2023 was a banner year for blockbusters, but it was also an unprecedented year of delays. The SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes pushed more than a few blockbusters back, while big studios reshuffled their slates to accommodate a “quality over quantity” approach. It all adds up to 2024 being one of the most interesting years in recent Hollywood history, with Marvel and DC practically taking the next 12 months off while other sci-fi franchises rush to fill the vacuum. From talking apes to tap-dancing supervillains, 2024 will be packed with a variety of takes on the genre.
Below, find our most anticipated sci-fi films of 2024, ranked from least to most exciting. Whether you’re looking forward to original thrillers from international auteurs or new installments of time-honored franchises, there’s something for everyone in the new year. (And also, Rebel Moon Part 2.)
10. Kraven the Hunter
Release date: August 30, 2024
The hierarchy of power in Sony Universe is about to change. Okay, not really, but Sony’s first Spider-Man related film since Mobius is coming out in 2024, and that’s kind of a big deal.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is Sergei Kravinoff, one of Spidey’s most ruthless adversaries who you might remember from the 2023’s Spider-Man 2 video game. Kraven the Hunter has all the trappings of a mid-2000s superhero romp, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. How his animal instincts will translate to the big screen remains to be seen, but even if Kraven does come off as campy as its predecessors, it can’t be any worse than Mobius ... can it?
9. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Release date: April 12, 2024
They’ve faced off, they’ve fought, and they’ve put aside their differences. Now, Kong and Godzilla are teaming up to save the world. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the latest installment of Warner Bros. and Legendary’s MonsterVerse. With an original Kong-related villain standing in their path, and a compelling returning cast to protect, the eponymous frenemies have their work cut out for them. Expect some gratuitous building smashing and some neon pink nuclear fall-out, but don’t expect Kong and Godzilla to be besties by the time the credits roll.
8. Joker: Folie à Deux
Release date: October 4, 2024
Here’s your friendly reminder that Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga are starring in a musical together. And not just any musical: it’s the sequel to Todd Phillips’ Joker, arguably the film-bro-iest comic book adaptation ever made.
That Phillips & Co. are pivoting into such a disparate genre for Joker 2 (subtitled Folie à Deux, for that extra sprinkle of hauteur) makes it all the more exciting, to be honest. But before anyone despairs, just think about all the other directors of Phillips’ ilk that have drawn inspiration from musicals. Everyone from Zack Snyder to Edgar Wright cites the genre as an influence. There are so many ways to translate toe-tapping song-and-dance to the DC Universe, and, reservations aside, we can’t wait to see how the Clown Prince of Crime takes to the medium.
7. Alien: Romulus
Release date: August 16, 2024
The Alien franchise will always find room to grow. The saga has churned out a myriad of sequels, each leaping forward to explore a particular corner of the distant future, but with Alien: Romulus, director Fede Alvarez is turning the clock back.
Romulus is set in the 57 years between the first Alien film and its immediate sequel, Aliens. While Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley slumbers in cryogenic stasis, a group of youngsters from a distant world will come face to face with the xenomorphs. Not much is known about the plot otherwise, save for its cast, which includes Cailee Spaeny, Isabela Merced, Archie Renaux, and David Jonsson. With this group on board, hopefully this midquel will be anything but mid.
6. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Release date: May 24, 2024
More than a decade after Hollywood rebooted the Planet of the Apes saga (again), the franchise's latest installment has finally caught up with the story that started it all. Rise of the Planet of the Apes traced the origins of a future society ruled by the titular primates, and with that foundation established in two brilliant sequels by Matt Reeves (The Batman), Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes launches us headfirst into that future.
Kingdom is set “several generations” after Caesar (Andy Serkis) led a successful ape uprising. Now, his descendants rule the world, while feral humans live to serve. With the saga circling back to its source material, Kingdom is poised to deliver the best of both worlds: parsing out the thorny themes of the original classic along with the breathtaking aesthetics of the new.
5. Mickey 17
Release date: March 29, 2024
Bong Joon-ho’s long-awaited follow-up to Parasite has been shrouded in far too much mystery. Aside from a cryptic teaser featuring Robert Pattinson, very little is known about the 2024 film. That said, it’s based on the novel Mickey7 by Edward Ashton, which follows an “expendable” clone who finds himself unceremoniously replaced. Mark Ruffalo, Steven Yeun, Toni Collette, and Naomi Ackie star alongside Pattinson, so Mickey 17 will undoubtedly be in good hands.
Release date: December 25, 2024
Robert Egger’s love for Nosferatu is well-established, and his remake of the 1922 film is a long time coming. 2024 marks the filmmaker’s return after the criminally underseen The Northman, and Eggers has assembled what seems like the perfect cast to remix such a classic, creepy story. With Nicholas Hoult, Willem Dafoe, Lily-Rose Depp, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Emma Corrin, and Bill Skårsgard on deck, this tale of a terrifying, centuries-old vampire just got a whole lot steamier.
3. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Release date: May 24, 2024
Nearly 10 years have passed since George Miller brought us back to the world of Mad Max with the seminal Fury Road. The film was an instant classic, a delirious thrill ride that fans have returned to again and again, and while it’ll likely remain timeless for years to come, we’ll never say no to another chapter set in that bleak dystopia.
Fortunately, Miller is about to answer our prayers: this time with the origins of Fury Road’s biggest scene-stealer. In Furiosa, Anya Taylor-Joy takes the baton from Charlize Theron to trace the origins of everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic heroine. Miller teases an adventure of epic proportions, so it’s safe to say things could get even zanier than its predecessor.
2. Deadpool 3
Release date: July 26, 2024
While it has become a subject du jour for most films in a short amount of time, Marvel’s cinematic universe is still working hard to keep the multiverse fresh. The studio’s Multiverse Saga is, for now, without a focal point, which casts a shadow over the future of the franchise. But one bright spot remains in the form of Deadpool 3, the film that will transport Ryan Reynolds’ merc with a mouth from Fox’s X-Men universe into the MCU proper (alongside a few other familiar Mutants).
Deadpool 3 promises a crossover for the ages. Hugh Jackman is officially back as Wolverine, and rumor has it he’s not alone. Whether this adventure will help usher in a new era for the X-Men or serve as a palette cleanser for an embattled franchise, everyone could use a little Deadpool right now.
1. Dune: Part Two
Release date: March 1, 2024
Remember when Dune: Part Two was our most anticipated film of 2023? Yeah, life’s funny that way.
After a series of setbacks, the wait is finally over. Director Denis Villeneuve returns to adapt the second half of Frank Hebert’s sprawling sci-fi epic, picking up right where Dune: Part One left off in 2021. Timothée Chalamet leads a sparkling cast as Paul Atreides, stepping further into his destiny as the future savior of Arrakis. Sandworms will be ridden and blades will be crossed — but more importantly, Chalamet will be using The Voice much more often.