By Jack Sadler ’21
2021 is set to be a huge year for movie fans! After several blockbusters originally scheduled for 2020 were forced to change their release dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 quickly became one of most exciting movie years in recent history. Here are 5 of the most anticipated 2021 films:
No Time to Die (James Bond) – April 2, 2021
2021’s No Time to Die marks the end of an era for James Bond films, as it will be British actor Daniel Craig’s last performance as the iconic character. Craig is the seventh actor to portray 007 and has already made four movies as cinema’s most famous spy. The Bond franchise is one of the longest running series in cinematic history, with No Time to Die as the twenty-fifth installment. This time around, Bond has retired to Jamaica with his girlfriend from the previous film, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). However, his retirement is short-lived as the world needs him yet again. Bond is called back into action to face a new villain named Safin (Rami Malek), who is bent on making the world a “better place” by killing anyone who stands in his way. Much of Bond’s usual crew, including M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and Q (Ben Whishaw), will return to help 007 save the day. A most intriguing development for Craig’s last turn, trailers for the movie have revealed a new 00 agent named Nomi (Lashana Lynch), who joined the force while Bond was enjoying retirement. No Time to Die promises all the action, mystery, betrayal, and gadgets that have made James Bond a household name.
Top Gun: Maverick – July 2, 2021
That’s right, your eyes do not deceive you; a Top Gun movie will arrive in 2021! This summer starts out with a blast from the past as Tom Cruise returns to the silver screen to reprise his role as ace fighter pilot, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. It has been nearly 35 years since the first Top Gun was released in May 1986, and fans were pleasantly surprised when the sequel was announced. The film was originally slated for release in June 2020, but due to coronavirus lockdowns, it was pushed back until July 2021. The story takes place thirty years after the events of the original film. Maverick is tasked with training a group of Top Gun graduates, including the son of his deceased partner, Goose, for a special mission. Maverick is forced to come to grips with his past while at the same time preparing for a dangerous mission that could very well be his last. Val Kilmer will also be returning as his character “Iceman.” After 35 years, anticipation is flying to new heights for what could be the most thrilling film of the year.
Jungle Cruise – July 30, 2021
One of the most surprising upcoming movies is Disney’s Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt. Johnson plays a skipper named Frank Wolff, who is hired by Blunt’s Dr. Lily Houghton as an escort down the Amazon River. Dr. Houghton is hunting for a special tree with magic healing power that she believes can revolutionize medicine. The movie will be filled with both excitement and laughs. Disney enthusiasts will recognize the Jungle Cruise name from the popular attraction at Disney Parks. It may seem like a strange choice to turn a theme park ride into a movie, but the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was also inspired by an attraction found at the parks. Disney is clearly hoping this new movie will experience similar success.
Mission Impossible 7 – November 19, 2021
The Mission Impossible series is synonymous with Tom Cruise, and the now 58-year-old actor will return yet again to reprise his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. But do not let Cruise’s age fool you into thinking this movie will tone things down. The film is going to be filled with all of the jaw-dropping action sequences that have made the series famous, with Tom Cruise continuing to perform his own stunts. Aside from Cruise, other familiar faces are returning to the series, both on screen and behind the camera. Director Christopher McQuarrie is back as both writer and director after writing and directing the two previous two Mission Impossible movies, largely considered to be some of the series’ best. On screen, fan favorite characters Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), and Luthor Rhames (Ving Rhames) will once again be at Ethan Hunt’s side. Although plot details are limited, we do know that Hunt’s team will be traveling around the world visiting iconic locations like Rome and Venice, presumably on the hunt for a group of bad guys. And if one Mission Impossible movie were not enough, Mission Impossible 7 and 8 are being shot back-to-back, so the next entry in the series should be released within a year of number 7. Ethan Hunt enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.
Spider-Man 3 – December 17, 2021
To close out the year, the third film in the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man trilogy will be released in December. This will be the third standalone Tom Holland Spider-Man movie, but the 6th movie in which Holland’s iteration of the iconic character appears (Holland played Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers Infinity War, and Avengers Endgame). Little is known about the movie so far, including the title, but rumors and fan theories have been circulating the web. What we do know is that Peter Parker will be faced with learning to cope with his secret identity being public knowledge after it was exposed to the world during the post-credit scene of his previous movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Additionally, the rumor-mill reports that the plot could revolve around the exploration of a multiverse, as it has been reported that actors from previous movie versions of the Spider-Man character, including former Peter Parker actors Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield, could be returning in the film. All that’s left to do is sit and wait until the movie swings into theaters in December.