After pushbacks, lawsuits and numerous disagreements, Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic novel Dune is set to be released now on October 1st 2021, theatrically and on HBO Max. The upcoming science fiction film sees Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya, thrown into the perilous world of the deep desert planet of Arrakis, where they battle it out for highly sought-after Spice. Soundtracked by composer and our go-to calm music producer Hans Zimmer, the film was originally set for release November 20th 2020, before taking the release date slot from The Batman next year, and while the film hasn’t even been released yet, Villeneuve has stated that the 2021 film will roughly cover the first half of the novel, with a follow-up covering the other half. But with ongoing disputes between Warner Bros and the director, the planned sequels may not happen.
With the ongoing pandemic pushing back the release of various cinematic projects, we countdown the most anticipated films set for release in 2021.
No Time to Die
Even though the premiere was set and countywide publicity tours planned, early on in the pandemic Eon Productions pushed back the highly-anticipated 25th Bond film No Time to Die to November of this year, but wanting to maximise sales and promotion, the producers decided to hold off until April 2nd 2021. Following the departure of acclaimed director Danny Boyle, the 25th Bond film directed by Jane Eyre director Cary Joji Fukunaga stars Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Daniel Craig in his fifth and final role as 007. With an estimated budget of $250 million, the latest Bond film is one of the most expensive films ever made and is predicted to have as much espionage and thrill as its predecessors.
The Matrix 4
With 2020 feeling like we’ve swallowed the blue pill and are stuck in a never-ending stimulation, the Wachowskis are here to pull us out with the highly-anticipated fourth sequel in the iconic sci-fi series The Matrix 4. Co-written and directed by both siblings, the film sees the reprise of Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), with Neil Patrick Harris, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Priyanka Chopra signing on in undisclosed roles. Under the codename Project Ice Cream, filming began earlier this year in San Francisco, before being halted due to the pandemic. Resuming in Berlin in September and wrapping November, the film is set for release December 21st 2021.
After numerous petitions and campaigns, superhero Black Widow – portrayed by Scarlett Johansson – finally gets its own independent film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having been delayed twice this year, the film stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour and O. T. Fagbenle, follows the events of Captain America: Civil War whereby Romanoff finds herself forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy tied to her mysterious past. After various date changes with Marvel’s Eternals, the film is finally set for release May 7th 2021.
We’ve only acknowledged Whitney Houston’s adaptation of Cinderella as the true portrayal for years, but it’s looking like we might have to widen our appreciation with Girlboss director Kay Cannon’s 2021 adaptation. Starring Camila Cabello in the lead role, the film boasts an all-star cast with Billy Porter as the genderless fairy godparent, Idina Menzel as the wicked Stepmother, Missy Elliot as the towner crier and James Corden as a footman. With the first looks throwing us into the classic fairy tale with a modern-day twist, the re-imagining is slated for release February 5th 2021.
The Little Things
Remi Malek, Jared Leto and Denzel Washington? John Lee Hancock is kicking of 2021 the right way with his Neo-noir psychological thriller The Little Things. Giving us David Fincher’s SE7EN vibes, Hancock’s highly-anticipated film follows the ongoing clashes between a Kern County deputy and a Los Angeles detective during the ongoing investigation of a serial killer. Originally written in 1993 for Steven Spielberg to direct, before being passed to Clint Eastwood and Danny DeVito for being “too dark”, the film was picked up by Hancock a few years ago, officially wrapped filming in December 2019 and is set for release January 29th 2021.
The French Dispatch
2020 was really meant to be the year of Timothee Chalamet with the planned release of Dune and upcoming political satire Don’t Look Up with Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio, but we begrudgingly have to wait till next year for the star to grace our screens again as he stars in Wes Anderson’s highly anticipated The French Dispatch. Starring alongside an ensemble crew of Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux and Saoirse Ronan, the film has been described as “a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city”. Originally set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, the film has been pushed for May 2021 with reports it could debut at next year’s festival.
Last Night in Soho
Between her standout performance in Emma and her captivating portrayal in Netflix’s The Queens Gambit as champ Beth Harmon, Anya Taylor Joy has sky-rocketed this year and is showing no signs of slowing down with her upcoming lead role in Edgar Wright’s psychological horror Last Night In Soho. Focusing on a young fashion designer who mysteriously enters the 1960s to encounter her idol, the young girl is quickly thrown into turmoil as the 1960s London is not what it seems and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences. Previously scheduled to be released in September, the film is set for release 23 April 2021.