With January coming to a close and Oscar season nearing the finish line, it’s time to bust out the movie lists for most anticipated movies of 2013.
Warm Bodies - Feb. 1
Although the words “based on a young adult novel” have now become an automatic turn-off to many a filmgoer, “Warm Bodies” appears to be a funny, heartwarming riff on the popularity of both zombie movies and angsty teen romance.
Starring British up-and-comer Nicholas Hoult (“Skins”) and quirky veterans like the illustrious John Malkovich (“Secretariat”), “Warm Bodies” has the most potential to be a sleeper hit in the chilly February movie season.
Oz the Great and the Powerful - March 8
This sort-of prequel to the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” has polarized some fans because of its flagrant overuse of CGI and the fact that campy horror director Sam Raimi is still owning up to the “Spider-Man 3” debacle.
But the film has an incredible cast that looks to help “Oz the Great and the Powerful” avoid being yet another expensive misstep by Disney, with the lovably droll James Franco (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), indie darling Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”) and everyone’s celebrity crush, Mila Kunis (“Ted”).
Iron Man 3 - May 3
Theories are abounding as to why Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) suit has taken on a life of its own, who Guy Pearce (“Prometheus”) is playing, how the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley, “Hugo”) will figure into all of this and whether “Iron Man 3” will follow the “Extremis” arc, in which Stark fuses nanotechnology with his Iron Man armor.
The producers are being curiously tight-lipped as to the plot of the film, but at least we have the teaser trailer to overanalyze until May.
The Great Gatsby - May 10
Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy take on the literary classic was probably one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2012. Now it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2013.
“The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained”), Carey Mulligan (“Drive”) and Tobey Maguire (“Brothers”), had its release date pushed back from Christmas 2012 to May 2013.
Regardless of studio conflicts, the film’s flamboyant style or the fact that it’s being released in 3D, “The Great Gatsby” is probably one of the most exciting releases this year.
Star Trek: Into Darkness - May 17
The success of J.J. Abrams’ first “Star Trek” film has elevated the cult sci-fi series to the mainstream consciousness, which is why this sequel is so hotly anticipated.
“Star Trek: Into Darkness” finds the crew of the Enterprise facing a villainous Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC’s “Sherlock” fame, whose character is yet to be revealed. Fans are speculating that it’s one of the series’ greatest Big Bad’s, Khan. Others theorize that it’s human-turned-super-powered villain Gary Mitchell. Either way, this newest “Star Trek” is sure to be a hit for sci-fi fans and casual moviegoers alike.
Much Ado About Nothing - June 7
Two words: Joss Whedon. The always underappreciated geek god and film director Whedon had a stunning year in 2012, with his film “The Avengers” grossing over $1 billion and his cult horror film “The Cabin in the Woods” gaining critical acclaim. Now he can indulge in his pet project “Much Ado About Nothing,” a modern-day adaptation of the Shakespeare play filmed in black and white in merely 12 days at Whedon’s house in Santa Monica, Calif.
The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, but finally gets its wide release in June.
Man of Steel - June 14
Whatever qualms you may have about Zack Snyder’s direction, you can’t deny that “Man of Steel” looks like it will be loads better than the messy “Superman Returns.”
Superman gets yet another origin story in this Snyder-directed, Christopher Nolan-produced blockbuster. The film seems to be reaching for a darker take on the big blue boy scout, featuring him wrestling with his outsider status.
Played by the fairly untested British hunk Henry Cavill (“The Immortals”), Superman may finally be getting a makeover for this new generation. Also, he has a beard.
Elysium - Aug. 9
Fans of the stunning sci-fi film “District 9” have been eagerly awaiting director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up film, “Elysium.” Starring Matt Damon (“Promised Land”), Jodie Foster (“Carnage”) and Sharlto Copley (“The A-Team”), “Elysium” is set in the distant future where the wealthy live in man-made space stations and the poor live in a ravaged and polluted Earth.
The film, like Blomkamp’s previous film, takes on political themes, as a man (Damon) attempts to bring equality to both worlds.
Frozen - Nov. 29
Disney Animations has returned to form after the critical and commercial success of “Tangled” and the surprise hit “Wreck-It-Ralph.”
Now they’re giving their take on the Hans Christian fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” the story of a young girl’s attempt to rescue an enchanted boy from the clutches of the malevolent Snow Queen.
Disney’s reinterpretation includes a girl named Anna (Kristen Bell, “Scream 4”) as she tries to find the Snow Queen to rescue her kingdom from a perpetual winter.
Not much has been released of this film. But if it follows the steps of the charming “Tangled,” it could be one of the best animated films of the year.
Achorman: The Legend Continues - Dec. 20
The cult comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” has proved to be so successful and universally loved that this sequel is being released nine years later.
Comedy sequels are always hit or miss, but the comedic genius of writer and star Will Ferrell (“The Campaign”) should hopefully break that stigma. Count on many more classic witticisms and humor courtesy of San Diego’s top-rated newsman and his colorful co-workers.