2021 is here! Well, ostensibly, because it still kind of feels like the hangover to the year-that-shall-not-be-named. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t look forward to the good stuff to come – specifically, the cinematic flavours of good stuff. Let’s talk about the films we’re excited about this year – and please feel free to drop your own upcoming hyped releases in the comments below!
- Spiral – Louise
For my sins. Look, yes, I know that this From The Book of Saw movie is probably going to be a high-key disaster, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t counting down the seconds till I got to see it. Everything about it is just so unlikely, and I’m almost irrevocably drawn in to films that just seem like a parody of themselves. As a great lover of the Saw franchise, I’m always looking for someone to come in and inject it with the rich life that the premise so clearly deserves, and maybe, maybe, a movie called Spiral might just end up on my best-of list at the end of this year, too.
Dune – Kevin
Whether Dune will be seen on the big screen or the smaller big TV screen is still up in the air (I’m in a
country that doesn’t have HBO Max, though complaining about it does seem oddly cathartic), but
there is no question that this is the film I’m most excited about. Denis Villeneuve’s first effort since
my 2017 film of the year, Blade Runner 2049, looks to be the definitive big screen version of Frank
Herbert’s towering novel. Though, if the film is delayed any longer I might actually have to read the
Antlers – Kevin
Hostiles was a miserably beautiful neo-Western that put the psychic wounds of its characters before
the physical ones. For director Scott Cooper’s next film, the much-delayed, Guillermo Del Toro name-
dropping Antlers, it looks like those psychic wounds will be ripped open once again. Ostensibly a
creature feature built on the heritage and richly metaphoric American folk tales, Cooper dials up the
family drama as a young boy must serve supernatural creatures in his house. It won’t be a laugh riot,
but it should be tense as fuck. And Keri Russel, lead of The Americans and the only person who actually matters, is starring. What’s not to like?
Candyman – Louise
Okay, so now for a horror that actually deserves to be on this list. I have a great, deep, and abiding love of Candyman, the best horror movie of the 90s, and this long-awaited sequel is one I have been gnashing at the bit for since I saw the first trailer. Produced by the superb Jordan Peele and directed by the excellent Nia DaCosta, starring the brilliant Yahya Abdul-Mateen III, everything about this just oozes the promise of quality. Candyman is a rich vein to mine for more cinematic gold, and I’m hoping that 2021 will finally give me the sequel I’ve been waiting for.
The Matrix 4 – Kevin (Not Louise. Never Louise. Louise still hates The Matrix)
I’m curious. In this time of sequels, reboots, remakes, and adaptation after adaptation, there is a real
chance that The Matrix Rebooted (placeholder title) will be a fucking disaster. Yet – I’m still curious.
The Matrix franchise is in a strange place in that there is only one classic in the original trilogy – the
two sequels ruined those 1999 childhoods in the kind of record time that Solo demysitified the
Kessell run. Reloaded and Revolutions are already bad, so it’s exciting to see what the Wachowskis
(who have never been artists to shirk a challenge) will bring to a cinematic landscape that they
helped create. And, really, after adapting Cloud Atlas into something that was even watchable, this
will be a piece of piss.
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By Louise MacGregor and Kevin Boyle
(header image via Empire)