Upcoming Sci-Fi Movies To Keep On Your Radar

It's been a rocky year for film, but the industry seems to have finally found its footing in its new reality — no easy feat, given the pandemic-influenced circumstances. With all the chaos unfolding in the real world, a mind-bending science fiction flick is just what we all need for that healthy dose of escapism. And now that theatrical releases are rolling out with more frequency, a promising line-up of new, original sci-fi movies seems to be headed our way.

Keeping track of all the "smaller" releases can be tough, especially with superhero flicks straddling so many genres already. Marvel Studios alone are touting five upcoming films, which are all almost guaranteed box office success. With that in mind, let's take a look at the science-fiction films that may not have the support of a massive cinematic universe behind them.


Director Roland Emmerich is absolutely no stranger to the science-fueled disaster flick. The mind behind films like "2012," "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow" returns to the subgenre with the forthcoming "Moonfall." This time, instead of aliens or the manifestation of global warming threatening life on earth as we know it... it's the moon.

When a "mysterious force" — favoring strongly towards government conspiracy — knocks the moon off its rotation, it sends the satellite careening towards the earth. Only Jo Fowler, a former astronaut and a current executive at NASA, holds the key to possibly reversing this cataclysmic event. With the help of another astronaut "from her past" (rekindled romance, anyone?) and an enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, Fowler launches into space herself to intercept the moon and try to save the world. Emmerich, himself a conspiracy enthusiast, was inspired by the Hollow Moon concept: a fringe theory that, as the name suggests, proposes that earth's moon is hollow... and also the home to a hostile alien species.

"Moonfall" stars Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Donald Sutherland, and Charlie Plummer. It opens in theaters on February 4, 2022.


Not much is known about this secretive project, but that hasn't stopped any of the buzz surrounding its announcement. "65" is the latest from "A Quiet Place" writers Scott Beck and Ryan Woods. The duo will reunite with Sam Raimi, who is producing along with Zainab Azizi for Raimi productions. The film has been labeled a science fiction thriller, but with these minds working behind the scenes, it wouldn't be a surprise if "65" borrowed a horror trope or two to keep things interesting.

Adam Driver ("House of Gucci," the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy) is set to lead Beck and Woods' new film. Driver plays an astronaut who "crash lands on a mysterious planet, only to discover he's not alone." His two co-stars so far are Ariana Greenblatt and Chloe Coleman, both young actresses with already-promising futures in film. Any extraneous plot details are being kept under tight wraps, so there's no word on Greenblatt or Coleman's respective roles.

The secrecy surrounding the project is surprising, especially as Sony has since moved its release date up to avoid Marvel's opening weekend with "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." With its new date approaching fast, we can hopefully anticipate more details soon.

"65" debuts in theaters on April 29, 2022.


"Office Christmas Party" directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck are translating their comedy chops to sci-fi. Their upcoming film, "Distant," stars Anthony Ramos ("In the Heights," "Hamilton") as a blue-collar asteroid miner named Andy. When he crash-lands on a foreign planet, Andy must trek across the unforgiving terrain to find another crash site on the other side. There waits another survivor, played by Naomi Scott ("Aladdin," "Charlie's Angels"), and she's trapped in an escape pod that's rapidly running out of oxygen.

Andy, unfortunately, is also running out of oxygen, and his position is made all the more dire by a pack of strange alien creatures trying to hunt him down. But his space suit is equipped with an AI, voiced by Zachary Quinto ("Star Trek") which... incidentally, isn't of much help either. On paper, "Distant" sounds like a thriller in the same vein as "65" or "Moonfall." But the presence of writers like Gordon and Speck quickly spin the life-or-death circumstances of the film into something unique — and hopefully laugh-out-loud funny.

"Distant" is set to release on September 16, 2022 in theaters.