This early into the year, it’s hard to decide which films to look forward to the most from the myriad of movies scheduled for release in 2012, not to mention those that may or may not make the jump into 2013. Huge films like The Avengers are already hotly anticipated the world over, and no doubt there are many films absent from this list that occupy the top spots elsewhere. However, the following films have the right names attached, enough questions still unanswered, and enough hype to make them One&Other’s most anticipated films of 2012.
SHAME (January 13th) – Steve McQueen’s second feature, reuniting the director with star Michael Fassbender, Shame follows the life of Brandon Sullivan as his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), is exposed to his increasingly downward spiralling lifestyle. In some ways, the film is similar to American Psycho; a yuppie living in New York finds it increasingly difficult to hide his compulsive behaviour, only instead of homicidal rage, Brandon suffers from sex addiction. With Fassbender stripping down physically and emotionally under McQueen’s growing directorial influence and talent, Shame is set to become one of 2012’s most controversial and honest films.
THE HUNGER GAMES (March 23rd) – Based on the hugely successful novel by Suzanne Collins, this screen adaptation is being helmed by Gary Ross, best known for directing Pleasantville and Seabiscuit. In the post-apocalyptic country of Panem (formerly North America), the dystopian government in the city of Capitol flaunts their absolute power by holding an annual televised event in which one boy and one girl from the 12 districts is chosen, trained in combat, and forced to fight to the death in a massive free-for-all. The winner is the last one standing. With a largely young and promising cast, this sort of sci-fi Battle Royale for teenagers could be the start of the next big movie trilogy. Hopefully it’ll have more depth than, say, the recent Twilight travesties.
DARK SHADOWS (May 11th) – Tim Burton is reunited with Johnny Depp for the umpteenth time in this big screen adaptation of the gothic TV soap from the late 60s. Barnabas (Depp) is a vampire, buried alive in 1752 by a witch whose heart he has broken. Finally freed in the 20th century, Barnabas falls in with the dysfunctional and intriguing residents of his old manor. With an interesting ensemble cast including Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chol Moretz (of Kick Ass fame), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen’s Rorschach) and, predictably, Helena Bonham Carter, this re-imagining by the legendary gothic director is sure to breathe new life into this cult soap drama.
PROMETHEUS (June 1st) –Ridley Scott returns to the sci-fi horror genre he mastered with Alien back in 1979. On a mission to explore the origins of humanity, the crew of the 21st Century spaceship ‘Prometheus’ explore a mysterious planet; home to an advanced extraterrestrial race. Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander in the excellent Swedish Millennium adaptations) stars as Elizabeth Shaw, scientist and archaeologist. Michael Fassbender co-stars as android David (Alien meets Bladerunner!?), and the team is rounded up by Stannison (Guy Pearce), Captain Janek (Idris Elba), Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and corporate snake Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). But what is most intriguing about Ridley Scott’s latest is that the director has remained adamant that Prometheus, while similar in some respects, is set in a separate universe to the Alien films. Yet, the film’s incredible trailer seems to suggest otherwise….set roughly 100 years before the events of Alien, could this be the prequel we’ve all been waiting for?
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (July 20th) – Set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Christian Bale’s Batman faces off against Tom Hardy’s Bane in the epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Dark Knight Trilogy. Supporting cast members in this sequel to one of the highest grossing film of all time include Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. Oh and more IMAX sequences than ever before. ‘Nuff said.
GANGSTER SQUAD (November 9th) – Gangster Squad chronicles the LAPD’s fight against the East Coast Mafia in 1940s and 50s Los Angeles. Ryan Gosling’s Sgt. Jerry Wooters faces off against Sean Penn’s portrayal of real life gangster Mickey Cohen. Co-starring the beautiful Emma Stone as Grace Faraday, this production helmed by Ruben Fleischer (director of the excellent Zombieland) is sure to ooze cool.
DJANGO UNCHAINED (December 26th) – Tarantino’s latest follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave-turned bounty hunter who sets out to rescue his wife and take revenge on his former master. With a powerhouse cast featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chrisoph Waltz and Kurt Russell, can Tarantino do with the history of slavery what he with Nazis in Inglorious Basterds? Either way, if it meets the set U.K. release date, it’ll be an interesting addition to the inevitably festive big screen line up.
THE GREAT GATSBY (Late 2012) – As an adaptation of what is arguably the greatest American novel of all time, director Baz Luhrmann, who doesn’t have a perfect track record, should be prepared for some fairly intensive scrutiny. This could go either way, but hopefully stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan can bring this tale of the roaring ‘20s to life.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (2012) – Playwright and writer/director Martin McDonagh, the mind behind the absolutely fantastic In Bruges (best film of 2008), reunites with Colin Farrell for this black comedy. Marty (Farrell) is a writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, Seven Psychopaths, but he can’t seem to find the inspiration. However, when Marty’s best friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell), and his associate, Hans (Christopher Walken), plot to steal the beloved dog owned by local violent, psychopathic gangster, Charlie (Woody Harrelson), Marty finds his source for inspiration, if he can make it out alive. If McDonagh can come anywhere near the dizzying heights of In Bruges, this follow up film is sure to be worth a watch.
JOHN DIES AT THE END (2012) – This dark comedy horror is directed by Don Coscarelli, the man behind 2002’s Bubba Ho-Tep, a film about the adventures of an elderly Elvis and his black friend who claims to be JFK. John Dies at the End, based upon the David Wong novel, couldn’t be a more perfect fit for Coscarelli’s off-beat interests. “Soy Sauce” is a drug that distorts times and space, transporting users to other dimensions. But some users don’t come back the same, and when the world of two college dropouts becomes the focus of a silent invasion, they have to travel to other universes to confront the cause. Starring Chase Williamson as Dave and Rob Mayes as John, with support from Paul Giamatti, this might be the film to blow your mind in 2012.
What other films are you anticipating?