2022 has arrived and there's plenty to be excited about!
While 2021 brought us some new releases, 2022 looks like the year we're going to be bombarded with all those films and TV shows that were delayed or postponed due to the pandemic.
As well as that, artists have returned to studios and big music gigs are back with a vengeance.
This week on The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, we've been revealing 22 of the best films, TV shows, albums and gigs on the way this year. So, grab your diary and a pen and take note...
1) Top Gun: Maverick
The much delayed Top Gun remake is set to hit screens from May 27th, over 30 years after its initial release in 1986. Tom Cruise is back in the cockpit as US Navy aviator Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, this time training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission. One such recruit is the son of Pete's late friend Goose, Lt Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw (Miles Teller).
2) The Batman
Voted the most anticipated film of 2022 by IMDB users, The Batman arrives on March 4th. The film marks Robert Pattinson's first shot at playing the caped crusader. He stars alongside Colin Farrell, who is unrecognizable as The Penguin, and Love Hate's Barry Keoghan as Stanley Merkel.
To infinity and beyond! Lightyear is one of two Disney Pixar movies to be released this year, and it's due to hit cinemas on June 17th. The movie revolves around the fictional origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the character who inspired the action figure in the Toy Story films. It stars Chris Evans, who replaces Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz.
4) Conversations With Friends
If you loved Normal People, you're in for a treat this year. Conversations With Friends is the latest Sally Rooney book to be adapted for TV, with Lenny Abrahamson back behind the camera. The book tells the story of two Dublin college students, Frances and Bobbi, and the strange and unexpected connection they forge with married couple, Melissa and Nick. The series will star Joe Alywn (aka Taylor Swift's boyfriend), and it's due for release later this year on BBC 1.
5) The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is finally coming to the small screen, with probably the biggest budget ever for a TV series - $465 million! The series will take place thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Amazon have already committed to making four more seasons, so it would want to be a hit! It's due for release on Amazon Prime on September 2nd.
6) Ed Sheeran
It's like 2018 all over again! This year Ed Sheeran will take his = album on tour and hit some big Irish stadiums. In what will hopefully be the first Croke Park gig since 2019, Ed will take to the stage at Croker on April 23rd and 24th, followed by Cork's Páirc Uí Chaoimh on April 28th and 29th and Limerick's Thomond Park on May 5th and 6th.
7) Avatar 2
In terms of long waits for a follow-up, this one certainly takes the biscuit. James Cameron’s Avatar sequel is due for release on December 16th, 13 years after the original. Kate Winslet joins the cast for this movie, which was shot simultaneously alongside Avatar 3 - due in 2024. No word yet on whether the sequel will be a 3D affair, but we live in hope.
8) Legally Blonde 3
It’s almost 20 years since we’ve heard from Elle Woods and 4 years since Legally Blonde 3 was first teased. Little is known about the plot for the new installment, but it's written by The Office's Mindy Kaling, meaning it should be a scream. The May 20th release date could be a bit ropey, with few updates in recent months; but Reese Witherspoon has guaranteed her return, which is all that really matters!
9) Where The Crawdads Sing
This film adaptation of the best-selling novel by Delia Owens is due for release on June 24. Set in North Carolina, the story follows a girl called 'Marsh Girl' who was abandoned by her family and forced to raise herself alone in the wilderness. When a man turns up dead, she becomes the first suspect of his murder. Where The Crawdads Sing also has a link to Normal People as 'Marsh Girl' is played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, aka Marianne!
10) Derry Girls Season 3
Last September, Derry Girls creator Lisa Magee broke hearts when she announced that the third season of the show would be its last. A release date has yet to be announced, but Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare, recently posted on Instagram: 'Goodbye Derry Girls, it's been quite the ride'. Either way, this year will be the year to say our goodbyes to our favourite gang.
11) Afterlife Season 3
Ricky Gervais is back with season 3 of Afterlife this month! The show follows Tony, a writer for a local newspaper whose life is upended after his wife dies from cancer. In true Gervais style, he somehow makes the dark subject matter totally hilarious. The new season is 'the best one yet' according to Gervais and it's available on Netflix from Friday 14th January.
12) Olivia Rodrigo
Few of us had a 2021 as whopper as Olivia Rodrigo. After a massive breakthrough with hits like 'Driver’s License' and 'Good 4 U', Olivia Rodrigo brings her Sour tour to Live @ The Marquee in Cork on June 29th and to Fairview Park in Dublin on June 30th. If you've been through a recent break-up, this one's for you!
Matilda has gone from book to screen to stage, and it’s making a return to screen this year. Netflix are releasing a Matilda remake based on the award-winning stage musical written by Tim Minchin. Matilda will be played by 12 year-old Dublin actress Alisha Weir and she’ll star opposite Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull. No release date yet for this one, but it’s looking like we’ll have to wait until December. No doubt it'll be worth the wait.
14) House of the Dragon
It's going to be a big year for Game of Thrones fans as HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon, lands this year. Set 200 years before events of Game of Thrones, the new series tells the back story of House Targaryen, so expect peroxide blondes and plenty of dragons. It’s dubbed for release early this year.
A little less conversation, a little more actin’ please. A new film about the life of Elvis Presley is scheduled for released on the 24th of June. It’s directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Tom Hanks as Elvis’s manager Colonel Tom Parker. It’s actually the film Tom Hanks was shooting when he caught Covid at the start of the pandemic. If you liked Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, this one's for you.
16) Peaky Blinders Season 6
Peaky Blinders fans have been on a 2-year cliffhanger waiting for season 6 to air and they shouldn’t have much longer to wait. The season 6 trailer was released on New Year's Day and it’s slated for released in early 2022. This series will be the last hurrah for the Shelby clan, so a big finale awaits...
2022 looks like it’ll be the year when we’ll get a new album from Hozier! It's been three years since Wasteland, Baby was released but Unreal Unearth appears to be on the way. Hozier has been a real tease on social media lately, posting photos of him working in a studio in LA. On New Year's Eve he tweeted that the new album will land in 2022 'come hell or high water'.
18) Downton Abbey: A New Era
Downton Abbey fans will be treated to ‘a new era’ in 2022 as the sequel to the first Downton movie will be released. It was supposed to come out before Christmas but has been pushed to the 18th of March. The new film will see the Crawley family host the King and Queen for a royal visit.
19) Trigger Point
If you’re looking to fill the Line of Duty-shaped hole in your heart, then a new series called Trigger Point could do the trick! It’s made by Jed Mercurio, who is the writer of Line of Duty, and stars Vicky McClure, who plays Inspector Kate Fleming in the BBC drama. Trigger Point is all about the work of police bomb disposal squads and it’s coming to ITV this month.
20) Garth Brooks
Cowboy hats at the ready, it’s finally happening! You'd want to be living under a rock not to have seen this one coming. 8 years on from ‘Garthgate’, Garth Brooks will play his 5 Croke Park gigs this year. It’ll all kick off on the 9th of September, and continue on the 10th, 11th, 16th and 17th.
21) Bridgerton Season 2
Dear Readers, Lady Whistledown has spoken and season 2 of Bridgerton will land on Netflix on March 25th. Bridgerton season 1 came out on Christmas Day 2020 and it quickly became Netflix’s most watched show ever (before being overtaken by Squid Game). While the first season was all about Daphne Bridgerton, season 2 will focus on her brother Lord Viscount Anthony Bridgerton and his new flame!
Last but not least, the boys are back in town. Westlife return to the stage this summer to tour their new album, Wild Dreams. They’ll play the Aviva in Dublin on the 8th and 9th of July and Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork on the 12th and 13th of August. It's sure to be a belter!