2019 has come and gone, but instead of mourning the year that was, let's look to the future that awaits! 2020 is an entirely new year filled with promise and potential... and of course, a full slate of movies queued up for excited filmgoers.
The most anticipated movies coming out in 2020 are a surprising mix of big-budget tentpoles set up years in advance, indies finally getting larger releases, and a number of last-minute entries racing towards completion even as you read this.
Horror seems to finally be breaking free of the month of October, as there's plenty of chills available throughout the year. Janelle Monae stars in creepy thriller
Antebellum in sunny April ( the cruelest month seems a perfect contender for creepiness). Looking for snowbound cult thrills? The Lodge has you covered for February, while a remake of cult classic Candyman comes out in June. Speaking of more lighthearted remakes, a new, fizzier version of oft-remade Emma awaits, as does Eddie Murphy's reboot of his own beloved comedy Coming To America, bringing Prince Akeem back to Queens with Coming 2 America in December.
Romance also smolders throughout the year, with
Valentine's Day, and K-Stew and Mackenzie Davis starring in rom-com Portrait of a Lady on Fire finally getting wider release Happiest Season come November.
Heavy hitting directors take interesting turns towards the year's end, with
Steven Spielberg set to remake and West Side Story Alien director Ridley Scott going for period piece The Last Duel starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to close out the year in December. But however you choose to spend the start of 2020, the year is filled with films to watch out for. 1 'The Grudge' (Jan. 3)
If this past year was rough, starting 2020 with a gorier remake of Japan's biggest horror franchise might feel like the perfect way to let it all go.
2 'Underwater' (Jan. 10)
Maybe this is the decade we pivot back to Deep Ocean instead of Deep Space as location for human fears? Kristen Stewart stars in this tale of a deepwater rig gone wrong.
3 'Three Christs' (Jan. 10)
Made in 2017 but only released now, Walton Goggins, Peter Dinklage, and Bradley Whitford star in this based-on-a-true story in which a doctor (Richard Gere) decides the best way to cure three patients who believe they're Jesus is to put them all in a room to talk it out.
4 'Les Miserables' (Jan. 10) 5 'Bad Boys For Life' (Jan. 17)
Back for one supposedly last gig, the Bad Boys (Will Smith, Martin Lawrence) ride again.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film is receiving an early digital home release on March 31. 7 'Color Out Of Space' (Jan. 24) 8 'The Rhythm Section' (Jan. 31)
Blake Lively and Jude Law star in this film adaptation of Mark Burnell's book about a woman-turned-vengeful assassin tracking down those behind the plane bomb that killed her family.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film is receiving an early digital home release on April 14. 9 'The Assistant' (Jan. 31)
A look at Weinstein-level scandal from the POV of a young woman (Julia Garner) slowly realizing that the system she's in facilitates and protects abusers.
10 'Birds Of Prey' (Feb. 7)
This is DC's "ladies are doing it for themselves" feature film, with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn finally getting a starring vehicle.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film received an early digital home release on March 24. 11 'Come To Daddy' (Feb. 7)
It seems like every year Elijah Wood or his production company SpectreVision puts out one truly bananas, genre-defying horror film (
I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore, Mandy, etc). This time it's one about a son (Wood) reuniting with his estranged (emphasis on strange) dad at his isolated cabin. 12 'The Lodge' (Feb. 7)
This spooky thriller meshes cults with icy entrapment (a la
The Shining) and throws in family drama to boot, as a new stepmother winters alone with her recalcitrant kids. 13 'Downhill' (Feb. 14)
A direct remake of bleak comedy
Force Majeure, but with Will Ferrel as the cowardly father who abandons his family (including wife Julia Louis-Dreyfus) during an avalanche scare. 14 'Portrait Of A Lady On Fire' (Feb. 14)
Another film that's finally getting wider release, this quietly intense romance is set in the 18th century, as a young artist attempting to secretly paint the portrait of an unwilling bride and subject discovers depths in them both she didn't realize.
15 'The Photograph' (Feb. 14)
Perfect for Valentine's Day viewing,
The Photograph offers four love stories for the price of one. 16 'After Midnight' (Feb. 14)
A horror movie where the monster takes a backseat to breakups and regret, as a man left by his disappointed long-term girlfriend hunts a creature most of the town thinks he's imagining.
17 'Emma' (Feb. 21)
This straightforward, silly take on the matchmaking classic is sure to be a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy month.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film received an early digital home release on March 20. 18 'The Whistlers' (Feb. 28)
A spy thriller that hinges on whistling? Learning the archaic language of a remote island is key for a Romanian police officer to free a businessman who knows the location of hidden mob money.
19 'The Invisible Man' (Feb. 28)
The original 30s tale was
a camp take on philosophy's Ring of Gyges, so it's not a stretch the director of Upgrade modernized it by putting power in the hands of an egomaniacal tech bro. The focus is also shifted to the victim, his tormented girlfriend (Elizabeth Moss) who already suffered one round of disbelief and doubt. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film received an early digital home release on March 20. 21 'Bloodshot' (Mar. 13)
In the same vein as other "can't trust Big Tech" bio-sci fi (
Ex Machina, Upgrade, etc.), this Vin Diesel vehicle throws in veteran trauma and a touch of Memento for good measure. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film received an early digital home release on March 24. 22 'Saint Maud' (Apr. 10)
Devout hospice nurse Maud battles her own demons as she fights for the souls of her dying patients. Mostly metaphorically, but since it's an A24 horror film, also literally.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed one week. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on April 3. 23 'Bad Trip' (Apr. 17)
Tiffany Haddish, Eric Andre, Lil Rel Howery, and others star in this insanely high-budget version of
Jackass where pranks are played on unsuspecting randos. 24 'Promising Young Woman' (Apr. 17) Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell makes her directorial debut with this revenge thriller about Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a young woman knocked off trajectory by a traumatic event who's been getting back at "nice guys" ever since. 25 'Candyman' (Jun. 19)
Jordan Peele's Monkypaw Productions is behind this remake of the classic 1992 urban horror film. The original addressed inequality and racism partly by setting the film in Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing project. This "spiritual sequel" takes place in the now-gentrified neighborhood, addressing toxic fan culture and, hopefully, the effects of gentrification.
26 'Bob's Burgers: The Movie' (Jul. 17) 27 'Wonder Woman 1984' (Aug. 14)
Same as the last one, but with fanny packs.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release date has been delayed to August. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on June 5. 28 'Charm City Kings' (Aug. 14)
A fictionalized take on people and events from 2013 documentary
12 O'clock Boys, this film was shot in Baltimore and follows a young man desperate to join The Midnight Clique, the coolest gang of dirtbike riders on the summer streets. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been delayed to August. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on Apr. 10. 29 'Bill And Ted Face The Music' (Aug. 21)
The most excellent dudes (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) are time travelling once again to save humanity. This time Death is back, and their daughters (including
Ready or Not's Samara Weaving) are along for the ride. 30 'Last Night In Soho' (Sep. 25)
Those expecting more gory goofiness from
Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright might be in for a surprise with his latest film, which he said was inspired by trippy psychological horror films like Don't Look Now and Repulsion. 31 'Respect' (Oct. 9)
Jennifer Hudson plays the Queen Aretha — that's really all you need to know.
32 'The Witches' (Oct. 9) ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
Anne Hathaway is set to star as the Head Witch (previously played by Angelica Huston) in the Robert Zemeckis remake of the Road Dahl story.
33 'The Eternals' (Nov. 6) Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Mostly rumor at this point and pushed back several times in the Marvel schedule, this corner of the Marvel Extended Universe focuses on a race known as The Eternals and boasts an all-star cast including Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, and Kit Harington.
34 'Godzilla Vs. Kong' (Nov. 20)
This is here solely as nadir of the awful "extended universe" mindset. Parent company Toho shunted possible sequels to the amazing
Shin Godzilla in favor of continuing Legendary's MonsterVerse, tying Godzilla and King Kong together over 4 movies. Well here they are, finally fighting. 35 'No Time To Die' (Nov. 25)
Daniel Craig's fifth and final outing as James Bond sees the secret agent facing off against a deadly new villain played by Oscar-winner Rami Malek.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release date was delayed to Thanksgiving. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on April 10. 36 'Happiest Season' (Nov. 25) Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images Jun Sato/WireImage/Getty Images
Actress Clea Duvall (
Veep, The Faculty, Carnivàle) writes and directs this story of a woman planning to propose to her girlfriend over the holidays, only to discover she hasn't come out to her conservative parents yet. Mackenzie Davis and Kristen Stewart star in the rom-com, though it's unclear who plays who yet. 37 'Coming 2 America' (Dec. 18)
In the sequel to the 1988 film, Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) returns to America after learning he has a son in Queens (Jermaine Fowler).
38 'Dune' (Dec. 18) David M. Benett/WireImage/Getty Images
Considering how director Denis Villeneuve has a record of making sci-fi films that are obsessed with the definition of human as reproductive (the mom time travel of
Arrival, replicant reproduction the main focus of Bladerunner 2049), I'm guessing he'll have a field day with Bene Gesserit abilities. Casting is still in the works, but Timothée Chalamet stars as possible messiah Paul Atredes, and Stellan Skarsgard is the villainous Baron Harkonnen. 39 'West Side Story' (Dec. 18)
This is a big one for theater kids. Steven Spielberg remakes the classic dancing gang war film for a new generation.
40 'The Last Duel' (Dec. 25) Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Ridley Scott directs a film written and starring
Good Will Hunting tag team Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, with Adam Driver thrown in for good measure. The two play Norman knight Jean de Carrouges, accused of raping the wife of squire Jacques Le Gris, who demands justice. It ultimately comes down to a duel where God will determine the outcome. 41 'The Truth' (TBD) Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-Eda's first film set outside his native Japan goes for French gold with Cathrine Deneuve as a beloved and worshipped actress (quite the stretch), and Juliette Binoche as her screenwriter daughter whose latest work hits a little too close to home. Ethan Hawke plays her husband. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed indefinitely. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on March 20. 43 'The Lovebirds' (TBD) Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Little is known about this upcoming film, about a couple on the brink of breakup that gets entangled in a murder mystery, but long as it's directed by Michael Showalter (
Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, The Baxter), I'm in. Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani star. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been pulled from cinemas. It was originally scheduled to bow in theaters on April 3, but will now debut exclusively on Netflix instead. The new release date has not been announced. 44 'The New Mutants' (TBD)
An interesting, horror-based take on the X-Men universe, as a crop of the title new mutants fight for survival in a sanitorium that's more hurt than help.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed indefinitely. It was scheduled to open in theaters on April 3. This is just the latest delay for the troubled Marvel film, which was originally scheduled to hit theaters way back in April 2018. 45 'Antebellum' (TBD)
Janelle Monae stars in this creepy-looking tale of kidnapping and time slips. Maybe with the modern focus on horrors of plantation life, people will
stop thinking they're quaint places to have weddings? Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed indefinitely. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on April 24. 46 'Black Widow' (TBD)
The first feature focusing on the sole lady Avenger is an important milestone.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed indefinitely. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on May 1. 47 'The Woman In The Window' (TBD)
Amy Adams plays an agoraphobic doctor who pulls a
Rear Window when she spots the Russells (Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh), the seemingly perfect family across the street, pulling some shady shenanigans. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed indefinitely. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on May 15. 48 'In The Heights' (TBD)
Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote In the Heights, an award-winning play about NYC's Washington Heights neighborhood. Now it's hitting the big screen, directed by Jon M. Chu ( Crazy Rich Asians). Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release has been postponed indefinitely. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on June 26. 49 'Fast & Furious 9' (2021)
Not much is known yet about this direct sequel to 2017's
Fate of the Furious, but director of the first four films James Wan is back, as are Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron . New faces include Cardi B and John Cena. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this film's release date has been pushed back almost an entire year. It was originally scheduled to open in theaters on May 22, 2020, but will now debut on April 2, 2021. So, uh, look for it next year on Bustle's list of the most anticipated movies of 2021. This article was originally published on Jan. 6, 2020. It was updated on March 24, 2020 to reflect changes in the schedule caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
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This article was originally published on
Jan. 6, 2020