Fall film slate packed with long-awaited sequels, literary adaptations

By Karen Butler
"IT Chapter 2" is slated for release on Sept. 6. Cast photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
1 of 4 | "IT Chapter 2" is slated for release on Sept. 6. Cast photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The fall 2019 movie season is packed with long-awaited sequels to beloved films and TV shows, along with meaty literary adaptations and celebrity biopics that are sure to be part of the conversation this Oscar season.

Here are 15 films coming to the big screen:



Sept. 6. IT Chapter Two takes place 27 years after Pennywise, the child-murdering clown (Bill Skarsgard), last terrorized the small New England town of Derry in the 2017 blockbuster, IT. Both movies were directed by Andy Muschietti and are based on the epic story by Stephen King. Chapter 2 features adult versions of the first film's Losers Club members Beverly (Jessica Chastain,) Bill (James McAvoy,) Richie (Bill Hader,) Mike (Isaiah Mustafa,) Ben (Jay Ryan,) Eddie (James Ransone) and Stanley (Andy Bean.) The original kid cast -- Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs and Jack Dylan Grazer -- will be seen in flashback scenes. IT is the highest-grossing horror movie in history, earning $700 million worldwide.


Sept. 13. Goldfinch is an adaptation of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Theo, a boy (Oakes Fegley) taken in by a wealthy family after his mother is killed in a terrorist attack at a New York museum and he steals her favorite painting as he escapes from the rubble. Eventually passed back to his deadbeat dad (Luke Wilson,) Theo moves to Las Vegas, where he is introduced to drugs and alcohol by Wolfhard's Ukrainian student, Boris. Helmed by John Crowley, the film stars Ansel Elgort as the adult Theo, who spends decades as a criminal in the New York art underworld before seeking redemption for his misdeeds. The cast also includes Sarah Paulson, Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright, Ashleigh Cummings and Aneurin Barnard.

Sept. 20. Downton Abbey is the cinematic followup to PBS' Emmy-winning costume drama of the same name. The show wrapped its six-season run in 2016. Set in 1927 in the English countryside, the movie finds the wealthy Crawley family and their loyal servants preparing for a royal visit from Britain's King George V. Returning from the series for the film are Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech, Penelope Wilton, Laura Carmichael, Brendan Coyle, Lesley Nicol, Tom Cullen, Kevin Doyle, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera and Joanne Froggatt.


Sept. 20. Rambo Last Blood returns Sylvester Stallone to his iconic role of U.S. Army veteran-turned-operative John Rambo. Directed by Adrian Grunberg, the action thriller shows Rambo retired and living on a farm, which he is unsurprisingly forced to defend. Also featuring Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adrianna Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Genie Kim, Joaquin Cosio and Oscar Jaenada, the film is the fifth installment in the Rambo franchise, which began with First Blood in 1982. The most recent installment in the saga was 2008's Rambo.

Sept. 27. Judy features Oscar-winner Renee Zellweger as The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis entertainer Judy Garland as she heads to London in the late 1960s in the hopes of reviving her career with a string of shows. Instead, Garland dies of a drug overdose at the age of 47 in 1969. Directed by Rupert Goold, the film co-stars Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon.


Oct. 4. Joker has Joaquin Phoenix playing Batman's greatest foe, seen here as a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of violence and mayhem. Todd Phillips directed the R-rated movie, which is set in 1981 and billed as more like a psychological thriller than a typical comic-book adaptation. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy co-star.


Oct. 11. Featuring the voice talents of Wolfhard, Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Chloe Grace Moretz, the animated The Addams Family re-imagines the "creepy, kooky" clan for a 2019 audience. The cartoon adventure sees the oddball family trying to fit in with their new neighbors in a friendly suburb in New Jersey. It arrives after an Addams Family comic strip, 1960s sitcom, two 1990s movies and a Broadway musical.

Oct. 11. Gemini Man follows Will Smith's aging assassin Henry as he faces off against a younger clone of himself, rendered for the screen using digital technology. Clive Owen plays Henry's boss in the sci-fi picture, which Oscar-winning director Ang Lee helmed. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong co-star.

Oct. 11. Zombieland: Double Tap reunites Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin -- the stars from 2009's Zombieland -- for another bloody, comic adventure involving the undead. Ruben Fleischer directed the movie.

Oct. 18. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil brings back Angelina Jolie to play the titular fairy queen and Elle Fanning as her adopted daughter Aurora in the live-action franchise, which puts a new spin on the Sleeping Beauty fable. The sequel to 2014's Maleficent finds Aurora revealing her plans to marry Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson.)


Oct. 18. Jojo Rabbit is based on the darkly satirical novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens. Roman Griffin Davis plays the title character, a young boy who attends a Hitler youth camp during World War II. Director Taika Waititi plays a bumbling version of genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler, who is Jojo's imaginary friend. The cast also includes Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen and Stephen Merchant.


Nov. 1. Terminator: Dark Fate follows the events of The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), and disregards the various sequels and reboots released since. The sci-fi sequel once again will star Linda Hamilton as human heroine Sarah Conner and Arnold Schwarzenegger as a futuristic cyborg. Mackenzie Davis and Gabriel Luna co-star in the film, which was directed by Deadpool's Tim Miller.

Nov. 1. Charlie's Angels is getting a reboot, starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. Actress-filmmaker Elizabeth Banks directed the action comedy about a trio of highly trained, crime-fighting private detectives. The new adventure follows a 1970s TV show -- featuring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith -- and the movies Charlie's Angels (2000) and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003,) starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.


Nov. 1. Actor Edward Norton wrote and directed Motherless Brooklyn, a noir thriller set in 1950's New York. His cast includes Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Cherry Jones, Ethan Suplee, Leslie Mann, Josh Pais, Fisher Stevens, Michael K. Williams and Robert Wisdom. The movie was inspired by Jonathan Lethem's novel by the same name. Norton plays Lionel, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome, who is investigating the murder of his mentor and best friend.

Nov. 8. Doctor Sleep is an adaptation of Stephen King's book of the same name and the sequel to King's The Shining, which was made into a movie in 1980. This chiller follows a Danny Torrance, played by Ewan McGregor. The character was a young boy (Danny Lloyd) who can see dead people in The Shining. Now an adult, Danny is still haunted by the supernatural and attracts other live people with similar gifts. Mike Flanagan directed Doctor Sleep, which co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Alex Essoe and Cliff Curtis. The Shining featured Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Scatman Crothers.

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