The end of the annual Toronto International Film Festival this weekend means the fall holiday movie season is upon us.
With studios still on the lookout for Oscar-caliber films and release dates to be determined, here’s a quick look at what to expect in the next few months. As always, opening dates are highly subject to change.
A scene from "Venom," in theaters on Oct. 5.
Sony Pictures Enlarge
■ Venom. Spider-Man's Symbiote nemesis Venom (Tom Hardy) gets a starring role as a powerful antihero whose alter ego is an investigative journalist.
■ A Star is Born. This is the oft-told tale of a famed singer-songwriter on the decline (Bradley Cooper, making his directorial debut), who gives a struggling musician (Lady Gaga) her big break, love, and heartache.
• 22 July. A docudrama by Paul Greengrass (United 93) that examines the 2011 Oslo’s Utoya Island mass shooting by right-wing Islamophobe Anders Behring Breivik that resulted in almost 80 deaths.
■ First Man. The biography of the first human to set foot on extraterrestrial soil isn’t even out yet and already it’s the subject of controversy over director Damien Chazelle’s decision not to show Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon. But early word insists it’s a remarkable drama, with Ryan Gosling (reteaming with La La Land's Chazelle) as Armstrong.
■ Bad Times at the El Royale. Seven strangers meet at a rundown hotel ... and then their lives take an interesting twist. Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth.
■ Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. A sequel set in the same R.L. Stine-verse in which two boys unwittingly unleash something truly terrifying on Halloween.
■ Wildlife. Acclaimed actor Paul Dano makes his directorial debut in this buzz-worthy 1960s family drama starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal.
A scene from 'Halloween,' in theaters nationwide on Oct. 19.
UNIVERSAL PICTURES Enlarge
■ Halloween. Strong buzz surrounds this slasher sequel that essentially ignores most of the Halloween franchise to tell its own story, which picks up decades after Michael Meyers has been caught and institutionalized, again, and with his would-be victim-turned nemesis Laurie Strode having spent those years preparing for his escape. Once Michael does, Laurie knows he will come after her and that one of them will have the ultimate revenge. Jamie Lee Curtis is back in the role that helped launch her career. Just as importantly, so is Halloween’s creator: writer-director-musician John Carpenter, who is an executive producer and provides some of the film’s eerie score.
■ Can You Ever Forgive Me? Melissa McCarthy stars in the true story of 1970s best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel, who turned to literary deception and theft.
■ The Hate U Give. A black teenager who attends a mostly white prep school is torn between those worlds after the fatal shooting of her best friend by a cop.
■ Serenity. A fishing boat captain (Matthew McConaughey) is recruited by his ex-wife (Anne Hathaway) to save their son from her violent husband (Jason Clarke).
■ Mowgli. Andy Serkis directs this live-action (and non-Disney) adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.
■ Johnny English Strikes Again. Rowan Atkinson returns as the bumbling secret agent.
■ Mid90s. Jonah Hill wrote and directed this coming-of-age story of a 13-year-old skater in Los Angeles and his troubles with family and friends.
■ The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic story gets the Disney big budget treatment.
■ Nobody's Fool. Tyler Perry's comedy-drama about a reformed wild child (Tiffany Haddish) and her straight-arrow sister (Tika Sumpter).
■ Boy Erased. True story of a teenage boy (Lucas Hedges) outed to his father, a Baptist pastor (Joel Edgerton, who also wrote and directed), and mother (Nicole Kidman), who then must choose between gay conversion therapy or be forever exiled from his family and friends.
■ Bohemian Rhapsody. After many delays, recasting, and a replacement director (Dexter Fletcher who isn’t credited after taking over for Bryan Singer, who was fired near film production’s end), the Freddie Mercury-Queen biography arrives. The famed frontman, with the operatic vocal rage and the Liberace sense of showmanship, is played by Rami Malek and details the singer’s early days as he joins the progressive rock band in the early 1970s, and their ascendancy into an anthemic rock behemoth selling out arenas and leading the charge in 1985’s Live Aid.
■ Suspiria. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino's homage/remake of the the 1977 horror classic stars Dakota Johnson as the ingenue dance student and Tilda Swinton as the sinister artistic director.
Hugh Jackman in a scene from 'The Front Runner,' in theaters on Nov. 21.
Columbia/Sony Pictures Enlarge
■ The Front Runner. The rise and fall of politician-turned punchline Sen. Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) in a satire by writer-director Jason Reitman.
■ Outlaw King. Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie, and star Chris Pine, reunite for the historical tale of Robert the Bruce, who led his countrymen in a revolt against England.
■ The Girl in the Spider's Web. Claire Foy takes on the role of Lisbeth Salander in this sequel to 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which features a new director and cast.
■ Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. The Grinch returns to his animated roots with another big-screen expansion about the green grump (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch) who robs Whoville of Christmas — or so he thinks.
■ Overlord. Zombies meet World War II, as a group of U.S. paratroopers discover a secret lab in Nazi-occupied France where bizarre experiments are taking place.
■ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This is the second film in a five-part series conceived and written by J.K. Rowling that takes place decades before Harry Potter and is set in her “Wizarding World.” The first film introduced the goofy-but-lovable wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and a new all-powerful threat, the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Grindelwald was captured, and in The Crimes of Grindelwald he escapes with plans to conquer the magical and nonmagical worlds.
■ Instant Family. A husband and wife (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) adopt three children in this comedy based on writer-director Sean Anders’ life experiences.
■ A Private War. Rosamund Pike stars as acclaimed war journalist Marie Colvin and Jamie Dornan as acclaimed war photographer Paul Conroy, who accompanies her.
■ Creed II. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) helps Apollo Creed’s now-champion son, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), in a personal fight against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago.
■ Robin Hood. The ancient legend retold but with a new bent. The cast includes Taron Egerton as the titular character, and Jamie Foxx as his teacher, Little John.
■ Second Act. Working-class comedy about a struggling 40-year-old woman (Jennifer Lopez) given an opportunity to reinvent her career and herself.
■ Green Book. A world-class black pianist (Mahershala Ali) hires an Italian bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) to escort him on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. Based on a true story, this comedy-drama was directed by Peter Farrelly (Something About Mary, Kingpin).
■ Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. After a clever send-up of video game's 8-bit era, Ralph takes on the Internet. Taraji P. Henson joins the returning voice cast of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch.
■ The Favourite. With England at war with France, a frail queen (Olivia Colman) relies on her best friend (Rachel Weisz) and later an ambitious new servant (Emma Stone).
■ Ben is Back. Newly sober, a struggling addict (Lucas Hedges) returns home to a welcoming mother (Julia Roberts) and skeptical siblings and stepfather.
■ Mary, Queen of Scots. The tragic life of this would-be queen, Mary Stuart, stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I of England.
■ Mortal Engines. In the post-apocalypse, giant cities move across the ravaged planet and consume smaller cities for their resources.
■ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The trailer promises a beautiful animated world set in a universe in which another teenage Spider-Man (Shameik Moore) is joined by the Peter Parker Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) and other Web slingers, with Liev Schreiber as Kingpin the villain.
■ Backseat. Christian Bale is Dick Cheney in this comedy-drama about the former vice president’s political rise. Written and directed by Oscar winner Adam McKay (The Big Short), and starring Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Bill Pullman, and Alison Pill.
■ Mary Poppins Returns. Disney explored the making of the 1964 classic in 2011’s Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, who authored the children’s classic book. Now it’s creating a sequel, with the Banks children now adults but still in need of guidance and love from their former magical nanny (Emily Blunt). In addition to Blunt taking on the Julie Andrews role, the film features Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Dick Van Dyke, and was written by David Magee (Life of Pi) and directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago).
■ Aquaman. The half-man, half-Atlantean (Jason Momoa) has an identity crisis when tasked with saving his ocean kingdom.
■ Bumblebee. Years before the first Transformers film, the lovable Autobot finds a new friend (Hailee Steinfeld) and new enemies.
■ Alita: Battle Angel. James Cameron co-wrote and Robert Rodriguez directs this sci-fi action film about an android girl powerful and brave enough to save the world.
■ Holmes and Watson. Not much is known about the third comedic pairing of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers), other than the pair play funnier versions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic sleuths, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, in a comedy written and directed by Ethan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Get Hard).
■ Welcome to Marwen. Based on the 2010 documentary Marwencol about a man who, after being beaten nearly to death, escapes into a make-believe world. Welcome to Marwen was directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis and stars Steve Carell and Leslie Mann.
■ Bird Box. A post-apocalyptic horror story based on Josh Malerman’s debut novel and starring Sandra Bullock.
■ Destroyer. Nicole Kidman is an early Oscar favorite as a hardened Los Angeles Police detective, a violent antihero who breaks rules to save the system.
■ On the Basis of Sex. A biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) and the case that defined her career and shaped women's rights.
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