Now that 2014 is over—and we've all decided that year's very best films—it's time to look ahead to 2015. Here are the 20 scheduled films we're most excited about.

Ant-Man (July 17)

Marvel is on such a roll right now that it's easy to ignore some of the warning signs here—director Edgar Wright, the only reason Marvel was making this movie in the first place, leaving the project right before filming began foremost among them—in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy, which opened up a whole new world of goofy sidebar comic-book B-movie possibilities to come. Paul Rudd is an inspired choice to play the title character, but the cast around him looks even more fun: Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, and John Slattery. (Oh, and T.I.) The premise is so ridiculous that you can't imagine them not having fun with it, Wright or no. [Will Leitch]

Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

The stakes can't help but feel a little lower on this one, plot-wise, considering we already know that the Avengers have another, bigger "Infinity War" coming in a few years—with a villain, Thanos, we've already been introduced to—but this is still the sequel to the third-highest grossing movie of all time. (And one I happen to think is fantastic.) Anyway, an entire decade's worth of future movies is tied to this one, so, you know, people better come see it. [W.L.]

Crimson Peak (October 16)

Guillermo del Toro played to the popcorn crowd to grand effect with 2013's Pacific Rim, but his true fan base consists of smart horror nuts who fell in love with Hellboy and were especially wowed by Pan's Labyrinth, still his best film. This one, which is still bathed in the director's usual mystery, is a gothic horror romance starring Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, and Mia Wasikowska; del Toro promises that unlike his last film, it'll be "for adults." As fun as Pacific Rim was, you could almost sense that he was repressing some of his darker instincts. Not this time. [W.L.]

The Fantastic Four (August 7)

Few have fond memories of the Fantastic Four movies that starred Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis, so why get excited about this reboot? The cast and the director. Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Invisible Woman), and Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch) are all major talents waiting for the right major-studio role, and Toby Kebbell (excellent as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) could be a perfect Doom. Plus it's being directed by Josh Trank, whose Chronicle was probably the only great found-footage film in, well, forever. There are a lot of up-and-comers involved here: Fingers crossed the result lives up to its potential. [Tim Grierson]

The Hateful Eight (late 2015)

A year ago, Quentin Tarantino's Western screenplay leaked— you might have heard a little something about that—and after debating whether to shelve the project, he instead rewrote the script and filmed it late last year, with a cast that includes (among others) Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell, and Channing Tatum. Proudly announcing that he shot the result in 70mm and CinemaScope, QT is (along with Christopher Nolan) one of the last keep-film-alive holdouts, even going so far as refusing to let his L.A. revival theater the New Beverly show DCPs anymore. What does any of this have to do with The Hateful Eight itself? Not too much—so let's hope the movie lives up to all the Sturm und Drang that went into its making. [T.G.]

Jurassic World (June 12)

To be honest, I found this trailer mostly worrisome: As fun as Chris Pratt is, putting him in this sort of straightforward hero role, without much winking, seems a misuse of his skills. Also, I wasn't as big a fan of Safety Not Guaranteed, director Colin Trevorrow's only other film, as Steven Spielberg apparently was. All that said: Imagine what computers can do with dinosaurs these days! [W.L.]

Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13)

While we wait for the next Bond movie to arrive, we can content ourselves with this adaptation of a Mark Millar/Dave Gibbons comic, a thriller-comedy about an elite spy organization toplined by Colin Firth's smooth operator. Co-starring Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, and Michael Caine, Kingsman: The Secret Service has gotten good early reviews, and because it opens in February, it's poised to be an enjoyably modest action movie before the glut of summer blockbusters overwhelms us a few months later. [T.G.]

Knight of Cups (mid-to-late 2015)

There's no point trying to sell Terrence Malick skeptics on the latest installment in his recent series of peephole-lens, floating-camera, whisper-y dramas: You're either on his dreamy wavelength, or you're not. What is intriguing about Knight of Cups, at least from its trailer, is that this one might be a little more propulsive and dark than the unhurried To the Wonder and The Tree of Life. Of course, no one really knows what it's about. But I'm curious to see how actors like Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas, and Brian Dennehy respond to Malick's heightened, meditative cinema. [T.G.]

Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

George Miller's original Mad Max movies were brilliant examples of how to maximize tiny budgets to produce major action spectacles. Returning to the franchise for the first time in 30 years, he has apparently been given all the money in the world to make this sequel. And, good god, does this thing look absolutely amazing, with Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult all conveying sufficient amounts of badass-ness. Frankly, coherent sentences are useless in describing one's excitement for this movie. Drive! Explode! Faster faster faster!!! [T.G.]

Advertisement

Mission Impossible 5. (December 25)
We know next to nothing about this yet, other than that it's directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and the whole cast from the last film is back (Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, all of 'em), plus Alec Baldwin. But I'd argue these films have earned the benefit of the doubt. They've all been good, but, more impressively, each has been better than the last. Remember, too, that the directors of the last two are the helmers of two of the most anticipated movies of this year, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars) and Brad Bird (Tomorrowland). It's awfully rare that sequels keep improving on the movies that directly preceded them, and it'll be fascinating to see if this one can keep the streak alive. [W.L.]

Pixels (July 24)
Look, there are plenty of reasons to worry about this: Sure, Patrick Jean's 2010 short, which inspired the film, is still pretty great, imagining a world overrun by old-school eight-bit video-game characters. But how can you have any faith in a film directed by Chris Columbus? Or starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James? On the other hand, after doing an endless series of terrible lowbrow comedies, maybe Sandler has at last decided to go for something marginally entertaining and even clever. The concept is great—it's up to the humans involved not to screw it up. [T.G.]

Silence (November)
For years, Martin Scorsese has wanted to make a movie out of Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel, which told the story of some 17th-century Jesuit priests who tried to bring their religion to Japan. "It's about the very essence of Christianity," Scorsese explained a few years ago, and considering how significant faith has been in his movies, you can see why he's drawn to the material. (In fact, he was given the book by an archbishop of the Episcopal Church around the time of The Last Temptation of Christ.) This passion project stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, and Adam Driver, and to hear Scorsese talk, it sounds like he's really swinging for the fences on this one. [T.G.]

Advertisement

Spectre (November 6)
Another film we know nothing about. But it's Daniel Craig as James Bond, which has a .667 batting average at this point. Plus, Sam Mendes's Skyfall was maybe the best Bond film in 20 years, and he's back, too. Mostly, though, it's SPECTRE, the evil organization led by the infamous Blofeld (who may or may not be played by Christoph Waltz), that has people excited: It would be the perfect mix of old and new Bond. They better nail it too, because there's a sense that Craig—who has now held the role for almost 10 years, longer than Sean Connery lasted—may be just about done with all this. [W.L.]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18)

Whatever worries you might have about an over-reliance on nostalgia, you couldn't keep me away from the idea of seeing Han Solo and the gang again with all the Stormtroopers you could muster. Besides: Llewyn Davis in an X-wing! [W.L.]

That's What I'm Talking About (late 2015)
All that matters here is that it's Richard Linklater's followup to Boyhood, which, as you might have noticed, we like a whole lot around here. Linklater calls it a "spiritual sequel" to that film, but the few leaks to come from the set sound more like Dazed and Confused 2, except in college during the '80s, and that it somehow involves baseball. Which is enough for me, fair to say.[W.L.]

Tomorrowland (May 22)

After directing two of Pixar's biggest hits (Ratatouille and The Incredibles), Brad Bird smoothly transitioned into live-action features, helming Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the best installment in that series. Is that—along with the presence of George Clooney—enough to make up for the fact that Tomorrowland is based on a Disney theme-park exhibit? For now, yes: Bird hasn't made a dud yet. (And don't forget he's responsible for The Iron Giant, too.) The guy just seems to have a knack for wholesome family entertainment that doesn't make you puke. [T.G.]

Advertisement

Trainwreck (July 17)
Nobody yet knows the plot here, so our excitement is based entirely on its cast and filmmaker—in that order. Director and co-writer Judd Apatow will probably be the main selling point for most, but the real attraction is Amy Schumer, whose Inside Amy Schumer has been one of the funniest TV shows of the last few years. She's the star and co-writer of Trainwreck, which will also feature Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, and, amazingly, LeBron James. In the last few years, Schumer has become a standup and small-screen sensation: It would be great to see her make the leap to features. [T.G.]

Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller (October 16)
Once known as St. James Place, this currently untitled film reunites Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for a fact-based story about a lawyer drafted by the CIA to negotiate the release of an American pilot captured by the Soviet Union. With the Coen brothers brought on to rewrite British playwright Matt Charman's original script, the movie is surprisingly low on buzz considering the major players involved. But then we remembered that "buzz" is stupid, so who cares? [T.G.]

Untitled Woody Allen Project (late 2015)

Woody's back in the United States for only the third time in a decade, this time in Rhode Island, in a "mystery-comedy" set at a college campus. As usual, all you've got to work with at this point is the cast, most notably the lead, Joaquin Phoenix, playing a college professor who falls for one of his students, played by Emma Stone. It's always fascinating when a testy Method sort like Phoenix shows up in a Woody Allen movie; when it works, like it did with Sean Penn in Sweet & Lowdown, it can turn into something unexpected and sublime. But with Phoenix, and frankly with Allen these days, you never know. [W.L.]

The Walk (October 2)

Man on Wire was a terrific 2008 documentary about Philippe Petit's breathtaking tightrope walk between the Twin Towers, but the only thing it was missing—understandably—was footage from the event itself. So here comes Robert Zemeckis to fix that, in full IMAX 3-D. I can't think of anything I absolutely need to see in IMAX 3-D these days, but I'd like to see this: It's still one of the most amazing things that has ever happened. [W.L.]


Grierson & Leitch is a regular column about the movies. Follow us on Twitter.

The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. We're on Twitter, too.