Hollywood loves to play it safe with reboots and sequels. This year, there are several we can’t wait to see:

5. Dune 2

Release date: March 1

Dune: Part Two was supposed to be released last year but was reportedly pushed back due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes. Dune (2021) was, as expected, visually stunning. Denis Villeneuve knows how to create beautiful-looking scenes. However, it was at times slow and the ending badly needed a cliffhanger. Let’s hope the sequel is less talky with more action. Adding Florence Pugh to any movie is an excellent idea. Pugh plays Princess Irulan, who apparently will have a much larger role in Villeneuve’s interpretation than in the first Dune sci-fi novel. Austin Butler, Léa Seydoux, and Christopher Walken also join this ensemble cast. But ultimately, it’s up to lead stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya to land this plane.

4. Gladiator 2

Release date: Nov. 22

Did Gladiator need a sequel? Not really. Well, you’re going to get one whether you want it or not. Gladiator (2000) is director Ridley Scott’s second-highest-grossing film behind The Martian (2015). The powerhouse combination of Russell Crowe and Scott was also the third-most successful film of that year. But a lot of time has passed, and America is a much different place. Will there still be excitement without Crowe? Instead, Paul Mescal steps into the lead role as Lucius, the son of Maximus’ love interest Lucilla from the first movie. Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal are also on board. This one has high boom-or-bust potential.

3. Joker: Folie à Deux

Release date: Oct. 4

Credit filmmaker Todd Phillips for doing something different. Joker (2019) was a box-office smash and was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and Best Original Score (Hildur Guðnadóttir). Now, the gang’s all back, but this time it’s a musical thriller (???) with Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn. That’s a hard concept to wrap your head around. Imagine any comic book supervillain as a song-and-dance man. At the very least, there will be a significant curiosity factor. Even Guðnadóttir has said: “It’s an interesting decision. I think it’s somehow logical at the same time. It’s both logical and also very surprising for me as well as the audience.”

2. Deadpool 3

Release date: July 26

Is superhero fatigue real? We’re about to find out. Ryan Reynolds probably could make Deadpool films for as long as he wants. While Deadpool 2 (2018) didn’t recapture the magic and originality of the first, it was still better than your average comic book fare. For Deadpool 3, Reynolds smartly brought back one of Marvel’s most beloved characters. Convincing Hugh Jackman to return as Wolverine was a major win and created an immediate buzz. Watching Reynolds and Jackman team up to trade jokes and battle bad guys sounds delightful. If this superstar pairing doesn’t translate into box-office gold, superhero movies are indeed in big trouble.

1. Beetlejuice 2

Release date: Sept. 6

Michael Keaton returned as Batman last year in The Flash. Now, he’s revisiting another one of his iconic 80s roles. If a film can be described as a box-office success and a cult classic, that would be Beetlejuice. This awesomely wacky and wonderful Tim Burton feature has aged well and gained new fans since being released in 1988. Watching Keaton as the ghost with the most was so much fun that a sequel seemed inevitable. Well, we’re finally getting one. Can it live up to expectations? Having Keaton, Burton, and Winona Ryder back and adding Jenna Ortega helps. That said, there’s inherently a tricky balance between satisfying fans of the original while also appealing to a younger audience.

About Michael Grant

Born in Jamaica. Grew up in New York City. Lives in Louisville, Ky. Sports writer. Not related to Ulysses S. Grant, Anthony Grant, Amy Grant or Hugh Grant.