What We’re Watching in 2015: Part 2

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In Part Two of our collosal entertainment feature, The Indiependent writers continue in their quest to get you excited for the Film and TV heading your way in 2015 – this time, focusing on the screen delights coming in July to December of the new year!


Film: Paper Towns

Originally a book by John Green, Paper Towns is currently in the process of becoming a movie, set to be released in theatres in June 2015. As if his 2.4 million subscribers on his youtube account ‘Vlogbrothers’  (which he shares with his brother, Hank) wasn’t enough, this is Green’s second novel to be adapted into a film. His first one, The Fault in our Stars, was a massive success so we expect great things from directorJake Shreier’s latest adaptation.  Paper Towns was the first book I read by John Green and is my second-favourite to Looking for Alaska (which is also in the early stages of being adapted). It follows the story of a rather nerdy teenager called Quentin, and his relationship with beloved neighbour, Margo. They’ve been friends since they were children, and Quentin has always had quite a fascination with her. When she climbs through his window asking if he wants to go on a road trip with her just to conjure up some revenge, he can’t help but say yes. However Margo doesn’t come into school the next day and after a week, she is deemed missing. Quentin finds clues leading to her disappearance and embarks on a search for her. The film stars Nat Wolff as Quentin and model, Cara Delevingne as Margo. This is the model’s first major role in a film, and I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say I’m very excited. Contrastingly to The Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns is much lighter and comedic. If you’re into mystery and romance, this film fits those categories completely.

Paper Towns will be released from 19th July 2015 | Words by Tamara Somasundaram


TV: True Detective: Season 2

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Season One of True Detective had it’s audience on the edge of their seats from start to finish, and rumours of a second season had people in a frenzy. When the announcements about the follow-up started coming through, fans of the show started thinking up countless plots and scenarios. Though the announcements were few and far between to start off with, what we know to date is that the producers are sticking with big-name Hollywood actors, and that the theme will be “hard woman, bad men”.  Rachel McAdams (The Vow, Sherlock Holmes) is set to play ruthless small-town Sheriff Ani Bezzendes, and Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor) will be Paul Woodrugh – war veteran turned highway patrol officer. Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn are also confirmed leads. So far, we also know that the plot will follow 3 (though some sources say 4) detectives in pursuit of the killer of a 52-year-old man. But they soon realise the case has a darker background than they’d originally thought. Supposedly there will be 2 male leads and one female; We assume that these will be Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and perhaps Taylor Kitsch.  One thing’s for certain though, Season Two will have a lot to live up to following the tight script-writing, stunning cinematography and amazing performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the last series.

True Detective: Season 2 will be broadcast in Summer 2015 | Words by Beth Butterworth


TV: Doctor Who: Series 9 

After an explosive entrance almost a year ago for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, followed by a series chock full of emotional instability, childish feuds – and not forgetting the odd mystery or two – all culminating at the trademark cliffhanger of the penultimate episode (which by then I’d reckon a large portion of viewers had already figured out) there’s not been much in the way of news release on the subject of series 9. But now, as we sit merely a few days away from the annually anticipated – although frequently to no avail – Christmas special – this year titled Last Christmas – the first major scrap of information has surfaced for the depths of the BBC Cymru production offices. The first episode of Capaldi’s second full series as the 12th Doctor has been revealed as The Magicians Apprentice and is to be written by showrunner, Steven Moffat. Presumably a clear poke of fun to the repeated references and comments throughout Series 8 about the current incarnation’s chosen (being the operative word) attire. However, that along with the news that Jenna Coleman has once again changed her mind about leaving the show – to some Whovians’ disappointment – there has been little of note to tell. Still, those who are waiting with bated breath for Clara and her persistent irritating persona and attitude – excluding episodes like Flatline – to be vanquished from our screens, need only wait a little longer as now, after it was originally thought that Jenna would leave the role after at the end of Last Christmas, thus paving the way for a new companion to be introduced and welcomed by the fanbase. During the lead up to Series 9, we now know she will in fact leave in a similar manner to Amy and Rory; halfway through the series. So, does this mean we’ll have to endure yet another excessive break in programming split by a companion-focused introductory Christmas special with the remaining Clara-based episodes airing next autumn and the rest of  Series 9 delayed until early 2016? Who knows? But with filming due to commence in January, it looks promisingly unlikely that that will be the case.

Doctor Who: Series 9 will be broadcast on BBC One in August 2015 | Words by Alex Graham


Film: Spectre (Bond 24)

For a long time, the 24th instalment of the Bond franchise has been shrouded in mystery. Enigmatically referred to as ‘Bond 24‘ since March 2013, before this month’s glitzy media-crazed announcement, all we knew was that Daniel Craig was to return to the role of the master spy for a fourth time and that Skyfall director Sam Mendes would also take the helm once more. However, it has now been revealed that in October 2015, Spectre will be hitting our screens. Bond aficionados are sure to be aware that SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence Terrorism Revenge and Extortion) is a sinister criminal organisation, originally lead by one of the most iconic Bond villains in the franchise, Ernst Stavro Blofeld – last seen in a cameo-part in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. Though Tarantino-favourite Christoph Waltz has been officially announced as a villain called Franz Oberhauser, many are speculating that in a move not dissimilar from Benedict Cumberbatch’s surprise role as Khan in Star Trek, Waltz will actually be playing a new version of Blofeld. Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw all return in their respective roles as M, Q and Miss Moneypenny. While, Monica Bellucci, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista and Sherlock actor Andrew Scott make their Bond debuts. There is still much to be revealed as production begins, but this latest adventure – based on Ian Fleming’s infamous novels – is sure to make a scene!

Spectre will be released from  23rd October 2015 | Words by Annie Honeyball


Film: Crimson Peak

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After quite sometime away from the genre in which he made his name, in 2015, we have the next thrilling chapter of mystery and intrigue from acclaimed fantasy/horror auteur: Guillermo del Toro. Set in 19th century Cumbria, Crimson Peak encapsulates a strategically uniform plotline, that will undoubtedly unfold into an outpouring of twists and turns as the relationship of the two lead characters is tested to breaking point. While it is often described as a ‘classic gothic romance’, del Toro himself has always moved to quash that emerging preconception of the film, suggesting that while that is one of the key generic elements of the film’s narrative, he intends to accentuate the contrast by employing more than enough gore and violence to quell any horror fan’s appetite.  When hearing the word ‘gothic’ in terms of a horror film, one might be drawn think of something like Henry James’ The Turn Of The Screw, however with Crimson Peak, that appears to merely be a reference to the crumbling old mansion that acts as the film’s centerpiece. We are as good as assured – if recent interviews are to be trusted – that as haunted house pictures go, this will have far more in common with legendary productions like Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining – referred to as the ‘Mount Everest of the haunted house movies’ by del Toro himself’. The film stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland) and Tom Hiddleston (Thor & The Avengers) as the antecedent newlywed couple: Edith Cushing – a young author – and Sir Thomas Sharpe – sparsely described as ‘a charming hero with a mysterious past.’ A past that Charlie Hunnam’s (Sons Of Anarchy, Pacific Rim) character, Dr. Alan McMichael – a shy, learned childhood friend of Edith (whom he is hopelessly in love with) – will presumably look to uncover and exploit to its bitter end. Other supporting & main cast members include Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, The Help) as Sir Thomas’ sister, Lady Lucille, Leslie Hope (24) as Dr. McMichael’s mother and Burn Gorman (Torchwood) as a minor character named Holly.

Crimson Peak will be released from 16th October 2015 | Words by Alex Graham


Film: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Now I’ll admit that I was one of those keen beans who went to the cinema to watch all three in a row with my Grandad (because I’m hardcore) when Mockingjay: Part 1 came out. And I can safely say that I walked out of that cinema at 2am already counting down the days until Part 2. Since the day Katniss Everdeen bravely volunteered in her sister’s place for the notorious Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ books have come alive on the big screens for all our entertainment. The films have been some of the most top selling, up there with the highest grossing films of all time alongside The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Harry Potter Series and Titanic. We’ve followed Katniss through The Hunger Games in 2012 and it’s sequel Catching Fire which hit our cinemas in 2013. And 2014 brought us the first half of Mockingjay, the gripping final book in Collins’ trilogy. Not only have we been following the characters, but Mockingjay: Part 2 will be coming out almost four years after the first film, so we’ve also been following the blossoming careers of the actors too. The star, Jennifer Lawrence has since become one of Hollywood’s rising actresses – starring in other big box office films such as American Hustle. However, Philip Seymour Hoffman died earlier on in 2014 and amongst the sorrow of cast and crew they have confirmed that all but one of his scenes as Plutarch Heavensbee had been filmed and that this would be his final filmI can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the final part of a book series that so many people have grown up reading. The last half of the book is packed – so much goes on action wise and emotion wise, and no spoilers, but I would advise that you bring a box of tissues to the cinema. Not only is that Katniss, Gale and Peeta love triangle finally going to get resolved, but the dystopian world of Panem that has been struck so hard by rebellion will finally come to a close. We’re expecting dramatic music, that well known shaky camera as well as much violence and sensitivity. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will be released from 20th November 2015 | Words by Megan Bakewell


Film: The Martian

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The Martian is a science fiction film that will be released in November 2015. As you’d expect from the title, it takes place almost entirely on Mars. It is based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir who, due to being the son of a particle physicist (as well as having a background in computer science himself) aimed to make the book as authentic as possible based on the technology we currently possess. Ridley Scott will be directing the film in a genre he knows all too well. The plot of the film runs parallel to the novel, in that American astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, becomes stranded alone on the desolate red planet and must use his wits in order to survive. In the aftermath of a dust storm, his crew-mates believe him to be dead and so go onward back to Earth – despondent and unaware of the truth. It contains elements of Apollo 13 as well as being reminiscent of the more modest and low-tech Cast Away. Despite the primary theme of isolation and solitude there is a talented ensemble cast. Jessica Chastain and House of Cards‘ Kate Mara join Kristen Wiig and West Yorkshire’s first son Sean Bean also star – albeit in more secluded secondary roles as NASA employees and Matt Damon’s crew. I’m a huge fan of science fiction and I live in awe of the vastness and deadliness of space so I’m very excited to see a realistic space survival film. It will be interesting to see if Matt Damon can pull off such a demanding role due to this being so alien to him, but I have every faith that Ridley Scott’s direction will do him justice. It’s safe to say, I will not be missing this for the world.

The Martian will be released from 27th November 2015 | Words by Luke Nodder


Film: Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

When the first reboot of Star Wars was announced in 1993, there was an air of excitement about a film trilogy that had become cult-like to kids born in the 70s – and now they were going to see the prequels as grown-ups. But how the first prequel fell. The Phantom Menace critically mixed and dampened the universal love for the original films. Attack of the Clones wasn’t much better and less people watched it thanks to the disappointment of Phantom Menace. Revenge of the Sith only just saved director George Lucas’ neck after an almost hapless first two prequels. Now, we have another trilogy in the wings, with Episode 7 The Force Awakensarriving in December 2015. The film will take place 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi. We know that George Lucas said that he wouldn’t make another Star Wars, so why have we got another? Because Disney bought Lucasfilm and almost instantly decided to produce a new trilogy. Now, while Disney doing Star Wars sounds as irresponsible as letting your cat look after your mouse, they have pulled in a great director; J.J Abrams. 

J.J directed the American drama series Lost as well as sci-fi films such as Super 8 and Star Trek – so I think we’re in good hands. The cast looks great too; Starring a “trio of new leads” who are relatively unknown. Two of which are British duo John Boyega (Attack the Block) and newcomer Daisy Ridley who play Finn and Rey. The others rumoured are Adam Driver (Girls) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis). They will star alongside the original Han, Leia and Luke as well as 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o. So get your lightsabers at the ready, your “RIP Darth Vader” signs out (it’s not a spoiler, the film is over 30 years old) and your best Chewbacca impression on because The Force Awakens next December.

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be released from 18th December 2015 | Words by Michael Houston


TV: Sherlock Christmas Special

With only three series’ of Sherlock behind us, the whole nation is already buzzing in anticipation for the Christmas special which is due to start filming in January and then air later in 2015. It seems as if having only nine episodes, each running for 90 minutes, is still not enough to satisfy the millions of people around the entire world in their hunger to see more of the consulting detective and his blogger. With recent developments including Sherlock’s resurrection to the living world after having faked his death to escape Moriarty’s wrath; the shocking revelation of who Mary Morstan really is, and  then of course the ending to the finale of series three which had people in hysterics over how it could be possible – the “return” of Jim Moriarty? It was the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. And let’s not forget the adventures we were tagged along into with Sherlock and John during the first two series’ – chasing the Hound across the moors and fighting a murderous cabbie just for starters! With writing that’s already helped make the show so beautifully captivating and riveting before, it’s hard to imagine that the Sherlock special will be anything but spectacular. To further add to our excitement, the producers and writers have been giving various hints towards the special. The one that stands out are Mark Gatiss’ words in the Sherlock Chronicles book that has recently been released – “I can certainly give you one word. Ghosts…” Is the word ‘Ghosts’ related to the cryptic clues of ‘Rat’, ‘Wedding’ and ‘Bow’  given for series three – all of which were hints towards major plot points for each episode. Does this signal the appearance of ‘ghosts’ from the characters’ pasts come back to haunt them? One can only wonder! No matter what, the Sherlock special is guaranteed to entertain, as it returns to our screens next Christmas.

The Sherlock Christmas Special will be broadcast on BBC One in December 2015 | Words by Lauren Brown


Other Films being released between July and December 2015

Ant-Man (July) – Paul Rudd stars in Marvel’s latest origin story – following the superhero antics of Scott Lang (a.k.a Ant-Man) a petty crook who uses technology to decrease in size, but grow in strength.

Terminator: Genysis (July) – Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to one of his most infamous roles, accompanied by Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor in this latest time-battling foray into the Terminator franchise.

The Hateful Eight (TBA) – Tarantino does a western! Featuring Samuel L Jackson, Tim Roth and Channing Tatum amongst it’s cast, if there’s one thing to be sure of – there will be blood, and lots of it!

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