Throughout 2019 cinema audiences across Scotland have been treated to a wealth of box office blockbusters, award-winning independents and sensational smash hits.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) wrapped up Phase Three with Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Together, all three reaped more than $5bn at the box office.
The Lion King, Frozen II and Toy Story 4 also made more than $1bn each worldwide.
Glasgow played a starring role in Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, which saw Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham team up to take on Idris Elba.
While Joker, a psychological thriller based on DC Comics’ much-loved villain, became the first R-rated film to pass the billion-dollar mark at the box office.
If you thought 2019 was a great year for movies, wait until you see what’s hitting the silver screen in 2020.
Wonder Woman 1984
And she’s back – swapping front-line shootouts for shoulder pads.
It’s 1984 and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is once again called into action to save the world.
After bringing down Ares – the Greek god of war – in the first film, the Amazonian princess will now face off against ruthless businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and supervillainess Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).
Despite sacrificing himself during the First World War, love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) will also bounce back to life to fight side-by-side with the demigoddess.
WW84 is the ninth instalment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
I’ve always felt that the 2017 film was successful because the studio was too busy with Justice League.
If it weren’t for director Patty Jenkins’ wonderful origin movie, we most likely wouldn’t have had Captain Marvel. I don’t think we’d be seeing Marvel’s Black Widow or DC Comics’ Birds of Prey on the big screen either as studios rarely green-light female-led superhero films.
Despite my initial concern that the Wonder Woman sequel could end up like Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, my worries have been washed away by the terrific first trailer – featuring a phenomenal remix of New Order’s Blue Monday.
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finds herself alone and forced to confront her past in Marvel Studios’ Black Widow.
I have two issues with Avengers: Endgame.
Firstly, the way Chris Hemsworth’s Thor was treated. The man lost his family, his home planet, and clearly became depressed. Due to his character’s weight gain, he became the butt of a few jokes that I actually didn’t like.
Secondly, I was not a fan of what happened to Black Widow.
It makes sense that most people would expect Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye to throw himself off the cliff in Vormir for the Soul Stone as he’d turned vigilante following the events of Infinity War. However, it was instead the former KGB assassin and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whilst great for a cinematic shock, the move has in a way ruined Johansson’s spin-off.
As the film is seemingly set ahead of Endgame, we know she’ll live through whatever is thrown at her in Black Widow.
Despite this, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) always delivers action-packed blockbusters.
There will be plenty of thrills, epic fight scenes and explosions to keep everyone entertained.
And with a five-star cast that includes Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh and David Harbour, I expect its box office takings to be one of the biggest of 2020.
Other comic book movies to keep an eye on:
- Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
- The Eternals
A third Ghostbusters film had been in various stages of development since Ghostbusters II in 1989.
Following the death of cast member Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler) in 2014, Sony instead moved forward with a reboot.
The 2016 film, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, received a lot of online hate before it was even produced and ended up being a box office bomb – which led to the studio abandoning plans for a sequel.
Director Jason Reitman – the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman – then sprung into action to develop a direct sequel to the first two films.
Set 30 years after Ghostbusters II, two children (Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard) and their single mum (Carrie Coon) move to a farm in Oklahoma.
When the small town experiences a series of unexplained earthquakes, the children soon discover their family’s secret link to the ‘long forgotten’ Ghostbusters.
With Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett) and Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz) signed on to reprise their roles from the original films, this is one of the most highly anticipated sequels of 2020.
Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s tale about a young boy who’s transformed into a mouse after stumbling across a conference of witches at a hotel has once again been given a makeover for the silver screen.
This time round, Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway takes on the role of the evil Grand High Witch – played superbly by Anjelica Huston in the 1990 classic.
Directed by Academy Award-winner Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) and co-starring fellow Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), the film should strike a chord with young audiences alongside the adults who grew up loving the book and the original film.
Other family films to keep an eye on:
- Jungle Cruise
- Minions: Rise of Gru
- Sonic the Hedgehog
No Time to Die
Bond is back.
The 25th instalment of the spy series takes place five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in Spectre.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service, but is drawn back into action by CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) who is on the hunt for a missing scientist.
When it becomes apparent that the scientist has been abducted, Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before (in the shape of Rami Malek’s villain Safin).
Directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), who co-wrote the screenplay with Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the film is said to have been modernised in light of the Me Too movement – with a female 00 agent (Lashana Lynch) to boot.
This is Craig’s final outing as Bond, so expect him to go out with a bang.
Top Gun: Maverick
He still feels the need – the need for speed.
After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell (Tom Cruise) finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a dangerous mission.
One of the pilots – Lt. Bradley Bradshaw/Rooster (Miles Teller) – turns out to be the son of Maverick’s late best friend Nick Bradshaw/Goose.
Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.
With Jerry Bruckheimer back in the producer’s chair, expect high-octane action from the get-go.
Val Kilmer is also set to return as Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky and Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly replaces Kelly McGillis as Maverick’s love interest.
Other action films to keep an eye on:
- Fast & Furious 9
- Free Guy
Also hitting the silver screen:
- Promising Young Woman: Written and directed by Killing Eve’s season-two showrunner Emerald Fennell (Call the Midwife/The Crown), Promising Young Woman sees cunning Carey Mulligan take on predatory men in this revenge thriller.
- The Invisible Man: The Invisible Man was originally tapped to be a part of Universal’s Dark Universe starring Johnny Depp, but was canned following the disappointing reception to 2017’s The Mummy. Blumhouse Productions snapped the rights up and have produced a new film with Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) in the lead role. Based very loosely on H.G. Wells’ premise, the film follows Moss as she escapes an abusive relationship, but soon finds that her supposedly dead partner is still very much alive.
- Tenet: Written and directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Dunkirk), Tenet’s storyline is under lock and key but is said to involve ‘international espionage’ and time travel.
- Dune: Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), Dune is the first of a planned two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name (and a remake of David Lynch’s 1984 film). The futuristic sci-fi features an all-star cast, including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.
- West Side Story: The Jets and the Sharks will go head-to-head in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the hit musical. Starring Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) and Rachel Zegler as lovestruck teenagers Tony and Maria, this adaptation of West Side Story is expected to hew more closely to the Broadway script than the 1961 film adaptation starring Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood.