Fall Movie Preview: Prestige season brimming with spectacles

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NEW YORK — Though the fall movie season is traditionally the time of year when Hollywood gets serious, this fall is stuffed with spectacles.

Alongside the seasonal biopics, true-life tales and period dramas that will surely contend for Oscars, some of the biggest franchises around are set to add a whiff of popcorn to awards season.

James Bond returns in “Spectre” (Nov. 6), “The Hunger Games” comes to a close with “Mockingjay, Part 2” (Nov. 20) and a little movie called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” lands Dec. 18.

Here’s a rundown of a few highlights to the upcoming movie season:

September

• “Sicario” (Sept. 18) — Emily Blunt stars in Denis Villeneuve’s grim and muscular drug war thriller set on the U.S.-Mexican border.

• “Black Mass” (Sept. 18) — Johnny Depp takes on the role of Whitey Bulger, the Boston mobster who inspired Jack Nicholson’s gangster in “The Departed,” in this true-life crime story.

• “The Walk” (Sept. 30) — The French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, whose walk between the Twin Towers in 1974 inspired the 2008 documentary “Man on Wire,” gets Robert Zemeckis’ 3-D treatment, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring.

October

• “Steve Jobs” (Oct. 9) — Danny Boyle directs Aaron Sorkin’s script of the Apple co-founder, played by Michael Fassbender.

• “Truth” (Oct. 16) — A starry cast of Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford dive back into the CBS News scandal over the network’s report on President George W. Bush’s Vietnam service.

• “Bridge of Spies” (Oct. 16) — Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks reunite for their fourth film together in a Cold War spy thriller about the negotiated release of a U.S. pilot shot down in the Soviet Union.

November

• “Spotlight” (Nov. 6) — Thomas McCarthy dramatizes the reporting of the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigative reporting team and their Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Catholic sex abuse scandal.

• “By the Sea” (Nov. 13) — Angelina Jolie Pitt stars with husband Brad Pitt in her third directorial effort, a marital drama set in 1970s France.

• “The Good Dinosaur” (Nov. 25) — Pixar returns with its second film of the year, a dino-and-boy tale that imagines Earth had the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs never struck.

December

• “Joy” (Dec. 25) — David O. Russell’s latest is a family drama across generations that reteams him with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.

• “The Hateful Eight” (Dec. 25) — Quentin Tarantino initially bagged this wintery Western after his script leaked online. He eventually capitulated and will release the movie first only in theaters projecting it in 70mm film.

• “The Revenant” (Dec. 25) — A year after his Oscar triumph, Alejandro G. Inarritu is back with this gritty frontier Western starring Leonardo DiCaprio.