Films to watch out for in 2024

With the strikes firmly in the rearview mirror, the coming year has a bonanza in store from Bong Joon Ho, Joachim Trier, Rose Glass, Steve McQueen and plenty more.

Mickey 17


Let’s start with the film that’s hulking over the cinema landscape like a mist-shrouded skyscraper. Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis, which has swallowed more than £95 million of the director’s vineyard-rooted fortune, ought to be the movie event of 2024; Mike Figgis, who is directing a documentary about the production, described Coppola’s epic as “Julius Caesar meets Blade Runner”. Probably no one is looking forward to the film’s premiere – as yet unannounced, but Cannes seems likely – quite as much as Coppola himself, who’s been dreaming of making it for more than 40 years.

What will audiences make of two upcoming movies by directors best known for collaborations with their brothers? Technically, Ethan Coen has already directed a film – his solo directorial debut was last year’s documentary Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind – but Drive-Away Dolls, whose release was bumped from autumn 2023 to February 2024 in the wake of Hollywood strike action, marks his first fiction feature. It’s a queer road-trip movie Coen wrote with his wife Tricia Cooke, who, having edited numerous films by the Coen brothers, is also cutting this one. Meanwhile, Josh Safdie is helming a new, as yet untitled, Adam Sandler film without his brother Benny (who is currently riding high as an in-demand actor). Still, fans of 2019’s Uncut Gems will be pleased to see Safdie return to the underbelly of the sporting world: Sandler is reportedly starring as an opportunistic memorabilia agent.

Spring will bring four big American films by non-Americans: first, Bong Joon Ho’s sci-fi Mickey 17, which has Robert Pattinson playing two (if not more) iterations of an ‘expendable’ employee clone, complete with embedded memories, on a space mission. The ‘what exactly makes us human?’ idea might be old hat for the genre, but in Bong’s hands such existential musings are likely to be sharpened by socioeconomic commentary and smuggled into the shape of a thriller. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, another casualty of the strikes, will now come out in March. After a nine-year wait, George Miller is following up Mad Max: Fury Road with a prequel, Furiosa, starring Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role. And Luca Guadagnino is also back, with Challengers (out in April), which sees a Grand Slam winner go head to head against the former lover of his wife/coach. Its screenwriter, Justin Kuritzkes, also penned Guadagnino’s next film, on which production has already wrapped: the William S. Burroughs adaptation Queer, starring Daniel Craig.

Which cinephile won’t be thrilled by the return of Joshua Oppenheimer? That the celebrated documentarian is to release a post-apocalyptic musical, The End, seems like a left turn, until you remember the garish, disturbing song-and-dance sequences from 2012’s The Act of Killing. The End, which stars Tilda Swinton and could be a Cannes contender, comes a full decade after his last film The Look of Silence (2014). This is unsurprising, perhaps, given that anyone who spends ten years documenting the personal toll of the mass murders that took place in mid-1960s Indonesia could probably do with a break.

Drive-Away Dolls

Movies by Paul Schrader and Sean Baker have also finished filming: Schrader’s Oh, Canada, an adaptation of a Russell Banks novel about an American who heads north across the border in the 1960s to avoid the draft, stars Richard Gere – in his first collaboration with the director since 1980’s American Gigolo – and Jacob Elordi. Baker’s Anora confines the action to the US, but skips between New York and Las Vegas, two more stops in the director’s career-length mapping of America’s less salubrious environs. Meanwhile, production isn’t far from wrapping on Clint Eastwood’s Juror #2, starring Nicholas Hoult as a jury member in a murder trial who realises he may have played a part in the victim’s death. Eastwood turns 94 in May; the film will likely premiere some time after that.

As for the best of the rest: Barry Levinson’s Alto Knights sees Robert De Niro pulling double duty as two 1950s Mafia bosses; Brady Corbet’s The Brutalist has Adrien Brody echoing The Pianist (2002) by playing a Hungarian Holocaust survivor; Eli Roth’s adaptation of the hit video­game Borderlands, starring Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Jamie Lee Curtis, could make for a fun summer outing; Pixar’s Inside Out 2 follows the mind of its predecessor’s protagonist into adolescence; and Robert Zemeckis’s Here – as reported in a previous issue of this magazine – uses AI to face-swap and de-age its cast (which includes Tom Hanks and Robin Wright) in real time rather than in post-production.


Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, a visceral showcase for the talents of Joaquin Phoenix, was a hit at Cannes in 2017. The sunny Riviera may yet welcome their chilly follow-up Polaris (which Ramsay has said may be renamed Dark Slides). It sounds a little like a horror version of Hlynur Pálmason’s Godland (2022): an ice photographer meets the devil in 1890s Alaska.

Phoenix is incredibly busy, reportedly following up the Ramsay film and Ridley Scott’s Napoleon with projects for Ari Aster, Paul Thomas Anderson and Todd Haynes that are unlikely to come out next year. But no less hardworking is Franz Rogowski, for whom having acted in nine films in the last three years evidently isn’t enough: as well as appearing in David Michôd’s upcoming stoner comedy Wizards!, he’ll be starring in the new Andrea Arnold movie Bird. Barry Keoghan dropped out of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 (also out next year) to feature, heavily tattooed, in Arnold’s Kent-set drama – further proof, if any were needed, of his near-unerring taste.

Bird is backed by ubiquitous production house A24, which is teaming up with Film4 to put out Rose Glass’s romantic thriller Love Lies Bleeding. Kristen Stewart will play a gym employee in the sweaty, steroidal, highly competitive world of bodybuilding. It’s been touted to premiere at Sundance. Film4 is also partly behind Hot Milk, the directorial debut of Rebecca Lenkiewicz, one of the writers of 2022’s #MeToo drama She Said. This new film, set mostly in Spain, suggests the wave of mother-daughter studies is far from over, and the cast – Fiona Shaw, Emma Mackey, Vicky Krieps – make it an enticing prospect. There’s more globetrotting in Alice Lowe’s new movie, Timestalker, which sees the writer/director play Agnes, a woman who, through repeated incarnations in 17th-century Scotland, 1980s Manhattan and a post-apocalyptic 22nd century, keeps falling in love with the wrong guy. But it’s not just women who are lighting up the slate of British films. Steve McQueen is following up his epic documentary Occupied City, which surveyed the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, with Blitz, a drama about Londoners coping with bombardment during World War II. The starry cast, which includes Saoirse Ronan, Harris Dickinson, Stephen Graham, Kathy Burke and, in his feature film debut, musician Paul Weller, might be typical of British prestige period pictures, but with McQueen writing and directing, it’s fair to expect some unpalatable home truths.

Love Lies Bleeding (2024)

Fresh from his Oscar-winning wartime drama, All Quiet on the Western Front, Edward Berger (who is currently in talks to direct the next instalment in the Jason Bourne franchise) will have his new film Conclave released in the coming year. Shot in Rome and starring Ralph Fiennes, John Lithgow, Stanley Tucci and Isabella Rossellini, it’s based on the Robert Harris thriller about papal intrigue.


A stellar year for French directors lies ahead. There’s the new film by Leos Carax, whose unique Holy Motors proved an unexpected hit at Cannes in 2012, and whose madcap musical Annette opened the festival in 2021. His latest – a supposed self-portrait and career recap – is titled, in typically perverse fashion, C’est pas moi. Fans of Denis Lavant’s recurring character Monsieur Merde will have that particular itch scratched.

Three other directors who scored festival hits in 2021 are also reappearing. After the Golden Lion-winning abortion drama Happening, Audrey Diwan is making an unexpected turn into erotica: she’s rebooting Emmanuelle with Noémie Merlant in the title role, though unlike the 1970s originals, this one will be in English. Similarly surprising, perhaps, is Jacques Audiard following up Paris, 13th District with a Mexico-set musical: Emilia Perez, which stars Zoe Saldaña and Selena Gomez, sees a high-powered criminal lawyer help a cartel boss (played by trans actress Karla Sofía Gascón) who hopes that achieving a dream of transitioning will help them leave their dirty deeds behind. Bruno Dumont completes this triumvirate of genre-switchers: his L’Empire, which sees aliens running amok on northern France’s Opal Coast, has already been given a March release date in its home country.

Julie Delpy stars in her eighth feature as director, Les Barbares, which finished filming in August; it tackles the timely topic of a Breton town expecting to welcome Ukrainian refugees but receiving an influx of Syrians instead. Also in the final stretches of post-production is Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s French remake of his own 1998 Japanese thriller Serpent’s Path, about a man seeking revenge for his daughter’s murder. Cannes premieres for both films are hoped for.

Around the world

Where to begin surveying the rest of the world’s output? Let’s start in South America: after the disappointment of his Henry VIII drama Firebrand, Karim Aïnouz is back on home turf in north-eastern Brazil to shoot Motel Destino, a love story that unfolds against the backdrop of social inequality and violent patriarchy. After 2016’s Jackie and 2021’s Spencer, Chilean director Pablo Larraín continues his studies of high-profile historical women with Maria, an international co-production which sees Angelina Jolie play the opera singer Maria Callas in Paris towards the end of her life, in the 1970s.

Over in Italy, Paolo Sorrentino is in post-production on Parthenope, a Naples-set film which follows the life of its title character from the 1950s to the present day, a story that, in Sorrentino’s words, “embodies the full repertoire of human existence: youth’s lightheartedness and its demise, classical beauty and its inexorable permutations, pointless and impossible loves”. Gary Oldman has enlisted.

Abderrahmane Sissako, who hasn’t made a feature since 2014’s celebrated Timbuktu, is set to return with The Perfumed Hill, an epic romance that takes place across Ivory Coast, Cape Verde and Guangzhou, China. Some speculated that it would grace this year’s Cannes, but now we must hope for a 2024 premiere.

Dry Leaf

In colder climes, Norwegian director Joachim Trier is reuniting with Renate Reinsve, star of The Worst Person in the World (2021), on Sentimental Value, in which her character Nora, together with her sister Agnes, navigate their relationship with their filmmaker father, Gustav. Panning east, to 1990s Poland, Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry play an American music journalist and her Holocaust survivor dad taking a trip to his homeland in Julia von Heinz’s Iron Box. The premise carries a hint of the oddball father-daughter dynamic of Toni Erdmann (2016), undergirded by a reckoning with Nazi and Soviet legacies. New films by two key Russian directors are also eagerly awaited: Kirill Serebrennikov’s Disappearance, about the Nazi physician Josef Mengele’s fugitive years in South America, and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Jupiter, which, in its focus on a Russian oligarch grappling with the fate of his family, has been described by its producers as an “unrelenting exploration of power and corruption”.

In Georgia, Alexandre Koberidze is patiently editing Dry Leaf, a film about a father searching various backwaters for his daughter, accompanied – in a magical touch typical of the director – by a friendly disembodied voice. Dea Kulumbegashvili is following up her 2020 San Sebastián winner Beginning with another provincial drama, Those Who Find Me, about an obstetrician-gynaecologist accused of negligence when a baby dies in her care.

Further east, Portuguese director Miguel Gomes has finished work on Grand Tour, whose plot kicks off in the 1910s in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) – a lightly comic existential romance in which an English colonial administrator is pursued across Asia by the woman he jilted. Jia Zhangke is filming the final parts of We Shall Be All, his first fiction film since 2018’s Ash Is Purest White; it tells the story of a solitary woman’s life over the last quarter-century – parts of it, remarkably, were shot as long ago as 2001. Meanwhile, in South Korea, Na Hongjin is courting the international audience he cultivated with the 2016 horror hit The Wailing: his new project, Hope, is largely in Korean but stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. A thriller revolving around menacing forces set loose on a remote port town, it’s being shot by Hong Kyungpyo, who served as director of photography on Parasite (2019) and Burning (2018) as well as The Wailing.

Two leading lights of south-east Asian cinema should also have films out next year: Lav Diaz’s Henrico’s Farm, which follows a migrant Filipina worker stopping over in Singapore en route to her mother country from Frankfurt, has been shooting since at least 2017, while Indonesian director Edwin, best known internationally for his Golden Leopard winner Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (2021), is in post-production on Borderless Fog – a crime thriller that is, unusually, set in Borneo rather than Java, where most of the country’s cinematic output is.


Genre spotlight: horror

In last year’s Greatest Films of All Time poll, Robert Eggers voted for F.W. Murnau’s gothic classic Nosferatu, which was then celebrating its centenary. His remake will premiere some time next year; Bill Skarsgård will play the fanged count of the title, alongside Lily-Rose Depp as the would-be paramour. Also in the 2024 remake pipeline is Faces of Death, the third feature by How to Blow up a Pipeline (2022) director Daniel Goldhaber. The new movie folds the 1978 mondo horror original into its own narrative, and if it’s anywhere near as profitable as that cult item turned out to be, Goldhaber and his producers will be happy.

A Cannes premiere seems likely for David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds, which stars Vincent Cassel, Guy Pearce and, in three roles, Diane Kruger. Chronologically, it comes after 2022’s Crimes of the Future, but in spirit it seems closer to the one-minute 2021 short The Death of David Cronenberg, which he directed with his daughter Caitlin. Specifically, The Shrouds is about an entrepreneur who pioneers a device to allow people to commune with the dead under a burial shroud. According to Kruger, it’s the director’s most personal film, and is haunted by the death in 2017 of his wife Carolyn.

The Cronenbergs aren’t the only ones keeping horror in the family. Next year brings the feature debut of M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter Ishana: The Watchers features creatures hiding in the woods, a premise that superficially recalls her father’s 2004 hit The Village. (M. Night also has a film due for 2024 release: Trap, a thriller set at a concert.)

After the rapid one-two punch of X and its prequel Pearl (both 2022), Ti West has been keeping audiences waiting for the third instalment in the franchise. But not for long: MaXXXine is a direct sequel to X, and sees Maxine, the sole survivor of that film’s massacre, pursuing fame and fortune in 1980s LA. Zach Cregger is also attempting to deliver on the promise of Barbarian (2022) with Weapons, which – unusually for a horror film – is a multi-narrative epic in the vein of Magnolia (1999). Like Paul Thomas Anderson, Cregger has been granted final cut. Pedro Pascal and Renate Reinsve have signed on.

Following the critical and cult success of We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021), Jane Schoenbrun is continuing their exploration of screens’ scream potential with I Saw the TV Glow. Produced by A24 and Emma Stone, the movie mines chills from the premise of a TV show getting mysteriously cancelled and the unsettling consequences that visit two of the show’s young fans.

Wrapping up next year’s horror package with a (blood-stained?) bow around Christmastime will be the new, as yet untitled Jordan Peele film, which he has said will be “a little bit of horror, a little bit of comedy”. After the expansiveness of Nope (2022), exactly where he’ll be taking audiences next is anyone’s guess.



Netflix has another slate of glossy miniseries set to hit our screens in 2024 – three of which come from impeccable literary material. Simply mounting a production of Lampedusa’s The Leopard is ambitious, but if this Italian show runs longer than three hours (as it’s likely to) we can expect a reasonably detailed treatment of the novel. Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley has already enjoyed some gorgeous adaptations, from René Clement’s 1960 Purple Noon to Anthony Minghella’s 1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley; the new miniseries Ripley, from Steven Zaillian (writer of The Irishman), features a suitably glittering cast: Andrew Scott, Johnny Flynn and Dakota Fanning. Rounding off this enticing set of adaptations is 3 Body Problem, based on the award-winning sci-fi bestseller by Liu Cixin and developed by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Another new show springing from a classic novel is The Count of Monte Cristo, created by two-time Palme d’Or winner Bille August and starring Sam Claflin and Jeremy Irons. It’s been many years since an August movie made an international splash, but he has form in adapting French behemoths – 25 years ago he directed Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush in a creditable version of Les Misérables.

Also of interest is HBO’s The Sympathizer; Park Chanwook’s attachment as showrunner alongside Don McKellar brings added excitement. Adapted from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer-winning novel, it charts the increasingly torn loyalties of a North Vietnamese spy reporting back to his Viet Cong commanders from the US; Robert Downey Jr. and Sandra Oh will appear in supporting roles.

The literary adaptations continue at Apple TV+, where Alfonso Cuarón is adapting Renée Knight’s 2015 high-concept novel Disclaimer into a series of the same name. A thriller about a successful broadcaster who begins reading a novel only to realise that it’s about her and one of her long-buried secrets, it stars Cate Blanchett, Kevin Kline, Sacha Baron Cohen and Lesley Manville. Also to come is Wong Kar Wai’s Blossoms Shanghai, which takes on Jin Yucheng’s award-winning novel Blossoms. Set in the 1990s, with dialogue in Shanghainese dialect as in the book, this is Wong’s first move into TV.

There will, at least, be some original series out there. Juho Kuosmanen and Hong Khaou are co-directing a thorny English romance named Alice & Jack for Channel 4, set over 16 years and starring Domnhall Gleeson, Andrea Riseborough and Aisling Bea; while coming to the BBC is The Way, a drama of civil uprising in an industrial town, written by James Graham, Michael Sheen and documentarian Adam Curtis. Over on Apple TV+ is The New Look, which fixes its gaze on Paris’s fashion world in the 1940s, stars Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior and Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel. John Malkovich and Claes Bang also appear, and two episodes have been directed by 2021 Palme d’Or winner Julia Ducournau.

The new issue of Sight and Sound

In this 21st-century cinema special: 25 critics choose an era-defining film from each year of the century, and J. Hoberman asks: what is a 21st-century film? Plus: ten talking points from Cannes – George Miller on Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – remembering Roger Corman with a never-before-seen interview.

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