A new year means new things—so many new things, across comics, TV, books, games, and films—to look forward to. But even with so many things promising us they’ll actually release this year (we’ve been burned by the past two years, to no one’s surprise), here’s a few of the things that the io9 staff is looking forward to the most.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island and The Witch From Mercury – Last year was a pretty good one for Gundam, considering we finally got the release of the first movie in a trilogy adapting Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Hathway’s Flash novels, and it even ruled on top of that. Having spent so much of the year revisiting the series’ past, it’s exciting that in 2022 we have two new projects that speak to the different desires my newtype brain is pulled between for where Gundam goes next.
The first is nostalgia: the new movie Cucuruz Doan’s Island, a throwback adaptation of an episode of the original Gundam series, remade and re-imagined by that show’s original character designer and one of its lead animation directors, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. The second is the complete opposite: The Witch From Mercury, the first brand-new original Gundam TV series since 2015’s Iron Blooded Orphans. Is it set in a new Gundam timeline or one of the familiar ones? What’s it about? What will the mobile suits look like? Who’s the Witch from Mercury? Hell, will it be good or bad? I’ve got no idea, and that is exciting.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Part One – After being pleasantly surprised over how much I enjoyed No Way Home, you’d think I might be Spider-people’d out coming into 2022. But there’s absolutely no chance of that happening when a sequel to the greatest superhero movie of all time, Into the Spider-Verse, is on the way. It already looks gorgeous, it’s going to have X-Wing pilot of my heart Oscar Isaac in it as Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099, and it might even have the emissary of hell himself Takuya Yamashiro, the Spider-Man of Toei’s live action tokusatsu series. Can it be October? Now? Please?
Nope – New. Jordan. Peele. Horror. Movie. We don’t know much about Nope aside from its killer cast (Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun) and the eerie vibes suggested by its poster—not to mention that title, which is in keeping with the short-yet-evocative titles of Peele’s previous films and is equally loaded with gallons of creepy promise. It’s out July 22 and I’m already counting down the days.
The Orville: New Horizons – The last time a new episode of The Orville aired was all the way back in April 2019. The Seth MacFarlane sci-fi series—which seemed at first to be little more than a Star Trek homage, then ended up surprising us with its endearing characters, clever writing, and weirdly successful tonal blend of sincerity and snark—announced a shift from Fox to Hulu in July 2019, which was exciting news! But thanks to the state of the world, the show’s return was greatly delayed… something that’ll change in March, when season three, dubbed The Orville: New Horizons, finally premieres. It’ll be a weekly release rather than a binge drop, which means week to week we can remain in suspense if we’ll ever get to see Bortus flex his karaoke skills.
Horizon: Forbidden West – Everyone has that book, movie or game that sucks them back. For example, in the 2000s, the Harry Potter books did that to kids and adults who’d maybe stopped reading for pleasure. Five years ago, Horizon Zero Dawn did that for me with video games. I’d still play games here and there, but Horizon’s incredible story, characters, and world got me hooked on an entire pocket of entertainment I’d begun to forget. The fact that 2022 is finally bringing the sequel, one that looks bigger and better than the original, has me knowing I’m going to spend weeks of my life exploring it during 2022.
Lightyear – We thought Toy Story 3 would be it. But then there was Toy Story 4. Where could Pixar bring its most valuable brand after that? Surely there was nowhere… except to infinity, and beyond. Lightyear is Pixar’s attempt at explaining why Buzz Lightyear was such a cool toy to Andy. Theoretically, it’s a blockbuster movie that was released in the Toy Story world which spun off the Buzz Lightyear animated series, and the toy that Andy received for Christmas. There are a lot (and we mean a lot) of reboots and sequels coming in 2022, but none tackle a franchise in as unique and creative a way as Lightyear.
Urusei Yatsura – The manga that launched Inuyasha and Ranma ½ creator Rumiko Takahashi to fame, Urusei Yatsura, became an anime that ruled Japan in the early ‘80s. It’s an utterly sci-fi comedy centered around the world’s unluckiest high school student, Ataru Moroboshi, and the tiger-striped, bikini-wearing alien Lum, who’s convinced she’s Ataru’s fiancée and electrocutes him every time his eye wanders, which is constantly. The series is absolutely bonkers—in one episode, the world could be inexplicably conquered by yams; in another, Ataru accidentally summons the devil with his jogging route—which makes it one of my top three favorite anime (I even have a Lum tattoo). So the January 1 announcement that Urusei Yatsura is getting a new anime series later this year has me beyond stoked.
Thor: Love and Thunder – Jason Aaron’s run on Mighty Thor produced some of my favorite comics of all time, especially when Jane Foster wields Mjolnir as the new Goddess of Thunder. When it was announced at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con that the next Thor film would tell her tale—by the spectacular image of director Taiki Waititi handing Thor’s hammer to the returning Natalie Portman—my jaw dropped. I would have been plenty excited just for a new Thor movie from Waititi after the deliriously fun Ragnarok. But between Jane Foster’s Thor and the news that Russell Crowe will be appearing in the film as Zeus, bringing the Greek pantheon to the MCU, Love and Thunder is the only film in 2022 I’d risk going into a theater for.
What has you most excited about in 2022? Let us know in the comments below—and stay tuned to io9 next week as we look ahead to some more comprehensive lists of what to expect this year in film and TV!
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