We're encouraged by the box office for "Wonder Woman 1984" that once it's safely allowed, folks will be ready to return to movie theaters to experience films the way they're truly intended.
And in 2021, there will be a lot of huge, epic films that will benefit from big theaters with big sound reopening. Here are the 21 blockbusters we're most excited to see (trailers included where available, although never mind the COVID-affected release dates at the end of some clips)…
The King's Man – March 12
The third film in the series is a prequel that heads back in history to find our secret gents stopping evildoers no matter the place or time. Expect lots more over-the-top action sequences, quippy one-liners and well-tailored assassins.
Morbius – March 19
Jared Leto gets his blood boiling in this supervillain entry tied to the "Spider-Man" franchise. He's cool-looking, cool as ice and ready to turn to the dark side as a scientist-turned-prince-of-darkness.
No Time to Die – April 2
Daniel Craig suits up for one last adventure as the world's most legendary super spy. This time, he's paired off against recent Oscar winner Rami Malek, and paired up with a new 007, the awesome Lashana Lynch.
A Quiet Place Part II – April 23
Emily Blunt returns as the matriarch of the family, now fatherless, who must still contend with the extra-terrestrial creepers attuned to sound…plus some new baddies that are all too familiar in our earth-bound settings.
Black Widow – May 7
Scarlett Johansson returns in "Black Widow" (set before the events of "Avengers: Endgame") to pass the baton to a new generation of well-trained action heroes, including millennial favorite Florence Pugh.
Free Guy – May 21
Ryan Reynolds, surprisingly, is not the most colorful character in this action-comedy where he's an unaware, normal guy living inside a larger-than-life video game. Still, we're betting he's allowed a few wisecracks.
Godzilla vs. Kong – May 21
An all-star ensemble including Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Rebecca Hall and more gather around to see the two titans of monster cinema go at it in a battle of the ages. Who doesn't want to see that?
F9: The Fast Saga – May 28
The Fast Saga revs up once more with lots of international vehicular fury, and yet another new cast member in John Cena, playing the long-lost brother of Vin Diesel's family-fueled Dom Toretto.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife – June 11
The latest "Ghostbusters" update is directed by Jason Reitman, son of original franchise filmmaker Ivan Reitman. There's also another connection to the original ghostbusters in the storyline, and maybe some cameo appearances?
Venom: Let There Be Carnage – June 25
Tom Hardy's back, and this time, actor Andy Serkis sits in the director's chair. Assuming villain duties is the always-unpredictable Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kassady, also known as Carnage.
Top Gun: Maverick – July 2
35 years later, Tom Cruise is feeling the need for speed once more as fighter pilot Maverick. While he hasn't had much luck (or interest) moving up in the ranks, he is glad to still be conquering the airways, and here leads a new generation of pilots, including Miles Teller as former co-pilot Goose's son.
Jungle Cruise – July 30
It's no longer just a ride at Disneyland – it's a multi-million dollar cinematic adventure with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt on deck helming a ramshackle boat down the Amazon in search for a magical tree with mysterious healing powers.
The Suicide Squad – August 6
Margot Robbie makes her third appearance as Harley Quinn, joining up once more with the Suicide Squad for another dangerous and stunt-filled journey. Will Smith isn't onboard this time around, but James Gunn (director of "Guardians of the Galaxy") is large and in charge for this entry and promises an A-class action epic.
The Beatles: Get Back – August 27
We don't know too much about the latest Beatles documentary, but if Peter Jackson's preview above is a taste of what's to come, we're all in for front-row tickets. Looking like they shot the footage yesterday, and all smiles and dancing, the Fab Four provide an uplift for everyone in the new year.
Death on the Nile – September 17
Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening and Russell Brand all climb aboard for this luxury liner murder mystery with plot twists around every corner, and Kenneth Branagh doing double duties as both the director of the proceedings and the central investigator, Detective Poirot.
Dune – October 1
The good news is, while HBO Max initiallhy tried to play "Dune" on its streaming service at the same time as its theatrical release, it looks like the epic sci-fi adventure (and potential big screen series) may get a proper theatrical-first opening after all. Even if not, based on the amazing preview, we suggest viewing on the largest IMAX screen near you.
Halloween Kills – October 15
Michael Myers' slasher battle with nemesis Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) continues in this follow-up to the hugely successful 2018 entry. Joining the fight are not-so-little Tommy Doyle (this time played by Anthony Michael Hall) and Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), the two kids Laurie babysat in the original "Halloween."
Eternals – November 5
Currently, director Chloe Zao is making all kinds of waves with her critically acclaimed "Nomadland" being hailed as one of 2020's very best films. That makes us even more excited to see how the indie director will add some twists to the superhero genre with "Eternals," an interstellar MCU action flick featuring a diverse cast including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Lauren Ridloff and Kumail Nanjiani.
Spider-Man 3 – November 5
We're just happy that Sony and the MCU were able to keep the relationship going strong, and that we'll see Tom Holland reprising the role once more at the end of '21. We don't know too much about the storyline yet, but we'll be there to see Spidey sling his webs again on the biggest screen possible.
Mission: Impossible 7 – November 19
You've probably heard Tom Cruise's screaming rant to preserve COVID protocols on set. No matter your opinion of his tone, he does have a point about keeping things safe…and we're grateful that "M:I-7" is still a real thing that will debut on the big screen. Your home set-up may be cool. But it's not as cool as Cruise climbing a literal 7-story screen.
The Matrix 4 – December 22
Finally, we'll be so happy to see ultimate nice guy Keanu Reeves return to cinemas in the role that truly made him an international star in the first place. We know nothing about what will happen in "The Matrix 4." And we wouldn't want it any other way. We'll be glad to sit back in the dark, tune in, and take another trip with the red pill and figure out, in the best environment possible (an actual movie theater), what's really going on in "The Matrix."
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.