ByMohd Danish Ahmed, writer at Creators.co

The new year has got off to the best possible start on the silver screen, with January alone being a vintage month for new releases. Look out in particular for Birdman, Foxcatcher, Testament of Youth, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Whiplash, Wild, Into The Woods and A Most Violent Year. And of this week’s offerings, I especially commend to you The Theory of Everything, in which Eddie Redmayne transforms himself into Stephen Hawking.

Thrillingly for cinemagoers, there is much more to come. Here, in alphabetical order, are another 15 films due for release in the UK this year that are worth getting seriously excited about.

The Theory of Everything featuring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking is a particularly good film The Theory of Everything featuring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking is a particularly good film

1. Adam Jones

Bradley Cooper plays a Michelin-starred chef, the Adam Jones of the (provisional) title, who gathers a top-notch crew in an attempt to create the best restaurant in the world, in London. It sounds a bit like The Magnificent Seven with Parmesan shavings, but it has a terrific cast including Emma Thompson, Jamie Dornan, Sienna Miller, Uma Thurman and Downton Abbey’s Lily James. Also, very promisingly, the screenplay is by Steven Knight, who wrote and directed the brilliant Locke. (Release date unknown)

2. Child 44

British writer Tom Rob Smith’s gripping 2008 novel, about a series of grisly child murders in Stalin-era Russia, gets the big-screen treatment. Tom Hardy plays state security officer Leo Demidov, a former war hero and fierce patriot, who finds to his horror and disgust that the state cannot acknowledge that a serial killer of children is on the loose, lest it reflect badly on totalitarian rule. I loved the book, a spectacular debut by Smith, who based his story on the true-life serial killings by the monstrous Andrei Chikatilo, but cleverly shifted them back in time. (April)

Fifty Shades of Grey is the movie that everyone has been waiting for... even those who haven't Fifty Shades of Grey is the movie that everyone has been waiting for... even those who haven't

3. Cinderella

Kenneth Branagh directs Disney’s live-action version of the 17th-century French fairy tale. The title role was reportedly earmarked for Emma Watson, but maybe the glass slipper didn’t fit because in the end it went to Lily James, who is suddenly much in demand (see Adam Jones, above). Cate Blanchett plays Cinderella’s wicked stepmother and Helen Bonham-Carter her fairy godmother. And intriguingly, James will be swapping kitchen duties with Sophie McShera, best known for being permanently angst-ridden below stairs as dopey Daisy in Downton Abbey, but here playing one of Cinderella’s horrid stepsisters. (March)

4. Far From The Madding Crowd

Carey Mulligan (pictured below) plays Bathsheba Everdene in this BBC Films version of Thomas Hardy’s mighty novel, adapted by David Nicholls (One Day). Her three suitors, wealthy farmer William Boldwood, Sergeant Troy and good-hearted shepherd Gabriel Oak, are played by Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, and an insider has disclosed that the film, by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, is going to be ‘visceral and violent in its emotions and physicality’. (May)

There are many film goers who cannot wait for the latest installment of the Star Wars story There are many film goers who cannot wait for the latest installment of the Star Wars story

5. Fifty Shades Of Grey

Here it is, the film we’ve all been waiting for. Except those of us who haven’t. Still, even if you view the colossal success of E.L. James’s erotic novel with equal dollops of cynicism and mystification, it will be fascinating to see how the film version fares. It is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose last film was the splendid Nowhere Boy, about the young John Lennon. Jamie Dornan takes the lead role as the sexually, erm, adventurous Christian Grey, with Dakota Johnson (daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) as his virginal conquest, Anastasia Steele. (February)

6. Jurassic World

This film hasn’t taken quite as long to be made as the dinosaurs took to become extinct, but it hasn’t exactly sprung into life. It was first scheduled for release in 2005, only to end up in what the industry calls ‘development hell’, undergoing endless rewrites and revisions. But here it is at last, the third sequel to Jurassic Park, set 22 years after the events of the original film in the dinosaur theme park first envisaged by Richard Attenborough’s character, John Hammond. Chris Pratt stars. (June)

7. Inside Out

GIVEN that even the least enjoyable Pixar films are usually twice as enjoyable as most other animations, I’m looking forward enormously to this one. It is based on an original idea by director Pete Docter, in which a girl, Riley, is uprooted from her home town when her father starts a new job. Here’s the clever bit: the story unfolds in Riley’s mind, where her emotions — Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness — vie for control. (July)

Film lovers should keep a special eye out for Wild starring Reese Witherspoon, pictured, released this month Film lovers should keep a special eye out for Wild starring Reese Witherspoon, pictured, released this month

8. Selma

The 1965 march through Alabama, from Selma to Montgomery, was a watershed in the campaign for American civil rights, persuading President Lyndon Baines Johnson to push through the Voting Rights Act. Ava Duvernay’s powerful film carries the whiff of a history lesson, but it is an important one. Oddly, though satisfyingly, the four biggest players in the story — Martin Luther King Jnr, his wife Coretta, LBJ himself, and the Alabama governor George Wallace — are all played (brilliantly) by British actors: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson and Tim Roth. (February)

9. Spectre

Parts of the plot of the 24th Bond film were revealed in the Sony Pictures hacking scandal — but that shouldn’t suppress our anticipation, especially as the director is again Sam Mendes, who was responsible for the acclaimed Skyfall. The excellent Christoph Waltz plays the villain, and it is rumoured that he will turn out to be Bond’s arch-enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Daniel Craig, who returns as Bond, says that in this outing he hopes to reclaim some of 007’s ‘old irony’. Sir Roger Moore can arch an eyebrow in delight. (October)

Daniel Craig, left, is reunited with his Aston Martin DB5, right in the latest installment of the Bond franchise Daniel Craig, left, is reunited with his Aston Martin DB5, right in the latest installment of the Bond franchise

10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Should anyone doubt just how much excitement there is about the seventh Star Wars instalment, a sneak preview lasting just over a minute was watched more than 15 million times within 24 hours of its online release in November. The latest film, the first of a new trilogy set 30 or so years after the defeat of the Empire and the death of Darth Vader, not only brings back original characters Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, but also the actors who first played them all those years ago: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It is being made largely in the UK, with J.J. Abrams at the helm. (December)

11. Suffragette

Meryl Streep plays Emmeline Pankhurst, which might be the only five words you need to know about this drama, although The Great Streep has a fantastic cast around her, including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw. Moreover, filming was permitted in the Houses of Parliament for the first time in cinematic history. The director and writer are Sarah Gavron and Abi Morgan, renewing the collaboration that in 2007 made such a good job of adapting Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane. (September)

Dame Maggie Smith, seated, stars as eccentric spinster Miss Shepherd in The Lady in the Van Dame Maggie Smith, seated, stars as eccentric spinster Miss Shepherd in The Lady in the Van

12. The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino’s new Western, about bounty hunters transporting prisoners through 19th-century Wyoming, was almost ditched after the original script was leaked online. A furious Tarantino decided not to proceed. But he had a change of heart, and has assembled quite a cast, led by his beloved Samuel L. Jackson. Shooting begins this month but Jackson has already been tweeting from the rehearsal room that ‘this is gonna be a blast’. Let’s hope it’s a blast for audiences, too. (release date unknown)

13. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, part 2

I was not alone in lamenting the decision to divide into two films the last of Suzanne Collins’s trilogy of fantasy novels: Mockingjay, part 1 felt like a cynical attempt to cash in on the enormous worldwide popularity of the first two Hunger Games pictures. But if that’s the bad news, the good is that part 2 should see a return to action-packed form, allowing Jennifer Lawrence, as the spirited, resourceful Katniss Everdeen, to remind us why she has been called a role model for teenagers everywhere — even though Lawrence will be 25 by the time the film comes out. (November)

Jurassic World was originally due for release in 2005 but went into what is known as 'development hell' Jurassic World was originally due for release in 2005 but want into what is known as 'development hell'

14. The Lady In The Van

Maggie Smith swaps the dowager Duchess of Grantham’s charming house for an old Bedford van in a North London driveway, in this true-life tale of an eccentric spinster, Miss Shepherd, who for 15 years lived outside the home of playwright Alan Bennett. Alex Jennings plays Bennett, and James Corden pops up too, but one suspect this will be the great Dame’s show. (November)

15. The Woman In Gold

Maria Altmann was an elderly Holocaust survivor who took on the Austrian government in a fight to recover five Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family by the Nazis. Helen Mirren plays her, with Ryan Reynolds as her formidable young lawyer, in a drama directed by Simon Curtis and written by Alexi Kaye Campbell. Alas, Mrs Altmann will not get to see this screen version of her amazing story; she died in 2011, aged 94. (release date unknown)

Trending

Latest from our Creators