What do we have coming up in terms of cinema movies in 2020? In order of appearance through the year, my interest is tweaked by…
Underwater. Sci-fi underwater horror. Appears to be an Alien/Abyss re-tread, but it might be more inventive than that.
The Color out of Space. Major modern adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story.
Come Away. British fantasy drama apparently combining Alice in Wonderland with Peter Pan. Has a big-name British cast, although past experience suggests that’s not always a guarantee of success with such things. They can tend to be rather more ‘worthy’ than entertaining, and the child-actor casting can often go badly wrong (e.g. Nesbit’s Five Children and It in the 2004 movie version).
The Call of the Wild. Jack London’s doggy wilderness epic, seemingly done straight. A lot will depend on how convincing the CG is, as there’s going to be a heck of a lot of fur.
The Invisible Man. The title grabs me, but the movie turns out to be a “very loose” and modernised semi-adaptation ‘domestic abuse horror’ movie of the famous ‘early Wells’ science-fiction tale.
Onward. Teen heavy-metal urban-fantasy animation from Pixar.
The New Mutants. Another and apparently the “final” X-Men franchise movie. It can’t be worse than the last, can it? But we may be surprised.
Antlers. A ‘scary deer’ horror? Another 2020 movie, Antebellum, is apparently a ‘scary butterflies’ horror. I’m sensing a trend here. I wonder if the Welsh Film Fund would be interested in my old screenplay Sheep: the blood-baaaath?
Green Knight. Based on the famous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Artemis Fowl. Disney movie version of the books about a “12 year old master criminal” who does things like make supercomputers with stolen fairy technology. Apparently hugely popular among those born after 1990, and most likely to be appreciated by the under-14s and nostalgic 20-somethings. [Update: released, but apparently an utterly awful disaster]
BIOS. Unknown Tom Hanks sci-fi thriller, probably involving computer hackers and AI.
Morbius, the Living Vampire. A movie outing for one of Marvel’s supernatural/superhero characters. Likely to be middling summer fare, akin to the first Ghost Rider movie. I’d guess it may feed into a bigger spring 2023 Doctor Strange movie, which is said to have a strong Lovecraftian slant?
Monster Hunter. Apparently loosely based on a videogame. Probably just a mindless summer action romp.
The King’s Man. A Kingsman prequel movie. Looks like a very interesting start to the Autumn/Fall, and a welcome alternative to James Bond now that the November 2020 Bond appears to have gone the same way as Doctor Who.
The Witches. The Roald Dahl book, apparently given a “dark” adaptation for the “young adult” crowd — but the Guillermo del Toro screenplay promises quality for Halloween.
The Eternals. The first in Marvel’s hoped-for new mega-verse of movies, and based on the fondly-remembered space-gods comics series by Jack Kirby. It’ll be interesting to see how much they Kirby-ize the look of the movie, if at all, re: the possibility of blending film with the kind of toon-tech that brought us the recent Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Dune. Another try at filming the famous science-fiction epic. Apparently this will only cover the first half of the first book, so presumably they anticipate a six or seven movie series if successful. Said to be visually ambitious in scale but twisting the story into politically-correct shapes. While you’re waiting, try the audiobooks.
The Croods 2. The first was a great bit of pure animated-comedy entertainment set in an amusing Stone Age, if rather forgettable after a few weeks. But I’d be up for more of that, provided they don’t pack it with eco-preaching.
Uncharted. A December movie and a spin-off from the videogame series, which features many ‘Lost City’ type settings in jungles and deserts. The December timing suggests quality. A lot will depend on how well they can mix machine-guns with mystery. I’d imagine that adding a slight Lovecraftian twist would suit the settings, and what are said to be ‘supernatural relics’, widening up the appeal of the movie version beyond the Indiana Jones crowd?
The Tomorrow War. Alien invasion meets time-travel, via military sci-fi. Again, the December slot inspires hope for some quality.
There’s no sign of the second ‘Young Tolkien’ bio-pic in the 2020 lists. Two were said to be filming, but only one has been released. There’s also no sign of the mooted adaptation of the early H.G. Wells horror The Island of Doctor Moreau.