As summer comes to a close, the film studios are considering some major changes to the release schedule this fall in light of the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes. Dune: Part Two and Kraven the Hunter have already retreated from their original dates to 2024 premieres. If the strikes continue for an extended period, those may not be the last films to get pushed back. Thankfully, not every studio is abandoning the fall 2023 movie season. And while no one sees another Barbenheimer phenomenon on the horizon, there are some very intriguing films set to arrive in the months ahead.
We’ve narrowed down our selections to the 10 most anticipated movies of fall 2023. These are the films that are worth seeing on the big screen instead of waiting for them to hit the streamers. There’s not much in the way of romance, but fans of mysteries, superheroes, action, historical dramas, and horror are going to be very happy this fall.
A Haunting in Venice (September 15)
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The adventures of Hercule Poirot and his incredible moustache continue in A Haunting in Venicean adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel, Hallowe’en Party. Kenneth Branagh is back as both the director and the star, as he reprises his role as Poirot for one of the detective’s strangest cases.
Poirot is always up for a good mystery, but he may have found his way into a ghost story when a séance ends with a murder. Once again, Branagh has lined up a dynamic supporting cast including Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, Kyle Allen, Jamie Dornan, and Camille Cottin.
A Haunting in Venice opens in theaters on Friday, September 15.
The Expendables 4 (September 22)
Action heroes don’t just get old, they get really old. But that’s part of the fun of the Expendables movies. Sylvester Stallone found a way to bring together action stars from multiple eras in his own franchise, and now he’s passing the torch off to Jason Statham in The Expendables 4. Or Expend4blesas the studio prefers to stylize it. Regardless, this is the last appearance of Stallone’s Barney Ross, as Lee Christmas (Statham) takes over the team for yet another clandestine mission with global stakes.
Veterans Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture are also back alongside the Expendables’ newest member, Easy Day (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson). But the film’s biggest addition may be Christmas’ girlfriend, Gina (Megan Fox), a CIA agent who happens to have secret missions of her own.
The Expendables 4 opens in theaters on Friday, September 22.
Dumb Money (September 29)
Do you remember the GameStop short squeeze? The short version is that amateur investors found a way to briefly make a fortune off of GameStop’s stocks while also sticking it to rich stockbrokers and hedge funds. Unfortunately for many, their newfound wealth was fleeting at best. Director Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money dramatizes that story with a stellar lineup of performers, including Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, and Seth Rogen. This was a wild story in real life, and it’s only bound to get wilder on the big screen.
Dumb Money opens in theaters on Friday, September 29.
Saw X (September 29)
This movie is called Saw X because Saw 1.5 just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Regardless, this is a rare midquel that isn’t going direct-to-video or streaming. That’s because the Saw franchise’s original Jigsaw killer, John Kramer (Tobin Bell), is back in this previously untold story. When facing the end of his life from a tumor in his head, John turns to Cecilia Pederson (Synnøve Macody Lund), an Elizabeth Holmes-like figure who claims to be able to cure him.
Of course, this turns out to be a giant con. But rather than alert the authorities in Mexico, John decides to go full Jigsaw on Pederson and everyone else who deceived him by placing them in torture devices. The key to Jigsaw’s games is that they are always survivable, but only if his victims are willing to make a major sacrifice. And this time, John’s got some righteous fury aimed toward people who really deserve their comeuppance.
Saw X opens in theaters on Friday, September 29.
The Exorcist: Believer (October 6)
In 2018, Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures revitalized the Halloween franchise with the first of three sequels that ignored every other movie but the first Halloween. Now, Blumhouse and Universal trying to pull off the same trick for The Exorcist. The new film, The Exorcist: Believeris set 50 years after the original, and it begins when two young girls fall prey to demonic possession. With their parents at a loss, they turn to Chris MacNeil (who is once again played by Ellen Burstyn) for her expertise in dealing with possession.
During the first film, Chris’ daughter, Regan (Linda Blair), was possessed by a powerful demon, and it cost the lives of two priests to free her from evil. It would have made more sense for Blair to return for this film, and it’s unclear why she isn’t in the movie. For now, we’ll just have to see how the sequel deals with that notable absence.
The Exorcist: Believer opens in theaters on Friday, October 6.
Killers of the Flower Moon (October 20)
Here’s a history lesson that should never be forgotten. In the 1920s, the Osage tribe in Oklahoma were the targets of a conspiracy that was meant to kill as many of them as possible. And these murders weren’t just driven by racism — they were part of a campaign to steal the oil that had been found on the Osage land.
In Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower MoonLeonardo DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart finds himself in the middle of this murderous undertaking. Ernest is married to an Osage woman named Mollie (Lily Gladstone), but his uncle, William Hale (Robert De Niro), is the one who has orchestrated the killings. And even Ernest doesn’t seem to know where his loyalties lie.
Killers of the Flower Moon opens in theaters on Friday, October 20.
Five Nights at Freddy’s (October 27)
If there was ever a place that shouldn’t have a “bring your daughter to work day,” it’s Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Blumhouse and Universal are bringing the hit video game series Five Nights at Freddy‘s to theaters this Halloween weekend. And it’s gonna be a scream. The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson stars as Mike Schmidt, a security guard who is so down on his luck that he has to take his young daughter, Abby Schmidt (Piper Rubio), with him to the abandoned Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza location he’s been hired to watch on his overnight shifts.
As in the games, the animatronic creatures – Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy – come to life after midnight, and they’ll kill anyone they catch in the restaurant. Freddy and his malevolent gang also take a special interest in Abby in order to complete their evil plans.
Five Nights at Freddy’s will open in theaters on Friday, October 27.
The Marvels (November 10)
Straight from the post-credits scene of Ms. Marvel and the mid-credits scene of WandaVisionthe sequel to Captain Marvel finds Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) reunited with Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and introduced to Ms. Marvel herself, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). Somehow, the powers of all three heroines have been intrinsically linked, and they switch places whenever they use their abilities, no matter how far away they are from each other.
While Kamala idolizes Carol, Monica’s feelings toward her unofficial aunt have cooled considerably in the decades since they last saw each other. But any lingering tensions will have to wait. The Marvels is a Marvel movie, after all. And that means there will be bigger stakes than mere broken familial bonds and hard feelings.
The Marvels will open in theaters on Friday, November 10.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (November 17)
You won’t find Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes because this is a prequel story that is set decades before The Hunger Games. So instead of Katniss, the only major returning character is Coriolanus “Coryo” Snow, who was played by Donald Sutherland in the original films.
For this story, Tom Blyth portrays Snow, who is the reluctant mentor of Lucy Gray Baird (Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ Rachel Zegler). But once Snow realizes that Lucy has a real chance at winning the 10th Hunger Games, he believes that she may be his ticket to the political power that he’s craved for his entire life. And all Lucy has to do to help Snow achieve his dream is to defeat and likely murder 23 young men and women whose own survival depends on their ability to kill her.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will open in theaters on Friday, November 17.
Next Goal Wins (November 17)
After Thor: Love and Thunder leaned far too heavily into farce, perhaps it’s best if director Taika Waititi spends more time on actual comedies. Waititi’s latest film, Next Goal Winsis loosely based on a real story. Michael Fassbender stars as Thomas Rongen, a soccer coach who has the unenviable task of transforming the American Samoa national team into a group that can qualify for the World Cup.
Coach Rongen really has his work cut out for him with this team of misfits. But let’s put it this way: Studios don’t usually make many sports movies that have downbeat endings, so you can probably guess how this is going to go. Waititi is a gifted filmmaker with a knack for comedy, so the humor and the heartfelt drama will be the big draw for this one.
Next Goal Wins will open in theaters on Friday, November 17.