2012 has only just begun, and we’re already talking about some of the amazing films that are set to be released over the next year. With many anticipated films that have already been released in the US that we are yet to see, to the many Marvel films that we are frantically waiting for, we won’t be short of great films to put on the ‘to see’ list. Let’s not forget Peter Jackon’s The Hobbit as well, of course.
So, films of 2012, assemble! Here’s a list of what to look forward to this year, and also a few that you may want to avoid.
Firstly, there’s many films that America is already talking about that we will finally get to see over the next couple of months:
Steve McQueen‘s Shame (13th January) is first on my list of must sees, as Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict living in New York City when his sister Cissy, played by Carey Mulligan, comes to stay indefinitely. I know this would have been one of my favourite films last year if we able to see it, and now I’m getting a little impatient to see these two great actors in this promiscuous drama.
The Descendants (27th January) is released a few weeks later, directed and written by Alexander Payne and based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. The film stars George Clooney as a land baron who tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.
For January there is The Iron Lady (6th January) and War Horse (13th January) as well, which probably need no more explanation as I’ve been posting about them constantly for months already. Then there is J. Edgar (20th January) which stars Leonardo DiCaprio in a biopic of the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, and to take us into February there is also We Bought A Zoo (16th March) which stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in a comedy-drama film based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee.
For the rest of February, Roman Polanski‘s Carnage (3rd February) has been getting a lot of attention, which is based on the critically acclaimed play God of Carnage by French playwright Yasmina Reza. I’m not sure what to think of this one yet, as its plotline is based around two pairs of parents who hold a meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, which doesn’t really sound too exciting.
And then there’s Young Adult (10th February), which is directed by Jason Reitman and based on a screenplay written by Diablo Cody, who worked together on Juno. The film stars Charlize Theron as a writer of teen literature who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, as she returns to her hometown after her divorce to try to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now married with kids.
Next we have Marvel‘s collection of films that have been getting so much promotion over the last year, and that we will finally get to see this summer:
The Avengers (27th April) which unites the superhero team, starring Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and Stellan Skarsgård as Professor Erik Selvig. It will be interesting to see the superheroes meet, as their individual films so far have been brilliant.
Secondly, Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man (4th July) is a reboot of the film’s which originally starred Tobey Maguire. Now Andrew Garfield takes the lead as the web-slinging hero, as well as Emma Stone as his love-interest Gwen Stacy, and Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Martin Sheen and Sally Field. Hopefully both Webb and Garfield will make a better set of film’s with their attempt, so it should be pretty good.
The Dark Knight Rises (20th July) is then the final film in Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Michael Caine. Really looking forward to this film, it will undoubtedly be great.
As with last year, there are also many more children fairytale re-imaginations:
Next is Rupert Sanders‘ Snow White and the Huntsman (1st June), which stars Kristen Stewart all armoured up for the lead role. This film follows a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who is ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed but who winds up becoming her protector in a quest to defeat the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron). Most of all it will be interesting to see whether Kristen smiles whilst portraying the rosy-cheeked princess, but I do actually like her so I’m sure it will work.
And finally we have Jack The Giant Killer (15th June – though I think this date has now been changed), Bryan Singer’s take on Jack And The Beanstalk, which stars Skins‘ Nicholas Hoult as Jack, following the classic plot as he swaps his cow for a handful of magical beans, consequently opening up the gate between the world of humans with the world of the giants when the beans grow into an enormousness beanstalk.
I guess we should also mention Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White (16th March), but I doubt it will do very well in comparison.
As for other book adaptations:
How could we not mention The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (14th December), Peter Jackson’s first of two films to be adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same name, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This adaptation sees some of the characters we know reprise their roles, and stars Martin Freeman as we follow Bilbo Baggins in his early years.
The Great Gatsby (25th December) is another one I am looking forward to. This film is based F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s novel of the same name and will be directed by Baz Luhrmann, which follows writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as moves to New York City in the spring of 1922, landing next door to a mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the lives of the super rich and their deceits. I’ve got high expectations for this, and I’m looking forward to seeing this great novel adapted on the big-screen.
2012 then sees the start in an adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘s trilogy The Hunger Games (23rd March). Directed by Gary Ross, the film follows twelve Districts who each send a girl and boy, trained in combat, into the heart of a jungle until only one is left alive. Adapted from Suzanne Collins’ 2008 young adult science fiction novel, it stars Jennifer Lawrence in one of the lead roles. I think I might even buy the novels before the first film is released, as I hear it’s going to be a new big franchise to follow.
This then sees the end of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight Saga with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (16th November). Picking up from where the first part left us, we see Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) child grow up, in a matter of weeks, as the vampire Volturi coven plan an attack on he Cullen family. A war is about to break through between vampires and other vampires and werewolves; I enjoyed Part 1 to the novel adaptation, so hopefully this is as good as it can be to end the franchise for good.
As for horrors, this one might actually be worth a watch – The Woman In Black (10th February), an adaptation of Susan Hill‘s novel of the same name. For this creepy thriller, Daniel Radcliffe plays the role of Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer in the 1900s who sets about to uncover the truth of a mysterious ghost set on vengeance dressed all in black. When he travels to a remote English village on further exploration into the village’s secrets, he learns that children there routinely die under mysterious circumstances, and begins to encounter fearful visions of the female figure he was warned about.
And if you need any more vampires, there is also Dark Shadows (11th May) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2nd August)
Everybody is also talking about:
Wrath of The Titans (30th March) – the Clash of the Titans sequel directed by Jonathan Liebesman that follows Perseus (Sam Worthington), the demigod son of Zeus. Weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion, the Gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Perseus must now embark on a treacherous quest into the underworld to overthrow the Titans and save mankind.
Prometheus (1st June) – Ridley Scott‘s science fiction film starring Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, and Patrick Wilson as a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe where they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Chronicle (1st February) – a film I am personally excited for, set in found footage format when three high school friends (Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan) gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. However, it’s not long until they find their lives spinning out of control though, as they begin to embrace their darker sides.
Skyfall (26th October) – Daniel Craig returns as 007 James Bond in his third performance in the twenty-third film in the franchise. Sam Mendes‘s action thriller follows Bond as his loyalty is tested. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
There’s even a musical that might be quite good, with Hairspray director Adam Shankman‘s Rock of Ages (8th June). The film tells the story of small town girl Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and city boy Drew (Diego Boneta) who go to Hollywood and meet on the Sunset Strip whilst trying to pursue heir dreams in the big city. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance is told through the classic hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, and many more. It stars Tom Cruise as a popular rock star, as well as Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, and Alec Baldwin.
Now for the return of old classics.
The Muppets (10th February) is another film that was released in America quite a while ago now, but it had to be in this section of the return of old classics, as that’s exactly what it is. The film stars Amy Adams, Jason Segel and Chris Cooper as well as many other big names who make small appearances, as three fans must reunite The Muppets to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon. I’ve actually already seen this one, and it is definitely worth a watch if you a fan, and includes many catchy songs that you will be singing for weeks after.
Men in Black III (25th May) reunites Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, as Agent J must travel in time to MIB’s early years in the 1960s, to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history. After a 10 year gap between this and the second film in the franchise, I think that with the development technology that film has to offer that the series of films could continue to a high standard.
And finally, the American Pie team regroup in an American Reunion (6th April), as after university, their many bad break-ups and even a wedding, there’s still many embarrassingly sticky situations for the cast to go through as they go about living their adult lives. All of the original cast reprise their roles, so this has got to be good.
And here’s a few for the girls:
For fans of Twilight, or maybe even not, Robert Pattinson‘s latest film Bel Ami (2nd March) follows a young man’s rise to power in Paris through his manipulation of the city’s most influential and wealthy women in a Paris based period drama. Pattinson takes the lead as this penniless ex-soldier, and stars alongside Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci. I actually really like Pattinson in more serious roles, so I think this will actually be quite good.
Next is an adaptation from the 2008 bestselling novel of the same name, written by Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One (4th May). The film follows US Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) who, whilst fighting in Iraq, finds a photograph a woman whom he credits for keeping him alive, believing she was a good luck charm during his time in the war. When he returns home, he travels to North Carolina in search for the unknown woman, where he shows up at her door and ends up taking a job at her family-run kennel. This one has quite a sensuous trailer, and you’ll definitely want to see the film after watching it.
And then there’s Like Crazy (3rd February) which follows a British college student (Felicity Jones) who falls for an American student (Anton Yelchin), only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the US after overstaying her visa. The film has one four awards at last year’s film festivals, so I think his has to be another must-see.
Finally, let’s not forget Pixar and Disney, and the other animations too:
Pixar’s first fairy tale computer-animation, Brave (17th August), follows Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) in ancient Scotland, who, determined to make her own path in life and defies an age-old custom against her parents King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is granted a wish by an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters). Merida must now rely on her archery skills to undo a beastly curse, forcing her to discover the meaning of true bravery.
Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (5th October) starring Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short tells the story of Victor, a boy who brings his dog back to life through the magic of science after it is killed in an accident. Sounds a little depressing, but then it’s Burton’s gothic side that makes us all such a fan of his work.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (27th July), directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, is a computer-animated 3D film based on Dr. Seuss‘ children’s book of the same name. Starring Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito, a 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (28th March) is another big animation next year, which comes from Aardman Animations based on the first two of Gideon Defoe’s The Pirates! novels. This family adventure follows The Pirate Captain, voiced by British actor Hugh Grant in his first animated role.
For something we are already familiar with, maybe even too familiar with, there is also Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (6th July) and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (19th October).
And that’s the end of my list, as this has taken me far too long as it is. But if you have any other films that you think should be on here, feel free to comment below.