Most Anticipated Films of 2015

Making lists is always fun, but putting together this list every year may take the cake.  The anticipation and hope for wonderful things to come is exciting.  It also makes for a fun list to revisit in the future.  Looking back at some of my previous 'Most Anticipated' entries, I have to wonder now 'what the hell was I thinking?'.  Of course there are also many examples of films that didn't just land on this list, but also found themselves on my year end 'Best of' list as well.

This list is compiled from what has already been released to the public.  No doubt there will end up being films that deserved to be on this list that we will learn about in the coming months.  So let's get to it, the films that I'm looking forward to the most this year are:

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order): Ant-Man, Furious 7, In the Heart of the SeaMad Max: Fury RoadThe MartianMinions, Red ArmyThe Revenant, TomorrowlandThe Walk

11) Daredevil (April 10) - Not actually a movie, but a series from Marvel Studios and Netflix.  I have to include this on the outskirts of my Top 10 because Daredevil is my favorite comic book character and I've been dying for him to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut after they regained the film rights to the character over a year ago.  They've put together an intriguing cast including Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Rosario Dawson and Vincent D'Onofrio for the thirteen episode series that will be the first of five distributed via Netflix.  The best part is that all thirteen episodes will release at once.  Don't expect me to be doing anything else the weekend of April 10.

***Updated 2/4/15 - a full teaser trailer has now been released!

10) Crimson Peak (October 16) - Unfortunately, there's no teaser trailer for this film yet, but it cracks my list because it is the latest film from one of my personal favorites, director Guillermo del Toro.  del Toro has put together a cast including Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Mia Wasikowska, Burn Gorman, Doug Jones, Jim Beaver, and Leslie Hope for what is sure to be another entertaining film bearing his unique style.

***Updated 2/13/14 - we now have the first teaser trailer!

9) The Hateful Eight (November 13) - Speaking of unique styles, this entry on my list follows suit.  This will be the eighth film from director Quentin Tarantino (his second western in a row).  For a while it looked like this film would never see the light of day.  A version of the script was leaked to the internet and Tarantino vehemently stated that he would abandon the project.  Luckily he didn't follow through with that threat and began filming just this week.  Combining Tarantino's script/direction with a cast comprised of Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern, The Hateful Eight is one to look forward to, even if its too early for a trailer.

8) Insurgent (March 20) - This is the sequel to last year's Divergent, which was on my Most Anticipated Films of 2014 list and ended up in the Honorable Mention section of my Top 10 Films of 2014 list.  I'm particularly intrigued by this film because it is said to differ from the story line of the book (the second in the trilogy by Veronica Roth).  I really enjoyed the books so I'm glad to see that Divergent did well enough last year for them to continue adapting them to film.  Shailene Woodley is a strong young actress and has proven capable of carrying this franchise similarly to the way Jennifer Lawrence did with The Hunger Games.

7) Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15) - 2012's Pitch Perfect has become of favorite of my wife's and mine in the time since we first saw it a couple of years ago because of  its cool arrangements and outlandish comedy.  I'm usually a little leery of comedic sequels because they tend to re-hash what came before, but I'm really looking forward to May and the release of this film.  The original may be a bit of a guilty pleasure, but here's hoping that Becca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and the rest of the Barden Bellas can re-create their comedic a capella magic, this time in their quest for the World Championship.

6) Jurassic World (June 12) - I have to admit that when I first heard that a fourth Jurassic Park film was being made, my first thought was 'is this really necessary?'.  After seeing the first trailer, my mind was changed.  Jurassic World takes place twenty two years (basically real time) after the original when someone thinks re-attempting the dinosaur based amusement park is a good idea.  This time around, the park is filled with genetically created and altered species.  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, and Ty Simpkins are at the center of this latest mis-adventure to Isla Nubar.  In my opinion this film shows more promise than the previous two sequels, and the slowed version of John Williams' classic score proves to be quite haunting.

5) Chappie (March 6) - Neil Blomkamp has quickly become one of my favorite directors.  His latest project, Chappie, explores what happens when an android achieves sentience and how the world reacts to that artificial intelligence.  The first teaser made me fear that this was going to be a bit childish for my tastes, but the second trailer (seen below) proves that fear misplaced.  A new Blomkamp film would easily make this list, but couple it with a cast including Hugh Jackman, Segourney Weaver, Dev Patel, and Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley (who performed the motion capture for Chappie), and you can see why this cracks the top five.

4) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (November 20) - This is the final installment of the big screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' YA novel trilogy.  It's too early for a teaser trailer or a poster at this point (this is a poster from Part 1), but after very much enjoying the first three films, I have no reservations in placing Mockingjay - Part 2 this high sight unseen.  Last year's Part 1 was the 'calm before the storm' so to speak, and assuming that the final film continues to be very faithful to the source material (and there's no reason to believe that it won't), Part 2 should prove to be action packed and emotional as Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss leads District 13's revolution against the Capitol.

3) Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1) - Not only is this the follow up to the box office obliterating juggernaut The Avengers, but it is also the film that will set up the next phase of movies from Marvel Studios.  This time around Joss Whedon gives us Ultron, Quicksilver, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision, and the Hulk-Buster armor - and that's just what we've been shown by the trailer and concept art.  Who knows what else he's got up his sleeve?  You might be wondering how this isn't at the very top of my list, but keep reading and those who know me will understand why Age of Ultron checks in here at number three.

2) Spectre (November 6) - Bond.  James Bond.  How to you follow up the most successful Bond film in history (2012's Skyfall)?  By casting Christoph Waltz as Daniel Craig's villainous counterpart of course.  Rumored to be legendary Bond nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Waltz is currently credited as portraying a character named Oberhauser.  Whether this is a thinly veiled attempt at hiding his character's actual identity (a la the repeated claims that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness) or he does prove to be someone other than Blofeld, either way, Waltz lining up against Craig's Bond is a dream match up.  Again, no trailer for this one yet, but Bond is Bond.  No other explanation is really necessary.

1) Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (December 18) - This really should come as no surprise.  J.J. Abrams has been selected to give the world its first big screen Star Wars installment of the post-George-Lucas-era.  In typical Abrams fashion, the first trailer gives a glimpse of many cool things but doesn't reveal anything about the plot.  It also doesn't include any of the original trilogy's cast members who are reprising their roles in this film set years after the events of Return of the Jedi.  Any new Star Wars film is an event - I think we can all admit that we were really looking forward to Episodes I-III at the time - and the fact that Abrams has already successfully resuscitated another sci-fi property (Star Trek) easily makes this the film that I'm most looking forward to in 2015.

There's my list for this year.  What films are you looking forward to the most in 2015?


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