February 3 - Chronicle
Chronicle is a relatively low budget superhero movie, but it has the potential to surprise at the box office. The film must be cool, because rumors are that its director, Josh Trank, is close to being given the reins of the huge Fantastic Four re-boot. What's it about? First of all, it's filmed in the "found footage" style, like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. One of the main characters is recording everything that happens on his phone camera. It's also in the genre of other "realistic" superhero movies and TV shows like Heroes and Hancock. You know, the type of shows that try to portray how people with superhuman abilities would really act. In this case, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.
A lot of people were disappointed in 2007's Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage, because they thought it wasn't intense or scary enough, and well, just kinda sucky overall. Despite lackluster reviews, it still made loads of money, so Cage is back as The Rider and ready for another go at it. If you recall from the original movie, the Ghost Rider is Johnny Blaze - a stunt motorcyclist who sells his soul to devil and becomes a vigilante in search of evil souls and a protector of the innocent. Although Spirit of Vengeance is not considered a sequel, Blaze is back and still struggling with his curse as the devil's bounty hunter. Johnny is hiding out in Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy from the devil. We've heard a lot of fans express very low expectations for this movie, but we're holding out hope that it delivers a better plot and way more action and suspense than the first film.
May 4 -
The big one. The movie that's been on the mind of every superhero fan for almost five years. Bringing together the iconic heroes, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk, as well as Hawkeye and Black Widow - battling supervillain, Loki, all in glorious 3D. Featuring a cast loaded with A-List stars, like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, a director with a sparkling resume of fan favorites in Joss Whedon, and a visionary studio in Marvel, The Avengers seems guaranteed to set a new standard for other superhero movies to strive for in the future.
Marvel Studios - "When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins."
July 3 - The Amazing Spider-Man
When first announced, this movie stirred a lot of emotions among fans of the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. That original series was so well-liked, it took a while to get used to the idea of Andrew Garfield donning the red and blue of Spidey. However, from everything we've seen so far, it looks like director, Marc Webb, has a fresh, updated take on the Spidey story and this one won't disappoint.
Columbia Pictures - "The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero."
July 20 - The Dark Knight Rises
Without a doubt, the most highly anticipated movie of 2012 - the final chapter of director, Christopher Nolan's, Batman trilogy. Nolan's vision of a dark, suspenseful Batman epic, and Christian Bale's portrayal of a tormented Bruce Wayne/Batman has raised the superhero genre to unimagined heights. Nolan, as always, is secretive about the story details, and really, very little is known about the plot except from hints in the trailer. We do know that the movie takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, and a new criminal mastermind emerges in the form of Bane - a physically and mentally enhanced terrorist, who forces Batman out of retirement. In addition to Bale's return as Batman, the film stars Tom Hardy as Bane, and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. A definite must-see.
September 21 - Dredd
We debated whether or not Dredd should be included in a list of superhero movies, and it juuust made the cut. Although technically not a superhero, Judge Dredd, whose favorite phrase is "I AM the law!", is enough of a one-man-army/bad-ass to stand alongside his costumed brethren. Trying to make fans forget 1995's Judge Dredd, this reboot has Karl Urban in the title role of the judge/jury/executioner of the violent streets of futuristic Mega-City One. In interviews, Urban has said the story revolves around Dredd putting a rookie through her paces to see if she's worthy of becoming a "Judge". One interesting note - since Dredd is seen as a symbol of the "faceless representative of the law", as screenwriter Alex Garland put it, he never removes his helmet in the film. If you're not familiar, Judge Dredd has appeared in the pages of a British comic book called 2000 AD since 1977 and is among the UK's best known home-grown comic characters.