by Sarah Halfpenny
Whether it’s nostalgia to comfort us during these strange times of upheaval and uncertainty, or simply studios cashing in on past successes, there’s no doubt that 2022 is the year of the movie sequel. Here are five of the ones we’re most excited to see…
Downtown Abbey: A New Era (in cinemas now)
This drama/romance is a follow-up to the 2019 feature film, in which the Crawley family and Downton staff received a royal visit from the King and Queen of Great Britain. The new film reunites the beloved cast and follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants as they travel from the Edwardian country house on a grand journey to the south of France, where they uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’s newly inherited villa.
Top Gun: Maverick (released 26 May)
Strap in for 2 hours and 20 minutes of action and drama, as ace pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) aspires to show the relevance of good old-fashioned pilots in today’s high-tech environment. After more than thirty years of service as one of the US Navy’s top aviators, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Look out for Val Kilmer as Iceman (and listen for his voice which was added using AI technology after he lost his ability to speak clearly battling cancer).
Jurassic World Dominion (released 9 June)
The brilliant cast of Chris Pratt, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum are back in the sixth ‘Jurassic Park’ movie. ‘Dominion’ takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.
Thor: Love and Thunder (released 6 July)
Get set for lots of laughs in this movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a sequel to Thor: Ragnarok and is full of ’80s vibes. Australia’s own superhero – the very buff Chris Hemsworth – returns as Thor. He’s on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace – but his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi, who also directed and co-wrote the film) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.
Avatar: The Way of Water (released 15 December)
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ tells the story of the Sully family – Jake (played by Australian Sam Worthington), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their kids – and the trouble that follows them once a familiar threat returns to the planet of Pandora to finish what was previously started. Will this sequel be able to match incredible success of the first film, which is the highest-grossing movie of all time with a global box office of US$2.84 billion?