Losing weight, reading, creating something new: We all have our own goals when it comes to bettering ourselves during quarantine. Some of those goals are lofty. Others are much more manageable. Like, perhaps, preparing for the world on the other side of quarantine. And that preparation can mean anything. Like, let’s say, getting ready for all the movie sequels fans will be blessed with when movie theaters open again.
So what sequels (and prequels) are coming, and where can you watch the originals? Here you go.
Current Release Date: October 2
Films to Watch: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and Wonder Woman
Where to Find Them: All three are free on HBO Max.
Why: Diana’s story began in those films, and knowing where she came from will surely be crucial to where she’s going.
Current Release Date: October 16
Films to Watch: Candyman, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Candyman: Day of the Dead
Where to Find Them: Candyman: Day of the Dead is on Amazon Prime; the original and Farewell to the Flesh are for rental and purchase only
Why: The new film, while a reboot, will reportedly dive back into the original. And while the sequels to the first film probably won’t have much to do with this new take, they can help set the mood.
Current Release Date: November 6
Films to Watch: Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame
Where to Find Them: All are free on Disney+
Why: Hypothetically, you shouldn’t need to know the history of Black Widow to follow her solo film. But, since she—spoiler alert—dies in Endgame, comprehensive knowledge of her story without this piece will only enrich the experience.
Current Release Date: November 20
Films to Watch: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre
Where to Find Them: Casino Royale is free on Hulu and Amazon. Quantum of Solace is on Hulu. The other two are rentals or purchases only.
Why: James Bond movies almost always stand alone. But from the latest trailer, you can tell this one definitely links back to the previous Daniel Craig films. Knowing those stories will absolutely help this one make more sense.
Current Release Date: December 18
Films to Watch: Dune (1984)
Where to Find It: Free on HBO Max
Why: To be honest, you do not need to see the David Lynch Dune to get into the new film. However, watching it may help give some early context to the complex world and even act as a measuring stick of just how good, or bad, the new one will be.
Current Release Date: January 15, 2021
Films to Watch: Mortal Kombat (1995)
Where to Find Them: Free on Netflix
Why: Like Dune, the original version of this film isn’t going help you learn more about what happens in the new movie. It’ll just give you perspective on a different way to tackle the franchise. Plus, it’s awesome.
Current Release Date: February 12, 2021
Films to Watch: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok
Where to Find Them: Free on Disney+
Why: It’s safe to assume that Eternals is going to stand alone from the rest of the MCU before tying anything back in. But since it’s a good bet that some of the movie will take place in space, a working knowledge of what space is like in the MCU could be useful. Or not.
Current Release Date: February 26, 2021
Films to Watch: Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Where to Find Them: Both to rent or purchase only
Why: Same filmmaker, same universe, same story, just set way earlier. Knowing who the Kingsmen are and what they do will absolutely add to this new film, which is a prequel origin story of the group.
Current Release Date: March 5, 2021
Films to Watch: Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2
Where to Find Them: To rent only
Why: Unlike the 2016 film, Afterlife is a direct sequel to the first two Ghostbusters movies. Knowing those characters probably isn’t necessary to enjoy the new film, but it will help immensely.
Current Release Date: March 19, 2021
Films to Watch: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Venom
Where to Find Them: Into the Spider-Verse is free on Netflix, Venom is only to rent or buy.
Why: It’s unknown just how tied into everything this Jared Leto vehicle will be, but it wouldn’t hurt to see other Sony Spider-villain films as well as the movie that links everything. They’re the most likely connective tissue out there.
Current Release Date: April 2, 2021
Films to Watch: The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious
Where to Find Them: Fast Five is on HBO Max. The others are just to rent or buy.
Why: Why the hell not, that’s why! Seriously though, all the movies link together to tell one story, and seeing them will help explain why this one looks so important.
Current Release Date: April 23, 2021
Films to Watch: A Quiet Place
Where to Find It: Free on Amazon Prime and Hulu
Why: Because it’s a direct sequel with the same director and cast. A must-watch.
And that’s just through next spring. The rest of 2021, hypothetically, has even more. Here’s a partial list if you really want to get ahead on film prep:
Spiral, Godzilla vs Kong, Jurassic World: Dominion, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, The Batman, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, Halloween Kills, Spider-Man 3, Mission Impossible 7, Black Adam.
Note: All dates and availability subject to change. These movies also move on and off streamers weekly. Plus, you know, covid-19. Also, some titles are available with cable subscriptions.
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