It gets old when every other movie trailer you see is a sequel to a mildly successful movie from two years ago. That is far from the case for 2015. There are plenty of original movies, but the upcoming sequels are highly anticipated installments we’ve been waiting on for years. Here are 18 movies we can’t wait to see in 2015.
18. THE REVENANT
Release Date: December 25
Who’s Directing? Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Who’s In It? Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
Why We’re Excited: The Revenant follows the story of a man left for dead in the woods after a bear attack. He survives and comes back for revenge. Birdman was one of the best films of 2014, so knowing that director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s next project has another top-tier cast and a fascinating plot is very good news.
17. JUPITER ASCENDING
Release Date: February 6
Who’s Directing? Andy & Lana Wachowski
Who’s In It? Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis
Why We’re Excited: Since The Matrix, the Wachowski duo has struggled to replicate the same success. The visual effects have always been top notch, but story elements have just felt a bit lacking. Jupiter Ascending gets back to their sci-fi roots and could be the film we’ve been wanting from them since Neo went “Whoa.”
16. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5
Release Date: December 25
Who’s Directing? Christopher McQuarrie
Who’s In It? Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton
Why We’re Excited: You can always count on the Mission: Impossible franchise to deliver, but the fifth installment could be the best one yet as Christopher McQuarrie — who wrote the screenplays for Edge of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher — steps in as director.
15. FURIOUS 7
Release Date: April 3
Who’s Directing? James Wan
Who’s In It? Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson Why We’re Excited: The Fast and Furious movies have transformed from a glorified car commercial to what feels like an adrenaline-charged Ocean’s 11. Not only does this installment add Jason Statham to the mix, it’s also the final appearance by the late Paul Walker.
14. TERMINATOR: GENISYS
Release Date: July 1
Who’s Directing? Alan Taylor
Who’s In It? Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Why We’re Excited: When Arnold made his return to acting, this was the film we were all waiting on. The trailer raised even more interest by revealing some sort of timeline reset. If it’ll erase Terminator 3 from our memories then it’ll be totally worth it.
Release Date: July 17
Who’s Directing? Peyton Reed
Who’s In It? Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly
Why We’re Excited: Because we’re not idiots — we won’t bet against Marvel.
Release Date: April 10
Who’s Directing? Alex Garland
Who’s In It? Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson
Why We’re Excited: You may not recognize Alex Garland’s name, but he’s been the mind behind some of the smartest sci-fi movies of the last decade including Sunshine, 28 Days Later, and Never Let Me Go. This will be his directorial debut and should definitely be marked on your calendar.
11. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Release Date: May 15
Who’s Directing? George Miller
Who’s In It? Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron
Why We’re Excited: Uh, have you seen the trailer? That’s how a trailer for an action movie should you make you feel. It looks as though everything will be blown up, crashed, smashed, and destroyed. We can’t wait.
10. FANTASTIC FOUR
Release Date: August 7
Who’s Directing? Josh Trank
Who’s In It? Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Miles Teller
Why We’re Excited: It’s safe to say the first attempts at a Fantastic Four franchise didn’t exactly pan out, even if Johnny Storm did go on to become Captain America. This one will reunite director Josh Trank and Michael B. Jordan after Chronicle, which was surprisingly amazing.
Release Date: November 6
Who’s Directing? Sam Mendes
Who’s In It? Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Belluci
Why We’re Excited: If anyone thought the Bond franchise might be in a bit of a decline, those concerns were definitely put to rest with Skyfall. Christoph Waltz steps in as the villain and should be just as brilliant as Javier Bardem was in the last installment.
8. CRIMSON PEAK
Release Date: October 16
Who’s Directing? Guillermo del Toro
Who’s In It? Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain
Why We’re Excited: If the fact that Guillermo del Toro wrote and directed a new horror film it isn’t enough, then you definitely need to go watch Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone again. This will be the horror movie of 2015.
7. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2
Release Date: November 20
Who’s Directing? Francis Lawrence
Who’s In It? Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Why We’re Excited: The Hunger Games franchise that launched Jennifer Lawrence into superstardom comes to a close after giving young girls something to post gifs about after Twilight ended.
6. THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Release Date: Fall 2015
Who’s Directing? Quentin Tarantino
Who’s In It? Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson
Why We’re Excited: There were fears that the film might never see the light of day after the script leaked online, but thankfully the post-Civil War western, which marks Tarantino’s 8th film, should be hitting theaters in the late fall.
5. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
Release Date: February 13
Who’s Directing? Sam Taylor-Johnson
Who’s In It? Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan
Why We’re Excited: Well, you might not be excited, but your aunt is getting horny as hell just thinking about the trailer. With a Valentine’s Day release you can expect an increase in November 2015 babies.
Release Date: May 22
Who’s Directing? Brad Bird
Who’s In It? George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer
Why We’re Excited: The combination of Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Damon Lindelof (World War Z, The Leftovers) and George Clooney is enough to get seats filled in the theater, but the mysterious trailer and lack of specific details on the film make it even more intriguing. This is setting up to be the most promising live-action Disney movie in years.
3. JURASSIC WORLD
Release Date: June 12
Who’s Directing? Colin Trevorrow
Who’s In It? Chris Pratt, Judy Greer, Bryce Dallas Howard
Why We’re Excited: The cast is fantastic, the director has been brilliant so far in his career, and Steven Spielberg even put his name on it as executive producer. This could be the Jurassic Park sequel we were all hoping for back in the ’90s. If only a shirtless Jeff Goldblum could make another awkward appearance.
2. THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
Release Date: May 1
Who’s Directing? Joss Whedon
Who’s In It? Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Why We’re Excited: You know it’s a great year for movies when the follow-up to the third all-time highest grossing movie isn’t at the top of the list. The good news is that all the key elements, including director Joss Whedon, are back, so there’s a good chance it could actually live up to the hype.
1. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Release Date: December 18
Who’s Directing? J.J. Abrams
Who’s In It? Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
Why We’re Excited: As soon as Episode VII was announced all those terrible memories from the prequels vanished. George Lucas isn’t at the helm for this trilogy, and that may not be a bad thing at all. If J.J. Abrams can do for Star Wars what he did for Star Trek, this will be the trilogy to end all trilogies.