January may have come and gone, but we all know the best films are to be released later in the year. The year in which the world ends looks to be another year for geeks with films such as The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and the much-anticipated conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. Armageddon is coming kids, but hey…at least we have these movies to look forward to this year. Here are the Most Anticipated Films of 2012.
25. Casa De Mi Padre
Release Date: March 16
Directed by Matt Piedmont
Starring Will Ferrell, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Génesis Rodríguez
Just watch the damn trailer. How can someone not want to watch Will Ferrell speaking Spanish?! With Mexican stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, this is sure to become a cult hit.
Release Date: September 14
Directed by Ben Affleck
Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Kyle Chandler, Taylor Schilling, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Rory Cochrane, Adrienne Barbeau, Richard Kind, Titus Welliver and Michael Parks
Remember when Ben Affleck was Matt Murdock in Daredevil? God that movie sucked so bad, but now the New England native has found his niche in the director’s chair. Affleck returns from the success of The Town with Argo, a historical action film about rescuing six Americans from the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran, Iran. Add Walter White…wait, sorry, I meant Bryan Cranston, into the mix and you’ve got a winner.
23. The Dictator
Release Date: May 11
Directed by Larry Charles
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Megan Fox and Ben Kingsley
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy on the big screen. Watch the trailer to The Dictator and I’m sure you, like I, will forgive him for the less-than-stellar Brüno.
22. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Release Date: June 22
Directed by Tim Bekmambetov
Starring Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell and Anthony Mackie
With that title, how the hell would you not want to see this? The author of the popular mash-up novel of the same name, Seth Grahame-Smith, penned the screenplay and Tim Burton is producing this great play on history. Abraham Lincoln avenges his mother’s death by killing a bunch vampires and their slave-owning friends…and that is too damn awesome to pass up.
21. Snow White and the Huntsman
Release Date: June 1
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth
Surprised to see this on my list? Me too…I honestly could have cared less about this film when it was announced awhile back until I saw the trailer. It looks very much like Thor and Shrek made sweet passionate love to produce an offspring named Snow White and the Hunstman. Twi-hards may stand in line to watch this one because of Kristen Stewart, but the story is very compelling and Charlize Theron looks very…healthy.
20. Neighborhood Watch
Release Date: July 27
Directed by Akiva Schaffer
Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt and Billy Crudup
A group of friends that formed a neighborhood watch discover an alien plot that threatens the world? I’m pretty sure I saw that movie already, and it’s called Attack the Block. Penned by Seth Rogen, this film has a promising cast that should deliver plenty of laughs this summer.
19. Jeff Who Lives at Home
Release Date: September 14
Directed by Jay and Mark Duplass
Starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon
I am a fan of Mark Duplass, one of the stars in the popular FX Network series The League. He, along with his brother, wrote and directed the under-appreciated mumblecore Cyrus; the brothers’ next effort will be Jeff Who Lives at Home about two brothers, one being 30-year-old living in his mother’s basement and the other is a struggling with the marriage life. Much like their last effort, this is sure to be a indie hit.
18. The Great Gatsby
Release Date: December 25
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey McGuire, Isla Fisher and Amitabh Bachchan
Director Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!) believes it is time for this generation to watch a new adaptation of F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s classic novel. We will get to see Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, donning a white suit in stunning 3D! Yes…you read that right. The Great Gatsby…IN 3-freaking-D! I think it’s time every great novel gets the 3D film treatment. When reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, I couldn’t help but think how awesome it would be in 3D. All joking aside, I’m interested to see in where Luhrmann takes the film. Jack Clayton’s 1974 film did a good job of staying true to the novel and capturing the ethos of the 1920′s with good costume design and setting, but the characters were not very appealing. Let’s hope this one changes that.
17. The Five-Year Engagement
Release Date: April 27
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Kevin Hart, Rhys Ifans, Chris Parnell, Mindy Kaling, Dakota Johnson, Jacki Weaver
The last time Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel worked together, they created comedy gold with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Tackling a subject many people may have experienced, The Five-Year Engagement is sure to provide that perfect balance of laughter and heart.
16. The Bourne Legacy
Release Date: August 3
Directed by Tony Gilroy
Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and Joan Allen
How the hell is possible to have a fourth film in the Bourne series without Jason Bourne himself? I have no clue…and frankly, I don’t care because the trailer was good. Rising star Hawkeye…damnit, I mean Jeremy Renner stars as an agent of Operation Outcome, which is similar to Treadstone. Edward Norton starring as the film’s antagonist only gives the film more credibility.
15. Gangster Squad
Release Date: October 19
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Giovani Ribisi, Michael Peña and Anthony Mackie
A crime drama about the L.A.P.D. trying to keep out East Coast mobsters out of Los Angeles is compelling enough. But adding Ryan Gosling to the mix along with Sean Penn and Josh Brolin?! This has the potential to be similar to L.A. Confidential.
Release Date: Late 2012
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Tommy Lee Jones James Spader, Jackie Earle Haley, Sally Field, John Hawkes and Walton Goggins
Daniel fucking Day-Lewis. That is all. Oh…and Steven Spielberg.
13. The Hunger Games
Release Date: March 23
Directed by Gary Ross
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland
The popular young adult novel finally makes its way to the big screen thanks to Lionsgate, which anticipates the film to create a craze similar to that of the Twilight saga. Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, penned the screenplay, which means it won’t stray far away from the original story.
12. The Expendables 2
Release Date: August 17
Directed by Simon West
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins and Novak Djokovi
This is going to be manliest movie ever made. The first film had its flaws, but this one promises more action, more muscles gleaming under the light and more awesomeness. Arnold Schwarzenegger is on board for a bigger role, and Chuck Norris is in it. That’s all you need. Who cares if it’s PG-13?! CHUCK NORRIS AND JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME!
11. Total Recall
Release Date: August 3
Directed by Len Wiseman
Starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy and Ethan Hawke
Little is known about this movie other than it will not be an exact remake of the original 1990 film. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale, politics will have a bigger influence in Len Wiseman’s adaptation. As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Colin Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on. This could be the film that brings Farrell back to making blockbuster films.
10. Moonrise Kingdom
Release Date: May 25
Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman
I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson, and after directing the flawed Darjeeling Limited, it looks as if he starting to get back to his roots with Moonrise Kingdom. The film follows two young lovers who escape a New England town in the 1960′s, which prompts their parents and the local sheriff to start a search party. You can’t go wrong with Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Edward Norton.
Release Date: November 9
Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Albert Finney and Ben Whishaw
Quantam of Solace sucked. No if’s, and’s or buts…it just flat out sucked. After rebooting the franchise with Casino Royale, director Marc Forster gave us a vengeful James Bond with no personality, charm or character. It tried too hard to rival the action of the Jason Bourne films that it failed to give us a good story and interesting characters. But there is hope for Skyfall with Sam Mendes (American Beauty) in the director’s chair. Skyfall will have no connection with any of the events from the previous two movies. Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. How can anyone resist watching Daniel Craig on the big screen?
8. The Amazing Spider-Man
Release Date: July 3
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field and Denis Leary
I will admit that I was very much worried about Sony Pictures’ decision to reboot the popular Marvel franchise. Sam Raimi had done a good job on Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 before creating the debacle that was Spider-Man 3. But the most recent trailer laid any doubt to rest. Spider-Man is getting the Batman Begins treatment with an origin story that deals with darker themes, and we’ll see a more badass Peter Parker than the one in Raimi’s trilogy. Less tears, more webs and punches…I’m all for that.
7. World War Z
Release Date: December 21
Directed by Marc Forster
Starring Brad Pitt, Eric West, Matthew Fox, David Morse, James Badge Dale and Mireille Enos
It was only a matter of time until we saw the big screen adaptation of Max Brooks’ post-apocalyptic novel. Director Marc Forster does raise some red flags after his last two films (Machine Gun Preacher, Quantum of Solace), but producer/star Brad Pitt is enough to give fans of the book some hope. Pitt produced and starred in Moneyball last year, and it turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the year. Zombies are just so hot right now with the success of The Walking Dead, and my fingers are crossed that Pitt will make World War Z a winner. Ain’t It Cool News read a leaked screenplay of the film, and compared the setting to Children of Men.
6. Django Unchained
Release Date: December 25
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell
Quentin Tarantino has done it all: action, crime dramas, war films; and now it’s time to conquer the West. Labeled as a spaghetti western set in the South, the movie follows Django, a freed slave who looks to save his wife from a plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio (yes…he’s a slave-owning plantation owner in the film). Inglorious Basterds was a great play on history, and I expect Django Unchained to be just as good for the Western genre.
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Story
Release Date: December 14
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lily and Elijah Wood
It’s been nearly nine years since we last visited Middle Earth, and Peter Jackson is taking us back to the Shire for the events preceding The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The prequel follows a young Bilbo Baggins, and his unexpected adventure to the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. I looked forward to the film much more when Guillermo Del Toro was set to sit in the director’s chair, but it’s just as promising to have Jackson taking over. Let’s just hope The Lovely Bones was a misstep in an otherwise stellar filmography.
4. The Avengers
Release Date: May 4
Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard and Cobie Smulders
Seriously…Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury. *Cue Gob Bluth voice* COME ON!!!!
Release Date: November 21
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock
Why would anyone look forward to a film no one knows anything about? Because it is director Alfonso Cuarón’s first since his 2006 effort, Children of Men, which also happens to be one of the best science fiction movies in recent memory. Details are scarce, but the movie follows two astronauts in space station that survived a collision with satellite debris. And the George “the Cloon-dog” Clooney is worth the price of admission.
Release Date: June 8
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce
It’s about time Ridley Scott came back to his roots. I’m glad he got tired of directing unbelievably inaccurate historical epics to return to science fiction horror. Prometheus started as a prequel to Alien, but it eventually evolved into a story preceding the events in Alien, creating its own mythology and universe. The teaser trailer is very similar to that of Alien in 1979, and it is just as creepy. And who doesn’t want to see Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender in space suits?
1. The Dark Knight Rises
Release Date: July 20
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard
Is there really any doubt? The conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is going to be the biggest event of the year, quite possibly of this decade. How will it compare to the critically acclaimed Dark Knight? How will Anne Hathaway fare as Catwoman? Will Bruce Wayne die? How bad will Christian Bale’s Batman voice be? Who knows…and frankly, I don’t give a damn because in Nolan, I trust. I watched the prologue in December, and it did not disappoint. Bane (played by Tom Hardy) is a compelling character that will challenge Batman physically, and the film looks to carry a grim tone, but somewhat hopeful. And yes, I still giggle whenever someone says the title of the film.