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New movies 2020: what you can watch when theaters reopen

(Image credit: Marvel; MGM; Disney)

Wondering which new movies are coming in 2020? The film industry has had a torrid year so far. The widespread global lockdown in the wake of coronavirus caused theaters around the world to close, first in China, and then in countries like the US and UK. Now, though, as governments start to ease lockdown measures, there are loads of exciting new movies in 2020 to look forward to. With many of them delayed from release dates earlier in the year, the big-hitters are coming thick and fast.

In this list, we'll explain which exciting new movies are coming in 2020 (with their updated, post-lockdown release dates), and which big films – some of them originally scheduled for this year – are now releasing in 2021. You won't find every single movie on this list, but we will highlight all the biggest and best upcoming movies that we think you'll want to check out as theaters reopen. If there's a trailer, too, you'll find it below. 

Note, too, that some of these movies are likely to move around as the various studios react to the current health crisis. That includes Christopher Nolan's Tenet, which has different release dates depending on whether you're watching in the US or one of 70 other territories, and Disney's Mulan, which is now postponed indefinitely.

Unhinged

Release date: July 31, 2020
(Put back from July 10, 2020)

Even though Unhinged was eventually delayed from early July, Russell Crowe's upcoming thriller was one of few films to be brought forward, and it will still be one of the first new films cinema-goers can enjoy following the coronavirus outbreak.

The plot looks simple enough: a divorced mother (Caren Pistorious) succumbs to road rage at a troubled man stopped at a red light, who then stalks and torments her and her family. From the horror-inflected trailer, it seems his pursuit is so violent and obsessive that the film will finally reunite you with the edge of your cinema seat. 

The Empty Man

Release date: August 7, 2020

Just to remind us that big-screen comic book adaptations aren’t all about Marvel and DC, this supernatural horror brings Cullen Bunn and Vanessa Del Rey’s Boom! Studios graphic novel to the big screen. Iron Man 3’s James Badge Dale plays a bereaved ex-cop who encounters a sinister group trying to summon a malign supernatural entity while working a missing persons case. First-time movie director David Prior calls the shots.

The New Mutants

Release date: August 28, 2020
(Put back from April 2020)

Originally slated to come out before the dismal X-Men: Dark Phoenix, The New Mutants has spent the last couple of years being bumped around release schedules and plagued by talk of extensive reshoots. With its release date pegged for April until the coronavirus struck, part of us wonders if it'll ever actually make it into cinemas. Nonetheless, the idea of plunging mutant teens into a creepy, hospital-set horror movie is intriguing, and the young cast (including The Witch's Anya Taylor-Joy and Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams) has definite potential. 

Tenet

Release date: September 3, 2020 (US); August 26, 2020 (UK)
(Put back from August 12, 2020)

The list of filmmakers who get to spend hundreds of millions of dollars making a non-franchise movie is limited, but Christopher Nolan is one of them. Unfortunately for us, however, the Dark Knight, Inception and Interstellar director makes Marvel look like blabbermouths when it comes to plots, and even weeks away from release there's not much more to go on than Warner's official line that it's "an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage". The trailer above, though, suggests something a lot more complicated, involving the afterlife...

After Tenet got delayed a third time, the elusive blockbuster will now come to 70 other countries earlier than the US, in which it'll land in 'select' cities that are currently unknown. It's certainly unusual, but not a surprise given how badly affected by the coronavirus America remains. Warner Bros has promised the movie will have an extended theatrical run to ensure people get a chance to see it, too.

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Release date: September 1, 2020
(Put back from August 28, 2020)

Two of the most righteous dudes in cinema make a long-awaited comeback, but life hasn't gone quite the way they planned. Despite being destined to write the music that will inspire universal peace and harmony (as well as bringing mini-golf averages way down), the now-50-something Bill S Preston, Esquire, and Ted "Theodore" Logan are still waiting to live the dream. Thankfully Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves are both back to play Hollywood's best air guitar duet – along with William Sadler as Death and original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon – so hopefully this will be more excellent than bogus. 

Originally set for release on August 21, and then August 28, Bill and Ted Face the Music will now release for premium video on demand, and then in select theaters on September 1.

The King's Man

Release date: September 16, 2020 (UK); September 18, 2020 (US)

After the fun action of Kingsman: The Secret Service, the franchise quickly went off the rails with the overblown The Golden Circle. There's a lot riding on this third instalment, then, which may be why it's gone in such a radical new direction, heading back to World War I to show the early days of top-secret, impeccably tailored spy organisation The Kingsmen. Ralph Fiennes is the M-type figure (shouldn't be too much of a stretch…) who recruits Harris Dickinson's Conrad to the club to combat an early 20th century brand of villainy. Sounds like a retro James Bond to us, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Wonder Woman 1984

Release date: October 2, 2020
(Put back from June 2020)

The movie that proved DC can (occasionally) go toe-to-toe with Marvel gets an eagerly anticipated sequel. After the first movie's World War One heroics, we rejoin Amazon princess Diana (Gal Gadot) in the mid-'80s as she faces off against new baddies Cheetah (Kristen Wiig), and media mogul Maxwell Lord, played by the man under The Mandalorian's mask, Pedro Pascal. Much of the internet buzz, however, surrounds the mystery of how Chris Pine's Steve Trevor – last seen dying in a heroically doomed plane in the first movie – has made it back in one piece for Wonder Woman 1984. Answers – and tearful reunions – should be heading our way in October…

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox/Disney)

Death on the Nile

Release date: October 9, 2020

Kenneth Branagh directs the sequel to his Murder on the Orient Express adaptation, where he returns to his role – and that impressively sculpted facial hair – as Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. As in the first movie, he's taken a dazzling ensemble cast along for the ride, this time including Gal Gadot, Sex Education’s Emma Mackey and Black Panther's Letitia Wright. Don't expect any massive surprises in the plot – the story's over 80 years old – but with whodunits like this, the fun is always in watching Poirot sleuthing up a storm.

The French Dispatch

Release date: October 16, 2020
(Put back from July 2020)

Going on the trailer, the latest new Wes Anderson movie is quite possibly the most Wes Anderson-looking thing you could imagine. His first movie since the under-appreciated Isle of Dogs is an anthology about the stories composing the final issue of the titular magazine, an American publication made in France. Everything from the color palette to the ensemble cast (which includes Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Tilda Swinton) is in line with what we'd expect from a director whose name should appear alongside “quirky” in a thesaurus. Timothée Chalamet and Jeffrey Wright also star.

Candyman

Release date: October 16, 2020
(Put back from June 2020)

Get Out/Us creator Jordan Peele produces this continuation of the ’90s slasher franchise. Watchmen and Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays an artist who becomes obsessed with the legend of the Candyman, a supernatural killer who appears in mirrors when you say his name five times. Plot specifics are scarce, but Tony Todd is rumoured to be reprising his role as the hook-handed, bee-spewing bogeyman, while director Nia DaCosta (2018’s Little Woods, Netflix’s Top Boy revival) is calling the shots.

Black Widow

Release date: November 6, 2020
(Put back from May 2020)

It's been a whole decade coming but the Avengers' Russian superspy Natasha Romanoff – aka Black Widow – finally gets a chance to headline her own movie in what's now Marvel's only big-screen release of 2020. It's a shame Scarlett Johansson had to wait (spoiler alert!) for her character to die in Avengers: Endgame to get a solo outing, but the Cate Shortland-directed movie heads back to the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Romanoff confronts her murky past. Expect rival female assassins, espionage overload, and Stranger Things' David Harbour as Russia's unlikely answer to Captain America.  

Soul

Release date: November 20, 2020 (US); November 27, 2020 (UK) 
(Put back from June 2020)

When Pixar really wants to push the creative envelope, it generally turns to director Pete Docter. This is the guy who turned the stuff of nightmares into the cuddly Monsters, Inc, expertly navigated grief in Up, and literally got inside the human mind in Inside Out. The family-friendly existentialism continues with Soul, as a teacher/aspiring jazz pianist (voiced by Jamie Foxx) falls through a manhole, and winds up transported to a mysterious world where souls learn to be. Expect plenty of deep questions about pre-determination and the nature of self, all delivered with that trademark Pixar technical genius and wit.   

No Time to Die 

Release date: 12 November, 2020 (UK); 20 November (US)
(Put back from April 2020)

Daniel Craig draws his Walther PPK for the fifth and final time in the latest James Bond movie (originally set for an April release) as the 007 arc begun by Casino Royale back in 2006 comes to an explosive end. While James Bond begins the movie in retirement in Jamaica with Spectre survivor Madeleine Swann (Lea Sedoux) – there are rumors the couple now have a kid – he's soon drawn back into active service by a story involving Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), old MI6 colleagues M, Q and Moneypenny, and a new 00 agent in the form of Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch. All eyes, however, will be on Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar-winner Rami Malek as a Big Bad called Safin.

Free Guy

Release date: December 11, 2020
(Put back from July 2020)

The history of movies inspired by videogames is not a glorious one, but Free Guy looks like it could have a clever solution to that particular problem – it’s not based on a specific franchise. Instead, it’s set in a made-up game where a non-player character suddenly becomes self-aware and becomes a hero. This looks like the perfect vehicle for Ryan Reynolds, who can do wise-cracking action hero in his sleep, while the trailer suggests the in-game reality will put a fun spin on the fights. The supporting cast is also great, with Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, Stranger Things’ Joe Keery and all-round-legend Taika Waititi all playing along.

dune 2020 release date

(Image credit: Chiabella James/Warner Bros.)

Dune

Release date: December 18, 2020

Director Denis Villeneuve definitely isn't afraid of a challenge. Having negotiated the tricksy timelines of Arrival and lived up to fan expectations with the brilliant Blade Runner 2049, he's taking on Frank Herbert's epic space opera – a book largely believed to be unfilmable. David Lynch had a go in 1984, of course, but you'd hope that with 21st century effects, Villeneuve's storytelling skills, and an all-star cast – The King's Timothée Chalamet is the story's hero Paul Atreides, while Mission: Impossible's Rebecca Ferguson plays his mother, Lady Jessica – the new Dune might just achieve the impossible. The fact that the book is being split across two movies at least suggests they'll be giving the story time to breathe.

(Image credit: Disney)

West Side Story

Release date: December 18, 2020

The year is set to go out with something of a song and dance, as all eyes turn to Steven Spielberg’s first ever big screen musical. And let's be honest, the legendary director of Indiana Jones, Jaws and Saving Private Ryan couldn’t have chosen a bigger act to follow. Robert Wise's Oscar-winning 1961 movie version of the classic Bernstein and Sondheim production is undoubtedly one of the greatest screen musicals of all time, so it’ll be exciting to see what Spielberg can bring to the party.

Promising Young Woman

Release date: TBA
(Put back from April 2020)

Following the genius that is Phoebe Waller-Bridge was always going to be a tall order, but Emerald Fennell did a good job when she took over as showrunner for Killing Eve's second season. Fennell's adding another string to her impressive bow (she also appears as the young Camilla Parker-Bowles in The Crown) as she writes and directs new revenge movie Promising Young Woman. Carey Mulligan stars as woman whose life was knocked off track by a mysterious event in her past, but now ends up righting past wrongs – the trailer suggests it's going to be a blast. 

With the film pulled from release schedules in the wake of Covid-19, a new date is yet to be confirmed.

Mulan

Release date: TBA
(Put back from August 21, 2020)

Disney's highly lucrative mission to turn its animated classics into live-action hits continues with Mulan. This looks set to be less of a fairytale than the likes of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, however, with the emphasis shifted to the realms of the historical war epic. The core story of Hua Mulan, a young woman who masquerades as a man to join the army in Imperial China remains intact, and we're expecting this to look stunning – though anyone looking for wisecracking dragon sidekick Mushu (memorably voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original) is likely to be disappointed.

This was set to be Disney’s first theatrical release since lockdown began, and it was delayed from July to August, before the studio removed the film from its release calendar entirely over continuing coronavirus uncertainty, especially in North America.

Check out new movies coming in 2021 on the next page.