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The Four Most Anticipated Movies of 2020 Are All Directed by Women

Diana readies herself for battle in the new poster for Wonder Woman 1984.

Fandango conducted a 2020 Most Anticipated Movies Survey. The results are in—and they’re spectacular.

It augurs well for 2020 that we’re seeing such exciting buzz and audience anticipation for female-directed tentpole movies. By contrast, in 2019, we had only Anna Boden co-directing Captain Marvel. But the times, they are a-changin’.

According to Fandango’s polling of millennial movie-goers “for the top movies and performances they were most looking forward to seeing on the big screen,” 2020 is shaping up to be a banner year, and a revolutionary one in terms of lady directors at the helm. Let’s take a look at those results.

Most Anticipated Movie:

  1. “Wonder Woman 1984”
  2. “Black Widow”
  3. Marvel’s “Eternals”
  4. “Mulan”
  5. “No Time to Die”
  6. “A Quiet Place 2”
  7. “Birds of Prey”
  8. “In the Heights”
  9. Pixar’s “Soul”
  10. “Fast & Furious 9”

For the first time ever, the top most-anticipated movies are all directed by women: Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman 1984), Cate Shortland (Black Widow), Chloe Zhao (Marvel’s Eternals) and Niki Caro (Mulan). At #7, Birds of Prey is also directed by a woman (Cathy Yan). Even more exciting to me is that these movies also put female heroes, female stars and female-led stories front and center.

“As we head into the next decade the new cinematic offerings look promising, with inspiring stories and new definitions of the word ‘hero,’” says Fandango Correspondent Nikki Novak. “Adventure-seeking fans can’t wait for ‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ ‘Black Widow,’ and ‘Mulan’—all films directed by women—to command the big screen.” This makes me absolutely thrilled and feels like an end-of-the-year gift, an island in a sea of oft-toxic movie chatter.

Further results of the survey also feature some of our favorite people and things.

Most Anticipated Actress:

  1. Gal Gadot  (“Wonder Woman 1984”)
  2. Scarlett Johansson (“Black Widow”)
  3. Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place 2,” “Jungle Cruise”)
  4. Margot Robbie (“Birds of Prey,” “Barbie”)
  5. Zendaya (“Dune”)

All of the actresses here are genre movie superstars who will be featured in big movies in 2020.

Most Anticipated Actor:

  1. Chris Pine (“Wonder Woman 1984”)
  2. Paul Rudd (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”)
  3. Ryan Reynolds (“Free Guy”)
  4. Daniel Craig (“No Time to Die”)
  5. Robert Downey Jr. (“Dolittle”)

Same with our gentlemen.

Most Anticipated Villain:

  1. Kristen Wiig as Cheetah (“Wonder Woman 1984”)
  2. Rami Malek as Safin (“No Time to Die”)
  3. Ewan McGregor as Black Mask (“Birds of Prey”)
  4. Jim Carrey as Dr. Ivo Robotnik (“Sonic the Hedgehog”)
  5. Charlize Theron as Cipher (“Fast & Furious 9”)

Since I love a villain, this list particularly intrigues. It makes sense that villains for Black Widow and Eternals aren’t on here, as they’re less widely known and featured at this point. Can’t wait to see which villain rises to the top as our favorite by year’s end.

Wondering what to take your kids to, or which movie might scare the hell out of you, or make you laugh? Here’s what has succeeded in building anticipatory expectations:

Most Anticipated Family Film:

  1. “Mulan”
  2. Pixar’s “Soul”
  3. “Sonic the Hedgehog”
  4. “Dolittle”
  5. “Jungle Cruise”

Most Anticipated Horror Film:

  1. “A Quiet Place 2”
  2. “Halloween Kills”
  3. “The Invisible Man”
  4. “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”
  5. “The Grudge”

Most Anticipated Live-Action Comedy:

  1. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”
  2. “Bill and Ted Face the Music”
  3. “Bad Boys For Life”
  4. “Legally Blonde 3”
  5. “The Lovebirds”

What do you think of the survey results? What are you looking forward to most in 2020?

(via Fandango, image: Warner Bros.)

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.