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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Ten Delayed Films From Last Year That Should Finally Hit the Big Screen in 2021

They were originally scheduled to release in 2020 — but you can look forward to them this year instead.
By Sarah Ward
February 09, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
February 09, 2021
  shares

Little has been normal about the past 12 months, and that includes heading to the movies to watch the latest blockbusters. When the pandemic first started causing lockdowns in 2020, the year's biggest flicks all started delaying their releases. So, plenty of the films you were looking forward to seeing last year didn't reach the silver screen — and, all this time later, many still haven't yet.

Australian cinemas are open and running as normal, of course, and have been for some time. That said, apart from the likes of Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, they've been light on high-profile titles. Instead, they've been showing everything else they can get their hands on, and giving local titles and smaller movies some love. But, fingers crossed, those projectors should be pumping out some of those big-name films you've been waiting for before 2021 is out.

Hollywood isn't done delaying its high-profile releases just yet; however, there are still a number of notable releases slated to hit the silver screen this year. Whether you're keen on action, scares, sci-fi or a bit of singing and dancing, we've rounded up ten to put back on your radar.

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BLACK WIDOW

When it comes to pushing women to the front, Marvel's track record isn't great. Captain Marvel, the Disney-owned company's first movie solely focused on a female character, only came out in 2019 — but now it's following that up with a film that really should've happened years ago. That'd be Black Widow, focusing on Natasha Romanoff, the highly trained ex-KGB assassin known played by Scarlett Johansson. The character debuted on-screen in 2010's Iron Man 2, and is now getting her own flick via a prequel. Also starring Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Fighting with My Family), Rachel Weisz and Stranger Things' favourite David Harbour, Black Widow jumps back a few years, setting the bulk of its story just after the events of 2016's Captain America: Civil War. On the run, Romanoff is forced to face her complicated (and violent) past, as well as a new masked opponent. We're sure a few familiar faces will also show up in the MCU's return to the big-screen, which is directed by Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome, Lore, Somersault).

Black Widow opens in Australian cinemas on April 29.

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FAST AND FURIOUS 9

Given the Fast and Furious franchise's title, you'd think driving speedily and passionately is what this big-budget film series is all about. Over-the-top car antics play a hefty part, as the 2001 original, its seven sequels to-date and its 2019 spin-off have all shown via a constant onslaught of hectic stunts. But, if there's one thing that this Vin Diesel-starring and -produced saga loves just as much as vehicular mayhem, it's family. Over the years, Diesel's Dominic Toretto has extended the term 'family' to include not only his girlfriend-turned wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster), her husband Brian (the late Paul Walker) and their various offspring, but their extended motley crew of fast-driving pals as well. So, when it comes to Fast and Furious 9 — or F9 as it's being called — it's unsurprising that the franchise is leaning heavily on one of its favourite concepts. Somehow, the saga hasn't expended all family-related options just yet, with John Cena joining the series as Dom's younger brother Jakob. Don't expect a happy sibling reunion, however, with the ex-wrestler playing the film's villain.

Fast and Furious 9 opens in Australian cinemas on May 27.

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IN THE HEIGHTS

Over the past seven years, Hamilton has become a cultural phenomenon — and, thanks to its fame and acclaim, so has the hip hop musical's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. But that's not the only stellar stage show to the multi-talented composer, actor, singer and playwright's name. Before he took on US history (and before he helped bring Bring It On to the theatre, too), Miranda turned life in Manhattan's Washington Heights into four-time Tony-winner In the Heights. It's making the leap to the big screen — with a stacked cast that includes Hamilton's Anthony Ramos and Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz, with Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M Chu behind the lens, and via a film primarily shot on location in its titular spot. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the text for the stage version, has also written the feature's screenplay. And Lin-Manuel Miranda is involved, naturally, producing the movie, overseeing the music and popping up on-screen as well.

In the Heights opens in Australian cinemas on August 26.

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CANDYMAN

For nearly three decades, horror movie lovers have fallen into two categories: those who've dared to say the word 'candyman' five times while staring into a mirror, and those who haven't. If you fall into the first group, then you'll be making a date with this unnerving sequel, which revives the Candyman franchise and boasts a few tricks up its sleeves. Firstly, Candyman circa 2o21 is produced and co-written by Jordan Peele, who adds another frightfest to his resume alongside Get Out and Us. Secondly, it's directed by Nia DaCosta, whose Tessa Thompson-starring 2018 film Little Woods deserved more attention. And last but by no means least, it features the OG Candyman, Tony Todd, among its cast. Plot-wise, the new flick focuses on artist Anthony McCoy (Aquaman and Watchmen's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who decides to start exploring the Candyman legend through his art. His girlfriend Brianna (If Beale Street Could Talk's Teyonah Parris) thinks the story is just that, but then the bee-covered figure starts wreaking havoc again. That's what happens when folks say his name while looking at their own reflection, after all.

Candyman opens in Australian cinemas on August 26.

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A QUIET PLACE PART II

In 2018, A Quiet Place tasked a young family with staying soundless, lest they be heard and then killed by giant spider-like monsters. As a result, audiences keenly listened out for any noise that could put Lee (John Krasinski), Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) Abbott in jeopardy, with the film serving up a mighty tense — and noise-free — time at the cinemas. Now, three years later, the frightful aliens and the hushed tones are back. So is Blunt in kick-ass mode, too. Like the first film, A Quiet Place Part II is directed and written by Krasinski, with this follow-up picking up where its predecessor left off. Certain to serve up plenty of bumps, jumps and — naturally — silence, the sequel also welcomes franchise newcomers Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy).

A Quiet Place Part II opens in Australian cinemas on September 9.

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DUNE

David Lynch's Dune is one of the most unfairly maligned sci-fi films ever made. It's not the version that Alejandro Jodorowsky would've whipped up — as explored in excellent documentary Jodorowsky's Dune — but the 1984 movie still has its surreal delights. Just how Denis Villeneuve's new adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel will fare is still yet to be seen, but the French Canadian director has already revived another 80s sci-fi property to stunning effect with Blade Runner 2049. Once again, he has amassed a stellar cast, including Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem and Doctor Sleep's Rebecca Ferguson. They'll all fight over 'the spice', the most valuable substance in the universe.

Dune releases in Australian cinemas on September 16.

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NO TIME TO DIE

Shaken (not stirred) martinis are back on the menu, and so are suave secret agents, sinister plots to destroy the world and espionage thrills. Yes, it's James Bond time again, with No Time to Die marking the British spy's 25th official big-screen outing. Daniel Craig returns as 007, which'll be his fifth stint as the spy since 2006's Casino Royale as well as his last. He'll be facing off against an unhinged, mask-wearing new adversary called Safin (Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar-winner Rami Malek), plus imprisoned ex-opponent Blofeld (Christoph Waltz); however, he has company in the 00 stakes, too. Following the events of 2015's Spectre, Bond has left active service and started a new life in Jamaica, causing MI6 to recruit someone else to cover his turf. That'd be new agent Nomi (Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch), and you can obviously expect the pair to cross paths. Bond being Bond, he was never going to be able to escape his line of work easily, after all. Here, he's brought back in by CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) to help with a mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

No Time to Die opens in Australian cinemas on October 7.

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HALLOWEEN KILLS

For 43 years, the Halloween franchise has been delivering stone-cold horror masterpieces, weird and wonderful detours, and entries that deserve to be locked away for all eternity with Michael Myers. The difference between the series' John Carpenter-directed best and its trashy worst is enormous, but when David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche, Pineapple Express) took the reins for 2018's Halloween — a direct sequel to the 1978 original that ignores the seven other follow-ups and two remakes in-between — he served up one of the saga's best chapters. It helped that Jamie Lee Curtis was back, of course. Also beneficial: a meaty story that grapples with trauma, a skill for slasher thrills, a new score by Carpenter himself, and producer Jason Blum's support. So it was great news when two more movies were announced, including 2021's Halloween Kills, which brings the whole gang back to Haddonfield for another encounter with the town's masked menace.

Halloween Kills releases in Australian cinemas on October 14.

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GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

There's something strange in the town of Summerville and a group of kids are calling upon themselves to bust it. That's the premise of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which swaps New York for Oklahoma and grown men (and women) for children — and jumps firmly on the Stranger Things-led 80s nostalgia bandwagon. Whether siblings Phoebe (Annabelle Comes Home's McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard) are seeing things runnin' through their heads or they'll catch an invisible man sleepin' in their beds is yet to be seen, of course. They've moved to the isolated locale with their mother (Widows' Carrie Coon), and into a rundown old house they've inherited from their grandfather. It's filled with ghost traps, containers of spores, mould and fungus, beige jumpsuits emblazoned with the name 'Spengler' and a very familiar car — which might come in handy when the ground starts shaking for no reason and a mysterious green light starts glowing. Also, Paul Rudd pops ups as teacher Mr Grooberson, who schools the kids in Ghostbusters lore, because this is a direct sequel to the original 1984 Ghostbusters and its 1989 follow-up Ghostbusters II.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens in Australian cinemas on November 25.

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THE FRENCH DISPATCH

An offbeat storyline. Mesmerisingly symmetrical frames. A cast that includes Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban and Anjelica Houston. Yep, it must be a new Wes Anderson film — and The French Dispatch looks like Wes Anderson at his most Wes Anderson-esque yet. The premise: in the fictional French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé sometime in the mid-20th century, Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Murray) has turned a series of travelogue columns into a weekly American magazine. A supplement to the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, The French Dispatch resembles The New Yorker, is staffed by top expatriate journalists, and covers life in France, world politics, high and low art, and diverse stories of human interest. As for the film that shares its name, it focuses on three tales printed in the publication's pages.

The French Dispatch doesn't currently have an Australian release date.

Published on February 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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