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Empire's Giant 2013 Movie Preview
185 films of next year profiled and explained


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Django Unchained

DATE  January 18
DIRECTOR  Quentin Tarantino
CAST  Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Walton Goggins, Jonah Hill, Don Johnson

FUN FACT  Tarantino insists that his cast and crew do tequila shots every 600 rolls of film. God knows what'll happen if he ever switches to digital...

SYNOPSIS  Django (Foxx) is enslaved in the early 19th century American South, sold separately from his wife Broomhilda (Washington). He is freed from the despicable Speck Brothers by bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Waltz), who wants Django's help in tracking down the Brittle Brothers (so many siblings!). In return, Schultz promises to free Django and help him reunite with Broomhilda - who's now in the hands of the sinisters Calvin Candie (DiCaprio).

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's Tarantino, so you know it's going to be cool, violent and a little different from anything you've seen before. Like Inglourious Basterds, it's a revisionist history where the downtrodden stand up to their persecutors and the evil get their come-uppance (we devoutly hope). And while we're excited to see all of this quality cast in action, we're particularly looking forward to Samuel L. Jackson as what he describes as "the world's most despicable negro" and to seeing Leonardo DiCaprio get in touch with his smiling, charming, very evil bastard side.
• Watch the trailer below

Parker

Parker

DATE  March 8
DIRECTOR  Taylor Hackford
CAST  Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr.

FUN FACT  This is the ninth film to be based on the Parker series of novels by Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark), but the first to use Parker's real name. Previous adaptations include Point Blank, Payback and Jean-Luc Goddard's Made In USA.

SYNOPSIS  Parker (Statham) is double-crossed and left for dead by his gang of fellow thieves. This is a bad idea. He sets out for revenge, looking to kick ass and take names from all those who wronged him, with Lopez' Leslie his woman on the inside to help his scheme. Cue action, romance and growled one-liners.

WHAT TO EXPECT  A Jason Statham movie - but one that sees Statham dress up like Father Ted, essay a Texan drawl and hit a guy with a toilet. Also, this one has Nick Nolte in it, so we're basically there.
• Watch the trailer below

Bullet To The Head

Bullet To The Head

DATE  February 1
DIRECTOR  Walter Hill
CAST  Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Sarah Shahi, Sung Kang, Christian Slater, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

BASED ON  The graphic novels Du Plomb Dans La Tete by Alexis Nolent and Colin Wilson.

SYNOPSIS  Jimmy Bobo (Stallone) continues to be a hitman despite the objections of his daughter Lisa (Shahi). He crosses paths with Keegan (Momoa), who then kidnaps Lisa - which may be a mistake. Bobo teams up with cop Taylor Kwon (Kang), whose partner Keegan killed, to hunt him down and layeth out some smackdown.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Hill has stated that he's been going for an '80s action movie, buddy-cop vibe here, and it looks as though he might have captured it. Expect the emphasis, however, to be on the "action" rather than the "buddy", with a whole lot of slaying going on in the footage seen so far.
• Watch the trailer below

Snitch

Snitch

DATE  April 5
DIRECTOR  Ric Roman Waugh
CAST  Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, JD Pardo, Harold Perrineau, Jon Bernthal, Michael Kenneth Williams, Kidus Henok, Barry Pepper, Benjamin Bratt, Rafi Gavron

FUN FACT  There are real-life cases where US law enforcement has used petty drug convictions to force people into work as informers.

SYNOPSIS  When his son (Gavron) is arrested on drug charges, Don Collins (Dwayne Johnson) agrees to become an informant and manages to get a lead on a drug kingpin (Bratt). At the behest of a federal prosecutor (Sarandon) and undercover cop (Pepper) he puts himself in danger to get the evidence he needs. But then again, he's The Rock. How dangerous can the danger really be?

WHAT TO EXPECT  Judging by the trailer, a whole lot of explosions and some reckless driving in a huge semi. This will be one of the smaller Dwayne Johnson releases next year, compared to GI Joe 2 and Fast Six, but he's generally charismatic enough to carry anything.
• Watch the trailer on Yahoo

GI Joe: Retaliation (3D)

GI Joe: Retaliation (3D)

DATE  March 27
DIRECTOR  Jon M. Chu
CAST  Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis, Ray Stevenson, Ray Park, Walton Goggins, Byung-hun Lee, Jonathan Pryce

FUN FACT  Did you know that there are hundreds of female ninjas in Iran? That's not really relevant to the film; it's just interesting.

SYNOPSIS  An attack by Cobra on the Joes' base cripples the organisation, and a tiny band of survivors are left to fight back, led by Duke (Johnson). He teams with General Joe Colton (Willis) to take down a vast terrorist conspiracy that involves an imposter replacing the US President (Pryce) and an attack on London.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Well, we know there are ninjas fighting on sheer cliffsides, which should be fun, and Johnson can generally be depended upon to inject charisma and fun to a franchise. Let's hope that year's delay in its release isn't a bad sign.
• Watch the trailer below

The Last Stand

The Last Stand

DATE  January 24
DIRECTOR  Kim Jee-woon
CAST  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, Genesis Rodriguez, Harry Dean Stanton, Peter Stormare, Luis Guzman

FUN FACT  This is Schwarzenegger's first lead role since Terminator 3 in 2003. It's been a full decade, people!

SYNOPSIS  Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) has retreated to the small town of Summerton Junction after one of his LAPD operations went horribly wrong, living a quiet life since. But when a drug kingpin (Noriega) escapes FBI custody and makes a run for the border, Owens and his tiny team are all that stands in his way. Cue creaky old man action!

WHAT TO EXPECT  Kim showed he could deliver a Western with bags of style in The Good, The Bad & The Weird a few years back, so it should look cool, and of course the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to leading roles is something to cheer. The trailer promises old-fashioned action mayhem, and it only remains to be seen if it's great old-fashioned mayhem or chaotic old-fashioned mayhem.
• Watch the trailer below

A Good Day To Die Hard

DATE  February 14
DIRECTOR  John Moore
CAST  Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cole Hauser, Sebastian Koch, Yulyia Snigir

FUN FACT  At the time of writing, 53% of Empire readers think A Good Day To Die Hard's tagline, ""Yippee Ki-Yay Mother Russia", is "Utter genius!". 47%, however, think it's "Utterly terrible!". Polls, eh?

SYNOPSIS  John McClane (Willis) heads to Russia to help out his wayward son Jack (Courtney). Turns out that Junior is, in fact, a CIA agent trying to stop a nuclear weapon heist - but Pop tangles himself in events anyway to help out his son against the Russian underworld. Yippee ki-yay.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Reckless endangerment, vast property damage, grievous bodily harm, explosions, punches, more explosions, and the devastation of what looks like an appreciable percentage of Moscow. Naturally, we're thrilled at the prospect.
• Watch the trailer below

Coriolanus

Olympus Has Fallen

DATE  April 19
DIRECTOR  Antoine Fuqua
CAST  Gerard Butler, Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, Ashley Judd, Aaron Eckhart, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Rick Yune

FUN FACT  Rick Yune also played a North Korean in disguise in Die Another Day.

SYNOPSIS  Gerard Butler is an ex-Secret Service agent called back into action when the President of the United States (Eckhart) is taken hostage by a North Korean (Yune) trying to start a war.

WHAT TO EXPECT  One of two competing President-in-peril movies next year, this one is first out of the gate and steals the jump on Emmerich's White House Down. Given the directors' respective reputations, we expect this one to be grittier and that one to be more destructive.

White House Down

White House Down

DATE  September 6
DIRECTOR  Roland Emmerich
CAST  Channing Tatum, Jason Clarke, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Garcelle Beauvais, Richard Jenkins, James Woods, Rachelle Lefevre, Joey King

FUN FACT  Sony Pictures bought this spec script from writer James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man) for $3million.

SYNOPSIS  A secret service agent, John Cale (Tatum), has to save the President (Foxx) when the White House is invaded by a paramilitary terrorist group. Which is like the second time this year that has happened - shouldn't they get an alarm system or something?

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's Emmerich, so if he restrains himself from blowing up the entire building we'll be pleasantly surprised. We're intrigued to see how Tatum and Foxx spark off one another, and hope that someone early in the film takes time to explain that Shakespeare really did write the plays of William Shakespeare, thereby inducing us to forgive Emmerich for his last film and enabling us to sit back and enjoy this one.

The Tomb

The Tomb

DATE  September 27
DIRECTOR  Mikael Håfström
CAST  Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Sam Neill, 50 Cent, Amy Ryan

FUN FACT  Apparently Bruce Willis was once attached to star in this for Antoine Fuqua.

SYNOPSIS  Ray Breslin (Stallone) is imprisoned in a high security prison himself designed, and has to use all his expertise to crack his own security measures, escape and find out who framed him. Let's hope he remembered to tattoo the plans on his body first! Schwarzenegger plays his cellmate, while 50 Cent is a computer hacker. Yes, really - stop judging people by their discographies, you. Caviezel plays the prison warden, with Vinnie Jones as a corrupt guard.

WHAT TO EXPECT  A thoughtful treatise on the meaning of life, including many shots of grass blowing gently in the wind. Wait, no, not that: the opposite. Stallone and Schwarzenegger sharing a whole film? This could be epic.

Red 2

Red 2

DATE  August 2
DIRECTOR  Dean Parisot
CAST  Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Neal McDonough, David Thewlis, Lee Byung-hun

FUN FACT  RED stands for "retired, extremely dangerous".

SYNOPSIS  The gang from the last film - retired operatives Frank Moses (Willis), Victoria (Mirren) and Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) - reunite, along with what the studio calls "new friends" to take on new enemies in Europe. Those include "The Frog" (Thewlis), a man who once poisoned the Kremlin's water supply with an Amazonian tree frog.

WHAT TO EXPECT  We're expecting more killer one-liners and extreme violence from people old enough to know better, only this time in locations around Europe more than the US.

Safe House

2 Guns

DATE  August 16 (US)
DIRECTOR  Baltasar Kormákur
CAST  Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, James Marsden, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos

BASED ON  The graphic novel by Steve Grant

SYNOPSIS  A DEA agent and undercover Naval intelligence agent (Washington and Wahlberg) are investigating one another for taking mob money - but both have been set up by the mob itself. Let us just get our calculator and... yes, that's a sextuple cross!

WHAT TO EXPECT  Kormákur worked with Wahlberg before on the generally fun Contraband, and the more twisty-turny plot here, with the characters unaware that they're each investigating the other, sounds like Infernal Affairs by way of Ocean's Eleven. This could be a blast.

Battle of the Year: Dream Team

Battle of the Year: Dream Team

DATE  November 15
DIRECTOR  Benson Lee
CAST  Josh Holloway, Josh Peck, Chris Brown, Laz Alonso

SEE ALSO  Director Benson Lee already made a documentary about the Battle Of The Year championships called Planet B-Boy.

SYNOPSIS  A B-boying crew (that's an "urban" style of dancing, people!) recruit a washed-up basketball coach (Holloway) to train them for the Battle Of The Year world championships and help them reclaim the crown for the US of A from those foreigners who just happen to be better at this American art-form.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Contains the line, "Let's bring that trophy back for America!" so we're not sure that we're the target audience. Please be aware that this film contains Chris Brown, which may lead some to boycott it and others to flock to it.
• Watch the trailer on YouTube

Fast & Furious 6

DATE  May 24
DIRECTOR  Justin Lin
CAST  Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Gina Carano, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Sung Kang, Luke Evans

FUN FACT  Fast & Furious 5. That was fun, and that's a fact.

SYNOPSIS  Dominic Toretto (Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Walker) and the rest of their "family" are resting up with the proceeds of their last haul in Italy when Luke Hobbs (Johnson) tracks them down. Turns out that another gang of car thieves, led by Owen Shaw (Evans) is causing all manner of havoc in London and Hobbs needs their help to shut the gang down. And with the supposedly-dead Lettie (Rodriguez) among Shaw's crew, Toretto has a reason to help.

WHAT TO EXPECT  We're expecting fast cars, hot babes, gratuitous flexing of manly muscles and a whole lot of reckless driving. We're also looking forward to seeing what stunts they come up with this time: the words "tank flip" may come into play.

47 Ronin

47 Ronin

DATE  December 25 (US)
DIRECTOR  Carl Erik Rinsch
CAST  Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi, Jin Akanishi

BASED ON  Japan's "national legend", the tale of the 47 Ronin is said to have happened at the beginning of the 18th century.

SYNOPSIS  Outcast Kai (Reeves) joins a band of samurai-turned-ronin led by Kuranosuke Oishi (Sanada). They all unite to take down Lord Kira (Asano) who killed their master - also the father of Kai's lady love (Shibasaki) - and sealed their fate.

WHAT TO EXPECT  From the tiny glimpses out there the film appears to have a slightly fantastical take on the story, which may or may not go down well with purists, and the delay of more than a year in its release may be a bad sign. But for all that, it's set to be a big samurai movie set in feudal Japan, and who doesn't want to see that?

Machete Kills

Machete Kills

DATE  2013 TBC
DIRECTOR  Robert Rodriguez
CAST  Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba, Charlie Sheen, Sofía Vergara, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Zoe Saldana, Edward James Olmos, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Tom Savini

BASED ON  A joke trailer in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez' joint Grindhouse.

SYNOPSIS  Machete (Trejo) is recruited by the President of the United States (er, Sheen, following in his dad's footsteps at last) to take down cartel leader Mendez the Madman (Bichir). But even as he succeeds, he discovers a bigger plot tied to eccentric billionaire Voz (Gibson).

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's a bizarre cast list, this: on one hand, some real talent (Bichir, Banderas, Vergara) and on the other, a rap sheet of Hollywood's most troubled (Gibson, Sheen, Lohan). Perhaps the combination will create some sort of grindhouse magic around Trejo's wonderfully OTT hero.

Peter Berg

Lone Survivor

DATE  2013 TBC
DIRECTOR  Peter Berg
CAST  Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig, Sammy Sheik, Ali Suliman

BASED ON  The true story of SEAL Team 10 and their June 2008 mission Operation Red Wing.

SYNOPSIS  Sent on a mission to capture a Taliban leader thought to be allied with Osama bin Laden, SEAL team 10 were pinned down by dozens of enemy fighters and all but Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg) were killed.

WHAT TO EXPECT  The story's an incredible one - we've avoided giving too many spoilerific details here - and could be intensely cinematic if done well, but Berg will have to knock our socks off if we're going to forgive him for Battleship.

Jack Ryan

DATE  December 26
DIRECTOR  Kenneth Branagh
CAST  Chris Pine, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, Colm Feore, Gemma Chan, Nonso Anozie, David Paymer

FUN FACT  Kevin Costner is signed up to play the same character in another Tom Clancy adaptation, Without Remorse, which is set to star Tom Hardy.

SYNOPSIS  In this film, Jack Ryan (Pine) has not yet joined the CIA and is working as a financial analyst when he's sent to work with a Russian businessman (Branagh). There, he's framed for a plot to destroy the US economy and has to go on the run, prove his innocence, stop the scheme and rescue his wife (Knightley). Luckily he has the crew of the Enterprise his extreme intelligence and military training to help him out.

WHAT TO EXPECT  There hasn't been a bad Jack Ryan film yet, and at his best (The Hunt For Red October) he's terrific. Branagh will have to prove that he can do as good a job as he did on Thor while also playing the bad guy - presumably with a Russian accent - and Pine gets a chance to strut his stuff outside Star Trek.


Quick Poll   Which of these films are you looking forward to most?

The Last Stand
Django Unchained
Parker
Bullet To The Head
A Good Day To Die Hard
GI Joe: Retaliation
Snitch
Olympus Has Fallen
Fast & Furious 6
Red 2
White House Down
The Tomb
Battle Of The Year: Dream Team
Jack Ryan
2 Guns
47 Ronin
Machete Kills
Lone Survivor


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