The Seahawk’s most anticipated films of 2023

Bradley Earnshaw, Staff Writer

One of the most difficult periods of waiting always seems to come when a highly anticipated film is on its way. Since the COVID-ridden stretch from the middle of 2020 to the end of 2021, there’s not been a more exciting year for films than 2023. While the world has somewhat returned to normalcy, the film industry will be forever changed. With last year’s Best Picture winner CODA, Apple TV+ became the first streaming service to have debuted a film that would go on to win the big prize. Although this may be taken as a sign that streamers are the movie theaters of the future, the expected slate of films releasing straight to theaters would beg to differ. Whether you follow the awards circuit, binge comic book movies or do anything in between, 2023 will not disappoint you.

Heroes and Villains

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantamania

Release Date: Feb. 17

Kicking off Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the third installment in the Ant-Man franchise. The film sees the return of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Hope Pym, as well as Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym and Michelle Pfieffer as Janet Pym. Peyton Reed also returns to direct after a successful first two films. Jonathan Majors’ character Kang is also expected to be introduced as the new “big bad” of the MCU, which makes this a must-watch for any fan of Marvel.

Shazam! Fury Of The Gods

Release Date: March 17

“Shazam” was considered a welcome addition to the DC Extended Universe by both critics and audiences. The return of Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer as the lovable duo is sure to excite fans of the first film, which was released in 2019. Rachel Ziegler, fresh off her success in Stephen Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” joins the cast as well. Many others have been added, too, such as Ross Butler, Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu, to play what appear to be siblings of the titular superhero. While multiple DC Extended Universe films are set to release this year such as the sequel to “Aquaman,” a new name in “Blue Beetle” and Ezra Miller’s first superhero leading role in “The Flash,” “Shazam! Fury Of The Gods” seems to be the most anticipated DC film, based on the first one’s success.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Release Date: May 5

After exploding onto the screen in 2014, it seems like no one can get enough of the Guardians. The original cast will remain together, meaning Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are all returning to reprise their roles in what seems to be a closing point for more than one Guardian. An emotional trailer, as well as a quote from Dave Bautista saying, “I’m so grateful for Drax. I love him. But there’s a relief [that it’s over]”, all but confirm the departure of multiple lovable Guardians. James Gunn returns to write and direct the film, which only adds to the excitement due to his hilarious and surprising style in the first two volumes. Expect this film to be colorful, funny, musically exciting and overall enjoyable.

A long awaited sequel, “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” is set to release June 2, 2023.

Spider-Man Across The Spiderverse

Release Date: June 2

“Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse” is considered by many to be not just one of the greatest animated films of all time, but a top-tier comic book movie as well. It’s no doubt that people will be expecting brilliance to strike again this summer when the much-anticipated sequel hits the big screen. The return of Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, Peter B. Parker and many other spider-people is to be expected as there’s no shortage of potential variants of the amazing Spider-Man that could be referenced. While not much is known about the extent this film will go into the Spiderverse, the fact that there’s so much possibility is enough to build excitement for Sony’s second animated Spider-Man film. What is known for certain is that this is one you won’t want to miss when it hits theaters this June.

Sequels and Reboots

Creed III

Release Date: March 3

After Ryan Coogler (Director of Creed, Creed II, and both Black Panther films) was announced to not be returning for the end of the trilogy, Michael B. Jordan decided to make his directorial debut for “Creed III,” the final installment in the sequel films based on Rocky. While not much is known about the events of this film, the love people feel for the first two is the driving force behind the hype for this film. Jonathan Majors appears to be playing the opposition to Jordan’s character, Adonis, which will create an interesting and tense matchup. This could not be a more challenging situation for Jordan to be in, as he is making his directorial debut while already under a lot of pressure to continue the success of the first two Creed films. If there’s one thing that will carry Jordan through his debut, it will be the love and passion he brings to his character.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Release Date: March 24

There seems to be no more beloved action franchise in the past decade than “John Wick,” which always features Keanu Reeves doing his best work. Laurence Fishburne is set to appear in this film, as well. This time, Wick is at war with The High Table, and there seem to be thoughts that this film has the potential to hold an unhappy ending for the titular character. Not much is known about this film but, based on the first three, fans should expect tight and intense action that will keep heartrates up.

The Little Mermaid

Release Date: May 26

Disney’s live action remake of the 1989 hit animated film is set to release this May. Halle Bailey will star as Ariel in her first major film role as an actress. Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and hilariously, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian make up the rest of this all-star cast that will be hard not to love. Lin-Manuel Miranda is also creating some new music for the film which, based on his work in “Moana” and ‘Tick Tick…Boom!” is equally as exciting as the cast. Disney’s past live action remakes such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast have done very well among box offices and critics alike. The same is to be expected from the upcoming addition to the remake collection.

“Dune: Part Two” will release Nov. 3, and looks to expand its already stacked cast with the talent of Austin Butler and Florence Pugh.

Dune: Part Two

Release Date: Nov. 3

Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the book by Frank Herbert took the world by storm when “Part One” released in 2021. With six wins out of ten nominations at the Oscars, it’s safe to say that no shortcuts will be taken in wrapping up the story. Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya and Javier Barden will return, as well as Austin Butler, hot off his award-winning performance as Elvis Presley in 2022. Florence Pugh will take on the role of Princess Irulan, as Villeneuve attempts to close out his adaptation of Dune in a spectacular manner worthy of the acclaim given to “Part One.” This film is expected to again blend the blockbuster genre with the technicality and artistry appreciated by both movie-goers and awards organizations alike.

For the Film Buffs

Killers of the Flower Moon

Release Date: Unknown

Martin Scorsese is heralded as one of the greatest filmmakers ever. After his most recent success in 2019’s “The Irishman,” Scorsese’s next picture, based on the book by David Grann, will cover the FBI investigation into the mass murder of members of the Osage tribe in the US in the 1920s. Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro will star alongside Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow, Lily Gladstone and Brendan Fraser. Similarly to Scorsese’s past pictures, little is known and little is expected to be known about the film until the first trailer is released. Scorsese’s past films have always seen great visuals, quick editing, fast writing and brilliant performances—something Scorsese is famous for being able to get from his actors. Scorsese has long been revered for his cruel depictions of American culture, and this film is expected to be one of the darkest looks into America’s past.


Release Date: July 21

Christopher Nolan’s last film “TENET” was one of the most mind-bending theater experiences in recent years. The film will follow J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the chief scientist on the Manhattan Project that saw the development of the atomic bomb, an invention which he feared. Cillian Murphy, a longtime collaborator with Nolan, will play the titular character. The cast also includes Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Jack Quaid, Rami Malek and more. The film appears to show the entire story before, during and after the development of the atomic bomb. If the trailer is any indication, we can expect a combination of slick writing, brilliant visuals from cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, an epic score from Ludwig Goransson and an unforgettable cinematic experience.

“Barbie,” Greta Gerwig’s third film, is set to hit theaters on July 21.


Release Date: July 21

Greta Gerwig’s previous two films have been “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” two films that explore different aspects of what it’s like to be a girl growing up in a world with little opportunity to be unique. So, it’s slightly puzzling as to why “Barbie” is the next film in her filmography. Supposedly, this film is going to humanize Barbie as she struggles with her existence as a picture-perfect woman, which does seem to be more in line with Gerwig’s style. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling will play Barbie and Ken respectively. There will also be performances from Helen Mirren, Simu Liu, Will Ferrell and more. Not much is known about the story, but the visuals that have been released make this film one colorful and fabulous event you won’t want to miss.

While many other films are set to release this year, those highlighted here are expected to showcase the best that the industry has to offer. In the current era of post-pandemic filmmaking, it will be interesting to see how these films are presented and made now that the world seems to be over the COVID hurdle. Whether superheroes, nostalgia, awards races or a nice afternoon at the cinema are your preferred cinematic experience, 2023 will have something for you.