As we move closer to the end of 2014 and begin to look forward to 2015, it is time to take a look at what films the New Year will bring us. Expect the next year to be excellent for fans of classic series, sagas and blockbusters, as 2015 is all about the sequels to fan-favourite franchises that are being released.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (24th April 2015)
As mentioned in my previous Top 5 feature, Avengers: Age of Ultron will likely be one of the biggest films of 2015, signalling the beginning of the end for Phase Two of Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe (which will actually end with Ant-Man, due out 17th July 2015) and paving the way for launch of Phase 3 with Captain America: Civil War on May 6th 2016. The Avengers will face Ultron in what appears to be a darker film than previous Marvel outings, and will look to top the incredible earnings made by preceding Marvel titles.
- Terminator Genisys (3rd July 2015)
Arnie’s back! Terminator Genisys will feature Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to his most iconic movie character, alongside Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, and Matt Smith, fresh from leaving Doctor Who last year, as an as yet unnamed character. The film is not an entire reboot of the series, but will feature some elements of the original films while establishing its own story as the first part of a new standalone trilogy. After the two previous films, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation, which divided fan opinion, it will be interesting to see whether Genisys can return to the heights of the original film and its first sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which have been highly regarded by fans and critics alike.
- Jurassic World (12th June 2015)
Dinosaurs are set to wreak havoc in their own theme park once more; Jurassic World will feature a new location from those shown in the previous three films, and for the first time audiences will see a theme park that is actually open for tourists to visit. Chris Pratt, star of Guardians of the Galaxy, is the male lead, only named ‘Owen’ at the moment, and Bryce Dallas Howard plays the female lead ‘Claire’. Whether the pair will be as good as Sam Meill and Laura Dern in the original 1993 Jurassic Park remains to be seen. The first teaser trailer for Jurassic World premiered on Sunday, and featured some throwbacks to Jurassic Park, including a slow version of the original theme music by John Williams, along with the announcement of a full trailer to premiere in the UK on Friday.
- Bond 24 (23rd October 2015)
‘The name’s Bond… James Bond’. The iconic slogan is set to hit the screen once more in Bond 24 (expect the actual title to be announced next year), with Daniel Craig once more playing the part of the world-famous secret agent. Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris and Ben Whishaw are also returning in supporting roles. Christoph Waltz was recently announced to have joined the cast as well, and now (unconfirmed) rumours suggest that he shall play the classic Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld. If his previous performances, in such films as Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, are anything to go by though, then whatever role Waltz ends up in is likely to be brilliant. With Skyfall taking in over $1 billion worldwide, expectations will be high for the sequel. But with returning director Sam Mendes, a script from Skyfall screenwriter John Logan and the returning cast, Bond 24 could be the biggest Bond film ever.
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (18th December 2015)
In terms of hype surrounding a film, this one is big. Really big. Star Wars has been a hugely successful franchise since the original trilogy hit screens in the late 70s, and although opinion is divided about the quality of the more recent prequel trilogy, fans are nevertheless eagerly awaiting the first instalment of the new trilogy. Episode VII is set thirty years after the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. We know it will star returning cast members Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in their iconic roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia respectively, but just what the plot will be or how those characters will fit in with the new cast is not yet known. Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, and has been developing Episode VII since then, but there should be no fears that this will mean Disney will influence or change the franchise in any negative way; Disney also bought Marvel Studios in 2009 yet each Marvel instalment since then has been true to the films that came before. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is also in the more than capable hands of director J.J. Abrams, who has shown he can make brilliant sci-fi films with his reboot of the Star Trek film franchise in 2009. Rumours continue to abound for this one, and J.J. Abrams has announced that there will be an 88-second teaser trailer released this weekend. The countdown continues.
Editor’s Note: The Top 5 feature will return on Thursday 11th December. Don’t miss out!