The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2019 - Page 6 of 10

50. “The Personal History Of David Copperfield”
Director: Armando Iannucci (“The Death Of Stalin”)
Cast: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi
Synopsis: The story of the life of David Copperfield from a poverty-stricken childhood to being a successful writer.
What You Need To Know: He’s best known as one of our foremost skewers of political idiots, from “The Thick Of It” through “Veep” and “The Death Of Stalin,” but Armando Iannucci is also a huge Dickens fan, and he finally gets to scratch that itch with this passion project, an ambitious adaptation of the writer’s “David Copperfield.” There hasn’t been a big-screen outing for the novel in 50 years, and a good one in over 80, so this could well stand out much more than the five billion “Great Expectations” takes we’ve had more recently. And the cast (happily diverse, with Dev Patel in the lead) is terrific, with Aneurin Barnard, Morfydd Clark, Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong, Paul Whitehouse, and Daisy May Cooper joining the above names.
Release Date: Shot last summer: Cannes is a long shot, TIFF probably a safer bet.

49. “It: Chapter 2”
Director: Andy Muschetti (“It”)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Bill Skarsgård
Synopsis: 27 years after their encounter with Pennywise, The Losers’ Club return to Derry to face off with the demonic clown once again.
What You Need To Know: Shooting only the first half of a story is a bit of a gamble: what if no one comes to see you, and you’re left with a tale only half told? Fortunately, this was not a problem that the adaptation of “It” faced — Stephen King’s classic tale was an almost unprecedented hit, pretty much the biggest horror movie ever, and all on a relatively meager budget. So naturally, the second half of the novel was greenlit immediately with the same creative team. And while the kids (whose chemistry was surely a huge part of the first film’s success) will be back for flashback sequences, we’ll largely follow the characters a quarter-century on, though a promising cast led by Chastain and McAvoy should, if anything, make this bigger than the first one. Will it feel more like a film than the first, and less a collection of jump-scare set pieces, though?…
Release Date: September 6th.

48. “The Souvenir”
Director: Joanna Hogg (“Archipelago”)
Cast: Chyna Terrelonge-Vaughan, Ariana Labed, Tilda Swinton, Tom Burke, Richard Ayoade
Synopsis: In the early 1980s, a film student begins a relationship with an older, untrustworthy man.
What You Need To Know: Despite being responsible in large part for discovering Tom Hiddleston (who made his debut in her debut “Unrelated,” and has appeared in her subsequent two films too), Joanna Hogg’s utterly distinctive arthouse dramas remain something of an acquired taste. But her latest — the first in a two-part, semi-autobiographical story, the second of which will follow in 2019 — could be the one to break her out wider. For one, Martin Scorsese, an avowed fan of her work, is executive producing the movie, for another, it has her most high-profile cast to date, including the currently-on-a-roll Robert Pattinson (though we’ve heard he might appear only in the first part, and isn’t in the cast listing for Sundance which adds up).
Release Date: Sundance.

47. “Joker”
Director: Todd Phillips (“The Hangover”)
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy
Synopsis: In 1980s Gotham City, a failed stand-up comedian turns to a life of crime, a path that will eventually make him Batman’s greatest foe.
What You Need To Know: There are few films on this list that we’re as torn about as “Joker.” Ordinarily, we’d be all over a Scorsesian ’80-set crime movie, executive produced by Scorsese himself, led by Joaquin Phoenix and with a killer supporting cast (Shea Whigham, Glenn Fleshler and Marc Maron are also on board). But this is also an origin story for a Batman villain whose power often comes from his lack of motivation, as “The Dark Knight” demonstrated so well, part of a DC Movie strategy that involves throwing a lot of shit at the wall and seeing what sticks (it’s one of genuinely about half a dozen Joker or Harley Quinn related movies in development), and with Todd Phillips at the helm. Will it be a fresh, gritty take on the comic book movie? Or Scorsese karaoke? Either way, expect it to make an absolute ton of money.
Release Date: October 4th

46. “The Report”
Director: Scott Z. Burns (“Pu-239”)
Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Matthew Rhys, Jennifer Morrison
Synopsis: An examination of the CIA torture of detainees in the years after 9/11.
What You Need To Know: Despite our current president’s vehemently pro-torture position, the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation’ program rightly remains controversial, but one curiously unexamined by the movies outside of “Zero Dark Thirty” (which no, is still not pro-torture). But Scott Z. Burns, the writer of “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Contagion,” feels exactly like the kind of filmmaker who should be tackling something like this with his second directorial feature, one that’s produced by his regular collaborator Steven Soderbergh. A killer cast has been assembled, but will audiences be ready to embrace it? The backing of VICE Studios might help a little on that front.
Release Date: Bowing at Sundance.

45. “True History Of The Kelly Gang”
Director: Justin Kurzel (“Macbeth”)
Cast: George Mackay, Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, Charlie Hunnam, Essie Davis
Synopsis: Legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly tells his sprawling story.
What You Need To Know: Ned Kelly is to Australia as Jesse James or Wyatt Earp is to America: a legendary outlaw whose been captured on screen countless times (1906’s “The Story Of The Kelly Gang,” the earliest feature-length film in existence, was the first, Gregor Jordan’s Heath Ledger-starring “Ned Kelly” in 2003 the most recent). But this is more promising than most: it’s an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel by Peter Carey, it’s got a starry cast (also including “Leave No Trace” breakout Thomasin McKenzie), and is being helmed by Justin Kurzel, looking for a return to the form of “The Snowtown Murders” and “Macbeth” after the trainwreck of “Assassin’s Creed.” Could this be the Outback equivalent to “The Assassination Of Jesse James?”
Release Date: Filmed last summer, so could mark a return to Cannes, where “Macbeth” premiered.

44. “Bad Hair”
Director: Justin Simien (“Dear White People”)
Cast: Michelle Hurd, Vanessa Williams, Laverne Cox, Steve Zissis, MC Lyte
Synopsis: In 1989, a woman from Compton who wants to be a VJ gets a new weave to get ahead, but discovers her new hair might have a mind of its own.
What You Need To Know: Justin Simien is one of the most distinctive voices to have emerged in the first few years: setting out his stall with the brilliant “Dear White People,” and then growing as a talent thanks to the Netflix spin-off of the same name. Season 3 of that show is on the way, but Simien managed to find some time to squeeze in this second-feature, a satirical horror movie that’s drawing comparisons to “Get Out.” It’s certainly a move into new territory for the director, but also one that seems to play to his strengths too. And while things are largely under wraps on this so far, we can’t wait to see what he’s been cooking up.
Release Date: Sundance was clearly a bit early, due to the “Dear White People” schedule, but SXSW or TIFF are both viable.

43. “The Good Nurse”
Director: Tobias Lindholm (“A Hijacking”)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne
Synopsis: The chilling true story of Charles Cullen, a New Jersey nurse who killed as many as 40 of his patients.
What You Need To Know: Perhaps because they’re so prevalent on TV, but it feels a long time since there’s been a serial killer movie on screens, and even longer since a really good one. But “The Good Nurse” certainly has the caliber to be a really good one. Adapted from the true-crime book of the same name by Charles Graeber by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, it’s produced by Darren Aronofsky, will be directed by brilliant Danish helmer Tobias Lindholm (who has his bona-fides in the genre thanks to working on a few episodes of “Mindhunter”), and has two A-list stars attached, with Redmayne, in particular, playing intriguingly against type.
Release Date: No firm shooting date yet so it’s possible that this slips into 2020, but Chastain has a hole in her schedule at the minute, if Redmayne can fit it around the Aaron Sorkin movie.

42. “Captain Marvel”
Director: Anna Fleck & Ryan Boden (“Half Nelson”)
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening
Synopsis: In 1995, a U.S. air force pilot returns to Earth after intergalactic adventures with amazing powers, to try and stop an alien invasion.
What You Need To Know: For all their immense, and usually deserved, success, Marvel has had a real blind spot when it comes to female-fronted (or indeed directed) fare. But with their heroes in desperate straits after the events of “Infinity War,” it’s finally time for a woman to turn up and sort this shit out, in the shape of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. The fan-favorite character is billed as arguably the most powerful hero in the MCU, and this looks to both fill in some blanks (there’s a host of younger returning characters including Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, an eye-patchless Nick Fury, and “Guardians of The Galaxy” villains Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou), and give a hint of how Thanos might be defeated. Fleck & Nelson are an unexpected, but welcome, choice to direct, and the trailer suggests something a little less wisecracking, and a little more soaring, for the mega-franchise.
Release Date: March 8th.

41. “The Devil All The Time”
Director: Antonio Campos (“Christine”)
Cast: Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Mia Goth
Synopsis: A man tries to save his wife in an Ohio town, where the inhabitants include a pair of serial killers, a corrupt sheriff and a preacher losing his faith.
What You Need To Know: Of all the filmmakers to emerge out of the Borderline Films mini-movement, Antonio Campos is perhaps the one who’s seemed the most likely to cross over to the mainstream. Although his films like “Afterschool” and “Simon Killer” are tough watches, he’s also shown a willingness to play in other people’s sandboxes: he directed the pilot of “The Sinner” and an episode of “The Punisher,” and is developing a prequel to “The Omen” with Fox. His latest film looks to meld the best of both worlds though: an adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s Midwest gothic novel, but with one of the most impressive casts of the year (including Chris Evans seemingly looking to throw off that Captain America good-guy image). Campos hasn’t made a truly great film yet, but this could well turn out to be the one.
Release Date: Shoots in February, so hopefully we’ll see it before the year is out.