Written by: Lee Watson
We’re back with the second part of our guide to things to look forward to in 2023. This time we’re covering everything happening between the beginning of April and the end of June.
This blog will cover all of the new releases in the cinema, on TV, and for video games. Also, if there’s something we missed last time for our January to March run down, perhaps due to a surprise release, we’ll go through it here too.
Super Mario Bros Movie
It’s not the first time a Mario Bros. movie has been attempted, but it is the first time that they’ve actually tried to adhere to the source material instead of trying to retrofit it to a pre-existing movie idea as the 1993 live-action film did. This time we get an animated movie from Illumination, the same studio that brought us Minions, Sing, and the Secret Life of Pets.
The casting of Chris Pratt as Mario does seem to have raised some eyebrows, but the rest of the ensemble should delight with the likes of Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day and Keegan Michael-Key all lending their voices to the promising Nintendo adaptation.
Take a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom from the 7th of April.
A new interpretation of the Story of Dracula is seen through the eyes of his minion, Renfield. Whilst it may be another adaptation, it does at least take a different approach to its source material. Renfield (Nicolas Hoult), is trying to escape the employ of his master (Nicolas Cage) in modern-day New York. From the trailer, it looks like the film is very much an irreverent tale of the Dracula story, with Cage putting in a characteristically over-the-top performance as the world’s most famous vampire ,whilst Hoult seems to be getting gradually more and more unhinged by his master’s requests.
Quench your thirst for blood when Renfield arrives in cinemas on the 14th of April.
Evil Dead Rise
Another remake/reboot/sequel in the Evil Dead franchise that originated all the way back in 1981 with Sam Rami’s first iteration. Evil Dead Rise promises the same level of gore and horror as its predecessors as yet another unwitting protagonist stumble upon the Necronomicon, reads out the cursed words within, and unleashes evil upon the world once more.
The Evil Dead rise once more on the 21st of April.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The latest (and final) entry in the Guardians of the Galaxy series comes just a few months after the last Marvel release. It’s director James Gunn’s MCU swansong as he’s now jumped ship to DC where he’s heading up their comic movie division.
Guardians 3 promises all the action and humor of its predecessors. If the rumors are to be believed, it’s looking like it’ll bring tears too as perhaps not everyone will make it out alive.
Take one last trip around the galaxy with Marvel’s favorite misfits from the 5th of May.
With more cars, more mayhem and more droning on about the importance of family, the Fast, and the Furious reaches its tenth installment. Watch as large, bald men grunt at each other whilst driving cars so ostentations that they clearly indicate that they’re compensating for something.
There’s no official trailer as yet, but it looks like many of the favourite characters from the series are back, alongside a few new additions.
Fast X zooms into screens from the 19th of May.
Disney continues its live-action adaptations of its animated films with the Little Mermaid. The adaptations have been a bit of a mixed bag so far so it’s hard to tell whether this will be more of a Jungle Book or Pinocchio. What is sure is that all the favourite songs from the animated version will be back. Singer/Songwriter/actress Halle Bailey takes in the titular role, with support from Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem.
Enter a whole new world from the 26th of May.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Another Spider-Film just 18 months after the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home might seem a bit premature, but this one’s actually a sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse animated film.
The main protagonist of this film is nascent Spider-Man, Miles Morales rather than Peter Parker from the live-action moves. He’ll be joined by countless Spider-themed variants from across the multiverse (or, indeed the Spiderverse), in another fantastic adventure. The first film was a success with both audiences and critics alike, so hopefully, the new film will also go down well.
Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse swings into cinemas on the 2nd of June.
One of the final entries from the old regime at DC’s film department, The Flash hasn’t exactly had a smooth ride to the silver screen. It’s been through multiple directors and its star, Ezra Miller, has had various run-ins with the police over recent months.
The plan now is that this will be the last film of the old DC era and, with its alternating timelines/multiversal nature, it will usher in the new DC film’s continuity.
The plot revolves around The Flash’s attempt to go back in time by running really fast (just go with it) in an effort to change a pivotal moment in his life. Of course, it doesn’t go according to plan and he has to rectify the damage he’s done, all the while dealing with variations of DC heroes and villains.
The Flash speeds to cinemas on the 16th of June.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Finally, 34 years since the end of the original trilogy (ignoring 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on grounds of taste), Indiana Jones is back. A now 80-year-old Harrison Ford has returned to play Doctor Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr one last time. The plot, and the eponymous Dial of Destiny, look like it has something to do with time travel. Suitably de-aged iterations of Indy are sprinkled throughout the trailer, so it’s certain that some sort of flashback/time travel shenanigans will take place.
The movie will also feature the last film score from legendary composer John Williams, the many who wrote, not only the original Indiana Jones theme but also the iconic music for Star Wars, Superman, Jaws, and virtually every Stephen Spielberg film.
Spielberg won’t be back to direct this time, with the reins being passed over to James Mangold, director of films such as Logan, Le Mans 66 (AKA Ford vs Ferrari), Walk the Line, and Copland.
Let’s hope Indy can whip up enough excitement for you to go to see the film in cinemas from the 30th of June.
Before we dive into the upcoming TV releases for April to June, let’s look at some shows we missed out on in the previous three months.
Happy Valley – Series 3
Happy Valley returned for its third and final series. The highly acclaimed police drama, which stars Sarah Lancashire, had been absent from our screens for several years since the conclusion of the second series, so why the wait? The show’s writer/creator, Sally Wainwright, explained that, for the story, she wanted to tell, one of the show’s child characters had to be a little older, so she literally waited for the actor to grow up.
The show tackles some harrowing topics, but exploring them through the eyes of the multi-layered characters is anything but a chore. The show’s clever, and, at appropriate times, witty script, on top of some fabulous performances from the main cast, made this must-watch TV when it came out every Sunday on BBC One from New Year’s Day. All three series are available on the BBC iPlayer.
Lockwood and Co.
Based on a YA book series by Jonathan Stroud, the show is based on the premise that, 50 years earlier, it was discovered that ghosts are real. Agencies are set up to deal with the new ghost problem, with the titular company being one such organisation. Each company recruits teenagers who can see ghosts and have certain abilities that could combat their threat.
The show certainly has an interesting premise, alongside some good characters, so hopefully, the normally cancel-happy Netflix doesn’t do away with it. Still, if Netflix does cancel it, at least the books are still out there to continue the story.
Lockwood and Co. have been streaming on Netflix since the 27th of January.
Bel Air – Season 2
The straight dramatic take on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air returns for its second season. Surprising quite a few people, the show actually worked very well during its first season, so hopes are high for its second outing.
Bel Air Began its run on the 23rd of February on Sky/Now TV.
Texas of the late 1800s is the setting for this show which is loosely based on the 1966 Spaghetti Western of the same name. The setup sees the eponymous hero, Django, on a quest to find his long-lost daughter, whom he’d thought was dead.
Django started airing on Sky/Now TV from the 1st of March.
Ted Lasso – Season 3
The acclaimed Football comedy/comedy-drama (it changed formats from season one was an out-and-out 30-minute comedy, to become a 40-minute drama for its second outing) started its third season on Apple TV. Once again Ted, plated by Jason Sudekis, takes the helm at AFC Richmond as they battle their way through the league. It’s not just a show for football fans as its very much cross-appeal, even on the other side of the pond where they play their football with giant padding and helmets. Catch up on the first two series then watch the third series with episodes airing weekly from the 15th of March.
Class of ‘07
A class reunion at a hilltop girls school goes somewhat awry when an apocalyptic event puts a damper on festivities. The sea levels rapidly rise and the attendees find themselves trapped on their new school-island. The show is a 30-minute dark-comedy where the new islands occupants have to find a way to survive in on their new home whilst old high-school grudges bubble to the surface.
Class of ’07 arrived on the 17th of March on Amazon Prime Video.
Luthor: The Fallen Sun
Idris Elba is back on our screens as in this gritty, London-set police drama. He’s moved from the TV screens to, well, the TV screens if you front managed to catch the brief cinema run and now have to watch it on Netflix. The film is a co-production between the streamer and the BBC who broadcast the original series and, without a doubt, they’ve produced something worthy of a big screen outing worth of the title character, John Luther.
I won’t give too much away, but the story centres around Luthor’s hunt for an abhorrent serial killer, deliciously played by the always excellent Andy Serkis. The Fallen Sun manages to both carry on the story from series 4 of Luthor whilst simultaneously being a self-contained tale accessible to people who haven’t seen a single episode of the TV show.
Luthor arrived on Netflix on the 19th of March after a brief cinema release on the 24th of February.
Starring Toni Collette, this series, based on the novel of the same name, is set in a world where teenage girls gain the ability to electrocute people by touch. The series spans the globe and looks at how this affects people’s lives in America, Europe, and Africa.
The Power arrived on Amazon Prime video on the 31st of March.
New Shows for April to June
Now for the upcoming shows from April to June. TV schedules are a little patchy the further away we go from now, so hopefully, we’ll catch up on anything that we haven’t covered here next time.
Starring Steven Yuen and Alu Wong, Beef deals with the aftermath of a road rage incident where both parties are hell-bent on vengeance. The 10-episode series was produced by A24 Television, whose movie arm saw great success at the Oscars with Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Beef arrives on Netflix on the 6th of April.
Grease – Rise of the Pink Ladies
Paramount continues to mine the vaults of its film back catalogue for TV show ideas (see also American Gigolo, Flashdance, Love Story, and Godfather making of show, The Offer) with Grease – Rise of the Pink Ladies. The show follows, quite literally, the rise of the Pink Ladies, the girl gang featured throughout the Grease shows and films.
Rose of the Pink Ladies comes to Paramount Plus on the 7th of April.
The Last Thing He Told Me
Jennifer Garner stars as a woman whose husband goes missing. As she tries to track down what happened to him, alongside her 16-year-old stepdaughter, she begins to discover that she really doesn’t know him at all.
The Last Thing He Told Me starts on Apple TV + on the 14th of April.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – Season 5
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel returns for its fifth and final season. The show stars Rachel Brosnahan as a 60’s Jewish housewife who accidentally stumbles into a career as a stand-up comic. Coming from the pen of Amy-Sherman Palladino viewers of the previous series will already know what to expect from the writer of Gilmore Girls.
The season hits Amazon Prime Video from the 14th of April.
Based on the 1988 David Cronenberg film, the show stars Rachel Weisz as twins who share everything, from jobs to lovers. The pair work as gynaecologists who want to revolutionize their profession in startling ways and they’ll go to extreme measures to do it.
Amazon Prime Video will be uploading the series from 21st April.
From the Russo Brothers (Captain America Civil War, Avengers Infinity War, Avengers Endgame) comes star-studded spy series Citadel. The likes of Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Stanley Tucci all appear in the story of an independent spy agency, the eponymous Citadel, which fell eight years earlier. They must now battle to save the world from the nefarious organisation, Manticore. They have just one problem though; all their memories of their lives as spies have been erased!
Citadel arrives on Amazon Prime Video on the 28th of April.
Hey! What’s this? Another Paramount Plus series based on an existing film! No way! Fatal Attraction is based on the 1987 film of the same name, which featured the talents of Michael Douglas and Glen Close. The show stars Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan now taking over their respective roles in the TV show. Perhaps the film’s greatest impact on popular culture is that it gave us the term “bunny-boiler”, but the film was generally well-received at the time.
Quite how the show is going to breathe new life into an already fully explored story remains to be seen, as there’s no trailer available yet, but we can all find out when Fatal Attraction’s first two episodes come to Paramount+ on the 30th of April.
Barry – Season 4
Another show coming to an end, Barry, focuses on the character of the same name, is a black comedy about a war veteran turned Assassin who’s trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood. However, his old life just keeps on getting in the way. Bill Hader stars in, writes and sometimes directs the show, which has some spectacular action sequences interspersed with the comedy.
Barry’s last hurrah is due to air weekly from the 17th of April with viewers being treated to a double dose of the show on the premiere night.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Bridgerton has been a massive hit for Netflix, so this spin off which details the rise of Queen Charlotte, is bound to pull in a big audience.
All 10 episodes of the limited series arrive on Netflix on the 4th of May.
Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his TV debut playing a CIA operative, who, after discovering a family secret is forced to go back to work for one final job.
Fubar comes to Netflix on the 25th of May.
It wouldn’t be a list of upcoming TV shows without at least something from Marvel. This crossover event series, centering on Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, sees the super spy try to root out shape-shifting aliens, the Skrulls, from all walks of life. They could be politicians, celebrities, and even superheroes! Familiar faces from previous marvel project crop up, alongside some new characters. The show also features appearances from Oscar winner Olivia Coleman, Emilia Clarke (Game of `Thrones) and Martin Freeman. The signs are looking pretty good for this paranoid thriller done marvel style.
Secret Invasion arrives on Disney+ sometime in the Spring of 2023.
First, we’ll catch up on a surprise release for February, then we’ll go into some of the games you can expect between the beginning of April and the end of June.
Metroid Prime Remastered
This was a surprise release from Nintendo. It was announced on the 9th of February and released the same day digital (Physical copies came a few weeks later).
The game is a complete remaster of the original GameCube version from 2002 and features updated graphics and a more modern control method. You can still choose to use the original control scheme, but it’s only advisable for retro enthusiasts and not those more used to today’s controls.
You take on the role of bounty hunter Samus Aran, in Nintendo’s take on a first-person shooter, as she travels to the planet Tallon IV to discover the mystery behind why the planet is now all but ruined.
The latest entry in the mainline Forza Motorsport franchise drops the numbers from the title in a way that doesn’t at all create any confusion. Then again what do you expect from a company whose consoles are named, in chronological order, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. If Microsoft could do numbers, this would be the eighth game in the series and it promises to build on the gains of its predecessors by offering an increasingly more photorealistic interpretation of track racing. Unlike its sister games in the Forza Horizon series, you don’t get to roam around an open-world map and are instead confined to set racetracks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for those focused on more realistic racing.
The launch date isn’t entirely clear, though it’s likely to be released sometime between March and June and will come to Xbox Series S/X and PC. This is another title where the Xbox One is being left behind, due to the increased graphical complexity, so fans of motorsport might want to use this as the impetus for an upgrade to Microsoft’s latest and greatest consoles. Subscribers to Xbox Game Pass, the gaming equivalent of Netflix, can download it as part of their membership from day one.
Another spin-off in the overwhelmingly popular Minecraft franchise. It’s touted as being an action strategy game which sees players pitted against legions of familiar foes. You can team up with your friends too. Maybe it’s not a game for adults, but your kids are gonna love it.
Minecraft Legends releases on the 18th of April for Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4 and PS5. It will also be available on PC and Xbox Gamepass.
Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-Boot Camp
We’re finally getting the remaster of the Gameboy Advance classics from 2001 and 2003! The games are both turn-based strategy sims that pit one army against another and the original GBA versions are considered to be essential purchases. As the Switch draws to the end of its life cycle, the compendium of both games seems like a must purchase for any gamers who have feelings of nostalgia for the GBA days or for younger games who want to see what all the fuss is about.
Originally set for release last year, Nintendo held it back due to the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s now set to arrive on Nintendo Switch on the 21st of April.
Dead Island 2
Another game that was seemingly never coming finally gets its release on the same day as Advance Wars 1+2. Dead Island 2, is, unsurprisingly, the long-awaited sequel to the original Dead Island which came out in 2011 and was originally announced in 2014. It’s undergone a tumultuous genesis with multiple developer changes. The current game is a product of Dambuster Studios, who came on board in 2019. History has shown that games with such turbulent developments often don’t manage to survive development hell unscathed, but there are high hopes for Dead Island 2 nonetheless. The open-world first-person shooter takes place across virtual recreations of San Francisco and LA and once more pits the player against hordes of undead zombies.
Dead Island 2 is heading to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on the 21st of April
Star Wars – Jedi Survivor
Following on from the absolutely awesome Jedi Fallen Order, Jedi Survivor once again casts you in the role of Cal Kestis, a former Jedi Padawan who awakened his almost-forgotten Jedi skills in the previous game. You’re once again accompanied by your cute droid, BD-1, who provides help as you continue your adventures. Set 5 years after the events of Jedi Fallen order, not much is known about the plot for Jedi Survivor, but Cal is sure to be continuing his fight against the empire with a trusty lightsaber in his hand.
Jedi Survivor was originally due for March 17th, but it’s slipped back a few weeks to the 28th of April 28th to enable the developers to add just a little bit of extra spit and polish. It will be released on PS5, Xbox Series S/S, and PC .
The town of Redfall, Massachusetts was the kind of sleepy, pleasant place where you’d be happy to bring up your kids. The only problem is, it’s been overrun by vampires and it’s your job to wipe them out. Play alone or with friends as you take out the vile bloodsuckers using a variety of different weapons in this first-person, open-world shooter which seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from the Far Cry series.
Redfall comes to Xbox Series X/S and PC on the 2nd of May and you can also download it as part of PC and Xbox Gamepass.
Hogwarts Legacy makes its way to last-generation consoles having already topped the sales charts when it was released on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5. Opening the Harry Potter game up to older consoles will inevitably give it a sales boost as they have a far higher number of users.
Hogwarts Legacy comes out for Xbox One and PS4 on the 5th of May.
Legend of Zelda – Tears of the Kingdom
Once again, you play the mute hero, Link as he makes his way across an open world, defeating monsters, discovering treasures, and completing quests. No doubt there will also be an abundance of side-quests to keep players entertained throughout. The plot is still under wraps right now, but if it’s as enthralling as its predecessor then players are in for a real treat.
The long-awaited follow-up to Nintendo Switch launch title/Nintendo Wii U swansong, Breath of the Wild, finally comes to Nintendo Switch on the 12th of May.
Rocksteady games have previously produced the best batman games to ever be released; Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City and Batman Arkham Knight, so hopes were high for the Suicide Squad. However, the game, which has been in development for half a decade, looks to be little more than a generic looter shooter that requires you to be online all the time. There seems to be little difference, beyond the visuals, between each of the characters that make up the squad. Recent rumours suggest that the poor reception is going to lead to a delayed release, though nothing has been confirmed as yet.
In the game, you take on the roles of the various Suicide Squad members, including Harley Quin, Captain Boomerang, King Shark and Deadshot as they attempt to kill the Justice League. Well, not quite. You see, the Justice League, comprised of heroes like The Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and Batman, have all been brainwashed by an invading alien, Brainiac, and it’s up to the Suicide Squad to save them and defeat the invaders.
Suicide Squad features the last performance of legendary voice actor Kevin Conroy who has portrayed animated versions of the Dark Knight since Batman the Animated Series all the way back in 1992. Conroy sadly passed away towards the end of 2022 and, for many fans his is the definitive voice of Bruce Wayne and his darker, crusading alter-ego and the voice they hear in their heads when they read the comics.
Suicide Squad is currently set to arrive on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC on the 26th of May, but don’t be surprised if it gets delayed.
System Shock – Remake – 30th May
A crowdfunded remake of the 1994 first-person action-adventure game, System Shock. Given that it’s been almost 30 years since the original came out, there’s plenty of scope for updates to the graphics and game mechanics. As with the original, you take on the role of a hacker with no name with the game being set on a space station in the year 2072. You’re pitted against a rogue AI called SHODAN and have to battle your way through enemies and solve puzzles to eventually emerge victorious.
System Shock is initially coming to PC on the 30th of May with console versions expected at a later date.
Street Fighter 6
The latest entry in the Street Fighter franchise brings no real surprises to the table. Once again, you pick from an eclectic array of outlandish fighters and proceed to, in turn, beat the living daylights out of everyone else. There’ll be punching kicking and all manner of special moves from fireballs to electrification as old favourite characters compete with all new fighters.
Street Fighter 6 arrives on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and PC on the 2nd of June.
The third sequel in the RPG series has been eagerly awaited since its announcement in 2019. It’s been 11 years since Diablo 3 was released and fans of the series have only had the disappointment of 2022’s free-to-play mobile game, Diablo Immortal to keep them occupied in-between. Although that game was generally pretty good, it was hampered by all the usual mobile game nonsense like paid-for cosmetics and pay-to-win mechanics. It’s fair to say that Diablo 4 has a lot to make up for and, from the looks of it, fantasy RPG fans are not going to be disappointed.
Diablo 4 releases on the 6th of June on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC
Another entry in Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy series (and there have been far more than 16 if you include all the spin-offs and sequels to mainline entries), this role-playing game. You’ll play through different open environments, defeating all manner of enemies using an action-based combat system. As with all the final fantasy entries, the game takes place on a different planet within the same universe, so you can jump into this one without having played any of the previous entries.
Final Fantasy XVI is, for now, a PS5 exclusive with a 22nd of June release date. A PC version is expected at some point in the future.
Skyrim in space is how Bethesda has described Starfield and the description does seem pretty apt for this planet-spanning role-playing game. It looks to have more than a touch of the “No Man’s Sky” to it, with the gameplay focusing on planetary exploration and space combat.
Bethesda has had a history of releasing broken games, but Microsoft’s buyout of the company wees to be having a positive impact, with it being delayed beyond the originally scheduled 11th of November 2022 release date. Of course, there’s now no longer going to be a PS5 version, which will no doubt disappoint PlayStation owners, but they will still be able to join in the fun by playing the cloud version via Game Pass.
The long-delayed game should release sometime during the first half of 2023 with an exact date to be announced. When it does arrive, it will be an Xbox console exclusive, but will also launch on PC. You’ll also be able to download it on Xbox and PC game pass.