Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Chloë Grace Moretz
The meteoric rise of British rock band Queen is chronicled in this biopic directed by Bryan Singer (who was fired from the film in December, but still has a directing credit). Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek stars as the group’s late front man, Freddie Mercury.
Directed by: Bryan Singer | Written by: Anthony McCarten Starring: Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Gwilym Lee and Mike Myers
Boy Erased (Nov. 2)
Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe are already generating Oscar buzz for playing a couple who send their gay son to a conversion therapy program to "cure" him. The film is based on the real-life experience of writer Garrard Conley, who penned a memoir of the same name.
Directed by: Joel Edgerton | Written by: Joel Edgerton Starring: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton and Troye Sivan
A long-awaited follow-up of sorts to 2011's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Claire Foy plays Lisbeth Salander (previously played by Rooney Mara) in an adaptation of the fourth book in Stieg Larsson's series (written after Larsson's death by David Lagercrantz). The film follows Salander as she teams up with a journalist, Mikal Blomkvist, to tackle cybercriminals, espionage and corrupt government officials.
Directed by: Fede Alvarez | Written by: Steven Knight, Fede Alvarez and Jay Basu Starring: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Sylvia Hoeks and Lakeith Stanfield
Here comes Benedict Cumberbatch, here comes Benedict Cumberbatch, right down Whoville lane! The 3-D animated Christmas flick marks another adaption of the classic Dr. Seussstory How the Grinch Stole Christmas, about the grump Grinch's plot to obliterate yuletide cheer.
Directed by: Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier | Written by: Michael LeSieur and Tommy Swerdlow Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch
Here and Now (Nov. 9)
SJP is back in NYC in this drama, in which she plays a successful singer named Vivienne. Upon receiving a devastating diagnosis, Vivienne spends the day crisscrossing the city, meeting family, friends and fans as she reflects on her life.
Directed by: Fabien Constant | Written by: Laura Eason Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Simon Baker, Common, Taylor Kinney and Renée Zellweger
Outlaw King (Nov. 9)
Following their Oscar run last year, Chris Pine reteams with Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie for this historical drama about the legendary King of Scots, Robert the Bruce. Netflix is bringing the movie to TIFF, where it has been chosen as the opening night screening.
Directed by: David Mackenzie | Written by: Mark Bomback, Bathsheba Doran, David Harrower, James MacInnes and David Mackenzie Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Howle and Florence Pugh
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Nov. 16)
The second installment in the Fantastic Beasts series follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he takes on dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald alongside none other than Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). “He's still mischievous, and he can be manipulative," Law told ET. "He has a great friendship with Newt. Newt was a student of his, a student that he championed."
Directed by: David Yates | Written by: J.K. Rowling Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Jude Law and Johnny Depp
Widows (Nov. 16)
When their husbands are killed, four women (played by Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki and Michelle Rodriguez) pick up the pieces of their dead spouses’ criminal activities in order to pay off their debts. The film was adapted from the 1980s British TV series by Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn.
Directed by: Steve McQueen | Written by: Gillian Flynn Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell and Daniel Kaluuya
Michael B. Jordan returns to the ring as Adonis Creed as he prepares to take on Viktor Drago, the son of one of Rocky Balboa's biggest rivals, Ivan Drago. “There’s a lot of familiar faces that weren’t really present in the Creed franchise, but were in the Rocky world,” Jordan teased to ET. “It’s going to be action-packed."
Directed by: Steven Caple Jr. | Written by: Cheo Hodari Coker and Sylvester Stallone Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu
Ralph Breaks the Internet(Nov. 21)
The sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph picks up six years after the first movie and follows Ralph and his pal Vanellope as they journey through the World Wide Web in search of a replacement video game part -- and in the process, meet up with all of your favorite Disney princesses.
Directed by: Phil Johnston and Rich Moore | Written by: Pamela Ribon Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Taraji P. Henson and Gal Gadot
Robin Hood (Nov. 21)
Jamie Foxx becomes Little John in a retelling of the classic -- but will he don those signature tights? "A lot of my friends are like, 'Yo, man, you're wearing tights?!'" Foxx told ET. "No, it's not that." “It is an origins film," added Taron Egerton, who plays Robin Hood. "He's fighting in the Crusades and he's actually fighting for the bad guys and doesn't realize, and he comes back and his eyes are opened, partly through Little John's intervention."
Directed by: Otto Bathurst | Written by: Ben Chandler and David James Kelly Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Dornan and Eve Hewson
Continuing his streak of dramatic roles, Steve Carrell takes on the true story of illustrator Mark Hogancamp, who suffers PTSD after being attacked by Nazis and creates a miniature town of badass female dolls while dealing with his pain.
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis | Written by: Robert Zemeckis and Caroline Thompson Starring: Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Gwendoline Christie, Eiza González and Janelle Monáe
This period drama directed by Yorgos Lanthimos stars Taylor Swift’s BFF, Emma Stone, as well as Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. Set in 18th-century England, it follows the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and her servant Abigail Hill (Emma Stone) as they vie to be Queen Anne's (Olivia Colman) favorite.
Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos | Written by: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara Starring: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Nicholas Hoult
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back! We won't find out what happened to Tom Holland's Peter Parker until next year, but this animated film marks the big-screen debut of another beloved Spidey, Miles Morales, among a slow of other Spider-people.
Directed by: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman | Written by: Phil Lord Starring: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Nicolas Cage and John Mulaney
She may have thought she "was going to die,” during her first flying sequence, but Emily Blunt survived and brings iconic nanny Mary Poppins back to life in the upcoming Disney film. "There's the moment before they bring you down...and it seems like that moment extends for a forever time frame," she told ET.
Directed by: Rob Marshall | Written by: David Magee Starring: Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep
Alita: Battle Angel (Dec. 21)
James Cameron, the man behind epics like Avatar and Titanic, is hoping to create as massive a tentpole with this adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's manga series Gunnm, about a cyborg who awakens in futuristic Iron City with no memory of who she is or where she came from.
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez | Written by: James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali and Ed Skrein
Jason Momoa stars as Aquaman in this underwater adventure, while Nicole Kidman plays his mermaid queen mother, Atlanna. "It's so funny, because James said to me, 'I so want you to do this,'" Kidman told ET of how director James Wan got her to sign on to the superhero movie. "He said, 'I'll prove to you that I've always wanted you to do this. In all of my renderings, I drew you. So what're you going to say?'"
Directed by: James Wan | Written by: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Bumblebee (Dec. 21)
The Transformers franchise steps back in time to chronicle lovable Bumblebee’s origin story. Enter Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie, a teen who discovers the battered yellow Autobot in a junkyard and helps revive him and teaches him to "talk." “Charlie is a total badass" Steinfeld dished during ET’s set visit.
Directed by: Travis Knight | Written by: Christina Hodson Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux
Felicity Jones stars as the Notorious R.B.G., who worked to bring a groundbreaking gender discrimination case before the Court of Appeals as she fought for equal rights and ultimately became one of the most iconic Supreme Court justices.
Directed by: Mimi Leder | Written by: Daniel Stiepleman Starring: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Cailee Spaeny and Kathy Bates