MOVIETOWN — March is upon us, and that means the summer movie season is close at hand. Studios are releasing big films earlier and earlier in the year, and spring has actually become fertile ground for some great titles as we gear up for the summer movie season.
Things are a little different this year thanks to COVID-19 prompting some release dates to be postponed. For example, highly anticipated films like "No Time to Die," "A Quiet Place Part II," "F9" and "Mulan" have all been delayed due to the virus.
"No Time to Die" is now slated for a November release instead of April, "A Quiet Place Part II" has been postponed indefinitely, and "F9" has been pushed back an entire year. Disney's releases "Mulan" and "The New Mutants" also have been postponed indefinitely.
These likely won't be the only titles to get release dates pushed but, as of now, there are a lot of intriguing titles headed our way in the next few months. And I’m here to let you know what to keep your eye out for.
Here’s an early summer movie preview for you, broken down by month:
"Black Widow" (May 1)
The highly anticipated "Black Widow" is headed for theaters in May and, as of now, Disney and Marvel have no plans of moving that release date. Scarlett Johansson is reprising her role as the superhero, and it should be exciting to see this long-awaited solo movie finally hit the big screen.
A smaller movie releasing in May is "The Personal History of David Copperfield," starring Dev Patel as the title character. The film is based on the Charles Dickens novel and looks like it could be a good time at the movies.
"Scoob!" (May 15)
Scooby-Doo is a character that will never go away, and the canine is headed to the big screen once again — but this time it’s in the form of animation. "Scoob!" is another adventure of the gang and the Mystery Machine as they try to stop the dogpocalypse.
"The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run" (May 22)
I’m not sure who asked for it, but whoever did, you’re getting another SpongeBob movie. This time around, SpongeBob’s pet snail, Gary, has been snail-napped. With the help of Patrick, Spongebob works to bring the snail home. Also, Keanu Reeves pops up at one point, so there’s a reason to see it.
"Artemis Fowl" (May 29)
Based on the popular series of young adult novels, "Artemis Fowl" is the film adaptation of a young man who jumps into a hidden magical world to find his missing father. The books are beloved, and many fans are hoping Disney’s live-action take lives up to the written words they’ve come to love.
"Wonder Woman 1984" (June 5)
"Wonder Woman" was a huge hit when it swooped into theaters in 2017, and the sequel is just months away. This time, we follow Diana into the 1980s where she meets a new foe as well as an old love. Hopefully, this new film will have the same impact and entertainment value as its predecessor.
"Greyhound" (June 12)
"Greyhound" stars Tom Hanks as an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain leading an allied convoy as they’re stalked by a Nazi U-boat. The movie seems to promise lots of action and likely some great acting. In addition to starring in the World War II film, Hanks wrote the script.
"Soul" (June 19)
Disney and Pixar didn’t rake in the cash opening weekend like they had hoped with "Onward," but they have another chance in June. "Soul" is another Disney and Pixar teaming that follows a musician who’s soul is transported out of his body and is on a journey with an infant soul to find his way back.
"Top Gun: Maverick" (June 24)
It’s been a long time, but Maverick is finally coming back to the big screen; "Top Gun" will be top dog once again. The long-awaited sequel to the ‘80s classic is due in theaters this June and promises lots of action and plenty of Tom Cruise.
"In the Heights" (June 26)
Lin Manuel-Miranda is more or less a household name now, but his musical "In the Heights" is what put him on the map. It’s now headed to theaters. The musical tells the story of a shop owner deciding whether to stay in the neighborhood he loves or to return to the Dominican Republic.
"Free Guy" (July 3)
July is a big month for new releases, and it starts off with "Free Guy." The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as a man who discovers he’s actually a non-player character inside a brutal video game. The movie has a pretty funny trailer and a solid cast — we’ll just have to wait and see if the film, itself, is any good.
"Minions: The Rise of Gru" (July 3)
Don’t worry, we’re not done with "Minions" movies, because we’re getting another one in July. Wait, were you worried about that? Regardless, the minions are back, and this time we get to learn how they became Gru’s right-hand men (women? yellow shapes?).
"Ghostbusters: Afterlife" (July 10)
Remember the reboot of "Ghostbusters" from 2016? Well, forget it, because we’re now getting a sequel to the original two. That’s right, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" is a continuation of the original films and is ignoring the 2016 reboot. This time around, one of the original Ghostbusters' grandkids are picking up where granddad left off.
"Tenet" (July 17)
If you’re a fan of original movies coming out of Hollywood, then make sure to mark July 17 on your calendars. Christopher Nolan — director and writer of "The Dark Knight" trilogy, "Inception" and "Interstellar" — is back with his first film since 2017’s "Dunkirk."
As always, Nolan is keeping the details of the film close to the vest. We do have a fantastic trailer teasing us with a spy thriller filled with action and time-bending sci-fi. This is my personal most-anticipated film of the summer.
"Bob’s Burgers: The Movie" (July 17)
You likely had no idea that the Fox animated series "Bob’s Burgers" is getting its own movie, but you know it now and it’s headed to theaters in July. The plot of the film has yet to be released, but I’m sure it’s just as wonderfully absurd as the show itself.
"The French Dispatch" (July 24)
For those who love quirky, off-beat and dry comedies, you’re in for a treat this July as Wes Anderson’s newest film hits theaters. This is Anderson’s first film since 2018’s "Isle of Dogs," and his first live-action film since 2014’s "The Grand Budapest Hotel."
Anderson’s brand of filmmaking is not for everyone, but his fans will be eagerly waiting for July 24.
"Jungle Cruise" (July 24)
Disney knows how to find stories from pretty much anywhere, and we already knew they love to spin something up from one of their rides ("Pirates of the Caribbean," anyone?). Their latest crack at a ride-turned-feature film is "Jungle Cruise," and it sails into theaters this July. Even if the premise doesn’t’ catch your interest, the star power of Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson will surely get some butts in seats.
"Morbius" (July 31)
In an effort to get every dime out of Spider-Man as long as they can, Sony is releasing "Morbius" this summer. The movie takes the lead of 2018’s "Venom" as a deeper look into a Spider-Man villain. The movie stars Jared Leto as "Morbius," a biochemist who inadvertently turns himself into a vampire while trying to cure himself of a rare blood disease.
"Peter Rabbit: The Runaway" (August 7)
Originally slated for a spring release, the "Peter Rabbit" sequel has been pushed to August when the studio hopes people will still come to the theater to see James Corden’s troublemaking rabbit wreak havoc and melt hearts.
"Bill & Ted Face the Music" (August 21)
It’s been way too long since we’ve seen Bill and Ted in action, but thankfully we only have to wait a few more months. The third film in the Bill and Ted franchise follows the now-adult slackers still trying to write that song that will eventually save the universe. These movies are guilty pleasures for me, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to a trip back to San Dimas.
Unknown release dates
"Mulan" (previously scheduled for March 27)
Has it felt like it’s been too long since a live-action remake of an animated Disney film? Well, the long few months of no remake were almost over before "Mulan" got postponed indefinitely. with a PG-13 rating and no musical numbers, the film seems to be geared toward a bit of an older audience. Early reviews are quite high on the remake, and some are even calling it the best live-action remake of a Disney classic to date.
"The New Mutants," (previously scheduled for April 3)
April was going to be a big month for movies but, as I mentioned earlier, several of their release dates have been pushed back. Another movie that has been delayed, again, is "The New Mutants." The film has seen multiple delays and was originally supposed to debut in 2018, and then was pushed to multiple dates in 2019, and then was pushed again to April 2020 before being postponed indefinitely.
The movie takes place in the X-Men universe and tells the story of five young mutants who are discovering their abilities as they’re locked in a secret facility. I have no idea if this movie will be any good, but the rough history of its release has me at least curious about the project.
What movies are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know in the comments.