Weekend editor David Morgan rounds up the 10 films he is looking forward to in 2020

THE GENTLEMEN

Director: Guy Ritchie

Released: Out now

GUY Ritchie has gone a bit off the boil recently.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was largely panned by critics and 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. only fared a little better.

But The Gentlemen – out on New Year’s Day – will see the filmmaker going back to his British gangster film roots on which he made his name. The cast is phenomenal featuring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam and Colin Farrell as well as Hugh Grant playing against type as a scheming criminal.

The story will see a drug lord trying to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires. And if is anywhere near as gritty, funny and mischievous as Lock, Stock and Snatch then we are in for a treat.

BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN

Director: Cathy Yan

Released: February 7

Winsford Guardian:

AFTER the success of Wonder Woman and Joker, the DC Comics versus Marvel cinematic rivalry will continue with Birds of Prey starring Margot Robbie as fan favourite Harley Quinn.

It is a kind of sequel/spin-off to Suicide Squad which pitched all the DC villains into a super squad.

The story will see Harley break free from the squad and Joker to team up with vigilantes Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to protect a young girl from crime lord, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).

We can expect a highly stylised action scenes, colourful chaos and, if it is a success, a lot more to come from the slightly mad anti-hero.

ONWARD

Director: Dan Scanlon

Released: March 6

PIXAR films very rarely fail to deliver and are usually a cinema highlight for families with young kids. So after recent successes like Coco and Toy Story 4, there is a lot of hype for next year’s release, Onward. Marvel stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt lend their voices in a fantasy adventure about two elf brothers.

They set out to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.

Pixar’s movies are always drenched with genuine warmth and emotion so the subject of this will no doubt leave cinema-goers blubbing into their popcorn.

The California studio also leads animation standards worldwide so expect truly stunning visuals too.

A QUIET PLACE PART II

Director: John Krasinski

Released: March 20

WE know him best as ‘Jim from the American version of The Office’ but John Krasinski has been quietly redefining modern horror films.

Quiet is the operative word because in 2018 he introduced us to a post-apocalyptic America where monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing have all but eradicated mankind. The original was a word-of-mouth sensation about a father who will do anything to protect his family with razor edge tension – and so there is a lot of excitement about a sequel being in the works with Krasinski again taking the helm.

If the sequel is anything like Krasinski’s debut then again there will be barely any spoken dialogue on screen with the threat of the monsters more powerful than their presence.

Among the newcomers on the cast are Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou who know a thing or two about intensity so this is definitely one to watch – if you dare.

MULAN

Director: Niki Caro

Released: March 27

DISNEY’S live action remakes have split audiences. Are they simply a licence to print money or do they have some artistic merit?

Mulan could change all that. It looks spectacular, epic and very much warranted.

Directed by Niki Caro, best known for Whale Rider, the film features a huge list of Chinese acting talent and looks to be in the vein of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – albeit with a very Disney family friendly story.

Based on the 1998 animated film, which is itself a retelling of an old Chinese folktale, a young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

Yifei Liu stars as Mulan after making a name for herself in martial arts films like The Forbidden Kingdom and The Assassins.

BLACK WIDOW

Director: Cate Shortland

Released: May 1

Winsford Guardian:

BLACK Widow has one of the most interesting backstories in the Marvel Comics universe.

When we see Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in the Marvel films she is already a remarkable special agent for the ‘good guys’.

But in the comics she first appeared as a Russian operative and was trained from childhood as a spy, martial artist and sniper.

After her fate in Avengers: Endgame, many thought that would be the last we would see of Black Widow but this standalone film should hopefully complete her tale, honour her legacy and offer a little redemption.

The movie is thought to be set after the events of Captain America: Civil War when Romanoff finds herself alone and is forced to confront her troubled past.

We should finally learn how she defected to fight alongside the superheroes of S.H.I.E.L.D.

GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

Director: Jason Reitman

Released: July 10

Winsford Guardian:

WHO ya gonna call for a Ghostbusters film?

Well after the all-female reboot polarised fans, Paul Feig has been taken off speed dial.

Instead, Juno and Up In The Air director Jason Reitman has accepted the call in a movie that looks to be playing things a lot more safe but will likely delight fans. Little is known so far but what we do know is that much of the original cast is returning including Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver.

The plot kicks off when two brothers – including one played by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard – arrive in a small town when they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

TENET

Director: Christopher Nolan

Released: July 17

VISIONARY director Christopher Nolan is back on mind-bending form later this year with Tenet.

The filmmaker’s 2020 return is described as an ‘action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel, and evolution’.

Nolan took a break from twisting our perceptions with his intense wartime story Dunkirk in 2017.

Tenet will probably be more in the spirit of spectacular Interstellar and the surreal dream stealing antics of Inception.

But as usual, the plot is a closely guarded secret.

Twilight’s Robert Pattinson is one of the surprise leads in this in a cast that also includes Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh and frequent Nolan collaborator Michael Caine.

Nolan is widely regarded as one of the best filmmakers of his generation who tells challenging stories on an epic scale so hopefully this will be something special.

BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC

Director: Dean Parisot

Released: August 21

Winsford Guardian:

IT has been rumoured and kicked around for years and years with little progress despite the leads being keen for it to happen.

But could 2020 finally be the year for the third time travelling bodacious journey of the lovable goofy duo Bill and Ted?

Bill S Preston, Esq (Alex Winter) and Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan (Keanu Reeves) have grown older but perhaps not wise and their time-travelling adventures aren’t over just yet. In a plot that would impress Tenacious D, the duo are visited by someone from the future who tells them they must create a song to save the world.

Will the Wyld Stallyns be up to the task? Nostalgia looks alive and well for next year’s cinema line-up so despite the original cult classics being decades old it should find its delighted audience.

Always a good sport, Keanu Reeves also adds star appeal and charisma after the huge success of the John Wick series.

UNCHARTED

Director: Travis Knight

Released: December 18

CRITICALLY acclaimed and fan favourite series Uncharted – inspired by the likes of Indiana Jones – totally reinvented adventure games so a film version was only a matter of time.

Its globetrotting hero Nathan Drake added roguish charm to daredevil missions to follow maps, crack clues and dust off historical artefacts in the search of long lost treasure. What makes the games brilliant should also make the movie adaptation great – if they do it right – zingy dialogue and fast paced and fluid action where our heroes are left battered and bruised when things do not go according to plan.

Spider-Man’s Tom Holland is set to star with Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) in the director’s chair and Mark Wahlberg is also in talks for the supporting role of Sully.

Video game adaptations have had a rough ride in the past – could this be the film to break that rule of thumb?