The new decade is officially upon us, and with it comes a wide range of series and films starring Black talent. From the first-ever Pixar film featuring an African-American lead, to a biopic about Black Panther’s Fred Hampton, entertainment for 2020 is appearing to be quite promising. Listed in chronological order based on the anticipated release date, here are our recommendations:
Bad Boys for Life (Jan. 17)
Fans of the Bad Boys franchise won’t want to miss the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life, the final ride for Bad Boys Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey (Martin Lawrence and Will Smith). The description is as follows: “Old-school cops Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett team up to take down the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel. Newly created elite team AMMO of the Miami police department along with Mike and Marcus go up against the ruthless Armando Armas.”
Cherish the Day (Feb. 2020)
Ava DuVernay’s Cherish the Day will premiere on OWN in late 2020. The anthology series follows the romance of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. DuVernay will executive produce the series alongside Oprah Winfrey. “The narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday.”
The Photograph (Feb. 14)
Starring Lakeith Stanfield and Issa Rae, this romantic drama from Stella Meghie and Universal Pictures tells the story of connected love stories taking place in both the past and present. The official synopsis reads: “When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, hurt, angry and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother’s early life — an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.”
High Fidelity (Feb. 14)
Inspired by the film of the same name, High Fidelity is a romantic comedy Hulu series starring Zoe Kravitz, Jake Lacy, and Da’Vine Joy. High Fidelity follows “the ultimate music fan, a record store owner who’s obsessed with pop culture and Top Five lists” in the neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.”
Queen Sono (Feb. 28)
Queen Sono is Netflix’s first original African series, created by Kagiso Lediga. It is a drama about a highly trained secret agent who must fight crime while juggling personal life issues. Starring Pearl Thusi and Vuyo Dabula.
Little Fires Everywhere (March 18)
Adapted from Celeste Ng’s 2017 novel of the same name, Little Fires Everywhere is an upcoming Hulu miniseries starring Kerry Washington and Reece Witherspoon. It follows “the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.”
Antebellum (April 24)
The producers of Us and Get Out bring us Antebellum, a film about a thriving author, played by Janelle Monae, who finds herself in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mystery before time runs out. The teaser trailer alone is both unsettling and captivating; it appears we’re in for a ride–that may include time travel–this spring.
Covers (May 8)
Covers marks the return to film for Tracee Ellis Ross, who hasn’t acquired a major film role in a decade. She’ll star with Dakota Johnson in the upcoming comedy which is set against the backdrop of Hollywood and tells the story of an aspiring music producer who is the assistant for a legendary singer.
Candyman (June 12)
Written by Jordan Peele and Win Roselfeld, the new Candyman will be a direct sequel to the 1992 film. Tony Todd returns, and other cast members include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, and more. It is referred to as a “spiritual sequel” to the original horror film, which returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend was birthed. From Universal Pictures.
Soul (June 19)
Soul is the first Pixar film starring an African-American protagonist, and it looks incredibly auspicious. Directed by Pete Docter, the animated film features Phylicia Rashad, Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, and Daveed Diggs. It tells the story of a middle-school music teacher who dreams of playing at the famous New York jazz club called “The Blue Note.”
Untitled Fred Hampton Project (Aug. 21)
Shaka King’s upcoming biographical drama film about Black Panther Party’s Fred Hampton stars Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Algee Smith, Jesse Plemons, and more. It is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Lovecraft Country (TBD)
Based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country is the long-awaited HBO drama horror series from Jordan Peele (Creator of Get Out), J.J. Abrams (Producer of Westworld), and Misha Green (Creator of Underworld). Set during the era of Jim Crow laws, a young African-American travels across America in search of his missing father.
Lena Waithe has teamed with BET for Twenties, a new comedy series about “navigating the most exciting and terrifying decade of your life while trying to make it in Hollywood.”
Bridgerton is the first project out of Shondaland’s massive deal with Netflix. It is based on Julia Quinn’s New York Times best-selling historical romance Bridgerton book series. Regé-Jean Pane and Phoebe Dynevor have been cast as leads.