BWP's Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2012!
Each year, hundreds of movies hit theatre screens, and eventually, the shelves at your local DVD/Bluray shop. But with every passing year, the crap-to-good-movie ratio gets worse and worse. BWP is here to help you sift through all the bad stuff and get to the things that will be worth watching over the next 12 months. With that, here is our list of the 40 most anticipated movies of 2012!
40. John Carter
39. Hunter Killer
38. Iron Sky
37. 21 Jump Street
36. The Dictator
35. The Man With The Iron Fists
34. Moonrise Kingdom
33. The Raven
32. Cogan's Trade
30. Men in Black III
29. Voyage of Time
28. Bullet to the Head
27. The Silver Linings Plabook
26. This is Forty
25. Being Flynn
23. Cloud Atlas
22. Dog Fight
21. The Amazing Spider-Man
20. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
19. Total Recall
18. Neighborhood Watch
17. GI Joe: Retaliation
16. Snow White and the Huntsman
15. The Grey
14. Wettest County
13. The Hunger Games
12. The Bourne Legacy
11. Taken 2
10. World War Z
Director: Marc Foster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace)
Screenplay: J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, Babylon 5), Matthew Michael Carnahan (State of Play)
Based On: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Bryan Cranston, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale
Genre: Post-apocalyptic horror
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Why we're excited: The PG-13 rating for a zombie movie has us worried, but with Brad Pitt involved, the odds of it failing are now (regardless of Marc Foster).
Zombies have always been an interesting monster when it comes to films -- no pun intended. Usually the source of low budget horror fare, the zombie film is the most digestible in the horror genre. It doesn't necessarily have to be about the monster, or about the gore, it has the capability of being something more, and that's something that a lot of filmmakers have understood, from the great George A. Romaro to, most recently, Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman. But the genre is sort of at an impasse at a moment. The most common phrase you'll see associated to zombie films, TV shows and games lately is that they have been "done to death" -- again, no pun intended.
So, why do we need World War Z? For starters, the Max Brooks novel the Brad Pitt film is based on is highly regarded. Moreover, it seems to have the big budget and direction towards story and characters that made The Walking Dead so refreshing and so fresh in a day and age where you can't walk a mile without seeing zombie media. The film is said to have a budget $100 million more than any zombie film before it, which could be huge, allowing the filmmakers to do things they way they actually want. But it's interesting to look at the cast, which boils down to Brad Pitt and a bunch of TV actors. That's interesting because it basically means it will be Brad Pitt-heavy, and brings up questions over whether the film will follow the book's interview format. And that also raises questions over whether the film will retain the book's admittedly large scope.
Don't get us wrong, we have reservations about World War Z, just like you do, and not only because of the PG-13 rating or the fact that it could end up being just another zombie movie. But in his mid-life crisis of filmmaking, Brad Pitt hasn't really failed us yet, so we're going to have faith in this one.
9. The Gangster Squad
Director: Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less)
Screenplay: Will Beall (Castle)
Based On: Tales from the Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, Josh Pence, Mireille Enos, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena
Genre: Crime Drama
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: October 19, 2012
Why we're excited: The L.A. Noire-style plot was enough to rope us in, the ridiculous cast, led by Ryan Gosling as an LAPD sergeant and Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen sealed the deal
The war between the police and the mob in the 40s and 50s seem to be all the rage these days in the entertainment industry. From games, to TV shows, and movies, you can't go very long without hearing about L.A. Noire, L.A. Noir, or now The Gangster Squad. The ballad of guys like Mickey Cohen and the like has inspired filmmakers for a long time, and it's finally going to be captured on screen in a big way with this film, what can only be described as an epic telling of a very well-known subject.
But what's really interesting here are the people behind the film. Ruben Fleischer steps into the director's chair for his first drama, after he won crowds over with Zombieland and directed an underrated comedy in 30 Minutes or Less. It's been said that Fleischer was brought on board because of his proficiency shooting action sequences. If you question his ability to director, however, that should at least be quelled by the ridiculous cast that's been assembled in front of him. Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie and Emma Stone are only starting to come into their own as actors. No one's going to deny the talent of the likes of Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick and especially Nick Nolte and Sean Penn. What's more, I can picture every single one of these actors in a period piece that pits cops vs. mobsters, and that's pretty huge.
While it's still early, there hasn't been a negative word uttered about The Gangster Squad yet. And there shouldn't be. Everything about this screams spectacular, and beyond an "Oscar Bait" sort of way. We have a lot of Blockbusters coming up on the list, but Gangster Squad could end up being one of our actual favorites of 2012.
8. The Expendables 2
Director: Simon West (Con Air, The Mechanic)
Screenplay: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Release Date: August 17, 2012
Why we're excited: Outside of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to film? Where do we start?
The Expendables pretty much delivered on every level back in 2010. Gritty action, huge cast full of action stars both new and old, and a plot that more or less held up. Needless to say, audiences were thirsty for more from the Sly Stallone-helmed franchise. This summer, they're going to get exactly that, and much more, as the sequel to The Expendables hits theaters.
Forget the plot for a second, and just listen to this cast: Jason Statham, Let Li, Dolph Lundgren, CHUCK NORRIS, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and of course Sly Stallone. And, oh ya, this guy called Arnold Schwarzenegger. You may have heard of him. He's only making his return to film after a decade of being a governor. Even the plot sounds pretty good, as the official synopsis even goes as far as to announce that one of Stallone's team members will be killed off early in the film, keeping viewers on their toes. We won't bother to speculate because it's certain that this information is being kept under tight wraps.
Either way, despite its PG-13 rating (thanks a lot, Chuck Norris), Stallone has promised more great action, and maybe more importantly, everyone is excited to see him on screen alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme, as early reports claim that his performance is inspired. It should be exciting, and it hits theaters on August 17.
Director: Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Robin Hood)
Screenplay: Damon Lindelof (Lost, Cowboys & Aliens), John Spaihts
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron,
Genre: Science Fiction
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 8, 2012
Why we're excited: Ridley Scott attempts to restore his epic science fiction franchise to its original glory, and he has onoe hell of a cast to back him up.
Continuing with movies that have a ridiculous cast, Ridley Scott continues with one of his own trends with "Prometheus", and that's rebooting movies long after you thought they lost their relevance. It's been a whopping 33 years since 1979's "Alien", directed, of course, by Scott, defined the science fiction and horror genres and launched Sigourney Weaver's career. Can Scott do it again? The director is a proven box office draw, even if his last film, Robin Hood, was the source of a fair amount of controversy and critique. Still, we feel like Scott still has another big hit left in him, and we think that hit can very well be Prometheus.
What's interesting about this film is that Scott has said that it's not exactly a prequel to Alien, as originally thought, nor does it connect with any film in the Alien universe. It's a complete standalone story, but from what we've seen, especially from the trailer below, it seems as if Scott will give us a lot of throwbacks to his first big hit. Even the style of the trailer is very similar to Alien's trailer from the 70s. The film will follow a group of explorers who travel deep into space as they uncover clues to the true origin of man, only to find themselves in a battle to save that very race from extinction.
But what might set Prometheus apart is its great cast. Looking for another Ellen Ripley? Well, Scott gives you Noomi Rapace, the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, in the lead as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, and the cast only gets better from there. Charlize Theron is another strong female character in the film, playing Meredith Vickers, essentially the film's antagonist (a role she's becoming familiar with). It only gets better with the male castmembers, which include three of England's finest actors, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, and Idris Elba. The cast alone is a reason to give this a chance if you weren't quite sure just yet.
Prometheus hits theaters this summer, and it's sure to be one of 2012's highest grossing movies.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tony Kushner (Munich), John Logan (Hugo, Rango), Paul Webb
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Lee Pace, Jackie Earle Haley, Gregory Itzin
Genre: Biographical drama
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
Release Date: Holiday 2012
Why we're excited: Steven Spielberg. Daniel Day-Lewis. Abraham Lincoln. Biopic. Go buy your ticket.
We could really get by this preview by just showing you the picture above of Daniel Day-Lewis dressed as the great Abraham Lincoln, and that would be enough to sell tickets and build hype. Even after you throw in a Steven Spielberg, there's plenty here to get excited about. Biopics are of course all the rage in Hollywood, and when you attach a few big names to them, they automatically turn into Oscar buzz, long before they even hit the screens. J. Edgar did this to us this year, and the end-result was less than desirable. But Lincoln isn't being written by an activist with a political agenda and an ax to grind. Lincoln is being written by qualified Hollywood writers, as well as historians and informed people. It's especially interesting, because there's obviously no lack of material for them to tackle. Obviously, another Lincoln movie is tackling the president's days as a vampire hunter, but the film will look at Lincoln's attempt to pass the thirteenth amendment into law, in order to finally and officially free the slaves following the Civil War.
Add that to one of the most competent directors of all time, and an actor that's so obviously committed to any role he takes on, and you're sure to have a hit. It helps that they also have an incredible supporting cast to fall back on, one that includes the likes of Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Tommy Lee Jokes. We're not speculating here. We're telling you that Lincoln is going to be good. The only measure of concern is in how much Spielberg et al actually end up leaving out of Lincoln's presidency. Obviously with an actor like Day-Lewis they're not going to delve too deep into his past, so expect a very concise and focused story.
5. The Avengers
Writer & Director: Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Based On: The Avengers by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Starring: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgard, Paul Bettany, inevitable Stan Lee cameo
Distributor: Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Why we're excited: Marvel has been building to this single cinematic moment for about a decade. It better be worth it.
In 2008, Marvel released Iron Man, and the film's immediate success led to the announcement of something unprecedented in film. The production of several films, leading up to the release of one final, ensemble action flick that would bridge the gap between all of them and create a mega-team of superheroes. It was ambition, but it was risky. As fresh and exciting as Iron Man was, the company was asking audiences to buy into a lot more. Three other main superheroes in Thor. Captain America, and The Incredible Hulk (the latter of which had already faced some trouble on the big screen), secondary characters like Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, and a bridging storyline which would mean no complete resolution to any of the set-up films. It was incredibly ambitious, but it was also a daunting task that included coordinating a lot of different people and ensuring that people would be excited for the end-result. If they succeed, they look like geniuses and make billions. If they fail, then they're stuck with a monster in the form of several films.
Luckily, it looks like they've succeeded. Iron Man was uber successful. Thor and Captain America followed suit, for the most part. And more importantly, the hype level has reached critical mass for the upcoming Avengers film, which just happens to be one of two major releases from Marvel, and the kick-off film to 2012's summer blockbuster season. So, what can we expect? We know that the film will be told from Captain America's perspective, that it will bring back Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as the group's main villain, and even promises to have a few surprise villains up its sleeve. We also know that on top of the main characters played by Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Mark Ruffalo taking over for Hulk, the film will give us more of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson, and introduce Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye as well as Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother Fame.
The big question that remains is how muddled the plot will be. A lot of the main characters have already been set up, but there's a lot of setting up left to do in the film, and not much time left to do it. The Avengers is almost certain to be a good popcorn action flick, but expectations have been set ridiculously high, and a lot of Marvel's future, including individual films for many of the Avengers' characters, as well as future Avengers sequels, are on the line with this film. Luckily, and if the cast wasn't enough, the film has a confidence-inducing writer/director at the helm in Joss Whedon.
Director: Sam Mendes (American Beauty)
Screenlplay: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Based On: James Bond by Ian Fleming
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris
Distributor: MGM, Columbia Pictures
Release Date: November 2012
Why we're excited: Sam Mendes and John Logan, as well as the additions of Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes as the film’s villains all but guarantee that 007 will be returned to his former glory.
One of the most speculated-about films of the last few months has to have been Skyfall. Not necessarily because we were interested in the plot, more because we had no idea how anyone could drag the filth that was Marc Foster-directed Quantum of Solace out of the mud. A James Bond movie is a James Bond movie, but even Casino Royale was kind of a stretch when you look at it in hindsight, and QOS was just terrible for reasons we all know. It didn't help that MGM went bankrupt early in pre-production, putting the future of one of the most important film franchises of all time in jeopardy.
But in the end, MGM would figure their problems out, and it seems like the people behind the film have as well. The studio brought in Academy-award winning director Sam Mendes to helm the film. John Logan, one of the best albeit least-known screenwriters in Hollywood at the moment (and penner of three great films in 2011 alone, Rango, Hugo, and Coriolanus), joins Bond-regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade on the script. But the most significant changes may be in front of the camera. Daniel Craig is of course back as James Bond, as is Dame Judi Dench as M, but the franchise has added a lot of fresh faces, led by Hollywood heavy-hitters Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem as the villains.
Big questions remain about the plot, which remains tightly under wraps, but it has been speculated that it wouldn't follow many of the events of the first two Craig films. We also know that MI6 will be attacked, and Bond's loyalty to M will come into question. Throw in a memorable villain, a few gadgets, and some huge set pieces and you have yourself a Bond film. See if it will all live up to the hype this fall.
3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson
Based On: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring: Martin Freeman, plus pretty much the entire cast of Lord of the Rings and the rest of the population of New Zealand.
Genre: Epic, Fantasy-Adventure
Distributor: Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, MGM
Release Date: December 14, 2012 (part 2 December 13, 2013)
Why we're excited: The fact that I got the Lord of the Rings extended bluray box set for Christmas means that I’ll likely be done the special features by the time this comes out.
When Peter Jackson completed his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy (I'm still getting through the extended cut Bluray set), people quickly started speculating on whether or not the filmmaker would tackle J.R.R. Tolkien's other epic tale, The Hobbit. Nine years after Return of the King ensured Jackson's place in cinematic history, The Hobbit will attempt to do the same this upcoming holiday season. With a lot of the same cast coming back to play younger versions of themselves, essentially, with all the delays and problems in production, and with Jackson being forced back into the director's chair after Guillermo Del Toro dropped out, you might think that people would be weary of having to sit through another 12 hours of Lord of the Ring stuff. But you know what? The timing feels right. The filming techniques that Jackson is using are said to be revolutionary. The actors are obviously fully committed and the story is pretty much going to tell itself. This isn't only going to be good, but barring a full blown disaster, it's going to be yet another classic.
Writer & Director: Quentin Tarantino
Based On: Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 film “Django”
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sasha Baron Cohen, Kurt Russell, James Remar, Kerry Washington, Michael Kenneth Williams, RZA
Genre: Spaghetti Southern
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: December 25, 2012
Why we're excited: A Quentin Tarantino project will blindly bring us to theatres, but if we had to isolate a reason, it would be the surprisingly non-Tarantino cast the film employs.
There are few people in Hollywood that BWP will unquestionably love and support. One of those people is Quentin Tarantino. He's quirky, he's different, and he often draws the ire of a lot of people for being different, but he's an amazing filmmaker, and one we've grown up on. It probably isn't a good thing that I grew up on gimps and ear disembowelments, but alas, that's Quentin. You would think that Tarantino would have peaked with his self-proclaimed masterpiece in Inglorious Basterds three years ago, because that movie was pretty much perfect. But in 2012, Tarantino looks to take it a few steps further with Django Unchained, yet another twisted, warped, and likely amazing film from one of the craziest minds in the movie business.
Tarantino is obviously heavily influenced by spaghetti westerns, and works from the likes of Sergio Leone, and you can see a lot of spaghetti western elements sprinkled throughout many of his films. One in particular, the 1966 Sergio Corbucci film Django, influenced him so much that he not only appeared in a Japanese parody of the film, but decided to spin off the concept into his own blockbuster. But what's interesting is that outside of the concept and maybe some of the themes, Django is turning out to be nothing like its source material. And what's even more interesting is that beyond the actual plot, many of the actors Tarantino has cast had never stepped within miles of any of his previous projects.
The film tells the story of, of course, Django (Jamie Foxx), a recently freed slave who goes on a quest to retrieve his wive (Kerry Washington) from an evil slave owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). These two are supported by two Tarantino regulars in Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson, but beyond that you have arguably the most ridiculous cast of all time, one that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sasha Baron Cohen, James Remar, Michael Kenneth Williams, rapper-turned-actor RZA, and Kurt freaking Russell. What am I supposed to do with myself until this movie comes out and completes my life?
1. The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Christopher & Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer
Based On: Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Pence, Liam Neeson, Juno Temple, Nestor Carbonell, Cillian Murphy, the Pittsburgh Stealers, pictures of Aaron Eckhart
Genre: Superhero Drama
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: July 20, 2012
Why we're excited: Most anticipated movie of the year? Try most anticipated movie of all time.
If you read a considerable amount of the articles we post here at BWP, then you've probably stumbled upon at least a few articles about The Dark Knight Rises. The epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has been all hype from the start. The bar was set ridiculously high with The Dark Knight two years ago, and oddly enough, even higher with Inception, which obviously didn't have anything to do with Batman but showed us was Nolan was truly capable of. Now, Nolan has to be feeling the pressure to deliver one of the greatest movie experiences of all time, and that isn't meant as hyperbole. The Dark Knight Rises simply has to deliver, for the sake of humanity.
Set nearly a decade after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman (Christian Bale) is still fighting crime, although he's aging and still an outsider in Gotham, thanks to the fact that the death of Harvey Dent was laid on him. Quickly, a new threat in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy) presents itself, one that threatens not only Gotham and its citizens, but also the very existence of Batman. It's been speculated, but almost certain that Bane will, one way or another "break the bat" leading him to "rise" and retake the night. Bane will be the biggest and most dangerous threat that Batman has ever faced, because he has a lethal combination of genius and pure brawn. Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) also joins the cast, and she's been the source of some controversy among fans, as has Marion Cottillard's character of Miranda Tate, who has been speculated to be the daughter of Ra's al Ghul. And speaking of Ra's, it has also been speculated that Liam Neeson will also return for a Cameo as the Batman Begins villain. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also joins the cast, marking his third appearance in the top ten and solifidying him in pure badassery, and you can see a lot of the other returning cast members, including Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
But what's really exciting about this film is that it is the definite ending to Nolan's trilogy. While Warner Bros will almost certainly make more Batman movies in the future, Nolan is done after this, and that means closing the story definitively. That means that Nolan can do whatever the hell he wants, and that almost certainly means someone we know and love is going to die. Of course, you're talking to the guy who can talk about this movie until the cows come home, so we'll just leave you with the second trailer and the knowledge that you have to wait another six months to finally see what happens.
Four parts, forty movies. We tried to include all films we thought might turn out good, and films in all genres. But in the end, we’re certain that a few people will probably be upset. Lay it on us in the comments, we can take it. As always, stay locked to BWP as we cover all these movies and more throughout 2012!