Science-fiction is popular as a genre because it’s primarily about two things: escapism and optimism. It’s escapism because it takes us away from the boredom and routine of our everyday lives and places us in a fantasy realm, and it’s optimistic because it showcases inventions and technologies that don’t exist yet, but conceivably could do in the years to come. Not all sci-fi is optimistic – some of it is, in fact, horrific, but there’s generally something we can take even from the sci-fi horror genre that gives us faith in the future. Rarely has a year given us the need to retreat into escapism like 2020 has, and that pattern might well continue into 2021.
If we’re going to escape into a safe, high-tech world for 2021, we’re going to need some great films to help us do so. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re going to come up short on that front. There are some fantastic looking sci-fi movies lined up for 2021, and we’ve been taking a look through them to pick out the highlights. Some of them are films that we would have seen during 2020 had everything gone to plan, so we hope they prove to be worth the wait when they eventually arrive! Others are brand-new creations that look like they might offer a new take on this old and familiar genre, and we look forward to seeing what they can bring to the table, too.
Rather than talking endlessly about the genre, let’s talk about the films instead. Here are the sci-fi movies we can’t wait to see in 2021!
The Matrix 4
Let’s start in a very obvious place. If everything goes to plan – which can never be taken for granted at the moment – we’ll get the fourth “Matrix” movie at the very end of 2021. Even though it’s been almost twenty years since the third film, the influence and popularity of “The Matrix” have never really gone away. That’s reflected at online slots websites, where a game based on the first film is one of the most popular movie-themed UK slots in the world.
While it’s becoming increasingly common for brand new movies released to be accompanied by their own dedicated and licensed online slots, it’s far rarer for an older film to be given the same treatment. ‘The Matrix’ is an exception, and we hope this will be an exceptional film. We don’t know much about what to expect from it other than a moody Keanu Reeves and a narrative that we’re told will provide social commentary that’s relevant for the 2020s, but we’re hopeful of something that’s closer in tone and content to the original rather than the two divisive sequels.
This might not just be one of the best sci-fi films of 2021 – it could be one of the best movies of 2021 full stop. She’s been away from the big screen for a little while, but Megan Fox returns to a starring role in Lazar Bodroza’s “Aurora” in an attempt to throw off her “Transformers” image and show that she can handle meatier acting roles. From what we understand, her role might even be the only major one in the film, with a plot about an astronaut stranded alone on a storm-tracking space station that begins to experience temporal distortions. If you enjoyed “Gravity,” you’ll likely enjoy this too – especially with the added complication of time travel.
This film has Tom Hanks in it, and let’s be honest – when’s the last time you saw Tom Hanks make a bad movie? This film should have reached us in 2020 but was delayed because of obvious reasons, and is now penciled into land in Spring 2021. The plot sounds a little familiar. Hanks plays a man living in the post-apocalyptic United States of America, walking the roads alone and trying to work out if he’s the last survivor of the human race.
He does, however, have a pet dog for company. That’s very similar to the narrative of Will Smith’s “I Am Legend,” so this might be an attempt to make a film in a similar vein but without it being terrible (sorry, Will). There will be twists and turns along the way, plus whatever it is that attracted Hanks to the script in the first place. We trust the legendary actor’s judgment, and so we trust that this will be a great film.
Here’s another entry in the ‘should have been in 2020’ category. What a year of movies we’ve missed out on! This bold, ambitious attempt to take the beloved “Ghostbusters” franchise and turn it into something more akin to “Stranger Things” for a new audience will either be a smash hit or a miserable failure.
We’ve seen what happens when people play around with “Ghostbusters” too much with the backlash to the female-led “Ghostbusters” movie of a few years ago, so it’s to be hoped that lessons have been learned from that. Instead of rebooting the story, this film picks up long after the end of “Ghostbusters II” and (based on the trailers) features the grandchildren of Egon Spengler finding his old equipment and trying their hand at ghost hunting. Paul Rudd is on hand to lend some credibility to the otherwise young and untested cast, and Jason Reitman – son of the creator of the original – is in the director’s chair. How wrong could it possibly go?
Experienced sci-fi writer and director Neil Burger, best known for “Divergent” and “Limitless,” is dipping into the genre again in “Voyagers.” Sadly, it has nothing to do with the classic “Star Trek” series of (almost) the same name. Colin Farrell and Lily-Rose Depp handle the bulk of the action as a select number of astronauts are sent out into deep space, tasked with finding humanity a new home on a mission that’s expected to take them the rest of their lives. Apparently, something they encounter while out on the hunt causes evolution to start running in reverse, with dire consequences for everybody aboard the vessel. That sounds like a solid basis for a sci-fi/horror movie to us, so hopefully this one will be out in time for Halloween.