As a movie buff, I was itching to see so many movies being released in 2020. Then the pandemic happened, movie theaters closed, release dates were pushed back, and I was stuck watching the same reruns of Friends. Now, releases are drawing nearer, and anticipation is setting in. Going to the movies can be a means of escaping the social issues and crises permeating our world today, and we all need that. At the very least, it’s an excuse to get out of the house. Get excited about seeing movies again and returning to some form of normalcy (with masks and proper social distancing, of course). It’s a chance to finally enjoy an outing with a friend you haven’t been able to see in months, chill with a bag of popcorn and relax in those reclining chairs waiting for that big black screen to fill with color. Follow below for films to look forward to seeing in 2020!
From the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, of Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar, comes his next sci-fi event that’s practically guaranteed to thrill. Nolan is known to keep the details of his projects tightly under wraps, but we know John David Washington stars as a secret agent tasked with stopping World War III. Washington says the thriller is completely “genre-bending.” The thriller also stars Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki and will arrive in theaters on July 31.
The highly anticipated action-adventure flick and latest of Disney’s live-action remakes, Mulan is set to hit theaters on August 21. Mulan has some of the most memorable music of any Disney picture, but there won’t be a single musical number in the entirety of the live-action film. That’s not the only difference to the animated movie: Mulan’s sidekick Mushu and love interest Li Shang will not be featured. Also, there will be two significant villains instead of one. However, the basic premise is the same as the original. After the Emperor of China declares one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to protect the country from Northern invaders, Mulan decides to take her ailing father’s place. It is an epic journey about determination and inner strength. One of China’s most popular actresses Liu Yifei (also known as Crystal Liu) plays the titular heroine, Gong Li portrays the main villainess, and Jet Li plays the emperor.
Celebrated contemporary R&B artist and actress best known for Moonlight and Hidden Figures Janelle Monáe takes the lead in this horror flick. The premise is truly compelling: a modern-day author is mysteriously transported back to the antebellum Deep South. She must face the awful horrors of slavery and uncover the mystery before it’s too late. Perhaps Antebellum will present timely social commentary like other contemporary horror films with a Black protagonist like Get Out. The film is scheduled for release on August 21.
A Quiet Place Part II
In case you didn’t catch the first hit thriller, the setting is a post-apocalyptic world threatened by bloodthirsty creatures that hunt by sound. Picking up where the previous film left off, Part II follows the Abbott family as they venture cross country, sans patriarch, in search of safety, and face the many horrors that await them on the journey. The sequel is bound to keep us in utter suspense as our heroes must struggle to survive in complete silence. Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds return as the last of the Abbott family. A Quiet Place Part II arrives in cinemas on September 4.
In the vein of female icon films like Jackie and Judy, the biopic follows Steinem’s life from her childhood in the 1940s to her pivotal role in the women’s liberation movement in the ‘70s. Based on Steinem’s 2015 memoir My Life on the Road, four actresses, including Academy Award-winners Alicia Vikander and Julianne Moore, play her at different stages in her life through her most important travels. More than that, the movie also shines a light on the other “Glorias,” women she met or knew who were important to her and the women’s movement in their own right, like Bella Abzug played by Bette Midler and Dorothy Pitman Hughes, played by Janelle Monáe. The film celebrates Steinem’s life, her pursuit of the empowerment of all women, and the influential women around her. The biopic hits theaters on September 25.
Wonder Woman 1984
Like the title indicates, this sequel to 2017 mega-hit Wonder Woman is set in the year 1984. Diana Prince faces off against villains Barbara Minerva a.k.a. Cheetah, Diana’s former best friend, and businessman Maxwell Lord and reunites with old flame Steve Trevor. Time, capitalism, and greed play significant roles in the plot. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman, Kristen Wiig stars as Cheetah, and Chris Pine as Steve. The trailer doesn’t tell us how Minerva becomes Cheetah or how Steve survived the previous film, so we’ll have to wait with bated breath until the release on October 2!
Candyman is the latest in multi-hyphenate Jordan Peele’s horror pictures. Called a “spiritual sequel” to the cult 1992 classic of the same name, Candyman is set in the now gentrified Cabrini-Green housing project where the original began. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as visual artist Anthony McCoy, who learns the real story behind Candyman’s murderous legend. As inspiration for his art, he explores the details behind this story, which ultimately unleashes a wave of violence and tears at the fabric of his mental stability. The perfect flick for horror buffs is slated to release on October 16.
Finally, Black Widow is getting her own film. It is the first movie of Marvel’s Phase 4 era (all Marvel movies released between 2020 and 2022), which plans to update the franchise and explore the origin stories of some of its most famous superheroes. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow (a.k.a. Natasha Romanova) is forced to reckon with her complicated past as an assassin trained by the K.G.B when a conspiracy arises that has connections to her former life. She is relentlessly pursued by a foe that will stop at nothing to see her destroyed. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as the titular character in this action-packed spy thriller, which also stars Florence Pugh and David Harbour—coming to theaters on November 6.
No Time to Die
With a name like No Time to Die and a tagline like “this film will change everything,” the action-adventure thriller might just be the most epic Bond film yet. In the 25th installment of the series, Bond is jolted out of his peaceful retirement for another mission. He must rescue a kidnapped scientist, but the mission leads him on the path to find an evildoer armed with dangerous technology. The film boasts Phoebe Waller-Bridge as one of its writers, Billie Eilish sings the title track, and Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 for the fifth and final time with Rami Malek as the villainous Safin. Catch this thriller on November 20.
This family-friendly Disney animated film follows Joe Gardner, a middle school teacher whose real passion in life is jazz. After an untimely accident, his soul separates from his body and is transported to another realm, and he must figure out a way to get back to Earth before his body dies. Along the way, he helps someone uncover their passion and learns what it means to have a “soul.” Jamie Foxx lends his voice to the protagonist of this jazzy feature, which opens on November 20.
West Side Story
The Sharks. The Jets. Tony and Maria. We all know and love this musical drama, and now we’re getting a remake! For those of you non-theater kids, West Side Story is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet: two star crossed lovers affiliated with rival street gangs fall in love despite their different ethnic backgrounds (Maria and The Sharks are Puerto Rican, Tony and The Jets are white). More than your average musical with much extravagance but little depth, this film tackles issues like xenophobia, racial prejudice, and the struggle for acceptance, which are all subjects as relevant today as when the original hit theaters 1961. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the remake stars Ansel Elgort as Tony, newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria, Ariana DeBose as Anita, and Rita Moreno (who played Anita in the original to great critical acclaim) is featured as Valentina, Doc’s widow who tries to make peace. Shuffle ball change down to the theater on December 18 for this must-see musical.
Coming to America 2
If you’re sensing a pattern of remakes and sequels set to release this year, you might be on to something. This sequel to the 1988 classic sees Eddie Murphy return as Prince Akeem as he ascends to the throne of the fictional African country Zamunda. At his father’s dying wish, Akeem must go back to America to find his long-lost son and groom him to be the crown prince. Much of the original cast will reprise their roles in the sequel, including Arsenio Hall as Semmi, Shari Headley as Lisa McDowell, and James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer. Murphy will also be reviving all of the hilarious characters he played in the first film, so be prepared to leave in stitches on December 18.
With Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson hand-picked by Aretha Franklin herself to star in her biopic, I smell a surefire Oscar film. Respect, which Franklin was heavily involved in, follows her life from childhood singing in her church choir to international stardom as a renowned songstress. The film also touches on her instrumental role as an activist in the civil rights movement. Heavy hitters like multiple Grammy Award-winner Mary J. Blige, Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker, and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald co-star in the film. Get ready for powerful anthems, moving gospel, and a performance that would make the Queen of Soul proud on Christmas Day.
FOLLOW ASHLYNN ON INSTAGRAM!
ALL PHOTOS C/O GOOGLE IMAGES