25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

What starts with Christopher Nolan's Tenet may end with David Fincher's Mank...

The Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020
The Top 25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    “New year, new decade, new films, right?”

    That was January, back when we were still looking ahead at 2020 with blind optimism and ill-fated excitement. Sigh, hindsight is 20/20 they say, right? Who knew. At the time, we had 50 exciting new titles we were anticipating, most of which have since been either postponed, dumped to VOD, or relegated to a limbo state.

    It’s been an unnerving year for the film industry, to say the least. A year fraught with shutdowns, furloughs, layoffs, bankruptcies, and re-evaluations. All of that change has prompted a seismic shift in how everything’s run across the media landscape, and no one truly has a grip on things just yet. Odds are they won’t for quite some time.


    Because of this, anticipating anything right now — let alone anything in pop culture — seems like a fool’s errand. Alas, Hollywood is still trying to salvage what it can, and here we are … a bunch of fools … trying to make the most sense out of it. And so, as we’ve done in pre-pandemic times, we’ve put together what’s left to anticipate.

    All things considered, it’s not too shabby. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet will see the light of day, Netflix has a number of Oscar candidates heading to your living room, and there’s plenty of tricks and treats for spooky season. What’s more, if things stay the course, we might actually see the return of Bond and Wonder Woman.

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    It’s a mess, admittedly, and a lot of these dates hinge on the expectation that audiences will return to theaters, which isn’t ideal in the slightest. But, if there’s a silver lining to this list, it’s the notion that pop culture does endure. More importantly, it’s the comfort in knowing that there are still new escapes to be had in 2020 — and we’ll need ’em.


    Having said that, here’s hoping most (if not all) opt for the safety of Video On-Demand. And in the event you do wind up going to the theaters, maintain social distancing at all costs, be mindful of others, and for Christ’s sake, wear a goddamn mask.


    New Tenet Trailer

    Tenet (Warner Bros.)

    Release Date: September 2nd via WB

    By now, you’re probably exhausted hearing about Tenet. All summer long — and really, ever since the pandemic started — the great debate has been whether or not Christopher Nolan will see his colossal blockbuster hit theaters. Well, after multiple delays and enough chatter to break a nation of teeth, the goddamn thing is finally seeing the flickering light of the silver screen. Reviews have insofar been divisive — some say it’s too ambitious, others say it’s his latest masterpiece — but the overall consensus is that Tenet warrants the Big Show experience. Whatever, dude, let’s just see it, already.


    What's Streaming on Disney Plus in September 2020

    Mulan (Disney+)


    Release Date: September 4th via Disney+

    Like Warner Bros. and Tenet, Disney had also been adamant on keeping Mulan a summer release, refusing to delay the picture for months on end. However, unlike Warner Bros. and Tenet, they opted out of the theater-going experience. Instead, they’re treating Niki Caro’s live-action adaptation like a canary in a coalmine, dropping it on their Disney+ network with the hopes that families across the world will plunker down $30 bucks to rent it. Whether or not this is successful will likely determine the fate of countless other tentpoles (and any other film for that matter). Still, we’re going to miss Mushu.

    I’m Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things Trailer

    I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)

    Release Date: September 4th via Netflix

    Been awhile since anyone’s seen Charlie Kaufman. Well, as promised, Hollywood’s most brazen screenwriter has returned with his forthcoming adaptation of Iain Reid’s novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Without spoiling too much, the story follows a young man and his girlfriend on a road trip to meet his parents on their secluded farm, only she’s ready to exit stage left. Rest assured, it’s far more complicated than that, and you can expect to have a nice existential crisis by the time the credits roll and Netflix tries to sell you on Love Is Blind. Given Kaufman’s resume, that all sounds about par for the course.

    Coastal Elites


    Issa Rae Dan Levy Bette Midler Coastal Elites First Trailer Teaser Watch Stream

    Coastal Elites (HBO)

    Release Date: September 12th via HBO

    The pandemic has paved the way for all kinds of experimental works. Take Shudder’s Host, for instance. Well, HBO’s trying their hand with Coastal Elites. Directed by Jay Roach and written by playwright Paul Rudnick, the film follows five characters who discuss their lives amidst this year’s pandemic, particularly how politics have divided everyone. It’s all told in a confessional-style manner — think: Zoom chat windows — that will rely solely on the performances of its cast. Fortunately for Roach, he put together one hell of a cast: Issa RaeDan LevyBette MidlerSarah Paulson, and Kaitlyn Dever.

    The Devil All the Time

    tom holland the devil all the time trailer netflix movie

    Tom Holland in The Devil All the Time (Netflix)


    Release Date: September 16th via Netflix

    Weeks before The Haunting of Bly Manor opens its doors, Netflix is offering up another Gothic tale with The Devil All the Time. Based on Donald Ray Pollock’s 2011 debut novel, the story charts the violence and crimes of disparate characters in rural Ohio from the end of World War II to the beginning of the Vietnam War. Directed by Antonio Campos (Simon KillerChristine) and produced by Jake Gyllenhaal, the true sell is the all-star cast that includes — grab a pen — Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Jason ClarkeRiley Keough, Sebastian Stan, Bill Skarsgård, and Mia Wasikowska. Christ, almighty, indeed.

    The King’s Man

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    The King’s Man (20th Century Fox)

    Release Date: September 16th via 20th Century Studios  February 26th, 2021 via 20th Century Studios

    Update: Well, that was fast. The spy prequel has been bumped to 2021.


    For those of you who keep tossing and turning at night, wondering when all the secrets behind The Kingsman franchise will be revealed, your day of reckoning arrives soon. Director Matthew Vaughn has returned with a WWI-set prequel that spills the origins of the titular spy agency through the eyes of the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his protege Conrad (Harris Dickinson). Recent interviews with Vaughn suggest that the story for The King’s Man will also lay the groundwork for The Kingsman 3, which perhaps begs the question: How much Kingsman is too much Kingsman?


    Antebellum Gets VOD Release Date

    Antebellum (Lionsgate)

    Release Date: September 18th via Lionsgate

    Even after all of its delays, we still know very little about Antebellum, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. What we do know is that Janelle Monáe plays a modern-day author, who suddenly wakes up as a slave in the pre-Civil War South. On paper, that reads like a terrifying episode of The Twilight Zone, which is why we’re curious to see how it’ll play out. We’ll learn soon enough as Lionsgate is issuing Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s thriller on Premium Video On-Demand just in time for spooky season. Based on the little we’ve heard of its score, we’re in for a rather unnerving tale.

    Enola Holmes


    millie bobby brown enola holmes sherlock teaser trailer netflix release datemillie bobby brown enola holmes sherlock teaser trailer netflix release date

    Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes (Netflix)

    Release Date: September 23rd via Netflix

    Thanks to the pandemic, Netflix won’t be returning to Hawkins, Indiana this year for Stranger Things 4. Instead, they’ve got Millie Bobby Brown solving mysteries in Enola Holmes. Based on Nancy Springer’s popular book series, the forthcoming adaptation finds Brown playing the younger, gifted sibling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Henry Cavill plays the legendary detective, hiding his Kryptonian mug underneath that iconic deerstalker, while Helena Bonham Carter keeps the family together as their mother, Eudoria Holmes. Make no mistake, none of this is elementary.

    Scare Me

    Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    Scare Me (Shudder)


    Release Date: October 1st via Shudder

    Shudder is celebrating 61 Days of Halloween this year, and Scare Me pops up halfway through the marathon. Directed by Josh Ruben in his feature film debut, this Sundance charmer follows two aspiring writers shacked up in a wintry cabin amidst a power outage. To bide the time, they begin sharing spooky stories, only for a competitive streak to form between them. The chill becomes all too real when they’re joined by an unlucky pizza delivery man who also happens to be a horror fan. Ruben pulls double duty by also starring in the film alongside Aya Cash (You’re the Worst) and Chris Redd (SNL).

    Wonder Woman 1984

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

    Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)

    Release Date: October 2nd via Warner Bros.

    It’s perhaps telling that the latest trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 has no date at the end. Even so, all signs point to an early October release for Diana Prince’s retro rollercoaster. After all, if Warner Bros. is putting out Tenet in September, why wouldn’t they do the same for their DC tentpole a month later? They certainly have an audience waiting. Given the online reception this past weekend following the film’s panel at DC FanDome, the hype is sweltering for Patty Jenkins‘ sequel. So, barring any major announcement, expect to see Gal Gadot kicking off October with the best costume of the month.



    Candyman 2020 teaser trailer

    Candyman (Universal)

    Release Date: October 16th via Universal

    Will Candyman appear in the mirror this October? Tough to say. Universal pushed back Halloween Kills a whole year, so one might assume they’d do the same for Nia DaCosta‘s highly anticipated reboot. Alas, as of publication, the Chicago beekeeper is still buzzing around the calendar as the only major horror title left on the slate. And given DaCosta’s reaction to Disney’s plans for Mulan, you can probably take VOD off the table. So, expect to either hear about a shift in the weeks to come, or prepare to grab tickets and heed caution. In other words, keep the bathroom door open.

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7 netflix 25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)


    Release Date: October 16th via Netflix

    Say what you will about Aaron Sorkin, but the guy is certainly punctual. His latest feature The Trial of the Chicago 7 arrives within an arm’s reach of the 2020 election and concerns itself with the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention. More specifically, the subsequent trial involving seven men accused of conspiracy. Given today’s vicious political landscape, Sorkin’s historical drama should do well for Netflix, and may even nab ’em a few looks from the Academy. At the very least, the cast of A-listers will do the trick: Frank Langella, Michael Keaton, Sacha Baron Cohen, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, and John Carroll Lynch.


    rebecca netflix 25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    Rebecca (Netflix)

    Release Date: October 21st via Netflix

    High Rise and Free Fire director Ben Wheatley returns with arguably his greatest risk yet. He’s adapting Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 Gothic novel Rebecca. Yes, the same Rebecca that Alfred Hitchcock adapted to go on and win Best Picture. So, why is Wheatley doing this? Probably because the story is so rich. A newlywed is haunted by what may or may not be her husband’s dead wife! It’s so vintage! It’s so noir! It’s exactly what we want to see a hunk like Armie Hammer in — and we will!

    Death on the Nile


    nile 25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    Death on the Nile (20th Century Studios)

    Release Date: October 23rd via 20th Century Studios

    Speaking of Armie Hammer, he’s just one of about 248 A-listers hopping on board Kenneth Branagh‘s latest Hercule Poirot mystery, Death on the Nile. The other passengers include ::cracks knuckles:: Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright. Initially slated for a December 2019 release, production delays forced Disney to bump the blockbuster back to 2020 … and then to where it currently sits. Will the Agatha Christie spectacle be bumped again? Ah, my dear, that is the greatest mystery of all.

    Bad Hair

    Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    Bad Hair (Hulu)


    Release Date: October 23rd via Hulu

    Bad Hair is the long-awaited followup from Dear White People director Justin Simien. Set in Los Angeles circa 1989, this horror comedy follows Anna (Elle Lorraine), an aspiring on-air host who begrudgingly gets a weave after being told she doesn’t have the right hair. The supernatural element of the story creeps in when Anna realizes her new do has a mind of its own. Like this summer’s Palm Springs, Hulu picked up Bad Hair at Sundance following heaps of praise and buzz. Expect this one to conquer the online discourse come October, and possibly your local drive-in. You’ll have to stay tuned for news on the latter.

    Come Play

    Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    Come Play (Focus Features)

    Release Date: October 30th via Focus Features

    Scared of your smart phones or iPads? Of course you are! Who isn’t? The Internet is a very dangerous place. But what if it was truly evil? That’s more or less the conceit of Come Play, a new horror thriller from writer and director Jacob Chase. Starring Gillian Jacobs, this Focus Features pickup centers around a cyber monster named Larry, who preys upon its victims through all kinds of handheld technology. Hey, if it’s even remotely effective, Come Play could do for cell phones what Jaws did for beaches. Wouldn’t that be nice.

    Black Widow

    2020 Anticipated Comic Book Movies

    Black Widow (Marvel Studios)


    Release Date: November 6th via Marvel

    Scarlett Johansson must be pissed. Back in May, the blockbuster star was set to finally get her own Marvel chapter with Black Widow. Then, you know, the world shut down and Disney bumped it all the way to November. Given that it’s a prequel, the events don’t necessarily affect future installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which certainly gives the Mouse House some flexibility. Even so, they’ll want to drop Black Widow sooner than later as it’s already taking up real estate previously occupied by The Eternals. Of course, that begs the question: If theaters are a no-go, will Disney go the route of Mulan? The suits shied away from the question previously, but rest assured, the option is certainly on the table. For now, remember, remember, the sixth of November.


    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Soul (Pixar)

    Release Date: November 20th via Pixar

    Soul is a big deal for Pixar. Writer and director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up, Inside Out) is back at the helm. The voice cast is arguably its most diverse to date (Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, to name a few.) And it’s thematically rich — a literal existential tale. So, they’re not exactly treating this one like Onward, where they’ll freely dump it on Disney+ and call it a day. Then again, given that it was prestigious enough to be selected for Cannes, it’s very likely Disney will want it out for Oscar contention. Regardless, we’re filing Soul in the ol’ Wait and See bin — right next to Black Widow.

    No Time to Die


    Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    No Time to Die (MGM)

    Release Date: November 20th via MGM

    Christ, where do you even start with this one? Even before the pandemic, No Time to Die was being shuffled around like a weighted disc on the beaches of Boca Raton. So, if 007 manages to sneak by and pop up in November, we’ll consider it a miracle. The only reason we even have it on this list is because United Artists, Universal, and MGM have yet to push it to 2021, which is a tad precarious given how much it’s already been delayed. Maybe they, too, are exhausted by the conversation.


    zappa 25 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2020

    Zappa (Magnolia Pictures)


    Release Date: November 27th via Magnolia Pictures

    After nearly half a decade of hard work, Alex Winter will finally see the release of Zappa. “This isn’t your typical music doc,” Winter told Deadline this month, “but rather a multi-faceted narrative that aims to bring this complex artist to life.” That’s not hyperbole as Winter was given complete access into Zappa’s archives. Couple those vaulted goodies with brand new interviews and you’re looking at a must-see, can’t-miss event for both Zappa enthusiasts and music historians everywhere. Prepare for a very weird, very psychedelic, and very interesting Thanksgiving weekend this year.

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