Entertainment

Coming soon to a cinema near you in 2024

David Roy takes a look ahead to some of the top films set for release throughout next year...

Eddie Murphy hold his hands up in a scene from the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley Eddie Murphy is back on the beat in a new sequel to mark the 40th anniversary of Beverly Hills Cop

WHILE 2023 will be remembered as the year Hollywood’s creatives finally took a stand against The Industry, now the strikes are over it’s back to box office business as usual.

With that in mind, here’s 10 of 2024′s most intriguing titles coming to a cinema and/or streaming service near you...

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (March)

The poster for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire 2024 brings us another Ghostbusters sequel

WHO you gonna call (again)? No, it’s still not He-Man: the Ghostbusters are back for a sequel to Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The upcoming film finds the boys and girls in grey back in the Big Apple to battle a spooky Big Bad with Jack Frost-type notions.

With all four of the OG ‘busters returning to the franchise alongside Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon and the kids from Afterlife, hopefully this Ghostbusters instalment helps the franchise celebrate its 40th anniversary in suitably spooktacular style.

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Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley (July)

ON THE subject of classic 1980s film franchises marking major milestones, as someone who’s still pained that he wasted time and money on the appalling Beverly Hills Cop III 29 years ago, my feelings are mixed about a fourth go-around for Eddie Murphy as everyone’s favourite foul-mouthed Detroit crimebuster.

However, with OG cast members John Ashton, Judge Reinhold, Bronson Pinchot and Paul Reiser all back on the beat, joined by top new recruits Kevin Bacon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, there’s definitely a slim chance that BHCAF might be, at the very least, passably entertaining fare.

Gladiator 2 (November)

WERE you not entertained by Ridley Scott’s original Gladiator? You were? Well, brace yourself, because auld Ridders is back with a belated second-serving of epic, slash-and-bash action and intrigue, starring Ireland’s own Paul Mescal as an adult Lucius.

95th Academy Awards – Arrivals
95th Academy Awards – Arrivals Paul Mescal arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Plot details are scarce, but confirmed casting includes Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Matt Lucas (yes, that one) and Connie Nielsen, reprising her role as Lucillia. Having been delayed by the Hollywood strikes, filming is still underway in Malta, where they shot the first instalment a mere 24 years ago.

No doubt the ghost of Oliver Reed, AKA Proximo, is observing with interest...

Beetlejuice 2 (September)

Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse and Jenna Ortega in Beetlejuice 2
Beetlejuice 2 Michael Keaton is back as Betelgeuse

LOOK, not every film being released in 2024 is a sequel to a beloved original – just most of them.

Much as I love Michael Keaton’s turn as undead mischief-maker Betelgeuse in Tim Burton’s 1988 comedy horror, I haven’t exactly been waiting on a sequel with bated breath.

Indeed, one of the main reasons a second go-around has taken so long was that no-one could quite decide how – or, indeed, if – it should be done. However, Burton has finally got the gang back together again – including Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz and Catharine O’Hara as her mother, Delia – along with Wednesday star Jenna Ortega as Lydia’s daughter, Astrid, Monica Bellucci as Mrs Betelgeuse and Willem Dafoe as a (it says here) ‘spectral detective’.

Let’s hope Betelgeuse is still ‘the ghost with the most’ 36 years on.

The Book of Clarence (January)

FINALLY, something original to look forward to in the new year: directed by Jeymes Samuel (The Harder They Fall) comedy drama The Book of Clarence stars the amazing LaKeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Sorry To Bother You) as the titular Clarence, twin brother of Thomas the Apostle who’s also a witness to Christ in 29AD Jerusalem.

Struggling to make ends meet, Clarence decides to take a leaf out of the Messiah’s book by performing some ‘miracles’ himself. However, rather than healing the sick and helping the poor, Clarence is more focused on his own fame and fortune.

LaKeith Stanfield as Clarence in a scene from The Book of Clarence
The Book of Clarence Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield) is not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy... (MORIS PUCCIO)

With a cast also featuring James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, this one looks like it has the potential to be up there with The Life of Brian as a biblical comedy classic – not the most crowded of genres, admittedly.

Civil War (April)

COMBINING imagery familiar from just about every disaster and (post-)apocalyptic event-centred movie ever made with a troublingly current storyline about an near-future armed insurrection against the US government, Alex Garland’s (The Beach, Ex Machina) new film features a cast including Wagner Moura, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Nick Offerman.

With any luck, real events in the US will not have rendered the plotline of this action-thriller eerily prescient by the time it appears in cinemas just after Easter.

Dune: Part Two (March)

ANOTHER sequel, this time to a reboot for the cinematic universe spawned by Frank Herbert’s classic 1960s sci-fi novel – a book set in a futuristic desert world deemed ‘unfilmable’ by many at time of publication.

Sadly, David Lynch proved the naysayers right with his valiant yet flawed attempt at bringing Dune to the big screen back in 1984, but thanks to the advent of CGI, Denis Villeneuve had much better success with his visually stunning and emotionally engaging attempt back in 2021 – one of the movies which coaxed even the Covid-cautious back to the cinema to experience its widescreen delights.

Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya atop a sand dune in the poster for Dune: Part Two
Dune: Part Two Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune: Part Two

Thus, Dune: Part Two is sure to be one of the biggest films of 2024: here’s hoping for a back-to-back screening of both features in IMAX format.

Joker: Folie á Deux (October)

HAVING paid disturbing homage to Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and King of Comedy with his first go at Joker in 2019, Todd Phillips is set to bring us a sequel next year – and, apparently, it’s going to be a musical (no, really).

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in 2019's Joker
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker Todd Phillips will be releasing Joker: Folie á Deux next year (Niko Tavernise/Niko Tavernise)

Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix is back as the deranged ex-clown turned aspiring stand-up Arthur Fleck, joined by fellow Academy Award-owner Lady Gaga as Dr Harleen Quinzel, the future DC anti-hero Harley Quinn.

Expect, songs, dancing, murder – and Brendan Gleeson.

The Garfield Movie (May)

OK, SO the last two live action Garfield movies with Bill Murray voicing everyone’s favourite lazy, lasagne-loving, Mondays-hating cartoon feline were pretty shocking, but this upcoming animated attempt at rebooting Garfield for a new generation – does anyone under 30 even know him these days? – from Mark ‘Chicken Little’ Dindal looks like it might be kind of fun.

Twisters (July)

ANOTHER sequel no-one asked for, this belated follow-up to 1996′s storm chasing-themed disaster actioner will probably only appeal to those with lingering affection for the enjoyably ridiculous original (raises hand) – though sadly we’ll have to make do without the late, great Bill Paxton in the mix this time around.

Best brace yourselves for more flying cows...

Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt cower from a tornado in a scene from 1996's Twister
Twister Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in 1996's Twister

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