By: John M Jerva

I was debating whether or not to do a most anticipated movie list this year as all releases are subject to change because of you know what but then I thought what the hell. I’m trying to remain on a positive kick going into the new year and with all the gut punches I sustained in 2020 here’s hoping ‘21 will be better.

With that I give you my top 10 list of the movies I’m most excited for in the coming year and if all goes as planned, it’ll be one hell of a ride. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order so buckle up and put it into gear!

10) Godzilla VS Kong (May 21st)

To know me is to know that I’ve grown up with these two iconic beasts and to see them finally clash on the big screen simply gets my inner child raging. I was a fan of the cheesy, and I do mean cheesy, 60’s version so knowing that we will get a blockbuster film fitting for these two elite monsters gets me all tingly inside.

The image above is to promote a toy line from Playmates. Regardless, the picture is awesome and makes me want to see the movie even more if that was possible.

In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans’ origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.

Helmed by Adam Winegard, the human cast includes Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Denison, Alexander Skarsgard, Kyle Chandler, Eiza Gonzalez, Rebecca Hall and Zhang Ziyi. Let’s be honest though, no offense but the real stars are the two Titans who will be squaring off.

9) Top Gun: Maverick (July 2nd)

I feel the need… the need for summer to get here already so we may all partake in the awesomeness that is Tom Cruise returning in Top Gun: Maverick. The trailer officially did its job to wet our appetites and now Paramount Pictures is upping the stakes with a sequel that looks to outdo the original if possible and waiting a whole extra year didn’t make things any better.

Official Synopsis: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose”.

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

The film which sees the iconic return of Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell was originally supposed to hit this past June but was delayed until December due to the…well you know why. 

Now the official release date is July 2nd of this year so let’s hope we all get to go back to the danger zone this summer.

8) The Matrix 4 (December 22)

Ever since this surprise sequel was announced, fans have been chomping at the bit to find any and all info on The Matrix 4 and add in the fact that both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss are reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, it’s been even more intriguing to see the finished product.

Lana Wachowski, who was one half of the original directing duo of the three previous films, will also return to write and helm the highly anticipated new entry. The cast also includes Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Iron Fist’s Jessica Henwick, and Neil Patrick Harris.

We know next to nothing else about the long awaited fourth film but unfortunately it looks as if Laurence Fishburne will not be returning as rumors have it that a younger actor will be portraying the role which leads many to believe that Mateen May be that somebody. Only time will tell when mire is revealed.

The Matrix 4 was delayed of course so now the current release date is set for December 22nd just in time for Christmas.

7) Black Widow (May 7th)

Yet another film that was pushed back till this year, Black Widow sees Scarlett Johansson returning as the elite assassin turned Avenger who unfortunately met her demise heroically in Avengers Endgame.

There were those who thought Black Widow would be released on Disney+ Premiere Access for a 30 dollar fee as Mulan has been a massive hit for them but it looks like they are staying steadfast in their thinking and they want super spy turned Avenger Natasha Romanoff to be on the big screen instead. The new release date is set for May 7th, 2021.

The film is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War. Black Widow will delve into more of the history of Johansson’ elite assassin who goes on to be a member of The Avengers. 

Also starring are David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy) as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family) as Yelena Belova, Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as Melina and O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mason.

6) F9 (May 28th)

I know the Fast and Furious films have taken a hit lately as the franchise has crossed over from its initial street racing roots to a full blown action spectacle but damn it if I don’t love the absurdity in it all. Just like most of the films on this list, F9 should have come out last May but here we are waiting for it to come.

Returning cast members include Vin Diesel of course as Dominic Toretto, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz, Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto, Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pierce, Ludacris as Tej Parker, Enrique Guzman as Simon Toretto, Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey, Helen Mirren as Magdalene Shaw. New additions include John Cena as Jakob as well as Finn Cole, Anna Sawai, Vinnie Bennett, and Michael Rooker.

We now know that Cena is Dom’s brother who is now a master thief and assassin and is out to get the Fast crew with the help of Charlize Theron’s Cypher. Also Han, played by Sung Kang, is alive and back! Get excited people now we can love Statham’s Deckard Shaw because he didn’t kill him.

5) Zack Snyder’s Justice League (March)

Yes I know this film technically already came out but hopefully this version will be insanely different and with a four hour running time, I believe it will and hopefully will launch more of Snyder’s vision for the Justice League in the future on HBO Max. I remain positive that Snyder will deliver on his promise.

I actually thought the theatrical version was OK but this will kick it in the ass by far and maybe, just maybe, this might spark interest in Snyder completing his vision of the franchise on screen. Fingers crossed.

I really do hope that Snyder is able to continue his interpretation of the DCEU on HBO Max and here’s hoping that this is a hit. Enough talk. Check out the epic trailer below and get ready because he is coming but it’s OK because as Bruce Wayne states at the end of the trailer, ” I don’t care how many demons he’s fought and how many Hells. He’s never fought us. Not us united.”

4) Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9)

It’s been a long while since we had some MCU goodness in theaters but as an avid practitioner in the martial arts as well as a super colossal fan of all things martial arts action cinema, I’m most excited about Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which stars Simu Liu as our titular martial arts super hero.

As an action and martial arts fanatic, I am most excited to see Shang-Chi on the big screen and let’s hope he gets initiated into the Avengers who will surely be getting a makeover of new characters. Being the MCU’s first martial arts hero, he definitely has a lot to live up to on the big screen. Let’s hope the fisticuffs deliver on this one!

3) Suicide Squad (August 6th)

Once again, I have to stress the unpopular opinion that I liked David Ayer’s initial Suicide Squad flaws and all and even though it could have been so much better, I still had fun with it.

Fast forward to this year and James Gunn’s soft reboot/sequel looks like it will certainly deliver the insane goods.

The newest entry for The Suicide Squad sees Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, and Joel Kinnaman all returning as Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Rick Flag respectively with new cast members including Michael Rooker as Savant, Flula Borg as Javelin, David Dastmalchian as Polka Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Mayling NG as Mongal, Peter Capaldi as Thinker, Alice Braga as Solsoria, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Natha Fillion as TDK, Sean Gunn as Weasel, John Cena as Peace Maker and Steve Agee who will play King Shark. Check out the role call video below announcing the entire cast!

There was a behind the scenes video that hit during last summer which promises “a wild action-adventure!” The footage looks awesome and I can officially say that I’m excited for the direction that DC films are taking for the future. Check out the full video below!

2) Mortal Kombat (April 16th)

The initial eight films on this list are in no particular order but I would be lying if I said that number two and one were as well. These last two films are without a doubt my two most anticipated movies this year.

First up it’s the Mortal Kombat reboot!

Simon McQuoid helms the film with Aquaman’s James Wan producing along with Garner with the script being written by Greg Russo. The cast is a great mix of international talent including Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Chin Han as Shang Tsun, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Mehcad Brooks as Jax, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Cadwell as Nitara, and Sisi Stringer as Mileena. It was also well documented that Lewis Tan (Wu Warriors) is also starring in the film in a mysterious role.

The plot is being kept under wraps but it is said to concern: 

“a male protagonist who becomes drawn into the interdimensional tournament, and begins to realize his true potential as a result.”

The best part is that it promises to be bloody like the game with fatalities galore which contrasts the 90’s film versions. 

Expect to see the trailer here as soon as it hits and mark April 16th on your calendars because it’s going to get bloody and brutal! Fight!!!

1) Snake-Eyes: GI Joe Origins (October 22nd)

If you follow me and my website, then you know that GI Joe’s iconic ninja commando Snake-Eyes is one of my most favorite characters. Even though the initial two GI Joe films weren’t perfect, I was still floored to see Snake live and in person on the big screen. Ray Park did a phenomenal job but the torch has been passed to Henry Golding and hopefully, the rising star can deliver in the standalone soft reboot film Snake-Eyes: GI JOE Origins.

Golding stars along with Andrew Koji (Warrior) as Storm Shadow, Iko Uwais (The Raid, Triple Threat) as Hard Master, Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) as Scarlett, Úrsula Corberó (Money Heist) as Baroness, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Takehiro Hira as Kenta and Steven Allerick (The Expanse) who is playing Snake’s father. The cast alone just seems to promise that this film will deliver. After all, Golding has seen the movie and said: “Just saw [Snake Eyes]… Holy hell. This is the exact opposite of the cookie cutter, super people movies. Wow. You guys are in for something insane, I can’t wait for you all to get your mits on this beast. Yowzers!!!! Literally grinning from ear to ear.”

The movie will be a soft reboot for the franchise and center on the Ninja Commando and his origins. It will focus on Snake’s search for vengeance for his father’s death as he joins a ninja clan seeking acceptance.

Robert Schwentke (RED, R.I.P.D.) helmed the pic from a script penned by Evan Spiliotopoulous (Bright 2, The Huntsman: Winter’s War).

It hurt to know that I could have seen this movie already but here I am waiting ever so patiently for next October. Let’s hope Snake finally gets the movie he deserves!

There you go! Remember, release dates are unfortunately subject to change but lets hope this movies finally come out when they’re supposed to. Keep it locked and loaded right here for more to come as we are your destination for everything action!

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