After a year with few films, the last half of 2021 will finally bring us all of the genre movie adaptations we have been waiting for. There is an incredible line-up of genre movies adapted from novels and comic books that will start showing in theaters and on streaming networks beginning in July. Let’s take a look at what genre movie adaptations we can expect to see in the summer 2021 and beyond.
The Tomorrow War
Image via Amazon Prime Video.
Where To Watch: Amazon Prime
Release Date: July 2, 2021
Based on the novel by J.L. Bourne, this adaptation stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, and Betty Gilpin. The film centers around time travelers who come back to recruit soldiers for a future war. This film is Chris McKay’s first live-action feature film, moving up from his work on The Lego Movie
(also starring Chris Pratt) and Robot Chicken
. The Tomorrow War
is the first book in the military sci-fi series by Bourne. And odds are high that if this film is a success that we might see a new genre franchise for Pratt on the horizon.
Featured image Marvel Studios
Where to Watch: On Disney+ & In Theaters
Release Date: July 9, 2021
After a long wait – and an untimely death in Avengers: Endgame
– Scarlett Johansson will be back onscreen as the titular Black Widow
. This time she teams up with Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz in a story that occurs after the events of Captain America: Civil War
. The film will find Natasha reconciling with her past, and may be setting up Florence Pugh as the next Black Widow
in Phase 4 of the MCU. Obviously based on the Marvel comics, this film will finally arrive this summer.
The Green Knight
Image via A24
Where to Watch: In Theaters
Release Date: July 30, 2021
The Green Knight
is the next film from renowned indie film company A24, and is another film that got pushed back due to the pandemic. Anticipation is high for this surrealist adaptation of Arthurian legend based on the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Directed by David Lowery, this film stars Dev Patel; Sean Harris, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton. Along with spooky forests and the gorgeous English countryside. Right now this film appears to be only in theaters this summer, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for when it will hit streaming services.
The Suicide Squad
Based on DC Comics
HBO & Theaters
Release Date: August 6, 2021
Another comic book adaptation, this time from DC comics that follows up on 2016’s Suicide Squad. Written and directed by James Gunn, this sequel finds a host of returning and new to the series actors like Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Viola Davis, and Peter Capaldi. Unfortunately Will Smith will not be returning for the sequel, after starring in the first film.
Where to Watch: Netflix
An entire generation of genre readers grew up with the Fear Street
books written by R.L. Stine. Although some of his books have been turned into television movies before, there is a new incarnation coming to Netflix this summer. The streaming company will release three movies based on the popular teen horror series. Each film will take place in a different time period, and will hopefully explore the history of the Fear family that is so compelling from the books.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Image by Jasin Boland via Marvel Studios
Where to Watch: Disney+ & Theaters
Release Date: September 3, 2021
After the release of Black Widow
in July, will be the next installment of Marvel’s Phase 4 in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
. The film will feature Marvel’s first Asian superhero in Simu Liu; and an ensemble cast of AAPI actors including Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Ronny Chieng. The trailer looks like an action-packed comedic ride, similar to Ant-Man
and we can’t wait to see Shang-Chi become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Image via Warner Bros.
Where to Watch: HBO Max & In Theaters
Release Date: October 1, 2021
One of the the most highly anticipated film adaptations of a genre book is the upcoming Dune
movie from director Denis Villeneuve. The film has a great cast of A-list actors who are no strangers to the genre including Timothee Chalamet; Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Zendaya. Based on the classic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert, the film will follow a young man who becomes a prophesied savior and changes the course of the galaxy.
Image via Marvel Studios
Based on Marvel Comics
Disney+ & Theaters
Release Date: November 5, 2021
Our most anticipated MCU film for Phase 4 is clearly The Eternals
, adapted from the Marvel comics of the same name. This film follows a group of immortals with super powers as they help guide humanity throughout history. Starring an incredible A-List cast of genre veterans including Angelina Jolie; Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Gemma Chan, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kumail Nanjiani. The Eternals
will be directed by recent Oscar winner Chloé Zhao who is turning the MCU on its head with her incredible cinematography, and realistic directing style.
What genre movie adaptations are you most looking forward to in 2021? Join the conversation with Comic Years on Facebook
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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.