Releases To Look Forward To In 2021

 Ariyana A. Khan and  Fhamida Sikder

With the pandemic wreaking havoc across the world, a number of much-awaited movie blockbusters and TV series, such as Disney’s Avatar sequels, had to pause their shoot and push forward their release dates; movie theatres have had to be replaced by video streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Max. On the other hand, with more people having to turn to video games and the internet as a source of entertainment at home, the gaming industry has witnessed a boom. 

As we bid goodbye to this rollercoaster of a year, most of us are looking at 2021 with hope and positivity in our hearts. Although the year ahead is still slated with uncertainty, here is a list of movies, TV series, music album releases and video games that you can look forward to and latch onto to give you company throughout the year. 

Movies:

  1. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

The third installment of The Conjuring was initially poised to release in September 2020, but the date had to be postponed to June 4, 2021, due to the current global situation. The movie is set in 1971 and centers around the Perrons — a family of seven that moves into an eerily haunted farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island.

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This sequel will reveal a chilling story of terror, murder, and unknown evil that starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy. It will center on the real-life trial of Arne Cheyenne Jackson who pled not guilty to the murder of his landlord, Alan Bono, citing demon possession as the cause. 

Starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Sterling Jerins, Julian Hilliard, Sarah Catherine Hook and Ruairi O’Connor in other supporting roles, the film is set to be a real contender to the horror 2020 put us through! The movie will be released on the HBO Max streaming service.  

2.     Fast and Furious 9

The most popular movie series in the Action genre is set to release it tenth installment on 28 May 2021. Initially slated to release on May 2020, F9 too had to postpone its release date from May 2020. 

It will pick off from the events of The Fate of the Furious (2017). Dominic Toretto and his family must face Dominic’s younger brother Jakob, a deadly assassin, who is working with their old enemy Cipher, and who holds a personal vendetta against Dominic.

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Vin Diesel, in a conversation with Total Film, said: “The theme that we’ve been playing with up until this point has been the family that you create with people from all walks of life, the family that is not blood. What makes the story of Fast 9 so fascinating is how that altruistic concept could neglect the family defined by blood. That’s where this story goes.”

Starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Ludacris Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron, and John Cena (yes!) in key roles, the film is set to be one of the blockbuster highlights of 2021.  

       3. The Kissing Booth 3

The Kissing Booth, based on a book series of the same name by Beth Reekles, is perhaps one of the most popular teen romantic comedy that has gained traction recently. 

The entire main cast will be returning for the third movie, including Joey King as Elle Evans, Jacob Elordi as Noah Flynn, and Meganne Young as Rachel.  

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The Kissing Booth 2 ended with a cliffhanger where — spoiler alert! — Elle received admission offers from both Harvard and Berkeley. The synopsis of the third sequel reads: “It’s the summer before Elle heads to college, and she has a secret decision to make. She has been accepted into Harvard, where her boyfriend Noah is matriculating, and also Berkeley, where her BFF Lee is headed. Which path should she choose?”

How does Marco feeling about Elle? Will Elle and Chloe become friends? The third installment, slated to premiere on Netflix in the summer of 2021, is set to answer all your burning questions!

4.     To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

One of the most loved movies in the romance genre, To All the Boys 3 is slated to release on Netflix in early 2021 (tentatively around February). The third sequel is based on Jenny Han’s 2017 novel Always and Forever, Lara Jean. 

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How much of the plot is in line with the movie is unknown but what we do know is: it’s Lara Jean’s senior year and she’s trying to figure out some real-life choices surrounding her love life and future. 

Everyone from the previous installment is returning, including Noah Centineo, Lana Condor, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Madeleine Arthur, Sarayu Blue, and John Corbet, except Jordan Fisher, as he doesn’t appear in the third novel.

        5. Pieces of a Woman

‘Pieces of a woman’ is the first English-language movie by Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó. The story of this movie is based on his and his wife Kata Wéber’s personal experience of the loss of their own child. Venessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf star as Martha and Sean, a couple who loses their daughter in a traumatic home birth. This movie focuses on the emotional journey of a woman who has lost a child. Venessa Kirby, who played Princess Margarate on The Crown, won the best actress award (Volpi Cup) at Venice Film Festival for her performance as a grieving mother in this movie. Many critics said that she can get the Oscar nomination. Netflix will release ‘Pieces of a woman’ on January 7.            

6.         Raya and The Last Dragon

After ‘Brave’, ‘Frozen’, ‘Moana’ Disney is going to give us another spectacular girl-power animation named Raya and The Last Dragon featuring Cassandra Steele as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu the Last Dragon. This animation movie will bring the story of a mystical land called Kumandra, where long ago dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity from the evil monsters. After 500 years later those monsters have returned and to stop them, Raya, a young warrior who has started her quest to find the last dragon. This latest 3D animation will arrive on March 5.  

7.     No Time To Die

This movie has been delayed enough and now it’s getting on our nerves! The new Bond movie has so much more. Daniel Craig will play James Bond for the last time, Rami Malek as a mysterious villain, and for the first time in the ‘Bond movie’ history, a black female spy agent carrying 007 spy code. This role will be played by a British actress Lashana Lynch. The fan can’t wait anymore to watch fierce action, classic and breathtaking car chasing scenes, and also to hear the iconic ‘Bond, James Bond’ dialog. However, the 25th film of the James Bond series is expected to hit theaters on April 21.  

8. Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

Finally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will give us an Asian superhero! Marvel fans couldn’t be more excited about this news. It will be the second film of Phase Four. Shang Chi is a martial arts master who will contend with the mysterious Ten Rings crime syndicate. Does this name ring any bell? This is the same terror group behind our beloved Tony Stark’s kidnapping in Iron Man. we all are so excited to see Wenwu aka Mandarin, a mythical terrorist leader and founder of Ten Rings. Chinese Canadian actor Simu Liu starred as Shang Chi alongside Tomy Leung, Awkwafina, and famous actress Michelle Yeoh. The film is set to be released on July 9.

       9. Dune

In the year 1984 renowned director David Lynch made a movie adapting Frank Herbert’s famous novel Dune and surprisingly couldn’t blow the viewer’s minds. And now Denis Villeneuve takes the massive challenge of a remake of this epic sci-fi saga. Most of the critics predict that this adaptation is going to be better than the first one. This time Denis Villeneuve is teaming up with some brilliant actors like Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, and Jose Brolin. We have to wait for this star-studded movie till October 1. 

10.   The White Tiger 

Here’s one spectacular film to start the first month of the year with. Set to release on 22 January on Netflix, The White Tiger will take you through an epic journey of a poor Indian driver, Balram Halwai, who must use his wit and cunning to break free from servitude to his rich masters and rise to the top of the heap. 

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The film is an adaptation of director Ramin Bahrani’s screenplay, which is in turn based on the novel The White Tiger by author Arvind Adiga. The entire film has been filmed in English. Starring Priyanka Chopra., Rajkummar Rao, Mahesh Rao, and Adarsh Gourav in key roles, The White Tiger could be one of the biggest Netflix Original movies of 2021, especially in India.

TV Series

1. WandaVision

Wait no more! We are getting our first-ever Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series at the beginning of 2021. WandaVision will be released at Disney+ on January 15. Set after Avenger Endgame WandaVision follows Wanda and Vision live their ideal life in suburbia like a classic TV sitcom. This plot is so much different and a bit weird from what we’re used to in the MCU. But if you watched all the previous MCU movies we might remember Darcy Lewis from Thor and Thor: The Dark World, little girl Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, and Jimmy Woo the funny FBI agent who was the parole officer of Ant-Man. They will be back on this series. So it is going to be ‘something’ in a much more interesting way.       

2. Falcon and The Winter Soldier

After the final infinity war, Captain America decided to retire and gave his shield to Falcon. Falcon and Winter Soldier team-up in a global adventure that tests their abilities and their patience. The exciting news is Baron Zemo will return as the villain as we predict with a mask and is going to unite with a terrorist group the Flag-Smashers. Disney+ will release this show on March 19.     

3. Loki

Remember the great escape of our favorite bad guy? We still can’t get over the marvelous scene from Avenger Endgame where Loki the God of Mischief steals Tesseract and escapes. Some people even cried with joy while watching that moment! Loki will be back in the Disney+ new TV series which is set after that event where he is brought to the mysterious Time Variance Authority and then… we have to wait for what happened next. This series will hit the screen in May. oh, another fact about this series I almost forgot to share, that it’s a prequel to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Glorious, right?    

4. Cobra Kai Season 3

Cobra Kai is an American martial arts comedy-drama streaming television series based on The Karate Kid film series. In the third season, fans can expect an epic team-up between Johnny and Daniel as they make efforts to recover from the fallout of the intense cliffhanger of the Season 2 finale.

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The series will have 10 episodes and will have William Zabka and Ralph Macchio reprise their roles while Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, and Mary Mouser will be seen in other key roles. 

While most movies and TV shows followed the path of postponements, this is one that was preponed by a week. Initially slated to release on January 8 on Netflix, the release date was moved a week back to January 1. The perfect way to kick off 2021!  

Video Games

1. Hitman 3

One of the most popular action-adventure stealth video games, Hitman 3 will be the eighth installment in the Hitman series and the third and final installment of the World of Assassination trilogy. It is set to be released for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, and Nintendo Switch on 20 January 2021. 

Agent 47 will travel to various locations and carry out contracted assassinations of criminal targets across the world. Six new locations will be featured, including Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, and Chongqing. Also, good news for players who owned Hitman and Hitman 2: you will be able to import maps, levels and your progress into Hitman 3.

2. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Many of us grew up playing Super Mario and Luigi in its various forms; this is one game that never gets old. This upcoming expanded port of Super Mario 3D is coming to the Nintendo Switch on February 12  as part of the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros.

Players will be set off on a quest to save the Sprixie Kingdom and can play it both online and through local wireless. 

3. The Medium

The Medium is an upcoming psychological horror video game set to release for Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X/S on 28 January 2021. The initial release date 10 December 2020 but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. 

This third person game is based on Marianna, a medium who can travel between the real world and the spirit world to unravel puzzles. Her psychic abilities can be used against enemies and are refilled by interacting with energy spots called spirit wells.

ALBUM

Certified Lover Boy

Canadian rapper and singer Drake will release his new album, Certified Lover Boy in January 2021. Fan has been waiting anxiously for Drake’s sixth studio album. The album features a total of 10 tracks.  On August 14, 2020, Drake released the lead single for the album, “Laugh Now Cry Later”, featuring American rapper Lil Durk, alongside the official music video. After it was released  this song dominated the Billboard Hot 100 for couple weeks and blew the fans’ mind. 

 Chemtrails over the Country Club

Chemtrails over the Country Club is the upcoming seventh studio album by American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey. It is set to be released on 11 January by Interscope Records and Polydor Records. Her music is noted for its stylized, cinematic quality; themes of sadness, tragic romance, glamor, and melancholia; and references to pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana. On 23 December a teaser of this album was released.  In a 25-second teaser, the singer is seen in a number of luxurious outfits, giving a taste of what the lush new album cycle will look like. So let’s stay tuned to hear (and also watch) some folky and beautiful music.

Human  

After a long time American pop rock band OneRepublic is going to release a new album in 2021. OneRepublic is one of the artists who were postponing their album releases due to Covid-19 pandemic. They have already released some singles from their new album. One song named ‘Better Days’ was written while they were quarantined after returning from their European tour. They asked their fans to send in videos depicting acts of kindness during the time for incorporation into a video for ‘Better Days’.   

So, now you have a list of some power-packed TV shows, movies, music albums, and video games to keep you engaged throughout 2021! Happy watching, listening, and playing!   

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