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From Avengers: Age of Ultron to Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland and San Andreas, ‘tis the season for big-budget action-filled spectacles. It might only be May but summer movie season is in full swing. Other eagerly anticipated titles hitting theaters this month include the female-focused Hot Pursuit, starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, and the hoped-to-be a ca-awesome follow-up Pitch Perfect 2.
Later this month, moviegoers will also be able to check out Cameron Crowe‘s latest film — starring Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone — and see if former Sony co-chair Amy Pascal was right to be concerned about Aloha.
Read on to watch the trailers for and learn more about these highly anticipated films, presented in chronological order by release date, to better plan your May moviegoing.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1): Marvel’s superhero sequel won the box-office battle its first weekend in theaters, earning more than $191 million domestically for the second biggest opening of all time behind only the first Avengers film. The $250 million franchise entry stars returning Avengers played by Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson and introduces new superheroes Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). James Spader plays eponymous villain Ultron. The film marks the second and final Avengers film from writer-director Joss Whedon, with the Russo brothers taking over directorial duties on the two part Infinity War follow-up. Don’t be surprised if you see hints of things to come from that film in Age of Ultron, or connections to other Marvel movies and TV shows.
Hot Pursuit (May 8): Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon and Modern Family star Sofia Vergara team up in the latest film from Witherspoon’s female-focused Pacific Standard production company, which previously produced Gone Girl and Wild. In the slapstick comedy, formerly known as Don’t Mess With Texas, Witherspoon plays a by-the-book cop who is tasked with escorting a drug dealer’s wife and federal witness to Dallas, where she’s set to testify. A wild road trip filled with hijinks ensues. The movie was directed by The Proposal helmer Anne Fletcher.
Maggie (May 8): Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his indie debut in this zombie family drama. The former Governator plays the father to Abigail Breslin‘s title character Maggie, who’s bitten by and turning into a zombie amid an epidemic of “necroambulist virus.” Schwarzenegger’s Wade has to figure out how to take care of his infected daughter. Oscar credit-sequence designer Henry Hobson makes his feature directorial debut in this Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions film, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15): Mad Max is back this summer, in the prequel to the Mel Gibson trilogy from more than 30 years ago. George Miller, who directed the original films, helms the latest entry, in which Tom Hardy takes over for Gibson, who still made a cameo at the L.A. premiere. In the postapocalyptic desert-set action movie, Hardy plays the eponymous road warrior, who teams up with Charlize Theron‘s Furiosa to survive. The film had a 13-year journey to the big screen, dealing with changes to the shooting location and actors. The elaborate final film co-stars Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The movie will get an out-of-competition screening at Cannes the day before its U.S. theatrical release.
Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15): The Barden Bellas are back in the Elizabeth Banks-directed sequel to the 2012 hit about an all-female collegiate a capella group. This time, characters played by Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp and new castmember Hailee Steinfeld take on the world in a global competition, where they face off against European supergroup Das Sound Machine. With more characters and greater stakes, numerous superstar cameos and subplots abound.
Tomorrowland (May 22): Brad Bird‘s George Clooney-starring sci-fi film is based on the optimistic vision of the future that used to be prevalent, particularly in places like the 1964 world’s fair, where part of the film is set. While not much is known about the plot of Tomorrowland, trailers have provided glimpses of a better, eponymous place to which characters played by Clooney, newcomer Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie venture. Bird, Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen wrote the screenplay for the Disney movie.
Aloha (May 29): The Sony hack revealed that the studio’s then-co-chair Amy Pascal was not a fan of Cameron Crowe’s latest film, despite its star-studded cast and Oscar-winning director. At the end of the month, moviegoers will get a chance to draw their own conclusions. In the Hawaii-set film, Bradley Cooper plays a military contractor moves to paradise to get his career back on track. In the Aloha State, he reconnects with his ex (Rachel McAdams) and falls for an Air Force member (Emma Stone). Crowe’s first film since 2011’s We Bought a Zoo also features Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski and Danny McBride.
San Andreas (May 29): After helping Furious 7 speed to more than $1.4 million at the global box office, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is bringing his movie muscle to Warner Bros. for one of the nine films the studio is releasing this summer. San Andreas centers on an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault that’s so massive it destroys almost everything on the West Coast and could even impact the East Coast. Johnson plays a helicopter pilot searching for his daughter in the midst of the destruction. The film, directed by Brad Peyton, co-stars Carla Gugino, Paul Giamatti, The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi and Alexandra Daddario.
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