With Brie Larson busting her way through spaceships in CAPTAIN MARVEL and AVENGERS: ENDGAME — not to mention the other women who throw punches in the latest AVENGERS movie — 2019 has already given us a good dose of women in action. But you can never have too much!
This summer will pit some very talented women against assassins, mutants, aliens and more! These six films feature a whole new class of female action stars.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
The JOHN WICK franchise may star Keanu Reeves, but it can always be depended on to give us some kick-butt female or gender-fluid supporting characters. In the original JOHN WICK, Adrianne Palicki played the assassin Ms. Perkins. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 featured non-binary actor Ruby Rose (“Orange Is the New Black,” XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE) as an even tougher fighter. Now, it’s Halle Berry’s turn. The Oscar®-winner plays Sofia, who charges into battle alongside Wick with two beautiful, battle-trained dogs at her side. At this year’s CinemaCon, Berry spoke about how training to play Sofia got her in the best shape she’s ever been in: “I feel like, if someone attacked me on the street, god bless them. Because I know some s— now that will f— them up!” (May 17)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
As the world awaits the fate of Sansa Stark, the once compliant, now defiant princess who’s become an essential player in “Game of Thrones,” the woman who plays her, Sophie Turner, also dominates the latest chapter of the X-MEN series. In DARK PHOENIX, Turner returns as Jean Grey, a young mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers who transforms into a darker, more unstable force — the Phoenix — after an accident in outer space. DARK PHOENIX marks the first lead role in a big-budget studio film for the 23-year-old English actress. She seems well equipped to navigate Jean Grey’s intense inner conflict, after the many indignities Sansa Stark has suffered on her journey from demure, submissive teenager to a fierce and wily adult. But will she be a match for Jessica Chastain (ZERO DARK THIRTY), a newcomer to the X-MEN series, who plays a diabolical and manipulative alien? (June 7)
The Dead Don’t Die
“I am quite confident in my ability to defend myself against the undead,” exclaims Tilda Swinton in a thick Scottish accent, while brandishing a katana. This moment alone is enough to justify the inclusion of the legendary (and Oscar-winning) actress on this list. In the deadpan zombie comedy THE DEAD DON’T DIE, Swinton plays a mortician with a passion for swordplay and a habit of putting extravagant ’80s makeup on her dead clients. She joins forces with three cops to defeat a horde of zombies that overrun their peaceful town. THE DEAD DON’T DIE marks Swinton’s fourth collaboration with writer/director Jim Jarmusch; their most recent was ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE. Adam Driver, star of Jarmusch’s PATERSON, also appears, along with Chloë Sevigny (“American Horror Story”), Steve Buscemi (FARGO), musicians Tom Waits and Selena Gomez, and the legendary Bill Murray. The tagline proclaims the movie as “the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled.” Sounds about right. (June 14)
Men in Black: International
Tessa Thompson has already kicked butt once this year, playing the Asgardian heroine Valkyrie in the aforementioned AVENGERS: ENDGAME. She reunites with her THOR: RAGNAROK co-star Chris Hemsworth for MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL, the long-awaited spinoff to the MEN IN BLACK trilogy. Replacing alien-hunting Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are Agents H (Hemsworth) and M (Thompson). They’re tasked by their big boss (Emma Thompson) with uncovering a mole within the organization. Liam Neeson, the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise’s Rebecca Ferguson and THE BIG SICK’S Kumail Nanjiani co-star. (June 14)
LÉON: THE PROFESSIONAL and LUCY writer Luc Besson is no stranger to action. With ANNA, the French filmmaker has given Russian model-turned-actress Sasha Luss her biggest role yet. Her first movie acting job was in Besson’s VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, playing the alien princess Lïhio-Minaa. In ANNA, Luss gets more of a workout, playing a government assassin. Helen Mirren plays Anna’s handler, with THE HOBBIT trilogy’s Luke Evans and INCEPTION and BATMAN BEGINS’ Cillian Murphy also starring. (June 21)
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Do you like watching Vanessa Kirby play Princess Margaret in “The Crown,” but wish she beat up a few more people? HOBBS & SHAW just might be for you. In the FAST & FURIOUS spinoff, Kirby plays Hattie Shaw, sister to Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the criminal-turned-good guy who appeared in the last three FAST & FURIOUS movies. Not typically the most law-abiding type, Hattie must nonetheless team up with her brother and former government man Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) to take down a cybernetically enhanced supervillain, played by PACIFIC RIM’s Idris Elba. (August 2)