It’s 2015 and with the new year comes a new slate of exciting movies opening in theaters over the next 12 months – some we’ve waited a very long time for and can’t wait to see!
Read on to find out what 25 movies Screen Rant is anticipating most in 2015.
Keep in mind, these are not films we necessarily expect to be the “best” – these are movies that, at the time of this publication, we are most excited to see and cover on the site (some don’t even have a trailer yet!). They’re genre films we discuss and analyze most on Screen Rant, and ones we hope to enjoy along with our readers and podcast listeners. Let’s begin our countdown of the 25 movies we’re anticipating most in 2015.
Release Date: July 24, 2015
Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, Ashley Benson, Jane Krakowski
We still need to see more, but the premise (and visuals) of Pixels – a live-action film about our planet getting attacked by alien-controlled classic video games – is an easy sell. Throw in Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, and some amazing posters, and we’re in. Long live arcade gamers!
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Dev Patel
Another original sci-fi thriller from the mind of Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium), Chappie tells the story of a stolen robot who embodies the qualities of a human child and must learn from those around him. His journey will help change the way people perceive robots for the better. Like District 9, this one is based on a Blomkamp short film (Tetra Vaal).
23. Mr. Holmes
Release Date: Unknown
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada
From the director of Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn films and The Fifth Estate, comes yet another adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle most notable creation, Sherlock Holmes. Despite there being two current TV series (BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’ Elementary) on the air, and a third film in development for the Robert Downey Jr. film series based on the character, seeing Ian McKellan play a 93 year-old version of Mr. Holmes taking on one last case he couldn’t solve before is something we can’t wait for.
22. Jupiter Ascending
Release Date: February 6, 2015
Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Cast: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, James D’Arcy, Douglas Booth, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
A repeat listing for Screen Rant’s most anticipated movies of last year thanks to delays, Jupiter Ascending caught our attention ages ago, if not for the simple fact that it’s an original space opera from The Wachowskis. The premise is a little out there and follows Jupiter (Mila Kunis), an Earth janitor (and secret heir to an entire planet) who gets caught up in an intergalactic power struggle over simple greed. Her protector (Channing Tatum) is literally part wolf and must help Jupiter fulfill her destiny.
21. Crimson Peak
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Doug Jones, Jim Beaver
An original horror film from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrnth, Hellboy) was enough of a sell on its own to make this list (and our most anticipated horror movie list). The aptly named Crimson Peak is a romantic ghost tale about a young author (Wasikowska) falling in love with a mysterious man and living in his old mansion up in secluded mountains – a mansion that’s, needless to say, far from ordinary. Del Toro calls Crimson Peak a “throwback” horror film, different than the usual genre fare, and from our chat with him about the movie and the amount of detail put into the interior of the mansion constructed for the film, Crimson Peak could be something special.
20. Magic Mike XXL
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Matt Bomer, Gabriel Iglesias, Adam Rodriguez, Michael Strahan, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie MacDowell, Donald Glover, Amber Heard
The cast and creative team alone had us interested in Magic Mike from the moment it began production, and after the film delivered wonderful performances to go along with a heartfelt story (and some fun dance moves), we were easily sold on a followup. XXL drops stars Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn and Matthew McConaughey, but brings in worthy talent to fill the void.
19. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Jack Davenport, Sofia Boutella, Mark Hamill
Early reviews already sing praise for Kingsman, but as the movie Matthew Vaughn left the director’s chair of X-Men: Days of Future Past for, how can we not be excited to see what Vaughn can do with another R-rated adaptation of another Mark Millar comic? Especially one starring Colin Firth as a badass veteran super agent.
18. Jurassic World
Release Date: June 12, 2015
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, Jake Johnson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Omar Sy, Brian Tee, Irrfan Khan, BD Wong, Ty Simpkins, Katie McGrath
The first trailer earned mixed reactions, but the idea of returning to the “world” of Jurassic Park is too good not to talk about. Throw in the lovable, funny and charming Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, The LEGO Movie) after his Hollywood-dominating year in 2014, and we’re willing to give questionable early marketing a pass for a chance that the Jurassic Park franchise can be successfully relaunched a decade later. For longtime fans, there’s one returning character, Dr. Henry Wu, worth looking forward to seeing onscreen again.
17. Terminator Genisys
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, Byung-hun Lee, J.K. Simmons
Revisiting the first (and best) two Terminator films, director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World) attempts to salvage the franchise after a pair of botched entries tarnished the brand. The oddly named but ambitious Terminator Genisys forgets Terminator 3 & 4 along with the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series and establishes a brand new timeline.
16. The Gunman
Release Date: March 20, 2015
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Jasmine Trinca, Mark Rylance, Peter Franzén
From the director of the first Taken, comes a story of a spy (Penn) who wants to retire with his lover – only his organization won’t let him leave, forcing him to live on the run. We’re ready to see Sean Penn be an action star this year.
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Léa Seydoux, Andrew Scott
After Skyfall broke all sorts of box office records around the world and re-solidified the James Bond film series as one of the most important currently active film franchises, we’re excited to see where Daniel Craig’s 007 goes next as he re-teams with Sam Mendes for Spectre, the 24th Bond feature.
14. The Martian
Release Date: November 25, 2015
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean
Picture this: A Ridley Scott sci-fi film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars. That’s what this movie is about, and given the supporting cast, this is an easy pick for films we’re very excited to learn more about. (Image is from Elysium).
13. The Fantastic Four
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Director: Josh Trank
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Tim Blake Nelson
For a summer blockbuster superhero movie, there’s shockingly been zero marketing so far for Fox’s reboot of The Fantastic Four. While it’s hard to know what to expect from a new live-action adaptation of the Marvel founding family, seeing this particular cast directed by Josh Trank (who also landed a gig directing a Star Wars spinoff) with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) writing and producing, has the project on everyone’s radar – even the skeptics. Knowing this is the beginning of a new franchise – that’ll crossover with the X-Men eventually – has us eagerly anticipating the film… and any official marketing materials.
12. Black Mass
Release Date: September 18, 2015
Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Sienna Miller, Kevin Bacon, Juno Temple, Dakota Johnson, Corey Stoll, Adam Scott, Peter Sarsgaard
Johnny Depp’s Transcendence made our most anticipated movies of 2014 list and let us down in a big way. Even though Depp’s other period mob film Public Enemies also let us down previously, there’s something about seeing Depp as the balding criminal Whitey Bulger in the ’80s and sharing the screen with Benedict Cumberbatch and Joel Edgerton that has us hopeful. Black Mass is based on the 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. (Image from Public Enemies)
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, Hayley Atwell, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña
Marvel’s littlest Avenger may have a big impact on the cinematic universe, paving the way for the beginning of Civil War in 2016. Ant-Man not only aims to share another origin story about an ex-theif (Rudd’s Scott Lang) becoming a hero, but will take viewers back in time to meet two of the founding members of The Avengers from Marvel Comics.
10. The Good Dinosaur
Release Date: November 25, 2015
Director: Peter Sohn
Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, Bill Hader, Frances McDormand, John Lithgow, Lucas Neff
The long-awaited “movie about dinosaurs” from Pixar finally arrives in theaters in 2015, and while little to nothing has been revealed via official marketing yet, what little we’ve seen from media events about the project has us excited for a new original movie from the creative geniuses at one of the world’s best animation houses.
9. Inside Out
Release Date: June 19, 2015
Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Cast: Diane Lane, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Kyle MacLachlan, Phyllis Smith, Lori Alan, Lewis Black
What if your emotions were actually controlled by little individuals inside your brain, and what if they were in conflict? Insert a hilarious screenplay by Toy Story 3’s Michael Arndt and animations from Pixar and we’ll soon found out in Inside Out, a story about a girl named Riley who must deal with the emotions of moving to a new home in a new city and going to a new school.
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Release Date: November 20, 2015
Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone
Mockingjay – Part 1 let us down a little in 2014 for feeling woefully incomplete and serving only as a “setup” movie, but it did successfully get everyone sold on seeing the conclusion of The Hunger Games saga. In Part 2, Katniss and the surviving rebels of District 13 must make their last stand and unite the districts against the Capitol. Nothing left to set up – this time it’s war.
7. Furious 7
Release Date: April 3, 2015
Director: James Wan
Cast: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Lucas Black, Ronda Rousey, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Iggy Azalea, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Tony Jaa, Ludacris
Delayed to 2015 due to the tragic passing of star Paul Walker, his onscreen Fast and Furious family reunites for their toughest challenge yet. Just as the crew heads home to the U.S., seemingly free, the brother of Fast & Furious 6’s Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) aims to get his revenge against Dominic Toretto (Diesel) while Toretto’s crew also seeks their own revenge for what Ian Shaw (Jason Statham) did to Han in a scene that bridged the current set of films with Tokyo Drift, the third entry in the franchise.
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Judy Greer, Hugh Laurie, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key
This mysterious sci-fi movie with connections to Disney’s theme park of the same name sees a young, curious girl learn of the existence of a futuristic, better place, and sets off on a journey of discovery to find the real thing. What we saw of this film at New York Comic-Con 2014 had us VERY impressed.
5. Mission: Impossible V
Release Date: December 25, 2015
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson
For Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise scaled the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa tower. For the followup, we saw video of him on the side of a flying cargo plane. The star continues to redefine what action stars can do as he returns to the role of Ethan Hunt, bringing back his crew (sans Paul Patton) for another adventure – this one directed by longtime Tom Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie (director of Jack Reacher, writer of Edge of Tomorrow).
4. The Hateful Eight
Release Date: November 13, 2015
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Zoë Bell, Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir
Tarantino is seemingly incapable of making bad movies, and despite a script leak making the writer-director cancel this project temporarily, The Hateful Eight is back on track and already in production. The Hateful Eight is another Western by Tarantino that follows a group of bounty hunters a few years after the Civil War attempting to survive a nasty storm, as betrayals quickly turn to violence in typical Tarantino fashion.
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
Release Date: May 15, 2015
Director: George Miller
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Over 30 years later, the Max Max series returns to theaters, this time featuring Tom Hardy in the role of Max Rockatansky (originally played by Mel Gibson). Who better to tell another wild Max Max adventure than writer-director of the original trilogy, George Miller – especially one that returns to the Road Warrior formula.
2. The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Cobie Smulders, James Spader, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgård
The Avengers was a smash success in every way imaginable, becoming the third top-grossing film of all-time and proving that larger, crossover-heavy, interconnected franchises focused on long-form storytelling can work, to the point where all studios are trying to fashion their own similar brands. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes re-team to kickoff the 2015 summer season and add a few new characters to their roster to help battle the greatest threat to the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet – Ultron.
1. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow
It wasn’t even up for debate; Star Wars 7 is hands-down our most anticipated film of 2015 and it has been since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced they would continue the saga back in late 2012. It’s no surprise that fans also voted it their most anticipated of 2015, and with directors already attached for Episodes 8 & 9, along with a pair of spinoffs, Episode VII is only the beginning.
These are just our picks so make sure to tell us what movies you’re getting ready to geek out about in 2015!