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It’s a fantastic time for science fiction. The genre is enjoying a return the likes of which hasn’t bee...
It’s a fantastic time for science fiction. The genre is enjoying a return the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. Recently, there have been smart sci-fi adventures like District 9 and Moon, blockbusters like Edge of Tomorrow, Prometheus and Elysium, thrillers like Transcendence and a lot more space-faring, future-trekking goodness. The future’s even brighter for the genre, since we’re seeing an influx of futuristic movies that pique our interest. We’ve made a selection here of 8 films premiering this year and next, all of which we feel will add something to the genre.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel’s summer blockbuster may not turn out to be Captain America: The Winter Soldier after all-- not if Chris Pratt has anything to say about it. After his scene-stealing run in the hit sitcom Parks and Recreation, Pratt seems to be sci-fi’s new golden boy. Aside from starring in next summer’s Jurassic Park reboot (see below), he’s about to slam into theaters in just a few days in the adaptation of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy alongside Vin Diesel and Star Trek’s Uhura, Zoe Saldana. Fun fact: Chris Pratt also auditioned for Captain Kirk in Star Trek and Jake Sully in Avatar.
A new sci-fi flick by Luc Besson, starring Scarlett Johansson. Need we say more? Known for his massive success with science fiction classic The Fifth Element, Luc Besson dives into superhero waters, presumably trying to bank on the recent Marvel and DC craze. Lucy is a film about a woman living in Taipei who’s forced to work as a mule for the mob. The drug she’s carrying accidentally leaks into her system, turning her into a superhuman. Watch out for it in a couple of weeks when it hits theaters.
An ambitiously grand tale from the acclaimed director of Waltz With Bashir, The Congress is a story of the last contract actress Robin Wright ever has to sign. Playing a fictional version of herself, she’s backed into renouncing her looks, image, and identity in exchange for her son’s health, so that her movie company can keep reusing her name and face indefinitely. Weaving together hand-drawn animation with post-apocalyptic and sci-fi eye-candy, The Congress looks like it’s reaching for a smarter audience, having premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year but only just making our list with its US release.
The Wachowskis are some of the most intriguing crafters of sci-fi working today. After the inimitable Matrix and its less than fortunate sequels, Larry and Lana Wachowski took us on another mindbender with Cloud Atlas, a divisive adaptation of the David Mitchell novel by the same name. It seems they’re at it once again, because Jupiter Ascending looks like another trademark Wachowski space opera, this time after their own original script, that’s inspiring comparisons to everything from Star Wars to the aforementioned Matrix. Expect tickets for the ride in February of next year.
Batman director Christopher Nolan is back with his first post-Caped Crusader flick, this time delving into wormholes and science fiction. His latest film Interstellar features an all-star cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Nolan’s Catwoman, Anne Hathaway and his Alfred, Michael Caine, in a story about a team of spacefaring explorers and scientists exploring a mysterious wormhole. Interstellar is just a few months away, so come November we’ll see if Nolan can repeat his success with a new franchise.
From Oscar winner Brad Bird, the creative mastermind behind some of Pixar’s greatest blockbusters (Ratatouille, The Incredibles) comes Tomorrowland, a sci-fi journey produced by Disney. A curious teenager befriends a former boy-genius inventor and together, they set out on a dangerous mission to reach a mysterious place somewhere in space and time that exists in their shared memory, known only as Tomorrowland. Given that it’s produced by Disney, and with Brad Bird’s track record (which also includes the Simpsons), we’re sure Tomorrowland will be an instant classic with the younger crowd-- although we’ll probably enjoy the ride as much as they will. Tomorrowland lands in theaters next May.
No, we’re not kidding -- Jurassic Park is indeed getting a reboot with a tentative release of a sequel on June 12th of next year. After going through movie studio hell and no fewer than four scripts, it seems Jurassic World or Jurassic Park 4 (two of the rumored titles) is set to hit theaters next summer and will star Judy Greer, Vincent D’Onofrio, and the abovementioned Chris Pratt. After vampires, werewolves, and zombies, do dinosaurs still have what it takes to scare the pants off of us? We’ll find out soon enough.
Star Wars Episode VII
No sci-fi movie list is complete without a Star Wars trilogy. Helmed by Star Trek director J. J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode VII is set to hit theaters on December 18th, and we’re beside ourselves with excitement.
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are all set to reprise their roles, along with returning Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi co-screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan. Newcomers like this year’s Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o round out the cast. It’s rumored that the trilogy opens with a certain severed hand landing on a strange planet…