The subtitle for this summer’s Mamma Mia! sequel is Here We Go Again, and that’s an apt phrase to describe what you can expect to find on movie screens this summer.
There are roughly a dozen remakes, sequels, or franchise installments on the schedule, and even if you’re in the mood for another Equalizer (July 20) or Sicario (it arrives June 29, it does not star Emily Blunt, and it’s called Day of the Soldado), you may have to steel yourself for The First Purge (July 4!).
On the other hand, we can look forward to original and provocative material — Spike Lee’s Cannes favorite BLACKkKLANSMAN and the big-buzz Sundance coming-of-age comedy Eighth Grade. We will put Uncle Drew in this category, because it’s not based on another movie. Just a Pepsi commercial.
Here is a sample of what’s in store this summer, with the proviso that dates are subject to change.
Ocean’s 8 (June 8). Danny Ocean has a sister (Sandra Bullock) and she’s also a glamorous criminal mastermind (mistressmind?) in this movie about planning a jewelry heist at the Met Gala. Involved are Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, and Anne Hathaway. Cameos for Elliott Gould and Olivia Munn. Directed by Gary Ross.
The Incredibles 2 (June 15). Brad Bird, after his misadventure with Tomorrowland, goes back to Yesterdayville with this 2004 sequel to his Pixar hit, featuring more adventures of the Parr family of superheroes, newly encouraged here to make further use of their powers. Their stories are entwined with a new group of aspiring superheroes called the Wannabes. Featuring the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22). Several years after rampaging dinosaurs destroyed Jurassic Park (again), Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return to save surviving creatures before the island is destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Obstacles include a genetically enhanced super-predator called the Indoraptor. This one is directed by J.A. Bayona, who made the Spanish thriller The Orphanage. Jeff Goldblum, who appeared in the original 25 years ago, makes a return appearance.
Uncle Drew (June 29). Current and former NBA stars, including Kyrie Irving (made up to look like he’s in his 70s), are cast as older playground legends who teach youngsters a thing or two about basketball. Why should 76ers fans watch a movie starring a Celtic? Because it’s directed by Philadelphia native Chuck Stone III. Also, it stars former 76er Chris Webber. Not to mention Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6) There is no such thing as a summer without a Marvel movie. This one features a returning Paul Rudd as the MCU character who can shrink down to ant size, teaming this time with waspy Evangeline Lily on a mission to rescue her mother. Ready Player One‘s Hannah John-Kamen plays the villainous Ghost in a gender switch from the original comic. With Michael Peña, Michael Douglas, and Judy Greer.
Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again (July 20). Weird fact: The original was the highest-grossing movie of all time in England. A cynic, paraphrasing Churchill, might say that never have so many paid so much to see so little. The sequel catches up with the gang 10 years down the road. Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried return, so does the ABBA music, and this time Cher and Lily James are part of the fun. Costarring Pierce Brosnan and Dominic Cooper.
Eighth Grade (July 27). Sundance smash about a middle-schooler (Elsie Fisher) who pretends to be a super-confident “influencer” in online videos but has trouble following her own advice in school and in social situations. Coming-of-age drama and a knowing comedy about the perils of social media, written and directed by comedian Bo Burnham (The Big Sick), who first achieved fame on YouTube.
Mission Impossible: Fallout (July 27). In this sixth installment, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) goes to Paris to prevent a madman (Sean Harris) from blowing up parts of the world. When the mission goes badly and Hunt threatens to go rogue, the IMF assigns another agent (Superman Henry Cavill) to watch over Hunt and keep him in line. With Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, and Angela Bassett.
The Spy Who Dumped Me (Aug. 3). Hollywood’s continuing effort to find something funny for SNL’s Kate McKinnon to do results in this comedy about two L.A. pals (McKinnon and Mila Kunis) thrust into international intrigue when one of their boyfriends (Justin Theroux) turns out to be a spy. With Outlander star Sam Heughan. Directed by Susanna Fogel.
BlacKkKlansman (Aug. 10). Spike Lee’s hot take on the strange but true story of Ron Stallworth (played by John David “son of Denzel” Washington, known for his work on HBO’s Ballers), a policeman who managed to investigate and disrupt Colorado’s Ku Klux Klan while also battling racist elements in his own police department. Costarring Adam Driver as the partner/frontman Washington used to infiltrate the group. Lee’s film won a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Produced by Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele, based on Stallworth’s memoir, newly republished.
Crazy Rich Asians (Aug. 15). Based on the Kevin Kwan best seller about a young woman (Fresh Off the Boat‘s Constance Wu) who takes a “meet the parents” trip to Singapore with her boyfriend (Henry Golding) and is exposed to his family’s opulent lifestyle. Directed by Jon Chu, who helmed Now You See Me 2 and Jem and the Holograms. Costarring Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, and Awkwafina (who is having a pretty good summer. See: Ocean’s 8).
Papillon (Aug. 24). Not exactly a remake. The 1973 Steve McQueen/Dustin Hoffman classic about two men surviving the brutal conditions of a French penal colony is expanded to draw from two Henri Charrière source novels, the second covering additional events in the lives of the main characters. Charlie Hunnam and Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek have the McQueen and Hoffman roles, respectively.
The Little Stranger (Aug. 31). Director Lenny Abrahamson, who brought us Room, returns to the subject of claustrophobia in this horror movie about a British physician (Domhnall Gleeson) who makes haunted-house calls and ends up trapped on the sinister estate of Charlotte Rampling. Costarring Will Poulter and Ruth Wilson.