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Fall Arts Preview

Fall is for great films: 40-plus movies to look forward to this season

From Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ to Sofia Coppla’s ‘Priscilla’ to a new adaptation of ‘The Color Purple,’ here are some of the highlights

This image released by Focus Features shows, from left, Elena Kampouris, Elias Kacavas, Andrea Martin, Nia Vardalos, Louis Mandylor and John Corbett in a scene from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3."Yannis Drakoulidis/Associated Press

Fall is the time of year when Hollywood puts away its childish things to focus on prestige pictures and Oscar bait. September throws critics into screenings for those films, with festivals happening in Toronto, Venice, Telluride, and New York.

Since so much of the talent is currently on strike (SAG-AFTRA and the WGA hadn’t reached any agreements as of this writing), this year’s festivals will feature far fewer opportunities for the press to mingle with writers and actors. But there’s a lot to look forward to this fall, from the latest by Scorsese to an adaptation of a Tony-winning Broadway musical.

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Take the following with a big fat grain of salt. Because of the strikes, release dates have been in a constant state of flux and upheaval.

SEPT. 8

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 3 Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, and Andrea Martin are back for this threequel, which should have been called “My Big Fat Greek Family Reunion.”

THE NUN II The Demon Nun from “The Conjuring” Universe is back to scare the unholy hell out of her fans. You know who you are and what you did to deserve this movie.

Tina Fey and Kenneth Branagh in "A Haunting in Venice." Rob Youngson/20th Century Studios

SEPT. 15

A HAUNTING IN VENICE Director Kenneth Branagh stars in his third go-round as Agatha Christie’s master crime solver, Hercule Poirot. This one adds a horror element to the murder mystery. Maybe that Demon Nun did it!

Also coming: “The Outlaw Johnny Black”

Lynn Mabry and David Byrne in “Stop Making Sense."Jordan Cronenweth/A24

SEPT. 22

STOP MAKING SENSE This restoration of the greatest concert film ever made renders Jonathan Demme’s collaboration with Talking Heads in IMAX. David Byrne’s “big suit” will finally live up to its name.

DUMB MONEY In this biopic from “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie, Paul Dano plays Brockton native Keith Gill, a Redditor who created a short squeeze on GameStop stock. If you understood that sentence, this movie is for you.

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THE EXPEND4BLES To judge by some movie titles, the number 3 sounds like an “e” (”M3GAN”), and the number 7 sounds like a “v” (”Se7en”). This latest installment in the Sly Stallone “we’re former ′80s movie action stars who can still blow BLEEP up” action series proves 4 sounds like an “a.” You’re welcome.

From left: Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Aaron Jackson, and Josh Sharp in "Dicks: The Musical."Justin Lubin

SEPT. 29

DICKS: THE MUSICAL If you think the title of “Borat” director Larry Charles’s raunchy musical homage to “The Parent Trap” is shocking, you should see the name of Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson’s off-Broadway play from which it’s adapted. Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally costar with the writers.

SAW X “Saw” serial psychopath Jigsaw is back for a 10th round of gory mayhem.

PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE The pups from the animated TV show gain superpowers in this big-screen adaptation. Get ready to watch it 7 million times with your kids.

Also coming: “The Kill Room”

OCT. 6

THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER After destroying the “Halloween” franchise, director David Gordon Green points his camera at demon Pazuzu and its victims. Ellen Burstyn, star of the Oscar-winning 1973 original (by the late director William Friedkin), returns!

A STRANGE WAY OF LIFE Pedro Almodóvar’s short film stars Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke in an English-language western about a reunion between two friends with a mysterious past.

OCT. 13

TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR Only the Jesuits and Taylor Swift are powerful enough to get Satan to vacate the premises. Because of ticket pre-sales of this film, “The Exorcist: Believer” moved its release date a week earlier. Shake THAT off, Pazuzu!

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Also coming: “The Persian Version”

OCT. 20

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro reunite with frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese for this tragic true story of oil men and greed. Scorsese and “Forrest Gump” scribe Eric Roth adapt David Grann’s excellent book about the murders of members of the Osage tribe in the 1920s. Costar Lily Gladstone, who plays the Osage wife of DiCaprio’s character, has earned raves for her performance.

Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny in "Priscilla."Philippe Le Sourd

OCT. 27

PRISCILLA Just what we need, yet another movie about Elvis; this one’s about his marriage to Priscilla Presley. Writer-director Sofia Coppola adapts Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir, “Elvis and Me.” Cailee Spaeny is Priscilla, and “Euphoria” star Jacob Elordi is Elvis.

THE KILLER David Fincher reunites with his “Se7en” screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker for this adaptation of Alexis “Matz” Nolent’s French comic book. Michael Fassbender and the goddess Tilda Swinton costar.

Also coming: “Five Nights at Freddy’s”

Jeffrey Wright in "American Fiction."Claire Folger

NOV. 3

AMERICAN FICTION Jeffrey Wright stars in writer-director Cord Jefferson’s debut feature that, per the press release, “confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes.” Your guess is as good as mine.

FINGERNAILS Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, and “The Bear”’s Jeremy Allen White star in this sci-fi drama about a technology that can determine if folks have found true love. Insert snarky computer dating joke here.

From left: Dominic Sessa, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Paul Giamatti in "The Holdovers." Seacia Pavao/FOCUS FEATURES LLC

NOV. 10

THE HOLDOVERS Alexander Payne reteams with his “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti in this comedy about a teacher dealing with a rebellious student (Dominic Sessa) stuck at a boarding school during the Christmas holiday. Costarring the goddess Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Shot in Franklin County!

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THE MARVELS In this sequel to 2019′s “Captain Marvel,” Brie Larson returns as Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. Teyonah Parris costars as fellow superhero Captain Monica Rambeau.

DREAM SCENARIO Someone’s invading your dreams — and it’s Nicolas Cage! Nic Cage as a faux Freddy Krueger? I am SO there.

Also coming: “Journey to Bethlehem”

Michael Fassbender in "Next Goal Wins."Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Searchlight Pictures

NOV. 17

NEXT GOAL WINS Director Taika Waititi (2019’s “JoJo Rabbit” — Lord, help me) casts Michael Fassbender in this true story about the new coach for an American Samoa soccer team that lost a FIFA match 31-0. It’s a comedy.

THANKSGIVING Yes, it’s a feature-length version of Eli Roth’s uber-gory trailer from the 2007 movie “Grindhouse.” As J. Lo infamously said to Ben Affleck in “Gigli,” “It’s turkey time. Gobble gobble.”

Also coming: “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” “Trolls Band Together”

Ariana DeBose and Alan Tudyk lend their voices to Disney's "Wish."Disney

NOV. 22

WISH Disney’s 62nd animated feature shows us what really happens when you wish upon a star. Oscar winner Ariana DeBose stars; expect incredible singing. Alan Tudyk costars as a talking goat.

NAPOLEON Able was I ere I saw Elba . . . and the trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest historical biopic about the palindrome-spouting emperor, Napoleon, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Vanessa Kirby is Joséphine.

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DEC. 1

THE BIKERIDERS Crime drama about a ′60s-era motorcycle club stars Austin “Elvis” Butler and Michael Shannon.

DEC. 8

A scene from "The Zone of Interest."A24

THE ZONE OF INTEREST Director Jonathan Glazer’s Holocaust drama focuses on the Commandant of Auschwitz and his family in an attempt to show the banality of evil. Word out of Cannes, where it won the Grand Prix: This film is harrowing.

POOR THINGS Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, and Mark Ruffalo star in this sex-filled riff on “Frankenstein” from provocateur director Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”).

EILEEN Newton native Ottessa Moshfegh co-adapts her 2015 novel with “Lady Macbeth” director William Oldroyd. Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie star in this prison-set neo-noir that wowed Sundance.

Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan in "Maestro."Jason McDonald/Netflix


DEC. 15

WONKA Oompa loompa doompadee doo. I’ve got another remake for you. Oompa loompa doompadee day. Wonka is Timothée Chalamet.

DEC. 20

MAESTRO In this biopic, director Bradley Cooper and his controversial prosthetic nose play composer Leonard Bernstein alongside Carey Mulligan as his wife, Felicia Montealegre.

AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM Jason Momoa returns as the dullest of all superheroes in this watery sequel.

DEC. 22

ALL OF US STRANGERS Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott in a gay romance with sci-fi undertones by “Weekend” writer-director Andrew Haigh? YES, PLEASE!

Also coming: “Migration”

DEC. 25

FERRARI Adam Driver recycles that horrendous accent he had in “House of Gucci” to play another famous Italian, Enzo Ferrari. Michael Mann’s latest is full of machismo and gory car crashes. Penélope Cruz costars. Cruz and Driver are perfect surnames for a movie about cars.

THE COLOR PURPLE This adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical has a cast to die for: Taraji P. Henson is Shug Avery, Colman Domingo is Mister, Danielle Brooks is Miss Sofia, H.E.R. is Squeak, Halle Bailey is Nettie, and Fantasia Barrino is Miss Celie. I almost church-fainted typing that out.

Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this article misstated the era in which “The Bikeriders” takes place. The era is the 1960s. The Globe regrets the error.


Odie Henderson is the Boston Globe's film critic.