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Hollywood's award season honors 2023 movies. Let's look ahead to 2024 films

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Now that the Golden Globes have been handed out, we are firmly in Hollywood's awards season. But instead of looking back at 2023, we are going to look ahead. The team at NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour has been anticipating some of the interesting movies coming our way in 2024. Aisha Harris is here. Now, I like to judge movies sometimes by the title. This one has me already. "Lisa Frankenstein." Tell us about "Lisa Frankenstein."

AISHA HARRIS, BYLINE: This is a zombie comedy that's set in 1989. It's about a weird teen who somehow manages to resurrect the corpse of her crush.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LISA FRANKENSTEIN")

KATHRYN NEWTON: (As Lisa) Taffy says it's a waste of time to try and fix a boy. It's better to just accept a guy's flaws.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters) Aww.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) That's so cute.

HARRIS: So the premise, as you can probably tell, is loosely inspired by Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." But what most interests me about this is the fact that it's written by Diablo Cody, who is sort of the mastermind behind movies you might recognize, like "Juno" or "Jennifer's Body." And Cody's sensibilities are very pointed and wry, and the female characters she's written in her previous films all really tap into this very confident female rage and agency. And I think this movie is going to deliver in a very fun and funny way.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LISA FRANKENSTEIN")

LIZA SOBERANO: (As Taffy) That's really weird, Lisa.

COLE SPROUSE: (As The Creature, groaning).

NEWTON: (As Lisa) Ah. Oh, my God. It worked.

HARRIS: It also stars Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse, and it's directed by Zelda Williams, who is the daughter of Robin Williams. It's scheduled for release in February, and I'm really excited to check this movie out.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LISA FRANKENSTEIN")

SYLVIA GRACE CRIM: (As Officer Waters) Really hope this goth phase ends soon.

MARTÍNEZ: Zombies set in 1989. That's all you had to say to me. Now, OK, the next film that you're talking about is part of a series that many might recognize with names that are very recognizable.

HARRIS: Yes. This is "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Whatever you have to do, however long it takes, promise me you'll find your way home.

HARRIS: It's an origin story for the character of Imperator Furiosa, who was played by Charlize Theron in "Mad Max: Fury Road." And in that movie, she battled her boss to free his concubines for five wives. Here, we've got a younger version of Furiosa taking center stage, and she's played by Anya Taylor-Joy.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA")

ANYA TAYLOR-JOY: (As Furiosa) I'm Furiosa.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) The darkest of angels.

HARRIS: Yeah. So you probably recognize Anya Taylor-Joy from "The Queen's Gambit" or "The Menu." there's not much else we know about this movie other than that Chris Hemsworth is playing this, you know, bike lord who's seemingly the main villain.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA")

ANGUS SAMPSON: (As character) Lady and gentlemens (ph), start your engines.

HARRIS: But you've got George Miller still at the helm of this film, and it looks really fun. It looks really interesting. I don't know if it's going to be able to top "Mad Max: Fury Road" and how surprising and just fresh that felt, but I'm looking forward to it. I don't know if you are, too, A. Like, it just seems like it'll be a really fun time at the movies

MARTÍNEZ: Again, Hemsworth. That's all you had to say for me to get locked into that one. So there you go. All right. So this next film that you're going to be talking about, we're going to have to wait till the summer. It's called "The Bikeriders." It stars Austin Butler. That's the guy who played Elvis. Tell us about "The Bikeriders."

HARRIS: Yeah. So this time around, Austin Butler is - instead of playing this tragic rock star, he's playing a member of a fictional rough-and-tumble Chicago motorcycle gang.

HARRIS: It also stars Jodie Comer, who you may recognize from "Killing Eve." She was fantastic in that.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BIKERIDERS")

JODIE COMER: (As Kathy) The club got real big, real fast. They started running drugs, gambling, prostitution.

AUSTIN BUTLER: (As Benny) Is that what this club is now?

HARRIS: And we've also got Tom Hardy, who - he's doing a very interesting accent that sounds kind of nasally and weaselly.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BIKERIDERS")

TOM HARDY: (As Johnny) If he wants to ride a bike, he'll ride a bike.

HARRIS: You've got Michael Shannon. This is just a great cast, and it's set in the 1960s and tells the story of how this motorcycle gang kind of devolved into chaos and infighting. It's partially inspired by a nonfiction photo book that profiled the Outlaws MC, which was also based in Chicago. And it's written directed by Jeff Nichols, who's this really interesting filmmaker. He did some films like "Take Shelter," "Mud," "Loving." All of them, I really recommend. And he's really great at establishing environments and moods and drawing really intimate performances out of his performers. So I'm really looking forward to this. It looks like it's going to be really, really interesting.

MARTÍNEZ: I got to admit, I do love Tom Hardy doing accents. He was Bane in "Batman." OK, so yeah.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

MARTÍNEZ: I'll give that a shot, too. All right. Finally, this movie doesn't even have an official release date yet. So, Aisha, why are you looking forward to "Problemista."

HARRIS: This comes from the mind of Julio Torres, who's written for SNL, and he also co-created the very off-kilter HBO comedy "Los Espookys." Torres here plays Alejandro, an aspiring toy designer who is Salvadoran and lives in New York and is working on a work visa.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PROBLEMISTA")

LAITH NAKLI: (As Khalil) You have a month to find someone to co-sign your visa, and if you don't, you have to leave the U.S.

JULIO TORRES: (As Alejandro) I started freelancing for this lady.

NAKLI: (As Khalil) You think this lady can sponsor you?

TORRES: (As Alejandro) I mean, we'll see.

HARRIS: And he hopes that his co-signer could be the weirdo artist he's assisting, who's played by none other than Tilda Swinton. And when you hear Tilda Swinton, of course you're going to be like, ooh, this sounds even more interesting.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PROBLEMISTA")

TILDA SWINTON: (As Elizabeth) Oh, this menu. What is it with walnuts? Walnuts, walnuts, walnuts. It's like a cafe for squirrels.

JACK P RAYMOND: (As Waiter) The walnuts, they go very nicely with the salad.

SWINTON: (As Elizabeth) Do I do like I need educating on fine cuisine?

HARRIS: It looks like this surreal spin on a lot of things, like our dysfunctional immigration system, what it means to be a young person trying to make it in a career, and especially in the art world.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PROBLEMISTA")

NAKLI: (As Khalil) The thing is, you can't take money right now.

ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: (As Narrator) You must find a sponsor and pay fees to earn money. The maze is impossible to navigate.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As character) Wait. I mean, this sucks so much for you.

HARRIS: And the rest of the cast is really, really fantastic, too. It also includes RZA, Greta Lee and Isabella Rossellini. So, like, this and "Lisa Frankenstein" are probably the weirdest of my picks, and I think they will both be, hopefully, really fun to to check out.

MARTÍNEZ: And that character, Alejandro's last name is Martinez, so I got to support another A Martínez. I mean, I just have to, right?

HARRIS: You've got to.

MARTÍNEZ: I mean...

HARRIS: You've got to.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. I got to. That's Aisha Harris from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast with a few films to look forward to this new year. Aisha, thanks.

HARRIS: Thank you so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF ROBERT OUYANG RUSLI'S "MONUMENT TO POSSIBILITIES") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.