As we look ahead towards 2020, let’s talk about the films, shows and events we’re most excited for in the coming year…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
2019 has come to an end and it’s time to start looking ahead towards 2020.
The past year brought a close to the “Infinity Saga” as the Marvel Cinematic Universe capped off 11 years of world building with “Avengers: Endgame,” which went onto become the highest grossing film of all time.
“Game of Thrones” — arguably the most talked about television series in history — also came to an end with a very divisive final season.
While there were a lot of iconic moments in pop culture that helped define the past year, 2020 has arrived with plenty to look forward to over the next 12 months.
As we get ready for what lies ahead, let’s take a look at our top 10 choices for the movies, TV shows and pop culture events that have us most excited for 2020.
1 ) Black Widow
Release Date: May 1
It seems long overdue that Scarlett Johansson got her own starring vehicle as “Black Widow” — the super spy turned Avenger, who will be resurrected after the character perished during the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” In reality this film isn’t bringing Natasha Romanoff back to life but rather examining her return home during a story that reportedly takes place after the events of “Captain America: Civil War.”
With a cast that includes “Stranger Things” star David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh, there’s plenty of star power to go alongside Johansson in the latest film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2 ) Star Trek: Picard
Release Date: January 23 on CBS All-Access
The latest “Star Trek” series will see Patrick Stewart return to the iconic role he played for seven seasons on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” The series is reportedly set 20 years after the events of “Star Trek: Nemesis” and will see Stewart reunited with many of his “Next Generation” co-stars including Brent Spiner returning as Data, Jonathan Frakes as William Riker and Marina Sirtis returning as Deanna Troi.
3 ) Falcon and Winter Soldier
Release Date: Fall on Disney+
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will expand to television in 2020 with the launch of “Falcon and Winter Soldier,” which will see Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return to the roles they’ve played in several feature films. This will be the first attempt from Marvel to expand their stories beyond the big screen with several high profile shows already in production for Disney+ that will then tie directly back to the movies.
In other words if you want to know the entire story about what’s happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll have to watch shows like “Falcon and Winter Soldier” in addition to the movies that will be coming out.
There’s not much known about the plot of this show other than it takes place in the aftermath of “Avengers: Endgame” and will also mark the return of Daniel Bruhl as he plays the villainous Baron Zemo.
4 ) Better Call Saul — Season 5
Release Date: February 23 on AMC
It’s been more than a year since Jimmy McGill got his law license back and decided to practice under the name of Saul Goodman in the “Breaking Bad” prequel starring Bob Odenkirk. The series went on hiatus while a “Breaking Bad” movie titled “El Camino” was produced and released via Netflix in 2019.
When the show returns, Saul will be setting up his own practice as the series moves closer and closer towards the end with a collision against the “Breaking Bad” timeline seemingly looming nearby.
AMC hasn’t announced how much longer “Better Call Saul” will run but it seems at most this will likely be one of the final two seasons of the show.
5 ) Marvel’s “The Eternals”
Release Date: November 6, 2020
While “Black Widow” will be the first Marvel feature film released in 2020, “The Eternals” will be the first movie in 2020 to expand on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a post “Avengers: Endgame” world. Marvel has made more stars than cast A-list talent in past movies but this film spared no expense with names like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayak, and Kit Harington leading the cast.
The Eternals were never a major comic book property for Marvel so it will be interesting to see how this movie ties back to the larger cinematic universe, which will undoubtedly begin world building much like “Iron Man” did back in 2008.
6 ) Wonder Woman 1984
Release Date: June 4, 2020
For all the grief that DC and Warner Bros. have received over the past few years — primarily surrounding “Batman V. Superman” and “Justice League” — it was “Wonder Woman” that really seemed to steer the ship back in the right direction. Now the sequel is coming with Gal Gadot returning to her role as Wonder Woman along with Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig joining the fray in a film set in the 1980s this time around.
Chris Pine also makes his return after Steve Trevor died in the original “Wonder Woman” film as questions continue to surround how exactly he’s coming back (we have our own theories on that one).
With director Patty Jenkins back behind the camera, “Wonder Woman 1984” is easily one of the most highly anticipated films of the year.
7 ) WandaVision
Release Date: 2020 on Disney+
It was just announced on Wednesday that the second Marvel Studios series headed to Disney+ would debut in 2020 rather than 2021 as “WandaVision” arrives on the streaming service sometime this year.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has teased “WandaVision” as one of the most unique takes they’ve ever attempted since he helped launch the shared cinematic universe. One part action series, one part comedy and all together trippy, “WandaVision” promises a series unlike anything you’ve ever seen before as Wanda Maximoff embraces her role as ‘The Scarlet Witch’.
8 ) Dune
Release Date: December 18
The highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sprawling science-fiction epic from director Denis Villeneuve will land in theaters later this year with a star-studded cast in the latest attempt to get this story right.
While director David Lynch’s adaptation has taken on a cult status over the years, no one has received universal praise when trying to bring “Dune” alive on the big or small screen. Villeneuve will make his attempt alongside a massive cast that includes Oscar Isaac, Timothee Chalomet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Zendaya and Stellaan Skarsgard.
9 ) The Mandalorian — Season 2
Release Date: Fall 2020 on Disney+
While the debate rages on regarding the outcome of the Skywalker saga in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the first spinoff series based in the “Star Wars” universe has been praised as a universal hit. “The Mandalorian” from writer/director Jon Favreau was a breakout hit in 2019 and we already know season 2 will be coming in late 2020.
Of course it’s always tough to follow up such a well received first season, “The Mandalorian” built in all the elements to carry the momentum forward for the second installment due out later this year. Once casting gets underway, it’s likely “The Mandalorian” will undoubtedly become one of the most highly anticipated TV series of the year.
10 ) The Many Saints of Newark
Release Date: September 25
It’s been nearly 13 years since “The Sopranos” wrapped up its six season run on HBO but the series will be resurrected in this prequel film from series creator David Chase. The original series helped define HBO has a destination for top notch television and “The Sopranos” remains one of the most beloved shows in history.
The film will go back in time with an entirely new cast taking on many of the iconic roles made famous in the original series. Alessandro Nivola will lead the cast as Dicki Moltisanti — the often talked about father of Christopher Moltisanti, who never actually appeared in “The Sopranos” but was a mentor to Tony Soprano growing up.
In this film, Tony will be played by Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, who won plenty of praise and awards for his role as the New Jersey mobster on “The Sopranos.”
THE BEST OF THE REST
There’s a lot more coming in 2020 not to mention rumors about what we may get to see over the next 12 months.
Stranger Things 4
The series was already renewed for season 4 and we know the show will move beyond the confines of Hawkins, Indiana when it returns. We’re just not sure exactly when the show will return just yet.
The sequel to the original two “Ghostbusters” films being developed by Jason Reitman (son of director Ivan Reitman, who helmed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies). The original cast will return alongside new characters played by Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon.
Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon
The first “Game of Thrones” spinoff was ordered straight to series by HBO with the prequel focusing on the rise of House Targaryen starting with Aegon I Targaryen as he rode on the back of his dragon, Balerion the Dread, and conquered the Seven Kingdoms. The new series should begin casting relatively soon, although it’s not likely the show will debut until sometime in 2021.
The Winds of Winter
Speaking of “Game of Thrones,” author George R.R. Martin continues to tease the arrival of “The Winds of Winter,” which is the sixth book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. You probably shouldn’t hold your breath that this book will actually drop in 2020 but anything is possible.
Westworld Season 3
“Westworld” will return for season 3 on HBO in 2020 with “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul joining the cast in a new role. This season will take the characters out of the theme park as the universe expands into a whole new world. Typically this series would be amongst the top 10 most anticipated movies or series but an uneven season 2 only has us cautiously optimistic about what comes next.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
This film drops on February 7 so we won’t have to wait much longer to find out if Margot Robbie can carry a film as Harley Quinn alongside a new bunch of teammates including Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary.
The schedule for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set through 2020 (and beyon) but hopefully at some point this year we’ll begin to see a vision for what lies ahead for the X-Men universe of characters that have now return to Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige has been coy at best when discussing his plans for these characters but hopefully the year ahead will begin to provide some clarity.
Obi-Wan Kenobi-Cassian Andor “Star Wars” Series
Two more “Star Wars” spinoffs are in the works at Disney+ with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as legendary Jedi master Ben Kenobi while Diego Luna will return as Cassian Andor in a series set around the character made famous in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Neither of these shows are coming to Disney+ in 2020 but we may know a lot more about what to expect before the year is over.
Y: The Last Man
The adaptation of the classic comic book from Brian K. Vaughan is coming to FX in 2020 but after a disjointed start where the original showrunners were replaced early into production, it’s impossible to know what we’ll be getting when this show finally arrives.
Stephen King Reborn
There will be several more Stephen King adaptations coming in 2020 including “The Stand” miniseries on CBS All-Access as well as “The Outsider,” which is coming to HBO in January.
As if there aren’t enough streaming services already, HBO Max will launch in spring 2020 with a bunch of new shows already planned plus a robust catalog of past favorites including “Friends” and “Big Bang Theory” exclusively featured on the network.