10. “Kill Bin Laden” (Working title) — Dec. 19
Kathryn Bigelow is one of the industry’s biggest up-and-comers after winning best director and best picture for “The Hurt Locker” at the 2010 Academy Awards. Following up “Hurt Locker” will be “Kill Bin Laden,” the first major motion picture to detail the night American forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The film has been in the news of late because government officials are concerned as to how Bigelow came across certain information about the operation, which should only bump expectations in the hope that the film will be as realistic as possible.
9. “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” — March 2
Tim and Eric are polarizing comedians — you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. After catching the trailer for their first feature-length film, it doesn’t look like it will do anything to appeal to anyone neutral or anti-Tim and Eric, but as someone who loves them, I can’t wait for this. Plus, it features Jeff Goldblum and Zach Galifianakis, so I can’t imagine that I will find it unfunny.
8. “The Bourne Legacy” — Aug. 3
After three critically acclaimed films based on Robert Ludlum’s books, Jason Bourne is back, though this time without Matt Damon. Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”) will star, though not as Bourne, which might be jarring for some, but a compelling situation for others as the franchise looks to move on without its iconic figures.
7. “The Amazing Spider-Man” — July 3
I’ve never been a huge fan of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films, so when I heard this fledgling franchise was rebooting only a decade after it began, I wasn’t all that flabbergasted. Even with some impressive names attached, such as Marc Webb (“(500) Days of Summer”) directing and Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) starring as Peter Parker, I haven’t gleaned that this will be much different than the previous three films, though I’m still compelled to see it in its final form.
6. “The Avengers” — May 4
This is one of the year’s most anticipated films, and rightfully so. Putting Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and Thor all in one film is sure to garner interest and even higher box office returns. While I’ve never been a huge fan of the usually empty, brainless Marvel films, it’s hard to watch the trailers for this and not feel the adrenaline pumping.
5. “Men in Black III” — May 25
The two “Men in Black” films were among my favorites as a kid, even if the second one was a lazy rehash of the first and kind of blew. Regardless, getting Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones back together for another campy alien adventure is sure to not only be nostalgic, but a good time as well.
4. “Prometheus” — June 8
The “Alien” films are treasured not only as great science-fiction films, but also great meshes of sci-fi and horror, too. While some might have a poor taste in their mouths after the “Alien vs. Predator” films of the last decade (and maybe even “Alien 3” and “Alien: Resurrection”), Ridley Scott, who directed the cherished original, returns to the franchise to hopefully restore order to a series that has suffered through crappy sequels and spin-offs over the past two decades.
3. “Brave” — June 22
Pixar is coming off what is seemingly unanimously its worst film to date, “Cars 2,” though thankfully, its next film, “Brave,” looks to be an improvement. The studio’s first film with a female lead, “Brave” explores Scottish mythology, and looks to do so not only by exploring narrative territory it hasn’t before, but also with the aid of some stunningly beautiful imagery.
2. “The Dark Knight Rises” — July 20
It’s hard to argue against this being the most anticipated film of the year. Coming off “The Dark Knight,” why shouldn’t it be? Granted, it lacks the iconic villain like the Joker, but even so, with Tom Hardy’s Bane and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, it would be a shocker if “The Dark Knight Rises” doesn’t wrap up Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy in fine form.
1. “Skyfall” — Nov. 9
2012 marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond on the silver screen, and it seems the producers behind the monstrous franchise are doing their best to honor it. “Skyfall” features quite possibly the most talented names the series has ever seen, with Sam Mendes directing and Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes starring alongside Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. While “Skyfall” will discontinue the Quantum story arc from the past two films, it’s thankfully been described as more fun than its morose predecessor, “Quantum of Solace,” and hopefully just as good as Craig’s first go as 007, “Casino Royale.”