Every January, I like to put together a list of my most anticipated films for that upcoming year. It’s fun to peek ahead, and it’s also fun to look back at that list at the end of the year, and see how many of my “most anticipated” actually ended up on my “best of the year” list.
This year, I narrowed my list down to my top 5, and interestingly, they all happen to be sequels. While normally I also like to include some original films with new concepts, the sequels coming out this year are unique in that many of them are high-pressure or high-risk. Will “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “James Bond: Spectre” live up to their critically and commercially well-received sequels? Will “Jurassic World” prove to be a successful reboot of a well-loved franchise? And, perhaps the biggest risk of all, will J.J. Abrams be able to successfully continue the “Star Wars” legacy?
Here is a ranking of my top five most anticipated movies for 2015. I’d also love to hear what movies would make your list!
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2
“Mockingjay — Part 1” was a financial success, but didn’t rise to quite the same heights as its tense, masterfully-crafted predecessor, “Catching Fire.” “Part 1” felt more like a prelude to “Part 2,” coming out this November — and hopefully it will be a stronger film.
Many fans expressed frustration with the ending of “The Hunger Games” book trilogy, and it will be interesting to see how closely the film follows the book. The movie will undoubtedly be dark, featuring a difficult invasion of the Capitol and the loss of some beloved characters.
4. Jurassic World
“Jurassic Park” continues to be one of my favorite Steven Spielberg films. From the dinosaur special effects, which still hold up pretty well even today, to that soaring, iconic theme from John Williams, it’s a fun, crowd-pleasing classic. I was really skeptical about the reboot … until I saw the preview, and though I tried to resist at first, I finally had to admit that yes, the preview stirred those same feelings of excitement I had gotten while watching the first movie.
It also will be fun to see Chris Pratt in another action role, after “Guardians of the Galaxy” made him a breakout star.
3. “James Bond: Spectre”
The last Bond film, “Skyfall,” was an elegant, stylish spy thriller, and director Sam Mendes is back for the next installment in the Bond franchise. Daniel Craig has earned himself a place near the top of the “best Bonds,” and this could be his last outing. Fans hope the film’s title is a reference to the secret terrorist organization that has shown up in past Bond films.
While I’ll be sad to see Craig go, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for rumored Bond replacement Idris Elba.
2. “Avengers: Age of Ultron”
2012’s “The Avengers” is going to be a tough act to follow — a fact director Joss Whedon seems to be well aware of. He appears to be taking the Marvel sequel in a darker direction, having the team of dysfunctional superheroes create their own worst enemy: an artificially intelligent robot called “Ultron” with a frighteningly warped sense of justice.
Rumors about the plot are running rampant of course, including one that a major character could die in the film. I admire Whedon for his willingness to take a risk and give us a (presumably) darker film, but I hope he will be able to find a nice balance between this darker tone and the spirit of fun we’ve come to love about the Marvel films.
1. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Most likely no one is surprised this movie ended up at the top of my “most anticipated” list. 😉 “Star Wars” has long been my favorite film franchise; “The Empire Strikes Back” is my all-time favorite movie, and the series has always occupied a special place in my heart. That’s why I’m thrilled — and terrified — that the saga is continuing this December.
I love what J.J. Abrams did for the “Star Trek” movie franchise, and I hope he can work his magic again with “Star Wars.” I loved the teaser trailer, and how it brought back the feel of the original series. I love that some of the original actors will appear in this film to pass the torch on to the next generation. This is certainly a risky project, but I hope it will be just as amazing as we all dream it will be. Here’s hoping “the force” is with J.J. Abrams and Disney this December! 😉