If you thought 2011 was only so-so year for movies, brace yourself then for 2012! Lots of big names and movies coming out! We even heard Woody Allen will have a new movie. And lest we forget, 2012 is the apocalypse. . .for comic book flicks. It’s the ultimate showdown as two fantastically-revered auteurs release summer comic blockbusters, starting with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers and then Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Read on for 12 movies you, me, and maybe somebody you know are anticipating for next year!
When: January 20
Who: Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein (director), Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance, Stephen Rea
What: Selene returns to take down some more werewolves.
Why: Beckinsale makes a welcome, eye-catching return. And the Underworld series is the ultimate in January fare: fast, fun, and warmly trashy.
When: March 23
Who: Gary Ross (director), Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson
What: A dark fantasy film that explores daily life in America if American Idol were replaced with a psychotic and brutal televised ritual where young people are pitted against each other and looked upon by a panel of crazies.
Why: With Harry Potter over and Twilight winding down, Hollywood needs a new series to wean young audiences on. Enter: The Hunger Games.
When: May 4
Who: Joss Whedon (director), Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
What: A band of disparate superheroes (selected on skill, wealth, brains, whether they’re into leather or not) work together for the greater good.
Why: We’ve put up with weird cameos and loose story threads across nearly a dozen Marvel films. It all pays off here.
When: May 25
Who: Barry Sonnefield (director), Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin
What: A secret government agent travels back in time in search of his old partner and some good jokes, having exhausted all of them in the present day.
Why: Will Smith hasn’t released a movie since 2008 (guess Seven Pounds not breaking $100 million convinced him to focus on other things) and there appears to be still worldwide affection for the franchise.
When: June 1
Who: Rupert Sanders (director), Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth
What: A girl and a witch settle an argument over which is fairer with swords, armies, and sensible bloodletting.
Why: We’ve witnessed enough pouting and lip biting from Stewart: Bring us on some violence!
When: June 8
Who: Ridley Scott (director), Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Idris elba
What: Humans explore deep space in search of our origins, and to test theory that in space no one can hear you scream.
Why: Scott makes a welcome return to sci-fi territory and considering the killer 2011 Fassbender has had, we’re eager to see him carry that over to 2012 and straight into the apocalypse.
When: June 22
Who: Mark Andrews (director), Kelly Macdonald, Craig Ferguson, Emma Thompson
What: A groundbreaking (main character is a girl, has red hair) fairy tale about an impetuous princess, whose skill at archery inadvertently unleashes chaos in her kingdom.
Why: Pixar always has something to prove with each movie and with Cars 2 breaking Pixar’s 16-year Certified Fresh streak, a lot rides on Brave.
When: July 3
Who: Gary Ross Marc Webb (director), Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
What: A high school photojournalist is bitten by a radioactive spider and learns that with great power comes hot girls like Gwen Stacy.
Why: Rebooting a series only 10 years old? Bold move, Sony. The studio must utterly wow the world with Amazing Spider-Man, and the audience response to the trailer and hot young cast and director has this spider on the upswing.
When: July 20
Who: Christopher Nolan (director), Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman
What: The caped crusader returns after eight years when Gotham City is terrorized by a villain frustrated that nobody understands him.
Why: This is it. The end of the legend. How far will Nolan be willing to go in closing out the ultimate comic trilogy?
When: August 17
Who: Sylvester Stallone (director), Slyvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
What: Armed manly men take a trip somewhere manly.
Why: If you’re one of the people who made the original a $200 million smash, you already know why!
When: November 12
Who: Bill Condon (director), Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson
What: A vampire, a human, a werewolf, and an infant demon overcome their differences.
Why: Finally, it’s OVER! . . .That is, we mean, this scintillating, well-balanced, and non-spooky journey of vampires and werewolves and the babies they love reaches the bloody romantic climax.
When: December 14
Who: Peter Jackson (director), Martin Freeman, Ian Holm, Ian McKellan
What: A band of vertically-challenged friends, with the help of a wizard, quest for some jewelry.
Why: The actors, the sets, the personnel — everything is in place. And high hopes remain that Jackson’s heart is in the right place, too, and that his passion for Middle-earth hasn’t diminished after so many years spent on the films.