With 2023 almost upon us, I wanted to take a look forward to highlighting some of the upcoming 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures films that will be heading to our screens in 2023.

Internationally, Searchlight Pictures and 20th Century Studios films are released on Disney+, either after a short theatrical run or released directly onto Disney+.

However, in the United States, things a little more complicated as new theatrical film releases by the two studios would be released on HBO first due to a ten-year deal that ends this week, so the last few releases of 2022, will still have to comply with that deal. But for new releases from 2023, Disney can release films on Hulu or Disney+ and we will have to wait to see what Disney’s new strategy for 2023 in the United States will be.

Here’s the rundown:

Note: This list is subject to change

The Menu

In “The Menu”, a couple, Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), travel to a coastal island in the Pacific Northwest to eat at an exclusive restaurant, Hawthorn, where the reclusive, globally celebrated Chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish tasting menu for select special guests. Joining the couple are three young, already inebriated tech bros, Bryce (Rob Yang), Soren (Arturo Castro) and Dave (Mark St. Cyr), an older wealthy couple and repeat clients, Anne and Richard (Judith Light and Reed Birney), renowned restaurant critic Lillian Bloom (Janet McTeer) and her slavish magazine editor Ted (Paul Adelstein), and a famous middle-aged movie star (John Leguizamo) with his assistant Felicity (Aimee Carrero). Hosted by the immaculately dressed front of house staff led by general Elsa (Hong Chau), the evening unfolds with increasing tension at each of the guest tables as secrets are revealed and unexpected courses are served. With wild and violent events occurring, Slowik’s motivation begins to rattle the diners as it becomes increasingly apparent that his elaborate menu is designed to catalyse to a shocking finale.

“The Menu” is coming to HBO Max on Tuesday, 3rd January 2023 and on Disney+ in many countries, including the UK and Canada, on Wednesday, 4th January 2023.

Darby And The Dead

After suffering a near-death experience as a young girl, Darby Harper gains the ability to see dead people. She becomes introverted and recluses from her peers. But all that changes when Capri unexpectedly dies in a freak accident.

“Darby And The Dead” will be released on Disney+ in some countries, including Canada and Australia, in January 2023.

Empire Of Light

Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, Empire of Light is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema from Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes. Empire of Light features a stellar cast led by Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Lost Daughter), BAFTA winner Micheal Ward (Blue Story, Top Boy) and Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man). It also reunites Mendes with Academy Award winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (1917, Skyfall).

The film has been written and directed by Sam Mendes, Empire of Light stars Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, with Toby Jones and Colin Firth. The film is produced by Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris’ Neal Street Productions, in partnership with Searchlight Pictures.

“Empire Of Light” has already been released in cinemas in the US and Canada, while the film is being released in cinemas in the UK on 9th January 2023 and in Australia in February 2023. Expect “Empire Of Light” to be released on Disney+ around the world once its completed its 45-day theatrical release window.

Avatar: The Way Of Water

Jake Sully and Ney’tiri have formed a family and are doing everything to stay together. However, they must leave their home and explore the regions of Pandora. When an ancient threat resurfaces, Jake must fight a difficult war against the humans.

“Avatar: The Way Of Water” is currently available in cinemas, and we should expect the film to be released on Disney+ during 2023.

Rye Lane

Two youngsters reeling from bad breakups who connect over an eventful day in South-London. It stars Vivian Oparah and David Jonsson.

“Rye Lane” is coming to Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ around the world on March 31st 2023


Based on the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr. in a tour de force performance) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) herself and her court.

“Chevalier” arrives in cinemas on April 7th, 2023


Quasi is an upcoming American satirical comedy film directed by Kevin Heffernan and written by Heffernan and Broken Lizard members Steve Lemme, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. It is based on the 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

“Quasi” is coming to Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ around the world on April 20th, 2023

A Haunting in Venice

Set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, “A Haunting in Venice” is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.

“A Haunting in Venice,” the studios’ third film based on a novel by Christie, reunites the team of filmmakers behind 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 2022’s “Death on the Nile” and includes screenwriter Michael Green, producer Judy Hofflund, and executive producers Louise Killin and James Prichard, along with filmmakers Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, and Mark Gordon.

“A Haunting in Venice” is coming to cinemas on September 15th, 2023

Next Goal Wins

“Next Goal Wins” follows the infamously terrible American Samoa soccer team, known for a brutal 2001 FIFA match they lost 31-0. Michael Fassbender stars with Elisabeth Moss, Will Arnett, and Rhys Darby. It’s been written and directed by Taika Waititi.

“Next Goal Wins” is coming to cinemas on September 22nd, 2023

True Love

“True Love” is being written, directed, and produced by Gareth Edwards, who has previously worked on “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Godzilla”. This film will star John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Allison Janney, Sturgill Simpson, Marc Menchaca, and Ken Watanabe. Unfortunately, no plot details have been announced for this film yet.

“True Love” is coming to cinemas on October 6th, 2023

Which film are you looking forward to watching in 2023?

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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