Jason’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Films of 2021
Hello, everyone! The year of 2021 is quickly winding down as we all are getting ready to celebrate and ring in the new year. For those keeping track, 2020 wasn’t exact the best year for everyone, including the movie industry with several big and small releases being shuffled and / or delayed. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting my personal top ten “Best” and “Worst” lists of 2020 movies. Be sure to check them out!
Moving on, the start of 2021 is about to begin and this year looks to be a very promising for movies, ranging from several different categories and genres. Now, on the twilight eve of 2020, here’s a look at my top fifteen most anticipated movies of 2021. As a side-note, this list is combination of movies that were originally suppose to be released 2021 and some that were originally suppose to be released in 2020, but got pushed into 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, while there are plenty of movies that I am looking forward in 2021, not all of them are going to fit into this 15-selection list. Thus, without further ado….
#15 – Godzilla vs. Kong
Release Date: March 21st, 2021
Originally, set to be released in 2020, Godzilla vs. Kong was a film that got pushed into this year, which is why its back on this list and in the same numeral position. Legendary’s MonsterVerse has indeed been the stuff of big-screen monster theatricals; tackling the large-than-life kaiju monsters in reimaging Godzilla and his arsenal of fan-favorites (Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra, etc.). Now, Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth feature in the MonsterVerse franchise, is expected to see Godzilla (i.e., the King of Monsters) going up against Kong (the presiding ruler of Skull Island). How or why these two titans have to battle each other is still a mystery, but I’m sure it will be a giant monster blockbuster that will surely test each of the gigantic beings in a battle for supremacy.
#14 – Matrix 4
Release Date: December 22nd, 2021
I personally love The Matrix trilogy It was revolutionary for time during its initial theatrical release and spawn a plethora of copycats, parodies, and homages to this expansive sci-fi cyberpunk adventures. After the conclusion of 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, there were definitely some lingering threads in the narrative, some of which were half-explained several spin-offs projects. Now, after years, a fourth entry in The Matrix saga is about to come forth and I hope that there will be answers. While little is known of the plot of the feature, the movie itself will be directed by Lana Wachowskis (co-director of the original trilogy) as well as Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Lambert Wilson, and Daniel Bernhardt all return to reprise their character roles for the movie. So, will the movie be a hit or flop…only time will tell!
#13 – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Release Date: June 4th, 2021
Originally, set to be released in 2020, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was another film that got pushed into this year, which is why its back on this list and in the same numeral position. The Warrens are back! Since the release of The Conjuring 2, this cinematic horror universe has expanded into various spin-off films from The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona, Annabelle: Creation, and Annabelle Comes Home; finding each of these endeavors to have mix results. Now, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the third Conjuring movie (and the eighth overall entry in the Conjuring Universe), seeks to return to franchise to its “horror glory” as the characters of Eddie and Lorraine Warren (once again played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) investigate a young boy’s soul that takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before. What horrors await in this third Conjuring is unknown, but I, for one, am looking forward to see what mysterious and demonic spirits that Warrens uncover.
#12 – The Suicide Squad
Release Date: August 6th, 2021
There’s no doubt that 2016’s Suicide Squad was a bit of a mixed bag and some moviegoers enjoyed it, other hated it, and while a few fell somewhere in-between those two extremes. Regardless, it wasn’t the movie that people were expecting it to be. Thus, the release of 2021’s The Suicide Squad, the sequel to the 2016 film, is causing much curiosity and some anticipation for its release. The plot summary goes as follows: Imprisoned convicts from Task Force X are sent on a new, sentence-easing mission to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experimentations. With a plot like that, you know its going to be “balls to walls” crazy of action and violence. With Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn at the helm and bolstering a large recognizable cast (some of which are reprising their Suicide Squad roles from the 2016 film), 2021’s The Suicide Squad will surely make its mark on the summer blockbuster releases.
#11 – In the Heights
Release Date: June 18th, 2021
Trailer: N/A (didn’t post on my blog, but be sure to check out the trailer online)
Another 2020 movie release that was pushed back into the 2021 movie year. There is no doubt that Lin-Manuel Miranda is quite an extraordinary visionary of both the musical arts and in the theatrical stage, which the mega popular stage play Hamilton being a prime example. Before Hamilton, however, Miranda wrote another stage musical that became a hit and now that story titled In the Heights is about to get a cinematic treatment. Following the close-knit community of Washington Heights, the story focus on the story of Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life. Brimming with color, style, and musical numbers, the film version In the Heights, which is directed by Crazy Rich Asian director Jon M. Chu, looks to be prime candidate for a fun summer 2021 release.
#10 – The Many Saints of Newark
Release Date: March 12th, 2021
There’s no doubt that HBO’s hour-long drama series The Sopranos has cemented itself in TV history; presenting a new take on the mafia gangster genre motifs and nuances by following New Jersey based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life (and his inner demons) in the role as the leader of a criminal organization. The Many Saint of Newark is a prequel feature film to the famous TV series, offering a more cinematic look at the lives of a younger Tony Soprano (played by the son of the late James Gandolfini) as well as his parents (Giovanni “Johnny Boy” and Livia Soprano) and several other notable Soprano characters. With the movie being directed by Alan Taylor and a script writing by Sopranos creator David Chase, The Many Saints of Newark aims to be a slice of the whole pie from the illustrious TV show.
#9 – Death on the Nile
Release Date: September 17th, 2021
Trailer: Death on the Nile Official Trailer
Another 2020 movie that got pushed back into the 2021 year. In 2017, Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel returned to the big screen for a recent cinematic adaptation update of Murder on the Orient Express, with actor / director Kenneth Branagh pulling double duty on the film as the director and starring in the lead role of renown detective Hercule Poirot. Despite the film having mixed reviews, the movie still made its money back (and then some); green lighting a future sequel to be put in the works. Death on the Nile is next theatrical project (adapted once again from Christie’s original novel) and sees once again the super sleuthing work of Poirot to solve another mystery. With Branagh back in the director’s chair / lead role and with another star-studded casts (i.e., Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Rose Leslie, and Annette Bening), I, for one, can’t wait to see this movie….
#8 – A Quiet Place Part II
Release Date: April 23rd, 2021
Another movie that was originally set to be released in 2020 and got delayed until the 2021 movie year. There is no question that 2018’s A Quiet Place was quite a surprise “sleeper” hit that no one saw coming; conjuring up suspenseful moments and chilling thrills within its gimmicky premise of a family surviving in a land that’s infested with noise-hearing monsters. Its sequel, A Quiet Place Part II seems to continue the narrative of the particular family, finding the tale of the Abbott clean, including the return of Emily Blunt and company, surviving and planning their next move to thwart and evade the creatures that prowl the land. With the primary cast returning (as well as a few new ones) and director John Krasinski returning to helm the project, A Quiet Place Part II will surely bring the suspense back to us all in remembering the age old saying of “Silence is golden!”.
#7 – F9
Release Date: May 28th, 2021
Trailer: F9 Official Trailer
Another movie that was originally set to be released in 2020 and got pushed back to the 2021 calendar year. Yes, despite the “larger than life” heroics and bombastic action scenes that the latter entries have become, I’ll be the first and foremost to admit that I do love the Fast & Furious franchise. Sure, there are plenty of moments in the series that have become ridiculous and defying the odds, but its one of the mindless “guilty pleasure” popcorn flick that I have come to love in movie escapism. With the proven success of the 2017’s Fate of the Furious, F9, the ninth entry in the franchise. will roar into the summer of 2021; bringing with it all the high-octane action and over-the-top stunts of Vin Diesel’s character of Dominic Toretto and his entire crew. With many of the returning players reprising their roles from the previous films as well as a few new ones (i.e., John Cena and Michael Rooker), Fast & Furious 9 is poised to be a fun summer blockbuster. Plus, with a story revolving around the return of Charlize Theron’s Cipher and Dom’s brother, F9 will surely be another ridiculously fun plot of Toretto’s team saving with the world. And personally, I can’t wait to see it….
#6 – Raya and the Last Dragon
Release Date: March 12th, 2021
Long ago, in the world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well. With a plot summary like that…. you know it’s gonna be a great Disney movie. Following the success of its past releases (Moana, Zootopia, and Frozen II), Raya and the Last Dragon is something to get excited about. From its adventurous story, to its detailed animation, and potential voice talents, this particular film will surely make a splash from the House of Mouse.
#5 – Eternals
Release Date: November 5th, 2021
Much like Black Widow, this particular Marvel superhero movie was push off the 2020 theatrical release for a new set date in 2021. The official synopsis is thin, but says….in a story spanning over 7000 years, the Eternals, an immortal alien race created by the Celestials, protect humanity from their evil counterparts the Deviants. With a new array of Marvel characters, a diverse cast (i.e Kit Harrington, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kumail Nanjiani), and new narrative from the already established world, The Eternals is shaping up to be an exciting new adventure in the MCU’s Phase IV saga. I never heard the Eternal comic books, but I might have to pick up one or two of them before seeing the movie.
#4 – Black Widow
Release Date: May 7th, 2021
Trailer: Black Widow Official Final Trailer
Originally set for a 2020 release, Black Widow has been delayed several times and its newest date is set for a May 2021 release. After the epic and dramatic conclusion of its Phase III saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe gears back up for its Phase IV installment, with the movie Black Widow first one up on the docket. In truth, it will be interesting to see how this movie gets received. Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the film will focus on the character of Natasha Romanov; exploring her past and given a more central focus of her character. With the character already established in this cinematic superhero world (as a supporting player), I’m quite interested to see the character of Romanov / Black Widow getting her own superhero movie. With actress Scarlett Johannsson reprising her role as the title character, the film’s supporting cast (i.e. David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, etc.), and an intriguing narrative of uncovering the past, Black Widow will surely make a notable superhero splash in 2021.
#4 – Untitled Spider-Man 3
Release Date: December 17th, 2021
Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been a celebratory jubilations of comic book excitement and his involvement within the MCU speak volumes with fans and moviegoers everywhere. After negotiations between Disney and Sony were broken and then remade, this third solo installment promises a lot and definitely keeps the hype going every month. Very little of the film’s story / plot has been revealed, but that doesn’t mean that movie hasn’t been talked and highly anticipated for months. How so? Well, with a lot of acting talents from past cinematic iterations of Spider-Man, including Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Kristen Dunst, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, and Alfred Molina, returning to reprise their roles. Is this gonna be a live-action version of Spider-Verse Multiverse? How will this all fit into the MCU? Will this lead into Sony’s solo Spider-Man universe brand? Who knows…but I’m quite excited to see what happens in the movie!
#3 – Top Gun: Maverick
Release Date: July 2nd, 2021
Originally, set to be released in 2020, Top Gun: Maverick was yet another film that got pushed into this year, which is why its back on this list and in the same numeral position. Of late (or rather the past decade or so), Hollywood has taken an interest of revisiting older film properties; producing a plethora of belated sequels to the original; attempting to “spark” nostalgia from revisiting an old familiar. It’s been almost 34 years since the original 1986 film flew onto the big screen and Top Gun: Maverick seems to sees to return to the skies above for a new generation of potential hotshot flying aces to prove their worth. Of course, actor Tom Cruise (who certainly has age well in between the two films) is returning as seasoned pilot Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as a flight instructor for the new recruits, which consists of call sign names of Hangman, Phoenix, Payback, Fanboy, and Rooster (who is the son of Maverick’s old friend / RIO). With a solid cast (Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, and Ed Harris) and new innovated ways of filmmaking to tell its aerial sky flying cinematics, Top Gun: Maverick aims for the skies and is ready to give the go ahead for a “sonic boom” in the summer of 2021.
#2 – No Time to Die
Release Date: April 2nd, 2021
Trailer: No Time to Die Official Trailer 2
Originally, set to be released in 2020, No Time to Die was yet another film that got pushed into this year, which is why its back on this list and in the same numeral position. The name of James Bond has been certainly been the stuff of cinematic legend and has certainly been a proven (and lucrative) franchise throughout the years. The Daniel Craig Bond films have been up and downs with Casino Royale and Skyfall to be the highs, while Quantum of Solace and Spectre have been the lows. 2021 will see the fifth and final entry in the Daniel Craig James Bond movies with the release of No Time to Die. Judging from the trailer, the movie definitely looks good with plenty of old favorites spy nuances being presented as well as the returning supporting cast members. I always certain do love a good James Bond feature. Plus….to see actor Rami Malek as the movie’s classic “Bond villain” in the movie is definitely gonna be treat. What’s to get uncover and how the film will ultimately play out still remains a mystery. However, No Time to Die is geared to be a “final bow” for Craig’s “diamond in the rough” iteration of James Bond and I’m definitely hyped to see it….
#1 – Dune
Release Date: October 1st, 2021
Trailer: Dune Official Trailer
One day….the legend will be born! Frank Herbert’s Dune series has become an instant and classic paramount staple in science fiction literary; ranked amongst the greatest in the genre (equally on part to Tolkien’s works in the fantasy genre).
Originally set for a 2020 release, the movie, which is based on Herbert’s 1965 novel, is set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or “the spice”, a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities. Melange is also necessary for space navigation, which requires a kind of multidimensional awareness and foresight that only the drug provides. As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is thus a coveted and dangerous undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.
Various adaptations have been previously done in the past, including the 1984 film and its 2000 TV mini-series (and its 2003 sequel), but a project like this is ripped for a newer adaptation, with 2020 release of Dune. At the helm is visionary director Denis Villeneuve, the creative mastermind behind Arrival, Sicario, and Blade Runner 2049, which certainly leaves a strong impression that the film is in the right hands as well as boasting an impressive cast, including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.
With a solid foundation of source material of dueling households, rebellious free folk, and a prophesied hero who could unite or destroy them all, a visionary director, a (quite literally a dream cast), Dune is set to be a much-anticipated cinematic project. One thing is certain…. the spice must flow and which is why Dune is my most anticipated movie of 2021.
Yes, I know that there are some other 2021 movies that I am excited about (Halloween Kills, Mission: Impossible 7, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Uncharted, King’s Man, etc.), but then this list would be way too long. So, what do you guys think? What are some of the movies that you are personally looking forward to seeing in 2021? Let me know….