Looking Ahead: Alex & Ethan's 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015
by Ethan Anderton
December 16, 2014
Beginning this week, we will be taking a look back at the year in cinema that was 2014, from our favorite posters to our favorite movies and more. We've already been featuring some retrospectives of all the movies that came out this year with videos like Sleepy Skunk's 2014 Movie Trailer Mash-Up and Nick Bosworth's Final Cut 2014 (and we have more of those coming soon, too). But today, we're ready to look forward to all the new movies coming up next year with a list of our 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015. There's a couple Marvel movies, a new Quentin Tarantino flick and of course the long-awaited return to a galaxy far, far away. Together we chose 20 movies that we just can't wait to see, with explanation for each. Look!
The Hateful Eight (TBA Late 2015)
It's hard not to get excited about the latest film from Quentin Tarantino, if only because there's a chance that he only has a few films left to make before he retires from directing once and for all (or so he keeps claiming). Tarantino returns to the western genre again, and this time he's got Kurt Russell in the lead as bounty hunter John Ruth along with fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), racing in a stagecoach towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as "The Hangman," will bring Domergue to justice. That sounds appealing enough by itself, but it gets better.
While on the journey, Ruth and Domergue come into contact with Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff. And when the four run into a blizzard, they end up seeking refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass, but they're joined by four other strangers, with all of them soon realizing that the increasingly dangerous storm may keep them from getting to Red Rock at all. But all you really need to know is that this is a Quentin Tarantino movie, and that should be enough for you to buy a ticket. (Ethan)
Everest (September 8th)
Perhaps an oddball pick, but I've always been intrigued by Mount Everest and the mysteriously alluring glory of climbing the tallest mountain in the world. From the Icelandic director who made/remade Contraband, Baltasar Kormákur, comes this story of an expedition in 1996 devastated by a severe snow storm, resulting in one of the worst tragedies in the climbing history of Mount Everest. The film tells the same story seen in the TV movie Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing climber Scott Fischer and Jason Clarke playing climber Rob Hall in this version. Aside from those two actors being some of the best working today, I'm hoping this movie is as incredible as I'm expecting. It has all the right pieces in place, and I'm hoping for the best, more than just another mountain climbing story. (Alex)
Vacation (October 9th)
Much like the rest of the movie-going audience, I'm getting sick of Hollywood's obsession with remaking and rebooting everything under the sun. And when news of a reboot of National Lampoon's Vacation first surfaced, my eyes couldn't have rolled any further into the back of my head. But then Horrible Bosses writing duo Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley were brought on board to write the flick and make their directing debut, and that turned my head. Combine that with the fact that Ed Helms is leading the film as Rusty Griswold, grown up and taking his own family on a trip, and it doesn't sound half bad.
And the supporting cast just makes it even more difficult to hate the idea of this movie anymore. Christina Applegate plays Rusty's wife, Leslie Mann plays Audrey Griswold with Chris Hemsworth as her handsome news anchor husband, and there's a whole slew of other great comedic talent with small roles in the movie like Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Michael Pena, Kaitlin Olsen and Charlie Day. And let's not forget that there's a small "Freaks & Geeks" reunion in the movie and Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo too. For all of these reasons, I'm excited to see if this reboot can work. (Ethan)
The Revenant (December 25th)
This film is likely going to be kept under wraps until late in the year, but it's definitely one to keep an eye on. Immediately after finishing work on Birdman, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu jumped right into his next project - an adaptation of Michael Punke's novel The Revenant. Set in the early 1800s, the film is about Hugh Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a frontiersman who set out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Iñárritu's impressive cast also includes Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Lukas Haas, and many others. We haven't seen any footage yet, but I've got a good feeling this is going to be one hell of a follow-up for Iñárritu, especially when he's back at it with all the buzz for Birdman. We'll be watching this one closely. (Alex)
Ted 2 (June 26th)
No matter how many people hated A Million Ways to Die in the West (I'm one of the few defenders) or have decided to hate "Family Guy" after being the driving force behind its revival, I'm still a big fan of Seth MacFarlane. The guy is sharp, funny and knows how to write and direct great comedy. Therefore, I'm still very excited to see what MacFarlane does with Ted 2, the sequel to the raunchy talking teddy bear fueled by the comedian's own voice and joined by the eclectic Mark Wahlberg. We don't know the basic plot yet, and we haven't even really seen any first look photos from the film other than a set picture from Wahlberg himself, but I'm certainly excited to see what kind of craziness happens this time around. (Ethan)
That's What I'm Talking About (TBA 2015)
He never stops working! It seems like every year we get to see a brand new Richard Linklater movie, and it seems like every year that new movie makes it on our Top 10 list(s) by the end. Following up his work on Boyhood comes the latest Linklater feature, a "spiritual sequel" to his cult classic 1993 film Dazed & Confused, taking us back to the 80's for a baseball comedy/drama called That's What I'm Talking About. Funded by Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, the story centers on the lives of baseball players on and off the field, starring Wyatt Russell, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell and Ryan Guzman. All you really need to know is that it's the latest Richard Linklater movie. (Alex)
Jurassic World (June 12th)
The original Jurassic Park was 65 million years in the making, but this latest attempt to bring dinosaurs back to the big screen will come 14 years after Jurassic Park III hit theaters in 2001. It's a new world now, where nothing shocks audiences anymore, so a theme park with dinosaurs needs some excitement. Jurassic World has realized the dream that John Hammond had back in the original film, but now they have their sights set on something bigger by wowing audiences with a genetic hybrid. And of course, that's not going to be something that's easy to predict and control like the rest of the revived dinosaurs.
The teaser trailer for Jurassic World was big and bold in some ways. It doesn't seem to pack the same realistic punch as the original film, but instead feels like a large scale monster movie. But I actually like the tone and style we've seen thus far, even if the pack of raptors running with Chris Pratt on a motorcycle does seems like a little much. Can Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow make the jump from indies to blockbuster and still please fans who fell in love with Jurassic Park over 20 years ago? I'm certainly hoping that life finds a way. (Ethan)
Chappie (March 6th)
South African director Neill Blomkamp is back with his third feature following Elysium and District 9, titled Chappie. Originally based on Blomkamp's 2003 short Tetra Vaal, the film is about a "preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, prodigy" robot built by Dev Patel. He's quickly kidnapped and raised on the streets of Johannesburg by South African rappers Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser (playing themselves). The cast also includes Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Sharlto Copley as Chappie. While many of us were let down by Elysium, the first trailer for Chappie looks promising, getting back to Blomkamp's roots of building sci-fi worlds with characters that seem real even though they're entirely CG. I love the worlds he creates, and no matter what I'm always excited to see what he's cooking up. Third time's the charm. (Alex)
Trainwreck (July 24th)
Not enough people get super excited about comedies like they do big blockbusters, but Judd Apatow has my money anytime he makes a new movie. And the good news is that if you were getting tired of Apatow making movies with all of the same people, Trainwreck has Apatow working with comedienne Amy Schumer and "SNL" veteran turned rising comedy star Bill Hader. We've yet to see a teaser trailer, but just this set of talent has me foaming at the mouth to see what Apatow has cooked up with Schumer (who also wrote the script). And there's going to be plenty of cameos for added fun. Get your first look at the Universal Pictures release right here. (Ethan)
The Walk (October 2nd)
The new movie from writer/director Robert Zemeckis. Need I say more? If it weren't for the breathtaking footage in first teaser trailer, this one may not have made the list. Then again, if you just think about what's going on here it's a whole other story: Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring as real-life daredevil Philippe Petit, who setup a tight rope incognito and walked on a wire between the two World Trade Center twin towers in 1974 just a few years after they were completed. This story was made into the Oscar winning documentary Man on Wire, and was adapted by Robert Zemeckis (following his last film Flight) into this feature version of the same story. Gordon-Levitt looks perfectly cast, and I hope Zemeckis brings an added layer of emotion and nuance to this vertigo-inducing story of bravery and willpower. (Alex)
Ant-Man (July 17th)
Yes, there's some uncertainly surrounding Marvel Studios first Phase Three title, coming late next summer after The Avengers: Age of Ultron kicks the summer movie season off. But because this is a Marvel film, we're still excited to see what they can do with one of the lesser known superheroes from the comics. With Paul Rudd making his debut as an action hero, and Michael Douglas as his mentor and former hero from decades ago, this has the potential for greatness. We were worried when Edgar Wright stepped away, but it sounds like Marvel may have made the right decision in the end, or at least we're hopeful that it'll still be a great movie. Get your first look at Marvel's Ant-Man in photos here while we wait for a trailer. (Ethan)
Inside Out (June 19th)
From the mind that brought us Pixar's Up and Monsters, Inc. comes a brand new story set right inside our minds. Director Pete Docter's latest Pixar movie is about the five emotions that drive all of us: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The story of a young girl's life is told from the perspective of the emotions inside her. "Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco." Kaitlyn Dias voices Riley, and the emotions are voiced by: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith & Lewis Black. We haven't seen much, and it's hard to understand how this might work without footage, but if there's any studio that can pull it off it's Pixar. We've been waiting quite patiently for another Pixar original. (Alex)
Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15th)
At one time, the idea of a comedy set in the world of a capella sounded like a weak attempt to cash in on the popularity of the once thriving series "Glee." But then Pitch Perfect came along and proved anybody wrong. The flick was fun, hilarious, clever and chock full of music that makes you want to dance in the aisle of the movie theater. And while quality comedy sequels are very hard to come by, the teaser trailer gives us nothing but hope that returning writer Kay Cannon and the directing debut if Elizabeth Banks can keep the momentum going and deliver a wonderful follow-up. It's hard not to be excited about Anna Kendrick making music with her mouth again. (Ethan)
Crimson Peak (October 16th)
The latest from Guillermo del Toro takes him away from giant, slimy monsters and back to his Devil's Backbone roots with a "Gothic romance" set at a haunted house in the north of England. Young author Edith Cushing, played by Mia Wasikowska, discovers that her charming new husband is not who he appears to be in this haunted house film. It also stars Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Burn Gorman and Doug Jones. We haven't seen much footage yet, except for a tease at Comic-Con, but it was enough to make us feel confident that del Toro is back at his best again, since he's switching gears and going for a more personal story. It will still be just as creepy, just as weird, and just as unique as you'd expect from Guillermo del Toro, and we're looking forward to being scared out of our minds. (Alex)
Mission: Impossible 5 (December 25th)
Ever since J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot took over the reins of the Mission: Impossible franchise, the series has been an absolute blast. After once considering a passing of the torch, Paramount Pictures has smartly kept Tom Cruise in the lead as Ethan Hunt, but they've surrounded him with a great fluctuating ensemble that has included the likes of Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and the reliable Ving Rhames. The next installment will see Renner and Pegg returning to the Impossible Mission Force, though we're not sure what mission they're accepting this time. But we do know that they will be encountering Sean Harris as the film's villain this time. Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) is at the helm, and after seeing the wild, high-flying stunt that Cruise decided to do himself for this film, this one already sounds like it's going to be fun as hell. (Ethan)
Tomorrowland (May 22nd)
It's the top secret Disney live-action movie from director Brad Bird (of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, M:I-4) inspired by the mysteries of Walt Disney himself and the theme park he built that features an area known as "Tomorrowland". George Clooney and Britt Robertson co-star as an unlikely duo who team up and "embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory." The first teaser trailer is mesmerizing, and barely gives us a glimpse at the magical world that they've dreamt up for this one. Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer and Kathryn Hahn also star in this adventure that promises to remind us of the wonders of our imagination. They've been keeping this one such a big secret, I have no idea what we're in for, but I'm excited to find out. (Alex)
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15th)
Holy sh*t this new entry in the Mad Max series looks crazy awesome! Have you seen the trailer?! No one was expecting this, and yet it's one of our most anticipated without a doubt. After years of delays, production problems, budget issues, and other development setbacks, Happy Feet director George Miller finally went back to his Australia Outback roots to film this dusty, dirty, insane vehicular-action extravaganza with as many real cars/stunt people as possible. Word is that the movie is one long race (fuck yes), and Tom Hardy as (the new) Mad Max is caught up in the middle of it all. The footage looks so so so so awesome, picking up where Road Warrior left off continuing with gnarly vehicles and garish, violent weapons of all types. It also stars Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz and Riley Keough. This might be one of the highlights of next summer. (Alex)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st)
After the blast of superhero fun that was The Avengers, followed by the continued massive success of the Marvel cinematic universe, it's pretty easy to understand why we're excited to see what happens when this assembly of heroes gets together again. This time around Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) find themselves facing a new villain in the form of an artificially intelligent android called Ultron (James Spader) originally created by Tony Stark himself.
The teaser trailer was more than enough to pique our interest, though this is the kind of film we would have seen without seeing anything. But with teases of new superpowered characters like Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) entering the mix, not to mention that Hulkbuster armor, we're pretty sure this is going to be something incredible to see on the big screen next summer. This very well could be the last Marvel film that Joss Whedon directs, but with Anthony & Joe Russo directing Captain America: Civil War, it looks like the studio might have a new shepherd for Marvel. But until then, this sequel will be the next milestone installment that will effect the rest of the films down the road, and we can't wait to see what happens. (Ethan)
Spectre (November 6th)
Blofeld is back! Director Sam Mendes returns after delivering one of the best modern Bond movies just a few years ago, Skyfall in 2012, for another round of Agent 007. Eon Productions has officially unveiled the titled of Bond 24 as Spectre, alluding to the return of the evil organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E. run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a villain created by author Ian Fleming who has been in many Bond movies of past. Daniel Craig is back as 007, joined by a cast including Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny (introduced in the last movie), and newcomers Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Léa Seydoux, Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz as a villain named "Oberhauser". After Mendes kicked our ass with Skyfall, I'm not worried about this one turning out just as good, if not even better. (Alex)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18th)
It should come as no surprise that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is at the top of this list. Though our most anticipated films aren't in any particular order, this would easily be my #1, with none of the other films coming nowhere near my level of excitement. I'm more excited for Episode VII of the Star Wars saga than I was when the prequels were announced. Why? Because when it comes to this first chapter of the new trilogy, we barely know anything about what to expect. We only just got the names of the new characters featured in the short but sweet teaser trailer, and the rest of what we've heard has been nothing but speculation and rumors. In this day and age, that's truly impressive and maddening.
However, this is one time where I'm actually excited by the prospect of J.J. Abrams' mystery box, even though I can barely wait an entire year to open this one. In the time between now and then, you can expect plenty of buzz about the movie. We've done pretty much all the speculation we can now (including about the sequel's new lightsaber), and now we're just waiting to see the next trailer for the film. We know that there will be one attached to The Avengers: Age of Ultron next summer (another reason we're excited for that movie), but we're hoping for some more goodies before then to fuel the already raging fire. (Ethan)
There are plenty of runner ups and tons of other features we're looking forward to in 2015, so that's not everything, but that is a collective look at our Top 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015. They're not in any special order mostly because we just wanted to talk about a wide variety of movies, and both myself and Alex are at varied levels of excitement for all of these movies, so we just wanted to talk about all of them. Just from these 20 alone, there's no doubt 2015 is going to be another exciting year for movies, and we're not even including all the possible buzzworthy titles that will come out of Sundance and the inevitable late additions of various other indies to the calendar. Which movies are you most excited about in 2015?