We’re a little over a month till 2019 comes to a close. The last decade has been one hell of a ride. We’ve witnessed the rebirth of previously dormant franchises. A whole generation has experienced a renaissance and recede of the age of comic book films. So much has happened and so much of the cinematic landscape has changed but we’ll get to that in another time. 2020 is on the way and with it comes a whole new line-up of exciting films. From sequels to brand-new properties to remakes, it’s going to be one very, very busy year for all of us. We’re not content to rest on our laurels and simply let them roll out as they come. Like restless children on Christmas Eve, we’ve got to talk about our most anticipated films of 2020.
If you’re looking to go into the year blind and take each film release as they come, that’s cool too. However, if you are looking for a sort of cinematic roadmap for all the most exciting films to check out next year then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s count ‘em down!
So much of Robert Downey Jr.’s career has been defined by Marvel Studios and his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). To finally see him break out of his mould to do something non-comic book related marks a defining moment in the man’s life. Dolittle might not bear the same prestige as it once had when Eddie Murphy held the mantle of Dr Dolittle but for Downey, his performance is of paramount significance. It will determine the weight out of his name outside of Disney’s franchise and whether or not it can stand on its own merit. We’re keeping a close eye on Downey’s performance along with his capacity for comedic timing as he mingles with talking wild animals. Dolittle will be stampeding into cinemas on the 23rd of January 2020.
By all accounts, Bloodshot should be another fun but fairly generic action film with the potential for some really cool sci-fi gore. Normally, it wouldn’t be on our radar…except for the fact that it’s linked to the Variant comic universe. Yes, there are other comic publishers besides Marvel and DC. Shocker, am I right? The Variant universe is one populated with interesting characters like a Celtic warrior wielding an alien power suit, a hyper-intelligent ninja named Ninjak and then there’s the nanobot-enhanced killing machine, Bloodshot. If Sony Pictures play their cards right, Bloodshot could be the start of a whole new comic-based cinematic universe. On the 20th of February, we shall witness the first instalment of the Valiant Cinematic Universe (VCU)!
Personally, I’ve never been much of a fan of Disney’s live-action revision of the classics. They’ve always felt like cash-grabs banking on the nostalgia and goodwill of old school Disney fans. Mulan, however, could actually offer something that we haven’t seen before. There’s no magic dragon or singing seen in the trailer and it looks like the film is aiming to keep it that way. While I do lament the fact that I’ll probably never hear “I’ll Make a Man out of You”, I am looking forward to what this more grounded take on the character will look like. Will we see actually battle strategies? Will we see a Zack Snyder like slow-mo action sequence? We did see some impressive camerawork and large battle scenes in the trailer. So no singing? No problem. Mulan hits theatres 26th March 2020.
9. The King’s Man
Director Matthew Vaughn has always had a great eye for action and a strange relationship with comic books. The man clearly has a love for them but is never shy about putting his own creative spin on their cinematic adaptations. Some of his best work includes 2010’s Kick-Ass, 2011’s X-Men First Class and 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. While Kingsman: The Golden Circle didn’t quite stick the landing in 2017, his return to the franchise with The King’s Man looks to be a rousing affair. Set in Europe during the heat of the First World War, The King’s Man follows the rise of the Kingsman organization as they race against time to stop a world-ending ploy. The lead role of the Duke of Oxford is played by the ULTIMATE gentleman, Ralph Fiennes. The King’s Man is set to debut on the 13th of February 2020.
Following up with Sony’s oddly successful Venom film is yet another strange live-action instalment in Sony’s growing Marvel Universe. I’m talking about Morbius, Marvel’s very own Dracula. Blade Runner 2049’s Jared Leto is set to star as the eponymous blood-sucking scientist alongside Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame. Truth be told, we really want to watch this film simply to see how far Sony can go with their own cinematic universe. Venom was one of the best-worst films I’ve seen in a long time. The ironic value of it outweighs any of its anti-hero pretensions. With Morbius, I’m half-expecting it to be a similar case. At best, we get an awesome, fresh horror take on the comic book film genre. At worst, it’ll probably be a riot as well. In either case, we’re sure that we’re in for a bloody good time come 30th July 2020.
The age of the Avengers may be over but the MCU is far from it. We’ve already covered why Marvel’s Eternals could be the next big thing after Endgame. So if you’re looking for a more in-depth look into the property, do check it out. Let’s just say that the Eternals are a pretty big deal in the Marvel universe. Supposedly the true successors of mankind. The first heroes to rise long before Stark’s team assembled. The film will also probably go into the origins of mankind’s evolutionary masters, the Celestials. The same beings who are responsible for creating mutants like the X-Men. Exciting things are definitely on the way! Be sure to check it out on the 5th of November come next year.
6. No Time To Die
It seems poetic that the beginning of a decade would herald the end of an era. That era being Daniel Craig’s James Bond before having his role handed off to another successor. Though the feeling is bittersweet, we’re expecting nothing less than perfection from True Detective and Beast of No Nations director Cary Joji Fukunaga. We were frankly disappointed with regards to how underutilized Christoph Waltz’s character was in Spectre. This time around with Fukunaga at the wheel, we can be sure of some top-notch action and a thrilling plot with Mr Robot’s Rami Malek as the villain. We’re hoping that No Time To Die will be the Logan of the 007 film franchise. The film will be hitting theatres in April 2020.
5. The New Mutants
To say that Fox’s The New Mutants has had setbacks would a massive understatement. The film was slated to come out on 22nd of February 2019. Then it got pushed back to avoid the film from coming out too closely with Dark Phoenix. Then 20th Century Fox got acquired by Disney, rendering the film’s contribution to the franchise’s canon moot. Reshoots had the film finally pushed back all the way to 2nd April 2020 for a theatrical release. The New Mutants was supposed to revolutionize comic book films by giving us the first mainstream horror film within the genre. Then Brightburn came along and stole its thunder. Nonetheless, we’re still really keen on seeing how Fox ends their franchise. We’re hoping for plenty of scares and lots of interesting angles director Josh Boone will approach mutant powers.
4. A Quiet Place: Part II
You read that right, folks, we’re getting a sequel to John Krasinski’s innovative 2018 sci-fi horror film, A Quiet Place. The first film captured our imagination with its unique creature design and sharp writing. A world in which silence has swallowed us and we live in perpetual fear of how things we say and do could determine life and death. The first film ended on a surprisingly hopeful, and badass, note with the implication that Emily Blunt’s Evelyn Abbott is ready to take the fight to the monsters. She is about to go full-on Ellen Ripley on their alien asses and I for one can’t wait to see that! Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou will also be joining the film, possibly as survivors of the invasion event. A Quiet Place: Part II will be in theatres by the 19th of March 2020.
3. Wonder Woman 1984
2017’s Wonder Woman was the first legitimate ray of light in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) after a long period of dark, dull films following Man of Steel. Grand, touching and highly entertaining, Wonder Woman breathed some much-needed life back into an ailing franchise. After 3 years of waiting, we finally get a sequel to the best film thus far, Wonder Woman 1984. The film sees everyone’s favourite demi-god heroin face-off against the fiendish mind-controller Maxwell Lord played by the ever sexy, charming Pedro Pascal. Kristen Wiig will also be starring in the film as one of Wonder Woman’s most iconic villains, Cheetah. Coming off the high of 2018’s Aquaman and this year’s Shazam, we’re excited to see DCEU move from glory to glory. On the 4th of June 2020, we shall see the Amazonian once again!
We’re going to level with you. We have absolutely no idea what Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is about. He promises in the trailer that we’ll be seeing a whole new kind of protagonist and that could mean a million things. The point is that it’s directed by Christopher freaking Nolan and that’s all we really need to know! For all we know, it could be about a time-travelling detective trying to save the world from mutated dolphins. The director has yet to show any sign of slowing down with a mostly flawless spot record of mind-blowing films. The man is who Shymalan wishes he could be. In any case, we are prepared to have our brains melted when it is released in local theatres on the 16th of July 2020.
It has been said that Frank Herbert’s award-winning, sci-fi epic Dune was impossible to adapt. That no one would be able to bring to life the height of Herbert’s world-building grandeur. Nor would any director prove capable enough to do justice to the depth of Herbert’s story and characters. Many a foolhardy and brave filmmaker, David Lynch and Alexandro Jodorowsky, have attempted to do the impossible. They have left with either failure or incompletion. For the dawn of a new decade, there comes yet another filmmaker who will attempt to do the unthinkable. Denis Villeneuve, the visionary behind Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, has adapted Herbert’s masterpiece and will be bringing it to theatres on the 17th of December 2020. Step aside Star Wars, it’s time for Villeneuve’s Dune to rise!