Upcoming War Movies To Keep On Your Radar

(Welcome to On Your Radar, a series where we take a look at what's next for the biggest actors and filmmakers, and why you should be excited...or not.)

War movies have always captured the attention of filmmakers and moviegoers alike, but not because we enjoy viewing the horrors caused by them. These films allow their makers to create something extraordinary, traverse along the paths of events long forgotten in history, and take their characters someplace new. The backdrop of war allows a film to depict the blurry line between being a hero and villain, make them choose between what is right and what is easy, and forge morally gray characters who we always find ourselves rooting for. It is a battleground for character development, thrilling suspense, and learning about a time gone by without having to experience it in person.

In 2021, we went back to the Cold War era with Benedict Cumberbatch's historical spy thriller "The Courier" and "The Mauritanian," which investigated the case of a suspected 9/11 terrorist (it also starred Tahar Rahim, who I am still thinking about). There are plenty of exciting war films on the way, but here are some of the most anticipated ones. Pandemic-permitting, you should catch them on the big screen soon!

White Bird: A Wonder Story

Stephen Chbosky is set to direct "White Bird: A Wonder Story," his second adaptation of an R.J. Palacio novel, following his acclaimed film "Wonder." Described as a "creative companion" to his 2017 film, the spin-off sequel tells the story of Julian's (a secondary character from "Wonder") grandmother during World War II. The movie charts the story of Grandmére Sara as a young Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied France who is hidden away by a boy and his family during the war. Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files," "The Crown," "Sex Education,") portrays Vivienne, the woman who, along with her family, makes unimaginable choices in the midst of war. In part, the premise reminds me of "Jojo Rabbit," the Taika Waititi film starring Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, and Roman Griffin Davis. "White Bird: A Wonder Story" may not feature humor as seen in Waititi's Oscar-winning film, but if the film reflects similar themes of empathy as seen in "Wonder," there's no doubt it will be well-received.

It is scheduled to be released on September 16, 2022.

Women In The Castle

Whoever said war movies only focused on men running across battlefields with guns blazing in their hands is not ready for "Women in the Castle," which brings to life the story of three widow conspirators who get involved in an assassination attempt on Hitler. Helmed by Jane Anderson ("The Wife"), the film brings author Jessica Shattuck's 2017 novel "Women In The Castle" to the big screen. The movie features an exciting trio of actors, including Daisy Ridley, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Nina Hoss. They play three women, widows who fail to assassinate the German dictator Adolf Hitler. The author's characters are fictional, but the story draws inspiration from historical and familial accounts — Shattuck is half-German and was inspired by a friend whose father was executed for participating in a plot to assassinate the dictator.

Here's the official synopsis:

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

"Women in the Castle" does not yet have a release date.

The Nightingale

The Fanning sisters star in the upcoming adaptation of Kristin Hannah's bestselling novel (which everyone needs to read once in their lives), "The Nightingale." The book celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and tells the story of two sisters in France during World War II and depicts their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. While Vianne (Dakota), the eldest sister, struggles to face the war as German soldiers take residence in her home and the continent plunges into battle, her sister Isabelle (Elle) gets caught up in a fight against the Nazis. She eventually rises as an important figure in the Resistance against them. The two sisters endure innumerable hardships and are tested by the war, time and time again. The movie will see Dakota and Elle Fanning come together onscreen for the first time in their Hollywood careers (apart from when Elle played a younger version of her sister in 2001's "I Am Sam"), making "The Nightingale" a must-watch film!

The release date for the movie is unknown, but details on supporting cast members are expected to be revealed by mid-2022.