Many have been talking about 2015 for some time and now it is finally here. With so much anticipation I felt the need to look forward to see what exactly we have to look forward to. In order to appease both sides of my brain I am looking at the positives and the negatives. Why movies should succeed and why they should fail. I also tried to mix things up by looking at some big name Hollywood films and under the radar Indies. After this project it is clear there’s plenty for any movie fan to get excited about.
100. Hitman: Agent 47
Release Date: August 28th
Synopsis: An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
Director: Aleksander Bach
Writer: Michael Finch, Kyle Ward
Starring: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware, Thomas Kretschmann
What Could Go Right: The biggest reason this makes the list is Rupert Friend. As a fan of the series Homeland I have grown to appreciate him as an actor, and think he is great casting for this role. Even if the movie around him is not very great he could at least make it worth watching.
What Could Go Wrong: Well it is a movie based on a video game. Many have tried to adapt video games for the big screen, and most if not all have failed. This is not the first time Hitman has received the big screen treatment. Xavier Gens’s Hitman left a lot to be desired so one wonders if this will suffer a similar fate.
Release Date: July 24th
Synopsis: The story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Jason Fuchs, J.M. Barrie (characters)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried
What Could Go Right: I have great respect for Joe Wright as a director. Even if I do not adore his films I can at least appreciation his direction. Having him direct a live-action adaptation of Pan does at first seem odd, but the more you look at it the more it makes sense. With Hanna he should he knew how to handle action, and he has demonstrated time and time again he knows how to do a period piece. Plus he has a strong cast to support him with story.
What Could Go Wrong: With that said I am not positive he has the sensibilities to properly handle the fantastical. His films tend to have a rather serious tone so placing that into the world of Pan I wonder how well it would work. Also it’s a live-action Peter Pan movie. Do you remember the 2003 live-action Peter Pan, because I don’t?
98. Untitled Cameron Crowe Project
Release Date: May 29th
Synopsis: A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.
Director: Cameron Crowe
Writer: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski
What Could Go Right: You had me at Cameron Crowe. Well you kind of had me at Cameron Crowe. After the terrific trifecta that was Say Anything…, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous I will still watch anything new Crowe puts out. Also this has a ton of my favorite people in it including Emma Stone, John Krasinski, and Bill Murray.
What Could Go Wrong: Well Crowe has been on a bit of a slump as of late. It started with Vanilla Sky and has been heading down steady ever since. We have seen directors recover before, and hopefully Crowe will remind us of his old self.
Release Date: October 9th
Synopsis: Young father Rusty Griswold gears up to take his family on a vacation.
Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Starring: Ed Helms, Chevy Chase, Leslie Mann, Christina Applegate, Chris Hemsworth
What Could Go Right: Every so often there are those movies that should not work but do. I remember hearing they were going to do a 21 Jump Street reboot and thinking it would be the worst thing ever. Thankfully I was wrong. Ed Helms is a great choice to take up the reigns of this franchise for a new age. I also appreciate the fact it is not a reboot but a sequel, and that Chevy Chase is coming back. If Chase and Helms have a good dynamic it could make the movie work.
What Could Go Wrong: It is a rehash of a classic eighties property that long overstayed its welcome over a decade ago so the likelihood of it being a flop is high. Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have not done a great deal at this point so there is their first big shot at proving themselves.
96. Magic Mike XXL
Release Date: July 1st
Synopsis: The continuing story of male stripper, Magic Mike.
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Writer: Reid Carolin, Channing Tatum
Starring: Channing Tatum, Amber Heard, Elizabeth Banks, Matt Bomer, Donald Glover
What Could Go Right: Magic Mike was one of the biggest surprises in the last few years. A lot of people looked at the subject matter and assumed it was nothing more than eye candy, but there was an actual movie there as well. Channing Tatum has been on a roll as of late and it’s great to see him taking part of the writing process now as well.
What Could Go Wrong: The biggest question is if this can be the same movie without director Steven Soderbergh. While Reid Carolin has stayed on as co-screen writer, the question is did Soderbergh bring something too unique that wasn’t on the page. Director Gregory Jacobs has big shoes to fill if Magic Mike XXL is going to live up to its predecessor.
95. London Has Fallen
Release Date: May 22nd
Synopsis: In London for the Prime Minister’s funeral, Mike Banning discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders.
Director: Babak Najafi
Writer: Katrin Benedikt, Christian Gudegast
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Radha Mitchell, Jackie Earle Haley
What Could Go Right: I know opinions were mixed on Olympus Has Fallen, but I found it to be a fun shlock action film. It reminded me of those Die Hard rip-offs we used to get an abundance of in the nineties. Movies that offer a great deal of dumb fun. Gerard Butler makes a great action star, and hopefully the formula will work a second time around.
What Could Go Wrong: Is this going to be nothing more than the same movie in a different location? It is already a recycled storyline so how many more times can it be recycled and still yield a quality product?
94. Point Break
Release Date: July 31st
Synopsis: A young undercover FBI agent infiltrates a gang of thieves who share a common interest in extreme sports. A remake of the 1991 film, “Point Break”.
Director: Ericson Core
Writer: Kurt Wimmer (screenplay)
Starring: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone
What Could Go Right: I wonder if people thought when they were first watching the original Point Break that they were seeing the work of a future Oscar winner? I would assume not, but Point Break was a fun concept that has worked well in other films. (See the Fast and Furious franchise) So why couldn’t a reboot work as well?
What Could Go Wrong: I was more intrigued with this concept when some bigger names like Gerard Butler where attached. Right now the biggest name is the title, and with a weak cast it is nothing more than a cash in on a classic property.
Release Date: May 22nd
Synopsis: Susan Cooper is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Miranda Hart
What Could Go Right: Melissa McCarthy is one of the biggest names in comedy right now, and she is once again teaming up with the person who helped make her such a huge star. McCarthy is at her best when she is with Feig so hopefully that continues. I know the reaction towards The Heat was mixed but I enjoyed it well enough. The Action-Comedy genre is slowly making a comeback so hopefully Spy will continue that trend.
What Could Go Wrong: McCarthy has had her fair share of duds since Bridesmaids. Last year Tammy was one of the worst comedies of the year, and honestly that’s not the first time she’s starred in one of the worst comedies of a given year. Many have complained she just plays the same role in all of her movies, and it appears that will not change with this film.
92. Get Hard
Release Date: March 27th
Synopsis: When millionaire James King is nailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.
Director: Etan Cohen
Writer: Jay Martel
Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie
What Could Go Right: I know Will Ferrell is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find him funny in nearly everything he does. This concept does intrigue somewhat. I wonder how well Ferell and Kevin Hart will work together.
What Could Go Wrong: To be honest this has all the makings to be one of the worst movies of the year if things go wrong. Kevin Hart does not know how to say no to a script so this could be another by the books standard comedy that is quickly forgotten.
91. The Jungle Book
Release Date: October 9th
Synopsis: An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Rudyard Kipling, Justin Marks
Starring: Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray
What Could Go Right: Jon Favreau redeemed himself after the disappointment that was Cowboys & Aliens with Chef last year. Also that cast is rather strong. Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo is ideal casting as well as Idris Elba as Shere Khan.
What Could Go Wrong: It’s odd to see Jon Favreau going so quickly back to the big Hollywood blockbuster after Chef that was so critical of that process. It was clear he did not enjoy not having full control over the movie he was making. Did that change with this project? Also anytime you adapt a classic fairytale or Disney property to live-action there’s a chance it will be awful.
Release Date: September 11th
Synopsis: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.
Director: Sarah Gavron
Writer: Abi Morgan
Starring: Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ben Whishaw
What Could Go Right: This is one of those stories that makes me wonder why it has not been told on this scale before. Recently there has been a lot of talk that Hollywood is finally full of great roles for woman. One would assume a story like this with a cast that includes Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep that the chances for more great performances are high.
What Could Go Wrong: This is also the type of story that could lead to dry Oscar bait drama that does not do the source material justice. One of those movies that is more concerned with forcing a message than making a great film.
89. Untitled Howard Hughes Project
Release Date: TBD
Synopsis: A story centered on an affair Howard Hughes had in the late years of his life with a younger woman.
Director: Warren Beatty
Writer: Warren Beatty
Starring: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Taissa Farmiga, Haley Bennett
What Could Go Right: I feel like Warren Beatty does not get nearly enough credit for how much he changed Hollywood for the better so it is great to see him back in the director’s chair once again. Howard Hughes is one of the most eccentric figures in history so there is tons of great potential for this story.
What Could Go Wrong: Warren Beatty has not directed a movie since nineteen 1998, and we can assume that a lot has changed in that time period. Some rust could show with his first movie back, and will this story give us any more insight to who Howard Hughes was than we got with The Aviator a decade ago?
88. Terminator Genisys
Release Date: July 1st
Synopsis: After finding himself in a new time-line, Kyle Reese teams up with John Connor’s mother Sarah and an aging terminator to try and stop the one thing that the future fears, “Judgement Day”.
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons
What Could Go Right: The Terminator franchise is one of the most iconic of all time. Many of today’s blockbusters owe a lot to these films so hopefully Genisys can continue the legacy. Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a tough go of it with his comeback to movies. Hopefully he will find more success with the franchise that made him a star.
What Could Go Wrong: Well for all the great the Terminator franchise did it also did a whole lot of wrong. Terminator 3 and Terminator: Salvation were both huge step downs compared to their predecessors, and the plotline and trailer do not instill a lot of confidence in me.
Release Date: TBD
Synopsis: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.
Director: Thomas McCarthy
Writer: Thomas McCarthy, Josh Singer
Starring: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup
What Could Go Right: I have enjoyed a lot of Thomas McCarthy’s movies and in 2011 Win Win even made my Top 10 of that year. Michael Keaton may be an Oscar winner by the time this comes out so this could be looked at as the big follow up to his comeback performance. Hopefully the comeback will continue.
What Could Go Wrong: Child molestation is an extremely heavy topic to tackle, and McCarthy does not strike me at first as someone who would approach such a tough subject. Also last year The Cobbler was a gigantic let down so hopefully it was just a small misstep.
Release Date: January 24th
Synopsis: En route to meet his estranged daughter and attempt to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave desert.
Director: Rick Alverson
Writer: Rick Alverson
Starring: Gregg Turkington, Michael Cera, John C Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Dean Stockwell, Amy Seimetz, Tim Heidecker
What Could Go Right: Rick Alverson’s last film Comedy was an intriguing movie that was one or two steps away from being really good. It certainty had a some interesting things to say about today’s culture and the state of comedy. So perhaps a second time around would yield better results.
What Could Go Wrong: As stated Comedy had a lot of interesting ideas but the story as a whole was never fully realized. Based on the synopsis this appears to be even more story driven than the last film. Will that be a good thing or a bad thing?
85. By the Sea
Release Date: TBD
Synopsis: Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.
Director: Angelina Jolie
Writer: Angelina Jolie
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup
What Could Go Right: Angelina Jolie has to be able to make a great movie eventually right? Her film last year Unbroken appeared on my most anticipated list and ended up being a rather big disappointment. So that’s why her next film ranks a lot lower. I still think she has potential as a director and there is no doubt Jolie and Pitt have on-screen chemistry.
What Could Go Wrong: Well Jolie and Pitt had on-screen chemistry a log while ago when they made Mr. & Mrs. Smith so does that candle burn as bright as it once did? Jolie’s last two films have both be overly cliche’, and the breakdown of this concept appears it may lead to similar issues.
84. Back to Our Future
Release Date: TBD
Synopsis: A documentary about how 1980s pop culture and politics is still shaping American culture and politics today.
Director: Nate Lipp, Richard Mayerik
Writer: Nate Lipp, Richard Mayerik
Starring: Oliver Stone, Dan Harmon, Noam Chomsky
What Could Go Right: The eighties are that decade that simply will not die. Many of today’s biggest films are made up of properties that gained in popularity during that time. So this concept certainly makes sense. One that can capture the zeitgeist in epic fashion.
What Could Go Wrong: We have seen documentaries along this line before and they become nothing more than fanboy worship. Throwing names of recognizable figures on the screen just to gain brownie points. Will it bring anything new to the table that has not be covered in detail already?
83. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
Release Date: TBD
Synopsis: Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies.
Director: Burr Steers
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith (Novel), David O. Russell, Burr Steers
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Lena Headey, Matt Smith, Charles Dance
What Could Go Right: This is one of those crazy concepts that could actually work. It is extremely odd to see David O. Russell’s name attached, but it also has me intrigued. Plus I’m all for zombies.
What Could Go Wrong: Even as a fan of the zombie genre I have to admit zombies have become over exposed over the years. Plus this is coming from the same mind that gave us Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter so it is only natural to worry.
Release Date: TBD
Synopsis: Jack is a young boy of 5 years old who has lived all his life in one room. He believes everything within it are the only real things in the world. But what will happen when his Ma suddenly tells him that there are other things outside of Room?
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writer: Emma Donoghue
Starring: Brie Larson, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
What Could Go Right: In 2014 we had a lot of directors breakout. One of those was Lenny Abrahamson with the oddball film Frank. His originality has many eagerly awaiting what he will do next. Plus I’ll watch anything that has Brie Larson attached.
What Could Go Wrong: There is not a great deal to go off of with the synopsis, but it sounds like it could be covering the same ground as Dogtooth from a few years ago–and that is one tough act to follow.