The year 2020 has seen a slew of fantastic film releases. There’s even a resurgence of drive-in movie theatres! However, some of the year’s most eagerly anticipated films have been postponed. While this was initially disappointing, it now means that 2021 has the potential to be one of the most exciting film years in history.
While we don’t know what the future holds in terms of releases, we’ve compiled a list of all the films (delayed and otherwise) that we’re most looking forward to seeing whenever and wherever it’s safe to do so! It’s going to be a big year, with everything from superheroes to sequels, martial arts to monsters.
When you’re engrossed in subtweeted drama or staring down the 87th cycle of a tepid “unpopular opinions” meme, it’s easy to forget that social media can be entertaining at times — and Zola is proof of that. Director Janicza Bravo transforms the year’s best Twitter thread into a slick, stylish feature starring Taylour Paige as a waitress who embarks on the wildest journey of her life when she travels to Florida with a fellow stripper (Riley Keough).
Release date: June 30
2. Summer of Soul
Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) resurrects footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which, despite attracting such heavyweight performers as Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight, hasn’t gotten its due in the last half-century. Questlove’s documentary, which is a part concert film and part historical archive, promises to add infectious, electric energy to an already hot summer season.
Release date: July 2
In Summertime, director Carlos López Estrada of Blindspotting gives spoken-word poetry its day in the sun. The film follows a diverse cast of Angelenos through a hot summer day in order to capture the city’s wild ambition and frenetic energy. If you’re not a fan of people breaking into song, this might not be for you, but if you’re looking for something different, Summertime appears to be a hidden gem.
Release date: July 9
The new thriller from M. Night Shyamalan follows a vacationing family (led by Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps) who stumble upon a strange beach where they find themselves aging decades in a matter of hours, reducing their entire lives to a single day. And here you were thinking you were getting old because Shrek turned 20 or something.
Release date: July 23
5. Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise would like to propose itself as your new favorite action-adventure if you know every line of Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy if you still hum the Pirates of the Caribbean theme to yourself if you stop to watch Jumanji every time it’s on TV. Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson star as two early 20th-century explorers on the hunt for the Tree of Life — and if that sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because it’s based on the popular Disney ride.
Release date: July 30
6. The Green Knight
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like a dark and moody film to keep you company. The Green Knight, directed by David Lowery, stars Dev Patel as Arthurian legend Sir Gawain, with Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, and Kate Dickie rounding out the cast. What the trailer lacks in plot details, it makes up for in style, with an eerie fantasy vibe that we can’t wait to explore.
Release date: July 30
7. The Suicide Squad
Director James Gunn is assembling an even bigger gang of misfits for DC after giving us Marvel’s strangest superhero team in Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel. The Suicide Squad assembles Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) on a perilous mission to bicker, blow things up, save the world, and look cute while doing so. This one should be right up your alley if you prefer your comic book movies to be more silly than serious.
Release date: Aug. 6
This year’s extra-long Oscars race is finally over, which means it’s time to start thinking about next year’s Oscars race. While it’s far too early to predict which films will be nominated, it’s clear that Respect wants to be a part of the discussion — and with 2006 Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Hudson playing Aretha Franklin, we’re definitely paying attention. In addition to Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, and Marc Maron, the film stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, and Marc Maron.
Release date: Aug. 13
One of the most popular films at this year’s Sundance is finally coming to a theatre near you this summer. Emilia Jones plays the only hearing member of a Deaf family (played by Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin, and Daniel Durant), torn between her family’s fishing business and her own passion for music CODA. Prepare to laugh, cry, laugh some more, cry some more, and laugh some more.
Release date: Aug. 13
A still from CODA by Siân Heder, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ The unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction, or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.
Nia DaCosta’s follow-up to the original Candyman is here to teach a whole new generation of horror fans why they should never, ever say his name in front of a mirror. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays an artist who moves into a new home in a rapidly gentrifying Chicago, only to discover that the neighborhood’s dark past is still lurking in the shadows.