Alternative Top 5: Films coming in 2015 that are neither sequels, prequels nor reboots

Editor’s Note: This article contains some swearing.

With everyone losing their minds about the new Terminator, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars movies coming out next year, I feel more drawn towards new franchises. Not only because there is almost no continuation of a franchise that could live up to the fans’ expectations. It’s also because the names of the franchises next year are so big, they threaten to overshadow all other movies. However, this made me even more curious and excited about next year’s movies. Let’s take a look at the Alternative Top 5 anticipated fresh franchises in 2015!

Brian The Martian

Release date: 27th November 2015

Director & Screenwriter: Ridley Scott & Drew Goddard

Leading roles: Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Matt Damon

There is almost no information about this movie yet. People are stuck on Mars. Ridley Scott is directing. Matt Damon is in it. That’s about it. And even so I am excited about his movie. Scott directed two of the best science fiction movies of all time – Alien and Blade Runner – but unfortunately his movies of the recent years couldn’t nearly compete with them. The last of Scott’s movies, Prometheus in 2012, disappointed my high expectations with an awkwardly turned out film. But I haven’t lost hope. I believe that somewhere inside that weird, old head of Ridley Scott there still is the genius who brought us Blade Runner. And The Martian could be the movie to prove it.

Brian Crimson Peak

Release date: 16th October 2015

Director & Screenwriter: Guillermo del Toro

Leading roles: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston

Crimson Peak has been in the pipeline for eight years. After the release of Pan’s Labyrinth in 2006, del Toro wrote the script for this movie to revive the tradition of older gothic ghost and romance stories, while also giving it a new twist. In my opinion Pan’s Labyrinth was the best movie del Toro ever made, blending dark fantasy like you’ve never seen it before together with an all too real war drama. Movies like Pan’s Labyrinth or The Devil’s Backbone proved how well he could handle grim and dark imagery twisting it in his very unique and creative way. But at the same time he never forgot about the human drama set in the real world and how it can surpass your greatest nightmares in its horribleness. With Tom Hiddleston, del Toro will not only have the fan-girls on his side, but also the perfect actor for the enigmatic lord of a mansion every gothic needs.

Brian Inside Out

Release date: 19th June 2015

Director & Screenwriter: Pete Doctor & Michael Arndt

Leading roles: Kaitlyn Dias, Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kailing, Billy Hader, Phyllis Smith

Pixar’s new animated feature takes its characters right out of our psyche. It’s going to tell the story of a young girl and the five emotions anger, fear, disgust, sadness and joy in her head represented as cartoon characters. The trailer doesn’t show much except a peek at the character designs and some of the voices. I have to say that I instantly liked the designs for anger and sadness. One looks like a red marshmallow with clumsy arms. The other one is just a little blue lump with medium-length hair and a woolly sweater; it’s just adorable how much care the animators how taken over even her unmotivated movements. Fans have seemed to react very negatively to the movie’s announcement, saying that the idea has been done to death. But I think we can expect Pixar to pull of yet another original and highly entertaining movie, especially since the director of Up and Monsters, Inc. is sitting in the director’s chair.

Brian The Hateful Eight

Release date: December 2015

Director & Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino

Leading roles: Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dem, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell

Where else would you see such an assembly of badass actors if not in a Tarantino movie? Michael Madsen the laid-back cowboy, Tim Roth the nervous gangster, Kurt Russell the alpha male from the 1980s and Samuel L. Jackson the omnipresent bad motherfucker. They all assemble for Tarantino’s next western shot in glorious 70mm film. It’s almost like a holiday for me when a new Tarantino movie comes out – it happens only once a year, I’m looking forward to it more and more as the day comes closer, and all my friends are going to be there to celebrate it with me. Although I don’t consider every Tarantino movie a masterpiece, his last two movies, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, proved that the director’s love for the Italo-Western translates into incredibly enjoyable and vicious movies. The Hateful Eight was almost cancelled when the first version of the script was leaked in January 2014 and Tarantino was foaming with rage. Let’s just hope the director’s gigantic ego won’t get in the way of his next feature.

Brian Chappie

Release date: 4th March 2015

Director & Screenwriter: Neill Blomkamp & Terrie Tatchell

Leading roles: Sharlto Corpley (voice), Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Dev Patel

I feel like Neill Blomkamp might become one of the great directors of our time. His first movie, District 9, was the most impressive science fiction film I’ve seen in years. It had a very obvious message against racism and social inequality, but Blomkamp pulled me so much into this world that I forgot about the overall social commentary. The reason it succeeded is because the characters felt like real people, which made every situation he placed them in intense. The most outstanding quality of District 9 was how Blomkamp used computer effects and motion to breathe life into his world and how he was able to give character and emotion to an alien crab person. Yet no one has made a great movie about artificial intelligence. Just look at A.I., I Robot, Transcendence… either these movies get overly sentimental or tediously grave. But the trailer for Chappie looks like the perfect mix. It shows serious aspects, with scientists exploring what it means to be human, while also showing the robot slowly developing a wacky personality. It befriends gangs on the street, it drives a car, and it watches He-Man. The robot is played by the same guy who gave a stunning performance in District 9 as the reporter who gets exposed to the alien substance, and in this role he improvised nearly all his dialogue. Terrie Tatchell, who wrote the script for District 9, is also on board. So if anyone can portray a machine as a believable person while also stressing its otherness, I believe it’s going to be the team around Neill Blomkamp.

BRIAN ACKERMANN

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