Film 2024: Mean Girls, Wicked, Dune Part Two and other highlights

Mean girls began its life as a book Queen Bees and Wannabees. Mean Girls, Wicked and Dune 2:

In Summary
  • Many films originally due next year have now been pushed back to 2025 - including Tom Cruise's next Mission: Impossible, and Disney's live action Snow White.
  • That said, the year still has a significant range of big screen offerings, from Oscar hopefuls early in the year, to summer and autumn crowd-pleasing favourites.

Right now, 2024 doesn't look like it will deliver a juggernaut of movies in the way that Hollywood, still dealing with the impact of the Covid pandemic and the recent strikes, might have hoped.

Many films originally due next year have now been pushed back to 2025 - including Tom Cruise's next Mission: Impossible, and Disney's live action Snow White.

That said, the year still has a significant range of big screen offerings, from Oscar hopefuls early in the year, to summer and autumn crowd-pleasing favourites.

So here are 24 films to look out for in 2024.

1. One Life

In the run up to World War Two, Nicholas Winton was instrumental in saving the lives of hundreds of children, most of them Jewish. He organised a series of train journeys so they could escape occupied Czechoslovakia and reach the United Kingdom.

The film details his heroic work in the late 1930s, as well as his reflections in later life when his untold story was revealed to the public on the BBC One show That's Life in 1988. Johnny Flynn and Sir Anthony Hopkins play the younger and older Winton.

(In UK cinemas from 1 January)

2. Poor Things

Emma Stone plays a woman who embarks on a journey of emotional and sexual development in Yorgos Lanthimos's often surreal adaptation of the book by Alasdair Gray.

It won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in September and is expected to be firmly in contention for best picture at the Oscars. Emma Stone is one of the favourites to pick up the best actress award.

(12 January)

3. Mean Girls

Mean Girls has enjoyed many incarnations over the last few decades. It began life as a book Queen Bees and Wannabees which was partly the basis for the famous 2004 comedy film. That movie famously and hilariously explored the pressures of cliques and fitting in at high school.

After that, it was made into a Broadway musical, which has now been turned into this new movie. Tina Fey who wrote and starred in the original film returns to do the same here 20 years later.

(17 January)

4. The Holdovers

A curmudgeonly teacher at an exclusive boys' school in the 1970s reluctantly finds himself having to look after a group of students who aren't able to return home for the holidays. The film sees writer director Alexander Payne reunited with Paul Giamatti, nearly 20 years after Sideways.

The Holdovers is a likely best picture nominee at the Oscars. Giamatti could well be in contention for best actor, while Da'Vine Joy Randolph, who plays the school's cafeteria administrator, is one of the frontrunners for best supporting actress.

(19 January)

5. All Of Us Strangers

This story of love and loss stars Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal as two people living in an almost empty apartment block who gradually enter into a relationship.

Scott's character, Adam, is also still processing the death of his parents, and his grieving manifests itself in an unusual but touching way. Both stars could well be in awards contention for what is undoubtedly one of the most moving and affecting films of the year.

(26 January)

6. The Color Purple

This is the second adaptation of Alice Walker's novel and is a big screen version of the hit Broadway musical. The story of a young African-American woman being raised in rural Georgia in the 1900s stars Fantasia Barrino as the central character Celie, alongside Taraji P Henson and Danielle Brooks.

Steven Spielberg who directed the first film version returns here as a producer, alongside Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey. The then-relatively unknown Winfrey starred in the 1985 original.

(26 January)

7. The Zone of Interest

Director Jonathan Glazer's film about the Holocaust looks at events through the everyday family life of the commandant at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Loosely based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis, its focus on the banality of evil poses difficult questions about how seemingly ordinary people can be involved in committing such evil acts. The film's growing momentum since its premiere at Cannes could see it doing particularly well at the Baftas and Oscars.

(2 February)

8. American Fiction

Jeffrey Wright plays a writer who's struggling to get any interest in his books about Greek history. The publishers he has to deal with are only interested in black writers writing clichéd black stories.

In frustration he tries to shame them by writing a book filled with black stereotypes - deadbeat dads, rap music, drug dealers etc. - but he's stunned and horrified when it becomes a huge success.

Writer-director Cord Jefferson's debut film won the top award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Every winner of that award over the last 10 years has gone on to receive a best picture nomination. This isn't expected to break that streak.

(2 February)

9. Bob Marley: One Love

A biopic about the legendary singer, which follows his life from his rise to fame in the 1960s to his death in the early 1980s. Kingsley Ben-Adir stars as Marley, Lashana Lynch plays his wife Rita.

Among the film's producers are Bob Marley's son Ziggy, daughter Cedella, and his wife Rita, while James Norton plays Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records.

(14 February)

10. Dune: Part Two

Originally planned for release in 2023, it had to be delayed because of the Hollywood strikes.

Although the film was finished and theoretically could have been released as planned, stars were not allowed to carry out promotional work during the strike, which led it it being pushed to next year.

The first film was a spectacular success. This second instalment is expected to tell the second part of Frank Herbert's epic novel. Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya return, while newcomers include Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan.

(1 March)

11. Back to Black

Amy Winehouse is widely recognised as one of the UK's biggest ever musical talents, with tens of millions of records sold and countless awards.

This biopic is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and stars Industry star Marisa Abela as Winehouse. The film's producers promise the movie will showcase Winehouse's "extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty".

(12 April)

12. The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling will take on the lead role in a film inspired by the classic 1980s TV show which starred Lee Majors as stuntman and bounty hunter Colt Seavers.

The plot sees Seavers try to unravel a complex conspiracy after an almost career-ending accident.

(2 May)

13. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Writer director George Miller has been making Mad Max movies on and off for more than 40 years, interspersed of course with films at the other end of the spectrum like the heart warming Babe.

His previous Max movie Fury Road was his fourth. It starred Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron and won six Oscars. This fifth visit to the world of Mad Max is a prequel centring on Theron's character Furiosa, and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as her earlier self.

(24 May)

14. Inside Out 2

This is a sequel to the blockbuster 2015 Pixar hit which showed how 11-year-old Riley was swayed and controlled by the core emotions present in her mind - joy, anger, fear, disgust and sadness.

In this follow-up, Riley has now become a teenager, and things look set to potentially get even rockier when a brand new emotion turns up to join the others - anxiety!

(14 June)

15. The Bikeriders

The Vandals are a mid-western motorcycle club. And the film follows the group's development from a band of bike-loving outsiders into something far more sinister.

It received strong reviews after being shown at film festivals including Telluride and London and stars Austin Butler, Jodie Comer and Tom Hardy.

(21 June)

16. Despicable Me 4

Despicable Me 3 grossed more than $1bn (£780m) at the global box office in 2017, so it was perhaps inevitable that this sequel would eventually arrive.

Plot details are still scarce, but there have been some suggestions that it will see the adopted children of reformed supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) becoming more deeply involved in Gru and his wife Lucy's (Kristen Wiig) anti-villain league.

(12 July)

17. Deadpool 3

Deadpool, the foul-mouthed anti-hero, might be something of an anomaly among big screen comic book stars. But he's one who has been embraced by fans.

This film will see him being firmly wrapped into the usually much more clean-cut Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this as yet unnamed sequel, Ryan Reynolds returns as Deadpool, and is joined by Hugh Jackman reprising his role of Wolverine from the X-Men series.

(26 July)

18. Alien: Romulus

This will be the ninth instalment in the Alien film series. It's a standalone movie, set between the original terrifying Alien and its action-packed sequel Aliens.

Little is known plot-wise, but it's expected to, as always, feature xenomorphs - savage aliens that reproduce by using face huggers to implant their eggs in living bodies. Ridley Scott who directed the first Alien movie will produce. Fede Álvarez, the man behind the 2013 Evil Dead remake, will direct.

(16 August)

19. Beetlejuice 2

It's been a long time coming. The original Beetlejuice, which starred Michael Keaton as an obnoxious wraith hired to help scare away a house's pretentious inhabitants, was released back in 1988.

Many of the original cast are back for this follow-up, including Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara. Joining them will be Wednesday star Jenna Ortega, who wasn't even born when the original came out.

(6 September)

20. Joker: Folie à Deux

Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of aspiring stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck aka Joker in the first 2019 film. At the conclusion of the movie we saw him confined to Arkham Asylum.

The trailer for this sequel reveals him still incarcerated, but building a rapport with his psychiatrist Dr Harleen Quinzel (Lady Gaga) before he finally escapes, leading to their relationship intensifying as she in turn becomes Harley Quinn.

(4 October)

21. Paddington in Peru

The first two Paddington movies are among the most beloved British films of the last decade, thanks to their affectionate, warm-hearted story telling.

Paddington in Peru, unsurprisingly sees our favourite bear returning to South America to visit his Aunt Lucy, who now lives in a home for retired bears. Ben Whishaw is back as the voice of Paddington, alongside series regulars Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.

(8 October)

22. Venom 3

This is the third film starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a tenacious investigative journalist whose body also hosts a symbiotic alien life form. Something that gives him both super powers and a vicious alter ego.

Little has been revealed about what happens this time around, and at this stage it doesn't even have a title. It marks the directorial debut of Kelly Marcel who wrote the first two Venom films, as well as Saving Mr Banks and the big screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

(8 October)

23. Gladiator 2

Following the 2000 original, this sequel centres on Lucius, who we last saw as the young nephew of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus in the first movie.

The older Lucius, played by Paul Mescal, returns after more than a decade in the wilderness. Newcomers to the cast include Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal, while Connie Nielsen and Derek Jacob, who were in the original, are back.

(22 November)

24. Wicked: Part One

The story of the green-skinned Elphaba Thropp, daughter of the Governor of Munchkinland, and how she became the feared Wicked Witch of the West has already delighted theatre fans around the globe.

And this cinema adaptation of the hit stage musical has been divided into two instalments for the big screen, with part two set for release towards the end of 2025. Cynthia Erivo plays Elphaba, and other cast members include Arianna Grande, Jonathan Bailey, Jeff Goldblum and Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh.

(29 November)

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star