2015 is shaping up to be a big year for sci-fi, with additions to a number of established sci-fi movie franchises and a wealth of other new sci-fi movies set for release.
We thought we’d take a look at some of the most anticipated new sci-fi movies of 2015.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Release date: December 18th
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll already be well aware of the upcoming release of the latest movie in the Star Wars saga, Episode VII – The Force Awakens, which is set approximately 30 years after Return Of The Jedi.
Between the mixed reception of the prequels trilogy, George Lucas’s sale of Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, J. J. Abrams being given the director’s chair, and the announcements that they would be using models for special effects like the original trilogy rather than being purely CGI-reliant and would be returning to the original concept art for inspiration, it’s fair to say that the pre-release feelings of fans of the franchise range from excitement to dread, with a great deal of ambivalence in between.
Little has been revealed of the plot, other than that the New Republic are in the process of finishing off the last remnants of the Galactic Empire and that a new enemy is rising.
The movie will feature most of the original main cast members, although it is still unclear how prominent their roles they will be, and the movie will contain at least a few characters that are already established in the expanded universe.
It’s without a doubt one of the most eagerly-anticipated movies of the year, so let’s hope it lives up to expectations.
Release date: June 12th
Fourteen years after the release of Jurassic Park III, and after a protracted early development stage that saw a number of complete story and script rewrites, the fourth movie of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World is due to hit our screens in 2015.
Franchise alumni Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum will not be appearing in the new movie, despite Dern saying she’d been contacted about reprising her role in 2007 and Goldblum announcing that in 2003 he’d been asked to stay available for a possible return.
The movie is said to be set at the original location of Isla Nublar, where a fully functioning Jurassic Park has been in operation for some time. Attendance has begun to decline however, and so the park’s geneticists decide to create a new genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur to boost visitor numbers. Meanwhile a member of the park’s staff is conducting behavioural research on a group of velociraptors.
The movie has been alternately described as “A big reboot, a total rejig” by Sam Neill in 2013, “essentially the beginning of a the second Jurassic Park trilogy” by Jurassic Park III director Joe Johnston, and “something a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story” by Colin Trevorrow, the director of the latest instalment.
The original Jurassic Park was created using all of the latest knowledge of dinosaurs at the time, but the latest movie has received criticism from the scientific community because of the decision to stick with the franchise canon of the scientific knowledge of 1992 rather than using more recently discovered knowledge of dinosaurs, specifically feathers and proto-feathers being neglected, and velociraptors’ arms not being realistically poised.
Paleontologist Jack Horner has returned as a technical advisor, a position he held for all three of the previous movies in the franchise. In 2013, he said in an interview that a new previously extinct creature would rise to stardom in the film, and continued “I can’t actually tell you who that will be, but you’ll want to keep the lights on after you see this movie.”
Release date: July 1st
Terminator Salvation was intended originally as the start of a new trilogy of Terminator movies, but this idea was thwarted by legal troubles and The Halcyon Company needing to sell the rights to the franchise in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy.
With the franchise under new management, the fifth instalment is said to be simultaneously a prequel to, a sequel to, and a complete reboot of the series. Confused? So were we.
As with the previous movies, Terminator Genisys sees John Connor continue to fight the machines in 2029, and on discovering that Skynet will attack him both in the past and in the future, sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother Sarah Connor.
This time however, Reese discovers that the past has changed. Sarah Connor had been orphaned at age 9 by a T-800 sent to kill her as a child, and had then been brought up by another T-800 programmed to protect her and guide her to face her destiny.
The three of them work together in an attempt to escape from a number of different model Terminators, and try to prevent Judgement Day from happening.
In 2014, it was announced that this would be the beginning of a whole new Terminator trilogy of movies, with two sequels scheduled for release on May 19th 2017 and June 29th 2018.
Arnold Schwartzenegger has stated that he’ll be back for the first sequel at least.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Release date: May 15th
Franchise creator George Miller returns at last with the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise, 30 years after the release of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and following a quarter of a century in “development hell”.
Mel Gibson had originally been interested in reprising his role for more films in the series, but was said to have lost interest around 2000, and so the part of Max Rockatansky is played by Tom Hardy of Star Trek: Nemesis, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises fame.
Miller has described the film as “a very simple allegory, almost a western on wheels”, having stated previously that he had wanted the movie to be almost a continuous chase, with very little dialogue, and to have the visuals come first.
If the explosive trailer is anything to go by, his descriptions certainly seem accurate.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Release date: March 20th
Insurgent is the second movie in the Divergent series, based on the trilogy of novels by Veronica Roth.
Set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic Chicago, where people are divided into factions based on the virtuous traits of their personalities: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent). The Factionless are given no status or privilege in society, and those that show traits of multiple factions are considered Divergent.
Divergents are considered a threat to the social order, because they can think independently, meaning the established government can’t control them.
The first movie, Divergent, charts the coming-of-age of (and therefore categorisation of) Tris, who must hide that she is Divergent whilst finding a faction to join. Insurgent picks up the story three days after the events of the first film.
The final book of the series is being split into two movies, Allegiant parts 1 and 2, scheduled for release in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Release date: May 22nd
Disney’s tale of a girl that finds a pin-badge that transports her to a place somewhere beyond time and space, where her actions affect her own world.
Release date: unannounced
Crowdfunded tale of four hapless idiots that inadvertently become attached to pieces of unreleasable futuristic armour and weaponry designed to help against a forthcoming alien invasion, and must become heroes to defeat the alien attack.
Release date: June 5th
Blair Witch Project with aliens?
Release date: March 27th
British sci-fi movie about a group of kids trying to save the world from their robot oppressors, with the aid of Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson.
Release date: July 17th
Marvel comic book adaptation about a con-man who must embrace his inner hero to pull off a heist that will save the world, whilst wearing a super-suit that shrinks him in size but increases his strength.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Relase date: May 1st
Marvel Comics’ Avengers return to battle evil and save the world…. again.
Which of these movies are you most looking forward to? Let us know on our Facebook page!