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50 Movies We Can’t Wait to See in 2020

Wonder Woman's in the '80s, the Ghostbusters are in Oklahoma, and Nolan's starting WW3

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020
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    New year, new decade, new films, right? Sure. Every January, another calendar of movies gets slapped down, and we all sit there and decide what we think’s worth seeing in theaters, what’s worth saving for later, and what’s worth skipping altogether.

    It’s all very cyclical, especially nowadays in the age of commodification. Once more, there will be blockbusters, there will be sequels, there will be comic book movies, there will be remakes, there will be reboots, and there will be blood … in more horror movies.

    Beyond that, you’ll have some indie darlings trying to hit the mainstream, last year’s veteran filmmakers will tap in this year’s veteran filmmakers, and the dance continues. You could almost plug and play each and every one of them, come to think about it.

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    Even so, we’re particularly jazzed about this year’s rotation: We’re getting some aquatic horror early on. Paul Thomas Anderson is going back to the ’70s. Christopher Nolan returns to melt our minds. Damon and Affleck are reuniting. Hell, Wonder Woman’s in the ’80s.

    Where you will be? Find out below.

    –Michael Roffman
    Editor-in-Chief


    Underwater

    50 Anticipated Movies

    Underwater (20th Century Fox)

    Release Date: January 10th

    Kristen Stewart leads the cast in this deep-sea horror adventure, which sees an earthquake decimate a research station at the bottom of the ocean. The crew of aquatic researchers must get to safety, but their harrowing journey is made even more dangerous by the arrival of a deadly creature. Aquatic horror tends to bring bonkers levels of fun and entertainment. Still, we’re even more excited to see what would entice Stewart, who’s become a master of selecting fascinating roles, to this particular project. Either way, Stewart versus deep-sea creature sounds like a win, possibly in the same vein of Alien. (It is, according to our own Joe Lipsett.) –Meagan Navarro


    Bad Boys for Life

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures)

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    Release Date: January 17th

    After a staggering 18 years in development hell, we’re finally getting another Bad Boys sequel. Now in their 50s, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return to the streets of Miami as Detectives Michael “Mike” Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. This time, however, they’re without Michael Bay. Instead, they’re under the direction of Belgian filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who are best known in the States for helming two episodes of FX’s Snowfall. Admittedly, that’s a little concerning, as is the film’s not-so-summer release, but hey, we could all use a little South Beach R&R around this time of the year. –Michael Roffman


    The Turning

    Finn Wolfhard in The Turning (Universal)

    The Turning (Universal)

    Release Date: January 24th

    Henry James’ Gothic story The Turn of the Screw has long been fodder for the most intriguing works of cinematic horror — take Jack Clayton’s The Innocents for instance, or 2001’s The Others. But Runaways writer-director Floria Sigismondi comes to us with a slinky, modern-day adaptation starring Mackenzie Davis as a beleaguered nanny beset by dark forces in a spooky old house and two even spookier charges (Finn Wolfhard and The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince). January releases for horror are never a good sign, but the game cast and stylish visuals give us hope that this will be a step above the rest. –Clint Worthington


    Gretel and Hansel

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    Gretel and Hansel Trailer

    Gretel and Hansel (United Artists)

    Release Date: January 31st

    Look, no matter how you spin it, Hansel and Gretel is terrifying. Witches eating kids? C’mon. So, you can only imagine what filmmaker Oz Perkins might do with his literal spin on the infamous Brothers Grimm tale. Based on its cloudy first trailer, Gretel and Hansel looks downright unnerving in the ways we love prestige horror. Sophia Lillis, fresh off of equally nail-biting turns in It: Chapter One and Sharp Objects, plays little Gretel, and while she’s out of the sewer, these woods don’t look so pleasant, either. That shot of the witch in the distance? Much scarier than Pennywise the Dancing Clown. –Michael Roffman


    Birds of Prey

    Birds of Prey and the fantabulous emancipation of one harley quinn trailer margot robbie dc films social 50 Movies We Cant Wait to See in 2020

    Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.)

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    Release Date: February 7th

    Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn proved to be one of the few pieces of 2016’s Suicide Squad that actually worked. So, rolling with a spinoff that puts Robbie at center stage, free from that production’s unfortunate baggage (read: Jared Leto) makes perfect sense. And linking her up with an all-female team of heroes, while also giving women both the camera and the pen, makes Birds of Prey look even better. With a superheroic Thelma & Louise vibe and a titular theme of emancipation, this film promises to be far more distinctive and engaging than the one that spawned it. –Andrew Bloom


    The Lodge

    Riley Keough in The Lodge

    The Lodge (Neon)

    Release Date: February 7th

    Those searching for some bleak winter horror should seek refuge in The Lodge. One of our favorite selections from last year’s Cinepocalypse Festival, this icy thriller follows a fractured family in a remote cabin amidst a brutal holiday storm. What’s under the Christmas tree? Dread! As they’re wont to do, Goodnight Mommy directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala relish every opportunity to send their characters further into a downward spiral, and Riley Keough burns brighter the deeper she goes. It’s claustrophobic, it’s often cruel, but it’s always riveting. Don’t sleep on this one. –Michael Roffman


    The King’s Man

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    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    The King’s Man (20th Century Fox)

    Release Date: February 14th

    Your mileage may vary with the Kingsman franchise — they’re either sly, hyper-stylish James Bond riffs or empty exercises in effects-heavy style with a heaping helping of too-edgy humor. But if your favorite part of the series was its lore, Matthew Vaughn’s got a WWI-set prequel for you, charting the origins of the titular spy agency through the eyes of the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his protege Conrad (Harris Dickinson) as they work to stop a global threat. Who knows? Maybe going full 1917 is the shot in the arm this franchise needs. –Clint Worthington


    Fantasy Island

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Fantasy Island (Blumhouse)

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    Release Date: February 14th

    In 2018, Lucy Hale made for one of the few bright spots in the otherwise drab, toothless Truth or Dare. We’re guessing both she and the audience will fare better with Blumhouse’s latest: Fantasy Island, a Jeff Wadlow-directed horror adaptation of the 1978 TV show of the same name. Hale joins a pretty sold cast, which includes Maggie Q, Michael Rooker, Michael Peña, and Ryan Hansen in full Ryan Hansen mode. Add in a lively trailer (with a top-tier Ariana Grande needle-drop deployment) and we’re not-so-cautiously optimistic.—-Allison Shoemaker


    Sonic the Hedgehog

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount Pictures)

    Release Date: February 14th

    The teeth, they hurt my eyes. When the first trailer dropped for Jeff Fowler’s film adaption of beloved video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog, more than the inclusion of a zany Jim Carrey, all anyone could focus on was the hedgehog’s teeth. Paramount Pictures shelved the film so the VFX team could undo their initial nightmare fuel, and the character’s design is much improved. The only question remaining is whether this live-action take will be a monumental success in perseverance or a complete disaster. In any case, Sonic the Hedgehog shouldn’t be boring. –Robert Daniels


    VFW

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    VFW Movie Review

    VFW (Fangoria Studios)

    Release Date: February 14th

    VFW turned a whole lotta heads last year at Austin’s Fantastic Fest. Our own critic Mike Vanderbilt called it a “barroom classic” and went on to praise director Joe Begos as a “trash cinema auteur” in his glowing review. That’s some hype, alright, and totally warranted. On paper, the whole thing reads like a John Carpenter movie — a bunch of grizzly vets must defend their VFW against a relentless army of punk mutants — and sports a cast straight outta your favorite horror-con: William Sadler, Stephen Lang, George Wendt, David Patrick Kelly, and Martin Kove. Midnight, here we come. –Michael Roffman


    The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man Trailer, Elisabeth Moss, Blumhouse

    The Invisible Man (Blumhouse)

    Release Date: February 28th

    Here’s one remake saved by development hell: After the dissolution of Universal’s failed Dark Universe, Blumhouse snagged the rights to The Invisible Man to deliver this modern reimagining, instead. Directed by Leigh Whannell, who’s hot off of 2018’s sleeper hit Upgrade, the film follows Elisabeth Moss as she attempts to stave off her abusive boyfriend who may or may not be the titular force at hand. Lots of metaphors to glean with this one, but also plenty of tension to mine, and Whannell isn’t the kind of guy to waste any of that. Good on him, and good for us. –Michael Roffman


    Onward

    Onward (Disney/Pixar) Chris Pratt Tom Holland julia louis-dreyfus octavia spencer teaser trailer

    Onward (Disney/Pixar)

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    Release Date: March 6th

    The world may be far too saturated with Disney content, but Pixar’s latest looks utterly delightful. Featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, and the eternally great Julia Louis Dreyfus, the story follows a family of elves that uncover a magical secret on how to spend one last day with their deceased father. There’s something about blending fantasy lore with the aesthetic of a Disney-fied Iron Maiden album cover that’ could hit a note-perfect tone. We can expect to have a few laughs, shed some tears, and hopefully get some outside-of-the-box character designs as audiences explore this mythical world. –James Clay


    A Quiet Place 2

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    A Quiet Place II (Paramount Pictures)

    Release Date: March 20th

    A Quiet Place didn’t need a sequel. The 2018 sci-fi thriller ended beautifully, leaving the fate of the surviving Abbots and the rest of that curious world up to our own imagination. Well, imagination got the best of writer and director John Krasinski because he’s back with a second chapter. This time around, we’re leaving the farmstead and venturing forth into the world, and Emily Blunt is at the front of the charge. Based on the synopsis (and the first trailer), it would appear there are more monsters due on this Maple street, and some of them may be from this world. Spooky. –Michael Roffman


    Mulan

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    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Mulan (Walt Disney Studios)

    Release Date: March 27th

    We wouldn’t blame you if you’ve had your fill of live-action bastardizations of your childhood favorites. And while Disney seems hellbent on raising their animated classics from the grave, whether we like it or not, we’re filing 2020’s upcoming Mulan adaptation under “like it”. With Niki Caro at the helm, Mulan 2020 delivered a sparkling trailer that made us rethink what a live-action adaptation could be, trading in the theatrics and sing-a-longs in favor of a sharp-edged, serious martial arts flick starring Liu Yifei, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen. Needless to say, we’ll miss you Mushu. –Irene Monokandilos


    The New Mutants

    The New Mutants (20th Century Fox)

    The New Mutants (20th Century Fox)

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    Release Date: April 3rd

    It looks like 2020 will finally be the year we actually get to see this film. Based on the X-Men franchise, The New Mutants is one of the few Marvel properties to embrace the horror genre. The film follows five mutants who are trapped in a secret facility, all while also discovering their latent powers. Having to survive the dangers around them, as well as confront their pasts, the five strive to escape the facility. For those craving a comic book movie with more chills and frights, audiences can look forward to finally seeing The New Mutants this April. –Michael Pementel


    No Time to Die

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    No Time to Die (United Artists Releasing)

    Release Date: April 8th

    In another universe, Danny Boyle’s Bond is already on Blu-ray, and we’re talking about casting a new 007. In this world, though, we’re anticipating Daniel Craig’s final outing, hoping Cary Fukunaga can bring some of that True Detective magic to the spy franchise, wondering what Phoebe Waller-Bridge added in those rewrites, getting amped for Hans Zimmer’s just-announced score, and tempering our excitement at seeing Craig reunite with his Knives Out co-star Ana de Armas. Yeah, there’s a lot going into this long-awaited followup. It’s the Grimes of all blockbusters. –Michael Roffman


    Antlers

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    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Antlers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

    Release Date: April 17th

    Scott Cooper may not be one of the most well-known filmmakers working today, but he’s spent the majority of the last decade crafting taut mid-budget dramas with a dash of social commentary. So, it seems that he’ll be quite comfortable dipping into the horror genre with his latest picture Antlers. There’s a sinister teaser trailer online now that hints of what scares Cooper has tucked under his sleeve. With actors like Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons involved, those are reasons alone to get excited for one of the most anticipated horror films of 2020. –James Clay


    Antebellum

    Janelle Monae Antebellum First Trailer Watch

    Antebellum (Lionsgate)

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    Release Date: April 24th

    Though details for Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s Antebellum remain scant, the few crumbs we do have are tantalizing. The teaser released in November depicts Janelle Monáe as a modern-day author trapped in a nightmare: She’s a slave in the pre-Civil War South. Kiersey Clemons and Gabourey Sidibe also star in this provocative horror flick produced by Sean McKittrick (Get Out and Us). Seeing Monáe in a star-driven vehicle makes Antebellum a can’t miss experience. –Robert Daniels


    Bad Trip

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Bad Trip (United Artists)

    Release Date: April 24th

    Eric Andre on a road trip? Who doesn’t want to watch this? –Michael Roffman


    Black Widow

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    Black Widow

    Black Widow (Marvel Studios)

    Release Date: May 1st

    Having been a decade since she made her debut, Scarlett Johansson will finally be taking on a lead role in Marvel’s Black Widow. The film takes place following the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Natasha looking to confront the struggles of her past. Based on the trailer, Black Widow looks to pack loads of espionage action alongside a stellar cast, including the likes of Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour. For those who have been waiting, Black Widow looks to be an exhilarating kick off to a new decade of MCU films. –Michael Pementel


    The Personal History of David Copperfield

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    The Personal History of David Copperfield (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

    Release Date: May 8th

    Political satirist Armando Iannucci is taking a break from skewering world leaders to adapt Charles Dickens’ delightful novel that follows the titular man (Dev Patel) from adolescence to adulthood as he meets friends, enemies and goes on several misadventures. While it may seem like a side step for Iannucci, the film already received a host of rave reviews after hitting the film festival circuit this past fall. This comedy has it all, a little bit of heart, a dollop of colorblind casting, and a twinge of that biting humor that fans of Iannucci crave. Plus, we just can’t resist the charms of Patel. –James Clay


    The Organ Donor

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    The Organ Donor (Lionsgate)

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    Release Date: May 15th

    A ninth Saw movie starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson … from a story by Rock? That’s something you don’t hear every day. Allegedly, The Organ Donor will not be a reboot as previously thought, but a legitimate continuation of the Jigsaw story — complete with Saw sequel stalwart Darren Lynn Bousman returning to direct. The plot itself is still under wraps, but given Rock’s involvement, we can expect some darkly comic twists along the way. Unless he wants to play it completely straight, in which case we’re doubly interested to see what kind of twisted game he has in store. –Clint Worthington


    Fast and Furious 9

    Fast and Furious 9 50 Movies We Cant Wait to See in 2020

    Release Date: May 22nd

    Buckle up, mi familia, another Fast and Furious movie is on its way. After the modest (if muted) success of Fast spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, the franchise is returning to its roots with a Justin Lin-directed entry in the ongoing saga of the Toretto clan. The gang is back — minus The Rock, of course, that Diesel beef has yet to be squashed — including Jordana Brewster, who was last seen retiring with the late Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner. What circumstances bring her back into the fold, we can’t say; all we know is that joining her is Helen Mirren as Mama Shaw, and Charlize Theron as Fate of the Furious baddie Cipher (who, according to franchise tradition, will probably be a good guy now for some reason). –Clint Worthington


    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (Paramount Pictures)

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    Release Date: May 22nd

    Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob Square Pants! Five years past the last SpongeBob movie (2015’s Sponge Out of Water), the cackling jelly-fish hunter/Krusty Krab employee and his best friend Patrick return with Sponge on the Run—a film that will see the two on a rescue mission to save the kidnapped snail Gary. If you’re a SpongeBob fan, as any feeling human should be, you won’t need much convincing for another adventure. But as an added bonus, the movie will depict how SpongeBob and Gary first met, which is enough for my ticket. –Robert Daniels


    Wonder Woman 1984

    Wonder Woman 1984, photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Release date change june 5 2020

    Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)

    Release Date: June 5th

    One of the most anticipated films of the year sees Gal Gadot back in action and Patty Jenkins back in the director’s seat in their follow up to 2017’s smash hit. That Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is also somehow back, in 1984 no less, has us deeply intrigued. Moreover, it looks like the ’80s action movie is alive and well in 2020. Our favorite, charming superheroine will battle new foes in a neon haze and ‘80s excess. Between the dazzling one-sheets and a riveting trailer that reeled us with its instrumental remix of “Blue Monday”, we needed this movie yesterday. –Meagan Navarro


    Candyman

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    Candyman

    Release Date: June 12th

    Candyman. Candyman. Cand–eh, let’s not test it. Out of all the reboots and remakes coming from Hollywood, we’re actually pretty stoked to reunite with Clive Barker’s man in the mirror, especially since Tony Todd is back behind the bees. Of course, it helps that Jordan Peele is involved, and that it’s being helmed by Little Woods director Nia DaCosta. That level of talent insists we’re not getting just another cash grab sequel, but a film that has something to say, which has long been the enduring strength of the 1992 original. Even better, it’s a direct sequel! –Michael Roffman


    Soul

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Soul (Pixar)

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    Release Date: June 19th

    Pixar has always been at its best creatively making out-of-the-box-centric films that place its characters into relatable yet emotionally charged situations. Soul brings veteran Pixar writer/director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up, Inside Out) back to the helm in what looks to be their most music-forward title yet. Tie in the comedic geniuses of Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx, and Pixar looks to have one of its most original releases in years, helping to usher in a return to form from a decade that saw the studio take on too many sequels and spinoffs. –Kyle Cubr


    Pete Davidson Movie

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Untitled Pete Davidson/Judd Apatow Project

    Release Date: June 19th

    This past Summer, Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson low-key shot a movie while the Saturday Night Live star was on hiatus. Davidson is a controversial figure, and we all know that breeds intrigue, so it’s possible the film will tackle his high-profile dating life and bring some emotional heft by reflecting on the loss of his father in the 9/11 attacks.  Even though there’s no word on what the plot will be, or what the comedic tone the film will strike, there’s plenty to be excited about as providing comedic talents with a cinematic voice is what Apatow does best. –James Clay


    Top Gun: Maverick

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    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)

    Release Date: June 26th

    If Tom Cruise wants to fly jets, he’s going to fly jets. Such is the case for Top Gun: Maverick, the long-developed, never-asked-for sequel to Tony Scott’s queer classic. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the film sees Cruise’s Maverick training new cadets, including his late pal Goose’s son (Miles Teller). Whether or not we see Mav shed the flight suit for another game of volleyball remains to be seen, but he will be back on that chopper, and in his trademark bomber jacket. We just hope that also means a reprisal of Berlin. Take our breath away, Tom. Take our breath away. –Michael Roffman


    In the Heights

    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    In the Heights (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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    Release Date: June 26th

    The initial trailer for In The Heights—the first Broadway stunner from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda—is pretty damn close to perfect as trailers go, a riot of sound and color (not unlike those for Crazy Rich Asians, also directed by Jon M. Chu) designed to make you sit forward in your seat. But for all the liveliness and flash (and there’s a lot of both), the three big selling points here are the timeliness (immigration, gentrification, activism, and so on), the gorgeous music, and the leading performance. Odds are in a year the world’s gonna know Anthony Ramos’s name; it’s a perfect bit of casting sure to clue the broader public in on what theater fans already know: he’s a mega-watt, top-tier, breath-snatching star. —-Allison Shoemaker


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