Most states are still (wisely) a month or so from reopening, and movie theaters shortly after that. Still, it’s starting to feel, at least a little bit, like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. As studios continue to reschedule movies, assuring us they’re on the way, our thoughts are starting to turn to what movies we’re most excited to see.
At Atom, we’re understandably more excited than most since movies are what we’re all about. Here are some of the movies your friendly neighborhood Atom staff are most excited to see in the second half of 2020.
Alisha Grauso – Editorial Lead
Hands-down, my most anticipated is Dune for so many reasons. First, Denis Villeneuve is in the director’s seat. Between the stunning Arrival and criminally underrated Blade Runner 2049, I think he’s the best director today at handling sprawling, epic sci-fi. His films are always so exquisitely gorgeous, right up there with Alex Garland’s work, and the world of Arrakis requires and deserves a filmmaker whose eye for blending futuristic sci-fi elements with highly-stylized fantasy is second to none. Second, that cast. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling, David Dastmalchian – the list goes on. I’m especially interested to see what Chalamet can bring to the lead role of Paul Atreides. He’s Hollywood’s It Boy right now, but this will be by far the biggest project he’s ever shouldered. We haven’t seen an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic book since the 2000 miniseries and 2003 miniseries sequel, Children of Dune, and before that, the 1984 cult movie adaptation directed by David Lynch. Villeneuve isn’t David Lynch, but he’s his own thing entirely, and his sensibilities are more finely attuned to tentpole work. I’m really excited to see what he and his remarkably talented do with Herbert’s seminal work.
P.S. My runner-up would be The Last Duel because I am always extremely here for anything medieval. And a medieval era-set film based on a true story? Sign me up!
Top Gun: Maverick
Kylan Francis – Director, Content Operations/Product
The moment the bell tolls, that iconic unmistakable sound, goosebumps ran up and down my arms and I remembered the need…the need for speed! Simply put, THIS is the kind of film that deserves to be seen, nay, experienced, in theaters because that’s exactly what Top Gun: Maverick will be: an experience. The kind of experience we social beings crave and will be in dire need of after we emerge from quarantine. Epic sound and cinematography, a thrill ride from start to finish, romance, drama, rivalries, and let’s not forget a heavy dose of nostalgia. All led by arguably the greatest action star of our generation reprising his role as the unforgettable Maverick, a flawed hero we couldn’t help but root for and fall in love with 34 years ago. More than anything, I’m just really excited for how much fun this film will be to watch together with an audience and expect it will reignite our collective joy for the theater experience.
Bill & Ted Face the Music
Seth Freilich – General Counsel
My brain told me to write about Respect, the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, because I love a good biography, the cast is phenomenal, and Aretha deserves … well, cinematic respect. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and my heart wants Bill & Ted Face the Music. It’s been 31 years since Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan did a history project, and 29 since they went to hell, but it feels like just yesterday (and Keanu’s inability to age makes him look like it was just yesterday, too). I’ll dearly miss Rufus (RIP George Carlin), but I’m excited to meet Bill and Ted’s daughters and see what fun new and hopefully very stupid ways they muck about with history. Sure, this movie has literally been rumored about and lingering for decades, and none of us know if Alex Winter and Keanu can bring the magic back. But I’m never betting against Wyld Stallyns (I’ve heard they rule) and even if the movie gives us nothing more than a delightful reminder of the original’s ethos, well, we could all stand a reminder to be excellent to each other.
Death on the Nile
Derek Koehler – Digital Marketing Manager
The movie I’m most excited to see is Death on the Nile this October. After seeing Murder on the Orient Express on opening night in 2017 and Knives Out twice last year, I’m buzzing on “whodunnit” mystery films (and plan to catch up on the book before it hits theaters). I love watching the pieces come together and trying to figure out the killer before it’s solved on screen. I also have a deep appreciation for period piece films, especially the costumes. Not only that, Death has an ensemble cast featuring Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright, Kenneth Branagh, and Rose Leslie, just to name a few. Need I say more?
No Time to Die
Julian Bahmani – Manager, Marketing Design
As a life-long James Bond fan, it’s no surprise that my most anticipated film of the year is the 25th entry in the franchise, No Time to Die. With the film hitting theaters in November, it’s easy to forget that the last time Daniel Craig donned the tuxedo was half a decade ago in 2015’s Spectre. The ensuing years were filled with all sorts of uncertainty regarding whether or not that was the last time we’d see Craig suit up in the role so it’s with profound relief and excitement that I look forward to seeing him return as the iconic character for one last go. Cary Fukunaga (best known for his work on the first season of HBO’s True Detective), takes the reins this time around and I’m eagerly anticipating what he’ll bring to the production. His penchant for visual storytelling and tight, character-driven action spectacle will hopefully lend itself to a fantastic Bond film. The new additions to the cast also pique my interest, with Lashana Lynch, Rami Malek and Ana de Armas (reuniting with her Knives Out co-star, Craig) joining all the major returning characters from Spectre, including Christoph Waltz as infamous Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. And all of that without yet mentioning the deliciously haunting theme song by global superstar Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas. The lyrics are heart-wrenching, hinting at a harrowing final journey for Craig’s Bond, likely filled with love, loss, betrayal, and operatic action that make this film one I don’t want to miss.
Chris Brucia – Chief Product Officer
Not only is Tenet the first major release (currently) slated to hit theaters in what will have been months, but Christopher Nolan’s movies are always conceived, shot, and meant to be seen on the big screen and this one looks no different. I’ve seen the mysterious action-packed trailer three times and still haven’t the foggiest idea what the movie might really be about other than international espionage, but sign me up for opening night.
Coming 2 America
Jedd Weise – Software Developer
I, like many 90s kids, grew up watching Coming to America on cable all the time. Eddie Murphy is a comedic god and the original film is truly a work of art, in my opinion. It centers on the story of Prince Akeem and his sidekick, Semmi, as they travel from the African country of Zamunda to Queens, New York to find Akeem a bride in a classic fish-out-of-water narrative. During their journey, they meet a hilarious cast of characters and Akeem falls in love with a woman named Lisa. They end up happily ever after back in Zamunda. While that ending is perfect, I’ve always wondered what other adventures the characters could go on. Most of all, I need to find out what’s going on with Randy Watson. Is Sexual Chocolate still together? Did his role as “Joe the Policeman” turn into a series regular on That’s My Mama? I need answers to these questions.
Sequels to comedies are difficult as it’s easy to fall into the trap of just repeating what worked in the first movie rather than refreshing it. But I know Coming 2 America is in good hands with Kenya Barris (Girls Trip) writing and Craig Brewer (Dolemite Is My Name) directing. I can’t wait to go to a theater and have that communal experience of everyone getting a joke at the same time and erupting with laughter. The rush of watching a fantastic comedy with a group of people is a truly great experience.
Stan Sultanov – QA Engineer
I’ll go with Pixar’s Soul for no other reason than that I just really like all of Pixar’s stuff. I might be their target audience (I do have kids, after all), but they’re still great in all they do. So sign me up for the next Pixar movie I can see with my family when movie theaters open back up.
The French Dispatch
Amber Tarshis – Head of Marketing
I can’t wait to see Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. I love his distinctive cinematic style and humor with his use of child-like adult characters, a familiar cast of recurring talent, and his dreamy signature color palette. Entering Anderson’s whimsical, stylistic world is the escape I’m looking forward to most after all this dreary self-isolation.
Wonder Woman 1984
Lisa Konen – Brand & Content Editor
Wonder Woman 1984 is number one on my post-quarantine list. First of all, Gal Gadot is perfection as Diana Prince. Her endearing naivete contrasted with her superhuman powers and drop-dead gorgeousness make her one of the most captivating heroes on the big screen. She’s an eternal optimist shrouded in Amazonian armor and equipped with badass battle moves—sign me up! Plus, it’s set in the ‘80s during the height of fanny-packs, big hair and bigger shoulder pads. The “Blue Monday” cover that pulses through the trailer hints that we’ll be in for a killer soundtrack. I’m so glad they brought Patty Jenkins back to direct. She infused the first film with so many subtle but charming moments that made it more than just another comic book blockbuster. I don’t know how she’ll manage to bring Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) back but I can’t wait to find out. Is it August yet?