2021 is shaping up to be a great year for movies. After having practically every highly awaited project delayed, moviegoers and film fanatics alike can look forward to potentially visiting the theaters again later this year. If we ever get that pesky vaccine and can reconvene over $9 popcorn and sticky soda-covered floors, these nine flicks are sure to be the most anticipated.
Anyone who has read Dune knows that it’s a story that’s almost too big for the big screen. The 1965 novel written by Frank Herbert is a vast, sprawling sci-fi epic that has even served as inspiration for Star Wars. But if there’s anyone who is up for the task, it’s director Denis Villeneuve, who has proven his skill with past movies such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, both of which won Academy Awards at the time of their release. This time around he’s also supported by a star-studded cast including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Jason Momoa to tell the story of Prince Atreides and the planet of Arrakis. Political thrills, strange creatures and breathtaking imagery are all in store for when Dune drops Oct. 1, 2021 on HBO Max and in theaters.
After a string of pushbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that James Bond fans may finally get to enjoy the final entry of the Daniel Craig era. Featuring loads of action and a new 007, played by Lashana Lynch, this film is set to elevate the heights of the previous Bond films, all while tying up remaining mysteries from previous films. The action release also sets out to bid farewell to Craig’s iteration of Mr. Bond. The final entry in this era is set to release Oct. 8, 2021.
The bar is set high for Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland. After winning top honors at both the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, this film tells the story of a woman, played by Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, who leaves her hometown to live as a nomad, traveling the American West. The trailer details beautiful, raw cinematography, as well as an intimate look at friendships and the beauty of human connection. Nomadland is slated for release in select theaters and on Hulu Feb. 19, 2021.
Spiderman and Star Wars superstars Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star in this sci-fi thriller, which takes place on a distant planet where women have disappeared, and men are afflicted by a strange virus that causes their thoughts to be exposed to others. If you haven’t read the book, then you’re probably going into this movie with a lot of questions. Only one trailer has been released so far, and it reveals very little, so be ready to uncover those mysteries when the film releases March 5, 2021.
Tom and Jerry are arguably two of the most recognizable characters in the universe of cartoons, and for the first time, their antics are spilling into the real world. Unlike previous films, this movie combines classic animation with real-world characters, starring Chloë Grace Moretz alongside the duo. Live-action and animated films have a hit-and-miss history, but hopes are high for this one when it comes out Feb. 26, 2021.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
This one is for the sports fans. Twenty-five years after the OG, the Looney Tunes cast is teaming up with a basketball legend again. Times have changed a bit since the ’90s and there’s a new king of the NBA: LeBron James. Along with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, James gets trapped in a digital world and has to escape by leading the Looney Tunes to victory against a monstrously sized basketball team. The film features a flurry of cameos this time around, from the NBA’s Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard to the WNBA’s Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike. Space Jam: A New Legacy comes out July 16, 2021.
This indie drama follows a Korean family as they move to Arkansas to create a new life for themselves. The semi-autobiographical film features a primarily Korean cast, and both English and Korean will be featured on screen. The movie seems to be a grounded look at an immigrant experience in the country, highlighting the beauty and dark truths of the American Dream. Minari was a huge hit at Sundance Film Festival, and viewers can watch it themselves Feb. 12, 2021.
The original Top Gun was a cult classic back in 1986. Thirty-five years later, Tom Cruise’s Maverick is back in the cockpit, along with Miles Teller and original cast member Val Kilmer. The new film has some interesting updates, like being shot on IMAX cameras mounted on real F-18’s piloted by Navy pilots. The film promises some high flying, immersive aerial stunts and dogfighting when it releases July 2nd, 2021.
One of the most anticipated movies of Marvel’s Phase 4 lineup is Eternals, a film that looks to set up the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-Endgame. Eternals introduces almost a dozen new characters to Marvel’s world and seems like a refreshingly original Marvel film after a long slate of sequels and team-up movies. The film also features an impressively diverse cast, including one of Marvel Studio’s first depiction of an LGBTQ superhero. Marvel’s Eternals comes out on Nov. 5, 2021.
Broadway fans can look forward to In the Heights this year, a musical that details the story of New York’s vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood. Based on the original play written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights features beautiful choreography, sunny visuals of New York and catchy songs that are sure to be replayed for ages afterward. This musical from the Hamilton star hits theaters June 18, 2021.