The most anticipated films of 2021 and beyond

The most anticipated films of 2021 and beyond

From No Time to Die to Dune, here are the best upcoming movies

Cinemas and theatres all over the world have reopened, which means there are a slew of exciting new releases to look forward to. Following the Year of the Plague, a slew of major blockbusters are set to hit theatres, including the first cinematic entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new Fast and Furious film, and a slew of possible Oscar contenders.

Not only are we getting delayed movies like No Time to Die and Dune, but we’re also getting colossal pictures like The Matrix 4, Spider-Man 3, and The Batman.

There has never been a greater time to be a movie buff. We’ve included all of the major forthcoming films that we’re most excited for below. So put on your dancing shoes, webslingers, and treasure maps because these are the blockbusters to look out for in 2021 and beyond.

Jungle Cruise

Release date: July 30, 2021 (Disney Plus via Premiere Access + theatrical)

Picking up where Pirates of the Caribbean left off, Jaume Collet-Jungle Serra’s Cruise transforms the voyage into a swashbuckling adventure, starring Dwayne Johnson as Frank, a cranky riverboat captain who becomes involved with Emily Blunt’s scientist Dr. Lily Houghton. On the big screen, a thrilling adventure to look forward to.

Fast and Furious 9

Release date: June 24, 2021

It was hard to guess in 2001 that a unspectacular, Vin Diesel film about street racing and heists in 2001 would turn into a multibillion-dollar series that’s still going strong nearly two decades later? With the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw having aired throughout the summer of 2019, the main series cranks up for the ninth time, with regular director Justin Lin at the wheel.

Jordanna Brewster returns to the Fast & Furious franchise for the first time since her character, Mia, went into the sunset with the late Paul Walker’s Brian in Fast & Furious 7. In the film, John Cena will play Dom’s brother, and Han will return. Justice. Is. Coming, as the trailer says.

The Suicide Squad

Release date: August 6, 2021 (HBO Max + theaters)

In this quasi-sequel remake of the Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn and a few familiar faces return to the big screen. You’ll recognise a few of them, but you’ll have no idea who the rest are. The Suicide Squad’s cast is ridiculous, with everyone from Nathan Fillion, Peter Capaldi, and Pete Davidson to Idris Elba, John Cena, and Margot Robbie scheduled to appear. With James Gunn at the helm, this will surely be one bombastic ride.

Free Guy

Release date: August 13, 2021

Prepare for a video-game movie unlike any other. Ryan Reynolds stars as the eponymous non-playable character (NPC) Guy, who finds himself suddenly gaining autonomy and realising that he’s actually a video game character. The game itself – which, itself, is a deadly GTA knock off – is being closed down, and it’s up to Guy and one of the game’s developers (played by Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer) to save the day. Expect laughs aplenty when this one finally arrives

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Release date: September 3, 2021

Due to repeated changes in the release schedule, the third movie in Marvel Phase 4 is currently the second. Shang-Chi, commonly known as the Master of Kung Fu, will be Marvel Studios’ first lead Asian superhero, and will be played by Simu Liu. Destin Daniel Cretton (who worked with Captain Marvel heroine Brie Larson on The Glass Castle) has signed on to direct. In the film, Tony Leung will play the villain The Mandarin, and Awkwafina will play a supporting character.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Release date: September 24, 2021

Venom was a surprising success, launching Sony’s own Marvel cinematic universe, including Morbius (see above). Venom: Let There Be Carnage will return Tom Hardy to the big screen as the eponymous symbiote, while Woody Harrelson returns from the Venom post-credits scene as Cletus Kasady, better known as Carnage. Andy Serkis has directed this one, the Gollum actor no doubt putting his CGI know-how to the test.


Release date: October 1, 2020 (HBO Max + theaters)

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. However, if anyone can get an adaptation right it’s Arrival director Denis Villeneuve, the man who directed 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.

No Time to Die

Release date: September 30 (UK), October 8 (US) 2021

No Time to Die has taken its time arriving to the big screen after the resignation of original director Danny Boyle, an injury to starring man Daniel Craig, and the coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s better late than never, because this will be Craig’s final appearance in a tuxedo before surrendering his license to kill.

Unsurprisingly, plot specifics are scant, but we do know that the film begins in Jamaica, with Bond having some R&R following the events of Spectre. According to reports, a new 007, portrayed by Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), will bring Bond back into the fray, with Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) playing the major villain. Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, and Jeffrey Wright will all return in the film, as will Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049). Cary Fukunaga, the director of True Detective and Maniac, is the first American to make a Bond film, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator/star of Fleabag, is on the writing team.


Release date: November 5, 2021

Eternals was the second Marvel Phase 4 movie, but now comes third! It 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 said: “It will be a story that will introduce you to this incredibly eclectic group of immortals, they’re the focus of the story.” He said of the setting: “It takes place in our universe – it takes place in the MCU.”

Chloe Zhao, who will be directing 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.”

Top Gun : Maverick

Release date: November 19, 2021

Thirty-five 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…

The King’s Man

Release date: December 22, 2021

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 organization 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.


Release date: January 21, 2022

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 centers 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.


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