Happy New Year – or should we say, Happy New Decade? Yes, we have reached the 20s, and to celebrate here’s 20 movies to look out for in 2020. Have we said 20 enough times already? We have? Well, that must be due to our 20/20 vision (okay, we’ll stop now)…

20 – SCOOB!

The world of Hanna-Barbera is about to spring to life with a brand-new cinematic universe, and what better way to kick it off than with a fresh take on Mystery Inc. and their lovable canine mascot?

Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma all get CG makeovers for their first big-screen outing since the live-action Raja Gosnell movies, and from the looks of the trailer there is going to be laughs and mysteries galore, along with a few other familiar faces from other Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

Admittedly, it’ll be weird getting used to new voices coming out of these characters – while voice legend Frank Welker returns as Scooby, Will Forte replaces Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and it just doesn’t sound right (though that could certainly change!) – a cartoon environment for one of the most beloved animated series ever might just be what the franchise needs…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

15TH MAY 2020

19 – ONWARD/SOUL

Filling the gap until the next big Disney animation makes its debut, Pixar is releasing two very different but equally compelling new flicks which seem certain to win over audiences everywhere.

The first one out of the gate is Onward, directed by Monster University’s Dan Scanlon, and already it looks like the kind of movie that Bright wanted to be but most certainly was not. A literal modernisation of classic fantasy tropes from elves to dragons to magic, the film seems to be doing to mythical creatures what Zootropolis did to talking animals, and with a starry voice cast consisting of Chris Pratt, Tom Holland and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss on board, it’s set to be a magical time at the cinema.

Later on in the year, Pixar head honcho Pete Docter (who took over from John Lasseter as the studio’s chief creative officer) returns with perhaps the most existential Pixar movie to date – and that’s saying something about the studio that put out Inside Out a few years ago (also from Doctor)! Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey – the latter also contributing to the screenplay – lend their voices to personified souls who, in typical Pixar fashion, go on a life-changing journey together in a film that’s bound to be thought-provoking as much as it is wildly entertaining.

Both are original flicks, which after a brief period of nothing but sequels to their earlier hits will surely delight certain audiences, and hopefully both will be worth the time and effort that has clearly gone into them…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

ONWARD – 6TH MARCH 2020

SOUL – 19TH JUNE 2020

18 – JUNGLE CRUISE

Disney’s record for movies based on theme park rides is spotty to say the least – even its own Pirates of the Caribbean franchise began to sputter out not long into its run – but Jungle Cruise might well have all the right blockbuster ingredients to propel itself to the front of the line.

Based on the classic river boat attraction at Disneyland, at first glace it seems to be a call-back to adventure movies of the past, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to The African Queen, and with action movie director Jaume Collet-Serra on board – not to mention certified action leads Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt – it looks set to be a possible crowd-pleasing winner for a studio that has been under attack lately for its overwhelming lack of original ideas.

Even though it is again based on existing material, let’s hope that this is the original content that Disney sorely needs right now…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

24TH JULY 2020

17 – FREE GUY

Ryan Reynolds continues to pass the time until he’s inevitably called back for another Deadpool movie, by headlining this very intriguing-sounding action comedy which might benefit from the actor’s exceeding popularity as much as its premise.

Reynolds is Guy, a bank clerk who discovers that he is a non-player character in a Fortnite-esque video game, and to say that things get crazy from there would be an understatement. Joining Reynolds on-screen are the likes of Taika Waititi, Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer and Joe Keely from Stranger Things, who seem to be given just as much lively direction from Shawn Levy as the leading man, which seems appropriate given how wild and fun this movie looks.

Besides, after Serenity, it will be nice to have a video game tie into the main plot in a way that actually makes sense…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

1ST JULY 2020

16 – EMMA

Yes, there have been plenty of adaptations of Jane Austen’s comedic novel, from the teen comedy Clueless to the one starring Gwyneth Paltrow – so what makes this newest one, from debuting director Autumn de Wilde, any different?

For one, it seems to be having a lot of fun with its light premise as well as the Machiavellian tendencies of its titular character, as she goes from one eccentric situation to the next. For another, Emma here is played by Anya Taylor-Joy, an increasingly versatile actress who seems to have easy chemistry with everyone she interacts with here, from potential suitors such as Johnny Flynn’s Mr. Knightley and Josh O’Connor’s Mr. Elton, to Bill Nighy as her doting father.

Hopefully it proves to be just as strong as its choice of lead, who already seems like a natural fit for an Austen heroine…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

14TH FEBRUARY 2020

15 – SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

The second-most ridiculed trailer of last year – just behind Cats – was the teaser for Paramount’s long-awaited live-action version of the classic video game character. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well with audiences, who mocked Sonic’s unnatural new CGI look as well as the awkward tone that the comedy seemed to suggest.

But after going back to re-design the character to something closer to his original appearance, which debuted with the much more promising second trailer, the movie finally got back into people’s good books. Whether it turns out to be any good or not, it’s an important milestone for audience demand, and how much public outcry can truly inspire filmmakers to go back and work as hard as they can to give the people what they want.

The movie looks like it will be fun anyway, but the fact that they did all of that is a pretty cool enough reason to go and check it out…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

14TH FEBRUARY 2019

14 – THE KING’S MAN

Although Kingsman: The Golden Circle failed to live up to the first film’s promise, this prequel – which takes us back to the very beginning of the secret spy organisation – hopes to put the series back on track.

Matthew Vaughn returns to direct the WW1-set tale of Ralph Fiennes and protégé Harris Dickinson taking on some of history’s biggest tyrants and criminal masterminds, with action that feels very much in the OTT spirit of the previous two films, and a typically star-studded cast which also includes Rhys Ifans, Djimon Hounsou, and Tom Hollander in not one, not two, but THREE different roles. Expect lots of thrills, violence, and perhaps the odd nifty bit of era-appropriate spy gadgets in a film that could very well make up for the mistakes of the previous Kingsman flick.

At least there’ll be no Elton John randomly showing up in an extended cameo role (although given how intentionally silly this universe has been thus far, it really wouldn’t be all that surprising if he did)…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

18TH SEPTEMBER 2020

13 – MULAN

The good news is, Disney doesn’t seem to be releasing as many live-action remakes this year as they did last year. The even better news is that the sole one that they do have lined up, a new take on the Chinese legend Mulan, might well be their most accomplished re-do yet.

At least, it will be from a visual standpoint, as the movie looks like it will be an absolutely gorgeous spectacle to behold, with colours popping from every corner of the frame. The all-Chinese cast look like they have been brought on board to bring their own spin on the tale instead of just playing the familiar characters from the animated original, as has director Niki Caro who becomes the first female director to helm a Disney live-action remake, so however it turns out at least the material appears to be in safe hands.

No word yet on whether the Eddie Murphy-voiced dragon Mushu will make an appearance in this one, though…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

27TH MARCH 2020

12 – BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)

Say whatever you want about David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, but there’s no denying that one of the few highlights was Margot Robbie’s dazzling take on the Joker’s most loyal sidekick Harley Quinn, so it only makes sense that she headlines her own movie in the DC Universe along with an eclectic supporting cast of intriguing female characters.

Robbie’s Quinn is going through a break-up with her “Mr. J” – which thankfully means no Jared Leto in this, and after Joaquin Phoenix’s turn why would anyone want to regress back to whatever the hell Leto was doing? – and her quest for independence is exactly as bonkers as you’d expect from the character, incorporating everything from hyenas to psychotic gangsters played by Ewan McGregor. With DC undergoing a course correction thanks to the successes of both Aquaman and Shazam!, it’s likely that Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will follow suit with a mad, outlandish action comedy featuring everyone’s favourite psychotic hench(wo)man.

It will at least abide until the character returns yet again for James Gunn’s revamped take on The Suicide Squad, which may not be due out until next year, but already leaves Ayer’s version in the dust…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

7TH FEBRUARY 2020

11 – GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

Seemingly made to shut toxic fanboys up following the backlash of Paul Feig’s all-female reboot, this brand-new entry in the original series canon makes some radical changes that not even Feig’s movie could manage.

One is that, instead of the streets of New York, this film – directed by Jason Reitman, son of the first two films’ director Ivan Reitman – takes place in the corn-soaked farmlands of Oklahoma, where a family that consists of Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace moves to as they discover the connections to the original team. Speaking of which, the likes of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver are all set to return in small parts, but don’t expect them to stick around for too long, for the focus here seems to be on the younger cast – who seem to bear striking physical resemblance to the late Harold Ramis’ Egon – finding their footing as a new generation of Ghostbusters.

Hopefully this one will retain much of the original’s spirit and charm, in ways that neither Feig’s reboot nor Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters II could achieve…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

10TH JULY 2020

10 – LAST NIGHT IN SOHO

Not a whole lot is known about Edgar Wright’s latest film, other than it seems to be a lot more low-key than the filmmaker’s previous work. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less worth checking out, because if Edgar Wright is involved then you’d best be sure that it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Said to be a psychological horror in the same vein as Don’t Look Now (one of the director’s all-time favourite films) and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, you can expect Wright’s traditionally stylish direction to play into a lot of the creepy visuals that are bound to be all over this thing, as a cast that consists of Anya Taylor-Joy (her again), Jojo Rabbit breakout Thomasin McKenzie and former Doctor Matt Smith looks set to turn in some genre-defining performances that are right within Wright’s playhouse.

We’ll have to wait for a trailer to see what kind of direction this movie looks like it will go, but until then it’s another Edgar Wright movie which is sure to be a massive hit with his fanbase…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

18TH SEPTEMBER 2020

9 – A QUIET PLACE: PART II

It was the unexpected horror breakout of 2018, and now John Krasinski’s intense and intensely silent scare-fest is back for seconds in a movie that seems to show us more of this post-apocalyptic and quiet-as-hell world.

With Emily Blunt leading her family this time – following Krasinski’s grisly fate in the last film – they must do their utmost to make as little noise as possible if they are to avoid the mysterious monsters that hunt only by sound. That, of course, isn’t easy when you have a newborn baby to take care of as well, which is one of many new directions that director Krasinski leads us as we continue to explore a world that has (hopefully) learned to cope with no sound unless they’re suicidal maniacs.

Horror sequels tend to be hit and miss, so here’s hoping that this will be one to shout about…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

20TH MARCH 2020

8 – HALLOWEEN KILLS

Last time we saw the deranged serial killer Michael Myers, he was left to burn to death by Jamie Lee Curtis’ survivor version of Laurie Strode, along with her daughter Judy Greer and granddaughter Andi Matichak who all got caught up in what seemed to be the final clash between the two.

As we all know, though, Michael Myers is incredibly hard to kill, so expect him to come back nastier and more blood-hungry than ever in the first of two planned follow-ups to the hit 2018 series reboot – the second, Halloween Ends, is due out around the same time in 2021 – which will not only see Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode but also other series legends like Kyle Richards as Lindsay Wallace, one of the two children that Strode was babysitting in John Carpenter’s 1978 original (the other child, Tommy Doyle, will also return with Anthony Michael Hall now playing him).

It’s set to be another winner for a series once considered to be DOA with every new sequel – and reboot – it would suddenly churn out…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

16TH OCTOBER 2020

7 – WEST SIDE STORY

It’s one of the greatest musicals of all time, and now it’s getting a new lease of life by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

Steven Spielberg, who had been toying for years with the idea of making a new version of the hit update of Romeo & Juliet – which had already been turned into a multi-Oscar winning classic by director Robert Wise – goes all out with his first foray into song-and-dance storytelling, with an age and ethnic appropriate cast of young actors who seem perfectly cast as the rival gangs of the Jets and the Sharks, among them star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, played in this version by Ansel Elgort and social media breakout star Rachel Zegler.

As a particular fan of this musical myself, having performed in it during a school production back in the day, I am watching this one develop with close eyes (and ears)…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

18TH DECEMBER 2020

6 – BLACK WIDOW

One of the biggest shocks of Avengers: Endgame was the sudden demise of one of the team’s most beloved members, Natasha Romanoff who valiantly sacrificed herself to acquire the Soul Stone. It was a surprising loss because it came right before she was finally due to have her own solo film, but luckily it appears that the movie is set to be a fitting final outing for the character.

Scarlett Johansson is of course back as Romanoff, as she appears to go on a globe-trotting mission that will see her reunite with lost allies, among them Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour as the USSR’s equivalent of Captain America. Expect all of the usual Marvel tricks done well as always, in this case by director Cate Shortland who is one of two female directors to helm Marvel movies this year (the second, Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, is set for release later in the year), and some Bourne-esque action sequences that could well rank among the series’ top choreographed fight scenes to date.

Maybe, too, we will finally find out what happened between Romanoff and Clint Barton in Budapest…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

1ST MAY 2020

5 – THE INVISIBLE MAN

With his directorial debut Upgrade, Leigh Whannell immediately became a genre filmmaker worth looking out for. His follow-up feature, a chilling new take on a classic movie monster, seems to confirm our hopes about him.

Whannell reconditions the story as a supernatural stalker thriller, with the unseen entity of the title being the abusive ex of Elisabeth Moss’ Cecilia who ends up committing suicide and leaving everything to her. However, she starts to experience some unexplainable run-ins with something she can’t see but knows for sure is there, in a film that looks set to crawl underneath your skin and leave a seriously spooky vibe that the best horror movies end up leaving. Also, much like how he directed Logan Marshall-Green in Upgrade, expect Whannell to guide Moss through an emotionally and psychologically devastating lead turn that the great actress can easily pull from her soul.

Who knows, it could be so good that it also ends up reviving Universal’s now-extinct plans for a Dark Universe of movie monsters – and all it would take is a brand-new approach to old material…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

28TH FEBRUARY 2020

4 – WONDER WOMAN 1984

In a year that’s already set to be a milestone for female directors making big superhero blockbusters – with Cathy Yan directing Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), Cate Shortland doing Black Widow and Chloe Zhao making Eternals – the grandmother of them all, Patty Jenkins, returns with a new chapter in the tale of one of DC’s most beloved heroes.

Diana Prince, the ageless Amazonian warrior known as Wonder Woman, now resides in the 1980s, where she deals with new threats such as Pedro Pascal’s dastardly businessman Maxwell Lord and Kristen Wiig’s feisty villainess Cheetah, as well as new mystery surrounding the sudden reappearance of her former WW1 love Steve Trevor. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine return as Prince and Trevor respectively, and with their chemistry being so strong in the previous Wonder Woman film it will be interesting to see how they work off of each other in a new time setting.

Most of all, though, there’ll be action, heroics, and awesome 80s-style visuals which should propel the hero into the forefront of DC amidst its noticeable course correction…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

5TH JUNE 2020

3 – TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Speaking of the 1980s, one of the decade’s most popular – and unintentionally homoerotic – blockbusters makes a triumphant return to screens, along with a lead actor who’s more than willing to slip back into the boots of his most defining character.

Tom Cruise is indeed back as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, that rapscallion pilot with an ego that’s making cheques his body can’t cash, and here he’s teaching the tricks of the trade to a whole new team of pilots, among them Miles Teller as the son of Maverick’s fallen partner Goose. The plane stunts depicted here are also very real; a new camera system was devised so that audiences can experience what it’s like to be in the cockpit of a fighter jet, meaning we are right there with Cruise as he glides through the skies in typical Maverick – and Cruise – fashion.

Will it be a sequel worth the many years of development, or will it be another instance of a follow-up coming out far too late? Either way, this is going to be a film that will take your breath away…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

17TH JULY 2020

2 – TENET

A new Christopher Nolan movie is always going to be an event, but the thing about his latest film is that, outside of the cast and the very vague couple of trailers already released for it, we don’t know how much of an event it’s going to be – and that’s precisely why we’re looking forward to it.

Going by just the trailer, it seems to incorporate some very mind-warping sci-fi elements to a world that seems to suggest 007-style espionage but also a structure that calls back to Nolan’s Memento, and from what we know about Nolan as a filmmaker it’s going to be visually spectacular and remarkably intelligent at the very least. The cast, led by BlacKkKlansman’s John David Washington and also including international players from Robert Pattinson to Clémence Poésy to Nolan regular Michael Caine, is also one of Nolan’s starriest since Inception ten years prior, so expect some breakout performances in the same way that Inception introduced us to the likes of Tom Hardy.

Again, though, the biggest draw to this movie – hell, any of Nolan’s movies – is the sheer amount of mystery surrounding it. Right now, nobody can really say for sure what kind of movie it’s going to be, much like how no one could predict that Dunkirk would be a time-hopping account of three separate stories during the same event, and in a world where most movies seem to have their biggest moments ruined by trailers it’s refreshing to see one that still leaves you completely in the dark. Undoubtedly, there will be more plot points revealed in later trailers closer to its release, but for now we can revel in the absolute uncertainty of what Nolan has in store for us next.

Although, it’s not the only major spy thriller gracing our screens this year…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

17TH JULY 2020

1 – NO TIME TO DIE

It’s been a long time coming – five years, in fact – but now the world’s greatest secret agent is back for his 25th overall outing, and the final turn by Daniel Craig as the grittiest incarnation of James Bond to date is set to be not only the actor’s finest turn in the part yet but also the most physically and even mentally challenging part that any 007 has yet gone through in these films.

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga – who replaced Danny Boyle at the 11th hour when the Oscar winner dropped out over “creative differences” – picks up where Skyfall and SPECTRE director Sam Mendes left off, with Craig’s Bond having left his old life behind and gone into the sunset with his new squeeze Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux, who also reprises her role in this film) and his prized Aston Martin in tow. However, retirement doesn’t last long for Bond, who is soon called back into action to deal with a sinister new villain, played by Oscar-winner Rami Malek who’s been described as playing “a nasty piece of work” which compared to some of Bond’s previous villains is really saying something.

What exactly does Malek’s enigmatic Safin have in store for our grizzled former agent? How does Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld, teased in the trailer, fit into all of this? Is Lashana Lynch, cast as a new 00-agent under the watch of Ralph Fiennes’ M, the new 007 as reported by the media? And, most importantly, who will be singing the theme song this time round? All of these questions and more are bound to be answered in a thrilling spectacle which we’ve come to expect from a James Bond film, with stunts and heavy fight choreography galore, only this one feels a lot more grounded than even the much-loved Casino Royale, and certainly a lot more personal as James finds himself at the epicentre of the latest threat to world security more than he ever has done before. It’s going to be fascinating to see Craig’s Bond, having gone through so much over the course of the last few films, be tested in ways no other incarnation has been before, and with a director like Fukunaga on board it will certainly be a gripping study of the character that hopefully won’t hold back on the heavy drama.

It also shouldn’t forget to be wildly humorous, especially with Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge credited as a co-writer – the first woman to be credited as such on a Bond film since Johanna Harwood co-wrote Dr. No and From Russia With Love – allegedly brought on board by Craig to help make the characters more believable. It’s a gamble that we’re hoping pays off big time, particularly with the enormous success that Waller-Bridge has encountered recently with not just Fleabag but also Killing Eve, and if nothing else it probably means that the Bond girls here – represented by Lynch and Craig’s Knives Out co-star Ana de Armas – will be much more fleshed out than just being, well, flesh. For a character known for his consistent womanising, it will be interesting to see how Bond fares in a post-#MeToo world, and if he can survive if his traditional tactics remain.

Mostly, though, it will be thrilling to see James Bond back on the big screen after all this time. Whatever your opinions on the last few films have been, a 007 movie has always been a massive event, especially if he’s been absent from the screen for at least a few years, and No Time To Die looks like it will be the event movie to beat for the coming year…

WHEN’S IT OUT?

2ND APRIL 2020

ALSO OUT THIS YEAR (DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BREATH)

  • Bad Boys For Life (out: 17th January 2020)

  • The Grudge (out: 24th January 2020)

  • Dolittle (out: 7th February 2020)

  • The Call of the Wild (out: 21st February 2020)

  • Trolls World Tour (out: 20th March 2020)

  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (out: 27th March 2020)

  • The New Mutants (out: 8th April 2020)

  • Promising Young Woman (out: 17th April 2020)

  • The Secret Garden (out: 17th April 2020)

  • Antebellum (out: 24th April 2020)

  • The Woman In The Window (out: 15th May 2020)

  • Fast & Furious 9 (out: 22nd May 2020)

  • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run (out: 22nd May 2020)

  • Artemis Fowl (out: 29th May 2020)

  • Candyman (out: 12th June 2020)

  • Minions: The Rise of Gru (out: 10th July 2020)

  • Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (out: 31st July 2020)

  • Morbius (out: 31st July 2020)

  • Malignant (out: 14th August 2020)

  • The One and Only Ivan (out: 14th August 2020)

  • Bill and Ted Face The Music (out: 21st August 2020)

  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (out: 11th September 2020)

  • The Many Saints of Newark (out: 25th September 2020)

  • Death On The Nile (out: 9th October 2020)

  • The Witches (out: 16th October 2020)

  • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (out: 21st October 2020)

  • The Eternals (out: 6th November 2020)

  • Dune (out: 20th November 2020)

  • Godzilla vs. Kong (out: 20th November 2020)

  • King Richard (out: 27th November 2020)

  • Raya and the Last Dragon (out: 27th November 2020)

  • Coming 2 America (out: 18th December 2020)

  • The Tomorrow War (out: 26th December 2020)

  • Tom and Jerry (out: 26th December 2020)