Most anticipated Netflix shows and movies 2022 — Stranger Things season 4, Umbrella Academy season 3 and more

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things
(Image credit: Netflix via YouTube)

For Netflix, 2022 looks to be mammoth year. No, not because of the amount of programming it has in store, but because of the big names about to come back. Yes, the big red streaming machine's biggest original shows and some of its most interesting-looking films are going to make it hard to leave the couch in the new year.

Whether we're learning more about what's going on in Hawkins in Stranger Things Season 4, or finding out how the Byrde family in Ozark Season 4 is handling tumult, Netflix is giving us more of the stuff we're excited for. We also look forward to Umbrella Academy Season 3 and Peak Blinders season 6. Oh, and there's a little movie called The Gray Man coming out, which looks like the start of something big for Netflix. 

Here's all the biggest Netflix shows and movies coming in 2022, which looks like enough to ensure its high ranking on our best streaming services list. (Plus, they've got a few last notable releases to watch this weekend.)

Inventing Anna (February 11)

Julia Garner as Anna Delvey, at a fashion show, in Inventing Anna

(Image credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix)

Shonda Rhimes, who has a Midas touch as a showrunner, is about to make a big splash on Netflix with Inventing Anna. The series (Rhimes' first with creator and writer credits since Scandal) looks to explain the wild lifestyle of Anna Sorokin, the woman better known as Anna Delvey. For four years, Sorokin/Delvey tricked the elite party scene in New York to cover her tabs. She had the money, she swore. Just not at the moment. Julia Garner (Ozark) stars as Sorokin and Anna Chlumsky (recently on Halt and Catch Fire) co-stars as the journalist trying to figure out who she really is. — Henry T. Casey

The Cuphead Show (February 18)

Mugman (voiced by Frank Todaro) and Cuphead (voiced by Tru Valentino) ride a rocket in The Cuphead Show!

(Image credit: Netflix)

As maddeningly difficult to play as it is beautifully drawn, the indie video game Cuphead already looks like a classic piece of animation from Mickey Mouse's Steamboat Willie era. So, it wasn't surprising that Netflix (which loves video games ever since The Witcher became one of its biggest shows) snatched up this show about anthropomorphic cups that get into trouble. Yes, you read that right. Oh, and Wayne Brady voices the villainous King Dice. — Henry T. Casey

Bridgerton season 2 (March 25)

Sometimes, a “meet-cute” is a "meet-I hate you.” That was the case for Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and it’s also the case for Bridgerton’s Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) and Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey). In Bridgerton season 2, he moves into the spotlight, now that his sister Daphne has wed the Hot Duke. Anthony is determined to hit the marriage mart and find a bride. But he’s developed quite the reputation as a rake — of which the whip-smart, beautiful Kate is well aware. It looks like Anthony may fall for the one woman in the London ton who won’t have him … at least, until he proves himself worthy. — Kelly Woo

Stranger Things season 4 (May 27)

If it seems like we’ve been waiting years for Stranger Things season 4, that’s because we have. ST3 aired way back in July 2019, a time that might as well have been centuries ago given everything that’s come since. Has that long delay dampened our enthusiasm for the return of Eleven, Will, Mike, Dustin, Lucas and the rest of the gang? Not a jot — in fact, it’s only ramped up our expectations. For one, we’re eager to find out how Hopper survived the explosive end to season three, as well as being excited to find out how a change of scene from Hawkins to California will affect the dynamics. — Marc McLaren 

Peaky Blinders season 6 (June 10)

Peaky Blinders

(Image credit: BBC)

Tick, tick, tick … time is counting down to the moment where we find out the fate of Cillian Murphy's Tommy Shelby. Drowning in a sea of paranoia and angst, Tommy held a gun to his own head as Peaky Blinders ended season 5 back in 2019. The failure of the attempted assassination of Sir Oswald Mosley is in the rear-view mirror, except that it isn't. Peaky Blinders season 6 starts with an episode titled "Black Day," and so we expect Mosley's Blackshirts to play a pretty big role. — Henry T. Casey

Umbrella Academy season 3 (June 22)

The cast of Umbrella Academy

(Image credit: Netflix)

The first season of The Umbrella Academy was an entertainingly skewed take on the superhero genre, but season two lifted it to another level. With the majority of the action set in 1960s Dallas, UE2 was able to explore everything from the civil rights movement to mental health to sexuality, while tying its time-jumping, alternate-universe lore into increasingly complex knots. All of which has left us more excited about Umbrella Academy season 3 than almost any other 2022 Netflix show. We don’t yet know a lot about it, but we’re pretty confident it will be brilliant and bewildering in equal measure. — Marc McLaren

The Gray Man (July 2022)

Ryan Gosling is on a train in The Gray Man

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix isn't content to be the service with most of the biggest names in TV shows, as The Gray Man looks to be the start of a major series of action movies. Why should you care about another action movie series? For starters, it's coming from The Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony, the duo behind some of the very best Marvel movies (The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War and Endgame). And in front of the camera you've got Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling in the lead roles of a story of betrayal at the CIA. The supporting cast is strong as well, featuring Ana de Armans, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfre Woodard. 

We just got our first look at Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in The Gray Man.

— Henry T. Casey

The Crown season 5 (November 2022)

All hail the new queen, Imelda Staunton. The actress will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Olivia Colman, who took over from Claire Foy. Since Colman and Foy both won Emmys for their portrayals, Staunton may find herself with a trophy next year, too. As per its regular cycle, The Crown is changing its entire cast. Joining Staunton are Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. The Crown season 5 won’t jump too far ahead in time, as it will pick up more or less where the last episode left off — with Charles and Diana’s marriage on the rocks. Covering the early to mid-’90s, the show will touch on everything from Diana’s explosive Panorama interview to her little black revenge dress to their separation and divorce. Buckle up, because it’s going to be quite the ride (even if you tend to fall down a Wikipedia hole like me). — Kelly Woo

Grace and Frankie final episodes (2022)

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie

(Image credit: Netflix)

After releasing the first four episodes of its seventh and final season on Netflix in August, Netflix Original Grace and Frankie will finish its seventh season in the early part of 2022. Unsurprisingly, the split of episodes was due to production delays when the Covid-19 pandemic shut things down, as only four episodes were shot by that point. The series left off with Grace and Nick's dynamic in turmoil as he's about to be let out of prison, while Frankie's having trouble laundering Nick's cash. — Henry T. Casey

The Sandman (2022)

Neil Gaiman's beloved Sandman graphic novels are getting their time in the streaming spotlight with a Netflix adaptation. The Sandman boasts a mighty cast, including Tom Sturridge as Morpheus/Dream, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer and David Thewlis as John Dee. With Gaiman's involvement, we hope The Sandman is a much better adaptation than Netflix's high-profile misses of 2021, as Cowboy Bebop and Jupiter's Legacy both died quick deaths. — Henry T. Casey

The Witcher: Blood Origin (2022)

The Witcher world does not begin and end with just Geralt of Rivia, and Netflix will expand the Witcher Cinematic Universe even further with The Witcher: Blood Origin, a six-part miniseries. Sophia Brown will star as Éile, a warrior whose heart belongs to the music, as she has an amazing voice. Yes, Éile is going through the career change of a lifetime, dropping the responsibilities of being in the Queen's guard to play music on the road. That probably won't last long, though, as the series (set 1,200 years before the timeline in Geralt's series) is focused on the creation of the first Witcher and the events that brought man and monster onto the same realm of existence in the Conjunction of the Spheres. If that's not enough? Michelle Yeoh co–stars as Scian, an elf swinging mighty swords. — Henry T. Casey

Sex Education season 4 (2022)

Now that it looks like Moordale's rid of Headmistress Hope (Jemima Kirk), it's time to move onwards and upwards. Maeve and Otis will enter the season still in that state of perpetual "what's going on here?" Maybe we would have seen some progression, but Maeve had to head off to America in season 3. Eric and Adam seem in good condition, as are Ola and Lily. We're curious how Aimee's going to handle her life now that she's more independent, and find out more about who's the father of Jean's child. We'd also love to see more of Jackson's mom Sophia (Hannah Waddingham). — Henry T. Casey

Knives Out 2 (2022)

Daniel Craig in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Guess who's back? Yes, Netflix invested heavily in dual sequels to Knives Out, and Daniel Craig's got a new murderer's row of potential murderers. Other confirmed Knives Out 2 cast include Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Madelyn Cline, Jessica Henwick and Ethan Hawke. Oh, and it's even going to have Kathryn Hahn, continuing the Hahnnaissance that WandaVision started. No word about what will happen in the squeal, but we know it will have a new location and new mystery. 

Want more? The Knives Out 2 first look headlined Netflix's 2022 movies preview.

Pinocchio (late 2022) 

There are two Pinocchio films coming in 2022, so we should specify that Netflix looks like it's going to get the better of the two (Disney's is a live-action adventure). Netflix's stop-motion animation version may not have a trailer yet, but all you really need to know is that it's coming from the mind of Guillermo del Toro. The cinematic genius shares directing, screenplay and production credits for the film, which features a star-studded list of voice actors. Ewan McGregor is voicing "the Talking Cricket" while Ron Perlman provides the voice of theater director and puppet-master Mangiafuoco. Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, Finn Wolfhard and John Turturro round out the cast. — Henry T. Casey

Beyond Netflix there's a whole host of other big TV shows coming in 2022 from Lord of the Rings to She-Hulk.

Marc McLaren

Formerly Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and was also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He is now U.K. Editor in Chief on TechRadar. Marc previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, he likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.