I’m not gonna lie, I’m really excited that entertainment is starting to roll out again. It’s sucked for me that 2020’s relatively lukewarm release Calendar became MORE empty because of the COOF.
With the vaccine rollout finally coming into play, it seems like Hollywood is starting to feel more comfortable dipping their toes in the water and releasing major projects. Well see if they actually stick to the schedule though and honor their plans…
For now, this is just my list of 17 THINGS in general that I’m really looking forward to seeing, watching and playing this year!
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (May 4th)
My fatwa against Disney+ hasn’t lifted yet and won’t for the foreseeable future but that doesn’t mean I’m not still excited to watch their new shows through… completely legal means.
Of the lot, I’m currently most excited for their official continuation/spin-off of The Clone Wars. Filoni seems to have big plans for these characters (if some of the leaks about their involvement in future Star Wars shows turn out to be true).
For now, I’m looking forward to finding a friend’s sofa to pilfer the show off of at some point this summer!
Without Remorse (Available Now)
As of the time of writing this, this movie isn’t available but will technically be available to watch by the time it goes live. That said, I don’t have Amazon Prime so I may or may not have seen this film by the time this comes out.
That said, I am excited that the Tom Clancy series is actually starting to tackle the books again. Hollywood hasn’t done a straight adaptation of the books since Sum of All Fears in 2002. Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit and Amazon’s Jack Ryan series have worked under the false idea that the character of Jack Ryan is strong enough to frame a modern espionage franchise around.
As much as I love the books, I think that’s wrong. Ryan’s a good protagonist because of the topical scenarios he’s forced to tackle. He was interesting set against the events of the Cold War, IRA terrorism and the fall of the Soviet Union. He’s dull in a modern context.
(Although this is coming from the same what ineffectual create team who made Sicario 2 so maybe I’m a putting too much faith in this film…)
Well just have to see how the film executes it’s themes!
Annette (July 6th – French Release)
I have no idea what to expect with this film other that it’ll be huge and weird. Leo Carax is one of the most acclaimed living French directors whose 2012 film Holy Motors broke out onto the international scene as one of the most thematically ambitious art films of the 2010s.
It’s hard to merely describe a film like that of course. Carax is an artist (and one whose body of prior work is mostly foreign to me) and he knows what he’s doing.
The trailer depicts much of what we already know. It’s an English language musical starring Adam Driver. Well have to wait and see what it’s like when it gets it’s late 2021 limited release in the U.S.
The Green Knight (July 30th)
I’ve been more excited for David Lowry’s (late of Pete’s Dragon and A Ghost Story) adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight than almost anything in the past year.
Lowry is a legitimately talented and visionary workman and the idea that he would tackle a project as unusual as a 600 year old Welsh Arthurian poem is exciting for classics nerds like me!
Given that it’s an A24 production, it may not prove to be a deeply honorable adaptation of the original poem but good King Arthur films are few and far between. I’ll take what I can get!
The Suicide Squad (August 6th)
Even among DCEU fans, I doubt I will make much noise by saying that the original 2016 release of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is abysmal. It’s amazing though that DC decided to bring in the artist they mercilessly ripped off in that film to make an action/comedy that actually looks fun!
James Gunn here returns with his first film since his 2018 cancelation with a movie that looks like it’s got a lot of good energy working for it! The red band trailer shows that it’s going to be an R-rated, immature and ultra-Gory flick that carries the same attitude and needle drop music cues of his previous work on the Guardians of the Galaxy films!
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3rd)
There are a lot of Marvel projects I’m excited to check out this year! Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Spiderman 3 and The Eternals all have a lot of promise to them!
Of the lot though, I’d argue Shang Chi is the most conceptually interesting of the set. Marvel hasn’t done a martial arts film before and it’s interesting that this film is essentially a followup to the Mandarin storyline in Iron Man 3.
Dune (October 1st)
This is the big one guys! Denis Villeneuve’s big budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal science fiction book is the only movie that absolutely needs to crush at the box office this year.
This is the fourth time Hollywood has tried to adapt the book and the first three times were all different levels of failures. With the director of Blade Runner 2049, Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival behind it though, there remains hope!
The film is only adapted from the first HALF of the book though and if it’s successful WB will sign off of the second part. Ideally, we may even get sequel adaptations of the more OUT THERE sequels like Dune Messiah and Children of Dune!
Last Night in Soho (October 22nd)
Edgar Wright films are special things that always deserve a special place in the year’s release Calender. This is his first major release since his surprise success with 2017’s Baby Driver and its a long overdue followup!
All we know about the film conceptually is that it’s a stylistic homage to Roman Polanski’s sexually charged psychological thrillers like Repulsion. Beyond that, the film is mostly a mystery!
The Last Duel/House of Gucci (Fall)
Ridley Scott has been busy since his last two films in 2017: Alien Covenant and All the Money in the World. He has TWO new films dropping this year!
The first is a medieval combat movie set against the 100 Years War in France and the second is a crime drama about the infamous Gucci crime family.
Knowing Ridley Scott, these could turn out to be really good or really bad. His record for both genres is spotty but when he’s on point he consistently makes some of the best mainstream films of any living director!
Belle (Late 2021)
Mamoru Hosada is my favorite current Japanese filmmaker. His films like Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast and Summer Wars are consistently some of the most beautiful and affecting works of animation to come out of Japan in the post-Ghibli era!
The film borrows ideas, namely a story about a young person delving into a vast virtual world, from his previous features but also seems to be taking a more emotional take on such a story than we’ve seen before. He’s said in interviews that the film is “the movie that I have always wanted to create” so we’ll see what that actually means soon enough!
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Soggy Bottom (December 25th)
What else is there to say about this other than the fact that there’s a new Paul Thomas Anderson film coming out this year!
PTA is easily our most talented arthouse director working in Hollywood and he’s made masterpieces like Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood. Even when his films don’t totally work out, his work is easily the most notable and discussable work of the year!
I’m all in on whatever he’s going to dish out for us!
Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings (Fall 2021)
I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have reservations about this project but DANG IT I’m dying to see this show!
Amazon Prime signed a $1 billion deal with the Tolkien estate years ago to produce a five-season epic fantasy series that can compete with Game of Thrones and The Witcher. The show is even specifically going to be drawing from material in Tolkien’s posthumously published epic The Silmarillion and follow the Second Age of Middle Earth during the time of the Numeanorians (Aragorn’s ancestors blessed with long life).
While leaked rumors have suggested that the series will be replete with diversity casting and forced nudity, we ultimately don’t know much about the series beyond the fact that the Star Trek: Beyond writers are the confirmed show runners. This could go either way as far as I’m concerned.
Foundation (Late 2021)
Maybe this year’s strangest and least expected release is Apple TV+’s adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s critically acclaimed Foundation Trilogy.
We don’t know much about the series yet and it hasn’t even received a release date but we do know the show is supposed to release sometime this year! It’s the largest project the fledgling streaming service has taken on yet and may prove to be it’s hot ticket item!
The Witcher Season 2 (Late 2021)
The Witcher was one of the most quality excellent shows to drop in the past two years with a modestly accomplished first season that defied expectations and managed to treat the critically acclaimed gaming series with the prestige is deserved.
Wonderfully, season 2 just wrapped in the last month!
The show is obviously going to have a thorough post production process to go through, considering it’s a heavy special effects show, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the season dropped in late 2021 or spring 2022!
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Late 2021/Early 2022)
While CBS All Access’s reign on Star Trek has been almost universally panned for its bleak stories and poor writing, Anson Mount’s portrayal of Captain Pike in Discovery Season 2 remains the highlight of the franchise thus far!
It wasn’t surprising then that his own spin-off series would be announced!
For many fans, this series will be the last word on modern iterations of Star Trek and will determine the fate of the franchise going forward. Will be his series be able to rite the course of the series or will it be a fourth failure on top of the last three shows?
Halo: Infinite (Fall)
It’s been nearly six %#?$ing years since a main series release in the Halo franchise and I’m dying to get my hands on this. It was supposed to release in November but fan backlash to the demo and COVID delays meant the game desperately needed another year to bump up the visual fidelity and to prepare more prerelease flighting and commercialization.
As a Halo junkie, I’m desperately hoping this game proves to be the best platform possible to relaunch the franchise and get it on track for the next decade.
Here’s hoping the E3 footage and multiplayer beta can match our years or collective hopes and hype.
Metroid Prime 4/Metroid SR Followup/Prime Trilogy Remaster (No Release Date)
We’re long overdue for news on the Metroid front. The E3 2017 teasers for Metroid Samus Returns and Metroid Prime 4 shot the franchise back into the spotlight in a BIG way but the developmental delay of the second game meant there’s been a huge weight for Nintendo Switch content in the meantime.
That said, Nintendo generally doesn’t reveal new releases until 6 months prior to launch and 2021 and 2022 are in need of major fall releases. With the other major release of Breath of the Wild 2 in development as well, it wouldn’t surprise me if a Metroid title got dropped into one of those fall release windows!
If nothing else, it wouldn’t surprise me if Nintendo finally pulled back the curtain on a rerelease of the Metroid Prime Trilogy or a new 2D side scrolling game to pass the time!
Bethesda’s Starfield (No Release Date)
Last and hopefully not least, Bethesda’s newest game is likely due either this or next year. Their last four games Fallout 3 (2008), Skyrim (2011), Fallout 4 (2015) and Fallout 76 (2018) were dropped in 3-4 year intervals.
Starfield was announced back at E3 2018, alongside Elder Scrolls 6, to help alleviate some of the foreboding tension of when their next mainstream blockbuster RPG was going to drop. At that point, Starfield had SUPPOSEDLY been in preproduction for years.
Considering the months upon months of controversies that followed, they’ve been forced to put a lot of effort into this new franchise to help cushion the horrible reputation they’ve developed in the past decade.
Who knows when they’ll actually drop it but we should know by the first week of June if this game could possibly drop this year!