The most exciting upcoming movies of 2020 and beyond

Jack Shepherd
·21 min read
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the schedule of upcoming movies has shifted like the sands of Egypt. Nothing has stayed in its original place, with some movies moving back over a year. Some movies have moved to streaming services, some have not – but hopefully we'll see them all sometime soon.

Should everything stay where it is (and apologies if things change again before this piece is updated), then there's a lot to look forward in 2021. You have a new James Bond movie, three Marvel blockbusters, and Fast and Furious looks set to go to space. Those are just the major movies – there's also a lot in-between. Here's our rundown of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2020 and 2021.

Mank

Mank
Mank

Release date: December 4, 2020 (Netflix)

Gary Oldman stars as notorious troubled screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the Citizen Kane screenplay for Orson Welles. The authorship of this script has been a longstanding controversy, with Welles giving himself a writing credit despite claims he didn’t contribute anything. Others argue that he did – but what’s the truth?

This is directed by David Fincher – his first feature since Gone Girl in 2014 – and promises to be an Oscar frontrunner for Netflix.

Monster Hunter

The Monster Hunter movie
The Monster Hunter movie

Release date: December 4 (UK), December 30 (US)

Milla Jovovich wielding a huge sword? Colour us intrigued. The actor reteams with Resident Evil director Paul W. S. Anderson for another video-game adaptation, Monster Hunter, which has become one of the few movies bumped forward in the release schedule. 

Jovovich plays Captain Natalie Artemis, while Tony Jaa portrays her military recruit, The Hunter, to assist in surviving against the enormous creatures that dominate the planet. Little is known about the story, though we can expect some epic battles, vast amounts of CGI. Fingers crossed Monster Hunter continues the current trend – set by Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog – of being an actually decent video-game adaptation. 

Free Guy

Release date: December 11, 2020

Prepare for a video-game movie unlike any other. Ryan Reynolds stars as the eponymous non-playable character (NPC) Guy, who finds himself suddenly gaining autonomy and realising that he's actually a video game character. The game itself – which, itself, is a deadly GTA knock off – is being closed down, and it's up to Guy and one of the game's developers (played by Killing Eve's Jodie Comer) to save the day. Expect laughs aplenty when this one finally arrives. 

Death on the Nile

Release date: December 18, 2020

There has been another murder – and there’s only one person who can solve what happened. We are, of course, talking about Kenneth Branagh's Hercule Poirot. 

The cast for Branagh’s follow up to Murder on the Orient Express has another stellar cast, including Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Ali Fazal, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Bateman, Emma Mackey, Dawn French, Rose Leslie, Jennifer Saunders, and Russell Brand. And if that’s not enough to have you excited about this adaptation of Death on the Nile, then we’re not sure what will. 

Coming 2 America

Release date: December 18 (Amazon Prime)

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are reteaming for a sequel to the classic American movie Coming To America, aptly titled Coming 2 America. This time around, Murphy's former Prince Akeem Joffer is about to become King of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son in America – a street-savvy Queens native named Lavelle, played by Jermaine Fowler. The cast includes dozens of famous names – Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, John Amos, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Rick Ross, and KiKi Layne, to name a few – and looks set to be another hilarious ride. 

Soul

Soul
Soul

Release date: November 20, 2020 (US), November 27 (UK)

Pixar’s second release of 2020 is the latest from Pete Docter, the constantly innovative director of the brilliant Up and Inside Out, so we can hope for something very special from Soul. “Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from?” ask Disney in the press release for the movie. “What is it that makes you... you? In 2020, Pixar takes you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions.” We’re intrigued…

Wonder Woman 1984

Release date: December 25, 2020

A sequel to Wonder Woman was pretty much inevitable following the first movie's rave reception. After spending that movie in the First World War, we’re picking up with Diana in (as the title suggests) 1984. Thanks to being immortal, she hasn’t aged a day. This time around she’ll be facing the perils of the Cold War and (we’re guessing) Rubik’s Cubes and New Romantics, as well as a new villain in the form of Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah. 

Star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are both back in action, as is Chris Pine, despite the fact his Steve Trevor didn’t make it out of the first movie alive. Is he a figment of Diana’s imagination or is there another better reason for him to show up in a shopping mall in some very white trainers? We’ll have to wait and see…

Mortal Kombat

Release date: January 15, 2021

Shout it: Mortal Kombat! The video-game series is once again getting the movie treatment. The first attempt has not exactly aged well, so hopefully producer James Wan has a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to bringing the fighting saga back to the big screen. Tadanobu Asano – who appeared in the MCU as Hogun in Thor – leads the cast as Raiden, while other fighters set to appear include Jax, Nitara, Shang Tsung, Kano, and many more. Johnny Cage will apparently appear, though no actor has yet been announced. 

The King's Man

The King's Man
The King's Man

Release date: February 12, 2021

After Kingsman: The Secret Service announced the arrival of a fun new spy saga, follow-up The Golden Circle fell a little flat. Now, director Matthew Vaughn gets a chance to reinvigorate the series (based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series) by going back to the early 20th century in this prequel – we’re thinking of it as The League of Extraordinarily Tailored Gentlemen.

A big advantage of visiting the origins of the titular undercover organisation is the chance to roll out a lot of famous actors playing even more famous historical figures: Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson is Lord Kitchener, Rhys Ifans is Rasputin, Gemma Arterton is Mata Hari, and Tom Hollander is King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicholas II – the three monarchs were cousins and the spit of each other. Expect ridiculous gadgets, over-the-top action and plenty of innuendo.

The Many Saints of Newark

The Sopranos
The Sopranos

Release date: March 12, 2021

Are movies based on TV shows ever that successful? The number is low, yet David Chase has decided he's not done with The Sopranos – arguably the best television show of all time. The showrunner will act as writer and producer on The Many Saints of Newark, with Alan Taylor directing. The story concerns Christopher Moltisanti's and Anthony Sopranos' fathers back in the '60s and '70s. Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Ray Liotta, and James Gandolfini's son, Michael Gandolfini, all star.

Morbius

Release date: March 19, 2021

After the massive (and possibly unexpected) success of Venom, Sony’s going full-steam-ahead on the Spider-Verse that may or may not be attached to the MCU (Tom Holland will be appearing in Spider-Verse movies, and we already know Vulture is in Morbius, so we're guessing so). Morbius centres on another troubled villain/antihero (delete as appropriate) – this time it’s Michael Morbius, a scientist with a rare blood disorder whose experiments to find a cure end up giving him a form of vampirism.

Dallas Buyers Club Oscar-winner Jared Leto is playing the so-called “living vampire”, so expect impressive levels of commitment from an actor who famously went method playing the Joker in Suicide Squad. Indeed, producer Matt Tolmach told Comicbook.com that we can expect “a similar level of intensity and charisma and devotion to the character”.

No Time To Die

Daniel Craig in No Time to Die
Daniel Craig in No Time to Die

Release date: November 12 (UK), November 25 (US)

After the departure of original director Danny Boyle, an injury to leading man Daniel Craig, and the coronavirus pandemic, No Time to Die has taken its time getting to the big screen. Hopefully, it‘s a case of better late than never, however, because this will mark Craig’s last outing in the tuxedo before he hands back his license to kill.

Plot details are unsurprisingly scarce, but we do know that the movie kicks off in Jamaica, with Bond enjoying some R&R after the events of Spectre. Reports have indicated that a new 007 – played by Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) – will bring Bond back into the fray, with Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek acting as the main villain. Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) will also appear in the movie, with Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright all returning. Behind the camera, True Detective and Maniac director Cary Fukunaga becomes the first American to helm an official Bond movie, while Fleabag creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is on the writing team.

A Quiet Place Part II

Release date: April 23, 2021

A Quiet Place Part II is one of the most anticipated upcoming horror movies of 2020. Like another notable Part II (The Godfather), it picks up straight after the events of the first film, but also flashes back to fill in some prequel gaps. Where A Quiet Place started in the aftermath of a sound-seeking alien invasion, Part II will show us what happened on Day One (as seen in the recent trailer). 

Emily Blunt, as you would expect, is returning, with John Krasinski primarily behind the camera due to his character's fate in Part I. Will a post-apocalyptic horror seem scarier this time around? Almost certainly. 

Last Night in Soho

Release date: April 23, 2021

Edgar Wright returns with what will be slightly less funny and more horror than we're used to from the director. Last Night in Soho follows Anya Taylor-Joy's fashion designer who mysteriously ends up in the '60s. Not al is as it seems (as you would expect) and things get slightly out of hand. The movie will also feature Diana Rigg's last performance.

Black Widow

Release date: May 7, 2021

Once due to hit off Marvel Phase 4, that's now WandaVision's honour, Black Widow may have been delayed, but it's certainly undefeated. Directed by Cate Shortland, the movie stars Scarlett Johansson returning as Natasha Romanoff; Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Alexi; Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova; O-T Fagbenle as Mason; and Rachel Weisz as another Black Widow. The Taskmaster will also appear, though his/her identity remains unknown. Prepare for some awesome action and some "important" messaging, according to Pugh.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Release date: May 21, 2021

Godzilla became King of the Monsters in 2019, and now Kong’s coming for the crown. Adam Wingard directs the fourth movie in the so-called Monsters-Verse, bringing together the recent iterations of Godzilla and Kong in what promises to be a huge monster-mash. 

Many of the human characters from Godzilla: King of the Monsters will return, including Millie Bobby Brow, while Godzilla is the only confirmed monster, although Rodan, who was last seen bowing to ‘Zilla, could potentially make a comeback. No word on whether the heroes of Kong: Skull Island will be back, although this movie will take decades after that one, meaning it’s slightly unlikely – unless they a CGI aged up.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw 

Release date: May 21, 2021

Spiral: From the Book of Saw looks set to give the Saw series a new spin. If you were going to make a list of the actors you’d imagine starring in the *counts on bloodied fingers* ninth movie in the series, Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson wouldn’t exactly spring to mind. And yet here we are. It turns out that the multi-talented Rock loves the gory punish 'em up and he has been the driving force behind this now 2021 reboot. Let's hope it's worth the wait.

F9: Fast & Furious 9

Fast and Furious 9
Fast and Furious 9

Release date: May 28, 2021

Who’d have believed back in 2001 that a fun, relatively unspectacular Vin Diesel movie about street racing and heists would spawn a multi-billion-dollar franchise that’s still here nearly two decades later? With spin-off Hobbs & Shaw having played during the summer of 2019, the main series revs up its engines for the ninth time with regular director Justin Lin back behind the steering wheel (he called the shots the third, fourth, fifth and sixth movies in the series). 

Alongside Fast stalwarts Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster is back for the first time since her character, Mia, walked into the sunset with the late Paul Walker’s Brian in Fast & Furious 7. John Cena will also appear in the movie, as Dom's brother, and Han is back. As the trailer promises: Justice. Is. Coming.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Release date: June 4, 2021

The third entry in the James Wan-created universe The Conjuring series, The Devil Made Me Do It, sees Ed and Lorraine Warren return for a case revolving around a man on trial for murder who says he is innocent as he was possessed by a demon at the time. The previous two Conjuring movies have been based on actual cases from the notes of the paranormal hunting couple, but it’s not clear if any of this has any grounding in actual fact. 

Whether it’s as realistic as The Nun or not, though, it’s still exciting to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return for the official third entry in the series. Michael Chaves is taking the helm this time around. Chaves is no stranger to horror. He was responsible for The Curse of La Llorona about a folklore monster who wants to steal your children. Given that movie's tepid horror, let’s hope Chaves is just getting warmed up. 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Release date: June 11, 2021

Who you gonna call? When it comes to having another crack at rebooting Ghostbusters, it seems the answer is Jason Reitman. The Tully director announced via a teaser trailer that he's inherited the megaphone from his dad, original Ghostbusters director Ivan, for a movie Reitman Jr. has described as “a continuation of the original franchise”. That means the new movie will pick up decades after New York was terrorised by insurgents from the spirit world, meaning the unfairly maligned 2016 movie now sits alone in its own parallel timeline.

With Fargo’s Carrie Coon, Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace (the young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel) and Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd, heading up the cast, it promises to have a very different feel to the “four guys team-up to fight ghosts” vibe of the original movies.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Release date: June 25, 2021

Venom was a surprising success, launching Sony's own Marvel cinematic universe, including Morbius (see above). Venom: Let There Be Carnage will return Tom Hardy to the big screen as the eponymous symbiote, while Woody Harrelson returns from the Venom post-credits scene as Cletus Kasady, better known as Carnage. Andy Serkis has directed this one, the Gollum actor no doubt putting his CGI know-how to the test.

Top Gun Maverick

Release date: July 2, 2021

Thirty-five years after the original Top Gun, Tom Cruise feels the need to go back to the role that made him the biggest movie star on the planet. This time around, his Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is an instructor at the eponymous San Diego flight school, and he’s set to come into contact with trainee pilot Bradley Bradshaw (played by Whiplash star Miles Teller) – who just happens to be the son of Maverick’s late co-pilot Goose…

The first Top Gun was a glorious example of ’80s excess and style over substance, so don’t expect the sequel to be a deep examination of a pilot’s psyche. But with director Joseph Kosinski having Tron: Legacy and Oblivion under his belt, the upcoming movie is bound to look spectacular. Meanwhile, the return of Val Kilmer as Iceman is a nice link to the original – he can be our wingman anytime...

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Marvel Phase 4 Shang-Chi
Marvel Phase 4 Shang-Chi

Release date: July 9, 2021

One the third movie scehduled in Marvel Phase 4, now the second due to consistent moves in the release schedule. Destin Daniel Cretton (who worked with Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson on The Glass Castle) has signed on to direct Shang-Chi –also known as the Master of Kung Fu – who will be Marvel Studio's first lead Asian superhero, and will be played by Simu Liu. Tony Leung will play the villain The Mandarin in the movie, with Awkwafina playing a supporting role.

Uncharted

Tom Holland in the Uncharted movie
Tom Holland in the Uncharted movie

Release date: July 16, 2021

After seven (yes, seven!) director changes, the Uncharted movie finally wrapped filming. That means we can expect to see the Tom Holland-led adaptation of the games in cinemas during our lifetimes. We didn't think it would happen after such a turbulent production process. But here we are. Mark Wahlberg is set to play Sully, a mentor-type to Holland's Nathan Drake. This will be set a little before the games, which centre on older versions of the characters. But by going young, Sony has set themselves up for a franchise. Expect sequels. Many, many sequels...

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad

Release date: October 6, 2021

Harley Quinn and a few familiar faces return to the big screen in this quasi-sequel reboot of the Suicide Squad. You'll recognise a few, but will have absolutely no idea who the others are. The cast is ludicrous – everyone from Nathan Fillion, Peter Capaldi, Pete Davidson to Idris Elba, John Cena, and Margot Robbie – are set to appear in The Suicide Squad. With James Gunn at the helm, this will surely be one bombastic ride.

Candyman

Candyman (2020)
Candyman (2020)

Release date: August 27, 2021

Say his name five times in the mirror and the Candyman will appear. Well, Jordan Peele has done exactly that, and will be bringing the results to cinemas. This “spiritual successor” to the original movie will be directed by Nia DaCosta and has Peele on as producer. Tony Todd returns as the eponymous ghost looking to wreak havoc. The movie will also introduce Anthony, played by Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Throughout, he's tormented by Candyman's history. Get ready for another scary tale. 

Dune

Dune
Dune

Release date: October 1, 2020

Is Frank Herbert’s supposedly unfilmable classic sci-fi novel Dune genuinely unfilmable? The jury’s still out after David Lynch’s ambitious but flawed 1984 attempt. However, if anyone can get an adaptation right it’s Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, the man who directed the excellent Blade Runner 2049.

He’s lined up an impressive cast to tell the story of double-dealing and skullduggery on the desert world of Arrakis, the source of the valuable “spice” that makes interstellar travel possible. Timothée Chalamet plays the lead Paul Atreides, with Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation’s Rebecca Ferguson as his mum Lady Jessica, and some top Star Wars and Marvel talent in the form of Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista and Zendaya.

Halloween Kills

Halloween
Halloween

Release date: October 15, 2021

Michael Myers returns – again! Jamie Lee Curtis will be back for the follow-up to the 2018 Halloween reboot, and the boiler-suit clad follow up promises to be bloody. Halloween Kills isn’t the only sequel on the way. Halloween Ends will finish the new trilogy the following year. We don’t know much about either movie, only this announcement from Universal that lets us know that the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, conveniently for us, ‘isn’t over.’ More of the same means disturbing (trick or) treats arriving for Horror Christmas two years in a row. Yum.

Eternals

Release date: November 5, 2021

Eternals was the second Marvel Phase 4 movie, but now comes third! It comes with a stellar cast including Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastom, and many more. Feige himself has given a small peek into what to expect from the Eternals story, having said: “It will be a story that will introduce you to this incredibly eclectic group of immortals, they're the focus of the story." He said of the setting: "It takes place in our universe – it takes place in the MCU.”

Chloe Zhao, who will be directing Eternals, said at SDCC: “I just really, really wanted to make a Marvel movie for so long… For this film, The Eternals, it’s about this incredible group of immortals but, through their journey, we get to explore what it means to be human.”

West Side Story

Release date: December 10, 2021

There aren’t many genres Steven Spielberg hasn’t tackled over the course of his long and impressive career, but the musical is one of them. He’s about to change all that with this new take on West Side Story, but seeing as Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1961 Oscar-winner is widely regarded as one of the best song-and-dance flicks of all time, the director certainly isn’t taking the easy option.

Famously an update of Romeo And Juliet, the story focuses on a doomed romance against the backdrop of gang war between the Jets and the Sharks in 1950s New York. Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler play lovers Tony and Maria, with Rita Moreno (who won an Oscar playing Anita in the original movie) back to play Valentina, a reimagined and expanded version of the role of Doc. We know the tunes are good – the question is, can Spielberg make everything else sing as well?

Jurassic World: Dominion

Jurassic World
Jurassic World

Release date: June 10, 2022

There's nothing quite as fun as bringing the gang back together. Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil, and Laura Dern are all returning to the dinosaur franchise for Jurassic World 3: Dominion. The pre-historic beasts are now out in the wild, away from the insular parks that kept them hostage. Prepare for carnage and familiar faces.

The French Dispatch

Release date: Unknown

Wes Anderson returns with The French Dispatch – the director’s first output since 2018’s Isle of Dogs – centres on a group of journalists working for an American newspaper outpost based in a fictional French City. The cast features a mixture of Anderson favourites and newcomers: Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Léa Seydoux, Owen Wilson, and Tilda Swinton star alongside Timothée Chalamet, Benicio del Toro, and Jeffrey Wright. Its trailer has all of the hallmarks we expect from a Wes Anderson film; bright colours, flat line delivery, and meticulously stylised shots. And, of course, we cannot wait for this hopefully whimsical affair. 

Tomb Raider 2

Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider 2

Release date: March 19, 2021

Alicia Vikander returns as Lara Croft for another adventure. We know very, very little about the upcoming video-game adaptation, but Ben Wheatley has been hired to direct, with the script coming from Amy Jump, Wheatley's longtime collaborator and partner. Filming was set to take place in a variety of countries across the globe – including Finland and Chine – but has since been whittled down to just England and South Africa. Still, fingers crossed we get the same epic story – perhaps with a little more green screen.