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Hollywood have an abundance of exciting films due for release in 2015, perhaps the biggest of the 2010s so far in terms of blockbusters and independent hits. It was hard to narrow the list down to just ten, but here are my most anticipating films of 2015:
- Shaun The Sheep
UK Release Date: February 6, 2015.
This is a unique and rather unexpected addition to my most anticipated films of 2015, perhaps because it won’t be your typical Hollywood blockbuster. This is from personal excitement and passion for Aardman Animations. They are the British Disney and though their work has been hit (Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, Arthur Christmas) and miss (Band Of Misfits, Flushed Away), there’s no doubt that they provide some of the most impressive and creative stop-motion animation in film. As a fan of the Shaun The Sheep television series and titular character’s appearance in Wallace & Gromit short film A Close Shave, it should be interesting to see how Aardman handle this one. It may even be a chance for them to go back to their original roots and catch the audience’s attention once more. It’s never going to be an animation to take too literally and won’t be fan-mad like Frozen, but from a British viewpoint and for stop-motion animation, I’m looking forward to seeing whether this will succeed or fail.
- Jurassic World
UK Release Date: June 12, 2015
Up until its official announcement, this entire project has been on the shelf for over a decade – since the release of the exceedingly disappointing Jurassic Park III in 2001. As the fourth installment of a beloved franchise, Jurassic World has heavy weight on its shoulders, especially director Colin Trevorrow (who?) and co-producers Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley. This could be because Jurassic Park has been notably recognised as Spielberg’s franchise. Still, due to the fandom surrounding the 1993 and 1997 installments, particularly the first, expectations are high for Jurassic World. The huge gap between III and World is a vital factor in terms of whether this film will turn out a success or failure, not just by one’s opinion. The technological features and spectacle featured in the first two films will be crucial to fans’ expectations, not to mention more press attention from the media. Yet times have changed, technologically, and we are going to see something visually different but hopefully won’t ruin the film too much. The trailer looked interesting enough to look forward to until June 2015.
- Ant Man
UK Release Date: July 17, 2015.
Despite being a huge Marvel fan, this film first really caught my attention due to it being a long-time desired project of British director Edgar Wright, director and co-writer of Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead and The World’s End. Wright’s unique style could have become a visual breakthrough for Marvel seeing as the Ant-Man character and his surroundings are the type that he would go for. However, because Wright dropped out due to disagreements with Marvel, expectations for the film perhaps dropped slightly. In place of Wright is Peyton Reed, director of comedies Yes Man and The Break-Up. We can’t entirely judge a directing choice based on past films, but Marvel are at their prime as of late and selecting Reed as director could be convincing. The ensemble cast is interesting, too, with Paul Rudd in the titular role and veteran star Michael Douglas is supporting role of Dr. Hank Pym. Nevertheless, there seems to be something different about Ant-Man, in terms of hype and audience reception thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see how this long-awaited project transpires.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II
UK Release Date: November 20, 2015.
Apparently known as the “latest Twilight and Harry Potter” franchise because it being another series centred on youths and the final book being adapted into two films, The Hunger Games reaches its finale in November 2015. Having reached success, financially and critically thus far, the hype for the finale is high, though it may have slipped slightly due to Mockingjay: Part I being a slight disappointment. It’s only been a short series consisting of four large-scale films in the space of four straight years, and it’s ending pretty quickly. Still, despite Part I was decent enough, it didn’t add very much at the end to how it began and now we’re relying on Part II to fill in the gaps and give this series that had true potential with its first two films the finale it deserves.
- The Hateful Eight
UK Release Date: TBA
Any film by Quentin Tarantino will receive press attention. Though first acknowledged for his original gangster and action films with recycled elements, he has become a more serious and more controversial director following Inglourious Basterds and particularly Django Unchained. In only his 9th film as both director and writer, Tarantino tackles another western in The Hateful Eight, which could be due to Django being his most financially successful film to date. Tarantino returns with stars including Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth and Kurt Russell – each of whom has left trademark roles in his films. Tarantino also introduces Jennifer Jason Leigh, Zoe Bell and Channing Tatum – the latter becoming quite a shock yet an interesting casting choice. At this point, we do not know much about the film as it is currently in pre-production and there has been minor detail about the plot, but judging from what we have seen so far, it could be another Tarantino hit.
UK Release Date: June 26, 2015.
The two Despicable Me films became instant favourites among children like a Disney hit. Both installments are exceedingly enjoyable and funny to watch for adults, too, but the most in particular were the Minions. Their unorthodox, wacky and slapstick ways were almost central to the humour in both films, and the idea of their own spin-off feature is both exciting and deserved. Though it may be an unusual project seeing as the characters don’t strictly speak clearly, it may add further development to the Minions that we didn’t see in Despicable Me, especially as it is, in fact, a prequel to the two previous installments. We’ve seen a number of successful spin-off animations on beloved children’s franchises including Puss In Boots and the recently released Penguins of Madagascar. So, let us hope that Minions will be a hilarious film as anticipated and make us more excited to seeing them again for Despicable Me 3 in 2017.
- Inside Out
UK Release Date: July 24, 2015.
The once-great Pixar Animation Studios have slipped a few times recently with Brave and especially Cars 2, though Monsters University was a decent sign of hope that they could return to their original roots. The key word ‘original’ has always been vital in Pixar’s imaginative, wonderful storytelling and their next feature could be their most creative yet most unique one to date. It’s inside the mind of a young girl in which emotions become characters. This has not been done before and its interesting as actual feelings and moods we encounter in life become characters – Fear, Anger, Sadness, Joy and Disgust. There’s a comical touch to it, and that’s where Pixar have been so successful. Inside Out could be their wake-up call and hopefully their best film since Toy Story 3.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
UK Release Date: April 24, 2015.
The Avengers was released when Marvel was at the start of its prime and now after almost three years, it is even more so. Having had a very successful predecessor, financially and critically, this sequel was clearly bound to follow in the same footsteps, at least regarding expectations. We see many of the same Avengers return – Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and HawkEye, as well as other familiar characters Nick Fury, James Rhodes and Erik Selvig. We see new ones including Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and new primary antagonist Ultron. We can only hope that this sequel will deliver just what the first one did with reasonable amount of screen time of so many characters both returning and new, a solid story, use of humour (though it’ll be tough to surpass the Hulk-Loki scene in the first film) and most importantly – entertainment. Marvel are running strong at the moment so although it’ll more than likely be a financial hit, let’s hope it’ll remain a critically successful series.
UK Release Date: October 23, 2015.
The James Bond franchise has now certainly been revived following the success of Casino Royale and especially its latest installment – Skyfall. The latter saw the return of iconic characters from the past, including Q, (SPOILER ALERT) a male M and Miss Moneypenny, and not only paid homage as part of the 50th anniversary, but also reflected the series as more ‘serious’, rather than as standard action films. We are expecting to see Oscar-winning director and Skyfall director Sam Mendes return to directing along with Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw reprising their roles. Rumoured additions to the cast are wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista, Sherlock star Andrew Scott and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, which will surely catch audience’s attention. There is little revealed information about the plot at this point, like there usually is with Bond installments in pre-production. Still, considering all these things, SPECTRE has the potential to be another hit, though it may be more difficult to surpass Skyfall and Casino Royale.
- Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
UK Release Date: December 18, 2015.
This is perhaps the most obvious film selected as the most anticipated film of 2015. In fact, it could actually be the most talked-about film of the 2010s, and maybe even the first ever film to gross $3billion worldwide at the box office. As a huge fan of the franchise, especially the originals, Episode VII sounded the craziest idea as Disney & Lucasfilm were added things that had already ended. Still, with all the discussion during production as to how it was going to be filmed, the stars and what the plot may likely involve, it began as an exciting film. Whether it’ll turn out to be a relevant film, we aren’t sure at this point. The originals were such big films in the 1970s and 1980s, and Episode VII has a lot of weight on its shoulders to give the original stars a sublime return as well as reintroducing new characters. It is perhaps the most talked-about blockbuster of 2015 and I’m sure that it will be the most financially successful. Whether it will be a critical success and meets our exceedingly high expectations, we shall see and fingers crossed.