It seems like it was only yesterday that we were reliving 2012, ranking our favorite movies and moments and sex and controversies — but it wasn’t yesterday, because yesterday was January 1st, 2013. So out with the old and in with the new, eh? The coming year promises about what you’d expect: lots of sequels and comic book movies and sequels to comic book movies. But we’re not snobs — some of those look awfully exciting, and some of the smaller, more indie-minded titles have got us mighty interested as well. Join us after the jump for a look ahead at the ten 2013 pictures we’re looking forward to the most — and, of course, add your own in the comments.
RELEASE DATE: February 8
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
CAST: Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones
If he sticks to his word (and we’re crossing our fingers that he doesn’t), this will be Steven Soderbergh’s final theatrical feature for… well, forever. So that means we’re approaching this one with a mixture of excitement and dread, because we don’t want one of the most innovative and unpredictable filmmakers of our time to throw in the towel. But if he’s gonna do it, this looks like a promising exit venture: he’s working from a script by Scott Z. Burns (they previously collaborated on Contagion and The Informant!), reteaming with three actors who’ve done terrific work for him before, and throwing Rooney Mara (in her first post-Lisbeth role) into the mix. Plus, as with Haywire, we thank Soderbergh for putting out something interesting in the usually grim pre-Spring Break movie-going season.
Inside Llewyn Davis
RELEASE DATE: February 8
DIRECTOR: The Coen Brothers
CAST: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky
As a matter of fact, February 8 is looking like a pretty dynamite day at the movies: not only do we get a new Soderbergh, but the first new Coen Brothers movie since the Oscar nominated box-office smash True Grit. If you were worried about them making another commercialized crowd-pleaser, fear not: the Coens latest recreates the early-’60s New York folk-singing scene. (Start camping out for midnight tickets now, folks). They’ve assembled a knockout cast: the wonderful Carey Mulligan, Flavorwire fave Alex Karpovsky, his Girls co-star Adam Driver, and (here’s the most exciting part) Coens mainstay John Goodman, making his first appearance in a Coen Brothers film since O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Only God Forgives
RELEASE DATE: March 28
DIRECTOR: Nicolas Winding Refn
CAST: Ryan Gosling, Kristen Scott Thomas, Tom Burke
One of our favorite films of 2011 was Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn’s moody mash-up of European art film and ’80s action movie, so our anticipation for his follow-up was only heightened — okay, multiplied — by the news that it will mark a reunion with his Drive star, Ryan Gosling. Gosling called the script, which concerns an Englishman living in Thailand who runs a boxing club for his criminal family, “the strangest thing I’ve ever read, and it’s only going to get stranger.” That’s a ringing endorsement if we’ve ever heard one.
The Place Beyond the Pines
RELEASE DATE: March 29
DIRECTOR: Derek Cianfrance
CAST: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta
Gosling fans are going to lose their minds in late March; not only will they get to see Only God Forgives, but another new Gosling feature, re-teaming the actor with the director of another previous triumph. Derek Cianfance spent six years trying to get Blue Valentine made, but seems to have a considerably easier time mounting its follow-up — with not only Gosling on board, but Cooper, Bryne, and Mendes (good Lord, couldn’t they have cast some ugly people in this thing?) as well.
Star Trek into Darkness
RELEASE DATE: May 17
DIRECTOR: J. J. Abrams
CAST: Chris Pine, Zacahary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Alice Eve
We like to rail against Hollywood’s non-stop stream of sequels and reboots, but every once in a while, a gem like J.J. Abrams’ reimagined Star Trek will come along to remind us that we’d better be careful about sweeping generalizations. His 2009 film was a flashy, zippy, lens flare-y treat, reinvigorating the crew of the Enterprise with a shot of energy and wit that the flagging series desperately needed. Thankfully, his crackerjack ensemble is back for this go-round, with Benedict Cumberbath and Alice Eve welcome additions (and eye candy).
RELEASE DATE: October 11
DIRECTOR: Spike Lee
CAST: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Reddick, Michael Imperioli
And while we’d love Hollywood to put the brakes on the remake train, we’re plenty curious to see what Spike Lee’s remake of Chan-wook Park’s brilliant, haunting 2003 South Korean revenge movie will look like — especially with Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen taking over the leads. But as with Llewyn Davis, the real intrigue comes further down the cast list: Samuel L. Jackson appears in a small but key role, marking his first collaboration with Lee in over 20 years, since Jackson’s riveting turn in Jungle Fever. The pair fell out shortly after that film’s release, so it’s good to see them working together again — though it’ll be interesting to see if the truce holds following Lee’s comments about Jackson’s latest, Django Unchained.
RELEASE DATE: October 18
DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón
CAST: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
It’s been over six years since Alfonso Cuarón blew our minds with Children of Men, a stunning mixture of science fiction and human drama that melded astonishing technique with harrowing emotion. Rumors have swirled that his long-awaited follow-up will feature plenty of the former (he may well top those extended unbroken takes with a 30-minute opening shot); the latter will be in the hands of Bullock and Clooney, playing the film’s only two onscreen characters, a pair of astronauts stranded in space.
The World’s End
RELEASE DATE: October 25
DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright
CAST: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Patty Considine, Eddie Marsan
Maybe it was all the Mayan talk in the air, but there’s been a keen interest in the end of the world lately — and its comic consequences, as evidenced by next summer’s This is the End (from writer/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg) and next fall’s The World’s End, which reunites director Edgar Wright with his Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. And if that’s not enough information to make you wanna see this one, well, I don’t know what else to tell you.
The Monuments Men
RELEASE DATE: December 20
DIRECTOR: George Clooney
CAST: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban
George Clooney and his longtime writing partner Grant Henslov are back at it, adapting Robert M. Edsel’s nonfiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, which tells the story of a team of art historians and museum curators racing to save priceless works of art stolen by Nazis. Clooney directs and stars, heading up an ensemble that rivals any of his Ocean’s casts.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
RELEASE DATE: December 20
DIRECTOR: Adam McKay
CAST: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Kristen Wiig
Clooney’s not the only one putting an all-star super-cast together; the same day that Monument Men hits theaters, we’ll finally get to feast our eyes on the long-thought-dead sequel of the season. Word is that this one will be set in the ’80s, during the early days of 24-hour cable news, but that’s about all we’ve heard so far — that, and that Kristen Wiig may well join in, playing the wife of Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland, which is an idea that we love even more than lamp.
Those are the movies we’re looking forward to in 2013 — what are yours?