Film & TV

Discover the 32 Most Anticipated Movies of 2021

After a year of delayed premieres and postponed releases, 2021 brings an array of exciting new biopics, adapted screenplays, adventure films, and more.
Reading time 19 minutes

The Man Who Sold His Skin

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© Film i Väst

This international film tells the story of Sam Ali, a sensitive and impulsive young Syrian who fled his country for Lebanon in an attempt to escape the war. As he finally goes to Europe to live with the love of his life, Sam makes a pact with Jeffrey Godefroi, a notable contemporary artist of the moment, to have his back tattooed. With his body becoming a prestigious work of art, the young Syrian soon finds that his decision was made at the cost of his freedom. A film that promises to be grandiose, The Man Who Sold His Skin head to theaters January 13.

My Year in New York

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© Micro scope

Diving into the 1990s, a young woman, Joanna, who dreams of becoming a writer lands a job as an assistant to the literary agent of J.D. Salinger, a renowned writer who is considered one of the most famous authors of the 20th century. Joanna gives up her postgraduate studies in favor of her New York adventure, as well as her dreams. The picture, which stars Margaret Qualley, Douglas Booth, and Sigourney Weaver, will be in theaters January 13.

Sixteen Spring

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© Avenue B Productions

Sixteen Spring tells the story of Suzanne, a 16-year-old bored with people her own age. As she walks past a theater every day, she meets an older man. At first, she feels alive, as though she has finally found someone with whom she is no longer bored. However, as they begin a relationship, Suzanne begins to feel like she's missing out on her teenage life. The film, written, directed, and played by Suzanne Lindon, was a part of the Cannes 2020 Official Selection. It opens in theaters January 27.

Chaos Walking

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© Lionsgate

In the world of Todd Hewitt, played by Tom Holland (Spiderman: Homecoming, Avengers: Endgame), there is only men, all subjected to Noise, a mysterious force which reveals their thoughts to others. When Viola, a young woman played by Daisy Ridley (Stars Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Sky Walker, Murder on the Orient Express), accidentally lands on his planet, she finds herself in great danger. Although Todd swears to protect her, he must first find his inner strength and unravel the dark secrets that stifle his world. The sci-fi thriller, which also stars Mads Mikkelson, Cynthia Erivo, and Nick Jonas, premieres in theaters February 3.

The Mauritanian

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© Black Sheep Pictures

Scheduled for a February 17 release, this American-British film directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Games of Power) adapts the memoir Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian detained at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for 14 years. Tracing his real history, the film depicts the real-life impact of post-9/11 xenophobia in the United States. The powerful film stars Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jodie Foster, and Tahar Rahim, who plays the man that spent over a decade in prison without charge or trial.

The King's Man

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© 20th Century Fox

Expected in theaters since February 2020, The King's Man is now to be released in February 2021. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, this prequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service promises to be darker than its two predecessors with a heavier tonal shift. The feature film plunges viewers into the First World War, and looks back on the genesis of the Kingsman, an elite group of British intelligence officers.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

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© Lee Daniels

The United States vs. Billie Holiday focuses on the early 1940s, when Billie Holiday, a singer under the influence of multiple addictions, was the target of the Federal Department of Narcotics as part of an infiltration led by federal agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. This American biographical film directed by Lee Daniels is an adaptation of the British novel Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. The biopic premieres March 3 in theaters.

Eiffel

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© VVZ Production

For this film, Romain Duris (Our Battles) embodies the legendary engineer Gustave Eiffel. At the height of his career, after having finished his collaboration on the Statue of Liberty, the French government asks him to create a spectacular work for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris. At first reluctant to the idea of having to venture outside his domain, namely the metropolitan projects, his opinion changes when he meets his new muse, played by Emma Mackey (Sex Education). A film inspired by the real story between engineer Gustave Eiffel and a young woman named Adrienne Bourgès, Eiffel comes out March 10.

No Time to Die

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© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

The latest James Bond release was originally scheduled for April 8, 2020, but the pandemic decided otherwise. For his final incarnation of Agent 007, Daniel Craig basks in Jamaica after leaving the secret service of his majesty. However, his tranquility is soon interrupted by a call for help from his friend Felix Leiter of the CIA to save a scientist who has just been kidnapped. The mission turns out to be much more dangerous than it seems, as Bond finds himself on the heels of a mysterious enemy holding formidable technological weapons, played by Rami Malek. The film's release has been set for March 31, 2021, barring any further postponements.

Last Night in Soho

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© Focus Features

Directed by Edgar Wright, Last Night in Soho tells the story of a young, fashion-obsessed Sandy, played by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit), who succeeds in traveling to the past. Propelled into the '60s, she meets her idol, a dazzling singer in the making. Although this meeting delights her, 1960s London is not what it appears to be, and time seems to disintegrate with obscure consequences. The unexpected horror film opens April 28.

Black Widow

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© Marvel Studios

Viewers can expect to see Scarlett Johansson again on the big screen in the long-awaited Black Widow blockbuster on May 7. As Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, the actress comes to life in the story as the former-spy-turned-superhero, who sees the darkest part of her past resurface. To shed this powerful force, Natasha is forced to return to her old tricks and reconnect with former cohorts from her pre-Avengers days.

Cruella

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© Walt Disney Pictures

As its name suggests, this film by Craig Gillespie centers on the 101 Dalmatians villan, Estella "Cruella" de Vil. The feature film stars Emma Stone in the titular role as she recounts the story of de Vil's youth. The release is scheduled for May 26.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

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© New Line Cinema

While initially scheduled for September 2020, horror fans will have to wait until June 4 to see the third film in The Conjuring franchise. This sequel, directed by Michael Chaves, traces a murder case so terrifying that paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were themselves afraid of what was happening to them. As the specialist duo fight to protect the soul of a little boy, they end up falling into a completely unknown world.

Top Gun: Maverick

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© Paramount Pictures

Tom Cruise returns to his role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell 35 years after the release of Top Gun in the new sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. In this version directed by Joseph Kosinski, the story continues to follow Maverick, now in the role of teacher, for a fairly dangerous mission. While instructing new trainees, he meets Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, son of his late friend, navigator Nick "Goose" Bradshaw. Finding himself in an uncertain situation, haunted by his ghosts, Maverick will have to face his worst nightmares during this mission which does not promise to be without sacrifices. The film opens July 21.

The Suicide Squad

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© DC Films

With this feature film, James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) directs a new DC Comics film, centered on the Suicide Squad. The movie is an independent sequel to David Ayer's Suicide Squad, released five years earlier. Scheduled for release on August 4, the film features part of the 2016 film's cast, including Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and L'OFFICIEL star Jared Leto.

Deep Water

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© Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

An American erotic thriller, Deep Water immerses viewers into the life of Victor Van Allen and his wife Melinda, played by real-life couple Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, who have lost the love in their marriage. As they decide to spice things up by pursuing an open relationship, their games quickly turn into a nightmare when people around them begin to die. The film marks the return of Adrian Lyne (Lolita, Fatal Liaison, Infidèle) behind the camera after 18 years of absence. The expected release date is August 11.

Respect

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© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Respect, the biopic devoted to Aretha Franklin, performed by Jennifer Hudson, is scheduled for August 18, 2021 after multiple delays. The picture follows the legend, singer, pianist, and American songwriter of soul from her beginnings as an altar girl in his father's church to her international fame. It's the remarkable and real story of Franklin, retracing the journey of the Queen of Soul.

Candyman

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© TriStar

Co-written and directed by Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), Candyman is expected to arrive in cinemas on August 25. Based on Clive Barker's The Forbidden and the sequel to the namesake remake by Bernard Rose, the story follows Anthony McCoy, an artist living in Chicago with his wife, director of an art gallery. Short of inspiration, Anthony discovers the legend of Candyman. Anthony uses him as the object of his future inspiration, but his new muse begins tormenting him, making him gradually lose his mind.

Dune

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© Warner Bros.

One of the most anticipated films of 2020, a reboot of the original 1984 movie, has been pushed back almost a year. Now announced for October 1, 2021, this film by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, presents a new adaptation of the science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. In this work, Paul Atreides, doomed to an uncertain fate, is torn between his duty to protect his family and his people, and the obligation that this entails. He must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to find the world's most precious resource. To survive, Paul must overcome his fears and save his planet. 

The Last Duel

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© Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Matt Damon star in Ridley Scott's adaptation of Eric Jager's romance novel The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France. This feature film is set in 1386, when a Norman knight returns from the war. Upon his arrival, his wife tells him that she was raped by his best friend. To decide the fate of the prosecution, the court organizes a fight between the two men. The film tells the true story of one of the last legal duels in France, between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris. See the film in theaters from October 15.

Halloween Kills

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© Blumhouse Productions

In this sequel to Halloween, released in 2018, we find the gang (Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, and Andi Matichak) where the previous film left off, determined to catch their attacker. Conceived as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 film, Halloween (2018), the movie features the clash between Michael Myers and three generations of women. Halloween Kills is scheduled for October 20, with a following film, Halloween Ends, in 2022.

Snake Eyes

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© Hasbro Studios

In a spin-off of the G.I. Joe film series, this feature film details the origins of the ninja Snake Eyes, played by Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians). Directed by Robert Schwentke (Red), the film, which was been planned for a 2020 premiere, will now debut October 22.

Elvis

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© Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

The Elvis Presley biopic traces the history of the musical icon, embodied by Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), through the prism of his complex relationship with his mysterious manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. The film by Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge) looks back on their relationship over 20 years, from the singer's rise to his unparalleled star status. See it in theaters on November 5.

Mission: Impossible 7

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© Paramount Pictures

The seventh installment in the Mission Impossible franchise, Tom Cruise reprises his role as spy Ethan Hunt. As in the previous film, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Hunt must team up with black market arms trader White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) and the rest of his team to save the world from impending doom. The film hits box offices November 19.

Gucci

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© FX

Another film by Ridley Scott eagerly awaited in 2021. Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, and Jared Leto star in Gucci, which focuses on the assassination of Maurizio Gucci, grandson and heir to the founder of the famous brand. Reports later revealed that the murder was ordered by his future ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, in order to receive his share of his family's inheritance, which she would not have been eligible for is her husband remarried with Paola Franchi. Watch the harrowing story in theaters November 26.

West Side Story

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© 20th Century Studios

With Steven Spielberg directing and Ansel Elgort in the lead role, this live-action adaptation of the 1957 musical of the same name, itself inspired by the cult play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, promises to be a close to the rendition of the beloved original work. The story takes the audience to the Upper West Side, in the heart of the 1950s, and follows the confrontation of rival gangs: the Sharks and the Jets. Tony, belonging to the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of the Sharks' leader. It's a tragic love story, celebrated for decades. The film hits theaters December 8.

Matrix 4

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© Warner Bros.

Good news for fans of the Matrix saga: a fourth film, starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity, is coming to the big screen. If it remains in the same universe as this cult sci-fi series launched in 1999, Matrix 4 does not promise to be a direct sequel to the third opus. The release is scheduled for December 22, 2021 as an early Christmas present for fans.

The Dig

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© Clerkenwell Films

On the eve of the Second World War, Edity Pretty, a wealthy widow, recruits an amateur archaeologist to excavate the burial mounds scattered around her property. A historic discovery follows, which brings back the past of a Great Britain that already faces an uncertain future. The romantic film, adapted from a book by John Preston, stars Lily James, Carey Mulligan, and Ralph Fiennes. It's set to come to Netflix in 2021.

Death on the Nile

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© TSG Entertainment

Kenneth Branagh has once again adapted one of Agatha Christie's novels for the big screen. After Murder on the Orient ExpressDeath on the Nile sees the English actor don the costume of the most famous Belgian detectives to solve a case which takes place, this time, in Egypt. The movie features a five-star cast: Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Letitia Wright (Black Panther), and Annette Bening. Postponed several times in 2020, the film is set to finally land in theaters sometime in 2021.

Cinderella

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© Columbia Pictures

In this new adaptation of Charles Perrault's Cinderella tale, singer Camila Cabello will don the iconic blue dress as the beloved Disney princess. Directed by Kay Cannon (Parental Control, Pitch Perfect 2), the remake, which also stars Billy Porter, Idina Menzel, and more, is scheduled for a theatrical release on Feb 5.

The Song of the Nightingale

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© David M. Benett / Getty Images

For her second feature film in English, Mélanie Laurent adapts Kristin Hannah's bestseller, The Nightingale. In this film, sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning will play the two sisters Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac who, during the Second World War, each lead the fight for the Resistance in their own way. After her husband leaves for the front, Vianne finds herself alone with her daughter, and is forced to welcome a German officer under her roof. Isabelle, on the other hand, decides to leave her village in the Loire in order to become actively involved in the Resistance in Paris, under the code name "Le Rossignol." The film is also inspired by the true story of the Belgian resistance fighter Andrée de Jongh who, during the Second World War, helped war volunteers escape and hide Jewish children. The release was postponed to 2021, and a date has not been formally set.

The French Dispatch

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© Walt Disney Pictures

In 2019, American director Wes Anderson announced his new film project The French Dispatch, stamped with his unique sigature aesthetic. Inspired by the American magazine The New Yorker, this story takes place at a fictional weekly newspaper. Starring legendary actors such as Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, and new film sensation Timothée Chalamet, the film has been called a "love letter to journalists." Its release was initially scheduled for October 2020, but has been pushed to 2021.

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