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Please don’t keep me waiting: 76 of our most anticipated entertainments of 2015, part 2

41. Batman: Arkham Knight (June 2)

Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham games have been one of the great pleasures in recent gaming. Comic-book based games that actually captured what it felt like to be Batman, the games married interesting stealth gameplay to deeply satisfying combat without weakening either. And while 2013’s Batman: Arkham Origins, developed by a different studio, met with lackluster response, there’s no reason to think that the Rocksteady-developed Arkham Knight will be anything but a return to form. Sure, the addition of a machine-gun-firing Batmobile and increased violence might suggest mission creep, but Rocksteady has twice demonstrated that it “gets” Batman, and there’s no reason to think it won’t show that same talent while pitting the caped crusader against the titled new villain. [William Hughes]

42. Paper Towns (June 5)

If John Green proved anything with The Fault In Our Stars, it’s that he can take the bones of clichéd idea—kids with cancer who fall in love—and not just flesh it out, but break its bones and reconstruct them into a story that’s genuinely affecting and surprising. Paper Towns, Green’s 2008 book that defies other teenage clichés, has all of the emotional depth of Fault and some more mystery, but requires less Kleenex. Those who were introduced to Green via the The Fault In Our Stars movie adaptation should pick up Paper Towns before its early June release, which stars Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne. [Laura M. Browning]

43. Jurassic World (June 12)

Fourteen years after the Jurassic Park franchise entered suspended animation, its DNA has been extracted from development amber and brought back to life. The new film is leaping ahead from the sequels and making a fresh start, with no sign of Sam Neill, Laura Dern, or Jeff Goldblum—B.D. Wong’s Dr. Henry Wu is the only confirmed returning character—and the timeframe accelerated to present day where the park is finally open for business. Initial Jurassic World footage manages to recapture the sense of wonder of the 1993 original, relying both on the grandeur of the gentler dinosaurs and restrained glimpses of the more terrifying ones. Director Colin Trevorrow is untested in the blockbuster arena—his most notable credit is 2012’s Safety Not Guaranteedbut he has the advantage of Guardians Of The Galaxy star Chris Pratt as his lead. If the trailer’s early glimpse of Pratt riding a motorcycle amid a pack of velociraptors is indicative of the film’s overall energy levels, Jurassic World could finally be the sequel the franchise deserves. [Les Chappell]

44. Inside Out (June 19) and The Good Dinosaur (November 25)

After a string of sequels, prequels, and parent-company spinoffs, it was beginning to look as though John Lasseter and company were just plumb out of ideas. Thankfully, and for the first time ever, Pixar has not one, but two new films headed for theaters in a single year—and both are entirely original properties. First up is Inside Out, co-directed by Pete Docter (Up), which anthropomorphizes the emotions competing for control of a teenage girl’s brain. After that, Hollywood’s most celebrated animation studio will imagine an alternate Earth with The Good Dinosaur; the film was originally scheduled to be released in May of last year, and has since been radically retooled. However the two movies turn out, it’s nice to see that Pixar isn’t resting on its laurels—at least not until next year, when Finding Dory swims into multiplexes. [A.A. Dowd]

45. Trainwreck (July 17)

As much as Judd Apatow has been held up as a master of bro-friendly comedies about arrested dudes and the improbably hot women who learn to love them, he’s often shown sensitivity to female characters, from Lindsay Weir on Freaks And Geeks to Leslie Mann’s frustrated housewife in Knocked Up and This Is 40 to to his work with Lena Dunham on Girls. It’s about time, then, that he’s directing his first feature with a female lead—and, in another first, from a screenplay he didn’t write. That film is Trainwreck, written by and starring Amy Schumer, who has proven herself a winning performer and astute writer on her Comedy Central sketch show. Not much is known beyond that Schumer is probably playing a woman whose life is falling apart—and that it will probably be very funny. [Jesse Hassenger]

46. Orange Is The New Black (June/July)

As solidly enjoyable as season one of Netflix’s critical darling Orange Is The New Black was, the show grew by leaps and bounds in its second season. By the end of season two, even the smallest players were well developed enough to win the audience’s sympathy, and the show is now in a position to bounce any two characters off of each other and just about guarantee interesting results. Watching Jenji Kohan and her writers continue to grow on that should make for some of the best television ever not-quite-on-TV. Plus there’s been a cavalcade of encouraging casting news (Lori Petty! Mike Birbiglia! Blair Brown! Mary Steenburgen as Pornstache’s mom!), not to mention persistent rumors the show’s dropping Jason Biggs’ whiny, superfluous Larry. Prison never seemed so enticing. [Mike Vago]

47. The Look Of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer (summer)

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act Of Killing was among the most chilling documentaries of the last few years—a queasy attempt to coax remorse out of Indonesian mass-murderers by handing them the resources to reenact their state-sanctioned war crimes. The Look Of Silence, Oppenheimer’s new companion piece, takes a much more direct and confrontational approach, accompanying the brother of one of the victims as he interviews some of the other killers about the atrocities they committed. Even without the strain of uncomfortable dark humor that characterized The Act Of Killing, this is gripping and adventurous non-fiction filmmaking. It seems poised to inspire the same range of reactions, from awe to disgust, as its predecessor did. [A.A. Dowd]

48. Rick And Morty season two (summer)

Adult Swim’s Rick And Morty was 2014’s breakout animated hit, a re-imagining of Back To The Future mixed with elements of Futurama, Doctor Who, and Douglas Adams filtered through the twisted mindsets of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland. While season two won’t debut until summer, Harmon and Roiland have kept the show’s energy alive in the interim months via social media and various convention appearances. At New York Comic Con, the duo teased that the show would go to even more unconventional places in season two, and would feature guest stars such as Werner Herzog, Stephen Colbert, and alumni of Mr. Show and Battlestar Galactica. If the animatic showed at San Diego Comic-Con—beginning with Andy Daly as an overly cheerful assassin and ending with a horrific virtual reality twist on The Sims—is indicative of the season’s direction, the show has surrendered none of its hilariously dark worldview while on break. [Les Chappell]

49. The Visit (September 11) and Labor Of Love (TBA)

Reality check time: M. Night Shyamalan is an underrated filmmaker. Sure, he may be a cornball, but he frames and cuts with a purposefulness that puts most blockbuster directors to shame. Coming off a couple of costly, poorly received flops, Shyamalan has scaled down drastically for his next film, a low-budget project produced by Blumhouse, the prolific production company that seems to have its logo on every other horror flick released in the last few years. Shyamalan may have another film due in 2015—Labor Of Love, which reunites the director with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable star Bruce Willis, and started a hush-hush shoot around Philadelphia in early 2014. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

50. The Hunger Games: MockingjayPart 2 (November 20)

Given that The Hunger Games: MockingjayPart 1 was essentially half a movie—a good half, but half all the same—it’s only natural to be excited for the movie’s second part, due out in November. (The world needs conclusions, dammit.) The fourth film should wrap up Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games book trilogy with a bang, bringing real heart-wrenching drama to Panem’s Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. [Marah Eakin]

51. The Hateful Eight (fall)

Remember when Quentin Tarantino was an independent filmmaker and not the most powerful director in Hollywood? Neither do we. With his second big-budget Western, The Hateful Eight, Tarantino is officially entering the old master phase of his career, making 70 mm CinemaScope epics that feel more like a nostalgic ode to cinema’s past than the vanguard of its future. (It’s also difficult to work snappy pop-cultural references into movies set in the 19th century.) But then again, Tarantino’s always been that way; he’s just replacing John Woo with John Ford. The gushing blood, however—that’ll never change. [Katie Rife]

52. Late Show With Stephen Colbert (fall)

While Stephen Colbert has hosted The Colbert Report since 2005, he’s been in character as “Stephen Colbert,” blowhard conservative and Apple fanatic, the entire time. Though it’ll be sad to see David Letterman depart the Late Show after so many years, it should be interesting to see where Colbert and crew take the program, and how the comedian-host’s skills translate to mass-market late night TV. Things look good, just knowing him and his style, but late night has the potential to throw wrenches in anyone’s best-laid plans, no matter how smart and witty they might be. Here’s hoping Colbert finds his footing quickly and with his characteristic flair. [Marah Eakin]

53. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18)

Star Wars has been so diluted by years of disappointment that it’s become nigh impossible to approach news of a new movie with anything but cautious trepidation, the heartbreak of The Phantom Menace still fresh in the mind. And yet, even given the mixed results of J.J. Abrams’ work on the Star Trek franchise, there are so many reasons to believe that his The Force Awakens could turn it around: A return to practical effects, as well as to the storylines and characters we actually care about. A cast of genuinely good (not just good-looking) actors. Han Freaking Solo. And of course, a teaser trailer that manages to stir more excitement with a single, dizzying shot of the Millennium Falcon than the entire combined run of the prequels. It’s not just the Force that’s suddenly been awakened. It’s the strange sensation of optimism. Have you felt it? [Sean O’Neal]

54. Sisters (December)

Sisters sounds like the Internet had a collective dream that turned into a movie. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler star as sisters who go back to their childhood home to pack it up, but decide to throw one last house party instead. The movie also features Fey and Poehler’s fellow Saturday Night Live alumni Maya Rudolph and Kate McKinnon, as well as intriguing additions like John Leguizamo, Dianne Wiest, and WWE superstar John Cena. Add in a script from longtime Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell, and Sisters’ December 2015 release date starts to look like a cruel joke. Between the Golden Globes and Sisters, though, at least 2015 will provide fitting Fey/Poehler bookends. [Caroline Framke]

55. Carol (TBA)

It’s been three years since the last Todd Haynes work that was longer than a half hour, and eight since he last directed for the big screen, setting our expectations high for his next film, Carol. Based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price Of Salt, Carol stars Rooney Mara as a department store clerk and Cate Blanchett as the elegant housewife who enchants her in 1952 New York City. It’ll be refreshing to see a relatively mainstream lesbian romance, especially in the hands of a director like Haynes. Co-stars Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, and Carrie Brownstein are just icing on the cake. [Brandon Nowalk]

56. Queen Of Earth (TBA)

Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip was one of the best films of 2014, a black comedy distinguished by its complex structure and a trio of career-best performances from Jason Schwartzman, Jonathan Pryce, and Elisabeth Moss. Before Philip hit theaters, Perry shot another film, Queen Of Earth, a psychological thriller that co-stars Moss and Inherent Vice’s Katherine Waterston as a couple of childhood friends who are spending a weekend at a secluded beach house. We’re looking forward to seeing how the writer-director’s talent for composition and organization translates to the genre. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

57. Results (TBA)

Who’d have thought Computer Chess would prove to be Andrew Bujalski’s breakthrough? After developing a modest following for his low-key, naturalistic comic dramas, Bujalski took a creative left turn by directing a paranoid, sci-fi-inflected, ’80s-set whatsit—a thoroughly non-commercial film that proved to be his first serious indie hit. That movie paved the way for an equally unlikely project: the first movie he’s made with a professional cast, Results, about a couple of personal trainers whose “lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client.” The cast includes Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Brooklyn Decker, Kevin Corrigan, and Anthony Michael Hall; we can’t wait to see what Bujalski—who managed to get great performances out of non-professional actors in his earlier films—will do with them. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

58. That’s What I’m Talking About (TBA)

When you’ve just completed the most ambitious and beloved movie of your career, a project a dozen years in the making, what do you do for an encore? Richard Linklater has opted to take a more chillaxed, less time-consuming approach to his first post-Boyhood effort, a campus comedy about freshmen baseball players. Linklater has called the ’80s-set film a “spiritual sequel” to his ’70s-set Dazed And Confused; though there will be no overlap in characters, one must assume that the filmmaker is looking to recreate the wistful, first-day-of-summer, last-day-of-childhood vibe of that earlier highlight. Or maybe he just means everyone will smoke a lot of weed. Either way, it should be a hell of a party. [A.A. Dowd]

59. The Grief Of Others (TBA)

Four years ago, writer-director Patrick Wang made his directorial debut with In The Family, a long and sensitive drama about a bereaved man (Wang himself) struggling for custody of the child he raised with his deceased male partner. The filmmaker’s distribution strategy was as unconventional as his approach to potentially maudlin material: Rather than go the festival route, Wang self-released the film, drumming up grassroots interest through strong reviews (including a four-star recommendation from Roger Ebert) and candid Q&A screenings. It remains to be seen if he’ll take a similar tact with his follow-up, based on a Leah Hager Cohen novel about a couple grieving the death of their newborn. But whether it pops up in competition at a major fest or just occupies some rented arthouse auditoriums in major cities, The Grief Of Others has to be considered among the most promising indie releases of the year. [A.A. Dowd]

60. Louder Than Bombs (TBA)

To shoot his English-language debut, director Joachim Trier (Reprise, Oslo, August 31st) left his native Norway for the hustle and bustle of New York City. The plot concerns a widower (Gabriel Byrne) and two sons (Jesse Eisenberg and Devin Druid) sifting through memories of the wife and mother (Isabelle Huppert) they lost three years earlier. Trier’s previous films, both terrific, dealt with the vast, sometimes damaging influence the past can have over the present. That regular co-writer Eskil Vogt also worked on the script for Louder Than Bombs is a good sign that the power of those earlier triumphs may have crossed the Atlantic with them. [A.A. Dowd]

61. Phoenix (TBA)

Essentially a postwar Vertigo, this tense and tightly plotted drama from German director Christian Petzold (Barbara) concerns a Holocaust survivor (a great Nina Hoss) who receives facial reconstructive surgery and finds herself in the strange position of “impersonating” the woman she was for the man who both does and doesn’t quite recognize her. It would be unfair to say more, except that Phoenix—easily the best film The A.V. Club saw at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival—elevates Petzold to a new class of international master filmmakers. [A.A. Dowd]

62. New Low album (TBA)

A band that started more than 20 years ago with a semi-rigid set of rules—slow, minimal, beautiful—has blossomed over that time into an ever-changing outfit that unveils something new and incredible with each record. Their catalog—this will be album number 11—resembles a ripple more than some sort of linear timeline, with each album expanding a bit more while retaining the band’s basic, gorgeous shape. [Josh Modell]

63. The Cure, 4:26 Dream / 4:14 Scream (TBA)

In early 2014, frontman Robert Smith startled fans by revealing that 2008’s 4:13 Dream had been intended as a two-disc, 26-song affair. As Smith wrote on the band’s website, however, “towards the end of the project, I ran out of the energy and conviction I needed to resist a growing commercial (and temporal) pressure from individuals and release structures I was obliged to work with.” Thankfully, Smith decided to revisit the unreleased material in 2011, started tweaking it a bit, and “began thinking of ways to finish off the project to my satisfaction.” As of April 1, 2014, his plan was to reach a point “in the next month or three” where the band could release 4:26 Dream, the double-disc version of the album as originally envisioned, as well as 4:14 Scream, featuring 14 previously unreleased songs. “Some of them may also be on 4:26 Dream,” Smith clarified, “but these 4:14 Scream versions will all have words and vocals.” There’s still no official release date for either album, but given the original time frame, it seems reasonable to assume that they’ll make it out at some point in 2015. [Will Harris]

64. Persona 5 (TBA)

The last two entries in this singular series of role-playing games, which are just as much about surviving high school as they are surviving battles with demons of both the inner and mythological variety, have been stellar, bringing much needed intimacy to typical world-saving adventures. The same team that crafted those classics returns for Persona 5, a game they say is about breaking free from the shackles of modern society that restrain us every day. [Matt Gerardi]

65. The Legend Of Zelda for Wii U (TBA)

Nintendo keeps insisting that its latest take on The Legend Of Zelda will both reinvent the stagnant series and come out by the end of 2015. History may point to both those claims falling through, but the publisher has been on an incredible roll lately, so we’ll cut them some slack. We’ve yet to see much of this new Zelda—supposedly built around a vast seamless world—but what we have witnessed looks to reflect the renewed vigor, imagination, and attention to detail Nintendo has been pouring into its recent games. [Matt Gerardi]

66. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (TBA)

Ground Zeroes gave us a small taste of what Hideo Kojima and company have in store for Metal Gear Solid V. It showcased a slick, modern game, but one that lacked the wackiness that endears the series to its fans. Ground Zeroes was just an appetizer for The Phantom Pain, though, and judging by the excellent, lengthy demo from last year’s E3 trade show—which started with a horse taking a dump—it’ll have weirdness in spades. (Plus, let’s not forget the giant flaming sky whale and other bizarre imagery from the first trailer.) [Matt Gerardi]

67. No Man’s Sky (TBA)

A standout at the E3 trade show last year, the sci-fi game No Man’s Sky takes place in a vast, procedurally generated universe—in other words, the game makes up the planets as players go along. Preview glimpses have been uniformly gorgeous. [John Teti]

68. Hotline Miami 2 (TBA)

Hotline Miami was a nasty, lovely shock when it was released in 2012. A hyper-violent paean to the neon-colored works of Michael Mann and Nicolas Winding Refn, the game mixed a pounding soundtrack and addictive, twitchy combat into a sometimes viscerally unpleasant joyride. The sequel, Hotline Miami 2, seems focused on expanding those endlessly repeatable game mechanics, with multiple characters giving different takes on the original’s top-down, bloodbath-bringing combat. [William Hughes]

69. Silent Hills (TBA)

Judged on pedigree alone, Silent Hills has to be considered one of the year’s most exciting collaborations. The ninth installment in the popular survival-horror game series finds Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima joining forces with cinema’s premier monster lover, Guillermo Del Toro, for a reboot starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus. If that collision of talent isn’t tantalizing enough, there’s already tangible proof of what we might expect from this buzzed-about title: A terrifying, confounding playable demo dropped without notice last summer, offering just a taste of what the man who once allowed a video game boss to read your memory card aloud might do with the foggy, nightmare-town mythology of Silent Hill. We’re cowering already. [A.A. Dowd]

70. Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture (TBA)

Sony continues its tradition of funding low­-concept, small­-studio projects with Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, a spiritual successor to the acclaimed epistolary game Dear Esther. In Rapture, players will wander a small English town during the last hour before the end of the world. [John Teti]

71. Pillars Of Eternity/Torment: Tides Of Numenera (TBA)

The crowdfunded video game boom of 2012 has already produced several successes, bringing back genres and subgenres that had been left behind by conventional video game developers. Chief among those are the party-based RPGs of the ’90s. Games like Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin have shown that these hybrids of classic and modern design can be critical and popular successes. But two of the latest, and most ambitious Kickstarters, are scheduled to come to fruition in 2015—Pillars Of Eternity and Torment: Tides Of Numenera, both spiritual sequels to the much-loved Advanced Dungeons And Dragons games. Pillars Of Eternity is descended from the more systems-based games like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, while Torment takes its cues from Planescape: Torment, often called the best-written video game of all time. They don’t have the AD&D license anymore, but with many of the same people involved, gorgeous-looking screenshots, and in-depth Kickstarter updates revealing the sheer level of thought going into the design, 2015 may be a wonderful year for fantasy gamers. [Rowan Kaiser]

72. Continuum (TBA)

For a long time, it looked like Continuum was dead. The Canadian time travel drama, broadcast by Syfy in the U.S., was in danger of cancellation by its home network, Showcase, before being renewed for a final six-episode season. That sounds perfect, actually—six episodes is enough time for the show to pull together its temporally complicated story threads and consistently intriguing themes, without allowing for the meandering that plagued the most recent season. And honestly, even a little more Continuum is a good thing, as it’s the rare sci-fi show willing to look at modern political structures without obfuscating metaphor, instead drawing direct comparisons between our world and the one corporate dystopia protagonist Kiera Cameron hails from. [William Hughes]

73. Ash Vs. Evil Dead (2015)

The “TV is the new movies” argument is generally shorthand for “TV isn’t as corny as it used to be.” Hopefully that isn’t the case with Ash Vs. Evil Dead, the small-screen continuation of the adventures of S-Mart employee turned savior-of-mankind Ash. With Sam Raimi directing the pilot and Bruce Campbell set to return in the title role, Ash Vs. Evil Dead should be overflowing with transcendently silly one-liners and horror action, especially since each episode will only be a half-hour long. And with the freedom to show as much slapstick violence and gore as executive producers Campbell, Raimi, and Raimi’s frequent collaborator Rob Tapert want, Ash Vs. Evil Dead might even be groovy enough to justify a Starz subscription. [Katie Rife]

74. Untitled Scorsese/Jagger project (TBA)

HBO will be without Boardwalk Empire’s sturdy presence for the first time in five years in 2015, but it won’t be giving up the creative team that brought the show to life. Creator Terence Winter and executive producer/pilot director Martin Scorsese are adding Mick Jagger to their showrunner supergroup to produce a currently untitled drama series about the 1970s music scene in New York. While the project has been in development hell for years—adding such names as Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, and Olivia Wilde in the meantime—HBO finally ordered it to series last month. No exact release date has been set, but the level of talent involved and HBO’s relatively bare drama inventory suggests the network will push the project to completion sooner rather than later. [Les Chappell]

75. Sense8 (TBA)

As The A.V. Club’s resident Babylon 5 proponent, I’ve been waiting more than a decade for J. Michael Straczynski to return to television. (Or Netflix, as the case may be.) Babylon 5 was a preface to the modern age of serialized TV, telling a pre-planned, long-term story across five seasons and frequently succeeding. If it didn’t succeed, it was often due to a lack of resources, as its ambitions always outstripped its budget. That’s not a problem for the Wachowski siblings, though, who had the initial idea for Sense8 before bringing Straczynski in. The premise is suitably resource-draining: a speculative fiction story where eight strangers across the world suddenly find themselves telepathically linked. Both the Wachowskis and JMS have made incredibly grandiose claims about the series, so if Sense8 is a success, it won’t be a secret. And if it’s a failure, it’ll be a mesmerizing one. [Rowan Kaiser]

76. Marvel on Netflix (TBA)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has, by and large, focused on the most traditionally powerful heroes fighting world-shattering villains. Meanwhile, Marvel’s only TV show thus far has focused on a governmental institution, and aired on traditional major network, which is very... safe. On the other hand, the four shows currently in development for Netflix are focused on Marvel’s street-level heroes. The jewel in the company’s Netflix crown is Daredevil, the blind, always-on-the-verge-of-a-breakdown New York hero/lawyer whose comics have long been among the best and most daring in Marvel’s history. Jessica Jones’ role as a cynical former hero opens up possibilities for discussion that maybe being a superhero isn’t super. Luke Cage’s origin as a criminal-turned-hero offers similar potential from a different angle. And Iron Fist—well, Iron Fist can go in a lot of different directions. Combine this much wider variety of heroes and storytelling with the fact that Netflix isn’t bound by ABC’s formal and content restrictions, and the MCU stands a good chance of looking a lot less predictable by this time next year. [Rowan Kaiser]