With 2012 nearing an end, people are already talking about the upcoming holiday film releases. But beyond that, movie buffs are looking ahead to what will be hitting the big screen in 2013. Here’s a look at seven of the most highly anticipated movies for 2013.
“Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters” (January 25)
Is there anything better than an adult telling of a Grimm Brother’s fairytale? Expect nothing short of spectacular stunts, awesome weapons, and kill scenes rivaling today’s top action, horror, and thrillers.
Norwegian horror and action specialist, Tommy Wirkola (“Dead Snow,” “Kill Buljo: The Movie”), steps into the director’s chair for “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters.” The talented director brings along some of today’s hottest talent, including Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker,” “The Avengers”) and Gemma Arterton (“Pirate Radio,” “Byzantium”) who will fill the title roles comprising a formidable bounty-hunting team out to rid the world of witches. Veteran actress Famke Janssen (“X-Men,” “Taken”) will play the head witch. Supporting actors include Peter Stormare, Zoe Bell, and Thomas Mann.
Rated PG-13, anticipation is high for this early-2013 release and could set the tone for the entire 2013 big-budget film season.
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (March 29)
When studios find the right directors, actors, and scripts, it often results in the creation of a movie franchise. It looks like “G.I. Joe” is well on its way. The second in the series, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” is set to take the Joes and their sworn enemy, Cobra, to new heights.
Directed by the stylistic Jon M. Chu (“Step Up 3D,” “Silent Beats”), this latest high-action installment features Channing Tatum (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” Magic Mike”) back in the role of Captain Duke Hauser, leader of the Joes.
In this installment, the Joes are not only forced to fight against the Cobra insurgence, they also have to deal with enemy elements within their own government. Bruce Willis (“Looper,” “Moonrise Kingdom”) joins the cast as Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe. Additional cast includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (“Fast Five,” “Tooth Fairy”), Adrianne Palicki (“Red Dawn,” “Legion), and RZA (“The Man with the Iron Fists,” “Due Date”).
Rated PG-13, intense scenes of military action and mayhem will probably be too much for younger moviegoers.
“Iron Man 3” (May 3)
Movie franchises seem to be the common theme for 2013, and “Iron Man 3” is one of the most anticipated films of the entire year.
Robert Downey Jr. continues in the role of Tony Stark, which he created in 2008 when the original “Iron Man” took the nation’s theaters by storm. Ben Kingsley (“The Dictator,” “Shutter Island”) steps into the role of The Mandarin, Iron Man’s greatest nemesis to date.
Director Shane Black (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) faces his most challenging task to date, having spent more time as a writer (“Leathal Weapon” franchise) than director, but he should be up to the task, particularly with veterans like Downey Jr., Kingsley, Guy Pearce (“Prometheus,” “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark”), and Gwyneth Paltrow (“Contagion,” “The Avengers”) on the cast.
Rated PG-13, expect plenty of gravity-defying action, a smattering of adult dialogue, and plenty of thrills and spills in this third installment of an excellent big-budget franchise.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” (May 17)
One of the most endearing and successful movie franchises of all time will be back on the big screen just in time to usher in the summer blockbuster season. “Star Trek Into Darkness” finds veteran director J.J. Abrams (“Super 8,” “Star Trek”) at the helm of a big-budget movie once again, making “Trekkies” everywhere extremely happy.
The film will see the same cast from the 2009 installment, with Chris Pine once again in the role of James T. Kirk, Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Leonard “Bones” McCoy, and Simon Pegg as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott.
The story for this latest “Star Trek” movie is under tight wraps, but Abrams indicated that because they’re now in their own “Trek universe,” the sky is the limit when it comes to stories.
Sure to be a smash hit with its worldwide fan base, the PG-13 movie should appeal to teens and older moviegoers.
“The Lone Ranger” (July 3)
Actor Johnny Depp could sit on his front porch, reading the phone book aloud, and people would pay to see it live, at theaters, and again on Blu-ray. Such is the case with “The Lone Ranger,” where Depp, as Native American Tonto, recounts many unknown tales of how law man John Reid (Armie Hammer) became the face of American justice as the Lone Ranger.
Originally a radio program in the 1930s, it evolved into a successful television series that ran from the late 1940s through the mid-1950s.
Designed to appeal to older fans who remember the series, and younger fans looking for something new, director Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “Rango”) is sure to guide his cast with a skilled, storytelling hand.
The cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, and Barry Pepper. This film is not yet rated, but we expect a PG-13 rating so it appeals to the widest audience possible.
“Ender’s Game” (November 1)
When it comes to science fiction novels, “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card is one of the most popular and enduring stories ever written. It has long been the wish of fans to see it come alive on the big screen, but script and other production problems halted production until now.
The story is about a young genius named Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, who is recruited by the military, at five-years-old, to attend combat academy. Little does he know, he’s actually exterminating the enemy, known as “Buggers,” through the video games he’s been playing.
Harrison Ford (“Cowboys and Aliens,” “Extraordinary Measures”), Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin (“Zombieland,” “Perfect Sisters”), and Asa Butterfield (“Hugo,” “Nanny McPhee Returns) head what will be a mostly child cast, set at a K-12 military academy.
Not yet rated, expect director Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Rendition”) to shoot for a PG-13 rating as he puts the finishing touches on “Ender’s Game” in post-production.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (December 13)
Possibly the most anticipated film of 2013 is the sequel to a film that, as of this writing, hasn’t been released in the United States. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” already has J.R.R. Tolkien fans everywhere talking about next year, even before they’ve seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” set to be released on December 14, 2012.
Formidable director Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings” franchise) takes the helm once again, much to the delight of “Lord of the Rings” fans everywhere. He spared no expense, overlooked no detail in his previous Middle Earth films, and more of the same is expected with these next two installments.
The sequel will features will feature many familiar characters, including Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Gandalf (Ian Mckellen), and Bilbo Baggins (old Bilbo played by Ian Holm; young Bilbo by Martin Freeman).
Expect the series (now a trilogy in post-production) to be as honest and genuine to the source material as possible. This film is not yet rated, but the first in the series garnered a PG-13 rating for intense action scenes and some scenes of dread and impending doom.
More than a year away in some instances, the anticipation of some of the hottest franchise films in history only heightens our senses. Which movies are you looking forward to seeing next year?
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