I recently talked about how the MCU and Star Wars as we knew them ended in 2019, and in some ways it felt like I had to relearn what movies to get excited for, and how. I know I have seen recent trailers that had my attention when I watched them, and yet I can think of 2020 movies I’m excited for off the top of my head.
So I did a little research. Here are the early 2020 movies I am excited enough about to see in theatres when they come out, in chronological order:
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Birds of Prey has two things going for it:
- I thought Margot Robbie’s performance in Suicide Squad struck an amazing balance between Arleen Sorkin’s original portrayal of the character from Batman: TAS and a live action tone.
- The trailers really bring out how fun this movie could be.
I just hope the rest of the Birds of Prey aren’t afterthoughts in the movie like they seem to be in the trailer. I’m sure it could be entertaining whether it’s a balance of all of the characters or mostly Harley, but if the title is Birds of Prey, that’s what I am going in expecting.
There are some comic adaptations I periodically hear are in development that I doubt will ever be released. Likewise, there are certain actors who always seem to be talking about a comic project they are involved in and no one else is talking about or has even heard of. Bloodshot and Vin Diesel fit these categories. When the Bloodshot trailer came out, I was shocked it actually made it to production. I was ever more shocked by how engrossing the trailer was, and that the little joke trailers tend to throw in after the title sequence actually got me to laugh out loud.
Disney’s grossed something like $5 billion on their live action remakes, but the quality’s been all over the place to me. Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King (the latter of which I haven’t seen, I’ll admit) weren’t different enough. Aladdin was fun largely because it didn’t try to recreate Robin Williams, it leaned into Will Smith a lot and basically said “this one is going to be a good time, let’s see how we can make it a different good time than you’re used to.” As for Dumbo, not only did I not see it, I got angry any time I thought about it.
However, I loved the Cinderella remake. I’m fairly familiar with the original and on the positive side of neutral to it, and that somehow made me the target audience. They fleshed the story, the characters, and the relationships out, hit all of the iconic moments, and captured the drama of the fairy tale. My feelings about the original Mulan are pretty similar, and I can see the Mulan remake being the next great Disney live action remake.
The first trailer for this movie came out something like three years ago, and then delays, rocky X-Men box office, and the Disney buyout made a New Mutants release seemed unlikely. But with a new trailer for it, the release date feels less like a placeholder and more like a commitment.
I do think the movie looks good. I like it as a follow up to Logan and Deadpool as a super hero movie that crosses genres, and the cast is solid. However, a lot of why I want to see it is the novelty. It’s the last Fox-produced X-Men movie, a series that I think gets overlooked for its importance in establishing super hero movies as legitimate entertainment. It felt like it was circling the drain for a few movies, but as a series it had more hits than misses and New Mutants showed there were still directions Fox could have taken the Marvel characters they had the license for.
I debated including this on my list. There are so many similarities between Black Widow and Solo, and that’s not good. I liked Solo, but it was announced so soon after Force Awakens that it felt like Disney didn’t want to deal with the emotional impact of killing off a major character. The movie awkwardly handled some tie-ins to the previous movies, and it had a shadow of pointlessness overshadowing it, in that any revelation or setup will only matter retroactively. I’m worried Black Window will feel the same.
All that considered, I still liked Solo. And even though most of the above may apply to Black Window, I’m a huge fan of the MCU and Scarlett Johansson, and two hours of spy action accompanied by David Harbour as Red Guardian humour sounds like it will be a good time.
These two movies have my attention, but I honestly doubt I will see them in theatre.
Gretel & Hansel
I knew nothing about this until I saw it was coming out in a month. Gretel & Hansel is an atmospheric horror thriller that takes the unsanitized original version of the Hansel & Gretel fairy tale, expands on it, and focuses on how terrifying this morality play is.
I think I’m just a sucker for fantasy adaptations that focus on the horror of magic. I like the original Fantasy Island just fine, so when I saw a remake with Michael Peña in the Ricardo Montalban role, that sounded like it could be fun. This does NOT. LOOK. FUN. But it does have my attention.