The 2020 summer movie season is one like never before. With social distancing and shelter-in-place regulations shutting down theaters across the world, the film industry is in uncharted waters. What was set up to be a season for studios to unleash expensive and highly anticipated tentpoles has been truncated and diminished by frequent calendar adjustments and looming uncertainty.
Many of the films that were poised to be the biggest hits of the summer have been pushed back. Marvel’s “Black Widow,” Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman 1984” have all staked out new release dates for later this year. Some movies, such as Universal’s “F9” and Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” have been delayed as far as 2021.
The shutdown has also led studios to experiment with digital and video-on-demand (VOD) releases for films that were originally scheduled to debut in theaters. “The King of Staten Island,” “Artemis Fowl” and “Scoob” will all be available to watch in living rooms much sooner than originally anticipated. Other movies that already had planned digital releases, such as Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” and a recorded production of the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” stand to gain more attention due to the lockdown.
With the calendar in a constant state of flux, it’s easy to lose track of when films are launching. As of now, here are the movies that will hit theaters and streaming this summer.
“The Lovebirds” (May 22, Netflix)
Originally set to release in theaters on April 3, Paramount has since sold the rights to the Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani-led romantic comedy to Netflix. The murder mystery was directed by Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”).
“Inheritance” (May 22, VOD)
This indie thriller follows a wife and daughter unraveling the secrets of their inheritance after the family patriarch dies. The film stars Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chace Crawford, Michael Beach and Patrick Warburton.
“Military Wives” (May 22, VOD)
Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan star in this British comedy about a group of women forming a choir after their partners leave to serve in Afghanistan. Peter Cattaneo directs.
“The Trip to Greece” (May 22, VOD)
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite for a fourth time to travel through Europe’s finest landmarks and dine on its best cuisine, all while jabbering about celebrity impressions, middle age and inflated egos.
“The High Note” (May 29, VOD)
Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross share the spotlight in this music-driven comedy about a superstar examining her career forward in the Los Angeles music scene. Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ice Cube, Zoe Chao, Eddie Izzard and Bill Pullman round out the cast.
“The Vast of Night” (May 29, Amazon Prime Video; selected theater previews starting May 15)
The directorial debut of Andrew Patterson received strong praise from critics when it premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2019. The film follows two teenagers investigating a mysterious audio frequency coming through their radio.
“Shirley” (June 5, Hulu)
Josephine Decker’s unconventional drama — a unique look at the life of writer Shirley Jackson (portrayed by Elisabeth Moss) — received raves when it premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“Becky” (June 5, VOD)
Kevin James makes the jump to drama playing a neo-Nazi who invades the vacation home of a family. Lulu Wilson, Amanda Brugel, Robert Maillet and Joel McHale also star.
“Artemis Fowl” (June 12, Disney Plus)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the long-awaited adaptation of the series of young adult novels follows a boy genius discovering a world of dangerous fairies. It was originally set to debut in theaters in late May, but will now hit Disney Plus due to theater closures.
“Da 5 Bloods” (June 12, Netflix)
Spike Lee’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning “BlacKkKlansman” unites a cast including Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Jean Reno, Paul Walter Hauser, Jonathan Majors and many more. The film follows four African American veterans returning to Vietnam years after the war to seek the remains of their fallen leader along with the golden treasure that he hid.
“The King of Staten Island” (June 12, VOD)
The semi-autobiographical comedy centers on Pete Davidson as a slacker grieving his firefighter father’s death. Judd Apatow directed the film, which also stars Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Maude Apatow, Bel Powley, Pamela Adlon, Steve Buscemi.
“The Short History of the Long Road” (June 12, Theaters; June 16, VOD)
This indie release follows a teenage daughter out on her own after her road trip with her father across the United States is derailed. Sabrina Carpenter, Steven Ogg and Danny Trejo star.
“Babyteeth” (June 19, Limited theatrical and VOD)
The coming-of-age debut from Shannon Murphy premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year. The film follows a married couple discovering their ailing teenage daughter has fallen for a drug dealer. The cast includes Eliza Scanlen, Toby Wallace, Emily Barclay, Eugene Gilfedder, Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn.
“Dads” (June 19, Apple TV Plus)
This documentary celebrates fatherhood by featuring six dads from around the world, as well as revealing interviews from a varied cast of celebrity subjects. Bryce Dallas Howard makes her directorial debut helming the feature.
“Mr. Jones” (June 19, Digital; July 3, VOD)
Set on the eve of World War II, this thriller examines the regimes of Hitler and Stalin through the eyes of a journalist investigating their propaganda machines. James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard and Joseph Mawle star.
“Wasp Network” (June 19, Netflix)
Olivier Assayas directs this dramatization of the story of Cuban spies hiding in American territory in the 1990s. Penélope Cruz, Édgar Ramírez, Wagner Moura, Gael García Bernal, Ana de Armas and Leonardo Sbaraglia star.
“You Should Have Left” (June 19, VOD)
Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried star in this thriller about a family trip turned psychological nightmare, as a sinister force refuses to let them leave their vacation home. David Koepp directs.
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (June 26, Netflix)
David Dobkin directs this comedy — starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams — about two musicians attempting to prove themselves by representing their country at the world’s biggest song competition.
“Irresistible” (June 26, VOD)
Jon Stewart’s sophomore directing effort follows a Democratic Party consultant who helps a veteran run for mayor in Wisconsin. The comedy stars Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace and Natasha Lyonne.
“My Spy” (June 26, Amazon Prime Video)
A grizzled spy has to teach a grade-schooler how to do his job in order to keep the kid from blowing his cover. Dave Bautista stars.
“Hamilton” (July 3, Disney Plus)
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical is set to hit living rooms right before Independence Day. The release is a recording of a 2016 production featuring the original principal cast, including Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Okieriete Onaodowan and Anthony Ramos.
“The Truth” (July 3, Limited)
Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda makes his first film outside of his native language with this drama featuring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke.
“The Outpost” (July 3, Theaters and VOD)
Based on Jake Tapper’s best-selling book, this war movie dramatizes the true story of a platoon in Afghanistan taking part in the bloodiest American engagement of the Afghan War. Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Taylor John Smith and Milo Gibson star.
“Browse” (July 7, VOD)
Lukas Haas stars as a man convinced his identity has been hacked after beginning to date online. Chloe Bridges, Sarah Rafferty, Bodhi Elfman and Jocelin Donahue also star.
“First Cow” (July 10, VOD)
Kelly Reichardt’s new Western follows two travelers on the frontier trying to make a fortune by running a business milking a cow.
“Greyhound” (July 10, Apple TV Plus)
A longtime Navy veteran must protect a convoy of ships traveling across the Atlantic during World War II, defending the fleet against the fierce elements and Nazi U-boats. The film stars Tom Hanks, who also wrote the script.
“The Old Guard“ (July 10, Netflix)
Gina Prince-Bythewood directs this superhero movie following a pack of centuries-old mercenaries forced to fight for their freedom. Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Marwan Kenzari, Matthias Schoenaerts and Chiwetel Ejiofor round out the cast.
“Palm Springs” (July 10, Hulu and Drive-In Theaters)
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti star in this romantic comedy about a man and a maid of honor who meet at a wedding and find themselves unable to escape the venue and each other. J.K. Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin and Peter Gallagher also star.
“Relic” (July 10, VOD)
This horror film about three generations of women confronting the spirits possessing their family had a buzzy debut at Sundance last year. Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcoate and Robyn Nevin star.
“The Silencing” (July 16, DirecTV; Aug. 14 Theaters and VOD)
This crime thriller, led by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Annabelle Wallis, follows a sheriff and a hunter as they seek out the kidnapper of the hunter’s daughter.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” (July 17, Theaters)
Geraldine Viswanathan stars in this romantic comedy about a 20-something art gallery assistant hoarding souvenirs from every relationship she’s ever been in. Natalie Krinsky makes her directorial debut and Selena Gomez serves as an executive producer.
“Dirt Music” (July 17, VOD)
Gregor Jordan directs this adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel of the same name, following an affair set against the landscape of Western Australia. Kelly Macdonald, Garrett Hedlund and David Wenham star.
“The Painted Bird” (July 17, Theaters and VOD)
Shot in 35mm black and white, this drama adapts Jerzy Kosinski’s novel of the same name about a young Jewish boy seeking refuge across Eastern Europe during World War II. Petr Kotlár, Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Barry Pepper, Julian Sands and Udo Kier star.
“Radioactive” (July 24, Amazon Prime Video)
Rosamund Pike stars in this biopic about the life of scientist Marie Curie. The movie originally premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall.
“The Rental” (July 24, Limited)
Dave Franco makes his directorial debut with this horror film starring Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White. It follows two couples who suspect the owner of their Airbnb is spying on them.
“Unhinged” (July 31, Wide )
The Russell Crowe vehicle was the one of the first wide theatrical releases on the calendar for the summer before it moved to the date “Tenet” had vacated. The cat-and-mouse thriller follows a single mother (Caren Pistorius) being stalked by Crowe’s character after a road rage confrontation.
“The Informer” (July 31, Limited)
The thriller based on Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström’s novel “Three Seconds” will make its U.S. premiere this year. The film, starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, Ana de Armas and Clive Owen, is about an undercover infiltration of the Polish drug trade.
“An American Pickle” (Aug. 6, HBO Max)
Seth Rogen stars as a struggling immigrant in 1920s America who falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for a century, awakening to meet his computer coder great-grandson (also played by Rogen).
“Boyz in the Wood” (Aug, 7, Amazon Prime Video)
This ensemble comedy follows a pack of teenage stoners setting off in the Scottish Highlands with their straight-edge companion, learning to work together as they are hunted by a mysterious force. Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickey, Georgie Glen, James Cosmo star, alongside the young cast featuring Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon and Lewis Gribben.
“Tenet” (Aug. 12, Wide)
Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to his best picture nominee “Dunkirk” is still expected to release on the big screen this summer. Plot details on the time-bending espionage thriller remain closely guarded. John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh star.
“Bill & Ted Face the Music” (Aug. 14, Wide)
The long-awaited third entry reunites Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as the two laid-back time travelers embarking on an adventure to save the universe.
“Charm City Kings” (Aug. 14, HBO Max)
Based on the documentary “12 O’Clock Boys,” this drama following the dirt bike scene in Baltimore features Meek Mill and took home the Best Ensemble prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Fatima” (Aug. 14, Theaters)
This period faith film draws from real-life events involving a 10-year-old girl in Portugal witnessing multiple visitations of the Virgin Mary, who tells them prayer and suffering will bring an end to World War I. Joaquim de Almeida, Goran Višnjić, Stephanie Gil and Lúcia Moniz, Sônia Braga and Harvey Keitel star.
“The Personal History of David Copperfield” (Aug. 14, Limited Release)
Armando Iannucci brings his contemporary sardonic humor to Charles Dickens’ classic novel for a unique adaptation. Dev Patel stars as the titular character.
“Project Power” (Aug. 14, Netflix)
Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Courtney B. Vance star in this sci-fi film about a pill that grants people superpowers. Netflix won the rights to Mattson Tomlin’s spec script in a bidding war with other studios.
“The Secret Garden” (Aug. 14, Theaters)
Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Dixie Egerickx star in this adaptation of the beloved novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
“Sound of Metal” (Aug. 14, Theaters)
Riz Ahmed stars in this drama as a recovering heroin addict and punk-metal drummer who is rapidly losing his hearing. Olivia Cooke, Mathieu Amalric, Lauren Ridloff and Paul Raci also star.
“Antebellum” (Aug. 21, Wide)
Lionsgate’s horror film focuses on Janelle Monáe as a successful author who is mysteriously transported to a Southern plantation when slavery was legal.
“Mulan” (Aug. 21, Wide)
Niki Caro directed the Disney’s live-action remake of its 1998 animated film, which will see Liu Yifei Chinese as the heroine who disguises herself as a man to enlist in the Imperial Army.
“The One and Only Ivan” (Aug. 21, Disney Plus)
Thea Sharrock directs this fantasy drama about a gorilla, an elephant and a dog raising a baby elephant in a mall. Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Angelina Jolie, Brooklynn Prince, Danny DeVito and Helen Mirren star.
“Tesla” (Aug. 21, Theaters and VOD)
Michael Almereyda writes, produces and directs this biopic about the electrical pioneer Nikola Tesla facing challenges with financiers and rivals. Ethan Hawke stars as the inventor, alongside Kyle MacLachlan, Jim Gaffigan, Donnie Keshawarz and Eve Hewson.
“Chemical Hearts” (Aug. 21, Amazon Prime Video)
Adapted from Krystal Sutherland’s novel “Our Chemical Hearts,” this romantic drama follows a high school student falling for the new girl in town and discovering her heartbreaking secret. Richard Tanne directs, following up his debut “Southside with You.” Lili Reinhart, Austin Abrams, Sarah Jones and Adhir Kalyan star.
“The New Mutants” (Aug. 28, Wide)
The long-delayed “X-Men” horror spin-off will finally hit theaters at the end of summer. Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga star as a group of troubled teenagers with extraordinary powers imprisoned in a secret facility.
“A Quiet Place Part II” (Sept. 4, Wide)
John Krasinski will help close out summer with the follow-up to his hit 2018 horror film by venturing further into its post-apocalyptic world. Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe all reprise their roles from the original, while Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou join the cast.
“Honest Thief” (Sept. 4, Wide)
Liam Neeson portrays a bank robber who falls in love just as he intends to turn himself in. The cast also includes Katie Walsh, Jai Courtney, Jeffrey Donovan, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Ramos and Robert Patrick.
“Monster Hunter” (Sept. 4, Wide)
After capping off the “Resident Evil” series in 2017, director Paul W.S. Anderson adapts another video game franchise, taking on the popular Capcom series of the same name. Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa and Tip “T.I.” Harris star.