Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. This time of year is rife with lists looking back on the year of film. I plan on joining in with all my peers and colleagues with a favorites of 2014 list as well, but first I want to take a look forward. Quite a big look forward, actually. 2015 ain't fucking around. We've known that for a while because of the crazy amount of big tentpole franchise releases, but when you start digging you find dozens upon of dozens of films to get excited about.
Below we'll cover original films, remakes, reboots, sequels, adaptations and everything in-between. Films from new upstarts that could shoot them into legendary status and movies from some of the best storytellers cinema has ever seen. We have new films from Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, Cameron Crowe, Werner Herzog, Guillermo del Toro, George Miller, Terence Malick, Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Woody Allen, Jon Favreau, Robert Zemeckis, Alejandro Amenabar and many more interesting filmmakers.
I'm going to start with the big “no shit, Sherlock” 2015 releases and work my way through to some really outstanding looking films that might not be on your radar. Lord knows some of them weren't on mine when I started this little excursion. Let's begin, shall we?
After that trailer if Star Wars Episode VII was the only big tentpole movie coming out next year 2015 would still be one for the record books. This is a big deal. As a child of the Original Trilogy whose faith was supremely shaken by the prequels, this film will set the expectation for probably the rest of my movie-going life. Disney's not going to stop it with Star Wars for a long, long time and that's actually pretty exciting for me, especially since Kathleen Kennedy seems to be as strong of a leader that we hoped she'd be and is hiring really interesting people to continue the adventure of Luke, Leia and Han.
For the first time in 32 years we don't know what's coming. Sure, there were surprises in the prequels, but we all knew how it was going to end. Now we don't and that's hugely exciting for me. If JJ Abrams nails this I don't doubt that Rian Johnson's going to step up big time with the follow-up and that means we're entering a new era of geekdom. December 18th, 2015.
Jurassic Park was a major, major deal to me in my film development. I was 12 the summer it came out and it was the first time I got to get swept up in a Spielberg adventure event movie as it was happening. I mean, I had the anticipation of The Last Crusade, but JP was something different. It was dangerous. None of the sequels have done much for me and I believe Colin Trevorrow has his heart in the right place with this one. The concept of a functioning park tickles the theme park joy centers in my brain and it also promises a return to the awe and wonder of the first film, not just a “run and scream” fest like the sequels. If he can capture that, then it'll be a fabulous return to that universe. If not... well, it can't be as bad as gymnastics girl vs. raptor, right? June 12, 2015.
George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road is actually coming. It's made, we've seen kick-ass footage and it's coming out soon. That's like John Milius' King Conan or Terry Gilliam's Quixote coming soon. This shit isn't supposed to actually happen, but this one is and so far it looks awesome. I've heard from folks who have seen various cuts and to the person they say we're in for something special. May 15th, 2015.
Avengers: Age of Ultron promises to shake up the universe we know and the team we love. Joss Whedon has set a hell of a bar for himself, but there was room for improvement from that first film. Just from the trailer I can tell the sequel is more cinematic, so if they nailed the story then we could be in for an even better Avengers movie than the one we already have. May 1st, 2015.
Ant-Man is probably Marvel's biggest test in 2015. Avengers is going to be big, it's going to be precise, it's going to be unwaveringly the film Marvel has been building to for a couple of years. Ant-Man has had a rocky development, perhaps the rockiest since Iron Man 2. I will always miss Edgar Wright's version that we'll never get to see and that's a huge hurdle for Peyton Reed to overcome. How the MCU rolls with this one is gonna be very interesting, but I'm pulling for Reed and Paul Rudd. July 17th, 2015.
James Bond rolls along and this Daniel Craig iteration is finally going to go up against Spectre. It'll be really interesting seeing how the more grounded Bond we have now integrates with Spectre. Will they be crazy threatening real world evil dudes with less cat-petting maniacal laughter or more goofy and fun? Probably the former, but whatever. Christoph Waltz is the bad guy, so that'll guarantee my ass in a seat. November 6th, 2015.
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' Cold War Thriller doesn't have a title yet, but it is supposed to hit screens in October. Based on a true story about an American lawyer named James Donovan recruited by the CIA in order to negotiate the return of an American pilot at the height of the cold war with Russia. If pairing up Hanks and Spielberg once again wasn't exciting enough, the Coen Bros wrote the script. October 16th, 2015.
A lot of great directors are releasing films in 2015. If you take Quentin Tarantino at his word, and I don't want to I do, we're coming up to the last couple of films he's going to direct before going into retirement. The Hateful Eight is his chatty western with an insane cast. Kurt Russell, Sam Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bachir, Walton Goggins and Channing Tatum... You can tell Tarantino's pumped for this and it's going to be shot on 70mm. Holy mother of pearl, that's gonna be so good. Cherish these films while they last, people. Tarantino is just as happy watching movies as he is making them, so don't think he's bluffing when he says he's gonna stop. TDB 2015.
Bone Tomahawk aka bearded Kurt Russell takes on some cave-dwelling cannibals in the old west. Yes, you read that right. If that doesn't automatically make this one of your anticipated movies of this year then you're fucking nuts. Sean Young, Richard Jenkins, David Arquette (what is it with David Arquette and old west cannibals?), Matthew Fox and Patrick Wilson also star. TBD, 2015.
Spielberg, Tarantino and now Scorsese. Silence has Scorsese directing a 17th Century period piece about two Jesuit priests in Japan as the Tokugawa shogunate violently forbid and persecute Christianity in the region. Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson are attached. Any Scorsese movie is something to celebrate and it looks like we'll get this one at the end of the year. November, 2015.
Midnight Special is probably my most anticipated non-Star Wars 2015 film and I'd wager most of you guys haven't heard of it yet. Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter and Mud blew my socks off and now he's back with a Firestarter-ish sounding story about a father taking his supernaturally powered young son on the run. The father is Michael Shannon, the son is St. Vincent's Jaeden Lieberher and the rest of the cast includes Adam Driver (again! That dude is gonna be all over 2015), Sam Shepard, Kirsten Dunst and Joel Edgerton. November 25th, 2015.
I love Brad Bird. I love George Clooney. I love Disney Parks. All of those things are kind of merging in this thing. Even if the movie is not as directly related to the park as it is speculated to be the feeling I got from the trailer was very much like the park. Hell, it's about a magic pin. Nothing says Disneyland/world more than pin trading, right? Well, I guess Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney and stuff, but you get my point. Sci-Fi Adventure tale from Brad Bird, a fantastical other world (alternate world? Super future?) and an intriguing teaser have my interest piqued. May 22nd, 2015.
Pixar took a break last year, but they're coming back strong in 2015 with not just one, but two movies hitting screens. Pete Docter gets first dibs with Inside Out. It's not a new premise (anybody my age should remember Herman's Head), but that's no reason to think Pixar won't be back on its game with this one. Docter has had a flawless track record with Pixar so far and directed one of the best sequences in animation history (the opening 5 minutes of UP). I expect this one to be a bit of a return to form for the animation company. June 19th, 2015.
The Good Dinosaur is Pixar movie #2 in 2015. Peter Sohn did great work with his short Partly Cloudy and gets a shot at directing this feature about an Apatosaurus and his new friend, a violent little neanderthal boy. I've seen some early footage of this at various cons and it seems cute and fun. No matter what, it's another original animated Pixar feature. That's always something to look forward to. November 25th, 2015.
Pitch Perfect was one of the biggest surprises for me the year it came out. Never doubt Anna Kendrick, especially if the film she's in involves either singing or comedy. Pitch Perfect is both and the sequel is something I'm stupidly excited for. I have no idea what it's actually about, but I know I can't wait to see the Bellas back together again. As long as the crude, random humor remains I'll be happy. May 15th, 2015
I don't think there has ever been a franchise like the Fast and Furious. It started off as a simple silly cop/likeable criminal story and ended up going in such a crazy, nutty, violent soap-opera style direction. These films have given us amnesia Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson's sweaty beard and so, so much more and this new one will also give us Kurt Russell. I repeat, Kurt Russell in a Fast and Furious movie. April 3rd, 2015.
Mission: Impossible 5. Another franchise surprise is the Mission: Impossible series. I love that they each have their own style with A-lister to end all A-listers Tom Cruise backing a new director each time out. Chris McQuarrie was in movie jail for a decade because of Way of the Gun not performing very well, which is a damn shame. He's a great director, an even better writer and Cruise got behind him for Jack Reacher (another great little movie) and now the new Mission: Impossible. Can't wait to see what they cook up together. December 25th, 2015.
The Wachowskis are still a force to be reckoned with. Cloud Atlas was divisive, but you can't deny that they bring a textured experience every time they get behind a camera. Jupiter Ascending looks at once cheesy as shit and friggin' awesome. I get a big Chronicles of Riddick vibe off of the trailers, which is definitely not a good thing, but I trust the Wachowskis explicitly... even if I can't be 100% sure I can help from snickering to myself every time I see pointy-eared Channing Tatum trying to deliver a serious line of dialogue. February 6th, 2015.
Guillermo del Toro's gothic romance Crimson Peak comes out next year as well. Earlier this year Guillermo told me that Crimson Peak would be his first “Spanish film in the English language.” Meaning it's his first US studio movie that is done in the tone and seriousness of his Spanish language masterpieces like Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone. From the tiny bit of footage I've seen I can say it looks amazing and romanticized Tom Hiddleston is gonna make many a fan girl (and some fan boys, I'm sure) swoon like crazy. October 16th, 2015.
Yeah, Elysium was a bit of a soft follow-up to District 9, but visually it was still on point and Sharlto Copley was so deranged and awesome that I can't write off Neill Blomkamp like so many of my colleagues and fellow movie fans have. I dig the look and feel of the trailer for Chapie, so count me super excited to see how Blomkamp's third feature turns out. The film stars a mo-cap Sharlto Copley as the title character and in-the-flesh performances by Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Dev Patel. March 6th, 2015.
Keeping the Sharlto Copley trend going, here's a movie called Hardcore. This one could be a total disaster as it's an action movie mostly (if not totally) told from the POV of a brought-back-from-the-dead part cyborg dude who has to rescue his wife/creator from a big bad guy. Copley is a soldier who fights by his side. It's a crowd-funded project from a first time feature director, so it's either going to be fuck awful or the coolest, most fun badass action movie ever. TBD, 2015.
From Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd) comes this hard sci-fi story about a young programmer who must evaluate a life-like female AI. Garland directs his own script for the first time and brings along The Force Awakens co-stars Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac for the ride. I've heard form some people that have seen early screenings of this and say it's down right outstanding. Super excited for this one. April 10th, 2015.
Ehhhh. That trailer didn't do much for me. Jai Coutney as a performer is bland as hell in everything he's done so far and his casting here has shades of Sam Worthington in Terminator: Salvation. Still, the Terminator films were a big deal in my household growing up and I was fully caught up in the craze surrounding T2, so I can't ever fully write-off a new Terminator movie. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst. We'll see where this one lands. July 1st, 2015.
Speaking of hoping for the best and expecting the worst, we have Josh Trank's Fantastic Four also coming out in 2015. I don't know why it's so hard for Fox to commit to a real, true adaptation of the Fantastic Four comic. Marvel Studios has doubled down on the comic craziness and brought accurate Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy adaptations out to boffo success and critical praise, yet apparently Victor Von Doom is too silly a name for Fox. I don't get it, but I do think Trank is a very promising director and from what I hear his heart is absolutely in the right place. If he somehow squeezes out a solid FF movie in the current Fox system (much like Wyatt and Reeves have done with the Apes series) I'll be very happy and very, very impressed. August 7th, 2015.
Alright, so Pixels is about a group of nerds, including Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad, who are recruited by the military when a bunch of 1980s video game characters start attacking New York. Yes, this is a real movie and yes Peter Dinklage has a mullet. Word is he pulled a lot from Billy Mitchell for his character and if that doesn't get you excited then you probably are a grown up with a wife and/or girlfriend. The rest of us can be psyched for this one. Chris Columbus directs. July 24th, 2015.
Robert Zemeckis keeps his non-motion capture live action streak going with this drama based on Philippe Petit's real-life attempt to walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center using only his high-wire skills and a balancing stick. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars and I'm just happy to see Zemeckis back in the real world again. October 2nd, 2015.
Bill Condon once again teams up with his Gods and Monsters star Ian McKellen for Mr. Holms in which Sir Ian plays an aged Sherlock Holmes who is troubled by his one unsolved case. Condon works magic when collaborating with McKellen and just the concept of Sir Ian playing Sherlock Holmes ahs my geek up. TBD, 2015.
I've actually seen Kingsman and it's crazy fun. Hyper violent, chock full of social commentary and a ridiculously charismatic cast. Matthew Vaughn's movie is crazy entertaining, more than a little wrong and just super fun. I highly recommend people check it out. February 13th, 2015.
Jonathan Demme also has a movie coming out in 2015 and it's called Ricki and the Flash. Written by Juno's Diablo Cody, the drama stars Meryl Streep as an aging rock star. It also features Kevin Kline and the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan. Oh, and Rick Spingfield, as you can see in the above picture. June 26th, 2015.
Jodie Foster's Money Monster is another interesting title. The film will star George Clooney as a Jim Cramer TV personality type that gives tips on stocks. One of his viewers loses everything on one of his bad tips and takes him hostage on air. I think the guy holding him hostage is going to be played by Unbroken's Jack O'Connell and Julia Roberts figures in there somewhere as well. Cool premise, great team... this one has the makings of a great movie. TBD, 2015.
The new Joe Swanberg picture is called Digging for Fire and will have its debut at Sundance in a few weeks. Anna Kendrick once again comes back to play in Swanberg's mumblecore sandbox and this time she's joined by Orlando Bloom, Sam Rockwell, Sam Elliott, Brie Larson and a bunch of Swanberg's regulars like Melanie Lynskey and Jake Johnson. TBD, 2015.
Jon Favreau seemed to get some of his mojo back with Chef. Even with his less than stellar films, Favreau's direction has always been top notch. Say what you want about Cowboys and Aliens, but it's a beautiful movie and his framing is classic western cinema. Dude's a hell of a shooter and if he has a good script to go along with it you get magic. His Jungle Book film for Disney has some incredible voice talent attached for the animal characters, including Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong'o, Giancarlo Esposito, Ben Kingsley and Scarlett Johansson. I have no idea how this is going to look, but knowing Favreau is calling the shots and Bill Pope is shooting it, I'm sure it's going to be sweet. October 9th, 2015.
Jon Favreau is also appearing in Peter Billingsley's Term Life. Billingsley has been one of Favreau's producers for a long time (not to mention Ralphie from A Christmas Story, hence the funny picture of Favs and Billingsley with a BB gun above) and is directing this crime drama about a guy high on the hit list of many different assassins who is trying to evade them just long enough for his life insurance policy to kick in so he can leave something for estranged daughter. Vince Vaughn plays the lead, True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld plays the daughter and all the supporting cast are really awesome character actors, like Shea Whigham, Bill Paxton, Jonathan Banks, Jon Favreau, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. This is an interesting one that's not on a lot of radars at the moment. TBD, 2015.
Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea looks right up my alley. It's a Moby Dick style tale about a whaling vessel in the late 1800s that is attacked by a giant sperm whale, stranding the crew out at sea for months. Chris Hemsworth stars. March 13th, 2015.
Spike Lee has a flick coming out in 2015 called Spinning Gold. Justin Timberlake stars as Neil Bogart, co-founder of Casablanca Records. Since the film surrounds the music scene of the 1970s we're guaranteed some great music at the very least and Timberlake is bit of an underappreciated actor in my book, so this is definitely one to watch for. TBD 2015.
It's another year, which means another Woody Allen picture. It doesn't have a title yet, but it's supposed to come out this year. The flick centers on a college professor's relationship with a student (surprise surprise) and as usual has a great cast which includes Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix. TBD 2015.
Michael Mann's Blackhat seems to be more relevant than ever. Another Chris Hemsworth vehicle, this one is about the world of cyber terrorism. You can see this one very, very soon. January 16th, 2015.
Ridley Scott's still playing around with sci-fi and he has a flick called The Martian out this year. Based on a novel by Andy Weir and adapted by Drew Goddard, the movie is about a guy stranded on Mars. I'm sure there's more to it than that because it has a massive and divergent cast. Everybody from Jessica Chastain to Donald Glover has a part. Also stars Matt Damon, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor. November 25th, 2015.
Terrence Malick is still cranking them out as well. His new flick is called Knight of Cups and we have the trailer above. Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Ben Kingsley, Jason Clarke, Nick Offerman, Antonio Banderas and Imogen Poots come out to play with the man. TBD, 2015.
One of my favorite films of 2014 was Jeremy Sauliner's Blue Ruin. He's got another flick locked and loaded called Green Room (I assume he's working on his color-themed trilogy... hoping the next movie is Orange something) which stars Patrick Stewart and is somehow about a young punk band that witnesses some horrible act of violence. Blue Ruin's Macon Blair is in this one, too, as is Alia Shawkat, Mark Webber, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots again. She's everywhere in 2015! TBD, 2015.
James Pondsoldt had a hell of a one-two punch with Smashed and The Spectacular Now and is returning to Park City in the coming weeks with his newest film called The End of the Tour, about a magazine reporter on a promotional tour for his book recounting his relationship with author David Foster Wallace. Jesse Eisenberg stars with Jason Segel, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack and Ron Livingston. TBD, 2015.
Damien Chazelle kicked all of our asses with Whiplash and is back in the Jazz music game with his follow up La La Land about a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress. Miles Teller once again stars, this time along side Emma Watson. TBD, 2015.
Alejandro Amenabar's new movie also stars Emma Watson and it's called Regression. Sounds really interesting, too. It's about a father accused of a crime that he doesn't have any memory of. Ethan Hawke and David Thewlis co-star. August 28th, 2015.
Derek Cianfrance makes movies that make me want to slit my wrists, but in a good way. His new one is called The Light Between Oceans and it stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz. It's about a couple that lives on the western coast of Australia that find an abandoned baby in a rowboat and raise it as their own. Since it's a Cianfrance movie I'm willing to bet there's some sadness wrapped up in there. TBD, 2015.
I really dug Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners and now he's back with a new movie about the FBI and CIA trying to take down a Mexican drug cartel. Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal and Benicio Del Toro star. TBD, 2015.
Ben Kingsley's in this one, too! Does that guy ever take a break?!? The movie's called Selfless and it's directed by Tarsem Singh, one of the most confusingly talented visual filmmakers out there. He's made some shitty, but amazingly shot movies like The Cell and Immortals and then there's The Fall, which is a perfect mix of Tarsem's insane visuals and a solid, emotional story. I love that movie so much I pull for Tarsem every time out and that's true here as well. Selfless is a sci-fi tale about a dying, but wealthy elderly man who transfers his consciousness into a young man's body... but then starts to think about how fucked up that is and wondering whose body he's now inhabiting. Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley and Matthew Goode are in this one. July 31st, 2015.
Jonathan Levine is an interesting young director (Warm Bodies, 50/50, The Wackness) and he has a new one with his 50/50 star that doesn't have a title yet, but is being called the Untitled Christmas Eve Project. Evan Goldberg co-wrote the script and Seth Rogen, Lizzie Caplan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie star. Not much is out there about this one, but it's supposedly about a bunch of best friends on the hunt for the craziest of the crazy Christmas Eve parties in NYC. November 25th, 2015.
Finally, Michael Dougherty is making another holiday themed horror movie! Krampus is on deck and begins shooting shortly with an eye for a late 2015 release. I liked Trick R Treat a whole lot when I first saw it and I love it even more every time I rewatch it. Now he's taking on Christmas with a movie focused on Krampus starring Fargo's Allison Tolman and Favreau's kid from Chef, Emjay Anthony. December 4th, 2015.
Eli Roth directed a movie called Knock Knock and it stars Keanu Reeves! Eli Roth and Keanu Reeves, whodathunkit? The movie is a thriller about some dastardly women trying to destroy the life of a happily married man. Since this movie is not presumably not a love letter to Cannibal Holocaust, we might actually get to see this one in theaters. Very curious about this one. October 28th, 2015.
Here's another one I can't wait to see. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a dramatic zombie movie?!? What the what?!? The movie's called Maggie and it's about the dad of a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who gets infected with a virus that slowly changes her into a zombie. He stays by her side as she turns and that sounds fucked up! It was supposed to play Toronto but got bought up by Lionsgate and was pulled from the festival, so it hasn't screened yet, but is supposed to come out some time this year. TBD, 2015.
Stephen King's Cell was finally adapted into a movie and it'll be out this year. Sam Jackson and John Cusack's last Stephen King movie turned out pretty good (1408), so I hope that streak continues. This one's about a weird cell phone signal that essentially turns most of the world's population into zombies and one father is trying to get to his son through the apocalypse. TBD, 2015.
M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit seems to be his attempt to fix his brand. He went back to a lower budget, low profile genre flick. It's really strange how much of a 180 his career took. After The Sixth Sense, a film I still love, he was heralded as the new master and now every time I see a trailer in a theater with his name on it, the audience laughs. He has become a joke. This story is about a family's trip to visit their grandmother gone wrong and that's all I know about it, but I hope it's a return to form. As much as I like laughing at the trainwreck that is The Happening, I'd much rather love his movies as much as I did Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Fingers crossed. September 11th, 2015.
There's a Poltergeist remake starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jared Harris that has been moving release dates, but it looks like it has finally landed smack dab in the middle of Summer 2015. I adore the original movie and I think Gil Kenan is a talented director, but I'm nervous about this one. I haven't seen one frame of this yet, so it's purely speculation and early word (and a glimpse at the first few pages of the script that began with a “modern day” version of the static on TV that made me roll my eyes and stop reading) that has me nervous, but with that cast and creative team I still hope they pulled out a fun throwback style movie that doesn't make me cringe when I have to clarify which Poltergeist I'm talking about every time it comes up in geek conversation. July 24th, 2015.
Speaking of horror that I have little reason to expect good things from, but still hold out hope for, we have 31, which is Rob Zombie's newest movie. The description for this movie sounds fucking nuts... Kind of like Saw meets my deepest nightmares. A group of people are kidnapped in the days leading up to Halloween and are forced to try survive during a game called 31 where they are hunted by a gang of evil clowns. At least it's not another shitty Michael Myers/Halloween movie. TBD, 2015.
Insidious: Chapter 3. I quite enjoyed the second film in its nutty Back to the Future II overlapping-with-the-first-movie nature. Writer/actor Leigh Whannell is taking the reins for Chapter 3 and the trailer that they released looked sharp. I dig supernatural horror, so I'm happy that haunted houses are the new in thing for the genre. June 5th, 2015.
Vin Diesel teams up with Elijah Wood to fight witches in modern day New York. Yes, this is a real movie. The Last Witch Hunter is directed by Breck Eisner, who did a pretty damn good job on The Crazies remake and sounds just batshit crazy enough to be a fun movie. October 23rd, 2015.
The 9th Life of Louis Drax is Alexandre Aja's new flick, written by young actor Max Minghella. Don't know much about this one, but the short description I came across seems to indicate that the movie's about a psychologist uncovering secrets about the afterlife while working with a young boy who had a near fatal fall. Aaron Paul, Jamie Dornan, Oliver Platt and Sarah Gadon star. TBD, 2015.
Cameron Crowe has a new movie coming out this year, too. It is currently Untitled, but it will star Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Bill Murray, Danny McBride, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, Jay Baruchel, John Krasinski and St. Vincent's young Jaeden Lieberher. The story revolves around a military contractor revisiting the places he's had the most success and ends up falling for his hard ass armed forces watchdog. Sounds like a Cameron Crowe movie, which is a good thing in my book. May 29th, 2015.
The last Hunger Games flick felt a bit episodic, but also kind of impressed me with how focused it was on simplifying propaganda and how that works for its audience. Since I'm not much of a YA reader, I don't know how it all wraps up, but I'm interested. November 20th, 2015.
I probably should have put this one below Pitch Perfect 2 on this list because Magic Mike was similarly surprising. I mean, Soderbergh did direct it, so it wasn't that huge of a surprise, but still... it was a surprisingly fun and funny movie about male strippers. The sequel hits this year and while it isn't directed by Soderbergh this time out, it still stars Channing Tatum who is at his best in roles like this. July 1st, 2015.
Trainwreck. Judd Apatow's new movie is very, very brave taking this title. I can already feel Box Office reporters drooling over snarkily creative uses of that should the movie underperform. The flick is written by and stars Amy Schumer and is supposedly very much a semi-autobiographical take on her own life. Lots of funny folks involved as well, like Bill Hader, Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn and Brie Larson. Daniel Radcliffe's in there somewhere, too. July 17th, 2015.
The Vacation rebootquel (my term, not theirs) follows adult Rusty Griswold who didn't learn from the mistakes of his father and takes his family on its own vacation that, presumably, goes horribly wrong. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo return as Clark and Ellen, Leslie Mann plays Audrey and Chris Hemsworth is in there somewhere, possibly as Audrey's boyfriend. October 9th, 2015.
Sue me, I enjoyed watching Entourage when it was on HBO and the trailer for the movie looks just like a long episode of the TV show, which is just fine with me. As long as Jeremy Piven has some creative cursing and insults the hell out of everybody at every turn I'll be happy. June 5th, 2015.
Lazer Team is one of the most successfully crowdfunded movies of all time. The guys at Rooster Teeth are behind this feature sci-fi comedy about a group of idiots who accidentally acquire pieces of alien armor intended to be used by one mighty champion from Earth against an invading alien force. RT built a hell of a community with their goofy internet creations over the years and it'll be a big test to see if they can make the jump to feature films. I certainly hope so because we don't have nearly enough sci-fi comedy in our lives. TBD, 2015.
This is Trumbo, a biopic about the famously blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo with none other than Bryan Cranston as Trumbo. Jay Roach directs and brings in a bunch of famous faces to play older famous faces. John Goodman, Hellen Mirren, Louis C.K., Michael Stuhlbarg (as Edward G. Robinson), Alan Tudyk, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning and Dean O'Gorman (as Kirk Douglas) complete the cast. Trumbo was a fantastic screenwriter that lead a fascinating life. If Roach is on top of this game, this could be a great Hollywood biopic. TBD, 2015.
Joy from director David O. Russell reunites him with much of his Silver Linings Playbook cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro. It's about a real life entrepreneur who rose through the ranks while struggling as a single mother. I quite liked Silver Linings and this cast/creator team up has a decent chemistry, so this one has my attention. December 25th, 2015.
Queen of the Desert: Werner Herzog's new movie starring James Franco, Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson. It's about a female writer and adventurer named Gertrude Bell at the turn of the century. TBD, 2015.
Icon is Stephen Frear's take on the controversial rise and fall of Lance Armstrong. No joke, I started typing “Lance Armstrong” as “Lance Henriksen.” I think I always will. Anyway, Armstrong is played by Ben Foster (pictured above) and also stars Dustin Hoffman, Lee Pace, Chris O'Dowd and Jesse Plemons. TBD, 2015.
Director Ti West switches gears from horror to a violent western revenge movie called, appropriately enough, In A Valley of Violence. He's got an interesting cast to work with, including Karen Gillan, Ethan Hawke, Taissa Farmiga and John Travolta. I really hope Travolta is playing the villain because I love seeing him play bad guys. He puts an almost Nicolas Cage-like zeal into his villain roles. December 4th, 2015.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend continues the franchise. Master Yuen Woo-Ping directs this time out (this is a good thing as he not only is an amazing fight choreographer, but also a great director. Go seek out Snake In Eagle's Shadow, Wing Chun and Iron Monkey if you don't believe me) and brings back Michelle Yeoh and adds badass Donnie Yen to the mix. Floaty long lens martial arts fights set against a backdrop of period romanticism sounds good to me! August 28th, 2015.
Gavin Hood's had a bit of a spastic career. He made a great film called Tsotsi and then got totally bulldozed by the studio when he tried to make X-Men Origins: Wolverine and then came back with Ender's Game, which I think is actually a much better movie than many critics said it was. Now he has a movie about drone pilots called Eye In The Sky, starring Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman (!!!) and Hellen Mirren. TBD, 2015.
Triple Nine is John Hillcoat's new movie. I really dig this dude. Loved The Proposition and The Road and think Lawless was very overlooked. This movie is about police officers that are blackmailed into pulling off a heist and one of the crucial components of executing this job is to orchestrate the murder of another cop (code 999 is officer down). Here's another great cast, including Aaron Paul who is apparently in every movie coming out in 2015. Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie and Chewetel Ejiofor are also in the cast. (September 11th, 2015.
This one is called A Hologram for the King, starring Tom Hanks and Tom Skerritt. Tom Tykwer directs and I'm a huge fan of his. Perfume is one of my favorite movies of the aughts and nobody gives it any credit. The movie itself follows Hanks' character, a failed US businessman who takes to Saudi Arabia to try his hat at selling a crazy idea to a monarch. This dark comedy is based on a Dave Eggers book. I love all three Toms involved, so I hope I love this movie as well. TBD, 2015.
In this Untitled Warren Beatty Project, Beatty plays Howard Hughes in the twilight years of his life. Hughes was a notorious, pardon my french, pussyhound so it's only fitting that Beatty will get a chance to play him in a movie, especially one about Hughes' relationship with a much younger woman. Annette Bening, Taissa Farmiga, Lily Collins, Matthew Broderick, Candice Bergen, Oliver Platt, Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen round out the cast. Maybe some day it will get a title, too. May 21st, 2015.
Hunter's Prayer is directed by Jonathan Mostow, another good director that doesn't quite get his due. Yes, Terminator 3 is fuck-awful, but I don't lay that all on Mostow. Breakdown is one of the best action thrillers of the '90s and I have a pretty big soft spot for U-571. This one sounds a bit like The Professional, an assassin helps a young woman get revenge for the death of her family. The only real hesitation I have with this one is that Sam Worthington stars. Meh. Odeya Rush is the young woman he helps. TBD, 2015.
Slow West is about to debut at Sundance and it's a western starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Medelsohn. Don't know much more than that, but it is an old west action thriller, which is enough for me. TBD, 2015.
The Trap is Harmony Korine's followup to his hugely loved (or hated) Spring Breakers. Not much is known about this one, but it does star Jamie Foxx and Benicio del Toro and supposedly about an organized crime family in the south. TBD, 2015.
6 Miranda Drive is a horror flick from Wolf Creek's Greg Mclean. Kevin Bacon and family go on a trip to the Grand Canyon and apparently bring some supernatural presence back home with them. Radha Mitchell and Paul Reiser also appear in this one. TBD, 2015.
True Detective's Cary Fukunaga has a movie coming out this year called Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba about a child soldier fighting in a Civil War in an unnamed African Country. Fukunaga has a talent for character work (one of the reasons I'm actually excited to see his take on Stephen King's IT), so I'm sure this one's gonna be pretty powerful. TBD, 2015.
Orson Welles' The Other Side of the Wind was left unfinished and thought lost forever, but it looks like some sweet movie saviors have come in and funded a restoration of the original material and cut it together with Welles' notes. The flick starred John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Edmond O'Brien, Mercedes McCambridge and Susan Strasberg... and recognize that dude in the middle of the pic above? That's none other than Frank Marshall, who would later go on to produce most of Spielberg's movies and direct some fun stuff hisownself. Anyway, it's a big deal that this film will finally see release. Maybe someday we'll get Jerry Lewis to release The Day the Clown Cried... May 6th, 2015.
That's not every movie coming out in 2015, but all the ones that I've got my eye on and am anticipating on one level or another. There's always going to be the festival surprises that come out of left field, but it's a pretty solid and long-ass list.
Unless most of these fizzle out we're in for a crazy-amazing year at the movies. Maybe I'll see some of you guys there!