Science fiction, fantasy & horror movies we get to see in 2013 . . . after the Earth has narrowly escaped the Mayan apocalypse!
(Read part 2 of this article next week.)
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
PLOT: 15 years after their traumatic gingerbread-house incident, siblings Hansel and Gretel have become a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world.
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Thomas Mann, Peter Stormare, Zoe Bell
Release date: 11 January
WE SAY: A so-called “European co-production” filmed in Germany – usually not a good sign. But it stars rising star Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker and Hawkeye in The Avengers) so there’s some hope.
PLOT: After a zombie becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco
Release date: 1 February
WE SAY: New movie by the director of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. If vampires can fall in love, then why not zombies?
PLOT: A supernatural drama centered on a local teenager and the mysterious new girl in town who uncover dark secrets about their respective families.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Alice Englert, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum
Release date: 15 February
WE SAY: Southern gothic. Warner is obviously hoping to replicate some of the old Harry Potter magic with this adaptation of the first book in the series of popular “young adult” novels with magical overtones, but the books aren’t all that well-known though. (Opens on the same weekend as the fifth Die Hard movie, A Good Day to Die Hard.)
Escape from Planet Earth
PLOT: Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet: Earth!
Director: Callan Brunker
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, James Gandolfini, Jessica Alba
Release date: 15 February
WE SAY: A computer-animated movie by the studio that brought us . . . Hoodwinked.
PLOT: Frankenstein’s creature finds himself caught in an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans.
Director: Stuart Beattie
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney
Release date: 22 February
WE SAY: If the story sounds a bit familiar then it is probably because this movie is based on a graphic novel by actor-screenwriter Kevin Grevioux, who co-wrote the first Underworld movie.
PLOT: Set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy lives on a man-made space station while the rest of population reside on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga
Release date: 1 March
WE SAY: Highly-anticipated sophomore directing effort by South African-Canadian Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame. Expect some allegorical sci-fi and loads of Prometheus-style hype as the movie’s details have been kept under tight wraps.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
PLOT: How the Wizard arrived in Oz and became the ruler. A prequel to The Wizard of Oz.
Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis
Release date: 8 March
WE SAY: Yet another “dark” retelling of a fairy tale, this time by Evil Dead and Spider-man director Sam Raimi.
Predictably one of two Hollywood Oz projects for 2013, the other being the computer-animated Dorothy of Oz “sequel” which features the voice talents of Patrick Stewart, Dan Aykroyd and Kelsy Grammer amongst others. Unsurprisingly an adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (it was also the basis for a successful stage musical) is scheduled for 2014.
PLOT: A sheltered high school girl unleashes her newly developed telekinetic powers after she is pushed too far by her peers.
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde
Release date: 15 March
WE SAY: Another adaptation of Stephen King’s first published novel or a remake of the 1978 movie starring Sissy Spacek? You decide. (Weirdly enough there had already been a made-for-TV remake in 2002 no-one knows about and a belated, failed sequel in 1999 titled The Rage: Carrie 2.)
Jack the Giant Killer
PLOT: A modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy
Release date: 22 March
WE SAY: Another revisionist fairy tale, this time directed by Bryan Singer of X-Men and Superman Returns fame. The movie was supposed to have been released in 2012 but was moved to 2013.)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
PLOT: The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.
Director: Jon M. Chu
Stars: Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park, Bruce Willis
Release date: 29 March
WE SAY: Moved from 2012 to 2013 at the last moment supposedly to convert to 3-D, this movie is both a reboot and sequel at the same time as it introduces The Rock and Bruce Willis to the 2009 franchise.
PLOT: A parasitic alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder. Instead of carrying out her race’s mission of taking over the Earth, “Wanda” (as she comes to be called) forms a bond with her host and sets out to aid other free humans.
Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, William Hurt, Jake Abel
Release date: 29 March
WE SAY: Film based on author Stephanie Meyer’s only non-Twilight novel, which is basically Invasion of the Body Snatchers as told by one of the pod people. Needless to say, it is obviously a romance. (We called it “what would happen if Ned Flanders decided to write science fiction” in a review.)
Will it make the same sort of megabucks at the box office? Hollywood is certainly hoping so: the bookshelves are groaning under the weight of a gazillion Young Adult paranormal books out there begging to be filmed! Krrr-ching!
Read part 2 of this article next week: Evil Dead remake, Oblivion, Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2 and more!