Filed under: Features | Tags: 300: Rise of the Empire, Comic Book Movies of 2013, Iron Man 3, Kick-Ass 2, Man of Steel, Oblivion, R.I.P.D., Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, The Wolverine
After a fairly big year for comic book movies in 2012 we’re able to look ahead to 2013 being even bigger and we’re sure to be spoiled for choice.
Oblivion – 12th April
Radical Publishing have proved to be a good source of fresh new material in the comic book world but the titles they have bring with them the urge to have them crossover into other media types and in fact, this title has been on they’re “Coming Soon” list for well over a year now. Delays on the graphic novel release were all down to the production of the movie and I’m assuming the release of the movie in April will see the graphic novel finally hit our shelves. A typically post-apocalyptic tale is on offer here but Radical seem to be able to get hold of those big names that will surely be as big a draw at the box office as the movies themselves. Tom Cruise & Morgan Freeman appear in this one and in a year where sci-fi movies will take on comic book movies at the box office – it’ll be interesting to see how this one fairs. Future titles will see their Hercules: The Thracian Wars release making the jump to the big screen in 2014 with Dwayne Johnson signed up and we’ll surely start to see a steady flow of comic to movie releases from Radical.
Iron Man 3 – 26th April (UK)
Marvel’s Phase 2 begins with Iron Man 3 and we’ll get to see where new director Shane Black takes us with this latest addition to the Marvel Movies world. The regular faces are still there as Robert Downey Jr. (playing the role he was made for), Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle (although I wish they’d stuck with Terence Howard) & Jon Favreau (stepping down from Director duties) reprise their roles from the 1st & 2nd movie. While Iron Man started Phase 1 off in style and set the tone for following movies, it was thought by many that Iron Man 2 lost some of that spark that made the first film so popular – although in my opinion that second movie is much better than most people would give it credit for. So this third film in the life of Tony Stark has a number of things to jostle as it kicks off phase 2. The general disappointment in Iron Man 2 should help but as we’ve now had Thor, Captain America and the ultra-successful Avengers released since then, the competition is fierce as Marvel strive to continue the strong momentum they’ve managed to build-up. New villain The Mandarin by Ben Kingsley brings us a strong nemesis for our iron-clad hero and with the addition of Guy Pearce too, there’s a definite step towards strengthening the quality on screen. Early images and that teaser trailer have shown us that Tony’s world is attacked head-on and we see a public hero being challenged very publicly. Hopes are high from me on this as much for the cast as the change of director and it’ll be interesting to see how a post-Avengers Marvel movie will hold up in comparison.
Man of Steel – 14th June (UK)
This is it, this is one of THE films I’m looking forward to this year and what’s amazed me most is just how low-key the initial news of this reboot has actually been. While the memories of Superman Returns still hold fresh in most fanboys minds there is something much more exciting about this incarnation. In the hands of Zack Snyder we’ve been slowly teased with posters & trailers as 2012 draws to a close but my interest was piqued most of all by the blurry footage captured by a fan at this year’s SDCC. A goosebump-inducing flash of images from the movie as Henry Cavill takes on the mantle of Superman/Clark Kent in what appears to be a reboot in-line with what Chris Nolan brought us with Batman. The strong cast is really bringing us a lot of hope with this one as I’m sure, like me, there are those that are a still a bit 50/50 on Snyder. That being said, the trailers we’ve seen already have made clear that we’re aiming for a welcome return of the “super” in Superman. Just into January 2013 and June can’t come quickly enough.
R.I.P.D. – UK TBD (July in USA)
The Dark Horse Comics release R.I.P.D. sees recently deceased cop Nick Walker, played by Ryan Reynolds, join the ranks of the Rest In Peace Department. A force made up of police officers of the undead as he pursues his killer. There’s not much been released about this and it looks like this may well sneak up on us with its July release. I’m sure the biggest concern for most will be the appearance of Ryan Reynolds following a less than impressed response to Green Lantern, although I actually enjoyed it. The cast around Reynolds has got to prove to be good omen though as Jeff Bridges & Kevin Bacon appear so we’ll hold off on jumping to any conclusions until we see a trailer or more significant photo’s that the basic set/cast photo’s that have appeared.
Kick-Ass 2 – 19th July (UK)
The sequel to 2010’s much-hyped blockbuster, Kick-ass hits our screens this July and it’s got me on the fence with whether it’ll go the same route as that first release. The initial comic release had a gritty, bittersweet edge to it that gave it much more of a realistic vibe to it – something that was lost in its translation to film but I’m hopeful that can be reclaimed in this second outing. A combination of comic book releases where Hit-Girl & Kick-Ass 2 will be translated back onto the big screen in typical gritty fashion. Problem for me though is that the source material seems to have lost its edge – Kick-Ass 2 in particular was an ok read for me with Hit-Girl being a much better read…..this leaves the prospects of the movie a fairly mixed bag in my mind. I’m sure it’s one that I’ll see but my hopes are just not in the same place as it was for that first film……and even then that first film fell short. A change of director with Jeff Wadlow but most of the original cast have returned – with the addition of Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo and more – so there is definitely reason enough to be hyped about it……I’ll just keep my own hype in check for this one I think.
The Wolverine – 25th July (UK)
It’s been firmly pointed out by Fox that this won’t be a direct sequel to the misfire that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine and with few details on this one other than it’ll feature Logan’s days in Japan as he trains with a samurai warrior we’re holding out for more info earlier in the year on this one. Given its summer release the media hype will surely kick-in and with it looking to focus on Logan and not overwhelm us with a barrage of other mutants – there’s more chance of it building the depths this character has to offer. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the moody central character but recent interviews with him and early info from Fox highlights the push to get back to the early days of success they had with the X-Men characters.
300: Rise of the Empire – 2nd August (UK)
Zack Snyder’s brought us 300 back in 2007 – a scary amount of time to pass between releases but probably one of the most loyal comic to movie conversions. Filmed shot for shot from the source material and like Sin City (which also sees a sequel in 2013) this became a fairly big hit. The question I have on this one though is, do we really need another installment? The first film, based on the Frank Miller miniseries, had a well-rounded feel to it and other than a money-spinning reason I’m not sure why this is on it’s way. Time will tell but with Zack Snyder dropping directing duties in favour of a commitment to Superman and with such a delay between this being releases, I’m fairly skeptical with this one. The basic plot sees Xerxes return in the battle of Artemisium, a naval battle that took place around the same time as the battle of Thermopylae, the main battle seen in that first 300 movie. This will surely capture a similar vibe to that first release – bonus here is that Snyder was still on-board with the script so I’m imagining that the story will be at least consistent between the two. Main worry here is that we’ll get a visit to the same story brought in the first movie which would ultimately sour the quality of that 2007 release but with very little known about this new release – we’ll hopefully be convinced nearer the time.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – 4th October (UK)
This second Sin City installment has been on Robert Rodriguez’ “to do” list for a while now – with the promise of new material from Frank Miller who again teams-up with Rodriguez on Directing duties. The vast majority of the original cast look to be making a return to the series too as the intertwined lives of Basin City’s anti-heroes plays out again and with so much of the original team involved and the high quality source material being used – I’ve got hopes that it’ll be more of the same for this release. The gritty violence will surely be on show again along with the noir-heavy style of the first movie. I can’t wait for this one with the only doubt crossing my mind being the attempt at The Spirit by Miller back in 2008 which seemed to try and hijack the Sin City filming approach with a fairly disappointing attempt. I guess from that point of view we’ll see Rodriguez work his magic again and hopefully reclaim the success of his first outing which we saw back in 2005.
Thor: The Dark World – 8th November (UK)
For me, the best movie Marvel have released to date has been Thor – more for the surprise that Kenneth Brannagh brought us while on directing duties as much as anything else. While Avengers may have raised the bar further, I still think that Thor remains the best so far given I had already specific expectations from Joss Whedon given what he’s been involved with before. The casting was spot-on for Thor too and so this second installment could well be setting up for a contender for best Marvel movie later in the year. Disappointingly, Brannagh won’t be returning as director but with the cast holding strong and early images proving to give us at least a hint that the Asgard vibe will be there in force, I’m hyped to see more of this as the year progresses and especially in among those Iron Man 3 credits which I’m sure will point us in the direction it’ll be going.
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