Looking back on the year in cinema, 2012 was an unbelievable year for the film industry. Thanks to conclusion of the “Dark Knight” franchise and the beginning of the spectacular new franchises, including “The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and “The Hunger Games,” 2012 not only featured some of the best films in years, it also set 2013 up to be an equally spectacular year.
So, today, on New Year’s Eve, 2012, it’s time to take a look at the 13 films scheduled for release in 2013 that show the most potential below, listed in chronological order.
1. Gangster Squad (January 11)
Directed by the director of “Zombieland,” Ruben Fleischer, Gangster Squadis based on the true story of what happened in Los Angeles in 1949 when New York gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) left the east coast to find a new home in Southern California. As a result of Cohen’s notorious east coast reputation coast and the absence of any other mob presence in the city, Cohen was given free rein to rule L.A. as part of his crime empire. Tired of Cohen’s seemingly indelible criminal hold of their city, a small division of the L.A.P.D. officers grouped together to rid their city of the omnipotent gangster. The film features an all-star cast including: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, and Josh Brolin.
2. A Good Day to Die Hard (February 14)
In the fifth installment in the “Die Hard” franchise, Bruce Willis reprises his role as the New York City policeman John McClane. This time, the hero travels to Moscow to help his estranged son get his floundering life together – or so he thinks. Turns out John “Jack” McClane, Jr. (Jai Courtney) is a CIA operative working to foil a nuclear weapons plot. The McClane boys team up to fight Russian terrorists and save the world from a nuclear disaster in the upcoming “Die Hard.”
3. 42 (April 12)
Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, and T.R. Knight star in this artistic film detailing the remarkable life story of Jackie Robinson, the legendary baseball player who became the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues, and whose unwavering dedication to the game and constant professionalism helped to end segregation in baseball and beyond.
4. Iron Man 3 (May 3)
The third installment in the extremely popular and likeable “Iron Man” franchise finds the titular anti-hero (Robert Downey, Jr.) battling the formidable foe, The Mandarin – an international terrorist played by Ben Kingsley. Unlike the previous installments in the series, “Iron Man 3” promises to be a darker and more serious film, much like the “Dark Knight” films.
5. The Great Gatsby (May 10)
The sixth feature-film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel, Baz Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby” promises to be spectacular. When Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) moves to New York from Minnesota in 1922, he gets swept up in the glamorous lifestyle of his cousin Daisy and her wealthy friends, a group which includes Nick’s extremely affluent neighbor Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), who reveals that he’s been in love with Daisy for years. Love, secrets, and disenchantment ensue in what’s the quintessential story of the Jazz Age.
6. Much Ado About Nothing (June 7)
Another adaptation of a classic literary work, Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”) helms a modern version of Shakespeare’s famous comedy about two love affairs and a colossal misunderstanding. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, both alumna of Whedon’s TV series “Angel,” play Beatrice and Benedick, while Nathan Fillion, star of Whedon’s spectacularly popular though short-lived “Firefly”, plays the blundering comic-relief constable, Dogberry.
7. Now You See Me (June 7)
“Now You See Me” follows a group of illusionists who really need to be seen live – at the end of each show the team magically performs a bank heist and gives all of the money away, which leads to an investigation by the FBI into just how they pull the trick off. The film features an all-star cast including: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harelson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Elias Koteas, and Common. This is sure to be one of the most original films of the year.
8. This is the End (June 14)
This is the End” marks the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg (“Superbad,” “Pineapple Express”), so it’s pretty much guaranteed that the movie will be yet another unbelievable comedy. The duo has already written some of the absolute funniest films of the decade, and with a killer cast like this one they’re sure to strike gold again. The film also boasts an unbelievable cast, including: James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Rihanna, Kevin Hart, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, and Craig T. Robinson.
9. Man of Steel (June 14)
Produced by the legendary superhero-filmmaker, Christopher Nolan, “Man of Steel” documents the genesis of the most famous superhero, Superman. An alien baby mysteriously arrives on Earth, gets raised as Clark Kent by two human parents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), and grows up to be Superman, the super-powered, ever-vigilant protector of the human race (Henry Cavill). Amy Adams plays Lois Lane, and Russell Crowe plays Superman’s otherworldly father Jor-El in what is sure to be another sensational superhero film.
10. Monsters University (June 21)
The prequel to the extremely successful and immensely popular 2001 sensation, “Monsters Inc.” sends legendary kid-scarers Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) back to college at the University of Fear, where they were rivals before becoming best friends and partners. This is a prequel that looks like it could be terrifyingly good and original.
11. World War Z
Based on Max Brooks’s best-selling novel of the same title, “World War Z” pits United Nations Postwar Commission agent Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) against a zombie apocalypse. Lane travels across the globe to find and learn from survivors of the zombie outbreak known as World War Z. Written in an oral-history format, Brooks’s novel has been praised for its deep examination of the nature of fear. This could very well be the thought-provoking thriller of the year.
12. Ender’s Game (November 1)
Based on Orson Scott Card’s popular and extremely entertaining 1985 sci-fi novel of the same name, “Ender’s Game” takes place on a futuristic, endangered Earth. The timid and passive boy-genius Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is whisked away to the famous Battle School, an Earth-orbiting space station conservatory for child prodigies, where he and the other children are trained in military command and prepared to lead a future invasion to save Earth. The book was spectacular, so it reasons that the film will be as well.
13. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November 22)
The sequel to this year’s extremely popular blockbuster, “The Hunger Games,” features Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) on a victory tour of Panem after winning the 74th annual Hunger Games competition featured in the series’ first installment. But things are not well in the Districts, and soon they’re both summoned back to train for the 75th Hunger Games, or Quarter Quell – a special “all-star” edition of the Hunger Games, in which winners from past years return to the arena to compete once again. 2012’s “Hunger Games” was a great movie, which means that the second installment should get a bigger budget and more attention, making it even better.