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This story first appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Much like 2014, the year ahead will be full of upsets, controversies and triumphs for the entertainment industry:
The Nominations Game
Oscar nominations for best actress will go to Marion Cotillard, Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, Julianne Moore and Felicity Jones. Oscar noms for best actor will go to Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell and Ralph Fiennes. Oscar noms for best picture: Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash, Gone Girl and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Before that, Golden Globes winners will include Moore (she’ll take home two awards, for Still Alice and Maps to the Stars), Redmayne for drama, Keaton for musical/comedy, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette for supporting and Viola Davis and Kevin Spacey for acting in a TV series, drama.
The Sony Hack Aftermath
Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton will keep their jobs despite analysts’ predicting the contrary. In the early part of 2015, Pascal will give a very exclusive television interview about the Sony scandal. More sanctions will be released by the U.S. against North Korea. Lots of past and current employees will come out of the woodwork with lawsuits, which Sony will choose to settle out of court. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will have difficulty landing their next big deal, and it will be a while before we see studio alliances with them, while James Franco‘s career will take a bit of a hit.
The Bill Cosby Controversy
More accusations against Bill Cosby will surface as more lawsuits are filed, with millions in settlements to be paid out. A tell-all book will be written, while some victims will be exposed as having been falsely accusing. Another scandal will emerge of a similar nature with a high-profile celebrity, which the media will refer to as “Cosby: Part 2.”
Big Industry Moves
Warner Bros. will look wobbly in 2015 but will redeem itself in 2016 with horror and animation releases. A platform will be unveiled that replaces Facebook, and stock values will plummet. Amazon and Microsoft will strike a deal, while Amazon does very well with new content, producing award-winning episodic series. Bravo will face declining ratings, while Oxygen gets a total makeover with completely new content and may be up for sale. The Apple Watch will be a unique Apple flop. Yahoo will buy a major video company and scoop up a cable network, but these moves won’t do well for the company overall.
The Entourage movie will flop. Fifty Shades of Grey will do OK, but critics will be less impressed; the sequel will flop. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have a major opening and be one of the biggest performers of the franchise and of all time. Lupita Nyong’o‘s performance will receive rave reviews. Tom Hanks will have a fall or early winter release that will earn Oscar nominations. Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Joy all will perform majorly at the box office.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will make controversial comments about Sony at the Globes. Reese Witherspoon will disappoint with her choices on the red carpet. Moore will sport a stunning Tom Ford, one of the best awards- season gowns ever. Neil Patrick Harris will be a huge success as Oscars host, firmly replacing Ellen DeGeneres and becoming the next resident host, a la Billy Crystal.
Celebrity (and Other) Happenings
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will announce a pregnancy in spring or early summer. Beyonce and Rihanna also will become pregnant in 2015. Kate Middleton will deliver a healthy girl, named after Princess Diana. Jack Nicholson will need to watch his memory and his health; Charlie Sheen should see a doctor. Miley Cyrus will give up the rock-star lifestyle for spirituality and sobriety. An NFL player will come out; there may even be a group that comes out in solidarity. Hillary Clinton will make her announcement for a presidential bid in March or April. Elizabeth Warren will consider her own bid, then will back off; Chris Christie will flounder. The GOP will work with President Obama to pass a controversial free-trade agreement.
Psychic Thomas John is the author of Never Argue with a Dead Person: True And Unbelievable Stories from the Other Side. In 2014, he accurately forecasted to THR that Jennifer Lawrence would trip again on the Oscar red carpet and that Blake Lively and Jessica Biel would become pregnant.
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