Now that 2019 is rapidly drawing to a close, and now that I’ve posted my best of 2019 list, it’s time to turn our eyes forward to the futuristic year of 2020. We’ve yet to get flying cars, the widespread acceptance of tinfoil jumpsuits, or even a legit hoverboard, but there are a bunch of awesome sounding movies on the way, so that’s something. With that in mind, here are my 50 most-anticipated movies of 2020.
There’s no set criteria that a film must meet to be included on this list. Some are massive tentpoles, others small indies; some will get wide releases, while others will barely see the light of day. Maybe there is a writer, actor, or director involved in a project, and that caught my attention. Or perhaps a movie looks bug-nuts crazy and I want to see the weirdness.
Some of these movies will indeed be great, though I’ll look back at others with a grimace and wonder why I was excited to see that particular film. Yeesh. By the time next December rolls around, some of these will be on my top ten list and others…won’t.
For the most part, I try to keep these titles listed in chronological order of release date, or at least as current as I can find—these things shift around from time to time. When we get to the TBA section, some have imminent releases, but no hard date yet, while others are in some stage of production and may or may not make it to audiences in 2020. (I listed Mad Max: Fury Road like three years running before it hit theaters.)
Onward, intrepid readers. And be sure to let me know what you’re excited for, intrigued by, or hoping is a spectacular train wreck.
The Grudge—January 3
I love Ju-On, though the American movies were a mixed bag. And while I’m not as high on The Eyes of My Mother and Piercing director Nicolas Pesce as many others, this looks all kinds of gnarly, has a great cast, and promises to be a nasty piece of work.
Bad Boys for Life—January 17
It’s been 17 years, can a new Bad Boys movie reach the maniac, excessive highs of Bad Boys 2? Especially without Michael Bay? Probably not, but I’m sure excited to find out how close they get.
Color Out of Space—January 24
Fringe lunatics Nicolas Cage and Richard Stanley (Hardware) adapting an H.P. Lovecraft story sounds about as perfect as anything I can imagine.
The Gentlemen—January 24
Looks like Guy Ritchie is up to his old tricks with The Gentlemen. I’m curious to see how this plays in 2019, but what the hell, it has a banger cast and looks like fun.
Gretel and Hansel—January 31
Oz “Son of Anthony” Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter) returns with a new take on the classic Grimm fairy tale about a brother and sister and witches.
The Rhythm Section—January 31
Celebrated cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano returns to direct Blake Lively in a grim tale of a wife and mother driven to seek revenge on the people who killed her family. Sure, it’s a January release, and could be…problematic for a variety of reasons, but it has a great cast and I’m game for morally questionable saga of retribution.
Suicide Squad was a mess, but the brightest spot was Margot Robbie’s take on the unhinged Harley Quinn, and Birds of Prey looks like a gleeful slice of candy-colored comic book mayhem.
Come to Daddy—February 7
I’ve been waiting for Ant Timpson’s tale of a son (Elijah Wood) attempting to reconnect with is estranged father (Stephen McHattie), only to find more than he bargained for, for what feels like forever. It’s almost here.
After Midnight—February 14
The team behind The Battery returns to horror with a “romantic creature feature.” Not sure what that will look like, but sign me the hell up, regardless.
Force Majeure is a biting examination of the person you become versus the person you think you are, and a harrowing look at a relationship deteriorating after one big event. It’s peculiar and sharp and I’m insanely curious to see how an American remake starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell plays. It could be great, it could completely miss the point.
A bunch of grizzled old war vets played by badass elder action and exploitation stars, trapped in a bar, battling a gang of mutant punks. I don’t think Joe Begos could have made a movie that’s more for me if he tried.
The Invisible Man—February 28
After The Mummy debacle, we’re all rightly wary about updating classic Universal monsters. But Leigh Whannell’s Blumhouse-produced take on The Invisible Man looks timely, scary as hell, and generally super rad.
It’s been a minute since Benh Zeitlin left his mark with Beasts of the Southern Wild, but now he’s back with Wendy. His spin on the Peter Pan story looks magical, epic, and full of dreamy, joyous wonder.
The latest of Disney’s live-action adaptations of their beloved animated movies also looks like one of the most intriguing. Niki Caro’s film may be based on the 1998 film, but it appears to be more of a reimagining than a straight remake, like The Lion King, and is said to lean more on the traditional tale than the earlier movie. And the first trailer looks epic and badass as all hell.
No Time To Die—April 8
Sure, Spectre left much to be desired, but I’m never not going to all jazzed up for a James Bond movie. Especially since this is probably the last one we’ll get from Daniel Craig.
Directed by Scott Cooper (Hostiles), produced by Guillermo del Toro, and starring Keri Russell, Antlers has secrets, monsters, and reportedly cannibals. What more do you need?
Promising Young Woman—April 17
A young woman (an almost unrecognizable Carey Mulligan) uses deceit to find retribution against terrible men. Emerald Fennell’s debut feature looks like a sharp, unexpected, decidedly feminist take on the revenge thriller. Can’t wait.
A mind-bending horror yarn finds a celebrated author, played by Janelle Monae, coming unglued in time in some way, bouncing back to the Antebellum South. Dark and strange, this has the potential to be something truly unique and powerful.
Black Widow—May 1
Maybe it’s a bit late, considering the character’s ultimate fate in Avengers: Endgame, but it’s about damn time Marvel gave Black Widow her own damn movie.
Wonder Woman 1984—June 5
What era was more cartoonish than the 1980s? Seems like the perfect place to set a big, bright, colorful superhero movie like Wonder Woman. Prepare for fanny packs.
Do we need a Candyman remake? No. And lucky for us the upcoming Nia DaCosta-directed, Jordan Peele-produced film is a direct sequel.
Any time there’s a Pixar movie, it’s destined to be one of the most noteworthy animated movies of the year, and the story of a struggling musician transported out of his body certainly fits the bill.
Top Gun: Maverick—June 26
Few movies had the effect on my that Top Gun did, so, you bet your ass I’m excited for a sequel, even 30-plus years after the fact.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife—July 10
Admittedly, the first trailer for this sucked and looks like another attempt to cash in on the popularity of Stranger Things, and there’s been so much toxicity surrounding the franchise I’m sick of it all. But dammit, this is still a Ghostbusters movie.
Sure, if Christopher Nolan wants to make a movie about international espionage, evolution, and time travel, I will watch that.
Bob Odenkirk as a normal, everyday man who becomes the target of vicious drug lords, from the creative team behind John Wick, sounds like a movie I need in my life.
Bill & Ted Face the Music—August 21
I’m weirdly excited for a variety of long-after-the-fact sequels in 2020, but I’m not as excited for any of them as I am for a new Bill & Ted movie. Outside of Top Gun, these slackers had more impact on my life than it probably should have.
Last Night in Soho—September 25
If the idea of Edgar Wright making a straight up horror movie doesn’t sound like a good idea to you, we might never be friends. Sorry, them’s the rules.
Tom Hanks as an inventor who builds a robot to protect him and his dog in a post-apocalyptic world. I really want this to be a stealth sci-fi sequel to Turner and Hooch.
Halloween Kills—October 16
More Michael Myers, please.
Blood Quantum—October 19
I’m always up for a movie that breathes a bit of new life into the zombie genre, and Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum, set on an isolated reservation where the First Nations inhabitants are immune to an undead pandemic, sounds like does just that.
Godzilla Vs. Kong—November 20
The only thing better than one classic giant movie monster wreaking havoc is two classic giant movie monsters wreaking havoc. I can’t freaking wait to see the King of the Monsters throw down with the King of the Jungle.
Coming 2 America—December 18
After watching him in Dolemite is my Name, Eddie Murphy is working on a level he hasn’t been in some time and dammit I can’t wait to see this Coming to America sequel.
With Arrival and Blade Runner: 2049, if Denis Villeneuve wants to keep playing in the sci-fi pool, that’s cool with me. And apparently he does, since he’s making a two-movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune, with an insane cast. Christmas is going to be fun next year.
Following on the heels of Columbus, director and video essayist Kogonada turns to sci-fi with a story about a father (Colin Farrell) and a daughter (Haley Lu Richardson) trying to save their robotic son/brother.
The Blind of the Ghost Cave: Angel’s Eyes—TBA
Based solely on The Night Comes for Us, I’m going to be jacked for any Timo Tjahjanto movie. I honestly have no idea what this is about, but it has action and revenge. I’ve watched movies for so much less, and in Timo’s hands, brutal action is sure to lurk right around every corner.
While I don’t necessarily care all that much about a fictional account of Marilyn Monroe’s life, this stars Ana de Armas, is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, and comes from writer/director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), his first movie since Killing Them Softly in 2012. That’s all the reason I need to get excited.
Zoe Lister-Jones killed her directorial debut, Band Aid, and now she’s back to update the 1996 horror classic The Craft. Can’t wait. Just hope she finds an actress with as many extra teeth a Fairuza Balk.
Da 5 Bloods—TBA
Spike Lee, soldiers returning from war and dealing with the ravages of combat, buried treasure, a cast featuring Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jean Reno, and Veronica Ngo. Yes, yes, yes to all of Da 5 Bloods.
Tom Hardy plays an aging, dementia-riddled Al Capone. It’s also the first post-Fantastic Four movie from Josh Trank. We’ll see how this goes.
The French Dispatch—TBA
It’s a Wes Anderson movie, so you know what you’re going to get. At the same time, you also know what you’re going to get.
Turkish director Can Evrenol follows up the nightmare fuel that is Baskin and Housewife with “A grim post-apocalyptic adventure for the whole family.” I hope we get to see this dark, strange fable in 2020.
Nicolas Cage using martial arts to defeat alien invaders. I mean, the only think that could make this more perfect would be if it also starred Frank Grillo, Tony Jaa, Rick Yune, Alain Moussi, Marie Avgeropoulos, and JuJu Chan, and came from the director of Kickboxer: Retaliation. Oh wait, it does.
Not only does he have an action banger on the way, Timo Tjahjanto isn’t abandoning his horror roots and plans to direct a sequel to his May the Devil Take You. Be excited.
To be honest, the logline about an American entrepreneur and his family moving to a country manor doesn’t do much for me. But writer/director Sean Durkin hasn’t made a movie since Martha Marcy Mae Marlene, and I imagine there’s more to this story than meets the eye.
Whoever decided to put Nicolas Cage and Sion Sono together to make a movie about a criminal who has to break a curse to save a missing girl is a damn genius. Cage called it he wildest movie he’s ever made, and that’s saying something.
Director Kimo Stamboel (Headshot, Dreadout) helming a tale of black magic, tortured orphans, and ancient, vengeful curses sounds like a damn fine time. It already opened in Indonesia, now the rest of us need to get our hands on it, ASAP.
Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise) working on a gothic psychological thriller based on a Daphne Du Maurier novel, which was the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 movie of the same name, has to be high on anyone’s must-see list.
Following their indie sci-fi cult film, The Endless, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead are back with a tale of two New Orleans paramedics (Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) who find themselves on the front lines battleing a new designer drug that has bizarre effects, like time travel.