20 To Watch In 2020, Part Two: Movies

Last week, we talked about ten new and returning television shows to watch in 2020. This week brings a list of ten of the most hotly anticipated movies of 2020.

From James Bond to Mulan to Mr. Roarke (yes, that Mr. Roarke), 2020 will see the big return of favorite characters from films, television series, comic books, and novels. Not to mention, this is the first year in which all of the big-budget superhero releases will be female led — meaning that the eleven years between the start of the MCU and the release of Captain Marvelare nothing but a bad memory. Though some moviegoers may lament the number of sequels, reboots, and spinoffs in the works, others look forward to seeing a new take on old classics.

Without further ado, here are a few films worth looking forward to:

  1. 1. Mulan

    A more serious take on the animated Disney film of the same name, Mulan is a grounded and realistic approach to a story beloved by an entire generation. In response to fan criticism, director Niki Caro told Digital Spy that her creative decisions are based on “the fact that it can be real, and it’s the real story of a girl going to war.”

    Coming to theaters March 27, 2020.

  2. 2. Black Widow

    The long-awaited solo outing of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow comes on the heels of what seemed to be her swan song in Avengers: Endgame. Even so, Marvel Studios pulls all the stops with a talented supporting cast including David Harbour and Florence Pugh.

    Coming to theaters May 1, 2020.

  3. 3. In the Heights

    Based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical of the same name, In the Heights tells the story of bodega-owner Usnavi and his tight-knit community of small business owners living in Washington Heights. Starring Anthony Ramos of Hamilton fame, this musical film appears to offer the same “Non- Stop” feels of the original.

    Coming to theaters June 26, 2020.

  4. 4. Wonder Woman 1984

    Following up on 2017’s Wonder WomanWonder Woman1984 sees Gal Gadot’s Diana in a new era with new foes, new fashion, and somehow, the same love interest. According to director Patty Jenkins, “this movie is about colliding Wonder Woman with the evil of our times, which is the excess and opulence that we have found ourselves in a position of indulging.”

    Coming to theaters June 5, 2020.

  5. 5. Emma

    Following after the 1996 version starring Gwyneth Paltrow, a new adaptation of Emma sees Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role, with Billy Mack himself, Bill Nighy, Johnny Flynn, and Miranda Bates in supporting roles. The Focus Features website characterizes the film as a “glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up” in which our heroine “must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.”

    Coming to theaters February 21, 2020.

  6. 6. No Time to Die

    Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007, No Time to Die, remains largely a mystery with the essential plot details being kept under lock and key. Barbara Broccoli, overseer of the Bond franchise, laments the end of this era of Bond: “Daniel has given him depth and an inner life. We were looking for a 21st-century hero, and that’s what he delivered.”

    Coming to theaters April 8, 2020.

  7. 7. Fantasy Island

    In a bizarre twist of fate, someone saw the 1977 series Fantasy Island and said “why don’t we replace Ricardo Montalbán with Michael Peña and make it a horror film?” Either way, some are excited, including Scott Mendelson of Forbes, who said “This is as close as we’ll ever get to Clifford as a kaiju flick, Yogi Bear as a survivalist thriller or Hungry Hungry Hippo as an R-rated splatterfest.”

    Coming to theaters Valentine’s Day 2020.

  8. 8. The Call of the Wild

    Starring Harrison Ford and directed by Chris Sanders, The Call of the Wild is a heartfelt take on the novel of the same name by Jack London. Sanders, who previously created the Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon franchises, brings his signature style of lovable creatures to the film through creating the canine protagonist using CGI.

    Coming to theaters February 21, 2020.

  9. 9. Onward

    The latest offering by Pixar stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as brothers who go on a journey to find a source of magic in order to spend one day with their deceased father.

    Coming to theaters March 6, 2020.

  10. 10. Artemis Fowl

    Sir Kenneth Branagh brings his distinctive style to the fantastical world of Artemis Fowl book series in Disney’s latest original live action offering — though not without making some changes.

    Coming to theaters May 29, 2020.

  11. 11. Bonus: Stargirl

    Based on Jerry Spinelli’s YA novel, Stargirl stars Grace VanderWaal, winner of America’s Got Talent season eleven, in the title role, and if the trailer is anything to go by, the film appears to hit the same notes of individuality verus conformity that defined the novel.

    Coming to Disney+ March 13, 2020.

  12. 12. Bonus Bonus: West Side Story

    Directed by Steven Spielberg, West Side Story is a remake of the 1961 classic, and it will star The Fault in Our Stars’s Ansel Elgort as Tony, the romantic lead. Rita Moreno, who won an Academy Award for her role as Anita in the original film, praised the new cast and described the updates to the production as “thrilling.”

    Coming to theaters December 18, 2020.

That’s not to say there aren’t more films and series to look forward to — hence my struggle with limiting this list to twenty. Many sequels such as A Quiet Place IITop Gun: Maverick, and Coming 2 America, among others, are set to release in 2020, meaning that in this case, there may actually be something for everyone.