Way-Too-Early 2020 Oscar Predictions

(WISH) — Sunday marked an official wrap on the 2018 film season, so it is time to start looking ahead at this year’s contenders for the 92nd Academy Awards.

Last month’s Sundance Film Festival introduced early contenders in Clemency; The Farewell; Luce; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and VileLate Night; and The Report.

Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Amy Adams, Melissa McCarthy, and Adam Driver all earned nominations at the 91st Academy Awards and hope to return to the ceremony one year later with better success this time around.

Hollywood A-listers, such as Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Annette Bening, and Charlize Theron, all look to return to the awards conversation with their latest performances, while young, promising up-and-comers Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, and Taron Egerton will search for their respective first nominations.

Here’s a breakdown of each distributor’s slated releases for the year:

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20th Century Fox

  • The Woman in the Window (October 4): Based on the #1 New York Times Bestseller, an agoraphobic child psychologist regularly spies on her neighbors and witnesses a crime. Starring Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Gary Oldman.

  • Ford v. Ferrari (November 15): American engineers and designers are determined to create a new automobile to defeat the Ferrari at an upcoming race. Starring Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal.


  • The Farewell (July 12): A Chinese American woman defies her parents by returning to China to visit her terminally ill grandmother. Starring Awkwafina.

Amazon Studios

  • Late Night (2019): A talk show host hires a female writer to help revamp her quickly-fading program. Starring Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, and John Lithgow.

  • The Report (2019): A U.S. Senate staffer examines the brutal techniques of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program following 9/11. Starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening, and Jon Hamm.

Annapurna Pictures

  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette (August 9): A child must figure out where her agoraphobic mother has disappeared to and why she left ahead of their family vacation. Starring Cate Blanchett.

Columbia Pictures

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 26): Quentin Tarantino’s latest centers on an actor and his stunt double attempting to make names for themselves during the Charles Manson murders. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, and Bruce Dern.

  • Little Women (December 25): Greta Gerwig’s follow-up to Lady Bird is an adaptation of the popular 1868 novel about the lives of the four March sisters. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep.

Focus Features

  • Downton Abbey (September 13): A feature film of the Emmy-winning British drama featuring the Crawley family and their servants at Downton Abbey. Starring Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern.

  • Harriet (2019): Biopic on Harriet Tubman’s journey in leading hundreds of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Starring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Jennifer Nettles, and Janelle Monáe.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

  • Jojo Rabbit (2019): Director/producer/writer/actor Taika Waititi’s dark comedy showcases a young boy’s imagination during World War II. Starring Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Waititi, Thomasin McKenzie, Sam Rockwell, and Rebel Wilson.

  • Lucy in the Sky (2019): An astronaut’s life continues spiraling out of control upon returning to earth. Starring Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz, and Dan Stevens.

  • Nomadland (2019): True story of a woman losing everything during the Great Recession and becoming nomadic. Starring Frances McDormand.


  • Midway (November 8): Historical film focusing on World War II’s Battle of Midway. Starring Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, and Mandy Moore.

  • Fair and Balanced (2019): Former Fox News’ CEO Roger Ailes is put under scrutiny following multiple female news personnel allegations. Starring Charlize Theron, John Lithgow, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, and Kate McKinnon.

Marvel Studios

  • Avengers: Endgame (April 26): The conclusion to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the remaining Avengers must reassemble to defeat Thanos. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Brie Larson, and Chadwick Boseman.


  • Clemency (2019): A prison warden faces a dilemma with the next man she must execute on death row. Starring Alfre Woodard.

  • Luce (2019): A teacher finds alarming propaganda in an Eritrea-born student. Starring Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Octavia Spencer.


  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019): Elizabeth Kloepfer struggles coming to terms with the realization of Ted Bundy’s killing spree. Starring Zac Efron and Lily Collins.

  • The Irishman (2019): Martin Scorcese’s next film is a biographical crime film about Frank Sheeran’s involvement in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Anna Paquin.

  • The King (2019): A trio of William Shakepeare plays are adapted featuring the reign of King Henry V. Starring Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Robert Pattinson, and Ben Mendelsohn.

  • The Last Thing He Wanted (2019): A reporter stops her coverage on the presidential election to care for her dying father. Starring Anne Hathaway and Willem Dafoe.

  • The Laundromat (2019): Journalists release 11.5 million files to expose political figures attempting to avoid paying taxes, later known as the Panama Papers. Starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas.

Paramount Pictures

  • Rocketman (May 31): Biopic on the life of Sir Elton John’s rise to fame. Starring Taron Egerton.

  • Gemini Man (October 11): Sci-fi film from Ang Lee about an assassin’s final mission against a clone of his younger self. Starring Will Smith.

Roadside Attractions

  • Judy (September 27): Judy Garland arrives in London to begin her five-week run of sell-out concerts in the late 1960s. Starring Renée Zellweger.

TriStar Pictures

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (November 22): An award-winning journalist is tasked with writing an article on Fred Rogers. Starring Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys.

Universal Pictures

  • Us (March 22): Jordan Peele’s next film follows a family on a beach vacation while encountering strangers who look exactly like them. Starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke.

  • Ma (May 31): A woman allows teenagers to party in her house, but things start going awry. Starring Octavia Spencer.

  • Queen & Slim (November 27): A black couple is on the run after shooting a police officer out of self-defense. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith.

  • Cats (December 20): Tom Hooper adapts Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical about a tribe of cats. Starring Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, James Corden, and Idris Elba.

  • 1917 (December 25): Not much has been announced about director/writer/producer Sam Mendes’ latest World War I film. Starring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman.

Walt Disney Pictures

  • Toy Story 4 (June 21): Bo Peep returns to the franchise on a road trip adventure with Woody and the gang.

  • The Lion King (July 19): The King of Pride Rock gets his first live-action adaptation, featuring an ensemble voice cast, including Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Alfre Woodard, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Warner Bros.

  • The Kitchen (September 20): Wives band together to take over crime operations following the arrest of their husbands. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish.

  • Joker (October 4): Origin story of how Arthur Fleck became the infamous Batman villain. Starring Joaquin Phoenix.

  • The Goldfinch (October 11): Theo is an art forger, who survived a terrorist bombing as a child, which killed his mother. Starring Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Nicole Kidman, and Sarah Paulson.

  • The Good Liar (November 15): A conman falls for his latest victim after meeting her online. Starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren.

On paper, these 38 films and performances look the most promising for next year’s Oscar race. There’s guaranteed to be surprise additions and big letdowns from highly-anticipated films, so take these outlooks and predictions with a grain of salt.

Best Picture

  1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  2. The Irishman
  3. Fair and Balanced
  4. The Laundromat
  5. Jojo Rabbit
  6. Queen & Slim
  7. The Report
  8. Little Women
  9. The Lion King
  10. 1917

Best Director

  1. Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  2. Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
  3. Sam Mendes – 1917
  4. Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit
  5. Greta Gerwig – Little Women

Best Actor

  1. Daniel Kaluuya – Queen & Slim
  2. Robert DeNiro – The Irishman
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  4. Timothée Chalamet – The King
  5. Gary Oldman – The Laundromat

Best Actress

  1. Charlize Theron – Fair and Balanced
  2. Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
  3. Natalie Portman – Lucy in the Sky
  4. Meryl Streep – The Laundromat
  5. Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Best Supporting Actor

  1. John Lithgow – Fair and Balanced
  2. Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  3. Willem Dafoe – The Last Thing He Wanted
  4. Al Pacino – The Irishman
  5. Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Nicole Kidman – Fair and Balanced
  2. Annette Bening – The Report
  3. Octavia Spencer – Luce
  4. Margot Robbie – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  5. Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey