From Michelle Yeoh’s turn at politics to Marvel’s best phase yet, here are WGTC’s 2023 pop culture predictions

Taylor Swift Marvel logo Ye Michelle Yeoh
Screengrab via YouTube

With 2023 having just arrived, it promises to be a banner year for entertainment. At the moment, our team is flinging bagels and doing backflips as they struggle to contain their excitement over the impending release of M3GAN, and that day is finally here! We’re also looking forward to Cocaine Bear next month, the fifth installment in the Evil Dead franchise, Evil Dead Rise, coming in April, and we can’t wait for June when we’ll see Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Of course, on the heels of four box office duds, Margot Robbie is putting her bets on a doll. That’s right — we’re talking about her take on the plastic-and-fantastic Mattel fashion icon, Barbie.

All of these exciting releases, in addition to all of the insanity that famous people get up to, fashion trends, and more provide us with some hilarious and not-too-far-off-the-mark pop culture predictions for 2023. Here are the top 12 presented to you by our talented writers.

An anime musical will be announced for a run on Broadway!

With Netflix so determined to make live action anime adaptations work, it seems like folks on Broadway would consider looking to Japan to bring some of their extremely popular and successful 2.5D productions to the United States. With Japan 2.5D Stage Play World’s popularity back in 2021, bringing a legal streaming option to many fans, people are hungry for it. Perhaps we’ll finally see the Death Note musical, which received an English concept album back in 2015, get a full production at last. Either way, I think anime will come to Broadway!

Borealis Capps

Netflix will eat itself

Netflix is facing a massive crisis going into 2023 with increased competition, plateauing subscriber numbers, and a public that demands more for its money. Because of this, the company will spend 2023 focusing on what it is good at—canceling shows.

While Netflix has no problem breaking fans’ hearts with a preemptive cancellation, it often waits until the first season has aired to break the news to viewers. But in 2023, expect to see Netflix do this more efficiently, canceling shows as they are being released, with many shows being canceled mid-way through an episode’s production. This will culminate in a Speed-style cancellation policy. If a show’s viewing metrics drop too low, the series will be immediately deleted from the platform, and everyone who worked on it will be forced to create three episodes of Emily In Paris as penance.

In all seriousness, expect to see other streaming platforms try and capitalize on Netflix’s cancellations. The competition will snag shows the streaming giant has canceled and continue them (or giving them spiritual sequels) on their own services in a bid to tempt Netflix subscribers across to their platform.

Jonathon Greenall

Low-rise jeans are gonna come back and make the whole world miserable again in 2023

Britney’s back, bay-bay! And like it or not, she may just be the harbinger of one of the Noughties’ most loved/loathed fashion trends.

Despite the warning moans and teeth gnashing of elder millennials everywhere, it seems like low-rise jeans may be on the rise again. This is hardly surprising given that denim trends tend to recycle every two decades or so. Many Gen Xers have a pair or two of bell bottoms hidden in the attic and even mom jeans have resurfaced over the years. But very few ’90s kids are excited at the prospect of having their jeans ride below their underwear…even if their hips still kind of work most of the time. 

Beau Paul

Beyoncé will finally win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year

Though she’s the most awarded singer in Grammy’s history, Beyoncé’s surprisingly never taken home the award for Album of the Year. Unsurprisingly enough, her fans are always quick to call out the “injustice.” Fellow nominee Adele famously broke her award in half when 30 beat out Lemonade in 2017. Now the pair are head-to-head again. While there are other juggernauts like Bad Bunny and Harry Styles in the running, it finally feels like it’s Beyoncé’s time for Renaissance.

Demi Phillips

Kim Kardashian and Ye will get back together

After their bitter divorce in 2021, “Kimye” will announce they have made amends and get back together. It will be a secret at first, but Ye will spill the beans during an interview. They will announce they are getting remarried by the end of the year. 

Brandy Cruz

The Nintendo Cinematic Universe will kick off

If it’s ever going to happen, now is the time for it. Illumination will be releasing The Super Mario Bros. Movie in just a few months. With Rise of Gru having utilized a mid-credits scene, it’s not unreasonable to imagine that the studio could incorporate such scenes into the Mario movie. Imagine, for moment, that the film’s main credits run their course, and we immediately cut to Rosalina reading a book in her library. She puts the book back on the shelf, and as the camera zooms in on the spine, we spy the Triforce. Cue the screams of joy from the audience. Furthermore, it’s been reported that a Donkey Kong spinoff directly related to the Mario film is already in the works, and Charlie Day has expressed interest in revisiting Luigi for a Luigi’s Mansion film. All in all, the market is there, the opportunity is there, the content is there, and at this point, it simply needs to happen. 

Charlotte Simmons

Taylor Swift has the highest grossing U.S. tour of all time

Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour has already made quite the splash in pop culture after pretty much sending Ticketmaster into overdrive thanks to the overwhelming demand for tickets, which in turn, set off a chain of events into motion that might finally break the ticketing empire’s monopoly over the live-concert industry. In 2023, however, we’re predicting that the tour, which the artist has said will explore the different eras of her decade-spanning career, will extend its impact in the music world by becoming the highest grossing U.S. tour of all time. Swift, who became the first artist to top the entire Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 in 2022, will add another record to her already massive legacy as one of our generation’s most successful, popular, and impactful artists. 

Francisca Tinoco

Taylor Swift will release two more albums and continue to break the internet

Given the fact she released six albums between 2019 and 2022, it’s fair to say we’ll get at least two more in 2023, both of which will be her re-recordings of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and 1989 (Taylor’s Version). Both of them will break the internet, as is customary for the pop star. Then, when the nominations come out for the following year’s Grammy Awards, she will pull in at least 4 nominations, minimum. All the while, we will be thrown easter eggs we have no idea how to decipher. 

Cody Raschella

The Flash to crash and burn at the box office

After years in development hell, and despite the immense efforts made by DC and Warner Bros to finally get it out, it’ll crash. Ezra Miller’s image will result in boycotts, but the real kicker will be the entire film getting leaked before its premiere. James Gunn will quickly move to rehire the role, with Wally West’s version of The Flash to replace Barry Allen. Miller will then sue Warner Bros. for breach of contract, leading to an elongated legal battle.

Jamie Dunkin

Cole Tucker will propose to Vanessa Hudgens

I’m tempted to make a safe prediction, such as predicting that Nick Cannon will have another kid, but then that would be more of a likelihood than a prediction. So, I figured to take a shot at something not so obvious. Of all the celebrity couples out there who are not engaged, there is one I think most people overlook that could be a forever relationship. In December of 2020, Vanessa Hudgens began dating major league pitcher Cole Tucker. They just celebrated two years together and both have expressed being perfect together. I thus predict that, by the end of the year, Cole Tucker will propose to Vanessa Hudgens and I rather hope that they live happily ever after.

Curtis Roberts

YEAH! for YEOH

A lengthy, pizza-fueled and tantrum-strewn process marked the GOP stalemate election of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, during which Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to garner the necessary 218 votes. After Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) nominated former president Trump, and shortly after Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) nominated Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) over the “prop” objection of Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a blinding blue flash interrupted the proceedings, whereupon acclaimed Everything Everywhere All at Once star Michelle Yeoh materialized on the House floor, a googly eye affixed to her forehead.

While the 60-year-old Malaysian-born Commander of the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur and Golden Globe nominee holds no elected office, the House immediately held an ad hoc vote, and the assembled body readily acknowledged that Yeoh, with her demonstrated capacity to maintain elegant composure while meeting chaos with compassion, understanding, and with her world-renowned skill in both martial arts and language proficiency, was named the second woman (and first Marvel-approved!) Speaker of the House.

Speaker Yeoh’s party affiliation is not known at this time, though when asked by Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) whether her political views are in-line with those of House Republicans, she smiled beatifically, whereupon Scalise spontaneously denounced the NRA, and declared his support for LGBTQ and reproductive rights. – Sarah Fisch

Ye will become the grand wizard of the KKK

If nothing else, we can all agree that Kanye “Ye” West is anything but boring. Narcissistic? Check. Antisemitic? Check. A fascinating study in being dually repulsed and engrossed by his train wreck of a public life? Major check. But boring? Not a chance.

It has been a shit show like no other, and at this point, it’s like watching a television series unfold. Man, has he had some character development that some critics might call his “jump the shark” moments. He’s progressed from being lovably narcissistic in season one to season two’s media mogul and crossing over with Keeping Up with the Kardashians by season three. This year has been must-watch trash TV as the writers had Ye announce his candidacy for president just before the shocking plot twist as he went public with his love of Hitler and the Nazis.

It looks like we’re entering the home stretch and heading for the finale, and there’s no doubt Ye: Season Five will push the envelope, but how could he sink any lower? He’ll have to get creative to outdo 2022. Imagine the fireworks if he breaks barriers as the first Black grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan amid a disastrous presidential campaign. That would be a dumpster fire like no other. Will we see frequent guest stars Donald Trump, the Kardashians, Alex Jones, or Nick Fuentes? We’ll have to wait and see.

Matt Tuck

Marvel movies will make over $3 billion at the box office in 2023

Three new films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are scheduled to be released this year, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: QuantumaniaGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and The Marvels all slated for 2023. Now, these movies alone might not break $3 billion combined, but when you factor in that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse also releases, you can take this prediction to the bank. Kraven the Hunter is also scheduled for 2023, just in case the other four films need a few more dollars to cross the finish line. 

Tristyn Akbas