Clockwise from top left: <i>My Big Fat Green Wedding 3 </i>, <i>Napoleon</i>, <i>Priscilla</i>, <i>Flora and Son</i>. Center: <i>Cassandro</i> Credit -
Amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the fall movie slate has been in a constant state of flux. The inability of striking actors, in particular, to promote their work (with some exceptions) has stoked studios’ concerns around getting audiences out to theaters. Some movies, like Zendaya starrers Dune: Part Two and Challengers, have been pushed into 2024. Others, like the next MCU installment The Marvels, remain on the fall calendar.
Despite the uncertainty, there are still plenty of hotly anticipated films due this coming season, including Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and a new take on The Exorcist. Others coming to big and small screens near you include film-festival critical darlings from Cassandro (starring Gael García Bernal and Bad Bunny) to Fair Play, a steamy Sundance thriller acquired by Netflix for $20 million out of Sundance.
Even amid the chaos, there’s plenty of hope for great films in the coming season. Below, we’ve gathered our most anticipated movies slated to come out between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Sept. 8)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is based on the heartwarming YA novel of the same name by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Two Mexican American teenagers, Aristotle Mendoza (Max Pelayo) and Dante Quintana (Reese Gonzales), develop a friendship after meeting at a swimming pool in 1987 El Paso, Texas. The two grow closer and start to develop feelings for each other as they discover what it means to be in love and explore both their identities and, as the title suggests, some bigger questions, as well. Eva Longoria and Eugenio Derbez co-star.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (Sept. 8)
If you’re looking for a cozy trip down nostalgia lane, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 has got the goods. More than 20 years after they first met onscreen, Nia Vardalos and John Corbett (a.k.a. Aidan) reunite with the Portokalos family for a trip to Greece, filled with familiar faces from the earlier films.
Cassandro (In theaters Sept. 15, streaming on Prime Video Sept. 22)
Cassandro first made waves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Based on a true story, the film follows a gay luchador named Saúl Armendáriz (Gael García Bernal) who dreams of winning despite constantly losing his matches. His trainer suggests that he try developing a new wrestling persona: an exótico character, or a queer luchador, who wears loud, colorful outfits. But his newfound fame and attention brings changes to his relationships with his family and his lover, Gerardo (Raúl Castillo). Also: Bad Bunny.
A Haunting in Venice (Sept. 15)
The film adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel Hallowe’en Party' and third movie in the franchise that includes Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile is just around the corner. A Haunting in Venice, with Kenneth Branagh back as mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot alongside Tina Fey and Michelle Yeoh, will be an action-packed romp investigating the murder of a guest at a haunted séance in Italy.
Dumb Money (Sept. 15)
Director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) has turned the GameStop short squeeze phenomenon of 2021 into the comedy-drama Dumb Money, whose star-studded cast includes Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, America Ferrera, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, Nick Offerman, and Seth Rogen. Dumb Money offers a crash course on the story of how a complicated web of Reddit investors, the financial services company Robinhood, and Wall Street hedge fund bailouts resulted in a historic retail trading battle.
Flora and Son (In select theaters Sept. 22, streaming on Apple+ Sept. 29)
A musical dramedy directed by John Carney (Once, Sing Street), Flora and Son follows what happens when single mother Flora (Eve Hewson) introduces her troubled son Max (Orén Kinlan) to the wonders of music, only to find that it has something in store for her too. Her musical journey is supported from across an ocean by a Zoom guitar instructor played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The Creator (Sept. 29)
Gareth Edwards’ The Creator is a post-apocalyptic thriller about a war between humans and AI. John David Washington plays a bereaved ex-special forces agent seeking to track down the creator of a powerful AI. Gemma Chan and Ken Watanabe co-star.
Dicks: The Musical (Sept. 29)
Dicks: The Musical is a modern take on The Parent Trap, only instead of a young identical twin sisters conspiring to get their divorced parents back together, it centers around grown men. Two rival business owners (writers Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp) find out they are identical twins and decide to switch places so they can convince their parents (Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally) to get back together. SNL’s Bowen Yang and rap superstar Megan Thee Stallion also star in the comedic musical.
Fair Play (In select theaters on Sept. 29; streaming on Netflix Oct.13)
Fair Play, starring Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor and one-time young Han Solo Alden Ehrenreich, looks into the unraveling of a young couple’s engagement after they meet at a competitive hedge fund that forbids their relationship. Directed and written by Chloe Domont, the movie was acquired by Netflix for a whopping $20 million out of Sundance.
Saw X (Sept. 29)
In the tenth installment of the Saw franchise, John Kramer (Tobin Bell), is on the search for a medical procedure that would help cure his cancer. He hears of an experimental treatment being performed in Mexico, so he travels there to obtain it—only to find out that the medical professionals who performed the procedure scammed him. A terrifying game ensues.
The Burial (In select theaters Oct. 6, streaming on Prime Video Oct. 13)
In this legal drama based on a true story, attorney Willie Gary (Jamie Foxx) helps the owner of a bankrupt funeral home chain, Jeremiah O'Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones), and his fellow plaintiffs win over $500 million in damages against competitor executive Ray Loewen (Bill Camp). Friendships are forged along the way.
Foe (Oct. 6)
Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal star in Garth Davis' psychological drama, based on a novel by Iain Reid, about a couple living on a secluded farm who are thrown off-kilter by a stranger who arrives out of nowhere.
Reptile (Streaming on Netflix Oct. 6)
The Netflix thriller is set to make its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September before hitting the streamer. Director Grant Singer, who has directed music videos for pop stars like The Weeknd and Lorde, makes his feature directorial debut with this film about a detective in New England (Benicio Del Toro) seeking to solve the murder of a real estate agent. Justin Timberlake and Alicia Silverstone also star.
Anatomy of a Fall (Oct.13)
This French thriller directed by Justine Triet is about a woman (Sandra Hüller) trying to prove her innocence after being suspected of the murder of her husband, with her blind son the only witness to his death. Anatomy of a Fall’s release has been highly anticipated after the Neon film won the Palme d’Or Award at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
The Exorcist: Believer (Oct. 13)
Starring Leslie Odom, Jr., Jennifer Nettles, and Ellen Burstyn, The Exorcist: Believer is a sequel to the original horror film, which was released 50 years ago and whose director, William Friedkin, died in early August. The sixth movie in the franchise, from Halloween franchise director David Gordon Green, revisits the 1973 movie about a young girl possessed by a demon who needs the help of priests to save her. This time, though, a new set of parents and possessed children are desperate to get help from the parents from the original film who went through the same experience.
Killers of the Flower Moon (Oct. 20)
Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May to a nine-minute standing ovation. The movie, based on David Grann’s nonfiction book of the same name, follows a series of murders that occurred within the Osage Nation in the 1920s, after oil was discovered on the land. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart falls in love with a Native American woman, Mollie Burkhart (Lily Gladstone), Robert De Niro plays Ernest’s uncle, William Hale, and Jesse Plemons takes on the role of Tom White, an FBI agent investigating the crimes.
Five Nights at Freddy’s (Oct. 27)
The long-awaited film adaptation of the computer game of the same name, Five Nights at Freddy’s is finally making its way to theaters and Peacock, starring The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson. He plays a young man, caring for his sister and haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother years earlier, who picks up a job as a security guard in an abandoned arcade called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. He’s told all he needs to do is keep an eye on the monitors, but he soon learns that the arcade's animatronic robots are more than meets the eye.
The Holdovers (Oct. 27)
With shades of Good Will Hunting, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers follows an uptight, unlikable boarding school teacher (Paul Giamatti) who gets stuck chaperoning the handful of kids who stay at the school during the holidays in 1970. He forms at first a hatred for, then a bond with, Angus (Dominic Sessa), a trouble-making teen who is always this close to being expelled, and the grieving head cook, Mary (Da'Vine Joy Randolph), as the three keep each other company throughout a snowy two weeks.
Fingernails (In theaters Oct. 27, streaming on Apple TV+ Nov. 3)
This sci-fi romance stars Oscar winner Riz Ahmed and Olivier Award winner Jessie Buckley in a story about a newly discovered test that “measures whether couples are truly in love.” Luke Wilson, Carey Mulligan, The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White, and Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy also star.
Priscilla (Oct. 27)
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic released in 2022 focused, naturally, on the King himself, only touching on the multifaceted life of his wife of six years, Priscilla Presley. Sofia Coppola's drama Priscilla tells her story, based on of her 1985 memoir Elvis and Me. The film stars Jacob Elordi as Elvis and Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and will have its premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival in September before releasing in theaters in October.
Pain Hustlers (Oct. 27)
Acquired by Netflix out of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, Pain Hustlers stars Chris Evans, Emily Blunt, Andy Garcia, and Jay Duplass in a story about a struggling woman whose work at a pharmaceutical startup leads her to unveil a shocking underlying scheme. The movie is based on Evan Hughes’ 2022 nonfiction book.
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (October TBA)
With shades of Barry Jenkins' Moonlight and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt follows a Mississippi woman throughout decades of her life, showing the heartbreak, love, and growth she moves through, and sometimes endures. A project from A24, the film garnered raves at Sundance.
Rustin (In theaters Nov. 3; streaming on Netflix Nov. 17)
Executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions, Rustin is a biographical drama about the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. The film, which releases on the heels of this year’s 60th anniversary of The March On Washington, tells the story Rustin's (Colman Domingo) contributions to the movement, which often came from behind the scenes due to his status as an openly gay man. Chris Rock and Audra McDonald also make up part of the ensemble cast.
Sly (Nov. 3)
Sylvester Stallone has had a prolific, headlining career, from the Rocky franchise to The Expendables (which also sees a new sequel out in September), as an Academy Award-winning actor and producer. This November he’ll be the center of the Netflix documentary Sly, which “offers an intimate look” into his life and parallels “his inspirational underdog story with the indelible characters he has brought to life.”
The Killer (Streaming on Netflix Nov. 10)
Streaming on Netflix in November after premiering at the Venice Film Festival, The Killer—directed by David Fincher of Gone Girl and The Social Network fame—is a psychological action thriller based on a French graphic novel of the same name about an assassin (Michael Fassbender) who starts to slowly lose his mind.
The Marvels (Nov. 10)
The Marvels is set to be the MCU’s last movie released this year, following Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Kamala Kahn (Iman Vellani) team up to “save the destabilized universe.” When Captain Marvel journeys through a wormhole, her powers and those of Kahn and Rambeau become entangled, so the three of them must work together to disentangle from one another. Nia DaCosta (Candyman) directs.
Dream Scenario (Nov. 10)
Nicholas Cage is back with this dark comedy from A24 about a teacher whose life turns upside-down after he starts appearing in millions of strangers' dreams. Noah Centineo, Adam Sandler, and Michael Cera co-star.
Quiz Lady (Streaming on Hulu Nov. 10)
Anne (Awkwafina), a woman obsessed with gameshows, teams up with her estranged sister Jenny (Sandra Oh) to help their mother pay her gambling debts. The two embark on a cross-country road trip after Anne’s dog is kidnapped, setting out to become gameshow champions along the way. The film is directed by Jessica Yu and stars include Holland Taylor, Will Ferrell, Jason Schwartzman, and Tony Hale.
The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Nov. 17)
When the original Hunger Games film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson debuted in 2012, the franchise became an international smash hit and made its lead actors household names. Over a decade after that first film, viewers are getting another chance to travel back to Panem, this time 64 years before the events of the first book. The prequel follows a young Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, as he navigates his feelings for the female District 12 tribute, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). Other big-name stars include Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Viola Davis, and Peter Dinklage.
Next Goal Wins (Nov. 17)
In 2001, the American Samoan soccer team suffered a brutal loss in a FIFA match, losing to Australia 31 to 0. Taika Waititi’s comedy Next Goal Wins, starring Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss, and Will Arnett, tells the story of a down-on-his-luck coach (Fassbender) sent across the ocean to try to lead the struggling team on their mission to score just one goal and avoid further humiliation.
Trolls 3: Band Together (Nov. 17)
Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick reprise their roles as Branch and Poppy in the third colorful, animated Trolls movie. The new movie reveals that Branch was a part of a boy band called BroZone along with his brothers: Floyd (Troye Sivan), Spruce (Daveed Diggs), John Dory (Eric André), and Clay (Kid Cudi). Floyd is kidnapped by two villains, Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells) so Branch and Poppy embark on a mission with the band of brothers to get him back.
Maestro (In theaters Nov. 22, streaming on Netflix Dec. 20)
Bradley Cooper writes, directs, produces, and stars in this drama about the iconic composer Leonard Bernstein and his marriage to Felicia Montealegre (played by Carey Mulligan).
Wish (Nov. 22)
Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) is set to star in this animated film alongside Chris Pine. The movie tells the story of the magical Wishing Star that the Disney characters wish upon. DeBose will voice Asha, the film’s protagonist, who embarks on a journey with a talking goat named Valentino (prolific voice actor Alan Tudyk) as they discover that they can make their dreams come true. Pine voices the king of Rosa, a magical kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, nicknamed the Kingdom of Wishes.
Napoleon (Nov. 22)
Coming in time for Thanksgiving weekend, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon stars Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix as the French military leader and self-crowned emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The action-packed film dives into the French revolutionary’s life journey and his relationship with his wife, Empress Joséphine, played by Vanessa Kirby.
Saltburn (Nov. 24)
Emerald Fennell follows up her Oscar win for Promising Young Woman with a drama set among privileged Oxford students, starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi.
Correction, Aug. 29
The original version of this story mischaracterized Josh Hutcherson's character in Five Nights at Freddy's. He plays a man caring for his younger sister, not for his daughter.