8. In the Heart of the Sea (Dir. Ron Howard)
Release Date: December 11th, 2015
From the man who brought you Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and Rush, just to name a few, Ron Howard’s new film is about the sinking of the ship Essex.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Holland and based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s novel of the same name, In the Heart of the Sea is set in 1820, where the whaleship Essex is crewed by Captain George Pollard Jr., first officer Owen Chase, second officer Michael Joy, and cabin boy Thomas Nickerson. The ship sinks and the men are shipwrecked and have to sail to South America, where they are forced to resort to cannibalism. The film is set for a December 11th release.
7. Snowden (Dir. Oliver Stone)
Release Date: December 25th, 2015
Yet another biographical piece coming this award season, Oliver Stone brings us the story of Edward Snowden, an American computer professional who started leaking classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) to The Guardian in June 2013. The film is based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Snowden with Shailene Woodley playing his girlfriend Lindsay Mills. The cast also includes Melissa Leo, Timothy Olyphant, Zachary Quinto and Nicholas Cage among others. From the director to the cast, to the interesting and controversial topic, would you expect anything else from Stone, Snowden should be one great flick.
6. Everest (Dir. Baltasar Kormakur)
Release Date: September 25th, 2015
Based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster that led to the death of several climbers, this ensemble drama directed and edited by Baltasar Kormákur is set for a September 18th release in IMAX and large-format theaters and September 25th for the wide release.
Based on several nonfiction books written by survivors of the disaster, Everest features a massive cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Scott Fischer, one of the expedition group leader, Jason Clarke as Rob Hall, the second expedition group leader, also Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright and Keira Knightley among others. With a budget of $65 million, the producers hope this will be the blockbusters of the fall.
5. Bridge of Spies (Dir. Steven Spielberg)
Release Date: October 16th, 2015
Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and The Coen Brothers working on the same movie? It’s happening this coming October. Based on the 1960 U-2 Incident and the non-fiction book of the same name by Giles Whittell, Bridge of Spies follows lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks) is thrust into the center of the Cold War when he has to negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, a pilot whose plane went down in the Soviet Union.
The film also stars Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. The only sad thing about this is John Williams will not be scoring the film, only the second Spielberg film he will not score. Thomas Newman will surely do a fantastic job.
4. Spectre (Dir. Sam Mendes)
Release Date: November 6th, 2015
The 24th film in the James Bond franchise, the second directed by Sam Mendes, Spectre will once again star Daniel Craig as the titular agent. Christoph Waltz will star as Franz Oberhauser, the film’s antagonist. Christoph Waltz as a villain? That’s exciting enough. Ralph Fiennes will become the new M, replacing Dame Judi Dench. Monica Bellucci will be the new Bond girl and at 50 she will be the oldest ever Bond girl.
This film will find Bond coming face-to-face with the sinister organization known as SPECTRE. Gareth Mallory, or the newly appointed M will face political pressure that will threaten the future of MI6 (Ben Whishaw). Bond will follow a trail from Mexico to Austria to Morocco and will face an enemy from his past. Spectre is set to be released on November 6th.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dir. J.J. Abrams)
Release Date: December 8th, 2015
What can I say? It’s the new Stars Wars movie. People are pumped! J.J Abrams steps into the director chair of the first film of a planned new Star Wars trilogy with Disney and Lucasfilm. Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi returns to co-write this script with Abrams. He is not the only returning member of the original trilogy as Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill will reprise their roles from the original trilogy.
John Williams has also returned to write the score, with George Lucas serving as a creative consultant. The story is set approximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi and features new leads, Finn, Rey, and Poe, who are played by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac. The Force Awakens is scheduled for release on December 18th.
2. The Revenant (Dir. Alejandro G. Inarritu)
Release Date: December 25th, 2015
The next film from last years’ big winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), The Revenant is co-written by Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith and is based on the 2003 book of the same name by Michael Punke. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as 19th fur trapper Hugh Glass, whose life the film is based on.
The Revenant also stars Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson as his companions who rob Glass and leave him to die. Development of the film started in August 2001, when producer Akiva Goldsman purchased Punke’s manuscript with the intent of producing the film.The film has gone through a couple of director-actor combos until Iñárritu signed on to direct in 2011. The film has a Christmas Day release date.
1. The Hateful Eight (Dir. Quentin Tarantino)
Release Date: December 25th, 2015
Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern. These are Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight. Written and directed by Tarantino, The Hateful Eight follows this group who seek refuge in a stagecoach on a mountain pass during a blizzard in Wyoming some time after the Civil War.
The film will be released in 70mm format, it will have the widest release of a film shot on 70mm film since Ron Howard’s Far and Away in 1992. The Hateful Eight uses Panavision atmospheric lenses with an aspect ratio of 2.75:1, a ratio that used in such films like Ben-Hur (1959) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).
The film will be released on Christmas Day in its 70mm format and on January 8, 2016 in digital theaters. The recent news is Italian maestro Ennio Morricone will score it, this marks his return to the Spaghetti Western genre for the first time in four decades.
Author Bio: Ryan Anderson is a sophomore at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, where he is studying Zoology and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. His love of classic cinema and film history keeps his love for film strong and ever-present in his life.