With COVID-19 vaccinations spreading across the country, more people are feeling safe attending movie theaters. Given that, here are five movies to look forward to on the big screen before the end of 2021.
Releasing in theaters on Oct. 1, Denis Villeneuve’s (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) “Dune” remake is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Based on the highly renowned 1965 sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert, the film follows the life-threatening adventure of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and will be split into two parts. Set in the distant future where feudalism has grown to an interstellar scale and noble families now control planetary stretches of land (known as fiefs), Atreides must learn to lead and protect his people while trying to secure his family’s newly obtained desert planet Arrakis. The film is rated PG-13 and its star studded cast includes Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa and Oscar Isaac. Personally, I’d pay money just to see this film’s trailer in theaters.
2. “Space Jam: A New Legacy”
The much awaited “Space Jam” sequel starring LeBron James and Bugs Bunny (Jeff Bergman) is set to release in theaters and on HBO Max on Jul. 16. The story follows James (playing himself) as he gets mysteriously transported to Tune World where he must combine forces with classic Looney Tunes characters to get his son back…through an epic basketball game! The trailer alone highly resembles films like “Ready Player One” and “Wreck-It Ralph” with its intense computer graphics and combination of different facets of pop culture. The trailer also hints that we will get our first look at a live action animated Bugs Bunny. While the film has no rating yet, there’s no doubt it will follow its predecessor in providing families of all ages and demographics with a comedic and playful basketball adventure.
3. “No Time to Die”
The latest installment of the Daniel Craig 007 series that has kept Bond fans waiting is finally set to release in theaters on Oct. 8. The film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (“It”, “True Detective” Season One) and starring both Ana de Armas and Léa Seydoux, looks to be filled with nail-biting shootouts, intense stunts, vehicle chases and all the espionage tropes we have come to love from past James Bond films. Pitted against Craig’s Bond, Rami Malek stars as the main villain Safin, a scar-faced killer thirsty for revenge against Bond’s allies. The trailer sets up a mood very similar to that of Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall,” giving me hope that this Bond film will succeed in captivating audiences, as only about half of its predecessors (within the Craig universe) have done. I’m also hoping Fukunaga and his team of writers have realized the unappealing nature of Bond’s blatant misogyny, and found more universal outlets for his character development than one-night stands with naked women.
4. “In the Heights”
Jon M. Chu’s film adaptation of the beloved musical “In the Heights” comes out in theaters and on HBO Max June 17. The story, set across three days, follows three generations of characters living in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood. Here, the characters are spun into chaos in the midst of a summer blackout after learning that a winning lottery ticket has been sold on their block. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer and lyricist of the original “In the Heights” musical as well as rhythmic sensation “Hamilton,” drew on his memories growing up under the George Washington Bridge to adapt the work for the screen along with original script writer Quiara Alegría Hudes. The team has worked endlessly to bring this story to the big screen and it’s going to be a highlight of the summer.
Nia DaCosta’s newest horror film, “Candyman,” has everyone on their toes with anticipation. Starring Teyonah Parris and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the film follows their two characters’ relationship as they move into a gentrified version of what was once a Chicago housing project. Once here, they are exposed to the story of Candyman, a murderous slasher out of urban legend who can be conjured in front of a mirror. Obsessed with the story, Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) uses Candyman as inspiration for his artwork, causing him to eventually lose grip on his sanity while, consequently, a wave of violence washes over the district. DaCosta’s film, written in conjunction with Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, serves as a direct sequel to the eponymous 1992 film. After watching the trailer, it seems as though the writing team plans to dismantle and expose the criminalization of Black people in media and American society. Upon it’s hopeful release this summer (with no official date yet), we can certainly expect a beautifully written and terrifyingly powerful masterpiece.
By Erik Mathews