Every year I discuss how after I post my Best of lists, I always say that after I look at the year that just ended, it's fun to look at what is ahead. I then get into a list of films for the new year. I will give release dates, show pictures and trailers (if a trailer is available) and I let you guys know what I am most looking forward to. Last year, I talked about a ton of films that I am over-the-moon excited for.
Then basically none of those movies came out.
Nobody could have seen just how serious and how dangerous the COVID-19 would become. But it was so serious that it closed movie theaters and it forced studios to quickly retool their entire release year. 2020 was a different for many people for long list of reasons. But for those seeking entertainment, we didn't get many of the big Hollywood blockbusters in 2020, which made 2020 a year of the indie. It felt like a nice departure if you ask me. But I've discussed this pretty extensively at this point. I am not going to discuss my woes of the business and I am not trying to get political with COVID talk (we've had more than enough of that already). But I am going to be kind of cautions when approaching this list. While I think its great that a COVID vaccine is slowly making its way out to the masses, it's still making its way slowly to the masses. 2021 is still going to be a weird year, as some are still predicting that it could still take until the Spring in order for everyone to get the vaccine.
And even once a large enough portion of the population are vaccinated, I doubt that people are just going to rush back to the theaters once they can.
As much as I want to tell you how excited I am to finally see "No Time To Die," "Bob's Burgers" and "A Quiet Place II" in April. Or "Black Widow" in May. Or "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" in June. Or Top Gun: Maverick in July. I am still a bit skeptical whether or not those get released then. I mean "Morbius" got scooched AGAIN to October 2021. Will the release date game happen again in 2021? It's hard to say.
Some studios are doing their best to accommodate the weird year. Trying to roll with the punches and I can respect that. It was big news when Warner Bros announced they will be releasing pretty much their entire 2021 slate on HBOMax (same day as theaters) and it looks like they will treat it as they are doing for "Wonder Woman 1984" and the movies will be available on the streaming service for one month. The movies being released this year on HBOMax include "Mortal Kombat," "The Suicide Squad," "Matrix 4," "Space Jam: A New Legacy," "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It," "Godzilla vs. Kong," "Tom and Jerry," "Judas and the Black Messiah," "Dune" and the Soprano's prequel "The Many Saint's of Newark."
What am I excited for based on the list above? Well it kills me that "Dune" was ready to go in December, then the virus hit and they took it off the release schedule, just to release in OCTOBER! Seriously, we couldn't get "Dune" in January or February? I'm curious for "Mortal Kombat." Hiroyuki Sanada is my favorite Japanese actor, and he's playing Scorpion. A character who not only is one of the most popular Mortal Kombat characters, but one of the faces of the franchise. I'll watch just for him. I think other than the MCU, the Godzilla/King Kong cinematic universe has been the second most successful cineamtic universe so far, so I do want to see "Godzilla vs. Kong." Because of writer/director James Gunn, I am 100% absolutely on board for "The Suicide Squad."
Netflix also will apparently be releasing a new movie every week. Now, because Netflix was the first revolutionize the streaming service, they don't own any big brands or anything (other than Millarworld comics, and I can't believe they've done jack shit with it), but Netflix is finally getting better getting cool stuff made. Science fiction action film "Outside The Wire" will be released tomorrow, it stars Anthony Mackie. The dramatic comedy "The White Tiger," coming January 22nd. "Penguin Bloom" with Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln will be released on the 27th.
Other streaming services will continue to be an avenue for new releases and exciting content for 2021. "Nomadland" was one of the most lauded films of 2020 and it will hit Hulu on February 19th and I am really excited for that. The biopic film "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" features a loaded cast and will be released on Hulu on February 26th. "Coming 2 America" will release on Amazon Prime on March 5th. Then there is AppleTV+, a service that I have to say positively blindsided me this year. Tom Holland's "Cherry" looks kind of interesting, and that will be released on AppleTV+ also on February 26th. "Raya and the Last Dragon" was announced by Disney at their recent stockholder meeting and the movie will be released March 5th and will also appear simultaneously on Disney+. "Flora & Ulysses" will release on Disney+ on February 19th. So you'll have some at-home family stuff to enjoy early this year.
As of right now, the other major Disney releases this year, "Encanto," "Jungle Cruise," "Luca" and "Cruella" (Yep, a movie about THAT Cruella, it's starring Emma Stone) have no plans for any sort of Disney+ release, although who knows what could change.
These are all the movies of the year I know for sure are coming out. It's tough to predict the year out as far as other releases go. I hope to see "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" on June 25th, simply because I love the idea of Woody Harrelson playing Carnage. I hope "Shang Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings" and "The Eternals" are big hits for Marvel, because I've been missing me some MCU. I hope "The Green Knight" is another indie sensation for A24, which is becoming my favorite studio in the business now. I hope we get to sit in a movie theater again this year, and I hope we all can enjoy "The Hitman Wife's Bodyguard," "Hotel Transylvania 4," "Candyman," "Halloween Kills," "Mission: Impossible 7," "Sing 2," Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" and that completely crazy third "Spider-Man" movie coming in December. I hope we get these movies this year. I hope we can at least, start to see a hint normalcy again this year.
But whether we can go back to the theater again, or whether we enjoy movies from home again this year or heck maybe a little bit of both. I am just hoping for another good year of movies in 2021.
What are you most excited for?