Here are the major pop culture moments to look forward to in 2023

Everything we know about ‘Barbie,’ The Eras Tour, Rihanna’s comeback and more.
December 31, 2022 3:52 p.m. EST

Sad to leave 2022 behind? No need to be with all this film, television and music to look forward to! From Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ movie and Taylor Swift’s record-breaking tour to Rihanna’s comeback and ‘The Little Mermaid’ live action, here’s everything we know about the major pop culture moments to anticipate in 2023.

The ‘Barbie’ movie

We apologize now for the people we will become when this movie comes out. This upcoming Greta Gerwig project, with a seemingly never-ending cast list, has occupied rent-free space in our heads since paparazzi photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling filming dropped back in June 2022. The teaser trailer, released a few weeks ago, only added to the anticipation.

Will Ferrell, who has confirmed he plays a Mattel CEO in the film, has given us the only plot crumbs we have so far. "It's a loving homage to the brand and, at the same time, couldn't be more satirical," he told Wall Street Journal Magazine. "Just an amazing comment on male patriarchy and women in society and why Barbie's criticized and yet why every little girl still wants to play with Barbie." Only seven months until its July 21 release! 

The Eras Tour

After an unprecedented ticket-buying fiasco, these Taylor Swift concerts are on track to break more records. The 52-date tour has generated nearly $591 million in sales, making Swift the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time according to the Billboard Boxscore chart. 

With 6 un-toured albums to perform (Lover, folklore, evermore, Midnights + the Red and Fearless re-recordings,) the audience should expect to hear the live debut of many newer Taylor tracks. Plus, with her ~reputation~ for surprises and special guests, every (mid)night of the tour is bound to be unforgettable! The first show is on March 17 in Glendale, Arizona.

And, who knows?! Given the hints Tay dropped in the “Bejeweled” music video, perhaps we should also anticipate Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and possible performances of its vault tracks this year. 

Rihanna’s comeback

New mom, now new music?! It’s been nearly 7 years since Rihanna’s last album Anti and, believe it or not, the wait may FINALLY be coming to an end. When the Fenty Beauty business mogul announced back in September—in the most iconic of Instagram announcements—that she is headlining the next Super Bowl halftime show, rumors spread quickly that her set will include new music. 

While she did bless us with “Lift Me Up” from ‘The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtrack this year, we’re eager for all the RiRi music we can get. Here’s hoping 2023 brings a full-length comeback studio album along with an epic halftime show (don’t miss it February 12!) for the books.

‘The Little Mermaid’ live action

We’ve been buzzing for this live action remake ever since Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel was announced back in July 2019. Though some racist trolls took issue with a Black actress taking on the iconic mermaid, Halle landing the role is nothing but cause for celebration! Her angelic voice (see her music with sister Chloe,) serious acting chops (see her on ‘Grownish’) and major impact (see the most adorable viral supercuts of Black girls watching the film’s teaser trailer) make her a beyond perfect choice. 

“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’” Halle told Variety about the fan response.

The movie will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tracks from original composer Alan Menken and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you need us on May 26, we'll be found seated in a theater, crying over Halle's "Part Of Your Wold"!

The Weeknd’s ‘The Idol’

If we had a nickel for every time a Canadian musician executive produced a provocative, stylish HBO series, we’d have two nickels—which isn’t a lot, but it’s kind of strange that it’s happened twice. 

‘The Idol,’ made by The Weeknd and ‘Euphoria’ creator Sam Levinson, stars Lily-Rose Depp as “an aspiring pop idol who, after having a nervous breakdown that causes her last tour to be canceled, resolves to reclaim her title as the sexiest pop star in America and begins a complicated relationship with a self-help guru (The Weeknd) and the head of a contemporary cult." We’ll take 100 seasons, please! 

The show also stars Troye Sivan, Dan Levy and Jennie from Blackpink. While it doesn’t have an exact release date just yet, we’ll be ready to stream literally whenever they call on us. 

Which of these 5 things are you most excited for in the new year? Let us know on social media @etalkCTV.

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