Trailer Heaven: 9 of the Year’s Most Exciting Films

The last four months of the year are going to be an epic one for movie lovers. From superheroes to cardsharps, from the mean streets of New York to the distant planet of Arrakis, the year will end with a thrilling mix of genres and stories from some of the best filmmakers in the business. (If Candyman hadn’t just been released, it would have made our list—but we’re sticking to films that haven’t premiered yet.) We’ve got films from living legends like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott on the horizon, as well as Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao’s first Marvel movie and Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited Dune adaptation.

This is a vastly different finale to the year than we had in 2020, of course. Last year, with theaters shuttered and vaccinations still a ways off, there wasn’t a bevy of films like we have now to choose from. So, while things are still hardly back to normal, we did want to celebrate the fact that we do have vaccines and we do have a slew of intriguing movies on the horizon.

So here’s a list of 9 upcoming films, with their trailers, that we’re excited about.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Release date: September 3, 2021

Synopsis: Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

Why we’re excited: Director Destin Daniel Cretton is a rising star, and so, too, is Simu Liu, who plays Marvel’s first-ever Asian superhero, so that’s reason enough. But there are plenty of reasons to be excited for Shang-Chi, including a stellar supporting cast and martial arts-inspired action that promises to offer a different kind of thrill ride, while all still fitting into the larger MCU.

The Card Counter

Release date: September 10, 2021

Synopsis: Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter. Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions, and features riveting performances from stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, and Willem Dafoe.

Why we’re excited: Paul Schrader is an excellent filmmaker, and the moment we heard he teamed up with Oscar Isaac for a revenge thriller involving a guy who can count cards is we wanted a seat at the table.

The Many Saints of Newark

Release date: October 1, 2021

Synopsis: The film is set in the explosive 1960s in the era of the Newark riots, when the African-American and Italian communities are often at each other’s throats. But among the gangsters within each group, the dangerous rivalry becomes especially lethal.

Why we’re excited: The Sopranos prequel is in good hands with director Alan Taylor, who won an Emmy for his work directing The Sopranos, and he’s working off a script from The Sopranos creator David Chase and Boardwalk Empire co-executive producer and writer Lawrence Konner.

No Time To Die

Release date: October 8, 2021.

Synopsis: In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Why we’re excited: Daniel Craig’s final mission as James Bond—need we say more? Fine, we will—writer/director Cary Joji Fukunaga and the introduction of Lashana Lynch as a new 00 agent.

The Last Duel

Release date: October 15, 2021

Synopsis: The Last Duel is a gripping tale of betrayal and vengeance set against the brutality of 14th century France, directed by visionary filmmaker and four-time Academy Award nominee Ridley Scott.

Why we’re excited: A Ridley Scott movie is always a reason to be excited, especially a big, sweeping historical epic with a stellar cast, and written by the great Nicole Holofcener and, wait for it, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.


Release date: October 22, 2021

Synopsis: A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Why we’re excited: Why wouldn’t we be excited for a writer/director of Denis Villeneuve’s caliber taking on one of the most iconic sci-fi novels of all time and doing so with a cast this good?

The Eternals

Release date: November 5, 2021.

Synopsis: Eternals follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.

Why we’re excited: Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao is one of the most exciting young directors in the business. Seeing what she’ll do with a Marvel-sized budget and a stellar cast is reason enough to put Eternals on our must-see list.

West Side Story

Release date: December 10, 2021

Synopsis: Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, West Side Story tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.

Why we’re excited: It’s a Steven Spielberg movie.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Release date: December 17

Synopsis: For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

Why we’re excited: The return of Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin and Aflred Molina as Doctor Octopus are two big reasons. Also, director Jon Watts has quietly (for a superhero franchise) crafted a compelling trilogy with Tom Holland ably taking on the role of Peter Parker and No Way Home promises to the biggest, boldest film they’ve made.

Featured image: Caption: TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures


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