A new year is upon us and as ever, a large number of the movie releases due out this year are sequels to movies we have seen before. We don’t have high hopes for some of these – The Expendables 4 and Trolls 3: The Trollstopia we are looking at you – but there are some sequels that we are looking forward to.
Check out our list of ‘most anticipated sequels’ below and then let us know which sequel movies you are most looking forward to this year.
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods
Several planned movies in the DCEU will no longer be going ahead thanks to a change in leadership at DC Studios but there are a few that will still be hitting their release dates this year, including this sequel to 2019’s Shazam, which was one of the most entertaining comic book movies of recent years.
Plotwise, not a lot is known about the movie at the moment but in terms of tone, we expect this will be as fun and light-hearted as the original. Asher Angel is returning as Billy Batson, the teenager with the ability to turn into a superhero after saying the word “Shazam,” and Zachary Levi will be back as his super-powered alter ego. The main villains this time around are the Greek goddesses Anthea, Hespera, and Kalypso, played by Helen Mirren, Rachel Zegler and Lucy Liu, and as can be seen in the Shazam 2 trailer, Billy and his friends will also have to take on a dragon!
With changes being made at DC Studios, we don’t know if there will be a third Shazam movie. It would be a shame if there wasn’t but perhaps if the world unites and shouts the word “Shazam” in tandem, another sequel might appear sometime in the future.
Expected release date: March 17th 2023
John Wick: Chapter 4
It’s been 8 years since retired hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) went on a mission of revenge after a group of bad guys killed his beloved puppy and he’s still going strong, beating up those who thwart him in increasingly creative and undeniably cool ways! According to the synopsis for this fourth entry in the series, John Wick uncovers a path to defeating the High Table, but before he can earn his freedom, he must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe.
The plotline certainly sounds intriguing and after the conclusion of John Wick: Part 3, where Wick was betrayed by Winston (Ian McShane), the owner of the Continental Hotel, we’re keen to see what happens next to the gun-toting deadly assassin. Reeves will be joined by martial arts superstar Donnie Yen in this sequel, so you can expect plenty of high-kicking action as the two face off against one another.
Director of the John Wick movies, Chad Stahelski, has expressed an interest in making a fifth movie in the franchise, so don’t expect Wick to go into full retirement after the events of this fourth outing in the series.
Expected release date: March 24th 2023
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse was tremendous fun and the animation was incredible so we’re expecting more of the same from this web-slinging sequel. In the movie, Miles Morales will be reuniting with the Spider-folk he met during his first adventure in the Multiverse as well as a few new versions of his wall-crawling character, including Spider-Woman, Spider-Punk, and Spider-Man 2099. It has also been speculated that animated versions of the live-action Spider-Mans (Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland) will be appearing in the sequel but we likely won’t know for sure if this is happening until the movie’s release date.
The movie’s antagonist will be a character known as the Spot, a villain with the ability to open interdimensional portals. He will likely be the cause of Miles’ second adventure in the Multiverse but chances are, other supervillains from the Spider-Man comic books might also make an appearance in the movie.
A second sequel – Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse – is slated for release in 2024, so while there is no confirmed news of a new live-action Spider-Man movie, there is still plenty to look forward to if you’re a fan of the friendly neighbourhood hero.
Expected release date: June 2nd 2023
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
The first three Indiana Jones films were tremendously entertaining but the last entry for the whip-cracking hero, Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull, was a pale imitation of what had come before. Thankfully, the failings of that film didn’t kill the franchise as Harrison Ford will be donning his fedora one last time for this belated sequel. Steven Spielberg has stepped down from directing this one and has handed over the baton to James Mangold. As Mangold directed Logan, a critically lauded movie about another ageing hero, we are confident this final entry in the Indiana Jones franchise will be a good one.
We’re not quite sure what the plotline of Indy’s latest adventure will be but we know some scenes will feature a digitally de-aged Harrison Ford facing off against the Nazis. These could be flashback scenes but if the Dial of Destiny has something to do with time travel (which has been rumoured online), we might see Jones hopping back and forth between different time periods. That doesn’t quite explain why Indiana looks younger in the past – surely he would look the same, wrinkles and all if he travelled back in time – but all will be revealed when we finally get to see the film for ourselves when it lands in cinemas this summer.
Expected release date: June 30th 2023
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One
As you can tell from the title this is part one of a two-part adventure for Ethan Hunt, with the second instalment planned for release sometime in 2024. Tom Cruise returns to his role as the IMF agent and he will be joined by several familiar faces from the franchise, including Simon Pegg as IMF tech guy Benji Dunn, Ving Rhames as IMF agent Luther Stickell, and Rebecca Ferguson as MI6 agent Lisa Faust.
As expected, Hunt and his team will be embarking on another impossible mission, although what that might be, we aren’t entirely sure at this stage. Of course, not many people come to a Mission Impossible movie for the story. They come for the action and this sequel is likely to blow cinemagoers away once again with its over-the-top stunt scenes with Cruise himself risking life and limb for the sake of our entertainment. According to the actor, one of the stunts in the movie is his most dangerous yet. It’s one that involves him performing a base jump after riding a motorcycle off a cliff, and as he’s still alive to tell the tale, we can assume the filming of this set-piece was successful!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go and see this movie when it lands in cinemas this summer. As it’s likely to be as exciting as most of the other movies in the franchise, we should be in for a very good time. Just don’t be tempted to perform your own stunts after seeing it – we aren’t all as fit and agile as Tom Cruise!
Expected release date: July 14th 2023
The Equalizer 3
Denzel Washington returns as Robert McCall, the retired ex-operative with a special set of skills, in this second sequel movie. As the previous movies in the franchise were far better than expected (even if they barely resembled the original 1980s television show), we expect this follow-on sequel to be just as entertaining.
In terms of the plotline, we don’t have many details. Returning director Antonie Fuqua has revealed this follow-up movie will delve into the mysterious past of Washington’s avenging angel and that he will go on a global adventure. From this, we can assume the villain of the movie might be somebody McCall encountered during his younger years but then again, our equalizing hero might be called upon to protect an old buddy from his days in the US Marine Corps. We won’t know for sure until the movie lands in September but here’s hoping it’s better than the rebooted Equalizer television series that has disappointed some.
Expected release date: September 3rd 2023
1973’s The Exorcist is widely regarded as one of the scariest horror movies of all time. Will the 2023 sequel be just as terrifying? We won’t know for sure until it is released but at the very least, we hope it’s better than the earlier sequels that failed to capture the menace of the horrifying original.
David Gordon Green, the director who resurrected Michael Myers for the 2018 sequel to 1978’s Halloween (he wisely ignored the other sequels) is the man responsible for this upcoming horror tale. We don’t know if he has been buying pea soup in bulk in preparation for the sequel and we don’t know how the story will play out. But we do know that Ellen Burstyn, who played Chris MacNeil in the original film, will be making an appearance. Unfortunately, Linda Blair, who played MacNeil’s head-spinning daughter Regan, has confirmed that she won’t be returning to her earlier role, but we expect her character will get a mention at some point.
The new Exorcist movie is the first of a new trilogy apparently. This isn’t necessarily good news as Green’s sequels to his own Halloween film weren’t that great. Still, here’s hoping the first of the trilogy is worthy of the original as if it isn’t, critics will surely be possessed by feelings of rage and fury and that won’t bode well for Green or the future of the franchise.
Expected release date: October 13th 202
Dune: Part Two
Instead of adapting Frank Herbert’s epic novel Dune into one movie, director Denis Villeneuve wisely made the call to split it into two. Part One was a mostly faithful adaption of the original work and it was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. Hopes are high for this second instalment then, which will once again star Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica, and Zendaya as Chani, Paul’s eventual lover who made a brief appearance in the first film.
Plenty of new faces will be joining the cast too, including Elvis star Austin Butler as Feyd Rautha, the nephew of the villainous Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), and Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino, the woman who gets in the way of Paul’s relationship with Chani.
According to the official synopsis, this follow-up will “explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavours to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.” This all sounds very intriguing but if you’re anything like us, you might be more interested in knowing whether or not the giant sandworms will be making another appearance!
Expected release date: November 3rd 2023
Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget
Aardman Animation’s sequel to Chicken Run will be hatching on Netflix at the end of the year, which will be good news for fans of the eggs-cellent original! Unfortunately, original voice actors Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson will not be returning for the sequel as Thandie Newton and Zachary Levi are the new voices of Ginger and Rocky. But if you’re hoping for some familiar voices, you will be glad to know that Imelda Staunton and Jane Horrocks are both reprising their roles as Bunty and Babs respectively.
This time around, the chickens of Tweedy Farm have escaped their fate of becoming pie-filling by escaping to a peaceful island sanctuary. But while they may have fled to safer pastures new, they discover the rest of chicken-kind is in danger. What this ‘danger’ is, we don’t quite know for sure but judging by the title, it might have something to do with the fluttering birds being turned into chicken nuggets! If one of your New Year resolutions is to become vegetarian this year, let the Chicken Run movies give you the incentive!
Expected release date: November 10th 2023
Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2
Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the first ‘official’ follow-up to the original 80s movies, made $200 million worldwide so it’s no surprise that a sequel is on the way. The code name for the next movie is ‘Firehouse’ a reference to the Ghostbusters headquarters in the first two films, so we expect the franchise to return to New York for this sequel.
Monster House director Gil Kenan is directing the movie (previous director Jason Reitman is producing), and it is believed that most of the cast from Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be returning. By ‘cast,’ we are talking about newcomers to the franchise McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd, but it’s not unreasonable to suppose OG cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts might also make an appearance in the new sequel. One or two of them might even be killed off so they can then return as ghosts!
Or course, it’s not necessarily a case of who will be in the movie but what will be in the movie? Will Slimer make a return? Or Vigo the Carpathian, the major force of evil that made his presence felt in Ghostbusters II? We don’t know – we don’t even know who to call (the Ghostbusters weren’t picking up their phones) but expect to hear more about the movie closer to its December release date!
Expected release date: December 20th 2023
So, there you have it, our list of anticipated sequel movies that are releasing in 2023. Are you looking forward to these releases? Or are there any other sequels that you are most looking forward to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.