hmv.com previews... 2021's Best Films
In previous years, hmv.com has previewed 100 of the movies to look forward to in the year to come, however, after the events of the last year and the constant state of flux the film studios and the world finds itself in, that has been scaled down somewhat.
So, instead, here are 25 of 2021's planned biggest, and, hopefully, best movies. We desperately hope they all come out, but there will probably be some bumps along the way.
Either way, it's a year that promises a new James Bond, four new Marvel movies, a new take on a sci-fi classic and so much more...
No Time To Die
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ana de Armas, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Release Date: April 2nd
This time last year, we're were heading towards an April 2nd release for a new James Bond movie that had already been subject to multiple delays. Sadly, the only thing that has changed in the year since is the film's release date has moved from April 2nd in 2020 to April 2nd in 2021.
The film, which is Daniel Craig's swansong as 007, picks up five years after the events of Spectre, which ended with the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
007 has retired and left active service. While enjoying the quiet life, he is approached by Felix Leiter, his friend and a CIA officer, who enlists his help in the search for a missing scientist.
When it becomes apparent that the scientist was abducted, Bond must confront a danger which shakes him to his very core…
True Detective's Cary Joji Fukunaga s in the director’s chair, with a script that has Scott Z.Burns and Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge named as writers along with Fukunaga and long-time 007 scribes Robert Wade and Neal Purvis.
We have seen a new trailer since then, and it's below for you...
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Release Date: October 1st
A year-long delay was ordered for this much-anticipated blockbuster in the Autumn after cinemas started shutting their doors again, but excitement for this new take on the complex and hugely successful Frank Herbert novel remains high.
Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, the eldest son of a wealthy family who assume control of the planet Arrakis. The planet is largely desert, but it is the only producer of melange, a resource essential for intergalactic travel and hugely valuable.
A coup to gain control of the planet leads to his father being murdered and Paul vowing to get his revenge on those who did it.
Denis Villeneuve has been at the helm for the epic, with Forrest Gump screenwriter Eric Roth and Doctor Strange scribe Jon Spaihts adapting Herbert's book.
West Side Story
Starring: Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, Corey Stoll, Ariana DeBose, Brian d'Arcy James
Director: Steven Spielberg
Release Date: December 10th
West Side Story is a re-telling of Romeo & Juliet, set against the backdrop of a changing and simmering New York City as two gangs, a white gang called the Jets and a Puerto Rican gang called the Sharks, fight for their place in the streets.
In amongst all that, two lovers, white Tony and Latina Maria, the sister of the Sharks’ leader, dream of running away and getting married.
It was originally made into a movie in 1961, with Natalie Wood, George Chakris and Rita Moreno starring.
In Spielberg's new take, Ansel Elgort will play Tony, with newcomer Rachel Zegler playing Maria.
Moreno is returning to the cast, with Corey Stoll, Ariana DeBose and Brian d'Arcy James also in key roles.
Spielberg will work from a script from Angels In America writer Tony Kushner, who has adapted Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein's original.
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington
Director: Chloe Zhao
Release Date: November 5th
2020 was billed as a quiet year for Marvel with only two movies on the slate, as it turned out, it was the first year we've had without a Marvel film in cinemas since the franchise was launched back in 2008.
The film is an epic though and brings together a true all-star cast, with Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden among them.
This story spans 700 years and chronicles the lives of The Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilisations.
We follow their journey and their mission to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.
Starring: Jared Leto, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Release Date: March 19th
Originally due last summer, now due in late spring, Jared Leto headlines this new blockbuster about a super-powered Vampire.
Leto plays Michael Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who tries to cure a rare blood disease using an experimental treatment that combines electroshock therapy and vampire bats.
Sadly, things don't exactly work out and Morbius gains a taste for human blood. As well as this, he can fly, has superhuman strength and healing capabilities. When he bites victims and drinks their blood, his attacks can prove lethal, but when bitten by him, his victims do not become vampires.
That taste puts him in the FBI’s sights and he’s forced to take to the shadows.
While Sony have been forced to delay the film, they've already commissioned a spin-off, so confidence must be high in this new blockbuster.
Starring: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Release Date: July 30th
After their great success with Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney bring another theme park ride to life with this new movie, which is set during the early part of the 20th century.
We follow Johnson's riverboat captain Frank, who takes Blunt's Lily Houghton, a scientist and her brother on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life which is believed to possess healing powers.
All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Starring: Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Reid Scott, Naomie Harris, Stephen Graham
Director: Andy Serkis
Release Date: June 25th
Another that we should have already enjoyed, but now bound for screens in the height of next summer.
Venom, which grossed almost $900 million at the box office, starred Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a journalist who begins looking into the work of Carlton Drake and his company The Life Foundation, who he believes are experimenting on humans.
Through an accident at the foundation, Brock becomes bonded with an alien symbiote. The symbiote needs a human host to survive, who, in return, vests its victim with incredible powers...
This time, Brock has two new foes. Shriek, a drug dealer who becomes exposed to something that allowed her latent mutant powers, and serial killer Cletus Kasaday, the human host for the even more dangerous creature known as Carnage.
Last Night In Soho
Starring: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp
Director: Edgar Wright
Release Date: April 23rd
After wowing in The Queen's Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy's next turn takes her in this trippy psychological horror.
Taylor-Joy plays Sandy, a student with a passion for the fashion design of the 1960s, who suddenly finds herself back in the decade she is obsessed with.
Once there, she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences...
Edgar Wright directs and has written the script alongside Penny Dreadful scribe Krysty Wilson-Cairn.
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall, Kyle Richards, Dylan Arnold, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Stephens, Nick Castle
Director: David Gordon Green
Release Date: October 15th
We've had to wait a bit longer for the second instalment of the hugely successful reboot, but it's due this All Hallow's Eve.
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to star as Laurie Strode with many of the original actors from the 1978 Halloween back to reprise their roles.
Set straight after the events of the reboot, we follow Strode and her family as they work with new and old allies to form a mob against Michael Myers who is still loose in Haddonfield.
A final instalment in this trilogy, named Halloween Ends, is due in 2022.
A Quiet Place Part II
Starring: Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou
Director: John Krasinski
Release Date: April 23rd
Pulled from cinemas days before it was due to hit in March of 2020, we've had to wait patiently for this next instalment of this hit horror.
The original starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as a married couple with two children who are forced to live in total silence thanks to the presence of some mysterious and terrifying creatures occupying the farm where they live, and who will hunt and attack them at the slightest noise.
In the sequel, the family are now forced to head into the outside world to try and survive. And, as you can see from the trailer, it's going to be a wild ride...
Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Mark Strong
Director: Craig Gillespie
Release Date: May 28th
Following in the hugely successful path of Maleficent, another classic Disney villain gets her own re-imagining, with Emma Stone in the titular role.
Stone plays Estella de Vil, a young fashion designer in 1970s London.
We watch as she becomes obsessed with dogs' skins, especially Dalmatians and turns into the villainous Cruella de Vil who terrorized all those dalmatians...
Glenn Close, who played the titular character in the 1996 live-action remake and its sequel, to which the film is a prequel, serves as an executive producer.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, Zhang Ziyi, Demián Bichir
Director: Adam Wingard
Release Date: May 21st
Two of cinema’s most notorious monsters clash in this heavyweight blockbuster.
The film will serve as both a sequel to Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.
Adam Wingard will direct, working from a script from Terry Rossio.
Plot details are still pretty scarce, but we know the pair are on a collision course and the fallout is going to be terrible...
Starring: Ludi Lin, Joe Taslim, Tadanobu Asano, Jessica McNamee, Mehcad Brooks, Josh Lawson, Lewis Tan, Chin Han, Hiroyuki Sanada
Director: Simon McQuoid
Release Date: April 16th
24 years after it was thought that Mortal Kombat: Annihilation had killed off the franchise forever, the iconic martial arts computer game gets a new reboot.
The original Mortal Kombat told the story of three unknowing martial artists who are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world.
How and where the reboot takes the story is still under wraps...
Produced by horror king James Wan, the film finds newcomer Simon McQuiod in the director's chair.
The Last Duel
Starring: Matt Damon, Harriet Walter, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck
Director: Ridley Scott
Release Date: October 15th
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck lead an all-star cast for this medieval epic, which finds Ridley Scott back in the director's chair.
Set in 14th century France, the film pits best friends Damon's Jean de Carrouges and Adam Driver's Jacques Le Gris against each other as the pair are ordered to fight to the death after Carrouges accuses Le Gris of raping his wife.
Damon and Affleck have provided the script, adapted Eric Jager's The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France.
Top Gun: Maverick
Starring: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Ed Harris
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Release Date: July 19th
It’s been talked about for decades and was due in summer of 2020, but it'll now be gliding onto screens in summer 2021.
Top Gun was released in 1986 and starred Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Kelly McGillis and told the story of a group of students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school, who compete to be best in the class.
Joseph Kosinski, best known for directing Tron: Legacy, takes charge of the sequel, which sees Cruise and Kilmer return, with Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell
and Ed Harris joining the cast.
The film takes place 34 years after the events of the original and pits Cruise's gifted, but cocky Peter "Maverick" Mitchell as the new flight instructor of Top Gun, in which he guides Bradley, son of his one-time best friend Goose, who seeks to become an aviator much as his father was.
The Suicide Squad
Starring: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Pete Davidson, Alice Braga, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis
Director: James Gunn
Release Date: August 6th
The brief period between his dismissal from Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume III and his re-hiring, James Gunn was quickly snapped up by Warner Brothers and offered any DC property he wanted. He chose to take on a new take on Suicide Squad and it emerges this summer.
From David Ayer's take on the gang, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Viola Davis's Amanda Waller and Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flag return, with the likes of John Cena, Idris Elba and Pete Davidson joining the cast.
The Suicide Squad are a gang of villains and criminals, who are put together and forced by the US government into service as a disposable black ops team. They are led by a government operative Waller.
In this new take, the gang are sent on a new mission to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experimentations...
Starring: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells, Linda May, Charlie Swankie
Director: Chloe Zhao
Release Date: February 19th
Chloe Zhao makes her second appearance in this preview, but with a very, very different offering to her huge blockbuster for Marvel Studios.
The film is an adaptation of Jessica Bruder's Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century and follows McDormand's Fern.
After losing everything, Fern embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
Starring alongside McDormand are Linda May, Charlie Swankie and Bob Wells, all real-life nomads.
Spiral: From The Book Of Saw
Starring: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Release Date: May 21st
Chris Rock's reboot blockbuster horror franchise Saw arrives in the spring.
Samuel L. Jackson, The Handmaid's Tale's Max Minghella and Riverdale's Marisol Nichols will star alongside Rock in the movie, which is named The Organ Donor.
Rock will play a police detective investigating a series of violent crimes, with Jackson playing his father. Minghella will play Rock's partner, with Nichols portraying a police captain.
The has a screenplay is based on a story conceived by Rock and written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg.
Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed the second, third and fourth instalments of the franchise, will direct.
Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Taylor Ali, Tati Gabrielle
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Release Date: July 16th
After more than a decade in development, production has finally wrapped on this long-awaited action spectacular.
The Uncharted game series has sold over 28 million units across the world and follows treasure-hunter Nathan "Nate" Drake as he travels around the world to uncover various historical mysteries.
A movie version of the game has been in active development since 2008, with various actors and a slew of directors coming and going from the project, including David O. Russell, Seth Gordon and Neil Burger.
Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg will star in the film, with Holland portraying Drake and Wahlberg playing Victor "Sully" Sullivan, Drake's mentor and father figure.
Ruben Fleischer, director of Venom and Zombieland, is in charge of the movie
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sterling Jerins, Julian Hilliard, Sarah Catherine Hook, Charlene Amoia, Ruairi O'Connor
Director: Michael Chaves
Release Date: June 4th
The hugely successful horror franchise, which has delivered spin-offs The Nun and Annabelle, returns to its source material in 2021.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to star as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and they’re faced with the case of a lifetime.
It’s one which begins with the fight for the soul of a young boy and then takes them to a case that saw, the first time in US history, that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defence.
Michael Chaves, director of horror hit The Curse La Llorona, takes charge of this one.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz
Director: Cate Shortland
Release Date: May 7th
Shoved back first to the autumn and then subsequently to the spring of 2021, Scarlett Johansson has been forced to wait to debut her standalone effort, where she heads deep into the past of her character, assassin Natasha Romanoff.
Romanoff has been played by Scarlett Johansson over eight movies, dating all the way back to Iron Man 2.
The character's origins are as a Russian spy, an antagonist of the superhero Iron Man, but she later defected to the United States, becoming an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This movie is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and the film finds Romanoff alone and suddenly forced to confront her past and a series of broken relationships...
Mission: Impossible 7
Starring: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Release Date: November 19th
After the rapturous reception for Mission: Impossible Fallout, Paramount have ordered two new instalments of the Tom Cruise led franchise, the first of which will debut in November.
Plot details are scant indeed, but we do know that Cruise Ethan Hunt will be facing down Esai Morales as the film's key villain.
Let the sparks fly...
The Matrix 4
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Daniel Bernhardt, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Priyanka Chopra
Director: Lana Wachowski
Release Date: December 22nd
18 years after the release of The Matrix Revolutions, the franchise is brought back to life.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will return to lead the way, with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere and Max Riemelt among the new additions.
There's no plot details or synopsis as yet, but writer Aleksander Hemon and Cloud Atlas writer David Mitchell have provided work on the script, so you should expect something pretty out there...
Fast & Furious 9
Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Cardi B, John Cena, Finn Cole, Anna Sawai, Vinnie Bennett
Director: Justin Lin
Release Date: May 28th
The box-office juggernaut returns for a ninth ride, which was originally due in 2020, but now hits in 2021.
Most of the series regulars are back, but there will be no Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham this time, after they went off on their own adventures with Hobbs and Shaw.
As ever, we find Vin Diesel's Dominic Torreto in big trouble, this time from his younger brother, Cena's Jakob, a deadly assassin, who is working with their old enemy Cipher to try and bring him down...
Director Justin Lin, who made four previous instalments, is back. He’s also confirmed to take charge of a 10th.
Regular writer Chris Morgan has been working with Statham and Johnson on Hobbs and Shaw, so Daniel Casey this time provides the script.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings
Starring: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Fala Chen, Meng'er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, Ronny Chieng, Michelle Yeoh
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Release Date: July 9th
Marvel Studios takes a new path in this epic, which is planned for the summer.
The film follows the titular Shang-Chi, a skilled martial artist, who is forced to face down an organisation known only as the Ten Rings — the same terror group who's behind Tony Stark's kidnapping in Iron Man...