Women are taking the lead in Hollywood. More and more actresses are producing. More female-led movies are getting the greenlight. Whether it’s in the form of gender-swapped movies like Ocean’s 8 out today, or movies that shine a spotlight on forgotten women in history like Woman Walks Ahead starring Jessica Chastain, we’re excited! We thought we’d round up of all the female-led movies coming out in the next year.
Adrift – Starring Shailene Woodley – Out June 1st
Based on the book 'Red Sky in Mourning: The True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea.' By Tami Oldham, the movie is based on events that took place in 1983. Led by Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies, Divergent) she is also one of the film’s producers. According to reviews, she provides a solid anchor for the film about two free spirits who “unknowingly sail into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.”
Ocean’s 8 – Led by Sandra Bullock – Out June 8th
This all-star female cast (Rihanna, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina) led by Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean (Danny’s sister) who fresh out of jail, puts together an all female team to steal a necklace at the Met Gala. When asked if this film is a sign of progress, Cate Blanchett responded “This film is a wonderful, fun romp and piece of entertainment. If this is being forced by the media to stand for all female-centric films, it's an enormous pressure — it's unsustainable. And (whether it succeeds or fails), it makes it difficult for other films with women at the center to sink or swim on their own merit.” Sandra Bullock admitted that as a girl she would “dig up weeds from my parents' backyard, re-pot them, and sold them to our neighbors. I was entrepreneurial.” Anne Hathaway is being heralded as the best part of this movie playing an actress and a ridiculous parody of herself seen through the lens of the media.
Hereditary – Starring Toni Collette – Out June 8th
Also out today is the bone-chilling horror movie Hereditary. Milly Shapiro and Toni Colette star in a story about a family struggling to understand messages they are receiving following the death of the family matriarch. It is being hailed by some as the scariest movie of the year and proof that Toni Collette is one of our best leading ladies. The woman is on fire and is also in this year’s Hearts Beat Loud and Birthmarked. She also has 3 movies in production.
Technically Hearts Beat Loud is led by Nick Offerman but with the breakout performance by Kiersey Clemons, we thought we’d show you the trailer. This movie is out June 8th.
Boundaries – Starring Vera Farmiga – Out June 22nd
Laura (Farmiga) is a single mom who is trying to set-up boundaries in her life when her persistent pot-dealing father (a charming Christopher Plummer) calls after being kicked out of yet another retirement home. A “wacky” road trip leads to a meeting with her ex played by Bobby Carnivale. The story is loosely based on director/writer Shana Feste’s own life and in particular a road trip she took with her own father. Vera said of working with Plummer “We clicked right away; me with Plummer is like a dog left alone with his hamburger,” Farmiga told Entertainment Weekly of the actors’ dynamic. “The world just drops away, and I eat him up because he’s so delicious. Don’t let his prestige and his fancy-schmancy aura fool you. He’s a clown, he’s a jester, the sort of person you just laugh with most of the time. He’s the goddamn life of the party still at 88.” We can’t wait to enjoy this cast’s chemistry that includes Peter Fonda, the always hilarious Kristen Schaal, and the acclaimed Lewis MacDougall who plays Laura’s son Henry.
Leave No Trace – Written & Directed by Debra Granik – Out June 29th
This movie gets a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a father coping with PTSD and his teenage daughter Tom who live off the grid in an urban park in Portland, Oregan when something pulls them away from their ideal world. New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie is being compared to Jennifer Lawrence whose role in this director’s A Winter’s Bone took Sundance “by storm”. I have only seen the trailer, but there is something about the conflict between a father who wants to shield them from the real world and his daughter who wants to find a sense of home that resonates in these times.
Woman Walks Ahead – Starring Jessica Chastain, Director Susanna White – Out June 29th
Jessica Chastain plays Catherine Weldon a portrait painter who lived in Brooklyn in the 1880’s. She travels by train to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull. She becomes involved in his peoples' fight to protect their sacred land. Jessica, a known advocate for gender equality, told the Hollywood Reporter. "We made the film for not that much money," she says. (This was one of the times when social consciousness was relatively unlucrative: Chastain reportedly received less than $1 million for the role, and the film had an estimated $5 million budget.) "And to be quite honest, there were three main reasons I made it: forgotten women in history, [director] Susanna White and Michael Greyeyes," a mostly unknown, deeply charismatic actor who plays Sitting Bull. "He's a great actor and an incredible thinker and man," says Chastain. "His parents had been taken away from their parents to be raised in Caucasian households to get the indigenous culture out of them — that was the goal. It's devastating."
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again – Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep – Out July 20th
Cher makes an appearance in this sequel to the first Mamma Mia. It’s hard to resist the energy of powerhouses Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski. and Julie Walters. After she discovers she’s pregnant, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finds out about her mother’s past. Lily James (Cinderella, Baby Driver) plays a young Donna (Meryl Streep) and it looks like she can sing. Gorgeous Greek vistas and men that can sing and dance…what could be more fun?
The Spy Who Dumped Me – Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon – Out August 3rd
I love the idea of these two together. Two best friends get tangled up in an international conspiracy when it turns out that Audrey’s (Mila Kunis) ex boyfriend was an FBI agent. They come up with a plan to save the world. What could go wrong?
Crazy Rich Asians – Constance Wu – Out August 15th
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, we follow Rachel (Wu) as she travels to Singapore for her boyfriend Nick’s best-friend’s wedding. Turns out Nick is from a very wealthy family and is a sought-after bachelor. He says of himself that he is more “Harry” than “Will”. Rachel faces competition in a foreign world of wealth and status from women that want her out of the way.
The Wife – Starring Glenn Close – Out August 17th
This trailer gives me goose bumps. Glenn Close. Enough said. I wish I could watch Damages again for the first time.
Peppermint – Jennifer Garner – Out September 7th
From the director of Taken, a mother avenges the death of her family. This is Alias, but much darker.
A Simple Favor – Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively – Out September 14th
This screenplay was written by Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story) and is based on the book by Darcey Bell. Anna Kendrick plays Stephanie a mother and vlogger who investigates the disappearance of her best friend the mysterious Emily (Lively). I’m intrigued.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Melissa McCarthy – Out October 19th
This is not Life of the Party. This story about a desperate writer who gets herself into the forgery business and faces jail time looks original. It’s a huge leap for McCarthy, and for that reason I’m excited to see her show off her acting chops. Oscar talk perhaps?
The Girl in the Spider’s Web – Claire Foy – Out November 9th
The much-anticipated revenge thriller starring Elizabeth’s Claire Foy comes out this November. It is the sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Widows – Viola Davis – Out November 16th
A revenge thriller based in Chicago about four women who take matters into their own hands.
Mary Queen of Scots – Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan – Out December 7th
Directed by Josie Rourke, this is the life story of Mary Queen of Scots who attempts to overthrow her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.
Mary Poppins Returns – Emily Blunt – Out December 25th
It’s just a spoon full of sugar, but what else do (you and) the kids want on Christmas day? Meryl Streep, Emily Mortimer, and the lovely Ben Wishaw (The Hour) also star.
Wine Country – Directorial debut of Amy Poehler starring all her funny friends – Out TBD
A bunch of friends travel to Napa Valley to celebrate their 50th birthday. Yes and yes.
In the works…
We also have a new Nancy Myers movie (What Men Want, out January 2019), Legally Blonde 3, and Friendsgiving starring Billions’ Malin Ackerman to look forward to. Universal just paid 20 million dollars for the US Rights to 355. The spy thriller will star Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, and Fan Bingbing.
What female-led movies are you looking forward to?