The Film: Christopher Nolan's first original screenplay since Inception (co-written with his brother Jonathan) follows a team of space explorers through a newly-discovered wormhole. This being Nolan, expect things to be more complicated and visually spectacular than that. Alongside Dark Knight Rises veterans Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine, the cast is led by the resurgent Matthew McConaughey.
If It Was Based On Something: A long-lost novel from legendary mind-bender Philip K. Dick.
The Film: Talk about playing a long game. Richard Linklater began shooting his real-time drama about a boy growing up in 2002. Newcomer Ellar Salmon and screen parents Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette have periodically filmed new material ever since, up to its acclaimed premiere at this year's Sundance Festival (opens in new tab) .
If It Was Based On Something: According to Hawke, the film is "Tolstoy-esque in scope." We're happy to believe him.
A Million Ways To Die In The West
The Film: Ted was no one-off. Animation auteur Seth MacFarlane is serious about becoming a live-action film director. His sophomore effort sees MacFarlane direct, co-write and star as a cowardly sheep farmer who has to man up when he makes an enemy of outlaw Liam Neeson.
If It Was Based On Something: At a push, perhaps an Elmore Leonard Western novel, although admittedly we'd expect major rewrites to suit MacFarlane's distinctly un-PC style.
The Film: Jazz hands' gets a new meaning in Damien Chazelle's Sundance-winner (opens in new tab) about an aspiring drummer (Miles Teller) who becomes increasingly obsessed with his art under the tutelage of J. K. Simmons' intimidating, bullet-headed music tutor.
If It Was Based On Something: Technically, it already is, as Chazelle debuted a short version of the film last year - but since that was designed to raise funds for the feature-length version, we'll give it a free pass.
The Film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall 's Nicholas Stoller finds fresh comedic conflict in the battle between new parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne and the party-capital frat house next door, headed by a cast-against-type Zac Efron.
If It Was Based On Something: Nothing to do with the Aussie soap opera, sadly, although if they'd ever done this plot on Ramsey Street, it would have been the best Neighbours episode ever.
Can A Song Save Your Life?
The Film: The answer is almost certainly 'yes' as Once director John Carney returns to familiar territory for this musical about a singer (Keira Knightley) attempting to go it alone about splitting up with her pop star boyfriend (Maroon 5's Adam Levine).
If It Was Based On Something: Indeep's disco classic Last Night A D.J. Saved My Life .
The Film: Evoking the spirit of Scum rather than Porridge , this British prison drama from David Mackenzie stars up-and-comer Jack O'Connell as the young tearaway moved - or starred up - to adult prison, where he has to deal with his father (Ben Mendelssohn), who just happens to be a fellow inmate.
If It Was Based On Something: First-time screenwriter Julian Asser was previously a prison psychotherapist, so if this is based on anything, it's based on real life.
The Film: In a year where many of the big-hitting franchises are on sabbatical, there's room for original sci-fi epics like the latest from Matrix creators Lana and Andy Wachowski. Little is known aside from that the plot centres on Mila Kunis' cleaner, who is targeted by extra-terrestrials (led by Channing Tatum) because she might be the next 'Queen of the Universe.'
If It Was Based On Something: The Matrix famously drew inspiration from Japanese manga, so there's every reason to believe that this may draw from the same wellspring.
The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby
The Film: Surprisingly, not an adaptation of The Beatles' song but a two-film study of a marriage from debut director Ned Benson. 'Him' charts the viewpoint of husband James McAvoy, while 'Her' sees things from wife Jessica Chastain's perspective.
If It Was Based On Something: Go on, guess.
The Film: Having hung up Iron Man's suit, writer/director/star Jon Favreau returns to comedy to play a washed-up recipe wrangler who drives a food truck coast-to-coast in the name of redemption.
If It Was Based On Something: It shares its name with a 1990s Lenny Henry sitcom - could any of that show's ingredients end up on Favreau's menu?
The Film: Not to be outdone by his regular collaborator, Christopher Nolan's cinematographer Wally Pfister makes his directorial debut with a sci-fi thriller about a mad scientist (Johnny Depp) hoping to create a game-changing artificial intelligence. If it didn't already sound intriguingly Nolan-esque, the cast includes Nolan alumni Cillian Murphy and Rebecca Hall.
If It Was Based On Something: If Interstellar looks towards Dick, then Transcendence sounds like more of a William Gibson sort of thing.
Jane Got A Gun
The Film: Even before this Western hits screens, it has already been the subject of a backstage shootout, with original director Lynne Ramsay departing acrimoniously and various actors shuffling in and out of contention. The finished project has been completed by Warrior director Gavin O'Connor, stars Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor and, as Jane, Natalie Portman - nearly the only person who's been in place since the start.
If It Was Based On Something: Any Western where the hero is a heroine, notably Cat Ballou and Once Upon A Time In The West .
The Zero Theorem
The Film: Terry Gilliam's first film since The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus is a typically eye-catching, whimsical sci-fi fantasy, in which computer whizz Christoph Waltz attempts to solve the titular mathematical formula.
If It Was Based On Something: According to screenwriter Pat Rushin, his main inspiration was the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Judging from the look of the film, we'd say Gilliam's main inspiration was his own fevered imagination.
The Film: Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning and Michael Shannon head up this dystopian indie about a land struggle on a parched future Earth where the water has run dry. Promising director Jake Paltrow (yes, he's Gwyneth's brother) has already earned his spurs with a stint on Boardwalk Empire, and Sundance certainly seemed to enjoy it (opens in new tab) .
If It Was Based On Something: The big question here is whether this owes more to classic Westerns or to the Mad Max trilogy.
The Film: After wowing audiences with Animal Kingdom , Aussie director David Michôd returns with a violent Outback thriller set in the near future, in which Guy Pearce hunts down the criminals who stole his last possessions, aided by the injured gang member they left behind (Robert Pattinson, continuing his mission to move on from Edward Cullen).
If It Was Based On Something: If Young Ones has a Mad Max vibe, this one trumps it by being Australian.
The Film: There's a new woman in Joaquin Phoenix's life. However, "she" is the Scarlett Johansson-voiced AI of his new operating system, as writer/director Spike Jonze proves he doesn't need Charlie Kaufman to create a hip, off-kilter indie hit.
If It Was Based On Something: Spike Jonze is just the right age to have seen 1980s computer-in-love rom-com Electric Dreams at an impressionable age.
The Film: Scarlett Johansson plays a drug mule who accidentally swallows her cargo and finds she now has superpowers. With Luc Besson writing and directing, the result sounds like a cross between Nikita and The Fifth Element - fingers crossed this is in the same class.
If It Was Based On Something: It's as if Besson has used bleak 2004 indie hit Maria Full Of Grace as the basis for a superhero origins story.
Untitled Terrence Malick Project
The Film: Mr Prolific is set to rock up with his third film of the decade, rumoured to revolve around the music scene in Austin, Texas and starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and whoever else doesn't get left on the cutting room floor. Will it actually be released this year? Next year? Never? We don't know.
If It Was Based On Something: Given that Austin is Richard Linklater's stamping ground, we'd be happy if Malick had made a musical remake of Slacker .
Knight Of Cups
The Film: Seriously, Terrence Malick, you're spoiling us. Should this and his Untitled Project both see the light of day in 2014, Malick will have made as many films this decade as in the four previous ones. Despite having a working title, we know less about this film than the other one, except that the cast includes Bale and Portman again.
If It Was Based On Something: With that title, it ought to be a biopic of the crusader who is guarding the Holy Grail at the end of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade . But it probably isn't.
The Film: Never one to take the easy route, Lars Von Trier's latest is a two-film, sexually explicit odyssey about a woman's adventures in bed (and various other places). An A-list cast pulled their best O-faces, porn actors got their bits out and Von Trier has digitally composited everything together so it looks like film stars are shagging.
If It Was Based On Something: Remember the scene in Clerks where Randall asks for a bunch of porn movies? Those.
The Film: Another black comedy from The Guard 's John Michael McDonagh reunites him with Brendan Gleeson, except this time Gleeson isn't playing a foul-mouthed policeman but a decent priest who falls into trouble. Versatile fella, that Brendon Gleeson. Advance word from Sundance is strong.
If It Was Based On Something: It sounds like a mash-up between Father Ted and Copland . Which is obviously a good thing.
The Film: A class reunion as Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan and stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel return with the tale of a married couple whose titular titillation goes missing, prompting screwball antics and no doubt a host of social awkwardness as they attempt to stop the tape going viral.
If It Was Based On Something: Check out the Wikipedia page for 'celebrity sex tape.' No shortage of candidates here.
Maps To The Stars
The Film: After a long period flirting with respectability, David Cronenberg seems to be back in touch with his inner weirdo, judging by his latest film - a satire about celebrity culture featuring drug-addicted child stars, ghostly visions and psychotherapy. Cosmopolis stars Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon are joined by Cronenberg newbies John Cusack, Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska.
If It Was Based On Something: Don't be confused that screenwriter Bruce Wagner wrote a book, Dead Stars , with the same story - he wrote the screenplay first.
The Film: You're Next was 2013's smartest, funniest horror movie, so much is expected of director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett's follow-up. This time, in place of masked home invaders is Dan Steven's enigmatic house-guest, purporting to be an Army buddy of a family's dead son.
If It Was Based On Something: Wingard and Barrett aren't exactly short of inspiration here. The Imposter . The Return Of Martin Guerre . Housesitter . Take your pick.
The Film: Perennial miserablist Alejandro González Iñárritu ( Amores Perros , Biutiful ) puts on his happy face with a comedy about Michael Keaton's actor - renowned for playing the titular superhero - who tries to put on a play. It's high time that Keaton got a lead role, and strong support comes from Emma Stone and Edward Norton.
If It Was Based On Something: The play-within-the-film is based on Raymond Carver's short story collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love , so chances are there will be life-imitating-art parallels in Birdman's own story. Also, of course, Batman .
The Film: Mumblecore continues its gradual shift into mainstream indie with Humpday director Lynn Shelton's biggest film yet, starring Keira Knightley as a twenty-something stalled adolescent (aka a laggie) who has to confront growing up when she meets real teenager Chloë Grace Moretz and her dad Sam Rockwell.
If It Was Based On Something: Look around you - laggies are everywhere.
The Film: This Is The End 's writing/directing dream team of Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen delivers a swift follow-up with this comedy about a talk show host (James Franco) who accidentally becomes entangled in a political conspiracy. Rogen plays the show's producer.
If It Was Based On Something: Michael Parkinson's famously violent interview with Rod Hull and Emu. Assuming, of course, that Rogen and Goldberg have even seen it.
Only Lovers Left Alive
The Film: Not to be confused with the 1964 sci-fi novel of the same name, this is a Jim Jarmusch original. Which is to say that his tale about a rock star vampire (Tom Hiddlestone) is a weird, deadpan comedy-romance. So not to be confused with Twilight , either.
If It Was Based On Something: That early draft of Dracula that Bram Stoker wrote in college. Probably.
The Green Inferno
The Film: Eli Roth makes a typically mainstream, crowd-pleasing night out at the movies for all of the family. Not really - this is his stab at cannibal horror, as a bunch of student activists try to help a remote tribe and end up on the dinner table instead.
If It Was Based On Something: Ssh, don't mention Cannibal Holocaust .
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Film: A hotel is the perfect location for the latest of Wes Anderson's hermetic, artfully designed storyworlds, not least because it gives the director the scope to find roles for his ever-growing repertory company (Murray, Schwartzman, Wilson, Swinton, Brody, Dafoe, Goldblum and Norton) - but most interesting is that the star is Anderson newbie Ralph Fiennes. Can Fiennes do comedy?
If It Was Based On Something: A cult graphic novel known only to a clique of hipsters.
The Skeleton Twins
The Film: One-time Adventureland couple and Saturday Night Live colleagues Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig reunite to play the titular twins, whose shared depression marks a dramatic shift for the two comedians. Director Craig Johnson and co-writer Mark Heyman won the screenwriting award at this year's Sundance Festival (opens in new tab) .
If It Was Based On Something: It sounds like a horror-themed Harry Potter spin-off involving Fred and George Weasley… but it isn't.
The Film: One-time Black List screenplay hits the big screen with Robert Downey Jr as the lawyer who has to help his elderly father Robert Duvall - the judge of the title - when the latter is accused of murder. Despite being directed by David Dobkin ( Wedding Crashers ) this is being billed as a dramedy, rather than a straight-out comedy. Aiming for next year's Oscars, perhaps?
If It Was Based On Something: Given that Downey Jr and Duvall last collaborated on legal thriller The Gingerbread Man , this can't help but feel a bit John Grisham-y.
The Film: Real-life marrieds Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone (he played the air marshal in Bridesmaids ) co-write this comedy, with Falcone directing his wife in the titular role about a woman who heads off on a road trip after discussing her hubby has cheated on her.
If It Was Based On Something: Hopefully, this isn't a reflection of Falcone and McCarthy's marriage. They seem like really nice people.
The Film: This Aussie monster horror went down a storm at Sundance (opens in new tab) . The plot revolves around a widow whose son thinks he's being stalked by the titular storybook creature.
If It Was Based On Something: It feels like writer/director Jennifer Kent has read classic kids' story The Gruffalo too many times and suddenly thought, "what if it came to life?"
The Film: Eastern Promises screenwriter (and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? co-creator) Steven Knight continues his transition to directing with this minimalist character study. Tom Hardy plays the titular character juggling personal and professional issues (opens in new tab) over the phone during one long, feature-length car journey.
If It Was Based On Something: A film set entirely in a car can't help but recall Iranian art-house classic Ten - but this is more a case of One .
Cold In July
The Film: Rising talent Jim Mickle ( Stake Land , We Are What We Are ) turns to crime with the story of an Everyman (Michael C. Hall) on collision course with Sam Shephard after accidentally killing the latter's son.
If It Was Based On Something: Mickle has gone on record as saying he wanted to explore masculine themes; one of the films he looked at was Patrick Swayze classic Road House . Cool.
Walk Of Shame
The Film: Elizabeth Banks gets a rare solo lead as the woman who wakes up from a one-night stand without money or a phone, on the day of a career-defining job interview. With regular Adam Sandler collaborator Steven Brill on writing/directing duties, expect low-brow laughs.
If It Was Based On Something: Scorsese's After Hours , transposed from night-time to daylight.
The Film: Finally, after many years of screenwriting ( 28 Days Later , Dredd ), novelist Alex Garland turns his hand to directing - an indie thriller about an experimental robot. The exciting cast sees rising star Domhnall Gleeson take on Llewyn Davis himself, Oscar Isaac.
If It Was Based On Something: Apparently set in the mountain retreat of Isaac's reclusive billionaire, the claustrophobic location has a Twilight Zone vibe about it.
The Film: Another Earth writer/director Mike Cahill and star Brit Marling reunite for another head-scratching sci-fi thriller. This time, Michael Pitt's boffin and Marling's lab assistant are conducting research into eyes when Pitt falls in love with a mysterious woman.
If It Was Based On Something: Films this weird tend to lack obvious precedents, but Cahill's rise coincides with a new breed of ultra-geeky indie auteurs like Shane Carruth ( Upstream Colour ) and Andrew Bujalski ( Computer Chess ).
The Film: Another year, another kick-ass Liam Neeson thriller. Here he reunites with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra to play an air marshal attempting to deal mid-flight with a mysterious villain who has threatened to kill the passengers.
If It Was Based On Something: ( Passenger 57 + Flightplan ) x Taken .
The Film: David Ayer swaps the mean streets of L.A. ( Harsh Times , End Of Watch ) for the mean fields of war-torn Europe in his action thriller about a rogue Sherman tank crew. Brad Pitt returns to active duty for the first time since Inglourious Basterds , but the one to watch - or, rather, smell - is Shia LaBeouf, who infamously refused to wash during the shoot in order to stay in character.
If It Was Based On Something: Tank simulation video games like World Of Tanks .
The Film: David Ayer again, with this action thriller about a crooked DEA unit (led by no less than Arnold "comeback" Schwarzenegger) under threat from an assassin.
If It Was Based On Something: Ayer reckons this is a modern-day riff on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None . Who's he kidding? With its "Arnie's team in peril" plot, it's basically Predator without the predator.
The Film: Nick Frost demonstrates he can take the lead in a comedy without usual sparring partner Simon Pegg. He plays the one-time salsa champion who has to discover his dancefloor mojo in order to win the affections of boss Rashida Jones.
If It Was Based On Something: Just because Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood don't make an appearance doesn't mean that this isn't a blatant attempt to translate the British public's love of Strictly Come Dancing to the big screen.
The Film: Kevin Macdonald's flair for realistic action should serve him well with this underwater adventure, in which Jude Law's submarine captain is hired by Scoot McNairy to search for sunken treasure.
If It Was Based On Something: It's been a while since we had a submarine classic; here's hoping this will be more Das Boot or Crimson Tide than U-571 .
Life After Beth
The Film: Beth (Aubrey Plaza) is dead. And then she isn't. Boyfriend Zach (Dane DeHaan) suddenly has a second chance at the relationship - but is that possible in a zombie apocalypse?
If It Was Based On Something: The zom-com is now so familiar that it's worth noting director Jeff Baena (co-writer of I Heart Huckabees and Plaza's real-life boyf) first wrote the screenplay a decade ago, before Warm Bodies and even Shaun Of The Dead .
The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman
The Film: aka, The Film Where Shia LaBeouf Took Acid For Real. What more do you need to know?
If It Was Based On Something: The actual plot - hero endures various smack-downs while trying to woo an unobtainable woman (Evan Rachel Wood) - sounds like a downbeat, indie take on Scott Pilgrim Vs The World .
The Film: William H. Macy makes his directorial debut with the haunting story of a grieving father (Billy Crudup) who honours his son's memory by forming a band to play the song demos he left behind. Between this and Whiplash , Sundance 2014 was the festival of original music dramas.
If It Was Based On Something: There are shades of The Son's Room (the grieving dad) and Ikiru (the obsession with fulfilling a dream) here.
Welcome To Yesterday
The Film: Michael Bay has produced this found footage adventure about a bunch of teenagers who build a time machine and end up in a right old mess.
If It Was Based On Something: This might seem to you like it's just a Chronicle rip-off with time travel replacing superpowers, but, erm, we'll leave that up to you to decide.
The Film: Two sisters (Melanie Lynskey and Anna Kendrick) spend a volatile festive season after the latter is forced to move into the former's home. Mumblecore vet Joe Swanberg turns in his 356th film of the decade, give or take, but after breakout hit Drinking Buddies will this continue his move into the mainstream?
If It Was Based On Something: There are whole TV channels devoted to tales of Yuletide family dramas, but after seeing it (and being pleasantly surprised) at Sundance 2014, we can guarantee Swanberg brings some hipster edginess to the genre.
The Film: Joe Carnahan's follow-up to The Grey sees Patrick Wilson's limo driver take on more than he bargained for after a night with billionaire Chris Pine. Originally scheduled for a March release, trouble at mill (aka the studio) means that we don't know when this limo will be picking up passengers.
If It Was Based On Something: 2012 was the year of the art-house limousine movie ( Cosmopolis , Holy Motors ). Now it's Hollywood's turn.