Most Anticipated Films of 2013
It’s hard to imagine topping a year with films such as The Dark Knight Rises, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained and The Avengers, but 2013 is making an effort to challenge it with some big releases. From zombies to the USS Enterprise, here are the films to watch for this year.
30. Inside Llewyn Davis
Release Date: Sometime in 2013 (Hopefully)
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham and Stark Sands.
The Coen brothers have been quiet since their 2010 hit True Grit, but they’re set to come out of hiding this year with Inside Llewyn Davis. The film, loosely based on the Dav Van Ronk’s memoir, follows a musician during the 1960 folk scene in New York. It is different the typical Coen brothers film, but it’s getting rave reviews from those attended a screening.
29. World War Z
Release Date: June 21
Directed by Marc Forster
Starring Brad Pitt, Eric West, Matthew Fox, David Morse, James Badge Dale and Mireille Enos
After numerous rewrites and re-shoots, World War Z is finally rising from the depths of production hell and being released this summer. Once considered to be one of the films I most looked forward to, the CGI heavy trailer forced me to lower my expectations for the adaptation of Max Brooks’ popular novel. It’s going to be interesting to see how this film turns out after the reported production nightmares. I trust Brad Pitt will give us a solid zombie flick.
28. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Release Date: November 22
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer, Lynn Cohen, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland and Willow Shields.
The second installment of The Hunger Games franchise is looking more ambitious than the first with the addition of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The first film was surprisingly entertaining and well directed (take a note, Twilight), and did not disappoint fans of the novels. The Hunger Games grosses more than $600 million worldwide, and Catching Fire is sure to be a hit with talented screenwriter Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) penning the screenplay.
27. Side Effects
Release Date: February 8
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.
It appears that Steven Soderbergh one more film in him before entering his semi-retirement. The director/writer follows last year’s Magic Mike (a popular movie among the ladies) with a psychological thriller about a couple whose lives are shattered after the woman is prescribed an anxiety pill by her doctor. Soderbergh is a talented director who does not get enough credit, and I don’t doubt he wants to semi-retire with a bang.
26. The Lone Ranger
Release Date: July 3
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Staring Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter.
The great masked hero of the American Old West returns to the silver screen along with a big budget from Disney. While Johnny Depp’s attire may look somewhat ridiculous, Armie Hammer is a talented actor and will be able to showcase his action chips. Could this be an audition for the role of Batman in the Justice League movie? I’m not sure, but the trailer looks solid and is sure to feature the thrills and entertainment seen in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
25. Kick-Ass 2
Release Date: June 28
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jim Carrey.
Kick-Ass is one of the best comic-book films ever. It’s fun, violent and just an awesome adaptation of the popular Mark Millar comic book. The moderate box office success, home media sales and cult following convinced Universal Pictures to take over the sequel. The entire cast returns for Kick-Ass 2, but Matthew Vaughn opted not to direct (unfortunately) and passed the baton to Jeff Wadlow, who directed the critically panned Never Back Down. Let’s hope that was just a one-time thing.
24. Despicable Me 2
Release Date: July 3
Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
Starring Steve Carrell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Al Pacino, Moisés Arias, Kristen Wiig, Steve Coogan and Ken Jeong.
Despicable Me is one of those animated films that everyone loved. Kids laughed hysterically, and adults fell for the charm of the little yellow minions. The sequel is sure deliver more of the same, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
23. Oz: The Great and Powerful
Release Date: March 8
Directed by Sam Raimi
Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Bill Cobbs, Joey King and Tony Cox.
Disney’s sort-of prequel to The Wizard of Oz would not be high on this list if it wasn’t for one person: Sam Raimi. While film fanatics prefer to see the Spider-Man director doing awesome horror movies, it will be interesting to see how he handles Oz: The Great and Powerful. Disney is obviously trying to cash in on “rehashing” old classics and giving them a 3D makeover (such as Alice in Wonderland), but I’m curious to watch what Raimi, who is one of my favorite directors, brings to the storied tale.
22. Only God Forgives
Release Date: Sometime in 2013
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Burke.
Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling reunite two years after the 2011 sleeper neo-noir hit Drive to deliver Only God Forgives, which is a crime thriller about an exiled American named Julian living in Bangkok. After Julian’s brother murders a prostitute, he is forced to get his hands dirty in the chain of events that follow. The preview is brief and fuzzy, but it looks damn good.
21. A Good Day to Die Hard
Release Date: February 14
Directed by John Moore
Starring Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Cole Hauser, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Come on…it’s Die Hard. Live Free or Die Hard was surprisingly entertaining, and reintroduced John McClane to a new generation, and now we have our awesome hero beating up Russian terrorists? Count me in.
20. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Release Date: October 4
Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez
Starring Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Michael Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert, Jamie King and Krystal McCahill.
It only took eight years for a sequel, but it will be worth it. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller return with more stories from Basin City in A Dame to Kill For, so expect another faithful adaptation to the graphic novel as well as a badass performance from Mickey Rourke as Marv.
Release Date: April 12
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Starring Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrew Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
It’s hard not to be enamored with Oblivion after watching the trailer. It shows a lot of potential, and it may very well become the surprise sci/fi hit Universal Studios hoped after purchasing the distribution rights from Disney, which won it after a heated auction with other studios. Though Tron: Legacy was not great, who better to direct the film than the man who wrote the graphic novel of the same name?
18. The Place Beyond the Pines
Release Date: March 29
Directed by Derek Cianfrance
Starring Ryan Gosling, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta and Bruce Greenwood.
Ryan Gosling can do no wrong. Actually, scratch that because Gangster Squad was pretty ridiculous. But he’s good at picking his projects, and this looks like another winner for the little Goose (that’s what I call him). Gosling reunites with Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) in a crime drama about a father considering a life of crime to provide for his future newborn. Early reviews are already posted on Rotten Tomatoes, and so far so good.
17. The Great Gatsby
Release Date: May 10
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke.
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.
16. The Wolf of Wall Street
Release Date: Sometime in 2013
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joanna Lumley, Jon Berenthal, Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Rob Reiner, Kyle Chandler, Margot Robbi, Jon Favreau and Matthew McConaughey.
It’s Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in a movie about corruption in Wall Street and it includes the mob. I’m in.
15. The Hangover: Part III
Release Date: May 24
Directed by Todd Phillips
Starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha.
The Wolf Pack is back, but will the laughs return? It looks like Todd Phillips listened to the criticism and is taking the foursome out of the bachelor party formula. Not much is known about the story, but part of it involves the group rescuing Alan (Zach Galifianakis) from a mental institution. Shooting took place in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Tijuana, so a trip to Mexico should also be involved.
14. This Is the End
Release Date: June 14
Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson.
A bunch of comedic actors play themselves in a movie about the end of the world? Though there is another end-of-the-world comedy on this list (see No. 9), This Is the End is sure to another raunchy, but funny effort from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Release Date: March 1
Directed by Park Chan-wook
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver and Nicole Kidman.
Why the hell would a film like Stoker be so high on anyone’s list? Because of the man involved: Park Chan-wook, who brought us Oldboy in 2003. Stoker is Park’s English-language debut, and from the looks of the trailer, it’s sure to be a chilling way to introduce himself to Western moviegoers.
12. Ender’s Game
Release Date: November 1
Directed by Gavin Hood
Starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Moises Arias, Aramis Knight, Hailee Steinfeld, Jimmy Pinchak, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis and Brandon Soo Hoo.
The longtime popular science fiction novel written by Orson Scott Card in 1985 finally hits the big screen. Ender’s Game has been a nightmare to develop since then, but Card finally found willing suitors in Odd Lot Entertainment. The film has enough star power and a once-promising writer/director in Gavin Hood (who still needs to redeem himself after X-Men Origins: Wolverine) to be become an instant sci/fi classic. If you have not read the novel, please do so…now.
11. Thor: The Dark World
Release Date: November 8
Directed by Alan Taylor
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevensen, Zachary Levi, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe grows larger by the year, and Thor: The Dark World will delve deeper into the story of the great son of Odin while setting up the second Avengers film. Thor encounters a new threat to the nine realms of Asgard in the form of Dark Elves, who are led by Malekith. The first film surprised the movie world by grossing more than $400 million worldwide in 2011, which sets the bar high for the sequel. Kenneth Branagh, unfortunately, does not return to direct The Dark World, but Alan Taylor has had experience in the fantasy genre with two episodes of Game of Thrones under his belt. Though Iron Man 3 will most likely be the most popular comic book film of the year, expect The Dark World to surprise audiences as its predecessor did.
10. Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Release Date: December 20
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Steve Carrell, Fred Willard, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson.
Alas…the legend of Ron Burgundy will continue in the form of a sequel to Adam McKay’s 2004 comedy. Details on the script are scarce, but Judd Apatow has confirmed that it is very funny. This is sure to be another classic from Will Ferrell and McKay.
9. The World’s End
Release Date: October 25
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Thomas Law and Zachary Bailess.
Edgar Wright is finally releasing the the last installment of The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy later this year. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up with Wright for a third time in The World’s End, a film about five friends reuniting after 20 years to repeat a legendary pub crawl. But they soon realize the world is ending, and reaching the last destination of the pub crawl (which is called “The World’s End”) becomes the least of their worries. Fans of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz will surely look forward to this one.
8. The Wolverine
Release Date: July 26
Directed by James Mangold
Starring Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee and Tao Okamoto.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was pretty damn bad. It ticked off lots of fans of Wolverine, but it may just be a blessing in disguise if the popular mutant’s second feature becomes a hit. The Wolverine continues the complicated story of Logan using Frank Miller’s popular 1982 comic book, which included a popular back story set in Japan. It’s unfortunate talented director Darren Aronofsky dropped out of the project just before production, but I trust James Mangold (who directed a good 3:10 to Yuma remake in 2007) will give fans the Wolverine film they deserve.
Release Date: August 9
Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura, Alice Braga and Carly Pope.
After his remarkable first film (2009′s District 9), fans and critics have eagerly awaited director/writer Neill Blomkamp’s next project. Elysium is set in 2159 and in a world in which two different classes exist. A wealthy high society live on a space station called Elysium, while the rest of the people live on an overpopulated earth and attempt, at any cost, to live in the pristine, luxurious station. With a great cast and a budget four times larger than his first sci/fi hit, Blomkamp’s second film is set to prove District 9 was no fluke.
6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Release Date: December 13
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis and Benedict Cumberbatch.
It’s great to be back in Middle Earth. While the first Hobbit film had its flaws, it was still very enjoyable. With the long introductions out of the way, I expect The Desolation of Smaug to pick up the pace and action. And we’ll finally get to see the dragon!
5. Man of Steel
Release Date: June 14
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer and Russell Crowe.
The details for Man of Steel have been scarce since it started production the summer of 2011. After a decent teaser trailer showcasing Superman in flight, Warner Bros. recently gave everyone a reason to be excited again for the popular hero. The second trailer teases Clark Kent struggling to understand his place on earth and in the universe, and one damn good flight sequence that is sure to send chills down geeks’ spines. With Christopher Nolan as producer, they give Superman the Batman Begins treatment. And from the looks of it, it looks like it might just work.
4. Iron Man 3
Release Date: May 3
Directed by Shane Black
Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley.
After a the less-than-stellar Iron Man 2, director Jon Favreau opted to step down and pursue a different project to open the doors for Disney to hire Shane Black, who wrote and directed the highly underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which also starred Robert Downey, Jr.). And based on the trailer, it looks like it was the right decision. Iron Man 3, based on the Extremis story arc, will give us plenty of action and Tony Stark’s wit, but it will also have some grit. Stark is clearly troubled from the events in The Avengers, and is finding it difficult to continue living a normal life knowing what kinds of threats are out there. With Ben Kingsley as Mandarin, this is sure to be an instant classic in the world of comic book movies.
3. Star Trek into Darkness
Release Date: May 17
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldaña, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Alice Eve, John Cho, Simon Pegg and Benedict Cumberbatch.
In an unimaginative Hollywood world of prequels and reboots, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek is one of the few that were damn good, making the sequel one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The crew returns from a mission only to find a new threat attacking Starfleet and the rest of the planet. If the trailer isn’t enough to get you excited, then you might as well get the hell out. Seriously…get out.
2. Pacific Rim
Release Date: July 12, 2013
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini and Ron Perlman.
The busiest director in Hollywood finally has a film to be released this year. Visionary directory Guillermo Del Toro (best known for Pan’s Labyrinth) follows up 2008′s Hellboy II: The Golden Army with a love letter to monster films. Giant monsters rise from the crevice of the Pacific Ocean and attack our world. In an effort to fight back, humans build giant robots to defeat the giants. Monsters and robots…a match made in heaven.
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 George “the Cloon-dog” Clooney is worth the price of admission.Filed under: cover, Movies