Films Top Gun: Maverick, Dune and Babylon, as well as TV documentaries about Greta Thunberg and Stephen Hawking are all due to be released in 2021

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30 December 2020

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The best films and TV

There is a lot to look forward to this year, and some may even be available as scheduled.

The release of A Quiet Place Part II (pictured above) has been delayed twice due to the pandemic, but perhaps this will fuel anticipation. The dystopian horror, starring Emily Blunt and written/directed by her husband John Krasinski, is now due for release in April 2021. The Abbott family live in an apocalyptic landscape plagued by monsters that hunt by sound, and they are about to discover there are other dangers out there too.

Bios, also pushed back from 2020 and due out in April, stars Tom Hanks as the ailing creator of a robot intended to care for his beloved dog after he dies, in an American Midwest destroyed by a cataclysmic solar event.

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It isn’t all sci-fi dystopias. Tom Cruise will be defying the laws of physics in Top Gun: Maverick, a long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic. It is set for release in July.

A few months later, in October, Denis Villeneuve’s much anticipated Dune, the second film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s bestselling novel about feudal interstellar society, is due out.

Come December, Don’t Look Up is set to be one of the biggest ever Netflix films, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as astronomers trying to warn the world about a giant meteorite heading towards Earth as a fumbling president downplays the dangers. It is being filmed in socially distanced conditions in Boston, and the cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill.

Also out in December is Babylon, a new film from La La Land director Damien Chazelle. It takes a fresh look at how cinematic technologies have changed, examining the transition from the silent movie era to the talkies.

On the small screen, there is a smattering of prestige reruns of David Attenborough’s series, plus other nature/climate change documentaries, including I Am Greta, about climate change activist Greta Thunberg. This had a brief cinema release but will air on the BBC in January.

Hawking, a new documentary from Sky (release date not yet available) aims to shed new light on the life of the late physicist through previously unseen private family archives.

Francesca Steele is a film and TV critic based in London

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