It’s that time again! 2014 produced some pretty great films. From mutant inbetweequels, to apes on horses, to a talking raccoon, it was one of the best 12 months we’ve had in years. A lot of the success came from the blockbuster hits: Sci-fi got more ambitious – while superhero movies’ solidified their status as the ‘top dog’ in Hollywood at the moment
So how will 2015 compare? In spite of a few notable drop-outs *grumbles about Batman V Superman*, the competition still looks pretty tough. Several classic movie franchises make their long-awaited returns, alongside a few contemporary favourites, in what looks like an impressive year. I should point out that these ten movie may not be the best 2015 has to offer – they’re just the ones that I’m personally looking forward to seeing the most.
Hit the jump to find out which big sci-fi, fantasy and superhero blockbusters make my most-anticipated list for 2015!
The big exclusion here is George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which I know many people are very excited for. Rumoured to be one giant chase sequence, it only just misses out. Terminator Genysis also fails to make the cut – simply for chosing to spell Genesis with a ‘Y’ (well, that and franchise fatigue). Other nods go to Neil Blomkamp’s Chappie, Pixar’s Inside Out, and James Wan’s Furious 7 – which simply looks like unapologetic fun (and sadly features Paul Walker’s final onscreen appearance as well).
And last but not least – is it cheating if I sneak this guy in as well? Marvel & Netflix’s Daredevil may not be being released in cinemas, but it could end up being the best comic-book adaptation of 2015. With a great cast, talented writers and the freedom of a 13-episode run on Netflix, this show will pave the way for Jessica Jones and the rest of Marvel’s small-screen Defenders over the coming years…
10) The Fantastic Four
Director: Josh Trank
Written By: Seth Grahame-Smith, Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater; Josh Trank (story)
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
Why It’s Interesting? Let’s get the most controversial out of the way first, shall we? Regardless of how a lot of people feel about Fox’s mysterious reboot, this is a CBM – and as such, we should all want to see it do well. Trank proved he had a lot of potential when he made Chronicle – a truly unique take on the superhero genre. Hopefully he’ll deliver more of the same here – ably supported by a talented young cast. Toby Kebbell (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) looks like the pick of the bunch as Doctor Doom.
9) Mission: Impossible 5
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Written By: Drew Pearce, Will Staples
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin
Why It’s Interesting? Make no mistake, Tom Cruise is in the form of his life at the moment. After kicking this franchise back into gear with 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Cruise has since had a number of excellent sci-fi & action hits that have sneaked under the radar – from Jack Reacher to Oblivion to the underrated Edge Of Tomorrow. Reunite him with frequent collaborator Christopher McQuarrie and actors Jeremy Renner & Simon Pegg and your definitely on to a winning formula.
8) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Director: Francis Lawrence
Written By: Danny Strong, Peter Craig
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour-Hoffman, Natalie Dormer, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Donald Sutherland
Why It’s Interesting? The Hunger Games series may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and a few fans were even a little disappointed with 2014’s Mockingjay – Part 1. However, I’ve really enjoyed this franchise so far, as it looks to go out with a bang this November. Focusing on exciting themes of revolution, the filmmakers have prioritised action and the characters over romance and teenage fluff. Meanwhile, the acting talent on display is top-notch – with special mention to the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
7) Kingsman: The Secret Service
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Written By: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine
Why It’s Interesting? Matthew Vaughn has to be one of the most versatile directors around. Over the last decade, the man has produced four fantastic movies – topping them all with 2011’s excellent X-Men: First Class. While it was a shame to see him depart the sequel, no movie appeared more suited for him than this. Based on the graphic novel by Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons, Vaughn’s next hit-in-the-making blends the tongue-in-cheek tone of old school spy movies with gratuitous violence. What’s not to love?
Director: Edgar Wright Peyton Reed
Written By: Gabriel Ferrari, Andrew Barrer & Adam McKay
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Judy Greer
Why It’s Interesting? Because it’s a Marvel Studios film! Guardians Of The Galaxy proved that Feige can slap that logo on anything right now and audiences will eat it up. Yes it’s a huge shame that Edgar Wright never got to complete his vision, but in Peyton Reed you’ve got a decent director who seems like a big fan of the source material. It’s also got a great cast (led by Paul Rudd & Michael Douglas), and a plot that potentially leads-in to 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. I (for one) cannot wait!
Director: Brad Bird
Written By: Damon Lindelof & Brad Bird
Cast: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn
Why It’s Interesting? Not much is known about Brad Bird’s latest gig – but that hasn’t stopped people from getting excited about it. An intriguing first trailer grabbed my attention – while George Clooney’s involvement is always a plus. Claudio Miranda’s history as a cinematographer on Oblivion and Life Of Pi promises some truly breath-taking visuals, while Bird’s name itself speaks volumes. He’s had hit after hit after hit – from The Iron Giant to Ghost Protocol. Somebody give this man a CBM!
4) Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Written By: Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer, Irrfan Khan
Why It’s Interesting? Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is still one of my all-time favourite movies, and while the sequels never lived up it, something tells me the fourth instalment looks ready to recapture the magic and nostalgia from the 1993 classic. Chris Pratt (ya know, Star Lord, legendary outlaw…) heads up an impressive cast, as he swiftly becomes Hollywood’s most in-demand actor. Meanwhile, Colin Trevorrow looks to follow Gareth Edwards from a small indie hit to a big screen blockbuster.
Director: Sam Mendes
Written By: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris
Why It’s Interesting? After the disappointing Quantum Of Solace, Sam Mendes’ Skyfall re-invigorated the Bond franchise once again. Was it the best Bond ever? I’d have words with the Casino Royale fans about that one, but it was certainly up there. Mendes looks to have filled the void left by Judi Dench/Javier Bardem by bringing in the likes of Andrew Scott (of Sherlock fame), Christoph Waltz and the lovely Léa Seydoux for the sequel. Meanwhile, Daniel Craig just keeps getting better and better as 007.
2) Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Written By: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Andy Serkis, Samuel L. Jackson, James Spader
Why It’s Interesting? James [frick]in Spader. That’s why. Well, that and the fact that it’s the sequel to the most successful superhero movie ever. Marvel have gone from strength to strength in recent years, and the pressure is now on Joss Whedon to top his 2012 mega-hit. A darker tone, more in line with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will likely please the critics, while the aforementioned Spader looks like he could be one of the best CBM villains ever as Ultron. There are no strings on that man.
1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Director: JJ Abrams
Written By: Lawrence Kasdan, JJ Abrams
Cast: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis
Why It’s Interesting? So what tops the sequel to the third highest grossing movie of all time? A Star Wars movie of course! The Force Awakens stunned audiences worldwide this month with that fantastic teaser trailer. JJ Abrams looks like the man to kick the franchise back into gear after the lacklustre prequels, having performed similar heroics with 2009’s Star Trek. The old favourites all return – joined by a dynamic young cast, while the legendary John Williams is back too! This has to be the movie to beat for 2015.
Well there you have it! What do you think? Does The Force Awakens deserve to be number 1? Disappointed by the lack of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2? Let me know in the comments below!
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Oh… and HAPPY NEW YEAR guys!