Looking ahead to the year's biggest movies, with many returning favorites

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Maverick is back. 

Tom Cruise re-enrolls in "Top Gun" this year, and his 30-plus years in the making sequel is one of 2020's most anticipated movies. 

Also this year we'll get a trio of female superheroes in "Black Widow," "Wonder Woman 1984" and "Respect," the Aretha Franklin biopic. What, you don't think the Queen of Soul is a superhero? You should clean out your ears then. 

We've also got new films from Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg as well as the return of James Bond and the world of "The Sopranos," so before we get ahead of ourselves, let's just go ahead and count down 2020's biggest and brightest titles. 

As always, dates are subject to change. 

1. "Top Gun: Maverick" — He feels the need, the need for speed. Tom Cruise returns to the role that made him a superstar, and flies a bunch of insanely expensive military planes because he can. It's time to buzz the tower once again. (June 26) 

2. "Tenet" — Christopher Nolan returns with this film about a secret agent brought back to prevent World War III. Plot details are being held close to the vest on this one, which is only ramping up anticipation. (July 17) 

3. "Black Widow" — After appearing as Black Widow in eight Marvel films, Scarlett Johansson finally gets to star in one of her own. It's about time. (May 1)  

4. "Wonder Woman 1984" — Gal Gadot returns as the superhero in the sequel to the 2017 smash, just about the only thing DC's film universe has gotten right so far. With Kristen Wiig as the villain, Cheetah. (June 5) 

5. "Respect" — Jennifer Hudson is Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in this biopic, recently bumped back from August to October, which is a good sign in terms of its awards season hopes. (Oct. 9) 

6. "No Time to Die" — Daniel Craig returns as Bond, James Bond, for what he swears is his final time as the superspy. With Oscar winner Rami Malek and "Knives Out" breakout Ana de Armas. (April 8) 

7. "Eternals" — Marvel's latest big franchise is about an immortal alien race and stars Angelia Jolie, Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani's abs. (Nov. 6)  

8. "A Quiet Place: Part II" — Shh. (March 20) 

9. "Dune" — Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin are among those lined up for director Denis Villeneuve's ("Blade Runner 2049") take on Frank Herbert's 1965 sci-fi novel. (Dec. 18) 

10. "Coming 2 America" — After getting his groove back with "Dolemite is My Name," Eddie Murphy reteams with director Craig Brewer for this sequel to the 1988 comedy smash. (Dec. 18) 

11. "Fast & the Furious 9" — In this adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry V," Vin Diesel is King Henry V, who claims the rights to France's throne when he, wait, that's not right. Nope, just more car chases. Whee! (May 22) 

12. "Bad Boys for Life" — Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return as Miami's finest, this time with directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah stepping in for Michael Bay. Does this mean less explosions? Probably not. (Jan. 17) 

13. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" — The first look at this sequel to 1989's "Ghostbusters II" looks like a crossover with "Stranger Things." Paul Rudd joins O.G. castmembers Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver. (July 10) 

14. "Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)" — In which Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, the only redeemable character in 2016's dismal "Suicide Squad," returns. Sorry Joker, you weren't invited. (Feb. 7) 

15. "Halloween Kills" — What else is Michael Myers gonna do, not kill? Use your head. (Oct. 16) 

16. "The Many Saints of Newark" — David Chase revisits the world of "The Sopranos" in this big-screen prequel, which lays out the world that Tony Soprano was brought into. (Sept. 25) 

17. "Bill & Ted Face the Music" — Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reprise their roles as a pair of clueless dudes who time travel and learn life lessons. Excellent! (Aug. 21) 

18. "Sonic the Hedgehog" — They fixed his teeth! We'll see if it matters in this troubled big screen adaptation of everyone's favorite coin-collecting Sega Genesis superstar. (Feb. 14) 

19. "Free Guy" — Ryan Reynolds stars in this action comedy from director Shawn Levy (the "Night at the Museum" movies), but what we're really excited about is the arrival of Emmy winner Jodie Comer ("Killing Eve") into big-time Hollywood fare. (July 3) 

20. "West Side Story" — Do we need another version of "West Side Story?" We don't. But Steven Spielberg is the director, so we're excited to see what he does with the story of young lovers in 1950s New York. (Dec. 20) 

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/entertainment/movies/2020/01/02/top-gun-ghostbusters-and-aretha-franklin-2020-s-most-anticipated-movies/2698932001/