2019 has been another hugely successful year at the British box office. Buoyed by huge Disney releases, including Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4 and Aladdin, multiplexes have also featured a range of successful British films, from the big-screen adaptation of Downton Abbey to the Oscar-winning The Favourite.
As 2019 draws to a close, we look at ten of the must-see films coming to a screen near you in 2020.
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Having enjoyed critical and commercial success with The Death of Stalin, director and writer Armando Iannucci returns with his reimagining of the classic Charles Dickens novel.
Dev Patel leads an impressive cast that also includes Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, and Peter Capaldi. Initial reviews have been highly positive, with a 96% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw called it ‘a bracing, entertaining, richly satisfying experience’.
Released: January 2020
The Call of the Wild
Jack London’s classic 1903 novel has been adapted for the screen half a dozen times over almost a century, and the sled-dog adventure returns to the big screen in 2020 with Harrison Ford in the role of prospector John Thorton.
This live-action/animation hybrid features an impressive supporting cast including British actors Dan Stevens and Karen Gillan. It’s written by Logan screenwriter Michael Green and directed by How To Train Your Dragon director Chris Sanders.
Released: February 2020
In recent years, Disney have enjoyed huge box office success by remaking some of their most treasured animations as ‘live-action’ films.
Earlier this year, The Lion King continued this trend and now, following live-action recreations of Cinderella, Aladdin and Dumbo, comes Mulan.
The big-budget remake features Chinese star Liu Yifei as the warrior princess. A host of other Chinese legends including Donnie Yen, Gong Li, and Jet Li will also feature in this enduring Disney princess tale.
Released: March 2020
A Quiet Place: Part II
In 2018, the husband and wife team of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski turned A Quiet Place into one of the most profitable films of the year. Having taken almost $350 million at the box office, it’s perhaps no surprise that Part II arrives in 2020.
One of the most acclaimed horror films of recent times, A Quiet Place followed the struggles of a family in a post-apocalyptic America where silence is the only way to avoid blind extra-terrestrial creatures with an acute sense of hearing. Expect more of the same in this sequel.
Released: March 2020
No Time To Die
Back in 2015, Daniel Craig said he would “rather slash his wrists” than reprise his role as James Bond in another film. Well, despite this claim, Craig returns as 007 this April in the 25th instalment of the popular spy franchise.
No Time To Die reunites Bond cast regulars Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear, while Léa Seydoux reprises her role Madeleine Swann after her debut in Spectre.
The film will see Bond retired from active service but returning to duty when his friend Felix Leiter (again played by Jeffrey Wright) enlists his help in the search for a missing scientist.
Release date: April 2020
It’s a busy year for director Kenneth Branagh (see also Death on the Nile below). His first film to be released is an adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s popular young adult book, Artemis Fowl, focusing on the 12-year-old antihero who kidnaps a fairy in the hopes of restoring his family fortune and finding his long-lost father.
With an impressive cast including Judi Dench and Josh Gad, author Colfer describes the series as ‘Die Hard with fairies’.
Released: May 2020
Top Gun: Maverick
It might be more than 30 years since the original Top Gun turned Tom Cruise into a household name, but this belated sequel finally arrives in cinemas in 2020.
Initial trailers show Cruise reprising his role as Maverick and, as well as Val Kilmer’s return as Iceman, up-and-coming star Miles Teller will play Goose’s son who will be taken under the wing of his late father’s friend.
If that wasn’t enough, Harold Faltermeyer returns to compose the score and Kenny Loggins has recorded a new version of iconic hit Danger Zone.
Released: June 2020
Death On The Nile
After the spectacular success of 2017’s Murder On The Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh once again dons both the famous moustache and the director’s hat in this second Hercule Poirot adventure.
Big names including Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer and Annette Bening have joined the cast alongside British comics Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Russell Brand. The plot sees the iconic Belgian sleuth tackle a murder case while on holiday in Egypt and is adapted from one of Agatha Christie’s most celebrated books.
Released: October 2020
Filmmakers have been trying to bring Frank Herbert’s sprawling science-fiction epic to the screen for more than 50 years. Despite some valiant attempts – including David Lynch’s cult 1984 version – there has never been a really successful adaption of Dune.
Acclaimed Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) is the man who hopes to get it right and a huge cast including Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård and Jason Momoa all feature in this big-budget epic.
Released: December 2020
West Side Story
Apart from the Anything Goes sequence from the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Steven Spielberg has yet to turn his hand to a full-blown musical.
This is set to change in 2020 as the acclaimed director helms an adaptation of the classic street gang musical West Side Story.
Best known for the 1961 film adaptation starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, this new version will once again tell the story of star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, this time played by Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler.
Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner has written a new script incorporating the classic Bernstein and Sondheim songs Tonight, America, I Feel Pretty and Somewhere.
Released: December 2020