Although it seems the distant future at this moment, the year 2015 will be another landmark year for big budget blockbusters. Again, it will feature sequels and reboots but not just any franchises. The list includes some hugely successful franchises: “The Avengers 2”, “Pirates of the Caribbean 5”, “Independence Day 2”, “Star Wars Episode VII” (hopefully), “Jurassic Park IV” (also hopefully) and, new to the list, “Terminator” (part one of a stand-alone trilogy).
“The Avengers 2” (May 1, 2015) is an obvious choice to do well. As of this moment, Joss Whedon will write and direct it and Robert Downey, Jr., has confirmed he will reprise his role as Iron Man. Part 1 was superb and made tons of money for Marvel/Disney. There’s no reason to expect this to do worse.
“Pirates of the Caribbean 5” (July 10, 2015) is a question mark of sorts. Part 4 grossed over a billion dollars but it’s not nearly as good as the other three installments. Johnny Depp has openly stated that he will continue to reprise this role as long as it’s popular with the fans. He is portraying Tonto in the upcoming release of “The Lone Ranger”, a clear indication that he is not stalling his quest to move in different directions. He has inked a deal with Disney for at least Part 5 which is intended as a stand-alone film.
“Independence Day 2” (July 3, 2015) has gotten the coveted July 4th weekend spot. Roland Emmerich will direct this long-time-coming sequel. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum will reprise their roles from the original but Will Smith will not (as of this writing). He has been deemed “too expensive”. Since this film will focus on the next generation of alien fighters, “too expensive” could be interpreted to mean “unnecessary”. “Independence Day 2” will be set 20 years after the initial attack when reinforcements arrive to try again to take over the Earth.
“Star Wars VII” has not been scheduled as yet. Director J.J. Abrams has announced that filming will begin in 2014 and much will depend on the duration of post-production work.
“Jurassic Park IV” is even more hopeful for 2015. The production is currently in hiatus while difficulties are worked out. It is not expected to make the original summer 2014 release date, making 2015 a more logical time frame for such a massive special effects production.
“Terminator” is intended as a rebooting of the franchise. Arnold Schwarzenegger has stated his intent to return as a Terminator/T-800 but conflicting reports state that he will actually be a human, a friend of the Conner family. Supposedly, the story will pre-date the original film, being set in the 1940s and 1950s, focusing on Sarah Conner’s parents. Under that scenario, Schwarzenegger would actually become the model for the Terminator that was sent to eliminate Sarah. More details will follow.
(NOTE: These release dates should be considered tentative at this moment. 2015 is a long way off and these movies have yet to be filmed. Circumstances can change, actors can die or be killed and accidents can happen. It should also be noted that studio executives and directors are not in the habit of consulting with critics/writers regarding any aspect of their plans.)