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2020 undoubtedly hit the entertainment industry hard, with cinemas being closed and many major films postponed to 2021. However, it seems 2021 will be slightly more normal, and with many films to look forward to. Here are just a few:
The King’s Man
As a prequel to the popular Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The King’s Man explores the origins of the intelligence agency. The Kingsman films have so far been action spy films, with a comedic tone and attitude, and if it’s one thing the prequel’s trailer promises the audience it’s action. If the film will be equally humorous is unclear, judging by the trailer, but there’s no doubt that audience expectations are high in this area too. The previous films played a great deal on characters for humour, especially with Samuel L. Jackson’s villain, Richmond Valentine, in the first film. With brand new characters, and a new star-packed cast (including Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton and Daniel Brühl), it will be interesting to see how the film will fit in the line of Kingsman films, and how it will adapt to the franchise’s specific tone. The film is scheduled to be released August 20th.
Raya and the Last Dragon
Whether or not you’re a fan of Disney films, there is no denying that the animation in Raya and the Last Dragon looks fantastic. Following the success of Moana, Disney is again inspired by non-Western cultures and countries in the films setting design and plot. The film is set in a fictional land called Kumandra, inspired by Southeast Asian cultures from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines. Kumandra is a land of fantasy, in which humans and dragons once lived in harmony until an evil force, the Druun, threatened the land and the dragons sacrificed themselves for the humans. When the Druun returns 500 years later, the main character Raya must find the last dragon in order to defeat the evil threat once and for all. The film is written by Vietnamese American writer Qui Nguyen and Malaysian-born American writer Adele Lim, with Awkwafina and Kelly Marie Tran have been cast to voice the last dragon, Sisu, and Raya, respectively. The film is scheduled for Premier Access Disney+ and theatrical release on March 5th.
No Time to Die
For all the James Bond fans out there it was a big disappointment to see the release of the twenty-fifth instalment in the franchise be pushed back from April 2020 to October 2021. In No Time to Die, Bond is no longer in active service and is living a calm life in Jamaica, when an old friend from the CIA turns up and asks for his help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist leads Bond onto the trail of a new, mysterious villain played by Rami Malek. Based on the trailers, it seems Malek’s performance as the twisted villain is reason enough alone to see the film, as he manages to make the character truly unsettling and frightening. Another new actor to appear in Daniel Craig’s last Bond film include Lashana Lynch, who has been confirmed to be the first Black woman to take on the title of 007. The film is scheduled for release on the 8th of October.
May seems to be one of the big film release months of 2021, with films such as the horror Spiral, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and Fast and Furious 9, also scheduled to be hitting the cinemas this month. After the end of phase three and The Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), audiences were left excited to see where the franchise would take them next. The Black Widow film was scheduled for release in May 2020 but was postponed until May 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic, leaving fans with almost a two-year wait from the last MCU film. Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finds herself alone and is forced to confront her past, giving the audience a chance to get to know the hero’s origin story, including her history as a spy long before she became an Avenger. The cast also includes Midsommar star, Florence Pugh, and Stranger Things star, David Harbour. The film is scheduled to be released on May 7th, followed by another MCU film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, in July. Also on the Marvel calendar for 2021 is Eternals and the third Spider-Man film starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
Top Gun: Maverick
2021 also sees its fair share of new additions to film series we might not have expected to see more from. The 4th instalment to The Matrix series has been scheduled in December, with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, among others, reprising their roles from the previous films. We also see the reappearance of Tom Cruise, in his iconic role as Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to 1986’s Top Gun. After thirty years of service, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell must confront the past while he trains a new squad of Navy aviator graduates for a dangerous mission. The film’s official trailer promises high-flying action scenes and plane manoeuvres, and it will be interesting to see how the sequel relates to the first, released over 30 years ago. The film was scheduled to be released in July 2019 but was postponed to allow the production to work out the flight sequences, and then further postponed in 2020. Top Gun: Maverick also sees the reappearance of Val Kilmer as “Iceman”, and casts Miles Teller as one of the new graduates, Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw. The film is scheduled to be released July 8th in the UK, six days after its release in the US.
Following the pattern of scheduled to be released in 2020, but being released a year later, we also find Dune. The highly anticipated science-fiction film, based on the novel by Frank Herbert, follows Paul Atreides, son of a noble family responsible for protecting the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The planet is the only source of the most valuable asset in the galaxy, “the spice”, a drug that extends human life, and makes superhuman thought and travelling faster than light possible. The film has a star-packed cast, with Timothée Chalamet as Paul, as well as Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård and Rebecca Ferguson. The film is scheduled for release on October 1st.