Now that the award season has reached its culmination with the 92nd Academy Awards, we can’t help but feel excited about all the upcoming movies we’ll be seeing this year. From the return of James Bond to long-awaited sequels like Top Gun: Maverick, 2020 is packed with exciting titles. But sequels and reboots won’t be the only big players in next year’s blockbuster, there are tons of original films to watch out for as well — like the new Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi thriller.
Here are 20 movies that you should add to your watchlist this year.
Bad Boys for Life
Director: Bilall Fallah, Adil El Arbi
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig
Release date: 23 January 2020
17 years after the release of Bad Boys II, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up once more as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Bennett, and this time, they’re tasked to take down the vicious leader of the Miami drug cartel. Though original director Michael Bay has departed from the movie, fans of the Bad Boys movies shouldn’t be too concerned because judging by the trailer, it seemed like directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are doing a great job of making the movie feel as close to Bay’s direction as possible.
Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)
Director: Cathy Yan
Starring: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ewan McGregor
Release Date: 6 February 2020
Let’s face it, the only good things that came out of the 2016’s Suicide Squad was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. So it really isn’t surprising when DCEU announce that the Suicide Squad spin-off will be a Harley Quinn-centric one. Birds of Prey follows Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya as they embark on a mission to save a younger girl (spoiler, it’s Cassandra Cain) from the narcissistic crime lord, Black Mask.
Read more: Birds of Prey Is Another Win for DC Films
The King’s Man
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance
Premiere Date: 13 February 2020
Instead of a threequel, the third Kingsman movie takes us back to its roots, exploring the history of the international espionage operation. Set in the early 1900s, Ralph Fiennes leads a star-studded cast including Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Daniel Bruhl and Harris Dickinson in a prequel that explore how The Kingsman that we know came to be.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Director: Jeff Fowler
Starring: James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Ben Schwartz
Premiere Date: 27 February 2020
When the first trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog dropped on the Internet back in April, fans of Sonic were left flabbergasted. Instead of getting the blue speedster that we grew up with, we were presented with a “realistic” take on the character, complete with runner’s leg, human teeth and a pair of unnerving eyes. It’s the stuff of nightmares. After countless memes and criticism from fans, director Jeff Fowler humbly stepped up and tweeted that the character will be redesigned. Seven months later, Sonic finally had a makeover that’s faithful to its game character and fans were pleased. Now let’s hope the rest of the movie is up to snuff.
A Quiet Place Part II
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy
Premiere Date: 19 March 2020
John Krasinski’s science fiction horror A Quiet Place ended on a cliffhanger, with John Krasinski’s character sacrificing himself to save his family from the alien creatures. Nothing much has been revealed for its sequel, except for the fact that Krasinski will return to direct, while Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds will reprise their role. Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy is also set to appear in the sequel.
Director: Niki Caro
Starring: Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, Jet Li
Premiere Date: 26 March 2020
With so many Disney’s live-action remakes in recent years, it’s only a matter of time before Mulan has its live-action movie too. The upcoming Mulan film won’t be faithful to its animated material, so don’t expect to see beloved characters like Mushu and Li Shang or sing along to “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” in the movie theatre. Instead, this is going to be a retelling of the legendary female warrior and it’ll have more in common with the original ballad of Hua Mulan. The titular character will be played by Liu Yifei and the movie also features a host of famed Chinese actors like Donnie Yen, Gong Li and Jet Li.
No Time to Die
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Léa Seydoux, Rory Kinnear, Ben Whishaw
Premiere Date: 9 April 2020
Daniel Craig returned for his fifth and (presumably) final appearance as MI6 agent, James Bond in Cary Fukunaga’s No Time to Die. After leaving active service, Bond’s peaceful days are short-lived when an old friend asks for his help to search for a missing scientist. Craig will be joined by regulars Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris and Rory Kinnear. Oscar-winner Rami Malek will appear as the villainous Safin and Marvel’s Lashana Lynch joins as new agent Nomi.
Director: Cate Shortland
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz
Premiere Date: 30 April 2020
After waiting for almost a decade, the highly anticipated Black Widow standalone movie is finally here and it’ll be the first Marvel movie to kick off Phrase 4. Set before the events of Avengers: Infinity Wars, the standalone movie will delve into Natasha Raomanoff’s past as a Russian spy. Florence Pugh of Midsommar, Rachel Weisz and Stranger Thing’s David Harbour will be joining her in the movie. And rumour has it that Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark in the movie. Let’s hope we get to see Iron Man in action again because, frankly, we still miss him. A lot.
Fast & Furious 9
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron
Premiere Date: 21 May 2020
Eight movies and one spin-off later, it looks like the Fast & Furious series is not hitting the break anytime soon. Director Justin Lin returns for his fourth Fast & Furious film – he directed The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 – with cast regulars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris. The latest Fast & Furious instalment will be the most ambitious one yet with filming locations in the US, UK, Thailand and Georgia.
Wonder Woman 1984
Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal
Premiere Date: 4 June 2020
Let 2020 be knowns as the year of female superhero movies because the release of Wonder Woman 1984 will be the third female-led superhero film in the year. What a time to be alive. Set in 1984 during the cold war era, the sequel will see Wonder Woman going up against Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah — a role we’re excited to see her in. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor — as you remembered back in the first film, died heroically by sacrificing himself — will be reprising his role in the upcoming movie. How? Well, guess you’ll have to find out in June.
Director: Pete Docter
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs
Premiere Date: 19 June 2020
With a title like “Soul”, you know you’ll be in for an emotional ride. The latest Pixar movie follows a jazz-loving middle school teacher whose soul is separated from his body during an accident. He must find his way back to the living world with the help of a soul in training who has been stuck for many years. Jamie Foxx voices the musician and he will be joined by Tiny Fey, Questlove, Daveed Diggs and Phylicia Rashad.
In the Heights
Director: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace
Premiere Date: 25 June 2020
The Broadway musical that kicked off Lin-Manuel Miranda’s career – and won a total of four Tony Awards – is finally coming to the big screen. Set in the course of three days, we follow Usnavi, a bodega owner in New York falls in love and get reacquainted with his childhood friend, Nina who’s returned from college in this hip hop musical. For those who haven’t had the chance to catch the Broadway musical, be prepared to fall in love with this wholesome movie and listen to the soundtrack on replay.
Top Gun: Maverick
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris
Premiere Date: 25 June 2020
Can you believe Top Gun was released 34 years ago? Back then Tom Cruise was just a rising Hollywood star and now he’s the most successful movie actor in the 21st Century. And the best thing is, he doesn’t look a day older than 24! Set three decades after the first movie, Cruises’ Pete Mitchell is now mentoring a new generation of U.S. Navy fighter pilot and one of his trainees is the late Nick “Goose” Bradshaw’s son, Bradley Bradshaw – played by Miles Teller. Val Kilmer is also set to reprise his role as Iceman in the movie.
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd
Premiere Date: 9 July 2020
Don’t get confused with the female-led reboot of Ghostbusters starring Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCartney, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a sequel to the original Ghostbusters franchise. We don’t know much about the movie yet, but we do know that Paul Rudd, Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace will be appearing in the movie. The original Ghostbusters will appear in the film, including Sigourney Weaver.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh
Premiere Date: 16 July 2020
Like all Christopher Nolan’s movies, you won’t know what you’re getting into until the movie ends – except maybe The Dark Knight trilogy. And that’s the great thing about his films because despite knowing nothing, you know you’ll always leave the cinema feeling satisfied. Same goes with Tenet, Nolan has once again kept us all in the dark. IMDb describes the plot as “an action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel, and evolution.” And… that’s all the info we got so far. But we do know that the movie will feature BlackKklansman’s John David Washington and Robert Pattison, and Tenet will be the auteur’s most expensive movie to date as the movie was shot in seven different countries – Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jared Leto, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson
Premiere Date: 20 July 2020
After the success of Venom, Sony is now developing a shared universe of films inspired by Spider-Man’s characters. The second film in the Sony’s Marvel Universe (yes, that’s the name) will feature Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who turns himself into a living vampire after attempting to cure himself of a rare blood disease. Jared Leto will be playing the title character and let’s hope his portrayal in this Sony-Marvel film will be a better one.
Death on the Nile
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, Letitia Wright
Premiere Date: 9 October 2020
Kenneth Branagh returns as the crime-solving detective Hercule Poirot (he will also be directing the movie) in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. The plot follows Poirot who becomes entangled in a love triangle gone bad while on a vacation in Egypt. Like the 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, this movie will also feature big names like Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright, Rose Leslie, Annette Benning and Russell Brand.
Director: Chloé Zhao
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani
Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan, Kit Harington
Premiere Date: 5 November 2020
The second Marvel film of Phrase 4 will be taking place in the cosmic. For those who don’t know, The Eternals are a race of ancient superhumans, created millions of years ago by beings called the Celestials. They are powerful immortals who protect human beings from their evil counterparts the Deviants. The cast includes big names like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani and both Kings of the North Richard Madden and Kit Harrington.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Zendaya
Premiere Date: 17 December 2020
Frank Herbert’s acclaimed sci-fi novel gets another adaptation on the big screen, 30 years after David Lynch’s version — according to fans, Lynch’s version didn’t do justice to the novel. Which is why when the re-adaptation of Dune is announced, fans were sceptical about the movie. But at the very least, we have Denis Villeneuve taking charge of the movie, and looking at his past works – Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 – it’s safe to say that we shouldn’t worry too much.
West Side Story
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, Rita Moreno
Premiere Date: 17 December 2020
Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story is getting another silver screen adaptation, 59 years after its original movie. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the stage musical will be directed by Steven Spielberg — fun fact: West Side Story is Spielberg’s first musical film — with Ansel Elgort and newcomer singer-songwriter Rachel Zegler playing the star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria.