This Thursday (January 22), MTV News will make its way to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. And while there are numerous reasons why we're excited to report the latest film scoop from the front lines, it's these nine projects that have us filled to the brim with movie-loving joy.
Margot Robbie survives the apocalypse in "Z for Zachariah."Zik Zak Filmworks
Before "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent," there was 1974's "Z for Zachariah." Written by Robert C. O'Brien, the sci-fi thriller focuses on a young woman (Robbie in the film) who meets a potentially dangerous stranger (Chiwetel Ejiofor) after surviving a nuclear apocalypse all by her lonesome. The film version has added Chris Pine -- hot off his scene-stealing role in "Into the Woods" -- to the roster in a third unknown role, and let's just say we're 100 percent down to see what these three talented stars can do with this great material.
Ryan Reynolds takes a gamble with "Mississippi Grind."Sycamore Pictures
"Grind" was officially chosen as a Sundance Premiere selection, which basically translates to "lots of buzz." This one will find Reynolds taking a gambling road trip through the south, and with a great cast that includes Ben Mendelsohn and Alfre Woodard, we hope it lives up to the hype.
James Franco plays gay -- again -- for "I Am Michael."RabbitBandini Productions
Franco will dive head-first into treacherous waters for "I Am Michael," which focuses on the real life case of Michael Glatze, who first founded "Young Gay America" magazine with his boyfriend, then shockingly rejected his homosexuality and became a Christian pastor. Zachary Quinto plays that long-time boyfriend, while Emma Roberts shows up after his "transition" to heterosexuality. Yikes.
A$AP Rocky celebrates '90s hip hop with "Dope."Open Road Films
"Dope," a star-studded film that chronicles '90s hip hop geek Malcolm's (Shameik Moore) garage band, features A$AP Rocky in a supporting role and three songs written by Pharrell. The film sounds like it should be an amazing musical experience, as well as a unique story told about South Central -- a story that isn't about gang-bangers.
S--t gets a little too real with "The Stanford Prison Experiment."Sandbar Pictures
You might not know it, but you've almost definitely heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment. You know, that study your one friend told you about, where they had 24 students act as "guards" and "prisoners" to test their psychological response, and it all quickly descended into Abu Ghraib-style madness? Yeah, that's the one.
Well, this will finally come to life at Sundance, with Billy Crudup playing the professor who started it all -- and got way too involved -- and Ezra Miller and Ki Hong Lee ("The Maze Runner") will play some of his unfortunate student volunteers.
Kristen Wiig gets serious for "Nasty Baby."
Despite its title, "Nasty Baby" is not a "Fifty Shades"-style sex romp. Instead, it focuses on a gay couple and their friend, Polly (Wiig) who is trying to help them have a baby. They get into some nasty clashes with a local man called The Bishop, and tears will likely ensue.
Sex addiction reigns supreme in "Sleeping With Other People."IM Global
Sex addiction is no joke, but it sure provides some solid comedic material when it's done the right way -- and given the winning cast of Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie ("Community"), Natasha Lyonne, and Adam Scott, we think this one will hit it out of the park.
Jack Black returns to high school for "The D Train."Ealing Studios
We're 100 percent ready to laugh at "D Train," which stars Black as the president of his high school reunion committee. He makes it his goal to gain an RSVP from their class' most popular alumnus, Oliver (James Marsden), whose claim to fame is starring in a nationally televised Banana Boat commercial.
James Franco and Jonah Hill reunite for "True Story."Fox Searchlight Pictures
The last time Franco and Hill got together was for 2013's "This is the End," but don't count on any drug montages or demon-rapes in "True Story." Instead, the boys will get serious as Franco plays the real-life convicted murderer Christian Longo, who killed his wife and kids then hid out using the alias of journalist Michael Finkel (Hill), who later interviewed the man from prison.