Jupiter Ascending (Feb. 6)
Andy and Lana Wachowski, famous for the Matrix franchise, have another vision of the future to share; their new film depicts an alien dynasty seeking to harvest the population of Earth. Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum appear as, respectively, a janitor who unwittingly holds the key to ruling the planet and a genetically-modified hunter. If the Wachowskis stay true to form, this may be the year’s biggest mind-bender.
Fifty Shades of Grey (Feb. 13)
E. L. James’s BDSM romance novel, loved and loathed in equal measure, comes to movie screens with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan starring. It’s a star-packed vehicle —”Black Widow” singer Rita Ora and Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden play the family of eccentric executive Christian Grey —but all eyes will be on Johnson, whose role as virtuous college student-turned-sex-goddess Anastasia Steele is among the trickiest of the year.
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron team up for the latest iteration of the post-apocalyptic action franchise. The zaniness of director George Miller’s vision would, by all indications, be staying intact: Theron’s bald-headed character is named Imperator Furiosa.
Spy (May 22)
Melissa McCarthy tested the limits of her powers in 2014 with roles in dramedies St. Vincent and Tammy. But all signs indicate that Spy will bring her back to the pure comedy her fans love: She’s reunited with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig and playing an unlikely character in an outsized situation. This time she’s a CIA paper-pusher who ends up thrust into international espionage. Bridesmaids’s Rose Byrne co-stars.
Paper Towns (June 5)
After the massive success of The Fault in Our Stars comes the second adaptation of young adult novelist John Green’s work. Paper Towns, a mystery/comedy hybrid, stars Fault supporting player Nat Wolff and British supermodel Cara Delevingne.
Jurassic World (June 12)
Chris Pratt’s career renaissance rolls on with his role in this franchise reboot, featuring genetically-modified reptiles. Will those dopey scientists ever learn to stop bringing dinosaurs back?
Magic Mike XXL (Jul. 1)
The surprisingly melancholy look at life on the Tampa stripping scene returns with Channing Tatum but without director Steven Soderbergh or Matthew McConaughey. We can reasonably expect fewer moral compromises and more dance sequences; fans are unlikely to complain.
Terminator Genisys (Jul. 1)
The story of Sarah Connor continues to unfold with yet another alteration to the franchise’s twisted timeline. Sarah is played, this time, by Game of Thrones favorite Emilia Clarke, while Arnold Schwarzenegger returns after missing out on the franchise’s last installment. (He was busy governing California at the time.)
Pan (Jul. 24)
The year will bring several live-action reimaginings of kiddie favorites, including The Jungle Book, with Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo, and Cinderella, with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. But the most-talked-about brings together Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, and Rooney Mara to tell the story of Peter Pan’s origins. Jackman plays a pirate, while Mara, controversially, assays the role of Tiger Lily.
Jane Got a Gun (Sept. 4)
This long-delayed production represents a test of Natalie Portman’s powers: Largely silent since her time in the spotlight promoting Black Swan, the actress put together what’s being called a “feminist Western” about a woman defending herself against a vicious gang. Producers and co-stars dropped out, but none of the widely-reported behind-the-scenes drama will matter if audiences respond to Portman showing us what she can do.
The Intern (Sept. 25)
Nancy Meyers returns for her first film since It’s Complicated, bringing together Anne Hathaway as a fashion executive and Robert De Niro as her, well, intern. If it’s anything like Meyers’s past work, we can expect many shots of graciously decorated kitchens.
Crimson Peak (Oct. 16)
Mia Wasikowska takes a star turn in Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro’s latest chiller; the actress plays Edith Cushing, an author living in a creepy Victorian house with a potentially devious husband (Tom Hiddleston). The ubiquitous Jessica Chastain appears as well.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (Nov. 20)
Katniss’s saga concludes with an adaptation of the second half of Suzanne Collins’s novel Mockingjay, which conveniently happens to contain all of the Hunger Games series’s most shocking and frankly bizarre developments. Most excitingly, Julianne Moore will get the chance to deepen her portrayal of President Coin, a morally complex character we only got glimpses of in the most recent installment.
The Martian (Nov. 25)
This adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel about an astronaut left behind on the red planet represents another voyage to space for Matt Damon, a journey that’s had mixed results -- his Elysium disappointed fans, but he was a surprising standout in Interstellar. This time, though, he’s brought along great support: Ridley Scott is directing a cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, and Kristen Wiig.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18)
This movie, set some thirty years after the fall of Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, represents a reunion for Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. But it’s the new characters, including an unnamed shadowy figure whom the trailer depicts holding a newfangled light saber, that have captured fans’ imaginations.