With every new year comes a fresh crop of potential movie hits. 2012 is no exception, and it promises to be a year of rousing new films from some of the most talented directors of our generation. True, the box office thrives best when big blockbusters hit the screen, but this year, “big” doesn’t necessarily mean dumb. Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Joss Whedon, Ridley Scott, and Peter Jackson all have movies coming out in 2012. From Gotham to Middle Earth, to the DC universe and the far reaches of space, here are just a handful of the enticing flicks headed our way.
Wes Anderson’s last film was a departure from his usual style – a stop-motion film based on the Roald Dahl children’s book, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. After three years, Anderson is back with a live-action 1960s romp, Moonrise Kingdom. Though the leads, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, are relatively unknown, Moonrise Kingdom brings some of Anderson’s favorites back on screen. Bill Murray, Francis McDormand, and Jason Schwartzman all return to work with Anderson’s peculiar style. Fans of the folksy director are sure to be entertained this time around. Moonrise Kingdom does not have a release date or trailer yet, but is slated for a 2012 release.
Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s return to science-fiction, is, like most of the titles on this list, cloaked in mystery. Initially described as a prequel to Scott’s 1979 cult classic Alien, Prometheus developed into a separate story within that same unique universe. Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pierce, Idris Elba, Logan Marhsall-Green and Charlize Theron, the film is loaded with emotional hard-hitters at the helm. Lost writer Damon Lindelof and The Darkest Hour newcomer Jon Spaihts penned the script. The story, though mostly under wraps, follows a space station crew as they search for humanity’s origins. After thirty years away from the sci-fi genre, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus kicks off the summer blockbuster season with a release on June 18, 2012.
Fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy rejoice! Peter Jackson returns to the adored J.R.R. Tolkien land of Middle Earth in the epic fantasy adaptation of The Hobbit. For those who do not follow hobbit lore, The Hobbit is a prequel that delves into Bilbo Baggins’ adventures. On a quest with Gandalf and a collection of dwarves, Bilbo encounters Gollum, brutish goblins and orcs, and a clever dragon named Smaug. After months of speculation and different directions attached to the film, Jackson signed on to direct The Hobbit in two parts. Sure to be just as awe-inspiring as the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey takes over the holiday season December 14, 2012.
2. The Avengers
Iron Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. Those names alone would entice any comic book fan. With the addition of Joss Whedon, king of genre television (Buffy, Dollhouse, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) as writer and director, the possibilities are endless. With a less capable team, assembling The Avengers could be disastrous. With so many characters and back-stories, some of the lesser-known Marvel heroes could get lost in the shuffle. Whedon, expertly skilled at handling an ensemble cast, is sure to bring his biting wit to The Avengers.
There is no question which movie is the most anticipated for 2012. Christopher Nolan has edged out all competition for the best superhero reboot to date. His gritty reimagining of Batman’s story comes to a close with The Dark Knight Rises. Fans of the comics know that, though Bane resembled a mindless Frankenstein in Joel Shumaker’s Batman and Robin, Nolan’s Bane will prove quite a threat to Gotham. Nolan alum Tom Hardy brings a hardened edge to the Caribbean criminal, and Anne Hathaway has some big shoes to fill as the sultry Catwoman. Also starring fellow Inception stars Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Dark Knight Rises will easily be the talk of the town for 2012.
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