As we close out 2021, it was a solid year at the box office for Disney. Theatrical slate consisted of hit films including Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella, Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, Free Guy, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Encanto, West Side Story, amongst others. The box office wasn’t what it once was pre-pandemic, but it was a welcome back to the theater’s celebration for many. Disney has totaled over $2.5 billion at the global box office and while that might seem low based on previous like 2019, where the studio totaled over $13 billion, it was still a successful year all things considered.
Now, we look to 2022, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and 20th Century Studios are looking to build on the box office momentum as we still try to navigate the murky waters of a pandemic. In the meantime, we are previewing Disney’s 2022 theatrical slate.
Death on the Nile
Release: February 11
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright
Death on the Nile like many movies has had a long road, the film is trying to navigate away from controversy surrounding stars Armie Hammer and Letitia Wright. Though, with the success of Knives Out and Only Murders in the Building, Disney wants to make this a continuing franchise. The premise is as follows, The peace and tranquility that was temporarily present on the S.S. Karnak is destroyed after one of the passengers is found murdered. Renowned Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is entrusted with the important task of identifying which one of the passengers is the killer before they strike again.
Release: March 11
Directed by: Domee Shi
Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Hyein Park, Orion Lee, Wai Ching Ho and James Hong
Pixar makes its triumphant return to theaters since 2020’s Onward, which was only theaters for less than two months since the pandemic shut down Hollywood. Turning Red, like Luca is stylistically different than what we come to know from Pixar but the powerhouse animation studio is expected to give us gold. It is also the directorial debut of Domee Shi who directed the heartfelt short Bao. It’s also the first Pixar film solely directed by a woman. Set in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in Turning Red, Mei Lee is a confident, dorky thirteen-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. And as if changes to her interests, relationships, and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which for a teenager is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda!
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Release: May 6
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, and Xochitl Gomez.
Doctor Strange was a massive presence in Sony/Marvel’s billion-dollar hit Spider-Man: No Way Home and with the multiverse busting wide open, fans are eager for Multiverse of Madness and the surprises it can bring. It is also a follow-up to Marvel Studios’ hit series WandaVision. Now that Iron Man and Captain America have left after a fierce battle in Avengers: Endgame, former genius surgeon and the strongest magician of them all, Doctor Strange, is expected to play an active role as a central figure in the Avengers. However, using his magic to manipulate time and space at will with a forbidden spell that is considered the most dangerous has opened the door to a mysterious madness called “the Multiverse.” To restore a world where everything is changing, Strange seeks help from his ally Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the Avengers’ most powerful Scarlet Witch, Wanda. But a terrible threat looms over humanity and the entire universe that no longer can be done by their power alone. Even more surprising, the greatest threat in the universe looks exactly like Doctor Strange.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie
Release: May 27
Directed by: Loren Bouchard
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, and Kristen Schaal
Talk about a film that has had its setbacks. The Bob’s Burgers Movie in The Simpsons fashion is making the move from Fox animated series to the big screen. While a general storyline has not yet been announced, it is confirmed that the movie will contain a subplot involving the history behind Louise’s bunny ear hat. Loren Bouchard confirmed the movie will also delve more into Bob’s relationship with his parents and acknowledge the death of his mother.
Release: June 17
Directed by: Angus MacLane
Starring: Chris Evans and Taika Waititi
Lightyear is the second movie from Pixar in 2022 and has people buzzing. The is movie centered on the character Buzz Lightyear, who would become the popular toy in the Toy Story franchise. MacLane revealed that Lightyear is set within the 4 Toy Story films universe. Lightyear is also Pixar’s first spin-off, and before you come after me, the Planes franchise was made and distributed by DisneyToon Studios.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Release: July 8
Directed by: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Jaimie Alexander, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Jeff Goldblum, and Vin Diesel
The fourth entry in the Thor franchise comes right in the middle of the Summer blockbuster season and see the return of the god of thunder as faces new foes with old friends including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Valkryie, and the triumphant return of Jane Foster who will become Thor herself. Plot details are being kept under wraps but Thor will face of against Christian Bale’s Gorr the god butcher and will feature cameos from Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth who reprise their roles as Asgardian actors playing Loki, Odin, and Thor, respectively, from Thor: Ragnarok, alongside Melissa McCarthy as an actress playing Hela and Ben Falcone in an undisclosed role. Russell Crowe also has a cameo appearance as Zeus, the king of the Olympians, based on the Greek mythological deity of the same name.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release: November 11
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Tenoch Huerta, and Dominique Thorne
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a bittersweet return for the franchise. Star Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away last year after a private battle with cancer. The question for better for worse is how is Marvel Studios navigating this film moving forward. There are multiple rumors floating around regarding who will take on the mantle of Black Panther and the studio is refusing to address it and for good reasons. That said, the core team in-front and behind the camera return for the sequel, so the movie is great hands.
Release: November 23
Directed by: Don Hall
Like Encanto this year, Walt Disney Animation Studios newest feature Strange World, formerly Searcher Clade, takes over the Thanksgiving weekend release, a timeframe that has brought the studios success in years past. Devleoped by Raya and the Last Dragon director Don Hall and writer Qui Nguyen, the original action-adventure journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest—and by far— most crucial mission. While a cast has yet to be announced, sources say Disney voice actor mainstay Alan Tudyk is already on board the project.
Release: December 16
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, CCH Pounder, and Matt Gerald, Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Edie Falco, Brendan Cowell, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, and CJ Jones.
In December, we return to the world of Pandora with the long-in-development Avatar 2. The film’s theatrical release has been subject to eight delays, with the latest occurring on July 23, 2020. The franchise is also working on three sequels to be released, respectively, on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026 and December 22, 2028. Fans awaut to see the groundbreaking technology James Cameron is using on the sequels. Jake Sully and Neytiri have formed a family and are doing anything to stay together. However, when an old threat returns to finish what they started, they are forced to leave their home and explore the different regions of Pandora.
Now, it should be noted, these are not the only projects scheduled for release The Walt Disney Company has untitled projects from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures scheduled for 4/8/22, 6/10/22, 8/12/2022, 9/23/2022, 11/4/2022, and 12/23/2023.
Disney is expected to release a 2022 press kit soon, so we here at The DisInsider will update this story with all the updated information on all these projects if provided.
Have a safe and happy New Year and we will see you all in 2022!