25. Anchorman: The Legend Continues There’s no formal release date announced for Anchorman 2 yet, but it’s widely expected to turn up in 2013. It’s comfortably our most eagerly-awaited comedy of the year, and looks far, far more worthwhile than something like The Hangover Part III...
24. A Good Day To Die Hard Perhaps it’s the optimist in us, but the last trailer we saw for the return of John McClane in A Good Day To Die Hard looked really quite promising. Clearly, Die Hard 5 is about as far removed from the one man against some people in a building setup of the first film. This time, it’s John McClane and son, saving the entire world while sojourning Moscow.
There are lots of reasons to be wary, not least the decision to appoint John Moore to direct. Moore has his moments, but his finest film perhaps remains Behind Enemy Lines, and that in itself wasn’t too much to get excited about. His Max Payne movie still makes us shudder.
But then, Die Hard 4.0 turned out fine (thought it’s best not to consider it a Die Hard movie), and the appointment of Len Wiseman to direct that was widely questioned. Turns out, he did a decent job, and John Moore may yet surprise a few people.
Finally, there’s Bruce Willis, in his most iconic screen role. A Good Day To Die Hard firmly rests on his shoulders, and if he can deliver, then Valentine’s Day 2013 – for that’s when it’s out – might turn out to be really rather fun.
23. Evil Dead …A remake of as beloved an 80s film as The Evil Deadis always going to be controversial, but with Alvarez at the helm, Diablo Cody behind the script, and the first trailer displaying some strikingly creative gore, we’re willing to take next year’s riff on the classic cabin-in-the-woods horror on its own merits.
22. World War Z
21. Captain Philips
20. Ender’s Game
19. Monsters University We’re not on the bandwagon that’s suggesting the glory days of Pixar are over. Cars 2 was a misfire, certainly, but we had a lot of fun with Brave. Furthermore, Monsters University looks a lot of fun: the teaser trailer for the film is a hoot.
We’re sure we’re not alone, though, in preferring something a little bolder, and outside of a franchise, from Pixar. Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille… these were films setting the standards for others to live up to, even in spite of their respective imperfections. While Pixar has shown it can deliver outstanding sequels, a prequel to Monsters Inc perhaps wasn’t the project we most wanted from the studio.
That said, though, it’s a film that’s impossible to resist, and we’re looking forward to it greatly. It takes Sully and Mike back to their university days, and tells the story of how they came to be such friends, in spite of an initial rivalry. Expect the animation to be first class, and expect the film to be a family treat.
18. Fast Six
17. The Last Stand With his relatively brief appearances in the Expendables films, Arnold Schwarzenegger dipped a dainty toe back into the action movie world. The Last Stand, meanwhile, will see the former Governator take the lead in a gun-crazy film for the first time since Terminator 3 almost a decade ago….
16. Oblivion Few people left cinemas excitedly talking about Tron: Legacy’s forgettable story, but one thing was for sure: it was a visually stunning film. Director Joseph Kosinksi will no doubt bring some of that shininess to Oblivion, another science fiction movie, this time about a repairman in a post-apocalyptic future.
That repairman is played by the endlessly energetic Tom Cruise, who will star alongside Olga (Quantum Of Solace) Kurylenko, whose character is a catalyst for some sort of war between aliens and the surviving dregs of humanity. Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo and Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are also among the supporting cast.
Further plot specifics are vague, but one Universal executive has described the script as “one of the finest we’ve ever come across”, though we suppose they would say that. At any rate, a marriage of Kosinski’s visual skill and a story worth telling may make Oblivion one of next year’s more pleasant surprises.
15. The Croods The DreamWorks Animation slate is hardly an empty one, but there are some promising projects amidst the twelve active films it recently confirmed. The Croods might just be the most interesting.
This was a film that was originally co-scripted by John Cleese, and Aardman was putting it together as a stop-motion project back when it had its deal with DreamWorks in place. When Aardman and DreamWorks went their separate ways, the latter kept control of The Croods. It kept Kirk DeMicco on board (who’d been working on the project with Aardman), and brought the excellent Chris Sanders – of Lilo & Stitch and How To Train Your Dragon vintage – in to co-write and co-direct…
14. After Earth Yes, it’s an M Night Shyamalan movie. But before you pull the power lead out of the back of your computer, bear this in mind: unlike his previous films, which were disappointing to say the least, Shyamalan has left the script for others to write this time.
Syriana scribe Stephen Gaghan and Book Of Eli writer Gary Whitta have joined forces to write this futuristic sci-fi movie, in which Will and Jaden Smith play a father and son stuck on a deserted planet Earth. With the father injured, the son must traverse a dangerous landscape to get help.
That Will Smith’s character’s called Cypher Raige has dampened our enthusiasm somewhat, but it’s important to remember that, way before the suicide-inducing winds of The Happening, or the dodgy kung-fu fantasy of The Last Airbender, Shyamalan was a storyteller of considerable skill. Will After Earth see the director reclaim his directing mojo? We live in hope.
13. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
12. Kick-Ass 2
11. Frozen Dedicated devotees of Disney animation will probably be viewing Frozen in quite a divided way. On the upside, this is arguably the last of the very long-in-gestation projects that’s been bubbling around the studio for decades. It’s the studio’s long-awaited take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, which last time fell apart just over a decade ago, when work had begun on it as a hand-drawn project.
It’s come back to life now as a CG musical under the eye of director Chris Buck (he also co-directed Tarzan), with Idina Menzel voicing the Snow Queen herself, and Kristen Bell lending her pipes to her estranged sister. Broadway composers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are working on the songs. Getting Broadway composes in in itself harks back to Disney of some 20 years ago.
We’ve thus far seen some early art for Frozen on a brief trip we made to Walt Disney Animation Studios, as well as some character design work. It’s impossible to call the film off the back of that, of course, but we remain desperately excited to finally see The Snow Queen on the big screen. It’s been a long, long time coming.
10. Thor: The Dark World
9. The World’s End Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy gets its concluding chapter in the potentially fantastic apocalyptic comedy, The World’s End. Wright’s usual collaborators, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are joined by Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman, as a group of old friends gets back together to enjoy a pub crawl before the apocalypse.
Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz were both truly special fusions of genre and comedy, and we’d be truly stunned if Wright and his friends didn’t have something equally inspiring in store for their third feature together.
8. The Wolverine
6. Man Of Steel ..There’s also the hand of Christopher Nolan involved. He, along with David S Goyer, came up with the story that finally unlocked the return of Superman to the big screen. Nolan is one of the producers, too. Zack Snyder, meanwhile, has much to prove with Man Of Steel. Some of his work on Watchmen remains quite brilliant. Much of his work on Sucker Punch wasn’t…
5. Iron Man 3
4. Star Trek Into Darkness
3. Pacific Rim Few directors can fuse a knowledge of fantasy and science fiction and individual artistry as well as Guillermo del Toro, and that’s why, in spite of only having seen one or two images from the set of Pacific Rim, we’re excited enough about the film to put it near the top of our must-see movies list.
del Toro’s “beautiful poem to giant monsters”, Pacific Rim is all about humans clambering into massive robots to battle creatures from the ocean. While movies like Transformers and Battleship dealt with vaguely similar destructive premises, we’re looking forward to seeing what a director as adept with special effects and framing can do - del Toro has previously said that he’s taken inspiration from the painter Francisco Goya, which certainly isn’t something you’d get from Michael Bay.
Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam and, of course, Ron Perlman are among the movie’s ensemble cast, while the script’s been worked on by, among other writers, the UK’s own Neil Cross, whose TV work includes Spooks, Luther and Doctor Who.
Whether or not del Toro can bring extra layers of human complexity to the distinctly visual kaiju genre remains to be seen. But even if it does prove to be just a big, beautiful-looking B-movie, we’re confident that it’ll be among the best big, beautiful-looking B-movies of next year.
2. Elysium …As his earlier short films proved, Blomkamp has a remarkable ability to create extraordinary worlds on a miniscule budget. With $30million, he managed to depict a convincingly grungy ghetto of alien refugees in District 9. We can’t wait to see what he has in store for us with the expanded resources he’s been given for Elysium.
1. Gravity As you will have noted by now, 2013’s schedule is positively awash with superhero movies, science fiction and fantasy. But if we had to choose just one such film as our most anticipated, it would have to be Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity.
Cuaron, of course, was the director of 2006‘s stunning Children Of Men. Gravity marks his return to the sci-fi genre, and his first movie in more than six years. On the strength of what we know about the director and this film, we’ve a feeling it’ll be worth the wait.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as a pair of astronauts who, when their orbiting space station falls apart after a catastrophic incident, must fight for survival in debris-strewn space.
When the movie was still at the scripting stage, word got out that it was intended to unspool in a single, unbroken shot, with the camera moving in and around the action without an obvious edit. That same free-flowing concept appears to have found its way into the finished movie, with rumours of the opening scene comprising a single 17-minute shot, and the entire film containing only 150 or so shots in total…