It seems that the movie industry is always eager to look to the past for ideas for the future — and with a release schedule as packed as it is in 2015, a bit of name recognition can’t hurt.
As such, there are plenty of remakes, reboots and repeats of some well-loved childhood franchises set to hit the silver screen over the course of the year. So many, in fact, that you might not even be aware of a few of them.
Here are some of the nostalgia-centric movies that you might not even know were in production — and they’re all set to release before the end of 2015.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Before there’s any suggestion that SpongeBob isn’t old enough to warrant any sort of nostalgia, let this fact settle in for a moment; this year’s sequel will come out more than a decade after the original SpongeBob movie first hit multiplexes. How time flies, eh?
This time around, the loveable sponge will be heading to our world, transforming himself from a two-dimensional sea-dweller to a fully three-dimensional superhero in the process. With the whole gang along for the adventure, as well as big-name cameos like legendary guitarist Slash and Antonio Banderas as the dread-pirate Burger-Beard, this one will undoubtedly be a hit amongst all ages.
US Release Date: February 6, 2015
The Peanuts Movie
The much-loved characters of Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip will make their jump to the big screen in 2014, and from the looks of things, it’ll be a faithful adaptation. The simple style that made characters like Snoopy and Woodstock so iconic has been lovingly preserved even as it makes the jump to computer animation.
Schulz’s son Craig came up with the idea for the movie, which was then developed by his son Bryan. Set to release alongside the 65th anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip in November, it’ll be interesting to see if the film will lead a whole new generation to become fans of this American classic.
US Release Date: November 6, 2015
Jem and the Holograms
After the massive success of 80s cartoon adaptations like G.I. Joe and Transformers, now it’s the turn for the classic animated series Jem to get its moment in the spotlight. Charting the progress of music company owner Jerrica Benton and her alter ego Jem, the show was something of an early version of Hannah Montana — but it’s been modernized significantly for 2015.
Now, Jerrica is an online music sensation in the fast-moving world of social media. She’ll need to team up with her friends to go on a scavenger hunt that’ll span the breadth of Los Angeles to find the last contact her deceased father left. With rising star Aubrey Peebles starring and 80s icon Molly Ringwald set to make an appearance, get ready to make a return to the 80s with this one.
US Release Date: October 23, 2015
Shaun the Sheep Movie
One of the most popular characters from the Wallace and Gromit movies has had his own animated series for some time, but in 2015 we’ll see Shaun the Sheep star in a movie of his very own. Shaun and his pals cause the Farmer to get lost in the city, so the animals have to head into town for themselves to bring him back.
What makes Shaun the Sheep such a great character is the personality imbued in him by the style of animation used. Despite being mute, his mannerisms are so expressive that he can easily carry a film by himself — expect children to be very taken with him, and don’t be surprised if you are too!
US Release Date: TBA 2015
After the enormous success of Cinderella, it seems that Disney are powering ahead with plans to produce live-action versions of some of their most beloved animated features. Yesterday we heard that Emma Watson will star as Belle in an upcoming version of Beauty in the Beast, but before that we’ll see Downton Abbey’s Lily James play Cinderella.
The movie will reportedly stick fairly close to the animated version from 1950, albeit with a few distinct twists of its own. Perhaps the biggest deviation is the fact that Cinderella will meet the Prince ahead of the ball, although he’ll be disguised as a worker in the palace. Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgard and Helena Bonham-Carter round out a very strong cast for a very promising movie.
US Release Date: March 13, 2015