Last year was a big year at the cinema for all of us here in geekdom, with no less than nine theatrical releases of comic book adaptations at the cinema. While 2015 doesn’t have quite the same number of releases on the schedule, it has some incredibly big hitters, not least of which is Avengers: Age of Ultron. We take you through some of the ones we are excited about in the next year, including those all-important animated releases from DC.
Release date: 27 January 2015 (US)/28 January 2015 (AUS)
What’s the deal? It’s the next direct-to-home DC Animated Original Movie that features the Aquaman, soon to break away from his shameful past and take his rightful place as part of the Justice League
Not a theatrical release, but a major one for comic book fans regardless. Following the events of Justice League: War, it’s based on Geoff John’s excellent New 52 Throne of Atlantis arc. Directed by Ethan Spaulding (Son of Batman), it also stars an impressive cast that includes Sam Witwer (Orm/Ocean Master), Chris Gorham (The Flash), Jason O’Mara (Batman), Shemar Moore (Cyborg), Rosario Dawson (Wonder Woman), Jerry O’Connell (Superman), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) and Sean Astin (Shazam). This is a perfect chance to get on board the Aquaman train before the Jason Momoa extravaganza of the next few years.
Kinsgman: The Secret Service
Release date: 12 February 2015 (AUS)/13 February 2015 (US)
What’s the deal? Based on the mini-series by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass). Could be the sleeper hit of the year.
Originally due for release back in October 2014, the US release date sees it counter-programmed against Fifty Shades of Grey. The delay in release might have us a little worried were it not for the excellent cast (Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson) and comic book pedigree both behind the camera, and in Millar’s source material. Promising to be the wry take on Bond films that Kick-Ass was to superhero films, the Layer Cake and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels producer may just slip this one into cinemas before people realise they are watching a comic book adaptation.
Release date: 23 April 2015 (AUS)/1 May 2015 (US)
What’s the deal? The sequel to the biggest Marvel film of all time? The culmination of Marvel Phase 2? Yeah, you know this.
It’s difficult to make predictions in these tough economic times, but the box office dominance of Joss Whedon’s sequel to his $1.5 billion grossing film (aka the Highest Grossing Film Not By James Cameron) is almost a done deal. Reuniting all of the stars of the Marvel films, throwing newcomers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into the mix, we have already begun squeeing in anticipation. Let the Aaaaage of Ultroooon commence!
Release date: 16 July 2015 (AUS)/17 July 2015 (US)
What’s the deal? Marvel is the new gold standard in cinema, and this is one of the original Avengers
This could be the Guardians of the Galaxy of 2015. Marvel’s unlikeliest box office successes of last year did so because they came with a healthy dose of humour and pathos. Despite the loss of Edgar Wright from the film, the addition of director Peyton Reed, with Adam McKay reworking Wright and Joe Cornish’s original screenplay, is indicative of the lighter direction of this title. Indeed, the marketing even put out an ant-sized trailer in the name of fun. While very little has been released from the film at the time of writing, a teaser trailer is expected to drop during the premiere of Agent Carter on 6 January 2015. Plus, unlike the gap following the first Avengers film, this one is only a few months.
Release date: 6 August 2015 (AUS)/7 August 2015 (US)
What’s the deal? The funny thing is, we really don’t know.
Just over seven months out from the release of this film, and we know very little about it. Not a single photo, behind the scenes montage, teaser trailer, poster, or even a logo. Which is ironic given that it is already the most highly scrutinised comic book adaptation of the year. While director Josh Trank impressed with his found-footage superhero film Chronicle, and has been given the nod for an untitled Star Wars solo project for 2018, the early signs are adequate to give comic book fans pause. Already burned once with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the incredibly young cast (Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell); word from the actor himself that Doctor Doom (Toby Kebbell) is now re-imagined as a blogger, and the official synopsis indicates a “contemporary re-imagining” that mirrors the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed until August then, or whenever a trailer/poster/logo/image turns up.
The Peanuts Movie
Release date: 6 November 2015 (US)/1 January 2016 (AUS)
What’s the deal? Is it possible that there’s an entire generation of kids who don’t know about Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang? That is all about to change.
The first feature film based on Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts in 35 years, the release of the film coincides with the 65th anniversary of the characters. Those of us who remember watching the CBS specials throughout the 1970s and 1980s will fondly flock to this retro reunion. Like The LEGO Movie, it appears to use CGI to replicate a less fluid form of animation, giving a flatter and more nostalgic feel to these characters. Promised to be an “epic” quest, continuity with the original films and special is provided by archival recordings of Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock. Co-produced by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Productions, it will be directed by Steve Martino, who was behind Horton Hears a Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift. (The only bummer is that Australia looks like it will have a longer wait for the film, to coincide with summer holidays).
Batman Vs. Robin and Justice League: Gods and Monsters
Both announced at SDCC 2014, details are a bit sketchy but both will fall within the same cinematic continuity as Justice League: War and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Batman Vs. Robin will have elements from the Court of Owls storyline, but will not be an adaptation. Indeed, the title would imply that it is referring to the 2010 Grant Morrison arc, although this appears to be going in a different direction. Justice League: Gods and Monsters, on the other hand, will be written by Alan Burnett and directed by Sam Liu and feature a completely original plot. More on both of these as the details come to light.
If you are an iTunes user, SUBSCRIBE to our weekly podcast free here and please leave us feedback. That’s how we get more attention on the Interwebs and move up the iTunes charts!