• Roni Cooper

Top 10 Most Anticipated 2021

I'm not sure if you've heard, but 2020 did't exactly go to plan. Despite the promise of a wealth of new film and TV to be released during the year, the pandemic put a stop to most of the big movies due to be released, pushed back consistently over the (quite frankly isolating) months.

Despite this, I choose to be optimistic about 2021; even with the current situation, there's plenty to look forward to over the next twelve months. Here are ten films I'm most looking forward to in the coming year.

10. Eternals

Following the phenomenal success of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel is venturing into another tale of a band of misfits, this time taking on Jack Kirby's Eternals. At this point, with a talking raccoon and a man who shrinks to the size of an ant already in their current roster of characters, the studio can afford to take as big a risk as they like, even propelling themselves once again into outer space. Directed by the incredibly talented Chloé Zhao (The Rider, Nomadland), and starring the likes of Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani, this promises to be as big and bold as its counterparts.

9. In the Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda's work prior to Hamilton, In the Heights, is not a musical to be sniffed at. Nominated for thirteen Tony Awards and winning four, it often gets hidden under the massive popularity of its creator's more recent work, but, judging by this trailer, looks to be just as powerful. With an incredible soundtrack combining freestyle rap and salsa numbers, it might be just the salve we need this year.

8. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Finally, after 12 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is becoming a more inclusive place, representative of the world we live in. With their first Asian lead in the form of Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, and boasting an impressive supporting cast including Awkwafina (!) and Michelle Yeoh (!!), the titular character will be forced to confront the "real" Mandarin (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), a character only appropriated by Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) in Iron Man 3. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), it's time to progress the MCU into new territory.

7. A Quiet Place Part II

Having quite the success with 2018's A Quiet Place, actor/writer/director John Krasinski is back to helm his follow-up, once again starring his on and off-screen wife, the ever-brilliant Emily Blunt. Judging by the trailer, the sequel looks to expand upon the first, almost bottle-episode like premise, and thrusts its characters out into the open, monster-inhabited world. Also starring the underrated Cillian Murphy, this could very well be one of the best movie horrors of the year.

6. Candyman

1992's Candyman has become something of a cult classic, with its ultra-violent, still far too prescient themes and incredible performance by Tony Todd as the terrifying spectre. Primed for a remake, produced by a very in-demand Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta, this new version looks to explore themes of gentrification and the relentless racism the black community suffers on a daily basis. 2021's Candyman is set to be a violent, horrifying affair more reflective of today's society than should be the case.

5. Mission: Impossible 7

The Mission: Impossible franchise hasn't been the same since writer/director Christopher McQuarrie joined the team. Starting with the impressive Rogue Nation and arguably creating a series best with 2018's Fallout, he's back to do what he does best - put Tom Cruise in precarious situations. As the action gets better and the stunts get more insane, the once inconsistent array of spy films have raised their game, to (sometimes literally) new heights. Expect explosions, fist fights and anxiety-inducing set pieces for the seventh mission.

4. Promising Young Woman

Actor and writer Emerald Fennell, most notable for her work as a young Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown, makes her feature directorial debut with Promising Young Woman, starring Carrey Mulligan. The exact plot of the movie is slightly murky, but the sentiment is clear: women are beyond tired of being treated like objects by men and getting away with it. Mulligan looks to be on striking form, all edges and taking no prisoners, far more acerbic than her previous work. With a biting take only aided by a world post-#MeToo movement, this could be the sharpest movie of the year.

3. Black Widow

And it only took a decade. With a supporting role in Iron Man 2 and becoming one of the six original members of The Avengers, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff spent the majority of her time with the team with the desire to right past wrongs and wipe the debt she felt she owed to the world. With her first solo film, set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the need to wipe the red off her ledger sends her back to what made her Black Widow in the first place. Delayed by a year due to the pandemic, it's due in May, and I can't wait to get my eyes on one of the few female-led superhero movies around.

2. Dune

Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune has often been cited as an 'un-filmable' novel, dense and packed with hard science-fiction concepts. Famously, David Lynch had a crack at it in 1984, but came up against studio interference, to unfortunate results. Mega-fan Denis Villeneuve, who's had success with the genre (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) seems the perfect man for the job, with an innate knowledge and love of the source material. The trailer is fantastic - the cinematography alone is enough to be excited about - and fingers crossed we'll be able to see it on the big screen in October.

1. Last Night in Soho

For the most part, director Edgar Wright has dealt in comedy, combining with other genres and vivid style reminiscent of the works of Sam Raimi. With his latest, comedy is dropped in favour of out-and-out horror; whilst much of the premise is kept under wraps (the less we know, the better), the film is set in both London's swinging 60s and present day, between Anya Taylor-Joy's wannabe singer and Thomasin Mackenzie's fashion designer. Wright's first female protagonists and co-written by 1917 scribe Krysty Wilson-Cairns, Last Night in Soho's exciting focus and excellent talent makes it, by far, my most anticipated of 2021.

After a tough year for the film industry, I have everything crossed for 2021 and the future - it can only go up from here. Whilst we can't go back to the normal we'd want right now, we can at least look forward to the potentially great films being released in the coming months. Here's to 2021!