By now, filmgoers in the UAE and beyond should have already been raving about Rami Malek’s portrayal of villain Safin and Daniel Craig’s last portrayal as James Bond in No Time to Die, and seen Scarlett Johansson kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Four in Black Widow.
But, as with most industries around the world, COVID-19 hit filmmakers, with cinemas around the world closing to keep people safe and further prevent the spread of the virus.
Now, with precautionary safety measures in place and an ease of restrictions, cinemas are making a comeback, and the film industry is keen on delivering some of its biggest blockbusters of 2020.
Reactions to some of our most anticipated movies of the year are just a tad delayed, that’s all. Of course, release dates are liable to change, but for now, here are the top movies to look out for in 2020.
Disney has recently been churning out live-action remakes, from Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast to Aladdin and The Lion King, and all have proved to be hugely popular with both little ones and their parents. Now it's the turn of the Chinese warrior, Mulan. Directed by Niki Caro of Whale Rider and North Country fame, the real-life version of the cartoon original, features Chinese star Liu Yifei as the titular character. Yifei is joined by a host of other Chinese acting legends like Donnie Yen, Gong Li, and Jet Li.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Well, not SpongeBob SquarePants for the time being, as he and best mate Patrick will be off on a rescue mission to save Gary the Snail, as he’s been ‘snailnapped’. Sponge on the Run will be the first SpongeBob movie to be fully animated in CGI, but more importantly, the movie will show us the origin of SpongeBob and Gary's meeting for the first time as children. Throw in a little of Squidward complaining and it’s another sponge-filled epic we can’t wait for.
Wonder Woman 1984
Arguably the breakout superhero from the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman finally returns, and this time she’s in the ’80s. In this flick she’s deflecting bullets with Diana’s golden bracelets and swinging on lightning bolts with the Lasso of Truth in style. Set before all the shenanigans in Justice League, this sequel places her during the Cold War, going up against business man Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). How it all plays out – including the return of Chris Pine as formerly lost lover Steve Trevor – is kept in the dark, which means the only way to find out how Wonder Woman handles the ’80s is by heading to theatres.
Bill & Ted Face the Music
In this decades-belated sequel, we catch up with the iconic SoCal airhead slackers in middle age, older now, though not necessarily wiser. Once again, Wyld Stallyns are called upon to save the world with guitar pyrotechnics, and their daughters are even coming along for the ride. Along with William Sadler reprising his role as the Grim Reaper, without a shadow of a doubt this will be a righteous adventure, dude.
Some say this is actually director Christopher Nolan’s first movie, and that he got the idea to make it ‘tomorrow’. If that sounds ludicrously confusing, it should, as Tenet is all about time-travelling. If we know anything about Nolan’s career (we’re looking at you Inception), then we already know this will be an action-packed puzzle to decipher, and we can’t wait. Nolan directs John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson in a time-travel spy epic that sees Washington take centre stage as the hero trying to stop a third world war. We’re glad this one is kicking off the return of cinemas flicks.
A Quiet Place Part II
Who knew barely any talking in a movie was what audiences wanted all along? The breakout horror flick of 2018 gets its surprise sequel, and this time sees the Abbott family, with newborn in hand (or sealed-in-chest, anyway), take on the outside world after the gruesome events of the first movie. They come to realise that it isn’t just monsters that are the danger, but people. Spooky stuff.
The King’s Man
The Kingsman secret service had to start somewhere, and we’re finally seeing how the agency of suave secret agents came to be. What we know is history's worst tyrants and criminal masterminds are planning a war that will wipe out millions, and it’s up to one man and a group action-savvy people to put a stop to them. We’ll even see the first invention of the parachute be created and (maybe) be put to good use. Knowing it’s directed by Matthew Vaughn means we can expect bonkers fight scenes with a sprinkle of comedy.
The fate of our favourite Russian agent and Avenger may have been decided in Endgame, but Natasha Romanova still has a story to tell, and what a story it looks to be. Black Widow takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and finds Natasha confront her past as a spy in the form of Taskmaster, who has now taken over ‘The Red Room’ where Natasha and her colleagues trained. Well, more like family, as we’ll see Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova (a sister figure), Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff (a mother figure) and David Harbour as the Red Guardian (a father figure equivalent to Captain America). This is the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Four, so expect big consequences.
No Time to Die
Not only is it the 25th feature film of 007, it’s Daniel Craig’s last hoorah as the secret agent. Or, not so secret agent anymore. Bond is now retired, but we all know he’s never truly out of action, not when a villain such as Rami Malek’s Safin is on the loose with a creepy cracked mask. In the meantime, we’ll listen to Billie Eilish’s theme song for James Bond’s 25th feature film on repeat to get us hyped.
Godzilla vs. Kong
The blockbuster we never thought we’d see, yet here it is: a gargantuan lizard with atomic fire spewing from its mouth takes on, well, a very big gorilla. It’s a colossal-sized monster movie between two iconic creatures in the film industry, and we can expect all the super-charged fights that leave cities crumbling in their wake like in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island. Take it with a pinch of salt, we say, as this will be more of a popcorn-muncher rather than thought-provoking classic. Just how we like it.
Science fiction fans shouldn’t be lacking now we’ve reached the end of The Skywalker Saga but in December 2020, Denis Villeneuve will unleash the first part of his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson. Not much is known about the movie, but we do know that many science fiction books and movies took plenty of notes from this 1965 novel. It’s a stunning epic, and seeing it on the big screen with Villeneuve at the helm (director of the spectacular Blade Runner 2049) makes Dune one of the most highly anticipated movies this year. Beware, there are worms.
Top Gun: Maverick
Did anyone ask for this sequel that’s well over 30 years overdue? No. Are we ridiculously overexcited about it? Of course. We return to Tom Cruise’s Maverick 30 years after the events of the first movie, as he now trains new recruits. It’s here he finds his late best friend’s son Bradley Bradshaw (played by Miles Teller), and must confront the ghosts of his past and his deepest fears. The storyline sounds ok, but we’re sure that the fighter jets are the real stars of the show. The Navy may have barred Cruise from flying an actual F-18 combat jet, but we’re sure Cruise is involved in doing his own stunts. We can’t wait.