2022 was a year full of stories that very important to or affected geek culture (which truly is just ‘pop culture’ nowadays). We have compiled our choices for the Top 20 Geek Stories of 2022.
#20. ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ chaos. A movie that was supposed to be Oscar worthy sure created backstage controversy. Everything from Florence Pugh’s revolt to ‘Spitgate’ with Harry Styles, Don’t Worry Darling was a wild ride. Too bad it was not more of a wild ride on the movie screen. Someday a film about the making of Don’t worry Darling will be fire.
#19. Marvel Special Presentations. Marvel Studios started something new this year. On Disney +, they began to release special presentation- one shot shows around an hour length that focused on a smaller story. Werewolf By Night was released around Halloween and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was released on Black Friday. Both were critical successes and were beloved by the audience.
#18. Elton John in Dodger Stadium. Elton John’s final US tour came to an end at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles live on Disney +. Elton John performed many of his greatest hits and gave us another glimpse at what could be accomplished with the streaming services.
#17. Wednesday. Netflix found a huge surprise hit with the release of the 8-episode season of Wednesday, a ‘spin-off’ sort of from the Addams Family. Wednesday became one of Netflix’s most viewed shows of all time and exceeded all expectations.
#16. Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader. Though the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney + series had a mixed response, there was no doubt that the two major conflicts between the old rivals were moments to never forget.
#15. Wordle. The New York Times found a new obsession with the public. Wordle was a game where the participants tried to discover the 5-letter word in less than six guesses and it became one of the great obsessions of 2022. Though Wordle may not be as popular as it was earlier in the year, I still go daily and work the puzzle.
#14. ‘Running Up That Hill”. The Kate Bush song from 1985 was suddenly all the rage once again after being featured in Stranger Things Season 4 episode 4. One of the best episodes of TV this year, ‘Dear Billy’ ended with Max (Sadie Sink) and her desperate attempt to escape from Vecna, perfectly scored with this song. The song became a huge hit…again.
#13. Avatar sequel. Avatar: The Way of Water finally came out this year with a December release. One of the jokes that had been going around was these Avatar sequels, which had been rumored for years, were not a real thing. However, James Cameron proved that Avatar was strong as ever.
#12. Henry Cavill back as Superman/Oops, not so fast!: Henry Cavill had a cameo in the Black Adam movie and then was told to announce that he was back as Superman. However, a few weeks later, Henry Cavill was revealed to be out as the Man of Steel as he did not fit in with the plans for the new DCU from James Gunn and Peter Safran. It was a weird flip-flop that caught everyone off-guard.
#11. Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. One of the most public and quoted trials of the year, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard went at each other creating clickbait and memes all across the internet.
#10. Ezra Miller-Flash movie craziness. Ezra Miller spent much of 2022 off his rocker, doing things that were horrendous and causing a major problem for WB. This is because he was starring in a new Flash movie that was intended to be a new start for the DC movies. There were calls to fire Miller and to recast or to reshoot scenes or even ditch the whole film. WB pushed the film back into 2023 and they hope that Miller can ease back on the crazy until it comes out.
#9. Marvel announces Phase 4’s end and reveals two new Avenger movies. Kevin Feige stepped out onto the Comic Con stage and broke the huge news. Phase 4 would end with Wakanda Forever (a phase that the internet seemed to hate… unfairly, in my opinion) and that everything would be building to Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars both in 2025. Marvel won another SDCC.
#8. James Gunn and Peter Safran new heads of DCU. Warner Brothers announced that James Gunn and Peter Safran would be taking over the running of DC movies, ending WB’s search for their own ‘Kevin Feige’. Gunn and Safran appear to be preparing for a reboot of all things DC saying that they have a ten year plan.
#7. Top Gun: Maverick makes all the money. In a surprise, Top Gun: Maverick became the biggest box office film of 2022. It made nearly 1.5 billion dollars worldwide, a number that no one saw coming. Maverick helped bring audience members back to the theater this summer after a couple of years of slow going (unless it was a Marvel movie).
#6. Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 B. The richest man around flexed his financial might when he dropped a cool $44 billion to buy Twitter, amidst controversy and anger. Musk claimed that he was protecting free speech while his critics said he was just making it easier for hate speech to flourish on the social media account. It is still unclear what the eventual fate of Twitter will be after the purchase, but it will surely be interesting.
#5. Ryan Reynolds announces Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine for Deadpool 3. In a shocking announcement, Ryan Reynolds revealed that Hugh Jackman would be returning to the role of Wolverine for the Deadpool sequel and that it was not just as a cameo. Despite some concerns that this would hurt the film Logan where Jackman had put the character to rest, most of the geek world flipped out, making the film even more anticipated than it was before.
#4. Queen Elizabeth died. After ruling England for decades, Queen Elizabeth died. Her son Charles took the throne as King Charles II and the world mourned, watching the royal funeral, proving that the obsession with the British Royal Family continued to be all the rage.
#3. Vince McMahon stepped down from WWE. Hell must have frozen over. Amidst several sex scandals, CEO and Chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment Vince McMahon announced he was retiring, to the shock of the entire wrestling world. Paul “Triple H” Leveque took over the reigns of creative and started making immediate changes. There have been some rumors that indicate that McMahon wants to come back, but let’s hope that does not come to fruition as the WWE has been much more entertaining lately than it had been for years.
#2. The Slap. Controversy swirled at the 2022 Academy Award ceremony when Will Smith came up on stage live and slapped comedian Chris Rock because of a joke Rock had made about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith, who would win an Oscar later that night for Best Actor suddenly became one of the most talked about celebrities in the world. The shocking moment became one of the most discussed moments of Oscar history.
#1. Bob Chapek out at Disney. Bob Iger back in. In one of the most unexpected developments of 2022, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was removed from his position and he was replaced with the man whose retirement opened the door for Chapek, Bob Iger. Chapek had been disliked by many within Disney for some of his decisions and his time finally came. Iger agreed to return to the House of the Mouse to rebuild the brand. This news was universally hailed as awesome as Chapek had been blamed for many of the recent problems with Disney.