2018 was a fantastic year for science-fiction movies. It started off strong in February with Alex Garland’s sophomore film Annihilation. The movie tackled issues of depression and control in a visually striking and unpredictable way, which solidified Garland as one of the premier sci-fi directors. In March, Spielberg returned to the sci-fi genre with the release of Ready Player One. This movie is set in a dystopian future, where most people would rather live in a video game than face the real world. At times, the movie feels a little tone-deaf, but there is no question it that looks incredible. In April, John Krasinski’s stripped-down take on the sci-fi genre, A Quiet Place, was a huge hit. The movie proved the genre can be captivating, even with a limited amount of dialogue. By the end of the year, we were left smiling, with a long list of quality sci-fi movies that could appeal to a variety of viewers.
Sci-fi films can range from blockbusters like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, to small budget projects like Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s fantastic movie The Endless. The genre can be incredibly fun, but often, the fancy gadgets, spaceships, and time travel are just a disguise for the movie’s deeper meaning. As audience members, we never know exactly what to expect when starting a sci-fi movie, which creates a great feeling of anticipation. 2018 was an excellent year for the genre, increasing our excitement for upcoming sci-fi movies. For this list, we are looking forward to next year and counting down our 20 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies of 2019.
20 CHAOS WALKING
Young Adult novel adaptations have started to diminish, as fewer titles are being released with each passing year. However, in 2019, Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley will star in Chaos Walking, which is an adaptation of Patrick Ness’s novel The Knife of Never Letting Go.
It is the first book in a three book series that takes place in the near future, where a virus has eliminated all the woman on Earth and has unleashed the ability for all living creatures to hear each other's thoughts. The movie has a big budget, and with the Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman at the helm, it has the potential to be a big hit.
19 ZOMBIELAND 2
It will be 10 years since the incredibly popular sci-fi/horror/comedy Zombieland was on the big screen, but 2019 marks the year of its sequel. Director Ruben Fleischer returns and was able to secure all four of the main actors to reprise their roles, as well as the recent addition of Zoey Deutch.
In Zombieland 2, the slayers must learn how to deal with new breeds of zombies that have evolved since the events of the first movie. Zombieland was a great success, as it earned more than triple its budget at the domestic box office and we think the sequel could do even better.
18 GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS
After the 2014 movie Godzilla made nearly $100 million on its opening weekend, a sequel was immediately green-lit. However, the director of the 2014 film, Gareth Edwards, will not be returning. Instead, the fresh face of Michael Dougherty, director of Trick ‘r Treat and Krampus, will run the show.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters will introduce a number of god-sized monsters to the world that will inevitably duke it out with Godzilla. The movie boasts a star-studded cast that includes Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins, and Kyle Chandler. It looks like this is going to be one of the must-see movies of 2019, which is set to hit theaters on May 31st.
17 ARTEMIS FOWL
Disney has a strong lineup of movies coming out in 2019. On August 9th, the company will be releasing Artemis Fowl in the hopes that it is the next big children's-novel-turned-franchise, much like Harry Potter. The film will adapt the first two books of the eight-book series, which all center around the teenage criminal genius Artemis Fowl. In the movie, Artemis will conduct a search for his missing father in order to restore the family fortune.
Last month, a trailer was released for the movie, and although genre fans were itching for an Avengers: Endgame trailer, it was still able to impress. In the capable hands of Kenneth Branagh, Artemis Fowl could be the success Disney is banking on.
There haven’t been a lot of plot details revealed about the movie Warning, aside from its futuristic setting and exploration of the meaning of life. However, we do know it has an interesting young cast, starring Mena Massoud, Laura Harrier, Lana Condor, Alice Eve and Alex Pettyfer.
The film will be directed by Agata Alexander, who has received attention for her work on a number of HARD music festival trailers. Warning will be her eagerly anticipated first feature film and our curiosity was piqued even more upon visiting the About section of Alexander’s website, which simply reads “I’ll tell you in another life, when we are both cats.”
15 CODE 8
In 2016, a short sci-fi action film starring Robbie Amell popped up on YouTube. The film is set in a dystopian world where 4% of the population have developed abilities, but they are treated poorly by those without. Robbie and his cousin Stephen (both seasoned sci-fi actors) designed the film as a teaser in order to raise funds for a feature film. Their goal was to raise $200,000, which they greatly exceeded by raising $2.3 million through an Indiegogo campaign.
The feature film is scheduled to reach the theaters in 2019, and although Stephen was unavailable to shoot the short, he will be starring alongside his cousin in the feature.
On December 25th, 2019, Melissa McCarthy is set to hit the big screen as Carol Peters in the movie Superintelligence. The sci-fi action comedy is directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone. The story surrounds the unexceptional character Carol Peters, who has been selected for observation by the world’s first superintelligence. James Corden leads the supporting cast as the voice of the artificial intelligence that may, or may not, take over the world.
Superintelligence is the fourth collaboration between the couple; the first three films (Tammy, The Boss, and Life of the Party) were successful for high-concept comedies, but they will be looking to buck the trend of diminishing box office results.
Scheduled for release on June 21st, 2019 is a film called Replicate. It follows three friends as they set out to make a web series about their town, but quickly discover that the residents of the town are being replaced by creatures who perfectly resemble them. The lead of the film is Joel Courtney, who won the 2012 Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor for his work in Super 8. Joel has yet to take off as a Hollywood star, but perhaps what he needs is to get back to sci-fi, the genre that he started in. Make sure to keep Replicate on the radar for 2019; it has potential.
12 BOSS LEVEL
Another sci-fi movie that is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2019 is Boss Level, starring Mel Gibson, Frank Grillo, and Naomi Watts. It is about a special forces officer, played by Grillo, who is trapped in a never-ending loop on the day of his demise and he must figure out who is responsible in order to stop it.
With people like Michelle Yeoh and Rob Gronkowski in the supporting cast, we are not sure what to expect with this movie. It is directed by Joe Carnahan, who is known for directing Smokin’ Aces and The Grey, and this could very well be a summer blockbuster.
Off the critical success of Resolution, Spring, and The Endless, sci-fi directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have their next project, Synchronic, scheduled to come out in 2019. Benson and Moorhead work with small budgets and their movies get limited releases, but they are two of the most imaginative sci-fi filmmakers working.
Synchronic is about two paramedics who encounter a series of demises, which are linked to a designer drug that has otherworldly effects. Anthony Mackie has signed onto the project, which will hopefully increase the public’s awareness of the film and give Benson and Moorhead the attention they deserve. Check out their other films in preparation for the 2019 release.
After undergoing a private screening at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017, Replicas was sold to Entertainment Studios and set for a wide release on January 11th, 2019. The movie stars Keanu Reeves as Will Foster, a man who lost his family in a car accident and who becomes obsessed with bringing them back by any means necessary.
The trailer makes the movie look like an exciting ride, with surprises waiting around every corner. Alice Eve portrays Foster’s wife, while Thomas Middleditch rounds out the cast as one of Foster’s colleagues. We are eagerly anticipating Reeves returning in a sci-fi movie.
9 HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U
In 2017, the top three Blumhouse films were Get Out, Split, and Happy Death Day; they had a combined budget of $18.3 million and a combined box office gross of over $650 million. One of these successes, Happy Death Day, twisted the sci-fi time loop trope and used it to create a highly entertaining horror movie.
On Valentines Day 2019, Tree will return to the time loop to face the baby mask assailant once again. From the trailer, it looks like Happy Death Day 2U will up the ante with the time loop logic and horror scenes, which could make it one of the best sci-fi/horror movies of the year.
8 CAPTIVE STATE
Originally scheduled to be released in 2018, Captive State has been pushed to March 29th, 2019. The movie is set in Chicago, ten years after an extraterrestrial force has occupied the city. It explores the conflict from all sides, including both the collaborators and the rebels.
The film features The Handmaid’s Tale star Madeline Brewer, alongside John Goodman and Vera Farmiga. Rupert Wyatt directed the film based on a screenplay he and his wife, Erica Beeney, wrote. With a tagline like: “Ten years ago, they took our planet. Today, we take it back,” how could we pass this one up?
7 MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL
Recently receiving an official title, the 2019 Men in Black spin-off movie is called Men in Black International. With the talented director F. Gary Gray of Straight Outta Compton in the driver’s seat, this is sure to be an entertaining ride. The movie is packed with fantastic actors like Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who reunite for the first time since Thor: Ragnarok, and will look to create another successful dynamic between their characters.
Rebecca Ferguson, Liam Neeson, and Emma Thompson round out the cast, resulting in an ensemble of incredibly charming actors who have each proven they can carry a film. When this movie hits theaters on June 14th, it is sure to be one of the must-see films of the summer.
6 UNTITLED TERMINATOR REBOOT
It is hard to trust another Terminator movie, especially when it has the word “reboot” connected to it. However, we think that this time it might be legitimate. With Tim Miller calling the shots, James Cameron producing, and both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton returning, this could be the real deal.
The movie will act as a sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day. It will ignore all the movies that followed the 1991 installment in an attempt to relaunch the franchise. By now, we have seen a number of different takes on the franchise, with each one trying to start it up again and each one unsuccessful in the process. However, on November 1st, we will be in the theater, hoping for a masterpiece.
5 IT: CHAPTER TWO
Readers of Stephen King’s novel It will know that the 2017 film adaptation only told half of the story. The creature that terrorizes Derry, Maine returns every 27 years to feed. While the kids appear to have defeated the shapeshifting monster in the first chapter, they return to Derry 27 years later, when the pattern begins to repeat.
The 2017 film did a fantastic job adapting the story of the kids, which makes us excited to see the characters grown up in the next chapter. The movie is coming out September 6th, 2019 and will star Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader as a few of the members of the “Losers Club.”
4 AD ASTRA
Ad Astra is being marketed as an epic sci-fi thriller, and the more we hear about this movie, the more we are buying into the hype. Ad Astra, which is a Latin phrase that means “to the stars,” will hit theaters May 24th, 2019 and star Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. Pitt’s character, Roy, embarks on a journey through the solar system to find his father, who 20 years earlier, embarked on a mission to Neptune in search of extraterrestrial life. Director James Gray has yet to find the right formula to produce a critical and financial success, but we believe Ad Astra could be his masterpiece.
3 FARMAGEDDON: A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE
In 2015, the animated stop-motion film Shaun the Sheep Movie made over $100 million worldwide, received a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for an Oscar. It was just a matter of time before the sequel would arrive.
Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie will take a sci-fi turn as Shaun and his farm animal friends must stop a group of menacing aliens that have invaded and want to take over the farm. This sequel is expected to bring the same level of charm, humor, and fun that the original had, and although it is not a conventional sci-fi movie, we anticipate it will be a pleasure to watch.
2 GEMINI MAN
Ang Lee is an incredibly versatile director. He is a two-time Oscar winner who has made films in a number of different genres. In 2019, Lee is releasing his first sci-fi picture: Gemini Man, which has a similar sounding plot to the movie Looper. It is about an over-the-hill hitman who must take out a younger, clone version of himself.
Led by the superstar Will Smith, the cast is packed with exciting names like Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen. Since 10 Cloverfield Lane, we have been itching to see Winstead in another intense movie. Gemini Man will be released on October 4th, 2019.
1 STAR WARS: EPISODE IX
Finally, our most anticipated sci-fi film of 2019 is Star Wars: Episode IX. It is the final film in the sequel trilogy that Disney began in 2015 and is also the final scheduled film in the nine-part Skywalker saga. J.J. Abrams will return to direct his second Star Wars film, which stirs up a number of plot-related questions in our minds. Will he give Maz Kanata more of a main role like he did in The Force Awakens? Will Poe get his heroic and redeeming moment after his missteps in The Last Jedi? Was Kylo lying to Rey about her parents? Will Kylo turn from the dark side? The list is endless; we can’t wait for December 20th, 2019.