50 films to look forward to in 2020 with trailers
There’s plenty to look forward to this year at the cinema. Expect to see sequels to some classic movies, the return of James Bond and a few of award contenders. Our film critic Mark Liversidge takes a look.
Welcome to a brave new world. It’s 2020, and Back To The Future Part II, Akira and Blade Runner are now all films set in the past. But what does this shiny, sci-fi future hold for us?
Flying cars and androids might not be here yet, but the new year has enough cinematic treats to keep us all excited.
Taika Waititi drew plaudits from Marvel fans for his handling of Thor: Ragnarok, and the Kiwi director now plays Hitler as the imaginary friend of a lonely German boy in satire Jojo Rabbit.
Guy Ritchie is also back, and returns to his gangster roots with The Gentlemen and a cast including Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey.
Trying to find some breathing space in January is the trilogy-completer Bad Boys For Life, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence both returning.
There are a number of big awards contenders as well. 1917 has just picked up Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director for Sam Mendes and Best Original Score - Motion Picture, at the Golden Globes.
It follows two young soldiers through the trenches of World War I in a single tracking shot.
Meanwhile, Austin Powers director Jay Roach gets serious with Bombshell, the story of Fox News head Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) and the women determined to expose him for sexual harassment (Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie).
Mr Rogers may be a lesser known figure here than in the US, but Tom Hanks playing the children’s entertainer in A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood should help attract audiences.
More likely for BATFA success than American glory is Armando Iannucci (The Thick Of It) as his light, humorous Dickens adaptation, The Personal History Of David Copperfield, reaches screens with a cast including Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie.
And two films from recent Cambridge Film Festivals reach a more general audience: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which opened the 2018 festival, finally reaches UK cinemas as Terry Gilliam directs Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, and The Lighthouse wowed the festival audience (and me) in 2019, Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson playing lighthouse keepers in Robert Eggers’ stunning follow up to The Witch.
February and March
With the BAFTAs and Oscars very early this year (the first two Sundays in February respectively), there’s not as many big award contenders left to roll out. But getting me very excited is Parasite, the latest from Bong Joon Ho (Okja, Snowpiercer) which is a strong favourite for the international film awards.
Also very likely to be in my top five by year end is Celine Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, an exquisite tale of two women bonding as one has to paint the other.
There is no longer any time of year when cinemas rest from trying to part you with your cash with lavish, CGI-enhanced spectacles, and DC (home of Batman and Superman) will attempt to keep their good run going with the Suicide Squad spin-off featuring Margot Robbie, the wonderfully titled Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn.
Robert Downey Jr attempts to move on from The Avengers with Dolittle and a CG revamp has got Sonic The Hedgehog more eager to see the finished product after the first trailer caused jaws to drop for the wrong reasons.
Other delights to look forward to include Pixar’s latest Onward, with elves in a suburban setting.
There are also hip-hop trolls on offer in Trolls: World Tour.
An impressive cast is headed by Anya Taylor-Joy in Austen adaptation Emma.
Emily Blunt is on tiptoes again in A Quiet Place: Part II.
And Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Carol) tackles environmental pollution in Dark Waters.
Yet another Disney live-action remake arrives with Mulan and I get excited as Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters) goes French with Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche in The Truth.
April to June
Daniel Craig aims to go out on a high in 25th Bond film No Time To Die.
Rami Malek joins Christoph Waltz on villain duties.
Another great Cambridge Film Festival opener, this time from last year, Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, sees a teenage girl caring for her brother.
For those also looking for drama, Joe Wright (Atonement, Darkest Hour) has a thriller about an agoraphobic woman witnessing violence in The Woman In The Window.
As the summer season hots up, Marvel returns from an almost-year long break with a solo movie for Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow.
And DC’s top female hero returns with Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984.
We discover the origins of a famous cartoon dog in Scoob! and Fast and Furious 9 rolls into view without Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham after their spin-off last year.
For those hoping for something original to entertain during the late spring, Kenneth Branagh brings the Artemis Fowl series to the screen, Disney being behind this version of the tales of Eoin Colfer’s young criminal mastermind.
Disney also has another Pixar original with the jazz-themed Soul, and if musicals are your thing then Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s earlier musical In The Heights gets the big screen treatment.
July To December
There is only one film most of my film friends are getting excited about for next year: Tom Cruise feeling the need for speed once again in Top Gun: Maverick.
And there’s more Eighties nostalgia in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
I’m actually most anticipating Christopher Nolan’s new, original blockbuster Tenet which appears to feature some time travel shenanigans.
Ryan Reynolds rebels as a video game character alongside Jodie Comer in Free Guy.
Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson set sail together on a Jungle Cruise. And Sony’s Morbius continues their Spider-Man spin-off universe.
Mark Wahlberg will be getting visions from past lives in Infinite, it’s finally time for Bill & Ted to Face The Music and The Conjuring 3 sees the horror franchise show no signs of stopping.
There’s a Kingsman prequel with Ralph Fiennes in The King's Man, Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Baby Driver) turns his hand to horror in Last Night In Soho and we discover what happened in Tony Soprano’s early days in The Many Saints Of Newark.
Rounding out the year, there’s Branagh as Poirot again in Death On The Nile, Angelina Jolie joining Marvel for Eternals, another attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s seminal Dune, Godzilla vs Kong is a thing, King Richard sees Will Smith as the father of Venus and Serena Williams, Stephen Spielberg gives us his West Side Story and Eddie Murphy is Coming 2 America again.
A fascinating year of original films and franchise entries ahead; I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.