Movies You Won’t Want to Miss in 2020
Looking back, 2019 really capped off 10 years’ worth of cinema with a bang. Mega-blockbuster sagas that spanned years came to a close, thanks to Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise of Skywalker. Meanwhile, some of the decade’s best films, like Parasite, and worst — sorry, Cats — made indelible marks on our pop culture collective consciousness.
With a few hits like Birds of Prey already in theaters, it’s time to look ahead. Not only are these upcoming pictures exciting, they’re also kicking off a brand-new decade in filmmaking. Here are the must-see movies of 2020.
A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount Pictures) | TBD
If you had told us five years ago that John Krasinski — a.k.a. Jim from The Office — would write, direct and co-star in one of the best horror movies of the decade, we wouldn’t have believed you. However, the filmmaker upended our expectations completely with 2018’s A Quiet Place, which stars Krasinski and Emily Blunt as parents who struggle to keep their family alive in a world overrun by monsters who use sound to find their victims.
The caveat of this post-apocalyptic world, of course, was that everyone had to remain absolutely quiet at all times, other than whispering in a soundproof basement. The detail became more than a gimmick: It added an incredible amount of thrills and tension to the story. This year, the sequel is back with seemingly more dialogue and action sequences than the first film. Blunt will reprise her role, joined by new castmates Djimon Hounsou and Cillian Murphy.
The original release date was March 20, but now the release date is TBD.
Tenet (Warner Bros. Pictures) | July 17
If you saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in IMAX, you were probably treated to an extended preview for Tenet — on top of the standard 25 minutes of regular movie previews. At the time, we were a little annoyed by the film’s long-running prologue, but, after seeing the trailer, there’s certainly some promise to Tenet, which is Inception director Christopher Nolan’s latest offering.
Filmed for release in IMAX, 35mm and 70mm, Tenet aims to be a feast for the eyes, much like Nolan’s anxiety-inducing war epic Dunkirk. The film stars Golden Globe nominee John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) as a secret agent who is tasked with preventing World War III — through time travel. (Sounds like a standard Nolan, mind-bending premise to us!) Washington is joined by a standout cast, including Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Clémence Poésy, Himesh Patel, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine and others.
Black Widow (Marvel Entertainment/Disney) | May 1
For quite some time, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), was the only woman on the Avengers squad, and she is more than deserving of a standalone movie. Finally, Marvel (and Disney) is ready to give the ex-KGB-agent-turned-assassin-turned-Avenger a chance to shine on her own, without playing second fiddle. Black Widow is a prequel film, taking place between 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.
In Civil War, Captain America and Iron Man find themselves divided over the issue of superheroes needing government oversight, which ends in a blow-out brawl. At first, Romanoff sides with Iron Man, but, in the end, she helps Cap escape and then goes into exile. In the film, Romanoff will team up with folks from her past, including fellow Black Widow agents (played by Florence Pugh and Rachel Weiss) and Russian super-soldier Red Guardian (David Harbour).
Antebellum (Lionsgate) | April 24
Known for her Grammy-nominated body of music, Janelle Monáe is a multi-hyphenate who excels in every art form. From singing, songwriting and rapping to producing, acting and blazing trails as an activist, Monáe is a bonafide icon. Although she has appeared in huge films like Hidden Figures and the Academy Award-winning Moonlight, Antebellum is the first feature film in which Monáe takes on the leading role.
Antebellum tells the story of successful author Veronica Henley (Monáe), who suddenly finds herself trapped in a "nightmarish reality and must find a way to break free." Produced by Sean McKitterick, who backed films like Get Out and Donnie Darko, Antebellum co-stars Kiersey Clemons (Hearts Beat Loud), Jena Malone (Bastard Out of Carolina) and Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, American Horror Story).
The Many Saints of Newark (HBO) | September 25
When the series finale of HBO’s game-changing series The Sopranos cut to black mid-scene, audiences had all sorts of reactions. Some viewers thought the ending was brilliant — a nod to the fact that life goes on, beyond the frame of the story — while others were annoyed by the lack of "resolution." Although HBO isn’t going to continue the story of the Soprano family beyond that final shot, the network is giving fans a prequel.
The Many Saints of Newark takes a page out of The Godfather: Part II’s playbook and follows a younger Tony Soprano, who is played by the late James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini (HBO’s The Deuce). Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) are just some of the many talents who will flesh out young Tony’s world. Fans can also rest easy knowing that series creator David Chase is set to produce the crime drama.
No Time to Die (Universal Pictures) | April 10
This upcoming spy film is the 25th installment in the James Bond film saga and features Daniel Craig in his fifth and final outing as the titular MI6 agent. The film is being helmed by director Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose wide swath of work includes the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre, the acclaimed 2015 drama Beasts of No Nation and the first season of HBO’s True Detective, which earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Directing.
Behind the scenes, Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge is co-writing the screenplay. In front of the camera, greats like Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, Léa Seydoux and Christoph Waltz reprise their roles. In the film, Bond, formerly known as agent 007, comes out of retirement for one last outing against adversary Safin (Academy Award-winner Rami Malek), who fancies himself humanity’s savior. This time, Bond is joined by another "00" agent, Nomi, played by Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch.
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features) | Sundance: January 25; Wide Release: April 17
The drama-thriller Promising Young Woman marks the directorial debut for writer Emerald Fennell, who is best known as the Emmy-nominated showrunner of BBC’s Killing Eve. The film stars BAFTA-winner Carey Mulligan (An Education, The Great Gatsby) as Cassie, who is considered a promising young woman until an undisclosed event derails her future.
When the film picks up with Cassie, she is wickedly cunning, even leading a double life — but a chance encounter leaves her with an opportunity to amend the past. Mulligan’s co-stars are numerous and include Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Laverne Cox, Connie Britton and Jennifer Coolidge. In the wake of its Sundance debut, the film garnered a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site’s aggregate summation reporting that the film is "a boldly provocative, timely thriller… an auspicious feature debut… and a career highlight for Mulligan."
The New Mutants (20th Century Studios/Marvel Entertainment) | April 3
Based on the Marvel superhero team of the same name, The New Mutants promises to lean into the horror genre as well, helping it carve out its own space in a world full of comedies like Deadpool and epic sagas like Avengers. As a spin-off of the X-Men franchise, this rag-tag team of soon-to-be-heroes focuses on teenage mutants, who, in the midst of discovering their abilities, must break out of a secret facility where they are held captive.
The film’s all-star cast includes Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, a mutant who can transform into a wolf; Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, who has the ability to launch himself through the air; The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy as Magik, a teleporting sorceress; The Originals’ Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage, a mutant who can create illusions; and 13 Reasons Why’s Henry Zaga as Sunspot, a manipulator of solar energy. Technically, The New Mutants marks the 13th film in the X-Men series, but this is the first joint project between 20th Century Studios (formerly Fox) and Disney’s Marvel Entertainment arm.
After Yang (A24) | TBD
Based on the short story "Goodbye to Yang" by Alexander Weinstein, After Yang is a science-fiction drama starring Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith and The Umbrella Academy’s breakout star, Justin Min. The story forecasts a future in which robotic kids are sold as live-in babysitters and centers on a father-daughter duo (Farrell and Turner-Smith) who find their robotic sitter, Yang (Min), unresponsive.
If saving a robotic babysitter isn’t a captivating enough premise for you, then maybe the folks behind the camera will draw you in. After Yang is directed by Kogonada, the South Korean-born American filmmaker who is best-known for his video essays that analyze the works of well-known directors. Little is known about Kogonada, who is the Banksy of the film world in some ways, but we’re confident that his team-up with A24 will yield wonderful results.
The Woman in the Window (20th Century Studios) | May 15
Based on A.J. Finn’s novel of the same name, The Woman in the Window is a psychological thriller — a la Rear Window — that’s being adapted by director Joe Wright (Atonement) and writer Tracy Letts (Bug, August: Osage County). Amy Adams, coming off incredible performances in HBO’s Sharp Objects and the Oscar-nominated Vice, will star as the titular woman.
She is agoraphobe Dr. Anna Fox, who watches the Russell family — a seemingly perfect family — through her window. Of course, she sees something she wasn’t supposed to see, and that’s when the thrills begin. Adams will be joined by an amazing ensemble cast, which includes Julianne Moore, Anthony Mackie, Gary Oldman and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Nomadland (Fox Searchlight) | TBD
Director and screenwriter Chloé Zhao’s sophomore endeavor, The Rider (2017), is a contemporary Western that nabbed Independent Spirit Award nominations for both Best Film and Best Director. Currently, Zhao is finishing her directing duties on Marvel’s post-Avengers blockbuster, The Eternals, but once the comic book adaptation wraps, she is set to direct Nomadland.
Based on the book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, the film is slated to be written and directed by Zhao. For those unfamiliar with the source material, Nomadland explores the phenomenon of older workers traveling the U.S. in the wake of the Great Recession, searching for employment and living out of campers. Better yet, Oscar-winner Frances McDormand will star in the film.
Scoob! (Warner Bros. Pictures) | May 15
If you missed out on the delightful animated series A Pup Named Scooby-Doo — or if you’re missing those reruns — then this reboot may be the movie for you. Scooby-Doo and his Mystery Inc. colleagues have been re-invented time and again, but here they make the jump to CGI in what the studios behind the film hope will be the first entry in a proposed Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe.
While adaptations of properties like Wacky Races or The Flintstones are in the pipeline, a Scooby reboot seems like the most logical — and safest — jumping off point. As an origin story of sorts, Scoob! will show audiences how Scooby (Frank Welker) met Shaggy (Will Forte), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Fred (Zac Efron). Reportedly, the gang will have to face off against ghost-dog Cerberus, but it’s unclear whether foes like Miner 49er or The Creeper will turn up.
Wonder Woman 1984 (DC Films/Warner Bros. Pictures) | June 4
Gal Gadot reprises her role as Diana, and Patty Jenkins reprises her role as director for the sequel film, Wonder Woman 1984. This team-up, which brought audiences the much-loved blockbuster Wonder Woman, is a more well-regarded collaboration than (the DC Extended Universe) Justice League. Needless to say, we’re excited for this one.
Throw in SNL alum Kristen Wiig as villainess Cheetah and some neon-riddled ‘80s malls and the return of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), and it’s clearly a recipe for success. Additionally, The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal will join in on the fun as shrewd businessman Maxwell Lord. So, how does this film figure into the DCEU? According to IndieWire, Wonder Woman 1984 is more like a standalone film "in the same way that Indiana Jones or [James] Bond films are."
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features) | March 13
The American-British drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always is written and directed by Eliza Hittman and stars Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder as two cousins from Pennsylvania who trek to New York in the wake of an unexpected pregnancy. At the Berlin International Film Festival, the film was in competition for the coveted Golden Bear.
At Sundance, Hittman took home the prize for U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Neo-Realism, but, perhaps even more impressively, the film currently holds a 100% rating based on 28 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The review aggregator site’s consensus reads "Powerfully acted and directed, Never Rarely Sometimes Always reaffirms writer-director Eliza Hittman as a filmmaker of uncommon sensitivity and grace."
Candyman (Universal Pictures) | June 12
Called a "nuanced, effectively chilling tale" by Rotten Tomatoes’ reviewers, 1992’s Candyman was based on a Clive Barker short story. In the film, a student at the University of Chicago looks into urban legends and stumbles upon Candyman, who allegedly appears, metal hook in hand, if you say his name five times while looking into a mirror.
Now, the classic horror film is getting a sequel, which will star Star Trek’s Tony Todd as the titular legend. Todd will be joined by The Get Down’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dear White People’s Teyonah Parris, Misfits’ Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Colman Domingo of Fear the Walking Dead fame. In addition to an all-star cast, Candyman has some incredible talents behind the camera as well, including director Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) and writer/producer Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us).
Soul (Pixar Animation Studios/Disney) | June 19
Perhaps surprisingly, the beloved animation studio Pixar has not one, but two original titles hitting the silver screen this year. The fairy-tale with a modern twist, Onward, didn’t make our list, but it shows promise that it will follow that heartfelt and humorous recipe Pixar is so well known for churning out. We’re a dash more excited for director Pete Docter’s Soul.
The film follows a middle-school music teacher, Joe Gardner, who dreams of playing at New York’s legendary jazz club "The Blue Note." A strange accident causes Gardner’s soul to separate from his body and land in the otherworldly "You Seminar," a center in which souls develop and gain passions. Mike Jones, Kemp Powers and Tina Fey all contributed to Docter’s script, and our protagonist is voiced by Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx. Additionally, Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad and Daveed Diggs all lend their voices to Soul.
In the Heights (Warner Bros. Pictures) | June 26
Before the phenomenon that is Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda worked on the music and lyrics for the four-time Tony-winning Broadway musical In the Heights. Now, folks who missed the landmark musical on the stage can see it on the silver screen. For the unanointed, In the Heights takes place over three days, cataloging the stories of the Hispanic-American folks living in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood.
The story’s narrator is Usnavi de la Vega (Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos), a bodega owner who is raised by Abuela Claudia, the neighborhood's matriarch. Usnavi falls in love with Vanessa (Vida’s Melissa Barrera), who works at Daniela's salon. The pair dreams of leaving the neighborhood — Vanessa dreams of affording an apartment downtown, while Usnavi wants to move to the Dominican Republic. Many Latinx stars make up the ensemble, including Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn 99), Dascha Polanco (Orange Is the New Black) and Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blues, The West Wing).
Annette (Amazon Studios) | TBD
Eager to chase Oscar gold, Amazon Studios is backing Annette, a musical film that marks French director Leos Carax’s English-language debut. The film centers on a married couple who both work in the arts. Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, Inception) plays a world-famous opera singer, and Academy Award nominee Adam Driver (Marriage Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) plays a provocative stand-up comedian.
The couples’ life takes a turn when their 2-year-old daughter reveals a unique gift. Other than that, little is known about the film. Still, we’re glad to see it on the docket for 2020. Unfortunately, the film has been stuck in limbo. Rooney Mara and Rihanna were initially in talks to star in the film but were replaced by Michelle Williams — who was eventually replaced by Cotillard. Meanwhile, production stalled due to Driver’s rigorous Star Wars filming schedule.
Free Guy (20th Century Fox Studios) | July 3
How could Ryan Reynolds follow up Deadpool 2 and Detective Pikachu? Well, Free Guy is his latest attempt to blend sci-fi/action with dark comedy — and the trailer seems promising. At least, it seems way more promising than other video gamed-based comedies like Adam Sandler’s 2015 film Pixels. The film is set in an open-world game called Free City — think Fortnite meets Grand Theft Auto — and follows Guy (Reynolds), a non-player character (NPC) who works at a bank.
After a code developed by programmers Milly (Killing Eve’s Jodi Comer) and Keys (Stranger Things’ Joe Keery) is introduced to the games by publisher Antoine (Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok), Reynolds’ character becomes self-aware. That is, he realizes he’s in a game and takes steps to become a bonafide hero — before developers shut down Free City. Here’s hoping Free Guy is at least better than the last film Reynolds and Waititi worked on together — 2011’s universally panned Green Lantern.
Zola (A24) | Sundance: January 24; Wide Release: TBD
Writing for Teen Vogue, Jameelah Nasheed reported that "Zola the film is just as mind-blowing to watch as it was to scroll tweet by tweet when the story first captivated the internet back in 2015." Yes, you read that correctly. The film, which is directed by Janicza Bravo and co-written by Broadway’s Jeremy O. Harris, is based on A’Ziah King’s viral, 144-tweet Twitter thread.
"You wanna hear a story about why me & this b-tch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense," King tweeted. "Okay, listen up. This story long. So, I met this white b-tch at Hooters…" What follows is a cross-country roadtrip that goes south — and becomes a woman’s fight for survival. In 2015, the viral thread caught the attention of everyone from Solange Knowles to Ava DuVernay — and the film version has already become the talk of Sundance.
Memoria (Neon) | TBD
Thai director and screenwriter Apichatpong Weerasethakul is set to make his English-language debut with Memoria. Although not much is known about the plot of the film, we’re still excited — Weerasethakul is a highly accomplished director. His feature film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize in 2010, while his earlier feature, Tropical Malady, nabbed Cannes’ jury prize in 2004.
According to the Independent, the film will delve into "colonial history and how collective memory can lead to fear." Shot mainly in Colombia, Memoria will star Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton, who is already known for collaborating with auteurs on projects like Oscar nominee Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018), BAFTA winner Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and four-time Academy Award winner Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013).
The Eternals (Marvel Entertainment/Disney) | November 6
Marvel hasn’t given up too many details when it comes to Chloé Zhao’s upcoming The Eternals film, which will help crack open the new phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) post-Avengers: Endgame. In the comics, Eternals are a race of humanoids who are an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created Earth’s sentient life.
The alien Celestials, responsible for creating life on Earth, intended for the Eternals to be the planet’s protectors. These immortal beings come out of hiding to fend off their evil counterparts, the Deviants. So, where were these Eternals during Avengers: Endgame? This remains to be explained. Nonetheless, we’re excited for this blockbuster, which stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Kit Harington and Angelina Jolie.
Happiest Season (Sony Pictures) | November 25
Known for her starring role in the queer cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader, Clea DuVall wrote and directed her first feature film, The Intervention, in 2016. That directorial debut focused on several couples, one of which was a queer couple. For her sophomore endeavor, DuVall is aiming to make positive LGBTQ+ representation a focal point.
Happiest Season stars queer icon Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis — who starred in Black Mirror’s Emmy-winning "San Junipero" episode — as girlfriends spending the holidays together. Stewart’s character plans to propose to Davis’ character, but things unravel a bit when it’s revealed that Davis’ character hasn’t exactly come out to her family yet. Seeing a queer romance on the big screen is still rare — and even rarer when it comes to rom-coms. Additionally, the film’s ensemble cast includes comedic standouts Alison Brie, Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen and Ana Gasteyer.
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) | TBD
Coming off his much-deserved Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar win for BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee has turned his attention to Da 5 Bloods, which was recently picked up by Netflix. Previously, Lee and Netflix have collaborated on the streaming giant’s series adaptation of Lee’s 1986 classic She’s Gotta Have It, with Lee stepping in to executive produce.
However, Da 5 Bloods marks the first time Lee will direct a Netflix picture — a collaboration that seems award-worthy, especially given Netflix’s latest attempts to really lean into awards season with films like Marriage Story, Dolemite Is My Name and The Irishman. Starring Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods tells the story of four African American vets who return to Vietnam in search of the remains of their late squad leader and the promise of a hidden treasure.
BIOS (Amblin Entertainment) | October 2
Although Tom Hanks did have a post-apocalyptic thread in Cloud Atlas, we haven’t really seen him flex that muscle too much. Instead, he’s been starring in biopics and dramas and Da Vinci Code spinoffs. Needless to say, BIOS is exciting because it gives Hanks something a bit different to chew on. Not to mention, it’s directed by Game of Thrones’ "Battle of the Bastards" director, Miguel Sapochnik.
The film is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Hanks, who fears he will die soon, builds a robot to protect his beloved dog. That robot ends up being so much more than a protector — and learns about life, love and humanity. If Hanks’ robotic co-star has even half the acting chops of Wilson the volleyball from Cast Away, this one is probably going to be a gut punch. BIOS also stars Caleb Landry Jones (Twin Peaks: The Return), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Skeet Ulrich (Riverdale).
The Witches (Warner Bros. Pictures) | October 9
Based on the Roald Dahl children’s novel of the same name, The Witches is a remake of the dark fantasy comedy circa 1990, which starred Anjelica Huston (left) as the Grand High Witch. This remake is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars big-name actors Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock.
Oscar-winner Hathaway will take on the role of the Grand High Witch — and even though Huston’s performance is iconic, we think Hathaway has the chops to make this part her own. For those unfamiliar with the source material, The Witches tells the story of a young boy who stumbles upon a conference of witches while he’s at a hotel with his grandmother. When he’s discovered, the Grand High Witch transforms him into a mouse.
Dune (Warner Bros. Pictures) | December 18
Frank Herbert’s landmark sci-fi epic Dune has been attempted on the screen before. Notably, cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky unsuccessfully attempted to adapt the book in the ‘70s, and then Palme d’or winner David Lynch (Wild at Heart, Mulholland Drive) directed the largely panned 1984 adaptation, which starred his longtime collaborator Kyle MacLachlan (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks).
Now, under the direction of Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), Timothée Chalamet will star as Paul Atreides, the son of Duke Leto Atreides. Leto becomes steward of Arrakis, the harsh desert planet known for being home to the most valuable substance in the universe, "the spice" (or Melange). The spice mining business becomes even more dangerous when Leto is betrayed, leaving Paul to rally the nomadic desert tribes into a battle for control. Dune is packed with stars, including Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgård, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem and many more.
West Side Story (20th Century Studios) | December 18
Adapted from the Broadway hit, this beloved romantic musical is getting another remake, and this one reportedly follows the musical’s script more closely than the 1961 film version did. Directed by Steven Spielberg, West Side Story will undoubtedly score big with audiences this Christmas — well, at least bigger than Cats scored this past holiday. We’re sure of it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Romeo and Juliet-based West Side Story, we are shocked! For those who have managed to avoid the older film and stage versions, this musical tells the story of two star-crossed teenagers, Tony (Baby Driver’s Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Hollywood newcomer Rachel Zegler), who end up falling in love in 1950s-era New York, despite having affiliations with rival street gangs — the white Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.
Deep Water (20th Century Studios) | November 13
Starring Gone Girl’s Ben Affleck and Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Deep Water is a psychological thriller based on the Patricia Highsmith novel of the same name. After an 18-year absence from filmmaking, Adrian Lyne (Unfaithful) returns to direct the picture. We’re putting our faith behind this one, namely because the source material is so strong — and because adaptations of Highsmith’s other novels have been so incredible.
Back in 1999, the thrilling The Talented Mr. Ripley showcased the very best of Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, and in 2015, Carol, a slow-burn romance that starred Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, gained much acclaim. For its part, Deep Water tells the story of a couple who has fallen out of love and started playing deadly mind games with one another. Slowly but surely, those around them begin dying — dun, dun, dun…!
The French Dispatch (Searchlight Pictures) | July 24
Perhaps surprisingly, Wes Anderson, director of acclaimed films like The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom, has yet to win an Oscar. Here’s hoping that The French Dispatch, his next film, nabs him some awards season nominations. After all, Anderson has his own aesthetic — something that’s become a descriptor for other films that mimic the look of his own. Moreover, he and his inventive films have yet to let us down.
IndieWire reported that the film is meant to be "a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city" and centers on three storylines. Anderson himself told IndieWire that "the story is not easy to explain. [It’s about an] American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine. It is more a portrait of this man." The film’s ensemble is predictably glorious and includes Benicio del Toro, Saoirse Ronan, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet and Tilda Swinton — among many, many others.
Last Night in Soho (Focus Features) | September 25
Director Edgar Wright is known for his fast-paced, frenetic thrillers and comedies — and his track record is pretty incredible. Along with Simon Pegg, he wrote (and directed) the three entries in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy — Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013). He also adapted the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim v. the World (2010) into a much-loved film.
More recently, Wright co-wrote the screenplay for Marvel’s surprise hit Ant-Man (2015), and he wowed audiences with Baby Driver in 2017. Last Night in Soho marks something a little new: Wright’s attempt at nailing the psychological horror genre. Not too much is known about the film, but his proven track record in combination with the film’s stars — Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp — make it one to keep your eye on.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix) | TBD
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is Iain Reid’s debut novel, a psychological horror that was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. In the book, a man named Jake takes his unnamed girlfriend to meet his parents, who live on a remote farm. Before the trip, the unnamed girlfriend is thinking of ending things — and regrets not doing so when the trip takes a terrifying turn.
Called the "boldest and most original literary thriller to appear in some time" by the Chicago Tribune, I’m Thinking of Ending Things seems rife for adaptation by the right mind. Luckily for audiences, Charlie Kaufman, known for writing incredible films like Adaptation (2002), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Synecdoche, New York (2008), is set to write and direct the film version of Reid’s novel. The film also stars heavy-hitters, including Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad, The Master), Jessie Buckley (HBO’s Chernobyl) and Toni Collette (Hereditary, Knives Out).
The Invisible Man (Blumhouse Productions) | February 28
If there’s one thing the film world needs, it’s another cinematic universe poised to compete with the success of Marvel and Star Wars and DC Comics, right? Well, that’s what Universal thought when it released the universally panned The Mummy reboot, starring Tom Cruise, which was meant to launch a cinematic universe consisting of classic monsters.
In the wake of the movie flop, Universal pivoted, partnering with Blumhouse Productions to tell the other monster’s stories. Blumhouse, of course, is now The Name™ in horror, with the company helming blockbuster series like The Purge, Insidious and Happy Death Day. Needless to say, we’re intrigued by this modern reimagining of the H.G. Wells classic, which stars Elisabeth Moss as a brilliant scientist and survivor who grapples with the supposed end of an abusive relationship.