With a new year coming up, it's time to start marking the calendars for the latest slate of movies. ENIís 12 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 seeks to give readers the best of what will be hitting theaters next year and what you should be lining up to see. Thereís a little bit of everything coming out from big screen comic adaptations to films helmed by big-time directors and everything in between. Release dates are subject to change so always check your theaters beforehand! Hereís to a New Year and 12 films that youíll want to get excited about now!
15. Dark Shadows (May 11, 2012) Dark Shadows is based on the cult 1960s television series about a vampire named Barnabas Collins and his dysfunctional family. Not much is known outside of that right now but the few fans of the series will be dying to see what master of the Gothic director Tim Burton will do with this film. Burtonís record is spotty of late but itís nice to see him remove himself from Disney and try something that might be more in the vein of Edward Scissorhands. Having never seen the series the movie is based on I canít discuss accuracy, but Burton definitely grasps the strange and unusual. Johnny Depp playing a vampire is easily the selling point of this movie; I mean Iím surprised Depp is just now playing a vampire (at least itís not in a Twilight movie). The rest of the cast is striking and talented from Eva Green to Michelle Pfeiffer. There needs to be a poster or a trailer to get a firmer handle on how ďmust-seeĒ this is, but right now itís here out of morbid curiosity.
14.The Hunger Games (March 23, 2012)
Based on the popular young adult series by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian world where every year young children are forced to fight to the death. The books are sufficiently violent and bloody for youngsters and that opens up questions about the filmís brutality. Will this adaptation of The Hunger Games go for bloodier violence to attract older fans, or will it keep everything tame for the 12-13 year old viewers? With the success of darker PG-13 movies like The Dark Knight, thereís really not too much concern that the film will deliver the right tone. The question is will fans outside the books be interested? The film tells a dark tale in which the worldís children fight our wars and the cast of young talent is nothing to sneeze at, including Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Add in Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson, directed by Gary Ross of Pleasantville fame and this might not be just a movie for tweens who read the book!
13.The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3, 2012)
Kicking off the highly coveted Fourth of July weekend will be a reboot of a once popular comic franchise that actually started the entire comic-to-film trend; itís mind-boggling! The Amazing Spider-Man tells the origins of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and how he received powers from a radioactive spider. The excitement for this is ramped for fans that might not have enjoyed the original Spiderman installments. Personally, after the first one I was finished, so Iím interested in seeing the new directions this will take. Directed by (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb and boasting a fantastic cast of rising stars in Garfield and Emma Stone, the film almost doesnít seem like a big-budget adaptation, but a smaller independent film. Coupled with that is the somewhat lackluster promotional material that includes a single trailer and a bunch of photos. I donít see this as a bad thing but more a ďkeeping things close to the vestĒ angle. Thereís no doubt The Amazing Spider-Man will be lighter in tone, but the caliber of acting and storyline seems to be far stronger than the work of Sam Raimi and his Spiderman.
12.World War Z (December 21, 2012) World War Z is interesting for its source material alone. Based on a popular novel by Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, World War Z is an oral history of the (fictional) zombie apocalypse. The question is how does an oral history translate to film? Fans of the novel will be coming out in droves to see whether their beloved source material is ruined or not, but regular zombie lovers will eat up how realistically the events of the film will be portrayed. The set photos and videos are showcasing this as a film that tells a war story, albeit one where zombies are the invaders. Itís a war story mixed with horror, a bizarre genre that gore hounds will be eating up. The cast is a whoís who of actors led by none other than Brad Pitt, so that adds a bit more clout to this production instead of being a simple zombie movie.
11.The Great Gatsby (December 25, 2012)
This seems to be the big Oscar contender for next year according to analysts and why shouldnít it be? Itís an adaptation of one of the most classic works in literature that everyone should have read in high school, and boasts an acclaimed director (Baz Lurhmann) and huge stars (Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire). Itís pure Oscar bait to be sure, and yes itís being touted as a 3D picture but itís leading up to be an epic! The timeless romance between wealthy Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) and Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan), will tug fans of Lurhmannís Moulin Rouge, and the movie will probably get a huge Oscar push. The fact that itís being released on Christmas Day, which is turning into a coveted spot for predicted cash cows, proves that this movie is meant to have staying power. Iíd say this is next yearís Girl with the Dragon TattooÖalthough less dark.
10.Gravity (November 21, 2012) Gravity is an odd one because thereís not a lot of information floating around. The limited story involves the lone survivor of a space mission trying to reunite with Earth. The facts are itís got a fantastic director in Alfonso Curaon who is an expert at science fiction with his work on The Children of Men and stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. For a film with a vague synopsis there must be something fantastic about the script to nab two Academy Award winning actors. On top of that, the film has attracted a lot of top talent on its way to the screen including Angelina Jolie who was long attached to the project. There may not be a lot of information out there but considering the talent, there must be something special that fans should see. The fact that itís a movie set in space bodes well for a world filled with special effects and its opening on Thanksgiving weekend, so set aside the turkey to go into the dark reaches of space!
9.Les Miserables (December 7, 2012)
Oh the world of musical theater. Les Mis is a theater geekís dream and itís shocking that the musical hasnít been turned into a film. The 1998 movie was not an adaptation of the musical but a non-singing narrative. This version, directed by Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper, will be a large-scale musical the likes of which has never been seen, which is appropriate considering Les Miserable is one of the longest running musicals on Broadway. The cast consists of Hugh Jackman as wronged convict Jean Valjean and includes Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. This will be a MUST see for Broadway fans and could easily be on the road for Best Picture a la Chicago, yes itís looking to be that big of a movie!
8.Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22, 2012)
I havenít read Seth Grahame-Smiths book but the sheer premise alone is worth going to see this movie. Future President Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) loses his mother to a vampire and devotes his life to hunting them down! It sounds genius! If anything this should be a strong horror/comedy/action film that plays fast and loose with history while going in-depth into the comedy associated with his life while hunting vampires. I have to believe thereís something about the Emancipation Proclamation and vampires or something equally quippy. The cast isnít huge, not like World War Z, but itís filled with stars that are on the cusp including Mary Elizabeth Winstead of this yearís The Thing as future wife Mary Todd. Director Timur Bekmametov helmed Wanted, a somewhat similar crazy action film so hopefully weíll get more insane action and a strong story.
7.Django Unchained (December 25, 2012)
The competition on Christmas Day will be fierce! The Great Gatsby will be getting the Oscar fans and those who read the book, but everyone else will be seeing Quentin Tarantinoís latest! The director came out last year with his revisionist take on WWII in Inglourious Basterds and next year heíll be crafting a take on the Blaxploitation/slave revenge story with Django Unchained which tells of a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) trying to get his wife back from a villainous plantation owner. And just who will be this plantation ownerÖnone other than Jay Gatsby himself Leonardo DiCaprio! So we know DiCaprio will be having a successful Christmas but seeing him as a horrific slave owner, one who its been reported fights his slaves for cash? Tarantino has been successful with his film, expertly blending exploitative stories with strong casts so it wouldnít be surprising to see this as a Best Picture nominee next year.
6.G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29, 2012)
The movie will star Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park, Adrianne Palicki and Bruce Willis, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing. With a promise of having a more G.I.Joe feel to it than the first movie and introducing new cast members Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis, this one already has fan salivating for more.
5.Prometheus (June 8, 2012)
As we get into the big three of the year, thereís no denying that Prometheus is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Thereís been a lot of debate over its connection to director Ridley Scottís Alien and after much back and forth, Scott recently revealed this will be a prequel. The film tells of a group of scientists who discover something about mankind. I have my ideas of how this will connect to Alien, but I honestly donít want to be spoiled. The pictures released of giant stone monoliths and a cast including Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, and Michael Fassbender have us dying for it to be the summer. Fans of the Alien franchise will be turning out in droves to see how Scott delves further into showcasing the origins of the world, as well as giving audiences the right amount of terror. Expect this to be the sci-fi film of the year!
4.Skyfall (November 9, 2012)
Itís been four years since the lackluster Quantum of Solace told the further adventures of super spy James Bond (Daniel Craig), and fans are ready to see more. The latest film Skyfall will tell how Bondís loyalty to leader M (Judi Dench) is tested when something dark from her past is revealed. Honestly, all fans need to see is Craig in a suit talking smooth to lovely ladies and thatís it, but this film seems to have much more. Itís set to be directed by Sam Mendes who teamed with Craig on Road to Perdition and has a solid cast including Naomie Harris and Javier Bardem as the villain! Yes the man from No Country for Old Men will be fighting against James Bond! Everything at the moment is working for this movie and having to wait another year for this movie is just too much. Hopefully James Bond still has that charm and swagger to make fans swoon.
3.The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14, 2012)
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Expectations for this movie will be extremely high with LOTR fans and after viewing the first trailer, it doesn't look like director Peter Jackson is going to disappoint.
2.Avengers(May 4, 2012)
Marvelís "The AvengersĒ is the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Ever since the first Iron Man movie hit the screen, this is the one comic book fans have been waiting for and from the initial trailers it doesn't look like it is going to disappoint.
1.The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012)
The most anticipated movie of the year has to be the most melancholy. The Dark Knight Rises is set to be the final Batman film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. Despite the sadness is the knowledge that this franchise will go out with a bang! The cast of villains alone will make for some fantastic scenes I can see right now from Tom Hardy as the brutal Bane (who changes Batmanís life forever in the comics) and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. Fans have clamored for any scrap of information on this film and the trailer was nothing short of spectacular. Iíd equate this finale to the last Harry Potter film as it will definitely resonate with fans that have followed the series since the beginning. Nolan hasnít let fans down with his films, with The Dark Knight being the best Batman ever in my opinion, and he doesnít look to be letting fans down with a finale that will be nothing short of spectacular.
Any movies you feel I left out. Voice your concerns in the comments and Happy New Year!