20. The Fantastic Four (Josh Trank) – This is probably my most-likely-to-be-hated-film of 2015 rather than anticipated. It’s January 6th 2015, the movie is being released in less than 8 months, we have been given no information on how this project is coming along. No official photos, teasers, trailers or promos have been released. Word on the street is the Fox Executives are upset with the project. I am giving Trank the benefit of the doubt- we needed a Fantastic Four reboot, I’m hoping for the best here. (cast below Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan)
19. Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow) – Sure I was excited for another dinosaur movie, until the official trailer was released (below). Why is Peter Quill riding a motor cycle next to velociraptors? Are velociraptors domesticated? This dropped from the top of my anticipated list to the near bottom. The trailer is also heavily CGI.
18. Taken 3 (Olivier Megaton) – He’s back and this time they took his wife. The second movie was garbage. GARBAGE! But somehow the guy who changed his name, to be remembered for the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, has sucked me back in for a third movie. Megaton cannot do action- so I’m hoping, HOPING, there is better editing in the third film.
17. The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu) – An adaptation of a book with a similar name: A revenge flick staring DiCaprio and Hardy directed by the guy who just finished the most talked about film of 2015 (Birdman). Yes please. The synopsis: “In the 19th century, Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a fur trapper, is mauled by a bear while hunting. His companions (Hardy, Poulter, and Gleeson) rob him and leave him to die, but he survives and sets out to get revenge on the men who betrayed him.”
16. Chappie (Neill Blomkamp)- 2012’s Elysium wasn’t the great film I was hoping to be, still enjoyed it for the most part, but it was obvious studio involvement hurt Blomkamp’s creative vision. Still, Chappie looks like a live action Wallie. Die Antwoord was going to play a major role in the film, but Ninja apparently is a diva, impossible to work with and was written out of the movie. Ninja is still in the trailer below, but probably will appear as a limited role. Fun fact: Matt Damon was the third choice for Elysium. Blomkamp wrote the role for Ninja, who turned it down despite being a Blomkamp fan because he wanted his first acting role to be a true South African film instead of a big budget Hollywood one. Then they offered the role to Eminem, who insisted that he'd only do it if it's shot in Detroit. Since that's not feasible, they finally offered it to regular actors, and Damon got it.
15. Pan (Joe Wright) – The director of Pride and Prejudice and Hanna is directing an origin story of Peter Pan staring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard.
14. Black Mass (Scott Cooper) – Hey another Boston movie about Whitey Bulger, staring Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch.
13. Ted 2 – I debated putting this on my list for 2015 after the disappointing A Million Ways to Die in the West, but I’m too big a Seth MacFarlane fan to let this go. I expect it to be a fun romp.
12. Spectre (Sam Mendes) – I expect a movie as breathtaking and gorgeous as Skyfall, but I would like this to a be a tad shorter and I and praying it does not overstay it’s welcome. I’m happy Sam Mendes is back, just please bring Bond back to being Bond. Do not need to make him relatable nor do we need to the dark and gritty Bond we have been getting lately.
11. Jupiter Ascending (Wachowski siblings) – The only original IP on my list this year. A brand new IP, that’s release date got delayed over a year- This could mean one of two things. 1) They needed extra time to finish CGI and post convert to 3D or 2) the studio was not confident of its success and wanted to release it in a month with less summer blockbusters. Let’s hope for the former, but let’s also take this as good news. This is supposedly the start of a trilogy but only if the first film does well at the box office. The Wachowski's are in a difficult position because, outside of the first two Matrix movies, everything they've done has been a commercial or critical disappointment. Or both. I however am 110% supporting a new IP to Hollywood’s adaptation battleground.
10. Tomorrowland (Brad Bird) – One of the movies that was delayed to 2015- the trailer looks beautiful and it’s Brad Bird (Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Mission Impossible 4), doing his Brad Bird thing. Beautiful trailer below.
9. Ant-Man (Peyton Reed)- This was supposed to be directed by Edgar Wright but he dropped out of the project do to creative differences between him and Marvel. The project was picked up by the guy who did Jim Carrey’s Yes Man and Vince Vaughn’s The Break Up which doesn't ooze confidence, but it’s still a Marvel IP and they haven’t put out a terrible movie since 2010 (Iron Man 2). The teaser trailer was first released during Marvel’s premiere of Agent Carter on ABC.
8. Furious 7 (James Wan)- From the director of all those great horror movies lately (Insidious, The Conjuring) and the director that was supposed to do the next Terminator movie, James Wan will probably be responsible for the 2nd highest grossing movie of 2015. Furious 7 is going to make $2 Billion- everyone wants to see Paul Walker’s last movie (RIP), and everyone wants to see how the budget of Furious 7 ballooned to $200 million after the studio used CGI to replace Walker in the movie using a combination of CGI and Walker’s brother. So why is this movie going to be a huge hit and probably one of the most fun movies of the summer 2015? The series has circled around to connect the third movie (Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift) with the ending of the sixth movie (Fast Six) while adding two huge names to the cast- Kurt Russell and Jason Statham. Other fun facts: martial arts expert Tony Jaa apparently has a role in the film and Lucas Black has signed a multi-picture deal (not unlike some of the Marvel comic book movie deals) to do future films. This franchise is not going away any time soon.
7. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller) – It feels like this movie has been in development for 10 years (i actually had it being released in 2013), and in fact, Miller has been trying to get it made for 20. Judging by the trailer below, it’s going to be bonkers. I don’t think you’ll see a better trailer in your life. Fun fact: The movie has insanely minimal dialog- apparently Miller didn’t even write a script but instead just storyboarded the entire movie. Max has a total of 16 lines. *mind blown*
6. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (J. J. Abrams) I was not a fan of Abraham’s take on the Star Trek series, but I can appreciate a technically competent director at the helm of a huge franchise. I just don’t want it turn Lost-y on me. The good news? Damon Lindelof (the destroyer of all scripts) who has worked with Abrams on multiple past projects, is not involved in Star Wars. The better news? George Lucas is not involved with writing the screenplay and is only involved with the continuity of the Star Wars universe. The best news? Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of Empire Strike’s Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, is involved with writing the screenplay. So as long as these terrible writers stay away from Abrams, I think this is going to be a welcomed entry into the franchise. Fun fact: The Raid 2 - leading man Iko Uwais, Mad Dog / Prakoso actor Yayan Ruhian and The Raid 2 finale fighter Cecep Arif Rahman, credited simply as The Assassin - will all appear in JJ Abrams' upcoming Star Wars. The Raid 2 was in my top 5 moviesof 2014 and is a must watch for action fans. I’m hoping these guys are playing some badass Siths. (Teaser Trailer below)
5. Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro) It’s del Toro’s return to horror and with this synopsis, it’s hard to not get excited. “In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds...and remembers”- Lucky for me this press photo was released just seconds before I wrote this list.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon) There’s nothing much to say here other than this might be the biggest Marvel movie ever. Joss Whedon’s future in the MCU is uncertain. (Trailer below)
3. Inside Out (Pete Docter)- The next Pixar film (that isn’t a sequel) that looks adorable. A story told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind. (Trailer below)
2. Silence (Martin Scorsese)- A Scorsese film, starring Liam Neeson, adapting Shûsaku Endô’s historical fiction novel, Silence. In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. I just hope it’s not 3 hours long.
1. The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino) -It's Tarantino. It's a Western. It's got Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Mark Madsen and Bruce fuckin' Dern. <3