With the year nearly over I felt an overview of 2020 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies was in order. 2019 was another good year with regards to Science Fiction movies. Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker concluded the sequel trilogy and did not suck. While Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt was an unexpected gem. Both Alita: Battle Angel and Avengers: Endgame managed to wow me at the cinema. There were a few misfires too, notably Terminator Dark Fate and X-Men Dark Phoenix, but expectations were already low. Only the former managed to beat those expectations and then only just. So how can 2020 beat 2019. Well, it will have Dune. Probably contending with Blade Runner 2049 as the most desired hard-core Sci-Fi movie imaginable.
But there is plenty more, so below I compiled a list of Science Fiction I am most looking forward to in 2020. The list has a few rules. For one I tried to limit superhero movies if they don’t include a significant sci-fi element. Just shooting lasers from one’s eyes does not count. So below is my list of 2020 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies. Enjoy!
Dune -- the first on the list of 2020 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies
Fans of the 1965 epic Dune by author Frank Herbert have desired a big screen adaptation for decennia. Since I was a youth I have been addicted to this franchise, as I was to Blade Runner. It should then not come as a surprise that the bets director, Denis Villeneuve, of the last decade is helming this latest adaptation -- Dune 2020. There have been prior attempts to film the book. Nutcase director Alejandro Jodorowsky tried it in the 70s. David Lynch released his version in 1984 with poor special effects and muddled themes. In 2000 a series released by SYFY (then known as Sci Fi Channel). The latter was relatively faithful and contains some very good performances but its shoestring budget hampered it form being epic.
Now Dune will get the adaptation it so richly deserves. The movie release is set for December 2018 and will feature the first half of story. With that director Denis Villeneuve given himself some leg room and tried to fit all that is Dune in one 3 hour movie. Dune 2020 will feature a large ensemble cast: Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as his mother Lady Jessica, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto, Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Harkonnen and Zendaya as Chani.
The soundtrack will be provided by Hans Zimmer. All told this is the most epic line-up of creative staff since The Force Awakens. However, where exactly the first movie ends is not clear. Emperor Shaddam and Count Hasimir Fenring have not been cast. They do only appear in the second half of the novel. In a recent retro review of the novel I speculate where the cut off point will be.
A Quiet Place: Part II
One of the unexpected successes of 2018 was A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski and starring himself and his wife Emily Blunt. Set in world overrun by aliens humans can only survive by making as little sound as possible. In the first movie we track the Abbott family as they attempt to live on their farm. They have three children, of whom the daughter Regan is deaf. This complicates things as she does not know when she is making noise. Meanwhile mother Evelyn is expecting another child.
A Quiet Place was a effective successful thriller. The rarely seen aliens were an omnipresent threat while family turmoil on more than one occasion led to disaster. At the end of the movie the family learns how to use the aliens ability to hear every sound against them. Sadly, father Lee was killed which leaves Evelyn and her shotgun to seek revenge in A Quiet Place: Part II. The cats will remain largely unchanged except for additions of Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. The movie is set for release on March 20th and will again be directed by John Krasinski.
Up to a few weeks ago few had an idea what Christopher Nolan‘s first movie since Dunkirk would be about. Then a mysterious teaser trailer was released showing what looked like a rather ordinary spy drama. My first impressions was a cross between Mission Impossible Fallout and Inception. It was only when the laws of gravity and causality started to be violated that it became we would be getting something special. Tenet tells the story of how secret agents attempt to prevent World War III through time-travel.
Of course as we know from Avengers: Endgame the kind of time-travel we see in Back to the Future is bullshit. Taking a line from Game of Thrones -- “the ink is already dry”. How director Nolan tries to get around this rule is what everybody will be speculating about until the movies release on July 17th. The movie features a large ensemble cast featuring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Adrianne Debicki, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine. Tenet is easily the second most anticipated movie of 2020.
BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. On a computer is the most basic program that controls the various features on a motherboard. When I see that a movie called BIOS is set for a October 2nd release and it stars Tom Hanks I get interested. BIOS tells the story of Finch, the last man on Earth. Finch is an inventor and creates and android to keep him and his dog company. So far it sounds quite familiar, if it contained zombies most people will have a good idea what to expect. Only BIOS does not contains zombies.
What follows the creation of his android a trek across America. The Android Jeff will be played by Caleb Landry Jones while Samira Wiley will be play Weaver -- another survivor. What makes BIOS interesting is that it is directed Miguel Sapochnik. Miguel directed a number of episodes of Game of Thrones that feature large set-piece battles -- The Battle of the Bastards and The Long Night.
Have you always wanted to live inside a video game. I have, movies that depict living inside a virtual environment such as Tron and the Matrix have always been a staple for me. Games such as Grand Theft Auto, The Elder Scrolls and The Witcher 3 have always felt more than a little bit real. We can do anything we want, its harmless if do anything to a Non-Player Character (NPC), right? Well, in Free Guy actor Ryan Reynolds plays such an NPC who takes matters into his own hands after having enough of the abuse.
It is strange that Reynolds manages to so consistently play roles that are a meta for our own world -- from Deadpool to Detective Pikachu earlier this year. Free Guy takes an ample dose of inspiration from games such as GTA and Fortnite. Free Guy also stars Jodie Comer as Molotov Girl, Channing Tatum and Taika Waititi. The movie is being directed by Shawn Levy who has no small amount of credits to his name, from Stranger Things to The Internship.
The Tomorrow War
The next big Chris Pratt movie is The Tomorrow War directed by Chris McKay. The movie tells the story of how humanity is losing its war to an alien invasion force. In effort to turn the tide soldiers from the past are drafted to fight. On the face of it this sounds like a mashup of Edge of Tomorrow and Starship Troopers. And that doesn’t sound nearly as bad after I wrote that down. Little about the movie is known, so far no trailer has been released.
But from the synopsis I assume that Chris Pratt will play one such soldier. From what time period and what specific war he hails is not known but either way there will also be a bit of Demolition Man. And that is one of my favorite B-movies of the 90s. The Tomorrow War will also star J. K. Simmons (Counterpart), Betty Gilpin and Yvonne Strahovski.
The Eternals is my first superhero movie in this list. Part of the Marvel cinematic Universe The Eternals tells the story of how the similar-named immortal species protect Earth. I know very little about the comic book source for The Eternals, but to me it sounds a lot like Thor and the Asgardians. As this movie stars Angelina Jolie in a now rare movie role as well Salma Hayek I get interested. The movie also stars Richard Madden and Kit Harrington. The latter became King of the North on Game of Thrones after the former was killed during the Red Wedding at the end of season 3. The Eternals is being directed by Chloe Zhao who has so far two critically acclaimed movies under belt, but they were relatively small scale productions. However, isn’t that how all great directors started.
Voyagers tells the story of a multi-generational space flight to another home. Directed by Neil Burger and starring Colin Farrell. The mission becomes endangered when the crew becomes delusional fearing an as of yet unknown threat. On the face of it this story sounds a bit like the works of Kim Stanley Robinson -- specifically Aurora or maybe Alastair Reynolds. I hope referencing such pedigree here is justified as anything else would be standard space thriller fare in the vain of so many Alien rip-offs. Voyagers also stars Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp and Fion Whitehead. Voyagers has as of yet no set release date.
One of the funniest movies of last year was Venom, starring Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams. Venom is not officially part of the MCU as its right are owned by Sony, but it sort of exists in that world with a few nod and winks to Spider-Man. Venom was a very divisive movie. I enjoyed it, even if I recognize it as flawed and at least a decade out of date when it comes to story tropes and special effects. But boy what was Venom good fun.
Tom Hardy played the role of Eddie Brock infected with the alien Venom. To outsiders Eddie just appeared a nut but the audience knows with whom he is talking. Its a trope harkening back to many classic movies form the 80s and it was very effective. considering it made over 800 million as the box office a sequel was inevitable. Venom 2 will get a new director, none other than Andy Serkis -- which I think is progress. The cats has been enlarged to include Woody Harrelson and Naomie Harris.
Wonder Woman 1984
To end the list of 2020 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies is Wonder Woman 1984. Finally we are getting a sequel to the fantastic 2017 movie Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot. I felt skeptical about the setting changed from World War I to 1984 but after seeing the fantastic trailer a few weeks ago I have become a complete convert. The trailer features a fantastic remix of Blue Monday which really gets you into the 80s groove.
In Wonder Woman 1984 we Diana struggling with loneliness since the loss of Steve Trevor in the first movie. Villain of the story Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is able to capitalize on this, but it does mean Steve will be back for the second movie. Kirsten Wiig will play the villain Cheetah while Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen will also return for small roles. Wonder Woman 1984 is set for release on June 5th.
2020 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies -- Honourable Mentions
There are still a number of other movies that could have made this list but for one reason or another I decided not to include. Most because they are superhero movies with barely a slither of sci-fi: Birds of Prey, The New Mutants and Black Widow. All three are highly anticipated but a decision has to be made and they did not make the cut. However, one science fiction production that has all the right pedigree but wasn’t included is Chaos Walking. This film starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley was supposed to be released back in March before it was unceremoniously delayed.
Reports of poor test screenings followed by reshoots culminated in a unspecific 2020 release date. The movie is based on a young-adult novel by Patrick Ness. It is set on an alien planet in which all women have been killed in a war with a species called The Spackle. The movie is being directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity). So what should have been a carefree production is looking more like a 115 million dollar hole for the studio.
So there we have it -- the SciFiEmprie.net 2020 Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Movies. I will be creating a dedicated page for Dune, you can already follow the link. If you don’t want to miss any of the coverage regarding these movies then please subscribe by filling in you email address into the widget on the right. You can also post a comment below or in the dedicated forum.