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25 Movies to Look Forward to in 2021


Space Jam: A New Legacy (July 16)

There’s no greater testament to the power of legacy media than the fact that Warner Bros. plans to release a film starring LeBron James and Bugs Bunny in theaters this summer. A sequel to the 1996 Michael Jordan vehicle, the film has a closely guarded plot involving an evil computer algorithm played by Don Cheadle (his name? Al-G Rhythm, of course). Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Diana Taurasi, and Chiney Ogwumike are among the hoops icons who’ve been roped into this sci-fi extravaganza.

The Tomorrow War (July 23)

An original sci-fi action movie is a rarity these days, which makes The Tomorrow War an exciting prospect. Produced by and starring Chris Pratt, this alien-invasion film sees humanity developing technology to “draft” soldiers from the past to help fight a war. Soldiers out of time could mean a comedy element, as suggested by much of the movie’s cast (Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Mike Mitchell, Mary Lynn Rajskub) and its director, Chris McKay, who in 2017 worked wonders with the bizarre premise of a Lego Batman movie.

Old (July 23)

M. Night Shyamalan has had a wild career arc in Hollywood, going from much-hyped wunderkind to enduring punchline to one of its most intriguing auteurs. After multiple flops dimmed his status as a star director, he’s returned to making lower-budget thrillers that he funds himself, giving him the leeway to make strange works such as The Visit, Split, and Glass. Next to nothing is known about Old, except that it stars Eliza Scanlen, Gael García Bernal, and Thomasin McKenzie, among others, but Shyamalan’s track record of late is too intriguing to ignore.

The Suicide Squad (August 6)

The sprawling universe of movies based on DC Comics properties has already become too knotty to untangle, with new Batmen and Jokers springing up in recent years and multiple versions of the same Justice League movie rolling out. The Suicide Squad is technically a sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad, and it shares some cast members—Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney. But it’s written and directed by James Gunn (who made Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy) and promises a more anarchic, comic tone, stuffed with new villains as part of a ragtag ensemble trying to save (or maybe end?) the world. Idris Elba, John Cena, Pete Davidson, and Sylvester Stallone are among the many new additions to the group.

Deep Water (August 13)

As Hollywood becomes dominated by family movies and comic-book franchises, Deep Water offers a throwback hit genre—the R-rated erotic thriller, which boomed in the ’80s with hits such as Fatal Attraction. It even has the same director as Fatal Attraction, Adrian Lyne, who hasn’t made a movie since 2002’s Unfaithful but came out of retirement to adapt Patricia Highsmith’s book. Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, whose off-screen romance has become a paparazzi favorite, play a married couple that start playing mind games against each other; deadly hijinks had better ensue.