Four upcoming productions to watch in 2020

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ and Daniel Craig’s last James Bond film are among the new year’s upcoming releases

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The film, ‘Tenet,’ is set to release in theaters on July 17.

Phil Akre, Staff Writer

By all accounts, 2019 was an incredibly memorable year in film. There were triumphs from nearly all angles. Netflix offered the highly-received trio of “The Irishman,” ‘‘Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes.” Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips just earned 11 Oscar nominations for “Joker.” Quentin Tarantino returned with “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” and South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho gained global acclaim for “Parasite.” Even Adam Sandler returned to the spotlight, thanks to his performance in “Uncut Gems,” which many felt was snubbed from Oscar consideration. 

 Whew, that’s just the short list of what delivered in 2019. On the surface, it appears it may be difficult for this year’s films to follow up 2019, a year loaded with an array of diverse, critically-acclaimed offerings. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a good year, though. Here are three films and one series you should keep an eye on as the new year rolls on. 

 “Hunters” (Feb. 21)

 It’s 1977 in New York City, and Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) is the leader of a rowdy and diverse team that seeks to quell a rising threat: a group of high-ranking Nazi officials plotting to establish a Fourth Reich in the United States. That’s the basic plot of “Hunters,” Amazon Prime’s upcoming series that will feature Jordan Peele as an executive producer. Aside from the trifecta of Pacino, Peele and the wild story, the series will offer a highly entertaining cast. Logan Lerman (“Fury”), Dylan Baker (“Selma”) and Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother”) provide just a taste of what the full cast will bring. Creator David Weil will aim to blend history with creativity, making for what should be one of the more intriguing TV thrillers available. As streaming service competition rises, it appears Amazon Studios is looking to strike early with the promising “Hunters.” 

 “A Quiet Place II” (March 20)

 It seems only natural that John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” earned a sequel. The 2018 thriller-horror broke the mold of the typical human vs. monster story, highlighting the power of minimal dialogue and truly suspenseful scenes. The concept of a species with ultra-sensitive hearing is one that both excited and terrified audiences. Thankfully, Krasinski will again handle directorial duties on its follow-up, simply titled, “A Quiet Place II.” Emily Blunt returns, and the wonderful Cillian Murphy (“Peaky Blinders”) serves as the film’s second star. There’s no reason to think that this sequel can’t live up to its predecessor, considering Krasinski’s direction and the pairing of Blunt-Murphy. In some ways, Krasinski’s rise as a director is similar to Jordan Peele’s, who broke out of “Key & Peele” to eventually create “Get Out” and “Us.” Make no mistake, Krasinski’s days on “The Office” are long gone. He staked his claim with “A Quiet Place,” and anticipation for its successor is undoubtedly high.

 “No Time to Die” (April 10)

 2020 will bring us Daniel Craig’s final film as the iconic MI6 agent, James Bond. This is significant, considering the praise for his portrayal and for the unknown. Industry speculation has long attempted to determine who could potentially play Bond in the post-Craig era. In any case, his fifth and final turn as the famous spy will take form in “No Time to Die,” the franchise’s 25th feature film, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. This time around, Bond is recruited out of retirement by his old CIA friend, Felix Leiter, to rescue a scientist and combat a new villian who holds dangerous weapons. That villain will be played by Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), a more-than-welcome addition to the Bond canon. Craig had previously said that 2015’s “Spectre” would be his final Bond appearance, citing the stress of stunts and his age (51). It certainly looks like “No Time to Die” will aim to finish the Daniel Craig era with a bang. 

 “Tenet” (July 17)

 Details of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” have been kept airtight, much like its plot. Nolan’s latest film will drop this July, though no one knows for sure what the primary story is. What we do know, however, is exciting. John David Washington (“Black KkKlansman”) is a spy who has the power to time travel, while Robert Pattinson (“The King”) appears to be the “bad” guy. All in all, the film is set to include common themes of Nolan’s past works — time, bending of reality and espionage. Michael Caine, one of Nolan’s most trusted collaborators, will return in an unspecified role. There’s plenty of reasons to be excited for Nolan’s latest offering, considering many have labeled it one of his most ambitious works yet. Considering he made “Inception” a decade ago, audiences are likely in store for something big when they see “Tenet.”