Spooky season is almost upon us, and with the upcoming inundation of horror titles, we’re here to give you a decidedly fresh watchlist. However, if you’re not a fan of the genre or have already gotten your fill of scary movies, we’ve got you covered with our picks of the new, non-horror shows and films premiering in October as well.
Keep reading for three upcoming series and movies you won’t want to miss, along with the noteworthy performances to anticipate in each.
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
William Friedkin, known for directing films like The Exorcist and The French Connection, was 87 when he passed away last month, and his last film will be released via Paramount+/Showtime on October 6. The late auteur’s film adaptation of Herman Wouk’s novel and play differs from its The Caine Mutiny predecessors — including Stanley Kramer’s 1954 feature starring Humphrey Bogart — with a modified time setting that falls after 9/11.
Friedkin’s 2023 adaptation stars Jason Clarke as Barney Greenwald, a veteran Navy lawyer who reluctantly agrees to defend a naval first officer named Lt. Steve Maryk (Jake Lacy). Maryk is standing trial for orchestrating a mutiny aboard the U.S.S. Caine after its captain, Lt. Phillip Francis Queeg (Kiefer Sutherland), shows signs of becoming unhinged and jeopardizes the lives of his crew. Besides the names already mentioned, you can also keep an eye out for Monica Raymund, Lewis Pullman, Jay Duplass, Tom Riley, and the late Lance Reddick — to whom the film is dedicated — when The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial releases on Paramount+/Showtime on October 6.
If you’ve been looking for an inspired-by-true-events courtroom dramedy led by two Oscar winners, this pick is for you. The Burial is based on Jonathan Harr’s 1999 New Yorker article of the same moniker and follows funeral home owner Jeremiah O’Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones) and personal injury attorney Willie E. Gary (Jamie Foxx) as they take on corporate corruption together.
Both stars have an Academy Award to their name, and The Burial director/writer Maggie Betts highlighted the casting choice of Foxx, in particular, calling him “a perfect match” for the real person he portrays in the film. And let’s not forget Bill Camp, who appears to be a delightfully smug villain as the head of the funeral company that threatens Jeremiah’s family business.
You’ll also find names like Jurnee Smollett, Alan Ruck, and Mamoudou Athie amongst the film’s stacked list of cast members, who can all be seen come October 13 when The Burial releases on Prime Video.
Do you enjoy seeing actors play against their normal “types”? Then Pain Hustlers may just be the title for you. The latest project to tackle the opioid crisis, David Yates’ upcoming feature stars Emily Blunt as Liza Drake, a blue-collar single mom struggling to make ends meet after losing her job. But a new position at a pharmaceutical start-up — following a chance meeting with a sales rep named Pete Brenner (Chris Evans) — leads to an uptick in Liza’s financial situation. Things get more complicated when she becomes entangled in the company’s racketeering scheme, and a growing awareness of the devastation it causes makes Liza take a hard look at her choices.
Yates praised Blunt’s work in the role, telling Tudum she was “probably the most prepared actor I’ve ever worked with.” In the same interview, the director also commented on the other star of his upcoming feature. “Casting Chris Evans for that was a delight because his clean-cut, alpha male, heroic demeanor is completely turned on its head when you cast him as a sleazebag pharma sales rep,” he asserted. Besides Blunt and Evans, you can also anticipate seeing performances from the likes of Andy Garcia, Catherine O’Hara, Jay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James and Chloe Coleman when Pain Hustlers debuts on Netflix come October 27.
It’s been 30 years since the original Frasier first premiered, and over its 11-season run, the popular comedy series earned the record for most Emmy wins in its category. So, it may be safe to say there are some seriously high expectations for the series’ eagerly-anticipated reboot.
Kelsey Grammer returns to star as the titular character, along with serving as executive producer of the upcoming show. This new chapter sees Frasier Crane (Grammer) relocating from Seattle back to Boston to be closer to his son Freddy. Jack Cutmore-Scott plays the psychiatrist’s said offspring and other new cast members include Jess Salgueiro as Freddy’s roommate and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Frasier’s old university professor pal.
You’ll have to tune in on October 12 when the reboot premieres on Paramount+ to see if you spot any other familiar faces besides Grammer’s in this new iteration of Frasier. But if the series’ trailer is any indication, you can definitely look forward to hearing a certain jingle — involving tossed salads and scrambled eggs — along the way.
Lessons in Chemistry
While this pick does release on Friday the 13th — in the month of October, no less — Lessons in Chemistry could not be further from the horror genre. The upcoming limited series is a period piece based on Bonnie Garmus’ bestselling novel of the same name. It takes place in the early 1950s and centers on a woman named Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson), who dreams of being a scientist until she’s fired from her lab thanks to some good, old-fashioned misogyny. She pivots to hosting a TV show about cooking — it’s just chemistry, according to Elizabeth — through which she connects to a nation of overlooked housewives with ideas that extend far beyond recipes.
Besides watching Larson’s starring performance, you can also take in the work of names like Lewis Pullman, Aja Naomi King, Stephanie Koenig, Kevin Sussman, Patrick Walker, Thomas Mann, and Rainn Wilson when Lessons in Chemistry premieres on Apple TV+ come October 13.
If you’ve been looking for a sci-fi series that’s part murder mystery, part period drama, and part police procedural, your search is over. Based on Si Spencer’s graphic novel of the same name, Bodies interweaves the stories of four detectives in four different eras who are all investigating the murder of the same victim. There’s Detective Sergeant Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) in present-day London, as well as Detective Sergeant Charles Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) in 1940s London and Detective Inspector Alfred Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) in 1890s London. And let’s not forget future London — a detective named Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) finds in 2053 the same body that the other three detectives discover in their respective time periods.
It may come as no surprise that Netflix labels its aptly-titled film as not only a thriller but also a mind-bending series. Besides the cast members previously noted, you can also keep an eye out for actors like Stephen Graham and Tom Mothersdale when Bodies releases on the streamer come October 19.
From a legendary director’s final film to a star-studded pharmaceutical drama, a long-coming reboot, a mind-bending mystery and more, you can get ready for a new month with a sundry watchlist of new movies and series debuting on streamers in October full of notable performances to take in.
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