There are only two things I ask of the film industry for 2015, and I hope these predictions come true. First, can we please cool it with the superhero films and young adult adaptations? I realize that this is a long shot, as due to the success of Marvel’s film and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay at the box office, it looks like these trends are going to continue for a while yet. Marvel already has two films scheduled to come out in 2015 plus a new tv show and have announced their planned films through 2019. There is also the second part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and the Divergent sequel to look forward to. If these films rake in the cash that they’re expected to we are most likely in for another solid decade of these huge budget action blockbusters. Although, with The Hunger Games coming to a close, everyone will be out looking for the next franchise. It’s a safe bet that it will be a fantastical dystopia and most likely feature a female lead. I will continue to hope for Hollywood to realize that Tamora Pierce’s books are perfect for adaptation to the screen and there is years worth of material in her publications.
My second request is for Hollywood to continue the trend, however small, of increasing the profile of women both on-screen and off. There is a faint whiff of moving past tokenism and I’m looking for that trend to become stronger. With the slating of Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel films, and the announcement that Wonder Woman will be directed a first time feature female director they seem to be on the right track.
Working in favour of increased diversity on our screens in the coming months is that, with the digital scare still firmly in the studio’s minds, the studios are making fewer films with higher budgets. While this has led to a lack of originality among the bigger films, fewer blockbusters has created an opportunity for independent films to sneak onto the main exhibition circuit, gaining more popular exposure that they have in years. These smaller films are filling the void of unique stories and with more and more big name stars lending their weight to smaller productions, 2015 is looking to be a year full of films from off the beaten path that will be playing at a cinema near you—not just at the obscure art house theatre tucked away in a corner of the city. We’ll still get the big budget action thrillers, but when going to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, there will most likely be a low-budget gem that you’ve never heard of playing in the theatre next door. These smaller films will give some diversity to the homogenous landscape and hopefully rub off on the big guns at the same time.