2019 is coming to an end and all eyes now turn to the year ahead. On the seventh art side, the science fiction sector will be prolific. In the batch, a few films announced or expected for 2020 deserve to be watched.
Natalie Portman in Lucy in the Sky. // Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures
In Lucy in the Sky, a title that echoes the famous Beatles song, we follow a Natalie Portman who is struggling to return to her life as an astronaut, now that she has experienced the adventure of space. She wants to go back up there, but the almost transcendental experience she has had in space has affected her and she is in danger of losing her footing…
The film, which also features Jon Ham under the direction of Noah Hawley, whose first project as director, is partly based on real-life events, including the case of Lisa Nowak, an American astronaut who was fired by NASA because of an unfavourable psychological evaluation. She had assaulted a soldier whom she suspected of having an affair with an astronaut she was infatuated with.
Promotional visual of the upcoming clash of the titans. // Source: Legendary Pictures
Do you like big monsters? With Godzilla versus Kong, you’ll be served, because we can hardly offer a more attractive poster for fans of the genre. This fourth opus of the MonsterVerse (a kind of MCU with XXL creatures) will this time be a remake of a 1962 Japanese movie, when actors slipped into rubbery costumes.
Behind the camera is Adam Wingard, who has so far concentrated on horror films and thrillers. Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown and Zhang Ziyi, who already appeared in Godzilla 2: Monster King, will return to the screen. Sure, the script shouldn’t make you fall off the chair, but after all, what do you expect from a big monster movie?
Asuka, Rei and Shinji walking towards a huge humanoid. // Source: Studio Khara
A flagship animation series of the 1990s, Evangelion has since 2007 benefited from a major revival through four films grouped together under the name Rebuild of Evangelion. Three of them have already been released and the fourth is due to be offered to the public in 2020. These feature-length films take up the framework of the cartoon, but giving it the means to achieve its ambitions.
Above all, Rebuild of Evangelion is an opportunity for the Japanese author Hideaki Anno, to whom we owe Evangelion, to provide answers to the questions left unanswered in the anime, with new plots and a new ending. To bring a conclusion to this war mixing giant robots and “destructive angels”, the project mobilizes several of those who were already there at the time of the series.
Who you gonna call ? // Source: Sony Pictures
Will the son do as well as the father? American filmmaker Jason Reitman, who has made films such as Juno and In the Air, will propose to continue the cinematic work of his father, Ivan Reitman, who wrote the first two parts of the saga in 1984 and 1989. Of course, hopes and doubts are high around this project, as the 2016 reboot did not leave great memories.
On paper, it is clear that everything is done to avoid going off the road: Ivan Reitman is in production and a decision was made with this SOS Ghosts 3 to ignore what happens in the 2016 work. In addition, the cast of the time (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts) is on board… that said, it was also the case in 2016.
Tom Hanks, 2013. // Source: Deutsche Bank
You may not know this, but you’ve already seen the work of Miguel Sapochnik. He directed some of the most outstanding episodes of Game of Thrones, whether it is The Battle of the Bastards or Durlieu (Hardhome, in VO). If we see that, it’s because he also works for the big screen: he has a sci-fi film planned for 2020 with Tom Hanks.
We don’t know much about this project yet, for lack of a trailer or visuals, but the synopsis is intriguing: in Bios, it’s about following an inventor who turns out to be the last man on Earth. Sick, he decides to build an android to keep him and his dog company on a journey across America. This famous robot will be played by Caleb Landry Jones,
A first glimpse of the film, with Chris Pratt in the centre. // Source: Chris Pratt
Time travel is always difficult to make credible in science fiction, because of the paradoxes it causes. It is however on this very slippery slope that the American filmmaker Chris McKay is embarking on with Tomorrow War. The plot? Humanity is losing the war against alien invaders. So, to regain the upper hand, she decides to go and find soldiers from the past to increase her strength.
Obviously, we quickly see the problem: if humans from the past are called in as reinforcements and are killed in today’s war, what will happen to their descendants? One can imagine that the death of ancestors will have the effect of making today’s soldiers disappear. It will take some scriptwriting skill to convince us. The cast includes Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski and J.K. Simmons.
One Dune. Illustration image: this is not a visual of the film. // Source: Boris Ulzibat
Probably the most ambitious project of the year 2020. Based on the first volume of the most famous work by American novelist Frank Herbert, Dune will be the tenth feature film by Denis Villeneuve, a Canadian filmmaker who has demonstrated his mastery of S-F with demanding and far-reaching proposals such as Premier contact and Blade Runner 2049, his last two feature films.
Today, we don’t know much about Dune. No visual of the film has been posted online. We do know, however, that a four-star cast has been put together. Consider this: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem. Just to see them together on the screen, it’s worth the trip!
The vast empty expanses of space are a challenge to mental stability. // Source: Pxhere
Unless one discovers supaluminic speed, space travel is by nature very long because of the colossal distances that must be covered to reach other worlds. This is what filmmaker Neil Burger wants to direct with Voyagers. The plot is as follows: a group of 30 men and women are in a ship that is to take them to their new home.
Such a journey will test the spirits and they may collapse before such a leap into the unknown. So Neil Burger is going to tell how the mission will gradually drift away. The director is also influenced by William Golding’s novel His Majesty of the Flies, which tells the same story but in a different setting. The cast includes Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan and Lily-Rose Depp.
Robopocalypse is taken from the novel of the same name, written by Daniel H. Wilson.
Michael Bay does not have the reputation of a filmmaker who makes lace. With him, it’s all about spectacle, muscles, gleaming weapons, endless explosions and big robots – and a dose of patriotism. You only have to look at his filmography to see for yourself. Also, you can expect Robopocalypse to tick all the boxes and tape you to the bottom of your seat.
Initially, it was supposed to be Steven Spielberg at the controls. However, scheduling conflicts and production hurdles have kept the film postponed since 2012. Also, it is not absolutely certain that it will come out well in 2020 – no shooting has taken place, as far as we know. What about history, by the way? A kind of uprising of the machines, bringing humanity to the brink of destruction.