There is a slew of new releases arriving this year, and 2022’s most anticipated sci-fi movies are among the year’s biggest titles. 2021 brought a range of impressive sci-fi offerings to the multiplex, with everything from Dune to Matrix Resurrections impressing genre fans and critics alike. However, not every new release fared so well.
While The Tomorrow War proved an Alien movie set on earth would work, the sci-fi action blockbuster did little else to truly wow viewers and is unlikely to spawn the genre’s next big franchise in the coming years. However, the movie was still a moderate success and proved that sci-fi had a solid year in 2021, meaning expectations will be high for 2022’s sci-fi movies. Fortunately, a string of high-profile releases (and some intriguing indies) ensure that the year’s genre offerings should not disappoint sci-fi fans.
2022’s most anticipated sci-fi movies include a long-awaited James Cameron epic sequel, a disaster movie, a family movie, a pair of superhero stories, and an enigmatic tale of a lone astronaut stranded on a distant planet. Elsewhere, Everything Everywhere All At Once will be a fresh take on the familiar premise of the multiverse, whereas Don’t Worry Darling looks set to offer a more cerebral take on the genre. While many movies set in 2022 imagined the year to be a faraway sci-fi future, the most anticipated sci-fi movies of 2022 prove that the genre is still growing and evolving on the big screen even (if the predictions made by earlier movies have not yet proven to be true).
Jurassic World: Dominion (June 10)
While 2015’s Jurassic World was a thrilling update of Stephen Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, its 2018 sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was arguably the franchise’s messiest entry so far. However, the return of Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow to the director’s chair means that Jurassic World: Dominion should be able to end the Jurassic World trilogy satisfyingly. Admittedly, the surreal ending of Fallen Kingdom (wherein dinosaurs were let loose on the human population and roamed free the world over) will be a hard act to follow, and Jurassic World: Dominion will have its work cut out when it comes to making sense of this absurd twist and its implications.
Fortunately, if anyone can pull off this feat, it is Trevorrow, who has brought back not only Jeff Goldblum but also Jurassic Park’s original stars Laura Dern and Sam Neill for this second sequel. This will mark Dern and Neill’s first return to the franchise since 2001 and bodes well for Jurassic World: Dominion, which could wrap up Dr. Grant’s character arc in a way that the original trilogy failed to pull off. Only time will tell whether Trevorrow’s follow-up movie can both justify Fallen Kingdom’s goofy twist and improve on Neill and Dern’s existing characters, but Jurassic World: Dominion is definitively one of the year’s most anticipated releases regardless.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness (May 6)
On the face of it, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is merely another long-awaited MCU sequel to the 2016 superhero movie Doctor Strange. However, after the endless excitement surrounding the arrival of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-man in the MCU, the news that the original Spider-man trilogy’s director Sam Raimi will make his MCU debut with this much-anticipated sequel should be thrilling news for fans looking forward to the dark superhero story. Original helmer Scott Derrickson (now working on the Ethan Hawke horror The Black Phone) promised that Doctor Strange’s sequel would be Marvel’s first full-throated horror, and the original Evil Dead director Raimi seems like the perfect person to keep that spirit alive.
Moonfall (Feb 4)
Director Roland Emmerich was once the reigning king of disaster cinema thanks to a string of hits like Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. However, recent years have not been so kind to Emmerich, who is hoping to change the tides with Moonfall. Exactly as its title implies, Moonfall will see the moon fall out of orbit and head onto a collision course with earth, forcing a pair of astronauts and a conspiracy theorist to unite and save the world from catastrophe. If that sounds like an even sillier spinoff of the satire Don’t Look Up, that may be because Emmerich’s campy style of disaster movie has not graced the multiplex in a while. However, a stellar cast including The Conjuring franchise star Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry means that Moonfall may change the director’s fortunes and bring Emmerich back to his glory days as an A-list blockbuster director.
Lightyear (June 17)
Director Angus MacClane makes his solo debut (after co-directing 2016’s Finding Dory) with Lightyear, the origin story of Toy Story’s iconic spaceman Buzz Lightyear. Chris Evans will play the character, leading a voice cast that also includes Taika Waititi. Not a lot else is known about this one, but most sci-fi fans and family movie lovers alike will already be sold upon hearing that Toy Story’s hero will be receiving a standalone outing in this animated adventure.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part One) (October 7)
The long-awaited sequel to Spider-Man: Enter The Spider-Verse will arrive in cinemas this year (alongside many, many other 2022 movie sequels). With multiple versions of the titular hero played by Oscar Isaac, Shameik Moore, and Jake Johnson, as well as multiple Spider-women in the form of Hailee Steinfeld and Issa Rae, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part One) looks set to be animated anarchy that will match the colorful, hilarious ingenuity of the fast-paced original.
65 (April 29)
Adam Driver stars in the enigmatic 65, the tale of “an astronaut [who] crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he’s not alone.” If that sounds disarmingly simple, that’s because it is. Despite the fame of its leading man and the credentials of its creators (A Quiet Place scribes Scott Beck and Bryan Woods), all that is known about 65 is the bare-bones premise above. While the movie could turn out to be a space-set sci-fi horror in the vein of Ridley Scott’s legendary Alien, there are plenty of other interesting directions that this mysterious story could go in and viewers won’t know which path the plot will take until its April release.
Don’t Worry Darling (September 23)
Olivia Wilde recently appeared in one of 2021’s most anticipated sci-fi outings, the surprisingly sweet Ghostbusters: Afterlife, as the villainous Gozer, but her 2022 directorial effort Don’t Worry Darling looks set to be a very different strain of sci-fi. Starring Florence Pugh as a ‘50s housewife whose idyllic existence is not as simple as it seems, Don’t Worry Darling has been alternately described as a horror, a sci-fi, and a psychological thriller. Expect something sharp, satirical, and reminiscent of The Stepford Wives, Seconds (1966), and The Twilight Zone from this promising chiller when it arrives in 2022.
Everything Everywhere All At Once (March 25)
Michelle Yeoh stars in Everything Everywhere All At Once, the third movie on this rundown to feature a multiverse in its plot. Although Everything Everywhere All At Once is not a superhero movie, the reality-warping premise of the promising outing sees Yeoh’s character exist across various universes simultaneously. With a villainous turn by Halloween franchise heroine Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once has the potential to be an exciting cult action hit, and the intriguing storyline looks set to anchor some stunning action set-pieces according to the first trailer. It may not be a part of an existing series, but Everything Everywhere All At Once is still firmly one of 2022’s most anticipated sci-fi movies.
Avatar 2 (December 16)
After so long waiting, Avatar 2 couldn’t possibly miss out on being branded as one of 2022’s most anticipated 2022 sci-fi movies. Despite James Cameron’s decision to announce several sequels all at once drawing some mockery, the Titanic director and Disney have risen to believe that Avatar can become a viable alternative to sci-fi as Disney’s next big sci-fi franchise. The original Avatar was, after all, far more than just a trick to take advantage of the 3D “gimmick” – the world created was absorbing and the characters engaging, even if there were some story issues. Cameron’s sequels, beginning with Avatar 2 in 2022, should redress the story shortcomings of the original, expanding the alien worlds and the conflict with Earth, while bringing back the original characters including Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri, and Stephen Lang’s Miles Quaritch (despite his death). Add to that a host of new actors, like Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, Jermain Clement and Cliff Curtis and there’s a lot to be excited about. The biggest question, of course, is how Avatar 2 captures the magic that made Avatar the biggest movie of all time, with Cameron turning to his own advances in underwater filmmaking to give it every chance of dazzling audiences.
More: Best Shudder Original Horrors Of 2021
- Lightyear (2022)Release date: Jun 17, 2022
- Moonfall (2022)Release date: Feb 04, 2022
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 (2022)Release date: Oct 07, 2022
- Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)Release date: Jun 10, 2022
- Avatar 2 (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
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