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Back to Film & TV previews... / Jan 05, 2022 previews... 2022's Best Movies - Biopics

...Over the next two weeks, we're going to be previewing 100 of 2022's best movies. We continue today and it's the biopics. There are some corkers...

Over the next two weeks, we're going to be previewing 100 of 2022's best movies. We continue today and it's the biopics. There are some corkers... 



Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Release Date: June 24th

With so many musical biopics arriving in the last few years, it’s almost surprising that Elvis Presley has yet to be the subject of one, but that’s all set to change in 2022 thanks to director Baz Luhrman, who is scheduled to deliver his unique take on the life of ‘The King’ in the summer of 2022.

Featuring Austin Butler in the starring role alongside a cast that includes Tom Hanks as Presley’s infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker, Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley and singer-songwriter Yola Quartey in the role of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Luhrman’s film looks set to be a fascinating encounter with Elvis Presley’s early years on his journey to becoming an American icon. Elvis is set to make its debut in UK cinemas on June 24th.


The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy

Director: Will Sharpe

Release Date: January 1st

If the name Louis Wain doesn’t ring a bell, you might be familiar with some of the eccentric artist’s work - Wain’s trademark anamorphic cats have adorned everything from greeting cards to t-shirts and cushion covers – but a new film starring Benedict Cumberbatch aims to shed light on his story, with a particular focus on Wain’s deteriorating mental health towards the end of his life and its manifestation in his increasingly psychedelic output.

Directed by Girl/Haji star and Flowers writer Will Sharpe, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain features an impressive cast that includes Claire Foy, Taika Waititi, Andrea Riseborough, Asim Chaudhry, Richard Ayoade, Julian Barratt and Nick Cave, the latter appearing in a cameo as famed novelist H. G. Wells. Due to arrive in UK cinemas on January 1st, this looks like a whimsical and wonderful way to kick off your new year.


Journal For Jordan

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Chanté Adams 

Director: Denzel Washington

Release Date: January 21st

Denzel Washington directs this adaptation of a moving memoir by American author Dana Canedy, in which she details the death of her fiancé, First Sergeant Charles Monroe King, while on deployment during the Iraq war, and the journal he left for their son.

Starring Michael B. Jordan as King and Chanté Adams in the role of Candey, Washington’s film is a reflection on their relationship and the aftermath of his death and after opening in US cinemas in December, Journal for Jordan is set to arrive on UK screens on January 21st.


I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Starring: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci 

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Release Date: December 2022

Undoubtedly one of the best vocal performers of her generation, Whitney Houston’s remarkable talent was sometimes overshadowed by the well-publicised issues in her personal life, including her long-running and often tumultuous relationship with singer Bobby Brown, as well as a drug habit which may well have contributed directly to Houston’s death at the age of just 48.

Houston’s life story is certainly one that’s ripe for drama, and while an ‘unauthorised’ biopic emerged in 2015 courtesy of director Angela Bassett, the first ‘official’ Whitney Houston biopic – a musical, of course - is set to arrive in December 2022. Directed by Kasi Lemmons (Harriet, Black Nativity), I Wanna Dance with Somebody features Naomi Ackie in the starring role alongside Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown and Stanley Tucci as record producer Clive Davis. One for Whitney fans and music lovers alike.


The Eyes Of Tammy Faye

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield

Director: Michael Showalter

Release Date: February 4th

To audiences outside the US, televangelism may seem like some odd and exotic niche to be found only in the higher numbers of your satellite or cable provider’s channel list, but a new film from director Michael Showalter offers an eye-opening look into this strange world via a portrait of one of its most flamboyant characters: Tammy Faye Bakker.

Jessica Chastain stars in this extraordinary tale, which includes everything from her unlikely rise to stardom, through the arrest of her husband Steve Bakker on charges of fraud and rape, to her subsequent reemergence as an AIDS campaigner and an advocate for LGBT rights. If you’ve ever wondered just how murky the world of televangelism really is, this should be an enthralling way to find out.


She Said

Starring: Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan

Director: Maria Schrader

Release Date: November 2022

Up until his highly public downfall in the wake of a series of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein was used to staying behind the scenes of the films he helped to produce at Miramax and The Weinstein Company, but in She Said, an upcoming film directed by Unorthodox creator Maria Schrader, Weinstein is very much front-and-centre in this account of the story uncovered by New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

Featuring a cast that includes Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Adam Shapiro and Samantha Morton, the film details the methods used to investigate allegations of sexual harassment over a period of three decades, and how their subsequent publication helped kickstart the MeToo movement. There’s no confirmed UK release date at the time of writing, but the film is scheduled to be released in the US in November 2022.


The Untitled Bee Gees biopic

Starring: TBC

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Release date: TBC

Little has been confirmed to date about the upcoming biopic about The Bee Gees, but we do know that Kenneth Branagh will be the man in the director’s chair for this film charting the rise of brothers Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb as they became one of the world’s biggest-selling groups, with Ben Elton set to provide the film’s script.

The film is speculated to arrive in 2022, but at this stage, there are no details on castings, release date or even a title. But we can say this: the soundtrack will probably be amazing.

The Phantom of the Open

Starring: Mark Rylance, Rhys Ifans, Sally Hawkins, Mark Lewis Jones

Director: Craig Roberts

Release date: April 15th

Based on a biographical book of the same name by Paddington 2 screenwriter Simon Farnaby, who also provides the screenplay for the Craig Roberts-directed film adaptation, Phantom of the Open tells the bizarre and uniquely British story of Maurice Flitcroft, a serial prankster and amateur golfer who enjoyed a brief period of infamy after scamming his way into the 1976 Open Championship.

Dubbed ‘the world’s worst golfer’ by the press as after posting a record-breaking high score, Flitcroft upset the golfing establishment so much that they changed the rules to prevent him from ever entering again – although that didn’t stop him from trying, several times, under various aliases and disguises.

Starring Mark Rylance alongside a cast that includes Rhys Ifans, Sally Hawkins and Mark Lewis Jones, Phantom of the Open premiered at the BFI in 2021 but will make its way into cinemas in April – and it looks like heaps of fun.


The Duke

Starring: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren

Director: Roger Michell

Release date: February 25th

Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent star in this enjoyable true-crime tale, which revolves around the 1961 theft of a priceless painting (Goya’s The Duke of Wellington), a story which made headlines for a second time several years later when the painting was returned by the man responsible for the theft – not, as police had expected, an international art thief or organised crime boss, but a retired, disabled bus driver named Kempton Bunton.

Directed by the late Roger Michell, the film reveals Bunton’s attempts to persuade the authorities to part with a £140,000 donation to charity in exchange for the painting’s return, as well as his efforts to keep a priceless masterpiece concealed from his wife in their modest, terraced home. Delayed by several months due to the COVID pandemic, The Duke is finally set to arrive in cinemas on February 2022.

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