Films in 2020 – A Year of Marketable Similarities and A Few Surprises
By Tracey L. Peyton, MA
On one hand I don’t expect films in 2020 to look much different than 2019. You will have your superhero blockbusters and your animated remakes and sequels.
On the other hand, I suspect the highly anticipated films including another Nolan masterpiece, another sexy cool edition of James Bond and a few long awaited “where are they now” sequels round out what to expect in 2020. As a disclaimer, I offer that this list is by no means a complete list, the list is constantly changing and evolving as release dates change and films are revamped when Studio’s slates of films are released.
In the way of animated films and live action films, we have the following Disney films Onward, Mulan, The Bob’s Burger Film, and Raya & the Last Dragon should do well. Don’t count out Peter Rabbit 2 and Minions 2. Disney-Pixar’s film Soul starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and the Pixar good luck charm, John Ratzenberger arrives in June 2020.
Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended with the record breaking and success never to be repeated Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Birds of Prey, Bloodshot, Cyborg, The New Mutants, Venom 2, Wonder Woman 1984, The Green Lantern Corps, Morbius, The Eternals, and Black Widow. The year of the woman will dominate the superhero releases in my opinion. Look for the Black Widow origin story, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to soar.
Celebrated franchises often produce some film successes. One sure bet for blockbuster success is Fast & Furious 9—the popcorn film is shoot ‘em up heaven for car lovers. Also, for those of you that love the Taron Egerton franchise, hold on because he is not in this installment of The Kingsmen.
This is an origin story that will show how the spy agency is formed. You also know what you are getting with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life and in Godzilla vs. Kong. One film that may deserve separate mention here is Candyman. Yep, that one from 1992.
This time the Jordan Peele-produced film will be a sequel to, starring the original Candyman himself, Tony Todd. I am excited to be scared with this one coming in mid-June 2020.
The big one in 2020 is Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story remake. It has one of the arguably best directors of all time tackling it. Plus, EGOT icon and original cast member Rita Moreno is in a newly created role in the film. In the Heights is the other musical slated for release in 2020. The winner of four Tony awards in 2008, penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda before Hamilton days is the life in a few days of a Latino family in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York. This film may be formulaic considering its origins; but I believe it will do well in June/July 2020.
Hamilton geeks rejoice. Lin-Manuel Miranda has written an entire animated musical entering theatres in November 2020. Vivo is a Sony vehicle that centers on a monkey travelling from Cuba to Miami to fulfill his destiny. Because of his role in the success of Moana, I look to see this as a smash hit.
Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man himself recreates himself once again to play Dr. Doolittle in the January 2020 release. Also starring Antonio Banderas and Michael Sheen, with the voice talents of Tom Holland, Marion Cotillard, John Cena and Emma Thompson, you can’t go wrong on this voyage.
Christopher Nolan’s newest film is Tenet, which stars John David Washington, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine in a story of international espionage. That’s all really anyone knows about the film. And in typical Nolan style, we will have to wait until mid-July to find out all the rest. We also know that Nolan typically casts time as a main character … our lips are salivating over the palindrome title.
No Time to Die is the 25th James Bond film to star Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek (as the villain), Jeffrey Wright and Naomie Harris. Hold on tight, it’s a long wait till April 8, 2020 but it will be worth it.
Dune, the sci-fi classic, is being taken on after 30+ years when David Lynch tried to bring this novel to life, by director Denis Villeneuve of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 fame. My expectations are high because of the cast and director.
Death on the Nile, another Agatha Christie novel, will be remade in this version by Kenneth Branagh who both directs and stars in the film. The latest adaptation arrives in theatres in October 2020.
Horror/Thriller films have two additional strong contenders for 2020. The first is A Quiet Place 2. Who was lighting those fires we saw in the distance in the original A Quiet Place? We may just find out in the sequel, entering theatres on March 20. The second one is Halloween Kills, the second of a reported Halloween trilogy which sees the return of newly badass Laurie Strode and her grown up daughter. This one, of course, comes out just in time for Halloween.
We will have to wait until May to see some of the most highly anticipated “where are they now” films. First up is Legally Blonde 3, 15 years after #2, in theatres May 8, 2020. Top Gun: Maverick has Tom Cruise back after 31 years reprising his title role. And Val Kilmer is back as Iceman, entering theatres on June 26, 2020. Bill & Ted Face the Music features Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reprising their roles after first film in 1989 and second film in 1991. Good fun ensues on August 21, 2020.
Greyhound, a World War II epic, starring Tom Hanks, released in May 2020. Artemis Fowl, a Kenneth Branagh adaptation of the popular fantasy book comes to theatres in May 2020. A new film franchise is born: Jungle Cruise, based on the theme park ride of the same name. This film stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Edgar Ramirez. All board in July 2020.
For all of you Soprano fans, a prequel entitled The Many Saints of Newark will be in theatres in September 2020 just in time for Labor Day. Michael Gandolfini, real life son of the late James Gandolfini, will portray a young Tony Soprano. Other stars include Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal and Ray Liotta.
Finally, the untitled co-written and directed by Tom McCarthy airing in November 2020. The plot is about an Oklahoma oil-rig worker (Matt Damon) who travels to France to unravel a mystery and clear his daughter’s name. Tom McCarthy directed 2015’s two-time Oscar-winning film Spotlight.
So, as you see the year of 2020 has a lot of which to select to provide entertainment for everyone from kids to parents to grandparents. It has some new faces and some long-awaited old friends just waiting for YOU to go to see your selected films, at your local movie theatre to engage in cinema the way cinema was meant to be enjoyed–on the big screen where that all-important transformative experience awaits.
Films in 2020