Wonder Woman 1984 and 10 Other Big Releases Arriving Before We Bid Goodbye to 2020
By siliconindia | Saturday, 05 December 2020, 05:29 Hrs
Pandemic brought a massive hault to the weekend movie going trends. Some of us, like me, were anticipating some of movies to watch in theatres. Well, that didn't work out. Nevertheless, you still get to treat your eyes to your favorite DC heroine’s triumphant return in Wonder Woman 1984 and Pixar’s latest celebration of the afterlife in Soul by the end of year. The best part of it is, each have the option of being viewed in the theater or streaming from home. Of course, those are not the only flicks to look forward to before 2021. Let's just say, 2020 saved the best movies for last. David Fincher’s first feature-length film in six years with Mank, Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich fighting a different kind of evil in the cinematic adaptation of the Monster Hunter video games, or Paul Greengrass’ vision of the Old West in News of the World, which also stars Tom Hanks; talk about Christmas presents. It is a line-up almost exciting enough to forget the pain of how Daniel Craig’s final James Bond performance in No Time to Die was pushed to April 2021, Ryan Reynolds’ unlikely video game hero story Free Guy has no release date at all at the moment, or other pressing uncertainties about the film industry. However, forget what didn;t happen and focus on what's about to happen, because now is the time to think positively and you will be positively entertained by the films scheduled for release on streaming, VOD, or even theatrically this December. I get it, you're eager to wish 2020 a jubilant “good riddance,” but first take a moment to appreciate the following gifts this year is leaving you this holiday season before it passes, starting with a drama that has already been receiving rave reviews for the performance by its two-time Academy Award-winning lead actress.
Nomadland - December 4 (Theatrical)
Right in the middle of the 2008 financial collapse, a subculture emerged consisting of older Americans who took what possessions they had left and set on a foot trail on the country in search of employment, making themselves at home at many camping grounds and rest stops along the way. Journalist Jessica Bruder adopted this lifestyle as research for what would become her award-winning 2017 book Nomadland: Surviving America in Twenty-First Century.
This book would inspire this beautiful film that features real-life members of the “nomad” culture, but is told through the eyes of Fern - a victim of the recession
portrayed by Frances McDormand. Acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Chloé ZhaoNomadland has written for screen and directed this film. She will make her big budget Hollywood debut with Marvel Studios’ Eternals November 2021.
Mank - December 4 (Netflix And Theatrical)
Big budget Hollywood production (the ill-fated Alien 3) didn't work in favour of David Fincher, as did the smaller budget films like Se7en, Fight Club. The Academy Award nominated director’s first film since 2014’s Gone Girl is, itself, a tribute to one of the greatest unsung legends of cinema.
Released simultaneously in theaters and on Netflix, the abbreviated Mank, chronicles the making of Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane from the perspective of its troubled, Oscar-winning co-writer Herman Mankiewicz, played by Gary Oldman. Besides this being Fincher’s first feature-length project for Netflix after executive producing series like House of Cards and Mindhunter for the digital platform, it is also a passion project he has been working on since the ‘90s when his late father Jack Fincher wrote the script. How exciting is that! I'm in.
Sound Of Metal - December 4 (Amazon Prime Video And Theatrical)
Director Darius Marder had a passion to make his feature-length debut an unmistakably unique experience. Being released in theaters and digitally this month as an Amazon Prime Video exclusive, this drama features Emmy winner Riz Ahmed playing Ruben, and a rock drummer who begins to suffer hearing loss. Sound of Metal is inspired by co-writer Derek Cianfrance’s own struggles with tinnitus.
The film already has an intriguing concept that will undoubtedly appeal to a specific audience. More so, it is especially fascinating for its experimental use of sound, which is designed to change as Ruben’s hearing weakens. Much like how Memento’s reversed storytelling allows you perceive the events as Guy Pearce’s character with short-term memory loss does.
Let Them All Talk - December 10 (HBO Max)
Steven Soderbergh is mostly popular among his audiences with fun heist comedies like Ocean’s Eleven, or intimate historical dramas such as his two-part Che Guevara biopic, or even things a little bit weirder like Schizopolis or his fictionalized take on the life of writer Franz Kafka from 1991. Well, the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s latest effort, debuting exclusively on HBO Max, is actually a far cry from any of these genres.
Steven Soderbergh comes back with his The Landromat star Meryl Streep for Let Them All T alk. The three-time Oscar-winning actress plays an author who looks to a luxury cruise trip to escape her dismal reality, if not for her longtime friends and young nephew ruining the illusion. The screenwriting debut of actress Deborah Eisenberg also stars fellow screen veterans Candice Bergen and Dianne West, emerging leading man Lucas Hedges, and Gemma Chan - British star of Crazy Rich Asians and the MCU’s upcoming Eternals movie.
The Prom - December 11 (Netflix)
Meryl Streep also walks the red carpet in the star-studded cast of this old fashioned musical feature debuting this month on Netflix. The film tells a tale of a theater troupe who comes to the aid of an Indiana teen (Jo Ellen Pellman) whose conservative high school cancels the big dance after making a plea to openly attend with her girlfriend (Ariana DeBose).
The Prom, based on a Tony Award-nominated stage production that itself was inspired by true events, also stars Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key, and Kerry Washington, to name a few. Ryan Murphy, who knows a thing or two about musicals with big laughs and an even bigger heart as the creator of Glee, is the director.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - December 18 (Netflix)
Another film whose lifeblood is Music as it fuels this period drama. This too, is adapted from a fact-based play by August Wilson - the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences. The Netflix original film (which was previously released in select theaters in November) takes place in Chicago in 1927 during a particularly tense recording session for “Mother of Blues” Gertrude “Ma” Rainey (Viola Davis) and her ambitious band of musicians.
Produced by Denzel Washington, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom may become one of the year’s most important releases for its exploration of the healing power of music. But probably the most crucial key of this movie to be a must-watch, is the fact that this is the final film of Chadwick Boseman, the star of Black Panther who passed away in 2020 at the age of 43 after a long, private battle with cancer.
Wonder Woman 1984 - December 25 (HBO Max And Theatrical)
Probably, the most anticipated superhero movie in a long while, Wonder Woman 1984 is set to hit screens on 25th December. Gal Gadot reprises her wondrous, career-defining role in this highly anticipated superhero flick. Set nearly 70 years after the events of 2017’s Wonder Woman, the sequel pits Diana against a ruthless business tycoon (Pedro Pascal) and a woman with characteristics of a jungle cat (Kristen Wiig) amid the mysterious reappearance of her dead colleague and lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).
Once again, returning to the director’s chair for Wonder Woman 1984, Patty Jenkins co-wrote the screenplay with comic book writer Geoff Johns and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings scribe David Callaham. The DC Extended Universe installment went through many schedule changes (mostly due to Covid-19) until Warner Bros. recently opted to simultaneously release it theatrically and digitally to HBO Max on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas in Advance.
Soul - December 25 (Disney+)
Rather than offering the additional theatrical release, Disney has decided to make its latest feature from Pixar a Disney+ exclusive on December 25. The globally prime animation studio has been known to use mortality as a recurring theme in its films and Soul is no exception.
Collaborating with Kemp Powers, Up and Inside Out director Pete Doctor helms this spiritual tale starring Jamie Foxx as the voice of a musician who loses his passion for the art and, then one day, his life. The film is about his journey to earn both of them back, with the help of an infant soul (Tina Fey) who is yet to be born.
Monster Hunter - December 25 (Theatrical)
The movie depicts important journey at the center of this B-movie, as well a good heap of elaborate fight sequences between monster and a woman. The woman, needless to say, is Milla Jovovich. I mean who do you think could kill a monster? A staple of the sci-fi action crossover genre since she played the title role of The Fifth Element in 1997 and later became the face of the movie franchise based on the Resident Evil video games.
She is once again starring a video game movie with Monster Hunter, in which she plays an army lieutenant whose crew is mysteriously transported to a world overrun with large, ferocious beasts. Milla Jovovich’s Resident Evil director and husband Paul W.S. Anderson reprises this adaptation of popular Capcom franchise which also stars rapper T.I., martial arts movie star Tony Jaa, and the Hellboy himself, Ron Perlman.
News Of The World - December 25 (Theatrical)
News of the World is based on a 2016 bestselling novel by Paulette Jiles. The plot also sounds like it could be a post-Civil War equivalent to True Grit.
The film is helmed by two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks as a former Confederate Army captain turned traveling news announcer who is tasked with rescuing (okay..that sounds familiar) a little girl (Elizabeth Marvel) kidnapped by an indigenous tribe from the Great Plains. Producing thid western drama, Hanks reunites him with his Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass.
One Night In Miami - December 25 (Limited Theatrical)
Actress Regina King has made heads turn by starring in some of the most important projects to comment on racial disparity as of late, such as Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series and If Beale Street Could Talk. Each one of these project earned her her first Academy Award. Bringing that same energy from behind the camera, Regina makes her feature-length directorial debut with One Night in Miami.
To be released as a limited theatrical release on Christmas Day before premiering on Amazon Prime Video in January, this historical drama is based on a stage play of the same name by the co-director of Soul, Kemp Powers, that, as the title suggests, takes place over the course of one night in the 1960s as four prominent Civil Rights activists discuss their roles in the movement. The Star Studded cast includes Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, Eli Goree as Muhammad Ali, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke.
So? Would you now say that 2020 may not have been the worst year for the film industry after all, or will you reserve judgment until you see them all first?