Summer is here and blockbusters are back.
With confirmed cases seemingly on the decline and the number of administered vaccinations growing, movie theaters have been allowed to reopen and welcome audiences in once again.
The summer is chock-full of high-profile and big-budget flicks to keep even the casual moviegoer entertained for months.
Here’s a look at some of the summer’s most highly anticipated movies:
“In the Heights” (June 11)
An adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned Broadway musical, “In the Heights” tells the story of a young bodega owner in New York with a dream of closing the shop and moving on. However, once family tragedy strikes, he begins to struggle.
While not as well known as Miranda’s “Hamilton,” “In the Heights” has done well for itself, earning four Tony Awards in 2008, including best musical.
“In the Heights” is among the movies that will have a 30-day run on HBO Max beginning on the same day that the movie hits theaters: June 11.
Cast: Anthony Ramos, Jimmy Smits, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Melissa Barrera, Marc Anthony and more.
“F9” (June 25)
The “Fast and Furious” franchise will return with “F9” this year.
The movie will follow the crew of daredevils as they take on the younger brother of Dominic (Vin Diesel), a deadly assassin with a serious grudge.
Originally set for a May 2020 release, “F9” was among the year’s movies to gracefully bow out to 2021 without much fuss. The movie will now premiere theatrically on June 25.
Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Helen Mirren and more.
“Black Widow” (July 9)
One of several entries by Marvel coming this year is “Black Widow,” which will follow fan-favorite Avenger Natasha Romanoff in the time between “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
The story will see the super-spy return to her roots and re-team with old allies to face her past and defeat a new threat.
“Black Widow” is currently slated for a July 9 release in theaters and on Disney+ for an additional fee.
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, William Hurt and more.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy” (July 9)
In the long-awaited sequel to 1996’s “Space Jam,” “A New Legacy” will see basketball pro LeBron James team up with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Toons characters in order to rescue his son.
The live-action- animation hybrid flick will also feature appearances from cartoon favorites like Lola Bunny, the Iron Giant, Daffy Duck and more.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy” will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on July 9.
Cast: Zendaya, LeBron James, Don Cheadle and more,
“The Suicide Squad” (August 6)
“The Suicide Squad” is a follow-up to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and will see the fan-favorite group of DC supervillains team up once again for an unlikely adventure to save the world.
The movie saw some casting shakeups when it was announced that Will Smith would not reprise his role from the first film, but stars like Pete Davidson and Sylvester Stallone have been added to the ensemble.
The DC film will hit theaters on Aug. 6.
Cast: Margot Robbie, John Cena, Idris Elba, Sylvester Stallone, Pete Davidson and more.
“Free Guy” (Aug. 13)
The long-delayed “Free Guy” will see Ryan Reynolds play a bank teller who realizes that he’s a side character in a violent yet predictable video game.
When he takes matters into his own hands during a routine bank heist, he teams up with Jodie Comer’s Milly to be the good guy that everyone needs him to be.
“Free Guy” will play in theaters beginning on Aug. 13.
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi.
“Respect” (Aug. 13)
Not long after her death, Aretha Franklin’s story is being told on the big screen.
Not to be confused with National Geographic’s “Genius: Aretha,” “Respect” will star Jennifer Hudson as Franklin during her rise to superstardom.
The flick, which also stars Mary J. Blige as jazz icon Dinah Washington and Forest Whitaker as the famed Reverand C. L. Franklin, hits theaters Aug. 13.
Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald and more.
“Paw Patrol: The Movie” (Aug. 20)
Based on the popular children’s cartoon, “Paw Patrol: The Movie” will see young Ryder and his helpful crew of talented dogs set out to stop an evil mayor from allowing his city to descend into chaos.
“Paw Patrol: The Movie” will hit theaters Aug. 20.
Cast: Kim Kardashian, Dax Shepard, Tyler Perry, Jimmy Kimmel and more.