As we settle into the new year, the TimeOut team is looking ahead to what this year may bring in the world of entertainment - from Disney remakes to superstar comebacks.
So without further ado:
TimeOut predicts 2019 will be the year of...
THE END OF POP CULTURE STAPLES
In April, Marvel nuts will need a hug when Avengers: Endgame rounds out their favourite trilogy. In June, Toy Story 4 signals the probable end of the popular animated Pixar hit. Get your hankies ready in June, Game of Thrones fans, because the grim and violent TV saga is about to end. Likewise, Star Wars addicts will need tissues in December for the close of the Skywalker saga with Star Wars: Episode IX hitting big screens. There's no need to worry though: a host of spin-offs, prequels and sequels are bound to be in the works.
Speaking of, Disney is releasing a slew of new movies including an ever-increasing selection of "live-action" (whatever that means these days) remakes. Slated for release this year is Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King and Mulan. On top of that, there are a bunch of sequels coming our way, including the aforementioned Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Star Wars: Episode IX and also Frozen 2. They're also introducing comic and book adaptations Captain Marvel and Artemis Fowl. Between killer visuals and classic stories, hopefully Disney can win over a whole new generation.
Everyone wants to make this year's Black Panther, so 2019 is bound to see a lot of content creators tripping over themselves to tick the ol' diversity boxes. So far, this hasn't been going too well as fans can see right through the tokenism, but the hope is that practice will make perfect and that Hollywood makes room for new voices who can tell more diverse stories from the heart. Is this overly optimistic? Probably. But at least we're now running in the right direction.
LOCAL TV STEPPING UP
After failed ideas (Filthy Rich, Dirty Laundry) and reboots (Westside), a whole lot of new local productions will debut this year. We're talking The Gulf, The Bad Seed, Golden Boy, Mean Mums, Educators, The Luminaries, Mystic, Fresh Eggs, Straight Forward, The Basement, Life is Easy, The High Road and more. Basically, it's shaping up to be a massive year for Kiwi TV.
Up to 25,000 people showed up for last year's Friday Jams festival – not bad for a Sunday event. The Western Springs festival delivered one hell of a nostalgia kick, with Usher and Lil Jon as headliners. That's set to continue with Aqua and Blue performing at So Pop in February. With a trend like that, you can guarantee Friday Jams will return. Let's hope it's on a Friday this time - and that Missy Elliott is headlining.
BANDS CREATING THEIR OWN FESTIVALS
Why headline someone else's festival when you can create one all of your own? Mumford & Sons have just done it, so has Nicki Minaj at Fomo By Night. And Six60 are doing it too in February. Overseas, everyone from Pearl Jam to Post Malone to Jay Z to Travis Scott has their own day-long events, and guess who's headlining? Yep, your ego must be huge if you name yourself as the headliner of your own festival. But it looks like it's a trend that's here to stay.
BIG ARTIST COMEBACKS
The Strokes, Missy Elliott, Rihanna, Kanye, Adele, Coldplay, Tool, Pearl Jam, Dido, Avril Lavigne, Weezer, Lana Del Rey, Childish Gambino and The Chemical Brothers all have major album releases planned this year. So you can bet your bottom dollar that promoters will be lining up some very big tours to coincide with them. Let's spark a few rumours: will Beyonce and Jay Z finally make it here? If so, can we have The Strokes too, please? And let's throw in Rihanna, just because she's awesome.
Heavy hitters like Netflix and Amazon aren't the only ones vying for the top spot. In 2019, a whole host of newcomers are elbowing for room. As well as recent launches by YouTube, Facebook and Apple, Disney, DC, Warner Brothers and even Walmart are planning to launch their own streaming platforms this year. Will consumers suddenly have to pay for multiple services at a time? Or will companies bundle them up for us with our power and phone bills? If we can't get everything in one place, will pirating make a major comeback? All this remains to be seen – this is new territory and it's hard to know whether to be excited or concerned.
HYBRID SCRIPTED-NONFICTION SHOWS
'What?' we hear you say. We know, it's a terrible term, but it's happening. One of last year's best films, American Animals, combined documentary interviews with those involved in an art heist in Transylvania with young actors depicting the actual deed. The results were incredibly compelling. The trend officially called "hybrid scripted-nonfiction shows", seems to be increasing, and already this year we've seen the debut of Valley of the Boom, a show about the beginning of the internet, that uses a similar technique. We're liking this trend, and we want more.
Based on the three singles we've heard from Broods' upcoming third album, Don't Feed the Pop Monster, the duo has struck a kind of magic that they hadn't quite found on their earlier records. On Peach, Everything Goes (Wow) and Hospitalized, Broods are more relaxed, colourful and inventive – and they sound like they're having 10 times as much fun as before. It's a musical rebirth for Georgia and Caleb Nott, who were dropped from their label after 2016's Conscious. It seems to have been a blessing in disguise, because Don't Feed the Pop Monster, which arrives February 1, is shaping up to be one of the great new albums of this year. That's not all: we hear there are new albums on the way by Tiny Ruins, Finn Andrews and, hopefully, Aldous Harding.
TV SHOWS MAKING A MOVIE COMEBACK
Remember Breaking Bad? Of course, you do. Well, it's getting a "part-prequel, part-sequel" movie this year, and Vince Gilligan is involved. Remember Deadwood? That's getting a movie too, one that will finally give closure to fans of the show after its untimely demise following its third season. That's not all: remember The Sopranos? Yep, that's getting a movie too, this one a prequel set in the 60s, before Tony and co's time. All follow near-perfect television runs, so there's a lot of pressure on the creators not to stuff them up.
EVEN MORE AWFUL TRENDS
Hick-hop, which is basically hillbilly hip-hop, should never, ever have become a thing. It's also about time Baby shark disappeared. We're also over any kind of Netflix show telling us how to clean our house. Please stop flossing or doing any kind of Fortnite-inspired dancing. What's going on with superheroes and their capes? We can't tell who's saving what anymore. Maroon 5, please don't headline the Super Bowl - let Travis Scott do it. Perhaps it's also time for the Awop banking system at music festivals to wop off. All it seems to be good for is making more queues and charging us to spend money.