2020 was, amongst plenty of other things, a cinematic graveyard. Of course we had streaming services to save the day and some what soften the blow of endless cancellations and releasing schedule changes, but what should’ve been a fantastic year for film was decent at best (depending on how you look at it). What was ultimately 2020’s loss though is now 2021’s gain.
Below are five of my most anticipated films, that are currently scheduled for a 2021 release. As we’ve learned from last year, there’s still a huge dark cloud hovering over the filming industry at the moment, but here’s hoping we have something to look forward to this year.
As always this is my personal list, and may look very different to what you’re excited for. There were a few close calls, but that’s why whittling the list down to five makes it much tougher. So without further ado, here are the five movies that current release dates are keeping me sane.
Last Night in Soho:
From the same great mind that gave us the ‘Cornetto trilogy’ (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) and Baby Driver, British director Edgar Wright talks about taking us down an entirely new path with Last Night in Soho.
Whilst his latest project is still shrouded in mystery, what we do know is that Wright’s latest picture is pitted as a psychological horror with a time travel element. I mean, that little snippet of information isn’t a great deal to go on, and seems far from the usual talents of Wright’s witticism, but you can sign me up.
Although we’re not entirely sure as to where the casting choices fit into the story, the acting talent on board is enough to keep you interested. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit, The Witch), Matt Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who) and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, The King) are all linked to play roles alongside a final performance by Diane Rigg (Game of Thrones, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), who we sadly lost last year.
It seems unlikely that Last Night in Soho will see its April 23rd UK release date, especially when we haven’t even seen a trailer yet, but here’s hoping we can at least have its release before the time runs out on 2021.
No Time to Die:
It’s fast approaching on a year since the latest Bond feature was supposed to see its release. By the time we’re lifted out of our latest lockdown, that year mark would’ve been hit.
This will be Daniel Craig’s final showdown as the suave British spy, and we can only hope he’ll go down in a blaze of glory.
Spectre had a seemingly impossible job of following up from arguably one of the best instalments into the long running franchise, Skyfall. Whilst it failed to improve upon it, it’s by no means a weak entry. It did however, leave us begging for more.
No Time to Die will no doubt follow the story of Craig’s Bond, and like previous outings, we can expect an airtight narrative that will offer a handful of shocks and surprises.
With Sam Mendes (Skyfall, Spectre, 1917) no longer in the directors chair, a lot rests on the shoulders of first time Bond director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, Jane Eyre). If the intensity that we’ve seen in the trailer sticks throughout the movie, then it would appear that we’re left in good hands.
The Matrix 4:
Part scepticism part anticipation. You’re always playing a game of risk versus reward when you bring a franchise such as this back from the dead. The Matrix franchise failed to hit the highs of its game changing opener, with the divisive reception of its sequels.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are set to return with their roles of Neo and Trinity respectively. Added to the list of cast members are Priyanka Chopra (We Can Be Heroes, Baywatch), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Gone Girl) and Johnathon Groff (Mindhunter, Hamilton), amongst an impressive list. Whilst there seems to be little concrete with this instalment thus far, the cast ensemble has plenty for us to get excited about.
To go with the lack of information we currently have on the casting and character decisions, is that of its story. Nothing definite has been released as of yet, so there’s still a huge amount of mystery surrounding this return.
One of the Wachowski twins is back to direct this long awaited instalment, and I think it’s safe to say there’s a lot riding on its success.
Set for a December release, The Matrix 4 could be the Christmas gift we all need. It’s been over twenty years since the last ‘great’ instalment, so here’s praying it lives up to the mammoth hype it currently sits on.
I was hopeful (and apparently foolish) that Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi spectacular Dune, would make its December release last year, but alas like it had many times, COVID had yet again cancelled any hope of that happening.
To make matters worse they moved the release date a whole year behind. So looks like we’ll have to clutch onto all expectation and hope for some time yet.
Dune undoubtably has the biggest cast ensemble this year. Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, The King), Zendaya (MCU’s Spider-Man, The Greatest Showman), Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2, Sicario), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout, Doctor Sleep), Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Aquaman), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)… okay, you get the point!
With a director who’s only getting stronger, in Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival), on paper you really have something special. Denis has been at the top of his game ever since his English speaking debut Prisoners (2013), and Dune looks to once again up the stakes.
We’ve already had the trailer, and we’ve already had it postponed once. Here’s hoping the eleven month wait is stretched no longer.
Mission Impossible 7:
Most franchises start wearing thin by the time they hit their third instalment. They’ve said everything they can, attempted things they can’t possibly top and the storylines are becoming lazy. Mission Impossible is not one of those franchises.
It says a lot when arguably your strongest entry is six films in. Fallout kept this success steam train running, and from some of the clips that have been leaked online, it seems Tom Cruise is still on full throttle.
The appeal of these films is the undying intensity and the continuously organic storytelling that seem to come out of each, and much like the lead actor running the show, this series is ageing like a fine wine.
Tom Cruise just refuses to put this series to bed, but if he’s managing to find some fuel left in this tank, then I’m all for it.
Set for a November release date that we hope will make in time. There’s been plenty of snaps and clips to suggest filming has continued as best as it can, but we still have no title or trailer as of yet, so remaining sceptical is probably best.
So there you have it, five films that continue to be eagerly awaited. Which films did I miss out? What films are you excited to see this year? You can let me know by dropping a comment below.