With the pandemic putting a hold on the cinema industry, many films that were originally planned to be released in the second half of the year have been rescheduled to a later date or cancelled. However, while we may not be able to watch films in the cinema for a while, many studios have adjusted to the current times and are offering their upcoming titles to audiences from the comfort of their homes. There are plenty of films that will be released on streaming services such as Netflix and Disney Plus, and video-on-demand platforms like Curzon Cinemas. Hopefully, cinemas will be able to open again in summer or early autumn, but in the meantime, here are some of the most anticipated films of the second half of the year:
1. Our Ladies
Set in the small town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, Michael Caton-Jones's new coming of age film Our Ladies was originally intended to be released in April. However, it now seems that the film will hit cinemas in September, depending on how things go. Our Ladies centres on a group of Catholic schoolgirls who travel to Edinburgh for a choir competition, only to be distracted by boys and booze. Our Ladies premiered at the London film festival last October, where it was met with positive reviews, and has been compared to the TV show Derry Girls – so expect lots of laugh-out-loud moments.
2. Wonder Woman 1984
Directed by Patty Jenkins, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2017 blockbuster Wonder Woman is still set for a 2020 release. While the plot of Wonder Woman has been kept under wraps, we do know that Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright and Connie Nielson will return, along with new additions Kristen Wiig (as the villain Cheetah) and Gabriella Wilde.
3. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Eurovision may have been cancelled this year, but fans can enjoy the world's biggest singing contest in the form of a film instead. At the end of June, Netflix will be showing Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, a spoof comedy that stars Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan and Demi Lovato. It is set in 1972 (which was actually some years before Iceland first competed in Eurovision) and focuses on two aspiring musicians who represent Iceland in the contest.
4. West Side Story
Steven Spielberg returns with a new adaptation of the much-loved musical West Side Story, in which Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler play the two star-crossed lovers. Maddie Ziegler, who often dances in Sia's music videos, and Rita Moreno, who starred as Anita in the original film, also join the cast. If Spielberg is able to stick to the original schedule, West Side Story should appear in UK cinemas on the 18th of December. Yes, that does seem far away, so cross fingers there are no more delays.
The first of a two-part series of the 1965 novel, Dune will star an ensemble cast that includes Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson and Stellan Skarsgård. The film revolves around the son of a noble family who is entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy. It is actually the second adaptation of the book – David Lynch produced the first feature film back in 1984.
6. Black Widow
Reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff, who also goes by the name 'Black Widow', Scarlett Johansson leads the 24th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this female-led film, Natasha has to confront a dangerous conspiracy connected to her past. Unfortunately, Black Widow has been postponed indefinitely due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but Marvel fans should still be able to see it before the end of the year.
Get on board with another live-action remake from Disney. Niki Caro, who is known for directing Whale Rider and The Zookeeper's Wife, will be bringing a new version of Mulan to the big (or small) screen later this year. Mulan sees Yifei Liu as the titular character, who disguises herself as a man in order to join the Chinese army and protect her father. Unlike the animated film, this version won't feature any songs, but it still sounds like an action-packed film that all the family will enjoy so don't miss it.
Musical fanatics who missed out on seeing the global smash hit Hamilton while theatres were still open will be able to stream a recording of the Broadway stage production on Disney Plus later this year. For those of you who aren't aware, Hamilton tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, the founding father of America, through hip-hop and RnB songs. The cast includes Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jonathan Groff and Ariana DeBose. Hamilton is a hugely successful musical that has an avid fanbase in both the US and the UK, and the theatre production is constantly sold out, so be sure to stream it on 3rd July.
9. Artemis Fowl
Nineteen years after the idea to produce a film inspired by the bestselling book series Artemis Fowl was first discussed in Hollywood, the film will finally see the light of day. Artemis Fowl centres on a child genius who captures a fairy, intending to use her powers to rescue his father, and is soon caught up in a battle against these mythical creatures. Look out for Dame Judi Dench as police officer Commander Root, Colin Farrell as Artemis Fowl I, and Josh Gad as Mulch Diggums. Instead of having a cinematic release, Artemis Fowl will be released directly on Disney Plus on 12th June.
10. The Kissing Booth 2
Fans of The Kissing Booth will be pleased to hear that the sequel will be added to Netflix in July. Find out what happens to Elle when her summer love Noah heads off to Harvard. Will their relationship last, or will distance – or another love interest – come between them? It's based on the second book in the duo by Beth Reekles, so make sure you read it first.
Other films you can look forward to watching before the end of the year include How to Build a Girl, The Witches, A Whisker Away, I Still Believe, Valley Girl, Ammonite, Chemical Hearts and Respect.