We’re nearly a month into 2015, and for those who love geek movies it is going to be quite a year indeed. Just tackling major headlines, this will be a year when we get an Avengers sequel, not to mention a brand new Star Wars movie (one free of George Lucas for the very first time).
Of course we’re also getting new or revamped entries in some huge franchises (Jurassic Park, Terminator, Mission: Impossible, James Bond, Fast & Furious) and some new genre properties (Chappie, Tomorrowland, The Good Dinosaur) that could also become big hits .
Taking all of that (and much more) into account, here are our 5 Big Geek Movie Question for 2015.
5. Will Fantastic Four Shock the World?
Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot is one of the oddest examples of big-budget superhero movie marketing we’ve ever seen – largely because that marketing has been non-existent. Not one official promo photo, trailer or even legitimate piece of concept art to give fans – many of whom are riled up about changes to the story and characters – any kind of hope.
Right now, Fantastic Four has a lot of people rooting against it (that old “give it back to Marvel” mantra), and little going for it other than assurances from the filmmakers or other invested parties who swear that it’s going to be worth the wait.
It’s hard to be anything but skeptical at this point; however, director Josh Trank impressed and surprised with Chronicle, his found-footage superhero film, so maybe he has done it again? Maybe The Fantastic Four will shock fans and the world and make a lot of money for Fox?
4. Can We Get the Magic Back?
2015 features a handful of films that will attempt to revitalize some big, iconic, movie franchises that have either not seen the screen in a long time, or have not had great success with priro attempts to recapture glory.
Jurassic World hopes bring us back to the wonder (and terror) of Jurassic Park; Terminator: Genisys is attempting to course-correct the wayward franchise and build a new trilogy on top of it; Mad Max: Fury Roadis bringing back the director of the original installments (George Miller) for a new vision of The Road Warrior; and a little franchise named Star Wars is coming back with a whole new shared universe of films. Just to name a few.
The question in all this is: can ANY of these films really get back the magic that gave their parent films (and/or subsequent sequels) such enduring legacies? There are no guranteed hits in the lineup (though Star Wars and Mad Max DO have good hype), so the answer to this question could be a lot disappointment for some of the hopefuls, and big success for others.
3. Can Marvel Truly Do Anything?
Look, we’re not talking about experiments like the Agent Carter miniseries, improving on weak spots like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., crushing the box office with Avengers: Age of Ultron or even conquering new avenues of programming with the launch of a Netflix Daredevil series. Let’s all be honest about the elephant in the room: we’re talking about Ant-Man.
For those who know NOTHING about the character, hearing the premise of this film sounds like a bad joke. To many of those who DO know the character, there is still the question of why this particular superhero gets a movie over so many others. Even amongst those who believe in Ant-Man’s potential, there is still a feeling of “Why bother?” after the departure of former project writer/director, Edgar Wright.
Not even a first teaser trailer and Paul Rudd’s cheese grater abs were enough to win over mainstream audiences in mass. Right now, Ant-Man feels like it’s not big enough for the new Marvel Standard – and no, this isn’t just like when Guardians of the Galaxy came out. Marvel’s Phase 2 initiative could possibly end on a disappointing note if it proves true that not all superheroes are big enough for their own movie.
2. Can DC Finally Build REAL Hype?
We’ve been hearing about DC Comics and Warner Bros possibly launching their own version of a superhero shared universe since the mid-2000s, back when Chris Nolan was in the thick of his Dark Knight Trilogy and Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller was set to helm a very different kind of Justice League movie.
However, in 2014 DC/WB revealed its ambitious lineup of films stretching to 2020, starting with the much-anticipated (and soon to be HUGELY anticipated) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. More than that, though, DC’s second film of 2016, Suicide Squad, will feature a team of villains coerced into government black-ops service, and has cast big-name stars like Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as fan-favorite Harley Quinn, Cara Delevingne, (likely) Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Jared Leto as the new New Joker.
That’s big star power on top of Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne, as well as Batman v Superman newcomers like Ben Affleck as the new Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as the next Lex Luthor, and Fast & Furious star Gal Gadot as the first ever movie Wonder Woman. We could likely even see future Justice League members like Jason Mamoa (Aquaman) or Ray Fisher (Cyborg) making appearances.
Sure, all of this great DC movie stuff isn’t coming until 2016 – but the studio will need to have that momentum going BEFORE that year arrives. Now that the blueprint is out there, DC/WB needs to start getting the hype up in 2015 – including taking on Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con with big reveals and killer footage. Can they finally, at long last, strike a blow for the DC movie faithful who have held on this long?
Now or never. Now, or never.
1. Which Way Will Disney Win Biggest: Superheroes or Sci-fi?
Remember just half a decade ago when Disney was facing this massive problem? They had locked the market on young girls’ childhoods, but had little to show for cornering things on the little boy childhood market. You remember when Disney had that little problem?
Flash forward to 2015 and Disney now owns both Marvel and LucasFilm and has arguably THE top 2 most anticipated blockbuster films of the year in its pocket: The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And not only are young boys into both properties like never before – the female demographic has been just as strong in showing their enthusiasm.
It’s almost disgusting to think about Mickey Mouse sitting back and measuring which insane stack of money is the highest. But god help us, we want to know. We do. And a lot of other movie geeks probably do too. Even George Lucas is excited to geek out about it.
Feed the mouse this year, we will.
As always, we leave you with some appetizer food for thought:
- Will Sci-fi dark horses like Jupiter Ascending, Chappie, Tomorrowland and Pixels hit it big?
- Will Pixar see double-down success with their two 2015 releases, The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out?
- Will some revitalized franchises see their hot streaks continue (Mission: Impossible 5, Furious 7, James Bond: Spectre)?
That’s it for our 5 Big Geek Movie Questions for 2015. As always, at the end of the year we’ll revisit each issue and see how things panned out. If you want the scorecard for 2014, be sure to check out last year’s questions below: