One of the most exciting aspects of the prestige and festival seasons are the last minute surprises that often seem to come out of nowhere. Case in point, at this point last year notable favorites such as "Selma," "Still Alice" and "A Most Violent Year" hadn't even begun filming yet.  There's no doubt that 2015 will bring a number of similar last minute additions, but we have to admit we're quite excited about many of the films already on the way.  Why you may ask? Oh, let us count the ways.

There will be at least three new films starring Michael Fassbender, two new leading roles for Cate Blanchett (not counting "Cinderella") and three more transformations from Jake Gyllenhaal. Chris Hemsworth gets to battle cyber terror and a big giant whale (yes, and an Ultron too), Guillermo del Toro found a way to put Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston in a movie together (dreams do come true), Matthew McConaughey collaborates with Gus Van Sant and Cary Fukunaga (y'know, the guy who helmed "True Detective") returns to the big screen.  Throw in new movies from Spielberg, Malick, Scorsese, Tarantino and Iñárritu, among others, and, well, you can see why we're so cautiously optimistic that next 12 months might be something close to heaven for cinephiles.

Keep all that in mind as you ponder our 25 most anticipated prestige films of the next 12 months in the embedded story gallery below.  

Did we get it right? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.