Over the last few years, the entertainment industry has witnessed the rise of female filmmakers. A record 10.6% of the directors of 2019’s top 100-grossing movies were women, directing 12% of Hollywood’s biggest hits last year, according to a study by Stacy L. Smith and USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

This year, there are even more big female-directed films to look forward to, as women tackle everything from franchise films to directorial debuts, biopics, and more. Check out our list detailing 15 highly-anticipated films directed by women coming out in 2020.

1. The Turning

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi

Release date: January 24 (in theaters)

Universal Pictures

A modern adaptation of the 1898 ghost story “The Turn of the Screw,” this film follows a young governess hired to watch two children after their parents’ deaths.

2. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Directed by: Cathy Yan

Release date: February 7 (in theaters)

Warner Bros. Pictures

After breaking up with the Joker, Birds of Prey tells the story of Harley Quinn as she teams up with Black Canary, Helena Bertinelli, and Renee Montoya to save Cassandra Cain from crime boss Black Mask.

3. The Photograph

Directed by: Stella Meghie

Release date: February 14 (in theaters)

Universal Pictures

The estranged daughter of a famous photographer falls in love with the journalist who is assigned to cover the story of her late mother, in this romantic drama of intertwining love stories.

4. Emma

Directed by: Autumn de Wilde

Release date: February 21 (in theaters)

Focus Features

A new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Autumn’s directorial feature film debut Emma is the story of Emma Woodhouse, a young woman living in Georgian-Regency England, who meddles in the romantic lives of her friends and family. 

5. The Last Thing He Wanted

Directed by: Dee Rees

Release date: February 21 (Netflix)


Based on the book of the same name by Joan Didion, this film is a political thriller film centers around a veteran D.C. journalist who gets herself entangled in the story she’s trying to break when she helps her dying father broker an arms deal.

6. Lost Girls

Directed by: Liz Garbus

Release date: March 13 (Netflix)


In this film based on the true crime book of the same name, a mother desperately fighting to find her missing daughter, along the way, uncovers a string of unsolved murders of young female sex workers on the South Shore barrier islands of Long Island committed by the Long Island serial killer.

7. Promising Young Woman

Directed by: Emerald Fennell

Release date: April 17 (in theaters)

Focus Features

Seeking to heal from trauma and right the wrongs of her past, a young woman seeks out vengeance by doling out scathing lessons in Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut Promising Young Woman.

8. Black Widow

Directed by: Cate Shortland

Release date: May 1 (in theaters)

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts her dark past, including her history as a spy and former relationships, on the path to becoming an Avenger in the titular first film of Phase Four of Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow.

9. Wonder Woman 1984

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Release date: June 5 (in theaters)

Warner Bros. Pictures

In this sequel to the highly-successful Wonder Woman, which was released in 2017, the story fast forwards to the 80s, as Wonder Woman faces a new foe, the Cheetah.

10. Candyman

Directed by: Nia DaCosta

Release date: June 12 (in theaters)

A direct “spiritual sequel” to the original 1992 supernatural horror film, this film returns to the now-gentrified Chicago where the legend began.

11. Respect

Directed by: Liesl Tommy

Release date: October 9 (in theaters)

United Artists Releasing / Universal Pictures

Respect is a biopic based on the life of singer Aretha Franklin, following her story from her childhood days singing in her father’s church choir to growing up to become an international music legend.

12. Eternals

Directed by: Chloé Zhao

Release date: November 6 (in theaters)

The 25th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe focuses on the tragic events that follow Avengers: Endgame (2019), in which the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who have secretly lived on Earth for several thousands of years, reunite to save humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.

13. Come Away

Directed by: Brenda Chapman

Release date: TBA

Sundance Institute

This reinventive twist on childhood classics tells the story of Alice and Peter Pan—siblings trying to help their parents overcome their eldest son’s death and travelling to London to sell a family heirloom, where they find themselves in a dangerous underworld that takes them on a life-changing journey.

14. Shirley

Directed by: Josephine Decker

Release date: TBA

Sundance Institute

In Shirley, a young couple moves in with a famed author, Shirley Jackson and her husband, hoping to start a new life, unbeknownst that they’d become fodder for a psycho-drama, inspiring Shirley’s next novel.

15. Zola

Directed by: Janicza Bravo

Release date: TBA

Sundance Institute

Based on an infamous 148-tweet Twitter thread from 2015, which chronicled the story, Zola follows two girls who go on a trip from Detroit to Florida that turns into a weekend gone wild.