The not-so-gone girl
The 34-year-old British actress has nabbed one of the most in-demand roles in years – Amy Dunne, the heroine of the film of the book ‘Gone Girl’. Last year Reese Witherspoon bought the rights to Gillian Flynn’s thriller for $1.5m, but decided not to star in it. Pike reportedly beat Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman and Jessica Chastain to play Amy, who vanishes on her fifth wedding anniversary. David Fincher is directing. We’re not fans of how Pike has been sidelined into token love-interest roles lately (‘The World’s End’) and can’t wait to see how she fares when ‘Gone Girl’ opens in October.
The next Spielberg
Last time we spoke to British visual effects artist-turned- filmmaker Gareth Edwards, he’d just written, directed and singlehandedly created the effects for his brilliant microbudget alien-invasion pic ‘Monsters’. At the time he told us Hollywood was a ‘sausage factory’, and that he was more interested in making a ‘great steak’. But in the end, Tinsel Town lured him with the meatiest beast of them all, Godzilla, the city-flattening, man-munching atomic terror. Expect a mouthwatering multiplex sirloin, with all the trimmings, when ‘Godzilla’ opens on May 16.
The breakout Brit
The ex-cast of ‘Skins’ don’t half scrub up. (Not convinced? See Dev Patel and Nicholas Hoult). Jack O’Connell is the latest to have a Hollywood moment. Right now, the 23-year-old from Derby is taking orders from Angelina Jolie, who cast him over hundreds of hopefuls as a real-life World War II hero in her directing debut, ‘Unbroken’. It’s the story of Louis Zamperini, who survived for 47 days in the Pacific without food or water and by fending off shark attacks after his US airforce plane crashed into the sea. Before ‘Unbroken’ opens early next year, we’ll see him in ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ (March 7) and ‘Starred Up’ (March 21).
The comeback kid
The 62-year-old actor has been sneaking back into the limelight over the past couple of years with classy cameos – best of all in ‘The Other Guys’ as a TLC-quoting police captain. But in 2014 the best of all the Batmen (yes, even better than Christian Bale) is well and truly back. Keaton will be chewing the scenery as a villain in the remake of ‘Robocop’ (February 7) and popping up in videogame adaptation ‘Need for Speed’ (March 14). We’re most excited by ‘Birdman’ (which so far has no release yet), in which he plays – ‘Being John Malkovich’-style – a washed-up superhero star putting on a Broadway play.
The omnipresent entity
He’s back! Well technically, as a deathless deity, he never went away. But this year the Almighty is getting his hands dirty, first by hiring Russell Crowe to build him a bloody great boat in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ (March 28). Next he’ll be inflicting plagues, floods and all manner of hindrances on the Egyptian army in its pursuit of Christian Bale’s Moses (and his oh-oh-Israelites) in British director Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus’ (December 5). He’ll even be turning up – voiced by Morgan Freeman and wearing a tye-die T-shirt – in ‘The Lego Movie’ (February 14). Oh, God, is there anything you can’t do?
Find out more about film in 2014
Here at Time Out, we’ve already caught a good few of 2014’s cinematic heavy-hitters: check out our reviews of five-star smashes like ‘12 Years a Slave’, ‘Under the Skin’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’. But what about those films that haven’t been screened yet, those titles that are still shrouded in mystery and expectation? Here are 20 films we reckon are going to knock our socks off in the coming year…