Hollywood aiming for another big year

Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

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Hollywood is aiming for another big year. According to Hollywood.com, a website covering the film industry, 2012 might have broken the box office earnings record and 2013 might break the US$11 billion mark for the first time ever.

So, how are they going to do it? What are the big films of 2013?

As always, two common types of films will be coming out this year: sequels and superheroes. Some films will even be both. Iron Man gets a third film May 3 and Thor (the one of Avengers fame) is back to battle dark elves Nov. 8. Both have new directors but the same cast with some additions. Both will contain lots of loud action, some clever writing, nods to their comic book origins and a simple plot. Man of Steel reboots the Superman franchise with director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) at the helm.

Nerds and sci-fi action fans will rejoice with Star Trek Into Darkness arriving May 17 with the enterprising J.J. Abrams again at the helm. Captain Kirk and crew will take on a new enemy played by rising star Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cumberbatch also battles Bilbo Baggins as the voice of a dragon in the second of three films based on one book. While The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec. 13) may seem more like part of a miniseries, it will still be bright, flashy and popular with a huge audience. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will see another book-based franchise return on Nov. 22. Both films are the middle film in a trilogy, so it’d be good to review the first parts in advance.

The Fast and the Furious will get a sixth piece May 24, bringing back most of the cast of the last five as well as director Justin Lin. This has become a consistent movie series, with car-based action, bright colours and smashing metal every two years. Die Hard will do the same with its fifth part on Feb. 14.

Anchorman2_dn01b.tifSequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues (Dec. 20) arrives nearly 10 years after the original. With cult status and big names involved it will hopefully live up to expectations. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Oct. 4) is in a similar situation, with survivors of 2005’s Sin City venturing back out into the black and white city.

World War Z (June 13) gives Brad Pitt a chance at zombies this time. Warm Bodies (Feb. 1) takes a different tack on zombies and could be a sleeper hit with a relatively low-key cast but charming concept. R.I.P.D. (July 19) includes a few undead creatures and pairs Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, which could lead to more humour than expected. All three are based on previously published work.

Big projects are rarely based on completely original stories, but there are a couple. Zero Dark Thirty (Jan. 11) will be good, period. Director Kathryn Bigelow had a critically acclaimed hit with 2008’s The Hurt Locker and she’s tackling similar material. Expect a lot of James Franco in 2013, as he’s starring in Wizard of Oz prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8). More importantly, though, is the comedy This is the End (June 14). It will feature Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill and close to a dozen other comedic actors all working off of a script and direction from Rogen and his writing partner from Superbad and Pineapple Express. Finally, another comedy is taking on the apocalypse; The World’s End (Oct. 25) reunites writer/actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost with director Edgar Wright. This team was behind British hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

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A pair of action films based on apocalypses will get a huge amount of advertising. Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion (April 19) and After Earth (June 3) will give Will Smith and son Jaden Smith some more screen time together.

A few others to keep an eye out for: Leonardo DiCaprio-led The Great Gatsby (May 12), Charlie Sheen playing a crazy guy in A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (Feb. 8), the remake of Korean action hit Oldboy (Oct. 11) and Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (July 12).