The 17 movies we’re most excited about in 2024

A collage of photos from Mean Girls, Joker and Nosferatu
(Illustration by Ross May / Los Angeles Times; photos by Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros.; Jojo Whilden / Paramount; Aidan Monaghan / Focus Features)

Last year felt like a tease: Were the movies really back? Sure, sort of. Yes, “Barbenheimer” happened, but so did the many lost months of the labor strikes. Perhaps someone is happy that Taylor Swift became a billionaire, but it sure wasn’t anyone at the studios, frozen out of her direct deal with AMC. Eyeballing the upcoming 2024 release calendar, though, things are looking up. There’s plenty of big auteur energy — from names like George Miller, Bong Joon Ho and Francis Ford Coppola — set to dominate the months ahead. Here are the 17 titles we’ll be seeing you at.


‘Mean Girls’ (Jan. 12)

Three friends hide in some shrubbery.
From left, Jaquel Spivey, Angourie Rice and Auli’i Cravalho in the movie “Mean Girls.”
(Jojo Whilden / Paramount Pictures)

I completely agree with everyone declaring that 20 years is too soon to remake a movie. However, contrary to what the trailers and other marketing materials may be communicating, this movie is a musical — specifically, an adaptation of the 2018 Broadway production. With a book by the original film’s screenwriter, Tina Fey, music by (her husband) Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, the stage show thoughtfully incorporated social media but still kept the best parts of the 2004 movie (the iconic “Halloween in girl world” scene became a whole song about sexing up every costume imaginable). I can’t tell if I’m more excited to see Reneé Rapp reprise her role as Regina George or Busy Philipps as her cool mom. —Ashley Lee


‘Drive-Away Dolls’ (Feb. 23)

Three women wait in a living room.
From left, Geraldine Viswanathan, Margaret Qualley and Beanie Feldstein in the movie “Drive-Away Dolls.”
(Wilson Webb / Working Title / Focus Features)

Ethan Coen may be directing his first fiction feature without his brother Joel, but he is still keeping it in the family. The film is co-written by Ethan and his wife, Tricia Cooke, who also edited the movie, as she has many Coens projects. The movie looks to be a throwback road-trip-crime-comedy about two lesbians and best friends (Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan) who accidentally rent a car intended for some criminals, eventually discovering a mysterious case in the trunk. The film was pushed back from a fall release to early 2024 because of the Hollywood strikes; the cast also includes Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon. If Joel explored the serious side of the Coens’ oeuvre in his solo joint “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” it seems that Ethan will be leaning into the ridiculous, absurdist aspects of their work. —Mark Olsen


‘Dune: Part Two’ (March 1)

A woman caresses a man's face with a gloved hand.
Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in the movie “Dune: Part Two.”
(Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros.)

By wisely splitting author Frank Herbert’s sprawling 1965 sci-fi novel into two parts, director Denis Villeneuve managed to tame an unruly narrative sandworm that had swallowed up earlier filmmakers like David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky. The result was a visually stunning first installment that wowed audiences and critics alike, earning 10 Oscar nominations, including for best picture. Now we’ll find out if Villeneuve can stick the landing. Returning to the forbidding desert planet Arrakis, the epic conclusion will see Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) seek to fulfill his messianic destiny as his Bene Gesserit-honed mental powers grow and his bond with Chani (Zendaya) and her fellow Fremen deepens, drawing them into battle with the evil Harkonnens and the galactic emperor. Joining the already stacked cast are Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, Christopher Walken as the Emperor Shaddam IV and Léa Seydoux as the Bene Gesserit Lady Margot. —Josh Rottenberg

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‘Challengers’ (April 26)

A woman stands in a red light.
Zendaya in the movie “Challengers.”
(Niko Tavernise / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures)

I’m already on record as a Luca Guadagnino obsessive, and have spent countless hours watching Grand Slam tennis on TV, so choosing my most anticipated movie of 2024 was a no-brainer. Originally slated to premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival ahead of a September theatrical release, “Challengers” was among the titles delayed by Hollywood’s hot labor summer, presumably because Amazon MGM Studios would be daft not to have stars Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor on the press circuit for this one. Written by Justin Kuritzkes — with whom Guadagnino is also collaborating on the upcoming William S. Burroughs adaptation “Queer” — “Challengers” finds a former tennis prodigy-turned-coach (Zendaya) in a love triangle of sorts with her husband (Faist), a slumping champion, and her ex (O’Connor), his has-been opponent and former best friend. As Guadagnino proved with the tonal switchbacks of “A Bigger Splash” and, indeed, his entire career to date, he’s as comfortable with sex comedy as he is with bloody melodrama, so I’m as eager for unexpected thrills as those I’m planning on. Game, set, match. —Matt Brennan


‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ (May 24)

A woman glares from a truck in a post-apocalyptic world.
Anya Taylor-Joy in the movie “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Eight years after the adrenaline-fueled spectacle of “Mad Max: Fury Road” and a mind-boggling 45 years after the original “Mad Max” film, director George Miller, at age 78, returns with the fifth installment in his high-octane post-apocalyptic saga. This time the action centers not on the series’ iconic titular antihero but instead on the origin of the indomitable warrior Imperator Furiosa, with Anya Taylor-Joy stepping into the role originated by Charlize Theron in “Fury Road.” Of course, the word “action” hardly does justice to Miller’s brand of gonzo automotive mayhem, and after “Fury Road” earned 10 Oscar nominations including best picture, expectations couldn’t be higher. In the spinoff prequel, the young Furiosa is seized from her family by a marauding Biker Horde led by Chris Hemsworth’s Warlord Dementus (among other things, Miller has a knack for character names) and must find her way back home through the Wasteland. Start your engines. —Josh Rottenberg


‘Ballerina’ (June 7)

A woman in a black dress braces for action.
Ana de Armas in the James Bond movie “No Time to Die.”
(Nicola Dove / MGM)

Ana de Armas as a ballerina assassin hunting down her family’s killers in the “John Wick” universe? Say no more. A year after Keanu Reeves seemingly hung up his suit in 2023’s “John Wick: Chapter 4,” everyone’s favorite un-retired hitman will appear in this franchise spinoff directed by Len Wiseman (“Underworld”) and written by “John Wick” veteran scribe Shay Hatten. Can “Ballerina” capture the same highly stylized magic as Chad Stahelski’s core films? With a timeline-jumping setting reportedly taking place between the third and fourth films, the summer release also brings back familiar faces in Lance Reddick, Ian McShane and Anjelica Huston, promising to at least deepen the Wick lore that fans know and love. And after recent turns in “The Gray Man,” “Ghosted” and “No Time to Die,” who isn’t ready to usher in the era of Ana de Armas, action star? —Jen Yamato


‘Horizon: An American Saga’ (‘Chapter 1’: June 28, ‘Chapter 2’: Aug. 16)

A Civil War solder carries an American flag.
Kevin Costner in 1990’s “Dances With Wolves.”
(Ben Glass / Orion Pictures)


Decades after star turns in “Dances With Wolves,” “Open Range” and “Wyatt Earp,” Kevin Costner proved in the mega-hit “Yellowstone” that audiences still love to see him in westerns, riding a horse through the wide open plains. The bad news is that the curtain will come down on “Yellowstone” in 2024. But the better news is that Costner will return to the big screen in an epic western that may outdance his Oscar-winning “Wolves.” In fact, “Horizon: An American Saga,” which Costner co-wrote, produced and directed, is so big, it’s being split in two — the first part hits theaters in June and the second part debuts in August. Yee-haw! —Greg Braxton


‘Twisters’ (July 19)

Two people run from a violent storm.
Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in the 1996 movie “Twister.”
(Ron Batzdorff / Universal Pictures)

Of all the Hollywood hits of yesteryear practically begging for the sequel treatment, Jan de Bont’s 1996 disaster thriller “Twister” was probably the last one anyone saw coming. And yet news that the two-time Academy Award nominee about tornado-chasing scientists was getting a new chapter sparked plenty of anticipation. But wait! It gets better. Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Normal People”) and charisma factory Glen Powell (“Top Gun: Maverick”) topline the actioner, a pairing that promises loads of crackling Helen Hunt-Bill Paxton energy, with Anthony Ramos, Sasha Lane, Brandon Perea and Kiernan Shipka among the stacked ensemble. And at the helm: Oscar-nominated “Minari” writer-director Lee Isaac Chung, whose involvement alone makes this July release one of the most intriguing blockbusters of the summer. —Jen Yamato


‘Deadpool 3’ (July 26)

Two superheroes walk toward the camera.
Ryan Reynolds, left, and Hugh Jackman in the forthcoming untitled “Deadpool” movie.
(Jay Maidment / Marvel Studios)

The first two were great fun, and apparently being subsumed into the distended viscera of the MCU won’t stop “Deadpool and Wolverine” or whatever from being R-rated fun. IRL buddies Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman reprise their iconic roles. Franchise writers Reynolds, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are joined by comics vet Zeb Wells (contributor to the genuinely good “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law”) and director Shawn Levy. How you feel about the latter likely depends on how you feel about the “Night at the Museum” movies, but Levy has worked with Reynolds and Jackman before. “Deadpool: This Time He’s Deader” or something is the entire 2024 MCU feature slate, and has been in development since 2016 — meaning it’s at least more carefully considered than recent, shove-it-out-there MCU product. “The Lord of the Deadpool: Return of the Deadpool” won’t tell us if Marvel can be saved, but I want to see it regardless. —Michael Ordoña


‘Joker: Folie à Deux’ (Oct. 4)

A man in clown makeup scowls.
Joaquin Phoenix in the 2019 movie “Joker.”
(Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros. Pictures)

Speaking as someone who didn’t think the very polarizing “Joker” (2019), for all its flaws, was a crime against cinema, humanity or Martin Scorsese, I’m legitimately looking forward to the further adventures of Arthur Fleck, especially if the rumors that Todd Phillips has made some kind of unhinged “New York, New York”-inspired song-and-dance spectacular turn out to be wholly unexaggerated. Between Joaquin Phoenix’s killer dance moves and Lady Gaga’s crazy good vocals (she plays Harley Quinn), it’s already got some decent musical chops, plus a returning composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir, likely to build on her memorably creepy score from the first movie. I’m fully prepared to eat my words should “Folie à Deux” turn out to be some kind of epic abomination, although frankly, even that sounds more interesting than much of what comes off a comic-book-movie assembly line these days. —Justin Chang


‘Wicked’ (Nov. 27)

A witch rises over a stage of dancers.
A mid-air moment from the “Wicked” stage production.
(Joan Marcus)

We know Hollywood loves a prequel, and this “Wizard of Oz” origin story stars Ariana Grande as the “Good Witch” Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as “Wicked Witch of the West” Elphaba, the latter being a notable casting, despite the fact that “Wicked” has been playing on Broadway for 20 years and counting. After peeping every leaked photo of the cast — which includes Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum, Bowen Yang, Jonathan Bailey and, of course, Grande’s new beau, Ethan Slater — on that practical, colorful Munchkinland set, I’m convinced that this adaptation will be well worth the wait. (And after hearing how director Jon M. Chu is refining the story, the two-part split sounds necessary; this is just the first half.) — Ashley Lee


‘Nosferatu’ (Dec. 25)

A man runs in a burning room.
Willem Dafoe in the movie “Nosferatu.”
(Aidan Monaghan / Focus Features)


A long-cherished dream project for its director, Robert Eggers, this horror remake had to sit tight while the “Witch” filmmaker took on both “The Lighthouse” and “The Northman.” Now the path is clear, with Bill Skarsgård playing the monstrous Count Orlok and costar Lily-Rose Depp hoping to get as far away from any stray memories of “The Idol” as possible. F. W. Murnau’s silent original — still a spooky watch more than a century later — was all about atmosphere. Eggers is one of the few maestros we can think of whose innate sense of the eerie makes him a good match for the material. —Joshua Rothkopf

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‘Blitz’ (TBA)

A man in a muted suit adjusts his collar.
Director Steve McQueen, photographed in Los Angeles in 2018.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The British director Steve McQueen is still best known for his now decade-old Oscar-winner “12 Years a Slave,” but his recent shift into long-form storytelling has resulted in some of the most radical and exciting historical filmmaking of his career. That streak includes “Small Axe,” his remarkable five-film Amazon anthology set in London’s West Indian community between the 1960s and ’80s, and the just-released “Occupied City,” a galvanizing four-and-a-half-hour documentary about Nazi-oppressed Amsterdam. Here’s hoping McQueen’s impressive streak continues with his upcoming World War II drama, “Blitz,” which will mark his first theatrically released narrative feature since 2018’s “Widows.” Little is known about the project except that it takes place, true to its title, during the German bombing assault on the U.K., and features some terrific actors including Saoirse Ronan and Harris Dickinson. —Justin Chang


‘MaXXXine’ (TBA)

An elderly woman watches a sleeping guest.
Mia Goth stars in dual roles as adult film actor Maxine (foreground) and elderly farm owner Pearl (background) in Ti West’s horror slasher “X.”

I’m still wowed by the recent industriousness of indie director Ti West, who, in 2022, released “X,” a pitch-perfect homage to “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” while also crafting a clever double role for Mia Goth and shooting a superior prequel, “Pearl,” in secret. Naturally, West’s intention was to do a trilogy. Goth’s porn star survivor now heads to Hollywood to make it in the early ’80s movie industry. (Fans of “Body Double” and Brian De Palma — this will be your safe space.) “MaXXXine” will either play like the culmination of a meta-horror triumph or, at worst, merely be an incredibly fun time at the movies. Meanwhile, let’s welcome several A-listers to Westworld: Elizabeth Debicki, Kevin Bacon, Lily Collins and singer Halsey. —Joshua Rothkopf


‘Megalopolis’ (TBA)

A distinguished director receives an honor.
Director Francis Ford Coppola attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2022.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision via AP)

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. After decades of trying to make “Megalopolis,” an ambitious, sprawling story of philosophy and utopia seemingly hard to distill down to a logline, Francis Ford Coppola has reportedly put more than $100 million of his own capital into finally making this dream project a reality. Regardless of what the story is, Coppola has attracted an impressive cast, one that includes Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Schwartzman, Talia Shire, Shia LaBeouf and Dustin Hoffman. The 84-year-old Coppola has notoriously made and lost fortunes on his filmmaking before and to see someone of his age and stature still willing to take these kinds of creative and financial risks is thrilling. This is what it looks like to be free. —Mark Olsen


‘Mickey 17’ (TBA)

A man laughs for the camera.
Director Bong Joon Ho, photographed in Beverly Hills in October 2019.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

When we last saw Bong Joon Ho, he was holding the three Oscars he accepted for “Parasite,” the best movie to win best picture since Francis Ford Coppola’s “Godfather” films. Even with the way the pandemic warped our perception of time, that’s a long gap between movies. Thankfully, Bong will be back in theaters sometime this year with “Mickey 17,” an adaptation of Edward Ashton’s sci-fi novel about a disposable employee who is sent to colonize an ice world, goes missing and, presumed dead, is replaced by a clone — not a good outcome for our human hero. Robert Pattinson stars with Naomi Ackie, Steven Yeun, Toni Collette and Mark Ruffalo rounding out the cast. A double dose of Pattinson in a big Bong movie with ethical and political undertones promises to be the movie event of the year. —Glenn Whipp


‘Nightbitch’ (TBA)

An actor in black poses for the camera.
Amy Adams attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills.
(Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic via Getty Images)


Amy Adams has played a princess and a nun, Lynne Cheney and Lois Lane, a barmaid, a blogger and a con artist. She sang with Muppets, talked with the aliens and read the riot act to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Adams has not, to this point, played a dog, though that will change with “Nightbitch,” Marielle Heller’s adaptation of the 2021 novel about a frazzled full-time mom who finds herself slowly transforming into, yes, a canine. Heller (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) seems the perfect choice for a surreal story about a woman escaping monotony and rediscovering her identity by going feral. Grrrrr-eat? —Glenn Whipp