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185 films of next year profiled and explained


Sci-Fi Apocalypse Now
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Star Trek Into Darkness (3D)

DATE  May 17
DIRECTOR  JJ Abrams
CAST  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood

BASED ON  Judging by the teaser poster, London is in for some hard times in the 23rd century.

SYNOPSIS  According to the official synoposis, an "unstoppable force of terror from within their own organisation" has detonated the fleet, and the world is in crisis. Captain Kirk (Pine) has a personal score to settle with the "one man weapon of mass destruction" responsible (Cumberbatch) and so begins "an epic chess game of life and death" where Kirk may be forced to sacrifice members of his crew.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Abrams' last Star Trek effort was successful beyond all expectations, winning new fans for the franchise and convincing us all of the cinematic possibilities of lens flare. With the stakes (presumably) raised and the tone (assuredly) darker this time around, we're intrigued to see how the new team fares - and of course to find out exactly who Cumberbatch is playing and what he has planned. That note about "sacrifices" has us worried though: surely they won't do a Tasha Yar on us and kill a non-Red Shirt!
• Watch the trailer below

World War Z

World War Z

DATE  June 21
DIRECTOR  Marc Forster
CAST  Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, David Morse, Bryan Cranston

BASED ON  The fantastic book of the same name by Max Brooks (son of Mel).

SYNOPSIS  A zombie epidemic spreads to become a global pandemic, and hordes of the undead dismantle human civilisation and threaten the lives of a tiny number of survivors. UN employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) travels the world trying to find a way to stop the zombies and save the world. You know, just a couple of small, manageable life goals.

WHAT TO EXPECT  The production has been famously troubled and a few big effects shots in the trailers raised eyebrows. That said, the book is such good source material that it would take real effort not to make something worth watching, so we're holding on to the hope that this will get across the unstoppable scale of the worldwide collapse and won't be, you know, a worldwide collapse of unstoppable scale.
• Watch the trailer below

End Of The World

This Is The End

DATE  June 28
DIRECTOR  Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
CAST  Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Emma Watson, Craig Robinson, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Rihanna

BASED ON  An idea by Goldberg and Jason Stone, which became a screenplay by Goldberg and Rogen, was directed by Goldberg and Rogen and now stars Rogen etc.

SYNOPSIS  A party at James Franco's house is underway, with a star-studded group of attendees, when the apocalypse begins. Doesn't that always just happen? Sheesh. Anyway, the cast - all playing versions of themselves - cope as best they can.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Not to be confused with The World's End, this depends entirely on how far the cast are willing to go in sending themselves up. If the answer is "not far" it could be an unbearable love-in. If the answer is "All the way to Vegas, baby!" it could be a laugh.
• Watch the trailer on Yahoo

The World's End

The World's End

DATE  August 14
DIRECTOR  Edgar Wright
CAST  Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike

SEE ALSO  Pegg has said that this is in the tradition of science fiction by John Wyndham and John Christopher, so why not go read The Day Of The Triffids and The Tripods?

SYNOPSIS  Five old friends (Pegg, Frost, Freeman, Considine, Marsan) reunite for an epic pub crawl that will finish at The World's End pubic house. Unfortunately for their social plans, an event threatening the whole of human life begins during the course of the evening, so they have to get to The World's End via the end of the world (not to be confused with that film earlier in the year).

WHAT TO EXPECT  Pegg, Frost and Wright together again? The long-awaited third instalment of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy? Simon Pegg looking a bit goth? The end of days? John Wyndham as a touchstone? Shooting locations in glamorous locales like Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City? Oh you just know we're there already.

After Earth

After Earth

DATE  June 7
DIRECTOR  M. Night Shyamalan
CAST  Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Isabelle Fuhrmann, Zoe Kravitz, David Denman

FUN FACT  This was originally called 1000 A.E.

SYNOPSIS  Cypher and Kitai Raige (Will and Jaden Smith, respectively) are father and son, scions of a family instrumental in leading humanity off the dying Earth to a new home. But after a crash landing, the family team explore a planet abandoned 1000 years before.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Can Shyamalan find his way back after The Last Airbender and The Happening? We devoutly hope so. The premise isn't bad (although it may suffer comparisons to the similar-sounding Oblivion), and certainly the Smith pairing is one that's proven to work, so don't build a rocketship and escape to another planet to avoid it just yet.
• Watch the trailer below

Oblivion

Oblivion

DATE  April 12
DIRECTOR  Joseph Kosinski
CAST  Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo, Zoe Bell, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau

BASED ON  The graphic novel Kosinski wrote with Arvid Nelson.

SYNOPSIS  Jak Harper (Cruise) spends his days repairing drones on the devastated surface of a future Earth. But when he discovers a woman (Kurylenko) in a crashed survival pod he has to question everything he knows about life.

WHAT TO EXPECT  We expect great visuals from Kosinksi, and the depiction of a devastated, empty Earth surface contrasted with the shiny white tech of Harper's copter-plane thing looks astonishing. The question will be how the story works - that old "question everything he knows" gambit can succeed brilliantly (Bourne Identity) or crash and burn (Bourne Legacy). That remains to be seen - but the script was much praised so we're optimistic for a home run from Kosinski here.
• Watch the trailer below

Elysium

DATE  September 20
DIRECTOR  Neill Blomkamp
CAST  Matt Damon, William Fichtner, Jodie Foster, Diego Luna, Sharlto Copley, Talisa Soto

SEE ALSO  Read up on Occupy Wall Street, as it looks suspiciously like this is a film for the 99%.

SYNOPSIS  In 2159, there are two types of people: the rich, living in floating cities closely guarded by the likes of government official Secretary Rhodes (Foster), and everyone else, living on the ruined surface of Earth. Max (Damon), an ex-con, is forced to take a mission that could save his life and bring everyone else equality too.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Blomkamp's follow-up to District 9 was always going to be exciting, but we're particularly intrigued by what sounds like a mission to test even Bourne's powers of running about and fighting the system. Damon is someone who can convince both as an everyman and an action man, and he may have to be both here.

Ender's Game

Ender's Game

DATE  October 25
DIRECTOR  Gavin Hood
CAST  Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Moises Arias, Jimmy Pinchak, Aramis Knight

BASED ON  Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic of 1985. This particular book is followed by Speaker For The Dead, Xenocide and Children Of The Mind, if you're interested.

SYNOPSIS  After devastating encounters with an alien race known as the Buggers (or Formics, more formally), humanity has responded by building a huge assault fleet and scouring the globe for tactical geniuses to train up to lead it. They find a likely candidate in Andrew "Ender" Wiggin (Butterfield), a young boy who appears to have the know-how they need. He's taken to the orbiting Battle School for training by Col. Hyrum Graff (Ford).

WHAT TO EXPECT  The book is blisteringly good, but has languished in the "unfilmable" pile for decades with good reason: it involves quite a lot of child-on-child violence that will have to be carefully handled, and has a series of big revelations at the end, some of which aren't obviously cinema-friendly. Still, if Hood shows the same sensitivity he did in Tsotsi, and gives the battle scenes the intensity they have on a page, we'll all be cheering this child soldier by the end of the year. Which sounds weird, on reflection.

Riddick

Riddick

DATE  2013 TBC
DIRECTOR  David Twohy
CAST  Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà, Nolan Gerard Funk, Keri Hilson, Dave Batista

FUN FACT  The film finished shooting in April 2012, with a lean $38m budget.

SYNOPSIS  Richard B. Riddick (Diesel) is betrayed and left for dead on a world full of dangerous predators - where, of course, he takes down the competition and emerges even deadlier than before. Bounty hunters descend on his from all sides - something Riddick takes advantage of by heading to save his home planet Furya from destruction. Just another day in the life, really.

WHAT TO EXPECT  We're promised a slicker and more action-packed affair that the somewhat overblown Chronicles Of Riddick, and the return to an R-rating after its predecessor's PG-13 theatrical cut. Less Judi Dench playing an angelic being this time too.

John Dies At The End

John Dies At The End

DATE  March 22
DIRECTOR  Don Coscarelli
CAST  Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Doug Jones

FUN FACT  The book of the same name by David Wong, originally published as a web series in 2001.

SYNOPSIS  Dave (Williamson) and John (Mayes) discover that a street drug called "Soy Sauce" is causing users to have stranger-than-usual hallucinations and possibly come back as inhuman monsters intent on destroying our planet and/or universe. It's up to these two college dropouts to save the day.

WHAT TO EXPECT  From the maker of Bubba Ho-Tep, this one looks as weird, horrific and comic as that might imply. Let's just hope no one spoils the ending before March!
• Watch the trailer on YouTube

Pacific Rim

DATE  July 12
DIRECTOR  Guillermo Del Toro
CAST  Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman, Clifton Collins Jr.

FUN FACT  Watch these kaiju (Japanese monster) movies before this one hits.

SYNOPSIS  In the near future, portals to another dimension open periodically, allowing giant "kaiju" monsters through to attack Earth's cities. The nations of the world build "Jaegers", giant robots, to fight the threat - but with the rifts opening more often, the world's resources are running low. That's when washed-up Jaeger pilot Raleigh (Hunnam) and a damaged Jaeger head back into the fray.

WHAT TO EXPECT  The sheer scale of this one is going to be enormous, dwarfing the likes of Transformers, and as a bonus it comes with del Toro's usual visual flair and off-beat sensibility. He's gone to great lengths to give the kaiju and jaegers each their own distinctive look, assembled a cast that's light on stars but heavy on charisma, and tried hard to create a war-weary backdrop for the fight. If he pulls it off, this should be something special.
• Watch the trailer below


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

John Dies At The End
Oblivion
Star Trek Into Darkness
After Earth
World War Z
This Is The End
Pacific Rim
The World's End
Elysium
Ender's Game
Riddick


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