The long-term effects of 2023’s Hollywood labor strikes will be felt on the industry’s release schedule long after the calendar has turned. The months-long pause on most productions has created gaps and dry spells that moviegoers won’t truly feel until late 2024 and early 2025, but there are still reasons to be excited about next year’s film and TV slate.
For starters, the year seems primed to be the best for big-budget franchise storytelling in recent memory. 2024’s release schedule includes new entries in some of Hollywood’s biggest film franchises and new seasons of some of its most popular shows. Whether it’s George Miller’s Furiosa or HBO’s House of the Dragon Season 2, most of 2024’s blockbusters also promise to take their franchises to new places, and that makes the prospect of jumping back on their respective bandwagons more appealing than it’s seemed in years.
As uncertain as the future of Hollywood may seem, 2024’s release slate is a hefty one for major franchises. Furiosa promises to take fans of Mad Max: Fury Road into a familiar yet new post-apocalyptic world, as does A Quiet Place: Day One, which stars Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn and comes from Pig filmmaker Michael Sarnoski. Wes Ball’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, meanwhile, is set to bring back one of Hollywood’s most underrated franchises by taking it past its Andy Serkis-led Caesar trilogy and into a new era.
It’s hard to say how well Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will measure up to its Matt Reeves-directed predecessors, but its first trailer contains enough visual majesty to justify reasonably high expectations. And while little is known yet about Fede Álvarez’s new Alien spin-off film, Alien: Romulus, Álvarez’s previous, blood-soaked horror efforts are reason enough to look forward to it. At the very least, it has the potential to be the gnarliest Alien film to date, and that’s saying something.
Elsewhere, TV’s two biggest fantasy shows, House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power, are set to return in 2024. Both shows debuted in 2022 with seasons that were essentially prologues to their actual stories. Now, with Rings of Power finally past its initial Sauron mystery and the Dance of the Dragons officially underway in House of the Dragon, the two blockbuster series have the chance to go to bigger and more exciting places. Both will likely manage to outdo their debut runs.
Marvel’s sole 2024 theatrical release, Deadpool 3, also promises to bring its franchise into new territory. The film is expected to be the first Deadpool movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine alongside Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson, it could function as a satisfying bridge between the MCU and Fox’s now-dead X-Men Cinematic Universe. Marvel’s recent track record has been shaky, but the fact that only one movie is on next year’s slate implies Deadpool 3 is being given the attention it deserves.
Regardless of whether it works, Deadpool 3 is just one of several blockbusters primed to revitalize their respective franchises with fresh ideas in 2024. For all of the uncertainty surrounding streaming and the theatrical experience, 2024’s roster of blockbusters looks to be one of the most diverse and refreshing we’ve seen in years.