2013 is going to be an exciting one for filming. Here are nine films set to begin shooting before year-end.
'Star Wars, episode VII'
The seventh episode of the 'Star Wars' saga, announced with great pomp at the end of October 2012, following Lucasfilm's buyout by Disney, will be released worldwide in 2015. Michael Arndt ('Toy Story 3') is still working on the plot, which will lay the groundwork for a third trilogy set after the rebels' victory against the Empire shown in 'Return of the Jedi' (1983).
It is highly likely that filming on this big project won't start until the end of 2013. Speculations on the cast will probably be rife throughout the year.
'The Monuments Men'
After 'The Ides of March', George Clooney will direct his most ambitious film in 2013. 'The Monuments Men', based on a true story, will be set during the Second World War. In the feature-length film, a team of international experts are sent to enemy territory to save artwork stolen by the Nazis.
Clooney will also play the lead role in the film. He will be leading one of the best casts of 2013, which includes Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Matt Damon and Jean Dujardin.
This Warner Bros project imagined as a response to Marvel Studios' 'The Avengers' should come to fruition this year. 'Justice League', which does not yet have a director, will unite Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern and Flash against a common enemy. If the studio wants to release the film as planned in 2015, filming will have to begin before the year is out.
'The Great Budapest Hotel'
Wes Anderson, who recently received critical acclaim for 'Moonrise Kingdom', will get back to filming mid-January with 'The Great Budapest Hotel'. The opus, which will be entirely filmed in Europe, will be set in a Hungarian hotel during the 1920s.
The American movie director will be calling on regular allies such as Adrien Brody, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman as well as first-time European collaborators including Saoirse Ronan, Mathieu Amalric, Jude Law and Ralph Fiennes.
'American Bullshit' (working title)
From February, David O. Russell will start filming this promising thriller starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams as criminals, Bradley Cooper as a determined FBI agent and Jeremy Renner as a corrupt mayor.
The man who brought us 'The Fighter' and 'Silver Linings Playbook' has taken on this true story to recount a vast anticorruption operation on which the FBI and a master conman collaborated in Atlantic City at the end of the 1970s.
Just one letter for a project that is sure to get the world talking. In 'D.', Roman Polanski will take a look at the Dreyfus affair, which has haunted France since the end of the 19th century. The director will be working with an international cast for this film on the political scandal of anti-Semitism and espionage.
'D.' should be filmed this year. But first, Polanski is fine-tuning his modern adaptation of 'Venus in Furs', the founding novel of sadomasochism, which will star Emmanuelle Seigner and Louis Garrel.
'Reykjavik', a drama by Mike Newell, could be the subject of conversation until the 2014 Oscars. The opus, on which filming will begin in March, will focus on one of the most memorable episodes of 20th-century history. It will show what happened behind the scenes between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at the summit held in the Icelandic capital in October 1986. Christoph Waltz and Michael Douglas will play the two protagonists in this meeting which determined the outcome of the fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the end of the Cold War.
'Avatar 2' (and 3)
At the end of 2013, James Cameron should get back to work on expanding Pandora's lush universe. The Canadian director will direct the two new installments of his ecological tale one after the other. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana will reprise their roles as Jake Sully and Neytiri in a plot which will focus on Pandora's oceans.
'Queen of the Desert'
After his acting stint in 'Jack Reacher', Werner Herzog will return to directing in 2013. The German director will begin filming on 'Queen of the Desert', an ambitious biopic on British adventuress Gertrude Bell.
Naomi Watts will play the writer and diplomat who took part in creating Iraq. Jude Law and Robert Pattinson who will be turned into a young Lawrence of Arabia will complete the cast of the feature length movie that will begin filming in Morocco in spring.