We only know a fraction of what’s to come, but there’s still plenty to look forward to!
Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 anticipated movies of the next decade. For this list, we’ll be looking at the some of the most exciting and high-profile films scheduled for release between 2020 and 2029. For films to be considered, they must be in active development, not just rumored or “being discussed”. Since the various future Star Wars films seem to be in a continuous state of flux, they won’t be considered, despite us being very excited to see what’s on the horizon for everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away.
If you'd like to see the video version of this list, click here to watch the video or see our picks below.
#10: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (2021)
With the release of “Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially come to a close. The story isn’t over however, and we’re excited to see where the MCU goes next. Of the films that have been announced, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “The Eternals” feel the most fresh and exciting. We’re also happy that the Spidey threequel is sticking within the MCU. Near the top of our MCU hype list, however, is the “Doctor Strange” sequel. Director Scott Derrickson has promised to shake things up by incorporating horror elements, and with “multiverse” in the title, this film seems poised to potentially expand the MCU in major ways.
#9: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (2021)
Look… we tried to squeeze as many of the MCU films into one entry as we could, but we can only cram so much. The MCU has done many things right, but there’s perhaps no single success more surprising than that of “The Guardians of the Galaxy”, a b-list team of relative unknowns that are now household names. And that’s in no small part thanks to James Gunn’s distinctive style. The controversy surrounding his past tweets saw the director dismissed by Disney, and with that, it seemed as if his planned trilogy would be completed by someone else. Thankfully, Gunn is back, and people seem to think that this third installment will have been worth the wait.
#8: “Avatar” sequels (2021-25)
Had we been producing this list, let’s say... five years ago, these films likely would have ranked much higher. But since the release of the groundbreaking 2009 film, the sequels have kept getting pushed back to the point to the point where the delays have become something of a joke. But hey, we’re supposedly getting four sequels instead of the two originally announced, so that’s something! When the first “Avatar” was released, it was absolutely groundbreaking, and it seems as if these delays have been motivated by perfectionism, not only in terms of world-building, but also in developing new technologies to make these films similarly groundbreaking. Considering Cameron’s incredible filmography, these sequels remain hype-worthy, even for the visuals alone.
#7: “Halloween Kills” (2020) & “Halloween Ends” (2021)
Horror franchises have a nasty habit of refusing to stay dead. The longer they run, the messier they become, and more often than not, reboots of these properties feel like hollow cash grabs. With 2018’s “Halloween” however, fans were given reason to believe that horror icons can receive a new lease on life – they just need the right creative team. The film wiped the lengthy timeline of “Halloween” movies clean, and instead serves as a direct sequel to the original 1978 film. It was a huge success, not only at the box office, but with critics and fans alike. With Jamie Lee Curtis returning for both sequels, this retconned “Halloween” series could set a new bar for the horror genre.
#6: “Mission: Impossible” 7 & 8 (2021-22)
Speaking of franchises that have received a new lease on life, how about “Mission: Impossible”? This film series is almost unrecognizable, having dropped the stealth and espionage elements of the first film to become one of the most thrilling action franchises of modern cinema. Star Tom Cruise is now in his late ‘50s, but he shows no signs of slowing down... and – come to think of it – very few signs of aging. And so, following the success of “Rogue Nation” and “Fallout”, he and director Christopher McQuarrie are sending Ethan Hunt on not one, but two more seemingly impossible big screen missions. These two have a proven track record; in the McQuarrie-Cruise partnership we trust.
#5: “Ghostbusters 2020” (2020)
The last Ghostbusters reboot was… You know what? We’re not getting into it! Despite an outcry from film lovers for more original stories in general, this is one sequel that’s easy to get excited about. For starters, it’s bringing back all of the surviving members of the original cast, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver – and in their original roles no less. As for the leading roles, up-and-comers Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace will star, with support from Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon. Add to that the fact that it’s written and directed by Jason Reitman, son of original “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman, and you’ve got a film that celebrates legacy while nonetheless moving forward.
#4: “Aquaman 2” (2022)
Between this and “Wonder Woman 1984”, it feels like DC is taking their sweet time with the sequels. But hey, it's worth the wait if they get it right! Like “Wonder Woman” before it, 2018’s “Aquaman” prioritized telling its own cohesive narrative over any sort of connection to a shared cinematic universe. Though the dialogue and plot felt uneven, the film was nonetheless a whole lot of fun, and Jason Momoa IS Aquaman. We don’t know much about the sequel, but Momoa has been directly involved in pitching ideas for it, and from what little we’ve heard, it seems like they’re planning to go even bigger than they did with the first film.
#3: “Thor: Love and Thunder” (2021)
Thor has been through a lot during his time in the MCU. His solo features are widely considered to be among the weaker entries in the franchise. He’s also lost an eye, both parents, his brother, his home world, and has clearly struggled with PTSD and depression-fueled weight gain. But hey, he’s also the first Avenger to get a fourth solo feature, so who’s laughing now? After helping Thor reach his full potential in “Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi returns to once again bring the God of Thunder to new heights. This time… by teaching him to share! Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman will apparently both be wielding the power of Thunder, and we can’t WAIT to see it play out.
#2: “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2020) (& Future Monsterverse Films)
When “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” failed to impress critics and under-performed at the box office, many were quick to announce the death of Legendary’s Monsterverse. And yet it soldiers on! The 2019 film was an expensive lesson, but fans have faith that Legendary will adjust and move forward accordingly. The film delivered on the kaiju front, it’s just the human part of the story that they need to get right this next time up at bat. At the end of the day, a showdown between Kong and Godzilla is sure to make for one heck of a cinematic event; this is the sort of film that will NEED to be seen on the big screen.
#1: “The Batman” (2021)
Want to make a billion dollars at the box office? You don’t need an interconnected universe… just quality films that stand on their own two feet. With the success of “Joker”, maybe DC gets it. “The Batman” is pushing reset on the franchise, and while there are those who wish WB would give Bruce Wayne a rest… the way this film is shaping up, its potential is MASSIVE. With “Planet of the Apes” director Matt Reeves at the helm, and him reportedly putting a focus on Batman’s reputation as the World’s Greatest Detective, we seem primed for a take on the character never before seen on the big screen – and maybe even a trilogy to rival Christopher Nolan’s.
“Edge of Tomorrow” sequel (TBD)
“The Fast and the Furious” 9 & 10 (2020-21)
“Black Widow” (2020)
“Jurassic World 3” (2021)
“Indiana Jones 5” (2021)
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.