12 Anticipated Movies Coming to Theaters in December 2023

December 2023 will see the arrival of the final blockbuster releases of the year, including documentary concert film Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé, Wonka, a prequel to Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is the sequel to 2018’s Aquaman, the final installment in the DC Extended Universe, and more.

Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé

Release date: Friday, December 1

Named for her 2022 album, AMC Theatres Distribution’s concert film will reportedly feature additional behind-the-scenes “documentary” components in addition to concert footage. The R&B/pop superstar performs dozens of her biggest hits, including “Crazy In Love,” “Formation,” “Love on Top,” and “Run the World.”

Silent Night

Release date: Friday, December 1

From legendary director John Woo and the producer of John Wick comes this gritty revenge tale of a tormented father (Joel Kinnaman) who witnesses his young son die when caught in a gang’s crossfire on Christmas Eve. While recovering from a wound that costs him his voice, he makes vengeance his life’s mission and embarks on a punishing training regimen in order to avenge his son’s death. Full of Woo’s signature style, Silent Night redefines the action genre with visceral, thrill-a-minute storytelling.

Starring Joel Kinnaman, Scott Mescudi, Harold Torres and Catalina Sandino Moreno. Written by Robert Archer Lynn. Directed by John Woo.

The Boy and the Heron

Release date: Friday, December 8

Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature film in 10 years, The Boy and the Heron is a hand-drawn, original story written and directed by the Academy Award®-winning director. Produced by Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki, the film features a musical score from Miyazaki’s long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi. The theme song for the film “Spinning Globe” was penned and performed by global J-pop superstar Kenshi Yonezu.

English voice cast: Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, Florence Pugh

Wonka

Release date: Friday, December 15

Based on the extraordinary character at the center of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl’s most iconic children’s book and one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, “Wonka” tells the wondrous story of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today.

From Paul King, writer/director of the “Paddington” films, David Heyman, producer of “Harry Potter,” “Gravity,” “Fantastic Beasts” and “Paddington,” and producers Alexandra Derbyshire (the “Paddington” films, “Jurassic World: Dominion”) and Luke Kelly (“Roald Dahl’s The Witches”), comes an intoxicating mix of magic and music, mayhem and emotion, all told with fabulous heart and humor.

Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, this irresistibly vivid and inventive big screen spectacle will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time—proving that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is possible. Starring alongside Chalamet are Calah Lane (“The Day Shall Come”), Emmy and Peabody Award winner Keegan-Michael Key (“The Prom,” “Schmigadoon”), Paterson Joseph (“Vigil,” “Noughts + Crosses”), Matt Lucas (“Paddington,” “Little Britain”), Mathew Baynton (“The Wrong Mans,” “Ghosts”), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water,” the “Paddington” films, “Spencer”), Rowan Atkinson (the “Johnny English” and “Mr. Bean” films, “Love Actually”), Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”), with Oscar winner Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”). The film also stars Natasha Rothwell (“White Lotus,” “Insecure”), Rich Fulcher (“Marriage Story,” “Disenchantment”), Rakhee Thakrar (“Sex Education,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”), Tom Davis (“Paddington 2,” “King Gary”) and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (“Paddington 2,” “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” “Mary Poppins Returns”).

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Release date: Friday, December 22

Director James Wan and Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa—along with Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman—return in the sequel to the highest-grossing DC film of all time: “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”

Having failed to defeat Aquaman the first time, Black Manta, still driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down once and for all. This time Black Manta is more formidable than ever before, wielding the power of the mythic Black Trident, which unleashes an ancient and malevolent force. To defeat him, Aquaman will turn to his imprisoned brother Orm, the former King of Atlantis, to forge an unlikely alliance. Together, they must set aside their differences in order to protect their kingdom and save Aquaman’s family, and the world, from irreversible destruction.

All returning to the roles they originated, Jason Momoa plays Arthur Curry/Aquaman, now balancing his duties as both the King of Atlantis and a new father; Patrick Wilson is Orm, Aquaman’s half-brother and his nemesis, who must now step into a new role as his brother’s reluctant ally; Amber Heard is Mera, Atlantis’ Queen and mother of the heir to the throne; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is Black Manta, committed more than ever to avenge his father’s death by destroying Aquaman, his family and Atlantis; and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, a fierce leader and mother with the heart of a warrior. Also reprising their roles are Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus and Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin.

Directed by Wan, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is produced by Peter Safran, Wan and Rob Cowan. The executive producers are Galen Vaisman and Walter Hamada.

Migration

Release date: Friday, December 22

This holiday season, Illumination, creators of the blockbuster Minions, Despicable Me, Sing and The Secret Life of Pets comedies, invites you to take flight into the thrill of the unknown with a funny, feathered family vacation like no other in the action-packed new original comedy, Migration.

The Mallard family is in a bit of rut. While dad Mack is content to keep his family safe paddling around their New England pond forever, mom Pam is eager to shake things up and show their kids—teen son Dax and duckling daughter Gwen—the whole wide world. After a migrating duck family alights on their pond with thrilling tales of far-flung places, Pam persuades Mack to embark on a family trip, via New York City, to tropical Jamaica.

As the Mallards make their way South for the winter, their well-laid plans quickly go awry. The experience will inspire them to expand their horizons, open themselves up to new friends and accomplish more than they ever thought possible, while teaching them more about each other—and themselves—than they ever imagined.

From a screenplay by Mike White, the Emmy winning creator of The White Lotus and the screenwriter of School of Rock, the film stars a top-flight comedic cast led by Oscar® and Emmy nominee Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Eternals) as anxious Mallard dad Mack and Emmy nominee Elizabeth Banks (Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect franchises) as Pam, the Mallards’ daring, quick-witted matriarch.

Caspar Jennings plays Dax, the Mallards’ confident and restless son, and, in her feature film debut, Tresi Gazal plays Gwen, the family’s innocent and lovable daughter.

Golden Globe winner Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) voices the scrappy leader of a New York City pigeon gang; Emmy winner and Oscar® nominee Carol Kane (The Princess Bride) plays Erin the heron, the first friend that the Mallards make on their journey; Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key (The Super Mario Bros. Movie, The Lion King) voices a homesick Jamaican parrot locked away in a Manhattan restaurant, and BAFTA winner David Mitchell (Peep Show) plays the yogic leader of a mysterious duck farm. Legendary Emmy winner and Oscar® nominee Danny DeVito (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) co-stars as Mack’s curmudgeonly, adventure-averse Uncle Dan.

Directed by Benjamin Renner, the Oscar®-nominated filmmaker of Ernest & Celestine and The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, Migration is a visual spectacle unlike any in Illumination’s acclaimed history, featuring elevated, expressionist artistry and Illumination’s signature subversive humor and authentic heart, unforgettable characters and joyful soundtrack.

Produced by Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri, Migration is a film about overcoming your fears and opening yourself up to the world and its opportunities. The film is co-directed by Guylo Homsy (Head of Layout and Cinematography for Sing and Sing 2), edited by Christian Gazal (Happy Feet, Peter Rabbit) and the Production Designer is Colin Stimpson (The Secret Life of Pets 2).

Anyone But You

Release date: Friday, December 22

In the edgy comedy Anyone But You, Bea (Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell) look like the perfect couple, but after an amazing first date something happens that turns their fiery hot attraction ice cold – until they find themselves unexpectedly thrust together at a destination wedding in Australia. So they do what any two mature adults would do: pretend to be a couple.

Directed by: Will Gluck

Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell, Alexandra Shipp, GaTa, Hadley Robinson, Michelle Hurd, Dermot Mulroney, Darren Barnet, and Rachel Griffiths

The Iron Claw

Release date: Friday, December 22

The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, Kevin, Kerry and David, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports.

From writer/director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Nest) and starring Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Stanley Simons, with Holt McCallany and Lily James.

American Fiction

Release date: Friday, December 22

Starring Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, and Sterling K. Brown. From Writer/Director Cord Jefferson.

American Fiction is Cord Jefferson’s hilarious directorial debut, which confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes. Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

The Color Purple

Release date: Monday, December 25

Warner Bros. Pictures invites you to experience the extraordinary sisterhood of three women who share one unbreakable bond in “The Color Purple.” This bold new take on the beloved classic is directed by Blitz Bazawule (“Black Is King,” “The Burial of Kojo”) and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones.

“The Color Purple” stars Taraji P. Henson (“What Men Want,” “Hidden Figures”), Danielle Brooks (“Peacemaker,” “Orange Is the New Black”), Colman Domingo (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Fear the Walking Dead”), Corey Hawkins (“In the Heights,” “BlacKkKlansman”), H.E.R. (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration”), Halle Bailey (“The Little Mermaid,” “Grown-ish”), Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“King Richard,” “If Beale Street Could Talk”), and Fantasia Barrino (in her major motion picture debut).

The screenplay is by Marcus Gardley (“Maid,” “The Chi”), based on the novel by Alice Walker and based on the musical stage play, book (of the musical stage play) by Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. The executive producers Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini, Mara Jacobs, Adam Fell, Courtenay Valenti, Sheila Walcott and Michael Beugg.

Ferrari

Release date: Monday, December 25

It is the summer of 1957. Behind the spectacle of Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis. Bankruptcy threatens the factory he and his wife, Laura built from nothing ten years earlier. Their volatile marriage has been battered by the loss of their son, Dino a year earlier. Ferrari struggles to acknowledge his son Piero with Lina Lardi. Meanwhile, his drivers’ passion to win pushes them to the edge as they launch into the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the Mille Miglia.

Directed by Michael Mann

Written by Troy Kennedy Martin

Starring Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Sarah Gordon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O’Connell, and Patrick Dempsey

The Boys in the Boat

Release date: Monday, December 25

Based on the best-selling book about the inspirational true story of the 1936 University of Washington rowing team that competed for gold at the Summer Olympics in Berlin.

The Boys In The Boat, from director George Clooney, starring Joel Edgerton and Callum Turner.

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