Coronavirus has thrown a spanner in the works of movie production and made cinema releases challenging, but there’s still much to look forward to over the next few months. We’ve picked out some highlights, including both theatrical releases and streaming services.
Wonder Woman 1984 (12A)
Release date: 2 October 2020 (but under review), cinemas
The latest installment from the DC Extended Universe sees the return of Gal Gadot as the eponymous superhero. This time, we’ve leaped forward several decades to the mid-80s (Diana/Wonder Woman is immortal, so hasn’t aged a day), and the last flare up of the Cold War. Chris Pine’s character -- World War I flying ace Steve Trevor -- is also back, despite getting blown-up-to-death in the last film, almost 70 years before. Kristen Wiig joins the gang as villain Cheetah. The film is set for a 2 October release, though rumours of a delay are circulating.
Over the Moon (PG)
Release date: 23 October 2020, Netflix
Netflix teamed up with Pearl Studio to produce this animated, musical version of a classic Chinese myth. It tells the tale of a young girl named Fei Fei who builds and flies a rocket ship to meet the moon goddess, Chang'e. The film is directed by veteran animator Glen Keane, who’s worked on such classics as Pocahontas, Tangled and Beauty and the Beast.
Black Widow (15)
Release date: 28 October 2020 (but under review), cinemas
It’s now well over a year since we last had a film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but here’s Scarlett Johansson in the first standalone film for Black Widow. The movie -- which also kicks off ‘Phase 4’ of the MCU -- is something of an origin story for her character, with Ever Anderson playing a young Natasha Romanoff. The supporting cast includes Florence Pugh (Little Women), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenle and Rachel Weisz. With a 15 certificate, this is definitely one for young adults rather than small children.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (PG)
Release date: 5 November 2020 (Netflix)
Plans to get everyone’s favourite porous, absorbent and yellow hero back onto the big screen have gone somewhat adrift. The SpongeBob movie was originally scheduled to hit cinemas in February 2019, but a series of delays compounded by coronavirus meant it only ever got screened in Canada. Netflix now has the rights to stream it internationally. The plot (such as it is) sees SpongeBob and Patrick go in search of the ‘snailnapped’ Gary, with plenty of flashbacks to their childhoods. Can’t wait.
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (no rating)
Release date: 17 November (Disney+)
We suspect as many adults as kids will be looking forward to this irreverent tie-in between Lucasfilm and Lego. The short feature is set after the events of Rise of the Skywalker. Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron take a trip to Chewie’s home planet to celebrate Life Day -- a seasonal holiday in the spirit of Christmas. It sounds like a wry nod towards the cringey Star Wars Christmas Special of 1978. Expect goofy humour, slick animation and lots and lots of self-referential one-liners.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again (PG)
Release date: 19 November 2020 (Netflix)
Christmas rom-coms featuring fictional European royalty are a peculiar if popular genre. One of the more successful was 2018’s The Princess Switch, in which an everyday American girl bumps into a doppelganger, who happens to be a duchess in a small European country. You can guess what happens from the title of the film. Expect more of the same from the sequel, only this time there’s a third lookalike, all of whom are played by Vanessa Hudgen (who also produces).
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