The pop culture forecast for 2022 is looking mighty fine, and we’re previewing everything we’re excited about this year with a series of lists. Just so you have it all in one place, we’ve also published our Most Anticipated Metal + Hard Rock Albums, Most Anticipated FilmsMost Anticipated TV Shows and Rising Artists to Watch roundups.

    Writing about the upcoming year in film while the world is once again caught up in a new wave of COVID requires a certain kind of blind optimism that relatively soon, case numbers will get lower, vaccines will keep doing their best to keep us safe, and going to the movies will eventually stop feeling just a little bit scary. Barring all of that, we can at least put our faith in the industry continuing to adapt in terms of distribution strategies, so we can see at least a few of the movies listed below. (Unless, of course, they get pushed again.)

    It’s an exciting year, not just because of long-awaited sequels and new takes on superheroes that promise to revolutionize the genre yet again. It’s a year when women will get more opportunities to make strides behind the camera, a year where we’ll see Johnny Knoxville once again sustain some serious physical injury for our entertainment, and a year when — God help us all — there will be a new Avatar movie. (Unless, of course, it gets pushed again.)


    We’ll also see Tom Cruise jump off buildings and fly planes, Baz Luhrmann take on Elvis, and an eclectic awards race that could see Martin Scorsese facing off against Steven Spielberg and Darren Aronofsky. We’ll see some dazzling CGI and multiple Michelle Yeohs. Unless, of course, it all gets pushed again. But for right now, there are 30 reasons here to be very excited about the year to come — and even more beyond what made this list.

    Liz Shannon Miller

    Jackass Forever (February 4th)

    Director: Jeff Tremaine
    Writers: Andrew Weinberg, Colton Dunn, Derrick Beckles, Eric André, Knate Gwaltney, Nick Kreiss, Sarah Sherman, Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, Spike Jonze
    Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Wee Man, Danger Ehren, Preston Lacy

    As the first Jackass film in more than a decade — 12 years, to be exact — Jackass Forever is the long-awaited fourth and final entry in the film franchise that started with nine friends pulling pranks and wild stunts on MTV back in the early 2000s. It’s since grown into a monolith of hedonism and debauchery, and this latest edition will surely be no exception as Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Wee Man, and the rest of the gang are joined by celebrity guests ranging from Machine Gun Kelly and Tyler, the Creator to Eric André, Tony Hawk, and more. — Glenn Rowley


    Death on the Nile (February 11th)

    Director: Kenneth Branagh
    Writer: Michael Green
    Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, Letitia Wright

    Death on the Nile isn’t a top-shelf Agatha Christie mystery like And Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express, but the twists and turns are still quite good, and the swoon-worthy locales have ensured its place among her most-adapted works. Following his 2017 take on Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh returns as a far-too-handsome Poirot. Beyond its starry cast, this movie has the ignominious distinction of being Armie Hammer’s final blockbuster role before his many abuse allegations consign him to the dustbin of history. — Wren Graves

    The Batman (March 4th)

    Director: Matt Reeves
    Writers: Matt Reeves, Peter Craig
    Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell

    Numerous release and production delays due to COVID finally behind us, we’re about to get our third live-action Batman in a decade. We’ve been excited for The Batman since Ben Affleck was still attached, but even more so once Matt Reeves took over writing and directing duties in 2017. With an all-star cast playing the largest group of A-list Bat-characters seen on screen together since Batman & Robin (including Robert Pattinson as Batman, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler, Colin Farrell as Penguin) and a gritty, Year One feel, this has the makings of a reboot that could live up to the Nolan-Verse. — Ben Kaye


    Turning Red (March 11th)

    Director: Domee Shi
    Writers: Julia Cho, Domee Shi
    Cast: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Hyein Park, Orion Lee, Wai Ching Ho, James Hong

    Pixar’s first film of 2022 is Turning Red, which follows a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl named Mei who turns into a giant red panda whenever she feels a strong emotion. If that concept doesn’t win you over, then we suggest watching the trailer, which makes this film seem like the most hilarious movie Pixar has ever made. Not only is the film set to be a heartwarming coming of age story, it’s also a 2000s-era period piece and is the first Pixar film to be solely directed by a woman. Although the theatrical release has recently been suspended in favor of a Disney+ release, Turning Red has all the promise of being one of Pixar’s most inspired projects. — Paolo Ragusa

    Everything Everywhere All at Once (March 25th)

    Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
    Writers: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
    Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis

    Count us in as ride-or-die for Daniels (aka the directing pair of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), who split audiences with their vulgar yet heartfelt farting-corpse dramedy Swiss Army Man. Now they’re back with even more kaleidoscope mayhem, as a middle-aged woman (Michelle Yeoh) tries to get her taxes done only to find herself skipping across universes to stop a plan to destroy all of existence. If Marvel’s got you sick of multiverses, this might be a decent palate-cleanser. And, well, we could always use more Michelle Yeohs in our lives. — Clint Worthington