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The 70 Most Anticipated Movies of 2021

From Dune to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Space Jam, and Mission: Impossible 7, we look ahead at the biggest movies coming in 2021.

by | October 21, 2020 | Comments

One year into the new decade, the movie prospects keep getting better. The releases slated for 2021 are so exciting they’ll make you salivate with anticipation, and we can’t wait to see them. For starters we’ll be getting another Asian blockbuster in director Destin Daniel Cretton’s Marvel entry, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsThen the Fast Family will be back for another action-packed installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise (can you believe we’re at 9 movies already?!) Not to mention, the Rock’s much delayed Black Adam adaptation will finally zoom into theaters. And to top it all off, we’ll finally, finally, finally get the next chapter of the Avatar story from James Cameron after over a decade of patience. We’ll also be getting monumental sequels for Space Jam, Sherlock Holmes, and Tomb Raider. The list is long and it’ll probably get longer, so start marking your calendars now. [Updated 10/21/20]

Jan-Mar | Apr-June | July-Sep | Oct-Dec

The Best Movies of 2019 | The Most Anticipated Movies of 2020


©Paramount courtesy Everett Collection, ©Warner Bros.

(Photo by ©Paramount courtesy Everett Collection, ©Warner Bros.)

January

The Last Duel
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer
Opening on: January 8, 2021

It’s been two years since Ridley Scott did the unthinkable and reshot All The Money In The World weeks before its release date. But this time around, he’ll be racing against history with this Edwardian tale of knights and maidens. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will reunite, with Killing Eve‘s breakout star Jodie Comer filling out the cast.


Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)
Directed by: Will Gluck
Starring: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki
Opening on: January 15, 2021

First the garden, then the world. The plot for this sequel to the surprise hit loosely based on the work of Beatrix Potter is still under lock and key, but we’re sure it will involve James Corden’s cheeky rabbit causing all sorts of PG-rated trouble. We do not expect any blackberries to be involved, however.


Mortal Kombat
Directed by: Simon McQuoid
Starring: Joe Taslim, Ludi Lin, Mechad Brooks, Lewis Tan, Elissa Cadwell, Ng Chin Han, Max Huang, Josh Lawson, Jessica McNamee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Sisi Stringer
Opening on: January 15, 2021

If you’ve been waiting for the inevitable Mortal Kombat reboot, 2021 has got you covered. With Lewis Tan, Mechad Brooks, and Joe Taslim attached to star, the newest franchise installment is bound to be everything you could want in a fantasy martial arts action film. James Wan will be producing, so there’s bound to be some of the magic that made the Saw franchise so successful.


355
Directed by: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Edgar Ramirez, Sebastian Stan, Diane Kruger, Emilio Insolera
Opening on: January 15, 2021

If you’re still missing NBC’s Smash, then you’re in luck. This new spy flick from screenwriter Theresa Rebeck might be just up your alley. Produced by Jessica Chastain and with a star-studded cast that includes Fan Bingbing and Lupita N’yongo, the female-led thriller is bound to make a splash.


Rugrats (2021)
Directed by: David Bowers
Starring: TBD
Opening on: January 29, 2021

Tommy, Chucky and the rest of the gang are back! Details are scarce, with David Bowers at the helm as director, this new live-action remake for the classic Nickelodeon cartoon is bound to be a nostalgia-inducing box office hit.


February

Cinderella
Directed by: Kay Cannon
Starring: Camila Cabello, Billy Porter, Idina Menzel
Opening on: February 5, 2021

If there’s anyone who can do justice to Whitney Houston‘s turn as the Fairy Godmother, it’s none other than Broadway legend and Pose star Billy Porter. Sure, we might not need another Cinderella story, but what could be better than vocal legends like Idina Menzel and newcomers like Camila Cabello bringing a classic story to life?


The King's Man (2021)
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Harris Dickinson, Ralph Fiennes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Daniel Brühl, Stanley Tucci, Djimon Hounsou
Opening on: February 12, 2021 (formerly September 18, 2020)

While both a third installment of the Kingsman franchise and a Statesman spinoff are still on the way, audiences will first get a taste of how the whole thing came to exist in the first place with this prequel, set in the early 1900s. Ralph Fiennes leads an all-star cast in an origin story that will show how a group of ex-soldiers formed the spy agency.


Antlers (2021)
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Starring: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene
Opening on: February 19, 2021 (formerly April 17, 2020)

Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons star in this supernatural thriller about a small-town teacher and her sheriff brother who find themselves in a waking nightmare when they discover one of her students is harboring a terrifying secret in his attic.


Untitled M Night Shyamalan Project
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: TBD
Opening on: February 26, 2022

As usual, M. Night Shyamalan‘s newest project is shrouded in mystery, but it’s sure to be worth the wait. This untitled project is the first of two the horror auteur is slated to direct for Universal in the coming years, and we can’t wait to see what he comes up with.


March

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Starring: Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd
Opening on: March 5, 2021

Jason Reitman will direct a sequel to the original Ghostbusters franchise, unrelated to the all-female reboot directed by Paul Feig in 2016. We still don’t know much about what the story will be, but as casting news trickled in, we did learn that Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace will play a brother and sister, with Carrie Coon as their single mother, and Paul Rudd is in the film in an undisclosed role. We’re still waiting on word if, as Sigourney Weaver stated in an interview, the remaining original Ghostbusters will appear in the film. Originally slated to open on July 10, 2020, the film was pushed back due to concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak.


Masters of the Universe (2021)
Directed by: Adam and Aaron Nee
Starring: TBD
Opening on: March 5, 2021

The She-Ra reboot has been doing well over at Netflix, so it’s only natural that He-Man would follow. After the 1987 cult film flopped at the box office, it’s prime time for a reboot that brings all that campy goodness to screen. No cast has been announced, but anyone who follows in Dolph Lundgren’s shoes would be lucky.


Tom and Jerry (2020)
Directed by: Tim Story
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Ken Jeong, Colin Jost, Rob Delaney
Opening on: March 5, 2021 (formerly December 23, 2020)

The classic animated television series gets a big-screen update in the form of a live-action/animated hybrid in which mischievous mouse Jerry moves into a hotel on the eve of a big wedding and forces the wedding planner to bring Tom into the picture to get rid of him. When an even bigger threat emerges, Tom and Jerry are forced to work together to save the day.


Jackass 4
Directed by: TBD
Starring: TBD
Opening on: March 5, 2021

We don’t yet know who from the original Jackass gang might show up in this next installment, though both Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O have expressed in doing more outrageous stunts and pranks on the big screen. All we know is that Paramount has officially announced a release date for March 5, 2021, so we’ll just have to wait and see who jumps on board.


Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
Directed by: Paul Briggs, Dean Wellins
Starring: Awkwafina, Cassie Steele
Opening on: March 12, 2021

In this animated film from Disney, Cassie Steele lends her voice to the title character, a young warrior in a fantastical land who embarks on a quest to find the last dragon. Awkwafina, who’s been on a roll as of late, will provide the voice of said dragon, but outside of that, we don’t know much else about the film, which was officially announced at D23 in late August of 2019. Originally slated to open in November of 2020, it was pushed back to this March release due to delays related to the coronavirus outbreak.


The Many Saints of Newark (2021)
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Starring: Michael Gandolfini, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, Ray Liotta, Corey  Stoll, Alessandro Nivola
Opening on: March 12, 2021

Whether you feel that the end of The Sopranos — you know, that controversial fade to black — was fitting and poignant or anti-climactic and unsatisfying, you probably jumped at the news that a Sopranos movie was in the works. With the late James Gandolfini no longer around, however, the only way to go was a prequel, and who better to portray a young Tony Soprano than Gandolfini’s son himself, Michael? Alan Taylor directs this look back at the early years of the iconic TV mobster, with Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, and Ray Liotta in supporting roles.


Morbius (2021)
Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jared Leto, Jared Harris, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Tyrese Gibson
Opening on: March 19, 2021

The first true test of Sony’s break with Marvel over Spider-Man and the various characters related to him will come in the form of Morbius, based on the Spidey villain who suffers from a rare blood disease and inadvertently turns himself into a vampire in a misguided attempt to cure himself. Jared Leto, who sparked a lot of online chatter with his portrayal of the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad, plays the title character. Like F9 and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, this film was pushed back from its original 2020 release.


Untitled Paranormal Activity Movie
Directed by: TBD
Starring: TBD
Opening on: March 19, 2021

There are very few details on the seventh installment in the noted horror franchise. But after three Rotten films in a row, the series is primed for a big critical comeback. Jason Blum will produce for a late March release.


Tomb Raider 2
Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Alicia Vikander
Opening on: March 19, 2021

Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander is back to reprise her role as the action heroine Lara Croft in the sequel to her 2018 film. No other cast has been announced yet, but Ben Wheatley will direct a script from Amy Jump.


The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)
Directed by: Tom McGrath
Starring: TBD
Opening on: March 26, 2021

The Boss Baby might be Rotten, but its monster box office take shows the audience is hungry for more. Fans of Alec Baldwin‘s fast talking baby in business will be pleased to know he’ll be back to reprise his role in 2021. Tom McGrath will return to direct.


April

F9 (2021)
Directed by: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Tyrese Gibson, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Lucas Black
Opening on: April 2, 2021

It’s full-throttle and pedal to the metal for the Toretto crime/adventure/anti-terrorism/what-even-are-they family yet again. Director Justin Lin was the man to turn the franchise around, delivering the series’ first Fresh entry on his third try with 2011’s Fast Five (Certified Fresh at 73%); since then, every Fast movie has landed on the red end of the Tomatometer. The new entry will bring the family back together to face off against a new villain played by John Cena… who happens to be Dom Toretto’s brother. Also, Han is back? What? The film was originally slated to open in May of 2020, but was pushed back almost a year to occupy the slot that had originally been reserved for Fast & Furious 10.


No Time To Die (2020)
Directed by: Cary Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek, Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch
Opening on: April 2, 2021 (formerly November 25, 2020)

True Detective director Cary Fukunaga takes the reins for the 25th James Bond film, with Daniel Craig returning for his fifth and (presumably) final turn as 007. He’s joined by series regulars Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, and Ben Whishaw, as well as returning characters played by Lea Seydoux and Jeffrey Wright. Recent Best Actor-winner Rami Malek is reported to play the villain, while it’s presumed Captain Marvel‘s Lashana Lynch will play a newer 007 who may have to relinquish her famous code number back to Bond when he comes out of retirement.


Vivo (2021)
Directed by: Kirk DeMicco
Starring: TBD
Opening on: April 16, 2021

Hot on the heels of the Oscar-nominated Moana and 2020’s In The Heights movie adaptation, Broadway legend Lin-Manuel Miranda will return to his musical roots with a new animated musical from Sony. Kirk DeMicco will direct, but no other cast has been announced yet.


BIOS (2020)
Directed by:
 Miguel Sapochnik
Starring: Tom Hanks
Opening on: April 16, 2021 (formerly October 2, 2020)

Tom Hanks is back, breaking our hearts again. Here he plays a sickly inventor — and the last human left on a post-apocalyptic earth — who creates a robot to protect the life of his dog when he dies and keep them both company while he’s alive. Will said robot be as lovable as, say, Wilson? Time will tell. Director Miguel Sapochnik boasts an epic resume, particularly in TV – if you need any convincing on this one, just know he directed Game of Thrones’ “Battle of the Bastards” episode.


A Quiet Place Part II (2021)
Directed by: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou
Opening on: April 23, 2021

Director John Krasinski returns to helm this sequel, which he also wrote, starring his real-life wife Emily Blunt, as it follows up with the Abbott family after the events of the first film. Judging from the first trailer, we’ll also get some flashbacks to the beginning of the… invasion? Infestation? Whatever you want to call it, it looks like Krasinski has done a bang-up job ratcheting up the tension, and audiences should be in for another great ride.


Last Night in Soho (2021)
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp
Opening on: April 23, 2021

Any time Edgar Wright has a new movie coming out, it’s something to look forward to. But throw in the fact that he’s assembled a cast that includes up-and-coming young stars like Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie, as well as legendary vets like Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp? And the fact that it’s a horror film inspired by both Don’t Look Now and Repulsion? Yes, please, and thank you.


Ron's Gone Wrong (2021)
Directed by: Jean-Philippe Vine, Alessandro Carloni, Octavio Rodriguez
Starring: Thomas Barbusca, Bentley Kalu
Opening on: April 23, 2021

Originally slated for a late 2020 release, Ron’s Gone Wrong was pushed back a few months after 20th Century Fox was acquired by Disney. The animated adventure is set in a world where every child’s best friend is a digitally connected robot and follows one young boy who discovers his own robot pal doesn’t quite work the way it should.


Monster Hunter (2020)
Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Meagan Good, Ron Perlman, Tony Jaa
Opening on: April 23, 2021 (formerly September 4, 2020)

Based on Paul W.S. Anderson’s track record, we’re going to go ahead and guess this isn’t going to be some revelation in the video game adaptation genre. Nevertheless, being that Monster Hunter is a hugely popular property that promises huge spectacle on the big screen, this movie may just have the same appeal that something like Godzilla: King of the Monsters has.


May

Black Widow (2020)
Directed by: Cate Shortland
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz
Opening on: May 7, 2021 (formerly November 6, 2020)

The first Marvel property to kick off its Phase 4 will be this prequel focusing on Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. We don’t quite know what the story surrounding the character will be, but we do know that she’ll be joined by David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, and rising star Florence Pugh, among others. And who knows? Maybe Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye will make an appearance.


Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry
Opening on: May 21, 2021 (formerly November 20, 2020)

It’s the showdown we’ve been waiting for since 2014’s Godzilla. Director Adam Wingard – who has proven he knows how to bring the thrills with The Guest and You’re Next – helms this climactic entry in Warner Bros.’ MonsterVerse series, which continued in 2019 with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Who will win when the giant ape takes on the king?


Spiral (2021)
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols
Opening on: May 21, 2021 (formerly May 15, 2020)

The Saw franchise officially gets revived in this new thriller, with Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw IIIII, and IV) back behind the camera. This time, two cops played by Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson investigate a series of gruesome murders and find themselves at the mercy of a killer reminiscent of the past (Jigsaw copycat, anyone?).


Cruella (2021)
Directed by: Alex Timbers and Craig Gillespie
Starring: Emma Stone, Joel Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Paul Walter Hauser, Emma Thompson
Opening on: May 28, 2021

Emma Stone will star in Disney’s latest live-action remake of an old classic. In the vein of Maleficient, Cruella will focus on the enigmatic villain of 101 Dalmatians in her youth and show how she became obsessed with Dalmatian fur. With Emma Thompson and Mark Strong rounding out the cast, it’s bound to be worth the wait.


June

Sesame Street (2021)
Directed by: Jonathan Krisel
Starring: Anne Hathaway
Opening on: June 4, 2021

Who doesn’t know the way to Sesame Street? Details are scarce but the new live action film is bound to feature all the favourite characters you remember. And with Anne Hathaway attached to star, it’s bound to be delightful.


Micronauts (2021)
Directed by: Dean De Blois
Starring: TBD
Opening on: June 4, 2021

The long-awaited Micronauts film will finally touch down in 2021. No cast has been announced, but How to Train Your Dragon director Dean de Blois is attached to direct. Based on the action figures by Mego, the film will also be produced by J.J. Abrams.


The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard
Opening on: June 4, 2021

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to reprise their roles as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in this third chapter of the original Conjuring franchise, focusing on a real case they investigated in which a murder suspect invoked demonic possession as a defense for his crimes. Michael Chaves, who directed 2019’s Conjuring-adjacent spinoff The Curse of La Llorona, takes the reins as director, while James Wan remains attached to the film as a producers.


In the Heights (2021)
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Jimmy Smits, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco
Opening on: June 18, 2021

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu adapts Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakout musical, In the Heights. The show, which kicked off the Hamilton creator’s career, won four Tony Awards in 2008, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Chu demonstrated real skill with spectacle in Crazy Rich Asians, and the new movie shares similar themes of reclaiming one’s heritage – it follows the stories of several characters in New York’s heavily Latino neighborhood, Washington Heights, over three days.


Luca (2021)
Directed by: Enrico Casarosa
Starring: TBA
Opening on: June 18, 2021

The latest offering from Pixar (after 2020’s Soul) will be a deeply personal coming-of-age tale with a twist from director Enrico Casarosa. The story will focus on the title character, who lives on the Italian Riviera and strikes up a friendship with another boy who is secretly a sea monster disguised as a human.


©Paramount Pictures, Chuck Zlotnick/©Columbia Pictures, ©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures, Chuck Zlotnick/©Columbia Pictures, ©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)

July

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2021)
Directed by: Kyle Balda, Brad Abelson
Starring: Pierre Coffin
Opening on: July 2, 2021

We last saw the minions wreaking havoc in 1960s England before they met up with a young Gru. Perhaps their next adventure will be their first with him. Whatever shenanigans the yellow ones, voiced by Pierre Coffin, get up to, expect them to be at it again for Minions 3 and Minions 4 and so on: the first Minions movie made more than $1.5 billion globally and helped the Despicable Me franchise become the highest grossing animated franchise of all time.


Top Gun: Maverick (2021)
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Val Kilmer, Jay Ellis, Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro
Opening on: July 2, 2021

Great balls of fire, we’re getting a Top Gun sequel after 31 years! Not a whole lot is known about the movie, except that the filmmakers have recruited a cast of some of the most in-demand young actors in Hollywood – including Miles Teller, who will play Goose’s son – and that Val Kilmer is officially back as Iceman. And as the trailer released during Comic-Con promises, it will again feature Tom Cruise riding motorcycles, playing volleyball, and flying jets like a madman.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina
Opening on: July 9, 2021 (formerly May 7, 2021)

After bringing the true story of Bryan Stevenson to screen in this year’s Just MercyDestin Daniel Cretton will be joining the big leagues for his next project. Shang-Chi will be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Asian-led film. Kim’s Conveince‘s Simu Liu is set to star, and The Farewell’s Awkwafina has also been cast in an unknown role.


Space Jam 2 (2021)
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: LeBron James, Don Cheadle
Opening on: July 16, 2021

Speaking of old stories for new audiences, LeBron James‘ long-awaited Space Jam sequel will finally arrive in 2021. With Don Cheadle starring alongside the basketball legend and Ryan Coogler producing, there’s no telling how much fun the Malcolm D. Lee-directed follow-up will be.


Jungle Cruise (2021)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
Opening on: July 30, 2021

Following the path that Pirates of the Caribbean charted so successfully, this new film (franchise?) is based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name. Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt star, respectively, as a riverboat captain and a scientist on a hunt for a magical cure in this Depression-era action adventure. Comedian Jack Whitehall also joins in the fun, playing Blunt’s character’s brother. Collet-Serra has had a string of action-thriller hits working with Liam Neeson (CommuterNon-StopUnknown), so there’s a chance this one could be slightly darker than anticipated.


August

The Suicide Squad (2021)
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney
Opening on: August 6, 2021

2016’s Suicide Squad may be rotten, but the 2021 follow-up might just redeem the series. Most of the primary cast is returning, with Idris Elba joining in a new role. The star-studded cast is also adding Storm Reid, Flula Borg, Nathan Fillion and Pete Davidson. James Gunn is attached to direct before he returns to Disney for Guardians of the Galaxy 3.


Deep Water (2020)
Directed by: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts
Opening on: August 13, 2021 (formerly November 13, 2020)

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas star in director Adrian Lyne’s thriller based on the eponymous novel by Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a TrainThe Talented Mr. RipleyCarol), about a married couple at odds with each other who begin to play dangerous mind games with each other, eventually leading to murder.


The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021)
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo
Opening on: August 20, 2021 (formerly August 28, 2020)

2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard didn’t exactly wow the critics, but it was a moderate hit at the box office, so why not give it another go? As indicated by the title, it’s Salma Hayek’s Sonia who now needs rescuing, so Michael (Ryan Reynolds) and Darius (Samuel L. Jackson) team up again to save her.


Candyman (2020)
Directed by: Nia DaCosta
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd, Teyonah Parris
Opening on: August 27,2021 (formerly October 16, 2020)

Longtime fan and contemporary horror maestro Jordan Peele is producing this sequel to — not a remake of — the classic 1992 horror film about the murdered son of a slave whose ghost haunts the Chicago neighborhood where the Cabrini Green housing projects once stood. We don’t know yet exactly what direction the new story will take, but we know that Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) is directing, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) and Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk) will star, with Tony Todd reprising his role as the iconic title character.


The Beatles: Get Back (2021)
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: The Beatles
Opening on: August 27, 2021 (formerly September 4, 2020)

On the heels of his universally acclaimed World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson turns his eye towards the Fab Four. Utilizing never-before-seen footage behind the scenes, the new documentary chronicles the Beatles as they record their 1970 album Let It Be, as well as their legendary performance on the rooftop of Apple Records in London.


Ryan Green/©Universal Pictures, Alex Bailey/©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection, Jasin Boland/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

(Photo by Ryan Green/©Universal Pictures, Alex Bailey/©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection, Jasin Boland/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

October

Dune (2020)
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Zendaya
Opening on: October 1, 2021 (formerly December 18, 2020)

Acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve takes on the massive challenge of re-adapting Frank Herbert’s sprawling sci-fi epic more than 30 years after David Lynch attempted the same and, according to many fans, fell short. At the very least, Villeneuve has assembled an impressive cast (just look at those names!) so it’s now up to him and his co-writers to fashion an engaging script from the daunting source material.


Uncharted (2021)
Directed by: TBD (Ruben Flesicher wanted by Sony)
Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg
Opening on: October 8, 2021

This Indiana Jones-styled action-adventure film, based on the popular video game series of the same name, has been floating around in development for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until June of 2019 that we got some solid forward movement on it. Tom Holland was confirmed to star in the film, and it’s scheduled to go into production in early 2020. In September of 2019, Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two StringsBumblebee) signed on as director, though Sony’s accelerated schedule ultimately knocked him out of the running. Mark Wahlberg also signed on to co-star, and the latest report is that Sony is eyeing Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer to replace Knight as director.


Halloween Kills (2021)
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall
Opening on: October 15, 2021

The duo of director David Gordon Green and writer Danny McBride proved successful in the 2018 sequel-that-nullified-all-the-other-sequels, Halloween, so they recently announced two more films to close out a new trilogy. The second installment, which sees the return of the newly badass Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her grown-up daughter (Judy Greer), will hit theaters just before, well, Halloween.


Snake Eyes (2021)
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Henry Golding, Samara Weaving, Iko Uwais
Opening on: October 22, 2021 (formerly October 23, 2020)

This is reportedly an origin story (or maybe not?) for Snake Eyes, the mute ninja/commando previously portrayed by Ray Park in the live-action G.I. Joe film franchise. Snake Eyes’ past has always been shrouded in mystery, save for the fact that he was once close friends with enemy ninja Storm Shadow and the fact that an explosion not only severely disfigured his face but also fried his vocal cords. In other words, it makes sense that this will be a prequel, especially since they’ve hired Henry Golding to play the role.


November

Untitled Elvis Film
Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks
Opening on: November 5, 2021

Austin Butler beat out tons of hopefuls to win the role of the famed King of Rock and Roll for this biopic from Warner Brothers. With Baz Lurhmann on board to write and direct, it’s bound to be a lush cinematic experience. Tom Hanks is also attached in a supporting role.


Eternals (2021)
Directed by: Chloé Zhao
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Brian Tyree Henry
Opening on: November 5, 2021 (formerly February 12, 2021)

The second film of Marvel’s Phase 4 goes cosmic again with the Eternals. Much of the cast was announced in bits and pieces, with a big reveal at Comic-Con 2019 and a key addition made in August. In brief, the Eternals are powerful immortals who helped shape humanity and history on Earth, and the cast includes a lot of big names, from Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek to Kumail Nanjiani and a couple of Game of Thrones kings, Richard Madden and Kit Harington. Plus, director Chloé Zhao is no slouch herself; she had one of 2018’s best-reviewed films in The Rider. We’ll just have to see how well she makes the transition to big-budget, special effects-driven blockbusters.


Untitled Spider-Man Sequel
Directed by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland
Opening on: November 5, 2021

After a tense stalemate between Sony and Disney, Spider-Man will be back for a third installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the intense cliffhanger of the last film’s ending, we can’t wait to see what’s next for the friendly neighborhood hero!


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 (2020)
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston
Opening on: November 12, 2021

The second Fantastic Beasts film didn’t manage to find its audience, but with a world as big as the Harry Potter universe, there’s bound to be something to draw them back in. J.K. Rowling is back as the screenwriter in this original franchise and Eddie Redmayne will reprise his role as the enigmatic Newt Scamander.


Mission: Impossible 7 (2021)
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise
Opening on: November 19, 2021

Tom Cruise will be back in action for the seventh installment in the franchise that showcased his willingness to engage in death-defying stunts. Christopher McQuarrie will also be back as writer and director after serving those roles in the last two films. Hopefully he’ll be able to pull off a hat trick with a third Certified Fresh film in a row.


December

West Side Story (2020)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Rita Moreno, Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler
Opening on: December 10, 2021 (formerly December 18, 2020)

Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of the famous Broadway musical of the same name, which is itself an alternative take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is finally seeing the light of day in late 2020. Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler star in the as Tony and Maria, two teens in 1950s New York City who belong to rival gangs but fall in love with each other and must deal with the consequences.


The Matrix 4 (2022)
Directed by: Lana Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nei Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra
Opening on: December 22, 2021 (formerly April 1, 2022)

Somehow, some way, Neo and Trinity are set to return to the world of The Matrix, as Lana Wachowski is set to bring us another sci-fi action-adventure set in the world digital world she helped create way back in 1999. We won’t get Agent Smith or Morpheus this time around, but people like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, and Priyanka Chopra are joining the cast, so that’s exciting. The film was already delayed once to 2022 after it was originally slated to open in May of 2021, and now it’s been moved back up again to a very competitive Christmas weekend.


Hotel Transylvania 4 (2021)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Adam Sandler
Opening on: December 22, 2021

Adam Sandler might be busy raking in critical raves for Uncut Gems (Certified Fresh at 92%), but families will be happy to hear that he’ll be back for another go as Dracula in Hotel Transylvania 4, just in time for a Christmas release.


Sing 2 (2021)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes, John C. Reilly, Idina Menzel, Resse Witherspoon, Nick Kroll, Scarlett Johansson
Opening on: December 22, 2021

Originally slated for Christmas 2020, Universal’s Sing 2 will release summer 2021 instead. The animated feature about a koala talent agent will see most of the principal cast return, with the addition of Idina Menzel and Selena Gomez. Chances are it’ll be another big family-friendly hit.


Sherlock Holmes 3
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Opening on: December 22, 2021

With Robert Downey Jr. free from the MCU, it’s finally time for the long awaited Sherlock Holmes sequel. By 2021, it’ll have been a decade since RDJ and Jude Law last brought their mischievous friendship to Victorian England. Rachel McAdams is back as Irene Adler, with a script from Chris Brancato, best known for his work in television on Hannibal and Narcos.


Babylon
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Emma Stone (in talks), Brad Pitt (in talks)
Opening on: December 25, 2021

Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s fifth film is, like his Oscar-winning La La Land, another tribute to old Hollywood, this time literally. The story centers on the period of transition when the silent film era began to give way to the “talkies,” and both Emma Stone and Brad Pitt have entered talks to star in the film. Judging from its release date and the announced plans to expand into wide release early the following year, this certainly feels like it’s being set up to be an awards contender.


TBD

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2021) 77%
Directed by: Tim Hill
Starring: Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Carolyn Lawrence, Mr. Lawrence
Opening on: TBD (formerly August 7, 2020)

The long-running, wildly popular animated series gets another big screen outing as the whole Spongebob Squarepants gang are back for another adventure. This time out, Spongebob and Patrick embark on a rescue mission to recover Gary, who has been taken by Poseidon, and find themselves in the mystical land of Atlantic City.


Stillwater (2020)
Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Starring: Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin, Camille Cottin
Opening on: TBD (formerly November 6, 2020)

Matt Damon stars in this thriller about an Oklahoma oil-rig worker who travels to Marseille, France to unravel a mystery and clear his daughter’s name when when she is imprisoned for a crime she says she didn’t commit. The film co-stars Abigail Breslin (likely as the daughter) and is directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy, who won a pair of Oscars for 2015’s Spotlight, so there’s considerable pedigree behind this project, and there’s no reason not to be optimistic about it.


Free Guy (2020)
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jody Comer, Joe Keery, Lel Rel Howery
Opening on: TBD (formerly December 11, 2020)

Ryan Reynolds brings his sarcastic wit and boyishly good-looking everyman charm to this self-referential, special effects-driven comedy. He stars as Guy, a nondescript bank teller non-player character (NPC) in a violent, open-world video game who suddenly becomes self-aware and decides to take his destiny into his own hands. Expect a lot of ironic, self-referential humor and over-the-top action shenanigans, which, when Ryan Reynolds is involved, is essentially its own genre these days.


Death on the Nile (2020)
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Rose Leslie, Letitia Wright
Opening on: TBD (formerly December 18, 2020)

Kenneth Branagh will return as detective Hercule Poirot following the surprise success of 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, which Branagh also directed. So far, big names like Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Letitia Wright, and Rose Leslie have joined the whodunit.


Wicked (2021)
Directed by: Stephen Daldry
Starring: TBD
Opening on: TBD (formerly December 22, 2021)

It feels like fans of the musical have been waiting forever for a screen adaption of Wicked, and in 2021, they’ll finally get their wish. No cast details have been announced yet, but with a legacy like Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth to live up to, the lucky ladies who get the gig will have enormous shoes to fill. Here’s to Lea Michele!


Black Adam (2021)
Directed by: TBD
Starring: Dwayne Johnson
Opening on: TBD (formerly December 22, 2021)

Dwayne Johnson has been attached to star in Black Adam since at least as early as 2014, but in 2021 he’ll finally hit the big screen and officially join the DCEU as the all-powerful antihero. As the nemesis to Zachary Levi‘s Shazam, there’s definitely an onscreen crossover to look forward to in the future as well. It’s high time Dwayne Johnson got to play the superhero we all know him to be!


Blazing Samurai (2018)
Directed by: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Cera, Michelle Yeoh, George Takei, Gabriel Iglesias, Djimon Honsou
Opening on: 2021

Originally slated for release in 2017, the star-studded animated feature will finally see the light of day in 2021. Inspired by Mel Brooks‘ classic western Blazing Saddles, the cast includes Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson and Ricky Gervais.


The Power of the Dog
Directed by: Jane Campion
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Paul Dano
Opening on: 2021

In her follow up to Top of the Lake: China Girl, Jane Campion will reunite with Elisabeth Moss for Netflix’s The Power of The Dog, based on the 1967 novel of the same name. Also starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the film centers on two brothers on a ranch whose relationship shifts when one falls in love with a local widow.


Pinocchio (2021)
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Starring: TBD
Opening on: 2021

This has been one of Guillermo del Toro’s long-in-development passion projects, and it will also be his first foray into animation. The stop motion-animated adaptation of the classic tale will reportedly be a tad darker than we may be accustomed to, with del Toro calling it a “brutalist fable.” Like The Power of the Dog, this was picked up by Netflix and given a 2021 release date; whether or not the streaming giant will put it in theaters remains to be seen.


Jan-Mar | Apr-June | July-Sep | Oct-Dec

The Best Movies of 2019 | The Most Anticipated Movies of 2020


Thumbnail images by  Chuck Zlotnick/©Columbia Pictures, ©Warner Bros., Jonny Cournoyer/©Paramount Pictures

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