Alright, time to put 2020 behind us with its bleak film landscape (and boom for television) and look ahead to this year. Obviously, after undegoing a drought we are in for a rich offering of genre films to make up for the lost year of 2020. Meanwhile, the television field will continue enthralling with even more new programs. Bear in mind, with the COVID-19 still going on, it’s not guaranteed these films or TV shows will come out this year, but they will if the pandemic subsides as we all get our vaccinations. Here are the most highly anticipated films and TV shows of 2021:
10. The Matrix 4
Keanu Reeves and others stars from the original films return in The Matrix 4. Given the definitive ending of the less-than-well-recieved third film, it is a puzzle on how Neo and his human freedom fighters will return to battle once more against their AI oppressors in virtual reality. But it should be entertaining.
9. The Tomorrow War
A holdover from 2020, this sci-fi military film stars Chris Pratt as a soldier drafted into a future war against aliens. According to its premise, humanity in the future is losing a war and must recruit warriors from the past to help turn the tide against the aliens. It sounds like a great concept, hopefully the film will deliver thrills, action, and memorable sci-fi trappings.
8. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
The first Venom was a terrific guilty pleasure that surprised many audiences. It was an enjoyable superhero/anti-hero film thanks to Tom Hardy’s performance and for delivering genuine excitement. The Venom sequel hopes to capture that same excitement with Woody Harrelson featured as Carnage, Venom’s greatest nemesis. And if Spider-Man appears in the film as many think then all bets are off!
7. Little Fish
A young couple struggle to hold onto their memories of each other and their relationship after contracting a virus that causes people to lose their memories. Sounds like a great compromise film to watch for geeks and their dates. If it is anything like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, then this romance with a relevant sci-fi twist will be just a memorable.
Tom Hanks stars in another 2020 holdover as a dying scientist who has to train an android on how to care for his dog. Miguel Sapochnik, a Game of Thrones director, helms this sci-fi film which might evoke the retrospective nature of Hanks’ classic Cast Away.
5. The Suicide Squad
James Gunn directs this sequel/soft reboot of the original Suicide Squad but now with more flavor! After he was temporarily fired by Disney, Warner Bros. scooped him up and he picked this film about captured DC supervillains forced to undertake a secret mission for the U.S. but now The Suicide Squad will be more brazen and outrageous since the film will boast Gunn’s comedic tone that made his Guardians of the Galaxy films so beloved.
4. A Quiet Place, Part II
One of the most highly anticipated films of 2020 was delayed just as the COVID-19 pandemic took effect, which frustrated many who were anxious to see the sequel to the successful sci-fi/horror film from actor/director John Krasinski. The sequel showcases the further adventures of the lone family struggling to survive after savage aliens have overrun Earth and as hinted in the trailers they also have other humans to worry about.
3. Godzilla Vs. Kong
Frankly, who cares if this film will debut on HBO Max at the same time as it’s released in theaters? This film must be seen on the ginormous silver screen as is befitting the two legendary behemoths starring in the film! Not much is known about the film except that it will be the conclusion of Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse saga that culminates in an epic showdown between the silver screen’s greatest giant monsters.
2. The third untitled MCU Spider-Man film
Whatever the third film featuring Spider-Man (Tom Holland) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) winds up being called, it does not matter at this point. Not only will we finally get a followup to the cliffhanger ending that Spider-Man: Far From Home left us, with Spider-Man’s identity revealed to the world, but the the film will deliver much more. Apparently, it will be a live-action version of sorts to the Spider-Verse saga, meaning it will probably focus on different realities.
It’s already a fact that villains from the previous incarnations of the Spider-Man film will turn up, as well as Doctor Strange (played once more by Benedict Cumberbatch), but the hottest rumors have it that the previous actors who played Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) will reprise their roles. Now throw in live-action versions of Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen and we will have a bonafide treat for Spider-Man fans. BTW, the third MCU Spider-Man film allegedly is tied to the WandaVision TV show and next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Even though there have been two previous adaptations of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece novel, this version by director Denis Villeneuve might be the definitive and most faithful version. This version of Dune was originally supposed to be the big release for the holidays last year but has been bumped to later this year and a guaranteed theatrical release. No HBO Max for Villeneuve’s Dune, thankfully.
For anyone who has not read the book or seen the previous film and TV mini-series, Dune is truly an epic sci-fi story of political intrigue and how a young man became a messianic figure and upends the universe. The look of the film is just stunning and meticulous and its subject matter and adult themes elevates Dune above the standard sci-fi fare of action scenes. This could be one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time and we cannot wait to see if it lives up to the anticipation.
Other Noteworthy Films
Black Widow, Eternals, Free Guy, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Infinite, Last Night in Soho, Luca, Malignant, Morbius, Old, Raya and the Last Dragon, Samaritan, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
10. Resident Alien
It’s been a long while since the Syfy channel had anything original worthwhile. Let’s hope this comedy starring Alan Tudyk as an alien masquerading as a human in a small Earth town will provide the channel with some much-needed buzz.
9. The Lord of the Rings
Not much is known about Amazon Prime’s foray into the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkein, but it is reportedly getting the big-screen treatment and will be comparable to Game of Thrones; it will serve as a prequel to the films. Given the material, the show would have ranked higher, but at this state, we have very little to go on or if it will even stream in 2021, though it is still on schedule.
8. Y: The Last Man
This live-action adaptation of the Vertigo comic book series is about the lone male survivor of a plague that kills off the entire mammilian male population on Earth. The series followed the plague’s aftermath as society tries to rebuild and should be a relevant show to watch.
Tom Hiddleston returns as the God of Mischief who was last seen escaping from authorities in Avengers: Endgame. We all know this Loki was from a different timeline and it’s only natural that the Loki TV show will have Thor’s adopted brother up to time travel hijinks as he explores many different timelines.
Apple TV+ will debut this epic adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s acclaimed sci-fi novel series about historians in the future who in the span of a thousand years, try to revitatlize the human Galactic Empire after its predicted collapse. Boasting topnotch effects and production, Foundation is undoubtedly the television answer to the upcoming Dune film, though there are plans to bring a Dune spinoff series to HBO Max.
After many delays, the first MCU-based television mini-series will premiere in just a few short days on Disney+. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their film roles as the heroic Scarlet Witch and Vision. The trailers look absolutely bonkers and trippy and feature Wanda and her husband (who is supposed to be dead) living a suburban lifestyle through the lens of decades of television comedy tropes.
4. What If…?
The first animated MCU offering explores many different realities of the MCU and ask what if? For instance there is an episode that asks what if T’Challa became Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill or what if Peggy Carter was given the super soldier formula and became a Captain Britain. These and other fascinating concept episodes will be narrated by the enigmatic alien Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright).
3. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Finally, we get to find out what happened to the mantle of Captain America after he steps away from the superhero stage as seen in Avengers: Endgame. The limited series will bring in many MCU characterrs, both friend and foe, and will be action packed. Also, from looking at the trailer above, the show will feature the well-loved motif of two disparate men who are forced to work together and forge a genuine bond.
2. Zack Snyder’s Justice League
It is well known that director Zack Snyder was unable to finish the film Justice League, which came off as a disjointed mess thanks to the clashing artistic styles of Snyder and his replacement, Joss Whedon. For years, fans have clamored and petitioned Warner Bros. to release Snyder’s complete version of Justice League. The problem was the so-called Snyder Cut did not actually exist, though there was a rough copy that was incomplete.
However, being that the studio’s streaming platform, HBO Max, was short on original material when it launched, Warner Bros. decided to allow Snyder to re-cut the film and add additional scenes for an exclusive on HBO Max. This ballooned into a four-hour version of Justice League that is now a mini-series and will finally allow the director to present his version of the Justice League.
1. The Book of Boba Fett
The second season finale of The Mandalorian delivered the goods for Star Wars fans, but as many were elated over Luke Skywalker’s return to the Star Wars saga, others forgot to stick around to the end credits of The Mandalorian. In it, the most notorious bounty hunter in the galaxy, Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), returned to the planet Tatooine and took over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire.
Very little is known about the limited seriesm which is not a surprise since viewers and fans were kept in the dark about The Mandalorian spinoff until the finale streamed last month. Keep in mind it’s in the hands of Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni and Robert Rodriguez, who were all responsible for successfully brought Star Wars to the small screen and reinvigorated the franchise. IOW, The Book of Boba Fett should be awesome.
Other Noteworthy TV:
Debris, Halo, Hawkeye, Invincible, Jupiter’s Legacy, M.O.D.O.K., Ms. Marvel, The Nevers, Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Station Eleven, Superman and Lois, The Wheel of Time