- INSIDER is looking forward to the most anticipated projects of 2019, from “Avengers: Endgame” and season three of “Stranger Things” to forthcoming albums from popular artists.
- We rounded up 24 celebrities who will likely make the biggest cultural impact next year, thanks to such projects.
- This includes big names like Brie Larson, Emilia Clarke, and Rihanna, as well as relative newcomers like Julia Michaels and Joey King.
While nobody knows for sure what the new year will bring, 2019 is already bound to be groundbreaking, with multiple highly anticipated movies, TV shows, and albums scheduled for release.
Here are 24 celebrities – including actors and artists, in no particular order – whose projects will help them dominate headlines and make the biggest cultural impacts in 2019.
Rihanna is finally gearing up to release new music.
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Since the release of her critical darling “Anti” in January 2016, Rihanna has spent time cultivating her interests in beauty and fashion, building huge brands along the way: Fenty Beauty, Fenty Puma, and Fenty Savage. But while each one has seen major success, fans have been clamoring for more music most of all.
Thankfully, the pop star has confirmed that new music is coming in 2019. And considering how she continues to dominate streaming platforms year after year without any new music, we can only imagine what will happen when her ninth studio album finally lands.
Miley Cyrus looks like she’s thriving.
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Miley Cyrus entered 2019 on the heels of her wedding with Liam Hemsworth and her musical comeback with Mark Ronson. It certainly seems that she’s found her groove personally and professionally. And after the reception of “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” people are anxious to hear more from her upcoming album.
Brie Larson will soon make her debut as Marvel’s most powerful superhero.
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Brie Larson will make her debut as Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, on March 8, 2019 – and the movie will be a must-watch for any fan of the franchise. Fans are already in love with the Oscar-winning actress as the MCU’s newest and most powerful superhero.
The world will watch as Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen attempts to become the ruler of Westeros.
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There are plenty of guesses and theories, but no one knows what will happen on the upcoming season of “Game of Thrones.” One thing is for certain, however: Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen will be at the center of the drama and the action.
Although Clarke was denied a lead actress nomination at the most recent Emmys, don’t be surprised if the much-hyped final season – for which HBO is pulling out all the stops – generates even more awards show buzz for the embattled Mother of Dragons.
Sophie Turner’s upcoming year includes the final season of “Game of Thrones,” her own X-Men origin story, and a wedding.
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Sophie Turner’s fame will hit a fever pitch in 2019. On top of saying goodbye to Sansa Stark during the final season of “Game of Thrones,” she’ll give one of the most famous X-Men, Jean Grey, an origin story in “Dark Phoenix.”
Fans are eagerly awaiting Camila Cabello’s sophomore album.
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After leaving Fifth Harmony and releasing her self-titled debut album, Camila Cabello became Spotify’s fifth most-streamed female artist of 2018 – just behind heavy hitters like Ariana Grande, Cardi B, and Taylor Swift.
The 21-year-old topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 Albums charts simultaneously with “Camila,” so it’s safe to assume her upcoming sophomore album will create just as much, if not more, excitement and praise.
“I don’t have words to express how excited I am about things coming up next year, and imagining this next chapter and writing this next album,” Cabello recently wrote on Instagram.
Jordan Peele will release his directorial follow-up to “Get Out.”
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The film, which hits theaters on March 15, 2019, centers on a couple who takes their kids to a beach house for a relaxing trip, which gets interrupted by some unwanted, frightening guests. You can watch the chilling trailer here.
That’s not the only thing the 39-year-old has on his radar. He’s also hosting and narrating the upcoming “Twilight Zone” reboot, plus voicing an adorable, stuffed bunny toy in “Toy Story 4.”
Ariana Grande will drop her highly anticipated album “Thank U, Next.”
- Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic
Even though Ariana Grande had a monumental, tumultuous, record-breaking 2018, the pop star shows no signs of slowing down. She has already confirmed that her fifth studio album, “Thank U, Next,” is basically done and will be released before she kicks off her 2019 Sweetener World Tour.
Tessa Thompson will break norms as a star of “Men in Black: International.”
- Anthony Harvey/AFP/Getty Images
In addition to HBO’s “Westworld,” Tessa Thompson continues to dominate the big screen with scene-stealing roles. She’s selective about the parts she chooses and strives to contribute to representation in films. Following her performances in “Creed II” and “Sorry to Bother You,” the 35-year-old will star alongside “Thor: Ragnarok” co-star Chris Hemsworth in “Men in Black: International.”
You can watch the trailer for “Men in Black: International” here.
Chris Hemsworth will make his triumphant return as Thor.
- Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage
Chris Hemsworth has two blockbuster movies hitting theaters in 2019. On April 26, he’ll once again play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame” and on June 14, he’ll swap his superhero suit for spy attire in “Men in Black: International.” The latter movie will feature a nod to his role as the God of Thunder, too.
Letitia Wright might play a huge role in “Avengers: Endgame.”
- Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
According to Fandango, Letitia Wright was named the highest box office-earning actor of 2018, with $1.55 billion in revenue. This is due to her roles in four of the year’s major films: “The Commuter,” “Black Panther,” “Ready Player One,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Marvel fans will have to wait to find out the fate of her beloved, tech-savvy character, Shuri, when “Avengers: Endgame” is released in April.
Robert Downey Jr. could make his final appearance as Marvel Studios’ original superhero.
The trailer for “Avengers: Endgame” puts Robert Downey Jr.’s character front and center, as Tony Stark is stuck in space with limited resources. When the movie comes out, it’ll be interesting to see how the long-awaited movie will unfold.
Aside from that, the actor will also play the titular character in the adventure movie “The Voyage of Dr. Doolittle,” based on a children’s book about a doctor who has a gift for communicating with animals. It was originally expected to get released in April 2019, but has been pushed back to January 2020. The star-studded cast includes Downey Jr.’s Marvel co-star Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, and Rami Malek.
“Avengers: Endgame” will probably be Chris Evans’ curtain call as Captain America.
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Chris Evans has played the superhero since his first standalone movie was released in 2011. In the past few months, fans have heard conflicting information regarding whether or not the 37-year-old will leave the franchise behind after “Avengers: Endgame” is released.
In a New York Times profile that was published in March 2018, Evans was quoting saying, “You want to get off the train before they push you off,” while discussing his role.
Then he had fans sobbing after wrapping up production on the fourth “Avengers” film and sharing a heartfelt message on Twitter in October.
“Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.”
Naturally, fans interpreted it as his goodbye. Most recently, “Avengers: Infinity War” co-director Joe Russo spoke to the Associated Press and said that Evans isn’t “done yet.”
“I don’t want to explain what that means but the audience will soon understand what I’m talking about.”
Despite his character’s untimely death in “Infinity War,” we’ll definitely see Tom Holland return as Spider-Man.
- Rebeca Figueiredo Amorim/Getty Images for Sony
While we’re not sure exactly how much Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will appear in “Avengers: Endgame,” given that he didn’t survive Thanos’ snap, but we do know we’ll see him on the big screen soon enough. His second solo film as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, “Far From Home,” is slated for a July 2019 release date.
Julia Michaels is almost ready to drop her debut album.
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Julia Michaels had already penned No. 1 singles for artists like Justin Bieber (“Sorry”), Selena Gomez (“Hands to Myself,” “Good For You”), Nick Jonas (“Close”), and even Britney Spears (“Do You Wanna Come Over”) before her solo triple-platinum hit “Issues” was released in January 2017.
Now, Michaels is gearing up to release her official debut album. It was slated for a September 2018 release, but the Grammy nominee has admitted she won’t release it until it feels 100% ready. Be sure to keep an eye out for it in 2019, as Michaels is one of music’s biggest stars on the rise.
Millie Bobby Brown is becoming a full-blown leading lady.
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At just 14 years old, Millie Bobby Brown has been hailed as everything from a strong feminist and budding rapper to a bona fide style icon. And at just 14 years old, she has secured some of the most coveted roles in Hollywood.
In July, Brown will reprise her star-making lead role as Eleven on Netflix’s smash hit “Stranger Things.” In the coming year, she will also star in 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” which seems to already have a sequel in the works.
Taron Egerton will take on the titular role in the upcoming Elton John biopic.
- Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
The teaser trailer for “Rocketman” proves that Egerton has the appearance and vocal chops to pull off the role. Fans already know that Egerton is no stranger to belting out music from the legendary performer. You can listen to his rendition of “I’m Still Standing,” which Egerton sang while playing a gorilla in the animated movie “Sing,” here.
And even though “Rocketman” has been labeled as a biopic, the 29-year-old insists that it’s not.
“It’s a fantasy musical so it’s actually his songs used to express important beats in his life at emotional moments,” he told Collider. “He’s not the only character that sings.”
Lauren Jauregui is poised to become another post-Fifth Harmony solo star.
- Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Once the remaining members of Fifth Harmony officially went their separate ways in March 2018, it seemed obvious that each woman would pursue an independent career.
Lauren Jauregui had already hit the ground running. She collaborated with Halsey, Marian Hill, and Steve Aoki before releasing her own debut single “Expectations.” Jauregui said she’s already written about 40 songs that could potentially end up on her upcoming album, which is slated for a 2019 release.
The new “Star Wars” trilogy, focused on Daisy Ridley’s Rey, will come to a close.
Aside from galactic adventures, Ridley will also star in a sci-fi movie called “Chaos Walking” with Tom Holland and Nick Jonas, which is based on a dystopian book series.
Joey King will become Gypsy Rose Blanchard for Hulu’s new true crime series.
- Rachel Murray/Getty Images
Hulu’s highly anticipated series “The Act,” inspired by the real-life murder of Dee Dee Blanchard (who will be played by Patricia Arquette) by her daughter Gypsy Rose, will help catapult Joey King to brighter stardom.
The “Kissing Booth” actress has already made waves in the industry, but her commitment to the upcoming character (King shaved her head for the role, for example) hints that we haven’t seen anything close to her full range.
Normani’s debut solo album will follow the huge success of “Love Lies.”
- Monica Schipper/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Normani’s collaboration with Khalid, “Love Lies” – which was released in February, but continued to produce big streaming numbers and radio plays throughout the year – cemented her role as a major star on the rise.
“I’ve been in the studio for the last few months just really starting from the ground up,” she told Billboard about her upcoming debut album. “Sonically and creatively, I’m able to do absolutely anything that I wanna do now. It’s like a kid in a candy shop. It’s overwhelming sometimes, because there’s like so much you can do but the options are limitless, so I’m excited.”
Ben Platt will star on a musical series on Netflix, created by the “Glee” team.
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Ben Platt, of “Pitch Perfect” and “Dear Evan Hansen” fame, will be exposed to a far wider audience on Netflix’s upcoming musical series “The Politician.” The show, which comes from longtime “Glee” collaborators Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan, and Ryan Murphy, landed on the streaming giant after a highly competitive bidding war.
Donald Glover has more starring roles and music in the works.
- Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Donald Glover captured the world’s attention time after time in 2018 – from his groundbreaking “This Is America” music video to his scene-stealing turn as young Lando Calrissian in “Solo,” and his critically-acclaimed work on FX’s “Atlanta – and the triple-threat, will undoubtedly continue to make headlines.
Glover will play Simba in Disney’s live-action “Lion King” remake; it’s reported he’ll reappear in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” as a villain; and he might drop his final project as Childish Gambino in 2019.
HBO’s “True Detective” will return with Mahershala Ali at the helm.
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2019 will be another big year for Mahershala Ali. On January 13, Ali will return as Detective Wayne Hays on the third season of HBO’s “True Detective.” The following month, he’ll star as Vector in the action movie “Alita: Battle Angel.”
The Oscar winner’s recent film, “Green Book,” has also earned some award show buzz. Ali won a 2019 Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture, in addition to earning SAG nomination for outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role.
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