FILM: Hot films for 2012

Published date: 03 January 2012 |
Published by: David Waddington
Read more articles by David Waddington


2011 saw superheroes hammer their way into the multiplex, monkeys rise again to take over the planet, and Harry Potter finally lay down his wand once and for all.

Although the occasional British offering and fresh indie fare added glimpses of originality, sequels, remakes, reboots and adaptations dominated cinema screens.
And 2012 looks set to continue the trend.

Comic gold

Following leaked on-set videos, fanboy-exciting promo shots and two tantalising teaser trailers, The Dark Knight Rises will finally make it to the big screen on July 20.

Set eight years after the critically-lauded and box office busting Dark Knight, Christian Bale's Batman faces off against the towering Bane (Tom Hardy) in this trilogy closer with director Christopher Nolan somehow still managing to keep a tight rein on plot-spoilers.

Featuring Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) and a host of Nolan regulars, hopes are high it will live up to its award-gobbling predecessor.

But Batman is certainly not the only graphic novel inspired offering set for 2012, with rival publishers Marvel preparing for another bumper year.

Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor will be whetting appetites with their reboot Ghost RIder: Spirit Of Vengeance on February 17 (promising a more edgy and insane style) before the big event: The Avengers.

Opening on April 27, director Joss Whedon will be wrestling a wishlist of icons under control including Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) into a superhero smack-down of epic proportions as the band of heroes attempt to save the Earth from extraterrestrial invaders.

But whether the Buffy helmer can juggle the juggernaut of characters remains to be seen.

Another reboot will see The Amazing Spider-Man (July 4) reimagined in 3D with Brit Andrew Garfield doing the web-slinging and Rhys Ifans bringing The Lizard to life, while Disney may have a potential franchise spinner on their hands in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'cowboy on Mars' fantasy John Carter (March 9).

But one adaptation set to have Tolkein-ites salivating throughout 2012 is Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14).

Back to Hobbiton

Splitting the Lord Of The Rings prequel into two films (with the concluding part scheduled for 2013), the initially troubled production is well underway with Martin Freeman donning the furry feet as young Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen reprising his role as Gandalf as they join a band of dwarves to reclaim their treasure from Smaug the dragon.

With teaser shots affirming the sweeping aesthetic remains intact, any fears Jackson may have lost his touch have certainly been allayed.

Prequels (of a sort) continue with Ridley Scott's Prometheus (June 1), which sees the sci-fi godfather return to his Alien universe with a band of space explorers attempting to discover the origins of mankind.

A sterling line-up including Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron head up the cast, which is rumoured to touch on the infamous xenopmorphs, but focus on a greater and more treacherous threat.

Whatever the plot, early footage looks epic and terrifying.

Tween fodder

Vampire-loving tweens may be lamenting the closing chapter of their beloved Twilight Saga in Breaking Dawn Part 2 (November 16) this year, but relief comes in the form of The Hunger Games (March 23) based on the generation-spanning books by Suzanne Collins.

Set in the future where teenagers are selected to fight to the death live on TV, expect at least two follow-up films.

And Twilight's Kristen Stewart will be taking on the titular role in Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1) - the action-orientated incarnation of the beloved fairytale released after Lilly Cole's more family friendly interpretation Mirror Mirror (March 16).

Sequel fever knows no genre boundaries throughout the year as zombies return in Resident Evil: Retribution (September 14), Jeremy Renner rekindles the Bourne Legacy (August 17), Bond is back in Skyfall (October 26), toy-tastic action is greenlit in GI Joe: Retaliation (June 22), The Expendables 2 (August) reunites ageing Hollywood hard-men, cool kid-friendly CG fun comes courtesy of Ice Age: Continental Drift (July 6) and Liam Neeson contends with kidnappers once again in the as-yet untitled sequel to Taken (October 5).

Thankfully there are some original movies in 2012.

Pixar will be offering respite from the rampant sequelization with Brave (August 17) - a Scottish based fantasy following a young girl attempting to break a mystical beastly curse.

Brimming with the kind of lush visuals you would expect from the animation super-power and with the vocal talents of Kelly MacDonald and Emma Thompson, this classic tale could be another age-defying winner.

Drama fans are also catered for this year with Baz Luhrmann tackling an adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's dramatic romance The Great Gatsby (December 25), with an enviable cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire bringing the tale of opulence and tragedy to life.

And DiCaprio takes on a very different role as the villainous Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarrantino's western-cum-slavery-revenge flick Django Unchained (December 26), backed-up by an equally star-studded cast featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kurt Russell and Samuel L Jackson.

Despite Hollywood's incessant remake/sequel reliance, a plethora of action adventures, comedies, horrors, sci-fi offerings and award-attracting dramas scheduled for the year will certainly ensure 2012 will be another bumper year at the box office.


12 more films to watch out for in 2012...
The Muppets (February 10)
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (March 2)
Wrath Of The Titans (March 30)
The Cabin In The Woods (April 13)
Dark Shadows (May 11)
The Dictator (May 18)
Men In Black III (May 25)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (August 2)
Total Recall (August 22)
Dredd (September 20)
Les Misérables (December 7)
Life Of Pi (December 21)





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