Thursday, 1 January 2015

My 11 Most Anticipated Films of 2015



With 2014 already rapidly disappearing into the past, I'm kicking off the New Year by looking at what 2015 has in-store for us cinephiles. 

From killer cyborgs to British secret agents and the long awaited return to a galaxy far, far away, 2015 has a whole host of exciting new and returning prospects lined-up - and I'm going to go through which 11 films I'm most excited for over the next 12 months.

What are you most looking forward to in 2015? Let me know in the comments below!


Also coming out in 2015...


Tak3n, Into the Woods, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fifty Shades of Grey, Seventh Son, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Ex Machina, Focus, The Gambler, Chappie, Cinderella, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, In the Heart of the Sea, Shaun the Sheep, Fast and Furious 7, Pitch Perfect 2, Pixels, Tomorrowland, Spy, San Andreas, Paper Towns, The Minions, Inside Out, Magic Mike XXL, Pan, The Fantastic Four, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Hitman: Agent 47, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, Crimson Peak, The Martian, The Jungle Book, The Good Dinosaur, The Hateful Eight.


11) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (November)


The Hunger Games series draws to a close this November with the release of its concluding chapter, Mockingjay Part 2. The first part of this two-part finale divided fans, and many criticised it for being too strung out and lacking action (both of which are valid criticisms). Expect Part 2 to address both of these as it aims to sound the series out with a bang. 

Mockingjay Part 2 will pick up where the previous film left off - Peeta has returned home to District 13 after being saved by the rebels, but he has been brainwashed to hate Katniss by President Snow and the Capitol. The rebels, lead by President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee, must assemble for one final assault on the Capitol and put an end to their tyranny once and for all. But at what cost...?


10) Jupiter Ascending (5th February)


A powerful alien race, a watchful guardian and an innocent girl swept up in an interplanetary adventure - The Wackowski's (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas) first foray into the vast realm of space-opera has all the right ingredients for awesomeness. Plus, given that it stars Mila Kunis as the aforementioned Earth girl and Channing Tatum as her pointy-eared protector, it has plenty of appeal to youth audiences who wouldn't usually be attracted to the niche genre.

Two colourful trailers have so far promised all manner of space razzle dazzle, whilst the cast is rounded out by some great actors like Eddie Redmayne and Sean Bean (rumour has it, bookmakers are already taking bets on how long the latter lasts before biting the dust...)

Originally scheduled for release August just gone, the film was delayed so that the Wackowski's could pour some extra work into some unfinished VFX work (most likely on those super pointy ears Tatum is sporting). It might have slipped off the radar for some, but I'm still pretty excited to see what the duo can do when handed a sizeable budget and let loose on such a visually striking genre.


9) Ant-Man (16th July)


With all the Avengers hype swirling around, you'd be forgiven for forgetting all about Ant-Man.

I'm very mixed on this one - for pretty much the entirety of its development, British comedy genius Edgar Wright (my favourite director) has been attached to pen and direct this Marvel flick. But, in the midst of script issues last year, Wright departed the project after nearly a decade. To say it shook fan confidence in this film is an understatement, and the confirmation of Peyton Reed (Yes Man) as Wright's replacement hardly did much to improve the situation.

As a result, Ant-Man has slipped wayyyy down this list. With Wright, I was super excited to see his unique flair and directorial vision brought to the Marvel universe without question. Instead, I'm withholding judgement until the initial reviews start pouring in - I mean, shooting only kicked off in August once Reed had come onboard, and that's a really quick turnaround for a headline summer blockbuster the like of which Marvel make.

Whisper it, but Marvel could be in damage limitation on Ant-Man. I guess we'll see whether the jumbled production turns out to be a death sentence when the flick hits screens in July.


8) Blackhat (19th February)


Blackhat is a cyber thriller written and directed by Michael Mann, the filmmaker behind pulse-pounding classics such as Heat, Ali and Collateral. It stars Chris Hemsworth as a cyber criminal who is thrust to the forefront of a conspiracy so vast it has united American and Chinese spy agencies in working together to stop it. It's a global-trotting thriller with a diverse cast that also includes Viola Davis, William Mapother and Archie Kao. 

I'm kinda pinning my hopes for Blackhat on Michael Mann's back-catalog alone, but a stylish, noir-inspired crime thriller premise such as that is mouth-watering also. I'm a big sucker for tense spy films that hurtle along at breakneck speed, and I'm hoping Blackhat is exactly the kind of twisty-turny thriller I'm looking for. 


7) Mad Max: Fury Road (14th May)


Mad Max: Fury Road has been in development for so long that many had written it off as an instant failure - filmed in Namibia wayyy back in July to December 2012 (with further reshoots in November of 2013) this fourth entry into the Mad Max series stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

However, any doubts were laid to rest at San Diego Comic-Con last year when the first trailer debuted - the reception was surprising to say the least, as the crowd went crazy for what looks to be a visually-striking and brutal post-apocalyptic action-fest full of eye-popping pyrotechnics.

Whilst I haven't seen a Mad Max film before, this updated edition looks pretty kick-ass to say the least. Hardy looks awesome in the lead role, whilst Theron is chilling as Furiosa, an enigmatic woman of action leading the convoy to a fabled safe haven beyond the wastelands.


6) Terminator: Genysis (25th June)


Mad Max isn't the only dead franchise getting a swift kick up the backside in 2015 - 80's sci-fi classic The Terminator is getting an alternate timeline reboot/sequel with Terminator: Genysis, in similar fashion to 2009's highly-successful Star Trek sorta-reboot.

In this new edition of Terminator, the 2029 version of John Connor (played by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Jason Clarke) fears the war with Skynet is about to be changed forever, and sends his trusted friend Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to ensure to safety of his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). However, upon returning to the past, Reese finds that the original past has been altered. In its place he finds that Sarah has been raised by an older version of the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to face her freedom fighter destiny, and working together the threesome must defeat two Terminators (a new T-800 and T-1000) which have been sent by Skynet to kill them. 

Sound loopy? You betcha. I'm not sure what to think, as whilst it does sound pretty cool, it's in danger of being super convoluted and full of retcons for past films (*cough* Salvation *cough*). But hey, continuity be damned amirite!? 

Frankly awful title aside, Genysis has the potential to reinvigorate a franchise that has was left battered by McG's woeful fourth entry, Terminator: Salvation. Whether it can pull it off is another story - the cast is a mixed bag (the two Clarke's and Matt Smith are a big plus, Jai Courtney and Arnie aren't), but director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World) has a lot of ingredients to play around with and get it right. I'm skeptical, but also kinda hopeful that this one can be as good and successful as Star Trek - because if it isn't, I doubt this franchise 'will be back' again. 


5) Mission: Impossible 5 (26th December)


Mission: Impossible 5 may not hit cinemas until December (or even have an official title, synopsis, teaser trailer or stills), but I'm still super excited to see the high-stakes spy series return for a fifth instalment. Four years on from the stellar fourth entry Ghost Protocol, M:I5 sees Tom Cruise reprise his leading role as Ethan Hunt, as well as Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg billed to return as William Brandt and Benji Dunn respectively.

Directing duty has been handed to Christopher McQuarrie, who previously worked with Cruise on 2012's overlooked thriller, Jack Reacher. Two new additions to the cast include Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules) and former Jack Ryan, Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, The Hunt for Red October). Filming kicked off last August in Austria, before heading across to London.

And...that's about it really - I couldn't track down any more details about M:I5. Hmm, must be top secret information protected by IMF...


4) Jurassic World (11th June)


This June, the park is open for business. For the first time in a decade, cinema goers the world over are going to be returning to Isla Nublar for the fourth entry in the classic 90's franchise, Jurassic World.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World sees business booming for the weirdest and most-accident prone theme park ever created. That is until the public grows tired of the same old dinos and the park owners are forced to dream up something new, something even more dangerous, to hold their attention.

If the first trailer is anything to go by, this updated version of Jurassic Park looks like good, solid popcorn fun. I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm deadly certain of it being great, but I'm pretty excited to see where the film-makers will be taking this 'hybrid dino' angle and how that feeds into the story. Plus, Chris Pratt! And a pack of velociraptors! Working together!


3) Spectre (November)


No, not Silk Spectre. Or a Citadel Spectre either. Just Spectre.

Yep, next year James Bond is back! Daniel Craig is stepping into the role of England's finest, and sexiest, secret agent for the fourth time in Spectre, the follow-up to 2012's superb instalment, Skyfall.

Alongside Craig is a cast of regulars, including Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomi Harris as Ms. Moneypenny and Rory Kinnear as Tanner. Joining the cast is a host of big names - Christoph Waltz plays the mysterious Oberhauser, Lea Seydoux and Monica Belluci are two seductive Bond women (named Madeleine Swann and Lucia Sciarra respectively) whilst Dave Bautista and Andrew Scott also make an appearance.

I'm pretty excited for this one - not only is that cast simply brilliant, but the title (Spectre is an organisation Bond faced off against numerous novels and past films) hints at a return to vintage Bond, complete with Aston Martin's, Alpine locales (filming is taking place in Austria) and a seasoned 007 that isn't going to let age get the better of him. Bring it on!


2) Avengers: Age of Ultron (23rd April)


Marvel's superhero superteam reconvene for a second time in Avengers: Age of Ultron this April. Following on from a stellar duo of movies in 2014, Marvel Studios' biggest film is now even bigger with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannsson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) being joined by Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Vision (Paul Bettany) as they face off against the villainous Ultron (James Spader).

The hype machine has gone into overdrive in the last few months after the first trailer dropped in November, and with good reason. That chilling few minutes of footage was amazing, what with the haunting Pinocchio soundtrack and Spader's menacing Ultron drawl - "there are...no strings on me". Chills!

Plus, the trailer hinted at further conflict between our heroes - after Stark plays God and unshackles Ultron, it's up to guys like the Hulk, Thor and Captain America to face off with the infamous billionaire/playboy/philanthropist. It's like a comic-book nerd's dream come true!

Director Joss Whedon has also talked at length about the pivotal role Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will play, whilst revealing Hawkeye is set for a much larger role this time around. Combine all this with the revelation that Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Andy Serkis are making an appearance in some form or another, and you've got a surefire recipe for blockbuster success.


1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (18th December)


It's still 50 weeks away, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens is easily my most anticipated movie of 2015. Sorry, Age of Ultron - you never stood a chance.

For the first time in a decade, Star Wars will return to the big screen for a brand new entry in the saga. Helmed by life-long fan of the series JJ Abrams, The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of 1983's Return of the Jedi and sees the original cast (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher) reprising the roles that made them household names.

Alongside them, a whole raft of bright young things join the cast (John Boyega, Oscar Isaacs, Daisy Ridley, Domnhall Gleeson) and seasoned actors like Andy Serkis and Max von Sydow are also billed to make an appearance. It's an impressive cast, and one that is reportedly lead by Boyega and Ridley, making for a much more diverse Star Wars film than we're used to seeing.

Up until this point, the project has been super secretive - very little is known about the plot and where JJ will be steering the story towards the numerous sequels that are already lined-up. But, after we got our first glimpse at the film a few weeks back, things are looking promising. Staples of the series like lightsabers, Stormtroopers, X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon are all present and correct whilst the focus was firmly on the host of new characters. My initial thoughts were overwhelmingly positive, and next December can't come quickly enough.


What films are you most looking forward to in 2015? What did I miss off my list? Let me know in the comments below!

10 comments:

  1. 2015 is going to be a huge box office year with all these. I actually forgot Ant Man is coming out in 2015, for some reason I was thinking 2016. Avengers, Jurassic World, and Star Wars top my list too.

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    1. I hope so! I'm so sick of hearing about how box office takings are down, especially when the quality has been so high! Yeah, I think Ant-Man has dropped off a lot of radars - but no, it's this July :) Doctor Strange and Civil War are 2016!

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  2. I'm looking forward to most of these myself, especially your top 3. Surprisingly I do want to see M:I5. I say, surprisingly because even though i be seen them all I'm not a fan of the franchise. That said, GP was outstanding. More curious than excited to see Ant-Man and Terminator. I'm sure I'll see it at some point but I'm least excited about Mockingjay 2. I've been pretty underwhelmed by the series to this point.

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    1. Ghost Protocol was arguably one of the best films that year - M:I has always been a cool series, but that one just took it to the next level. I'm optimistic for both, but can see that they've got some kind of risk attached - guess we'll just have to wait and see ;)

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  3. I'm looking forward for Avengers, Bond, and M:I 5 (because the fourth installment was amazing). I only got to see Jurassic Park last year (and haven't tackled on the succeeding movies), but if World is as awesome as the first movie, I'm definitely going to see it.

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    1. Avengers, Bond and M:I5 are going to be suh-weeeet! I haven't seen JP 2 and 3 in years so I'll have to do a quick refresher before JW comes out. Thanks for commenting :)

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  4. Looks like summer is going to be HUGE!

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    1. I hope so! I'm a sucker for summer movies, bring it on!

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  5. Intrigued to see how Ant-Man turns out. If the director isn't so hot, at least they have ole pro Paul Rudd there to do his best (I shamelessly love ever movie he's in). Interested to see Star Wars, Avengers, Spectre, and Jurassic World as well! :)

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    1. Paul Rudd is a big redeeming factor in Ant-Man for sure - although, that first trailer didn't set the world alight huh? Still, if anyone can pull it off, Marvel can! :) Thanks for commenting Annie!

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