- Universal, Warner Bros., MGM, WB
- Insider went through the hundreds of movies coming to theaters in 2020.
- Disney has another big lineup with three animated movies and there are more than five big superhero movies coming to theaters.
- From a live-action “Mulan” and ninth “Fast and the Furious” movie to a Ben Affleck and Matt Damon reunion at the year’s end, here’s what we can’t wait to see this year.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
1. “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” will spotlight the DCEU’s best onscreen character in years.
- Claudette Barius/Warner Bros
Release date: February 7, 2020
What it’s about: Margot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn after 2016’s DCEU disaster “Suicide Squad” – but don’t expect to see the rest of the posse here. “Birds of Prey” follows the transformation of the beloved Batman antihero after severing ties with the Joker. It will also feature characters like Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and the Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who typically anchor the Birds of Prey girl squad in the comics.
Why to see it: Robbie’s delightfully unhinged take on Harley Quinn was widely considered the best thing about “Suicide Squad,” an otherwise objectively bad movie – but critics and fans were disappointed with how the film insisted on reducing and fetishizing the character.
“Give her a solo film and a girlfriend. Explore her contradictions. Pass her some gasoline, a match and let the lady watch the world burn her way,” Rolling Stone’s David Fear wrote.
Instead, Robbie pitched “an R-rated girl gang film” and signed on as co-producer. It was also written and directed by women, Christina Hodson and Cathy Yan. It’s not exactly a standalone, but hopefully Robbie is given the space to flex her “bubblegum savagery” – and the all-female team is able to right the wrongs of its predecessor. – Callie Ahlgrim
2. “The Photograph” is a promising romantic story heading to theaters in time for Valentine’s Day.
- Universal Pictures
Release date: February 14, 2020
What it’s about: When a famous photographer dies, her estranged daughter Mae is left with a safety deposit box containing revelatory secrets about her mother’s early life. Mae sparks an unexpected romance with a journalist seeking to write about her mother, leading to a sweeping love story about forgiveness and finding the courage to seek the truth, no matter where it may lead you.”
Why to see it: This romantic movie is premiering on Valentine’s Day, and based on the trailer it looks like a truly magical love story.
Featuring some powerhouse actors, including Issa Rae (cocreator and star of “Insecure”) and Lakeith Stanfield (“Atlanta,” “Knives Out”), we’re expecting dynamite onscreen chemistry. Plus, it’s one of the only major studio movies coming out next year that was written and directed by a woman, in this case rising star Stella Meghie. – Kim Renfro
3. Pixar’s “Onward” has a delightfully weird premise and a winning cast.
Release date: March 6, 2020
What it’s about: Two teenage elf brothers live in a magical world that has, over time, lost its sense of magic. But when the younger brother turns 16, their mom reveals an unexpected pre-arranged gift from their dead father: a wizard staff that will allow them to bring him back for one day. Unfortunately, having never used magic before, something goes wrong and they only manage to bring back his bottom half. An adventure to fix the mistake within 24 hours ensues.
Why to see it: Look, this may seem like the wackiest, trippiest premise for a feel-good animated movie – but it’s Pixar, Chris Pratt, and Tom Holland. Literally what could go wrong? If this film studio has managed to get you all weepy about fish, robots, toys, monsters, rats, dinosaurs, cars, and a handmade dumpling, there’s no doubt they can somehow get you emotionally invested in a pair of pants. – Callie Ahlgrim
4. “A Quiet Place: Part II” is a sequel to the 2018 film directed by John Krasinski.
Release date: March 20, 2020
What it’s about: A sequel to the 2018 horror film “A Quiet Place,” the new movie will follow the remaining members of the Abbott family as they fight to survive amid hostile aliens that hunt by sound.
Why to see it: The original film was widely considered a modern horror masterpiece, and writer/director/star John Krasinski was praised in particular. Even though (spoiler) Krasinski’s character is dead, it’ll be worth following the remaining members of the family as they try to survive – and likely encounter plenty of scary aliens along the way. – Libby Torres
5. The live-action “Mulan” is making some changes from the original animated feature that could make it Disney’s best remake.
Release date: March 27, 2020
What it’s about: An adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated movie, “Mulan” follows a young woman who disguises herself as a man, takes her father’s place in war, and saves China. The cast includes Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Yoson An, Jet Li, and Jason Scott Lee.
Why to see it: While some may be bummed the live-action adaptation doesn’t appear to have Mulan’s dragon friend Mushu or any of Disney’s original songs, we’re excited “Mulan” looks like it will be a grounded drama that focuses on war and sacrifice. Original Mushu animator Tom Bancroft told Inisder he hopes to see more of the relationship between Mulan and her father in the new adaptation if Mushu isn’t present in the movie. – Kirsten Acuna
6. “No Time to Die” is supposed to be Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond.
- Nicola Dove/MGM
Release date: April 8, 2020
What it’s about: The 25th Bond film shows Bond attempting to take a break in Jamaica. Naturally, he gets roped back into working when he’s asked to help rescue a kidnapped scientist. This leads to Bond facing off against villain Safin (Rami Malek), who has “dangerous new technology.”
Why to see it: Daniel Craig says his fifth Bond film is his last outing as 007. We’re most excited to to see what “little spices” Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) added to the script after being brought onto the film.
You can watch the trailer for the film here.
7. “Black Widow” is Scarlett Johansson’s first standalone Marvel movie.
- Marvel Studios
Release date: May 1, 2020
What it’s about: Even though Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff story came to a conclusion in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” fans can see the Marvel star back in action as the beloved character in her first (and long overdue) standalone prequel movie.
Why to see it: Johansson has already said that “Black Widow” will address themes like “self-forgiveness” and “family.” Based on the first trailer, which was released in December 2019, the movie will include intense action sequences and give devoted fans a look at Natasha’s life in Budapest before she joined the Avengers.
You can watch the trailer for the movie here.
8. “The Fast and the Furious 9” will bring back Charlize Theron and should feature Helen Mirren racing a car.
- Universal Pictures
Release date: May 20, 2020
What it’s about: We don’t know much about the plot of the ninth installment yet, but we do know John Cena, Michael Rooker, and Cardi B. are among those joining the “Fast” fam in next year’s sequel. As well, Charlize Theron is back as the villain Cipher along with Helen Mirren, who reprises her role as the mother to Deckard, Owen, and Hattie Shaw.
Why to see it: Fast cars, explosions, and Vin Diesel likely saving the world from some heinous plot once again? Sign us up!
Diesel and the “Fast” fam have been sharing weekly updates from movie’s set on Instagram and it looks like we’re finally going to see Mirren get behind the wheel of a car in London, something the actress has been wanting to do since joining the franchise. We’re ready! The crew recently finished filming the ninth film in the saga in the city where the franchise started, Los Angeles. We’re expecting this to be one of the year’s biggest films. – Kirsten Acuna
9. Gal Gadot returns as beloved DC superhero Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”
- Warner Bros.
Release date: June 5, 2020
What it’s about: Following the success of 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” which earned a critics score of 93% and an audience rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot will team up again for a sequel set in the ’80s.
Why to see it: This time, fans can expect to see Gadot rocking a brand new Wonder Woman suit, and the introduction of two characters from the comics – villain Cheetah/Barbara Minerva (played by Kristen Wiig) and foe Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).
10. Ryan Reynolds got fans at New York Comic Con excited for his video game movie called “Free Guy.”
- Kirsten Acuna/Insider, Fox
Release date: July 3, 2020
What it’s about: A bank teller named Guy (played by Ryan Reynolds) gets robbed multiple times daily. When he finally realizes that’s absurd, Guy learns that he’s a non-playable character in a video game.
Why to see it: The extra star power of Reynolds with Emmy winner Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), Joe Keery (“Stranger Things”), and “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi make the movie’s original concept doubly intriguing. The first footage we saw for the movie made quite a stir at New York Comic Con in October. – Kirsten Acuna
11. Christopher Nolan’s next big event movie, “Tenet,” drops next summer.
Release date: July 17, 2020
What it’s about: Director Christopher Nolan’s movies are often surrounded by intrigue and “Tenet’s” no different. When a secret teaser played in theaters in front of “Hobbs and Shaw” this summer, Warner Bros. simply confirmed it’s set in “the world of international espionage.“
Why to see it: Like every big-budget Nolan movie, we expect it to be an event that needs to be seen on the big screen. The film itself is using a mixture of IMAX and 70mm cameras. Though we still don’t know much about the film itself, it has quite the cast. John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Michael Caine all star. – Kirsten Acuna
12. Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will embark on a thrilling adventure in “Jungle Cruise.”
Release date: July 24, 2020
What it’s about: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who went from a WWE champion to a blockbuster movie star) will team up with “A Quiet Place” actor Emily Blunt for “Jungle Cruise,” inspired by Disneyland’s iconic theme park ride of the same name. Johnson will portray a boat captain who takes people on tours and Blunt will play a wealthy explorer looking to head upriver.
Why to see it: This is the first time the two A-listers have costarred in a movie, and the trailer for “Jungle Cruise” promises a thrilled, adventure-filled movie for the whole family. You can expect to see the main characters encounter explosions, rocky waters, and bad guys along their journey.
13. “The Last Duel” puts Matt Damon and Ben Affleck back together on the big screen.
- Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Release date: December 18, 2020
What it’s about: The 14th century period drama follows two knights (played by Matt Damon and Adam Driver) whose loyalty is tested by a young woman (Jodie Comer).
Why to see it: Ben Affleck and Damon are reuniting in this Christmas movie with Ridley Scott behind the director’s chair. Not only do they both star, but the duo also wrote the script along with Nicole Holofcener. They’re joined by an impressive cast that includes Driver and Comer. – Kirsten Acuna
14. “West Side Story” is a remake of the classic musical.
- Twentieth Century Fox
Release date: December 18, 2020
What it’s about: This remake of the beloved stage musical (which later became a 1961 film) follows two teenagers, Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler), as they fall in love, despite their affiliations with rival street gangs, in 1950s New York.
Why to see it: The music and choreography of the original production is nothing short of spectacular, and Stephen Spielberg’s version will likely live up the glory of its predecessors. But more importantly, the themes “West Side Story” deals with – racism, police brutality, and violence – are still all too relevant today. Especially given filmmakers’ dedication to casting people of color for traditionally POC roles, “West Side Story” could be more timely now than ever. – Libby Torres
15. “Dune” has a dynamite cast and creative team, setting it up as our most-anticipated sci-fi movie of 2020.
- Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Release date: December 18, 2020
What it’s about: “Dune” is a cult-classic 1965 sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert, and it was notably adapted into a divisive David Lynch film in 1984. Telling a sprawling story of an interplanetary saga set far in the future and focusing on feuding families fighting for control of valuable resources.
Why to see it: The movie’s director, Denis Villeneuve, helmed two of the past decade’s most memorable films (Oscar-winners “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049”). Music legend Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “Gladiator,” “Inception”) is set to craft the movie’s score.
On top of those two promising creatives, “Dune” has a truly remarkable lineup of actors. Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin are just several of the many stars we know are set to appear in this movie. We can’t wait to see how it all comes together. – Kim Renfro