This is going to be a pretty crazy year for cinemas.
The sheer volume of movies coming out in 2021 is absolutely insane, largely due to how many were delayed from 2020. There are probably double the amount of blockbusters coming out this year than usual, which makes cutting everything down to our 20 most anticipated movies quite the feat.
Granted, a lot of these could end up getting delayed again - but there really is a lot to look forward to. From two Kaijus fighting to the death in Godzilla Vs. Kong to a crossover-heavy Spider-Man 3, there’s plenty to look forward to for blockbuster fans. It’s also going to be a very nostalgic year for many of us, seeing as we’re getting new Space Jam, Ghostbusters and Matrix movies too!
Here are our most anticipated movies of 2021:
Cherry (Feb 26)
The Russo Brothers’ next project after Avengers: Endgame is Cherry, an Apple TV+ movie starring Tom Holland. Holland plays Cherry, an army medic with PTSD from horrifying combat encounters, who becomes addicted to opioids upon returning back home.
To pay for his addiction, he starts robbing banks with alarming regularity. You can probably tell that this won't end well for Cherry.
Godzilla Vs. Kong (March 26)
The all-out knockout match of 2021 is finally here. Godzilla: King of the Monsters ended with our favourite big lizard heading over to Skull Island, to confront the only monster intent on not recognising his claim to the throne: King Kong.
Kong has grown up quite a bit since Kong: Skull Island, and he’s prepared to fight Godzilla to the death for reasons unknown. Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler return from King of the Monsters, joining a cast consisting of Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Jessica Henwick and Lance Reddick.
Mortal Kombat (April 16)
Let’s make one thing clear: If this movie doesn’t feature the iconic Mortal Kombat theme song, it has already failed.
Putting that aside, this reboot plans to be every bit as violent as the games, so we’re getting fatalities at the very least! The movie follows new character Cole Young, an MMA fighter whom Shang Tsung is strangely desperate to kill.
Young fends off the assassin Sub-Zero and works with Raiden, Jax, Sonya, Kung Lao and Liu Kang to train. We know how the rest of the story goes: there’s a tournament, and people are going to die.
A Quiet Place Part 2 (April 23)
A Quiet Place was one of those rare horror movies that actually felt fresh, with a good story to boot. In this sequel, the Abbotts have gained a baby and lost a father, which means certain death in a world where monsters track you down by sound alone. Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) joins the cast and John Krasinski returns to direct.
It looks like we’ll also see the apocalypse kick off in more detail, and how the Abbotts managed to survive.
Last Night in Soho (April 23)
Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Hot Fuzz)’s next movie Last Night in Soho is a British horror movie, which is an exciting enough prospect to make this list. The movie follows a young girl who’s passionate about fashion design, and somehow time travels to the 1960s.
There, she meets her idol - a dazzling wannabe singer, but 1960s London is a strange place and time begins to fall apart with unpredictable consequences. Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith and more star.
Free Guy (May 21)
This is basically videogame: the movie . Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a non-player character (NPC) in an open world game - Free City. Think of it as GTA V, because that’s all it really is.
When real-life programmers Milly (Jodie Comer) and Keys (Joe Keery) insert code that makes Guy realise his entire world is just a game, the self-aware NPC embarks on a mission to become a hero. That, of course, sets off a time bomb ticking down to the destruction of Free City. Wreck-It Ralph who?
F9 (May 28)
The next installment of the Fast & the Furious franchise has Dom Toretto off the grid with Letty and his son, but a new threat arises that brings him back into the fold.
His brother Jakob (John Cena) returns and starts wreaking havoc, and the whole crew will have to come together to stop a massive world-ending scheme. Also, Han’s not dead!
Top Gun: Maverick (July 2)
The 1986 classic Top Gun is getting a sequel, which has Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) return to train Top Gun graduates after more than 30 years. He also meets the son of his late best friend Goose, Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller).
Maverick has to deal with his past, and his trainees will have to fly together on an extremely dangerous mission. Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer and more star.
Space Jam: A New Legacy (July 16)
Another Looney Tunes movie is exciting enough, but a sequel to 1996’s Space Jam? That’s unmissable. This blend of live-action and animation brings Looney Tunes characters and NBA star LeBron James together as they become trapped in a virtual space by a rogue algorithm voiced by Don Cheadle.
To get out, James and his son Bronny will have to train Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Lola Bunny and more to win a good ol’ fashioned game of digital basketball. Wait, what?
The Suicide Squad (Aug 6)
James Gunn’s next movie is The Suicide Squad, a movie that harkens back to the spirit of the original comics: a whole bunch of B-list comic characters get together for an impossible mission, and most of them die violently along the way.
The movie follows imprisoned convicts from Task Force X who are sent on a mission to the island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experiments. John Cena’s character in the movie is also getting a HBO Max spin-off!
Resident Evil (Sept 9)
This one is as weird as it is interesting. Sony Pictures is rebooting the Resident Evil film franchise, with plans for this new installment to be a lot scarier and faithful to the games.
As a result, we’re getting a live-action movie with Claire Redfield, Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Albert Wesker and Ada Wong all at the same time! The movie is set in 1998 and meant to serve as an origin story for the first Resident Evil game, divulging the secrets of the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City.
Raccoon City was introduced in the second game though, and most of these characters don't meet until way later... so what’s going on here?
Dune (Oct 1)
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation is set in the far-flung future, where Duke Leto Atreides becomes the steward of a dangerous desert planet known as Arrakis.
The planet is the only source of a highly valuable drug called ‘the spice’, which extends human life and grants people superhuman abilities. He takes his family to the planet and seizes control of its spice mining operation, a matter made complicated by the presence of gigantic sandworms.
Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem and more star. We’re also getting a soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer!
James Bond: No Time to Die (Oct 8)
This is Daniel Craig’s final movie as James Bond, so how could you possibly miss it? After the events of Spectre, Bond has entered a much-deserved retirement with his girlfriend Madeleine Swann - though her dark past eventually shatters their peaceful life. Bond then returns to MI6 to confront a new foe - Safin, played by the (incredible) Rami Malek.
The Last Duel (Oct 15)
The Last Duel has a pretty exciting creative team. Directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Alien), this movie pulls Matt Damon and Ben Affleck back together as writers and actors for a dark medieval tale.
The story follows a knight (Matt Damon) in King Charles VI’s court who accuses his best friend (Adam Driver) of raping his wife (Jodie Comer), with Affleck playing the King of France. Scott’s filmography has been a little hit or miss lately, but let’s hope that this turns out well.
Halloween Kills (Oct 15)
You can’t kill Michael Myers. It just doesn’t work that way, which is why we’re getting a sequel to Halloween (2018) that has the knife-wielding killer somehow survive being burned alive.
After Laurie Strode and her family failed to put Myers down for good, they try to form a mob with allies new and old against the killer - who’s still loose in Haddonfield. This movie leads directly into Halloween Ends in 2022, which is expected to end the trilogy.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Nov 11)
In this direct sequel to Ghostbusters 2 (no, not the 2016 one), a family of two children and a single mother move to a farm in Summerville, Oklahoma inherited from their late grandfather. After a series of strange earthquakes strike the town, the children realise that they might be somehow linked to the Ghostbusters of legend.
All of the original (and living) Ghostbusters actors return, including Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson. Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd and more also star.
Mission Impossible 7 (Nov 19)
The Mission Impossible franchise changed drastically the moment director Christopher McQuarrie took over, delivering one of the best action movies of all time in Fallout.
This sequel is also the first of a two-parter, bringing back old characters from the franchise like Eugene Kittridge to meet new favourites like Benji Dunn, Ilsa Faust and more. What crazy, death-defying stunt are we going to see Tom Cruise do this time? It’s not going to be a thrill-laden escape from Scientology, that’s for sure.
Spider-Man 3 (Dec 17)
Marvel Studios is pumping out a lot of superhero content in 2021, but Spider-Man 3 is particularly exciting due to its abundance of crossovers.
Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are reportedly returning as Spider-Men, along with Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus. Benedict Cumberbatch will also return as Spidey’s new mentor Doctor Strange, and Jamie Foxx is coming back as Electro. What on Earth is going on with this movie?
The Matrix 4 (Dec 22)
As flimsy as the later Matrix sequels were, they did manage to end the franchise with very few loose ends. Somehow, we’re still getting a fourth Matrix movie with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss returning as Neo and Trinity - two characters who died in The Matrix Revolutions.
Seeing Neo and Trinity in another sci-fi action-packed jaunt sells itself, though. Let’s just hope it lives up to the first movie, and not its sequels.
The French Dispatch (TBA)
Wes Anderson’s next movie looks like another whimsical adventure with dazzling set design, gorgeous cinematography and fast-talking characters - just the way we like it.
The film is described as, “a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city.” It also has a massive cast, with many Wes Anderson regulars returning: Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.
Benicio del Toro, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Henry Winkler, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe and Kate Winslet will also star. How’s that for a star-studded cast?
This article was first published in Hardware Zone.