50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020 - Rolling Stone
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50 Most-Anticipated Movies of 2020

From the big-name summer blockbusters to the fall’s prestige dramas — what’s coming to a theater near you this year

Clay Enos/Warner Bros; Pixar; Dean Rogers/Twentieth Century Fox

Goodbye, movies of 2019 — let’s face it, we love you, but you’re so last year. Hello, movies of 2020, in which we can expect more superheroes, a sequel or three (belated and otherwise), a few intriguing remakes (live-action and Americanized, respectively), a handful of animated films, a slew of horror films, your run-of-the-mill prestige dramas and primo A-list comedies. What’s old is, once again, new. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are once again bad boys. Tom Cruise goes back to being a top gun. How about a next-gen group of ghostbusters? Welcome back, Bill and Ted, we missed you.

There are also a handful of interesting smaller films, new projects from big-name directors (David Fincher! Sofia Coppola! Wes Anderson!), and what are sure to be some outta-left-field surprises. The following list is far from comprehensive — we’ve tried to highlight the major movies we’re anticipating (is anyone really looking forward to another cartoon take on Scooby-Doo, even if they call it Scoob!?), and even then, we weren’t able to get to everything that has our curiosity piqued.

Plus there are a few question-mark titles in regards to 2020 release dates: The next 12 months may bring us new movies from Ridley Scott (The Last Duel), Guillermo Del Toro (Nightmare Alley), David Lowery (The Green Knight), George Clooney (Good Morning, Midnight), Charlie Kaufman (I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Spotlight‘s Tom McCarthy (Stillwater), Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods), Taika Waititi (Next Goal Wins), a Leos Carax musical starring Adam Driver (Annette), a remake of Rebecca by Ben Wheatley, a redo of The Craft, a Velvet Underground doc from Todd Haynes, a version of Macbeth from Joel Coen, and the directorial debut of Master of None‘s Alan Yang (Tigertail). Or we may not get our eyes on these gems until 2021 or beyond. The Magic 8-Ball says, “Reply hazy, try again”…hence they’re AWOL here. Also, don’t even get us started about the avalanche of TBD foreign-language films from the festival circuit that will hopefully make its way to our shores before the year is up. We’re praying for a bountiful non-English-language harvest.

We are confident that the 50 movies below, however, offer a bird’s-eye view of what 2020 has to offer. These are the films that folks will be talking about for the next year or so. Start marking your calendars. (Dates, of course, may be subject to change.)

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in Columbia Pictures' BAD BOYS FOR LIFE.

Kyle Kaplan/Columbia Pictures'

‘Bad Boys for Life’ (Jan. 17)

Almost 17 years since Will Smith and Martin Lawrence last tore through the Sunshine State with guns and one-liners a-blazin’, the duo returns for Round Three of their buddy-comedy/action-movie franchise. Mike Lowery (Smith) is still a suave loose cannon of a cop; his partner Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) is still a family man who’s worried about angering the missus. But one of them is retiring, which means the dream team is breaking up. Only someone’s trying to kill Mike and he needs his best friend’s help, which means the snarkiest police officers in the greater Miami area aren’t done with each other quite yet. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah step in for Michael Bay re: helming the explosions and the car chases and the gunfire and the slow-mo putting on of designer jackets, but we imagine things are still gonna blow up real good.

The Assistant

Ty Johnson/Bleecker Street

‘The Assistant’ (Jan. 31)

Jane (Ozark‘s Julia Garner) is an assistant for a big-time film-industry executive. It’s a great entry-level job, so who cares if she has to do grunt work like logging expenses and making photocopies, or occasionally suffering through a temper tantrum or two? Except there’s a few other, less savory things she has to deal with, like, say, making sure large sums of hush money are paid out. And what, exactly, is happening with the parade of women who are being ushered into the man’s office, or asked to go to his hotel room for a “meeting.” Any resemblance to real-life horrible bosses from the world of showbiz is…well, you know how this sentence ends, and this #MeToo drama from Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet) is said to be quite a not-so-blind-item punch in the gut.

Birds of Prey

Claudette Barius/Warner Bros

‘Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)’ (Feb. 7)

Say what you will about Suicide Squad — it did give us a Harley Quinn that, in Margot Robbie’s hands, provided a much-needed dose of anarchy to the anemic supervillain movie. Now the Clown Princess of Crime gets her own movie, which puts the character right where she belongs: front and center. Yes, she’s still part of a group — the Birds of Prey refer to a DC comic-book team that has included, among others, Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). And yes, everyone has to join forces to defeat a sadistic gangster known as Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). But as the subtitle suggests, this is Harley’s story, which means that Robbie should have a large stage on which to rage. Joker who? Chris Messina and Rosie Perez join in on the fun. Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) directs.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell in the film DOWNHILL. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Jaap Buitendijk/Twentieth Century Fox

‘Downhill’ (Feb. 14)

If we must have an Americanized remake of the 2014 Swedish drama Force Majeure — i.e., the meme-inspiring movie where a dad must face his own character deficiencies when he bolts from his family during an avalanche — then let it be one starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The artist formerly known as Ron Burgundy (or Ricky Bobby, your call) plays the paterfamilias who discovers that, when push comes to shove, he will choose self-preservation and grabbing his cellphone over saving his family. The Veep star is his wife, who doesn’t take kindly to this unfortunate revelation. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the writing-directing team behind The Way Way Back, are behind the camera; Succession creator Jesse Armstrong penned the script, which bodes very well indeed.

Austin Stowell, Michael Peña  and Lucy Hale in Columbia Pictures' BLUMHOUSE'S FANTASY ISLAND.

Christopher Moss/Sony Pictures

‘Fantasy Island’ (Feb. 14)

Welcome…to Fantasy Island! Before you start bemoaning the fact that someone has deemed it a good idea to make a feature film of the cheesy 1980s TV show in the Year of Our Lord 2020, know that the good folks at Blumhouse are the ones behind this update. Which means, of course, that the idea of going to a remote island in which all of your dreams magically come true is being reimagined as a take-no-prisoners horror movie. (We’re secretly praying that someone yells “Da pain! Da pain!” in a Hervé Villechaize accent at some point.) Michael Peña is the Mister Roarke we deserve. Jeff Wadlow (Cry Wolf) directs.

Mia Goth (left) as "Harriet Smith" and Anya Taylor-Joy (right) as "Emma Woodhouse" in director Autumn de Wilde's EMMA, a Focus Features release.  Credit : Focus Features

Focus Features

‘Emma’ (Feb. 21)

It’s been 24 years since Gwyneth Paltrow played Jane Austen’s matchmaking heroine (and a freaking quarter of a century since Clueless!), so we’ve been long overdue for a new screen adaptation of the novelist’s classic romantic, comic tale. The Witch‘s Anya Taylor-Joy is the eponymous busybody; Johnny Flynn (the young Einstein of NatGeo’s Genius) is good ol’ George Whitley; Callum Turner, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, and Josh O’Connor, a.k.a. The Crown‘s Prince Charles, all show up in their best topcoats and flowing frocks. Music-video director Autumn de Wilde makes her feature debut, as well as possessing what is seriously a first-rate Austenian name.

Invisible Man

Universal Pictures

‘The Invisible Man’ (Feb. 28)

Universal’s notion of turning their 1930s stable of namebrand vampires, resuscitated corpses, and lycanthropic gents into an extended “Dark Universe” is, thankfully, more or less kaput. [Cue Karloff’s voice, after seeing the 2017 version of The Mummy: “It belongs dead!”] But luckily for us, they have not abandoned some of their horror-film properties so much as decided they needed to come at them from an entirely different angle. Take, for example, this much more interesting, ambitious revising of the 1933 Claude Rains thriller: There’s still a man who, thanks to some scientific know-how, has the ability to become invisible. But now, he’s a textbook example of toxic masculinity and is using his “gift” to stalk his ex (Elisabeth Moss) — who everyone thinks is crazy, because only she knows what’s happening. It’s the perfect conceptual horror tale for the gaslighting era. We’re totally slow-clapping right now, even if no one can see us doing it.

Devin France in the film WENDY. Photo by Eric Zachanowich. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Eric Zachanowich/© 2019 Twentieth Century Fox

‘Wendy’ (Feb. 28)

Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin returns with a radical reimagining of the Peter Pan story, as seen (we think) primarily through the eyes of young Wendy Darling. Come hang out on the island of Neverland with some genuinely feral Lost Boys, along with some ornery pirates, a tiny flying Peter with dreads, mermaids, fairies, and more magic-hour lighting than you can possibly imagine. If nothing else, this looks to be a lot more lyrical, lysergic, and intriguing than both Hook and Pan combined.

FIRST COW_11.27.18_AR_0427.ARW

Allyson Riggs/A24

‘First Cow’ (Mar. 6)

Meek’s Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt returns to the Oregon frontier of yesteryear — specifically, the 1820s, when an enterprising young man like Cookie Figowitz (Not Fade Away‘s John Magaro) could seek his fortune with fur trappers out West. His idea is to team up with a Chinese immigrant named King (Orion Lee) and start a business providing what you might call frontier comfort food. Their plan depends on getting access to a local farmer’s cow, however…and that’s where things start to get tricky. If you’re familiar with Reichardt’s back catalog, then you know what to expect: ruminative character studies, gorgeous landscapes, and some of the best contemporary American filmmaking you’re likely to see all year, full stop.

OH BROTHERS – In Disney and Pixar’s “Onward,” two teenage elf brothers embark on an extraordinary quest in a van named Guinevere to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world. Featuring Tom Holland as the voice of Ian Lightfoot, and Chris Pratt as the voice of Ian’s older brother, Barley, “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. ©2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Pixar

‘Onward’ (Mar. 6)

What does your typical young, male elf want on his 16th birthday, you ask? If you’re Ian Lightfoot (voiced by your current friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland), maybe you want to meet the father who passed away before you were born. Then Mom (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gives you a wizard’s staff, which your brother (Chris Pratt) thinks can bring him back from the dead. Which it does…kind of. And now you have to run around for the next 24 hours and figure out how to complete the spell in the name of closure. The first of 2020’s two Pixar movies will be as chock full of supernatural-fantasy-meets-the-suburbs jokes as you think it will be (pixie biker gangs! unicorns eating out of neighborhood garbage cans!), and given the dad-issues premise, probably play viewers’ heartstrings like a Stradivarius.

The Climb

Sony Picture Classics

‘The Climb’ (Mar. 20)

Writer-director-star Michael Angelo Covino and his partner-in-crime Kyle Marvin expand their 2018 short about two guys out for a bike ride into a feature film — and the result is the sort of shaggy-dog, chat-heavy independent comedy that makes you feel the Nineties never really ended (in a good way, mind you). Charting the ups and downs of a male friendship over several decades, this dual character study starts with a confession and ends up covering alcoholic binges, downward spirals, sudden deaths, shitty ski trips, and a lot of bad behavior. But it’s the kind of “little” movie that feels like both a rarity in the current tent-pole-über-alles landscape and a revelation. If you only see one film this year featuring a chubby guy doing a semi-naked pole dance in a suburban basement, make it this one.

L-r, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) brave the unknown in "A Quiet Place Part II.”

Jonny Cournoyer

‘A Quiet Place: Part II’ (Mar. 20)

The sequel to John Krasinski’s breakout horror-movie hit of 2018 brings us back to Day One of the alien invasion that wiped out modern civilization, as well as picking up where the first film left off and following Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) as she searches for a new family safe house. Mom and the kids eventually run into a mysterious stranger (Cillian Murphy) who’s also keeping very, very, very hush-hush in order to stay alive. They’re also looking into rumors about other pockets of survivors, which any regular follower of The Walking Dead will tell you means that not all monsters have giant claws and supersonic hearing — some of them are just regular human beings pushed to the brink. Shhh.

Disney's MULAN..Mulan (Yifei Liu)..Photo: Film Frame..© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2019 Disney Enterprises Inc.

‘Mulan’ (Mar. 27)

What, you thought this year would bring a break from the recent glut of Disney live-action remakes? The Mouse House now brings you their “update” of the 1998 animated feature about a young Chinese woman who must pose as a man to save her elderly father from military service. In the process, she becomes a hero and a national legend. This new version features Chinese American actor Yifei Liu as the brave warrior; a deep-bench cast featuring Jet Li, Gong Li, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, and The Farewell‘s Tzi Ma; and a lot more pumped-up wuxia action for the kids. The fact that Niki Caro, the woman behind the great Whale Rider, is sitting in the director’s chair gives us hope.

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in 'The Lovebirds.'

Skip Bolen

‘The Lovebirds’ (Apr. 3)

Kumail Najiani — pre-ripped to shreds, we assume — reunites with The Big Sick director Michael Showalter for a wild romp in which he and significant other Issa Rae are about to call it quits. Then the couple find themselves mixed up in the middle of a murder, and they have to solve the case, get themselves off the prime-suspects list, and maybe, just maybe, realize they actually do belong together. Personally, they had us at “romantic comedy featuring the stars of Insecure and Silicon Valley.

B25_31842_RC2James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux)drive through Matera, Italy in NO TIME TO DIE, a DANJAQ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.Credit: Nicola Dove© 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Nicole Dove/MGM

‘No Time to Die’ (Apr. 10)

The name’s Bond, etc., etc. Daniel Craig renews his license to kill one last time, with a few interesting wrinkles thrown into his spy-franchise swan song: Léa Seydoux reprises her Spectre role as Madeleine Swan, love interest and possible betrayer; there’s a new agent rocking the “007” handle, played by Lashana Lynch; Phoebe Waller-Bridge contributed to the script (cue James looking into the camera and raising his eyebrows); Ana de Armas is also onboard, which means we get a mini-Knives Out reunion as a bonus; and Rami Malek plays a bad guy who may or may not be a variation on a classic Bond villain. All this, plus Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, True Detective‘s first season) is directing. We’re so there.

Keri Russell in the film ANTLERS. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Fox Searchlight Pictures

‘Antlers’ (Apr. 17)

Something is lurking in the Oregon woods, leaving whomever crosses its path in pieces. The local sheriff (Jesse Plemons) thinks it’s a wild animal; a Native American resident (Graham Greene) thinks it may be a malevolent spirit from ancient indigenous lore; a teacher (Keri Russell) has the strange feeling it has to do with a student (Jeremy T. Thomas) who’s been drawing some disturbing things in her class. Personally, we think it may be some combination of all three. Scott Cooper has done a bang-up job with gritty, actor-driven dramas in the past (see: Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart, Hostiles). We’re curious to see how he handles an out-and-out horror movie.

3_A057C017_190415_R1J8_2.2.1_C Carey Mulligan stars as Cassie in director Emerald Fennell’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Focus Features

‘Promising Young Woman’ (Apr. 17)

As a writer and showrunner for Killing Eve, Emerald Fennell is familiar with stories of deadly women, violent trauma, and longstanding vendettas — and for her directorial debut, she’s tackling the same thematic ground from a much different angle. Cassie (Carrie Mulligan) is a former medical student who spends her days pulling espresso shots for commuters. At night, she likes to hang out at bars and get so drunk she can barely stand. The young woman has a tendency to attract the sort of “nice guys” who just want to “help her out” by taking her home. Maybe they also want to take advantage of her near-comatose state. And maybe, just maybe, it’s all part of a trap Cassie is planting for these sexual predators. Laverne Cox plays the avenging angel’s best friend, Alison Brie is a former classmate, and Bo Burnham is someone from her past who may hold the key as to why she’s doing all of this.

Antebellum

Lionsgate

‘Antebellum’ (Apr. 24)

Details are currently scarce on this upcoming horror film starring Janelle Monae, but judging from this creepy-as-fuck teaser that we’ve watched roughly a million times over the past six weeks, we’ve gathered that: The musician/actor/electric lady plays a contemporary author out for an evening with her friends; there seems to be a lot of women, including Monae, that are working on an old-fashioned Southern plantation (see title) and are being whipped by overseers; and the appearance of an airplane (!) over the field they’re toiling away in suggests this is not exactly happening in the past. A few other tidbits: Two of the film’s producers worked on Get Out and Us, and the movie’s directorial duo, Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, have never shied away from being incendiary in their music-video and PSA work. My god, does this look good.

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

Marvel Studios 2019

‘Black Widow’ (May 1)

Because the fans demanded it — and because the character deserves her own stand-alone movie, dammit — Scarlett Johnasson reports for Marvel duty one last time as Natasha Romanoff, the resident ass-kicking Avenger you know as Black Widow. Set between the Civil War and Infinity War storylines, this solo joint follows our heroine back to Russia for some unfinished family business. That’s right: You get to meet the rest of the Romanoffs, including Natasha’s tattoo-covered superhero pops (David Harbour), her mom (Rachel Weisz), and her equally lethal, trained-to-kill sister (Florence Pugh!!!). There will be much jumping, and fighting, and shooting, and people in costumes yelling a lot. Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) directs.

Simone Falso/A24

‘The Souvenir: Part II’ (2020)

British filmmaker Joanna Hogg had always planned on breaking her autobiographical coming-of-age story (and deserved critical-commercial hit) The Souvenir into two distinct, separate halves; now we get the rest of it. Speaking to Sight & Sound in December, the writer-director hinted that this new chapter would more or less pick up where Part 1 left off, and closely follow Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) as she further negotiates her way through film school. Joe Allwyn and Harris Dickinson join the cast.

Dev Patel in the film THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD. Photo by Dean Rogers. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Dean Rogers/© 2019 Twentieth Century Fox

‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ (May 8)

Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, Veep, The Death of Stalin) presses pause on political satire and adapts Charles Dickens’ classic tale of an enterprising young man (Dev Patel) suffering the slings and arrows of polite 19th-century society. Should folks think the man who brought you Alan Partridge and Malcolm Tucker has lost his sense of humor and gone all stuffy Masterpiece Theater on us, rest assured that his vision of Dickensian England is both an absurdist romp and a resonant response to the our current WTF moment, while still being faithful to the source material. And it has a cast that will make Anglophiles drool: Ben Whishaw as Uriah Heap, Tilda Swinton as Betsey Trotwood, Hugh Laurie as Mr. Dick, Peter Capaldi as Mr. Micawber, Gwendoline Christie as Jane Murdstone, and the list goes on.

Amy Adams in “The Woman In The Window.”

Twentieth Century Fox

‘The Woman in the Window’ (May 15)

Not to be confused with the 1944 Fritz Lang movie of the same name (‘Fess up, you kinda did think this was an update of the old Edward G. Robinson/Joan Bennett potboiler, and who could blame you, what with all the TCM you watch these days?), this mystery based on the 2018 novel by A.J. Finn concerns an agoraphobic woman (Amy Adams) who befriends a neighbor (Julianne Moore). Then quicker than you can say Rear Window, our apartment-dwelling heroine thinks she sees this new pal being murdered by husband (Gary Oldman) across the way. She reports it to the cops. And then things get…a little complicated when the man’s “real” wife suddenly shows up. Check out the deep bench here in addition to the three stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Tracy Letts, Anthony Mackie — it’s practically a Screen Actors Guild meeting up in here. Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) directs.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock (2399184b)FAST AND FURIOUS 6 (2013) Vin DieselFAST AND FURIOUS 6 - Feb 2013

Moviestore/Shutterstock

‘Fast & Furious 9’ (May 22)

Everyone’s favorite “family” of gearheads, drag racers, car thieves, ex-secret agents, ex-cons, and run-of-the-mill speed demons is back, ready for more international adventures that involve souped-up vehicles and a blatant disregard for the laws of physics. No word on what Dominic Toretto & Co. will be getting up to for Chapter 9, but we do know Vin Diesel will be back in the driver’s seat; ditto Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Helen Mirren, Ludacris, and Nathalie Emmanuel. Plus, word on the street is that John Cena and Cardi B are joining in on the fun as well.

Wonder Woman '84

Clay Enos/Warner Bros

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ (June 5)

It’s still the best of the DCEU films to date — and now Wonder Woman gets the I-Heart-the-’80s sequel it so richly deserves. Yes, dropping this second movie centered around everyone’s favorite Amazonian-princess superheroine into the age of aerobics and asymmetrical haircuts is a gamble. (So was making a Wonder Woman film set during WWI, when you think about it.) But given that director Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and Chris Pine are back, who cares when they set it? Make it Wonder Woman 2084, or ’84 B.C. How and why Pine’s love interest still looks as youthful as she did during the Woodrow Wilson era is anyone’s guess, though we do know The Mandalorian‘s Pedro Pascal is playing mind-controlling corporate titan Maxwell Lord and Kristen Wiig will don the spots of the W.W. comics’ supervillain Cheetah.

Soul, Pixar

Pixar

‘Soul’ (June 19)

Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) is a musician who’s been forced to compromise and put aside his art for too long. When he finally gets his dream gig, the man’s ecstatic — and then, through circumstances too complicated to explain (or for Pixar to give up so early), Joe loses his soul. Like, literally: His life force is separated from his physical body. And only a tiny “baby soul” (Tina Fey) can help him escape the celestial dimension he’s trapped in and get back in time to fulfill his destiny. You can’t accuse the legendary animation production company of being unambitious, or being guilty of not letting directors like Pete Docter (Inside Out) follow their imagination. Call it Fisher-Price’s My First Metaphysical Conundrum.

Pete Davidson'The Dirt' Film Premiere, Arrivals, Pacific Cinerama Dome, Los Angeles, USA - 18 Mar 2019

Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

‘The King of Staten Island’ (June 19)

The godfather of contemporary, sweet-and-sour cringe comedy teams up with the lanky SNL player for what sounds like a semiautobiographical riff on the latter’s life. To wit: Davidson will supposedly play a version of his early-years self, schlepping around Staten Island and dealing with the loss of his firefighter father. (Davidson’s own dad was a first-responder on September 11th.) If you think this sounds a little heavy, it does. And if you’re familiar with Apatow’s work (and who isn’t?), you also know he’ll likely lean in to the tragedy without skimping on the humor or the lovable dude-bro pathos.

In The Heights

Macall Polay/Warner Bros

‘In the Heights’ (June 26)

Before Hamilton turned him into the godhead of 21st century Broadway, Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Tony for his first musical, about life, love, and aspirational longing is his own neighborhood of Washington Heights. Now we get the big-screen version, complete with choreographed crowd-dancing in the streets and old-school, lung-busting ballads. Anthony Ramos is Usnavi, the bodega owner with dreams of opening his own bar back in the D.R.; Melissa Barrera is Vanessa, the salon worker who loves him; singer-songwriter Leslie Grace is Nina, a young woman debating whether she should return to college in California or stick around; Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins is Benny, Usnavi’s buddy who still feels like an outsider in the largely Latino section of uptown New York. Jimmy Smits, Stephanie Beatriz, Marc Anthony, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Orange Is the New Black‘s Dascha Polanco, and Lin-Manuel himself drop by as well. And to say that the story of a Spanish-speaking community in America has taken on a new urgency since the play premiered back in 2005 would be putting it mildly.

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Paramount Pictures

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (June 26)

Because you never do really get rid of that need for speed, right? Tom Cruise returns to one of his most famous roles: Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, former hotshot fighter pilot who’s now an instructor in the Navy’s “Top Gun” program. Naturally, he’s got some things to teach the whippersnappers who think their egos can write checks which their bodies can, in fact, cash. Especially since one of them, Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), has a huge chip on his shoulder and a need to prove himself. Oh, and did we mention he’s the son of Maverick’s late partner, Goose? Also hovering near various cockpits and landing strips: Ed Harris, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, Set It Up‘s Glen Powell, and The Good Place‘s Manny Jacinto.

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) in Free Guy.

Alan Markfield

‘Free Guy’ (July 3)

If you’ve played open-world RPGs like Grand Theft Auto, then you’re familiar with non-player characters: those nameless, faceless folks that are controlled by a game’s engine, hover on the periphery, and have a tendency to get mowed down by the dozens during firefights. Now, let’s say you took one of those pixelized everydudes — like, we dunno, maybe a bank clerk named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who tends to witness a lot of robberies — and, thanks to some new code, made him self-aware. He’d probably want to make himself the hero, even if the developers on the other side of the screen were trying to shut down this suddenly compromised narrative. Fans of both Deadpool and Fortnite, it sounds like your prayers have been answered.

Ghsotbusters Afterlife

Kimberly French/Sony Pictures

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ (July 10)

Who ya gonna call, Take three! Jason “Son of Ivan” Reitman picks up the comedy-horror-action franchise and runs with it, as the grandkids of one of the original ghostbusters comes across some of his relative’s old paranormal paraphernalia. And just in time, too, given that something wicked, and likely highly protoplasmic, this way comes. It/Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard and I, Tonya’s Mckenna Grace are the next generation of ‘Busters; Paul Rudd is a local science teacher who helps the kids battle whatever supernatural force it is that threatens the very existence of everyone in town. We’re assuming some of the Eighties film’s cast will stop by for cameos. And if this is another bit of “corrective” fan service, à la The Rise of Skywalker, we’re going to throw a proton pack through a plate-glass window.

Tenet

Melinda Sue Gordon

‘Tenet’ (July 17)

Speaking of cryptic: Christopher Nolan’s latest movie is, as is the filmmaker’s wont with most of his projects, cloaked under a thick veil of silence. We know that John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) stars alongside Robert Pattinson; that the IMAX prologue Nolan recently showed before The Rise of Skywalker screenings suggests a hostage situation and spies are somehow involved, as well as the concept of time; that Washington is “killed,” only to be inducted into a secret society of sorts; and that he’s only given a single word, “tenet,” which we’re told will “open the right doors…some of the wrong ones, too.” The trailer also gives away the fact that Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, and Elizabeth Debicki factor into things, and cars can sometimes flip backwards. Something tells us the fact that the title is a palindrome may be a big hint as well.

Wes Anderson'Isle of Dogs' film premiere, Paris, France - 03 Apr 2018

Pierre Villard/Sipa/Shutterstock

‘The French Dispatch’ (July 24)

A new Wes Anderson movie! About journalists, working in the French offices of an American newspaper! Plus there’s stars! Lot of them! [Deep breath] Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lea Seydoux, Elisabeth Moss, Jeffrey Wright, Benicio Del Toro, Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe…the list goes on! And we bet there are symmetrical compositions galore and much bric-à-brac–heavy set design! No release date yet, but we’re betting this Fox Searchlight release will hit theaters around the time the awards season is in full swing.

Jared LetoLACMA Art and Film Gala, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 02 Nov 2019

Shutterstock

‘Morbius’ (July 31)

There is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which everyone who’s been to a movie theater in the past 10 years or has a Disney+ subscription knows about — and there’s the “Spider-Man Universe,” which takes webslinger-related characters owned by Sony and hopes to build out its own stable of super antiheroes. (Yes, Spider-Man did show up in the past few Avengers movies, but probably won’t again — it’s a whole thing, don’t ask.) That movie where Tom Hardy played Venom? That was one of them. And this tale of Dr. Michael Morbius, who accidentally turns himself into a “living vampire” while trying to cure a blood disease? That’s another. Jared Leto is the title character. Daniel Espinosa (Life) directs.

Mark Wahlberg arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Mile 22" on in Los AngelesLA Premiere of "Mile 22", Los Angeles, USA - 09 Aug 2018

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‘Infinite’ (Aug. 7)

So there’s this group of “immortals,” see — not to be confused the with “the Eternals,” that’s something else entirely — who keep cycling through different bodies over the years. But there’s an evil genius who wants to destroy them, and most likely everything else, so this group has to turn to a hero among their ranks. There’s a catch, however: Their savior is a schizophrenic who thinks that the flashes of his old lives are really hallucinations. If you’ve read The Reincarnationist Papers, which serves as the source material for this sci-fi/action tale, you know what’s up. For everyone else, go see what sounds like a real late-summer headscratcher, starring Mark Wahlberg as the hero with the spotty memory and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer).

Orion Pictures

‘Bill and Ted Face the Music’ (Aug. 21)

When they were children, they spake as children, they understood as children, they rocked hard as children. But as middle-aged men, Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted Logan (Keanu Reeves) have long put away their childish things. Then a visitor from the future comes and tells them that unless they write a new song, our species is doomed. So the Wyld Stallyns must ride again! [Cue air-guitar riffage.] Decades after these time-traveling SoCal knuckleheads went on a bogus journey, the dynamic duo is back for a much-needed dose of bodaciousness. And they both have…daughters? Whoa, dude. Whoa.

King's Man

‘The King’s Man’ (Sept. 18)

So you like the Kingsman movies, what with all the manic Colin-Firth-on-a-rampage scenes and Rocketman‘s Taron Egerton as a younger, hipper James Bond type, right? But you want to know how this whole British secret service of suave spies thing started? This prequel has your back. As numerous early-20th-century no-goodniks — Rasputin, Wilhelm II, Alfred DuPont, the usual suspects — join together to achieve world domination, a small cadre of Her Majesty’s subjects led by a dapper Ralph Fiennes rise up to stop them. Harris Dickinson (Trust) is the newest recruit. Gemma Arterton and the great Djimon Hounsou are also on the good-guys side. And judging from the who’s-who lineup in the rest of the cast, this franchise is apparently responsible for keeping 99-percent of U.K. actors employed now that the Harry Potter series is done.

Edgar Wright'They Shall Not Grow Old' film premiere, London, UK - 16 Oct 2018WWI documentary featuring exclusive never seen before footage, hand colourised and 3D digitised archive footage from the Imperial War Museum film archive and audio from the BBC archives, at BFI Southbank

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‘Last Night in Soho’ (Sep. 25)

Edgar Wright — he of Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead, and numerous other movies you watch over and over again in a gleeful state of genre-nerd bliss — has said that his latest, a psychological thriller partially set in Swinging Sixties London, was heavily inspired by vintage nervous-breakdown horror like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. As if that was not enough to get cinephiles salivating, his tale of a modern young woman (Jojo Rabbit‘s Thomasin McKenzie) who is somehow connected to Anya Taylor-Joy’s mod-ish Carnaby Street hipster from the past is dotted with actors from the era: Terence Stamp, Diana Rigg, the great Rita Tushingham. We. Can’t. Wait.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock (1636373a)The Sopranos , Steven R Schirripa, James Gandolfini, Tony Sirico, Federico Castelluccio, Steve Van ZandtFilm and Television

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‘The Many Saints of Newark’ (Sep. 25)

Travel back to the New Jersey of the late Sixties and early Seventies, when a family known as the Sopranos were protecting their turf and establishing themselves as a criminal presence to be feared and respected. Yes, we’re talking about those Sopranos. This prequel takes us back to the beginnings, when Giovanni “Johnny Boy” Soprano (Jon Bernthal), a.k.a. Tony’s pops, was just starting to run his own crew. Expect to see a lot of baby-faced versions of the Mobsters in the above picture, with the added poignancy of James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, playing the younger Tony. (Also: Whoever thought of casting Vera Farmiga as a thirtysomething Livia deserves a raise.) Alessandro Nivola, John Magaro, Corey Stoll, and Ray Liotta round out the bada-bingers. Series creator David Chase co-wrote the script and longtime series director Alan Taylor is calling the shots, so the pedigree is strong here.

This photo shows screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin in New York to promote his latest stage project, an adaptation of "To Kill a MockingbirdAaron Sorkin Portrait Session, New York, USA - 30 Nov 2018

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‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ (Sep. 25)

Aaron Sorkin takes on the counterculture-vs.-establishment trial of the Sixties, i.e., the case against seven political agitators accused of inciting riots at the ’68 Democratic National Convention. Come for the reams of dialogue delivered by one-hell-of-a-name cast rocking some hippie-revolutionary cosplay: Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman (!), Watchmen‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Succession‘s Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Fred Hampton. Stay for the resistance history lesson that has no lesson to teach those who’d fight the power today, nope, no sirree, Bob.

Kenneth BranaghVariety Screening Series 'All Is True', Los Angeles, USA - 28 Nov 2018

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‘Death on the Nile’ (Oct. 9)

Kenneth Branagh is really determined to make this whole Poirotverse thing happen, isn’t he? The actor-director behind the 2017 A-list Murder on the Orient Express once again dons the outrageous mustache and turns his attention to Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel about a murder mystery set on a cruise up the Egyptian river. Whether it can top the 1978 adaptation starring Peter Ustinov as the tonsorially blessed sleuth Hercule Poirot remains to be seen, but Branagh has enlisted a lot of famous friends, acquaintances, and whodunnit fanatics to help out: Annette Bening, Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright, Russell Brand, both Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

David Fincher, Director/Executive Producer,Netflix FYSEE 'Mindhunter' TV Show Panel, Los Angeles, CA, USA - 01 Jun 2018

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‘Mank’ (2020)

Raising Kane, indeed. David Fincher dives into the notorious fight between screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) and filmmaking legend/boy genius Orson Welles (The Souvenir‘s Tom Burke) over who deserves credit for the writing of Citizen Kane. It’s a personal project for the director, and not just because the noted film fanatic has studied the 1941 template for auteurism frame by frame — his late father Jack Fincher penned the screenplay. No word if actors playing Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael show up in a post-credits sequence to duke it out over the whole affair as well. We’re assuming they are saving that for the sequel.

Jennifer Hudson'Cats' film photocall, London, UK - 13 Dec 2019

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‘Respect’ (Oct. 9)

It was only a matter of time before a big-screen Aretha Franklin biopic was set up — and there’s every reason to think Jennifer Hudson will nail the role of the Queen of Soul. (Between this movie and NatGeo’s TV show Genius letting Cynthia Erivo belt out the R&B legend’s hits as well, it’s going to be a big year from Aretha fans.) The Dreamgirls star and director Liesl Tommy are set to give the singer the full there-goeth-the-great-woman treatment, from her rough early years to those first hits, Franklin’s impact on the Civil Rights era, and her ascension into greatness. If they feature scenes of Hudson re-creating the Amazing Grace gospel shows as well, we may actually have an out-of-body experience.

Halloween Kills

Universal Pictures

‘Halloween Kills’ (Oct. 16)

David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s resurrection of the slasher-film franchise — which brought the inimitable Jamie Lee Curtis back into the fold — and what they did with the material was too intriguing to stop at just one film. So they did what any enterprising superfans with a lot of industry juice would do: Sign up for two more movies and shoot them back to back. This is the first sequel to their 2018 reboot we’ll be getting; plot points are being kept hush-hush, but we predict a) Michael Myers comes back from the “dead,” because of course, and b) Curtis’ Laurie Strode and her fellow survivors will not greet his inevitable return with helpless shrieks so much as a war cry.

Angelina Jolie'Maleficent - Mistress Of Evil' film photocall, Rome, Italy - 07 Oct 2019

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‘The Eternals’ (Nov. 6)

This is how Marvel plans on kicking off “Phase 4” of their quest for further multiplex-driven world domination: an MCU entry focused on the semi-obscure Jack Kirby comic about a group of superheroes created centuries ago by aliens to protect Earth. It’s an odd choice for the company in terms of a property to exploit, but listen, no one expected much from a Guardians of the Galaxy movie either, so who knows. Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, a newly jacked-up Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Gemma Chan, and Barry Keoghan don costumes and fight evil, etc. The Rider‘s Chloé Zhao directs.

Godzilla

Warners

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ (Nov. 20)

We knew this was coming. You don’t spend years setting up a whole Monsterverse thing, re-establish both Godzilla and King Kong (see: Kong: Skull Island), and reintroduce them to a whole new generation of moviegoers, then not have them battle it out. So here it is. An international-market-friendly cast, including Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobbie Brown, Rebecca Hall, Eiza González, Zhang Ziyi, Demián Bichir, Brian Tyree Henry (when the fuck does this guy sleep?!?!), and Kyle Chandler will watch these two giant creature-feature titans slug it out to see who’s the biggest kaiju overlord of them all. Expect fire, primal yelling, smashed buildings, lots of people looking sternly into the distance, and more primal yelling.

Eddie Murphy9th Annual WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards, Arrivals, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA - 06 Nov 2019

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‘Coming 2 America’ (Dec. 18)

We’re in the middle of a real, honest-to-god Eddie Murphy resurgence, and this long-awaited follow-up to his 1988 comedy classic (along with a potential new stand-up tour in 2020!) should be the cornerstone of his Murphaissance period. The story involves African Prince Akeem searching for his son (Jeremy Fowler), who lives in Queens — hence, the royal and his loyal adviser Semmi (Arsenio Hall) have to go back to you-know-where. Craig Brewer, who directed the comedian’s wonderful Dolemite Is My Name!, is behind the camera. Black-ish‘s Kenya Barris and original Coming screenwriters David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein contributed to the script. Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, and Leslie Jones join in the fun. This is going to be worth its weight in McDowell burgers. Sexual chocolate! [Drops mic]

Timothee Chalamet arrives for the Australian premiere of the movie 'The King' at The Ritz Cinema in Randwick, Sydney, Australia, 10 October 2019.The King film premiere in Sydney, Australia - 10 Oct 2019

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‘Dune’ (Dec. 18)

He who controls the spice controls the universe! Denis Villenueve (Blade Runner 2049) goes after the great white whale of cult sci-fi epics, Frank Herbert’s award-winning 1965 tome about interplanetary warfare, giant sandworms, a mind-expanding drug, and a messiah-like hero. And he’s enlisted an insane amount of screen talent to help him out: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Stellan John Skarsgård (as Baron Harkonnen!), Charlotte Rampling, Dave Bautista. There’s a lot riding on this one.

© 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.Photo by Ramona Rosales.Left to Right:Anybodys (Ezra Menas), Mouthpiece (Ben Cook), Action (Sean Harrison Jones); Jets leader Riff (Mike Faist); Baby John (Patrick Higgins); Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler); Maria’s brother and Sharks leader Bernardo (David Alvarez); and Sharks members Quique (Julius Anthony Rubio), Chago (Ricardo Zayas), Chino (Josh Andrés Rivera), Braulio (Sebastian Serra) and Pipo (Carlos Sánchez Falú)

RAMONA ROSALES/2019 Twentieth Century Fox Films

‘West Side Story’ (Dec. 18)

Start snapping your fingers, Sharks- and Jets-style. No less than Steven Spielberg and Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner bring the Broadway classic back for a 21st-century cinematic coat of paint, though they’ve kept the period aspects (1950s New York), the general conceit (Romeo & Juliet, but street gangs), and those songs you’ve been singing since your middle-school theater department’s production. Baby Driver‘s Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler are the star-crossed lovers; Rita Moreno, Cory Stoll, and Brian d’Arcy James provide adult supervision. And not a single person will be sporting digital fur!

Chris Pratt'Parks and Recreation' 10th Anniversary Reunion TV Show Presentation, Arrivals, PaleyFest, Los Angeles, USA - 21 Mar 2019

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‘The Tomorrow War’ (Dec. 25)

How do you combat an alien invasion on Earth? Why, by finding a way to bring back the best soldiers from past wars, of course! Chris Pratt is a grunt who gets flash-forwarded to sock E.T.s in their ever-lovin’ mugs and make sure us humans get a fair shake. J.K. Simmons, Yvonne Strahovski, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Theo Von, and Mary Lynn Rajskub also give it to those invaders from space (we think).

Sofia CoppolaPrada Resort 2020 show, Front Row, The Piano Factory, New York, USA - 02 May 2019

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‘On the Rocks’ (2020)

A new Sofia Coppola movie is always something to look forward to; one that involves Bill Murray is enough to have us grinning ear to ear; and one that revolves around a woman (Rashida Jones) running around New York with her hard-living, hard-partying, charming rogue of a dad (guess who?) suggests that we may already have our pick for favorite film of the year sight unseen. This could be the American Toni Erdmann we deserve.

In This Article: Bill Murray, Tom Cruise

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