Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

In theaters this spring: multiverses, Bat-men, action stars and more

Michelle Yeoh (front), Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu in <em>Everything Everywhere All at Once.</em>
Michelle Yeoh (front), Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Last updated March 2, 2022.

Hollywood always spends the first part of the year re-grouping. The Oscar contenders that came out at Christmas need time to play themselves out. And it's still too early for big summer blockbusters.

But warmer weather brings out the crowds — at least it did pre-pandemic — and it looks like there are some themes in what studios are serving up this year: multiverses, an abundance of bat men, action-star celebrities and true stories on the big screen. Here are some of the major titles on the way, with current release dates.

A multitude of multiverses

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Spider-Man: No Way Home may have felt like a movie, but for Marvel, it operated as a movie trailer, raking in $1.8 billion while setting up Doctor Strange for the next installment. Out May 6.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: This variation of the Harry Potterverse finds magi-zoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and an intrepid band of wizards, witches (and a muggle) countering dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). Out April 15.

Everything Everywhere All At Once: A non-franchise film (at least so far) from The Daniels (writer/directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), this fantastical dramedy follows Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) an aging Chinese American woman who's enlisted to save this universe — and quite a few others. Out March 25.

Bat Men

The Batman: The latest of many caped crusaders in the DC Extended Universe get a "the" to separate him from the others (and maybe also from Marvel's new bat-guy, Dr. Morbius). Robert Pattinson was a vampire teen in the Twilight movies, so being The Batman isn't a huge stretch. He'll be battling The Riddler (Paul Dano). Out March 4.

Morbius: In trying to cure himself of a rare blood disease, Marvel's troubled Dr. Michael Morbius uses bat something-or-other, and goes a little batty. There are plusses, though — increased speed and strength, the ability to use bat-location. Also, one minus: an overpowering urge to drink blood. But hey, there's always something. Out April 1.

Action-star celebs pressed into actual action

The Lost City: Channing Tatum plays a beefy model for adventure book covers, eager to impress the author of those adventures (Sandra Bullock). So when she's abducted by a billionaire played by Daniel Radcliffe, Tatum figures he should save her ("I'm certified CPR, certified cross-fit, I have snacks"). Brad Pitt stops by to offer some competition. Out March 25.

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre: In this one, billionaire Hugh Grant is being conned by agents Jason Statham and Aubrey Plaza, who decide to use the rich guy's favorite movie star (Josh Hartnett) as their extremely unwilling bait. Out March 18.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent: Think of this one as a meta version of the billionaire-and-actor story. Nicolas Cage plays a movie star who agrees to amuse a rich guy at his birthday party for a million-dollar fee. The star Nick Cage is playing? Nick Cage. Out April 22.

True stories

The Duke: A 60-year-old taxi driver steals Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the London's National Gallery in 1961. In real life, he offered to return it if Britain provided free TV and other benefits to pensioners, becoming a bit of a folk-hero in the process. Out April 22.

Nitram: Caleb Landry Jones won the Best Actor award at last year's Cannes Film Festival for playing Australian mass-murderer Martin Bryant ("Nitram" is "Martin," backwards). His embittered mom is played by Judy Davis. Out March 30.

Eiffel: Having just designed the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel is ready for something more down-to-earth — under it, actually: the Paris subway. But the government wants something grand for the 1889 World Fair, and when he crosses paths with a mysterious woman, he's inspired to, um, erect something flashier that'll change the Paris skyline forever. Out June 3.

Listen to the full spring movie preview by pressing play on the audio above.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Bob Mondello
Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.