Phew! With so many movies having been delayed due to the pandemic, we’re about to see some of the most anticipated movies of 2021 make their way to theaters in October. With so many great titles out there, it was tough to choose just seven films, but we persevered and here they are for your consideration.
No Time To Die
No Time to Die, the 25th film in the James Bond franchise, is probably the most hotly anticipated film of 2021. As one of the first major feature films to be pushed back a number of times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it will finally premiere in theaters on October 8th in the United States. No Time to Die is Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007. Expect to see Bond facing off with a new villain, Safin, played by Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek, who threatens his blossoming and uncharacteristically committed relationship with Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, who was first introduced in 2015’s Spectre. While the various trailers for No Time To Die have not clearly defined a plot, it definitely feels like a bioweapon of some sort is involved. As Safin has been described as playing God, with the ability to kill millions, whatever his game is, it is likely pretty big. As the final trailer states, “On October 8th, nothing can prepare you for the epic conclusion,” so we can’t wait to see how they close out the Daniel Craig era.
The Survivalist, slated to open in theaters on October 1st, is synopsized in the following way: “A year and a half after the fall of civilization due to a viral outbreak, a former FBI agent is forced to protect a young woman immune to the disease from a dangerous gang leader hunting her for her blood.” The film stars the great John Malkovich as the violent and psychopathic gang leader who is out for the blood of Sarah, a young woman played by Ruby Modine. He is set on a collision course with an ex-FBI agent played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who is harboring Sarah on his isolated ranch. The title of The Survivalist refers to Meyers’ character, who will defend his property at all costs. With its pandemic plot and vision of a war-torn America on the streets outside, the film offers up some clear parallels to the last year and a half of real-world news.
Opening in the U.S. on October 22nd in theaters and HBO Max is the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 science fiction novel, Dune. The film tells the story of Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet, a gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding. He must travel to Arrakis (also called Dune), the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. We see malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence — “melange” (“spice”) — a drug that extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought, and makes faster-than-light travel practical. Fans of Frank Herbert’s novel will recognize a lot of scenes and characters, and director Denis Villeneuve, best known for Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, appears to have delivered on the novel’s epic scale. Dune contains a star-studded cast that also includes Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, David Dastmalchian, and more.
Warning is an American sci-fi thriller film co-written and directed by music video director Agata Alexander. It stars Thomas Jane, Annabelle Wallis, Alex Pettyfer, and Alice Eve, in a story that combines the potential horrors of artificial intelligence with the looming devastation of climate change. Structured as a sci-fi anthology series, Warning explores loneliness, death, and the meaning of life when vastly disparate lives collide in interweaving stories set in a near future Earth. The film explores the repercussions that humanity faces when omniscient technology becomes a substitute for human contact. The film portrays life as we know it beginning to unravel when a global storm causes electronics to go haywire, leading to terrifying, deadly consequences. Warning is scheduled to hit theaters on October 22nd.
The Harder They Fall
The new western The Harder They Fall chronicles a blood feud between the Nat Love and Rufus Buck Gangs, both real life outlaws. As in many westerns, the dueling outlaws hold deep grudges and they live outside polite society. The Harder They Fall was directed and co-written by London native Jeymes Samuel, who said about the movie, “It’s a film about a group of people, and, by default, these people are Black. But their skin color has nothing to do with the story. Which is what we’ve been waiting for, right?” The Black western genre dates back decades, when the films were made for segregated audiences. The Harder They Fall nods to the past but takes a new attitude altogether. When outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is being released from prison he rounds up his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. Those riding with him in this new school Western include his former love Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), his right and left hand men — hot-tempered Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi) and fast drawing Jim Beckwourth (R.J. Cyler). Rufus Buck has his own fearsome crew, including “Treacherous” Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield), and they are not a group that knows how to lose. The Harder They Fall will premiere at the London Film Festival on October 6th and will be released to select theaters and on Netflix on November 3rd.
Last Night in Soho
Last Night in Soho is a British psychological horror film directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver), with a screenplay by Wright and Academy Award winner, Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The film stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, a young woman with a passion for fashion design and a strange sixth sense who finds herself transported back in time to 1966 London in the body of an iconic nightclub singer of the era named Sandie, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. While in Sandie’s body, Eloise begins a romantic relationship with Jack, played by Matt Smith. But she begins to realize that Sandie’s life in the Swinging Sixties is not as glamorous as it appears to be, as both past and present begin to fall apart with horrifying consequences. Last Night in Soho also features Terrance Stamp, Michael Ajao, and Diana Rigg. It is set to premiere in theaters in the US on October 29th.
Antlers, set to release in theaters on October 29th, is a supernatural horror film directed by Scott Cooper (Hostiles and Black Mass) and produced by Academy Award winner, Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape Of Water). The movie is based on Nick Antosca’s short story, The Quiet Boy. Antlers centers around the mythology of the Wendigo, an evil spirit stemming from the folklore of the First Nations Algonquian tribe. The Wendigo has been covered multiple times in the horror genre before, but Cooper and Antlers producer del Toro are taking a different approach to telling the story of the wicked creature. The film follows the malicious and mysterious creature that descends on a small town in Oregon. A teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), who plays the local sheriff, discover her student’s (Jeremy T. Thomas) connection to the creature and aim to protect him. The creature’s presence and the boy’s relationship with him hold deadly consequences for the town. Antlers also features Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, and Amy Madigan.