50 Things That Will Happen in 2020
These are the movies, world events, and technological developments we'll be talking about.
Many decades ago, the year 2020 sounded like a far-off futuristic time that would see humans zipping around in jetpacks and maybe even living in colonies on the moon. And while that might not be our exact reality (yet), there are plenty of exciting reasons to look forward to the year ahead. From trendy tech developments and stellar space-based events to the release of must-see movies and highly anticipated albums, here are 50 things that will happen in 2020.
There will be 366 days.
If you ask someone how many days are in a year, they'll surely tell you 365. And that would normally be the correct answer, except for every four years when a leap year happens, and we get Feb. 29. The Farmer's Almanac explains that "adding an extra day every four years keeps our calendar aligned correctly with the astronomical seasons, since a year according to the Gregorian calendar (365 days) and a year according to Earth's orbit around the Sun (approximately 365.25 days) are not the exact same length of time." If we didn't occasionally pop in another 24 hours, "our calendar and the seasons would gradually get out of sync."
Amazon will open cashier-less supermarkets and pop-up stores.
Amazon wants to stay at the forefront of shopping-related innovation, which is why they have plans to open stores in 2020 that will be more automated than ever. The company's planned Amazon Go supermarkets, representing an expansion of their current Amazon Go convenience stores, will ditch the human touch and opt for a system that will check you out using Go technology instead of cashiers.
There will be another royal wedding.
Prince William and Kate Middleton (AKA the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) were married back in Apr. 2011 while Will's younger brother, Prince Harry, married former actress Meghan Markle in May 2018. That was followed by their cousin, Princess Eugenie, who said "I do" in October that same year. In 2020, it will be Princess Beatrice's turn, as she's set to marry Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi before the year ends, although the exact date has not yet been announced.
Star Trek's legendary Captain Picard will return for a new series.
Sci-fi fans will boldly go where they've never gone before with a new Star Trek series. Focusing on Next Generation's legendary Captain Picard, Patrick Stewart will be returning to reprise his role on the show, aptly titled Star Trek: Picard. The show was already renewed for a second season before the Jan. 23 series premiere on CBS All Access.
Grocery store labels will change.
When you head to the grocery store in 2020, you may notice new labels on certain cans and boxes of food. That's because the U.S. Department of Agriculture is insisting that anything that contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs) provide that information on the product's packaging. But if you try to spot the GMO-related labels, don't bother to look for that specific term. "Somewhat confusingly, they won't say 'GMO,'" Popular Science explains. "The proposed labels use the terms 'BE' and 'bioengineered' instead to avoid the contentious connotations that GMO carries."
NASA will send living things into deep space for the first time since 1972.
Midway through 2020, NASA will send a spacecraft called BioSentinel—which is about the size of a briefcase—out into space for a trip into orbit around the sun. What makes this so special is that the craft will carry yeast cells with it, which will not only help scientists learn about off-planet radiation, but will also be the first time in almost 50 years since NASA has sent living things into deep space. Well, sort of. As Space.com notes, "a few hardy microbes stow away on every robotic planetary mission," making their way into unknown areas of space.
A total solar eclipse will occur in mid-December.
You'll have to wait until mid-December for one of the most spectacular space-related events of the year, but it will definitely be worth the wait: A total solar eclipse is happening. "If you've never seen the famous 'hole in the sky'—one of nature's greatest displays—another chance will come on Dec. 14, when the Moon's central shadow will take just 24 minutes to cross Chile and Argentina," according to Forbes. Be sure to have a pair of solar eclipse glasses handy if you want to get a glimpse of this phenomenon.
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games will take place in Tokyo.
Just like the 29th day of February, the Olympic Games only come around every four years. Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games between July 24 and Aug. 9, which will be the second time the Japanese capital has taken on the honor. The country was also the location of the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, and the 1998 Winter Olympics, held in Nagano.
Green Day will release a new album.
Music fans can look forward to new Green Day music in 2020. On Feb. 7, the popular pop-punk band will be releasing their latest album, Father Of All… The band gave fans a taste of what's to come via the music video for the title track, which was released in Sept. 2019—and by the sounds of it, listeners should expect something different than what we've heard from this trio in the past.
A new Ghostbusters movie will haunt theaters.
Ghostbusters was brought back to life in 2016 thanks to director Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. But a new iteration, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, is coming to haunt theaters in July, with Jason Reitman at the helm, and Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard on board for the freaky fun.
Apple will release the iPhone 12.
Diehard Apple lovers will be eagerly awaiting their chance to pick up the new iPhone 12, which is expected to hit stores around Sept. 8 or Sept. 15, though no exact date has been announced yet. According to Business Insider, "Apple debuts its new iPhones like clockwork every September, and next year isn't likely to be any different. Apple's next-generation iPhones are expected to come with support for 5G networks, new 3-D cameras, and updated screen sizes for the Pro models," among other snazzy perks that users are sure to adore.
And Samsung will release the Galaxy S11.
If you're an Android user, there's good news for you, too. Samsung is set to release its Galaxy S11 sometime in Feb. 2020 (possibly Feb. 18, if the buzz is to be believed). "The Galaxy S11 is going to surprise a lot of people thanks to its truly head-turning new design," Forbes notes, including the fact that the devices feature "supersized" batteries.
Oscar winner Lady Gaga will have new music.
Lady Gaga had a big year in 2019—winning an Oscar for her songwriting work in A Star Is Born—and it looks like 2020 will be just as exciting for her fans. The singer is set to release her highly anticipated sixth album, which for now is simply being called LG6. In Mar. 2019, she confirmed that new songs were on the way, tweeting, "Rumors I'm pregnant? Yeah, I'm pregnant with #LG6." That was followed by a post in September that showed the performer in the studio, but she still hasn't announced when we'll be able to hear the new music quite yet.
The Yahoo! Time Capsule will be opened after 14 years.
The Yahoo! Time Capsule—the creation of internet artist Jonathan Harris—collected digital contributions from Oct. 10, 2006 to Nov. 8, 2006, and it's been closed ever since. The 170,857 submissions, designed to capture the thoughts and feelings of the world 14 years ago, will finally see the light of day on Yahoo!'s 25th birthday, Mar. 2. The results should be a staggering reminder of just how much has changed over the past decade and a half.
There will be a prequel novel to The Hunger Games.
Don't expect to see Katniss Everdeen in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the new novel from Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins. Hitting stores on May 19, the book takes place 64 years before Katniss' Hunger Games. Even without the characters we know and love, however, the novel will be a welcome return to Panem for fans who have been away for too long.
The Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Germany is scheduled to open after nearly a decade of delays.
It's not unusual for large projects to face setbacks, but when it comes to the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, the grand opening was delayed for eight long years because of safety and technical issues. While construction on the German airport began in 2006 with a planned 2012 lift-off, the first flight is now scheduled to depart on Oct. 31. Planning the first flight from this problem-plagued airport on Halloween? Sure, why not.
Singer Lana Del Rey will release a spoken word freestyle poetry album.
Lana Del Rey plans to change things up creatively in 2020. In February, the singer will be releasing a new album, but instead of music, it will be a collection of spoken word pieces that feature the artist's freestyle poetry. Taking to Instagram in Dec. 2019, the star revealed that half of the album's proceeds will be donated "to benefit Native American organizations around the country, whether it was for preserving their rights or trying to help keep their land intact" in order to "pay homage to the country" she loves with what she calls her "own reparation, [her] own reparative act."
Disney will release a live-action Mulan.
Disney fans will be able to enjoy another live-action remake of a beloved animated classic in 2020, with a new Mulan movie hitting theaters on Mar. 27. Liu Yifei will take on the title role, a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight in her elderly father's place when war threatens her people.
Mariah Carey is expected to publish her memoir.
Mariah Carey has had a life filled with incredible highs and drama-fueled lows. And now she's ready to share the details of both in her new memoir, which is scheduled to hit shelves this year. The singer talked to Variety about the release date, saying, "I just extended it a little bit, because I want to be really, really happy with it. So 2020 for sure, but not early 2020."
IHOP's new fast-casual restaurant, called Flip'd, will open.
If you love dining out at IHOP, then you'll be thrilled to find out that the company plans to open new fast-casual restaurants in 2020. Called Flip'd, the establishments will focus "on freshly-made breakfast foods and beverages with speed and convenience in mind," according to a report from Business Wire. The menu will include a build-your-own pancake bar, egg combos, and made-to-order breakfast burritos, among other tasty options. The first restaurant will open in Atlanta in the spring, possibly followed by other major cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, and Dallas.
Tom Cruise will play Maverick again.
Set to fly into theaters on June 26, Top Gun: Maverick will bring back Tom Cruise to reprise the role he made famous in the original 1986 film. Returning to fly fighter jets through the danger zone as Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, the new story catches up with the character 30 years after the events in the first film. Now training younger pilots, Maverick is in charge of Miles Teller's character, Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Maverick's best friend, Goose, who (spoiler alert) died in the first movie.
Jupiter and Saturn will be closer together than they've been in nearly 400 years.
Jupiter and Saturn find themselves relatively close together every 20 years, meaning that there is only a degree or two between them. However, on Dec. 21, the two planets will be closer than they've been since 1632. Space.com explains that "they will be separated by just one-fifth of the apparent diameter of the full moon!"
And the moon will cross in front of Mars.
Jupiter and Saturn aren't the only spatial bodies to keep an eye on in 2020. On the morning of Feb. 18, a crescent moon will rise and cross in front of Mars, as Space.com notes. Those in North America may be able to spot the event, as it will take place before the sunrise—so make sure you get up extra early.
But Mars will also be extra visible throughout October.
It's going to be a good year for Mars in general. Space.com reports that between Sept. 29 and Oct. 28, the Red Planet will be the third-brightest object in the night sky—right behind Venus and the moon. You don't even have to get up early to see this: From dusk to dawn, Mars will be shining brighter than Sirius.
Powerful female comic book characters, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, will return to the big screen.
Two popular comic book characters return to the big screen in 2020 with new action-packed films. On Feb. 7, fans will revisit the wacky world of the woman formerly known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel in Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. A spin-off of 2016's Suicide Squad, the film will see Margot Robbie's character joined by a group of formidable female figures. Then, on June 5, fans will turn out for Wonder Woman 1984, a sequel to the 2017 film starring Gal Gadot. Chris Pine returns as Steve Trevor, and Kristen Wiig makes her debut as the villainous Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, AKA Cheetah.
The NFL will mark its centennial.
If you're a football fan, then be ready to celebrate in September. That's when the NFL marks its 100th anniversary. According to Cleveland.com, the history of the organization goes back to Sept. 17, 1920, when "several football-minded investors gathered inside a Hupmobile auto dealership in downtown Canton and created what would become the National Football League."
Alanis Morissette will head out on her Jagged Little Pill 25th anniversary tour.
Alanis Morissette will be spending the summer of 2020 thrilling fans by returning to the stage for her Jagged Little Pill 25th anniversary tour. Kicking off on June 20 in Portland, Oregon, each performance will include all the classics from her chart-topping 1995 album, like "Hand in My Pocket" and "You Oughta Know." And Morissette won't be alone. Fellow stars of the '90s alternative music scene Liz Phair and Garbage are scheduled to join the headliner as special guests.
There will likely be plenty of new babies named Adah and Austin.
If you're expecting a baby sometime in the coming months, you could opt for a traditional family name or something wildly unexpected. Or you could choose something that will be perfectly on-trend. The experts at Nameberry took a look at what names have been rising in popularity in order to predict which two would likely be the top picks of 2020. They came up with Adah for little girls, explaining that "all girl names starting with the letters and sound Ad have been rising quickly in recent years, including Ada and Adele, Adelaide, and all spellings of Adeline." As for boys, we may be seeing a lot of baby Austins around "now that the memory of Austin Powers has faded." On top of that, parents might "see it as a feminist literary name, a tribute to author Jane Austen."
Google and Microsoft will compete for fans with new gaming streaming services.
Google and Microsoft will face off in 2020 with new competing gaming streaming services. Google came out of the gate first, launching Google Stadia at the end of 2019, and Microsoft is expected to follow soon with its own Project xCloud. The similar services allow you to play games directly on your computer, TV, or phone without the need for a separate (and expensive) gaming console—and both will be attempting to earn gamers' loyalty in the coming months.
The biggest full moon of the year will happen in April.
Spotting a full moon can make any night feel magical, but on Apr. 7, be sure to look up because you'll likely see a supermoon, according to Space.com. At around 2 p.m. EDT, the lunar body will be closer to Earth than any other time of the year, a mere 221,772 miles (356,907 kilometers) away. Then, just over eight and a half hours later, the moon—the biggest full moon of the year—will be completely full, and a delight to see.
Daniel Craig will reprise his role in a new James Bond film.
Daniel Craig returns to play the title character in the 25th installment (depending on how you're counting) in the James Bond film series. No Time to Die hits theaters on Apr. 8, and will see the MI6 agent embroiled in action once more, despite leaving active service behind. With a screenplay co-written by Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this is definitely one of the year's must-see movies.
NASA will launch its Mars 2020 mission.
It may not be time to pack your back for a trip to Mars just yet, but NASA will be getting us one step closer to that reality in 2020. Launching in March, the aptly named Mars 2020 mission will use rover technology to explore the Red Planet. NASA explains that the "mission addresses high-priority science goals … including key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself."
A Party of Five reboot will premiere.
Party of Five originally ran for six seasons between 1994 and 2000, telling the story of siblings who had to take care of each other after losing their parents in a tragic accident. On Jan. 8, the series will be resurrected as a reboot on the Freeform network, with a new family facing challenges that reflect modern times. "In the new iteration by original series creators Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser, the Acosta siblings are forced to survive as a family unit in the wake of their mother and father's deportation to Mexico," according to People. As Lippman and Keyser explained, "Today, stories of families being separated, children having to raise themselves in the wake of their parents' deportations, don't require any imagination; they are everywhere."
Sonic the Hedgehog will make his cinematic debut.
This Valentine's Day, you can make a date with a speedy blue hedgehog. On Feb. 14, the iconic video game character gets his very own live-action movie, starring James Marsden, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic. Here's hoping fans appreciate Sonic the Hedgehog: The film has already suffered its fair share of backlash, leading to a costly redesign of the title character.
Keanu Reeves will bring back John Wick, The Matrix, and Bill & Ted.
Keanu Reeves has been enjoying a renaissance lately, and that's set to continue in 2020 with three big film projects. The actor will be returning as a super slick assassin for the fourth movie in the John Wick franchise, while also bringing back two old-school characters, Neo from The Matrix movies as well as Reeves' goofy hero from the Bill & Ted films. And if that's not awesome enough, John Wick 4 and The Matrix 4 will both be released on May 21, which fans are now rightfully calling "Keanu Reeves Day."
The massive $1 billion Grand Egyptian Museum will open its doors.
A design for the Grand Egyptian Museum was chosen in 2002, and 10 years later, construction began on the massive $1 billion building. When it opens in early 2020, the 500,000 square-meter space "is expected to house 100,000 objects, many of which will be displayed for the first time, as well as a 250-seat 3D cinema and children's museum," according to The Guardian. "It will also have a panoramic view of the Great Pyramids of Giza." Sounds like it was well worth the wait!
The world population will increase by around 81 million people.
Each year, the world population continues to rise as more people are born than die on our planet. While there were around 7,713,468,100 people in the world in 2019, in 2020, that number is projected to rise by about 81,330,639 individuals, putting our overall population at 7,794,798,739.
The first film adaptation of Peter Pan will enter the public domain.
Every year, new movies, books, and artwork enter the public domain, meaning that they lose their copyrighted status under U.S. law. In 2020, any work published in 1924 will be up for use, including the first movie adaptation of Peter Pan, a silent film released by Paramount Pictures that starred actress Betty Bronson in the title role. Of course, the question of who owns the copyright to Peter Pan as a whole remains… very confusing.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical In the Heights will become a film.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has been on a hot streak in recent years following his unprecedented smash hit Hamilton, and his work on films like Moana and Mary Poppins Returns. And 2020 looks like it will be just as remarkable for the star, who will be bringing his 2008 musical In the Heights to the big screen on June 26. The cast includes Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, and Miranda himself, with a story that follows Ramos' Usnavi, a bodega owner in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood.
And Steven Spielberg is bringing a new West Side Story to movie screens.
Steven Spielberg will also be bringing a beloved musical to theaters in 2020. Be sure to grab tickets to see the new film version of West Side Story when it's released on Dec. 18. In Oct. 2019, 20th Century Fox took to Twitter to mark the end of production by sharing photos of the cast and a message from the award-winning director, who wrote, "This has been a journey without precedence: a joyful, stunningly moving, endlessly surprising encounter with the story and score of one of the world's greatest musicals."
Venus will be in a position that only happens every eight years.
Venus will find itself in a notable position in 2020. In early April, the planet will "near the peak of its highest evening apparition and [be] close to the Pleiades star cluster," according to Space.com. This hasn't happened since 2012, and won't happen again until 2028.
The Perseid meteor shower will happen in August.
Be sure to wake up early on the morning of Aug. 12 so that you don't miss the Perseids, which Space.com calls the "old faithful" of meteor showers. The spectacular event will see anywhere from 50 to 75 so-called "shooting stars" streak across the sky every hour at the shower's peak, according to the American Meteor Society.
Self-driving cars will continue to hit the roads.
Self-driving cars have been creating headlines for a while now as they've been developed and tested, but we may be seeing more on the road in 2020. Among other manufacturers, both General Motors and Honda made major moves in 2019 to get their autonomous vehicles rolling in the new year.
We'll be closer to new treatment for food allergies.
Food allergies can range from annoying to fatal, which is why scientists are working on ways to prevent dangerous and even deadly reactions. Thankfully, in 2020, work on oral immunotherapy (OIT) treatment for food allergies will likely move forward after being reviewed for a biologics license application by the FDA, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
We'll commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Sept. 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the day that World War II ended, which the Council on Foreign Relations cites as "one of the most consequential events in world history." As CNN explains, "When Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, it was the second time the world went to war. With the Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945, World War II was over."
There will be a lot of "Classic Blue" around.
You'll likely see blue, or rather, 19-4052 Classic Blue, everywhere you turn in 2020—from clothes to cars to home décor—since it was chosen as the Color of the Year by Pantone. "Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era," the shade experts explain.
Ali Wong will return with a new Netflix comedy special.
Ali Wong had viewers belly-laughing with her 2016 comedy special, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, which was followed by 2018's Hard Knock Wife. Wong then had audiences falling in love (and still laughing!) with the 2019 rom-com Always Be My Maybe. And she's set to delight fans once again with two new stand-up specials, the first premiering on Netflix sometime in 2020.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will return with an interactive special.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which told the story of a woman who moved to New York after living a life underground thinking the world had ended, seemed to have wrapped up in Jan. 2019. But the popular series—which stars Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Carol Kane—will return to Netflix in 2020 with an interactive special. "As with Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch movie and other interactive shows, viewers will be able to make choices on behalf of the Kimmy Schmidt characters and take them down different story branches—and they'll get different jokes," according to Variety.
The Walking Dead will premiere its third show.
The Walking Dead franchise is still alive and kicking: In the spring, a third show will debut. Following the original series and its spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, TVLine reports that The Walking Dead: World Beyond will star Julia Ormond as the leader of a group who exist alongside "the first generation to come of age since the dead reanimated to become walkers."
Americans will head to the polls in a presidential election.
On Nov. 3, Americans will vote for the next president of the United States. Candidates have already thrown their names into the ring, so do your research to find out who you'll be casting your vote for. Also, be sure to register to vote ASAP—you can check your state's voter registration deadline—so that you don't miss out on your chance to have your say when it comes to who leads the country into the next decade.