With 2020 almost at an end, it’s worth taking a look ahead into 2021 and the movies that could be the movers and shakers over the next year.
Now, given 2020, there’s a strong chance some of these could end up postponed until 2022 but let’s assume they will meet their 2021 airdates right now. These are the movies that most excite me coming soon…
10 – THE SUICIDE SQUAD
Two words for why this is in any way interesting to me: James Gunn.
David Ayer’s first attempt to bring this DC property to life was a noisy, ugly mess that befitted the beginnings of the so-called DCEU and his own style, frankly, but Gunn is a far better craftsman, able to balance science-fiction, action, superhero fantasy and comedy with sardonic aplomb. Backed by a hell of an ensemble cast, he will hopefully take the embers of decent content from the DCEU and inject it with Marvel-esque fun & spectacle.
9 – A QUIET PLACE PART II
One of the many pictures delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, this stands to be one of the years most anticipated horror films.
Nobody quite expected the first A Quiet Place to strike the chord it did but John Krasinski’s debut film was a clever, intense slice of post-apocalyptic monster thrills that didn’t necessarily need a sequel but could certainly work for a second go around. If they stick to the stripped back tactics of the first film, they won’t go far wrong.
8 – SHANG CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Probably the most interesting new Marvel picture emerging next year as the second era truly begins to kick off.
Chloe Zhao’s film looks set to banish the memory of Netflix’s Iron Fist and do Eastern mysticism in the MCU right, with an entirely Eastern cast in place to authentically depict the origin story of another Marvel hero, amongst several this year, to cover a diverse spectrum as the MCU works to expand beyond its origins. Hopefully this will be a lean, kickass action picture with supernatural aspects.
7 – WEST SIDE STORY
Originally meant to close out 2020, we enter the trusted hands of Steven Spielberg for his adaptation and remake of the classic musical, West Side Story.
Memorably filmed in 1961 with Richard Beymer & Natalie Wood in the signature roles, here filled by Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler, this Broadway musical is going to be a toe-tapping new take on a classic story, with Spielberg injecting his own unique talent into a genre he hasn’t really dabbled in. This could be striking, gorgeous and exciting.
6 – CANDYMAN
Say it four times in a mirror, I dare you!
Nia DaCosta updates the classic 1992 Candyman lore in a remake to get excited about for once, given how driven by racial inequality and systemic historical black prejudice Bernard Rose’s original was. If ever there was a movie monster who could have genuine relevance in our current moment, post-George Floyd especially, it’s the Candyman. High hopes for this one!
5 – BLACK WIDOW
One of the most puzzling Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings of recent years, giving Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow her own film after–spoilers–she died in Avengers: Endgame.
Nevertheless, given this indeed looks like a prequel and the MCU haven’t undone her demise (don’t write that off), the omens look promising for a belter of a stripped back spy-fi thriller for Natasha, flanked by the rising Florence Pugh as her sister, Rachel Weisz as a mentor (and probably the baddie), and almost certainly appearances from Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner & Robert Downey. Jr somewhere in the mix. Expect good things.
4 – HALLOWEEN KILLS
After the success of the recent David Gordon Green reboot of Halloween, which positions itself as the real sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 original, so begins a two-part final final finale for this enduring horror franchise.
Yeah, right! I’ll believe you can finally kill homicidal mental patient Michael Myers when I see it, but with Jamie Lee-Curtis reprising her signature role as Laurie Strode again and the promise of the same level of quality, we could be in for two of the best Halloween films in a franchise which has given us more terrible sequels than great ones. The omens are good…
3 – THE MATRIX 4
This is supposed to debut toward the end of 2021 and could end up pushed back, as we don’t yet know a great deal about what this looks like.
Yet how can this not be fascinating to consider? Keanu is at the height of his career right now, thanks to John Wick, but The Matrix remains his defining role. What more is there to tell with Neo’s story? Can this be as revolutionary as the original film was? It’s a huge unknown but supremely exciting and filled with nostalgia. Praying this will banish the memory of the original’s poor follow ups.
2 – NO TIME TO DIE
Nobody does it better and after delays and the usual production difficulties for cinema’s longest running franchise, Daniel Craig should finally be back to do it again for the last time as James Bond.
No Time to Die looks set to build on Spectre‘s attempt to weave together Craig’s entire run as 007 into one (almost seamless) whole as a retired Bond, learning dark truths about Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann–the woman he gave it all up for–is dragged back into the spy life by MI6 to help take down the mysterious evil scientist Sarin, played by rising star Rami Malek. A propulsive trailer suggests plenty of bang for the buck so here’s hoping Craig ends a largely successful tenure on an all time high.
1 – DUNE
It’s hard to look past this as the film of the year to be excited about: Denis Villeneuve adapting Frank Herbert’s seminal science-fiction epic Dune.
Dune is my favourite novel. It is magnificent, but it is complex, esoteric and relies heavily on visuals. Who better to capture such aspects than Villeneuve, whose entire career feels like an audition tape for this. The first of a two-part adaptation of Herbert’s original tome, and maybe of a huge book series if successful, Dune boasts a majestic cast of heavyweights headed in this case by Timothee Chalamet & Rebecca Ferguson in key roles, and if Villeneuve has pulled it off, could be the most incredible sci-fi epic in decades. Fingers remain crossed…
What would be in your 2021 movie top 10 to come?