Due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, we lost out on a lot of awesome movies over the past year, as many films got bumped in favor of releasing them at a more convenient time for promoting them alongside the actors. While that sucked for our movie viewing habits, the result is that these next 12 months should be packed with the releases that never happened, providing us with more new Black movies in 2024 than we’ve had in any year in recent memory.
Since we have a lot of movie-viewing time to make up for, let’s not waste any more of it and get right in the new Black movies we need to be on the lookout for in the coming year!
Bad Boys 4
Well, we got the original Bad Boys, which became an instant Black movie classic, in 1995. Then we got the sequel 8 years later in 2003. We had to wait all of 17 years to get the follow-up to that, Bad Boys for Life, in 2020—right before the pandemic. And now, we’ll see what we’re currently calling Bad Boys 4 in 2024, believe to be dropping during Fathers Day weekend, on June 14th. We’re always excited to see Martin Lawrence back on screen, and this may end up being Will Smith’s most anticipated movie since the slap heard around the world at the 2022 Oscars. But we’re also excited to see Tasha Smith, now playing the role of Martin Lawrence’s wife, replacing Theresa Randle who played that role during the previous 3 installments of the Bad Boys franchise.
Mufasa: The Lion King
Well, this should be one of the more fun new Black movies of 2024. After all, what could be more gratifying than a prequel to the Lion King than knowing it will be executed by the one and only Barry Jenkins—one of the most dynamic Black directors of our time? The man behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk is venturing into the world of family movies, and I’m excited to see what he, a Black man, can do with this classic tale, that for all intents and purposes, hails from the continent of Africa.
Now the big question is whether this will be animated or live action…? Truth is that I don’t really know how to describe it. Apparently it is live-action, but it’s also described as being “photorealistic” with “computer-generated imagery”. Apparently, that’s how one is supposed to describe the 2019 remake that Beyonce starred in, so we can assume that is what it will look like.
We’re not sure whether James Earl Jones will be reprised in any way, as he was in the 2019 remake, as the prequel movie largely focuses on the lives of a younger Mufasa, as well as his brother, Scar. However, we can expect Aaron Pierre, a Black British actor, to take on the role of the younger Mufasa character for the bulk of the movie.
Mufasa: The Lion King is slated to drop on December 20, 2024, just in time to make your Black Christmas movies viewing list for the year.
The Book of Clarence
Okay, if you’re looking for something different, this is the movie for you. In fact, this may be the most anticipated new Black movies of the year for me, as the premise and cast for The Book of Clarence is so powerful, that it’s hard to not be extremely excited about what’s to come.
The movie is what is being called an “epic biblical comedy-drama” film. What in the hell does that mean?
I honestly don’t know, but the polysyllabic term certainly does build the intrigue, as does the wildly humorous, and curious, trailer that’s been making the rounds in the lead up to its release. The premise, as I understand it, is that a there’s a young Black man in Jerusalem, during the rise of Jesus Christ, that hopes to better his life by riding the wave of Jesus. It appears to be humorously and satirically well-done, with the likes of Anna Diop, RJ Cyler, David Oyelowo, Teyana Taylor, and Alfre Woodard all with roles in the film. The movie has its official theatrical release on January 12, 2024.
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F
Here’s a little-known secret about me: my favorite comedic movie of all time is Beverly Hills Cop II. While I loved the original, it was the first sequel that had me laughing out loud as a young kid in 1990 when I watched the film on VHS. I was six years old and believe it was the second or third time I had seen Eddie Murphy’s work, and to a kid at that age, there was almost nothing funnier. Unfortunately, Beverly Hills Cop III was not my cup of tea, but I remain excited for this latest sequel nonetheless.
Legend has it that his sequel has been in the work for the nearly 30 years since that last installment of Beverly Hills Cop came out in 1994. As with a lot of projects Eddie Murphy related over the last few decades, clearly that initial effort fell through. But with Murphy back in the spotlight, making movies at a clip that appears to be an attempt to make up for lost time, it looks like we’re finally getting another crack at laughing with one of Murphy’s funniest characters of all-time.
For those that don’t know the franchise’s premise, essentially, Murphy is a do-nothing-by-the-book cop based in Detroit, but is constantly finding himself having to investigate issues that take him out to sunny California. In Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, he’ll be teaming up with his estranged daughter to investigate yet another Beverly Hills-based crime. The movie will premiere in the summer of 2024, nearly 40 years after the original debuted in 1984, and also putting it somewhat at odds with the next Bad Boys movie, which is also releasing its fourth franchise installment.
Well, the timing couldn’t be worse for this new Black movie starring Jonathan Majors, who since the film’s debut at Sundance in early 2023, has been on strike with SAG-AFTRA and is now convicted of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend. While the Majors’ issues certainly put the film’s commercial viability into question, the post Sundance chatter suggests its one of the 2024 movies that is well worth watching. Magazine Dreams tells the story of bodybuilder “Killian Maddox”, who apparently stops at nothing to achieve his goal of becoming a celebrity superstar and one of the most heralded body builders. Apparently, that comes at extreme costs to his health, but he ultimately ignores those costs, only to have to deal with them later.
Majors got super jacked for this movie, which probably wasn’t too hard for him to do given his role in Creed 3 that predated this movie. Reports having Majors eating 6,100 calories a day for 4 months.
Given Majors’ now criminal issues, the initial release date for this was removed and apparently the release is on an indefinite hold. So while we can’t put an exact date on the release, it’s hard to imagine the film will come out any later than 2024, as its distributer, Fox Searchlight, is going to want to, if nothing else, put this behind them at some point. Of course, don’t be surprised if the film doesn’t exactly make it to the theaters and instead becomes a straight to streaming release.
Other New Black Movies in 2024:
- In the Shadows (January 5, 2024)
- Role Play (January 12, 2024)
- The Kitchen (January 12, 2024)
- Lift (January 12, 2024)
- Bob Marley: One Love (January 12, 2024)
- The Underdogs (January 25, 2024)
- The American Society of Magical Negroes (March 22, 2024)
Need Even More Black Movies in 2024?
And if this list wasn’t enough for you, fell free to check out all of the Black movies and TV shows available to you right now on BlackOakTV!