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#BizTrends2019: What to look out for in film this year

Daniel Dercksen explains what we can look forward to gracing the silver screen in 2019.

Local is lekker

Local is definitely lekker in 2019 with the release of 12 new films that deal with family matters in 3 Days To Go and Kandasamys: The Wedding; romance in Love Lives Here  and Ander Mens; the trials and tribulations of Dominie Tienie; coming-of-age adventures in Kings Of Mulberry Street and Matwetwe, and Die Stropers; the classic stories of Racheltjie De Beer, Die Seemeeu and Fiela Se Kind; and Sew The Winter To My Skin is a rousing, action-adventure epic set in early 1950.

Animals rule

Animals of all shapes and kinds rule the big screen next year: there’s deadly shark action in 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter; dogs and humans reconnect in A Dog’s Way Home and A Dog’s Journey;  the mighty Godzilla: King Of The Monsters face-off against a battery of god-sized monsters, Hiccup dreams of a peaceful dragon utopia in How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; a chubby cat is treated like royalty in Marnie’s World, and The Queen’s Corgi gets lost.

Assassins take action

Galveston is a heavy-drinking criminal enforcer and mob hit man whose boss set him up in a double-cross scheme; Gemini Man is an elite assassin who becomes the target of a mysterious young operative; an assassin is framed for the attempted assassination of the president in Angel Has Fallen; andThe Sister’s Brothers are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and hostile world.

Animation on trend

Animation films are always trendy and in 2019 fans can indulge in more fantastic escapades of a young Yeti in Abominable; a goofy stork mistakenly delivers a baby panda to the wrong door in The Brig Trip; unconventionality rules Ugly Dolls; and there are more laughs in the sequels of Angry Birds, Frozen, The Lego Movie, The Secret Life Of Pets, and Toy Story 4.  


Supernatural-phenomena and vengeful ghosts have grown popular in status with films like the Conjuring and continue its reign in 2019 with Annabelle 3The Curse of La LloronaGrudge, and Happy Death Day 2U.


Spin-off movies are gaining popularity with the release of Men in Black: International, a spin-off of the Men in Black film series, Hobbs And Shaw is a spin-off of characters in Fast and Furious, and Joker tells the origin story of the Clown Prince of Crime.

Remakes of classics

2019 is definitely the year of epic live-action re-imaginings of classic stories: Will Smith plays the Genie in Aladdin, the newborn elephant Dumbo will steal many hearts, and The Lion King is one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Period films

Period films are making a comeback with The Aftermath, set in postwar Germany in 1946, The Favourite focuses on the behind-the-scenes politics between two cousins jockeying to be court favourites during the reign of Queen Anne in the early 18th century, Mary Queen Of Scots Queen tries to reclaim her rightful throne, and Tom Hanks crosses the treacherous North Atlantic in a US destroyer while hotly pursued by wolf packs of Nazi U-boats in Greyhound.

Teenagers are having a hard time in Beautiful Boy and Boy ErasedThe Prodigy, Dumplin’, Eighth Grade, Dora The Explorer, The Goldfinch, If Beale Street Could Talk and Shazam!


Get ready for an excess of sequels with Avengers 4Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station, IT Chapter 2John Wick 3: Parabellum, Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle 2, Stars Wars Episode IX, Terminator 6: Phoenix, and Zombieland 2.

Real-life stories

Real-life stories are always trendy and next year you can indulge in Rocketman, an epic musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Sir Elton John’s breakthrough years; The White Crow explores the life of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev; Tom Hanks plays beloved television icon Fred Rogers in You Are My Friend;The Old Man And The Gun is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker who escaped from San Quentin at the age of 70, and Judi Dench plays one of the most influential spies in living history in Red Joan.


Out with the old and in with the new is always fashionable, and next year you can see remakes of Call of the WildDeath on the NileHellboyPet Sematary, andWhat Men Want, and The Upside is a remake of the French film The Intouchables.

Small-screen hits

Small-screen hit TV shows are also brought to life on the big screen in Downton AbbeyCharlie’s Angels and Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a big-screen adaptation of the ’90s anthology show. 

We all need more heroes in our lives and next year there’s Captain Marvel, Dark Phoenix, The New Mutants, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Alita: Battle to Save Humanity.

About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. Visit
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