You'll have plenty of reasons to visit your local movie theater this year.
As the Coronavirus pandemic dominates most global markets and industries, the public is faced with the choice of continuing to go about their lives or stockpiling supplies in the event of quarantine. While the global box office is already feeling the effects, it’s likely to get worse before better. This is the clear reasoning behind Universal’s recent decision to move the new James Bond film, No Time to Die, from its April release to November. However, simply pushing back movie releases isn’t a universal solution. And what do you do when it’s a movie you’ve been eagerly awaiting? Regardless of the global health crisis at play, there are still a ton of great films releasing this year. Whether you’re into comic book movies, adult comedies, or The Sopranos – at least a few of the 10 films we’ve compiled below will get you excited for an old-fashioned dinner & a movie date night.
The New Mutants (April 3)
In an unexpected fusion between two of cinemas biggest genres – the horror film and superhero movie – comes Disney’s (by way of 20th Century Fox) latest comic book adaptation, The New Mutants. Written and directed by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and starring a diverse cast of young talent including Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anna Taylor-Joy (Split, Glass), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), Blu Hunt (The Originals), Henry Zaga (Looking for Alaska) and Alice Braga (Queen of the South) – The New Mutants was intended to be the perfect genre mash-up to help revitalize the declining X-Men franchise. Unfortunately, the film following a group of young mutants being psychiatrically monitored in a secluded and supernatural hospital was plagued by release delays due to the prioritization of fellow X-Men offshoots Deadpool 2, Dark Phoenix, and the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney. After two years of waiting, now unluckily in the throes of the Coronavirus impacting the global box office, The New Mutants appears to be firmly cemented in its April 3rd release date.
Bad Trip (April 17)
Deeply influenced by the work of famous pranksters Sacha Baron Cohen, Nathan Fielder, Johnny Knoxville and the entire Jackass cast – Bad Trip is a hidden camera road trip movie starring three of the funniest people working in Hollywood today. In the film, Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery play best friends on a prank-filled cross-country road trip to help Andre’s character find the girl of his dreams. Meanwhile, Tiffany Haddish portrays Lil Rel’s evil sister and the film’s villain – an escaped prison inmate reentering society. Directed by Kitao Sakurai (The Eric Andre Show) and executive produced by Jeff Tremaine (Jackass), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), and star/writer Andre – Bad Trip will have you belly-laughing yourself to tears from the start to finish. Similar to The New Mutants’ ever-changing release date, Bad Trip was originally scheduled for release last October, then moved to February 2020, before ultimately landing in its appropriately 4/20-adjacent release date of April 17th.
Black Widow (May 1)
In 2010, Scarlett Johansson made her first appearance as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Iron Man 2 – Disney’s third official entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise. Since then, Marvel has been slowly developing a solo film for the fan favorite character. While waiting, devotees have been treated to Black Widow appearing in all four Avengers films, in addition to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and an uncredited appearance in Captain Marvel. Following last summer’s Spider-Man: Far From Home – Black Widow marks only the second MCU film in the year since Avengers: Endgame broke nearly every box office record you can think of, including supplanting Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time.
Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War but before Natasha Romanoff becomes an Avenger – Black Widow follows Johansson’s character as she is forced to navigate on her own her complicated past as a spy. Co-starring a brilliant cast consisting of Florence Pugh (Midsommar), David Harbour (Stranger Things), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale), William Hurt (Broadcast News), and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) – Black Widow is the first of two MCU films (The Eternals) to see release in 2020; in addition to the second (Morbius) and third (Venom 2) entries in Sony’s Marvel Universe. The moral of this story is there will be plenty of comic book cinema this year.
The King of Staten Island (June 19)
Over the past 20 years, Judd Apatow has written, directed, and produced some of the funniest films and television series of a generation. Beginning with Freaks and Geeks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Knocked Up, or more recently Trainwreck, Girls, and Crashing – he has single handedly helped shape the careers of such A-list comedy talent as Seth Rogen, Steve Carell, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Lena Dunham, and now for his latest film, The King of Staten Island – Pete Davidson. Perhaps best known as Ariana Grande’s ex-fiancé, or the tattooed guy who rarely appears on Saturday Night Live – Davidson is finally set to have his breakout moment this summer, with Apatow at the helm.
Partially autobiographical, The King of Staten Island tells the story of Scott (Davidson), a twenty-something pothead from the forgotten borough still affected by the loss of his firefighter father on September 11th. His life begins to change when his sister (Maude Apatow) heads to college, his mother (Marisa Tomei) starts dating another firefighter (Bill Burr), and he enters the stand up world. The summer comedy also features Pamela Adlon (Better Things), Bel Powley (The Morning Show), Machine Gun Kelly, and Steve Buscemi. Running over two hours like most Apatow-directed features, the dramedy was set to premier at South by Southwest (SXSW) prior to its cancelation due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The King of Staten Island is now scheduled to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th before a June 19th release.
Free Guy (July 3)
After back-to-back Deadpool box office hits, a PG-rated Pokemon movie (Detective Pikachu), and a Michael Bay action thriller (6 Underground), Ryan Reynolds is back with potentially his next big adult comedy franchise, Free Guy. This time around, the Reynolds-starring sci-fi action-comedy leaves the superhero universe for the video game world. Set in an open world video game called Free City – a combination of the popular game franchises Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite – Reynolds plays Guy, a non-player character (NPC) bank teller who becomes aware of his Truman Show-esque simulated life. Upon discovering the truth, he sets out to be the game’s hero before the programmers realize he knows. Directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) and written by Matt Lieberman (Playing With Fire) and Zak Penn (Ready Player One); the film co-stars a comedic ensemble of Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Joe Keery (Stranger Things), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Freestyle Love Supreme), and Lil Rel Howery (Get Out). Various YouTubers, video game streamers, and professional gamers are also set to appear in the film.
Tenet (July 17)
“That test you passed… not everybody does. Welcome to the afterlife.” Even four months out from the release of Christopher Nolan’s latest feature Tenet, very little is known about the film’s plot. Hitting theaters exactly three years after his Best Picture and Best Director Oscar-nominated 2017 World War II film Dunkirk – what’s been extrapolated about Nolan’s 11th movie is it involves international espionage and evolution. A secret agent is assigned to prevent World War III via time travel and rebirth. Originally titled Merry Go Round, the action thriller stars John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), Robert Pattinson (Good Time), Elizabeth Debicki (The Burnt Orange Heresy), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dimple Kapadia, Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), and Michael Caine (The Dark Knight). Tenet is set for release July 17th in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm film formats.
Morbius (July 31)
A spinoff film for the Spider-Man villain, Morbius was announced as the second movie to be released under the new title Sony’s Marvel Universe, following the success of Venom. The comic book blockbuster stars Academy Award-winning actor Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, a scientist with a rare blood disease. After attempting to cure himself, Dr. Morbius becomes a vampire. While a film about bats, blood, and vaccines seems a little too on the nose at the moment, Morbius the Living Vampire has long been one of Marvel Comics’ most beloved antiheroes. Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Life) and co-starring Matt Smith (The Crown), Adria Arjona (Good Omens), Jared Harris (Chernobyl), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), and Tyrese Gibson (the Fast Saga) – similar to The New Mutants, Morbius aims to appeal to audiences of Marvel and horror/vampire movies alike.
The Many Saints of Newark (September 25)
Any legitimate list of anticipated films for 2020 would be crazy not to include The Many Saints of Newark. The long rumored and anticipated Sopranos movie is finally coming. However, the film fans had always dreamed of following the 2007 series finale died in 2013 with the passing of Tony Soprano himself, beloved actor James Gandolfini. Thirteen years later, The Sopranos movie is now a prequel titled The Many Saints of Newark with James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini (The Deuce), playing Tony Soprano in his formative years. The drama set in 1960s/70s New Jersey was written by The Sopranos creator David Chase (and Lawrence Konner), directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones), and stars Alessandro Nivola (A Most Violent Year), Jon Bernthal (The Punisher), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Corey Stoll (The Strain), Billy Magnussen (Aladdin), and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas). Little else is known about the secretive film at this point, as a trailer has yet to be released. Only a September 25th release date has been announced, with an HBO airdate expected to follow shortly after. Sopranos fans rejoice, as the time has finally come to return to Jersey.
No Time to Die (November 25)
With the sudden fear of Coronavirus spreading around the world, No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final film as James Bond, has been postponed until November. Now the 6th actor to ever play the iconic British spy gets an extra seven months to enjoy the perks of being Agent 007. Originally planned to be written and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), the auteur left due to creative differences, paving the way for Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) to take the reigns. Picking up with Agent Bond no longer active service and relishing life in Jamaica, No Time to Die quickly evolves into one last mission for 007 to rescue a scientist from a “mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”
Written by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and star/creator of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge – No Time to Die marks the 25th film in the James Bond franchise and the beginning of a new era for the MI6 secret agent. Even with Craig leaving the character behind, the future is in good hands with a talented cast including Academy Award winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Lea Seydoux (Spectre), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Ben Whishaw (Mary Poppins Returns), Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale), Christoph Waltz (Spectre), and Ralph Fiennes as M. With the potential losses estimated over $300 million had the film kept its April release date, its no surprise No Time to Die was pushed back. Now all we can do is wait a little longer to say goodbye to another 007 as a mysterious virus spreads around the world. Hmm, sounds like the plot of a James Bond movie.
Coming 2 America (December 18)
The final film on our list may be the most exciting. Thirty-two years later, Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy remains countless fans’ favorite of all his films. From the quotables to his co-stars Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones’ performances, Coming to America has remained in the pantheon of comedy for over three decades. Per Paramount Pictures, Coming 2 America takes place after the original film when “Prince Akeem Joffer (Murphy) is set to become King of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son (Jermaine Fowler) he never knew about in America.” In order to honor his father’s (Jones) dying wish to groom this long-lost son to be prince, Akeem and Semmi (Hall) must come to America, again.
Directed by Craig Brewer after working with Murphy on Dolemite Is My Name, the 30-year-old sequel was penned by the original writers of Coming to America, David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein, co-written by Kenya Barris (Black-ish), with the story credited to Murphy. The film also features Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G.), Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live), Shari Headley (The Haves and the Have Nots), John Amos (Good Times), and Louie Anderson (Baskets). At this time no trailer for the film has been released, but look forward to the sequel of the year come holiday season.