We’re living in the age of sequels now. Franchises rule the box office. Once in a while, an original movie like Gravity or Inception will come along and make a big splash, but usually, the biggest winners are the sequels.
In fact, it’s gotten to the point that studios plan more than one sequel at a time – especially with franchises that comprise various other franchises, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and they schedule them years in advance. That means we can get excited for movies that are years away. So, here are the 10 Most Exciting Sequels We Won’t See Until 2021.
10 Avatar 2 (December 17)
Obviously, we have to take this one with a pinch of salt. The first sequel (of a planned four) to James Cameron’s Avatar was supposed to be released in 2014. It’s since been delayed so many times that it’s become an inside joke in the film industry. The sequel will bring back old stars like Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, but it’ll also introduce some exciting new cast members, including Kate Winslet, Vin Diesel, and Michelle Yeoh. While some moviegoers have lost interest in Avatar, realizing that it’s basically just Pocahontas with aliens, real film buffs have faith in Cameron. He’s never steered us wrong before and he’s planning even more revolutionary technology to shoot the sequel.
9 Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (May 7)
Although the first Doctor Strange movie from back in 2016 wasn’t as exciting a debut as some of the MCU’s others, like Guardians of the Galaxy or Black Panther, the last two Avengers movies have helped to drum up audience interest in the Sorcerer Supreme. Plus, his upcoming standalone sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – set to be released on May 7, 2021 – sounds awesome. It’ll reportedly be the MCU’s first horror movie and it’ll see Doctor Strange team up with a retconned Scarlet Witch fresh off her Disney+ series to take on the multiverse, possibly in the story involving the villain Nightmare.
8 Jurassic World 3 (June 11)
Last year’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom certainly left a lot to be desired. It was essentially The Last Jedi of the Jurassic World trilogy. However, just like The Rise of Skywalker is shaping up to be an exciting prospect as it strives to redeem the current Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic World 3 might have all the answers. The best thing about Fallen Kingdom was the sequel it set up.
Now, dinosaurs are co-existing with humans in urban environments. That’s a compelling jumping-off point. Jurassic World 3, which will undoubtedly get a new title closer to the time, will hit theaters on June 11, 2021, keeping up the franchise’s one-movie-every-three-years quota.
7 John Wick: Chapter 4 (May 21)
Just when you think the makers of the John Wick franchise can’t possibly raise the stakes even more, they go and do it. The series began with a deceptively simplistic premise – an ex-assassin reluctantly heads back into action to get revenge for the murder of his adorable dog – and it has since been building up a more complex fictional world than Star Trek. While some passive viewers think a fourth installment of the franchise will be overkill, frankly, as long as Keanu Reeves is willing to keep making these visceral, ultraviolent action thrillers, then fans will keep eagerly turning up to see them.
6 Space Jam 2 (July 16)
On July 16, 2021, we’ll be getting a sequel to the Looney Tunes basketball comedy Space Jam. LeBron James is replacing Michael Jordan as the NBA superstar hitting the court with the Looney Tunes characters. James is also acting as a producer on the film alongside Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, who is also writing the script with Sev Ohanian, the writer behind the screen-based thriller Searching. Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee is at the helm, while Don Cheadle and The Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green are playing supporting roles. Suffice to say, there’s some serious talent attached to this one.
5 Sherlock Holmes 3 (December 22)
It spelled trouble for Avengers: Endgame when Robert Downey, Jr. signed on to star in his first Sherlock Holmes movie since Earth’s mightiest heroes first assembled. Now that we know why his schedule has cleared up, all we can do is look forward to the continuation of his other blockbuster franchise. The first two Sherlock Holmes movies, directed by Guy Ritchie, did a great job of bringing Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mysteries onto the big screen. The threequel, due in theaters on December 22, 2021, has Rocketman’s Dexter Fletcher behind the camera, replacing Ritchie, and it will reportedly explore Holmes and Watson’s co-dependent relationship.
4 Fantastic Beasts 3 (November 12)
The third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise was set to be released in November 2020. However, it was pushed back to make room for Denis Villeneuve’s the new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune. Now, it’ll be released on November 12, 2021. (It had to be November – the other two were released in November and they were both hits, so Warner Bros. knows November works.) J.K. Rowling has apparently planned out five films in the Fantastic Beasts series that will carry Newt Scamander from 1926 to 1945. The third one has reportedly cast Jacob Tremblay to play a young Voldemort.
3 Indiana Jones 5 (July 9)
We were supposed to be getting the fifth Indiana Jones movie earlier than this, but Steven Spielberg decided to make a new movie version of West Side Story first. So, it’ll be released on July 9, 2021, which is at least a summer date – Indy’s adventures are better suited to the summer season.
Spielberg already tried to make a belated Indiana Jones sequel with a rapidly aging Harrison Ford, as you’ll surely remember, and it didn’t turn out so well. However, it seems as though the director is taking precautions to ensure that there is no fridge-nuking in this one and it’ll actually satisfy fans like the original trilogy did.
2 Mission: Impossible 7 (July 23)
Right after Christopher McQuarrie, the director of Rogue Nation and Fallout, said he was done with the Mission: Impossible franchise, Paramount managed to sign him on to helm the seventh and eighth installments back-to-back. McQuarrie has a terrific working relationship with Tom Cruise, as the two are always pushing each other to go bigger and better (as shown by their two existing M:I collaborations), so with Mission: Impossible 7, we’re looking at even wilder stunts, wider scope, and more ambitious storytelling. Plot details are scarce at the moment, but it has been confirmed that Rebecca Ferguson will return to the role of Ilsa Faust.
1 Thor: Love And Thunder (November 5)
There weren’t many fans who were interested in Thor’s solo franchise in the MCU until Taika Waititi came along and revitalized it with Thor: Ragnarok, a zany comedy inspired by Flash Gordon. Naturally, Marvel has hired Waititi back to write and direct a sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder. After giving him a boring God of Thunder to fix, they’re now giving him a boring romantic interest to fix. Love and Thunder will see Jane Foster become worthy of adopting the mantle of “Thor” from Odinson, while Valkyrie searches the cosmos for a queen to help her run New Asgard. Due to hit theaters on November 5, 2021, this should be a doozy.