From dystopian to fantasy: The most anticipated upcoming films of 2023

UPCOMING 2023 MOVIES: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, The Marvels, and Wonka (Amazon, WDW Magic, eBay)

Carly Altman | Writer

October 10, 2023

Although many companies are shifting to movie releases on streaming platforms, 2023 has been marked by multiple theater-released blockbuster successes. Some of the most notable films include the summer comedy Barbie and historical drama Oppenheimer, along with the earlier releases of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse, and the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Going into the latter half of the year, there are still multiple movie releases that are highly anticipated by thousands of people. Between the fall and winter of 2023, some of the most anticipated movie releases include Wonka, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and The Marvels.

Wonka, releasing on December 15, 2023, is a musical fantasy film directed by Paul King, a British director best known for his work on Paddington and its sequel. This film is centered around the origin story of Willy Wonka, the iconic character from Roald Dahl’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It will focus on Wonka’s adolescent years, and the fantastical story of how he became the world-renowned inventor, magician, and chocolate maker that he is known to be. 27-year-old Timothée Chalamet will be playing the lead character, thrust into the spotlight from his iconic roles in Dune, Little Women, and Call Me by Your Name, along with the recent development of his relationship with well-known media personality Kylie Jenner.

“Timothée Chalamet is one of my favorite actors,” said junior Adelyn Haderlie. “I’m really excited to see how he portrays a character different from his usual roles.” However, others are less optimistic about his casting as Willy Wonka. After the release of the trailer, he became a media sensation due to jokes and criticism regarding his lines and performance. Nevertheless, the majority of audiences anxiously await the movie’s release, curious to see more of Chalamet’s acting and learn more about the beloved character, Wonka. 

METROLUX THEATRES: Best local spot to see upcoming films (Carly Altman)

Additionally, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel to the beloved Hunger Games novel and film trilogy, releases in a little over a month on November 17, 2023. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence, best known for his work on the original Hunger Games films. The movie is based on a novel bearing the same name, written by extremely successful author Suzanne Collins. The lead character, Coriolanus Snow, can be recognized as the main antagonist of the three Hunger Games novels. This film follows him in his late teen years and observes the development of his relationships, emotions, and motives prior to him becoming the cruel dictator of the country of Panem. Snow will be played by Tom Blyth, a mostly unknown actor featured in the Amazon Prime series Billy the Kid. 22-year-old Rachel Zegler will play the lead female role, Lucy Gray Baird. While this casting choice has been met with mixed responses—mostly due to the recent media fire she has been under regarding comments Zagler has made about her role in the upcoming film, Snow White, as well as the 2023 Writer’s Strike—other exciting notable cast names include Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, Hunter Schafer, and Josh Andrés Rivera.

The Hunger Games movies were some of my favorites when I was younger,” explained junior Alexander Altieri, “I’m really interested to see how the new film will compare to them.” 

The Marvels, an upcoming superhero film based on the Marvel comics, is set to release on November 10, 2023. The movie is directed by Nia DaCosta, Marvel’s youngest director ever, best known for her work on the horror film, Candyman. The film is a direct sequel to Marvel’s hit film, Captain Marvel, along with a continuation of the Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel. The story follows the lead character, Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), along with other key characters Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau. The majority of the plot details have been kept under wraps, and Marvel fans are looking forward to seeing the whole story beyond what the trailers have displayed. Well-known actress Brie Larson reprises her role as Carol Danvers, best known for her role within various Marvel films, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Kong: Skull Island, as well as her Academy and Golden Globe award-winning performance in Room. Other key cast members include Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris, playing Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau respectively. Supported by Fandango’s most anticipated fall movie survey, The Marvels is the most highly anticipated movie of the season and fans are eagerly awaiting its theatrical release. 

Overall, 2023 has been an extremely vibrant and diverse year within the film industry, displaying a wide variety of extremely successful films within distinctly unique genres. From iconic blockbuster films to horrors and dramas, the next few months are set to be a crucial release period for Hollywood. 

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