Autumn has fallen, winter has come and spring has sprung, so that means it is finally time for summer to arrive. Although summer officially starts on June 21, the summer film season begins in May as studios traditionally start to release their biggest films of the year. Let’s see how this summer stacks up with a list of the hottest films released from May through August.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” – May 5
The next Marvel film to come out is “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” releasing six years after the last feature-length “Guardians of the Galaxy” film in 2017 and one year after their holiday special released in 2022. The film will star the usual Guardians cast which includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and more, but also adds Will Poulter as Adam Warlock.
“Fast X” – May 19
Also starring Diesel is “Fast X,” the next film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise. This film is confirmed to be the first half of the grand conclusion of the franchise, making this the penultimate film in the series. “Fast X” has a stacked cast, including Michelle Rodriguez, Brie Larson, Jason Momoa, Rita Moreno and Jason Statham.
“The Little Mermaid” – May 26
Disney loves to remake its 1990s hit animated films, as evidenced by recent remakes of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King” and “Mulan.” “The Little Mermaid” is the next in this trend, although it was released in 1989, not the 1990s. Halle Bailey is set to star as the eponymous mermaid, Ariel, from Academy Award-nominated director Rob Marshall.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” – June 2
The sequel to the hit 2018 animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is finally releasing this June after some delay. The first film was a huge success with fans and critics alike as the film grossed nearly $400 million worldwide and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, so the new film hopes to avoid a sophomore slump for the burgeoning franchise.
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” – June 9
Following the surprising success of 2018’s “Bumblebee,” the “Transformers” franchise has had new life breathed into it, and “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is the next addition to the series. Steven Caple Jr. is directing the film, his first in the franchise, and the cast includes the return of Optimus Prime voice actor Peter Cullen as well as newcomers Anthony Ramos, Pete Davidson and Michelle Yeoh.
“Elemental” – June 16
Pixar’s next film is an animated story about fire, water, land and air people who live in a city together and an unlikely friendship between Ember and Wade, a fire and water person, respectively. Director Peter Sohn also made “The Good Dinosaur,” which was one of the most poorly received Pixar films, so hopefully “Elemental” will be an improvement for Sohn.
“The Flash” – June 16
Despite all of the Ezra Miller controversy, “The Flash” is still set to release this summer. “The Flash” hopes to bring the idea of a multiverse to the DC universe, with both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s Batman set to join Miller in the film. Michael Shannon is also reprising his “Man of Steel” role as the villainous General Zod.
“Asteroid City” – June 16
Refreshingly not a sequel, reboot or remake, “Asteroid City” is an original film by director Wes Anderson. Set at a Junior Stargazer convention, “Asteroid City” has what might be the deepest cast of the summer, starring Tom Hanks, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Steve Carell, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Jeff Goldblum and more. Only time will tell how well the film balances all of its stars.
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” – June 30
After a 15-year hiatus, the “Indiana Jones” franchise is returning to cinemas with the fifth entry in the franchise. Star Harrison Ford is back as Jones, but Steven Spielberg, director of the first four films in the series, has been replaced with James Mangold, who has a stellar track record with hits like “Logan” and “Ford v Ferrari.” Hopefully “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is worthy of the “Indiana Jones” title.
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One” – July 12
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go see the seventh “Mission: Impossible” film in theaters this summer. Tom Cruise stars once again as the heroic Ethan Hunt, along with his usual supporting cast. Director Christopher McQuarrie returns for his third straight “Mission: Impossible” film, hoping to build off the critical and financial success of the last two.
“Barbie” – July 21
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are set to star as Barbie and Ken, respectively, from acclaimed director Greta Gerwig. With a distinctive pastel color palette and a script from Gerwig and Noah Baumbach to boot, “Barbie” might be the most intriguing film of the summer due to the uncertainty of what the film will actually be.
“Oppenheimer” – July 21
Christopher Nolan’s new film is titled “Oppenheimer” and will tell the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who helped with the Manhattan Project and spearheaded the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. Cillian Murphy is set to star as the eponymous Oppenheimer along with Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon and Florence Pugh.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” – Aug. 4
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise is being rebooted with a new animated film from producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver. The voice includes Paul Rudd, Jackie Chan, Giancarlo Esposito, Seth Rogen, John Cena and Ice Cube, although the four main ninja turtles will be voiced by less well-known actors.
“Blue Beetle” – Aug. 18
DC’s second film of the summer is “Blue Beetle,” releasing on Aug. 18. Xolo Maridueña of “Cobra Kai” fame is set to star as the titular hero, alongside Susan Sarandon and George Lopez. Although it was originally supposed to only be released on streaming, “Blue Beetle” will be released in theaters.