It’s the summer of sequels!
Much-anticipated new entries to the “Top Gun,” “Jurassic World” and “Thor” franchises headline a summer movie slate packed with likely blockbusters.
Add in origin tales for beloved “Despicable Me” and “Toy Story” characters, Jordan Peele’s latest mind-bending horror film and an Elvis Presley biopic to get fans all shook up and there’s something for everyone this season.
Here are movies to look forward to between now and early August.
“Top Gun: Maverick”
Consider your need for speed satisfied.
Now in theaters, “Top Gun: Maverick” is a feel-good force that captures the spirit of the original 1986 film while delivering a wholly new story. Tom Cruise is better than ever as the rebellious Navy pilot Maverick, who must now train a new generation of aviators.
It’s the perfect film to see with your wing man or woman.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie”
Viewers of Fox’s meaty animated comedy series “Bob’s Burgers” can finally sink their teeth into a feature film about the quirky Belcher family.
The long-running show is known for its clever humor, and with a longer runtime to work with, series creator Loren Bouchard could cook up even more jokes. He’s the co-writer and co-director of the movie, now playing in theaters.
Six years after winning “America’s Got Talent” at age 12, singer Grace VanderWaal adds another verse to her acting career as the lead of this Disney+ sequel.
The 2020 movie “Stargirl” was a huge hit among families, and this one brings even more glitz and glamour as the characters move to Los Angeles.
It arrives June 3 on the streaming service.
“Jurassic World Dominion”
This dinosaur spectacular feels like a blast from the past with original “Jurassic Park” stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum reuniting, but there’s also a brand new adventure to get fans roaring.
“Dominion” features nonstop action and finds a way to conclude the six-movie “Jurassic” era that hatched nearly three decades ago.
See it on the biggest screen possible starting June 10 — before the opportunity goes extinct.
“Father of the Bride”
Audiences will surely say “I do” to this Latino-led adaptation of the classic novel starring Andy Garcia, Gloria Estefan and Adria Arjona.
The film once again centers on a protective father and his soon-to-be-wed daughter, but updates the story with modern-day sensibilities. It starts streaming June 16 on HBO Max.
“Toy Story” lovers will go to infinity and beyond for this Buzz Lightyear origin story. The spinoff introduces the human astronaut who inspired the Buzz toys, depicting an epic adventure through time and space.
It’s the fifth “Toy Story” flick — and first to go beyond the franchise’s main story line. Chris Evans voices Lightyear in the film, in theaters June 17.
Few films can compete with a cast featuring screen icons Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, who lead this Spanish-Argentine comedy about a group of filmmakers enlisted by a billionaire to create an all-time great movie.
After impressing audiences at the Venice Film Festival last summer, “Official Competition” debuts in U.S. theaters on June 17.
Austin Butler looks to strike the right note as the King of Rock and Roll in a Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic showcasing Presley’s ascent to superstardom.
Butler really sings in scenes portraying young Elvis, while his voice was blended with the real Presley’s to depict the singer’s later years. “Elvis” gets theaters rocking June 24.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru”
There’s nothing despicable about this animated origin story for Steve Carell’s Gru, the lovable villain introduced in the “Despicable Me” movies.
Gru becomes a hero over the course of those films, but his venture to villainy is highlighted in this prequel, in theaters July 1. Expect plenty of screen time for his hilarious henchman, the Minions, who are always favorites among kids.
Thrill seekers this summer need to look no further than the suspense-filled “The Forgiven,” which hits theaters July 1.
Fresh off her first-career Oscar, Jessica Chastain stars alongside Ralph Fiennes in the drama about a fatal car accident in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco — and the whirlwind chain of events that follows.
“Thor: Love and Thunder”
The latest “Thor” film is ready to electrify moviegoers.
The cast is elite, with Marvel veterans Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in leading roles, and Christian Bale arriving as the merciless villain Gorr the God Butcher.
The film features the return of director Taika Waititi, who expertly fused humor, fantasy and action in 2017′s “Thor: Ragnorak.” Out July 8, “Love and Thunder” is poised to hammer home even more awesomeness.
“Where the Crawdads Sing”
Another twist-filled drama, “Where the Crawdads Sing” will look to captivate audiences in the same way the best-selling book it’s based on has for nearly four years.
Arriving in theaters July 15, the mystery movie stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as a young woman embroiled in a murder scandal in rural North Carolina.
The novel’s robust fan base includes Reese Witherspoon, who produced the film, and Taylor Swift, who wrote an original song for it.
“Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank”
A family film to get tails wagging, “Paws of Fury” features a doggone good voice cast led by Michael Cera as a beagle training to become a samurai.
The animated animal movie, in theaters July 15, also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Yeoh, Mel Brooks and George Takei in a story loosely inspired by the classic comedy “Blazing Saddles.”
“The Gray Man”
“Captain America” star Evans reunites with “Avengers” directors Joe and Anthony Russo for an action-thriller outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Evans stars alongside Ryan Gosling, who portrays a CIA mercenary targeted by his agency after learning a dark secret. Ana de Armas also stars in the movie, out July 15 in theaters and July 22 on Netflix.
With a $200 million budget, it’s among Netflix’s most-expensive films ever.
Oh yes! Peele’s movies are must-see events after his satirical-horror masterpieces “Get Out” and “Us” enlightened audiences with commentary on race and society.
Peele again wrote and directed this freaky thriller about a mysterious phenomenon that wreaks havoc on a California farm. “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya reunited with Peele for “Nope,” in theaters July 22.
The original 1990 “House Party” is a cult classic. This adaptation invites even more mayhem to the high-school party movie genre.
Out July 28 on HBO Max, “House Party” was co-written by Stephen Glover, best known for penning episodes of the Emmy-winning series “Atlanta” created by and starring his older brother, Donald Glover.
“DC League of Super-Pets”
This comic-book movie looks like a real treat, with Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon and John Krasinski voicing powerful pets in a superhero adventure.
It’s sure to fetch audiences of all ages once it gets unleashed in theaters July 29.
Brad Pitt is back in his first leading role since winning his first Oscar more than two years ago. Based on a Japanese novel, the film stars Pitt as a skilled assassin competing with other mercenaries to complete a mission aboard a speeding train.
Also starring Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bad Bunny, “Bullet Train” zooms into theaters Aug. 5.
A new superhero film takes flight in this story about a child who discovers a secret headquarters beneath his family’s home.
Owen Wilson, who stars in Marvel’s “Loki” series, and Michael Pena, who’s part of Marvel’s “Ant-Man” movies, return to the superhero genre for “Secret Headquarters,” in theaters Aug. 5.
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