30 Movies to Watch While We Wait For These Delayed 2020 Movies
Most of 2020's biggest movie releases have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning you're going to have to wait even longer to finally see the movies on your "most anticipated" list. While you're waiting, though, there are plenty of movies you can check out or revisit that might be able to temporarily fill the void left by all these new movie delays.
That's why we've put together our recommendations for existing movies that line up pretty well with some of the biggest titles that have been pushed back. While you wait for your favorites to finally hit theaters, you can at least put together some pretty great home movie nights with these picks — keep reading to see what we chose for the movies you're missing the most!
The first female superhero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally getting her own movie — but we're going to have to wait a little while longer to see it. Originally slated to kick off the summer movie season in late April, the film has a planned Nov. 6 release date. The movie is set in between the existing Marvel movies (specifically, after Captain America: Civil War), with Natasha reuniting with her old Russian colleagues to take down a threat to them all.
What to watch instead: If you're tired of rewatching the existing Marvel movies, there are other options that might appeal to Black Widow fans. The Star Wars anthology film Rogue One similarly features a morally complicated heroine on a mission with messy ties to her personal past, while Netflix's surprise hit The Old Guard follows a capable woman with lots of secrets in her past rounding up her old team for a new mission.
The long-awaited Ghostbusters sequel won't hit theaters until March 2021, pushed back almost a year. When it does arrive, fans will get to see the descendants of the original Ghostbusters taking on their family's legacy when a small town shows signs of serious paranormal activity.
What to watch instead: The quirky (and underrated) Super 8 is a throwback to the kind of '80s kid-friendly monster genre that Ghostbusters embraces. Depending on if you want your small-town horror hijinks to skew more family-friendly or more horrifying, you might also want to check out E.T. (for a lighter touch) or the recent IT remake and its sequel (for old-school horror).
In the Heights
Lin-Manuel Miranda's joyful musical has been delayed an entire year until next summer. In some ways, it's fitting to wait for another summer release: the story takes place over a single July weekend in Washington Heights, NY, following the interconnected lives of a bodega owner, a cab company owner's family, a trio of hairdressers, and more as they struggle with life, love, and a mysterious winning lottery ticket.
What to watch instead: The obvious choice has to be Miranda's other masterpiece, Hamilton. The movie adaptation of Rent also deals with the struggles of a low-income community dealing with gentrification, but it's definitely a more dramatic story.
Disney's latest theme park adaptation won't be setting sail until July 2021, and plot details still remain somewhat under wraps. What we do know: Emily Blunt plays Lily, a scientist who sets off on an adventure with her brother and a reluctant boat captain (played by Dwayne Johnson) to find a magical tree that's rumored to hold the secrets to a great cure.
What to watch instead: The recent Jumanji series (which, incidentally, also stars Johnson) might tide you over with jungle-y adventure shenanigans and kid-friendly humor. There's also Journey to the Center of the Earth, a sci-fi adventure about a family that discovers some old secrets.
Disney's latest live-action adaptation is currently scheduled for an August release date, although that is definitely still subject to change. Unlike some of the other live-action remakes, this one is apparently only keeping the bare bones of the animated original. Mulan still disguises herself as a man to take her father's place in a war, but the characters around her are somewhat different this time around.
What to watch instead: For pure nostalgia, it's always a good time to watch the animated Mulan! And if you're craving that sword fighting action epic with a fierce woman taking charge, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise would be a great option — but stick with the original trilogy.
No Time to Die
Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond has been moved to a November 2020 release date at the earliest, so we're going to have to wait a little longer to find out how this iteration of Bond wraps up. What we know so far is that Bond is brought out of retirement at the start of the movie to assist in finding a kidnapped scientist. But, as is usually the case, Bond and his team get much more than they bargained for.
What to watch instead: You can always catch up on the old Bond films (Skyfall is a real highlight of the Craig era), but tense spy movies might be a little stressful right now. For a lighter touch to the spy genre, the Kingsman series has just enough goofiness mixed in with the adventure. Or, for a total send up of the spy genre, the 2008 remake of Get Smart is a fun, light option (even if some of the humor is a little outdated).
A Quiet Place Part II
The sequel to the 2018 horror hit was scheduled for a May release, but has since been pushed back to at least September. Picking up right where the first film left off, the movie follows the Abbott family as they continue evading the sound-hunting monsters — but discover those aren't the only threats out there.
What to watch instead: The other surprise horror hit of 2018, Bird Box, has a similar premise of negotiating escape from a monstrous enemy without the use of one sense (in that movie's case, sight). There's also The Silence, another post-apocalyptic horror story set in a world filled with creatures who hunt by sound, but in that movie's case, the bigger threat is a human-run cult that's popped up.
Christopher Nolan's trippy sci-fi heist movie has been continuously pushed back, despite trying to hang onto its late-Summer release date. And, really, we know more about the movie's quest for theatrical release than we do about the actual plot — but that's just the way Nolan likes it.
What to watch instead: Nolan's filmography is packed with plenty of mind-bending movies you can watch in the meantime. The most obvious pick is the dream-within-a-dream blockbuster Inception, of course, which still holds up a decade later. We also would recommend The Prestige, the most twisted movie about magicians you'll ever watch.
Wonder Woman 1984
The sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman puts Diana Prince right in the middle of the 1980s, with all that entails. She's got more than the shopping mall boom to deal with, though: not one, but two new villains are on the loose, and on top of that, her long-lost love Steve Trevor has reappeared in her life, 70 years after he seemingly died. We won't find out any answers until October at the earliest, where the film moved after its original summer release was cancelled.
What to watch instead: Craving that intersection of semirecent nostalgia with super women? Captain Marvel, reporting for duty! And, of course, you can't go wrong rewatching the original Wonder Woman to search for clues and revisit Diana's origins.
The Ryan Reynolds video-game comedy has been pushed back to December for the time being. It's a quirky action comedy centered on a minor character in a game who realizes that he — and everyone he knows — lives in a video game. When he learns the game is about to be taken offline, he has to take on the role of hero to try to save their whole world.
What to watch instead: The whole "world within a video game" trope has definitely been explored before, in all different genres and tones. The original, of course, has to be Tron (and its reboot, Tron: Legacy), but there's also the charm and humor of Ralph Breaks the Internet!
The New Mutants
The horror/superhero movie has had an infamously troubled production, and its hopeful August release date is just the latest potential date for the movie. It's an offshoot of the X-Men series, focusing on five young mutants who are being held against their will and have to use their newfound (and poorly controlled) powers to get themselves to safety. Originally planned as the start of a trilogy, it's likely to be a standalone film, since the rights to the X-Men characters are now owned by Marvel Studios.
What to watch instead: The obvious choice would be the most recent incarnation of the X-Men, starting with X-Men: First Class. For a much goofier take on superpowered youngsters, though, Disney's Sky High is an underrated delight.
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Adapted from the classic novel, this version of David Copperfield has something of a lighter, quirkier touch than you might expect. After a positive reception on the festival circuit, its May release was moved to August (or, more likely, later).
What to watch instead: The trailer for this movie played before screenings of Emma., which is a similarly quirky adaptation of a literary classic. And although star Dev Patel is probably better known for his dramatic movies, his turn in the 2012 rom-com The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel proves his charm is boundless.
Disney/Pixar's latest movie is, like all the studio's films, sure to be a tearjerker and a heartwarmer all at once. We'll have to wait at least until November to see the story of a music teacher who accidentally ends up in the "Great Before," where souls develop before life.
What to watch instead: You can't go wrong with anything from the Pixar library! We'd definitely suggest Inside Out and Up, both of which handle ideas about life, death, and emotions with touching nuance.
Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise is back in the Top Gun world, but the next-gen sequel has been delayed from June to December. The sequel brings Cruise's "Maverick" back, this time to train a new group of daring test pilots for an even more dangerous and thrilling mission. Among the recruits: "Rooster," the now-adult son of the best friend Maverick lost on a mission in the original.
What to watch instead: You can, of course, rewatch the original Top Gun to get ready for the new movie. For more high-flying antics and intense drama, the war epic Pearl Harbor and the based-on-a-true-story thriller American Made might fit the bill too!
The Woman in the Window
Amy Adams stars in this creepy thriller, which follows an agoraphobic psychologist who begins to doubt her own sanity when her friend disappears and the investigation takes a strange swerve. The movie was originally scheduled for a May release but has been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.
What to watch instead: Gone Girl is the most immediate comparison for this movie, given that both center on unreliable female narrators and the unraveling of one (or several) conspiracies. And, of course, it's impossible to think of the "neighbor sees a crime" subgenre without the film that started it, Rear Window.