In the Heart of the Sea takes inspiration from Herman Melville‘s novel Moby Dick, but is actually based on Nathaniel Philbrick‘s book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, which tracks a whaling ship in 1920 that go up against their prey and are stranded at sea. Directed By Ron Howard
After premiering his latest drama, A Most Wanted Man, at Sundance last year, we thought director Anton Corbijn might return to Park City, but barring any last-minute announcements that looks to not be the case. Hopefully coming later this year, as scripted by Luke Davies, Life centers on the relationship between James Dean (Dane DeHaan) and Life Magazine‘s Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson).
Mojave (William Monahan)
Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan gangster pic was rough around the edges, but it had no shortage of style and fun performances. The writer has potential behind the camera, and he’s taking his second shot with Mojave, a great script written by Monahan himself. It’s a game of cat and mouse between two equally dangerous men, played by Oscar Isaac and Garret Hedlund. If the final result is half as interesting or exciting as Monahan’s script, then we’re in for a real treat.
Our Kind of Traitor (Susanna White)
After the recent , A Most Wanted Man and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- John le Carré will once again be hitting screens this year with Our Kind of Traitor. Helmed by Susanna White (who cut her teeth in the world of TV), the drama stars Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, Naomie Harris, and Stellan Skarsgård, and we’d expect it to pop on the fall festival circuit. The story follows “a couple who find themselves lured into a Russian oligarch’s plans to defect but are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust.”
Mojave (William Monahan)
Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan has written, a great script written about a game of cat and mouse between two equally dangerous men, played by Oscar Isaac and Garret Hedlund.
A Tale of Love and Darkness (Natalie Portman)
Natalie Portman upcoming feature film debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness. The content of the film is based on the Amos Oz memoir. Described as, “the story of a boy who grows up in war-torn Jerusalem, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many,” Portman has also taken on duties as the film’s screenwriter and star.
Regression (Alejandro Amenábar; Aug. 28th)
Regression is a thriller Led by Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, set in 1990 in Minnesota and follows a detective investigating a girl that has accused her father of an unspeakable crime. The father doesn’t remember what happened, but when a renowned psychologist joins the case, the conspiracy is unraveled. Also starring David Thewlis, David Dencik, Lothaire Bluteau, and Devon Bostick.
The Little Prince (Mark Osborne)
Last year was a great year for animation both on the studio side (The Lego Movie, The Boxtrolls) and on the foreign circuit (The Tale of Princess Kaguya), and this year is looking promising. Near the top of our radar is The Little Prince, a new animated feature that comes from Mark Osborne, the director behind Kung Fu Panda. Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s famous 1943 novel and adapted by The Boxtrolls‘ Irena Brignull, the story follows a pilot who lands in the desert, but that’s seemingly only one aspect of the story. Featuring a voice cast of Rachel McAdams, Mackenzie Foy, James Franco, Jeff Bridges, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro, and Paul Giamatti.
Our Brand Is Crisis (David Gordon Green)
Sandra Bullock recently reteamed with both George Clooney and Warner Bros. for a new project. Produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov, Our Brand is Crisis will, interestingly, feature direction from David Gordon Green (in his first prestige drama). Based on Rachel Boynton‘s documentary chronicling the involvement of James Carville‘s political consulting firm in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election, the script comes from Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare at Goats)
The Light Between Oceans (Derek Cianfrance)
The Place Beyond the Pines, director Derek Cianfrance is heading into adaptation territory for his next drama. From author M. L. Stedman The Light Between Oceans, follows a lighthouse keeper on a remote island in Australia who with his wife rescues a baby they find in a rowboat and raise it as their own. Led by Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, and Alicia Vikander.
A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)
A Bigger Splash is Described as a “sexy thriller” set on the island of Pantelleria, it’s a remake of 1969 French picture, La Piscine, following an uneasy triangle that forms between a couple and a younger woman during the couple’s vacation, leading to a sinister end. Starring Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, and Matthias Schoenaerts, we’re crossing our fingers for a Cannes debut.
Triple Nine (John Hillcoat; Sept. 11th)
Following his crime drama Lawless, director John Hillcoat‘s long-gestating crime drama Triple Nine, featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus, Gal Gadot,Teresa Palmer, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, and Clifton Collins Jr
The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu; Dec. 25th)
About a frontiersman who takes revenge on the men who left him to die after he becomes mortally wounded in a bear attack, Leonardo DiCaprio will do just fine. It should be interesting to see how what Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu does with the harrowing survival tale, which also stars Tom Hardy, Will Poulter (The Maze Runner), and Domhnall Gleeson (Frank).
Ricki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme; Aug. 7th)
A movie written by Diablo Cody and Jonathan Demme‘s first narrative feature since 2008? Ricki and the Flash, which stars Meryl Streep as a rocker who attempts to reconnect with her family. With production recently wrapped and a release date set, this should out this summer.
Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)
Beasts of No Nation, which is centered around a child fighter caught up in the struggle of “an unnamed african country.” Details are scarce, but we do know Idris Elba will take the lead and the marriage of Fukunaga and Elba with this subject matter has the potential to be something dynamic.
Untitled Cold War Thriller (Steven Spielberg; Oct. 16th)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by the Coen brothers, starring Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Spielberg returns to real-world politics, following the tremendous successes of Munich and Lincoln, to tell the story of James Donovan, an attorney sent by the CIA on the impossible mission of orchestrating the release of a downed American pilot in the Cold War. I can’t think of the last time such high-level filmmakers decided to write a script for one of their peers in this fashion, so there must be some real firepower behind this idea.
Untitled Crime Drama (Steve McQueen)
The film in question is based on the British series Widows, which centered on four widows who come together to finish a robbery after their crooked husbands are killed on the job. Said to be “a contemporary, hard-hitting, very grounded gangster film” we already have images of Jean-Pierre Melville and Jules Dassin dancing in our head.