2015 Sci-Fi Movie Preview – The Return of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Terminator’

2015 Sci-Fi Films Preview
A scene from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (Photo © Lucasfilm 2015)

The most anticipated movie of 2015 is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it’s hardly the only sci-fi film heading to theaters that’s earning a lot of buzz. Terminator‘s back, the Avengers reunite, and Marvel’s Ant-Man will finally make an appearance on the big screen. Plus, Fantastic Four‘s getting a reboot, Hunger Games finishes up the franchise with Mockingjay Part 2, and the second film of the Divergent series will arrive in theaters this year.

2015 Sci-Fi Films

400 Days – April 15, 2015
Starring Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Tom Cavanagh, Ben Feldman, Dane Cook, and Grant Bowler
Directed by Matthew Osterman
The Plot: 4 would-be astronauts spend 400 days in a land locked space simulator to test the psychological effects of deep space travel but, when something goes terribly wrong and they are forced to leave the simulation, they discover that everything on earth has changed. Is this real or is the simulation on a higher level than they could have ever imagined?

Air – To Be Determined 2015
Starring Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou
Directed by Christian Cantamessa
The Plot: When Earth’s atmosphere is all but destroyed, humanity’s last hope is the personnel cryogenically frozen in an underground bunker. Reedus and Hounsou play the caretakers of the facility whose sanity is tested as they struggle to survive in the last bit of habitable space on Earth.

Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Judy Greer, Tip “Ti” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Jordi Mollà, and Michael Douglas
Directed by Peyton Reed
The Plot: The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by Joss Whedon
The Plot: Marvel Studios presents Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Chappie – March 6, 2015
Starring Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, and Dev Patel
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
The Plot: Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings — some good, some bad — and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent – March 20, 2015
Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Zoë Kravitz
Directed by Robert Schwentke
The Plot: The Divergent Series: Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.

Equals – To Be Determined
Starring Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Guy Pearce, and Jacki Weaver
Directed by Drake Doremus
The Plot: Equals takes place in a future world in which emotions have been eradicated. However, a disease is capable of causing them to return.

Ex Machina – April 10, 2015
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander
Directed by Alex Garland
The Plot: Caleb Smith (Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-­‐search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test—charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated, seductive––and more deceptive–– than the two men could have imagined.

The Fantastic Four – August 7, 2015
Starring Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell
Directed by Josh Trank
The Plot: Details have yet to be released.

High-Rise – To Be Determined 2015
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss
Directed by Ben Wheatley
The Plot: High-Rise is the story of Laing, a young doctor who moves into an aspirational high-rise building in 1975 on the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power. Seduced by the luxurious lifestyle and cutting-edge technology offered by the building’s famed architect Anthony Royal, Laing hopes for a fresh start. The high-rise gives its wealthy tenants all the conveniences that modern life has to offer, but at the same time isolates them from the outside world. Laing quickly senses discord amongst the residents, and meets Wilder, a rebellious filmmaker who seems bent on inciting the situation. Laing strikes up a relationship with Charlotte, a beautiful but fragile woman who works closely with Royal.

Life in the high-rise degenerates quickly as power failures and petty annoyances escalate into an orgy of violence. The tenants soon divide themselves into the traditional three groups of Western society: the lower class live on the lowest floors, the middle class in the centre, and the upper class take the most luxurious apartments on the highest floors. Wilder initiates Laing into the desperate, unseen life of the high-rise and Laing is shocked at the depravity he sees. Soon, skirmishes are being fought throughout the building as elevators are hijacked, groups gather to defend their rights, and party-goers attack ‘enemy floors’ to raid and vandalise them. It doesn’t take long for the tenants to abandon all social restraints and give in to their most primal urges. Even as hunger sets in, many still seem to be enjoying themselves, as the building allows them to toy with their own dark desires.

As bodies pile up and the commodities of the high-rise break down, Laing is forced to confront Wilder, now a savage vigilante. Unable to save Charlotte who remains committed to the doomed Royal, Laing must fight for survival.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – November 20, 2015
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks
Directed by Francis Lawrence
The Plot: Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) continues her journey, leading the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol.  As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.

Jupiter Ascending – February 6, 2015
Starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Doona Bae, James D’Arcy, and Tim Pigott-Smith
Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski
The Plot: Jupiter Jones (Kunis) was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine (Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along—her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

Jurassic World – June 12, 2015
Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, and Judy Greer
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
The Plot: “Jurassic World takes place in a fully functional park on Isla Nublar. It sees more than 20,000 visitors every day. You arrive by ferry from Costa Rica. It has elements of a biological preserve, a safari, a zoo, and a theme park. There is a luxury resort with hotels, restaurants, nightlife and a golf course. And there are dinosaurs. Real ones. You can get closer to them than you ever imagined possible.” – /film

The Lobster – March 2015
Starring Colin Farrell, Léa Seydoux, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, and John C. Reilly
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
The Plot: An unconventional love story set in a dystopian near future where single people, according to the rules of the Town, are arrested and transferred to the Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into the Woods. A desperate Man escapes from the Hotel to the Woods where the Loners live and there he falls in love, although it’s against their rules.

Mad Max: Fury Road – May 15, 2015
Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Abbey Lee
Directed by George Miller
The Plot: Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.

The Martian – November 25, 2015
Starring Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, and Matt Damon
Directed by Ridley Scott
Andy Weir’s book The Martian Synopsis – Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Midnight Special – November 25, 2015
Starring Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, and Sam Shepard
Directed by Jeff Nichols
The Plot: In Midnight Special, the latest sci-fi thriller from acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, Roy (Shannon) is a father who goes on the run to protect his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) who has special powers.

The Phoenix Project – January 16, 2015
Starring Corey Rieger, Andrew Simpson, and David Pesta
Directed by Tyler Graham Pavey
The Plot: Four young scientists work to craft a machine to reanimate deceased organisms. As the project develops, the machine exceeds their wildest expectations, creating boundless possibilities that challenge the very nature of human existence. However, success with this experiment comes at a price, as ulterior motives and reckless abandon lead to consequences none of them could predict. As their time and resources fade, this team of visionary scientists must face the realities of the task they have set out for themselves, bringing the dead back to life.

Pixels – July 24, 2015
Starring Peter Dinklage, Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, Kevin James, and Michelle Monaghan
Directed by Chris Columbus
The Plot: In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Monaghan plays the team’s unique weapons specialist.

Predestination – January 9, 2015
Starring Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, and Noah Taylor
Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig
The Plot: Predestination chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent (Hawke) sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to prevent future killers from committing their crimes. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must stop the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time and prevent a devastating attack in which thousands of lives will be lost.

Revolt (aka Prisoner of War) – To Be Determined 2015
Starring Lee Pace and Bérénice Marlohe
Directed by Joe Miale
The Plot: Revolt is an action-packed sci-fi thriller about humankind’s last stand against a cataclysmic alien invasion. Set in the war-ravaged African countryside, an American soldier and a French foreign aid worker team up to survive the alien onslaught. As they journey through the battlefield in search of refuge, their bond will be tested when the soldier discovers his true identity.

Selfless – July 31, 2015
Starring Matthew Goode, Ryan Reynolds, Michelle Dockery, and Ben Kingsley
Directed by Tarsem Singh
The Plot: Selfless centers on a terminally ill billionaire who buys the opportunity to transplant his brain into a younger man’s dead boy. However, the body chosen for the experimental surgery turns out to be that of a man who was murdered.

Skate God
Starring Luke Benward, Aimee Teegarden, Evan Ross, Nathan Gamble, and Crystal Lowe
Directed by Art Camacho
The Plot: A skateboarder, Oren off in a Dystopian future, comes into self discovery that he is the scion of the Greek god Zephyrus. He must learn how to use his new found powers with help from Wisdom, a shaman left on earth to guide Oren to his destiny. Oren must save humanity from a clandestine society known as The Hadians who want to unleash hell on earth. Their leader Metolus wants to recruit Oren so he can use his power to bring the world to its knees.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – December 18, 2015
Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max Von Sydow
Directed by J.J. Abrams
The Plot: (To Be Disclosed) Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Terminator Genisys – July 1, 2015
Starring Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Smith, Byung-Hun Lee, and J.K. Simmons
Directed by Alan Tayor
The Plot: “July 1, 2015: he’ll be back – that’s all of the official description released thus far.

Tomorrowland – May 22, 2015
Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, and Thomas Robinson
Directed by Brad Bird
The Plot: Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Featuring a screenplay by Lost writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, Tomorrowland promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

Vice – January 16, 2015
Starring Bruce Willis, Thomas Jane, Ambyr Childers, Johnathon Schaech, Bryan Greenberg, Charlotte Kirk, and Tyler J. Olson
Directed by Brian A Miller
The Plot: Julian Michaels (Willis) has designed the ultimate resort: VICE, where anything goes and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants who look, think and feel like humans. When an artificial (Childers) becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between Julian’s mercenaries and a cop (Jane) who is hell-bent on shutting down Vice, and stopping the violence once and for all.

Z for Zachariah – April 16, 2015
Starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by Craig Zobel
The Plot: The movie is set in a post apocalyptic world, where a young woman named Ann (Robbie) lives on a farm believing she is the last of the human race. Her fate is turned on its head when she meets Loomis (Ejiofor), a dying scientist on a hopeless quest to find his family. A budding young woman with feelings of lust, Ann starts to fall in love with Loomis while she nurses him back to health. But their relationship becomes tenuous when an unexpected survivor named Caleb (Pine) shows up. Caleb is younger, stronger and more virile than Loomis. So when Loomis and Caleb begin to compete for Ann’s affections their primal urges seep to the surface. We soon see their true nature as they relentlessly struggle to claim the last woman on earth.

-By Rebecca Murray

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