The JoBlo.com 2015 Movie Preview!

I think we can all agree that 2014 ended up being a mighty impressive year for movies (and TV). Still, to many 2014 felt like little more than a prelude to what promises to be a monster 2015 as far as blockbuster fare goes. Just think, by this time next year we will have gotten a 24th Bond movie, a fifth MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, an AVENGERS sequel, a soft reboot of JURASSIC PARK, and an all-new STAR WARS film to boot. Sure enough, 2015 is going to be absolutely massive and the following twenty-five movies are some of the ones we here at JoBlo.com are most excited for. Enjoy and let us know which ones YOU'RE most excited for!

1. Star Wars - The Force Awakens

Really, no film could be number one other than this, the HUGE relaunch of the STAR WARS saga, and the start of what should become a multi-billion dollar series of films which, hopefully, will be more in line with the original trilogy than the prequels. While some have questioned J. J Abrams as the choice to kick off the new series, the teaser trailer was great, and who isn’t excited to see Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher once again play Luke, Han & Leia? Add to that the intriguing new cast (including John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver) and we’ve got a movie that, call me crazy, just may make a few (billion) bucks.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron

After THE AVENGERS made, oh, I dunno, a billion or so dollars, (1.5 actually) a follow-up seemed like a given, even though the last film made pretty much the entire cast megastars. Everyone’s back, however, with no holdouts (no doubt thanks to the iron-clad Marvel contracts). Joss Whedon is back at the helm, before passing the baton to THE WINTER SOLDIER’s Russo Brothers, who now seem to be taking over as the brain-trust behind Marvel. AGE OF ULTRON is the conclusion of Marvel Phase 2, with 2016 bringing us the CIVIL WAR saga. Given how dark that gets, it must be kicked off by some pretty heavy carnage by the time new baddie Ultron (voiced by James Spader) is through.

3. S.P.E.C.T.R.E

If this were my personal list rather than something more representative of the site as a whole, SPECTRE would be right at the top. As a hard-core Bond fan, I’ve been waiting for them to reintroduce Blofeld ever since seeing my first 007 movie in 1990, at the tender age of eight. Regardless of whether or not Christoph Waltz is actually Blofeld or not (he says he’s not), if SPECTRE is as good as SKYFALL, it’ll be one of the year’s very best films, tent pole or otherwise. Sam Mendes is back at the helm with INTERSTELLAR’s Hoyte van Hoytema taking over as cinematographer. Naturally Daniel Craig is back, as is Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, and Ben Whislaw as the new M, Miss Moneypenny and Q, respectively. As for the babes, Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci both strike me as ideal Bond Girls.

4. Mad Max: Fury Road

Well, it only took thirty years, but George Miller has finally made another MAD MAX film, with FURY ROAD, from my understanding, being set between THE ROAD WARRIOR and MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME. While part of me still wishes Mel Gibson was playing Max, Tom Hardy seems like the ideal guy to dust off Max’s one-armed leather jacket and terrorize the Australian Outback in souped up, post-apocalyptic cars. The trailers for this are absolutely jaw-dropping and FURY ROAD is really looking like the movie to beat this summer. Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and original MAD MAX villain Hugh Keays-Byrne (formerly The Toecutter, but playing a different part here) round out the cast.

5. Jurassic World

I think I’m one of the only writers here on JoBlo.com that’s not completely sold on JURASSIC WORLD. I know it’ll at least be decent, but there’s something about the trailers, and the prospect of Chris Pratt (who I like) teaming up with good-guy Velociraptors that strikes me as overkill. The CGI also looks rather quaint next to the incredible, game-changing animatronics from the original film. That said, I loved director Colin Trevorrow first film, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, so hopefully this one will turn out to be the film people think it’s going to be. To me though, this feels a bit like GODZILLA all over again. I hope I’m wrong.

6. Tomorrowland

And why isn’t Brad Bird back to direct MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5 you may ask? The answer is TOMORROWLAND, a huge Disney sci-fi tentpole movie starring none other than Lord Hollywood himself, George Clooney. One thing’s for sure, Clooney’s got a great nose for projects, and with him so rarely signing on to high concept blockbusters like this, it’ll be interesting to see what Brad Bird (and co-writer Damon Lindelof) have cooked up. From what I’ve gathered on Wikipedia, Clooney plays an inventor who travels to the titular TOMORROWLAND with Britt Robertson’s heroine in tow. Oh yeah, and it’s shot in IMAX format. Really, I was sold at Clooney.

7. Mission: Impossible 5

As badass as the cast of FURIOUS 7 is going to be, these days nobody’s quite as daring as Tom Cruise. While Diesel and co. will likely be generously aided by CGI, Cruise is still risking his neck for real, with him looking to outdo his GHOST PROTOCOL Dubai tower stunts in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5. See that tiny figure hanging-on to the Airbus A400M 5000 feet off the ground. Yeah, that’s Cruise. No stuntman. The balls on this guy are something. The MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies are always fun and Cruise is not one to turn out a mediocre film, so I think we can be reasonably assured that this – the fifth installment of the franchise – is going to be a good one. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and more return for more fun (where’s Paula Patton?). Christopher McQuarrie (JACK REACHER) directs. The only thing is that the December 25th release date is a little too close for comfort to STAR WARS. Don't be surprised if this one gets bumped into 2016.

8. Furious 7

Here’s another one that would have come out in 2014, but in this case the delay has absolutely nothing to do with the film’s perceived quality. Instead, it’s the sad result of actor Paul Walker’s tragic death, with the filmmakers having to rethink this, the seventh installment of the franchise, to give his character, Brian O’Connor a fitting send-off. It’s crazy how huge these movies have gotten, with FAST FIVE reworking the series into a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-style series of mega-action movies. Universal is obviously high on these, and I can’t disagree as the last two movies were really fun. All of your favorites are back, with Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewester and more re-teaming to take on the brother of FAST AND FURIOUS 6’s villain, played by none other than Jason Statham. Apparently Diesel’s been training like crazy with co-star Tony Jaa, so hopefully we’ll get the epic Statham versus Diesel throw down we’ve all been waiting for.

9. Ant-Man

Ok, so Edgar Wright isn’t directing ANT-MAN. I agree, it’s a shame. With Wright at the helm, this might have followed in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’s steps and given us a truly unusual Marvel adventure. With Peyton Reed at the helm, I have no doubt that we’ll get at least a solid superhero movie, albeit a far more conventional one than we would have gotten with Wright. Nevertheless, I really like the cast, with Paul Rudd finally getting a crack at real movie-stardom as the titular hero, opposite the great Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, Evangeline Lilly and more.

10. The Hateful Eight

For a while it looked like THE HATEFUL EIGHT was never going to get made, with director Quentin Tarantino famously launching a lawsuit after his script got leaked. Luckily, the project is back on track, with Tarantino shooting it in old-school 70MM and making it a Roadshow-style western, albeit a very Tarantino-esque one. The cast for this is outstanding, with Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demián Bichir, Walton Goggins (yes!) and Michael Madsen making for an extremely badass cast of characters.

11. Chappie

After doing his variation on a tent pole movie with the not-so-warmly received ELYSIUM, South African director Neill Bloomkamp is going back to his roots with CHAPPIE. The trailer makes it looks like hardcore R-rated SHORT CIRCUIT, and with Sharlto Copley voicing the titular robot opposite Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Die Antwoord, this March release promises to be one of the year’s better genre films, and likely one of the year’s better ones too.

12. Crimson Peak

Guillermo Del Toro is one of those guys whose projects I’ll always be invested in. Not only is he one of the nicest guys in Hollywood (or so I’ve heard) but he’s downright visionary as a director to boot. Not much is known about CRIMSON PEAK, but with Jessica Chastain starring opposite Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam, and Tom Hiddleston you can bet that it’ll be one of the big horror events of 2015. A period horror thriller, CRIMSON PEAK sounds more in-line with Del Toro’s Spanish language work (THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, PAN’S LABYRINTH) than it does his larger-scaled American work. It all sounds very intriguing.

13. Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks: together again. Heck, what’s the point of going beyond that, as that star-director combo is enough to sell even the most jaded moviegoer on the potential of this Cold War era thriller. Hanks stars as famous diplomat James Donovan, with this being the story of how he negotiated with the Soviet government for the release of U2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers after he was shot down in the Soviet Union. With a script by the Coen Bros, and a high-caliber supporting cast that includes Amy Ryan, Alan Alda and THE KNICK’s Eve Hewson, how could this not be at least very good?

14. Untitled Steve Jobs-Sorkin Project

I bet a whole bunch of you groaned just looking at this title. No doubt the name Steve Jobs has been one that’s been bandied about again and again since his death, with one awful biopic having already hit the screens (Ashton Kutcher’s JOBS). However, this is something else entirely. If you’ve been following the Sony email hack, it’s clear that producer Scott Rudin thinks he’s got one of the best projects of his career on his hands courtesy of a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. With Danny Boyle at the helm and Michael Fassbender set to star, this Jobs-biopic is going to be one of the year’s HUGE Oscar contenders and I can’t wait to see it.

15. The Walk

Anyone who’s seen MAN ON A WIRE can tell you that Phillipe Petit’s infamous tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 is pretty gripping stuff. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring, and Robert Zemeckis at the helm (and shooting in IMAX 3D) this should be the kind of movie that pleases both critics and audiences alike. 2015 is shaping up to be a good year for Levitt with this and his Edward Snowden biopic (directed by Oliver Stone) likely to give him some heavy Oscar buzz come this time next year.

16. The Martian

Ridley Scott hasn’t had the best run as of late, with THE COUNSELOR and EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS underwhelming both critically and commercially. Hopefully THE MARTIAN, an adaptation of the well-received novel by Andy Weir, will get him back on track as there are very few directors our there with Scott’s track record. It’s cool that he’s once again digging into sci-fi territory, with Matt Damon starring opposite Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig as an astronaut stranded on Mars. It sounds like RED PLANET, but, ya know, good.

17. Black Mass

BLACK MASS is the long-awaited Whitey Bulger biopic. Bulger spent sixteen years as a fugitive mob boss and listed prominently on the FBI’s ten most wanted list. Apparently, Bulger, among other things, was also an FBI informant, and the material feels like a natural fit for a strong crime drama, with OUT OF THE FURNACE’s Scott Cooper striking me as an inspired choice for director. The only thing that worries me is Johnny Depp, who plays Bulger. While Depp has two great crime biopics under his belt (DONNIE BRASCO & BLOW) the Depp we’ve seen chewing scenery on the big screen as of late is not the Depp this movie needs. Hopefully he’ll be able to dig deep because this seems like the ideal opportunity for him to reestablish himself as an actor worth taking seriously. In any case, he’s got one hell of a cast supporting him, with Benedict Cumberbatch playing his brother, Sienna Miller, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, and more co-starring. Fingers crossed this will be a big winner.

18. Everest

EVEREST is director Baltasar Kormákur's (CONTRABAND, 2 GUNS) ambitious, 3D adventure/thriller about the disastrous 1996 Mount Everest climb which was immortalized in Jon Krakauer famous book, 'Into Thin Air'. While not based explicitly on his novel (HOUSE OF CARDS' Michael Kelly plays Krakauer) anyone who's read that can tell you this is going to be a heartbreaking white-knuckle thriller. Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley and more co-star.

19. Southpaw

Jake Gyllenhaal’s been on an incredible run lately, with 2014’s NIGHTCRAWLER being his best part to date. He’s got a crazy 2015 lined up, with EVEREST, the Jean-Marc Vallee movie DEMOLITION, and Antoine Fuqua’s SOUTHPAW, which sees Jake playing a boxer. Ever since the image of a crazy jacked-up Gyllenhaal hit the web, people have been speculating that if NIGHTCRAWLER is the movie that gets Gyllenhaal an Oscar nomination, SOUTHPAW just might be the one that wins him one. Whatever the case, with those three movies hitting theaters within four months of each other, it looks like 2015 is going to be his year.

20. Terminator: Genisys

I won’t lie, TERMINATOR: GENISYS looks awful. It’s crazy how relentlessly Hollywood has beaten this franchise to death without the involvement of series mastermind James Cameron. Why, oh why, can’t they just leave well enough alone? Not having learned their lesson from RISE OF THE MACHINES, THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, or SALVATION (if Christian Bale can’t revive the series, nothing can), Hollywood is at it again with THOR 2’s Alan Taylor directing. Apparently this is a weird hybrid sequel/reboot, and while it’ll be fun to see Arnold Schwarzenegger return to the series, everything else about this seems off, especially Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese (who should be a romantic figure more than anything). While my fingers are crossed that this will surprise us, I’m not terribly optimistic.

21. The Man From U.N.C.L.E

Being a huge Bond fan, 2015 is shaping up to be a Bond-crazy year, with not only a new 007 outing due, but also Bond-style clones like KINGSMAN, another MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and this, the long-awaited big-screen reboot of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. The show is campy fun and the film seems to be very much in that vein keeping the Cold War swinging sixties setting, with Guy Ritchie directing Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo (replacing Robert Vaughn) and Armie Hammer as his Soviet partner Illya Kuryakin (formerly David McCallum). While I’d be way more excited for this if Steven Soderbergh had been able to launch his version (which was to have starred George Clooney) this should still be a good, goofy spy romp.

22. The Last Witch Hunter

Vin Diesel’s always gone on record about what a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan he is, and THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is an ambitious foray for him into a pulpy, horror-action, UNDERWORLD-style genre which sees him as an immortal witch hunter in New York City. Directed by Breck Eisner (SAHARA, THE CRAZIES), Diesel and company have assembled one hell of a supporting cast with none other than Michael Caine having a part, opposite Elijah Wood (his first non-Tolkien stab at fantasy) and GAME OF THRONES’ Rose Leslie. Fingers crossed this one will be a sleeper.

23. Kingsman: The Secret Service

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE was the movie Matthew Vaughn opted to make instead of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Seeing the trailers, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that Vaughn would be attracted to Mark Millar’s comic, with the James Bond spy parallels meshing nicely with Vaughn’s sensibilities. If the first half of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS played out like Vaughn’s tribute to Sean Connery-era Bond, KINGSMAN feels like Roger Moore all the way, and as a huge Moore fan I couldn’t be happier. The buzz off the early screenings is amazing, with many pegging this as a deliriously hyper-violent action comedy with a career changing performance by Colin Firth, who – at fifty-four – is making his debut as an action hero.

24. Jupiter Ascending

Hey, wasn’t this on our 2014 list? With JUPITER ASCENDING getting bounced off its original 2014 release date only six weeks before it was due to premiere, the buzz quickly turned toxic with many pegging this as a disaster in the making. Then again, the same thing happened with G.I JOE: RETALIATION and that one turned out…ok. Hopefully the cover story – that The Wachowskis just needed more time to complete VFX work – is accurate as the trailers boast some absolutely gorgeous imagery. Mila Kunis stars alongside a bizarrely mutant-looking Channing Tatum, Sean Bean and THEORY OF EVERYTHING’s Eddie Redmayne in this huge-scaled interplanetary space opera.

25. Fantastic Four

Very few films have inspired as much fan venom as Josh Trank’s FANTASTIC FOUR reboot has. Having already been burnt by another awful FANTASTIC FOUR film series (star Chris Evans got much luckier with CAPTAIN AMERICA), everyone figured that Fox, if given the chance to try again, would do it right. Instead, fans have gotten very upset over the young cast, which includes Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara as the titular heroes. All this – mind you – before a single image has been released, much less a trailer. Given how good CHRONICLE was, it’s probably premature to (Dr.) doom this so early on. We’ll just have to wait and see, but Fox and Trank certainly have a big chore ahead of them in convincing the vocal fans that this is a reboot worth seeing.

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