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Bring it on! This year’s summer blockbuster season looks bright – here’s our guide

UPDATED: Fri., May 21, 2021

By Paul Sell For The Spokesman-Review

Since the world is opening up again, now is the perfect time to go back to the movies. This summer promises to have no shortage of new blockbusters, with a wide variety of genres to please anyone’s movie taste buds. Here are 12 blockbusters coming this summer movie season that we’re the most excited to see.

“Cruella” (May 28, in theaters and Disney+) For Disney’s next live-action adaptation of its many animated classics, we have a different take on “101 Dalmatians” by giving its villain an origin story. Oscar winner Emma Stone plays the titular Cruella de Vil, now a young upstart in the London fashion world making a name for herself in a big way.

“A Quiet Place Part II” (May 28, in theaters) Picking up right where “A Quiet Place” ended, Emily Blunt fights these mysterious, deadly creatures and the outside world while trying to protect her children. Early reviews show that it maintains the thrilling moments of the original while also telling a more mature and sophisticated story.

“In the Heights” (June 11, in theaters and HBO Max) It’s been a while since we had a summer blockbuster musical, but if anyone could make that happen, it’s “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adapted from Miranda’s first Broadway hit, “In the Heights” depicts everyday life in Washington Heights told through song and dance – and a shop owner (Anthony Ramos) saving up for a better life.

“Fast and Furious 9” (June 25, in theaters) — Dom and his adrenaline-seeking family are back, and this time they’re being hunted down by Dom’s little brother played by John Cena. “The Fast and Furious” franchise is always good for insane, over-the-top action sequences, and this time we can expect flying cars and spaceships. With Justin Lin directing, these films never disappoint.

“Black Widow” (July 9, in theaters and Disney+) — Marvel fans have been waiting nearly a decade for a solo Black Widow movie, and we’re finally getting one. Set after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) tries to uncover more about her broken past, serving as both a prequel and a bookend to the tale of Black Widow.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” (July 26, in theaters and HBO Max) — Who’s ready for the next generation of “Space Jam”? An update to the wacky antics of combining the NBA and the Looney Tunes seems like a perfect match when you replace Michael Jordan with LeBron James. This film promises even more of what we loved from the first film released 25 years ago.

“The Green Knight” (July 30, in theaters) — For the big indie film of the summer, the most striking one is A24’s “The Green Knight.” Set during the time of King Arthur, the film chronicles the tale of Arthur’s nephew (Dev Patel) as he embarks on an adventure to slay a mythical giant. Based on the trailers, the film appears to be both fantasy-adventure and horror.

“The Suicide Squad” (Aug. 6, in theaters and HBO Max) — If you were disappointed by 2016’s “Suicide Squad” (like most people), then this reboot of the story by James Gunn will be a breath of fresh air. Starring a cast of dozens of low-level DC supervillains, the film feeds off the same wild energy as the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies.

“Respect” (Aug. 13, in theaters) — For those seeking a biopic, then “Respect” is right up your alley. Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson plays Aretha Franklin, detailing her struggles early in her career to finding her own voice to her own brilliant success. If you don’t go for the legendary and late Franklin’s incredible story, then it’s at least worth seeing for Hudson belting out her best hits.

“Paw Patrol: The Movie” (Aug. 20, in theaters and Paramount+) — There’s always one big hit with kids every summer, and “Paw Patrol: The Movie’’ appears to be the surefire winner. If you have kids, then you’ve probably purchased at least a few Paw Patrol toys or watched a few episodes. This movie promises to be like the show, so your kids will eat this up.

“The Beatles: Get Back” (Aug. 27, on Disney+) — When the Beatles created their last album together, “Let It Be,” they had most of their collaboration documented. Now, Peter Jackson and his crew are taking all 55 hours of footage and condensing it to their best moments of creativity and camaraderie to show the world’s greatest band at their finest.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Sept. 3, in theaters and Disney+) — The summer movie season ends with one of the biggest martial arts movies ever made. The film follows its titular Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) as he fights his way through the villainous Ten Rings organization, something the MCU has been building since 2008’s “Iron Man.”

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