Grab your popcorn and get ready for these movie releases in 2024

Upcoming films include Richard Linklater’s latest, “Hit Man,” and “The Bikeriders” from Austin director Jeff Nichols.

By Rhonda FanningJanuary 1, 2024 10:15 am, ,

What are some of the most anticipated movie releases for 2024? From superheroes to the super serious – and we’re always looking for films with Texas ties.

Eric Webb, an Austin-based freelance pop culture journalist and film programmer, joined the Standard to preview what to expect on the big screen this year.

This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:

Texas Standard: You recently wrote that one of 2024’s big themes will be sequels and remakes. I was just looking at some of the most anticipated movies coming out in 2024, and it does seem like a lot of franchises are getting some second wind after a lot of years. What are you hearing when it comes to sequels and remakes? 

Eric Webb: That’s right. You hear a lot of people talk about how they’re tired of Hollywood sort of recycling old ideas, but if people are concerned about that, 2024 is not the year to go the movies then. It’s kicking off on January 12th with the “Mean Girls” musical, which is kind of being marketed actually as a straightforward remake, but it really is a musical based on the Broadway show.

And then a lot of long-dormant IP is getting new life through reimaginings, reboots or just really long-delayed sequels – like “Twisters,” which is being billed as sort of a new chapter of our famous flying cow cinema.

And then we’ve also got “Gladiator 2” coming from Ridley Scott – it’s been a long time since we’ve seen “Gladiator.” And actually, there’s going to be a new remake of “Road House” starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Well, that’s really that’s really interesting. I mean, some of these sound pretty intriguing. I want to turn to some movies with Texas ties. I understand a release date’s been announced for “The Bikeriders” from Austin director Jeff Nichols. Remind us a little bit about Nichols, and what do you know about the film?

Sure. Well, he is probably best known to Texas moviegoers as the man behind Matthew McConaughey’s “Mud” and movies like “Loving.” And his films tend to have a very sort of southern atmosphere to them.

“The Bikeriders” actually is based on the 1967 photo book of the same name by the motorcycle club. And it stars Austin Butler, who people remember from the “Elvis” biopic – and from him continuing to talk like Elvis for months thereafter – as well as Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer.

And it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in August. And due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, it kind of got delayed, and there was some uncertainty over its distribution. But now it is set to come out on June 21st.

Another one that a lot of Texans – well, a lot of folks all across the nation, really – are going to be watching for is a new one from Richard Linklater. Tell us about “Hit Man.”

That’s right. Well, really quick, it’s important to note that movie release dates change more often than Texas weather. So everything’s kind of up in the air, but there’s actually no release date currently announced for “Hit Man” – which is, as you mentioned, the newest one from Richard Linklater, which sees him reunite with Glen Powell, Austin’s own, who he collaborated with on “Everybody Wants Some!!” and “Apollo 10 1/2.”

This movie is based on a 2001 story in Texas Monthly by Skip Hollandsworth, actually: It’s about Gary Johnson, a man in Houston who posed as a killer for hire on behalf of the police, and intrigue ensues after that. But it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, and it’s already been acquired by Netflix; there’s information about it up on the Netflix website already.

So no official release date announced yet, but I would say that people should keep an eye out for that one, because I would expect it to drop in 2024.

Shifting gears to Dallas director David Lowery, who’s releasing “Mother Mary” this year, at least at last word. What can you tell us about that?

Boy, I love David Lowery. “The Green Knight” is one of his movies, based on the Arthurian legend – that’s one of my favorites. He makes very dreamlike kind of indie cinema.

“Mother Mary” is from A24, and we don’t know a whole lot about it yet, actually. But it’s supposed to follow the relationship between a fictional musician and a fashion designer. And it stars Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel, two actresses I really love. We do know that it filmed in Germany in 2023 during the strike because A24 had interim agreements with the actors union for a lot of these projects. So when you look it up in the trades and stuff, it is currently slated for a 2024 release. But like I said, we’ll see if that happens.

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You mentioned A24, and I think that’s the production house behind Alex Garland’s upcoming “Civil War,” which has been getting a lot of attention online. Most certainly Texas plays a big role in the plot, and I believe there are some Texans in starring roles in this film, too?

Oh, that is so true. Austin residents Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, who people remember from “Friday Night Lights,” of course, they star in this movie. As the title implies, it’s a very dystopian story. And we’ve already seen the trailer, and it sort of imagines exactly what the title implies: A civil war in America – a second one, at least.

Alex Garland is known for kind of groundbreaking, thought-provoking, speculative sci fi like “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” And so in the trailer that fans have already seen, they can see that California and Texas, in this civil war scenario, are allied. And that has caused quite a buzz on the Internet because, as you can imagine, Texas and California don’t end up on the same side of much of anything. So it’ll be interesting see exactly how that plays out in the plot.

If you could only go see one movie on the big screen this year, of the ones that we know of, what are you most excited about? What would it be and why?

Ooh, I will tell you: “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” which is currently slated to come out in May. It is a prequel to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which is one of the best movies in the past 15-20 years, I think; it’s certainly the best in the “Mad Max” franchise.

This one is a prequel telling the story of Furiosa, who is the character originated by Charlize Theron but will be played by Anya Taylor-Joy in this movie. And it’s also got Chris Hemsworth, who you know from “Thor” and who is just one of those people that it doesn’t seem fair that he is so handsome and such a good actor. So I’m really excited about that one.

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