There’s no doubt about it, 2015 is primed to be a HUGE year for films with blockbusters coming left and right to entertain us, some inevitable and some that have been years in the making. Here’s just a taste of what to expect over the next twelve months…
10 – MINIONS
Since their debut in 2010’s Despicable Me, those yellow pill-shaped creatures have exploded onto the current pop culture scene and have now been awarded their own movie to entertain the masses once more (or, at least, until Despicable Me 3 comes along).
It will be a very interesting route to take, especially seeing how the Minions themselves cannot convey intelligible English like other spin-off characters can, so will have to rely on their physical humour to tell a coherent story of how they lived before settling down with Gru.
For the speaking roles, the film is lucky to have the likes of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton on board, but it will be those Minions that people will come to see, and though a dedicated spin-off might be a sign of possible overexposure for the characters, audiences will be so engrossed with their antics to care.
Expect this one to be big, no matter the competition.
WHEN’S IT OUT?
26TH JUNE 2015
9 – INSIDE OUT/THE GOOD DINOSAUR
After a year’s break, Pixar is back with not one but two new original films to please fans and audiences who may have missed the animation giant.
Its first offering of the year, Inside Out, takes us inside the mind of a young girl and her struggling emotions – literally in this case, as we meet beings known as Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) who all try to control her inner thoughts as the girl moves home with her parents. It’s a fascinating concept and hopefully Pixar will approach it with the same passion and energy that went into their earlier work.
The same thing can be wished on their second film of the year, The Good Dinosaur, which explores what would happen if the asteroid missed the Earth and dinosaurs were still around on Earth. This one has seen some production troubles as of late, with original director Bob Peterson being replaced late in the game which in itself led to a number of Pixar employees being let go in a massive shake-up, which didn’t exactly spell great news for the studio’s Brave – which also experienced late production woes, leading to a mixed reception – but hopefully Pixar will have learned their lesson in how to approach existing material and will have reconstructed it to make it fit better with audiences and become a potential new classic.
At any rate, they’re still bound to be better than Cars 2…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
24TH JULY 2015 (Inside Out)
27TH NOVEMBER 2015 (The Good Dinosaur)
8 – TERMINATOR GENISYS
The sound you’re hearing right now is grammar Nazis around the world banging their heads against their keyboards after reading the subtitle for the reboot of the Terminator franchise.
That aside, it’s good to see Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his most iconic role in a warped time-zone where everything seems to have changed from what we once knew; a young Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is well aware of the apocalyptic future and has joined forced with the T-800 that had been sent back to kill her to try and stop the future from happening, where her grown son John Connor (Jason Clarke – no relation) leads the human course against the self-aware Skynet.
After last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past tampering with a similar storyline it may seem a little repetitive, but the Terminator franchise has been in need of a do-over after 2009’s lacklustre Christian Bale-screaming (off-camera) Terminator: Salvation, and it seems this is the one to get the fire going once more. Let’s hope this time, he’ll be back to stay…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
3RD JULY 2015
7 – THE PEANUTS MOVIE
Just purely on the nostalgia factor does this rank as a higher must-see film over something like The Terminator.
Eyebrows were raised when the classic Peanuts comic strip, by late illustrator Charles M. Schultz, was to be adapted into a CG animated film by the same people behind Ice Age and Rio. But, from the first trailer onwards, we found ourselves won over by the animation style – it’s CG, but reframed to resemble traditional 2D animation, as with the previous cartoons – and its apparent sticking to the timeless and innocent nature of Schultz’s world. All the characters, from lovable beagle Snoopy to the permanently-bald Charlie Brown, look eerily like how they were intended from the beginning, and are still identifiable even with the added pixels.
Even more ambitious is its decision to hire unknown child actors to play the speaking roles of Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy et al, as well as using archival voiceover from the late animator and voice artist Bill Melendez as the silent Snoopy and yellow bird Woodstock. It’s clear that they want to keep Schultz’s work and integrity alive and well, and it seems that they’ve certainly captured what made Peanuts so appealing in the first place.
As Leonardo DiCaprio puts it in Django Unchained, “You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.”
WHEN’S IT OUT?
21ST DECEMBER 2015
6 – THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2
This REALLY is it, this time – the second part of the adaptation of the third book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games book trilogy marks the end of Katniss Everdeen’s plight against the Capitol, and it promises one hell of an explosive finale.
Everyone in the cast – from Jennifer Lawrence to the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who made his final film appearance in this one before his untimely passing – will experience some sort of closure and resolution as they make their final assault on Donald Sutherland’s Creepy Santa President Snow and his totalitarian rule of Panem, while the story and its overall conclusion is destined for either good tidings or something far more bittersweet. Those who may have read the book already will probably know where things will be going (and without spoilers, we can only say “HO. LY. CRAP”) but for the general movie-going public it will be a finale to remember.
It’s been an effective and smart series of films, but the time has come for The Hunger Games to end and for the Mockingjay to spread its wings one last time…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
20TH NOVEMBER 2015
5 – JURASSIC WORLD
Back in 1993, and still to this day, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was considered a pioneer in blockbuster entertainment with revolutionary special effects and an overwhelming sense of wonder. Its sequels, on the other hand, have ranged from boring – that’d be 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park – to incredibly stupid – need we forget that talking raptor that sounded a little like Schwarzenegger in 2001’s Jurassic Park 3? – so here’s hoping that Jurassic World, something of both a continuation AND a reboot, can get the series back on track.
Returning to Isla Nublar, the location of the first film, it now seems that the dreams of Dr. Alex Hammond have come to life and the dinosaur reserve is now open to the public. Of course, being carnivorous prehistoric creatures the natural tendency is that they will inevitably endanger all that are holidaying to the theme park, and considering the Disneyland-esque sizes of the queues in that trailer there’s the potential for a pretty high body count.
Danger aside, it will be a pretty neat experience to just see dinosaurs do their thing on the big screen again, and with any luck we can consider it a worthy successor to Spielberg’s original franchise-starter. “Spared no expense,” indeed.
WHEN’S IT OUT?
12TH JUNE 2015
4 – SPECTRE
The return of James Bond is exciting enough, but the 24th instalment in the ongoing film series will be special for one very different reason. It will also see the return, after 44 years thanks to recently-resolved rights issues, of the evil organisation known as SPECTRE (that’s SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion for you) and, potentially, its head honcho – one Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Though we cannot confirm whether or not Blofeld is indeed in the movie, we do know a bit more about the film than before, such as that 007 will be travelling to places like Mexico, Rome and Austria, he’ll be driving his trademark Aston Martin (the DB10, for all you car buffs out there), and that the story will see Bond trace a cryptic message to the layers of the sinister organisation of the title.
All exciting stuff, but not as much as the fact that Skyfall director Sam Mendes will also be returning to the franchise for his second consecutive Bond film, along with fellow recurring cast members Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear, and new additions like Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott and Dave Bautista.
In short, SPECTRE’s going to be a Bond to remember…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
23RD OCTOBER 2015
3 – TOMORROWLAND
With animated hits The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, writer-director Brad Bird asserted himself as one of the leading talents in his field, and with his first live-action outing – 2011’s sequel Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – he proved that his keen eye wasn’t restricted to the drawing board. As you can guess, there’s a lot of speculation and hype over his second live-action film Tomorrowland, mainly because we have no real idea of what to expect.
Co-scripted by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, who usually likes to keep things under wraps until prior to release, it is a project shrouded in mystery. Rumours have it linked to the iconic section of Disneyland with Walt Disney himself somehow having a part in all of this, while others peg it as an ambiguous trip across time and space. Not even the impressive trailer, above, gives us a clue as to what the film really entails. We have absolutely no idea, and that’s why we’re so damn curious about it.
Bird hasn’t been one to let us down before, so we can only hope that his long-in-development project can wow us with all its ideas and revelations. We truly can’t wait – after all, doesn’t the song state that Tomorrow is “only a day away”?
WHEN’S IT OUT?
22ND MAY 2015
What? Five months from now? Ffffffu—
2 – AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
The superhero behemoth that drastically changed the way superhero franchises are made forever, Marvel’s The Avengers was always going to set itself high for a sequel to surpass it with great ease, but it may just be that Age of Ultron, based on a popular Marvel storyline, will do more than succeed over its predecessor.
Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury are all teamed up again for a much greater threat – the artificial intelligence known as Ultron (mo-capped and voiced by James Spader) – while at the same time trying to juggle the conflicts between themselves. Returning director Joss Whedon aims to go deeper with its characters and scenarios as opposed to bigger, and in doing so may just give it more of a complex emotional punch, a trait sorely missed in most blockbusters nowadays.
The further inclusion of twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen respectively) and Paul Bettany finally being given a physical presence as android hero Vision will certainly add weight to the proceedings, even as Tony Stark and Steve Rogers continue to find themselves at odds against each other (the fact that Captain America 3 will be subtitled Civil War doesn’t spell good news for their relationship by the end of this movie, but we’re speculating…)
It will definitely be awesome to see what new scenarios we will find our favourite superhero team in once more, and that Age of Ultron will once again prove to be a benchmark in superhero movies as its predecessor was.
WHEN’S IT OUT?
24TH APRIL 2015
1 – STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
It’s just too big to dismiss. The news that Disney had bought Lucasfilm back in 2012 was big already, but a brand-new Star Wars trilogy? After the backlash of the much-detested prequels? That’s a very ballsy move for Disney to make, especially with a newly-purchased property.
But by the time this new film will come out, it will have been just over ten years since the prequel trilogy concluded with Revenge of the Sith, meaning that the creators have had a decade to look back and reassess what worked and what didn’t work with those films. That time and reassessment seems to have paid off, so now we are getting a Star Wars film that actually feels like a Star Wars film. A higher focus on character and story? Yes please. Favouring of practical on-set effects over computer graphics? You read our minds. A mixture of old cast members and newer faces? Oh Disney, you are spoiling us.
Yes, the likes of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will reprise their roles from the original trilogy along with fan-favourite Chewbacca (played once more by Peter Mayhew) and series mascots R2-D2 and C-3PO, while also welcoming aboard a new, fresh collection of actors including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong’o alongside respected veterans Andy Serkis and Max von Sydow. This collection of past actors will certainly please many nostalgic fans while introducing new characters that are more than worthy to take their place on the mantle.
It’s all down to director J.J. Abrams, a self-confessed Star Wars geek who should rightfully feel as if in Heaven – or whatever the equivalent is in sci-fi lore – when bringing this new story (which he co-scripted with Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan) to the screen. The problem that most people had with George Lucas as director was that, even though he directed the first entry A New Hope, he couldn’t find the right balance for his actors to stick with, especially with his lesser writing skills. We shouldn’t worry too much with Abrams; his Star Trek films have proven that he can help establish a great comradery between its various characters and incorporate a great sense of fun into the proceedings.
Needless to say, we are beyond excited for this latest trip to a galaxy far, far away – the past is unlikely to repeat itself, so don’t expect any whiny Skywalkers or (even worse) any racially-insensitive Gungans to make an appearance – and we’re extremely annoyed that we’ve got an entire year to wait until we can bathe in all its glory. No matter though; we have the above teaser to replay a few dozen times over until the day comes.
The Force, and indeed the continuation of one of the greatest sagas in movie history, is about to wake up…
WHEN’S IT OUT?
18TH DECEMBER 2015
ALSO OUT THIS YEAR (DEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BREATH)
Taken 3 (out: 8th January 2015)
Kingsman: The Secret Service (out: 29th January 2015)
Jupiter Ascending (out: 6th February 2015)
Fifty Shades of Grey (out: 13th February 2015)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (out: 27th February 2015)
In the Heart of the Sea (out: 13th March 2015)
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (out: 20th March 2015)
Cinderella (out: 27th March 2015)
Fast & Furious 7 (out: 3rd April 2015)
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (out: 10th April 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (out: 15th May 2015)
Pitch Perfect 2 (out: 15th May 2015)
Entourage (out: 19th June 2015)
Ted 2 (out: 10th July 2015)
Ant-Man (out: 17th July 2015)
Pan (out: 17th July 2015)
Magic Mike XXL (out: 31st July 2015)
The Fantastic Four (out: 6th August 2015)
The Man From U.N.C.L.E (out: 14th August 2015)
Pixels (out: 14th August 2015)
Trainwreck (out: 28th August 2015)
Suffragette (out: 11th September 2015)
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (out: 18th September 2015)
Jane Got A Gun (out: 25th September 2015)
Victor Frankenstein (out: 2nd October 2015)
London Has Fallen (out: 2nd October 2015)
The Walk (out: 2nd October 2015)
Hotel Transylvania 2 (out: 9th October 2015)
St. James Place (out: 9th October 2015)
Crimson Peak (out: 16th October 2015)
The Jungle Book (out: 16th October 2015)
The Martian (out: 27th November 2015)
Mission: Impossible 5 (out: 26th December 2015)