2020 vision: A look at the films hitting screens this year

From the big blockbusters and a new Bond movie to some strong Irish offerings, Esther McCarthy looks at the cinema highlights for the year ahead.

2020 vision: A look at the films hitting screens this year

From the big blockbusters and a new Bond movie to some strong Irish offerings, Esther McCarthy looks at the cinema highlights for the year ahead.


January 31

Will there be anything more unique — or as strange — as The Lighthouse in our cinemas in 2020?

Robert Eggers follows his excellent horror The Witch by doubling down as a filmmaker with this tale, shot in black and white and on film.

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe gamely signed up for the project, about two lighthouse keepers who struggle with the isolation, and their sanity, while doing a lengthy stint on a remote island in the 1890s.

Pattinson, once a mainstream heartthrob and young vampire, is excellent here and continues to impress with his left field choices.


March 6

A new Pixar is always something to be excited about, and Onward is the studio’s first non-sequel offering in more than two years.

The animators appear to be aiming for their blend of the hilarious and the heartfelt in their story of two elf brothers who bring their father back from the dead for a day so the youngest can meet him properly for the first time.

Unfortunately the magical spell goes drastically wrong.


March 27

Irish director Lorcan Finnegan’s sci-fi thriller, shot on location in this country, has been getting strong reviews on the international festival circuit ahead of its cinema release.

The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg and English actress Imogen Poots play a young couple looking for a starter home in an anonymous suburb, only to gradually realise they are unable to escape the complex and keep being directed back to the same house.

Things get even stranger when a baby boy appears.


March TBC

Another Irish movie garnering strong word of mouth ahead of its spring release by Element Pictures.

Shot on location in Connemara, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar, and Cosmo Jarvis head the cast of the feature debut from award-winning shorts director Nick Rowland.

It centres on an ex-boxer who is trying to tally being a good father to his autistic son with his role as an enforcer for a feared local crime family.


April 8

Daniel Craig makes what could be his last appearance as the iconic spy — and Rami Malek makes his first as a Bond villain in 007’s latest movie outing, the first in almost five years.

True Detective director Cary Fukenaga helms the latest adventure from the super sleuth which marks Bond’s 25th outing in the movie.

Interestingly, Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of the co-writers of the strictly-under-wraps screenplay.


May 29

It’s been years in development, but the big-screen adaptation based on Wexford author Eoin Colfer’s much-loved series of novels about a canny young criminal mastermind finally comes to cinemas in early summer.

The movie was shot on location in Northern Ireland and is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who told the Irish Examiner recently: “We got some wonderful pictures that I think will make people feel as though they’re in a big and spectacular part of Ireland and so I’m very very happy about that.

“It’s been a very enjoyable ride. Eoin came and visited and it was lovely working with him and lovely working with Conor McPherson who did a terrific contribution to the screenplay”.


June 26

Can Tom Cruise pull off the ultimate feat of breathing new life into one of his biggest hits more than 30 years later?

Early trailers for this film certainly suggest so.

The movie was delayed for a year to allow filmmakers use the latest technology in stunt and arial shots.

While much of the story is being kept under wraps, Maverick’s rival Iceman (Val Kilmer) will star, with Miles Teller starring as the late Goose’s son.


July 16

What a cast — including John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki — Christopher Nolan has assembled for his first movie since 2017’s Dunkirk.

As with all his films, Nolan keeps details to a minimum, but we do know it returns to themes of both sci-fi and time travel that he has handled in the past.

The film was shot in seven different countries and revolves around the world of international espionage.


Late 2020

Our own Colin Farrell has several projects in 2020, including this sci-fi movie directed by Kogonada, whose last film, Columbus, was widely acclaimed.

Adapted from the Alexander Weinstein short story, the robot drama centres on a father and daughter as they try to save the life of their robot, who lives with them as a family member.


November 6

He made a name for himself on Love/Hate but 2020 will see Barry Keoghan take on his biggest project yet, a new Marvel movie.

He will star opposite Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek in The Eternals, adapted from the comic-book story of the same name.

The actor is believed to be playing a villain with several superpowers in the film, which marks the beginning of the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s the first comic-book role for the young Dubliner, who years ago tweeted the late Stan Lee asking him to “make me a superhero”.

Chloé Zhao (The Riders) is to direct.


December 18

French/Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve follows up his stunning work on Blade Runner 2049 with a return to the sci-fi genre.

The film, which stars Rebecca Ferguson and Timothée Chalamet, is an adaptation of the 1984 film based on Frank Herbert’s 1960s novel.

Set in the near future, it revolves around a number of powerful intergalactic families.

Star Oscar Isaac said of the film: “There’s just this kind of brutalist element to it. It’s shocking. It’s scary. It’s very visceral.”


December 18

Two teenagers in 1950s New York fall in love in the eagerly awaited new take on the classic musical from Steven Spielberg.

The trouble is they are connected to opposite sides of the warring street fighters the Jets and the Sharks.

Spielberg is said to be planning to put his own stamp on the story, which he has wanted to adapt for years.

Baby Driver’s Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler head the cast.

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