All the Big Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Films We're Excited for in 2023

All the Big Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Films We're Excited for in 2023

In io9's 2023 movie preview, we run down the big (and small) genre titles coming to theaters this year.

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Characters from Transformers, Barbie, John Wick, The Little Mermaid, and Super Mario Bros.
Some of the stars of 2023's biggest movies.
Image: Paramount, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Disney, Universal

To be honest, 2023 really started with M3GAN. But now that she’s introduced herself to the world, it’s time to look at all the other genre films—the ones without murderous dancing AI dolls—that will be in theaters this year, and it’s an impressive list.

Superheroes are a big deal once again with both DC and Marvel having impressive showings. Franchises from days of old return, including Indiana Jones, The Exorcist, Evil Dead, and Hunger Games. And super cool, fun, weird original ideas are coming too, from bears doing cocaine, to space samurai, and R-rated animated dogs. Truly, 2023 is shaping up to be the biggest year at the movies since the pre-covid era, so here are all the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy movies we’re looking forward to the most.

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What movies are coming out in January 2023?

What movies are coming out in January 2023?

INFINITY POOL - Official Trailer

Kids vs Aliens (January 20)

With a movie like this, you know what you’re gonna get. There are kids. There are aliens. The kids fight the aliens. But, thanks to Hobo With a Shotgun and Dark Side of the Ring director Jason Eisener at the helm, you also get lots of cool, nostalgic, wrestling-infused energy.

Missing (January 20)

A standalone sequel to the 2018 film Searching, this one’s about a young woman (Storm Reid) attempting to find her mother, who went missing on vacation. The whole thing happens on computer and phone screens.

Fear (January 27)

Shot in a mere 17 days during the pandemic, Fear amplifies the horror of quarantining against covid by pitting a small group of people who fled to a countryside cabin against a serial killer.

Infinity Pool (Jan 27)

Brandon Cronenberg (Possessor) directs Mia Goth (Pearl) and Alexander Skarsgård (The Northman) in this horror movie about a couple who stumbles upon some very sinister goings-on just beyond the borders of their elite vacation resort.

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What movies are coming out in February 2023?

What movies are coming out in February 2023?

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania | New Trailer

Knock at the Cabin (February 3)

M. Night Shyamalan is back with this adaptation of a book by Paul G. Tremblay in which a family must decide if they believe the people holding them hostage. Believe what, you ask? Well, the people claim if one of the family members doesn’t sacrifice themselves, the entire world will end.

Consecration (February 10)

A woman (Jena Malone) sets out to find out what happened to her priest brother after he plunged to his death at a remote Scottish convent. Once she arrives, she realizes nothing is what it seems and evil is lurking in the holy place.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (February 15)

God bless public domain. Public domain makes it possible for a film like this, that turns everyone’s favorite honey-eating bear into an axe-wielding murderer.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17)

Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off with the third Ant-Man film, which brings back the stars of the original films and puts them on a new adventure in a world we’ve only seen for a few moments: the Quantum Realm. And who is down there? None other than Kang, played by Jonathan Majors.

Cocaine Bear (February 24)

Cocaine Bear is another film where the title is pretty much all you need to know. It’s loosely based on a true story about a bag of drugs that fell from a plane, the bear that ate them, and the wild, hilarious aftermath.

We Have a Ghost (February 24 on Netflix)

Starring David Harbour and featuring the talents of Tig Notaro, Jennifer Coolidge, and Anthony Mackie, We Have a Ghost looks like a horror comedy for the social media age—and the at-home conspiracy theorist who regularly talks to the government agents tapping their phone. In this murder mystery, a ghost comes back to help solve his own murder, but the CIA keeps trying to muscle in.

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What movies are coming out in March 2023?

What movies are coming out in March 2023?

Scream VI | Official Trailer (2023 Movie)

Scream IV (March 10)

Even without Dewey (RIP) or Sidney (pay Neve Campbell!!), Ghostface is back once again and this time he’s chasing the survivors from the last film to New York City. So, for the first time, we’re gonna see Ghostface in an urban setting. Let the mystery and mayhem begin.

Unicorn Wars (March 10)

Two sibling soldiers in the Teddy Bear army vie for the love of their mother in an endless war against their sworn enemy: environmentalist unicorns.

65 (March 17)

For months Sony had this movie called “65" on its schedule. It was described as a sci-fi movie with Adam Driver. Very vague. And then, the trailer came out, and it’s Adam Driver fighting dinosaurs from 65 million years ago. Why Sony would hide that perfection is beyond us.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods (March 17)

The long-awaited follow-up to the hit 2019 DC film will almost certainly be a lot of fun. Kids turning into heroes and battling gods played by Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu—what’s not to like? And all eyes will be on it behind the scenes too, as it’s the first DC universe released with the new executives (James Gunn and Peter Safran, the latter of whom produced this) now in charge.

John Wick Chapter 4 (March 24)

The bullets will be flying as Keanu Reeves returns to the role that, slowly but surely, has become maybe his most famous. What’s in store for the world’s most deadly and most-wanted assassin? We’ll find out soon.

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (March 31)

Anything going on in the world of Dungeons and Dragons lately? Oh yeah? Well, there’s also this massive undertaking, a movie with an all-star cast that everyone hopes will kick off a new brand-name franchise. But will those hardcore fans turn out after, you know, everything?

Assassin (March 31)

Now that Bruce Willis has retired from acting due to health reasons, this looks to be one of your last chances to see him in a new movie—though maybe revisiting one of his older classics might be just as good a choice as tale about a former black-ops soldier on a sci-fi infused revenge mission.

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What movies are coming out in April 2023?

What movies are coming out in April 2023?

Renfield | Official Trailer

The Super Mario Bros. Movie (April 7)

Can’t you already hear the music in your head? For only the second time ever, and the first time in animation, arguably the world’s most famous video game franchise gets the big screen treatment. Expectations could not be higher even with that half-cool, half-questionable voice cast.

The Pope’s Exorcist (April 7)

Russel Crowe plays Father Gabriele Amourth, a real-life Catholic priest who’s said to have performed 100,000 exorcisms for the Vatican. Amourth wrote two autobiographies before he passed away in 2019, so this may end up being a horror/biopic hybrid of sorts.

Renfield (April 14)

Universal has finally started to dust off its amazing catalog of monsters for some big-time movies and the latest is this Dracula spinoff about his servant, Renfield, who no longer likes his job. Nicholas Hoult as Renfield is cool, Nicolas Cage as Dracula is God-tier.

Suzume (April 14)

Mamoru Hosoda’s latest sees a young girl swept up in a mysterious man’s attempts to stop a series of supernatural disasters all over Japan. Also, it’s the one where the love interest gets turned into a chair.

Evil Dead Rise (April 21)

The Evil Dead franchise comes back to the big screen for the first time in a decade with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell merely producing a new story with new characters in a new setting, but still with that trademark mix of gore and absurd.

Beau Is Afraid (April 21)

After Hereditary and Midsommer, we’ll watch anything Ari Aster makes. Apparently, he knows that, because his third film, Beau Is Afraid, looks like his wildest film yet as an unhinged Joaquin Phoenix experiences a surrealist quest on the way to see his mother. Or something like that.

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What movies are coming out in May 2023?

What movies are coming out in May 2023?

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 | Official Trailer

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5)

James Gunn’s final film in the MCU will also be the final film for this version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Who survives? Who doesn’t? And how do Rocket Raccoon’s past and Adam Warlock play into it all? Whatever the answers, this is gonna be one of the biggest films of the year.

Fast X (May 19)

We’re still a month out from the first trailer for the next Fast and Furious movie so we don’t know what it’s about. All we know is that a week into production director Justin Lin left and handed the reins to Louis Leterrier. That seems ominous but, it’s Fast, so it shouldn’t really matter. We hope.

The Little Mermaid (May 26)

They’ve done Beauty and the Beast. They’ve done Aladdin. Heck, they’ve even done The Lion King. But all of those live-action remakes of classic Disney animated films from the 1990s led to this: seeing a mermaid turn into a real girl with her talking, singing, fish friends.

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What movies are coming out in June 2023?

What movies are coming out in June 2023?

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE - Official Trailer (HD)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (June 2)

It can’t actually happen, right? Sequels are almost always inferior to the originals, especially when the original was a film sent down from the heavens and presented to the world as a stone-cold superhero masterpiece. But Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse could actually live up to the impossible expectations of following up one of the best superhero movies ever.

Strays (June 9)

When you think “adult animation” you usually think “anime.” You don’t think “major studio release with A-list cast.” But that’s Strays, a (probably) R-rated comedy about a dog (voiced by Will Ferrell) who teams up with other pets to get back at the owner who abandoned him.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June 9)

The first Transformers? Solid. Parts two through five? Increasingly terrible. So it was no wonder nobody showed up for the sixth film, Bumblebee, which was arguably even better than the original. Which category this one will fall into is the big question as the seventh film brings back all your favorite Autobots but also introduces all the various species from Beast Wars.

The Flash (June 16)

The Flash has been delayed more times than you probably remember. But for now, this looks like the summer we’ll finally see what Ezra Miller’s super fast hero has in store. Originally, this was the film poised to kick off a DC multiverse. Now, it could just be a curious afterthought. All will (probably) be answered this June.

Elemental (June 16)

Pixar’s latest is another one of those simple, perfect ideas. What if a man made of water fell in love with a woman made of fire? This one looks beautiful.

The Blackening (June 16)

Tim Story (Barbershop) directs this comedy skewering well-worn tropes about Black characters in horror movies, set—where else?—at a cabin deep in the woods.

Asteroid City (June 16)

Despite its title, the latest film from Wes Anderson isn’t about space. It does, however, take place at a space convention as all manner of characters meet up there, giving the filmmaker the opportunity to tell another one of his trademark weird, wonderful stories. And the cast? Bigger than any Anderson film to date.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30)

When Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008, Harrison Ford was old. Now add 15 years to that, and a bit of skepticism around this fifth Indy film makes sense. And yet, new director James Mangold rarely if ever makes a bad film and he knows better than anyone the legacy he’s messing with. We expect this to be fantastic.

Harold and the Purple Crayon (June 30)

Crockett Johnson’s beloved 1955 children’s book comes to (animated) life in this film about a young boy who can create reality by drawing it. Zachary Levi and Zooey Deschanel provide voices.

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What films are coming out in July 2023?

What films are coming out in July 2023?

Barbie | Teaser Trailer

Insidious: Fear the Dark (July 7)

The fifth Insidious film sees star Patrick Wilson return on camera, and take over the directorial duties behind it. Set 10 years after the original, he brings his son to college when they’re forced to deal once again with the Further.

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning: Part One (July 14)

The Mission Impossible franchise has, improbably, gotten better with each and every sequel. This seventh film carries not just those expectations into it, but also Tom Cruise’s towering 2022 hit Top Gun: Maverick, and the fact this is the set up for an eighth and, maybe, final Mission next year. It’s a dangerous mission but we choose to accept it.

How Do You Live? (July 14 in Japan)

Breaking protocol a bit here because this movie does not yet have a U.S. release date. But, as it’s the next film from maybe the greatest director of our generation, Hayao Miyazaki, and it’s quite possibly his last film (even though he said that about his previous film, The Wind Rises, in 2013). So we had to put it on here.

Barbie (July 21)

A Barbie movie? That would never work. Unless, of course, you get excellent director Gerta Gerwig who recruits pitch-perfect stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and then make it a bright pink comedy satire. Or, at least, that’s what we’re imagining this is.

They Cloned Tyrone (July 21 on Netflix)

Described as a “pulpy mystery caper,” They Cloned Tyrone stars John Boyega, Jamie Foxx, and Teyonah Parris as a rag-tag trio hot on the heels of a government conspiracy. This sci-fi comedy is sure to include anime nods and incredible styling, as our only promo image clearly shows.

The Marvels (July 28)

Is this a Captain Marvel sequel? A Ms. Marvel sequel? Will it introduce a third brand new, ass-kicking hero to the mix in the form of Monica Rambeau? Yes yes and oh hell yes. We don’t know much about it beyond that but the brief footage screened last year was riotous, so we can’t wait.

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What movies are coming in August 2023?

What movies are coming in August 2023?

Image for article titled All the Big Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Films We're Excited for in 2023
Image: Paramount

The Meg 2: The Trench (August 4)

Cult-beloved director Ben Wheatley (In the Earth, A Field in England, High-Rise, Sightseers) is an inspired choice to helm this aquatic action sequel, which looks to reunite Jason Statham with his greatest foe to date: a ridiculously ginormous ancient shark.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (August 4)

The heroes in a half-shell are back for their latest re-imagining, from the mind of producer Seth Rogen—as Leo, Donnie, Mikey, and Raph emerge from the sewers to defend New York from an army of fellow mutants.

Haunted Mansion (August 11)

Disney’s latest attempt to turn one of its rides into a blockbuster film features an all-star cast who end up in a mansion that’s, well, you know. Haunted. This one promises to be funny, exciting, and just scary enough that the whole family can enjoy it.

Last Voyage of the Demeter (August 11)

Director André Øvredal explores the chapter in Bram Stoker’s Dracula centering on the crew who traveled with the legendary monster on his journey from Carpathia to London, where things don’t go so well for anyone not named Dracula. The Suicide Squad’s David Dastmalchian, Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham, and In The Heights’ Corey Hawkins star in the ensemble piece, with Javier Botet as the vampire.

Blue Beetle (August 18)

DC’s next big superhero adventure made the leap from a HBO Max project to the big screen, as Jaime Reyes (Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña) finds himself fused to a mysterious scarab beetle that grants him powers.

They Listen (August 25)

Not much is known about the plot of this foray into horror from Chris Weitz (Rogue One, American Pie), other than the fact that it stars John Cho and Katherine Waterston.

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What movies are coming in September 2023?

What movies are coming in September 2023?

Still from the first Nun
Still from the first Nun
Image: Warner Bros.

The Nun 2 (September 8)

The ninth installment in The Conjuring universe, and a direct sequel to 2018's The Nun, this film is sure to be incredible, not least because it was penned in part by Akeela Cooper (Malignant, M3GAN). Once again, Sister Irene will be forced to contend with Valek, the Nun.

A Haunting in Venice (September 15)

Kenneth Branagh and his preposterous facial hair return in this next installment of his adaptations of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. When someone is murdered during a séance attended by Hercule Poirot, the detective steps in to find the killer. This time though, it has a supernatural twist.

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What movies are coming in October 2023?

What movies are coming in October 2023?

kraven from the comics
Kraven the Hunter.
Image: Marvel Comics

Kraven the Hunter (October 6)

There was Venom. There was Morbius. And now, there’s Kraven the Hunter. Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars in the latest origin film of a classic Marvel Spider-Man villain, which was originally supposed to hit theaters earlier in the year.

True Love (October 6)

Not much is known about this new sci-fi movie coming from Fox/Disney, only that it’s written and directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Rogue One) and stars John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ralph Ineson, Allison Janney, and Ken Watanabe. But that’s really all we need.

The Exorcist (October 13)

Remake The Exorcist? Sure, why not? Especially when you’re producer Jason Blum and director David Gordon Green and you just had a huge success remaking another horror classic franchise, Halloween. This film is apparently also planned as the first in a trilogy.

Damsel (October 13 on Netflix)

Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) stars in a new retelling of Rapunzel, who breaks free from her tower to get revenge. Based on the fierce first images alone, we’re here for a modern royal heroine. Angela Bassett and Robin Wright also star.

Saw 10 (October 27)

Still without an official title, the Saw franchise is back after a brief tangent with Chris Rock. Now, somehow, Jigsaw will return in one form or another and the fact we literally can’t get our brains around how that’s possible makes us even more excited to see it.

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What movies are coming in November 2023?

What movies are coming in November 2023?

Image for article titled All the Big Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Films We're Excited for in 2023
Image: Warner Bros.

Dune Part Two (November 3)

When director Denis Villeneuve said he wanted to adapt Dune, but do it in two parts, most people thought “Oh, we’ll never see the second half.” But the first film did well and now, in 2023, the second half of Dune will be here. And it’s bound to be epic since this is the one where Timothée Chalamet will be riding Sandworms.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (November 17)

An adaptation of The Hunger Games prequel, this movie will follow a young President Snow (before he became president) and show what happened to make him into the dictator he ended up being in the original trilogy... along with the creation of certain games.

Trolls 3 (November 17)

Can’t stop the feeling that this series is just going to continue forever. Wedding bells are ringing in Trolls 3 as Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are set to live happily ever after unless another troll threat rises. It probably will.

Wish (November 22)

West Side Story Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose voices a new Disney heroine who, in order to save her kingdom, must make the most powerful wish of all. It’s an origin story for the magical star that’s fueled every single Disney fairytale, from Frozen team Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. Buck co-directs with Fawn Veerasunthorn.

Leo (November 22 on Netflix)

Adam Sandler voices the titular lizard, a classroom pet who goes on an extra-curricular adventure when he realizes he doesn’t have much time left. Unfortunately, he gets waylaid by his school’s students in this musical comedy.

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What movies are coming in December 2023?

What movies are coming in December 2023?

Sofia Boutella in Rebel Moon.
Sofia Boutella in Rebel Moon.
Image: Netflix

Leave the World Behind (December 8 on Netflix)

As a family on Long Island experiences a blackout, two strangers come forward and warn them of the impending apocalypse. Based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel of the same name, it stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Kevin Bacon. Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail is at the helm.

Wonka (December 15)

Did you ever consider Willy Wonka and think, “I wonder how he got like that?” This year you’ll find out, with Timothée Chalamet in the title role as the singing (yes it’s a musical), dancing, would-be candy man.

Untitled Ghostbusters Sequel (December 20)

Rumored to be called “Ghostbusters: Firehouse,” this sequel will pick up after the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, where Egon Spengler’s daughter and grandkids found out the truth about him and reunited with the old crew. The action will shift from the country to the city and hopefully be less focused on nostalgia and more on characters and storytelling.

Migration (December 22)

The year’s second film from Illumination (after Super Mario Bros.), this animated feature follows a group of New England ducks who go on vacation in the Bahamas.

Rebel Moon (December 22 on Netflix)

Zack Snyder’s latest original sci-fi epic takes the premise of Seven Samurai (a woman recruits a group of warriors to help her defend her people) with the space setting of Star Wars. In fact, this was originally conceived as a Star Wars movie until Snyder said, “Wait, let me just do it myself.”

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 25)

James Wan’s follow-up to his surprise 2018 mega-hit, Aquaman arrives in theaters this Christmas and it promises to be just as big, if not bigger, in terms of underwater scope. And while it’s been delayed a few times, this prime release date, and little to no competition so far, bode well for it.

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What other movies are coming in 2023?

What other movies are coming in 2023?

Disney Plus’ Peter Pan & Wendy - Official Teaser Trailer (2021) Yara Shahidi, Jude Law

(These are other movies we’re looking forward to which do not yet have official release dates.)

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (TBD on Netflix)

The chicken sanctuary that Ginger (Thandiwe Newton) and Rocky (Zachary Levi) founded faces a new threat. With the help of their coup, which includes a new character voiced by The Last of Us’ Bella Ramsey, they band together to take it on. A sequel to the 2000 film.

Crater (TBD on Disney+)

This science fiction coming-of-age film follows a young boy on a lunar colony and his four friends who decide to investigate a strange crater on the moon’s surface. The script was considered one of the best-unproduced screenplays of 2015, so this could be quite something.

Nimona (TBD on Netflix)

The fantastical adaptation of ND Stevenson’s popular webcomic—about a young shapeshifter apprenticing herself under the villainous Ballister Blackheart to take down the Institute that wronged the both of them—survived a culling at Disney with a move to Netflix.

Peter Pan and Wendy (TBD on Disney+)

We’ve seen a billion different versions of the Peter Pan story, so why not another? The director of Pete’s Dragon, David Lowry, is back behind the camera for this new adaptation, which features Jude Law as Captain Hook.

Salem’s Lot (TBD)

Conjuring franchise veteran Gary Dauberman directs this latest version of Stephen King’s vampires-in-a-small-town tale, with Top Gun: Maverick’s Lewis Pullman as good-guy Ben Mears and Game of Thrones’ Pilou Asbæk as bad-guy Richard Straker.

Spaceman (Fall TBD on Netflix)

Here’s a weird one. In a dramatic role, Adam Sandler plays an astronaut on a mission to deep space. He’s all alone, except for a being from the beginning of civilization who happens to be on the ship.

Untitled Wes Anderson/Roald Dahl Film (TBD on Netflix)

The quirky filmmaker again tackles the work of Roald Dahl in this anthology which will include the short story “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”

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