For movie lovers, the year 2015 has been eagerly awaited for a number of reasons. As you’ll see, tonight I am listing my 15 most anticipated pictures of the upcoming year. In order to prove how big next year could be (it’s widely expected to set records in terms of box office), here’s just some of what I left off:
The reboot of the Terminator series (Genisys) that returns Schwarzenegger
A big-budget Peter Pan reboot (Pan) starring Hugh Jackman
Iron Man director Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book
Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella
The latest films from notable directors like Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak), Michael Mann (Blackhat), the Wachowskis (Jupiter Ascending), Neill Blomkamp (Chappie), and Ron Howard (In the Heart of the Sea)
The film version of HBO’s Entourage
The seventh Fast and Furious entry which features Paul Walker’s final work
The Peanuts Movie where Charlie Brown and company finally come to the silver screen
So… what did make the cut? Read on:
15. The Fantastic Four
Release Date: August 7
20th Century Fox had solid box office results but a mediocre product with their two Fantastic Four pics that featured Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and company. There is hope here with the reboot – Chronicle director Josh Trank is behind the camera with a cast that includes Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell.
14. Mad Max: Fury Road
Release Date: May 15
Director George Miller’s return to the series that made Mel Gibson a star puts Tom Hardy in the title role with Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult supporting. I’ve always been curious about this one, but its inclusion in the list is much due to the fabulous trailer that was recently released.
13. Ted 2
Release Date: June 26
Seth MacFarlane’s 2012 original made a huge splash. It was one of the better comedies in recent years and earned $218 million domestically. Mark Wahlberg is back with MacFarlane voicing the vulgar bear.
12. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
Release Date: November 20
I was a bit disappointed in Part 1, but hope still springs eternal for the finale of the franchise in which we’ll bid farewell to Katniss and company.
11. Jurassic World
Release Date: June 12
Colin Trevorrow takes over Universal’s dino franchise that Spielberg started. Star Lord himself, Chris Pratt, headlines the cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D’Onofrio. Expect young moviegoers and those nostalgic for the original from over 20 years ago to RSVP.
Release Date: December 25
Jennifer Lawrence could find herself once again in awards conversations playing real life Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop. Joy is easily included because of its director – David O. Russell, whose last three efforts (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) have all been Best Picture nominees.
9. Mission: Impossible 5
Release Date: December 25
This Tom Cruise franchise was completely reinvigorated with Brad Bird’s fourth flick, Ghost Protocol. Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg are back assisting Ethan Hunt with Jack Reacher‘s Christopher McQuarrie taking over directorial duties.
Release Date: July 17
Never. Doubt. Marvel. Ever. They doubted that Iron Man could be a successful franchise. Same with Guardians of the Galaxy. So… if a picture called Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd sounds like a gamble, my guess is just wait. Peyton Reed directs with Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas costarring.
7. The Revenant
Release Date: December 25
Set in the 1800s, this drama finds Leonardo DiCaprio seeking revenge on thieves who left him to die. Tom Hardy costars with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (maker of Birdman) directing.
Release Date: May 22
As mentioned earlier, Brad Bird infused life into the Mission: Impossible series recently. He also made classic Pixar titles The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Here he’s back with Disney making a secretive fantasy adventure that stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.
5. St. James Place
Release Date: October 16
It’s a Cold War thriller… directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by the Coen Brothers. Starring Tom Hanks. Enough said.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release Date: May 1
The follow-up to 2012’s mega blockbuster finds the gang all returning (including director Joss Whedon) with James Spader voicing the title character bad guy.
Release Date: November 6
After the billion dollar worldwide gross of Skyfall, Daniel Craig is back for his fourth go round as 007 with double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as the main villain. Sam Mendes returns to direct after the smashing Skyfall success.
2. The Hateful Eight
Release Date: Fall
For those who are familiar with this blog, you know that (in my mind) Quentin Tarantino has never made a movie that isn’t terrific. Let’s hope the trend continues here with this Western starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, and Channing Tatum.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Release Date: December 18
I mean… what else could possibly top new Tarantino? I’ve written plenty about it already so I won’t go on. Needless to say, the film world is breathlessly anticipating what JJ Abrams does with the most famous franchise in movie history.
And that’s all for now, folks! Here’s to a great 2015 and the pictures that populate it!