Say what you will about Hollywood, one thing is certain: it loves to capitalize on existing intellectual properties More than ever, remakes and reboots reign supreme in the world of film, and 2020 will be no exception. From older films being looked at through a new lens to a TV show that’s being heavily changed for a feature film adaptation, and everything in between, studios love to repackage stories and throw them at audiences.
So let’s look at all the remakes and reboots that will be released in theaters in 2020, just like we did for 2019. And before going further, just remember, with one exception, this list does not contain any prequels or sequels. They may be just as popular in Hollywood… actually, more so, but they’re not in the same category as the re-tellings we’ll be going over. Nor will you see any books and plays that are being adapted into movies for the first time, like Artemis Fowl and Into the Heights.
Release Date: January 17
This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Story of Doctor Dolittle’s publication, and 47 years later, the eccentric doctor who can talk to animals made his cinematic debut. You’ll also recall that Eddie Murphy played the good doctor in two movies, but now Robert Downey Jr. has inherited the mantle for the simply-titled Dolittle, which is primarily based off the 1922 book The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Tom Holland, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Craig Robinson and Ralph Fiennes also star.
Release Date: February 14
Just because a property is being revisited doesn’t mean it’s going to have the same tone. Such is the case with Fantasy Island, which will be much scarier than the same-named 1970s television series. In keeping with Blumhouse’s usual fare, the Fantasy Island movie is leaning into the horror and supernatural aspects of the eponymous location, with Michael Peña’s Mr. Roarke turning the visitors’ fantasies into nightmares. The cast also includes Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen and Michael Rooker.
The Call Of The Wild
Release Date: February 21
Jack London’s arguably most famous novel (one could certainly make an argument for White Fang) has gotten the cinematic treatment several times over the last century, and this time around, Harrison Ford is the star of the show. The latest Call of the Wild looks to be a reasonably faithful adaptation of the story that followed a domesticated dog that’s stolen from his home and transported to the Yukon. Ford is joined by Karen Gillan, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy and Bradley Whitford.
The Invisible Man
Release Date: February 28
The Invisible Man has been one of Universal’s classic trademark monsters ever since Claude Rains portrayed him in 1933, and when the Dark Universe was still a thing, the plan was for Johnny Depp to bring the character to life. With that shared universe kaput, Universal teamed with Blumhouse for a much different kind of Invisible Man movie. This story follows Elisabeth Moss’ Cecilia Kass being targeted by her abusive ex, a scientist named Adrian Grifin, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Ardis Hodge, Storm Reid and Harriet Dyer also star.
Release Date: March 27
With all the remakes it’s been churning out in recent years, it’s hardly surprising that Disney’s giving us a brand-new version of Mulan. However, don’t expect this Mulan to be a straightforward re-telling of its 1998 animated predecessor. There are a lot of differences in this live action version, like various new characters being featured and no musical numbers. Along with Liu Yufei as the eponymous protagonist, the Mulan cast includes Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, Jet Li, Tzi Ma and Rosalind Chao.
The Secret Garden
Release Date: April 17
Marc Munden’s 1911 novel The Secret Garden was first adapted into a movie in 1919, and before 2020, the most recent adaptation came out in 1993. Now this story about a girl at the turn of the 20th century who comes across a mysterious, private walled garden within the English estate she moves to is being revisited for the new decade. Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Dixie Egerickx, Edan Hayhurst, Amir Wilson, Isis Davis and Maeve Dermody star.
Release Date: May 15
It’s been a long time since Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine gang were on the big screen, and rather than return to live action, Scoob! is a fully computer animated film. While the movie will explore how Scooby met Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma, what makes Scoob! extra special is that it’s incorporating other Hanna Barbera properties, including Blue Falcon and Captain Caveman. The voice cast includes Frank Welker, Will Forte, Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez, Amanda Seyfried, Tracy Morgan, Ken Jeong, Kiersey Clemons, Mark Wahlberg and Jason Isaacs.
Death On The Nile
Release Date: October 9
Following the success of the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express remake, it was announced that Kenneth Branagh would reprise Detective Hercule Poirot for another adaptation of an Agatha Christie story: Death on the Nile, which was previously adapted for film in 1978. Just like in the original book, the movie will see Poirot will be searching for a killer while he’s vacationing in Egypt. Tom Bateman, Annette Benning, Gal Gadot, Russel Brand, Armie Hammer and Letitia Wright also star.
Release Date: October 9
Roald Dahl’s 1983 novel about a young boy who comes across a council of child-hating witches while living with his grandmother and subsequently being turned into a mouse was first adapted for film in 1990. Three decades later, now it’s time for a new generation to receive their own version of The Witches, and Anne Hathaway has been cast as Miss Eva Ernst, a.k.a. the Grand High Witch. Hathaway is joined by Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock, among others.
Clifford The Big Red Dog
Release Date: November 13
Clifford the Big Red has been one of the most famous children’s book series since the 1960s, and in 2004, the gigantic canine finally made his theatrical debut in an animated movie that served as John Ritter’s final film role. Now Clifford is back on the big screen for a live-action comedy, though obviously the dog himself will be realized through CGI. The cast for this new Clifford the Big Red Dog take includes Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall, John Cleese, Kenan Thompson, Sienna Guillory, Rosie Perez and David Alan Grier.
Release Date: December 18
While the original Dune novel remains a shining example of sci-fi at its finest, the 1984 film adaptation from David Lynch was not nearly as well received, though it has since gone on to be a cult classic. In any case, having already had success in the sci-fi realm with Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, now filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is putting his stamp on Dune and has chosen to only adapt the first half of the novel for this movie. Villeneuve’s all-star lineup includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar issac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling and David Dastmalchian.
West Side Story
Release Date: December 18
It’s hard to imagine the new version of West Side Story being anywhere near as impactful as its 1961 predecessor, but if anyone is up for that challenge, it’s Steven Spielberg. Once again, we’ll see two youngsters connected to rival gangs falling in love with each other in 1950s New York, but Spielberg’s West Side Story will adhere more closely to the original Broadway script. Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBrose, David Alvarez, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James and Rita Moreno star, among many others.
Tom And Jerry
Release Date: December 23
This mouse and cat duo have been cartoon icons for decades, and they even got their own feature-length movie back in 1992. Now Tom and Jerry are back on the big screen, only instead of being fully animated again, they’re following in the footsteps of movies like The Smurfs by being CGI-animated animals in a live action story. They’ll be interacting with characters played by Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Colin Jost, Ken Jeong, Rob Delaney and Pahlavi Sharda.
Let us know which of these remakes/reboots you’re looking forward to most in 2020 in the poll and comments below. You can learn what else is hitting theaters this year with our 2020 release schedule.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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