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The best sci-fi/fantasy TV and film coming in 2022

The best sci-fi/fantasy TV and...
Moonfall promises classic end of the world disaster thrills as the Moon suddenly begins plummeting towards the Earth
Moonfall promises classic end of the world disaster thrills as the Moon suddenly begins plummeting towards the Earth
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A recently released logo offering the only official look to date at the branding of the upcoming sequels
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A recently released logo offering the only official look to date at the branding of the upcoming sequels
Apart from a torrent of fan made posters we are yet to see any official images from the upcoming Kenobi series
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Apart from a torrent of fan made posters we are yet to see any official images from the upcoming Kenobi series
Almost nothing is known about this mysterious sci-fi film starring Adam Driver
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Almost nothing is known about this mysterious sci-fi film starring Adam Driver
Distant looks to be a lighter spin on the "stranded on an alien planet" genre
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Distant looks to be a lighter spin on the "stranded on an alien planet" genre
The ongoing book series now has nine entries for the series to work off
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The ongoing book series now has nine entries for the series to work off
Gibson's books have rarely made it to the screen successfully but this could be the one to break the curse
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Gibson's books have rarely made it to the screen successfully but this could be the one to break the curse
David Bowie's 1976 film adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth is a pretty iconic act to follow for any modern TV version
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David Bowie's 1976 film adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth is a pretty iconic act to follow for any modern TV version
An epic romance from the director of Mad Max hinged around a genie offering three wishes to a scholar
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An epic romance from the director of Mad Max hinged around a genie offering three wishes to a scholar
Moonfall promises classic end of the world disaster thrills as the Moon suddenly begins plummeting towards the Earth
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Moonfall promises classic end of the world disaster thrills as the Moon suddenly begins plummeting towards the Earth
The video game adaptation stars Jack Black and Cate Blanchett
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The video game adaptation stars Jack Black and Cate Blanchett
Alongside a new live-action series Netflix is producing several animated Resident Evil movies
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Alongside a new live-action series Netflix is producing several animated Resident Evil movies
View gallery - 11 images

Over the last year we have had long-awaited adaptions of classic science fiction and fantasy stories finally reach our screens, from Dune to Foundation to Wheel of Time. And the good times are set to continue with a tidal wave of big sci-fi and fantasy stories set to hit our screens in 2022.

This handpicked list of upcoming highlights doesn’t include a few big adaptations that we touched on in last year’s list but are still yet to reach our screens. So check our 2020 rundown for a look at titles including The Lord of the Rings, Sandman, Halo and The Last of Us.

Avatar 2 (December, cinemas)

A recently released logo offering the only official look to date at the branding of the upcoming sequels
A recently released logo offering the only official look to date at the branding of the upcoming sequels

The success of Avatar feels like a distant memory from a time back in 2010 when 3D films still impressed and Marvel hadn’t taken over the world. As the years passed, James Cameron’s plans for one sequel expanded into four more films, which would be shot back to back.

We now know Cameron has already shot most of episodes two and three, with Avatar 2 rumored to explore ocean worlds of the planet Pandora. Love it or hate it you will be seeing a lot more of the Avatar world over the next few years, and James Cameron is such an obsessive innovator these films will at the very least be technologically impressive.

Kenobi (Disney+)

Apart from a torrent of fan made posters we are yet to see any official images from the upcoming Kenobi series
Apart from a torrent of fan made posters we are yet to see any official images from the upcoming Kenobi series

Following the success of The Mandalorian, Disney+ has gone all in on Star Wars TV series. A Boba Fett series is starting now and a prequel series to the film Rogue One, called Andor, is coming in 2022, but this six-episode Obi Wan-Kenobi story is perhaps the most interesting.

With Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Kenobi from the infamous 1990s prequels and Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader, the plot reportedly picks up 10 years after the end of Revenge of the Sith as Kenobi keeps a distant eye on young Luke Skywalker before the events of the original Star Wars film A New Hope.

65 (April, cinemas)

Almost nothing is known about this mysterious sci-fi film starring Adam Driver
Almost nothing is known about this mysterious sci-fi film starring Adam Driver

Moving away from the big familiar brands, one of the more mysterious properties scheduled for release in 2022 is titled 65. Starring Adam Driver, little is known about this big-budget sci-fi thriller beyond the one-line premise: “an astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he's not alone.”

The film comes from writer/director pair Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, best known for penning the original screenplay for A Quiet Place. Adam Driver doesn’t usually pick generic projects to work on, so this strange film is worth keeping an eye on.

Distant (September, cinemas)

Distant looks to be a lighter spin on the "stranded on an alien planet" genre
Distant looks to be a lighter spin on the "stranded on an alien planet" genre

Another "stranded on an alien planet" film, but this one is potentially a bit lighter than the horror-tinged 65. Produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, Distant follows an asteroid miner who is battling his AI-controlled survival suit while trekking to find a fellow crew member before she runs out of oxygen.

The film is directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, known for comedies such as Blades of Glory and Office Christmas Party. It’s unclear whether this is a straight up sci-fi comedy or whether it’s just a jaunty, fun, sci-fi action romp, but it certainly continues the trend of isolated sci-fi stories coming in 2022.

Wool (Apple TV+)

The ongoing book series now has nine entries for the series to work off
The ongoing book series now has nine entries for the series to work off

Say what you will about Apple but it certainly is dedicated to spending some big money on interesting science fiction television, from For All Mankind (a great alternate history show more people need to watch) to Foundation, Invasion and See. Wool is based on a series of self-published dystopian stories set in a future where humanity has been forced to live in massive underground silo cities because the above-ground world has become toxic.

Graham Yost, creator of the great TV series Justified, is heading the writing team, and the all-star cast includes Tim Robbins, Rebecca Ferguson and Rashida Jones. The first season is still in production, so this one may not appear until 2023, but fans of post-apocalyptic sci-fi could be in for a long-running treat as there are already nine books in the big ongoing Silo series for the TV show writers to work off.

The Peripheral (Amazon)

Gibson's books have rarely made it to the screen successfully but this could be the one to break the curse
Gibson's books have rarely made it to the screen successfully but this could be the one to break the curse

Although Amazon is dropping billions of dollars on huge fantasy productions such as The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time, it also has shown respectable interest in science fiction properties (most notably resurrecting The Expanse after its network TV cancellation). The most excitingly ambitious title on Amazon’s upcoming slate is an adaption of legendary author William Gibson’s dense epic The Peripheral.

Gibson’s novel alternates between two future timelines in complex ways, so it is unsurprising it caught the attention of Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Thriller author Scott Smith was the original show runner before recently being replaced by Greg Plageman, who worked with Nolan on Person of Interest (a very good cyberpunk kind of sci-fi show with obvious William Gibson inspiration). Perhaps most promising is the attachment of fantastic director Vincenzo Natali who will undoubtedly ensure this thing looks incredible, even if it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

The Man Who Fell To Earth (Showtime)

David Bowie's 1976 film adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth is a pretty iconic act to follow for any modern TV version
David Bowie's 1976 film adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth is a pretty iconic act to follow for any modern TV version

Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel is a classic piece of 20th century science fiction that made for an equally iconic science fiction film in the 1970s starring David Bowie. The story, which tells of an alien undercover on Earth working to build a spaceship to ferry his population to our planet, is certainly ripe for a modern-day adaptation, but the jury is out over whether the creative team working on this is fit for the job.

The adaptation is led by prolific creator/producer Alex Kurtzman, best known for penning many modern Star Trek TV and film entries, alongside the 2007 Transformers film, Cowboys & Aliens, and Mission: Impossible III. On the plus side Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing the central alien role and he elevates everything he is part of, so this one could go either way.

Three Thousand Years of Longing (undated, cinemas)

An epic romance from the director of Mad Max hinged around a genie offering three wishes to a scholar
An epic romance from the director of Mad Max hinged around a genie offering three wishes to a scholar

An epic fantasy romance starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton from the writer and director of the Max Max films. George Miller is a unique artist who doesn’t rush his projects and it’s been seven years since his last film, Mad Max: Fury Road.

All we know is a two-sentence premise telling of a meeting between a scholar and a Djinn. The scholar is offered three wishes and the consequences are unexpected. I’d roll my eyes if this was from anyone else, but Miller doesn’t do things by half, so fans of big weird fantasy should keep their eye on this one.

Moonfall (February, cinemas)

MOONFALL - official trailer

I have a soft spot for big, dumb Roland Emmerich disaster movies. Independence Day, 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow are all perfect examples of a specific type of globe-spanning "everything explodes" movie. Basically, how you feel about those movies will determine your level of excitement for Moonfall.

The hook here is something mysterious knocks the Moon from its orbit, sending it on a collision course with Earth. Halle Berry stars as a former astronaut with the knowledge to save the world, but can she convince the powers that be to believe her in time? Big explosions will ensue.

Borderlands (undated, cinemas)

The video game adaptation stars Jack Black and Cate Blanchett
The video game adaptation stars Jack Black and Cate Blanchett

A space western action comedy based on a video game series from a director most known for horror films and the writer of HBO’s Chernobyl series and The Hangover movies. How’s that for a "this could go either way" synopsis?

Not knowing the video game series it's hard to get a gauge on the tone of this thing, but the cast is certainly impressive – Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. Could this capture the sci-fi fun vibe Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop series was trying to achieve?

Resident Evil (Netflix)

Alongside a new live-action series Netflix is producing several animated Resident Evil movies
Alongside a new live-action series Netflix is producing several animated Resident Evil movies

Yep, you read it right, another adaptation of Resident Evil. This time it’s Netflix producing an eight-episode series penned by one of the head writers of the long-running TV show Supernatural.

The story reportedly spans two timelines – one set before the viral outbreak that turned everyone into furious zombies and another set in the post-apocalyptic future. No Milla Jovovich here, but instead we get a fresh cast of new faces and a director who cut her teeth on The Walking Dead.

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12 comments
12 comments
NMBill
Not much to get excited about here. Avatar 1 was as hackneyed as you'd expect from James Cameron. I expect the subsequent movies to be ponderous, self important and - like the original - wildly overrated.
Obi Wan? Really? With Hayden Christensen? Enough said.
The Man Who Fell to Earth without David Bowie? Totally unnecessary. No way it will fare well by comparison. I mean, David Bowie really WAS from another planet.
Video game spinoffs? That's what you do when you've run out of ideas. The fanboys will go see these movies - and hate them. No one else will care.
Moonfall sounds fun but Halle Berry is so1990s. The premise is interesting enough to find an audience and Berry does have appeal. I'll probably pay good money to see this one.
It seems the long form TV series is where's it's at, creatively speaking. A couple of those projects sound promising. We'll see. Thanks for the summary.
MikeofLA
I'm pretty sure there are only 3 books in the Silo series from Hugh Howey. Wool, Shift, and Dust. If there are 6 more I am unaware of, please provide me a link as this series spends a lot of time in my head rent-free and I would love to read more... with that said, it ended really well and I'm not sure there is enough to make more stories that don't depart from the original premise too much.
History Nut
Looking through your list, I see too many reboots of past successful films/ideas. There are literally thousands of great original science fiction books/stories out there that would be better choices for new films/TV. I would love for someone to take on "Redliners" or "The Sleeping Planet" and make them into movies. I kind of understand the industry trend to redo or sequal already successful movies as they have to convince financers to back projects. I suppose I will watch some of these but hope the actors and directors show respect to their audiences.
Chuck COPPOLA
Any word on Iain M. Banks' "Consider Phlebas" movie?
Dave Reynolds
Will they be Woke versions? I had been looking forward to a good movie version of the Foundation series for decades. What we got were flipped sexes and as many obviously unwhite characters as the crew could pull together to the extent that it was painfully obvious the intent. We get Demerzel who really is (spoiler) R. Daneel Olivaw who should have rather more closely resembled Data rather than a white Android gal dressed in something reminiscent of a Victorian era dress who behaved in a very non-3-Laws fashion.

Most of the rest did not resemble any of the story line in the least. It looked like a sixteen year old girl wrote it...one with a lot of guilt for being white, or one with an axe to grind against whites.

We're I author Isaac Asimov's I would be insulted and angry. If these guys want to write their own mythos, then great. But don't steal someone else's title and theme and destroy it. Write your own.
Longtermthinker
Regarding “Moonfall”, does anyone remember the movie “Independance Day” by this director. My memory of it was it was the prrecursor to what has become standard fare these days, bloated budgets, massive effects, pedestrian dialogue, emotionally void, totally forgettable. Anyone willing to second the nomination of “Wind Up Girl” to the list of great stories passed over.

Phaedrus
When I saw "The Man Who Fell to Earth" and a picture of Tilda Swinton I was stoked, thinking she's reprise Bowie's role! That would have been epic! Sadly I see she's attached to a different movie (which I might watch anyway).
Michael Lauzon
In regards to "The Man Who Fell To Earth" on Showtime, did you know they did a made-for-TV movie that was a pilot for a weekly series, however, it wasn't picked up..?!
Juanjo
Answering to MikeofLA: so do I. I think there are only three books. The author is not excellent, but you can read him well. He also has good ideas, but ¿6 more books?
That's not true. Regards
Juanjo
Answering to Chuck COPPOLA: that would be a GREAT movie, if properly managed. Iain Banks is at the same level, in Olimpo, as Asimov. At least. I was so, so, sorry of his death. A genious.
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