Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Most Anticipated Films of 2015 Pt. 1

With 2014 coming to an end, it’s time to look ahead at what is coming out in what is certainly going to be a gargantuan year in cinema. A year where the Force will make its return from the darkness. A year where the Western will return in bloody detail in 70mm. A year where there will be many blockbusters and all sorts of genres coming from left and right. A year where some of the world’s best filmmakers make their return to create some daring new films. Before that, there are a slew of films that came out in 2014 via film festivals or in limited release platforms that are slated to come out. Here are the following films: Life of Riley, Time Out of Mind, Leviathan, While We’re Young, Clouds of Sils Maria, Winter Sleep, Mommy, The Look of Silence, The New Girlfriend, Manglehorn, and She’s Funny That Way.

The 35 Most Anticipated Films of 2015

1. The Hateful Eight

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Bruce Dern, Channing Tatum, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Demian Bichir, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Kurt Russell.

There is no filmmaker who brings excitement better than Quentin Tarantino as his last two features had the director explore two genres he wanted to tackle in the war film with 2009’s Inglourious Basterds and the western in 2012’s Django Unchained that both starred Christoph Waltz who would win Best Supporting Acting Oscars for those two films. At the same time, the two films featured Tarantino taking great use into creating large ensembles while emphasizing on shooting all of his films on actual film stock in an age where nearly every filmmaker is shooting their films on digital.

For his eighth film (nine if you count Kill Bill as two films), Tarantino returns to the western genre from a script he had been writing about for some time as he almost scrapped it due to a leak. Fortunately, Tarantino managed to re-write and re-work the script into something that is likely to be bigger than any of his previous films. The project would revolve a group of bounty hunters in post-Civil War America as they deal with a blizzard during a journey into the West as they endure betrayal and other plots involving their journey. For the film’s presentation, Tarantino plans to shoot the film in 70mm as it’s something that a portion of filmgoers had might’ve experienced with Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film The Master and more recently, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Whatever the result will be, it is guaranteed that Tarantino will deliver and more.

2. Knight of Cups

Written and directed by Terrence Malick. Starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Imogen Poots, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Freida Pinto, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Jason Clarke, and the voice of Ben Kingsley.

There is no director in American cinema that brings a lot of beauty and majestic wonders better than Terrence Malick as his recent output showcase a filmmaker that is definitely working on his own devices. Questions about when they will come out is always asked as Malick’s seventh feature film is an exploration into the world of decadence in Hollywood with elements of mysticism. While its trailer definitely echoes images and styles of his previous films in 2011’s The Tree of Life and 2012’s To the Wonder. Only someone like Malick can create something like this as some wonder if it’s a return to the storytelling ideas of earlier films or something experimental as his recent work.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Directed by J.J. Abrams. Screenplay by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Screen story treatment by Michael Arndt. Story by George Lucas. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.

Since its arrival in 1977, Star Wars was a game-changer to the world of cinema of how sci-fi could be presented as it became the standard of what blockbuster films should be as it was followed by two successful sequels in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. Its cult grew as special editions of the original trilogies came in the late 1990s with some controversy as it set the stage for George Lucas to return with a new trilogy about how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. The resulting films didn’t just explore the things fans didn’t want to see but left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth to the point that many thought Star Wars would be long and gone. Then in 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilms as they announced a new trilogy would emerge with Lucas only taking a consulting position leading J.J. Abrams to helm the film with people from the original trilogy returning in their famed roles while it would focus on new characters as it might bring the Force back into the heart of its fans.

4. Crimson Peak

Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Written by Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins, and Lucinda Coxon. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnum, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope, and Doug Jones.

There is no filmmaker who manages to bring more brains and heart to action-blockbusters better than Guillermo del Toro. While 2013’s Pacific Rim didn’t live up to expectations on a commercial level, the film did win a lot of devoted fans who felt it was what Transformers needed to be and more. For his ninth film, del Toro will go into a period film set in 19th Century in the Cumbria region of Northern England where a young woman copes with her newfound marriage to a mysterious man as she also meets up with his very eccentric and dark family. The film is likely to be a return to del Toro’s mastery of horror but also with elements that made some of films so beloved by critics and audiences.


Directed by Sam Mendes. Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan. Based on the works of Ian Fleming. Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Andrew Scott, Jesper Christensen, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes as M.

2012’s Skyfall not only was a big success for the James Bond franchise but also ensured the franchise’s staying power after 50 years of being in cinemas. For its 24th film, Sam Mendes returns to helm the next film while Daniel Craig reprises his role as Bond as he’s joined by Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes who also reprise their roles from the previous film. The film will also have the long-awaited return of an old foe of Bond in SPECTRE as the organization is definitely back wanting to create havoc all over the world as Christoph Waltz will play a mysterious figure as he’ll be joined by Dave Bautista as a henchman that is likely to give Bond a nice beating.

6. Flashmob

Written and directed by Michael Haneke.

There is no filmmaker in Europe that carries a name as important as Michael Haneke. Having won his first Oscar for 2012’s Amour which nabbed him his second straight Palme d’Or at that year’s Cannes Film Festival definitely solidified him as the premier filmmaker in European cinema. His next film will cover the world of flash mobs as it will involve a group of different people who will form this group through the internet. While there hasn’t been any casting information as Haneke has always been very secretive about his productions. There’s no question that he is someone that art house fans definitely gravitate towards to.

7. Silence

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Screenplay by Jack Cocks. Based on the novel by Shusaku Endo. Starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield, and Issei Ogata.

2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street was a surprising commercial success as it was considered one of the director’s finest films as well as his most debauched film of his career. For his next film, Scorsese is going to tone things down as it would be set in 17th Century Japan as two Jesuit priests travel to the country to spread Christianity in the country while trying to find their mentor. It’s a very different project that anything that Scorsese had done yet it only shows that the director is a master still has the urge to challenge himself.

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Written for the screen and directed by Joss Whedon. Based on the comic series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Stellan Skarsgard, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Spader.

2012’s The Avengers was a major smash at the box office as it definitely raised the ante into what comic-book superhero adaptation films could be and more. For the second film of the series, it would revolve around an artificial intelligence machine named Ultron who believes that humans are the enemies as the Avengers are forced to fight him while encounter powerful twins in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch as they’re respectively played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen. While it’s definitely going to be a film that would set up some very dark moments for some of its characters, it is clear that Joss Whedon is going to raise the stakes into what could come around for this film and future films to come.

9. The Revenant

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Screenplay by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith. Based on the novel by Michael Punke. Starring Leonardo diCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson.

2014’s Birdman was a major critical smash for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as it also did well in the box office as the Mexican-born director is once again changing gears after being known for making very bleak and morose films. For his sixth feature film, Inarritu will make a period piece as it would be set in the 19th Century as it would revolve a fur trapper who survives a bear attack as he later goes after the men that robbed him and leave him to die. While it does return Inarritu to darker territory, it is a film that seems more like a genre-based picture as Inarritu will definitely do something different for a film that could be more than just a revenge thriller.

10. Carol

Directed by Todd Haynes. Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy. Based on The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. Starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Carrie Brownstein, and Kyle Chandler.

After helming a three-part TV-miniseries adaptation of Mildred Pierce for HBO in 2011, Todd Haynes has been taking a low profile from the world of film as he is finally making a return to film for his sixth feature film. This time around, Haynes will return to the world of gay-and-lesbian themes that was prevalent in much of his work as he explores a relationship between two women in the late 1940s as it was considered taboo at the time. While it is a project that is another period piece for Haynes, it will showcase that sense of repression and desire that looms over two women as Cate Blanchett is playing the titular character and Rooney Mara as her lover Therese.

11. The Other Side of the Wind

Directed by Orson Welles. Written by Orson Welles and Oja Kodar. Starring John Huston, Bob Random, Peter Bogdanovich, Oja Kodar, and Susan Strasberg.

There is no question that Orson Welles was one of the greatest filmmakers to ever lived in the 20th Century as he made films that defied the ideas of cinema as he was beloved by film buffs but hated by the film industry. To coincide with what would’ve been his 100th birthday on May 6, 2015, a film that Welles made from 1970 to 1976 which was never finished will finally be unveiled in what is a mockumentary film that satirized the world of old Hollywood and the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s. With the supervision of longtime Welles associate Peter Bogdanovich and producer Frank Marshall, one of the greatest unreleased films might finally be unveiled as it would probably indicate what could’ve been if Welles had the money and time to finish it.

12. Tomorrowland

Directed by Brad Bird. Screenplay by Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof. Story by Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, and Jeff Jenson. Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Thomas Robinson, Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Tim McGraw, Raffey Cassidy, and Keegan-Michael Key.

Brad Bird has been one of the most unique voices in the world of animated films as he helmed his first live-action film in Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol in 2011 to an excellent reception. In what is definitely his most ambitious film to date, the film would explore a young woman who meets a reclusive inventor as they encounter a strange world that is defined by their own actions. While it’s title shares the same futuristic theme land in Disneyland and Walt Disney World, it’s obvious that it’s a film that plays into the idea of the future and what it could do.

13. Blackhat

Directed by Michael Mann. Written by Michael Mann and Morgan Davis Foehl. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Tang Wei, William Mapother, Ritchie Coster, Yorick Van Wageningen, Holt McNally, and Wang Leehom.

It’s been six-years since Michael Mann helmed a film as 2009’s Public Enemies drew mixed notices as the director has kept a low profile as he spent much of that time producing projects. His newest film couldn’t have come in a better time just as the world of cyber-terrorism is becoming more well-known in the public eye thanks to the recent hacking from Sony Pictures by supposed North Korean cyber-hackers. The film revolves around the world of cyber-terrorism as American and Chinese government forces hire a hacker to help them fight this new war of terror as the film is a return to the critic and slick world of crime for Mann which he had been known for in the past.

14. Furious 7

Directed by James Wan. Screenplay by Chris Morgan. Based on characters by Gary Scott Thompson. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, Elsa Pataky, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kurt Russell, Ronda Rousey, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, and Jason Statham.

Ever since The Fast and the Furious franchise first arrived in 2001, it was a film that was popular with audiences but not with critics as it was also dismissed by film snobs. That is until 2011’s Fast Five which changed everything as the film was a huge commercial smash and also won over its critics as they would re-evaluate the previous films. 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 continued this win streak as it paved the way for the seventh film of the series. Sadly, this is the last film to feature Paul Walker who died in a car accident in November of 2013 as it is rumored to be the final film of the series as Dom Toretto, Brian O’Connor, and the rest of their family deal with a criminal who is seeking revenge for his brother’s death in the previous film prompting the team to find him before he finds them.

15. Untitled Warren Beatty/Howard Hughes Project

Written and directed by Warren Beatty. Starring Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Taissa Farmiga, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and Annette Bening.

It’s been more than 15 years since Warren Beatty has helmed a picture and fourteen years since he last appeared in a film as he spent much of his time being at home with his children while wife Annette Bening acted. Finally making his return to the big screen with his fifth feature film as director, Beatty will explore the life of Howard Hughes in his final years as it explored the affair he had with a woman who was much younger than him. It’s definitely an ambitious and bold project yet it seems fitting that it’s the kind of material that Beatty wants to create though it ponders what will Hughes look like in those final years.

16. Macbeth

Directed by Justin Kurzel. Screenplay by Jacob Kosoff and Todd Luiso. Based on the play by William Shakespeare. Starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor, and Paddy Considine.

While there’s been many adaptations of the William Shakespeare play by such filmmakers as Orson Welles, Roman Polanski, and Akira Kurosawa. What makes this version that is to be helmed by the Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel is the fact that its titular character is being played by Michael Fassbender while Marion Cotillard plays Lady MacBeth. The idea of Fassbender and Cotillard in a film together is one thing but to have both of them do one of Shakespeare’s most revered plays is definitely something that audiences will want to see. After all, they’re two of the finest actors working today as they could probably read phone books on toilets and give out great performances.

17. Inside Out

Directed by Pete Docter. Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by Pete Docter. Featuring the voices of Kaitlyn Dias, Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, Kyle McLachlan, and John Ratzenberger.

Pixar Animation Studios spent much of 2014 on hiatus as the company wanted a break from releasing feature films as some wondered if the company had lost some of their magic touch through some recent films. In the first of two new films from the studio, the first revolves around a young girl who moves to a new place with her family as she is guided by her emotions. The emotions are characters in the film as they play into her thoughts and what she is feeling. It’s a cool idea as it plays into what people are thinking about in their heads.

18. The Good Dinosaur

Directed by Peter Sohn. Written by Enrico Casarosa and Bob Peterson. Featuring the voices of Lucas Neff, John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, Bill Hader, and John Ratzenberger.

The second of two films that Pixar will release in 2015 will revolve around the world of dinosaurs. Originally a project that was to be helmed by longtime Pixar animator/director Bog Peterson, the film will be helmed by another Pixar associate in Peter Sohn as the film will raise the question about what happened if dinosaurs never became extinct. While it’s likely to be funny and adventurous, it will also beg the question into how Pixar will raise their game in the world of animation.

19. Joy

Directed by David O. Russell. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Edgar Ramirez, Bradley Cooper, and Robert de Niro.

David O. Russell has been on a winning streak since 2010’s The Fighter as his collaborations with Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, and Bradley Cooper finally came to ahead in 2013’s American Hustle. For his third collaboration with Lawrence and Cooper will be in a bio-pic of sorts about Joy Mangano who was a single mother of three children who reinvented herself as an inventor and entrepreneur. It definitely seems like another Oscar-bait film from Russell but he always makes them entertaining and often brings the best in his actors.

20. Love in Khon Kaen

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Starring Jenjira Pongpas and Banlop Lomnoi.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul has been a major name that has been growing in cinema since winning the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. While 2012’s Meekong Hotel was a smaller film at 61 minutes, his next feature will be a love story involving a middle-aged housewife who tends to an ill soldier with a sleeping disorder as it involves all sorts of strange things and hallucinations. While it’s definitely going to be another film that will test audiences into embracing ideas of surrealism and fantasy. Yet, it’s definitely the kind of film that art-house audiences will want to see as it’s likely to make its premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

21. Jupiter Ascending

Written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski. Starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, and James D’Arcy.

Originally a 2014 release, the film was to be the Wachowskis’ return to the world of sci-fi after a long period of making other projects for other filmmakers while helming the 2008 flop Speed Racer and the 2012 film Cloud Atlas with Tom Tykwer that polarized audiences and critics. Their sixth feature will revolve around a young woman from Earth who learns she is the heir to a throne as an alien tries to protect her from other heirs who are fighting each other over this inheritance. It’s definitely the kind of film that won’t be for everyone yet it has all of the elements that the Wachowskis are known for in terms of bombastic and out-of-this world sci-fi films.

22. Midnight Special

Written and directed by Jeff Nichols. Starring Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton, Paul Sparks, and Sam Shepard.

Having made films that played into the world of the American South with an air of grit and beauty, Jeff Nichols is definitely one of finest voices to emerge in the past 10 years. For his first studio feature film, Nichols will tackle the world of sci-fi but with his own sense of grit as there hasn’t been many details about the plot. Yet, Nichols did reveal that it’s a film that harkens back to the look of 80s sci-fi films like Starman by John Carpenter as it’s a chase film that is likely to be set in a futuristic version of the American South.

23. The Walk

Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Screenplay by Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne. Based on the book To Reach the Clouds by Philippe Petit. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Schwartz, and Steve Valentine.

2012’s Flight was a major success that brought Robert Zemeckis back to the world of live-action film after a period of animated films. His next feature will be another ambitious yet extravagant film that is based on Philippe Petit’s high wire walk between the two World Trade Center buildings in 1974. Though the story has been told in James Marsh’s widely-acclaimed documentary Man on Wire, Zemeckis definitely has the chops to create something that is interesting as Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play the role of Petit.

24. Mad Max: Fury Road

Directed by George Miller. Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris. Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Hugh Keays-Byrne, and Nathan Jones.

Ever since the Mad Max series first arrived to the world of cinema in 1979, it created a new franchise filled with all sorts of crazy ideas including bikes and insane characters all roaming around the desert. Its success which made Mel Gibson an international film star led to two successful sequels as its creator George Miller is bringing the franchise back. This time around, Tom Hardy will play a different Max who is a loner that helps a group of female warriors trek across the desert as it’s trailer definitely reveals to be a more bombastic and chaotic world than in previous films. For fans of the series, they wouldn’t want it any other way.

25. Mistress America

Directed by Noah Baumbach. Written by Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Starring Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, and Heather Lind.

Noah Baumbach is one of American independent cinema’s key voices as his recent collaboration with Greta Gerwig in 2010’s Greenberg and 2012’s Frances Ha has him stretching his artistic muscles to great lengths. While he would continue with his theme on growing up with his 2014 film While We’re Young, Baumbach changes gears a bit as he returns to the world of post-college life but it is stated that it’s going to be radically different from previous films. The film is set to make its premiere on January 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival as it’s rumored to be his most experimental film to date.

26. Erran

Directed by Jacques Audiard. Written by Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, and Noe Debre. Starring Vincent Rottiers.

2012’s Rust and Bone was another internationally-acclaimed film from Jacques Audiard who continues to raise his profile amongst the world of European cinema. For his seventh feature-film, Audiard is going to explore the life of a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who leaves his life behind and arrives in France where he becomes a caretaker. There hasn’t been a lot of details into the production as Audiard is often mum about his projects yet he is a name that does bring excitement to film buffs.

27. Far from the Madding Crowd

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Written by David Nicholls. Based on the novel by Thomas Hardy. Starring Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, and Juno Temple.

Thomas Vinterberg’s 2012 film The Hunt was a surprise hit in the festival circuit as well as garnering lots of acclaim as it marked as a major comeback for the Danish filmmaker. His next film is an ambitious take on the Thomas Hardy novel as it explores a love story between a shepherd and a young woman as it’s often considered one of the finest stories ever told. Yet, it was a film that was originally supposed to come out in 2014 but post-production delays were the reasons into why it skipped the film festival circuits in that year.

28. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan

Directed by Xavier Dolan. Starring Jessica Chastain, Kit Harrington, Kathy Bates, and Susan Sarandon.

Xavier Dolan has been one of the most interesting names to emerge in the past few years as the openly-gay French-Canadian filmmaker is known for making films that defy convention as he’s made five feature-length films so far at the age of 25 years old. For what is to be his first English-language film, the film explores a troubling relationship between an American film star and an 11-year old actor through corresponding letters that unfortunately goes wrong. It’s an ambitious project as Dolan is working with big names yet Dolan definitely seems like someone who isn’t going to change his ideas no matter how big or how small his films are.

29. Pitch Perfect 2

Directed by Elizabeth Banks. Written by Kay Cannon. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ben Platt, Hailee Steinfeld, Katey Sagal, John Michael Higgins, and Elizabeth Banks.

2012’s Pitch Perfect was one of the most unlikely hits to come out as it revived the world of acapella singing as well as made Anna Kendrick into a major star. For the second film as it would mark Elizabeth Banks’ feature-film debut as a director as she is also reprising her role as Gail Abernathy-McKadden. The film explores a much bigger competition as the Barden Bellas enter an international acapella competition as they need all the help they can get to be the first American group to win. Even as they might have to get help from some old foes like Bumper.

30. La Blessure

Written for the screen and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche. Based on the novel by Francois Begaudeau. Starring Gerard Depardieu.

Having won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for Blue is the Warmest Color as well as attract controversy over the film. Abdellatif Kechiche has been a filmmaker on the rise that has been getting attention as he is known for tackling on controversial subjects on class structure and characters on the fringe. For his sixth feature film, Kechiche is adapting a novel by the famed French film critic/journalist Francois Begaudeau though there hasn’t been a lot of details about the film other than it stars Gerard Depardieu.

31. St. James Place

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay by Joel & Ethan Coen and Matt Charman. Starring Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Eve Hewson, Mark Rylance, Billy Magnussen, and Alan Alda.

Steven Spielberg is still a name that draws money and respect as he does deliver solid films where he often gets actors to bring their A-game though some of his recent films have been hit-and-miss. For his next film, Spielberg once again goes into a different genre in the spy thriller as he teams up with Tom Hanks in their fourth collaboration as it explores the U-2 incident in 1960. Hanks will play the lawyer who is trying to get the pilot released from the Soviet Union as it’s definitely the kind of material that is perfect for the Spielberg and his fascination with history.

32. The Peanuts Movie

Directed by Steve Martino. Screenplay by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, and Cornelius Uliano. Based on the comic strip by Charles Schulz. Featuring the voices of Bill Melendez, Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, AJ Teece, Noah Johnston, and Francesca Capaldi.

For anyone that his grown up watching TV specials or read the comic strips on newspapers, Peanuts was something that is part of popular culture that will never die. Especially as readers and viewers often wanted to see what Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy are up to with their many friends as the film will see them return in a new adventure. There hasn’t been any details about the plot but seeing Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and the rest of the gang on the big screen is definitely a delight for audiences.

33. Queen of the Desert

Written and directed by Werner Herzog. Starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, and Damian Lewis.

Werner Herzog is definitely a name that people will gravitate to whether he’s making documentaries or fictional films. His first feature film in six years will be a bio-pic about Gertrude Bell and her complex life as an archeologist, a cartographer, explorer, traveler, and political officer as she is played by Nicole Kidman. The fact that the film will take place in the desert makes it more interesting since Herzog is known for making films on actual locations no matter what the climate is since Herzog has a love-hate relationship towards nature.

34. Sea of Trees

Directed by Gus Van Sant. Written by Chris Sparling. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, Naomi Watts, Katie Aselton, and Jordan Garvais.

After a couple of lukewarm received films in 2011’s Restless and 2012’s Promised Land, Gus Van Sant has been taking a low-profile in the past few years doing other projects as he sets to return with his 16th feature film. A return to the theme of death, the film will explore the idea of suicide as two different men meet at the Aokigahara Forest, known as Suicide Forest, to kill themselves. It’s definitely a film with an intriguing concept as it suggests that it might be a return to more experimental territory for Van Sant while having some major star power in Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, and Naomi Watts.

35. Untitled Woody Allen Project

Written and directed by Woody Allen. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, and Jamie Blackley.

While his last film Magic in the Moonlight was another divisive film from critics and audiences, the film did give Woody Allen a new muse in Emma Stone who starred in the film as the two are working together again. This time around, it will be in a mystery-comedy as it plays into a relationship between a professor and his student where the former deals with his own existential crisis. Whether it will be a winner or a dud, there is some admiration that Woody Allen is still churning out films and still might be able to come up with something that fans will enjoy.

15 Highly-Anticipated Films That Might Come Out in 2015

Untitled Steve Jobs Film

Directed by Danny Boyle. Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Based on the biography by Walter Isaacson. Starring Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Katherine Waterston.

The Little Mermaid

Directed by Sofia Coppola. Screenplay by Caroline Thompson. Based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen.

The Neon Demon

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Starring Carey Mulligan.

The Trap

Written and directed by Harmony Korine. Starring Jamie Foxx and Benicio del Toro.


Directed by Alexander Payne. Written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. Starring Matt Damon.

Second Born

Directed by Chan-wook Park.


Written and directed by Gaspar Noe.

The Light Between Oceans

Directed by Derek Cianfrance. Written by M.L. Stedman that is based on his novel. Starring Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, and Alicia Vikander.

Untitled Paul Robeson Project

Directed by Steve McQueen.

The Ferryman

Written and directed by Wong Kar-Wai. Starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Takeshi Kaneshiro.

American Honey

Directed by Andrea Arnold.

The Assassin

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. Starring Shu Qi, Chang Chen, and Satoshi Tsumabaki.


Directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Thomas. Written by Charlie Kaufman. Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Thewlis, and Tom Noonan.

Horizontal Process

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami.

Project V/Voyage of Time

Written and directed by Terrence Malick. Starring Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, and Val Kilmer.

There are several top filmmakers eager to make their returns to the big screen as several of them have new projects in the works like Andrea Arnold, Abbas Kiarostami, Chan-wook Park, Gaspar Noe, and Wong Kar-Wai even though there hasn’t been many details about their new films. Yet, there are several other films from top filmmakers that are in development such as Danny Boyle’s bio-pic on Apple Computers founder Steve Jobs that had been languishing for years as its recent transfer from Sony to Universal is among the troubled drama over its development. Nicolas Winding Refn is set to start shooting a new film in early 2015 with Carey Mulligan in a project called The Neon Demon which doesn’t feature a lot of details as does a much rumored live-action film version of The Little Mermaid which is to be directed by Sofia Coppola. Alexander Payne will explore the world of the working class in Downsizing while Derek Cianfrance is going to explore a couple taking in a child they found in the sea in an adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s novel.

Harmony Korine’s recent return to the world of films is going to have him work with two major heavyweights in Jamie Foxx and Benicio del Toro in a thriller called The Trap. Steve McQueen is developing a bio-pic about the famed singer/Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson as it’s a big follow-up from his Oscar-winning 2013 film 12 Years a Slave. Charlie Kaufman is going to make his long-awaited return in an animated film that is likely to be just as crazy as the stories he had created while Hou Hsiao-hsien is making a film about an assassin in the Tang Dynasty which has been in the works for years. Finally, there’s Terrence Malick who might release more films in 2015 such as the mysterious Project V and the IMAX-documentary The Voyage of Time.

(End of Pt. 1) - Pt. 2 - Pt. 3 - Pt. 4

© thevoid99 2014


Chris said...

Great work, many of them I didn't know about.
I saw The Look of Silence on limited release(your header image)and it's really chilling and powerful.

Of these, I'm most excited about Michael Haneke's Flashmob, Star Wars 7, SPECTRE, the two Noah Baumbach films(Mistress America, While We’re Young), Gaspar Noé's Love, & Derek Cianfrance's The Light Between Oceans.
Look forward to reading part 2!

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet lord, please let all of these see releases this coming year!

s. said...

Crimson Peak is my most anticipated, I really hope it's gonna be good but Del Toro's recent films were kinda mediocre

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-I was supposed to have this done earlier this month but the flu stopped me as well as many re-writes and trying to find out what else is coming out. Part 2 I'm going to do in a few days as well as Part 3 which will focus on what films you should not see.

@Fisti-Same here. This looks absolutely aweseome.

@Sati-I'm hoping for Crimson Peak to be great as well as I did like his recent films because they were entertaining but with characters to care for.

ruth said...

WOW, this is just Part I? Very cool Steven. I'll be doing an anticipated list later in January, but for sure Knight of Cups, Macbeth and Spectre will be in my list!

Brittani Burnham said...

This is a nice list! I completely forgot Hateful Eight is going to be a 2015 release. I kept thinking 2016.

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-I'll start Part II in the coming days as it'll be about genre films and such as I'm trying to see how many I'll fit in while Part 3 will be about indie/art-house films and the ones to avoid.

@Brittani Burnham-I heard QT is going to start filming early next year so it's likely he'll get it out by the end of 2015.

The Movie Waffler said...

Great post. Sadly most of these will likely be 2016 for general audiences on this side of the Atlantic

thevoid99 said...

@The Movie Waffler-I'm sure you will find a way to see these films through torrents or in film festivals. I hope they come into the other side of the Atlantic. We film buffs need to stick together.

Luke said...

The Hateful Eight is my most anticipated.

I also cannot wait to see Denis Villeneuve's new film Sicario.

thevoid99 said...

@Luke-Sicario is in a WIP list of art-house/indie films that I'm going to discuss as there's so many 2015 releases to cover which is why the list is in 3 parts.

Alex Withrow said...

I'm looking forward to so many of these movies. We're going to have a great year. The Hateful Eight and Knight of Cups are my top as well.

thevoid99 said...

@Alex Withrow-It was tough to choose between those 2 films once I learned Knight of Cups was going to come out this year. Hell, how can anything top these 2 films?