They're big, bold and about to burst onto the screens of a Cineworld cinema near you. Here's our 25 reasons why it promises to be an unmissable year of films ahead...
1) McConaughey’s mission to save mankind
We were sold on Christopher Nolan’s exhausted-earth, sci-fi drama Interstellar upon first view of the original trailer, when Michael Caine’s professor announces apocalyptically to Cooper (Matthew McConaughey): "We’re not meant to save the world, we’re meant to leave it." And nothing we’ve seen in subsequent teasers suggests this film will be anything but intergalactic, plug-in-and-suspend-disbelief brilliance. If that has whet your appetite for more lost-in-space madness, then also make a date in your diary for late 2015 to see Matt Damon stranded on Mars in Ridley Scott’s The Martian.
Interstellar (November 2014)
2) Jennifer Lawrence makes archery cool (again)
Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen returns to lead a motley crew of ill-equipped, but chisel-jawed rebels in their fight against the Capitol. Split into two separate films, with Part 1 due out in November 2014 and Part 2 due out a year later, the final instalment sees Katniss and co setting their sights on President Snow, played by a sneering Donald Sutherland. Other stars signed up include Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose performance as Plutarch Heavensbee serves as further proof of talents lost. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (November 2014), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (November 2015)
3) Baggins’ long goodbye
In what now feels like an integral part of the annual Christmas festivities, Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and the Company of Dwarves are set to return to our screens one last time to conclude Peter Jackson’s epic, three-film adaptation of Tolkien’s enduringly popular book. The final instalment promises to bring more fiery wrath from Smaug (voiced brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch), legions of snarling orcs and more staff-wielding magic from Ian McKellen’s Gandalf. Under the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising we have already started mourning the loss of Martin Freeman’s over-sized, hairy hobbit feet. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (December 2014)
4) Kids’ faves take the leap to the big screen
Following in the slipstream of a series of TV shows that have made the jump from small to cinema screens comes a string of children’s favourites about to do the same. Leading the charge is Paddington, which will see original author Michael Bond’s marmalade-bothering bear re-rendered using CGI and animatronics, followed by feature-length versions of SpongeBob Squarepants, American illustrator Charles M. Schultz’s comic strip, Peanuts, and the Aardman animated Shaun the Sheep.
Paddington (November 2014), Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie (December 2015), Shaun the Sheep (February 2015), The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (March 2015)
6) Clooney finds future perfect
"What if there was a place, a secret place, where nothing was impossible? A miraculous place where you could actually change the world," asks George Clooney in the trailer for Disney’s much-anticipated sci-fi epic, Tomorrowland. “You wanna go?” Well, yes George, we do – and the good news is we won’t to have to wait too long, with the film scheduled to hit Cineworld screens next year.
Tomorrowland (May 2015)
6) Cruise is back in control (minus the suction gloves!)
As the previous Mission: Impossible film made a staggering $700 million, it’s no surprise that there’s going to be another – which is currently only named as Mission: Impossible 5. Due out at the end of next year, little is known of the plot at present, but filming has been underway for a few months, taking in such exotic locations as Vienna, Morocco and London. With much of the last film’s cast returning and Cruise still demanding to do the majority of his stunts, this could well prove to be one of the biggest action movies of 2015. Mission: Impossible 5 (December 2015)
7) Refuelling with Diesel – big spoilers alert!
Vin Diesel is set to return for the seventh (yes, really) nitro-injected instalment of the phenomenally successful Fast & Furious franchise, which will see him tearing up tarmac alongside Jason Statham, Lucas Black and the late Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car crash in California in 2013. If souped-up cars and screeching tyres are not your thing, then the prospect of a testosterone-heavy Diesel/Statham face/race off must surely be worth checking out! Fast & Furious 7 (April 2015)
8) De-extincting the dinosaurs
Expect cameos from the T-rex and the velociraptors as Jurassic World, the latest addition to the Jurassic Park franchise, roars onto screens in June 2015 to provide proof, as if it were needed, that a prehistoric theme park is not a good idea. Offering an altogether more gentle view of what life would be like if that asteroid had missed the Earth and humans lived in harmony with the dinosaurs is Pixar and Disney’s feel-good animated collaboration The Good Dinosaur.
Jurassic World (June 2015); The Good Dinosaur (November 2015)
9) Sam Mendes gives us more double-0 dynamite
As the 24th Bond film isn’t out until next October, it’s unsurprising that little is known about it. After the critical success of Skyfall though, it’s fair to say that big things are expected. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista has been cast as a henchman in the film, and the word on the movie grapevine is that Bonds 24 and 25 will be filmed back-to-back with an overarching plotline. Spy fans should also keep a sneaky eye out for Our Kind of Traitor, the Ewan McGregor-starring thriller adapted from the John le Carré novel. Bond 24 (October 2015)
10) Mr Grey meets (ahem) Miss Steele
It was only a matter of time before the erotic best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey was turned into a film, with the resulting sauce-fest due to be turning up the heat in Cineworld cinemas in February. Dakota Johnson plays the naive new girl in the office, Anastasia Steele, while Jamie Dornan plays kinky billionaire Christian Grey. As the poster says, ‘Mr Grey will see you now’…
Fifty Shades of Grey (February 2015)
11) Sandra ‘usually nice’ Bullock as evil minion overlord
This spin off/prequel to the Despicable Me films will tell the story of the mini yellow henchmen as they go on the search for a new villain to serve after their ineptitude has destroyed all those (T-rex, Ghengis Khan and Dracula included) they have served before. Step in Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock, to become their next leader/victim… Minions (June 2015)
12) Marvel-ous superheroes
The Marvel cinematic juggernaut shows no sign of slowing down with a run of superhero films lined up to entertain us in the year ahead, including Disney/Marvel collaboration Big Hero 6, Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will see a stellar cast of Marvel creations pitted against a homicidal robot, and The Fantastic Four (scientists with super powers). Going solo will be the comic book house’s micro-sized super mutant, Ant-Man. Big Hero 6 (January 2015); Avengers: Age of Ultron (April 2015); The Fantastic Four (August 2015); Ant-Man (July 2015)
13) MacFarlane’s bear cheek
Mark Wahlberg and the world’s most objectionable cuddly toy are to be reunited in director Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to his 2012 comedy. The sequel promises plenty more inappropriate teddy bear behaviour, while Amanda Seyfried replaces Mila Kunis as Wahlberg's on-screen love interest. Details on plot have been kept under wraps, but in an interview with IGN, Wahlberg hinted that characters John and Ted may take their shenanigans “on the road”, suggesting some kind of road trip is in store for the two buddies.
Ted 2 (July 2015)
14) Big star biopics
Expect tears and thought-provoking performances as Benedict Cumberbatch takes the lead as World War II code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Jack O’Connell plays Olympic runner and prisoner of war Louis Zamperini in Unbroken, and Eddie Redmayne is reinvented as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. And on the first day of 2016, Jennifer Lawrence will deliver her take on American entrepreneur Joy Magano in David O’Russell’s Joy.
The Imitation Game (November 2014); Unbroken (December 2014); The Theory of Everything (January 2015); Joy (January 2016)
15) Trouble at Mills’
With the tag line, ‘It ends here’, the third (and apparently final) installment in the Taken trilogy sees Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) exacting his unique brand of justice while on the run from the police after he is wrongly accused of his ex-wife’s murder. We’ve got a good idea how it’s all going to pan out…
Tak3n (9th January 2015)
16) Tom Hardy ‘does a Gibson’
Incredibly, it’s been almost 30 years since Tina Turner ran Mel Gibson’s Max Rockatansky out of Bartertown in Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome, but after years of wrangling and false starts, a new Mad Max film is on its way. Titled Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy has taken the lead role from Gibson, with a shaven-headed, one-armed Charlize Theron supporting as the only-slightly-unhinged Imperator Furiosa. It’s been a good few years for Hardy, and the future looks even brighter. He next appears in crime drama The Drop, and is currently filming the Krays biopic, Legend.
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 2015)
17) Improbable spies
A band of penguin brothers – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private – are the super spy team out on a mission to thwart the evil intentions of dastardly octopus Octavious Brine (played by John Malkovich) in Penguins of Madagascar, the latest spin-off from the supremely popular Madagascar series. If that sounds daft, it’s only the first of a string of unlikely spy films about to hit our screens, with
Kingsman: The Secret Service set to feature a street-wise yoof propelled into the life of a trainee covert agent, while Sascha Baron-Cohen’s Grimsby will see the director/comedian/actor playing a football hooligan unwittingly swept into the world of his top spy brother, played by Mark Strong.
Penguins of Madagascar (December 2014), Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 2015), Grimsby (July 2015)
18) Arnie reboots his hard drive
Well, Arnie said he’d be back and he wasn’t joking – although it is 12 years now since his last full (and non-CGI) appearance as a hell-raising robot in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Down for release in July next year, Terminator: Genisys is a reboot of the series – and the first of a new trilogy – with Arnie starring once again as the T-800 cyborg, Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke filling Linda Hamilton’s shoes as Sarah Connor and Jason Clarke (who we last saw in the stunning Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as the saviour of the human race, John Connor.
Terminator: Genisys (July 2015) (Image courtesy of SyFy)
19) The horror
There will be plenty of bumps in the night next year, as there’s a spine-tinglingly brilliant list of classic horror films creeping towards the Cineworld screens. Starting off in January with The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, the sequel to the most successful British horror film of all time, the thrills and chills continue with Poltergeist in July and Crimson Peak, which promises to be Guillermo del Toro’s triumphant return to the horror genre, in October. Those looking for more thrills and slightly less chills should check out Frankenstein, Goosebumps, Hotel Transylvania 2 and B.O.O: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations.
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death (January 2015), Poltergeist (July 2015), Crimson Peak (October 2015)
20) Fassbender on his A Game
Based on the best-selling series of games, Assassin’s Creed stars Michael Fassbender (pictured above in X-Men: Days of Future Past) in the lead role. Playing a normal man with a history of assassins as ancestors, he’s captured by a mysterious organisation and forced to relive his forefathers’ memories to retrieve valuable artefacts. The games are some of the most cinematic ever made, so if the film can capture their look and feel then this will be another surefire hit for Fassbender. Staying with the murderous theme, Fassbender is also down to star in Macbeth next year, alongside Marion Cotillard and Sean Harris. Assassin’s Creed (August 2015)
21) Expats growing old disgracefully
Silver fox Guy Chambers, played by Richard Gere, arrives to become the newest resident at India’s premier ex-pat retirement home. Cue age-inappropriate gags and the return of the gloriously grumpy granny, Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith).
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (February 2015)
22) Singing and grinning
2015 is already shaping up to be a great year for musicals. Fans of 2012’s Pitch Perfect – and there were certainly plenty of those – will be delighted to hear that Pitch Perfect 2 is currently in post-production and due for release in May next year. The film once again stars Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Beca (Anna Kendrick) as they sing and dance through their senior year at Barden University, and is sure to feature a soundtrack to match the high levels of the first film. Anna Kendrick also shows up in another musical in January, as she plays the role of Cinderella in Disney fantasy, Into the Woods.
Pitch Perfect 2 (May 2015); Into the Woods (January 2015)
23) It’s going to be emotional
Have you been introduced to Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness? Pixar’s latest release promises to transport viewers inside the head and emotions of Riley, a young girl, as she struggles to adjust to her new life after moving with her dad from Midwest America to San Francisco. It’s already making us happy just thinking about it. Inside Out (July 2015)
24) Retro reboots
Nostalgia is big business and 2015 will see the big screen return of a number of TV oldies-but-goodies, including Guy Richie’s take on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army. Remakes of Disney classics Cinderella and Jungle Book are also in the pipeline, with the genius casting of Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo in the latter.
Dad’s Army (TBA); Cinderella (March 2015); The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (August 2015); Jungle Book (October 2015)
25) The re-return of the Jedi
Of course, the big film on everyone’s mind for 2015 is Star Wars: Episode VII. Featuring pretty much all of the cast from the original trilogy plus the cream of young acting talent from around the globe, expectations are stupidly high that J.J. Abrams can work his magic once again – after his impressive work on the Star Trek movies – and make us a new Star Wars film that’s worthy of the name. With Luke, Han and Leia firmly in place as the old guard and reports of super-fans like Kevin Smith bursting into tears after set visits, our belief is, thankfully, that the Force will indeed be strong in this one.
Star Wars: Episode VII (December 2015)