2020 is gearing up to be a tumultuous and unprecedented year, not to mention the start of a new decade. What this says for the future is unclear, but at least cinema still has some bright spots to look forward to in the long run. Here are the mxdwn Movie staff’s most anticipated films for each month of 2020:
A short-haired Kristen Stewart is amongst the crew of underwater researchers located at the very bottom of the ocean. When something attacks their subterranean base, however, the crew must venture outside and investigate whatever the hell is looking to get them. Think Alien, but underwater.
Underwater features Stewart alongside T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, Mamoudou Athie, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., and Gunner Wright. It’s set for release January 10th.
February: Birds of Prey
While Suicide Squad was a critical flop, Margot Robbie’s performance as fan-favorite Harley Quinn nevertheless was a plus with audience. Birds of Prey sees Harley, following a breakup with the Joker, join Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from the Gotham crime lord Black Mask. Cue wacky and dark shenanigans.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)– yes that’s a mouthful, stars Robbie alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Ali Wong and Ewan McGregor, amongst other big names. It’s set for release on February 7th.
The first of two new Pixar films coming out in 2020, Onward takes place in a Middle Earth-like fantasy setting that has now adopted contemporary machines and iconography in favor of magic. The plot follows elf brothers Ian and Barley (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) who receive a magical staff from their dad designed to bring him back for 24 hours. However, a malfunction in the spell only revives their dad from the waste down, causing them to embark on a quest to restore him fully.
Onward stars Holland and Pratt alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer. It’s set for release on March 6th.
April: No Time to Die
The fifth and final Bond film starring Daniel Craig, No Time to Die takes place five years after Spectre and sees James Bond out of active service from MI6. However, when Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright) enlists his help to locate an abducted scientist,Bond must confront a new terrorist danger (played by Rami Malek) unlike anything the world has seen before.
Craig and Wright will rejoin new faces like Ralph Fiennes’ M, Ben Winshaw’s Q, Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann and Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld. New faces include Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas. No Time to Die will release April 8th.
May: Black Widow
The first entry of Marvel Studios’ Phase 4, Black Widow finally gives Natasha Romanoff her own standalone film, albeit a bit late following the events of Endgame. A prequel film, we’ll see Natasha be forced to confront her past as a Red Room super-spy for the Russian government. The cast for this already looks excellent, with Scarlet Johansson being joined by Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. What it means for the MCU’s future, though, is unclear.
Black Widow is set for release on May 1st.
June: Wonder Woman 1984
Gal Gadot remains a highlight of the DCEU, so Wonder Woman 1984 is the franchise’s most hyped entry by default. Taking place in the 1980’s, Diana Prince must deal with two new opponents: billionaire Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Barbera Minerva (Kristen Wiig), the alias of famed Wonder Woman supervillain the Cheetah. She must also deal with the return of her WWI-era love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who has somehow come back from the dead.
Based on the trailer alone, this movie looks fantastic, from the visuals, to the retro score, to Diana getting her Kingdom Come wing outfit. Wonder Woman 1984 is set for release on June 5th.
With Christopher Nolan, even if you don’t know what’s happening in his movie trailers, you still want to watch the films to find out. Tenet has John David Washington play a spy who supposedly dies, but comes back and gains time premonition abilities that allow him to see events before and after they happen. Not much else is known about the plot beyond the fact that he’s trying to prevent World War III.
Still, the film has a talented cast, with Washington being joined by Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Himesh Patel and the expected Nolan-film appearance by Michael Caine. Until the next trailer gives us anymore clues, Tenet comes out July 17th.
August: Bill and Ted Face the Music
Hopefully this will be a most excellent return for the iconic 90s stoner duo and their time-traveling phone booth that isn’t the TARDIS. Taking place in “sort of” real time, a now middle-aged Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) are warned by a visitor from the future that they must create a song that will save all life on Earth and the universe. What’s expected to follow is a series of shenanigans involving old-friends, historical figures and the return of Wyld Stallyns.
Bill & Ted Face the Music will release on August 21st.
September: The King’s Man
The Kingsmen films have grown into quite the surprise franchise since Mathew Vaughn’s first film adaption released in 2014. The King’s Man offers a prequel to this elite gentlemanly super spy society by tracing its origins back to World War I. When the Russian mystic Rasputin seeks to unleash a plague onto Europe, one Duke and his protege, as well as a few early members of the Kingsmen, will stand in his way.
Expect a lot of clever British humor and action scenes from this one, as well as a talented cast including Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, Djimon Hounsou, Gemma Arterton and Rhys Ifans. The King’s Man will release on September 18th.
October: Halloween Kills
The first of two back to back sequels to last year’s Halloween reboot, it looks Michael Meyers survived and entire house worth of death traps and will be hunting the Straude family once again. Jamie Lee Curtis will be returning as Laurie, as will Judy Greer and Andi Matichak as her daughter and granddaughter. Expect a lot more bodies to drop with this film.
Halloween Kills will release on October 16th.
November: The Eternals
If Guardians of the Galaxy was the MCU’s first step into the cosmic side of Marvel, The Eternals is going to be like a cannonball splash. The story will presumably span 7,000 years and follow the immortal race known as the Eternals in their battles against their mutated counterparts, the Deviants. Bit on the nose, but the stacked cast for this movie, which includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry and Salma Hayek amongst others, demands anticipation.
With no trailer to go on, all our hints about The Eternals depend on concept art promos and Nanjiani’s surprising muscle gain. The film will release November 6th.
Frank Hubert’s widely influential novel Dune was adapted once before in the 1984 David Lynch film of the same name. It was a disaster, and Lynch himself has practically disowned the film. The upcoming reboot from director Dennis Villeneuve will hopefully attempt to rectify that problem.
Given how Villeneuve has made some of the most visually stunning films of this decade (Enemy, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049), we have no doubt he’ll be able to bring the world of Arrakis to life. Combined with a long cast list including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Fergusen, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya and Jason Momoa, this might indeed be the sprawling sci-fi epic to define the new decade.
Dune releases on December 18th.