Reboots and long-awaited sequels
As ol’ King Solomon once said, there’s no new thing under the sun. This year’s reboots kick off with the horror feature, The Grudge – which will be released in theatres on 17 January. This is a reboot of three existing films released between 2004 and 2009, and those movies are based on the Japanese franchise!
Will Smith and a chubbier Martin Lawrence are back for one last ride as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett in Bad Boys for Life. This is one we’ve been waiting for since 2003’s Bad Boys II. Belgian directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi have taken over the reins from Michael Bay but it looks like we can still expect a whole lot of explosions, car chases and gunfights. Bad Boys for Life hits our screens on 24 January.
Move over Eddie Murphy (and, I guess, Kyla Pratt from the straight-to-DVD versions), it’s Robert Downey Jr’s turn to take a crack at the eccentric Dr John Dolittle character in Dolittle also being released on 10 January. The man who can talk to animals is accompanied by a wealth of talent voicing all of his friends, including Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, John Cena, Emma Thompson, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland and Craig Robinson. The film is directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, 2005).
HG Wells’s The Invisible Man gets a remake starring Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), Aldis Hodge (Clemency) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Haunting of Hill House). The film, written and directed by Leigh Whannell, comes out on 13 March. 27 March sees Disney continue with its live-action/hauntingly real CGI adaptations in the form of Mulan, directed by Niki Caro and starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen and Jet Li.
Daniel Craig is back in his fifth film as James Bond in No Time to Die on 3 April, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The movie picks up after Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica and co-stars Rami Malek, as the Bond villain, Léa Seydoux and Lashana Lynch. Apparently, people have been waiting for a sequel to 1986’s Top Gun and their prayers have been answered! Tom Cruise is back as the legendary fighter pilot, Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick on 3 July.
Hollywood is taking another stab at Ghostbusters this year after the 2016 version didn’t go down so well. They are linking this one right back to the originals and tapping into that glorious ‘80s nostalgia that’s keeping Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard employed. 10 July gives us Ghostbusters: Afterlife with the original feature’s director’s son, Jason Reitman, in the director’s chair. The movie starts good ol’ Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon and Bokeem Woodbine.
We’ve had Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle and now we go back in time with the prequel to discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency, The King’s Man, on 14 February. The King's Man stars Harris Dickinson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton and Djimon Hounsou. Matthew Vaughn is back as director.
DC kicks off things with Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn on 7 February. Remember Suicide Squad? I guess this movie picks from there. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn’s broken up with the Joker and is looking to start a new life. I don’t even know. At some point, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord, Black Mask. Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong and Ewan McGregor. The film is directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs, 2018).
3 April gives us director Josh Boone’s horror-influenced X-Men movie New Mutants, hopefully. The movie was supposed to be released in 2018 but was delayed. It stars Game of Throne's Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy. Marvel Studios opens their Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Widow on 1 May. The film is directed by Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome, 2017) and stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, alongside David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle and Rachel Weisz. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), the film sees Romanoff on the run and forced to confront her past.
2017’s Wonder Woman was a huge hit and we’re super excited about the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. The sequel hits screens on 5 June, it’s set in the ‘80s (like so many films and series these days) and sees the return of Steve Trevor somehow. The movie is the ninth instalment in the DC Extended Universe and is directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins. It stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, alongside Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen.
Other films to look forward to in 2020 are The Turning, based on Henry James’s novel – which is the story of a nanny hired to take care of two creepy kids in a creepy house in Maine. The film stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard (this kid again), Brooklynn Prince and Joely Richardson. Sonic the Hedgehog is a thing that’s happening. In this live-action adventure comedy, Sonic and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination.
A film I’m looking forward to – because I loved the books as a kid – is Artemis Fowl, which is about a 12-year-old Artemis who is a millionaire, a genius and a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn’t know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit to harness her magic to save his family. Disney Pixar is also releasing an interesting project with Soul, a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions. Soul stars Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey and is directed by Inside Out's Pete Docter.
I wish you 2020 vision at the movies this year.