2022 Summer Movie Preview: 38 Movies to Look Forward To – Collider

From a multiverse of madness to the return of Jordan Peele, there are a lot of films to get pumped for this summer.
After years of delays, schedule shifts, and films moving directly to streaming, the summer movie season is finally starting to look normal again this year. Films like Jurassic World Dominion and Top Gun: Maverick, which were originally scheduled for release years ago, are finally coming to the big screen, and streaming services are giving theaters a run for their money this season with equally gigantic blockbusters available in the comfort of your home. This summer, we'll get to see everything from a multiverse of madness, the origins of an iconic toy, the return of Jordan Peele, several A24 horror stories, the horror story of another Minions film, a biopic of the King of Rock and Roll, and even a shell with shoes on.
There are a ton of films to look forward to this summer, and to help you manage all the options available to you over the coming months, here's a guide to some of the biggest, most exciting, and intriguing movies to come out this summer movie season.
RELATED: 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Shows Sam Raimi at His Best and the Limitations of the MCU | Review
Coming off the immensely popular Spider-Man: No Way Home, its multiple Spider-Men, and multiverses affecting the MCU in a major way, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has plenty to live up to. But as the name implies, summer is going to kick off with plenty of madness. Unlike No Way Home, however, the secrets within Multiverse of Madness have mostly stayed hidden—a welcome change for any major superhero release. But what more do you need to really know, other than Benedict Cumberbatch is coming back as the title character, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is returning after her time in the sitcom worlds of WandaVision, Sam Raimi will be making his first superhero film since Spider-Man 3, and they’ll all be in a multiverse of madness? Now that the multiverse is wide open and full of possibilities, we can’t wait to see how mad Raimi can make the MCU.
While Netflix’s Operation Mincemeat is certainly a story about a deception operation to hide the planned Allied invasion of Sicily, it’s also a film that brings together the two most iconic Mr. Darcys. Uniting Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen for the latest film from Shakespeare in Love director John Madden is a Pride & Prejudice lover's dream. Sure, the MCU’s multiverse is going to be a major part of the summer movie season, but with Operation Mincemeat, we’re going to see what opening up the Jane Austen-verse would look like.
For a while, it seemed like audiences were inundated with Stephen King adaptations, both in film and television. But believe it or not, Firestarter, based on King’s 1980 novel of the same name, is the first King movie since 2019’s Doctor Sleep. Keith Thomas’ take on the story is the first adaptation since the 1984 film starring Drew Barrymore, with the part of the pyrokinetic Charlie McGee now being played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong. Zac Efron will star as her father, Andrew McGee, who is trying to protect his daughter from a government agency trying to capture her.
Jerrod Carmichael is already having a hell of a year, with the release of his tremendous stand-up special Rothaniel last month, as well as his first time hosting Saturday Night Live. After its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, audiences will finally get to see Carmichael’s directorial debut this summer with On the Count of Three, about two depressed friends (played by Carmichael and Christopher Abbott), who decide to end their lives at the end of the day. With an impressive cast that includes Tiffany Haddish, Henry Winkler, and J. B. Smoove, On the Count of Three is sure to make Carmichael’s list of 2022 achievements even more impressive.
Nothing says great summer movie like a film with some extremely light drama. While Downton Abbey: A New Era has a plot that involves sending the Crawley family to France, and a film crew shooting at the Downton estate, this is also just an opportunity for fans of the series to spend more time with this cast that they haven’t seen since 2019’s Downton Abbey. The world needs more of the stuffy Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), the shade of Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier), and most importantly, the snide comments from Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley. Sure, we may be in a new era, but it’ll be great to revisit some old friends.
It’s been far too long since we’ve seen our favorite chipmunks, and their first feature-length film, Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers, seems to know that. Thirty years since their show ended, Chip (voiced by John Mulaney) is working as an insurance salesman, and Dale (voiced by Andy Samberg) has undergone CGI surgery to stay relevant. But the long-separated team gets back together when a member of the original group disappears. Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers is clearly a Disney+ movie aimed at 30-somethings who have nostalgia for the original show, and currently love comedic actors like Mulaney, Samberg, Tim Robinson, and Seth Rogen. The first trailers also seem to embrace the history of animation over the last thirty years, poking fun at everything from Roger Rabbit to odd, early 2000s CGI. If that isn’t enough to sell you, Rescue Rangers is directed by The Lonely Island member and Hot Rod/MacGruber/Popstar director Akiva Schaffer. With Will Arnett playing a clone of Peter Pan, Rogen as a mo-cap Viking dwarf, and J. K. Simmons as the claymation Detective Putty, I don’t know what to tell you, bud, Rescue Rangers sounds pretty perfect.
After directing films like 2014’s Ex Machina and 2018’s Annihilation, a new Alex Garland film is always something to get excited about. Garland shifts away from sci-fi and into horror with Men, which follows Jessie Buckley’s Harper as she goes on vacation after the death of her husband. Yet during her trip, she believes someone is following her, which leads to a considerable sense of dread and terror. Alongside Buckley is Rory Kinnear, who plays multiple roles, and if the first trailers are any indication, he’s nearly all the titular “men.” With Men, it will be interesting to see how Garland does with horror, and it will also be great to see the conclusion of Buckley’s “this trip was a mistake” trilogy that includes I’m Thinking of Ending Things and The Lost Daughter.
After over a decade of trying to get off the ground (no pun intended), and almost three years of delays, it seemed like we might never get a sequel to 1986’s Top Gun. Yet at long last, it looks like Top Gun: Maverick is finally going to come to theaters this may, and the early buzz has been full of rave reviews. But beyond the anticipation for this long-in-development sequel, it’s also just going to be great to see Tom Cruise in another exciting, big action film—his first film since 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout. For Top Gun: Maverick, it’s finally almost time to kick the tires and light the fires.
Speaking of long-delayed movies, The Bob’s Burgers Movie has also had a rough time coming to theaters, between the pandemic, Disney’s purchasing of 20th Century Fox, and several years of delays. Yet this May, the Belcher family will hit the big screen, one of the few major animated sitcoms—alongside shows like The Simpsons and South Park—to get the movie treatment it deserves. Series creator Loren Bouchard said when the film was announced that it “has to scratch every itch the fans of the show have ever had.” Fans of Bob’s Burgers have been itching for this one for quite some time, and in what seems like a Tina Belcher fantasy, it’s almost time to get those butts into seats.
We’ve gone too long without a new fucked-up David Cronenberg film in the world. It’s been eight years since Cronenberg’s last film, Maps to the Stars, and, believe it or not, his last body horror film was 1999’s Existenz. When Cronenberg announced the film last year, he stated, “I have unfinished business with the future.” Hell yeah, that’s exactly the type of energy you want going into a Cronenberg film. Cronenberg also said of the film—which stars his frequent collaborator Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart—that it’s set in a future where humans are moving “beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, altering their biological makeup.” In the past, Cronenberg has blown up heads, turned Jeff Goldblum into a fly-man, and given us a torso tape player. Absolutely, Cronenberg, show us what your fucked up version of the next step of evolution is, please.
Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang need to be comedy movie stars, and what better way for that to happen than with a Pride and Prejudice-inspired rom-com set in the title location of Fire Island. The first trailer for Fire Island hilariously shows the segmentation of various gay subgroups via the experience of going to the popular vacation destination, but also provides plenty of laugh-out-moments as this excellent cast explores love, friendship, and plenty of drinking. Every summer needs a great comedy, and this year, that seems like it could very well come from Hulu with Fire Island.
In a way, Jurassic World Dominion feels like what this franchise has been building to for almost thirty years. Dinosaurs are now scattered around the world, hunting humans, and again, who could have thought bringing back dinosaurs multiple times could’ve led to any other result? While Jurassic World Dominion brings back Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard from the two most recent films, Dominion is also the first film since 1993’s Jurassic Park to reunite Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum in one adventure. Honestly, who cares what dinosaurs we’ll see in Colin Trevorrow’s latest Jurassic adventure when we know we’ll finally get to see Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Dr. Ian Malcolm all together again.
After films like Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and most recently, Uncut Gems, any time Adam Sandler attempts a more dramatic role, it’s something to get excited about. In his latest Netflix film, Hustle, Sandler plays a former basketball scout trying to help a recruited player get a shot into the NBA. Produced by Sandler and Lebron James, there’s a clear love for the sport in the first trailer, and plenty of NBA player cameos for basketball fans. Also starring Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, and Robert Duvall, Hustle looks like it could continue Sandler’s trend of fantastic serious performances.
Edward Streeter’s novel Father of the Bride has already had a fantastic history of adaptations, from 1950’s Father of the Bride starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor, to 1991’s version with Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, and Martin Short. This summer, HBO Max will be releasing the third adaptation, focused on a Cuban-American family, starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan. While the previous versions have had a comedic lean, tinged with the melancholy of a child growing up, it will be interesting to see what approach Garcia takes to this iconic role.
Pixar has always used Toy Story and its characters as a sort of testing ground for new possibilities. Toy Story 2 proved that Pixar could make a sequel that surpasses the original, while Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4 found new ways to find endings for their characters, while also ripping out the hearts of their audiences. Now, Pixar will present their first-ever spinoff with Lightyear, and while this origin story of sorts for everyone’s favorite space ranger might have one of the most overly convoluted plots of any film this summer, Lightyear looks to be the closest thing Pixar has made to a straight-forward action film outside The Incredibles. Do we need the film in the Toy Story world that inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy? Do we need a “human” Buzz Lightyear voiced by Chris Evans? Maybe not. But whenever Pixar does something new with the Toy Story brand, it’s always something to keep an eye on.
Cooper Raiff’s second film, Cha Cha Real Smooth, was one of our favorite films out of this year’s Sundance, and the film deservedly won the Audience Award at the U.S. Dramatic Competition. As with Raiff’s debut film, Shithouse, his films wear their heart on their sleeves, with characters that Raiff clearly has an affection for. Raiff also stars as Andrew, a Bar Mitzvah party host, who befriends Domino (Dakota Johnson), and her autistic daughter. Raiff’s lovely film never takes the easy way out, avoiding the expected routes, while also providing a moving story of growing up and becoming an adult that feels unique because of the tenderness Raiff gives to these characters. Apple TV+ won big at the Oscars this year with CODA, another film that did extremely well at Sundance. Could Apple follow up that success next year with Raiff’s latest film?
Poking fun at an attempt to make a prestigious awards film, our review of Official Competition called it “the perfect homage and takedown of the film industry.” The first trailer for Official Competition features Penélope Cruz as filmmaker Lola Cuevas, attempting to make a film with theater actor Iván Torres (Oscar Martínez) and Hollywood giant Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas). Cruz, Martínez, and Banderas all look delightfully over-the-top in this satire of the art world that “feels like a Christopher Guest movie without the mockumentary style.”
Who would have thought that Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December author George Saunders would have a sci-fi thriller film based on his work? But that’s exactly what we’re getting with Spiderhead, which is about a future where convicts can volunteer as medical subjects for shorter sentences. While Sanders’ short story was small in scale, Spiderhead comes from Top Gun: Maverick and TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, and stars Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett. How will Saunders’ restrained writing be adapted in what seems to be the latest big-budget Netflix action film? We’ll have to wait until June to see.
Director Baz Luhrmann loves a spectacle, be it with his modern take on Romeo + Juliet, the gaudy, over-the-top nature of Moulin Rouge!, or the clashing of classical and modernity in his The Great Gatsby. Luhrmann, therefore, is maybe the perfect director to bring Elvis Presley to the big screen, a larger-than-life figure that has yet to receive a deserving biopic tribute. Elvis will explore the life and career of Presley (Austin Butler) and his relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). While we’ve had our fair share of musical biopics over the years, it’s highly unlikely that Luhrmann’s grandiose style is going to allow this to be anything like your standard biopic.
With Moon Knight, Ethan Hawke has recently shown his effectiveness at being an extremely unsettling villain, as his natural calm works perfectly with his horrific actions. However, we likely will get to see Hawke’s most terrifying role of 2022 with The Black Phone, in which he plays The Grabber, a serial killer/child kidnapper. His sixth victim discovers that he can talk to The Grabber’s past victims, who will help him try to escape Hawke’s masked monster. The Black Phone reunites Hawke with Sinister director Scott Derrickson, who made the film after he departed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as director. The Black Phone certainly seems like it will be a great opportunity for Derrickson to return to his roots, as well as for Hawke to show how much of a creepy freak he can be.
Created by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp, the stop-motion short films centered around Marcel the Shell with Shoes On are some of the most adorable videos put on the internet in the 2010s, with Slate playing the timid and lovable Marcel. The shorts primarily focused on the tiny life of Marcel and the gigantic world around him, so who knows what exciting experiences Marcel will get into when he goes searching for his family in his film adventure, aptly titled Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Forget the summer of Morbius, summer 2022 is the summer of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Well, Franklin, never had to deal with the MInions, whose popularity will never die, even after more than a decade of Despicable Me movies, and now, Minions: The Rise of Gru, the second film in the Minions spinoff franchise. The Rise of Gru shows 12-year-old Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) attempting to join the supervillain group known as The Vicious 6. Of course, he’ll need the help of his Minions to achieve this goal. Naturally, the Minions will probably lose their minds over a banana, and speak all sorts of unintelligible nonsense, which, the kids just apparently can’t get enough of. Sorry parents, another one is coming!
John Michael McDonagh is arguably one of the most underrated filmmakers of the 2010s, with the dark cop comedy The Guard, starring Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson, the dark Catholic drama Calvary—also starring a fantastic Gleeson—and 2016’s War on Everyone with Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña. But The Forgiven could just be the film that makes McDonagh a major name, with a cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain, Matt Smith, Caleb Landry Jones, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Christopher Abbott. The Forgiven explores a weekend in Morocco and an accident that affects the locals and visitors of a house party. McDonagh’s work often sticks to just one or two characters, so it will be interesting to see how he handles a bigger cast and larger moral issues at the same time. But if McDonagh’s past work is any indication, he’s more than up for the task.
While Marvel seemingly seems wrapped up in the multiverse, Thor: Love and Thunder seems like it will simply rely on the madness of Taika Waititi for this fourth Thor movie. Waititi returns to Marvel after Thor: Ragnarok, which will not only feature the return of Chris Hemsworth as the title character, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, but we also will see Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor. If that’s not enough, Christian Bale joins the MCU as Gorr the God Butcher (the most metal-named Marvel character ever?), and of course, the greatest character in the MCU: Korg (also voiced by Waititi). Doctor Strange might have the multiverse, but Thor: Love and Thunder has Waititi’s proven blend of comedy and action that really brings these characters to life.
Netflix has a pretty packed lineup of movies ready for the summer, but there might not be a bigger release than The Gray Man. From Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Regé-Jean Page, The Gray Man is the most expensive film Netflix has ever made. Gosling stars as Court Gentry, a CIA black ops mercenary on the run, who is hunted by his former colleague, Lloyd Hansen (Evans). The Gray Man is being set up as the beginning of a new franchise for Netflix, and with a lineup like this, it seems extremely likely Netflix is going to keep audiences home this July.
Delia Owens’ novel Where the Crawdads Sing was a massive hit when it was released in 2018, and has spent almost four years at the top of bestsellers lists. Because of this, Olivia Newman’s film might be one of the most highly-anticipated book adaptations of the year. Where the Crawdads Sing stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya, a girl who grew up in the marshes of North Carolina and becomes a suspect in the murder of a quarterback who tried to talk Kya into marrying her. Amongst the many blockbusters of the summer, Where the Crawdads Sing seems like it could be one of the smaller dramas to find success this year. And having an original song from Taylor Swift on the soundtrack certainly won’t hurt its popularity either.
Jane Austen stories are often ripe for adaptation, and while stories like Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma have each received countless adaptations, Netflix’s take on Persuasion will be the first film adaptation of the classic Austen tale. The last completed work from Austen, Persuasion stars Dakota Johnson, Henry Golding, Suki Waterhouse, Cosmo Jarvis, and Richard E. Grant, and is directed by British theatre director Carrie Cracknell. Austen's stories never go out of a style, and with a cast like that, Netflix is surely going to prove that.
With Get Out, Jordan Peele proved he could craft an impeccable horror film that fits together like clockwork. In his follow-up, Us, Peele embraced confusion, and the terror of that uncertainty, with a film that was more intentionally loose. Who knows what version of Peele we will see with Nope, a film shrouded in mystery that looks to be about an abnormal event occurring at a California ranch. The first trailer explored early film history, gorgeous shots of the ranch, and floating horses. But when it comes to Peele’s films, you know you’re in good hands. And with a cast that includes Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, and Peele reuniting with Daniel Kaluuya, this could very easily be the biggest original film of the summer.
There’s not much you need to know about Bullet Train, other than it’s about a high-speed train full of competing assassins (including Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Bad Bunny, and many more), that is directed by Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch. Sure, plot and character development and stuff like that are important, but sometimes, in the middle of summer, you just want to watch a bunch of gorgeous people murder each other in entertaining fashion, and hey, if you want that, Bullet Train is here for you.
In a year that already brought us The Batman, and will eventually include Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of The Gods, only one DC film dares to follow the lives of pets with superpowers. In DC League of Super-Pets, Dwayne Johnson voices Superman’s dog, Krypto, who must gather together a group of pets with superpowers to save Superman (voiced by John Krasinski) from Lex Luthor (voiced by Marc Maron). This group of animal heroes includes Vanessa Bayer as a potbellied pig, Natasha Lyonne as a super-fast turtle, and Kevin Hart as Ace the Bat-Hound. Plus, Keanu Reeves will voice Batman, which easily makes this the best DC film we’ll likely see all year (sorry, The Batman).
Much like his 2021 series, The Premise, a lot of B. J. Novak’s upcoming Blumhouse horror film is being kept under wraps. We know Novak will write, star, and make his directorial debut with Vengeance, about a radio host who travels to the south to find out what happened to his murdered girlfriend. Novak has a gift for bringing great concepts to life, as The Premise and his book One More Thing showed, and with a cast that also features Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher, Boyd Holbrook, Dove Cameron, and J. Smith-Cameron, this could be a pleasant horror surprise late in the summer.
In the Apple TV+ animated film Luck, Sam (voiced by Eva Noblezada) is the unluckiest person in the world, who finds the Land of Luck, meets a group of magical creatures, and finds an even greater power than luck. Directed by Peggy Holmes (who made the criminally underrated direct-to-video sequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning), and with a voice cast that also includes Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda, Whoop Goldberg, and John Ratzenberger, this could be one of the first major animated films from Apple TV+. However, Luck also marks the return of John Lasseter, who exited Disney for sexual misconduct allegations, and was later hired as the head of Skydance Animation. Will audiences welcome the return of Lasseter after the allegations, or will his involvement hurt this project?
In Loki, Owen Wilson mostly had to keep an eye on characters with superpowers that made his life a nightmare. But with Secret Headquarters, Wilson finally gets to be the superhero. Also starring Michael Peña and Jesse Williams, Wilson stars as a father whose child discovers he’s a superhero after finding his hidden basement headquarters. Directed by Project Power and Catfish directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who knows what superpowers Secret Headquarters will give Wilson, but fingers crossed he finally gets to ride on a damn jet ski.
Bodies Bodies Bodies seems like it will be a combination of A24’s two favorite things: inventive horror films from exciting new directors (The Witch, Hereditary), and commentary on the current generation (American Honey, Spring Breakers). Bodies Bodies Bodies, from director Halina Reijn, has a group of seven rich friends at a house party who decide to play a party game known as “bodies bodies bodies.” But of course, this game quickly turns violent, leaving these friendships torn and bloodied. Starring Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott, Pete Davidson, and Lee Pace, amongst others, and with X already out this year, and Men coming out earlier this summer, A24 seems like they’re going to be dominating wild horror films in 2022.
With Day Shift, Jamie Foxx plays a father who uses his pool cleaning job as a front for his real job as a vampire hunter and killer. Foxx stars alongside Dave Franco and Meagan Good in the directorial debut from J.J. Perry, who has worked on stunts for decades with films like the first two John Wick films, several MCU projects, F9, and Warrior. But a big action film starring Foxx, from a director with a fantastic history of working in some of the wildest action films in recent memory could be a great late summer surprise.
You know which two actors are always easy to get confused? Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson. No? Well, that’s what happens in the Netflix comedy The Man from Toronto, after an assassin (Harrelson) is mixed up with Hart’s Teddy while staying at an Airbnb. Harrelson always thrives in his comedic roles, and seeing him team up with Hart in this story of mistaken identity could be one of the better Hart films this summer, of which there are quite a few.
That's right, this summer ends with not one but two Kevin Hart Netflix films! With Me Time, Hart plays a stay-at-home dad who gets some much-needed personal time when his family goes away for the weekend. Hart's character reunites with an old friend (played by Mark Wahlberg) and the two have a wild weekend while Hart's family is gone. Me Time also stars Regina Hall, Tahj Mowry, Jimmy O. Yang, and as the first photo from Me Time shows, a big ass turtle. Me Time is written and directed by John Hamburg, who has written such mismatched pair movies as Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, I Love You, Man, and Hart's Night School, so this could end up being a surprise hit for Netflix late in the summer.
How does one possibly follow up Mad Max: Fury Road? As Steven Soderbergh once said, “I don’t understand how they’re not still shooting that film,” and director George Miller certainly proved that he can do anything with his action masterpiece. Seven years after Fury Road, Miller returns with Three Thousand Years of Longing, starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, from an idea that Miller has been working on for over a decade. The film will debut at Cannes and will star Swinton as a lonely British woman who unleashes a Djinn (Elba) who grants her three wishes. Will Miller’s latest be scaled back, or will it be as grandiose as Fury Road? We’ll have to see, but any time Miller puts out a new film, it’s unlike anything else around.
Ross Bonaime is the Senior Film Editor at Collider. He is a Virginia-based writer and editor who had written about all forms of entertainment for Paste Magazine, Brightest Young Things, Flickchart, The Free Lance-Star, and more. He has an unhealthy obsession with theme parks and the Criterion Collection and will defend the Lost finale until his dying day. More at RossBonaime.com.
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