OK [long sigh] — let’s try this again.
When we put up our most anticipated list of movies for 2020, we had no idea that it would go from a look at what would be coming soon to a theater near you (ha!) to an ode to best-laid plans. No sooner had we assembled, Avengers-style, 50 comedies, dramas, thrillers, horror flicks, and documentaries we were jazzed to see then the very notion of release dates — along with the film industry at large — morphed into one giant cartoon question mark. Movies were kicked down the road to next month, then next season, then to the limbo lovingly known as “TBD.” Whole slates of blockbusters were punted to 2021, or “whenever it’s, um, safe to go into a multiplex again,” whichever comes first. News of streaming services buying offloaded star vehicles and potential franchise starters became commonplace. By the time Warner Bros. dropped a paradigm-shifting bombshell in December, all bets were off.
So maybe it’s an exercise in eternal optimism to assume that we’ll actually see most of the 50 movies listed below some time in the next 12 months. Regardless, we’re plunging ahead nonetheless. If you notice some overlap between this year’s list and the 2020 edition, it’s not a coincidence — we’d be stoked to see David Lowery’s The Green Knight or Daniel Craig’s final Bond movie or Wes Anderson’s latest ensemble comedy regardless of when they dropped. We aimed to stick to the in-progress titles that seemed like they’d be finished in time for a ’21 debut — who knows if, say, Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled throwback ’70s whatsit about a child actor will be ready for public consumption this year. And it goes without saying that dates here are subject to change … and, in fact, are highly likely to change as 2021 wobbles along. (We’ll update as things progress, so keep checking back.)