From 2020 postponements to 2021 premieres

By Molly Hulligan, Head Copy Editor

Though the pandemic sparked a large output of remarkable screenwriting and creative COVID-19 cinematography, many highly-anticipated films’ release dates were pushed back with hopes of box-office success for their theater debuts. Now, with loosening restrictions, many of these films are set to premiere in the next six months. Though there are a substantial number of dignified films set to debut this year, these are the four I think (and hope) will be more than worth the wait.

The French Dispatch

Debuted at Cannes Film Festival earlier this week, reviews say Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch did not fall short of Anderson’s high-caliber work. Spectacularly but unsurprisingly, the film’s premier ended with a nine-minute standing ovation from the audience. (Needless to say, my FOMO is through the f*cking roof.) Anderson’s new film features some of the classic actors he’s known to cast, including Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Saoirse Ronan. The most notable addition to the Anderson cinematic universe is Timothèe Chalamet, who dazzled the Cannes red carpet and is said to be a major contributor to the film’s high regards. The French Dispatch was originally set to premier in July 2020 and was moved to October 2020. Inevitably, it was pushed a full year until, and the theater release date is now set for Oct. 22, 2021. 


I swear I’m not trying to make this list a replica of Timothèe Chalamet’s resume, but what can I say — 2020 kept the man busy. Directed by the award-winning Denis Villeneuve, Dune (2021) is the first of a two-part series Villeneuve and his team are adapting from Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 sci-fi novel. The film’s release date history has a similar journey to that of The French Dispatch. With the original debut set for November 2020 and moved to December 2020, Dune’s release to the public is now set for the same day as The French Dispatch, Oct. 22, 2021— about a month after its premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Contributing to the anticipation for the film’s debut are actors including Zendaya, Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson. Dune’s trailer alone promises enthralling cinematography, a breathtaking set and extraordinary acting. For both Dune novel fans and film nerds everywhere, I think it’s safe to say October cannot come soon enough. 

Last Night In Soho

An upcoming psychological thriller directed by Edgar Wright, Last Night In Soho is an original screenplay written by Wright himself along with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The story is said to follow a young, contemporary fashion designer named Eloise who suddenly finds herself in 1966 London in the body of an idolic singer named Sandy. With Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise and Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandy, I have a hard time believing Last Night In Soho will be anything short of unnerving. The film’s premiere was moved from September 2020 to April 2021, until the date was settled for Oct. 29, 2021. Last Night In Soho will be available to view in theaters or stream on Netflix. 

Don’t Look Up

Directed by Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up is an upcoming comedy about two astronomers who go on tour to warn humankind of a comet that is on track to destroy Earth. However, the premise is the least important contributor to the excitement surrounding the film, and that can only be said of a film with such an extraordinary cast. The cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet (is anyone surprised?), Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Evans, Himesh Patel, Matthew Perry, Kid Cudi, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep and Tyler Perry — just to name a few. Not much is known about Don’t Look Up beyond the one-sentence premise and the novel-length list of notable actors, but even so, I’m genuinely terrified to find out the budget for this film. Though the official release date has yet to be announced, this long-anticipated Netflix gem still seems to promise a 2021 debut — fingers crossed. 

Your biggest takeaway from this list should be one thing and one thing only: it’s official — 2021 is reviving the film industry.

Head Copy Editor Molly Hulligan extols the virtues of 2021 star Timothee Chalamet, who stars in three major upcoming films.
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