Wenlei Ma: From Dune, to Furiosa and Wicked, here are the biggest blockbusters hitting cinemas in 2024

Headshot of Wenlei Ma
Wenlei Ma
The Nightly
4 Min Read
Mickey 17 stars Robert Pattinson as a disposable clone who is regenerated with most of the memories of his previous version
Mickey 17 stars Robert Pattinson as a disposable clone who is regenerated with most of the memories of his previous version Credit: ONE Media/ ONE Media

If Barbenheimer dominated the big screen in 2023, what does 2024 have in store?

For one thing, more sequels, prequels and remakes. It shouldn’t be a shock at this point that Hollywood studios love to churn out big blockbusters with familiar characters and stories.

But that doesn’t mean the industry is bereft of all originality. There are still a few newbies to be excited about, and even those franchise entries promise plenty of shiny stars and explosive effects (sometimes, literally) to draw people together for a collective storytelling experience.

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Here are some of the most anticipated movies to come in 2024.

Mickey 17 (March)

You have to forgive Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho for leaving five years between movies – he was a tad busy promoting his previous film, you know, the Oscar-winning Parasite.

He returns with a sci-fi story about a human expedition to an ice planet, based on a novel by Edward Ashton. It stars Robert Pattinson as a disposable clone who is regenerated with most of the memories of his previous version. Mickey 17 also stars Steven Yeun, Toni Collette and Mark Ruffalo.

Dune 2 (February)

Dune 2 - 2023 (Teaser Trailer)
Dune 2 - 2023 (Teaser Trailer) Credit: Warner Bros/ Warner Bros

Denis Villeneuve’s action-packed sequel to his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel was meant to be released last year but the actors strike pushed it onto the 2024 calendar, so the anticipation is really building.

It’s a continuation of the story of Paul Atreides, a young man from a noble family at war on a desert planet rife with dangers both human and monstrous. And at the centre of it is Paul, who is prophesied to be a Messiah figure.

The Fall Guy (May)

The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy Credit: Universal Pictures/ Universal Pictures

Based on the 1980s American TV series, this gargantuan action-comedy stars Ryan Gosling as a has-been stunt guy working on a movie directed by his ex (Emily Blunt) when he is entangled in a twisty plot involving a missing A-lister.

The Fall Guy was filmed in Sydney and is set to feature the city’s iconic sights and was directed by David Leitch, Brad Pitt’s former stuntman turned filmmaker who also made Atomic Blonde, Bullet Train, Deadpool 2 and was the uncredited co-director of John Wick.

Challengers (April)

Zendaya stars in the new film Challengers (2023)
Zendaya stars in the new film Challengers (2023) Credit: Challengers (2023)/ Challengers (2023)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino whose movies including Call Me By Your Name, A Bigger Splash and I Am Love tend to be sexually charged, Challengers stars Zendaya as the centre of a threesome.

Her character is a former tennis star who then becomes the wife and coach of another player who has to face off on the court against her former lover. It promises sweat and lots of balls.

Furiosa (May)

FURIOSA : A MAD MAX SAGA Credit: Warner Bros Pictures/ Warner Bros Pictures

George Miller will plunge everyone back into the propulsive, feral and terrifying post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max with this Fury Road prequel centred on Imperator Furiosa, the character originally played by Charlize Theron.

In this, Anya Taylor-Joy takes on the role and we meet the warrior as a young woman snatched by a biker horde as two warlords fight to control the citadel. Furiosa also stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke.

Wicked Part One (November)

Adapted from the money-making stage musical, itself based on Gregory Maguire’s book which reimagines the Wizard of Oz story from perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, the film stars belter Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Galinda.

The film, which will only cover the first part of the story, is directed by John M. Chu who helmed Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights. Expect it to be the big-hearted romance of the stage and less the political allegory for fascism of the page.

Beetlejuice 2 (September)

Beetlejuice 2
Beetlejuice 2 Credit: Supplied

Thirty-six years after Tim Burton unleashed his mercurial sensibilities on the world with the enduring favourite Beetlejuice, the sequel is finally almost here. Michael Keaton will return in the title role, a spooky and domineering “bio-exorcist” with a penchant for shenanigans.

As are Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara while newcomers to the franchise include Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe and Monica Bellucci.

Inside Out 2 (June)

Inside Out 2
Inside Out 2 Credit: Disney/ Disney

If the first Inside Out made you go to emotional depths you weren’t prepared for and ugly-cried in front of strangers in a cinema, then at least you’ll be prepared for the sequel.

Pixar’s story about Riley and the manifestations of emotions within her face new challenges now that she’s a teenager, and joining Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust is a new feeling – Anxiety.

Warning, that may be triggering, but you know that by now, right? Amy Poehler is back as the voice of Joy but a pay dispute means Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader bowed out.

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