This year saw a good share of mega blockbusters including Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2’, which collectively grossed around US$5 billion at the box-office worldwide.
Two thousand and thirteen promises to be just as much of a bumper year of crowd-pleasing blockbusters. We highlight eight movies we believe deserve the tag “most anticipated”.
‘Iron Man 3’: May 3
Why we love it: Never mind the fact that the 1st two instalments of the ‘Iron Man’ movie franchise have already grossed in excess of US$1.2 billion worldwide. Being the first Marvel Studio movie after the extremely well-received ‘Avengers’, fans will be eager to find out how the story continues for this popular super-hero.. Add to that the introduction of the classic Iron Man villain, The Mandarin (played by veteran Ben Kingsley) and the star appeal of Robert Downey Jr, and ‘Iron Man 3’ would appear to be the perfect blockbuster to kick off the season!
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: May 17
Why we love it: Director J.J. Abrams managed to reboot the original Star Trek franchise in such a manner that appealed to Trekkies and casual movie fans alike. Abrams has promised to continue that approach with this sequel, conscious of luring non-Star Trek followers without offending fans . With Benedict Cumberbatch as the God-like terrorist John Harrison, the new-look Star Trek crew (including Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock) has a daunting challenge that may forever change the fate of the Federation.
‘Man of Steel’: June 14
Why we love it: Perhaps the most highly anticipated movie of 2013? Given that it’s produced by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Trilogy) and directed by Zack Snyder (‘300’, ‘Watchmen’), there is a palpable sense that this re-imagining of the archetypical super-hero is going to be a game-changer. Early footage seen thus far suggests a darker and more realistic tone than ever attempted before with Superman, and expectations abound of this movie. All of which provides a launch pad for the much-discussed ‘Justice League’ movie itself. That is precisely why we believe that ‘Man of Steel’ may be the biggest one of them all next year.
‘World War Z’: June 21
Why we love it: Zombies and Brad Pitt. Seems like a winning combination, doesn’t it? Based on Max Brook’s best-selling novel of the same name, ‘World War Z’ is the blockbuster version of the zombie apocalypse, which until now has been restricted to cult horror flicks. This movie ups the ante and brings the zombie pandemic onto a global scale. Think of it as a cross between a creepy horror and epic disaster film and its potential appeal is unquestionable.
‘Monsters University’: June 21
Why we love it: One of Pixar’s biggest hits – ‘Monsters, Inc.’ - get its own prequel as John Goodman and Billy Crystal reprise their roles as the likeable Sullivan and Wazowski. Here we find out how the two monsters met before becoming Scarers at ‘Monsters, Inc.’ A rather bizarre concept but one that will delight and entertain its target audience – the young and the young at heart.
Hugh Jackman returns as Logan aka Wolverine
‘The Wolverine’: July 26
Why we love it: There is a general consensus among critics that while commercially successful, Wolverine’s first solo movie was a dud. Keenly aware of this, the producers – with star Hugh Jackman – sought inspiration from the acclaimed 1982 ‘Wolverine’ comic book limited series written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Frank Miller (‘Sin City’, ‘300’)for the inevitable sequel. Set in Japan, Logan engages a mysterious figure from his past in a fight that has lasting consequences. Wolverine continues to be very popular with the masses but the interest of diehard comic book geeks will depend largely on how faithful this movie is to the source material.
‘Thor: The Dark World’: November 8
Why we love it: Like ‘Iron Man 3’, the Thor sequel will be of interest to fans of the Marvel movie universe hoping for more to be revealed in the second wave of Marvel Studio films, which culminates with ‘Avengers 2’ in 2015. ‘Thor: The Dark World’ promises to be even more epic than the first movie as the God of Thunder battles a primeval race led by Malekith, who is out for revenge, intent on descending the universe into darkness. Directed by Alan Taylor, armed with the relevant experience garnered from helming six episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’, this medieval fantasy will appeal to all sword- and- sorcery buffs, while Chris Hemsworth supplies the necessary eye candy for the ladies.
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’: December 13
Why we love it: if you have seen ‘The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey’ (now showing at a cinema near you), you would be aware that the first instalment ends on a cliffhanger. Naturally, the tense manner in which the movie ends provides the necessary anticipation for Part II viz ‘The Desolation of Smaug’. Suffice to say that the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the Dwarves continue as director Peter Jackson brings this Tolkien fantasy to more box office successes. Bit of a no-brainer, really.
Kevin Mathews is a noted writer, musician, teacher and mentor. As a pop culture journalist, he has written for over two decades with newspapers like The New Paper & TODAY, print magazines like BigO, Amplifier, Pop Culture Press & Bucketfull of Brains and online publications such as MTVAsia.comPopMatters.com and PowerofPop.com.