Soon, 2020 will be upon us. With the new year comes new tidings, new blessings, and a new crop of movies to (hopefully) enjoy! Whether we're talking horror, sci-fi, action/adventure, or any genre in-between, good movies are always a good source of comfort. Honestly, however, there are few pleasures more satisfying than a good comedy movie. Everyone likes to laugh, and we have a bunch of comedy movies to look forward to in theaters in 2020. While we can't expect all of them to be winners, if at least a few of these comedies turn out to be gut-busters, then we should hopefully have a big, laugh-filled new year in store.
There are never any guarantees with comedies. There's a reason why so many are considered lightning in a bottle. Look how many comedy sequels are out there that don't live up to their predecessors. Comedy is hard, and there are usually only a handful of comedies that warrant more than a fair share of chuckles. Nevertheless, we're hoping that all of these 2020 comedy titles prove to be a rollicking good time at the movies this new year.
Free Guy (July 3, 2020)
Original high-concept studio comedies are becoming rarer and rarer these days. Notably in our era of IP properties and countless sequels, it's more uncommon than ever to see a studio fund a comedy as big and explosive as Free Guy in our day and age. Thankfully, that's what we're going to get from the newest film from director Shawn Levy (the Night at the Museum trilogy). It helps that it'll be led by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, who will play a non-playable character in an open-world video game who realizes that he is, in fact, in a video game and wants to become the big hero. Think Wreck-It Ralph by way of Elf and maybe Ready Player One. It's a kooky concept, and hopefully, it will produce a ton of fun results next summer.
Bill & Ted Face The Music (August 21, 2020)
Comedy sequels are always a gamble. There are countless examples of good comedies that have been met with the unfortunate fate of mediocre (or worse!) sequels attached to their name. It's always a shame, especially after several years of waiting. Nevertheless, Bill and Ted took their sweet time between the previous film, 1991's Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and the newest film, next August's Bill & Ted Face the Music. Certainly, the pressure is on to produce a movie that's on par with the original two. Particularly since Bogus Journey is considered one of the rare good comedy sequels. In any case, we have faith that both the filmmakers involved and the lead stars, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, waited because they wanted to come up with a sequel/trilogy closure that was worthy of the excellent legacy they've helped create. Here's hoping this comedy sequel will rock our socks off.
Coming 2 America (December 18th, 2020)
Speaking of comedy sequels, we'll soon be reunited with Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of Zamunda, with Coming 2 America, the long-awaited sequel to Eddie Murphy's beloved 1988 comedy. It has been over 20 years since we first saw this character on the big screen, and it's hard to know for certain if it's going to work a second time. Nevertheless, Coming 2 America does have many cast members from the original returning, including Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones, and it does come from screenwriters David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein, who wrote the original comedy. Plus, it reunites Eddie Murphy with director Craig Brewer, who recently directed the actor in the acclaimed Netflix biopic, Dolemite is My Name, which started the fire on Murphy's triumphant return. It's hard to recreate the magic, especially when a sequel comes over 20 years after the original. Yet, through its strong talent, as well as returning talent, as well as a possibly timely message about immigration, we could be looking at one of the rare good comedy sequels here.
Untitled Judd Apatow/Pete Davidson Project (June 19th, 2020)
Of late, writer/director Judd Apatow has focused his attention on television, producing, writing, and/or directing episodes of Netflix's Love and HBO's Crashing, respectively, as well as directing the HBO documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. But the comedy filmmaker will return to the big screen for the first time since 2015's Trainwreck to co-write and direct an untitled dramedy starring Pete Davidson. A semi-autobiographical story that tells the story of a man growing up in Staten Island, losing his father in 9/11, and eventually pursuing stand-up comedy, the movie (which is reportedly titled King of Staten Island), will definitely be based heavily on the comedian's life in the same way that Trainwreck borrowed heavily from screenwriter Amy Schumer's life story. Nevertheless, if the movie is on par with some of Judd Apatow's best comedies, we should expect something special here.
The Lovebirds (April 3, 2020)
Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae are two of the biggest rising names in comedy and now they've made a film together, and one with The Big Sick's Michael Showalter attached as a director, to boot. If they can repeat that success with this new film, we should expect something wonderful in store with The Lovebirds. The plot itself, which follows a couple on the brink of a break-up before being entangled in a murder mystery, does sound similar to Netflix's Murder Mystery. Hopefully, Lovebirds forges its own path and becomes a comedy to remember. It has a lot to live up to, also making the list of romantic movies we're excited for this year.
Bad Trip (April 24, 2020)
Through Adult Swim's The Eric Andre Show, the titular host has crafted a ludicrously wonderful satire of late night talk show television, one that isn't afraid to make the viewer and its celebrity guests feel as though they've walked straight into a bad acid trip. It's maniacal stuff, and it's some of the absolute funniest comedy to be found today. Therefore, any new projects with Eric Andre should be worth exploring and hopefully celebrating. We'll soon get a chance to see what Eric Andre can bring to the screen in the prank comedy Bad Trip, which also stars Lil Rey Howery and Tiffany Haddish. A hidden camera comedy in the vein of Borat or Bruno, Bad Trip will bring Andre's particular brand of absurdism will translate in the 90 minute format on the silver screen, but we're excited to take this trip.
Bob's Burgers: The Movie (July 17, 2020)
In a similar fashion, the Belcher family is soon expected to make the leap from the small screen onto the big screen with Bob's Burgers: The Movie. In the tradition of The Simpsons Movie before it, it'll be among the rare animated sitcoms to garner a theatrical movie presentation. Whether or not they make the most of their time on the big screen will need to be determined in the upcoming year, but if the movie is similar in tone, style, and volume of humor, we should expect to see a richly funny and emotionally tender big-screen salute to the burger-friendly family. Also, it's gonna be a musical too!
The Gentlemen (January 24, 2020)
It has been some time since director Guy Ritchie has made a movie in the vein of his early hits, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Revolver, and RocknRolla. In that time, Guy Ritchie has certainly kept himself busy with big budget projects like the Sherlock Holmes movies, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and this year's Aladdin. With the more modest, small-scale The Gentlemen, it's clear that Ritchie is trying to return to his smaller and perhaps humbler movie efforts. Based on what we've seen from this new movie, we might have something very fun in store, one that should hopefully feel like the stylish, dynamic movies he made in his earlier years. We can't guarantee that it'll be good, but it'll be a whole lot of fun to see the old-fashioned Guy Ritchie return to the center stage to kick a lot of butt and hopefully make something more in his vibe.
The Witches (October 9, 2020)
Author Roland Dahl and director Robert Zemeckis seem like a match made in heaven. The novelist and the director share a love for absurd, darkly humorous grim fairy tales for a modern era, and one of the most famous stories from the writer is The Witches. The book has already gotten a film adaptation from Nicholas Roeg, featuring a wonderful performance from Anjelica Huston, but this new take on the material should hopefully promise some fun visuals and sparkly performances, notably from Anne Hathaway taking on the lead role. Here's hoping this remake is utterly spellbinding.
Legally Blonde 3 (May 8, 2020)
This one might end up in the "maybe" category. Not because we're lacking enthusiasm for the movie, but rather, it's hard to know if the movie will actually come out on its intended release date. So far as we can tell, Legally Blonde 3 hasn't shot a single frame yet, but it's currently still listed to be released on May 8th, 2020. Nevertheless, if 2020 is the year we're re-introduced to Elle Woods, then it'll be reason to celebrate. Reese Witherspoon gave one of her best, most iconic performances in the original Legally Blonde. While the sequel didn't live up to expectations, there's certainly a great opportunity to reprise the character and see her in modern day. Who knows when we'll see this proposed sequel, but if it's 2020, count us excited!
These are only a few of the comedies we're looking forward to in 2020, and we're sure to hear about a lot more in the next few months. As always, we'll keep you updated, particularly if any of the already-scheduled in theater movie release dates change.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.