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The most exciting upcoming movies of 2020 and beyond

Soul

Soul trailer

(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

Release date: June 19, 2020

Pixar’s second release of 2020 is the latest from Pete Docter, the constantly innovative director of the brilliant Up and Inside Out, so we can hope for something very special from Soul. 

“Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from?” ask Disney in the press release for the movie. “What is it that makes you... YOU? In 2020, Pixar Animation Studios takes you on a journey from the streets of New York City to the cosmic realms to discover the answers to life’s most important questions.” We’re intrigued…

Top Gun: Maverick

An image from Top Gun: Maverick, one of the most exciting upcoming movies

(Image credit: Paramount)

Release date: June 26, 2020 (US)/July 17, 2020 (UK)

Thirty-four years after the original Top Gun, Tom Cruise feels the need to go back to the role that made him the biggest movie star on the planet. This time around, his Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is an instructor at the eponymous San Diego flight school, and he’s set to come into contact with trainee pilot Bradley Bradshaw (played by Whiplash star Miles Teller) – who just happens to be the son of Maverick’s late co-pilot Goose…

The first Top Gun was a glorious example of ’80s excess and style over substance, so don’t expect the sequel to be a deep examination of a pilot’s psyche. But with director Joseph Kosinski having Tron: Legacy and Oblivion under his belt, the upcoming movie is bound to look spectacular. Meanwhile, the return of Val Kilmer as Iceman is a nice link to the original – he can be our wingman anytime...

Will it be the best of the best? We’ll have to wait until next July to find out.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

(Image credit: Columbia)

Release date: July 10, 2020

Who you gonna call? When it comes to having another crack at rebooting Ghostbusters, it seems the answer is Jason Reitman. The Tully director announced via a teaser trailer in January that he's inherited the megaphone from his dad, original Ghostbusters director Ivan, for a movie Reitman Jr has described as “a continuation of the original franchise”. That means the new movie will pick up decades after New York was terrorised by insurgents from the spirit world, meaning the unfairly maligned 2016 movie now sits alone in its own parallel timeline.

With Fargo’s Carrie Coon, Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace (the young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel) and Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd, heading up the cast, it promises to have a very different feel to the “four guys team-up to fight ghosts” vibe of the original movies.

Tenet

John David Washington stars in Christopher Nolan's Tenet

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Release date: July 17, 2020

Along with James Cameron and J.J. Abrams, The Dark Knight, Inception, and Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan is one of the only filmmakers on the planet with enough clout to get a studio to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a totally original franchise. His latest is Tenet, “an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage”. 

Unfortunately, the ever-secretive Nolan has decided to play his cards even closer to his chest than usual, because we know practically nothing more about a movie that, we’re guessing, could be scratching his long-standing itch to make a Bond film – or something like it. BlacKkKlansman’s John David Washington heads up the cast, with support from Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Kenneth Branagh, and Nolan regular Michael Caine.

Morbius

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: July 31, 2020 

After the massive (and possibly unexpected) success of Venom, Sony’s going full-steam-ahead on the Spider-Verse that may or may not be attached to the MCU (Tom Holland will be appearing in Spider-Verse movies, and we already know Vulture is in Morbius, so we're guessing so). Morbius centres on another troubled villain/antihero (delete as appropriate) – this time it’s Michael Morbius, a scientist with a rare blood disorder whose experiments to find a cure end up giving him a form of vampirism.

Dallas Buyers Club Oscar-winner Jared Leto is playing the so-called “living vampire”, so expect impressive levels of commitment from an actor who famously went method playing the Joker in Suicide Squad. Indeed, producer Matt Tolmach told Comicbook.com that we can expect “a similar level of intensity and charisma and devotion to the character”.

Bill & Ted Face the Music

An image from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

(Image credit: Universal)

Release date: August 21, 2020 (US)/TBC (UK)

It’s fair to say that the last three decades haven’t panned out quite as many expected. That’s particularly true for William S. Preston Esquire and “Ted” Theodore Logan, who are yet to fulfil their destinies by penning the song that’ll bring harmony to the universe – and bring mini-golf averages way down. 

This long-awaited follow-up to Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey reunites stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, and a bunch of the supporting cast, including William Sadler as Death. Sadly, the passing of George Carlin in 2008 means the duo won’t be guided by their future BFF Rufus, but expect him to be lovingly homaged in what promises to be the silliest, most feelgood comedy of 2020.

Read more: The story behind Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. 

The King's Man

(Image credit: Fox)

Release date: September 18, 2020 

After Kingsman: The Secret Service announced the arrival of a fun new spy saga, follow-up The Golden Circle fell a little flat. Now, director Matthew Vaughn gets a chance to reinvigorate the series (based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series) by going back to the early 20th century in this prequel – we’re thinking of it as The League of Extraordinarily Tailored Gentlemen.

A big advantage of visiting the origins of the titular undercover organisation is the chance to roll out a lot of famous actors playing even more famous historical figures: Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson is Lord Kitchener, Rhys Ifans is Rasputin, Gemma Arterton is Mata Hari, and Tom Hollander is King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicholas II – the three monarchs were cousins and the spit of each other. Expect ridiculous gadgets, over-the-top action and plenty of innuendo.

The Witches

An image from the original The Witches

(Image credit: Warner)

Release date: October 16, 2020 (US)

Having first been adapted by the legendary Nicolas Roeg in 1990, Roald Dahl’s darkest children’s novel has a second crack at the big screen courtesy of Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis. Expect Anne Hathaway to give kids nightmares as the sinister Grand High Witch who plots to turn all the children in the world into mice, via – we’re guessing, this being Zemeckis – some extremely impressive transformation effects. 

The big twist is that the upcoming movie will shift the book’s UK setting to the American South in the 1960s. As Zemeckis told French site Allocine (via The Playlist), “We’re going to set it in the Gothic South in the 1960s. It’s an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story.”

The Eternals

Marvel Phase 4 Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Release date: November 6, 2020

The Eternals marks the second movie in Marvel Phase 4, and comes with a stellar cast including Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastom, and many more.

Feige himself has given a small peek into what to expect from the Eternals story, having told ComicBook.com: “It will be a story that will introduce you to this incredibly eclectic group of immortals, they're the focus of the story." He siad of the setting: "It takes place in our universe – it takes place in the MCU.”

Chloe Zhao, who will be directing The Eternals, said at SDCC: “I just really, really wanted to make a Marvel movie for so long… For this film, The Eternals, it’s about this incredible group of immortals but, through their journey, we get to explore what it means to be human.”

No Time to Die

No Time to Die Super Bowl trailer

(Image credit: Eon/Universal)

Release date: November 12 (UK)/November 25 (US)

After the departure of original director Danny Boyle and an injury to leading man Daniel Craig, No Time to Die, AKA Bond 25, has taken its time getting to the big screen. Hopefully, it‘s a case of better late than never, however, because this will mark Craig’s last outing in the tuxedo before he hands back his license to kill.

Plot details are unsurprisingly scarce, but we do know that the movie kicks off in Jamaica, with Bond enjoying some R&R after the events of Spectre. Reports have indicated that a new 007, played by Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), will bring Bond back into the fray, with Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek acting as the main villain. Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) will also appear in the movie, with Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright all returning. Behind the camera, True Detective and Maniac director Cary Fukunaga becomes the first American to helm an official Bond movie, while Fleabag creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is on the writing team.

Dune

Release date: November 20, 2020

Is Frank Herbert’s supposedly unfilmable classic sci-fi novel Dune genuinely unfilmable? The jury’s still out after David Lynch’s ambitious but flawed 1984 attempt, but if anyone can get an adaptation right it’s Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, a man who achieved the impossible with the excellent Blade Runner 2049.

He’s lined up an impressive cast to tell the story of double-dealing and skullduggery on the desert world of Arrakis, the source of the valuable “spice” that makes interstellar travel possible. Timothée Chalamet plays the lead Paul Atreides, with Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation’s Rebecca Ferguson as his mum Lady Jessica, and some top Star Wars and Marvel talent in the form of Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista and Zendaya. 

Perhaps the biggest question about the new Dune, however, is whether Villeneuve can create any visuals quite as memorable as Sting wandering around in his underwear in the original movie – intentionally or not…

West Side Story

An image from upcoming movie West Side Story

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Release date: December 18, 2020

There aren’t many genres Steven Spielberg hasn’t tackled over the course of his long and impressive career, but the musical is one of them. He’s about to change all that with this new take on West Side Story, but seeing as Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1961 Oscar-winner is widely regarded as one of the best song-and-dance flicks of all time, the director certainly isn’t taking the easy option.

Famously an update of Romeo And Juliet, the story focuses on a doomed romance against the backdrop of gang war between the Jets and the Sharks in 1950s New York. Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler play lovers Tony and Maria, with Rita Moreno (who won an Oscar playing Anita in the original movie) back to play Valentina, a reimagined and expanded version of the role of Doc.

We know the tunes are good – the question is, can Spielberg make everything else sing as well?

I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. I look after all the Total Film and SFX articles that end up on the website