Boyhood is our Number One for 2014, but let’s be honest… the whole of 2014 was a stellar year. How can 2015 possibly match it? Well, we’ve done our research and here are 30 candidates in line to take your money and – potentially – our Number One spot for 2015. Without further ado, here they are:
*Based on UK Release Dates and in Alphabetical Order.
SYNOPSIS: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale yet increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero to help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
THOUGHTS: Edgar Wright and Marvel seemed like a match made in heaven. Sadly this movie will never come to pass. However we are left with the new prospect of Peyton Reed (Yes Man) to take us into the life of con-man Scott Lang. Sure, the director may not have the visual flair or comedic background of Wright but his impressive knowledge of the Ant-Man world suggests he could be a strong fit.
It is our opinion that exploring the new possibilities of what Ant-Man will be is still an intriguing prospect. With the tremendous Paul Rudd gaining the spotlight to become Marvel’s latest protagonist – supported by Michael Douglas as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym – in a bank heist ‘that saves the world’, this is a concept that most could jump on board with.
CAST & CREW: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll and Bobby Cannavale; Peyton Reed (Dir), Gabriel Ferrari, Andrew Barrer and Adam McKay (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 17 July 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron
SYNOPSIS: When Tony Stark attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
THOUGHTS: Think back to early 2012 when we were collectively intrigued and concerned over how Joss Whedon would bring it all together to create the finale for Marvel’s Phase One, The Avengers.
In hindsight it’s a wonder why we ever doubted the stupidly talented writer/director in the first place. The prospect of Whedon reuniting the gang once more to take on the effortlessly watchable and intense James Spader as the villainous Ultron is a mouthwatering one. Grab your popcorn and tickets, as this is going to be one hell of a fight.
CAST & CREW: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Chris Hemsworth, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen; Joss Whedon (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 24 April 2015
SYNOPSIS: Black Mass tells the true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.
THOUGHTS: Is Johnny Depp anything more than a cameo performer unable to hold a film on his own? This murmur is growing amongst film writers and audiences, with Depp-led films continually declining in critical and commercial success. However Scott Cooper could be the man to change that.
The talented writer/director of the under-seen Out of the Furnace will hopefully equip Depp with a De Niro/Untouchables-esque role and allow him to prove his doubters wrong. Supported by a universally strong cast in the form of Cumberbatch, Edgerton, Miller, Temple and Johnson, Black Mass is a tantalising prospect with the potential to be an early awards candidate (if they can pull this story off).
CAST & CREW: Benedict Cumberbatch, Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Sienna Miller, Juno Temple and Dakota Johnson; Scott Cooper (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: September 2015 TBC
SYNOPSIS: Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.
THOUGHTS: Todd Haynes returns to the feature film directorial chair 8 years after the daring I’m Not There, with Carol. The plot circles the central story in which a shop assistant (Mara) fall for an older, married woman (Blanchett).
In the hands of first-time scribe Phyllis Nagy, Carol is an adaptation of the 1952 novel The Price of Salt which defied stereotypes about homosexuality and acted as a benchmark publication for the US lesbian community. This, coupled with Haynes’ ability to draw the best out of his actresses (see Julianne Moore at her best in 2002’s Far from Heaven), suggests there is great potential for Blanchett and Mara to make a run for the award season.
CAST & CREW: Sarah Paulson, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler and Carrie Brownstein; Todd Haynes (Dir) and Phyllis Nagy (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2015 TBC
SYNOPSIS: After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, Chappie becomes the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family. Chappie is preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, a prodigy. He also happens to be a robot.
THOUGHTS: Let’s be honest, Elysium was a disappointment. The flair, wit and composure of Blomkamp’s smash hit – critically and financially – District 9 had seemingly evaporated come the arrival of a big budget. Third time’s a charm?
With Chappie, Blomkamp returns to his small-scale roots, with big ideas coupled to a tight budget. This apparently lighter and more comic affair, loosely based upon one of his shorts, Tetra Vaal, immediately intrigues with its richly witty concept. With long-term collaborator Sharlto Copley in tow as the voice of the eponymous intelligent robot as well as an intense-looking Hugh Jackman on the attack, Chappie looks set to mark a return to form of one of the most exciting directors in the sci-fi world.
CAST & CREW: Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel; Neill Blomkamp (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 6 March 2015
SYNOPSIS: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds… and remembers.
THOUGHTS: Pacific Rim highlighted Del Toro’s ability to handle big-budget, large-scale filmmaking but most audiences grew affectionate towards the director’s work through his smaller, intense horrors. Crimson Peak sees him return to his roots with this love letter to the genre.
The director’s focus and enthusiasm for the project suggests this could be the Grand Guignol, the full-blooded centrepiece of the Autumn movie season. Steeped in realism and led by Wasikowska (who improves with every performance), this could be a dark masterpiece.
CAST & CREW: Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Doug Jones; Guillermo Del Toro (Dir/Wri), Matthew Robbins (Wri) and Lucinda Coxon (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 16 October 2015
SYNOPSIS: An investment banker struggling to understand his emotional disconnect after the tragic death of his wife begins to tear apart his life in an effort to see where he went wrong. He is ultimately rescued by a woman he meets in a chance encounter.
THOUGHTS: Jean-Marc Vallée is a director on fire. Better yet, he knows how to score critical wins for his leads. With Matthew McConaughey winning Best Actor through Dallas Buyers Club and Reese Witherspoon set up for a Best Actress nomination this year for his latest film, Wild, could Jake Gyllenhaal make it three lead acting nods in three years by virtue of this director’s work?
Considering Gyllenhaal’s increasingly impressive back catalogue of sensational performances (see Nightcrawler, Enemy and Prisoners), it seems almost destiny for arguably the most exciting actor in Hollywood to finally achieve the official recognition he deserves.
CAST & CREW: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, and Chris Cooper; Jean-Marc Vallée (Dir) and Bryan Sipe (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2015 TBC
The Early Years
SYNOPSIS: Fred and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children’s confused lives, Mick’s enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again.
THOUGHTS: What an irresistible prospect: Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine as two old, bickering and talented artists in the Alps reviewing their lives. Director and writer Sorrentino is set to bring us once again into his charming and insightful pictures.
Seemingly almost a narrative successor to the beautiful and ambitious The Grand Beauty, here’s hoping that – armed with such an A-list cast – Sorrentino can replicate these achievements for us all over again.
CAST & CREW: Rachel Weisz, Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Paul Dano and Harvey Keitel; Paolo Sorrentino (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: May 2015 TBC
SYNOPSIS: A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.
THOUGHTS: 2015 is the year for Alicia Vikander. Mark these words. The 26-year-old Swede will be a consummate star by the year’s end, beginning with James Kent’s Testament of Youth and Alex Garland’s fascinating A.I. feature, Ex Machina.
The latter actually features three of the brightest stars in the acting circuit with Isaac and Gleeson destined for greater things. Armed with Garland’s strength in the sci-fi genre, showcased in his scripts for Dredd and Sunshine, here’s hoping 2015 opens with an unique look into our future.
CAST & CREW: Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander; Alex Garland (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 23 January 2015
The Fantastic Four
SYNOPSIS: A group of scientists are mutated into superpowered beings and must become heroes to save the world.
THOUGHTS: Despite the best intentions and talent of everyone involved in 2005’s initial reboot, the end result was a drab, camp, ‘Carry On Superheroing‘ kind of affair. A decade later they’ve enlisted some of the brightest new talents around, as well as one of the most exciting new directors.
There’s a fair bit of negativity flowing in the social conscious about this film, with concerns over Jamie Bell as The Thing for starters. However, each of the young leads have at least one or two showstopping performances to their name, and Trank’s Chronicle delivered us a truly unique and thrilling superhero movie. This could be the surprise package of 2015.
CAST & CREW: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell; Josh Trank (Dir) and Simon Kinberg (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 6 August 2015
Far From the Madding Crowd
SYNOPSIS: In Victorian England the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
THOUGHTS: Thomas Hardy’s work returns to our screens again in 2015 with Thomas Vinterberg’s direction and a David Nicholls script.
The Hunt proclaimed the arrival of the latest talent from Scandinavia; Vinterberg’s stark, ambiguous and clever direction achieved many deserved plaudits. In a somewhat unexpected next step, Vinterberg moves from modern-day Denmark to Victorian England, but the allure is clear. With picturesque Dorset captured by long-term collaborator DoP Charlotte Bruus Christensen, and Carey Mulligan as the protagonist with the ever-impressive Matthias Schoenarts on hand as one of three love interests, this is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
CAST & CREW: Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenarts and Tom Sturridge; Thomas Vinterberg (Dir) and David Nicholls (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 1 May 2015
The Hateful Eight
SYNOPSIS: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception.
THOUGHTS: It’s on, it’s off, it’s on, it’s off again and now The Hateful Eight is definitely on. Following the turmoil and QT’s furore over the leak of the film’s initial script, everything appears to be back on track with filming beginning earlier this month for the director’s second visit to the Western genre.
QT’s called upon his long-time collaborators to help. Jackson, Russell, and Madsen are all set to star once more but the inclusion of Jennifer Jason Leigh intrigues the most. Although the actress has not been in a ‘hit’ feature for several years, her scene-stealing performance in The Spectacular Now brought her back onto the collective radar. So with Tarantino back in his element with renewed energy and determination, The Hateful Eight looks set to reinvigorate the Western once more.
CAST & CREW: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir and Jennifer Jason Leigh; Quentin Tarantino (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2015 TBC
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Pt II
SYNOPSIS: Having been symbolized as the ‘Mockingjay’, Katniss Everdeen joins District 13 in an all-out revolution against the autocratic Capitol.
THOUGHTS: November screens will present the conclusion of one of the more impressive teen franchises, that boasts more intelligence and ambition than the standard fare. That being said, the first part of this elongated finale was short on actual content as The Hunger Games geared up for its spectacular conclusion.
This being said, with all the narrative leg-work established in Part One, Part Two could (and should) be a spectacular bow out. In addition to this, the film marks the sad farewell to Philip Seymour Hoffman. His was a career cut far too short but at least his work will be seen by the young populace and hopefully act as an introduction to the fine actor’s incredible back catalogue.
CAST & CREW: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Francis Lawrence (Dir), Danny Strong (Wri) and Peter Craig (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 20 November 2015
In the Heart of the Sea
SYNOPSIS: In a film based on the 1820 event, we will see a whaling ship preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.
THOUGHTS: Ron Howard’s stock is back on the rise again; when he’s good, he’s one of the best. The exhilarating Rush was one of the best films of 2013 and In the Heart of the Sea looks set to push the director to create his most ambitious film yet.
It is based upon Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 book In the Heart of the Sea, about the sinking of the whaleship Essex – the apparent inspiration for Moby Dick – an interesting hook by anyone’s standards. Teaming up with Rush‘s Chris Hemsworth, Ben Whishaw and Cillian Murphy, Howard has an extremely strong hand to play. The ace in this pack is Tom Holland, who greatly impressed in The Impossible; a great young actor hopefully on his way to achieving a long and successful career.
CAST & CREW: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Tom Holland; Ron Howard (Dir) and Charles Leavitt (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 13 March 2015
SYNOPSIS: Told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind of a little girl.
THOUGHTS: Pixar return and it looks like they’ve got their mojo back. Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur will be the studio’s first original films since 2012. We’ve chosen the former based on the caliber of the idea and the strength of the behind-the-scenes crew.
Pete Docter, the talented director behind some of Pixar’s greatest hits (Monsters Inc. and Up), takes the helm to place the studio back on top of the animation game. The voice cast is impressive too with Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, and Bill Hader among those providing the voices. Fingers crossed.
CAST & CREW: Diane Lane, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Hader; Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen (Dir) and Michael Arndt (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 24 July 2015
SYNOPSIS: 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully-functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor’s interest. It backfires horribly.
THOUGHTS: There’s a universal childish glee to the prospect of a new Jurassic Park film, especially with the man of 2014, Chris Pratt, in the leading role. Set 22 years after the first film, Jurassic World seems to suggest that our future society has learned nothing from Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm and have created some form of super mutant dinosaur. Smooth move everybody.
Safety Not Guaranteed was an impressive, peppy and fun debut from Trevorrow and Spielberg has been keeping a close eye on production, suggesting (hopefully) nothing too bad will emerge to destroy our childhoods. Reaction to the trailer was mixed but we’ll have to wait until June for the finished product.
CAST & CREW: Chris Pratt, Judy Greer, Bryce Dallas Howard and Ty Simpkins; Colin Trevorrow (Dir/Wri) and Derek Connelly (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 12 June 2015
Knight of Cups
SYNOPSIS: Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. However, when the prince arrived the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.
VERDICT: Between 1973 and 2000 – that’s 27 years – Terrence Malick directed just three films. Upon entering the 21st century the director has a newfound vigour, or perhaps urgency, to produce more projects than ever before, with four films this decade. This unprecedented burst of productivity actually caused him to shoot all four of his next films back-to-back, having edited the Tree of Life.
2015 welcomes the second of these projects, Knight Of Cups, following 2012’s To the Wonder. The film hosts an all-star cast leaping to join the now-prolific director. The intriguing synopsis offers little in terms of substance for us to pore over, but Malick’s films are never meant for narrative focus. The beauty is key and the trailer suggests the director’s eye has not failed him again. Bring on its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February!
CAST & CREW: Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Imogen Poots, Cate Blanchett, Wes Bentley and Nick Offerman; Terrence Malick (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2015 TBC
SYNOPSIS: Identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray terrorize London during the 1950s and ’60s.
THOUGHTS: Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy star as the Kray twins. We’re in.
The following words only weaken Legend’s impressive elevator pitch but it’s worth emphasising how exciting this project is: Writer and director Brian Helgeland’s claims to fame include penning L.A. Confidential and directing cult classic A Knight’s Tale. The promise of a more thoughtful approach to such a fascinating pair is the ultimate temptation.
There’s no doubting Hardy’s ability to shine and excel, as seen with Bronson, Locke, The Dark Knight Rises and his scene-stealing performance in the latest series of TV show Peaky Blinders. With the ever-fantastic Emily Browning and up-and-comer Taron Egerton involved, Legend has the ability to live up to its namesake.
CAST & CREW: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Colin Morgan, Taron Egerton, David Thewlis and Christopher Eccleston; Brian Helgeland (Dir/Wri)
RELEASE DATE: October 2015 TBC
Mad Max: Fury Road
SYNOPSIS: In an apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. Then there is Furiosa, a woman of action who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.
THOUGHTS: According to a long-unwritten cinematic rule, if your film is delayed your film is destined to fail (critically, commercially or both). How can it be then that Mad Max: Fury Road looks so good?
Following years of delays, rewrites and reshoots, Mad Max: Fury Road is finally being released in May 2015 and kudos to WB’s publicity team who have ramped up the excitement from zero to 100 in record time. Complete with exciting, weirdly beautiful and bat-shit crazy action scenes along with a ferocious-looking Charlize Theron as the tremendous-looking Furiosa, this film looks a true sequel (body & soul) to the original trilogy. Here’s to George Miller for hopefully pulling off the Mad Max sequel we all hoped for.
CAST & CREW: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Zoe Kravitz; George Miller (Dir/Wri), Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 15 May 2015
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
SYNOPSIS: In the early 1960s CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
THOUGHTS: Sadly the 2015 version of the classic ’60s TV show does not involve Robert Vaughn resuming his role as Napoleon Solo, but there are some plus points to be found…
Featuring the talents and stylish looks of Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and the actor of 2015 (see above), Alicia Vikander, the film could be a necessary slice of cool for the upcoming summer season. Guy Ritchie specialises in the fickle and fun and his overly kinetic and stylised filmmaking will enjoy its welcome return in this Cold War caper. It’s also worth adding that it’ll be nice to see Henry Cavill truly flexing his (acting) muscles in a role outside of Superman’s red cape.
CAST & CREW: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant, Alicia Vikander and Jared Harris; Guy Ritchie (Dir/Wri) and Lionel Wigram (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 14 August 2015
SYNOPSIS: An astronaut, stranded on Mars, struggles to survive.
THOUGHTS: Ridley Scott is 77. That’s right, the director has amassed a fairly impressive 77 years of age and yet The Martian marks 2015 as a fourth successive year to feature one of his cinematic releases.
Exodus: Gods and Kings may have been the last box office bomb of 2014 but The Martian offers a wider, more commercial appeal. Putting Scott back into his best domain – space with a Drew Goddard script (which should guarantee a witty and thrilling flow) – there’s real promise to this film. Furthermore it is based on Andy Weir’s 2014 bestseller of the same name, which has been described as ‘Cast Away meets Apollo 13‘. Surely that’s an offer too good to refuse?
CAST & CREW: Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig and Sebastian Stan; Ridley Scott (Dir) and Drew Goddard (Wri).
RELEASE DATE: 27 November 2015
Mission: Impossible 5
SYNOPSIS: The next installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise.
THOUGHTS: Brad Bird has never made a bad film, and with Mission: Impossible 4 he proved this law true once more. The film was a thrilling popcorn blockbuster, breathless in its ambition and pace, with Cruise highlighting why he’s one of the best Hollywood actors left in the game. The film’s quality and success was so great that a franchise previously rebooted twice with Cruise at the helm has received its third – and possibly last – chance to achieve enduring success.
Bird turned down the chance to do M:I5 to take on Tomorrowland, so Christopher McQuarrie is in charge of Ethan Hunt’s fifth outing. The new crew of M:I4 are all back, with the addition of Ving Rhames to add some spice to the affair. Based on photos of recent filming, it seems as if McQuarrie and Cruise are looking to push the franchise to new exciting heights. Quite literally.
CAST & CREW: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner; Christopher McQuarrie (Dir) and Drew Pearce (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 26 December 2015
Pitch Perfect 2
SYNOPSIS: Collegiate a cappella group the Barden Bellas enter an international competition which no American team has ever won.
THOUGHTS: The Barden Bellas are back, and we couldn’t be happier.
The guilty (not guilty) pleasure of 2012 was a breath of fresh air combining music, comedy and a bracing sense of enthusiasm and optimism. There was a lot to like about the original, with Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson breaking out as outright stars.
The sequel has shown encouraging signs of continuing this trend with the original cast returning as well as Pitch Perfect‘s scribe Kay Cannon returning to writing duties. In an intriguing twist, Elizabeth Banks makes her directorial debut for the return of the Barden Bellas. There are high hopes for this sequel with its devoted teen fanbase ready to produce the latest GIFs for Tumblr as soon as it’s released. It’s time to get pitch-slapped all over again.
CAST & CREW: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and Hailee Steinfeld; Elizabeth Banks (Dir) and Kay Cannon (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 15 May 2015
St. James Place
SYNOPSIS: An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.
THOUGHTS: Tom Hanks teaming up with Steven Spielberg whilst armed with a script from the Coen brothers? Of course you’re interested.
Tom Hanks was Spielberg’s muse from the late ’90s to early ’00s as the pair made three great films together (yes, including The Terminal). It’s exciting to hear that the pair have reunited for his dramatic thriller. With Hanks aided by the talents of Alan Alda, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan, there’s a plethora of acting talent here.
Will the end product reach the heights of Catch Me if You Can? From the outset, considering the absolute absence of information, it’s impossible to say. However we live in hope that Spielberg and Hanks make it four for four.
CAST & CREW: Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda and Mark Rylance; Steven Spielberg (Dir), Ethan Coen, Joel Coen and Matt Charman (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 9 October 2015
SYNOPSIS: A boxer fights his way to the top only to discover that his life is falling apart around him.
THOUGHTS: That photo.
Through the above photo Gyllenhaal has captured the entire moviegoing audience with his unbelievable transformation to become boxer Billy Hope. Considering that the Southpaw shoot came off the back of Nightcrawler – where the actor lost 50lbs from his normal weight – it’s clear that Gyllenhaal now sits atop the Method Actor throne. Move aside Christian Bale.
There are other considerations outside this immense body transformation, as there’s a solid cast here. Nonetheless director Antoine Fuqua’s hit-and-miss run of form is of concern. On the other hand, with the roll that Gyllenhaal is on, Southpaw is a prospect that is hard to ignore.
CAST & CREW: Jack Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent; Antoine Fuqua (Dir) and Kurt Sutter (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2015 TBC
SYNOPSIS: A cryptic message from James Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
THOUGHTS: It had to be in here. The prospect of Daniel Craig returning as James Bond to face up against the sensational Christoph Waltz, and the promise of SPECTRE on the horizon, is simply mouthwatering.
The newest ‘Bond Girls’ also command our attention, with the return of Naomie Harris and the exciting inclusion of the talented Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci. This cast makes for a very exciting upcoming film.
The Sony leak suggested that the budget was spiralling out of control at over $300 million, making it the most expensive movie ever. Also nine cars being stolen on the first day of filming is usually a bit of a bummer… However as Casino Royale and Skyfall have shown, Bond is a hard man to keep down.
CAST & CREW: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Andrew Scott; Sam Mendes (Dir), John Logan (Wri), Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 23 October 2015
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
SYNOPSIS: A continuation of the saga set 30 years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
THOUGHTS: Can we let ourselves be excited all over again for a new Star Wars trilogy? Following the trailer… yes we can.
In less than 90 seconds of teaser there has undeniably been renewed impetus. There’s a vibrancy and infectious enthusiasm in every sharp scene revealed thus far. The young cast acts as a who’s-who of the best out there with Isaac, Gleeson, Driver, Boyega, Ridley and Nyongo’o all set to bring renewed life to the galaxy far, far away.
The presence of the old guard (Ford, Fisher and Hamill) is reassuring as it illustrates how Abrams is attempting to knit these almost separate worlds to create a cohesive new path for the Star Wars franchise to take. With George Lucas seemingly totally out of the picture, the future looks very bright indeed.
CAST & CREW: Oscar Isaac, Domnhall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyongo’o, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill; J.J. Abrams (Dir/Wri) and Lawrence Kasdan (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 18 December 2015
SYNOPSIS: Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
THOUGHTS: As mentioned above, Brad Bird’s never made a bad film. The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol have all been successes – but can the writer-director make it five wins in a row?
Well, he’s setting the bar high with a futuristic sci-fi flick involving George Clooney. The level of detail available outside of this is minimal, with the teaser trailer offering little more than very cool visuals and one intriguing idea. The amount of information kept under wraps, considering the length of awareness for this project and the way we treat nearly all film releases, is phenomenal.
It looks like it’ll be a big, original, ambitious and visually impressive blockbuster – what’s not to be excited about?
CAST & CREW: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Tim McGraw; Brad Bird (Dir/Wri) and Damon Lindelof (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 22 May 2015
SYNOPSIS: A group of corrupt police officers are blackmailed into pulling off a seemingly impossible heist. They plot the murder of a rookie police officer in order to orchestrate a “999”, code for ‘officer down’, to pull off a heist across town.
THOUGHTS: Triple Nine is arguably the most interesting film on this list.
With a line-up that will make anyone drool, coupled with John Hillcoat operating in a contemporary setting, and topped with Nick Cave on scoring duties, there is great promise to this Oscar dark horse.
The premise alone is enough to cause salivation. To see an original idea such as this receive such star power behind it is truly exciting and highlights how 2015 is not simply a year of remakes, sequels and superheroes.
CAST & CREW: Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Gal Godot; John Hillcoat (Dir) and Matt Cook (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 11 September 2015
Z for Zacariah
SYNOPSIS: In the wake of a disaster that wiped out most of civilization, two men and a woman find themselves in an emotionally-charged love triangle as the last known survivors.
THOUGHTS: This is a film that is yet to really appear on anyone’s radar but it should do.
The triumvirate of Robbie, Pine and Ejiofor starring in their own dystopian disaster movie offers an intriguing narrative; even if the love triangle perhaps feels incongruous given the locale.
However there’s ample buzz about this number in all the right circles, with its upcoming Sundance appearance catching a few individuals’ attention. Director Craig Zobel’s last flick, Compliance, had a great setup but was slightly let down by its execution. Here’s hoping that Robbie and co., can deliver an indie smash.
CAST & CREW: Margot Robbie, Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor; Craig Zobel (Dir) and Nissar Modi (Wri)
RELEASE DATE: 2015 TBC