We haven’t had a proper summer blockbuster season for a few years now, and although I’ll still be wearing my mask to the theater or staying home to see the premieres from a variety of streaming services, I cannot wait to get back to some semblance of normalcy and watch movies on the big screen again. This time of year typically has a lot to offer film-wise, but I believe I have narrowed it down to the must-sees this upcoming summer season. Read on if you haven’t yet glanced at the American film release list yet, or if you want to see if your must-sees match mine.
Fire Island – From Hulu & Searchlight Pictures
From director Andrew Ahn and writer Joel Kim Booster, this Pride & Prejudice inspired romantic comedy features the aforementioned Booster along with Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho, and Conrad Ricamora. The plot revolves around a pair of best friends and their vacation on Fire Island, known as the ultimate gay vacation destination.
I’m thrilled that we are getting more queer stories, and excited to see a reimagining of Pride & Prejudice. I’ve enjoyed seeing Bowen Yang on SNL, and can only imagine we are in for a hilarious and heartwarming ride.
The film will be released on June 3rd, 2022, but will be available on Hulu instead of in theaters.
Lightyear – From Walt Disney Pictures & Pixar Animation Studios
From director Angus McLane and a three-person writing team including McLane, we finally get to see the backstory of one of the Toy Story heroes – Buzz Lightyear. We’ve been waiting since 1995 to learn the origin of our brave astronaut, and with Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Uzo Aduba, and Taika Waititi leading the cast of voice characters, we’re in for a hell of a trip.
While the story is about the character that inspires the creation of the action figure, I believe the Buzz Lightyear toy has enough of the original spirit that we’re still going to cry buckets over what is sure to be one of the most looked forward to movies of the summer.
Lightyear will be released in theaters on July 17, 2022.
The Black Phone – From Universal Pictures & Blumhouse Productions
Based on a short story by Joe Hill, this supernatural horror was scripted by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill for Blumhouse Productions. Ethan Hawke is shown on the movie poster in a horrifically nightmarish mask and plays a serial killer and kidnapper whose previous victims’ spirits contact his latest abductee.
I get chills just thinking about what kind of scares this film has in store, and I look forward to seeing another stellar Blumhouse movie on the big screen. With lighter fare earlier in the season, this story promises to round out my June viewings quite nicely.
You can see The Black Phone in theaters on June 24, 2022.
Thor: Love and Thunder – From Marvel Studios
This is a no-brainer – Taika Waititi wrote and directed this latest Marvel film, and Natalie Portman even agreed to return to the franchise after meeting with Waititi. With new additions Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, this is going to be a story of epic proportions and I’m ecstatic to revisit Waitit’s version of Thor and the Avengers.
While I’ve become rather tired of Marvel’s attempts at pathos and humor, I make an exception for Waititi because of his humor and actual comprehension of heavier feelings like grief and depression, and he balances that with the most delightful sense of silliness. This is one I refuse to miss and will most likely attend a viewing on opening night.
Thor will return in Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, 2022, in theaters.
Persuasion – From Netflix & MRC
I know, I know – it’s another Jane Austen adaptation, but it’s my favorite Austen novel and it’s coming to life yet again, this time from an online streaming service. With Dakota Johnson and Henry Golding at the helm, this promises to be, at the very least, an interesting adaptation of the classic story of young lovers separated, then reunited many years later. Will the sparks still fly?
However many adaptations there are, I will always give a Jane Austen story a chance. They’re full of wit, wisdom, and courage, and still, have plenty to say about the stupidity of rigid societal structure and following your own heart.
Arriving on Netflix on July 15, 2022.
Nope – From Universal Pictures & Monkeypaw Productions
Jordan Peele’s horror films have become a staple on my rewatch list, and I believe Nope will be no exception. Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun star in this terrifying tale about a small California town as it witnesses a strange, paranormal event.
We don’t know much else about the film, but I prefer going in without having seen the plot via a commercial for months beforehand. I’m curious to see how Peele’s writing and directing have evolved since Get Out, and I’m eagerly awaiting another Peele original.
You can see Nope in theaters on July 22, 2022.
Bodies Bodies Bodies – From A24
The cast alone is enough for me to decide that I need to see this one in theaters – Amandla Stenberg, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson? In a comedic horror film? Yes, please! The story revolves around a group of friends who attend a party in a remote mansion. When they decide to play a game, things go downhill quickly, leading to a startling discovery. It promises to be darkly funny and just a bit twisted.
A24’s production of a variety of popular films and shows gives me confidence that this film will follow in those footsteps and we’ll get, at the very least, a highly entertaining and unique story.
Bodies Bodies Bodies will be in theaters starting August 5, 2022.
The Bride – From Screen Gems
I’ve been following Sean Pertwee’s career for some time, so to see him pop up again this year in a scary movie is an absolute delight. I’m not sure what part he’ll play in this gothic horror story, but I’m willing to find out. He’ll definitely be part of the main storyline that has a young woman attending a wedding, only to discover there’s a sinister reason she has been invited to attend. Will he play the part of a rescuer? Or something darker?
This last film on my summer blockbuster list is a fitting end to the season, I believe, ringing in autumn and heading toward Halloween, my favorite holiday. Depending on how much I like The Bride, I may even add it to my Halloween month movie rotation.
The Bride comes out on August 26, 2022.
So concludes my must-see list for the coming summer – would you make any additions? I might consider seeing them and writing a review if you leave your suggestions in the comments. See y’all in theaters!