In a world of 24-hour news cycles, where 90 percent of cable news airtime is devoted to a presidential election a year and a half away.
The kids aren’t down with Tom Cruise anymore, but let me tell you why this project is exciting: 1) It’s an original movie, 2) it’s sci-fi, and 3) it comes from Joseph Kosinski, who gave us TRON: Legacy. OK, ignore that last part, and focus on the original sci-fi part.
Hopefully by the time 2013 rolls around, Ryan Reynolds’ post-Green Lantern reputation will have rebounded on the hopeful strength of Change Up and next year’s Safe House with Denzell Washington (and here’s hoping 2013 doesn’t also see a Green Lantern sequel).
Assuming that Steven Spielberg actually follows through on his promise to direct Robopacalypse, the film — scripted by Drew Goddard and based on a Daniel H. Wilson novel — holds immense potential. The novel is already a critical favorite, described as an Andromeda Strain for a new century. Comparisons to early Michael Crichton are aplenty.
4. Monsters University/Untitled Pixar Film/How to Train Your Dragon 2
This is the
Animated Film entry, and it looks to be a stellar year for CGI cartoons. For the first time, Pixar will have two movies in the same year, starting with the prequel to Monsters, Inc. — which will focus on the rocky relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at the University of Fear — and an as yet Untitled Pixar flick.
5. The Gangster Squad
This will be director Ruben Fleischer’s (Zombieland) follow-up to 30 Minutes or Less, a period movie set in the 40s and 50s that chronicles the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles. The flick is based on a super-smart seven-part LA Times article called written by Paul Lieberman, and Gangster Squad was scripted by former Los Angeles Police Officer Will Beall (a writer on “Castle”).
6. Oz: The Great and Powerful
The two combine forces to Fight the Evil Witches Evanora and Theodora. Mila Kunis will play Theodora, Rachel Weisz will play Evanora, and Michelle Williams is set to play Glinda. That’s a great combination of talent and sex appeal. Even more promising is the fact that this will be Sam Raimi’s first film since Drag Me to Hell.
7. Pacific Rim
Guillermo del Toro is a brilliant director, but the man spends so much time attaching his name to new projects that he never has any time to actually make a movie. He hasn’t had one since Hellboy II in 2008 despite the fact that he’s talked a Van Helsing remake, an At the Mountains of Madness movie, and he wants to direct Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. But for now, Pacific Rim is the only movie he has in actual production.
8. Iron Man 3
After the relatively benign Thor and the upcoming Captain America, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers will compete with The Dark Knight Rises and Superman: Man of Steel in 2012.
9. The Hobbit: There and Back Again
This is a gimme, the second half of The Hobbit movie that kicks off in 2012 with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The great news is that The Hobbit will attract all of those Lord of the Rings fans, as well as the many — like myself — who loved The Hobbit but didn’t care much for the LOTR novels (or the movies).
10. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo
David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club) is a director that rarely lets us down (excepting The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). He, along Aaron Sorkin, turned a movie about the founding of a social network website into one of the most riveting films of 2010. He’ll end this year with the much anticipated Girl with a Dragon Tattoo film, and he looks next to embark on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.