Thanks to the recent decision by Warner Bros. to send all of its 2021 films to streaming service HBO Max the same day that they open in theatres, we at least know that the next year will have some movies coming out, including a new Dune, a new Matrix and a new Conjuring. But what about movies that HBO Max-less Canadians can look forward to, whether theatres remain shuttered or not? Here are five 2021 movies that won’t require theatres to be open, or Canadians to turn into VPN experts and/or pirates.
Coming 2 America If COVID-19 weren’t a thing – oh, dare to dream – then we would all be enjoying this loooooong-time-coming Eddie Murphy sequel right about now in the comfort of a large, sold-out movie theatre. Instead, studio Paramount sold the comedy, which also brings back Arsenio Hall, to Amazon Prime Video, the streaming service that also delivered the other should’ve-been-in-theatres comedy of 2020, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. (Amazon Prime Video, March 5)
Army of the Dead Will 2021 be the Year of Zack Snyder? I know many cinephiles just shuddered at the thought, but the polarizing director already has the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League tapped for HBO Max (who knows how we’ll see it in Canada), as well as this zombie thriller for Netflix. Bringing him back to his Dawn of the Dead days, Snyder’s Army of the Dead stars Dave Bautista and Ella Purnell as mercenaries looking to pull off a Las Vegas casino heist … during a zombie outbreak. Sounds very 2021, if anything. (Netflix, TBD)
Lockdown Is 2021 going to be overloaded with heist movies? We’ll see, as director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) teams up with stars Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor for this pandemic-era rom-com in which a couple decide to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to pull off a London jewellery heist. Lockdown is produced by HBO Max, but don’t worry, Canadians: Because this isn’t one of Warner’s theatrical releases, there is a very good chance that it will land on our homegrown streamer Crave the same time it’s streaming in the U.S. (HBO Max, possibly Crave, TBD)
Annette Acclaimed French auteur Leos Carax’s English-language debut was once a destined-for-Cannes-2020 title, before that event never happened. This past summer, I was convinced that because Annette comes from Amazon Studios, there was a decent chance it would be released on Prime Video before the end of 2020. Oops. Hopefully the musical will make its way to screens (whatever the size) in 2021, though. Starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, the film chronicles the relationship between a comedian and a soprano, and their child who is born “with a unique gift.” Given Carax’s outré tendencies (see Holy Motors), this could mean everything and anything. (Amazon Prime Video, TBD)
Blonde Any film from the not-nearly-prolific-enough Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly) is something to get excited about … even if his new feature, Blonde, takes on a subject that seems done to death: the life and times of Marilyn Monroe. Also dubious is Dominik’s decision to cast Ana de Armas as Monroe, but given that Blonde is based on Joyce Carol Oates’s alternate-history novel, all the idiosyncrasies promise to line up nicely. (Netflix, TBD)
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